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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Back to Roots Rings.

Oh Etsy. It's amazing how many little gems you've managed to gather into your never-ending treasure box. My latest obsession? These beautiful stacking rings from the Parisian shop Lunaticart--

Simple & understated, but absolutely beautiful. Oh how I would love to add a navy, grey, and white stack into my jewelry rotation every once in a while. Yupp-- I'm in love.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quiet Night In.

It's been another rainy day filled with dark skies and wet city streets here in Brooklyn.

All day, the weather has been tempting me to just run home, throw on a big sweater & snuggle into the corner nook of my couch with a mug of hot tea and a long book while the day goes by. So glad the time has come for me to go do exactly that.

Farewell productivity-- 'till tomorrow.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Chickens roaming free to peck about in the grass and undergrowth, cattle lowing in the pastures beyond the creek, fresh horse tracks in the dirt along the path & a playful sheep dog bounding around through the mud puddles-- Tuckahoe Plantation is chock full of all the familiar sounds and smells of a working farm.

While known for being the boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson from 1745-1752, this beautiful plantation is still kept in full working order by the family that currently owns and maintains its grounds. And aside from being kept open year-round for the public's enjoyment, this beautiful plantation also happens to be only a mile down the road from my parent's house-- which also means it was the perfect place for me to spend some time yesterday with my camera.

There's truly nothing like getting outdoors on a warm, beautiful day and seeing the world through a lens for a bit. Love. 


Friday, November 25, 2011

Homeward Bound.

Could not be more excited to be on the road today-- bound for Virginia. And just in time too! Can't tell you how ready I am to fall back into life down South for a bit to enjoy the familiarity of life at home with my family. Even if it's just for the weekend, there's just nothing like the comfort of home.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful rest of this Holiday weekend. 'Till Monday, all.

P.S. Totally loving this 1canoe2 print over on Etsy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Give Thanks.

Just a few of the many things that I am so very grateful for today--

The undying love & support of my parents
That very special bond between my sister and I that seems to grow stronger each and every day
The loyalty & acceptance of my incredible friends
This wonderful city that I am now so fortunate to call home
Having a job that has allowed me to not only love what I do, but to also do what I love
Moments that both humble & ground me in realizing just how truly fortunate I am
Being an American & being able to live in this land of the free and the home of the brave
A wealth of health & an abundance of happiness.

Wishing you and yours a very, very Happy Thanksgiving, surrounded by love and filled with laughter.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Believe I Can Fly.

On an incredible exploration into a world that few will ever know or see, the Skyliners are a fearless group of Frenchmen on a mission to obtain their dream of complete freedom-- flight. The following trailer is a truly unbelievable preview for a full-length documentary that chronicles this story & offers a brief glimpse into a world of stunts and spectacles that are as equally awe-inspiring as they are jaw-dropping.

After leaving me utterly speechless, time and time again, this video was an absolute must share--enjoy!

I Believe I can Fly ( flight of the frenchies). Trailer from sebastien montaz-rosset on Vimeo.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend Wrap.

Happy Monday, everyone! It was a beautiful weekend here in Brooklyn and I loved being able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine with some good friends who were in town. Here's a little sampling of snapshots from what I was able to get into:

(And yes, in case you were wondering, those pumpkin cinnamon rolls were in fact downright finger-lickin' delicious.)

Here's to a short & sweet week ahead!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Weekend

Happy Friday, everyone! Hooray for the weekend!

I hope you've got some fun things on your to-do list for the next few days-- aren't weekends just the best? Here are just a few of the things that I'm looking forward to...

- Breaking out some champagne and having a glass (or two...) with good friends, just because.
- Heading over to Williamsburg on Saturday morning to make the most of the last Smorgasburg of the season. You really can't go wrong with approximately 100 food vendors whipping up delicious bites and tasty treats for you to indulge in while sitting on picnic tables covered in red-checkered tablecloths, can you? I think not.
- Taking advantage of a forecast absent of rain & grabbing my camera to wander the streets for an afternoon.
- Whipping up a batch of my mother's infamous Brunch Punch & enjoying some college football alongside some fellow 'Hoos.
- Lacing up my sneakers and finally heading outdoors to enjoy a good, long run through Prospect Park. (After 3 weeks, I'm definitely due for a break from the monotony of the treadmil, oi)

Wishing you and yours a wonderful, wonderful weekend.  :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Whites & Creams.

