Friday, April 18

my spring and summer bucket list

Last Friday, I chaperoned four sweet girls on our grade-level field trip to Washington, D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival.  Somehow, our conversation turned to "bucket lists" and as we went through the monuments, memorials, and museums on the National Mall we all started adding things to ours.  We concluded our visit with a walk through the Butterfly Pavillion at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, where we each got to channel our inner Disney Princess by having butterflies land on our hair.  I wanted to share a few of the gorgeous butterflies we saw with you today, along with an idea inspired by the girls - my "bucket list" of things I want to do this spring and summer!

  • Donate my winter clothes and streamline my warm-weather wardrobe
  • Plant a container herb garden
  • Movies to see in April: Captain America 2, Divergent, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Muppets Most Wanted
  • Go biking on the Greenways with Mr. Q
  • Participate in the Gallop 4 the Greenways 5K next month
  • Make s'mores in the fire pit
  • Learn to ride a Stand Up Paddleboard

  • Get my girlfriends together for brunch
  • Visit the Virginia Safari Park at Natural Bridge
  • Visit the local butterfly garden at the Science Museum of Western Virginia
  • Movies to see in May and June:  Belle, Neighbors, Days of Future Past, The Fault in Our Stars, 22 Jump Street.
  • See a show at the Harvester Performance Center
  • Join a Pure Barre or Zumba class
  • Learn to use my sewing machine

  • Attend Festival in the Park (1964: the Tribute is playing again!)
  • Movies to see in July and August: Guardians of the Galaxy, A Dame to Kill For
  • Attend the Strings and Spirits Festival
  • Attend the Smith Mountain Lake Festival
  • Rent a boat and spend a day on the lake with friends
  • Have the art we've purchased framed and display it in our townhouse
  • Visit Colonial Williamsburg

What's on your to-do list for this spring and summer?  
What are you most looking forward to?

Thursday, April 17

A Classic Spring Break

It's finally here - my little break from work and normalcy.  While I'm going to be staycationing this weekend, I'm dreaming of getting away. The weather is so unpredictable here that I'm more likely going to be found in a hoodie or sweater - but that doesn't mean I won't be adding fun spring touches - switching out boots for ballet flats and perhaps donning a new pair of sunglasses.  I'm loving classic navy paired with placid blue for a fresh spring look.  For those of you lucky enough to be taking a dip this weekend, I can't recommend Sara Blakely's line of swimsuits for Target enough - I have one from last summer and adore it.  They're made with the same materials as Spanx so they are super flattering. 

A Classic Spring Break

View this set on Polyvore

1. American Eagle hoodie  2. J. Crew merino sweater  3. Elle Tahari sunglasses from Nordstrom
4. Kate Spade stud earrings from Piperlime  5. ASSETS by Sara Blakely bathing suit from Target
6. LOFT colorblock ballet flats  7. Kate Spade phone case from Bloomingdale's
8. Forever21 "Head in the Clouds" nail polish  9. Lacoste tote bag

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated for this post in any way.  All opinions are my own.

Linking Up With:
Light It Up Blue for Autism Awareness
Style Sessions at Style Elixir
Casual Friday at Two Thirty-Five Designs
Passion 4 Fashion at Rachel the Hat
Three-Fer Thursday at Perfectly Coutured

Monday, April 14

clicks of note: i'll find the places where you hide...

get your week off to a colorful start...
  • OneRepublic always seems to get romantic just right, and "What You Wanted" is no exception.  The fact that it's in the trailer for the The Fault In Our Stars movie doesn't hurt (and by the way, is anybody going to be able to make it through that film without crying?  I didn't even make it through a five minute clip!).  I'm linking up with Musical Mondays at My So-Called Chaos.




Thursday, April 10

goal setting: what fires me up!

It's been a while since I took some time to write about goal setting - and while I've been feeling to busy to write about how I narrowed down my goals for the year, the year has been chugging right along.  On her blog, Lara Casey (my favorite goal-setting guru) discusses the importance of knowing what fires you up when thinking about goals.  So today, here are the things that keep me going!

  • My marriage - what can I say that I haven't already said on this blog about how important my marriage is to me?  My husband is supportive, encouraging, funny, and my best friend.  If I'm ever doubting or downing myself, he builds me right back up and pushes me to keep going.

  • Spending time with friends and family - fun, laid-back down time is essential to my mental health.  Whenever I start to get cranky, it's usually time to point my car toward my childhood home and go visit my mama.  Whenever I get bored, the cure is spending time with my BFFs and my sister-in-law.

  • Live performances - I grew up in a very creative family - my dad was a drummer, my uncle was a painter, my mama is a DIY-er, and I was always surrounded by music and sculptures and the idea that people make art and create things as a given.  My parents enrolled me in dance classes at an early age, I enjoy making arts and crafts projects, and I will always consider myself a writer even if it stays a hobby rather than a profession.  But when it comes to the arts, nothing fires me up quite like a live performance - whether it's a major concert or a band playing at a dive bar, a college dance troupe performance in the community, a middle school play, or even just a new episode of So You Think You Can Dance on television, seeing artists do their thing makes me more inclined to do some creating myself.

