Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Not Too Sappy Love Poem

I found this on Pinterest and fell in love! I'm normally not one for love poetry. Sure, I love a good book of poems, but the love ones always feel the same. Overly emotional, oozing with sap and lovey goop. This poem by Hafiz, a fourteenth century poet, really makes me smile. It's simple and there is a child like element of simplicity, which I adore. 

It's difficult, I think, for a love poem to be universally like. Because love is so very different for everybody, it's difficult to describe. That's why I don't take too much stock in those, "10 Tips to Make it 5,000 Years" articles. This, however, is just beautiful. 

Wouldn't it make a beautiful quote for a wedding?

Photo via

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

{Splurge or Save}...Color Block Blouse

As you probably know by now, I'm one of color blacking's biggest fans. I love taking big chunks of bright hues and throwing them together. Wow, for a minute there, it sounded like I was cooking. Anyway, one of my staples in my closet is a casual blouse. If you throw it on with jeans, you look instantly put together. On the plus side, I find button downs to be really comfortable. It may surprise you, but they seriously never go out of style. 

If you feel like splurging, this color block blouse by Equipment is fabulous. I love the persimmon color and the daring mix of navy and black. However, when the budget is tight, you want to save a few (or a lot) of pennies. I find this Ellison tunic color block blouse to be just as chic. I especially love the breezy feel of the tunic with it's loose shape, rolled sleeves, henley style neckline. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Another Ballet Documentary!

Hello, all! Remember when I posted about how I was very excited about the new ballet documentary, First Position? Well, a lovely reader , Chelsea, emailed me informing me of a project on which she is currently working. In the works is a documentary featuring the lives of ballerinas. It is an independent film (she did all the filming) and is now being edited.

I'm so very thrilled to see an enthusiastic emphasis on the fine arts! It tickles me pink knowing people are out there creating their own literature, films, choreography and then sharing with the world! I normally don't do posts like this, but I admire Chelsea's determination and vision.

In order for Chelsea to finish the project, she needs a little help with funding. So far, she's done everything on your own. I'll let her speak for herself and then let you do with the information what you wish. If nothing else, I'm sure she'd love to hear your words of support and encouragement!

Here's Chelsea!

"It is amazing all the support I have been getting for this documentary. I think it is a really vital time for us to learn more about the ballerina because there are so many misconceptions out there. What I witnessed at North Carolina Dance Theatre is so different from what is so often portrayed by the media. Of course stereotypes are often built out of some sort of truth so the three dancers featured in this documentary talk directly about their experiences.

In filmmaking there is a very high standard that a film must reach to succeed and that is why it is so important, especially during post-production, to reach out to specialists. I have been self-funding this film up to this point, but I really believe to make it the best it can be and do justice to the ballerina's story it really needs a sound specialist to take it to the next level. The great thing about Kickstarter is that the smaller donations can really add up fast. The most common donation is only $25 and there are people who raise tens of thousands of dollars on Kickstarter. So please don't think any donation is too small. 

Lastly, if you have any ideas to help with the fundraising for the film (or would just like to hear more about the film) I would love to hear from you. So please don't hesitate to contact me. Also, thanks so much to Sarah for allowing me to share my film with her readers. I greatly appreciate it."

Monday, June 25, 2012

{Summer Reads}...Quickies

Since I'm on vacay, there's no Weekend Update this Monday. Bummer, I know! But...Here we are with an enticing selection of short reads today for our Summer Reads series. I know, I know, James Dean is the epitome of attractive reading. Some plane rides (it feels like most) are pretty short, but there's lots of hustle and bustle. I can't stand bringing a huge book (no matter how good it is) with me on a plane. These fast reads are interesting and carry-on-friendly! They're also great if your  book club has a short attention span.

Saturday, by Ian McEwan: From the author of Atonement, Ian McEwan is the master of short novels that pique your interest instantly. Without being overly emotional or complex, Saturday follows a seemingly normal weekend that soon turns...interesting. You'll finish this book before the flight is over. 

Cathedral and Other Short Stories, by Raymond Carver: I read Cathedral in eighth grade and fell in love. Carver crafts some of the finest short stories I've ever experienced. I read all these stories within a single bus ride. It was lovely. 

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury: The late sci-fi guru wrote Fahrenheit 451 featuring a world where books are outlawed, and subsequently burned. Also, a great book by Bradbury is The Martian Chronicles, which I would highly recommend. 

