photo buttonhome2_zps44fff871.jpg photo buttonabout2_zps2782e95e.jpg photo buttonsponsor2_zps37a2b89f.jpg

Monday, February 28, 2011

miscellany monday {2}

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. This is the week I've been waiting for for months!
I start the week in Chicago and end it in Guatemala City.
I'm meeting #sachat friends in real life.

2. You may have already noticed, but I'm tweeting like crazy
[hello student affairs conference season]
and if you're still interested in learning more about Twitter
check out these posts here and here

3. Have you heard about Handmade with Purpose?
My blog friend, Lindsay, is getting this effort started, so check it out
especially if you have a handmade shop!

Happy Monday, friends!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

hiya luv giveaway winner

Happy Saturday, friends!

Thank you to everyone who entered my first giveaway this week.
I'm off to Chicago today for our Annual Conference
with my professional association, which I'm really looking forward to.
It's going to be a busy week ahead for me, but I am excited about
catching up with friends and connecting with colleagues from around the world. 

The winner of the Hiya Luv shop credit is...

I will email you to get you hooked up with the shop credit.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

grateful girl

I have a lot to be thankful for this week!

128. My full schedule [never a moment to be bored]
129. Getting to be creative in my work
[it keeps me sharp]

130. I am allowed to cry
[for years I felt like it wasn't allowed]
131. 132. Growth
[personally & professionally]

132. A weekend ahead to travel to Chicago
and see friends & colleagues from across the country
What are you grateful for this week?

Did you enter the GIVEAWAY on my blog?!
It closes at 12noon EST on Friday, February 26, 2011.
A winner [selected by] will be announced on Saturday!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

tickle me tuesday

In the past few weeks, I've realized how much I really love &
appreciate the foyer [entry way] space of a home.
Here are a few I found quite lovely!
I'm linked up with Sarah at Yes, Teacher's

P.S. Did you enter my giveaway for
a $25 shop credit to Hiya Luv Handmade?
Check it out here & enter today!

Monday, February 21, 2011

my first giveaway

I'm so excited to host my first giveaway!
I met Gina through the blog world and was excited to learn
we have quite a lot in common.
[we both work in higher ed, love baseball and our dogs]
We also share an appreciation for Twitter
& the power of tweet chats.
Gina hosts a weekly chat for handmade shop owners,
you can read more about it here.
You may recognize Gina from Growing Sweet Pea's blog,
as she recently got this fun cartoon done
So, I asked Gina a few questions...

When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in October 2009 because I wanted to write
about learning how to cook. (bwhaha-my how times have changed!)
I love that as I have evolved and grown, so has my blog.
It is like an online diary of interests that I can go back and relive.
I also love meeting new people and have found great friends and
an amazing community to be apart of.

When did you open your Etsy shop?
I opened my etsy shop in May 2010
but I didn't really start listing things that I'm truly passionate about
until Fall 2010. Now I wish I had more time {errr full-time} to create
new wares as I have a bazillion ideas but zero time.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from beauty all around me.
I am always thinking about what I need or want and
if I could make the item.
If so, I jot it down in a notebook and hope that I will have time to do it.
Right now, I am sketching a new line of handbags that I hope to sew up
and reveal sooner than later.
For the line of handbags, I was inspired by a life event!

What is your favorite city?
My favorite city would be London.
I studied abroad in college and lived there for 6 months.
I would have stayed longer had I not be in a committed relationship
 at the time. When I came back to the states, we broke up.
I should have stayed in London! HA!

...and the moment you've been scrolling down to find:
Gina has graciously agreed to giveaway a $25 shop credit!
Aren't her designs lovely?

How to enter
{mandatory entry}
You must be a follower via GFC of the city,
visit Gina's Etsy shop and tell me your favorite item,
and leave your email address if it's not linked to you GFC profile.

More ways to enter the giveaway

2 - follow Gina and me on Twitter
3 - Tweet or blog about this giveaway
4 - Heart Hiya Luv Handmade on Etsy
and tell me your Etsy username

feel free to use this tweet: 
enter to win $25 shop credit from @hiyaluv

Giveaway runs through Friday, February 25 at 12noon EST

Sunday, February 20, 2011

favorite salad

my favorite salad
it's that easy
romaine lettuce [green & red leaf work well too]
granny smith or other tart apple
sharp cheddar 
toasted walnut pieces
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar

combine lettuce, chopped apple pieces, cheese pieces [I cube it] and walnuts
mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil for dressing
[for one serving 1-2 T of each works well]
toss salad in dressing & enjoy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Earlier this week, I asked some Tweeps where they go for inspiration.
Here's what they shared. Check out their recommendations!