Feeling inspired by the simple nature of this beautifully classic palette today. What do you think?


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

If there was ever an indicator for how overdue I am to throw on my apron and get my hands dirty in the kitchen, it's the ever-growing pile of "Must-Try" recipes that has literally taken over my kitchen table as of late. I'm telling you, the itch to grab the nearest wooden spoon and a bag of flour is starting to get unbearable. I think it's time.

In an attempt to try and restore some order to my poor tabletop last night, I took on the task of sorting through my recipe piles and simultaneously came across this little gem: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. Uhmm-- hello deliciousness.

What a perfect recipe to dive into to get me back on track :)

The recipe below (from the wonderfully talented Katie Goodman over at Good Life Eats) has gotten some rave reviews and I think I'm going to have to give it a try this weekend. Plus, with friends coming into town, I'll have the perfect group to share these tasty treats with-- hooray!

Happy baking!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing
(Makes approx. 15-16 rolls)

1/4 cup warm water (not hot, about 110 degrees)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm milk
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup pumpkin puree, either fresh or canned
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 cups (approx.) All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/3 tsp. ground cardamom
1 stick butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. each of allspice and ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
Cream Cheese Frosting-
4 oz. cream cheese
1 stick (4 oz.) butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. lemon juice
2-3 cups powdered sugar

Stir yeast into water to soften in a large bowl. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before stirring to combine. Stir in the milk, eggs, pumpkin, butter, 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. 

Slowly add the rest of the flour (all purpose), a bit at a time, until the dough is stiff enough to knead. Begin with 1 1/2 cups of flour and increase if necessary. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough. 

Place the dough into a greased bowl. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. Approx. 1 hour.

Combine the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in another bowl, set aside. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat or roll it into a 16"x12" rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough and then sprinkle with the sugar mixture. 

Roll the dough into a log the long way; it'll stretch to about 20 inches. Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into 15 slices. (Rinse the blade in hot water and wipe off between slices to help reduce drag!) Place slices in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled. About 45 min. 

Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven. Bake the rolls till they're brown around the edges and beginning to turn golden brown across the center. Approx. 20-30 min. 

While the rolls bake, prepare the cream cheese frosting. Add the cream cheese, vanilla, butter, and lemon juice to a small food processor. Blend until smooth and combined. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, blending in between, until well mixed and desired consistency is reached. (Approx. 2 cups of powdered sugar).

Frost warm rolls and serve immediately!

(For prep  the night before-- Prepare the rolls up to they are placed in the pan. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove from fridge & note that rising time may be slightly longer do to the dough being cooler than room temperature.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rescued (Cool) Junk.

Etsy friends! If you haven't yet discovered Rescued Junk by Old Crow Farm, there was never a better time to hop on over and take a peek. All of the pieces are one of a kind, vintage items and the shop's items are always changing based on new discoveries that owners Jordanna and Kasey make. What a great way to bring some weathered character into your home or office space & give these unique pieces a second life!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011


Happy Friday, friends. And a very Happy Veterans Day to you all.

Today especially, I am eternally grateful for the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served, and continue to serve, on behalf of this great nation that we call home. I am thankful for their dedication. I am inspired by their bravery. And I am hopeful that one day I, too, may learn to live a life of such selfless sacrifice.

To all of this nation's servicemen and women, past and present-- thank you, sincerely. Words cannot do justice to the appreciation that you deserve.

We call this a holiday. But for many veterans, it's another day of memories that drive them to live their lives each day as best as they possibly can. For our troops, it is another day in harm's way. For their families, it is another day to feel the absence of a loved one, and the concern for their safety. For our wounded warriors, it is another day of slow and arduous recovery. And in this national cemetery, it is another day when grief remains fresh. So while it is important and proper that we mark this day, it is far more important we spend all our days determined to keep the promises that we've made to all who answer this country's call.

