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

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Repondez s'il vous plait.

To me, there is absolutely nothing better than quality time spent with good friends & family over a delicious meal. These gorgeous photos are inspiring me to find an open field, string some lights between the tree branches, light some candles, and carry on until the moon is heavy in the sky. 

Bon appetit.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Creative Juices

Oh, these are just making me want to stretch a canvas and get creative.

Love it!

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Urban Farmhouse Market & Cafe

If any of you dear readers happen to be from the immediate or greater Richmond, VA area, you are absolutely going to need to take a stroll downtown to Urban Farmhouse at some point soon. We stumbled into this fantastic local hot-spot for brunch on Sunday and it was so good, I had to go back this morning for more.

Exposed brick walls. Gorgeous French doors that open to the cobblestone city streets (when the weather isn't absolutely unbearable). Live jazz on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. Long, wooden farmhouse tables. Fresh, local, and organic food. I'm telling you, this place oozes perfection from every which corner.


Sunday, July 24, 2011


Boy am I loving these gorgeous, neutral outfits. Simple, yet elegant, and just divinely feminine all around. Please and thank you.

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Ooh la la.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Well, friends, the weekend has made it's glorious arrival.

More than ever, I have been anxiously awaiting the 5 o'clock bell all day because... I've got one of my dearest friends in the whole wide world currently en route from Washington D.C. for a visit! Given that this is my last weekend at home in Virginia before officially packing up the moving truck and shipping on up to New York, we figured we had the perfect excuse for a girl's weekend.

Marie and I met during our First year at the University of Virginia and have been coined as being virtually inseparable ever since. She is one of the most caring, fun-loving, quirkiest people I know and we always manage to bring out the silliest versions of each other whenever we're together- which I absolutely love. If I know anything, it's that this weekend is bound to be filled with lots of fun, laughter, and a few bottles of champagne for good measure.

Looking forward to really kicking back, relaxing, and indulging in some delicious food, summer drinks, and good conversations with a good friend.

Wishing you and yours a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

On The Road.

After having to do some unexpected traveling for work today I've found myself wishing there was still some time left in my summer for a good old fashioned road trip.

I have always, always wanted to drive coast to coast-- stop at all the local drive-ins and dives, camp out beneath the stars and live on ramen noodles for a few weeks, hike my way over some mountains, do a portrait project with photos all of the fascinating people I meet, and gosh, just soak up the raw beauty of it all.

Just thinking about it makes my heart start to race.

Oi. One of these days. One of these days, I'll cross it off my bucket list. Until then, I suppose I'll just have to use these photos to let my imagination run wild.

Morning Treat.

I don't know about you, but this little combo might actually have the power to coax me out from deep within my cocoon of blankets in the morning, and with a smile on my face, no less. Imagine that.

Absolutely loving the beautifully simple, brown paper wrapping, by the way.

Via Pintrest, here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Is it just me or did today literally disappear?

All I know is that I've got two glorious reasons why I was able to make it through this tremendously busy day of mine: Virginia peaches & Django Reinhardt's Crazy Rhythm.

First and foremost, I think I've eaten more peaches in the past 2 weeks than I have in my entire life- hello beautiful perks of summer! They're absolutely fantastic right now and I just can't seem to get enough. I've got my eyes set on a local farmer's market to visit this weekend so I can pick up a bucket full of 'em, bake something delicious, and indulge all weekend long. I mean, come on, do these not look unbelievably good, or what?

Secondly, I'm not sure how many of you have ever had the pleasure of stumbling across the incredibly talented Django Reinhardt, but he's a Jazz musician from way back in the day known especially for his introduction of the "hot jazz" guitar back in the 30's and quite frankly, I'm in love. There's something so magically intoxicating about music from this era that has a knack for just transporting you back in time. My iTunes brilliantly decided to shuffle on over to Django's Crazy Rhythm album this morning and I kept it going all afternoon.


Hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Moon Balloon.

