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Tributes Get Me Every Time

As many of you might know, I teach dance at a consortium of local colleges, called Colleges of The Fenway. While I took this past semester off, I still was able to attend the show. It was quite the treat because it’s actually the first time I’ve watched the show from the audience—I’m typically backstage calling the shots and keeping everyone (mostly) in line.

The first video here is from one of my fellow teachers, and my friend, Kristen. Her group danced this lovely piece, titled “Angels” in memory of our little girl. (Yes, I cried through the whole thing.) It was a beautiful tribute.

But it didn’t stop there…

A group of dancers from previous semesters (and who I look forward to seeing again in January) put together this jazz/tap mix for me. They took a bunch of steps we’ve done over the past 4 years and put them into this one piece. It was amazing awesome and truly moving. (Yes, I cried AND laughed through the whole thing.)

Thank you to my amazing dancers (and bloggers and coworkers and friends and family) for supporting me during the good times and bad.

Blog-ger-Treat Gets Me Every Time

Blogger-Treat on Gets Me Every Time

Happy Halloween you guys. I’m making it a Halloween that’s all about treats. No tricks. And my treat for you this Friday are these four lovely ladies. Four of my “blogging friends” turned real life friends—no quotes needed.

So, here’s a bit about each and a little treat you can expect when you go visit their blogs. Which you should because, Friday.

Amanda over at Prim & Propah posts crafty goodness all the time and today, being Halloween, she’s going to help you our with a super quick and cheap spooky centerpiece. You know for that Halloween party that’s tonight that you just started planning.

Alex of Literally Everything has a great take on life, Boston and her cute pup Toby. Check out her post defining family. It’s a subject I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. And I love what Alex has to say about it.

Elizabeth Crane Swartz has the perfect free font download (it’s in the sidebar) for all your cozy winter typography needs. Get it for free. It’s no trick. See, all treats today. (Bonus, check out her beautiful necklaces and snag an early Christmas gift.)

Finally, meet Emily. The treat here is the scoop on tons of cool jobs and hobbies. So if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to harvest oysters, run a cupcake food truck or breakdance, Emily’s your gal.

Treat yourself to some light reading this Friday. And Happy Halloween!

Writing Gets Me Every Time

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All blog posts are for you, my dear, sweet readers. But some are more for friends in far off places. And others are more for other bloggers. This one falls into the latter category. This is a blog post written by a blogger for other bloggers.

It’s part of the “Blog Writing Process Tour” that my friend Emily took part in last week. Basically, I answer a few questions about how I write, then I tag a few blogging friends to do the same.

 

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What am I working on?
More like, what am I not working on?! Right now, the list seems endless. From finishing some painting in the house, to getting some more listings in my Etsy shop, to just trying to plan out our weekly meals and stick to making them. Writing-wise, I’m trying to be a better storyteller.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’d call my blog a “lifestyle” blog, but I think I err on the side of personal blog more than I do lifestyle. I’m not able to tell you the latest styles or trends for my lifestyle or any other. I’m not out and about on the town either. I’m posting about my life to give friends and family who live so many miles away a chance to see what we’re up to.

Why do I write what I do?
I write what I do for me. That’s why I started this blog in the first place—as an outlet for me to write what I wanted. Since I’m a writer by trade, I spend my days writing for others. A mentor/friend mentioned I might improve my professional writing by writing in my own voice too. You know what, he was right.

How does my writing process work?
Maybe there should be some more structure around how and when and where I write, because there is really none. Sometimes, I write blog posts on my phone. Sometimes, I write during my lunch break. Sometimes it’s on the train and other times it’s on my couch. My writing process is as sporadic as my posting schedule. I do keep a list of post ideas in a notebook though and I refer to that when I get in the mood to really write a few posts at once. Once writing, I just try to tell you guys a story like I would if we were chatting on the phone.

And now, I’m happy to pass this little chain on to three new bloggers. I do hope you’ll click over and check out each of their blogs too!

 

Beckie @ Cubicle57
Beckie and I are (old) college friends who happened to live in the same dorm and share a love of t-shirts and crafts and dancing. She now lives in New York where she writes about her fabulous life. She was one of my inspirations for starting this blog and finally meeting up with #BostonBloggers.

Alaina @ SoAlaina
Alaina is one of the many fabulous bloggers I have met through the #BostonBloggers group. She always seems to have the happiest of dispositions and her writing is so genuine and honest. Plus, Alaina is a new mom, so if you hop to her blog you get to spend some time looking at her cute little nugget.

Alex @ Literally, Everything
Alex is another blogger I met through #BostonBlogger group. If I say Alex has had a big year, I wouldn’t be doing her accomplishments justice. Let me just say that girl ran the Boston Marathon and got married in the same month. So, go read about her year and see some pretty wedding pics.

The Craft House (Part 3) Gets Me Every Time

CraftHouse30If you’ve seen part 1 and you’ve seen part 2, you’re probably wondering what we made while I enjoyed a weekend in the beautiful Craft House. As I mentioned, the house was inspiring as snippets of projects hung throughout the home.

