Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Heavy on my heart

*warning: long post ahead*

I have been trying to analyze my lack of posting lately, because I truly find it appalling. Posting just a few snippets of my life here and there, or a quote and a pretty picture without any kind of substantial post to keep myself and you all invested just isn't like me. I'm a talker, a venter, someone who needs to get stuff well and truly out of my system on a regular basis. I'm choosey about who I share things with, but overall, I share. I may let things build for a while and then pour my heart out in an emotional, sloppy way, or dwell on something and beat an issue until it's well and fully dead, but I get it all out.

But, if you look at my recent posting you would never know that. I've kept the bare minimum of a presence here via fill-in-the-blank posts and lovely little quotes. Don't get me wrong, those little blurbs can speak volumes and are always fun to post, but I miss talking to you all about my life as though we were gathered around a table in a coffee shop together, sipping on lattes and cups of tea. I miss blogging with my whole heart.

So, I analyzed.

The typical (and real) justifications/excuses came to mind:
+ I'm in a new relationship and am allowing myself to be consumed by it and my happiness
+ Work has yet to die down from this summer and I'm feeling a little stressed
+ I tackled another fast-paced Economics class, which took up a lot of my free time
+ I have errands to run, dinners to cook and a gym to visit
etc, etc, etc...

All of those things are true, and with the busyness of the Holidays, I do feel like I spend most evenings running around like a mad woman trying to get stuff done...I'm tired by the time I get home and the last thing I feel like doing is putting together a cohesive blog post. This is reality, but it still isn't the root of the issue.

You want to know what is? Here you go: the stuff that I really want to talk about, the things weighing on my heart, feel too personal to share in a public forum.

The topics that I really want to get off of my chest, and that come to mind whenever I sit down in front of an empty blog post, aren't really appropriate to splash all over the internet. They're my current issues. They're things I am in the process of dealing with. Some of them are issues that I have no control over, and those are the worst. Those are the ones I dwell on. They have consequences for my psyche and my emotions; consequences that only I can cope with, and unfortunately, I'm not always pleasant as I try to work through these kinds of issues. I swear I would feel better if I could just sit and write them all out; it's cathartic and healing. But, it's simply not appropriate for posting. So, I write them in unpublished posts; adding thoughts to rambling entries that no one else will see. It helps. I am trying to come to some sort of understanding...with myself, with others, sometimes with God...but mostly with myself.

This post is heavier than I intended it to be, but it feels good to get some of that off my chest. I want to get back to more regular posting, for myself and for all of you who read this and who I consider to be lovely, wonderful friends. I need to fill you in on my boyfriend, and about my foray into macroeconomics, the insanity of work, and some of the fun things I've done lately and those that are still in the works. I will feel better when I do this.

Thank you all for sticking with me.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

No truer words

(via Pinterest)

I am simply a ‘book drunkard.’ Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.
-L.M. Montgomery-

Of Monsters and Men: Little Talks

Another song for your Wednesday...
I've heard this one before but never knew who the band was, so I am quite excited to finally have a band name and song title!

The Staves: Winter Trees

In my bloggy-browsing this morning I came across Chasing Heartbeats' "Musik fur Mittwoch" post and fell head over heels in love with this week's song: Winter Trees by The Staves.

I'm tired and mellow today, wishing I was curled up with the dogs at Tony's, still in my pjs, finishing off the pot of coffee and reading in front of the fireplace...this song seems to coexist perfectly with my mood.

(and happy Wednesday, loves) 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I am alive...despite what my recent (lack of) posting may lead you to believe

It's me...I'm still alive.
I want to say I'll promise to get back to regular posting, but I don't want to get you all excited and then let you down...
so, how about if I say I will do my best to get back on the blogging bandwagon?

I've been busy falling for a great guy,
and being completely awed by how easy and comfortable this relationship is,
and by how happy we both are.
It's time consuming
(but that's not a very good excuse, I know).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fill in the blank Friday

I know I owe you all some serious updates, but it's been a little nuts around these parts this week and I just haven't been in a blogging mood. But, I will fill you all in soon (I want to gush about the new man) and until then, do you all mind settling for some more blanks? Thanks...ya'll are the best!

(via Pinterest)

1. My favorite new blog of the moment is Across the Pond.

2. Something I am thankful for is my job. There are days I would rather be anywhere than at work, but in the end I love the challenges of what I do, and I love the people I am fortunate enough to work with.

