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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

73 Letterpress.

For weeks now, I've come across dozens of these beautiful and oftentimes quirky letterpress prints all over the place and just had to do some digging into their origin.

In the summer of 2009, Portland-based designer Ian Coyle took his love for letterpress and began what turned into the 73 letterpress project-- a daily thought printed and inked by hand on his old 1950 letterpress. One print, every day, for 73 days-- "some were random, some pertinent, [but] it was a great way to end each day". What a great idea.


Oh what I would do to get my hands on a whole bunch of these prints to hang and cover an entire wall in my living room with. Love, love, love.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Girl Walk // All Day.

Holy. Moly. Hello, Friday! Is anyone else as excited as I am for the weekend to finally be here? I'm not sure what combination of factors resulted in this past week feeling like it lasted a lifetime, but I do know how good it feels to have this wonderful weekend ahead to catch up on sleep, get outdoors to enjoy this unseasonably warm weather, and just re--lax. Two. Thumbs. Up.

In an effort to get this weekend off on a good note, I wanted to share this incredible dance project that I found through a friend of mine. Set to the soundtrack of Girl Talk's mash-up album, All Day, Girl Walk//All Day is a feature-length dance music video that follows three dancers through the streets and boroughs of New York as they use the architecture, landscape, and people around them to shape and inspire their collective, day-long mission to spread the joy of movement and dance.

The true magic in a public art project of this nature stems from the ways in which the spectators and environment react to and interact with the piece and, as you can imagine, in a city like New York, you just never know what you're going to find.

Take a peek at the trailer below and if you find yourself with some time, swing on over here where you can find all 12 chapters and watch the film in its entirety. (My suggestions? Check out Chapters 3, 4, 8, and definitely 10)

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Official Trailer: Girl Walk // All Day from Girl Walk // All Day

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Map.

Bucket List #12: Visit all 50 states. 
(New addendum: Frame the journey as I go.)

Current tally? 27.
(And counting.)

Above vintage map found here, via Sit and Read Gallery. (236 Grand Street, Brooklyn)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Birthday Wishes.


Do you remember the hot summer nights we spent running barefoot in the grass catching lightning bugs in the backyard as dusk set in and the crickets begin to stir? And the afternoons that disappeared as we binder clipped the biggest blankets we could find to wooden chairs, working to construct the perfect indoor fort? Can you still hear the echos of our electrified screams as we raced around the basement in the dark chasing one another & only taking breaks to indulge in our apple wedges and peanut butter? It feels like just yesterday, doesn't it? But as your twentieth birthday, today, is reminding me, we've come a long, long way from those favorite childhood memories of mine:

We've spent twenty years together-- as sisters by birth, but growing to become close friends by choice-- and I could not be more thankful for the love and the many life lessons that you've graciously given to me. Despite my best effort to guide you down this unpredictable road of life, I must admit that it has always been your wisdom, your strength, and your true inner compass that have served as my most reliable sounding board-- a true testament to the character that you carry and the capable woman that you are well on your way to becoming. Caroline, you are truly one of a kind.

And with that, a toast--

Here's to another year of adventure, of laughs, and of love. Here's to climbing new mountains, both literally and figuratively, so that you might never forget that feeling of truly standing on top of the world. Here's to your future ahead, still yet to be written. And here's to looking back, every once in a while, to relive those days of childhood wonder when standing before a great, big ocean with your arms spread wide while the warmth of that summer sun on your back and the cool, salty breeze on your cheek was all that mattered most. Caroline, here's to you.

Happy Birthday.

All my love,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Winter Session.

  As I was wandering through a local boutique in my neighborhood this past weekend, I stumbled across one of these incredible bags from the Chicago-based workshop, Winter Session. Thoughtfully constructed with the mission of balancing utilitarian function, aesthetic appeal, and real world durability, Winter Session has created an ever evolving line of high-quality, sustainable bags that will not only take you from season season, but from year to year as well. And my goodness, they are beautiful. 

Yes sir, I'll take the one in the top left corner; please & thank you.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Head & The Heart.

It's been one of those days, friends-- nothing but cold, dark, and damp for miles in every direction-- and unfortunately it seems my mood has managed to pick up every bit of it all. It's been a rotten start to the week, with my mind clearly elsewhere, and I can't seem to snap out of this funk that I've fallen into. But I've got a new band on shuffle in the corner and despite all odds, these melodies seem to be the only thing working to quell this miserable spirit of mine.

And so without further ado, I give to you today, The Head & The Heart--

So many decisions in life and in the music we love can come down to a critical tug between the logic in our heads and the hot red blood beating through our hearts. Seattle's The Head & The Heart live authentically in that crux, finding the joy and beauty wedged there... There is in this music a counter-cultural optimism, with roots that grow deep and melodies that lodge themselves far into that place inside you where the head meets the heart.