CraftHouse31The stock of supplies also helped up dream up new ideas, even creating a need for a run to the local Wal*Mart. A “craft-run” if you will. It’s kinda like a beer-run, only you come home with a six pack of glitter or yarn. When you rent the Craft House, it’s a bring your own supplies type of weekend, but we still admired the display of gorgeous odds and ends.

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CraftHouse49To kick off the weekend, one friend put together these little treat bags with homemade trail mix inside. Which I happily snacked on over the weekend. Then, it was time to start on our first project—a homemade felt garland, inspired by this one, only with a patriotic twist.

CraftHouse45The first step was cutting felt. And LOTS of it. Some of the ladies also mixed some red, white and blue fabric pieces into theirs, while I kept mine true to felt. This is a super simple project that you can easily do while chatting nonstop and/or drinking a nice glass of wine.
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You simply take a piece of twine and tie your felt or fabric scraps around the twine. Bunch them together. Fluff them around. Voila! A felt garland perfect for every patriotic holiday that comes along this year.

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CraftHouse50I promise to share a full shot of mine all styled up in the house as soon as the Fourth inches closer. (Or maybe I’ll start a new thing with a little Memorial Day decor?)

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Here’s a craft-in-action shot. We made some smaller projects like yarn pom-poms that can be used to decorate baskets, garlands, gifts, or whatever. I’ll have some finished shots of that too soon, promise!

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Our crafty spread continued throughout the weekend as we created wreaths (below), bunting, burlapies and more. Stopping only to take breaks for eating, sleeping and some shopping (more on that some other time.)CraftHouse56

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Here’s all the different wreaths we made. Can you guess which one is mine? (Look below for the big reveal!)

crafthouse55I was so blessed to spend such a great weekend with good friends, food, crafts and shopping. I mean, if you had thrown a dance lesson in there we might have changed the hashtag of the weekend from #craftcation to #kellysfavoritethings. A huge thanks to my friends for finding the Craft House and organizing an amazing weekend. More pics of the crafts to come!

 

The Craft House (Part 2) Gets Me Every Time

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Did you catch Part 1? This craft weekend was all about having fun. This was just one of the many reminders around the house. Since you got a tour yesterday, and a mini-history of all the places I’ve lived, let me elaborate a little more on that story.

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One of the best parts of moving so many times was my creative side got to come out as I decorated each new bedroom I lived in. That means I had purple carpet when I was 5 and black carpet when I was 19. Just what every parent wants in their home, I’m sure.

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Now, there was no black or purple carpet in the Craft House, but it wouldn’t have surprised me to see some. There were many fabulous vignettes through the home and amongst the 16 beds that were inspirational and aspirational as well.CraftHouse26

Now, when it came time to choosing a bed, I was like the princess and the pea. I just couldn’t decide which room to sleep in. Each room was just as good as the last. Take a look.

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But, at the end of our first day at the house, I decided to settle into “The Map Room” outfitted with four beds and four times as many maps.

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As you can see, the upstairs of the home was just as crafty as the ground floor. The handmade curtains and quilts and prints and garlands were dancing through our dreams. Just what we needed to get our creative juices flowing. More on how we channeled that energy soon!

 

The Craft House (Part 1) Gets Me Every Time

CraftHouse13Growing up, I was sometimes jealous of friends who had lived in one home their whole lives. They’ve always had the same room, the same neighborhood, the same childhood best friends that they’ve known since they were born. After moving form Pennsylvania to Alabama and living in a few houses along the way, I longed what for what they had. But given the chance to move away for college, I jumped at it, and off to Oklahoma I went.

CraftHouse12Fast forward 4 years and I again shipped my things halfway across the country to move to Boston. Once here I fell in love with the city, and then a man, and here we are today—no longer envious of those friends who can still call their childhood house their home. It took a while for me to get here, but I wouldn’t have it, or all that moving around any other way.

CraftHouse15If not for all that jumping around, I would have missed out on so many of my favorite memories. The newest of which, is a weekend spent at The Craft House, in Newton, Kansas, with a handful of my closest college friends.

CraftHouse7So while I can’t say that I lived in one house growing up, I can say I spent one fabulous weekend in this house talking about growing up with some amazing women. And I can now realize how lucky I truly was to live in so many places and meet so many great people who I can still connect with today.

CraftHouse8When I started looking at all my photos from the weekend I realized this could be one terribly long post. Or three more digestible, big-bite-sized posts. So, this is the first of three of the latter. Take a tour around The Craft House, then come back for more tomorrow. And maybe even the day after. (For more info on The Craft House, renting it, or signing up to attend a hosted weekend there, check out Meg’s blog.)

CraftHouse5It’s worth noting that even though we planned a “craft weekend,” we spent as many hours in the kitchen as we did around the craft table. But look at it, why wouldn’t we?

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CraftHouse16The houses vivd colors and eclectic decor inspired us from the moment we walked into the door. I loved the maps and globes everywhere, especially consider all that moving and shaking I did in my earlier years.

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CraftHouse19I loved these cameras and am inspired to do a similar treatment in our home, though, perhaps a little less colorful, with a few older pieces we’ve collected over the years.

