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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mallory & Michael.

Happy Monday, friends!

I hope you've all rebounded into this week after a wonderfully relaxing weekend. Mother Nature decided to grant the Northeast a little preview of what we should all come to expect this winter with a far too generous gift of 3 inches of snow and slippery sludge. So much for my plans to spend Saturday roaming the city streets with nothing but my camera in hand! Oh well. A quiet weekend at home playing catch up while watching a marathon of movies ended up being exactly what I needed.

In any case, I've been so excited for a free moment to surface today because after coming across the following video Friday afternoon, I've been dying to share it with you all.

The beautiful bride below was a sorority sister of mine at UVa and she's just as every bit wonderful as she seems-- truly beautiful inside and out. While Mallory graduated a few years ahead of me, I've just loved following all that she's gone on to accomplish and achieve in the years since. (She's also the creative mind behind, A Strong Aesthetic, a beautiful blog that I've been a long time lover and admirer of.)

Mallory-- lots of love and a BIG congratulations to you and your new hubby!

Michael and Mallory's beautiful wedding at James Monroe's beautiful estate, Ash Lawn in Virginia.
Music: "Around Us" by Jonsi

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Weekend.

Happy weekend, friends! I hope you're just as excited as I am for what these next few days have in store. For the first time in a long time, I'll be in the city all weekend with a whole bunch of 'nothin on my agenda & it's looking oh so mighty fine to me.


Looking forward to a few of the things that I think Fall weekends were absolutely meant to include: Sleeping in. Finding a little nook to get lost in a good book. Bundles of sweaters. And of course, bottomless cups of tea in cozy coffee shops with friends.

I can't wait!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful, wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rainy Day.

Photo, here.
Well, it's cold & rainy here in New York today, but I'm working from home and don't mind at all. Not one bit. I kind of love the way the apartment stays dark all day and the windows are streaked with falling droplets. And the soft pitter patter into the puddles on the patio is kind of nice as well. I've got my mug of tea next to me and a candle burning across the way.

Things are feeling cozy around here. I like it.

Happy Thursday, friends.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


With gift giving season quickly approaching, I wanted to share this incredible new site that is sure to cure all of your gift giving woes: Wantful.

I first heard of this new project a few weeks ago from a fellow blogger & dear friend of mine, Carina Skrobecki, and it may be the coolest thing I've seen in a while. The premise is this:

If you've ever struggled with buying a gift, or gotten a gift you didn't love, we built this for you. 

We've partnered with hundreds of the most uncommon brands and artisans in the world to find exceptional products you'll be excited to give and thrilled to get. 

And around these products, we've drafted an entirely new experience that makes gift giving personal again, and equally special whether you're spending thirty dollars or hundreds. 


Here's how they do it:
1. Tell Wantful a little bit about the person you're buying for...
2. They'll help you curate a selection of sixteen perfect gift options...
3. The collection is printed and presented in a customized gift book...
4. The recipient picks the gift they love most and it's delivered right to their doorstep!

Mission Accomplished. Pretty awesome, right? And in case I haven't already convinced you, Wantful is chock full of products from hundreds of unique brands, craftsmen, makers & artists from around the world so you're bound to find something to fit the taste, style and preference of whomever it is you're shopping for. Through this project, Wantful also seeks to help tell the stories of the very artists and designers who make their products for the greater good-- "Not only do we want to showcase their products, but we want to showcase who they are, and why they do it". Over the coming weeks and months, stories on the Wantful artists will be posted on their Tumblr, here.

Take a hop, skip, and a jump on over to and check it out for yourself. It's free to sign up and so much fun to play around with/explore! Happy gifting!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Veggie Quesadillas.

Whipped up one of these delicious quesadillas for dinner tonight and boy was it good. Super simple & super quick, it was a snap to throw together on my way out the door before a meeting in the city. The best thing about these? You can literally grab whatever you've got in your fridge and throw it in as well. (The asparagus & heirloom tomatoes I added at the last minute were de---lish)


Photo and recipe, here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Journey Begins.

If there are two things that these past few months have taught me, it's this:

1. A work/life balance is absolutely essential.
2. I am horrendous at maintaing any hint of such balance, whatsoever.

Now let me preface this all by saying that there is not a single thing that I would change about where I am in my life-- I absolutely love my work & the organization that I work for, I have been granted the ability to learn & grow faster than I could have ever expected, and (most importantly) I am able to come home every day feeling more and more passionate about the work and mission that I am striving to achieve. That's some pretty powerful stuff. But the working world has taken some serious adjusting to. And, quite frankly, it's an adjustment I've had a hard time settling into.

