What Would You Do?

Welcome to my kitchen!

It's pretty much the same way it was since we moved in
with the exception of new stainless steel appliances and a new faucet.
No paint, window treatments, pretty lights, no bells or whistles...
Just a few sweet touches...  
It's been 4 years since we moved in,
this is the first of three homes that we do not have white cabinets,
and I WANT them.
The question is, should I paint them?
Would you?
Have you? And if so are you glad you did? 
No regrets? 
 Was it worth the labor and time?
I don't hate my kitchen, but I don't love it either. 
I would love to hear your thoughts.
 Thanks for stopping by!

Literate & Stylish: Moorea Seal

The premise of Literate & Stylish is simple, and the post is short but sweet- every Thursday I'll be showcasing a lovely lady and her favorite book. She'll share a few pretty photos showing off her personal style, along with her book of choice, and tell us why she loves it. 

from Moorea of Moorea Seal
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I have always been drawn to books that have a sort of coming of age vibe.  The theme of self discovery has always played a huge role in my own life and is one that I hope to keep at the forefront of my mind forever.  Because of this, and no matter what stage I am at in my life, I really relate to younger characters who are going on journeys of adventure and discovery leading to their own personal revelations and internal growth.  Rarely are the characters young girls, which I contribute to the fact that most books just seem to focus on a young mans internal growth and adventure rather than women which is a bummer, plus I'm really not into girly books at all.  Anyone know of a good coming of age book that has an independent, adventurous and curious female lead character but doesn't just fill all the stereotypes of "girl"? 

Some of my favorite books are The Alchemist and The Catcher in the Rye but at the moment I would say Shadow of the Wind is my favorite book.  It has a coming of age vibe but is written for adults.  It is set in post war Barcelona and centers around the main character, Daniel Sempere, who is just in his early teens.  What I love about this book is that it is almost a story within a story and revolves around the mystery and magic of books.  Daniel's father, a bookseller, one day takes Daniel to a mysterious hidden library of sorts called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books.  It is there that Daniel finds a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax.  Because of this book, Julian's life is suddenly becomes a dramatic and adventurous journey filled with the pursuit of unlocking the mystery of the author Julian Carax.  Through Daniel's journey of trying to understand what happened to Julian, he opens up hidden secrets of the people in his community, and, as his adventure persists, he finds his own life starting to parallel that of Julian Carax's life.  Magical!

There is adventure, murder, secrets, love, reflective and philosophical moments, just everything I adore in a book all held within the pages of Shadow of the Wind.  I may have cried at the end because I was so sad I had finished the book and I couldn't keep reading and traveling on the journey with Daniel.  But good news... when I told my boyfriend I was so bummed out that I had finished the book, he informed me that there is a second book by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.  And in his second book The Angel's Game, the character of Daniel still plays a minor part in the story.  It has a different main character than Shadow of the Wind but is set in the same city, just a few years before the setting in Shadow of the Wind.  The Angel's Game is actually a prequel to Shadow of the Wind, and Zafon said that there will be 4 books in this series which I am SO excited about.  I just discovered that the third book, The Prisoner of Heaven, was just translated into English a month ago!  You can bet I will be buying it as soon as I am done with The Angel's Game.  If you have read a few of J. D. Salinger's books and love how they revolve around one family but written from different perspectives within the Glass family, I think you will love Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game.  They are mesmerizing stories that speak of the same place and it's hidden secrets from the perspective of two enchanting characters.  Read these books!

Photos by Andria Lindquist 

see previous Literate & Stylish posts here.
I used Amazon Affiliate linking in this post. To visit Amazon without my link, click here.

Mornings with Henry

A Tuesday morning to be exact. There are so many of these mornings that I just want to remember forever. All of the little details, all the way from that first "Mama! Dada!" from his crib, to breakfast at the little white table, to getting ready to go wherever the day will take us. I know these mornings will change sooner than we know, and this is both exciting and sad. Times goes on, and this is more and more apparent as the days and months and years begin to slip even quicker through my hands. And so I try to capture these details. All of them. I try and keep them safe in my mind, in photos; I want to just stop time right here, right now.

And this particular Tuesday morning was a good one. It wasn't anything special really. Hank and I woke up to Henry's sweet voice yelling for us across the house, smiling to ourselves because we could just hear the smile on his face. The first thing he said when I opened his bedroom door was "BIG DUCKS!' which is Henry-speak for "BIG TRUCKS!" I changed him and followed his big diaper booty down the hall as he bee-lined right for his toy of the moment- his big yellow dump truck.