3. Something that made me laugh this week was any number of funny stories that are constantly passed around the office.

4. An item that is currently on my wish list is a new cell phone. I am still resisting getting a smart phone, but it is time to update my old clunker, even though I adore it!

5. I am excited about going to the Potters Guild show with my parents tonight and then spending the evening with the new man...handsome man and a home-cooked meal? Yes please!

6. If I were a color I would be green. I'm partial because green is my favorite color, but also because there are so many shades of green that can match up with just about any mood; it seems perfectly fitting to me.

7. My favorite way to spend a chilly fall day is by drinking lots of hot coffee and tea, indulging in cinnamon rolls, staying in pjs for the entire day, watching movies and reading.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fill in the blank Friday...a.k.a., I need to get out of my blogging slump ASAP!

(via Pinterest)

1. My favorite thing about this week was/is the new development in my dating life...yep, there's a new special someone and this week has been pure perfection. I have so much to fill you all in on, and I promise to do so promptly!

2. Colder weather makes me happy. I love an excuse to snuggle up in bulky sweatshirts, keep a constant cup of coffee or tea next to me, lounge by the fireplace in the evenings, and wear cardigans and boots. I'm an all four seasons kind of gal, so I have nothing against the colder weather!

3. Three things that make me terribly happy as of late are my new car, the new man in my life, and Dunkin' Donuts' vanilla nut coffee.

4. If I could only wear one kind of shoe for the rest of my life, I'd choose flip-flops. I love flip-flops and seriously wear them until it snows. So, that being said, obviously they would have to be magical flip-flops that kept my feet warm and dry in wet weather.

5. My personality type is INFJ...While I am very strongly introverted, intuitive and judgemental (that sounds bad, but it is what it is), my percentage breakdown between being a thinker or a feeler is nearly tied. I am ever-so-slightly more of a feeler, but I think it would be safe to classify myself as an INF/TJ.

6. I have a serious problem resisting buying used books. I have a fabulous Nook, which I love, but I don't think I will ever be able to pass a good deal on a legit book that I can hold in my hands.

7. My favorite color to wear is green because it makes my eyes pop!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Time Enough

I'd never seen him smile like that. I knew that for my whole life I'd remember it, as I remembered everything about this moment -- the angle of the sunlight spilling through the bedroom window and the even warmer light in Daniel's eyes.
And how his touch felt gentle on my face.
'Whatever time we have,' he said, 'it will be time enough.'

-Susanna Kearsley-

Fill in the blank...Saturday

(via Pinterest)

1. Nothing says fall like pumpkin patches, cooling temps, golden aspens and freshly baked apple everything!
2. My favorite autumnal tradition is heading up into the mountains to go leaf peeping. I love the giant patches of golden aspens among the conifers. They look like fluffy clouds, and are perfectly picturesque.
3. My favorite fall treat is my Dad's toasted cake donuts smeared with butter and a giant mug of apple cider. My family is good at bringing a little bit of Michigan Fall to Colorado. We may not have cider mills, but we recreate the scenes we can.
4. Fall makes me think of books, blankets and coffee because the evenings are cool and perfectly made for cozying up for a quiet couple of hours, preferably in Barnes and Noble.   
5. Autumn free form word association, go! apple picking, hot cider, pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin pie, corn maze, crunchy leaves, changing colors, cozy blankets, afternoon walks.   
6. My go-to outfit in the fall is skinny jeans, tee, long cardigan, tall boots and flashy earrings. The joy of short hair is being able to show off fun earrings.
7. My favorite fall holiday is (Halloween or Thanksgiving) definitely Thanksgiving. I absolutely adore just about everything to do with Thanksgiving: my Uncle coming to visit, trips to Denver, horseback riding, dinner at the Ranch, vegging out in the evening and the general sense of Family and Happiness. I love it!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"You see I'm one of those people who lives sensibly and sanely"

This has been making its way through the blogosphere, but oh, how it speaks to me! I couldn't resist posting it myself.

click to enlarge

I think we all worry that when we reach the end of our days we'll look back with regrets and wishful thinking. I'm not a true believer in regrets because I'm such a proponent of free will. I choose my life, and therefore I don't regret the things I've done because they are an integral part of who I am. But, I do believe in wishful thinking, and that can be a bittersweet thing; an overwhelming force of both the positive and the negative.

So, here's my little reminder to embrace the carefree a little more with each passing year; to take more risks; and to keep happiness at the top of my list of achievements.

