Home For the Holidays

December 20, 2014

home for the holidays collage
These cozy images remind me of going home for the holidays. We're technically visiting our parents' homes, but home is where Mama is, no? I am eager to spend my first Christmas in Indiana with my bonus family (in-laws), and to meet my baby nephew. Then, it's down south for a tender Tennessee Christmas. My fingers are crossed for snow. Merry Christmas! xo

Images: cabin | champagne | fireplace | gather | dining | wreath


December 15, 2014

Let us take a brief break from the Christmas music for D'Angelo's first album in 14 years. 
Goodness, so good.

You can buy the album here.

Gratitude Lately

December 14, 2014

christmas tree ornaments
Colorful ornaments from a friend

buttermilk biscuit dough
A relaxing day to myself

happy holidays handmade card
Receiving handmade (and printed) cards in the mail

Take Heart Shop Austin Texas
Holiday inspiration at my favorite Austin shop

Take Heart Shop Austin Texas
Kind words from the shop ^ {be good to yourself}

Though I choose to highlight and relish in the joyful elements of the season, I want to recognize the less comfortable feelings that the holidays often elicit. For many, the holidays are a reminder of change or loss or having less than.

I ache with the nostalgia of my magical childhood Christmas, and the unwinding of tradition. I miss my grandfather and his thrill over my choppy carols on the piano. I am sad about the distance between family members, and the effort it takes to visit just a handful of times each year.

I hope to remember that with each fading tradition come new activities that one day will be beloved ritual. Through the sadness for those no longer here on earth, I am thankful for memories that never fade, and hope for a new generation to add to the fold. For those longing for 'home' this time of year, I hope to open my heart and share a little warmth.

Here's to gratitude and how it turns everything into enough.
What have you been thankful for lately?

Happy Weekend

December 12, 2014

hanging swag holiday decor
Happy weekend! Do you have any fun plans? I have several items to check off my to-do list before we enter holiday vacation mode. Once I get through a few tedious work-related tasks, many of my weekend activities revolve around gift buying, gift wrapping, baking, card writing, and packing -- enjoyable chores. I love this season.

Photo by Erin Boyle

Artist Spotlight | Sayuri Sasaki Hemann

December 10, 2014

Sayuri Sasaki jellyfish Sayuri Sasaki jellyfish Sayuri Sasaki jellyfish
I have had Sayuri Sasaki Hemann's whimsical jellyfish installations bookmarked for a couple years, and I thought I would revisit her work on this gloomy December day. Sayuri's fiber landscapes beautifully capture the graceful, ethereal movement of my favorite aquatic animal.

Sayuri Sasaki jellyfish Sayuri Sasaki jellyfish
These scenes are from Sayuri's Urban Aquarium project. The traveling installation constructs a jellyfish aquarium in unexpected places, like here in the Portland International Airport. I love the light and the calm these figures evoke.

Sayuri Sasaki jellyfish Sayuri Sasaki jellyfish
You can migrate a jellyfish to your own space by purchasing one of Sayuri's jellyfish! I know this would be perfect for a kid's room, but I would love a few jellies of my own. Such an imagination.

Sayuri Sasaki jellyfish
I love the subtle movement of the fish within the tank:

To see more jellyfish and Sayuri Sasaki Hemann's other work (paintings, mixed media, works on paper!), visit the artist's website Sayuri's World.

All images via Sayuri's World

Gratitude Lately

December 7, 2014

til death do us part mural
6 months of marriage with my best friend

wrinkly sheets bed
Clean wrinkly sheets

Saul Steinberg Kiss Illustration
Loving & supportive friends {Saul Steinberg - "Kiss"}

latte heart
Weekend coffee runs

enamel pins
My maternal grandmother {who made these enamel pins}

Here's to gratitude and how it turns everything into enough.
What have you been thankful for lately?

Winter Playlist by Gray

December 5, 2014

When I want to shake up my music rotation and discover new artists, I turn to my brother Gray. Gray's thirst for discovery and enthusiasm for music (and life, really) is unlike anything I have ever seen. Sure, we have different go-to favorites (I love Americana, he likes Indie and Electronic), but we both come from the same musical household and enjoy diversity.

I thought it would be fun to ask Gray to create a playlist to share this season. I requested songs that he is currently listening to and would be nice for the season's festive gatherings. Check out Gray's tunes below. So so good! Perfect for the weekend. Cheers!

Winter Playlist by Gray can be found on Spotify - just log in. 
Note: I snuck in the Vince Guaraldi Trio song. Just had to. 

wedding water gun exit
^^Gray and his wife Laura, ending a night of music that kept everyone on the dance floor!