The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink: The emotional and troubling short novel investigates the post-war German population and the issues dealing with the Holocaust. The movie, featuring Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet, was also highly acclaimed. 

The Cather and the Rye, by J.D. Salinger: My all time favorite novel. I have read this every year since I was in seventh grade. Every time I read it, I find I relate on a different level with the lovable, quirky and somewhat lost protagonist, Holden Caufield. I will undoubtably never love a single story more. Also try out J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey

Photo via

Friday, June 22, 2012


Isn't this just beautiful? I love her windswept hair and transparent skirt. The mix with oxford shoes in a dark metallic and a structured blazer strikes a wonderful balance, I think. The model looks effortlessly like  a modern Grecian goddess. Light, airy and quite ethereal; but confidently strong. The styling, the palette, the make-up... it looks like she rolled out of bed looking radiant. Natural and fresh. Just breathtaking. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Greatest Show in Town

As a child, I never really cared for the zoo all that much. It's not that I didn't like the animals; in fact, I loved them. The zoo was one of my favorite destinations. However, the circus wasn't appealing. Largely, I was terrified by clowns! The matte, white faces with bulbous red noses and severely frighting eye make up was beyond disturbing. Parades, therefore, tended to be out of my comfort zone. I don't understand those who like the story, "It". Freaky. 

After reading Water for Elephants a few summers back, I get a desire every now an then to go to a circus. Not some half hearted one in the baseball field, but a full blown, red and white stripe tent circus. I'd put up with the clowns. How spectacular would it be, with lighting and music to see the bejeweled elephants, the trapeze artists, the lions jumping through hoops, and horses dancing? It just sound exciting. 

Did you go to the circus as a child? What was your favorite part? I loved being treated to light as air pink cotton candy. Have you ever seen a fantastic circus like the Ringling Bros? Did you read Water for Elephants?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

{Splurge or Save}...Spiffy Sneakers

I talk about shoes a lot...I swear half of the splurge or save post features shoes. And for good reason! We wear them all the time! I've also talked about good shoes for vacationing quite a bit. If you're going to be walking around most of the day, you definitely want something comfortable, lightweight for packing, yet chic. 

Bensimon sneakers are like the Chuck Taylors of Paris. All the cool girls wear them and they look totally rad. The bonus is you don't wear socks with them. Yay! However, I was feeling like a cheapskate, so I went hunting for a similar pair for super cheap. Enter, Old Navy!

Old Navy always has great clothes for super prices. I got these sneakers in hot pink for a great price. The best part about it? They look just like Bensimon, but don't have the cost. Canvas, colorful, comfortable and chic. Not to mention affordable

What do you wear on vacation? Do you have a go-to pair of shoes that you would recommend? 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

See You in a Few...

I'm going on a super vacation with my family today. I'm leaving on a jet plane... really early - getting up with the chickens early - and getting the heck outta here! Can I get a woot, woot? So it'll be a while until I post live a few times a day again, but I've got some very cool posts all queued up just waiting to be read by you! I'm hoping you stop by and say hello to the blog every now and then while I'm offline. It gets lonely without me. :) 

I hope you have a fantastic next week and a half. Until then, ciao! 

P.S...Wonder what I pack for vacation? Check it out some of my essentials!

A plane worthy pullover.
These basic die for.
Because a trip isn't complete without leggings.
The perfect sized tote for carry-on. Bonus, it's bright!
Fun shades for sunny weather.
I was skeptical about this book...but a page turning novel! It's so good.
Roller ball perfume. Fits in your carry on so you smell lovely after a long trip!

Photo via

Monday, June 18, 2012

{Weekend Update}...Father's Day

Abby, Me, Dad

Hello, all! I hope you had a most delightful Father's Day Weekend! I apologize for never putting a gift guide together! But let's face it, dads just love being told how cool we think they are, and that we really like having them around. 

My dad is pretty great. At times he still embarrasses me, and we get on each other about the little things, but he's a cool dude. Imagine! He's the only man in our household. Three women ganging up on him all the time. This Father's Day I had to work a little, but we managed to have a good day anyway. 

His present is coming in the mail soon and I hope he likes it! We're getting him a great set of pilsner glasses, because every once in a while, it's nice to not drink out of the bottle. 