This life is mine, no one elses, and I am responsible for its outcome.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Morning World

via Pinterest

Some mornings just call for lounging in bed while catching up on episodes of Dexter, season 5. The windows and patio door open, cool morning air chilling my room. A mug of hot, strong coffee sitting next to a half-eaten yogurt on the night stand. Autumn leaves and toasted hazelnut candles are lit in an attempt to will Colorado's crisp, Fall weather to town. Laundry needs to be started, packing needs to be done and there are friends to meet for lunch...but for now, this quiet, lazy morning is my world.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fill in the blank Friday

1. My current obsession is the Savannah Chopped Salad at McAlister's. I've eaten it twice this week and just want more. Pretty sure it's the blue cheese crumbles that keep me coming back for more right now.

2. Feeling like I have control over my life again is mak(ing) me happy.

3. My greatest strength is my knowledge of myself. I have always prided myself on knowing who I am and what the majority of my limits are. I think personal knowledge is essential to making good decisions and ultimately being happy in life.

4. My ability to take on my family and friends' worries as though they are my own is my greatest weakness.
(well, one of them at least)

5. My life is lovely again. I had a rough month dealing with several issues, and started to feel some real depression coming on, but managed to refocus myself on the things I had control over and started to work on accepting the things I couldn't control. The first time my Mom called to tell me how nice it was to hear the old me back (happy, perky voice) was when it all really sunk in just how unhappy I'd been. And now I feel like I am making up for that "lost" month with a perfectly busy social calendar and lots of smiles.

6. In high school I was just myself. I knew just about everyone, but was close friends with a small circle. I've never been popular, nor an outcast; just a townie on good terms with most people.

7. When I'm super tired I get emotional. I either cry or get a bad attitude really fast; sometimes I do both. Obviously, it's fun to be on the receiving end of a tired Erin.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy National Coffee Day

Obviously, this day could practically be treated as a full-on holiday in my world.

Cheers to all of my fellow coffee-lovers!


What's your favorite coffee drink?
Mine's a skinny flat white.  Seriously, yum!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fill in the blank Friday

(via Pinterest)

1. The best thing I did all week was be social. It sounds so simple, but my life has felt turned upside down for weeks and making time with my friends has made me feel more like myself again.

2. Books that instantly hook me make me super happy. (I know I've said this before...)

3. Pets are a wonderful comfort, but a real responsibility.

4. My family is the best thing about my life.

5. With the cooler weather I am looking forward to curling up in blankets, cozy sweaters, the way the air smells, turning leaves, making giant pots of soup, boots and the perfect excuse to stay in and read in the evenings.

6. Something that's on my "wish list" right now is an all expenses paid trip to Melbourne, Australia.

7. This weekend I am going to play honorary family member for my roommate and her sister, wander around old town, catch up on some tv, start a new book and finish unpacking the last of my boxes.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Moving Apartments

Today is officially moving day!
I'm excited, stressed and a little nervous about living with a roommate again, but I think it's ultimately going to be a great thing. I know I haven't talked about my move much on here, but I promise to fill you all in once I'm settled. I'm off to drink some coffee, shower and finish my last minute packing before my parents arrive with the moving truck. Wish me luck today on hauling heavy furniture!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fill in the blank Friday

1. One thing that is completely superfluous, but that I could never give up is hand-crafted lattes enjoyed in a coffee shop. I don't care how fancy your home espresso machine is, or how more cost-effective it would be to give up my caffeinated habit, I simply cannot do it. Drinking the perfect nonfat latte in a local coffee shop is an experience; it's so much more than just the beverage that I'm addicted to.

2. Being in the role of "salesperson" makes me feel awkward.

3. I can't fathom going an entire year without travelling, even if it's just a short, nearby trip every once in a while.

4. Apples with sharp cheddar is my favorite snack.

5. Lately I've been appalled by my lack of reading. Seriously, folks, I only read 2 books in August. 2 BOOKS! That is completely uncharacteristic of me. August was a very stressful, trying and emotional month, so my lack of reading doesn't surprise me, but it saddens me nonetheless.

6. If at first you don't succeed try, try again...and attempt to hold off on the panic until it's justifiable (I should listen to my own advice).

7. Fall is the season I live for, and it is just around the corner. It's nearly time for boots, cardigans, pumpkin spice lattes, leaf peeping and cooler temperatures. I'm a happy girl!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tequila, friendship and Woody Allen

Tonight has been one of those nights spent looking for a quick fix to numerous problems.