I've always loved the unpredictable nature of my job in that my roles and responsibilities can change at the drop of a hat, and I've even managed to find the perks within all of the travel that I've had to do--oh if only you could see the number of frequent flyer miles & hoards of hotel lotions I've collected-- but the hardest thing for me has been finding a way to squeeze in time for me to just be. To reflect. To take some time to do something solely for my own personal benefit.

These past few months, I've been pretty horrible about making "me" a priority. But enough is enough. I woke up this morning and realized that the only way that this was all going to change was if I made the conscious effort to take a proactive step in another direction.

I knew that in order to really make this change that I desperately need in my life, I had to set my sights high. I had to do something extreme that would allow me to prove to myself that I still had the drive I needed to work just as hard for my own personal benefit as I do for others. I needed to set a goal that was really going to push me and force me to commit whole-heartedly. I wanted something that I could be equally inspired as I was challenged by and something that I knew I was going to feel incredibly accomplished for achieving. And then I stumbled upon it.

13.1 New York. A half marathon on March 24th, 2012. 5 months, exactly, from today. Oddly perfect, no?

And before I could convince myself otherwise, before I could let a sliver of doubt creep into my mind, I pulled out the credit card and signed the registration form. And let me tell you-- I've never been so excited in my life.

And so it is. I've got 5 months.

Coming from someone who has never run more than 2 miles at any given time in her entire life,  I know this journey is going to be a hard one, but I also know that I've never owed myself more of a reason to try my damnedest ever before. It's been a long time since I've committed to something this big solely to prove to myself that I can & I'm ready to give it everything I've got.

Here goes nothing!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Weekend.

Happy Friday everyone! Boy did this week fly by, and thank goodness for that! Here are a few things I'm looking forward to this weekend:

Some quality time at home with my parents. A trip to my favorite place on earth-- Charlottesville. One of my all-time favorite Fall traditions (more on this come Monday)! Squeezing in another home football game & tailgate with the crew. Officially pulling out my scarves and boots for the season. Catching up with dear friends over extended brunch dates. Taking in as much of that incredible Blue Ridge Mountain beauty as I can. Getting behind the wheel again with the windows down and the radio turned way up. And of course, a little R&R.

It's shaping up to be just the weekend I need and I can't wait. I hope you've got lots of fun plans that you're looking forward to as well; wishing you and yours a wonderful, wonderful weekend!

Photo, here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Old Dominion.

I don't know about you, but it's been a highly productive week in my neck of the woods. Checked lots of to-do's off my list, had some fun being in St. Louis to cheer on the Cards for the start of the World Series, and even squeezed in a visit with some good friends in the area (always a big perk for me)!

But with the weekend just around the corner, I'm back to the airport in the morning to head back East. And as painful as that 5:55am flight is going to be (yyouch), it'll all be worth my while since this time around I'm really heading home-- all the way back to Virginia.

Photo, here.
Could not be more excited to soak up the comfort of falling back into life down South for a bit. Plus-- there is absolutely no place on earth more beautiful than Virginia during this time of year. Cool breezes, warm sunshine & a myriad of Fall colors every which way you look.

Mmm. Home Sweet Home.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Olive Manna.

I was first introduced to Olive Manna a few weeks ago through a blog that I frequent and oh my goodness I'm now completely obsessed. From wire baskets to vintage boxes & spools of twine to beautiful linen towels-- Olive Manna has it all (and so much more).

I've always loved the look of really simplistic wrapping-- brown paper or newspaper wrapping tied with a single, simple string or finished with a stamp-- and these photos are only fueling my desire to whip out my credit card and stock up for the holidays.

Check out more Olive Manna, here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vintage Wares.

Stumbled into an incredible vintage furniture shop today & was finally able to really get behind the lens again. It was one of those days where everywhere I turned, I seemed to find something new and interesting. Inspiration is so refreshing!

Really loved having a day to get out and aimlessly wander around the city again-- I've missed feeling the pulse & buzz of the streets. Fingers crossed for more excursions like this in the coming weeks!

Happy Sunday, all!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Weekend.

