[this family put candles in a banana to show that even the simplest of activities are to be savored and celebrated]

What will or won't you do to save money?

[blog topic inspired by Remodeling This Life]

I don't mind that my fiance & I never go out to eat.

I like being resourceful; instead of buying new clothes, I look at what I have and make new outfit combinations.

I love DIY projects & crafts.

I like printing out pictures from my computer.

I have fun making my own artwork.

I like buying gifts for people I love...

...but I like making gifts for them even more.

I don't mind taking the time to research an item to find the best possible price.

I don't buy designer clothing.

I buy journals & books constantly.

I miss going to the movie theater...

...but downloading movies is quite convenient, too.


On a similar note, I want to simplify my life--that means living more fully, having (and wanting!) less material possessions, and spending more time with people rather than with things.

How will I do this? My goals are to:

  1. De-clutter. I am a huge pack rat so giving and throwing material possessions away is hard for me. My solution? To take pictures of the things that have sentimental value and then either give them away or throw them away. For things without sentimental value, I must really determine if they are worth my time or if I even spend any time using them.
  2. Stop buying so much stuff! My new rule: if I buy something, I must get rid of something else; that way, I'm not adding to my collection of "stuff" but rather replacing and exchanging it. My other strategy, which always works pretty well for me, is to carry the item with me throughout the rest of my journey through the store; I almost always decide against buying the item once I've been holding on to it for a while.
  3. Keep the tv off more often. I generally cannot just sit and watch a tv show or a movie--I have to be doing something else at the same time, whether that's blogging or sketching or painting or looking through a magazine or eating or whatever. I miss most of the tv show anyway, and I don't think either activity--the tv-watching or the other activity--gets my full attention. Instead of having the tv on to fill the silence in the background, I'll make new mixed CDs and download more music onto my MP3 player so that I can listen to music I really like instead of listening to the same old stuff on the radio.
  4. Slow down and savor. This goes for everything in my life, from eating to spending time with my family and fiance to playing with my puppy to relaxing. I think we, as Americans, try to rush through everything--and end up missing the magic of our experiences. I want to try to just slow down and take in each experience, to indulge in every feeling and touch and sound and kiss and sight...
  5. Create experiences. I'm typically not a very social person; I rarely get bored because my mind is full of ideas that I use to create with and write about and entertain myself with. But there is so much that I am missing by not getting outside of my comfort zone and meeting new people. My fiance and I just recently started hanging out with his co-workers--they're so different from me in so many ways but they have such wonderful stories to tell! I work at a tiny little candy shop and my day is made when I really connect with a customer and we have a wonderful, meaningful conversation. I've also started spending more time with my family, all of which live about an hour away; I miss them so much and I've realized that instead of missing them, I should visit them more and make memories with them. These are the kinds of experiences you remember.

What can't YOU live without?
And, more importantly, what can you GIVE UP?

how to be

dimly enchanted
utterly rare

nothing gives her life
having burdens to bear

something inside
screams for release

the whirring of her mind
the drumming of her heart
will tire and cease
live on through her deeds


My Mother Baked the Whole World for Me

My mother baked the whole world for me
In sweet cakes.
My beloved filled my window
With raisins of stars.
And my yearnings closed inside me
Like bubbles in a loaf of bread.
On the outside, I am smooth and quiet and brown.
The world loves me.
But my hair is sad as reeds in a drying swamp--
All the rare birds with beautiful plumage
Flee from me.

Yehuda Amichai

Lions, Tigers, & Stingrays! Oh my!

Last Sunday, James & I took advantage of Lowry Park Zoo's $5 admission day.
[His co-workers at Spencer's thought it was pretty funny that he asked for the day off to go to the Zoo. :) ]

Happy Feet!

:: Flamingos Flamenco ::

This tiger was so cute; apparently, tigers like to play with cantaloupes 'cause they're fleshy and stuff.


...AND IT WAS MY FAVORITE PART! This is me EXTREMELY HAPPY because it was so cool! :)


if i could do anything right now, i would...

[post inspired by Naturally Nina]

1. get some energy--then go outside and play!

2. see "Star Trek" again--and I'm not even a Trekkie or ST fan by ANY means!
3. lie in bed with my two loves (fiance & puppy), listening to the rain
4. recreate my own version of a super cute bracelet I saw at the store the other day
5. get--and play!--the new EA Sports Active game for the Wii
6. buy some Razzles
7. read Crank (a recommendation from my sister)
8. find some fresh new tunes
9. write!
10. sketch


Destroying the shackles...

"Until everyone is free,
no one


Pictures, please!

I was terribly sad to learn that not only are Polaroid instant cameras not being produced anymore, but they and their film are extremely expensive! That's why I love Poladroid, which I found online last night! I LOVE it! :)


Today I love...

...being good to my love, James.
...shrinky dinks.
...abs made stronger by crunches.
...a new episode of "The Office".
...a low-key day at work.
...texting my sister & best friend.
...wearing shorts.
...happy customers.

{what do YOU love today?}



I'm dedicating this blog to straws, wonderful straws [because I use them everyday, for every drink, and love them so!]:

Double functionality: drinking glasses!

Go green with straw furniture!

Crazy straws with logos; who doesn't love to customize?

Build your own unique straw creations!

Do you like this bright idea?

Enjoy this Bart straw with a Squishee!


Agradecimiento ("gratitude", anyone?)

