up above

SkySky

Sky

The sky inspires me every single day. No joke. Every day it is stunningly beautiful and every day — even every minute — it looks totally different from the last. The clouds, the sun, the moon, the stars, the perfect mix of colors that evolve throughout the day.. beauty like this just can not be duplicated by humans. The photos above were taken yesterday afternoon. The sky wasn’t abnormally gorgeous, but that’s precisely why I took them. I wanted to look at the sky and truly adore the masterpiece above me on a day where it just looked “normal”. Because, seriously guys. There’s nothing normal about this level of beauty.

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so lucky

Jon and Brigette

I must be the luckiest person in the world. How do I deserve to be surrounded by such amazing people? I have been overwhelmed with non-stop check-ins from everyone making sure I’m okay. I’m gonna be fine — I don’t even know why anyone cares so much! Then Gretchen comes to take care of me for an entire weekend. Now Jon’s coming. Tomorrow night. To stay with me for the rest of the week until we drive back to New York Friday night. This darn cutie took off of work for three whole days on one day’s notice to come make sure I’m okay. I’m gonna cry. Any suggestions on how I can ever repay these angels in my life?

that dress

Dress on Stairs

Black and WhiteHave you ever had a dress that made you feel incredible pretty the moment you put it on? This is that dress for me. It makes me want to dance around barefoot in a field of beautiful flowers. Well, I always want to do that, but you feel what I’m saying, right? It’s a little big on me, but that just adds to the soft way it flows with every move. It needs nothing more than a little braided belt and some pink lips and cheeks. Oh, here’s the best part: It was $20.

PS. Photoshop is an excellent painter, huh?!

a mellow weekend

Green Juice

Thursday, in the middle of the night, I woke up feeling extremely disoriented. It wasn’t the kind of disoriented that normally happens when you wake up. My brain was almost completely unable to put thoughts together. I’ve fainted many times in the past, and I was finally able to realize that this was what was about to happen. I put my head between my legs to keep the blood flowing to my head, and frantically called my sister Gretchen. I know that she’s hundreds of miles away, but I knew that if anyone could help me to feel better, she would be it. As soon as she realized I was struggling, she decided she’d come straight to Philly after work on Friday to spend the weekend with me — and that’s exactly what she did.

I have two of the most amazing sisters in existence and I can’t even describe how lucky I feel having them in my life.

Gretch and I had a mellow weekend that was really focused around making sure I was feeling better. It was so awesome. I’m realizing that all the changes that have taken place in my life within the past 3 months (new job, new city, new people, new apartment, new responsibilities) are affecting me much more than I ever would have thought. It was so good for me to talk all of these things through with my sister and to hear her perspective on it all. She always gives the best advice.

She’s also quite the healthbird and an advocate of natural remedies, so she put me on the right track and I’m already feeling so much better. We ate nothing but healthy food and found an awesome place for fresh juice that’s right in my neighborhood. Cucumber, kale, and lemon is a killer combo. I’m so excited to finally be on this eat-what-your-body-needs path and I don’t think it’s just a phase. I mean, I’m not going to give up pizza or anything crazy like that, but I’m going to try to follow the 80/20 rule: 80% pure goodness, 20% not the best (but not the worst). It’s so important to be good to your body if you want it to treat you well. Wheatgrass is not a crime, you guys.

In the midst of all this healthy eating, we had so much fun together. We were asleep before midnight both nights, and loved it. We’ve come to realize that the two of us together have such a great time doing nothing — even moreso than when we do “something”. The best times are always the “in-between” parts. The times when we’re walking to where we want to go; the times when we’re waiting for what’s about to start; and the times when we’re literally sitting on the floor, with no technology in site, and nothing more than a glass of water in our hands. I love this girl more than anything in the world, and I wish that you all have someone this amazing in your lives.

vintage finds: my kitchen

Antique Silver Serving UtensilsVintage KitchenFlowers Kitchen TableVintage Silver UtensilsVintage Glass Bowl with Yellow Lace DetailAntique Silver and Glass Salt and Pepper ShakersVintage Metal Fan

I think the most exciting part about moving into my own apartment is that, for the first time in my life, I get to have my own kitchen. No, that’s definitely it. Ever since I first got into decorating, I’ve longed for a gorgeous bright white kitchen with all different kinds of unique antique glasses, plates, and utensils, each complete with pretty details — the kind that they just don’t make anymore. Now my kitchen is nowhere near bright, but it does happen to be white, and I’m starting to get the gorgeous part down, too. I’m having so much fun collecting little kitchenware gems whenever I come across them.