Photo, here.
Hello from Washington, friends! I'm in town through Friday night to lead a really exciting service project for work which, after being elbows-deep in planning & details for the past few months, has made me incredibly eager to finally jump right in and get my hands dirty.

Even better? Not only has this quick trip to DC given me the perfect excuse to get a visit in with my wonderful sis (and bunk on her floor for the night!), but one of my dear, dear friends has also graciously volunteered to come on out tomorrow afternoon and lend a hand with the project! Love that I'll get to see some familiar faces while I'm in town.

I'll be en route to Jacksonville, FL tomorrow night for another project on Saturday and then it's back to the Big Apple Sunday morning. Whew- fingers crossed for me that these next few days go well!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful, wonderful start to your weekend!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Grabbed some pizza tonight from a local joint that just opened up a few blocks from my apartment. Oh my goodness was it good. Cooked in a traditional wood burning oven & with some of the freshest ingredients I've tasted in a while-- this pizza was unreal.

Do I even need to mention that the restaurant itself is just as wonderful? Red brick walls, cozy tea lights, and an outdoor garden patio with picnic benches and lights hung all around. Talk about my kind of place. So excited to add this to my list of regular favorites to hit up when friends are in town! (Word on the street is that they're going to start delivery soon as well-- oh, well just twist my arm.)

Check out their website and menu: here.


Fall arrived in New York today. The breeze was chilly & the air was crisp. I swear you could almost smell the turning of the season. Mmmm, I love this time of year-- Warm cider, Fall foliage, oversized sweaters, pumpkin spice & cinnamon sticks. Everything just starts to feel a little cozier.

As I was walking home today, drawing my sweater a little nearer to keep the breeze out, I thought of this beautiful quote and chuckled--

here is the truth about october:

the earth takes a breath and slows down just enough
for the chilled air to slip between the folds of your sweater
and you hurry on
as the trees tremble
sacrificing their leaves to the dirt one by one by one.

So true, right? What a wonderful month. Here's to you, October.

Photo, here.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Minimal Movie Posters.

Totally digging the aesthetic of these revamped movie posters-- so creative, right? Head on over to Minimal Movie Posters to check out some of the other awesome designs, too!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Weekend.

So this weekend will be my first at home in New York in over a month-- and I could NOT be more excited. Really looking forward to lounging around in my PJ's, trying my hand at some new recipes in the kitchen, and finally getting to catch up on some much needed cleaning/chores. I can't even tell you how high the to-do pile on my kitchen table has grown. Oh goodness do I need this weekend.

Here's to some much needed R&R, enjoying what's looking to be some beautiful weather in New York, and spending some time catching up with good friends.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful, wonderful weekend!

P.S. How great is the above magazine cover from Knack Weekend? Check out some of their other beautiful cover designs here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Today was a great day—and by great, I mean really, really great. And after a solid few weeks of feeling far more stressed and at times defeated than I’d care to admit, I cannot even begin to tell you all how much I desperately needed a day like today to come.  

And even though I know that tomorrow will probably be stressful & despite what I know undoubtedly awaits me on the flip side of this wonderful weekend ahead, I also know that this awesome feeling from today is going to get me through until my next great day comes. And even better? I'm so excited for whatever it is that tomorrow has in store.

You see, today was one of those days that reminded me exactly why it is that I love what I do. 

Today was one of those days where despite all of the stress & the travel & the last minute scrambles, despite the pressure & the midnight to-do lists & the feelings of anxiety and panic that my job has come to encompass at times—despite all of that—today reminded me that there is a greater purpose and meaning to my work that makes it all worth it. And that, my friends, is the greatest feeling in the world. 

Here’s to more days like today. 

Absolutely in love with this print.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cable knit.

Well, I had every intention of finding some time today to share all of the wonderful things that I got into this weekend, but the day just seemed to be completely swallowed up whole. I'm not quite sure how the skies have gone all dark and the moon is already hanging heavy in the sky. Oh Mondays-- you always seem to do this to me.

More on my wonderful weekend at a later point this week, but I couldn't pass on sharing these incredibly cozy looking sweaters with you all. My weekend in DC proved to be an unbelievably (and unexpectedly) frigid one and boy do I wish I would have had one of these gorgeous cable knits to snuggle into. Just looking at these is getting me so incredibly excited for the cold weather to come and stay for good.

All images via pinterest.

More to come soon, friends. Sweet dreams for now.