*I don't have anything in particular to say today. Here's what been spinning around in my head at one point or another.

My fabric stash is seriously pushing the limit. Time to make some quilts. I need to just dive in and not worry about who the recipient will be (even if it's yet another one for us to keep!).

Sometimes you need dessert after lunch. Especially if it's in the form of s'mores (thank you, microwave).

What else can we do to organize/de-clutter the apartment?

My sister started back at college (her senior year). I miss school!

Is this the year my sweetie will finally get a hand-knit sweater? Time for pattern searching.

How long should we stay in NYC? Where else would I be happy?

We need some new recipes. I have lots of cookbooks/magazines and really need to spend an afternoon picking out new ideas to put into our regular rotation. Getting tired of eating the same things, even though they're easy and predictable.

What have you been thinking about today?



Today I'm much more upbeat. Sorry about the cranky puss taking over yesterday - we all have those days, especially after vacation! ;-)

Today is drizzly and chilly but I'm OK with that. I think yesterday's meditation/journaling and today's cleaning/reorganizing/recharging has really helped turn my mood around. Not to mention, I've got an interview for a great job coming up next week - hurrah! Send good luck vibes my way.

In honor of fall, here are a few seasonal goodies that I've found poking around online. I was very productive this morning and have allowed myself some fun internet time this afternoon. Now if only I could just wish some more money into my bank account to pick up these goodies.

(Shrunken blazer and gray booties are from Shop Bop and brown booties and J. Brand cargo skinnies are from Anthropologie.)

In other crafty news, I've finished Erica's tee-shirt quilt!!! It looks adorable - I hope she likes it. I'll post some pictures after I give it to her (I think it's only fair she gets the first peek, ya know?)

May the road rise to meet you, may the wind always be at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, may the rains fall softly upon your fields. – Irish Blessing


Summer's end

Now that my vacation has come and gone, it really feels like summer is ending. I can't believe that it's almost September and while fall is usually my favorite season, this year I'm not as enthusiastic as I have been in the past. I think it mostly has to do with my lack of full-time degree-related employment. I hate that it still dictates how I feel and I'm really going to try and focus on all the other wonderful things in my life. I'm going to approach fall as a fresh start. Crisp leaves, sweaters, and cool evenings are definitely welcome, especially after this steamy summer here in NYC.

Vacation was WONDERFUL. My sweetie and I spent 10 days in Southern Maine. His family has a little cottage there that his grandfather built in the 1950s and they've gone almost every summer since he was a kid. His uncle recently bought a house across the street so we got to spend some time with more family. We overlapped our trip with my sweetie's brother and his girlfriend, then had the house to ourselves for a week. I absolutely loooooove the beach and while that was certainly the focus of our trip, we did lots of other fun stuff too. Maine weather is certainly cooler but we still had many sunny, warm days (though the water was never warm enough for me to go in - I'm spoiled by years of Caribbean vacations and 80 degree ocean temps). I'm super freckled now and am sporting a pretty silly bathing suit tan!

Each morning we'd take Louie to the beach (dogs are allowed before 10 am and after 5 pm). This was his first time going to the beach and he loved it (though like his mom, didn't want to go in the water!). This was also the first time that we took him off his leash without any sort of enclosure or fence outside. He was great and with the exception of a few times (a flying seagull, a giggling child...) he stayed near us and bounded along the beach, making lots of friends. We'd take him back to the cottage and then go back to the beach ourselves. We usually spent the afternoon at the beach, then came back to shower, read some more, and get some dinner. It was so simple and relaxing! My sweetie and I read a lot and didn't turn on the TV once (and I didn't miss it!) The cottage is adorable with a small, screened in porch, walls made from knotty pine, and cute rustic touches like old quilts (yay!) and funky vintage cookware. We slept A TON, going to bed before 10:30 many nights and waking up early. There were lobster rolls, ice cream breaks, and many other vacation food adventures. Our last night there we had steamed lobsters. Mmmm!

Besides the beach, we also spent an afternoon in Portland (about 40 minutes away) and rode a ferry around to some of the small islands near the harbor. We also played miniature golf (always a vacation fave), went kayaking in the salt marshes (so cool - we saw a turtle and tons of birds), and made s'mores on the grill.

While I love living here in busy NYC, it was so nice to get away to a simpler, quieter retreat. I spent some time working embroidery projects and reading a lot. It truly was an escape for me and my sweetie and I'm so glad that we got to spend all that time together, away from the stress of real life. I definitely feel refreshed and recharged and ready to keep up my energy for the job search. I've gotten a few leads recently so hopefully, I'll hear some positive news about my job search soon - cross your fingers for me as this could be the start of something really cool... We have lots of fun stuff coming up this fall including a few weddings, a trip back upstate to see our families, and visitors.

Now it's back to reality. We're both back to work tomorrow and have spent the day hanging around, unpacking and settling back in. Sundays are always dreary, especially rainy ones after vacation is over.