I also had my good friend's graduation party and it was a smash. So cool. The party was from 4 until 8, which ended up being 1 am! We lucked out with cool breezes, hot air, and great food. Don't forget the bonfire with s'mores and caramel cracks! A good weekend for the guys, I guess!

I hope you told your dad how much you love him! Dad's are the best. Period.

Photo via Instagram

Friday, June 15, 2012

{Summer Reads}...Non Fiction

I've mentioned that I really enjoy the website goodreads because it allows you to create different shelves and lists for the books you've read, are currently reading, our would like to read. It also is great for sharing with your friends different titles. If you are part of a book club, I'd definitely recommend it. 

Now, with summer being officially here in just a short while, I thought it would be a perfect time to inaugurate a summer series based on good books for those lazy, sunny days when all you want to do is sit down with a glass of lemonade and a wonderful book. This week, let's start out with non fiction, alright? It's a great genre that usually sounds boring, but can really be the most interesting because these things actually happen! Keep in mind, memoirs are tricky because the author (and subject of the book) usually take some creative liberties to create a cohesive and concise story line. 

Here are some of my favorite non fiction books that would be great for summer whether you're on a plane ride, laying on the beach, or sitting in your back yard!

Women's Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present, Edited by Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler - This is a wonderful look into our past; look at the powerful progression of our society and feel your faith in the power of women reaffirmed. 

Oh the Glory of it All, by Sean Wilsey - A raw and dramatic memoir. Don't forget to read his mother's memoir by a similar title, Oh the Hell of it All

Jesus Land, by Julia Scheeres - Simply amazing. The gravity of her life and the trials she and her siblings face bring our lives into a grounding perspective. A compelling look into the lives of the fanatic, devoted and hypocritical. 

How to Read Literature Like a Professor, by Thomas C. Foster - My go-to book for all things literary. Intellectually written so that you feel informed, not demeaned. Foster makes learning literary analysis theories engaging and humorous. I swear you'll feel like a literary genius. 

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Edited by Karen V. Kukil - One of the most mystifying and elegant poets, Sylvia Plath left much behind, but leaving us still wonder. Her journals are rare portal to her tortured, talented life. Not only a wonderful poet, but also displays her innate gift of eloquence in her casual journal entries. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A New Venus

"Venus Rising" is a spectacular shoot. It definitely reminds me of Venus, but in a ver different, couture way. Of course, Venus would have have been supple, voluptuous; not skeletal. Perhaps Venus is rising from the old painting to a modern, sickly body. Nonetheless, the styling is gorgeous. It looks rich and worldly, elegant and envious. Wouldn't you love to wear these goddess worthy gowns? The slicked back hair is striking, with the dark make up equally jarring. But that's part of the fantasy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lions, Tigers, Bears, Oh My!

One leg, many feathers
Over the weekend I did lots of cleanin' and such. But before that, I also squeezed in plenty of fun, like a spontaneous trip to the Twin Cities for a day at the zoo! Nick had an appointment in St. Paul, so we made a day of it, stopped by Grandpa Ed's and took the boys (Luke and Owen) to Como Park Zoo. For the first time in my life, I drove through the cities! I was terrified (spaghetti junction-yikes!) and couldn't even talk, except for the nervous mutterings periodically. It was dry heat, so we could enjoy aimless wandering and frozen treats. The boys loved Como Town for the water balloon fights and the scrambler, while Nick and I gushed about the baby and mama Orangutans cuddling and kissing. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the zoo! I always thought I would outgrow it. I loved it as a child, and going back brought so many memories to the front of my mind; meanwhile, I also got to create new, wonderful memories. 

Did you go to the zoo when you were a kid? Do you go now? What animals do you have at the zoo? We have an arboretum filled with exotic plants, do you have one? I'd love to know some other great zoos and botanical gardens for the future! Any suggestions would be great!
That's right.
train tracks  // WI in MN
Long road ahead
cold as ice
turtle champions
long necks, long lashes
I see stripes
Water balloon war champs
let's do this

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

{Splurge or Save}...Keyhole Shades

After seeing this photo shoot, I decided that I wanted, no needed, a pair of round keyhole sunglasses. They're so quirky (reminding me of Willy Wonka) and surprisingly chic. Forget trends, style is forever. They remind me of an amped up version of Jackie O's cool, round shades. You could splurge on these by House of Harlow 1960, but these ASOS specs are just as cool and easily affordable. I might pick up a pair before my trip to Florida! Sunshine state, you've got nothing on me! Bonus, this way you can people watch and avoid eye contact.