I just can't get enough of those strong instrumentals; those clear, balanced, and hearty vocal lines; the careful intentionality of the lyrics; and heck, the whole dang combination of it all wrapped up into one. All I can say is, these guys have got some true, raw talent and I'm excited to keep The Head & The Heart residing on my playlist for a good long while.

(Above bio and photos via The Head & The Heart's website unless otherwise linked)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012



Where-- Nestled into my favorite corner of my living room couch.
Enjoying-- A hot mug of chai and the sound of absolute silence around me.
Munching on-- Frozen chocolate chips & loving the feeling of them melting in my mouth after a sip of steaming tea.
Wearing-- My favorite pair of woolen socks, a pair of lulu leggings, and my oversized cable sweater that still smells of my trip to Ireland last year.
Thinking about-- The wisdom embedded in this post by a good friend of mine.
Feeling-- Content.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Etsy Find: Leah Duncan.

I've made a promise to myself to live my life in pursuit of my 'sugar': my hopes, my goals, and ultimately my happiness. It means living life with courage and going for everything I want so, at the end of the day, life feels sweet. -- Leah Duncan

An Austin based artist, Leah Duncan is a quick-witted, eloquent, and extremely talented visionary who has worked to create a world where "quirky meets beautiful, folk meets modern, and feminine meets delicate." A self-taught creative soul, determined to make a living doing what she loved most, Leah spent her time learning to sew, draw, surface pattern design and ultimately poured her heart into a line of work that in 3 short years was picked up by both handmade and boutique markets around the world as well as household names such as Urban Outfitters and Teroforma. One look at her incredible work, however, and there's no doubt that there is still a bright future ahead, yet to be seen.


Feeling like you can't get enough? (Don't worry, I'm totally obsessed, too) Check out Leah's website & Etsy shop where you can learn more about her background, current projects, and of course purchase her work.
(All above photos via Leah Duncan)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

180º South.

Conquerors of the useless-- that's what we were. When you have a whole life in the outdoors, you realize you have the responsibility to protect these wild places and you learn that what's important is how you got here, not what you accomplished. -- Yvon Choinard

In 2008, outdoor adventurer Jeff Johnson embarked on the adventure of a lifetime-- retracing the 1968 journey of his heroes, Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins, through 10,000 miles of wilderness and straight into the heart of Patagonia. Documenting this incredible story of friendship and self discovery, is 180º South-- a documentary that not only brings Jeff's story to the screen in a truly beautiful way, but a documentary that serves as a much needed reminder for us all about the power and importance of living simply. This is a story of persistence and personal triumph; a story of adventure and accomplishment. But most of all, this is the story of discovering a path and a purpose within an incredibly complicated world.

I feel so lucky to have been able to grow up in a family that valued the importance of spending time outdoors-- intentionally getting as far away from the crowds as possible, exploring the open wilderness together, and learning to appreciate the beauty of silence beneath a starry sky. There are few things in my life that I am genuinely, 100% proud of, but being able to say that I've seen and experienced the beauty of this country in a way that few others have is certainly one of them. I've squatted in the fields of Yellowstone and studied the jawbones of a deer killed by migrant wolf packs; I've sat on the banks of Alaska's Copper River, eating salmon fresh from the stream, and listened to the moan of the ice as Child's Glacier calved before my eyes; I've stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon, screamed my name into the unknown, and been humbled by its vastness; I've waded knee-deep through tide pools in Arcadia and felt the rush of discovering a cluster of sea urchins; I've stood in the shoes of Ansel Adams and watched the moon rise over Yosemite's iconic half-dome; and I've seen the way the red rock of Zion begins to glow a mighty orange as the sun sets and the skies grow purple around it. I know, first hand, the incredible feeling of energy and inner peace that spending time in the natural wilderness can provide & I can only hope that the innate characteristics and personalities of these unbelievable landscapes are still around for me to share with my own children when that time comes.

Today, 2 million acres in Patagonia are under permanent protection because of the impact that a big ol' chunk of land had on Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins. Just imagine what we could accomplish if more of us were willing to take a step beyond our front door.

To learn more about Jeff, Yvon, Doug and 180º South, check out the main site, here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Look Towards 2012.

I've really never been one for resolutions. I'm horrible at them. And by horrible, I do mean truly horrendous. There are only so many times that you can promise yourself to stop giving in to those late night cravings for the mint chocolate chip ice cream hidden in the back of your freezer under the bags of frozen veggies before you realize how utterly fruitless the effort is, you know? But it's 2012. It's a new year. And after a particularly wonderful 2011, chock full of a whole host of unexpected accomplishments and milestones in my life, I'm feeling particularly inspired. (And no, don't you worry my dear mint chip, you're sticking around for a good long while.) So here goes.

