Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Week Before Christmas.

  Though the semester is over, the hustle and bustle continues. I have been wrapping, shopping and packing to prepare to head to Georgia for Christmas. Such a sweet season of anticipating time with family and looking forward to memories we will create. I have loved decorating our little home this year and (as with every other year) I don't want the season to end. Such joy. Such gratefulness--if we choose it. I hope everyone is anticipating a day with loved ones and the hopes of a good new year.

Currently Listening: "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Note for the Bride.

Just a little card I made for a bride-to-be. I love opportunities to be creative.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Midtown Rust.

Midtown Rust
            We all look at maps to find out where we’re headed—today, they’re just digital maps on phones with high-definition technology. In a place like New York City, even the simplistic grid pattern becomes overwhelming at times. Looking at the grid on a piece of paper is a waste of time when a pulsing blue dot can lead someone straight to a coffee shop a few blocks away. Have we lost the charm of a map? Have we lost the importance of memory?
             Barbara Macfarlane painted Midtown Rust in 2014 with a map in mind. The work is temporarily housed in The Children’s Museum of the Arts in the West Village of Manhattan. The piece is one of two in this series (the other being Pink Midtown, also made in 2014). The piece is simple: a thirty-two-block chunk right out of the grid in midtown. The blocks are not detailed, just swipes of mostly grey paint with a block here and there, colored by varying shades of a deep orangey-red. The piece is striking in simplicity and precision even though the blocks do not perfectly emulate the clean-cut rectangles that section off the streets of New York. This is one of Macfarlane’s characteristic techniques: she completes the broad strokes and bold lines of each piece entirely in one sitting. Typically the art resembles an urban area or a bird’s eye view of a river that runs through a city as in Paris, France.
Most artists begin their painting with a sketch to map out the piece. Macfarlane started this project by making her own paper. This process involves taking various scraps of paper, soaking them, and beating the mixture. Then adding starch and draining the water forms a new piece of paper by laying the pulp out flat and letting it dry. The foundation of the painting was then laid for the rest of the work to develop. Next, Macfarlane strung together her haphazardly handwritten street labels to resemble the grid.
A map with few details offers little help to a wanderer, but opens up the opportunity for a journey. While sitting in front of the painting, I was transported to each of the locations noted. Maybe the section of Midtown takes on a specific meaning for me since I lived there for a time, but I could place at least a few details on most of the streets. I knew where the Herald Towers stood tall over 34th Street, so small in the shadow of the Empire State Building on the opposite corner of the block. Walk just North on Sixth Avenue and you will pass storefronts teeming with costume jewelry and kitschy “New York” souvenirs. Eventually you reach Bryant Park around 40th Street. If you’re lucky it will be close to Christmas and the Ice Skating rink will serenade you with holiday music and shops ready to sell a cup of fresh hot chocolate.

Not one of those details shows up on the handcrafted paper or in the dollops of slate grey or rust. They sit like placeholders with little importance other than the fact that the streets come from one of the most popular cities in the world. Though the map is accurate and complete, the piece offers the viewer an open space to walk around. Maybe someone could discover something on a street that they have never seen before. Someone might even try to make a map from memory. Midtown Rust invites the reader to walk down Broadway from 52nd Street to 20th Street just to see what you will find.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

    The Christmas season, as for most people, is my favorite time of year. So many wonderful memories of decorating and singing carols come flooding back to me as I trim the tree or look up cookie recipes. There are many things to enjoy in this season. One of my favorite things is picking out the perfect (chubby) Christmas tree and unwrapping all of the ornaments I had forgotten about throughout the year. I have learned to cherish time spent with friends and family during the holidays. 

   Jason had the itch to make some hot chocolate this afternoon, so off he went to start up the stove and add milk and Hershey's cocoa powder for a warm wintry treat. There are still many tasks for me to finish this semester (and the impending Christmas shopping to be done), but taking a slow afternoon to enjoy having a home and some coco was the perfect choice. I hope that with all of the hustle and bustle of the season people remember to take time to sit and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

Currently Listening: Charlie Brown Christmas Album

Friday, November 27, 2015



     Thankfulness is a wonderful posture of the heart. It is customary at most Thanksgiving gatherings that the question, "what are you thankful for?" comes up. There are typical answers: friends, family, spouses, etc. But I was struck this year by how valuable those responses truly are. Living nearly one thousand miles away from the rest of my family, it is understandable that I would miss them. I will be honest though--that emotion is not my gut response. Conceptually, yes, I wish I could be closer to join in on birthdays and monthly gatherings, but the past few weeks have been starkly different.
    I have not been in my momma's home in almost a year and a half. The holidays stir up all kinds of emotion and it feels like this year I have hit a peak. Maybe the stash of strong feelings are no longer kept at bay. Maybe I have had a few extra moments to think about missing family (though I am not sure that is the case because our schedule is typically pretty packed). Maybe I am just maturing and finding that family really is so precious and important. I get to spend six days at home over the Christmas holiday and even writing down those words puts a smile on my face yet draws me to tears.
    I am so thankful for my family. I am thankful for the fifteen of us who are incredibly different, yet bonded by blood and vows to spend the rest of our lives together. We are a typical bunch, with some difficult interactions, yet I look forward to each minute I will spend in their presence this holiday.