For pics of my Maine adventure, check out my Flickr photostream here.

Enjoy these last few weeks of summer! I'll be back blogging about crafty stuff soon.

Back from vacation

Hi all! I'm back after 10 days of glorious relaxation on the coast of Maine.

Will post more soon :)


A much-needed break

Tomorrow my sweetie and I will head up to beautiful Maine for 10 glorious days of vacation. I'm seriously giddy with excitement. It seems like we've been counting down to this trip for a loooong time and it's hard to believe that it's finally here. While the packing is mostly done, I thought I'd check in and tell you what I've been up to lately.

Erica's tee-shirt quilt is basically done. I finished the binding last week and now I just need to go over the whole quilt and trim threads, add stitches, etc. I also need to make a label. I'll definitely be able to give it to Erica before September 1st - can't wait to see what she thinks! For those of you interested in more process details, I usually make my own binding out of 2.5" strips sew on the bias. Julie has a great tutorial about binding that I've followed for a while now - check it out here.

In other quilty news, I scrambled to finish the backing, quilting and binding for our beach quilt. It's WAAAAYYY sloppier than I would have like (we're talking crooked fabric, some gaps in seams, etc.) but I'm just so freakin' happy to be heading to the beach that I don't care. Besides, this is by no means a glamorous vacation - lots of flip flops, jeans, beer, and laziness. A sort of sloppy quilt fits. (Pictures to come AFTER vacation - you'll get to see the quilt live in action!)

I'm getting more and more into embroidery. I was debating what type of crafty project to bring with me on vacation and embroidery won out. I was going to bring hexies but decided that I wanted something a little more engaging (though I'm still plugging away at my hexagon stash and have started to think of some actual projects!). I'm working on this awesome quote AND an abstract piece. (Again, due to the state of my apartment - eek, filled with suitcases and basically just a mess - pictures will come after we return.)

A lot of blogs that I read have been very self-reflective lately, many with a common theme: simplify. (Amanda and Brooke have written some beautiful, thoughtful posts about this). Our lives are busy, complicated and stressful and many people have become aware of the need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and take each day one at a time. This idea seems to also be paired with more of a focus on local initiatives, healthy lifestyle choices, and quality time with loved ones. Maybe these tough economic times produced something positive: a larger community reflection on what's important. I know that I've felt the need to re-examine my life and priorities and am vowing to focus on being healthy, happy, and thankful. I've blogged about this before and will continue to do so as I work on myself and my life. Thanks to all of your supportive comments, suggestions and for simply following along. :)

On a less serious note, I have an absolutely adorable 4-year-old cousin who has the vocabulary/language ability of a 6-year-old. This past weekend I got to spend some time with her and she cracked me up for hours! Her mom (my 1st cousin) invited us to hang out at their house for the afternoon for some swimming and BBQing. It was so relaxing to get out of the city (they're about an hour train ride away) and definitely entertaining! My little cousin talked NONSTOP (obviously related to me) and mused about everything from boys to favorite words to floating. One of the cutest things that she said was in response to her dad asking her if she was floating (she's learning to swim/float and wore a floaty vest but mostly hung on to the wall of the pool). She stated, "only my toes are floating." Too cute!

So, I leave you all for a while here, as I will not be bringing my computer on vacation. Here's just a few things on the vacation agenda:

~ blueberry picking
~ trip up to Freeport (L.L. Bean!)
~ hanging out in Portland
~ see "Eat, Pray, Love" on a rainy day
~ LOTS of reading
~ lobster. 'nuf said.
~ beach snuggling!
~ yoga/meditation

I'll be checking email but will mostly be outside enjoying nature and goofing off with my sweetie and Louie. We'll be back in 10 days - until then, stay cool, have fun, and enjoy these last few weeks of summer!

Find life experiences and swallow them whole. Travel. Meet many people. Go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. Try everything. Exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life. – Lawrence K. Fish


What's coming up

Tomorrow, check back for a new post including...

~ tee-shirt quilt progress
~ last-minute beach quilt finishing
~ embroidery
~ end(ish) of summer reflection
~ funny quotes from an awesome 3-almost-4-year-old
~ vacation plans


Playing catch up

Why does everything always feel more chaotic after you return from being away? And I was only gone for 4 days! After a LOVELY time escaping reality in South Carolina with my fam, I came back to the big city a week ago and have been busy since. Fortunately, I'm leaving again for my REAL vacation (10 whole days!) a week from Thursday. Is it too soon to pack? (Only half kidding...)

July some how got away from so I was a little bit behind on my quilting bee blocks. But this afternoon I finished up all of the ones due for July.

These blue and green wonky pinwheels are for Lynette in Bee-Stitched

This patriotic star is for Linda in Fresh Comfort 2

These fun pinwheels will become a classroom quilt for Brooke in Quilting newBEES

How are your projects coming along?

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. – Goethe