CraftHouse18See that second camera from the left? Well, Newton, Kansas also has a handful of wonderful antique stores filled with excellent prices on second-hand vintage items. And, in one of those stores, I saw a very similar camera. I’m kicking myself for not picking it up. (Note, anyone in Newton, KS reading this that wants to send it my way, let me know.)

CraftHouse11This is a crafty-gal’s dream. This room was equipped with two spacious tables for all your crafting needs plus a cutting table for all those fabric projects. Speaking of projects, there will be more on those soon, I promise.

CraftHouse41Come back again to see what’s up the stairs (beds for 16 people!). And, a special hello to all those readers who came over from my dear friend Emily’s blog.

Fishs Eddy Gets Me Every Time

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A few weeks ago, when I was in New York for work, I had a free evening to spend some time with my main man JJL. We ate cheese, drank wine and walked around the sweltering city, ducking into a few places to get a reprieve from the heat. One of the places we got to check out was Fishs Eddy, near Union Square. JJL had gifted me a few mugs from there a while back, so I was excited to check it out in real life.

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As the proud owner of a new kitchen, you could say I was over-the-moon to be looking at so much dining and kitchen goodness. That said, I restrained myself as we are only now opening our wedding dishes. (exciting, right?) Anyhow, if I had been looking to throw a little kitsch into the kitchen, I might have picked up any of the pieces from this “Teddy & Bear” collection.

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I mean, look at that close-up. “High Five.” It was almost calling my name. I love it.

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And, if you were not into those mermaid bottle openers in the first photo, how about these owl bottle openers? Just too cool for school.  But, mermaids, Teddy, high fives and owls aside, my favorite thing in the entire store was one kitchen towel.

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This towel is perfect (purrfect?) for any cat lover. I for one think it’s a perfect representation of my favorite lady, Louise, or any cat for that matter. It sums up how much she obeys us to the Tea Towel. Get it? Full of ’em today.

Check out Fishs Eddy online or in person if you’re ever in the city. They’ve got tons of great stuff that you might not need today, but you’ll probably find a use for tomorrow.

PS… @JJ, that link was intentional. Update your blog so we all know what you’re up to. 

A Shutterfly Insta-Book Gets Me Every Time


You guys know I’ve got a thing for Instagram. Well, I’ve. Mentioned it before anyhow. The other thing I have a thing for is printing photos instead of keeping them locked up on my phone, my computer or a myriad of social networking sites. So, here it is, my Shutterfly “instabook.”

I took some inspiration here from this blog post and took the liberty of scribbling all over the pages. At least most of the pages. Here, take a look…










It was very easy to connect my Shutterfly account to my Instagram account and upload all my photos into the book. Plus, Shutterfly is always running a sale. For instance, I just popped over there and right now, you can save 20% on photo books with the code BOOK20.

ps, I wasn’t paid for thing post or anything. I did however receive this photo book free because I have “klout.” You can sign up for Klout and get free perks too.

High School Gets Me Every Time

CW FROM TOP LEFT prom | cougarette camp | back-to-school | seniors | Northview/Dothan 2001

Or is it “High School Got Me Every Time”? Either way, high school happened. And this weekend, my friends and classmates are reuniting in Dothan, Alabama to remember and celebrate the whole thing. Since it’s quite the expensive hike, I can’t be there to join in the fun. So, I’ve packed up a little time capsule to remember what was happening during our senior year. (First, above, my mom had a t-shirt quilt made with all my high school shirts, but that’s  is just a sampling.)

1. George W. Bush was muttering incoherent phrases during his first term.
2. Nickelback, Ashanti & Nelly topped the charts.

| sr. year varsity cheer |

3. Our football team continued a most impressive 39-game losing streak. (Go Cougars!)
4. Lindsay Lohan & Shia LaBeouf were nobodies over on the Disney Channel.
5. Flying the friendly skies changed forever. (I was in the common area when I heard, where were you?)
6. Jennifer Anniston and Brad Pitt were still married.
7. Auburn defeated Alabama at the Iron Bowl.
8. The Power Team ripped some phonebooks in the fancy convocation center.
9. The Real World was in Chicago.
10. LiveJournal, AIM and AOL were all the rage. (a/s/l??)

 | this one is from Jr. year, but that’s me, there in the cougar costume! |

From our own bank of memories though, one of the most fond things I can think of is our dear So Fresh, So Clean Crew. And so, in tribute to them, I leave you with this. I hope the band plays it this weekend. Travel safe & have fun guys. Go Cougars!

And, just because I love ya, be sure to check out some of our other classmates’ blogs:
Celeste (Gainous) | Christen (Ridley)

If you have a blog, and I left you off, let me know and I’ll be sure to add it to the list.

August Gets Me Every Time

AROUND HERE, AUGUST IS FOR:

• cherishing the last bits of summer

 watching the Olympics

 eating more veggies

 reading a book

 writing more letters

• friends

• & ice cream.

It’s hard to believe August is here. (I know, I’m one day late, but the Olympics have been keeping me up ever since the opening ceremonies.) Can’t wait to see what this, a wonderful summer month, holds for us.