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Let me just start by saying: I never EVER thought twins were in my future. The thought was not even a blip on my radar. The thought wasn’t a blip on anyone’s radar – fraternal twins don’t run on either side of the family. But here I am, a genetic mutant, with b/g twins.

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And I must admit, I never wanted twins. It took me many months of an ever growing belly to warm up to the idea. And only now, 9 weeks postpartum, have I accepted and grown to love the idea. But now, it’s not just an idea, it is my reality, and one that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

It isn’t easy though (and I definitely never expected it to be!). Every day I wake up and immediately remind myself that I am only one person. With the twins, I feel so guilty when I am holding one and not the other. Or when one gets more breast milk than the other (I’ve had to supplement more and more), or when both are crying when I have to tend to the toddler. Or when I have to tend to the twins and not the toddler. Or when I put the toddler in front of the TV (Daniel Tiger is my saving grace) just to get a moment of peace. The list goes on and on. But I am not Super Mom, as much as I want or try to be, and the best I can do is know that I am doing my best. So when panic creeps in as I try to prepare and sit my toddler down for lunch as the babies are screaming for their own, I have to take a deep breath and realize that I am not destroying my child’s chance at Life by allowing them to cry a little.



Every day is a feat and at the end of it, I feel like I have conquered the world because I have kept 3 kids and myself alive, and throughout the day we all even managed to smile more than once. The house is never quiet or clean. I am rarely showered or clean. But I always manage to get dressed, put on a little makeup, eat breakfast (lunch is still up in the air), and enjoy a sometimes semi-warm cup of coffee. And on good days (like today) I even manage to get a little work done. It’s hectic and exhausting and beautiful.

I read a blog post recently that really struck a chord with me. In fact, I cried. Because this stage of life IS hard. I mean, really, really hard. And it’s not just a twin thing, it’s a motherhood thing. We all find ourselves in the trenches at some point – many points – throughout this journey. Sometimes it’s hard not to wish away this phase or that phase (I can’t wait until they have better neck control, I can’t wait until they can hold their own bottle, I can’t wait until they start sleeping though the night, I can’t wait until they become more aware of the world, I can’t wait until they are all old enough to play together, etc. etc.). But at the same time, we have to constantly remind ourselves that this is ONLY a phase – when Life becomes so overwhelming with a laundry list of to-do’s and don’t do’s and monotonous routines and constant chaos and a bombardment of questions and demands and screams and cries and screams and cries…it’s hard to remember that this too shall pass. And when it does, you will miss it. Tremendously.

It’s the stage where your kids love you more than they are ever going to love you again, for the whole rest of your life. It’s the stage where they can fit their entire selves into your lap to snuggle…and they want to. It’s the stage where their biggest problems are ear infections and teething and stomach viruses, and you’re not having to deal yet with things like broken hearts or addiction or bullying…

So yeah, right now, in this moment, Life is hard. Like, really, really hard. But it’s also so simple and so beautiful and so right.


So to all you amazing, beautiful, hard-working, and imperfect mothers out there – you have the hardest job in the world, and you’re doing great. But when you’re having a shitty day, a shitty week, or even a shitty month, just remember that this too shall pass, and as hard as it may be to think outside of the moment, one day this moment (vomit, poopy diapers, ear-piercing shrieks, and all) will be missed. So enjoy as best you can, and HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY!!



via Amy L. Cummins

While I was in Mexico, I had nothing but time. Time to sleep in, time to lounge, time to sit back with a drink in hand and think about Life. And that’s exactly what I did. I thought.

I thought about heading home after vacation and falling right back into the daily grind. Cleaning, cooking, changing diapers, chasing dogs, and struggling to maintain some sense of peace as the chaos keeps building and building.

So I made a promise to myself upon my return that I would declutter. I would let go of all that baggage that was – IS – weighing me down, physically and spiritually. I will finally tackle the guest room that has also become my home office / storage for miscellaneous items. I will clean out my closet and toss anything that doesn’t fit my body or state of mind. I will organize the pantry. I will restart my daily journaling. I will set aside time to decompress. I will revive old friendships. I will rediscover love. And I will build my confidence up by tearing preconceived misconceptions and anxieties down.