Currently Listening: Christmas music

Thursday, October 29, 2015


   Next semester I have the privilege of working as an Intern for SPINA NYC. I am thrilled to get the opportunity to work with an events company, creating floral arrangements and assisting the creative team in developing the business. Who would have thought that wandering around my favorite area of the city would lead me to this serendipitous moment. I am thankful for a new reason to enjoy my last semester of college.
   If you are looking for me next semester, you just might find me on MacDougal Street.

Currently Listening: "Working Titles" by Damien Jurado

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


   On Saturday, one of my classes took a trip to The Cloisters museum. Typically I am the one who is traveling an hour across the island to get to class, but this day I took the train a few stops North to a bit of paradise. Fall is upon us, if the Starbucks advertisements and Instagram photos have not already clued you into the matter. The leaves have started changing and the view from the West Terrace of the museum was beautiful. 

   Being so close to the museum, I decided to invite a few ladies back to my apartment for brunch. I was excited to host. Jason and I realized that since moving into our apartment in May, we have yet to host many gatherings. Before I knew it, four ladies turned into eight. The group of us travelled back down the subway and on to our local wine shop and grocery for the rest of the essential brunch items.

   As a natural introvert, hosting can tend to be an overwhelming task. Though in this case I feel like the morning unfolded pleasantly. My friend Kayla poured the mimosas. Meredith chopped the veggies and the beautiful photos are credit to my dear friend, Alex. Playing hostess kept me from capturing sweet moments that passed, but I am ever thankful for the helping hands and company. It was a beautiful morning full of stories and laughter. I realized that a home becomes more home-like when it is lived in. I have more memories in every room of my little apartment--I look forward to making many more. 

Currently Listening: "Brandy Alexander" by Feist

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Zadie Smith.

     In 2012, Interview Magazine interviewed Zadie Smith concerning her new novel, NW. The interview explains some of Smith's thoughts on writing her newest novel, but also offers her opinion on what makes a novel good. Smith is of the opinion that when people are young, in their twenties, they have an informed grasp on the world, yet lack the insight into their own lives. Then with age, people begin to understand more about themselves and less about the world around them. In her own writing she has seen that shift, or in some cases, growth.

 "When I'm disappointed by a novel, why am I disappointed? And it's really something so simple. For it to be a worthwhile novel, there has to be a reason for it to be in written language. In 1820, that was not one of the demands because there was no other option. That's what there was as a medium. But now there are all these other mediums. I could hear a song. I could watch a film. I could be on the Internet. You have to give me a reason why you have written this down."
- Zadie Smith, 2012

Currently Listening: "The Trapeze Swinger" by Iron and Wine

Saturday, September 5, 2015

On Brunch at Home.

    It is Labor Day weekend. I think this might be the first time in my adult life when I have fallen into the "9-5" category of work. The world of retail so sweetly absorbed my holidays, then offered a day off at another, more convenient time when a sale was not flooding the store with customers. The three-day weekend is a new thing to me and thus far I have enjoyed it thoroughly. 
    Jason left for work fairly early and my mind wouldn't let me slip back into a slumber. I got up. I was milling about my apartment after getting out of bed. I cleaned some. I repotted a plant. I finished up some dishes from yesterday and read a few pages in All the Light We Cannot See. After a couple of hours doing this and that, I realized I had yet to eat! My stomach was already in a state of panic, so I contemplated getting by with cereal or some yogurt. Then I realized the mistake I was about to make. I am enjoying a nice weekend of leisure. Though my to-do list might be growing, I have the time to sit and enjoy a meal. 
    Somewhere along the line, we decided that brunch occurs when you meet up with a friend, or a group of friends, and eat a fancy meal in the late hours of the morning. I had not planned to have brunch with anyone, but I could not give myself a reason to not enjoy a nice meal in my own kitchen. I turned on the stove top and put on some eggs. I grabbed a piece of bread and tossed it into the toaster. I laid a bed of spinach on my plate and placed the sunny-side up eggs on top, with a spread of Boursin cheese as a garnish. The toast finished and Bonne Maman, mixed berry preserves sweetened the meal. I poured some French press coffee and enjoyed a nice, slow meal at my kitchen table. 
    Nathan Williams expresses this notion in the mission of Kinfolk. They advocate "slow-living" and enjoying the process as much as the meal. I typically enjoy my meals. I guess this morning was a good reminder that even in solitude, enjoying the process is important. 