My ultimate goal is to have a full eclectic mix of swirly, floral, dainty everything, where there are no more than two of each item. I’m picturing gatherings I want to host once I have a house, where every place setting has a dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, fork, knife, spoon, wine glass and water glass — and every single piece is unique. I know it’s going to take a while to build up the collection of my dreams, but right now there’s only one person eating here regularly, and she’s pretty content with that which she uses to serve herself up some food each day.

it’s not a competition if no one ever wins

Me

Never in my entire life did I ever think I’d put a picture of myself without makeup on display for any and all to see. This is what I look like right this very moment.

Here is a warning: I’m about to go on a rant. You guys know I usually keep things extremely light-hearted around here, and that’s how I like it, but I’m about to go on a rant because I just had one of the biggest realizations of my entire life. This realization was not brought about by something that I just saw, heard, or experienced. This realization was not brought about by anything other than my own mind.

Once in a while I write in a journal. I never know exactly what will come out, but I’m always surprised with what does. What came out of this particular journal entry was a true understanding of a concept that I thought I’d been understanding my entire life.

I’m not going to act like I’m the first person who’s ever realized this, because after all, this idea is something that has been drilled into my head my entire life. I always thought I understood it, but I just realized that I never did. Because I just got it. It finally clicked. Like 7 minutes ago.

I am not a competitive person. I’m not! I mean, that’s what I’ve been telling myself my entire life. I don’t like sports, never have. I don’t like anything that could be considered a competition. If we’re playing Monopoly and you win, that’s awesome! Let’s go make a craft now.

But guess what I just realized. I am a competitive person. I am so much more of a competitive person that I ever could have imagined I could be. But I’m the worst kind of competitive person.. because I don’t compete out in the open. I don’t compete out loud. I don’t get all huffy when someone beats me, because the competitions in which I take part don’t actually really exist. My competitions are all in my own head. I never even realized I was competing in them until just now. Well, until like 8 minutes ago.

Do you guys know how many times I’ve check my Instagram to see how many people have liked one of my photos? Do you guys know how many times I’ve hit “refresh” on my WordPress stats to see if I got another page view? I can’t tell you the answers to these. I do these things so often that I don’t even realize I’m doing them. I do these things so often that they’re not just a piece of my day; they are a HUGE CHUNK OF MY DAILY LIFE.

Why? Why the hell do I do this?

Oh my gosh, my Instagram photo got 48 likes, that’s a record for me! What an excellent job, Brigette. You were able to take a picture of something that was so cool to the point where it caused 48 people to tap their finger twice on their iPhone.

If I made a Facebook status that got 100 likes on it, do you know how happy I would be? Why would I be happy? Because Facebook statuses don’t generally get 100 likes, so that means that I made a status that was really good. That means my status was better than most statuses. I’m so happy that I won that competition.

Except, wait. I just realized that there’s no competition going on. I just realized that I’m the only one who cares that I won the competition. Because that competition doesn’t actually exist. I just created it in my head. I just realized that the only person who cares when I win one of these competitions is myself. And I just realized that this is all so incredibly meaningless.

I mean, I’ve always known it was meaningless, but I still find myself getting wrapped up in it. And I’m not just talking about social media. I’m talking about everything.

Look what that girl’s wearing. Sketchers Shape-ups. Is she serious?

Yeah, she is serious. Are you? Who’s to say that Sketchers Shape-ups are lame? And I will admit, I’m not a fan of them. I think I’ve even tried them on “as a joke”. I’ll also admit that I just looked up “Sketchers Shape-ups” to make sure that there was supposed to be a hyphen. There is, indeed.

So she’s wearing Sketchers. That means her style is lame. Her style is lame because I don’t wear Sketchers. That makes sense, right?

That guy takes awesome photos. I want to take photos that awesome. I kind of resent him for taking photos that are better than mine. I need to start practicing so that my photos are better than his.

Have you ever found yourself comparing a skill of yours to that of someone else’s and actually feeling relieved when you conclude that you’re better than they are at whatever that skill may be? I have.

Why? Freaking, WHY?

Because I want to win.

My realization has a couple of components to it, and they all go hand-in-hand. The realization I had is this: People are people. We are all people. We’re all living on this Earth together, breathing the same air, basking the same sun, admiring the same moon. Everyone is beautiful. Everyone is different. No one is cooler. No one is less cool. No one is better. No one is worse. An opinion is an opinion and that’s all that it is.

I realize that humans are competitive by nature. I realize that it all dates back to survival of the fittest. But I also realize that we should be past that. I think that we have developed enough as a race that we can understand that these competitions are meaningless. And if we can understand that, then why must we insist on keeping these competitions around? I almost wish that these things could actually BE competitions. Then, at least we’d have a winner. And we could all accept it and get on with our lives. But these competitions that we put on ourselves and on one another are lethal. They’re lethal because there will never be a winner. It’s not a competition if no one ever wins. So, please, guys. Let’s just stop competing.