  • Seeing my friends follow their passions - I think it's funny how in high school and college I thought I knew exactly where everyone was going to end up, but people's real lives have turned out to be very different than what they imagined for themselves. The adorable stationery pictured above is from my friend's letterpress studio - a friend I completely thought would be an architect designing eco-friendly houses right now. The history-major friend who swore she never wanted to end up teaching?  Teaches Montessori kindergarten!  A friend from ed school who started her college career in the engineering department is now an information technology specialist for her school district, and another elementary education major I knew is a pilates instructor in New York City.  I think seeing these friends make their own paths reminds me that you don't have to do what people expect you to.  You don't even have to do what you've expected yourself to.

  • Being a teacher students trust - It's often stressful being the teacher students open up to, the one they tell the deep dark stuff.  The art above is student artwork and it told me everything the tough, mouthy little girl who drew it couldn't say.  Yes, kids sometimes come into my room weeping when I'm on my planning period, and instead of handing the kid off to the guidance counselor I know that I'll be spending the next hour in the guidance office with them.  Yes, kids ask me questions that have absolutely nothing to do with English- they know I will keep my promise to never lie to them.
  • Being a teacher administrators and colleagues trust - I hold several leadership positions in my school and it's important to me that my supervisors and co-workers know they can count on me to be positive, helpful, and fair.  I will never be two-faced or put on a show.  I will always find answers if they are available.
  • Listening to good music - In every genre imaginable, I think there is something inspiring.  I feel a lot better when I turn on Pandora or the local radio and just let it play for hours while I'm writing or doing housework.  Singing in the car is one of my favorite antidotes for stress, and I'll find a reason to go on a long drive if I need some time to channel my inner Adele!

  • Reading powerfully written books - For the same reason I love watching live performers.  Nothing helps me stay motivated to write like reading great writing.  I think we are truly blessed to live at a time in which so many of our favorite writers are just a tweet or e-mail away.
  • My yoga class - I love my little Parks and Rec old-lady yoga class.  My teacher is so wonderful and supportive, and the class is SUCH a different world than the classes I took at the fitness center when I was in college.  I have really learned to push myself while listening to my body.  My goal for this session is to be able to put my heels on the ground during downward dog pose - I have very short legs and flexibility is not my strong suit!
  • Approachable recipes - I think cooking can be pretty therapeutic and taps into my creative energy.  When I find a recipe online or in a magazine with great photography, pronounceable ingredients, and a manageable list of steps, I get so fired up!  Cooking "real" meals makes me feel healthier and also kind of like SuperWife.

  • Growing things - I seem to have inherited my mom's love of gardening, and it never fails to strike me as a miracle that my basil plant comes back every year.  Keeping my window boxes and planters full of greenery and flowers gives me an extra dose of pride in my home and getting my hands dirty makes my inner farm girl feel great.

  • Summer days at the lake - I don't take advantage of living so close to a beautiful lake nearly enough.  My soul feels so healthy in those long summer days on the water.

Wednesday, April 9

wedding wednesday: creative table number ideas

One of the DIY projects I was most proud of on my wedding day was our table numbers - they were inspired by a project I'd seen online, and I feel like I made them our own by using pages from our favorite books.  Table numbers are a great way to tie in the overall theme of your wedding while still serving an important function - most guests are much more comfortable when they have a specific place to sit!  Today, I wanted to share some awesome table numbers from around the web.

I love the vintage inspired style of both of these table numbers.  I think collecting dessert plates from Goodwill would be an easy way to add eclectic style to a garden wedding, and most of the materials to make the wooden easel could be found at your local arts and crafts and office supply stores.

This table number uses reclaimed woods and house numbers from a hardware store.


Two modern takes on the table number:  modern fonts and chevron stripes are attached to a galvanized easel with magnets; Palm Beach style house numbers accompany a contemporary greenery arrangement.

These moss ball table numbers from Etsy seller North Majesty Trail would be perfect for a woodland or fairy tale inspired wedding.


Go simple with metal numbers or stamped burlap.

A painted mirror is a very creative, ornate touch for an elegant wedding, while gold-painted numbers add a touch of class to a casual tablescape.

Which of these table number ideas is your favorite?

Tuesday, April 8

Style: Blush Pink for Spring

Blush pink is this spring's classiest pastel shade.  Here are some great ways to add just a kiss of pink to your outfit, your home decor, or your spring gifts.

Blush Pink for Spring

View this set on Polyvore

1. Deborah Lippmann nail polish from Bloomingdale's  2. Essie nail polish from Nordstrom  
3. Kate Spade pave earrings from Zappos Couture 4. Kate Spade studs from Piperlime  
4.  TOMS ballet flats  5. Pop Fizz Clink poster from CrownAndHearts on Etsy  
6. Coach handbag  7. Sugar Paper stationery from J. Crew  
8.  Fujifilm Instax camera from Amazon

Linking Up:
Casual Friday at Two Thirty-Five Designs
Passion 4 Fashion at Rachel the Hat
Three-Fer Thursday at Perfectly Coutured