The first thing Henry always does is say hello to his favorite toys. 'Hi Two-Two," he says to his big R2-D2 robot. "Hi Big Ducks," to his big trucks and cars. "Hi Pee-ano," to his piano. Then he'll make his way over to his easel and draw and draw and draw. Henry loves to create anything and his current happiness comes from drawing circles and announcing as he draws each one.

While he's playing I'll get breakfast ready. Lately meals are a bit of a struggle as my formerly adventurous eater is prone to fits of "No, no, no!" at the drop of a hat in regards to food. One day he'll love pancakes, the next they disgust him. Toast, cereal, oatmeal...you just never know. But fruit, oh can this boy put down some fruit! So our breakfast always includes fruit, but never first, because then he'll never eat what's on his plate. On this Tuesday morning I made the mistake of putting a few raspberries out first but luckily it was waffle day and he was into it. And everyday is hardboiled egg day. The kid's obsessed.

So we ate breakfast and played with Madeline for a bit, then got dressed for the day and headed to the library. Tuesday is Storytime at our public library, and the wonderful Mr. Steve is there to read to all of our town's under-2 crowd. He's amazing, animated, and the children love him. It's also a great time to catch up with mama friends as the kids run around, and on this particular day almost everyone from our group of friends was there.

I could write for days about our library and how many memories of my own childhood it brings back, but I'll leave it at this: to see Henry so ecstatic about books is pretty much one of the most amazing things about parenthood so far. It's awesome, and whenever we go to the library (at least once a week) my sappy self tears up a little thinking back to being a kiddo myself and having the best time surrounded by books and stories and those magical people called librarians.

So yes, this Tuesday was a good one. Nothing too out of the ordinary, nothing too special, but in our world, those kind of days are most often the best.

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"Late have I loved You!"

"Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace."
from The Confessions of Saint Augustine
Painting of St Augustine by Botticell


Enjoying a beautiful day at the in-laws. @hank3 @roohampton 
We enjoyed the most beautiful day yesterday! August in Northern Arizona is the best.

Loving: that Fall is almost here. It feels like a huge blog cliche´ to even post about Autumn because inevitably there will be a million posts everywhere in the next few weeks about fall fashion, those "beautiful Autumn leaves," pumpkin spice lattes, etc...so I thought maybe I'd just not mention it but I just can't not. In fact I already did last week! It's my favorite. So add me to the list of other fall-obsessed bloggers, surprise, surprise. I just love everything about the season. I think my initial adoration of it started while growing up on the East Coast, surrounded by so much Fall beauty. I love Arizona, but nothing beats New England in September and October; its the most beautiful! Later when we moved to Phoenix my love for the changing seasons kind of died- it's not so exciting when all of the months kind of blend together, but later when I moved up north to Flagstaff and later Prescott I fell back in love.

Reading: I'm reading a couple books right now- I just started two this past weekend. A Theory of Small Earthquakes and Good in a Crisis: A Memoir. Both are great so far, although I think I prefer the first one a bit more. Do any of you start multiple books at once? I am always in the middle of at least two or three and rotate them out nightly. I always wonder if other people do this too. I enjoy it because one, it allows me to drag out great books a little longer, and two, I never get bored. I'll let you know my thoughts on these two when I finish them up!

Watching: Pretty Little Liars, still. I posted about it in my last Currently post and I'm still loving it. I watch an episode at night after Henry goes to sleep and it takes everything in me to make myself turn it off after one. My old pre-kid self would have stayed up until 4am watching episode after episode (binging on boxsets of shows was always a favorite past time - LOST anyone?!) but now that I have to wake up so early with Henry it's just not happening. I'm currently on Season 2, episode 10 and totally immersed in the storyline. ABC Family is so ridiculous but I'm so hooked. Although I will say I tried to watch Bunheads this weekend and it was WAY too cheesy. So maybe my love for bad TV isn't quite so bad?

Thinking about: how I feel like my brain is not as sharp as it used to be when I was working. I hesitate to even write this because I don't want any other stay-at-home Moms to think I'm calling you dumb or something, just because you don't work (this is just ME), but I've been noticing little things about myself here and there. It's weird- I've always loved school, either attending it or teaching it, and it's just really strange doing neither. I don't think it really hit me the first year of not working, but now that I'm in the second year sometimes I think about how crazy it is to not be in a classroom, constantly learning new things, adapting to new people and situations, etc. And it's not that I want to go back to teaching right now, but like I said above, lately I've been noticing random things that I just seem to have forgotten- weird grammar rules, making mistakes in my writing I normally wouldn't, noticing my brain taking a bit longer to figure something out. I hate it. I read every single day and I try to write everyday too, but I feel like I need to be doing something more to keep myself sharp. I'm not quite sure what that is yet, or what the point of me even sharing this whole big thing is, but maybe one of you can relate to a least part of it! Off to do some Sudoku...