Picking Peonies  via James Fitzgerald III

via Flickr

Because Life is too short to hold on to all that negative energy – in the end, that is exactly what holds you back. The fears, the insecurities, the excuses. They eat away at your better self and breed more fear, insecurity, and excuses. A vicious cycle. So why not stop it?

Instead of harping on the weight of the world, find ways to relieve it. Let go of that negative energy. Perhaps that means liberating yourself from a bad relationship. Or finally dropping that last 15 lbs. Or maybe it simply means cleaning out your garage. Start small if you must. Organize your spice rack, then move on to your bookshelves, then tackle your closet. Toss or donate anything that is too tight / too big / too short / too whatever and keep only those pieces that make you feel good, damn good, and wear them frequently. Perhaps then you will find the energy and gain the confidence to hit the gym. As your body grows stronger, so will your confidence, and perhaps then, and only then, will you find the strength to leave behind a toxic relationship. Keep the end goal in mind, and take as many steps as you need to get there.

 White Free People Dress

via Frank Vinyl

It only makes sense that the less negativity we hold on to, the less negative we will feel, right? So I created what I like to call the Declutter Checklist as a kind of big picture affirmation that I am responsible for my own happiness. It’s not your typical to-do, check off as you go kind of list, but a reminder to eliminate the negativity and chaos by creating and embracing positivity.


And finally, if you need a little more positive motivation, head on over to this lovely and newly discovered blog: Amy L. Cummins. Or, if you prefer to just sit and contemplate Life, you may want to have this little treat in hand while you do so.

Happy Friday!



YOU ARE A BADASS (or so I keep telling myself)

A Battle Won (+ some link love)

This week has felt like an eternity. I’ve been attempting to sleep train my Little and my God, it is hard. Sleepless nights have melded into each other and as this deficit continues to grow, I just have to keep chugging along, trying to make it work. But the worst part is seeing him struggle. It hurts my heart to hear him cry, to see that look of desperation in his eyes. I know he’s tired, I know he doesn’t fully understand how to soothe himself back to sleep, but he is so curious and just wants mommy to pick him up so he can feel her warmth and observe the world around him.

Naptime w Watermark

For the first time, he slept last night for a long stretch of time in his very own crib, in his very own room. It was a long fought battle that we won that night, but all the while, I yearned to have my baby next to me. They grow up so quickly, don’t they? I know it’s healthy for him to discover his independence, but I’m already missing the sound of him stirring next to me. Ah, motherhood is full of so many juxtapositions!

Sleeping Babe w Watermark

Feels like such a lifetime ago!


Obviously, I’m feeling a little reminiscent and whimsical these days as that little guy you see above becomes more and more determined to do things on his own. So I thought I’d share a few links that struck a chord with me this week:

  • Mary Beth always has such a sweet way with words. No one is meant to do life alone – we should all be willing to encourage each other, help each other, and accept help from others.
  • I love Joanna’s honesty. Motherhood is hard and it seems like a lot of moms out there want to hide that aspect of it, as if feeling bad meant you were a bad mother. But feeling bad happens, that’s Life, and it’s OK. It’s how you pick yourself back up that matters.
  • Hug it out, folks!
  • If you ever needed an excuse to think positively, this is it…
  • …and here are 50 ways to help you get there.

Have a happy weekend everyone!

Maintaining My Sense of Self (and sanity)…

I must admit, motherhood is most definitely an all-consuming job and lately, I have been struggling with maintaining a sense of self in the process. I love my little bean so completely that I have found myself putting me on the back burner. Yep, there are times I forget to brush my teeth, to eat, and makeup…well, that has simply become an extravagance!