Pantone's picks for Spring 2011's must have colors

@SewSoDef replied:

Have you heard of of Ashley Ann's blog?

@kayla_harvey replied:

What you have told me to check out?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

valentine card exchange

thanks to caroline for hosting a valentine's card exchange
i always love sending & getting real mail
[it reminds me of camp]

i got my valentine from Darleen & Gregg
there were two pieces:
an origami heart made from a magazine page
a paper purse that everyone signed.
how cute is that?!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

the doorbell rang

It was about 9:45pm when the doorbell rang.
Being on the late side and not expecting anyone,
Brandon went to the door.
He returned, saying it was a homeless man asking for food.
I was in disbelief thinking what is the world coming to, 
that homeless peoplecome to our door, and so late?
Nonetheless, Brandon went to the kitchen and started gathering food
in a plastic bag. I hadn't been to the grocery store in a week, 
so there was not much to offer uncooked other than
carrots, oranges, whole wheat rolls, cookies and crackers.
We didn't even have any leftovers from dinner.
Anyway, Brandon took the bag out to the man.
I waited inside and prayed [having no idea what to expect]
minutes later, Brandon returned with the bag in hand,
only to tell me the man had looked in the bag 
and said "my kids won't eat that."
I sat there stunned.
I was hanging between insulted that what we offered
was not good enough and thankful the bazaar scene had ended.
All I could think of was the saying "beggars can't be choosers."
The next day, I kept playing the scene over and over 
in my head and finally it hit me:
How often do I ask God for things but refuse to accept what He gives?
I ask for a new home or an opportunity and 
He gives me something other than what [I thought] I wanted.
Often, I don't accept what He gives or give it back all together. 
As unexpected as the situation was, 
[yes, I have thought about the man and his children 
several times even though I never saw him or the kids]
I am grateful for how it made me think.
I already decided this is the year to give and 
even though I may not be able to give to everyone I encounter,
I won't sit here days later and beat myself up for what else 
we could have offered or done.

{photo credits 1 2}

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

tickle me tuesday

i love finding new apps for my htc evo shift and 
thought i'd share my latest faves with you!
[app for blackberry, android + iphone users]
this website takes info from trip itineraries and pulls it into one place
simply forward your confirmation email to
[once you setup an account]
it stores all your info in one place, with easy access while traveling
and you don't have to bring along a print out
or punch the info into your phone's calendar <3

d7 google reader
helps me keep up with all my favorite blogs while on the go
[i also have several blog faves bookmarked]

esv bible
works with or without an internet connection
and it's free!

have you found any must-have apps lately?

i'm linking up with yes, teacher today!

Monday, February 14, 2011

operation beautiful

i walked into the bathroom to find post-it notes on all the mirrors today
at first, i assumed it had to do with valentine's day.
while washing my hands, i actually started reading the post- it notes
and saw the words written on the bottom.
so i checked it out and you should too!
{yes, it's a bit awkward to take photos in a public restroom}

happy valentine's day, friends!
how will you show love today? 

oh, and did you catch our pooch milton on hiya luv's blog today?
check it out [he's the last one]

Sunday, February 13, 2011

award winning blogs

one of the reasons i have grown to love blogging
since i dove into it about six months ago,
is the sense of community i feel.
i have met so many inspiring women [and men]!
recently, christina from the tattered tag awarded me 

thank you very much!
everyone who receives the award is asked to share
seven facts about themselves and
select 15 bloggers to give the award to.

7 random facts about me:
1 - i listen to my favorite colorado radio station, kbco while at work.
[thank goodness for online streaming]

2 -i love maps! i think this comes from being an air force brat
 i keep this massachusetts map on my desk at work to refer to whenever
someone talks about a town i'm unfamiliar with.

3 -i can't stop using a paper desk calendar
i love technology, but there's just something about writing things down helps me remember!
4 -i love college ice hockey
the first two mondays of february are the beanpot tournament in boston

5 -if i had to choose a different profession, i'd be a graphic designer
[i was thinking about that on my ride to work last week]

6 -with the exception of the two years i was in grad school, 
i have moved at least every 12 months since 1999.
7 -i drink coffee daily
& get anxious about not finding it while traveling
or staying with someone i don't know well.