Monday, June 11, 2012

{Weekend Update}...Work, Then Play

Road tripping
While I definitely enjoyed my weekend, I worked. A lot. My mom is a first grade teacher and had her last day of school last Thursday (hooray!). For next year, she has to move her room all the way next door. While seemingly not a big deal, that's a lot of stuff to haul. So I went up and worked with her Thurday and Friday. Lemme tell you: I'm totally ripped now. We celebrated being done with a going away party for a co worker and friend at The Livery, a cool bar and restaurant. It was a blast. Entertaining to say the least! The En Avant dance recital was on Sunday. Performing were some of my friends, so I, of course, went! Although, I was a little sad that I couldn't be up there with them. Performing is just so much fun! We also celebrating a good friends birthday. (Happy birthday, Matt!) 

It was a hot one this weekend! Sunny and sweltering. But we got lucky with very little humidity and enjoyed this beautiful weather! I love summer. I also snapped some pictures of my mid week trip to the zoo. (Pictures to come!) 

I hope you had a lovely, hot, big bash kind of weekend! Happy Monday!
Let's eat. 
The Livery. Notice the bear. Rawr. 
Como Arboretum.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Do You PDA?

When I was in high school public displays of affection were rampant. There was no such thing as a kiss on the cheek. Couples proudly walked each other to class; their goodbyes were passionate recreations of R- rated films. Mind you, they would only be separated for 52 minutes. 

Since then, I fostered a strong dislike for PDAs. They always seemed to be a gratuitous show. I found no real reason to swap saliva with everyone watching. Were they trying to prove that their relationship could withstand the several pairs of eyes gawking and then quickly averting to a new subject? Generally, I felt that those being overly affectionate in public were compensating for a lack of such privately.

However, I suppose there is something nice about being cared for with everyone around; something that not only makes you feel special, but also validates your relationship. After all, it doesn't have to be X-rated. Will and Kate certainly proved that with their chicken peck of a kiss after the wedding. A little kiss, a gentle hand on the back, linked arms, holding hands. 

I sometimes wonder if Nick and I fell into this aversion to PDA by accident. Since he's almost always on crutches, we don't hold hands when we walk, which is such a common practice for couples. However, I do love pushing him around in a wheel chair when we go to big events. 

My mom once warned me to not be a cold fish, which I often fall into accidentally. I'm bubbly and outgoing, but have always kept my relationship very private. I'm embarrassed to say that I would occasionally squirm away if Nick tried to give me a kiss - or even put his arm around me! - with others around! After so much time apart (we've been long distance for over a year), I'm slowly accepting the PDA. 

And isn't this photo from TIME magazine heartbreakingly sweet? It makes my heart melt. P.S...who is this cute couple?

What's the verdict? Do you PDA? How much is too much? And what about kisses at your wedding? Full on passionate, or tame just for grandma? I'd love your thoughts!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

{Eat It}...Good on Toast

I love breakfast, but I'm not the biggest breakfast chef. In the morning I just want to roll out of bed and have a quick (but delicious) bite to eat. Enter, Strawberry Rhubarb Jam! It's easy enough to make and will knock your socks off! Depending on the size of your rhubarb crop, you might have enough jars to last you all year. It's a real treat in the winter. 

Abby and I planted two rhubarb plants a few years back. We desperately wanted a garden, but in the city all we had room for were the two plants. It turns out, rhubarb is the plant that keeps giving! Coming back every summer, we now enjoy jam, crisp, pie, and tarts. Delicious to the last stalk!
Let your diced rhubarb sit overnight in water and sugar. In the morning it will be super gloppy. That is a good thing!
Get some strawberry Jell-O, which you will add to the boiling sugar-water mixture.
Let boil and cool; then transfer to mason jars. Put the caps on immediately and let sit. The tops will make a popping noise when completely sealed. Refrigerate one and put the rest in the freezer!