So, as mentioned in my previous post and to reinforce my sanity, one of my top goals for the New Year is to concentrate on myself outside of motherhood. Or rather, to not lose myself within this new role of motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mother. I love watching my little bean explore the world, one finger at a time. I love providing comfort and snuggles. I love his wide, curious eyes and his sideways smile. But I have to remind myself that in order for me to be the best possible role model for him, I need to take care of myself.

You musn't be afraid to sparkle.

I typically curate my inspirations via Pinterest and then quickly forget all about them, but this year, I plan to hold myself a little more accountable by sharing my style inspirations with all of you and actually taking action…

banana republic loafers | late afternoon

…like purchasing these leopard loafers from Banana Republic (that no longer seem to be available…argh!). Although, I love the whole outfit – the distressed boyfriend jeans, the striped sweater, the chunky bracelets…very casual chic!

scarf + hat + red lipsOr buying and wearing more hats because 1) I seem to have a permanent bad hair day lately, and 2) a hat can truly pull together any look (paired with red lips and a chunky scarf and you’ve got yourself a complete ensemble!).

Triangle Symétrie BraceletAnd wearing more simple, quality jewelry like this piece.

These are all tangible, purchasable things, of course, but beyond that, they inspire me to really develop and refine my personal flair. More importantly, it inspires me to be more confident and comfortable with myself.

A couple more ways I hope to pamper myself:

Silver + neonGet more manicures….

image…learn a few tricks to get me out of this bad hair funk. The key is quick and easy!

Victoria's Secret Model's Full-Body Workout..…and (gulp) workout! Even if for a few minutes at home. This workout is a great place to start. I’ve done it a few times already and I can actually feel my muscles working.

For all you moms out there, what do you do to maintain a sense of self (and sanity)? And how do you pamper yourself?

Bring It On…

imageHappy New Year! Is it really 2014 already? I’m so excited for what this year will bring. With a new accessory on my arm – my handsome little man – I am already flying high.

I have no doubt this year will be a thrilling one!

Looking back on 2013, however, I realize that I was a bit lost. I was somewhere between motherhood and wanting so badly to hold on to my autonomy. I wanted everything and nothing at the same time – I wanted to become the best mother possible, I wanted to be that perfect homemaker (there’s that word again; perfect), but I also wanted to let loose, have fun, feel young again, and somehow rediscover my life’s purpose. I suppose I was afraid of losing myself and couldn’t grasp the fact that I could have all of these things and more (aside from perfection). I wasn’t unhappy, but I think this confusion caused quite a bit of strife within my mind.

Are there others out there who have felt this way?


But this year, it is my resolution to let go of those petty annoyances, enjoy the small things, and to revel in motherhood. And instead of floating in a limbo of worries and insecurities, I hope to adjust my purpose and rediscover myself – a happier and more positive self. Because truly, what isn’t there to be happy about?!

Munchkin Face

Seriously, how does one NOT smile at that face?! Makes my heart melt.

Yes, this is the year of good thoughts and passionate living. It will be a year full of little giggles, sparkling eyes, and bubbly toes. But I also hope to concentrate on myself outside of motherhood; refine my style, rediscover my creativity, live a healthier lifestyle, and fall in love with myself again.

I mean, what’s not to love…?

A “few” more resolutions I have:

  • Stop waiting and start living – take more risks and go outside my comfort zone.
  • Don’t dwell on the past.
  • Have more fun! Put aside to-do lists and instead, concentrate on what makes me happy.
  • Laugh more. Don’t take life so seriously.
  • Be more patient, loving, and affectionate.
  • Put heart into everything I do.
  • Be the best mom that I can be. Have fun, treasure every moment with my little guy, and let him experience the world and grow at his own pace.
  • Do something creative every day.
  • Paint a picture.
  • Take a photography class.
  • Join a mom’s group.
  • Find studio space.
  • Run at least 2 races
  • Start yoga.

Tell me, how do you plan to love yourself more this year?

I am so ready 2014. Bring it on!


For a little extra motivation, you can purchase this print here.