 15 stylish bloggers i'm selecting:
Alison from aPearantly Sew
Caroline from Good Times Never Seemed Sew Good
Elise from enJoy it
Erin from Sunshine and Carousels
Faith from Ordinary Mommy
Gina from Hiya Luv
Jessica from How About Orange
Katie from Making this Home
Karen from Believe it and Be Satisfied
Laura from Along for the Ride
Lindsay from Paint Me a Picture
Lisa from Who's Your Little Buffalo?
Megan from {meg's musings}
Michelle from Lovely by M
Piper from Reviving Remnants

Saturday, February 12, 2011

eye candy

The past week was busy {yawn}
I worked late last night [dance party until 1am at the university]
but am looking forward to a day at home to relax a bit
and catch up with a friend who is in town for the weekend [yay].

I tried some new recipes this past week,
 but was always in a hurry and
didn't get any photos [sorry].
 I recommend these recipes and 
hope to take some photos the next time around:
pork chops & apples
easy way to do pork chops that don't dry out.
saucy bbq chicken
loved this bbq sauce,
I don't want to waste my time with store-bought
when i typically have all these ingredients on hand.
spicy pasta with sweet potatoes
I'd call it a Thai-inspired pasta,
very tasty

With valentine's day on the horizon,
i thought i'd leave you with some
eye candy
usually, i save all my home decor ideas to tumblr
but thought i'd highlight a few here...
beautiful quilt from elise
less-is-more farmhouse from apartment therapy
entry space from heather
magnetic chalkboard from julie
what have you been eying lately?!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

planting love

to help fellow blogger amy and her family in their time of need.
several other bloggers & shop owners are donating items for a large group giveaway
[a.k.a. raffle] between february 12-19.
all the proceeds will go directly to amy & her sweet family.

for more info email sarah at

you can also share info via twitter using this message
plant love this valentine's day and help a fellow blogger
in need while earnning chances to win a grand giveaway

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

getting crafty at work

during our student leadership meeting last week, 
we focused on stress management.
it may not feel like the stressful time of the semester
[especially with weekly snow days for the past three weeks],
our goal was give the students useful tools for dealing well with stress.
we talked relaxation techniques, took  stress and coping quizzes.
then we made a simple hot pad.

tube socks
uncooked white rice
tea bags

how to
fill tube sock halfway with rice
add tea bag 
[i recommend chamomile or mint]
fill other half of sock with rice
tie off at top
heat in the microwave for 2 minutes

{variation} you can also use dried lavender in place of the tea.
i'll be using mine in the office to keep me warm!
have you ever done a craft or project at work?

Monday, February 7, 2011

miscellany monday

i'm joining carissa from lowercase letters today!
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. i appear to be a slacker. 
you've seen fewer posts lately & it will probably continue over the coming month or two.
our internet was 'terminated' without notice 
& with our lease ending next month
it seems silly to pay a fee to start it again.
we're relying on one of our phones as a 'hot spot' 
which is slower than expected i'm used to.
it might actually be a good thing for me to spend time on some other things though...

2. new music monday, yes please!
today, i'm listening to adele
you can find a link to the new album 21 here.
i'm really enjoying it, good energy for a monday morning.

3. taking recommendations for chicago
in three weeks i'll be in the windy city [for work]
and i haven't spent much time there so i'm up for suggestions
on places to see, eat, get coffee and people watch!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

my go-to easy chicken + pasta

thanks to kim from yellow songbird's tweet this week,
 i started thinking about my favorite go-to meal to prepare.
it's hard to describe & i'm not even sure where i came up with it.
i never had a recipe,
but was inspired by my time in italy six years ago.

i call it italian chicken + pasta

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
non-stick cooking spray
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1-2 cloves garlic 
1 tbsp dried [or fresh] basil
1 tbsp italian seasoning
whole wheat pasta [for two]

preheat oven to 425 degrees farenheit
spray glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray
place chicken breasts in glass baking dish
sprinkle both sides with italian seasoning
bake for 20 minutes [uncovered]
while chicken is baking, cut tomatoes in half [length-wise]
and place in small saucepan.
add minced garlic, basil, wine to saucepan
[i added three sliced mushrooms this time, but don't usually.
i added them with less than 10 min to cook]
cover & heat over medium-low on stove top.
at same time, bring pot of water to boil for pasta
remove chicken from oven, flip over
and lower oven temp to 400, return chicken to oven
for  ~10 min [i always end up cutting it to check doneness]
when chicken returns to oven, i usually cook pasta
since it takes about the same amount of time,
but follow pasta package instructions.
once the pasta is done, i drain it
and add it to the pan with cooked tomatoes [they'll be mushy]

as you can see, i also made asparagus to go with the meal.
i cooked it by putting it in the oven for 20 min with the chicken.