Carved into the marble behind me are the words of our first Commander-in-Chief: "When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen." Just as the contributions that our servicemen and women make to this nation don't end when they take off their uniform, neither do our obligations to them. And when we fulfill those obligations, we aren't just keeping faith with our veterans; we are keeping faith with the ideals of service and sacrifice upon which this republic was founded. 

-- President Barack Obama, 2009

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New York, New York.

You come to New York to find the ambiance that will evoke your heart. You do not necessarily know precisely what that might be, but you come to New York to discover it.
 -- Dr. James Hillman

A Year in New York from Andrew Clancy on Vimeo.

Every day that I venture out my front door, I find myself coming home more and more awestruck by this city. There's a magic to New York-- an extra special something-- that I think has come to be embedded within the culture of this place. And if you learn to open your eyes, to really see the world around you here, there's always something to be discovered. Always something to be learned.

It's only been 4 months since I've come to call this city home, but in that short time, I already know that I've grown. I've come to see things differently. I've come to understand the people and the world around me more clearly.

This city inspires me.

I want to get out and explore. I want to know the nooks & crannies. I want to see what's hiding behind every door. There are so many stories to be heard, so many moments to be witnessed, so many opportunities to be grasped.

Here's to you, New York. There's no place like home.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Was up and out the door much earlier than usual this morning and as I emerged from the subway, I managed to catch a glimpse of a great golden sun beginning to rise over the New York City skyline. As the beams of light streamed through the fog that hung low over the city streets, I couldn't help but be taken aback by the beauty of it all. There's truly nothing like standing witness to the dawn of a new day-- watching as the world basks in a warm glow of renewal and rebirth.

As I made my way through the park, my mind of course wandered back to Charlottesville and to one of my all-time favorite spots to watch the sunrise-- Humpback Rocks. Nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains, Humpback Rocks is a well-known outcrop amongst locals that provides an unparalleled, 360-degree panorama view of the Shenandoah Valley. And my goodness, it's truly breathtaking.

And if you can bear to face an early alarm --and a steep, vertical climb at twilight-- conquering the mountain in time for the sunrise is a real treat:

Fingers crossed that I'll be able to take one last trip down to squeeze in another hike before the weather turns too, too cold!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Busy. Busy.

Well it's only Tuesday, but I can already tell that this week is just about going to take it out of me. With Veterans Day right around the corner, it's the busiest time of the year for us at work and there's just so much to do! Looking forward to an incredibly powerful and fulfilling couple of days ahead, but definitely ready for Friday to come along so I can throw my hands on my hips and take a deep breath.

Until then, I'll keep the teapot hot, the music on steady repeat, and we'll take it one minute at a time. Whew!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Civil Wars

Happy Monday, all! Sorry for the late night post, but it's been a bit of a hectic day and I've only now found some time to get around to saying hello. How was your weekend?

Not sure what you've got on shuffle these days, but wanted to share a video from one of the bands that I've regularly had on play these past few weeks: The Civil Wars. I bought their first album, Barton Hollow, when it first came out in February and have just been in love ever since. Soft strums from the guitar, smooth and gentle melodies on the piano & a pair of absolutely incredible vocals--The Civil Wars are modest, minimalist & just downright beautiful.

Enjoy :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Breakfast on the Go.


Umm. Yumm?

Coming from someone who loves her breakfast foods, but doesn't always have the time or energy to fix a wholesome meal in the morning, this is an idea that I'm absolutely going to have to steal and start using.  Easy to prep the night before and then throw together in the morning on your way out the door, this is a great way to pack in a delicious & healthy meal regardless of how pressed for time you are.

(Do I even need to mention how much I love the fact that there's a mason jar involved as well?)

For all of my chefs out there, here's a great granola recipe in case you're feeling adventurous! Happy breakfast-ing  :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Decor Dreaming.

I came across the work of the incredibly talented and creative Erin Ashley a few days ago on Etsy and immediately fell head over heels in love. From the bold, bright colors to the creative use of mixed mediums & layered textures, I just cannot get enough.


Next step? Saving up so I can get one of these gorgeous pieces to fill one of the bare walls in the hallway of my apartment--ASAP. But really. I think one of these paintings may be the very inspiration I've been looking for to start the art collection I've always dreamed of having.

Check out Erin Ashley's Etsy site & her online gallery for more of her beautiful work.