YOU ARE A BADASS! (or so I keep telling myself…)

As you may have noticed, I’m a bit of a blog browsing fiend. I love reading about what’s trending on the West coast, discovering new perspectives, styles, and taking in all the glorious eye-candy the web has to offer. It’s addictive. It gets the blood boiling and the creative juices flowing. But it also awakens that little green monster called envy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fairly comfortable with myself – I have a sense of style that fits me and my lifestyle pretty well. It’s lived in. It’s 1 part put together, 1 part messy, with a dash of fabulous and a pinch of crazy for good measure. All in all, it works for me. But sometimes I feel like it’s just a little too cautious; a little too comfortable. Sometimes I wish I was a tad more fabulous or had that extra dose of crazy (although I’m sure there are many out there that think I have more than enough crazy on my plate!). And that’s where the green monster comes in.

via | life is for deep kisses

I touched on this subject many moons ago when I first began writing this blog…

…I actually begin to lose my point of view, and “my voice” begins to sound like someone else’s. I begin writing differently, to fit the mold of what I think other people want to hear or see, just to gain more followers. And so the competition begins…

I’ve stopped writing posts for weeks, even months at a time because I’ve felt that downward spiral of losing myself. I actually become disappointed with how I choose to live my life because heck, there are so many people out there that are doing so many bigger and better things! I’m a pretty competitive person but when I begin feeling overwhelmed by all the greatness surrounding me, I just kind of…quit. No, it’s definitely not my best quality.



So I then fall into a bit of a despair and think to myself, “I just can’t do it.” Or “I’ll never be good enough. Or simply, “who do I think I am?!” Whaa, whaa, whaa. And then at some point along this journey of despair, I suddenly decide to take the high road. With tail between my legs, I will myself to find some semblance of composure, tell that whiny voice in my head to shut the hell up, find the motivation to start over, and then move on with my day. Just like that.

I recently picked up a book called You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero and it’s actually been a huge motivation in my most recent journey back to the high road.

It’s quirky, humorous, sometimes a little self-deprecating, and most importantly, real. Basically, it’s a book that slaps you right in the face, shakes you around a little, and tells you to suck it up. Because we all need that confidence boost every now again, right?!

It’s not always an easy process; trusting your inner-voice, convincing yourself that the future holds that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow while still keeping your feet and happiness in the present (dammit, I want that pot of gold NOW!). Particularly when the present isn’t always that techni-colored rainbow.

But, not to sound too sappy or cliché, you can’t enjoy a rainbow without bouts of rain and yes, that’s a metaphor for Life.

You’ve got to appreciate the good with the bad. Remember, it’s all about perspective – you make your own reality and build your own truths. So, you can simply create a positive reality and choose to be happy. It’s that easy!


I have this quote hanging by my bedside – the first thing I see in the morning. A reminder that yes, it really is that easy! (although not always easy to remember when your dog eats your couch, or after your computer crashes and you lose a huge chunk of data, or when you’re so bloated that you have to resort to wearing leggings for a week…)

Oh, and here’s another little reminder:

Words to remember....

I’m just going to cross out “Beautiful” here and replace it with – excuse my language – “fucking awesome!”

Hope that gives you a little confidence and motivational push on this Tuesday morning. You ARE a badass!


Well hello my friends and my apologies for the brief radio silence! I decided rather spontaneously to take some time for myself this week, clear my head, and reflect on all that I am thankful for. So, with only a vague destination in mind, I went for a drive and now find myself on the beach…VA BEACH 3

Actually, I write this from my hotel room – the weather isn’t fully cooperating with my intentions! But I have a perfect view of the ocean from my balcony and there’s something so incredibly soothing about the crashing waves and the infiniteness of the ocean that I can hardly complain.

VA Beach 1

I’ll be here for a few days, giving myself the break that I think we all need from time to time. And while I will be writing, it will be sporadic at best, so I hope you will forgive the lack of routine this week! With that said, and to give me a little bit of time offline, my sweet husband decided to step in and write a piece on happiness from his perspective (written last night). Before I hand you over, however, I must warn you – it is a long read! But worth it. So without further ado, my husband….