and there you have it, my favorite go-to recipe.
...hadn't made it since we've been married [at least 9 months],
but it's still tasty!
there are some ways to vary it too
- use spice mrs. dash & italian sausage in place of chicken
- add broccoli, other veggies to the tomato mixture
- use red wine in place of white wine

as you can tell, i'm not super-exact
and love to play with flavors and make changes while cooking.
what's your go-to meal?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

on the mantle

i have been wanting to rearrange the mantle a bit
[notice i said rearrange since i don't plan to buy anything to add].
so, i looked around the house and
got some inspiration from mandipidy's recent mantle post 
[thank you, mandy!] and i got right to work. 

i came up with  the following items to include:
- a framed crocheted name plate
-an old framed family photo
-our mini globe 
- felt, yarn & fabric scraps
- old school glass coke bottle

i cut out a piece of fabric to fit into the frame with our 
crocheted name plate [to make it 'pop' more]

then i set to work, making my own bunting banner wall art.
i used felt for the backing, then glued fabric triangles into place,
added the yarn and arranged the letters.

i had kind of a hard time figuring out what i wanted it to read,
but eventually got over the 'thanksgiving feel'
i thought the words 'give thanks' had.

i also de-constructed a bouquet
[my favorite way to enjoy flowers, a cluster of vases]
and used the coke bottle for one kind of flower
[the rest of the flowers in vases are not pictured, sorry].

finished product
i didn't sew like mandy, but used fabric glue & iron-on letters

i was happy to highlight my word of the year
and the globe has special meaning this year, 
as i am traveling to guatemala and ireland.
[and i fly to guatemala one month from today!]
i'm going here!
linked up:
mmm button

Thursday, February 3, 2011

grateful girl

this week, has had its challenges &
 the list was somewhat difficult to come up with
[but isn't that the reason i do it?]
there are piles of snow everywhere!

this week, i am thankful for:

125. another snow day [yes, i'm serious]
for the record, i have had five snow days in 4 weeks,
but the hubs got to stay home this time, so that made it even better.

126. gina and mandy had me on their blogs in the past week
in case you missed the posts, here are the links:

127. i'm finally meeting the students i'm going on an alternative break trip with today!
[due to snow cancellations, the group has not yet met]
but i'm so pumped to meet & get to know all eight of them.

what are you grateful for this week?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

thirty things [update]

since punxsutawny phil may not even make it out of the ground today, 
i thought i'd share an update from thirty things 
[30 things i plan to do while i'm 30]:

1 - travel to a country i've not been
I have plane tickets for Guatemala City in March
and Ireland in May/June (yep, two new countries for me)
2 - buy a sewing machine (i have growing list of projects for it)
purchased in December
3 - go sailing on the charles river
[currently frozen, so I'm waiting on this one]
4 - watch a film in subtitles from start to finish
5 - make soup from scratch
6 - sleep under the stars (without a tent)
[back to frozen...or should I point out the mountains of snow around?]
7 - become proficient in adobe photoshop
I've started, but def not proficient yet
8 - sew an item of clothing & wear it
does my infinity scarf count?
9 - read a c.s. lewis book from cover to cover
started A Grief Observed [working my way through]
10 - learn to play chess
11 - kayak or canoe the concord river 
12 - spend a night at a new england b&b
13 - cut down our first christmas tree with the hubs
we ended up choosing one that was cut the same day
14 - string our christmas tree with cranberries and/or popcorn
didn't do this because I was afraid the mice would return
15 - attend a broadway show 
(or maybe an off-broadway show since it's $$$)
16 - go for seven consecutive days without wearing brown pants or shirt
17 - apply to be a member of the daughters of the american revolution
18 - visit wrigley field in chicago
planning to do so at the end of the month when I'm in Chicago
19- hike at least 10 miles of the a.t.
20 - go to a winery
21 - watch the sun rise over boston
22 - make new pillow cases for the living room
23 - train the pooch to obey commands consistently 
24 - write & publish an article for my professional association, acui
I've had two online pieces on the commons
25 - send letters to my compassion child more consistently
glad to see this reminder...I need it!
26 - listen to more classical music, i really enjoy it but don't often listen
been trying, but not "regularly"
27 - lead a service or alternative break trip
Taking 8 students to Guatemala City in March
28 - make donuts from scratch (already have a recipe in mind)
29 - visit five new-to-me boston restaurants (i'm taking suggestions)
Center Street Cafe (JP)
The Paramount (Beacon Hill)
Stephanie's on Newbury (Back Bay)
30 - frequent garage sales (or tag sales as they're called in new england)

okay, that's more than 1/4 of the way through my list and 
more than 1/4 of the way through this year...I think I'm on track!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

tickle me tuesday

in case you missed it, yesterday i posted on gina from hiya luv's blog

today, i am linking up with yes, teacher! for tickle me tuesday