5 cups of finely cut rhubarb
3 cups of sugar
Mix and let stand overnight
In the boring, boil for 15 minutes and add 1 package of strawberry jello.
Put in jars and seal.
Cool before freezing.
Feel free to double, triple, quadruple! Trust me, it'll go fast! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mixing it Up

I'm trying to be more daring with my outfits. After seeing this photo shoot and this style post, I was inspired to start mixing prints & textures, and layers jewelry. I'm very by the book and it looks like I should start looking at different books! So long, jeans and a striped tee! Hello, floral cardi, striped tee  and polka dot pants!

Also, how much do you love that metallic pouf in her arms? I want one in my house!

photo via tag magazine

Let There Be Light

I find rooms to be most aesthetically pleasing when there is an abundance of natural light. While I am forever fascinated and enamored by light fixtures, nothing beats the way sunlight fills a room. Depending on paint and furnishings, it can surround you in an intoxicatingly vibrant and warm glow; it can be crystal clean with brilliant white light dancing off every available surface. Have you ever noticed people actually glow in sunlight? I don't know if it's their skin or just their soul reflecting outward, but sunlight changes atmospheres. These rooms have gorgeous and refreshing natural light. 

photos via 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pack Your Bags, Hit the Road

Recently I've been yearning to travel. I don't mean vacation, though. What I'm taking about is a spur of the moment adventure. A trip. I'm not looking for an ultimate destination, because sometimes that's not even the best part. In high school my choir drove from Wisconsin to Disney World in Florida. Most memorable are the hours we spent on the bus. The journey there and back changed people. We were not fascinated by fluorescent colors and princesses, but rather we were in awe of how wonderful and free simply going could be.

I'm typically a planner. I look ahead, and ahead, and ahead until there is nothing left to look at! I soon realize, I didn't see anything in the present. So I'm challenging myself to be spontaneous. If I feel like hitting the road, well I'll do it gosh darn it! Here's to experiencing the real deal; taking the journey without knowing where it ends, and hopefully experiencing some road trip tunes, greasy spoons and evening stars.

photo via weheartit

Monday, June 4, 2012

{Weekend Update}...Taste of the Valley

 Warm breezes, blue skies, fluffy clouds and a bit of rainfall made this weekend perfect for cool treats and sweets. Nick and I drove to Chippewa's locally owned Olson's Ice Cream Parlor with his Grandma Rose; what a blast we had. I delighted in licking a delectable three-flavor (and three scoop, oh my!) combination of orange pineapple, strawberry, and classic vanilla. I expected the orange pineapple to be more like a tangy sherbet, but it was a creamy, straight up ice cream resembling a dreamsicle filled with pineapple bits. I also made a variation of this bean salsa with bagel chips. It's the perfect complement to hot summer days! Last but not least, The Taste of the Valley dominated Phoenix Park in Downtown Eau Claire. As always, it was characterized by rich smells, live music and great vendors! I sampled the cheese curds, BBQ wings, iced caramel latte and a giant Betty Bar! Needles to say, I was stuffed. As if my weekend wasn't lovely enough, our family had a good ol' bonfire and Nick surprised me with my favorite flowers in a sparkly bouquet. I hope you had an equally tasty and fragrant weekend! Happy Monday!

photos via instagram. Follow me!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Yesterday kicked off birthday month for me! I know, it seems strange that I have birthday month. I don't demand present everyday or special treatment. But I definitely make sure that for the entire month I have "me time" to relax and rejuvenate. I hang with friends, eat good food, smile & laugh a lot. I take time off. So if blog posts are few and far between, it's because I'm celebrating life. 

It's crazy how busy we make ourselves! It seems like there's so much to do, and then forever in a day we're not getting enough done. I realized I was busy when I scheduled breaks & relaxation time. Doesn't that seem backwards. So happy June, happy Summer, happy Birthday! However you celebrate, whether you eat your weight in cake or have a glass of champagne or go on a shopping spree, enjoy it! There is so much great stuff in life - we should be jazzed! Go out and have a good time! 

p.s... How great is this model's hair and makeup. She is styled so perfectly!
photo via

Friday, June 1, 2012

Vertical Gardening

Woah! How sweet is this? Vertical gardening in Madrid has to be the coolest thing I've seen in a long time! I'd love to know how long it takes to engineer and landscape it. The design is incredible. Think how amazing it would be to walk around a paved street lined with concrete & brick buildings to then be struck my a lush, green masterpiece! Breath-takingly beautiful. And here is a great web site if you're curious and would like to know more! Perhaps you'd like to start one, or you just want to know how it works. 

photos via

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