To be honest, when my wife asked me to write a guest post for her, I was hoping it was for a DIY Thursday. A handyman post seemed somewhat more fitting for a Carpenter. The topic of happiness might seem wasted on someone my wife describes as an emotional “robot”. But alas, I think my wife loves making me uncomfortable and I simply can’t say no to that smile. Challenge accepted!

I find myself with three things going tonight. The first is the distraction of election night in America. The second is the challenge of a writing assignment. Finally, I have a cold North American Lager in arms reach, but I’ll get to that later. So it’s basically me, a laptop, Wolf Blitzer and a beer. All in all, a sound recipe for the subject at hand. Sadly though, it is missing one vital element, my wife, who’s fittingly in Virginia Beach with her feet in the cold sand, relaxing her mind and exploring happiness on her own.

So, happiness … where do I begin? Luckily for me, I wasn’t given much instruction. I was, however, mandated a word count. So in the spirit of making my wife happy I’ll distill my many random thoughts down to five simple points: 1) take advantage of the now; 2) remember your foundation; 3) find juxtaposition opportunity; 4) balance just the right amount of selfish; and finally 5) know where your heading and look up occasionally. Thankfully for me there are no right or wrong answers in happiness. So let’s begin.

Take advantage of the now. Admittedly, telling someone to enjoy the moment is rather cliché, but in my defense happiness doesn’t require an advanced degree. It’s not easy to sustain, but it’s simple to achieve. Of course, as often is in life, things tend to get in the way. We all have responsibility and probably more work, chores and to-do items than any of us really wants. We can’t escape it. Life, at times, seems to require it. Our society, culture and way of life is built on hard work, deadlines and productivity. We all need to provide for our families and ultimately our way of life. At times, I know it distracts me from what’s important and prevents me from focusing attention where I should. Sadly, we can’t avoid life. We can’t avoid responsibility. The key is deriving happiness from what we have in front of us. Try not to delay happiness for some distant time. Start small. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Seek out opportunities to laugh. Find moments in your day to cherish. As you walk from the car to the office in the morning, remember it might be the only time you see the sun all day so make sure you notice and appreciate it for a moment. Think about how you can enjoy the challenges in front of you. Don’t find yourself muttering to yourself, “I can’t wait until this (day/month/year) is over” because you’re missing opportunities to find happiness in the things you can’t avoid. Make a benign moment of your day less ordinary. Every day the best part of my day is driving up and seeing my wife’s car parked out front as I approach and knowing she’s on the other side of the front door. This was particularly stark because today that car wasn’t there. Tragic, I know. Ultimately, it all boils down to approach. It’s amazing how much a slight change in point of view can make such a significant impact. To this day I haven’t fully gotten used to the idea of a paid holiday. What a concept! But the beauty of this illusion I’ve built is that no matter how my wife and I choose to spend it, “we’re getting paid to do it!”. Never fails to deliver a smile.

Remember your foundation. Sometimes we, as a society, have a tendency to devalue something once we have it. Or perhaps to take it for granted. Obviously, we aren’t all there, but for those fortunate enough to have the means to provide, a roof over their heads, sufficient food on the table and family/friends nearby have a rock solid foundation for happiness. These aren’t the only elements of happiness, of course, but from time to time it’s always good to reflect back on these elements. Remind yourself of what’s important. Don’t lose sight of them amid the noise of life. It’s somewhat tragic that the biggest deterrents to happiness are sometimes the things that matter the least. Often it’s not until catastrophe strikes that we realize it. I sometimes need to remind myself that no matter what I’m doing, as long as I’m doing it with my wife, it’s instantly better. That goes for painting the side of the house, cleaning the kitchen or traveling across the world. I can mix the variables but I only need the one constant. With that said, life is short. Life is hard. As much as my wife sometimes wants it to be, life cannot be 100% happiness. Some things are unavoidable and some things are frankly not enjoyable no matter how much you spin it in your mind. And in these times, just remember to keep it in perspective and know that these moments have a purpose as well. This leads directly to my next point.

