joie de vivre-- a cheerful enjoyment of life & an exultation of spirit.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wish List: The Etsy Edition.

Well, the official request for this year's Christmas wish list came through earlier this week. (Pause. Rewind. Panic.) What?! I swear, I'm not sure I'll ever really get a handle on how fast these days seem to just disappear. Then again, with November gearing up to come knockin' next week & my inability to convince Father Time to slow his roll even just for a bit, I suppose I might as well admit defeat and accept the fact that, despite my persistance, the Holidays really will be here before we know it. Oi vey.

So, for those of you who seem to be suffering from a similar "sinking boat" mentality-- with crazed schedules and endless to-dos taking up your immediate attention-- here's an early Christmas gift from me to you: My Etsy Top Five. Whether you're looking for gifts to give or items for your personal wish lists, the following five stores have long been tried & true favorites of mine that I promise won't disappoint. From the actual gift down to the perfect wrapping, I've got you covered, friends.

Happy perusing!


Leah Duncan: One of my all time favorite shops & creative types, Leah Duncan is always my first stop when I'm in need of gift ideas (both for others and, especially, myself). From beautiful letterpress prints to gorgeous textiles, Leah's high-quality products are sure to deliver no matter the occasion. (Oh, did I mention she's a fellow Brooklynite? Yeah. Extra cool points in my book, just sayin'.) Learn more about Leah, here

CORIUMI: Lithuanian duo Inga and her husband Arvydas are the creative geniuses behind the beautiful bag brand CORIUMI. With the intent of adding a "special touch to simple looks with unique, attention-grabbing geometric patterns, interesting color schemes and the beautiful textures of leather and suede," all I can say is... mission accomplished. Read more about CORIUMI on their Etsy feature, here.


Evajuliet Atelier: Born from the brains of Canadian graphic designer Eva and the brawn of her beautiful, antique tabletop letterpress, Juliet, this little Etsy shop is one you're not going to want to pass by. Simply put, Evajuliet is letterpress done right. Learn more, here.


Knot & Bow: I'm a sucker for beautiful wrapping and craft supplies. There, I said it. And trust me when I say Knot & Bow has been a large contributing factor to my obsession-- but hey, can you blame me? From labels and stickers to tags and twine, there's about a million reasons shop owner Erin Ozer has successfully grabbed the attention of the likes of Martha Stewart, Design*Sponge and HGTV. (Oh, and she's an absolute gem to work with, too.) Learn more about Knot & Bow, here.

Ampersandity: For the love of stamps-- need I say more? I didn't think so. Oh Ampersandity, you're pure & solid gold. (Pssst-- now through Dec. 10th, receive 10% off all Etsy store purchases using the code HOLIDAY10. Offer is good for all thank you, address and holiday stamps-- Now go!)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mixtape. (No. 11)

These days, there are large, twisted gourds on the windowsill and a steady replenishment of fresh cider in the fridge. Woolen socks have once again worked their way to the front of my dresser drawer and as the air continues to grow more and more crisp, life around these parts has become wrapped in scarves and sprinkled with pumpkin spice. In more ways than one, Fall has most certainly arrived in the city and boy does it feel good. So, so good.

There's something special about these Fall months-- something so unique about the tastes and smells and traditions that accompany this season. It's a time for transition, a time to take pause, a time to cherish the small moments of change each day. And after such a long, horrendously hot & incredibly busy summer, I can't tell you how welcome these changes have been for me.

With the coming of Fall, I've found a renewed pep in my step-- a refreshingly untapped source of energy-- that has spurred an insatiable urge to soak up every bit of this season. And so with that, here's to you, sweet Fall. Here's to patches of pumpkins and orchards filled with apples, here's to cold bottles of hard cider and mugs of hot tea, here's to the click of boots on the sidewalk and the rustle of fallen leaves, and here's to a playlist that I've found to be the perfect soundtrack & companion to it all.

Happy listening, friends.

On Top of the World -- Imagine Dragons
The Fear -- Ben Howard
Classy Girls -- The Lumineers
The Boxer -- Mumford & Sons (feat. Jerry Douglas & Paul Simon)
Walk It Off -- Angus & Julia Stone
Feel Again -- OneRepublic
Little Talks -- Of Monsters and Men
Lonely Boy -- The Black Keys
Icswyw -- The Hill and Wood
She Got the Honey -- Mat Kearney

Photo above via Celine Steen.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back To My Roots.

It started with a casual craving for pancakes on a Sunday morning. The skies were the most glorious shade of blue and the first subtle crisp of Fall was finally in the air. It was a day with no plans in place-- a day that yearned for a bit of adventure-- and as our minds drifted back towards our grumbling stomachs, I realized I knew just the spot to go. We hopped in the car and set our sights towards the Tappan Zee.