Surprised by: a little touch of baby fever. What?! I feel like I just posted about how Hank and I were going to wait and see what happens next year but then all of a sudden we found ourselves hanging out with some babies and saying "hmmm..." So we'll see. I would love to get pregnant again, but we both are also so into the idea of adopting. I think it would be wonderful, especially because Hank is adopted, and the idea of bringing a new baby or even older child into our family is really exciting. That's a lot of pie in the sky talk because in reality we've just talked about adoption a few times, but maybe one day, I hope.

Making me sad: I've talked about this before but I DO NOT UNDERSTAND how anyone could deny any rights to someone because of their sexual preference. This isn't even a topic for discussion because if you don't agree with me than we are fundamentally different and will never, ever see eye to eye. It disgusts me and I am 110% that one day we will look back in horror that we ever treated homosexuals as "less than," in the same way we look back on other huge missteps in our country's history. I saw a quote the other day that said something about how crazy it was that certain groups fight for fetuses' rights (pro-life) but then what happens if the fetus is gay? They don't get the same rights? That's a horrible paraphrase, but it kind of struck me because it's so true. I usually try and avoid getting too political in this space because I don't even want to go there (and because that's ALL I see all over FB as the election gets closer), but this isn't even political- it's common sense.

Making me happy: not so serious things- coconut macaroons, trying out new recipes almost every day, Crossfit (did you think I could go a whole post without mentioning it? haha...), all of the pretty pins on Lauren's boards, making progress on our jungle of a backyard, starting to think about Henry's 2nd birthday party, and sweet little Madeline who is currently snuggling up next to me.

So, how about you? What are you up to today? Feel free to do your own "currently" post on your blog and link back in the comments for everyone to check out. And thanks again to my dear friend Megan for providing the original inspiration for these posts.

Click here to see previous Currently posts.

Jux & Weekend Links

I'm kind of obsessed with the internet, and predictably two of my most favorite things are blogging and Instagram. I love that I'm able to connect with so many people via my blog, all the while documenting everything in my life. I love IG for the same reasons, and the ability to capture special moments on the go is awesome. But then there are those in-between things- little thoughts, afterthoughts, musings, tiny blurbs- that don't necessarily belong in this space, and don't quite fit in on Instagram either.

So I Jux.

I discovered Jux a few months ago when they contacted me right as I was looking for an "in-between" home on the 'net- a place I could store and keep everything that wasn't quite here, and wasn't quite there. As time went on and I continued to post on my Jux I fell more in love how truly easy it was to use, and how pretty it made everything look.

Jux is photo-based, and allows you to do a variety of things with your pictures. You'll have to make one and play around with it yourself, but you can do an article (photo with words), a block quote over your photo, a slideshow, or a number of other things. It's super neat. One of the best parts is how easy Jux is to use with Instagram. In fact if you have an account and tag your IG photo with #jux, it automatically loads onto your Jux page. I love this because it's a quick and easy way to backup and display your Instagram photos on the go, and super easy for non-Instagramming friends (like your parents) to enjoy your daily photos without having the IG app...or in some relatives' case, knowing how to use it!

I know if you try Jux, you'll love it. It's such a great tool and a perfect extension to a blog for all of those in between things on your mind.

Stop by mine and let me know if you decide try it, and if so leave your Jux link below so I can check out your page too.

Here are a handful of links for your weekend too:

Henry needs this Lego Black Flag tee!

Blog love: Allie, Lesley, and Ashley.

23 women to follow on Instagram right now.
SO many cute things at Lulus right now. I can't wait to show you some of the great stuff I got this past week.

Key Lime cupcakes anyone?

10 reasons to be okay with being disliked. Tiny Buddha always provides such good food for thought.

Such a great round up of birth announcements!

What's in Kristine's bag?

I love checking out my readers' Currently posts. Here's a couple: one and two

Awesome hair tutorial - messy fishtail bun!

And another hair video all about the top knot. Zoe's the cutest.

Have you signed up for Pave Life yet? They're a sponsor of mine and such a neat company. 

Dancing makes it better!

Hello, beautiful, simple tank. Loving this skirt too. And this dress!

What Lindsay wishes she was wearing. Me too, girl.

Q&A with Jennifer Wiener.

Sara's books are on sale this week. Awesome!