Find juxtaposition opportunity. At times there are few things greater than doing nothing at all. But usually it is best after a long period of hard work, stress or exertion. If we spent all our days doing nothing, we would be bored and probably unhappy. A juxtaposition, in this context, are those moments of contrast in our lives. These carefully placed juxtapositions are perfect triggers for happiness. I know after a long, painful month at work there is nothing greater than traveling to somewhere with better weather, nicer scenery and sitting out with a beer, a crossword puzzle and momentarily not a care. In fact, this applies to most times where I just take a moment, breathe deeply and appreciate the world around me. It’s amazing how little it takes for me to just look up and marvel. A cold beer sometimes helps too. Our lives are filled with comparisons. It’s likely an evolutionary adaptation to quickly form (mostly) accurate conclusions based on prior experience. It makes sense because that’s how we’re wired. However, we also have a tendency to form habits, some good and some bad. But we often find a comfort zone and nestle into a routine. These routines quickly become boring, predictable and on a long enough timeline suck the life out of us. Some take a different route home today. Drive down a neighborhood block you haven’t before. Make your own now moments and enjoy them. Happiness is not complicated. It can, however, take on many forms and to be frank has varying degrees. It’s important to remember to appreciate it as it comes, regardless of the manner. Extreme elation loses its meaning if it happens every five minutes. I can tell you one of the happiest moments of my life was the day I got married. I’m sure there will be other similar events down the road, such as a child birth but all days can’t be like that. For most of life you just need to take the good with the bad. Appreciate the good and never lose sight of the fact that the bad is good because it makes the good better.

Balance just the right amount of selfish. I suspect I might get some flak for this one. Remember though, in an emergency, when the oxygen masks deploy … secure your own mask before assisting others. This is not meant to be selfish, but rather, if you are only giving and never taking time for yourself you run the risk of losing sight of your own happiness. Luckily for us humans, happiness tends to be contagious. Chances are if you can find a way to improve your own state-of-mind it will pay dividends to those around you. The bottom line is don’t lose focus of your own sanity.

Look up and find direction. We’ve already established we’re busy. We are continually distracted by our instantaneous, digital world. Instant Tweets are in and email is too slow because typing more than 128 characters and thinking about something for more than 12 and a half seconds is inconvenient. We don’t have time to wait for the microwave, much less worry about our next moment. Too often we get caught up in the things directly in front of our nose. That immediate thing somehow becomes elevated in our minds. It needs immediate attention; often at the detriment of something else, more important. In a sense one might wonder if this goes against the thought in the first bullet. Still strive to enjoy each step along the way, but still know where you’re headed. Make sure you’re on a rewarding and fulfilling path. Don’t wander aimlessly from text message to text message, deadline to deadline or bill to bill. The moments of happiness are great, but ultimately lasting happiness is tied to long-term fulfillment. Be that in a marriage, a job or a lifetime journey. Know where you’re headed. Have a purpose, a destination. Don’t be consumed by it, still enjoy those moments. Depending on your goals, sometimes it’s important to break them up into milestones. Challenging goals can be the most rewarding, but even if you fall short, make sure there are achievements along the way. Remember to enjoy the journey and enjoy each step along the way. We’re all headed to the same destination, so make sure the trip is filled with happiness.