I would love to say that I'm focused on, and trying to solve, the problems of others, of people close to me, but tonight it's much more selfish than that. I'm trying to put a band-aid on the things that are keeping me awake at night. The things that affect my life, whether it be directly or indirectly, that I have little to no control over, but feel as though they are slowly breaking my spirit nonetheless. This all sounds a tad dramatic, and I'm sure it legitimately is, but the joy of having my own blog is being able to indulge in my dramatic side from time to time. The saving grace in all of this is my knowledge that there is reality at the core of my drama.

So, tonight's band-aid has come in the form of conversation with an old friend over a shared quesadilla; the smooth warmth of tequila enjoyed in a couple of margaritas; and the quirky appeal of a Woody Allen movie.

It's just a quick fix, but I'll take it for tonight.

This (and the excited chills it gives me) is what's getting me through the evening

I think a re-read of the series is absolutely necessary!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A girl needs a TV character crush

Has anyone else started watching The Lying Game?
And does anyone else have a serious crush on Blair Redford? (character: Ethan Whitehorse)

Obviously I do!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fill in the blank Friday

1. My idea of pure perfection would be to be independently wealthy so I could travel any time I wanted to any destination my heart desired, and so I could give in to my inner nerd and be a professional student.

2. Love, in all of its forms, makes the world go 'round.

3. If it weren't for work and my upcoming apartment move, I'd hop a plane to Townsville to see Jamie.

4. Bloggers are truly wonderful people. I've met some lovely friends through blogging, and enjoy this little world I've become a part of.

5. If I had unlimited funds I'd buy you all a trip to your dream destination.

6. I'm glad it's Friday because it's been a stressful couple of weeks and I'm really looking forward to a break.

7. Something I'm excited about is Fall coming!! I know I keep getting reprimanded by you all for wishing away summer, but I am so antsy for a change in season. Summer this year has been nuts, and I'm ready to move on to cooler temperatures, changing leaves, a need for cardigans and lots of soup!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I've already been awake for 5 hours...

No joke, I've been awake since 3:12 am (MST). Yep, I'm crying a little inside as I think about that, and would gladly welcome tears of pity from my lovely readers. I kid...kind of.

Anyway, I opted to not take a sleeping pill last night because by 9 pm I was already getting sleepy, so it seemed unnecessary. When I could barely keep my eyes open at 10:30 I felt pretty confident in my decision. When I woke up at 3 am to use the bathroom I had a few concerns about how awake I felt. And when 4 am rolled around and I was nowhere near falling asleep, I knew I was screwed. So, I brushed my teeth and hair, brewed a pot of coffee, flipped on some old school Boy Meets World and finished the last 150 pages of my book. I made it to work more than on time, but now 5 hours later I'm exhausted. It's only 8:30 am...oh boy.

To help keep me going today I wore some extra fun earrings, lovingly made by my mother.
I wore cute, but comfortable clothes (I have 2 work meetings today, so I needed to be appropriately dressed).
I stopped for an extra hot, nonfat latte from my favorite coffeeshop.
I wore my favorite bracelets.
I'm keeping myself excitedly geared up for a get-together with a girlfriend tonight.
And I'm mentally patting myself on the back for having painted my nails candy apple red this past weekend. It makes me smile when I see the flash of color as I type this morning.

It's going to be a long day, but I'm trying to keep it positive!

What do you all do to keep your spirits up when your day stretches before you like an uninterrupted desert?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ambitious only for life itself.

we searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. most of all we love and want to be loved. we want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. we do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.
-Jack Kavanaugh-

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A request for prayers and happy thoughts

Hello, lovely blogging world.

You all know my trusty best friend, Jamie. You know, that lovely lady who lives in Australia and lets me come visit even if it takes me 6 months to get around to blogging about it. The one who drinks red wine with me and is always up for countless selfies and 2 am dance parties.

Well, she's going through a rough time right now and would greatly appreciate a quick prayer and/or happy and positive thoughts sent her way. I would really appreciate it, too.

Long distance friendships are tough, but they're even tougher when one of you is in the midst of a crappy time and you can't physically be there for her (or him). It rips at your heart a little bit.

So, if you have a moment, please direct some positive energy towards Queensland, Australia. Jamie and I will love you forever for it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's not yet Autumn

While chatting with one of my Aussie friends this weekend, I found myself repeatedly reminding him that it was still summer in Colorado. He seemed to be convinced that summer is actually May through July, so obviously I must be mistaken.
"But," I said "it's only the beginning of August. Autumn is still a month away."
My argument didn't appear to be taking hold until I finally asked him if it was Spring yet in Sydney.
The answer?
"Not quite yet; it's still a month away." Ah-hah!
Those silly Northern versus Southern hemisphere seasons sure can be confusing.