Lime and coconut chicken.

Reverse culture shock.

And finally, head on over to my long time friend Amy's blog and say hello. She's great!

"Wives be subordinate to your husbands"

“Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord.”  Now, let me ask you honestly, how many wives poked their husbands as that was read?  How many husbands twisted uncomfortably in their seats? This is perhaps the most dangerous passage in all of Scripture to preach on, in fact, most preachers usually try and avoid it. But, I feel a little dangerous today, so let’s see if we can’t make some sense of it. 

How many of you saw the very funny movie, My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding, which came out a number of years ago now?  As you remember, it’s about a large ethnic family focusing on their awkward daughter who pursues her dreams, falls in love and marries.  But, there is a scene early on in the film that, I think, gives great insight into our dangerous passage from Ephesians.  After years of working in the family restaurant, the daughter decides she wants to go to college.  She musters up the courage and asks permission of her father, who immediately says “no”.  Crying on her mother’s shoulder the mother responds, “Don’t worry, I will talk to your father.”  Feeling the hopelessness of the situation the daughter responds, “He won’t change his mind.  He is stubborn. ‘The man is the head of the household.’”  The mother strokes her daughter’s hair and smiles, and says, “Yes, the man, he is the head. But the woman? She is the neck. And I can turn that head any way I want.”

That funny scene gives us a new perspective on these words from St. Paul, and that’s exactly what is needed.  The problem with this phrase from Ephesians, “Wives be subordinate to your husbands,” is that we tend to isolate that passage and not look at the rest of the reading.  Alone, this passage is troubling and seems to support a subjugation of women, but that is an understanding that is out of context.  When we look at the bigger picture, we find St. Paul not encouraging a chauvinistic household, but one that is balanced; not one where husbands lord authority over wives, but one where everyone is subordinate; everyone is the servant of the other. 

There are two keys to this reading – the first is the initial words we heard today, “Brothers and sisters, be subordinate to one another.”   We are all called to be in that position of subordination to each other, deferring to each other, serving each other.  So, if “wives be subordinate to your husbands” is true; then it is also true to say, “husbands be subordinate to your wives,” “children be subordinate to your parents,” “parents be subordinate to your children.”  This reading doesn’t want to perpetuate a power dynamic, it wants to eliminate it; leaving in its wake a community of servants. “Be subordinate to one another.”

What does this subordination or servanthood look like? Just a few lines before today’s passage, St. Paul gives us that detail.  He writes, “Put on, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.” 

This is the point that St. Paul wants to make, we are not called to be powerful in relation to each other, we are called to be powerless; we are not called to be lords over one another; we are called to serve.   This is the point of our faith – to reject the ethos of our society that wants us to subjugate those around us; to focus on what makes one person better than the other; to grabbing more for ourselves even to the detriment of others. It asks us, quite simply, to see one another; and not just some;  not as competitors, but as brothers and sisters. To be servants of all; to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; to be forgiving. 

St. Paul asks that question in our hearts today – are these the things that define who we are through the grace of our baptism?  When someone looks at us do they see compassion and kindness, gentleness and a spirit of forgiveness or do they find judgment, greed or perhaps worse, indifference?

Let us pray to cast off the old and put on the new.  Let us look at the world in a new way, through the eyes of faith, eyes that cause us to ask not what can I get, but what can I give; not who will serve me, but rather who can I serve today.  My friends, let us be servants to one another and to all out of reverence for Christ and through our simple acts of kindness and service, let us change the world.

May the Lord give you peace.

Literate & Stylish: Nova of Glitter and Doom

The premise of Literate & Stylish is simple, and the post is short but sweet- every Thursday I'll be showcasing a lovely lady and her favorite book. She'll share a few pretty photos showing off her personal style, along with her book of choice, and tell us why she loves it. 

from Nova of Glitter and Doom

Generation X by Douglas Copeland

It was so hard to choose my all-time favorite book you guys, I read so so so much. But you know which one has stuck with me ever since I picked it up off a library shelf years ago? Generation X by Douglas Copeland. It is so fantastic. People complain that it's a bit dated... and rightly so. I read a couple book reviews before writing this and the word 'zeitgeist' gets thrown around a lot...the 'zeit' they're talking about is the late '80s or early '90s. Basically the book features a bunch of disillusioned young genx-ers trying to find their place in the world. It's a tough one to explain but it really captures the feel of being a 20-something...the characters really remind me of hipsters today.