So, the polls are closing and my quota has long been eclipsed. As you’ve probably guessed already, I may not be the best at following instructions. But hey, surprisingly, I’m having fun with the journey. The best part of happiness is that it’s individual. My wife has read hundreds of self-help books on happiness or related topics. She’s probably cringing a little right now as she reads my unreferenced stream of consciousness and possibly shaking her head slightly at my drivel. But the source doesn’t matter and that’s sort of the beauty of it. We’re all similar creatures on some level, and the basics are fundamental. I don’t have to tell you about happiness because when it happens you can feel it. And chances are you already have. Simply rinse and repeat. But don’t stop exploring the world around you, reaching outside your comfort zone and seeking new juxtapositions. Where risks are high, rewards are high. Simply stated, happiness is derived from your perception of the world, so choose your temporary state of mind wisely. It’s a fleeting moment we try to recapture as often as possible. The less than 2,000 words of this blog aren’t going to change your life. But if you’re at all like me, and I think you are, then sometimes you need to be reminded of a few simply things. We all know the drill and we’ve probably spouted similar words of wisdom to others. Every once in a while, stop and remember to take your own advice. So, to you and to my lovely wife: look forward, follow your dreams, remember what’s important, enjoy the moment and occasionally pass out a reminder to the rest of us. Some of us need it. I know I do.

SHARING THE LOVE….(and leading a fulfilling life).

Day 4 of head cold and while I am able to function, it comes with a lot of wheezing, sniffling, and a voice that sounds a bit like Kermit the Frog. I have no idea how I’m supposed to run a meager 5K tomorrow, but heck, it’s for a good cause so I’m going to get my wheezing and sniffling butt off of the couch and run dammit…or at least go for a light jog…or perhaps a brisk walk…?

So…onto sharing the love, and truly, I have so much to share!

1. Well, here I am complaining about running a 5K tomorrow, and Lesley Carter over at Bucket List Publications has not only done her share of running, she has gone paragliding, bungee jumping, base jumping, zip lining, dog sledding, and everything in between. She lives her life with one philosophy in mind:

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”         -Eleanor Roosevelt

Skydiving AdventuresExtreme Adventures

Thank you Lesley, for motivating us all to lead a more fulfilling life! I now feel inspired to create my own Bucket List for 2013 (to be shared in an upcoming post).

2. If you’re now fired up and inspired to lead a more fulfilling life, Lara over at Lara Casey can give you that extra push – her post Get Fired Up: How to Make Things Happen is the perfect place to start! And if you’re feeling anything like me lately, this quick and inspiring post is also a must read.

3. Ok, while I’m now a year over 30….this list is still something to live by!

4. For all you bloggers out there, this one is for you!

5. And if you find your life to be a flurry of meetings, conference calls, and obligatory emails, perhaps you should take a moment out of your oh-so-busy schedule to read this – it’s a breathe of fresh air. (Honey, this one is for you!)

Choose Happiness -- FREE worldwide shipping

If you need a constant and physical reminder to choose happiness, you can purchase this and other inspirational prints here.

Amen. I hope everyone has a fun and fulfilling weekend!


To draw upon my previous post a bit, I must admit, I love most of my “things.” I like having them, I like displaying them, and I like how they make me feel. Yes, I confess, they make me feel happy! Sometimes my mom jokingly calls me Maureen O’Hara from The Quiet Man; “but I need my things about me!” And admittedly, it’s so true.


Perhaps my upbringing forged in me a deep want to belong, to settle, and to fill my surroundings with familiar things when year after year I was uprooted, on the move to a new city, a new state, or even a new country. In this constant state of upheaval, my possessions became my home.

Don’t get me wrong – I loved my childhood. For the first 16 years of my life, I travelled more than many do in an entire lifetime. And I’m blessed to have had that experience. It instilled in me a sense of culture and love for travel…but perhaps created a bit of a paradox in the process: I’ve become a bit of a restless nester.

But I digress! Now, that I am grown and have a home of my own, my things still hold a special place in my heart. I am not materialistic by any means, but in some way, shape, or form, most of my pieces impart memories and have an inanimate life of their own. I can honestly tell you where I was and how I felt when procuring nearly every item in my home. And I love it.

Do I have too many “things?” I don’t think so….other than my current horde of vintage and refinished pieces that I hope to sell very soon! No, I definitely don’t have too many things, I have precisely the right amount and will deliberately make room for more when I find something that speaks to me.