The next time I see someone wearing Shape-ups, I’m going to admire that person. I’m not going to admire that person because he or she is wearing something that’s totally unfashionable — I mean what is fashion, anyway? I’m going to admire that person because he or she is a person. And that person deserves to be admired.

All people do.

I have no idea what the response to this post will be like, or if there will be one at all. I have no idea how my thoughts are going to come off to all of you. Whether you’ll like any of what I had to say. I’m just being me; sharing what I truly think. I urge you guys to say what you really feel. I’d love to know if people have similar thoughts to mine or ones that are the total opposite. I’m a sensitive soul, but I chose to put this out here. So whatever you will say, please say.

sick

Socks in BedMason Jar Glass and LemonToday stinks. I’m thankful for every day, but this one is just not as pretty as the rest. I was up all night feeling dumb sick, so I’m home from work trying to recover. Days like this make me miss my mom so much. She always knew exactly what to say to make me feel better. Always. She could be a million miles away, and just hearing her voice on the phone was enough to lift my mood in an instant. I don’t know how she did it, but I can only hope that I can one day do the same for my kids. Being sick is never fun, but oh how I miss those days of staying home from school, when my mom would bring me ginger ale in our Captain Planet cup (the designated “sick day” cup) and Lipton noodle soup, to which she would, of course, add extra vegetables and homemade chicken so that it was just a wee bit healthier. I’d even get to eat in the family room on those days — that was such a special treat! Man, she was the best.

Thinking about it now, I realize just how important those little family traditions are — the ones that happen by accident. I’m sure that when we first got that Captain Planet cup, there was no exact moment where my mom thought “Oh! We’ll use this when the kids are sick.” It just kind of happened. And because of that, it’s something that’s so special and unique to my family only; something that I will hold with me forever. I can’t wait to have that. I can’t wait to start traditions with my future family, whether intentional or unintentional. Don’t worry, everyone (I mean don’t worry, Jon, haha!).. I’m not trying to be a mom just yet. It’s just something fun to think about; something that I look forward to in the future.

a little trip

Jon Terrain CafeCrabcake Terrain CafeSalmon Terrain CafeBeautiful Blue Indian Door TerrainFreshly Picked TomatoDIY Kokedama Hanging Garden

This past weekend was the first one, since my moving to Philly, that I didn’t have to spend apartment searching, preparing to move, moving, or settling in. On Saturday morning Jon and I took a little drive out to Glenn Mills to go to Terrain. Ya know how obsessed I am with Anthropologie? I’m equally enamored with Terrain. Both are owned by Urban Outfitters.. as is Free People.. so if you’re into one, you’re bound to be into another. This place is gorgeous. It’s a home goods store that’s focused on the garden. Beautiful, dreamy plant life and accessories all over. It’s magical.

I decided I’d use this visit to do a blog post for Free People, so Jon and I met up with Tim, Terrain’s Horitcultural Ninja. Dude was awesome. He took us all around and showed us all there was to see. At one point he plucked three ripe cherry tomatoes off a vine as we were walking by, and handed one to each of us (including himself) without saying a word. They were delicious. After the tour we went back to one of the production areas, where they make brilliant masterpieces like terrariums and other plant arrangements. I asked Tim to show us how to make a kokedama plant — you know, those hanging moss balls with plants growing out of them. It’s a Japanese gardening technique and it’s SO easy to do. If you’d like to see the DIY, just mosey on over here: DIY Garden: Hanging Kokedama Plant.

After we said our goodbyes to Tim, we were ready to eat. That’s such a lie. We had a gigantic breakfast on our drive out there that we couldn’t really stomach another thing, but we did it anyway. Terrain’s cafe is actually delicious. Homemade bread with lavender sea salt butter.. grilled salmon with quinoa and beet sauce.. crab cakes with roasted fingerling potatoes and some kind of slaw.. baked mac and cheese with bread crumbs and bacon bits.. blackberry and elderflower spritzers.. it was the best. The setting may have even been the best part — we felt like we were in Costa Rica.

After lunch we shopped around for a while. Jon got an awesome hanging terrarium glass, so we’ll be putting together a real terrarium shortly, and I got these adorable hooks to make a tree branch towel rack. It’s all set up in my bathroom (sneak peak on Instagram), but I’ll be sharing that at a later date!

We spent the rest of the day driving all around searching for fun gems at thrift stores. We got some pretty awesome stuff, which I’ll also share at another time!

Right now I must go to bed. xox