So, the point of this apparently random story?
It's August.
Summer isn't over yet
...but, the practice for Autumn seems to be starting.

I woke up this morning completely and happily cocooned in my comforter. My nose was chilly from the cool air in my bedroom, and I found myself darting my hand out to hit the snooze button as quickly as possible, not wanting to expose it to the world outside of my blankets for longer than necessary. My morning shower was reminiscent of those on Autumn mornings: hotter than normal, leaving my skin bright and rosy. And coffee, which is always step one for me, no matter the season, seemed to ease me into waking up better than usual. The sky was grey, and the mountains were veiled in low-lying clouds on my drive to work. There was a hint of the sun in the sky, the promise of afternoon sunshine once the mist burned off, but in that moment, Colorado felt like Autumn.

I'm so ready for it.

ps- in Australia, a comforter is referred to as a doona...I don't know why, but I kind of love it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fill in the blank Friday

1. My favorite color is green. I have a serious, mad, crazy love for this color, and most people know it because I'm always gravitating towards it.

2. My travel destination of choice is, like Lauren, the least at this moment. I could go for a little weekend jaunt up to the mountains. Crisp mountain air, a little hiking, glorious blue skies full of fluffy white clouds and s'mores. Yep, that sounds good right now.

3. My favorite food is bread. Oh, my unhealthy love of's ridiculous. I'm also a big fan of cheese. And bread + cheese? Yep, heaven.

4. My happy place is Barnes and Noble, or a quirky coffee shop with comfy chairs. Really, my happy place is wherever I'm alone in my head, or curled up with a book and a cup of tea or coffee.  Can we say introvert? 

5. My favorite saying is "smokin' deal"...not because I say it very often, but because it's my Mother's phrase and it never ceases to make me smile. Jamie and I frequently discuss our latest "smokin' deals" and then chuckle because it's such a Debby phrase...and we kind of like Debby.

6. My dirty little secret is that I only own a couple pairs of jeans. I live in jeans, but I wash and re-wear the same pairs over and over. I don't see the point of having a closet full of jeans when just a few, well bought pairs will get you by.

7. Something friends might say about me is that when I set my mind to something, I tend to stick with it. This can make me seem like a stick in the mud if I really don't want to do something, or it can be quite fun when I'm gung-ho about something.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I wish it was coffee spoons...

T.S. Eliot once said, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.

I have always loved this quote because it seems to fit in nicely with my coffee-obsessed life, but I've decided to tweak it just a bit for my summer.

Rather than coffee spoons, I swear
I measure out my life with red pen ink refills and white out tape.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On my June bookshelf

I realize July is nearly over, but I hadn't yet posted my June reads, so I figured I'd hop to it before I lost another month to this speedy summer I seem to be having!

I traveled to Michigan with my Mom at the beginning of June, and travel almost always leads to extra reading for me thanks to hanging out in airports and not being a plane talker. I also tend to gravitate towards beachy chick lit and Young Adult reads, so don't be fooled into thinking I'm a fast reader...I just have the book tastes of a teenager when the sun is out and the temps are skyrocketing.

ps- Russian Winter was an incredible novel, and was neither beachy nor YA.  I definitely recommend this one to anyone who likes fiction that weaves together characters and stories from their present-day and their relevant past.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Your fondest of daydreams

Yesterday, Matchbook Magazine posted the following question on their Facebook page:

LET'S DISCUSS: In your fondest of daydreams, do you live in a quaint country cottage, a lavish city apartment or perhaps a cozy cabin by the seashore? We’d love to hear what your dream home is.

In my fondest of daydreams I definitely live in a city apartment, or even a townhome. I'm not sure if "lavish" would be its best description, but it would be a stylish, cosy, truly livable space with fabulous views...perhaps of the Sydney Harbour? I love the idea of an Australian highrise apartment with views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. I also love the idea of a city townhouse full of character, just down the street from a pretty park.

This being said, since it is my daydream, you wouldn't hear me say no to a quaint country cottage, perfect for family vacations. Right now, this cottage is near the sea because I love the idea of spending evenings on the dock, sipping wine with friends. But tomorrow this cottage may be tucked into the Tuscan country side, a short bike ride away from the vineyards; or it may be nestled into the Swiss Alps near a town with a medieval bridge.