For those without Spotify:
Wild Cub - Thunder Clatter
Boy & Bear - Southern Sun
The Avalanches - Since I Left You
Feist - Mushaboom
Bad Suns - Salt
Mayer Hawthorne, Kendrick Lamar - Crime
Beverly - Honey Do
Blu & Exile, Jimetta Rose - The Only One
Blondfire - Young Heart
Sales - Getting It On
John Legend - Let's Get Lifted
Fleet Foxes - Mykonos
Miguel - Adorn
Vince Guaraldi Trio - Skating
Sufjan Stevens - I Saw Three Ships


December 4, 2014

It's Thursday, which means time for a new episode of Serial! I am hooked on the gripping podcast, as are millions of other listeners. Last week's break for Thanksgiving makes today's release even more exciting.

For anyone else obsessed with Serial, here are some funny charts that made me smile. More can be found at The Bold Italic.

serial podcast chart mail kimp serial podcast chart tweets serial podcast chart laura

Travel Wish List

December 2, 2014

The older I get, the more my wish list looks like a wanderlust list. I still love buying and receiving thoughtful gifts around the holidays, but more and more I crave experiences rather than things.

After reading Hither & Thither's destination wish list for the national parks, I thought of my own short wish list for domestic travel. Coincidentally, the top 4 destinations on my list are in the western United States.

travel wish list marfa bozeman utah bend
1. Marfa, Texas
Just 6 1/2 hours from Austin. An arts oasis in West Texas.
Helpful Marfa tips and photos can be found at Life on Pine.
{Photo of El Comico teepee lodging via Dwell}

2. Bozeman, Montana 
I've been before, but I hope to return to this mountain town in 2015.
It helps to have friends who live in cool places!
{Photo via Lonely Planet}

3. Canyon Point, Utah 
Specifically, the Amangiri, or 'peaceful mountain', resort. Stunning.

4. Bend, Oregon
I dream of cross country skiing here in the winter, and also fishing on the Deschutes River in the summer.
{Photo via Emily Nathan for Tiny Atlas Quarterly}

Any dreamy destinations I should add to my wish list? 

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. 


December 1, 2014

Texas capital building Mike
Thanksgiving weekend was simple and relaxed this year. The days were a blur of yummy food, football, warm weather, movies, and holiday prep. I spent most of my time with M, which was so nice. We took breaks from our walks around town and meals at favorite restaurants with dedicated time to our individual exercise routines and FaceTime with family and friends, who we miss dearly. The day after Thanksgiving was complete with tree decorating and the promise of that soft glow in the corner of the living room for the next month. Cheers!

neighborhood walk palm tree university of texas football game longhorns university of texas football longhorns perlas oyster bar oysters half shell frasier fir trees christmas tree in car christmas tree lights

Gratitude Lately

November 30, 2014

Description of Photo
Mornings with no alarm 

palm tree
Warm weather 

candle flame
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. -James Keller {A good reminder}

boy peace sign
My brother {And a sweetness that doesn't seem to fade with age}

Barre3 bums A return to Barre3. {Thankful to be able to prioritize this luxury for my health.}

Here's to gratitude and how it turns everything into enough.
What have you been thankful for lately?

Allen Stone | Million

November 26, 2014

Here's a tune to ease into the long holiday weekend. I look forward to slowing down and counting my blessings. Happy Thanksgiving!


Advent Calendar

November 25, 2014

natural advent calendar
M and I just finalized plans to visit both of our families for Christmas. Once recovered from the airfare shock, we relaxed in relief that we get to spend the holidays with family. The time/money/effort is so worth it. 

berries rosemary
I've created a version of one of my family traditions to celebrate the anticipation of Christmas: an advent calendar. The advent calendar provides a little something special to open each day, beginning with December 1. The items on my calendar include:

Activities (hot chocolate & a walk to see neighborhood lights, watching seasonal movies)
Goodwill (cooking & sharing a meal, sponsoring a Santa pal)
Small gifts (tea, seasonal brew)
Reading (story of Jesus' birth, SantaLand Diaries)

advent calendar materials
Advent Calendar

I didn't want to go out and buy a bunch of crafting materials, but rather used what I already had around the home, both inside and outside.

Foam board
Cotton muslin
Card stock
Thumb tacks
Found objects: rosemary, berries, leaves
Twinkle lights

berry rosemarynatural advent calendar

Gratitude Lately

November 24, 2014

bouquet flowers
Refreshing weekends

rosemary bunch
Creating something with my hands

conference table by windows
A job

greenery kitchen
This season {Image}

Description of Photo
Setting intentions 

Here's to gratitude and how it turns everything into enough.
What have you been thankful for lately?


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