Love this.
Sweet dreams, world.

Image, here

The Girl Effect.

Have you ever come across a campaign that has just stopped you dead in your tracks? You get that light-bulb moment when you're both completely awestruck by the facts being presented and simultaneously overcome by an intense drive to immediately start spreading the word to any and everyone you know. For me, that campaign has been The Girl Effect.

Started in 2008, The Girl Effect seeks to show the world how a single girl living in poverty has the unique capability of creating a better future, both for herself and for the world around her. Here is the most recent of The Girl Effect's phenomenal viral videos:

The genius behind this campaign is both in the construction and the application. The Girl Effect has taken a humongous issue, extracted the key problems and effectively illustrated them in an engaging and inspiring manner. This organization understands that if it truly wants to mobilize a modern army of able and willing individuals, it has to relate to them as well. Long gone are the days of relying solely on press and publication; we've entered the viral world here, where, if you've got your finger on the pulse, you can reach millions of eyes around the world in a matter of hours.

Talk about captivating an audience.

As someone who works to develop strategy for another, incredible nonprofit (more on that to come later), it's campaigns such as these that really serve to inspire and influence the work that I do. It's so invigorating to think of all the untapped potential that lies within the campaigns of the future and the immense amount of change that could transpire should they truly hit the nail on the head.

For more info on The Girl Effect, check out their website, here.


I'm usually not a the biggest fan of red- but I'm absolutely loving these beautiful striped pieces. Such a great, classic combo- and they're so fun!

All images via pintrest, here

Wise Words.

Halfway into my nightly tumble into bed, I stumbled across this photo and just had to pass along.

 Image from here.

There have been many moments in my life when I've been reminded to live life to the fullest and ensure that I truly take no moment for granted; however, in recent years, I've come to realize that this practice is certainly a lot easier said than done. With the endless chaos, both good and bad, that generally tend to swallow my day whole, there are many nights that I go to sleep just relieved that I was able to navigate my way through the day just long enough to make it back to the comfort of my own bed without losing my head to the endless lists and tasks and responsibilities on my plate. With life arriving on our front doorstep in all sorts of sizes, packages, and wrappings, I know I'm not the only one out there who doesn't always remember to take pause and reflection as I make my way through this crazy journey that we call life. 

What I love about this quote is its honesty. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a struggle, accept it. But life is also a song, sing it. 

It reminds me that each moment is unique and if you allow yourself to be too consumed by the nature of it, either good or bad, you'll negate to rise to the challenge before you; thus, a precious opportunity to learn or grow will be lost. Life is chaotic, but it's finding a balance that allows you to play the game, and to play it well, that enables you to succeed. It's about knowing that in times of struggle, there are times of joy to be had ahead. It's about living in the moment- the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's about embracing those moments to their fullest and knowing that you'll make it through because there will be something expected from you at the next turn. 

Here's to what today has in store. 

Photo found here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wish List

I'll tell you, this porch swing is looking like a little slice of heaven on earth right about now.

Image found here.
After a hectic day of running around, dealing with some stressful news regarding an upcoming move, and juggling the many circus plates that seem to constitute a Monday, I would give anything to curl up in the corner of this beauty. Give me a cool summer night, a glass of wine, and a good book and I can guarantee you wouldn't see me for hours- that's for sure.

Mmmm, serenity.

Keep Calm and...

Monday morning (groan). 

I happen to know that this week is going to be a particularly tough and busy one for me at work and despite the fact that it's only 10 am, I've already found myself wishing I had one of these hanging right over my desk to keep me going:

While the phrase seems to be going through a bit of a fad stage right now, I just can't help but love the motto. It's simple, it's direct, it's oh-so reassuring, and you know what- it works. So for all you busy bees out in the working world today, "Keep Calm and Carry On", remember that Tuesday is right around the corner!

Also- here are some fun revisions of the original that I couldn't help but pass along. Enjoy!

Images found here!
Happy Monday!