Clearly my daydreams are taking me outside of the US, but that's the lovely thing about daydreams: you get to go wherever your heart desires in that moment.

So, tell me: where are your fondest daydreams transporting you to today?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fill in the blank Friday

1. One of my happiest moments ever was coming through customs in Sydney, Australia to find Jamie and Nick waiting with huge smiles on their faces. Those first hugs were the best!

2. Summer is wedding season and weddings are a lovely celebration of a couple's love. I think weddings are gorgeous and can be fabulously lavish affairs, but are sometimes over done. I'm partial to a City Hall ceremony myself and will stand firm on only having the closest family and friends at my wedding (when/if I get married). A wedding is for you and your love, and those people who have helped you to become the couple you are. They aren't for family you hardly know, friends of parents you've never met and other "supposed-to" invites. *in my opinion*

3. This summer has been my busiest one yet, work wise, and has been surprisingly hot and humid. Granted, this is by CO standards, so the heat is to be expected, but the lasting humidity is a surprise.

4. My summer food of choice has been mangoes and caesar salads.

5. My summer uniform has been lots of sundresses, or jean capris, tank/tee, flip flops and a cardi in my purse for the evenings. I spend a lot of time in my running shorts, too, but that's not overly glamorous, although they are super comfy.

6. If I could spend the entire summer in one location I would choose Colorado, actually. I love Colorado summers, and compared with the other summers I've experienced (Midwest, East coast, tropical) I don't think I would trade mine in.

7. My summer anthem is either Young Blood by The Naked and Famous or Just A Little Bit by Kids of 88.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Romanticized image: The seduction of perfection

The thing about Paris is that it's seductive. It's not the men or the dates or even the perfect kisses that have the power to seduce you...No, it's the city itself--the quaint alleyways, the picturesque bridges, the perfectly manicured gardens, the rainbow of flowers that bloom everywhere in graceful harmony in the springtime. It's the way the sparkling lights illuminate everything at night, the way the stars dangle over the city like someone placed them there by hand, the way the Seine ripples softly like a supple blanket stretched between the banks. It's the hidden cafes, the tiny, self-righteous dogs, and the cobblestone streets where you least expect them. It's the bright green of the grass, the deep blue of the sky, the blinding white of the Sacre-Coeur.

It is perfection. And in perfection, there is seduction. Because maybe if you stay long enough in a city that's so perfect, you'll find perfection in your own life, too.

-Kristin Harmel-
from The Art of French Kissing

Monday, July 18, 2011

What the day holds for me

Cups of Lady Grey tea with a splash of milk because even when it's in the 90's, I love the comfort of a hot beverage.

A quick lunch date with my Mom because she truly is one of my best friends.

Stolen moments for daydreaming; briefly giving into my unsettled feeling that tends to arise when I'm stressed. Australia has consumed me ever since I got back from my trip, and I can't decide if it's due to a shift in me or if it's because my mind and body need a little more then the 2 weeks I gave them to fully digest my experiences.

Juggling my Fire Invoice Auditor hat with my Fire Invoice Trainer hat...I love the additional help, but rarely give myself enough credit as a good teacher.

Reading this blog, which encourages, rather than helps, my unsettled feeling.

Contemplating yoga again.

Itching for an evening jog; just me, my music and my thoughts.

Wondering if I should pick up a bottle or two of wine on my way home. I'm all out and I like having them around in case I need to bring a bottle to a girls night or gift one (unopened, of course) to a friend, but the knowledge that I need to pack for my upcoming move has me second-guessing my usual actions.

Wishing I hadn't brought up the move...too stressful at the moment.

Wanting a chat with Jamie, but unable to find the time for more than just a few random snippets between our crazy schedules.

Needing to see Harry Potter 7.2. Again. I feel like a door of my childhood was just closed.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fill in the blank Friday

1. I am a (morning, evening, middle of the day person) morning person in the sense that I love alone time in the morning. I like getting up on the earlier side in order to enjoy my coffee, have a leisurely start to my day and, if it's the weekend, fit in a walk or run before it gets too hot. I'm one of those people that once I'm awake, I'm awake, and I've never really enjoyed just lounging about in bed. I'd rather take my lounging to the couch or patio. Oh, and brekky is my favorite meal of the day!

2. My favorite Pandora stations are (currently) Arcade Fire, The Naked and Famous, Thompson Square, AWOLNATION and The Temper Trap. This will change as the season's change, but for the height of summer, that little quick mix gets me through the day at work.