I don't actually own a physical copy of the book but can get it on my e-reader from my library's online section whenever I want to revisit it, so these photos are of me trying to simulate the way I look while reading in my favorite place: early morning at work. Nobody shows up until 11am so I have all the time in the world to fall deep into a book and really enjoy myself.

see previous Literate & Stylish posts here.

Orla + Method (and enter to win an Orla bag full of Method!)

I sit here eating dark chocolate and sea salt, which is one of my favorite combinations in the entire world, thinking about how awesome it is when two beloved things get together.  The aforementioned chocolate and sea salt, brie and apple, peanut butter and jelly...perfect pairings that just make sense. So last year when Method brought me out to San Francisco and told me all about their super secret surprise love connection with pattern maker Orla Kiely I was ecstatic. Of course they'd get together- of course!

And so now I find myself sneaking away to the bathroom to huff one of the hand soaps on the counter (yes, I have more than one up there. I like options!). I'm the creepy lady in the kitchen sniffing my hands, muttering incoherent things like "mmvanillachaaaai." I'm that gal wafting her dish soap's bubbles closer to her face just to get a smell, sticking bottles of household cleaner in my husband's face- "SMELL THIS!" and I'm making an extra stop at Target to see what's new.

Oh, Method. Oh, Orla.

Many of you may have already tried these gorgeous little bottles of goodness. I've seen photos of them all over Instagram and with good reason. Who wouldn't want their cleaners and soaps to match the style of their life? It just makes sense. And like all Method soaps, the formula is biodegradable, naturally derived and free of any dirty ingredients, like parabens, phthalates, triclosan and EDTA, and packaged in recyclable bottles made with 100% recycled plastic (PCR). Yay!

And I have good news for all of you Orla and Method lovers too. You can enter to win 5 grand prizes- an Orla Kiely handbag filled to the brim with the limited edition Method + Orla Kiely products (which are selling out like hot cakes!) on Facebook. AND, 30 runner-ups will receive various Method + Orla Kiely products.

Enter at the Method Facebook page giveaway tab now until August 31st. Good luck!

And before you head over and enter, tell me below- have you tried them out yet? Which was your favorite? Mine is definitely the Vanilla Chai. In love!

p.s. follow Method on Twitter too for fun photos and surprises!

*post sponsored by method but all opinions expressed are my own. I still haven't met a method product I haven't loved! 

Book Page Wreath Tutorial

Welcome back!
My kids are back in school, and I finally have time to make another huge wreath!
Here's my tutorial!!
If I confuse you at any point please feel free to send me a message.

First your going to need some supplies,
I hit the dollar store for a wreath and books (you will need 2)...
Your also going to need a glue gun and a stapler.
Next your gonna want to start the fun part (NOT),
rip out the pages carefully!!
I found it easier to start near the middle.
After your done pulling out the pages,
clean up the side by cutting the jagged edge off.
Since I bought a basket wreath I decided to cover it in duct tape
so I didn't have to worry about the uneven surface and hot glue dripping through the weave.
I left a small portion uncovered to thread my hemp string.
Now your going to start making your "petals",
here's a short how to video.
Please excuse my mom hands... and don't adjust your volume...
I tried talking but I hated it... and so I spared you.
Your going to need A LOT of these!
I used a 338 page book and it still wasn't enough!
Your going to start on the back of your wreath,
make sure you glue these faced down...
Here's your what your first row should look like.
Then your second row,
I made these taller then the first row by gluing on the wreath closer to the end of the paper.
Then the third row.
Here I added a petal to fill in every gap.
I also trimmed the paper that was overlapping the center of the wreath.
I started trimming the right side here:
Your all done with the back so flip it over and admire... ;)
Then look at your stock pile and cry...
Now onto the front side...
now is a great time to add a way to hang it.
I used a hemp string to hang mine.
(Its better to add this in the beginning but I completely forgot).
 Now your going to do the same thing to the front that you did to the back,
making sure to face the petals up.
I made these petals shorter than the previous.
Then trim you overlapping paper...
Keep adding rows...
Once I got to the top of the wreath,
I folded the overlapping paper around the wreath to the back and hot glued it.
This hides the ugly duct tape a makes it look a bit more tailored.
Here's what it should look like in the back.
Continue adding rows...
Here you can trim your overlapping paper after its been glued or just cut it before gluing.
Keep adding rows until your happy! 
Here's where if you see any bare spot fill them in!
And there you have it!
Your beautiful new wreath...
I made this one for my sweet sister...
I hope she likes it!
Thanks for stopping by!
What have you made a wreath out of lately?
I'm partying with the Thrifty Decor Chick,  Homestories A to Z and  DIY Showoff, stop by and check it out!