It had been almost six years since I had last walked that main drag of my hometown. And as we stood on the sidewalk, patiently awaiting our name to be called at the famed local joint downtown, an unexpected jumble of nostalgia was slowly coursing its way through me. In those six years, a lot had changed-- I had changed. And yet, standing there on that Sunday morning, so much felt just the same as it always had. Just up the street, those beautiful old oak trees still draped over the town square, casting shade and dropping acorns on those passing by. And as the clock struck twelve, the sound of a bell from the nearby church began to toll in a familiar pattern that I didn't realize I remembered until I heard myself humming along.

As we spent the afternoon meandering through old neighborhoods and past old haunts, soaking up every bit of that beautiful Fall day, the memories of a childhood past grew stronger with each step. It was a walk down memory lane in its truest and most honest form. And while the cracks in the sidewalk were a bit longer than I last remembered and the trees a bit older and worn, those same strong reminders of a childhood well nurtured still remained-- the view of the city skyline from my favorite perch above town, the unique weave and twist of the road from one neighborhood to the next, and the taste of those monstrously large "single" scoops from Van Dyk's that will forever carry the blue ribbon in my heart.

I was home. And it had never felt so good.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Joie De Vivre-- The Tumblr Edition.

This has been a long time coming, friends, and I could not be more excited to finally share this mini side project of mine with you all. While there is undoubtedly some editing & fiddling still yet to come, let me be the first to warmly introduce you to joie de vivre's Tumblr counterpart.

Over the past 14 months, this little space of mine has been a experiment of labored love. For those of you who have been gracious enough to stick around for a while now, you know firsthand the ways in which things have changed and grown and ultimately evolved to be as they now are. With each post,  joie de vivre has come to be something more than it was last-- something a bit closer towards what I always hoped and envisioned it would be. And now, with the addition of a whole new space chock-full of visual inspiration, I am so excited to see where this journey of creative exploration continues to lead. 

I do hope you'll stick around to join me. 

So with that said, click here to wander on over to joie de vivre (the Tumblr edition).
Poke around. Stay awhile. I hope you like what you see.
Happy exploring.

(P.S. Know that you can always find a link to the joie de vivre Tumblr up top next to the "About Me" section!)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Road Trip.

I've been jonesing to take a road trip for years now. I swear, even just the thought of it immediately sends me into a tailspin of desire-- Driving coast to coast, hiking by day & camping by night, learning to know the sound of silence beneath the great expanse of a starry sky, gaining an even deeper appreciation for the heartland of this beautiful country I've called home all my life-- oh, be still my heart.

And sure, while there are always those minor barriers of time, money & reality to wrestle with when it comes to this dream trip of mine, it certainly only fuels the fire when I stumble across features like the following that make me wish I could just up and fall head over heels right into the pages. I mean, can you blame me? That VW! Those mountains! (And my gosh, that adorably darling baby girl!) Swoon. Also, small side note to self: Add New Zealand to the very top of the list. Immediately.

Take a look--

By the way, for my fellow travel bugs out there for whom this is your first encounter with Wayfare, I can assure you it won't (and most certainly shouldn't) be your last. A quarterly publication celebrating the art of the journey, Wayfare recognizes that "travel is not defined by how many miles you cover... it's about the spirit of discovery-- breaking out of your routine to unwind, connect, and learn." Love that! Simply put, it will quickly become your new favorite travel and inspiration guidebook- that I can promise you. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Weekend In Review.

It was an absolutely perfect Labor Day weekend up here in New York-- cloudless blue skies & abundant sunshine, three days of watching incredible tennis with my parents who were in town for our annual trek out to Queens for the Open, a lazy Monday spent catching up with good friends over delicious food (see below fruit, yogurt & museli combo from Peels!) and hours of aimlessly wandering around the city & some spare time in the kitchen working to clean out my fridge of last week's CSA goodness with an "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink" pizza for the week. All in all, life was pretty darn sweet.

Hard to fathom today is already Wednesday... whew.
Happy Hump Day, all.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I have a bit of an obsession with tea towels. I'm not going to lie, I truly can't get enough of them. And judging by the number of stacked drawers in my mother's kitchen at home, I'm just going to go ahead and say that this is clearly a fixation that runs in the family. Needless to say, when I stumbled upon the incredible shop Studiopatró a few weeks back, I was instantly smitten.

Based out of the San Francisco Bay area, Studiopatró is a small, but well-oiled, producer of beautiful kitchen linens-- tea towels, aprons, market bags and the like. Hand-printed with an ink-on-cloth approach, the Studiopatró team is rooted in the creation of textiles that are simple, sustainable, and downright special. And boy have they hit the nail on the head. Here are some of my favorites--

So here's my question-- is it ever too early for one to start building out a holiday wish list? Roger that. I didn't think so either :) To see more of the beautiful Studiopatró line, click here: SHOP.