3. 3 of my "must-have" songs for a road trip playlist are Don't Stop Believin' by Journey, Alone by Heart and The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack. Jamie and I used to road trip to and from Minnesota several times a year in college and Journey and Heart are perfect for belting your heart out while driving with the windows down through the middle of Iowa, and Phantom is the best for keeping you awake at 2 am.

4. My favorite pattern is probably floral, although I do love a girlified lumberjack plaid in the Fall...what can I say, I'm a Colorado girl.

5. My favorite perfume is Burberry Brit or Body by Victoria, but I've also been wearing Incredible body mist from Victoria's Secret this summer, which I really like.

6. Rules are usually in place for a reason. Sometimes people get a little too carried away with rules, but I tend to lean more towards the things-are-fairly-black-and-white view of the world (not in everything!) so I am a fan of rules.

7. My most overused phrase or punctuation is either "seriously" or "literally", which yes, are words rather than a phrase, but they apply because I definitely use them a lot. I also love ellipses...!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A break from life to celebrate a birthday (and to eat sushi)

Work has been crazy. It's been frustrating. I've been on the edge of tears after finishing for the day a few too many times. I tend to turn into the ultimate hermit when my stress levels peak. I revert to my tried and true inner introvert, finding solace in my thoughts and the scenery on long walks, embracing the calm found in books, cups of tea and the occassional glass of wine. I don't have the urge to go out and surround myself with people. It can be too overwhelming for me.

But, there are those times when I pull myself out of my hermit-like ways and join the world again, despite my stress, or exhaustion or raging hormones. It's good for me, and you know what? I rarely regret my decision. That's what I have to remind myself: I love my friends and the energy we give off simply from being around each other. We understand the stressors in each of our lives and strive to push it away with laughter and good food...and we usually succeed.

My friend Lisa's birthday was on Tuesday, and even though I was *this* close to losing it over continued work problems and general discontent over still not feeling 100% after last week's cold, I made the time to join in for her sushi dinner at one of our favorite spots in town. I'm so glad that I did. We sat outside, people-watched, made friends with a spunky boxer puppy, enjoyed a glass of wine, ate copious amounts of sushi and I tried saki and mochi for the first time. It was the perfect interlude to celebrate my lovely friend, and to remind myself that I never want to let life pass me by.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blogger troubles...

There seem to be some weird issues with Blogger not allowing people to comment on my posts...I'm looking into this and trying to figure out how to fix it.  Until then, please bear with me! 

And, if you really want to share a comment, shoot me an email:  I always love hearing everyone's thoughts.

The balance between Summer and Fall

This weekend had me craving Fall just a little bit. Granted, I did spend some time laying out by the pool, keeping my tan up and eating frozen yogurt with my Mom, but thoughts of Fall are still in the back of my mind. I'm not sure if it's because I'm over the hot temps or if it's the afternoon mini monsoons we've been having, which make me crave tea and reading under blankets, but I think I've hit my Summer peak. I'm not ready for the days to get shorter, for the pool to close nor for my little patio garden to bite the dust, but I am more than ready for chilly, brisk mornings, pumpkin spice lattes and know, just a few of my favorite things. I'm also ready to rock the new skinny jeans I found for $9 (yes, you're reading that correctly) at the Ann Taylor Outlet this weekend. Perhaps that little deal is what's really putting me in this Fall mood...that and the pumpkin spice lattes, of course!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

She had to give something up

She couldn't anymore be the same person she had been all along; she had to give something up to make room. But she stopped crying after that, and now she only cried once in a while, when she least expected it or when she finished books that she especially loved.
-Nicole Krauss-
from Man Walks into a Room

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

I can't believe it's been 10 days since I last sorry, dear readers! My only excuses are the current insanity of my workload and the nasty cold I've been fighting this week; summer colds really are the worst! But, I'm starting to feel perkier and there's a small light at the end of the Fiscal Year-End tunnel that I'm currently stuck in at work, so here's hoping I get back into the swing of things quickly! But until then, I leave you with Lauren's summer-themed blanks!

1. My plans this summer include a lot of work (wildland fires like to burn in the summer, people!), Friday night dinners from the grill, reading as many mindless chick lit books as possible while laying out by the pool, morning hikes with my Mom and evening walks/jogs once it's cooled and the sun is setting.

2. The best summer I ever had was probably last summer because it started off with a trip to the Chesapeake with Corey and Matt and was full of hikes, Skype fests with Jamie and boys...although to be perfectly honest, I think all summers have their pros and cons.