Currently Listening: "Planes to Crash" by Damien Jurado

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Diane Keaton.

  After looking at a few blog posts around the web, I noticed a few photos of Diane Keaton. Some were from her role in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" and others of the glory days in her youth. People say that style always comes back around. Keaton was sporting looks we aspire to mimic today. I appreciate the effortless glamour and timeless beauty she expresses in her style. Maybe it is the menswear, or possibly the large-framed glasses. Regardless, her confidence radiates from every angle.

Currently listening: "Tourist" by Jason Howell (A song in progress by Jason Howell.) 

A side note: Today marks 5 years that Jason and I have known each other! So many wonderful memories we have shared in that time. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Kate Miss Creative.


        Kate Miss is a Seattle native who spent her formative years in New York City. In recent years she has been located in Los Angeles and that has only furthered her design endeavors. It can be said that many people "do it all," but I think in Kate's case this is certainly true. Not only does she have a creative eye to capture moments and develop designs, but Kate has also owned her own business and is in the process of launching her own jewelry line this coming fall/winter (!!!). Needless to say, it is beautiful work that I can't help but share. 

Check out some of her look-book with upcoming designs for later this year!

Currently Listening: "Fed Up With Hunger" by Saintseneca

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


   People may have seen this small jewelry company growing in popularity across various fashion blogs and even Caroline Donofrio's recent post on A Cup of Jo. The simple designs add to the ease of Summer. Whether throwing on a t-shirt to go to an ice cream shop or slipping into a dress for a warm evening dinner, the jewelry adds to your outfit without creating a look that is too busy. I love the muted colors and assorted geometric shapes strung together by a rope-like strand. MASLO JEWELRY has created a unique look to accompany the loosely cut apparel showing up in the fashion world. 

   Warning: This site may put your wallet on a diet. 

Currently Listening: 80's Hits

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Esby Apparel.

I know that the Summer is moving past us quickly, but the heat has only just begun in the city. Sadly, I am waving goodbye to days full of a cool breeze and seventy degree weather. It might just be my dreamlike wishes, but perusing Esby Apparel's lookbook has made me realize that lighter fabrics and natural hair is not such a bad thing to embrace. the items are very basic in design, yet fit perfectly into a Summer wardrobe. This American-made company is doing their best to cultivate their style as effortlessly as possible. 

In other news, friends and family are starting their trips to visit our little home in New York City. I am learning more and more about  myself. I have hosted more people in my apartment than I think it can realistically support, yet I am learning to be free with the space I have been given. Balance is a good thing and I am trying to live it well. 

Currently Listening: "Wolf" by Sylvan Esso (They were amazing at Celebrate Brooklyn the other night!)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Being Mindful in My Home.

As much as decorating a home is fun, fulfilling and important, I find that somehow you accumulate too many things. From just a few short years of having my own space I gained multiple knick knacks and items that I don't want. Sometimes people have given you things or you bought something at a thrift store because it was just so cheap! I came a across this quote and realized the mistakes I have made in feeling compelled to keep things in my home. Specifically in a spatially challenged place like New York City, what you really need are essentials. Anything other than that should be beautiful and bring you joy. So now, go forth, decorating and purging away! I know that's what I will be doing. 

Currently Listening: To my husband tell me it is time to watch a soccer game. (I love him).

Wednesday, July 1, 2015



    This restaurant and everything about its atmosphere is diving. A Cup of Jo featured a small wedding and the reception meal was held at this spot. Living in New York City, there are always so many places to discover and try. I am itching to get myself down to this gem later in the week. Something that brings me such joy is beautifully curated spaces. From what I can tell my eyes will be feasting alongside my stomach. 

Currently Listening: Top 40 Hits (The reason? I am caged in my office for the day. Looking forward to the long weekend.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Joan Didion: Writer Extraordinaire

  Not many people are able to express thoughts and experiences the way Joan Didion does in her writing. From "Goodbye to All That," an essay describing loving and leaving New York, to her memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, her words cause the reader to understand someone's life experience as though it were their own. I never thought I might end up living in New York in my twenties, but I derived some encouragement--and even a challenge--from her writing. She is beautiful and quirky. Not to mention the camera's love for her throughout her lifetime. 