  • James' willingness to drive me to Universal Studios & Ikea today (he never complains)
  • At the Men in Black ride, the guy let James & I ride together--even though we got in the "Single Rider" line
  • I actually had a decent score on the MIB ride (167,000 because I got the bonus at the end!) :) I am very proud of this because I STINK at video games usually!
  • There was hardly anyone at the parks = I walked right on to the Hulk, Dueling Dragons, & Spider-Man
  • I overcame the urge to spend over 3 bucks on one tiny bucket of cotton candy
  • The Simpson's Ride--those jokes NEVER get old!
  • Drink refills for 79 cents
  • Spending the day with my love
  • Craft time at home!
  • No work today
  • Getting stuff done (like phone calls & bills)
  • Looking forward to "Fringe" later on tonight...
**What are YOU grateful for today??? :)


[image courtesy of camellie]

1. Smile. Now, this is no shock, but studies do show that the amount of time you smile during a conversation has a direct impact on how friendly you’re perceived to be. Also, people mimic the expressions on the faces they see, so if you smile, you’re more likely to be smiled at. (Scientists have identified 19 types of smiles, by the way.)

2. Be easily impressed, entertained, and interested. Most people get more pleasure from wowing you with their humor and insight than from being wowed by your humor and insight.

3. Have a friendly, open, engaged demeanor. Lean toward people, nod, say “Uh-huh,” turn your body to face the other person’s body. Don’t turn your body away, cross your arms, answer in monosyllables, or scan the room (or look at your Blackberry! I have seen this happen!) as the other person talks.

4. Remember trait transfer. In “trait transfer,” whatever you say about other people influences how people see you. If you describe a co-worker as brilliant and charismatic, your acquaintance will tend to associate you with those qualities. Conversely, if you describe a co-worker as arrogant and obnoxious, those traits will stick to you. So watch what you say.

5. Laugh at yourself. Showing vulnerability and a sense of humor make you more likable and approachable. However, don’t push this too self-deprecation too far – keep it light. You’ll make others uncomfortable if you run yourself down too much. I met a guy who kept saying things like, "I'm an idiot," "I have the most boring job ever," etc. He was trying to be self-deprecating, but it was hard to know how to respond to that kind of comment from a stranger.

6. Radiate energy and good humor. Because of the phenomenon of “emotional contagion,” people catch the emotions of other people, and they prefer to catch an upbeat, energetic mood. Even if you pride yourself on your cynicism, biting humor, or general edginess, these qualities can be conveyed with warmth.

7. Show your liking for another person. We’re much more apt to like someone if we think that person likes us. Look for ways to signal that you enjoy a person’s company. When I call my daughters’ pediatrician with some health question, she always says “Hello!” as if she’s genuinely thrilled to hear from me, and I’ve really noticed what a difference it makes on my feelings of warmth toward her.

8. Try to remember the person’s name! If you can’t remember it, here are some tips for coping with the situation.

[i used this image the other day but it's so cute i thought it deserved a second appearance!]


[In love with Brian Andreas]:

If I was a spider princess, she said, I would spin webs the color of sky & catch drops of sunlight to give to children w ho watch too much TV & then everyone would remember to come outside to play. If I was a spider princess, she said, things would be different.

::my favorites::
a collection of what makes other bloggers terribly h
  • eating outside on the patio
  • late night phone calls from far away best f riends
  • back rubs from husband
  • vacuum lines in the carpet
  • a treat to eat during lost
  • running through the sprink lers
  • warm summer nights spent outside
  • fresh flowers on the mantle
  • discovering new cities
  • post-workout burn (makes my blood feel clean
  • pretending to have a british accent
  • coloring outside the lines
  • reading my journals from years ago, i wrote some funny things back in the day
  • getting cards in the mail
  • eating cotton candy
  • getting caught singing my heart out in my car
  • wearing husbands sweatshi rt

[image: David Garibaldi]

I love you more than...

...a pyromaniac loves fire.


Lovers & Fighters

i love her…

…so i fight for her. it is what lovers do. there is no dichotomy: lover or fighter? it is lover/fighter both. i fought to get her, so i fight to keep her while i’m with her. i do not understand those who fight only to get back what they have lost. you should have been fighting all along.

[from wonderful ellipsis]

Cute or what?

[This little tale from Bella Sinclair Doodlespot is so cute; it made James & I laugh quite hard!]

The artist doodled the piece of art below, and this is the conversation that took place when her daughter came home from school one day:

"Is that me? Is that me?"
"I want that to be me."
"Why, you want to be dead?"
*gasp* "WHAT?! She's dead?"
"Yeah, what did you think?"
"I thought she was just looking in there."
"It's a Venus Fly Trap."
"I thought it was a taco plant! And she's looking for cheese! No, no, no, I don't want to be her!"



life is gooooood.

[image courtesy of Life is Good]

[list inspired by The Green Greek]

20 Little Things to Celebrate in Life

1. Fiances who do lots of chores
(without complaining, too!)
2. Tiny hoodie sweaters for dogs
3. Rearranging furniture
(which makes home feel like new again)
4. Cranium.com
5. New blogging friends
6. Old blogging friends
7. Exciting twists on tv shows (like "Lost")
8. Crafts & DIY projects
9. Saving money
10. Having a job
(actually, this one's something HUGE to celebrate)
11. Home decoration magazines & blogs
(I'm obsessed)
12. Exercise
13. Journals
14. Trying out new hairstyles
15. Biking
16. Planners
17. Bubble gum
18. Art
19. Days off of work & school
20. Late night reading

[so...what are YOUR 20 little things to celebrate in life? leave me a comment & some inspiration! :) ]