3. Summer is reading on the patio, fresh herbs and tomatoes in the garden, late evening walks because the days are so long, fresh fruit, mountain drives, flowing sundresses, sandals, swimming, sun tea, lazy weekends after busy weeks and margaritas on the patio with friends.

4. My favorite summer food is fresh tomatoes and basil with salt, pepper and a drizzle of balsamic.

5. The best way to quench a summer thirst is with freshly brewed blackberry sage sun tea, or a frozen strawberry margarita.

6. My summer uniform consists of a lot of sundresses, running shorts and a tee when I'm lounging on the weekends, and as many bright colors and pretty patterns as I can incorporate into my wardrobe.

7. The best thing about summer is how long the days are. The extra hours of daylight encourage outdoor activity and fill the evenings with endless possibilities.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm not ashamed to admit I judge books by their covers

One of the first things I do on Tuesday mornings is check Barnes and Noble's New Releases list. Why yes, I am a self-proclaimed book nerd, but that isn't news to any of you. I rarely buy full-price books, but I like to know what's new so I can keep my to-read list updated.

The book that caught my eye this morning isn't actually available until July, but it looks good! It's definitely an Eri book (history, romance, unanswered questions) and I have a feeling it's going to be a good read.

From Barnes and Noble:

"A sophisticated, page-turning double love story spanning forty years-an unforgettable Brief Encounter for our times.

It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply "B", asking her to leave her husband.

Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper's archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie's search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance.

A spellbinding, intoxicating love story with a knockout ending, The Last Letter from Your Lover will appeal to the readers who have made One Day and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society bestsellers."

And, by the way, I truly, madly, deeply loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Monday, June 27, 2011

That moment of visual pull.

Do you ever find yourself drawn to an image?

That seems like a ridiculous question because I'm willing to go out on a limb and assume everyone has found themselves drawn to an image at least once in their lifetime. We may not all be consistently visual, but I'm sure even the most linear of thinkers has had a moment of visual pull. That moment when you glance at an image and you can feel your soul sigh and you find your eyes brightening just a tad and a small smile tugging at the corners of your mouth.

I love that moment.

I have that moment a lot, hence all of the images on my blog, the fact that I'm constantly taking pictures and the copious amounts of art I continue to accumulate. I like the memories that come with old images, and the daydreams that are rooted in new ones. I like the comparison of other people's interpretations of scenes from my life.

I was caught a little by surprise today when the image above caught my eye, made me pause and caused my mind to start to wander. It's not the usual visual that instantly catches my attention. I'm far more drawn to urban scenes than to nature or tropical images, but something about this one makes me feel happy. Despite wanting to delve into my psyche in regards to this (reminiscent of Australia, perhaps?), I think I'll just settle back and enjoy the mental adventure this image takes me on.

It is, after all, a Monday and goodness knows those can be rough.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

Another week has rolled on by and it is once again Friday. I love Fridays. I don't think I truly appreciated Fridays (and the weekends) until I graduated and started my job in the real world. I'm lucky that I love my job, but there is nothing sweeter than knowing you have 2 days to do whatever you want (or often need to do), and that knowledge always seems to make Fridays go just that much faster.

1. The last thing I ate was a glazed donut with hot pink and chocolate striped frosting. Perhaps not the healthiest start to my day, but it sure is a sweet one! (haha, horrible play on words...feel free to judge me).

2. The next thing I'd like to eat is salmon fish 'n chips and a caesar salad. The caesar salad I can do because that's what I packed for lunch, but the salmon may be a little more difficult...anyone want to drive to Oskar Blues in Longmont and pick me up some? Please and thank you.

3. The best things involve friends. I have an amazing family and wonderful coworkers, but it's the times when I'm with my friends that I find myself feeling happiest, most confident and completely true to myself. There's nothing in this world that can compare to being surrounded by those people whom you've specifically chosen to have in your life.

4. Something that makes me supremely and utterly happy is traveling. I have wanderlust at all times so badly I can practically feel it radiating off of me, and any chance I get to give into it is like pure magic.

5. Sports are neither here nor there for me. I do love the Red Sox, and follow their season, but my life schedule is not determined by sports. I've also gotten more into NFL Sundays, but once again, my heart doesn't break if I miss it.

6. I miss Jamie Lynn! We've both been incredibly busy, and she's reveling in the fact that her Master's work is done so we haven't managed a good Skype date in a while. Random messages back and forth, but nothing of substance. It's time to schedule a date!

7. Right now I am superbly happy. It's going to be a good day!