  In addition to her unique way of approaching words, her personality made its appearance in her packing list as well. Her well thought through process of packing during her years as a reporter gave her the confidence and tools she needed to do her job well. I found the greatest surprise on her list was a typewriter. I guess before a Macbook Air that was the only choice! 

Currently Listening: "Turn It Around" by Lucius

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sylvan Esso.


Spending not-so-free time listening to this duo lately. We are heading down to Prospect Park towards the end of this month to see them play in Celebrate Brooklyn! It is amazing how many free activities this city has to offer throughout the summer. Looking forward to good tunes and times with friends. 

If you have experienced the rain New York has, this might be a good choice while stuck indoors. Wishing you a summer full of sun.

Currently Listening: "Coffee" by Sylvan Esso

Monday, May 4, 2015

Jeni's splendid ice creams.

   I don't know if many people have come to experience the delight that Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams is, but if you find yourself near a location go! Saunter into the cheery, subway tiled dessert bar and gaze and the perfectly drafted Chalkboard menu. Jeni's has taken the ice cream parlor experience, and not to mention the ice cream itself, to a whole new level. It is a shop designed to bring people together to experience creativity and friendship. Jeni Britton Bauer is the master chef behind the cold creations and she has cultivated a splendid company. Starting out in the Buckeye State of Ohio, Jeni has worked for a decade to build her vision and gather others to join her on the road. 

   All of the ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet is hand made. From local cows and Ugandan coffee beans, natural ingredients join to develop the delicious flavors. Jeni keeps her hands in every part of the operation. Though she has delegated responsibilities to others, she enjoys the creative process whether it be a new flavor or the decor in a new shop. She tells of her journey in this interview with Sweet Paul. Due to her hard work, she can now delight in the success of her efforts and continue to be a master chef. 

   Jeni's commitment to growing her business brought a shop to the Westside Provisions District in Atlanta. I am so glad I was living in the city when it was running in full swing. On that note, Jeni, Bring a shop to New York City!

Currently Listening: "Slow Motion" by PHOX

Thursday, April 30, 2015

in bloom.

The city has been blowing me away with beautiful days. I nearly forgot what seventy degrees and sunny felt like! These were some flowers I picked up at the market on a nice walk home with J. Fresh flowers at home brings a joy to my spirit and lightens the load of final papers and projects. Just a week to go and then a break for the summer.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

our southern wedding.

  There are those days in life that you remember most. It might be simple details strung together that formed a fond memory. It could also be a grand event that took much deliberate thought and planning. Through tears and moments of inadequacy, Jason and I reached the day I will forever hold dearly in my heart and mind's eye. Our wedding day was October 19, 2013. The beginning of the day was anything but perfect. I woke up at six o'clock with rain tapping fervently at my window. In hopes that I was dreaming or that sleep would clear the skies, I fell back into a deep slumber. A few hours later the alarm sounded. It was still raining.
  We travelled down to the country home from my parents house squished into a car. We enjoyed chatting and excitement rumbled throughout my body. I felt as though it was any other normal day. Sitting in the small Honda Civic, I reflected on the past days, weeks and years even. Jason and I had travelled a muddy road, much like the then soiled dirt road my parents' live on. After friendship and courting, a relationship and long-distance, we were approaching a clear path in the midst of a thunderstorm.
   I can't say that I was not worried. By mid-morning our wonderful friends were setting up our outdoor wedding in the rain. Antiques were left until the rain passed, but everyone worked relentlessly to ensure the wedding was set to go at four o'clock. I could not tell you how many times I said to myself, "it's not raining that much," to keep myself from falling into tears. I would not let the day be ruined. Jason called me that morning. Sweetly, he reminded me that he was going to marry me that day. I mentioned that I might be walking down a wet aisle and he responded saying that it would be no drier than his eyes. At that moment, I knew the day would be perfect.
   My best friend since fifth grade curled and pinned my hair, reminding us of the days we would put on make up and take tons of pictures to pass time. My momma and sister gathered around me and helped put me into my wedding dress--the same dress my mother wore walking down the aisle to meet my daddy in 1978. It came time for pictures and the sun was starting to show its face. It was perfect and I was beyond pleased.
  From that moment on, there were no hiccups. I lived the rest of that day as though I were in a dream. I cried walking down the aisle to take Jason's hand. I laughed joyously as we ran down the aisle as pronounced "Howells." I danced into the night with my husband by my side, and even better, in my arms. And to end the evening, I drove a vintage, fire engine red VW bug off to our honeymoon. I loved that day. Luckily, I wake up to a reminder of my wedding every day.