1. Get creative-- Remember this weekend photography project that I alluded to last month? Well, this is going to be the year that I am finally intentional about keeping artistic creativity a priority in my life; keep an eye out for a post in the next week or two because my first project is already in the works! 
2. Run more, run often-- Keep up this awesome (and unexpected) momentum that I've built as I've trained for this first half-marathon of mine so that I can cross that finish line in one, uninjured piece & keep pushing towards registering for a full 26.2 by the end of the year.
3. Happy mind, happy belly-- I have desperately been craving to get lost in the kitchen again. To spend countless hours with Miles Davis on shuffle on the counter,  experimenting and messing around with a whole host of recipes, having an excuse to gather round the table with friends and a bottle of wine, filling my belly with fresh, wholesome food, and letting the sweet taste of accomplishment and satisfaction wash away the day's stress and worries. Yes, the time has indeed come to whip out the cookbooks, fill the fridge, and turn the heat way up again.
4. Stay in the loop-- As anyone going through this transitory stage of their life knows, adjusting to having your nearest and dearest friends spread to the 4 corners of the country is hard. It's really hard. And I'll be the first to admit that despite an incredibly strong desire to stay on top of everyone's daily highs and lows, I know there's quite a bit of room for improvement in my book. But these wonderful individuals are my world and they matter to me, a whole heck of a lot, so it's time I made the extra effort. Here's to shipping more homemade treats, sending emails just to say hello, taking quick weekend trips when I can, and working to make snail mail cool again-- who doesn't love finding an envelope with their name written in familiar handwriting on the front, am I right?
5. Work harder, play harder-- More than anything though, I really want to make this year count. I want to work harder than I ever have, constantly striving to push and challenge myself both personally & professionally. I want to squeeze every bit of potential out of each day while making sure that I pour the same amount of love and dedication into myself and my personal ambitions as I do my career. But most of all, I want to do justice to my potential-- never doubting myself, my abilities, or my dreams-- because at the end of the day, there's not another soul in this world who owes it to me more than I do.

So there's that. Here's to ringing in 2013 a year from now knowing that I gave 2012 everything I had. Ready? Set? Go.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Year In Review.

2011- Oh what a year you have been. 

Thank you for the laughter that was shared and the memories that I now cherish, for expanding both my mind and my horizons, for challenging me with change while simultaneously blessing me with new beginnings, and for the health and happiness with which I have now entered 2012. While the first half of this past year was spent relishing those last bittersweet moments of life in the semi-real world, the latter half was most certainly spent working to embrace this new chapter of independence and adventure-- a chapter which I know at some point will, in its own way, be just as sweet. This past year managed to both thrill and terrify me beyond measure and for that humbling experience I will for be forever grateful.

While there are an absolute immeasurable number of memories from this year that served to make 2011 truly wonderful, here is a quick glimpse & a wide range of the people, places and moments that I will always remember--


From Charlottesville to Anchorage, Brooklyn to St. Louis, San Francisco to San Jaun, and every pit stop & road block along the way, thank you for playing your pivotal role in ensuring 2011 will forever remain near and dear to my heart.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mixtape. (No. 2)

Another weekend, come and gone & on the horizon, another week ahead.

Looking forward to a combination of bottomless mugs of hot tea, giant bowls full of my homemade chicken noodle soup (yumm!), and having the following playlist on shuffle in the background to keep me on track this week: (Listen, here!)

Vienna -- Matt Costa
Skinny Love -- Birdy
Down in the Valley -- The Head and The Heart
Your Song -- Ellie Goulding
Everywhere I Go -- Lissie
Sleep All Day -- The Rural Alberta Advantage
Hometown Glory -- Adele
Oh, La -- Ra Ra Riot
Who Are We Fooling -- Brooke Fraser (feat. Aqualung)
Ocean -- John Butler

Here's to going into this week with a wealth of positive energy, being inspired with an abundance of productivity, stumbling upon some creative inspiration along the way, and trying hard to not wish the days away when they get long & hard, but instead remembering to find a little something to be thankful for as I go.

Alright, Monday. Let's do this.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ballerina Project.

For the past 10 years, photographer Dane Shitagi has been breathing life into an incredible collection of photographs that uniquely juxtapose the innate beauty of two personal sources of his inspiration-- his current hometown of New York City and a handful of its many beautiful & talented ballerinas. While the photographs themselves are worthy of praise alone, for me, it is the unexpected relationship between dancer & landscape that is created and captured within each still that makes Ballerina Project unlike any other collection of photographs that I've ever seen before. I just love the long, graceful lines against the angular architecture of the city landscape; the softness and beauty of the human form against the harshness and grit of an urban environment; and the subtle and natural existence of each dancer in a location that is unexpected in every way.

Shitagi explains-- I tried to take pictures of the ballerinas- not of their dancing. I tried to portray their souls- not their steps. As photographers, we often try to capture 'momentums' without really acknowledging the obvious... the camera can only take stills of something that is in its essence a flow.


To learn more about Ballerina Project hop on over to the project's blog or Facebook page, where you can also view the project's photos in entirety.
To inquire about purchasing limited edition prints of the collection's photos (with a portion of proceeds being given to the photographed ballerina), click here.