But there is such a thing as too much, and sometimes it’s a very fine line. Per Gretchen Rubin in Happier at Home, “some research suggests that spending money on an experience brings more happiness than buying a possession, but the line between possessions and experience isn’t always simple to draw.”

Some of my things are very much derived through experience, and vice versa. In fact, some of my favorite pieces were found via flea markets – spending time with family and friends, meeting vendors, snagging business cards, feeling the incredible thrill of the hunt…those are experiences that I would never take back. Not to mention, I also gain experience from the items I procure. I am constantly learning, tweaking, and growing as I refinish and repaint, style and restyle.

Vintage Flea MarketFlea market fun!

Flea market Fun  More flea market fun.

MMS at LuckettsThe aftermath of Miss Mustard Seed’s Vendor space at the Luckett’s Flea Market.

Would I purchase a gorgeous chandelier or beautifully upholstered wing-back chairs over a trip to Fiji, or Paris, or even Iceland? Not a chance. But I would definitely reminisce over the lost opportunity, despite the kick-ass vacation!

In the end, my things create a comfortable home and a soothing lifestyle. Call me what you will, but I need my things about me!

They make me very happy indeed…Smile


Let me start by saying, I love my husband completely, I really do, and I couldn’t imagine my life without him in it. We have an amazing story, one that I will happily tell our children all about one day, but it’s also a story that is developing and changing and growing each and every day.

We met in the summer of 2004, he became one of my dearest friends, and we finally took that flying leap out of the Friend Zone in the fall of 2009. We married in the spring of 2011 (where Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds recently married, I must add!) and I haven’t regretted a single moment since (although I’m sure my husband often thinks otherwise!):

Ceremony 121

Ceremony 138

Formals 180

Formals 191

Happily Ever After 2Reception 193

Reception 197

My husband is my greatest love, my biggest supporter, and my best friend. But, with all this said, marriage still isn’t easy. In fact, sometimes it’s downright HARD.

When you’re faced with the daily grind, when life feels monotonous and miniscule, when little facets of your relationship become overwhelmed with bickering….sometimes it’s hard to remember why you fell in love in the first place.

You forget that his solidity and modesty are what drew you to him.

You forget that his smile lights up his face and ignites a fire inside your heart.

You forget that his hand, no matter what – in the best of times, in the worst of times – is always reaching out for yours.

You forget that he’s wicked smart.

You forget that he’s been there for you for the better part of your life, and will remain – loyal and honest and loving – there until the end.

You forget that he completes you in the best of ways.

Yes, when the going gets rough, when you feel misunderstood or unheard, when you’re filled with anger and misgivings, you simply forget that your husband isn’t perfect, but he’s amazing just as he is.

I must admit, the first year of marriage hasn’t been an easy one. There’s been some God-awful arguments, tears, a multitude of doubts and insecurities, frustrations, and, of course, the ensuing nagging. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing! We are learning how to fit together – in the best of ways and in the worst of ways. We are learning how to fight for ourselves while fighting for this marriage. We are learning how to pick our battles. We are learning that no matter how bumpy Life gets, we can’t, we won’t, let our relationship fall between the cracks.

I think that’s the hardest part of it all – accepting that this person you love so dearly isn’t going to judge or mislead you; that you needn’t keep your guard up or your pride down. That this person by your side is going to continue to stand by it, even when you’re tired and grumpy, or over-dramatic, or over-zealous, or entirely lazy, and utterly frumpy. Yep, that person is going to look you in the face and still love you.

This is something I need to remember, and remember often: there’s always going to be bad times, but there will be many, many, MANY more good times, and I need to learn to appreciate them all.

Like this…(in Croatia)

Tom & KK

And this…(in Belize)

Tom & KK Drinking

And definitely this…(in Mexico)

KK & Tom 8

As long as it’s just the two of us…


….I’ll be happy (even when I don’t act like it sometimes). I love you Tom.

In the end, that’s all that marriage is really about – pure and uninhibited love.