Thursday, January 28, 2010

beyond cut and paste

I've been attempting to spread my "crafty" wings lately. I want to finally graduate from the school of construction paper and pipe cleaners and on to ribbon and gift tags and homemade cupcake wrappers. I'm starting to wonder if this is a symptom of engagement, as it seems everywhere I go I find DIY projects ranging from place card holders made from icing tips to this fun and colorful wedding

I'm actually in the midst of working on something now, which I'll hopefully share with you very soon. But a few weeks back, when I was looking to buy some ribbon, I stumbled upon this little shop that sells the prettiest packaging. Plus, it's called Nice Package, which makes it even better. 

I think I am now officially ready to ditch the safety scissors. 

But am I the last one to jump in? Do you like to make/create? 

[Photos via Nice Package

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


"And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should..."
-max ehrmann 

Today is one of those days. Where I need to read someone else's words to make me feel better. Where quotes offer reassurance in a way that my own attempt at convincing can't. Where I have so many things going through my mind and I can't seem to harness even one. So rather than try to fix it one by one, sort each one through until it either doesn't exist anymore, or has figured itself out, I just try and let it all go. Chalk it up to the universe and something larger and fate and meant to be. To this is better than that. If it's possible, I'm not sure. I don't know how good I am at it. But it's out there, and it is what it is. And maybe it will work. 

What do you do when you're having a bad—or just weird—day, week? 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

keeping time

Aren't these clocks fun? They were created by Masumi Hayashi of Lio & Linn, are hand painted and made of solid mahogany. Masumi also has a pretty line of jewelry, which I'm planning on posting sometime soon, but you can get a sneak peak here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why taking Uggs on my honeymoon might be a good idea

So, did you see the recent New York Times article on the 31 Places to Go in 2010? (If you didn’t, then you may or may not have heard about how pissed M.I.A. was that the newspaper named Sri Lanka number one.) But the article had lots of interesting info on places I never really thought about visiting, like Bahia in Brazil. 

But, the part of the article that most caught my attention was number 9, Antarctica. See, awhile back I came up with a list of things I Must Accomplish in Life. The list ranges from the random (grow my own vegetables) to the slightly profound (publish a book, set up a charity). But overall they’re mostly fun things that I want to do at some point like learn to drive stick shift and to play a musical instrument. One of the most fun things on the list is to visit every continent. Because let’s face it, if you’ve heard me hum, you know I have no beat/rhythm or anything else required to play a musical instrument.

And this is where the Times comes in. Denny Lee writes: “This may be the last year that Antarctica is open to mass tourism — not because the ice is melting too fast (though it is), but because of restrictions that would severely curtail travel around the fragile continent.” The restrictions, the article says, are set to take place in two years.

Now, for some reason, in my mind Antarctica was the last continent on the list to visit. The one where I would be oh say, 60 or so, with an overwhelming desire to cruise and an inability to sit still on a beach for too long. But then I started thinking: Two years…2011…wedding. What about ANTARCTICA for a honeymoon?

Imagine telling people you went to Antarctica on your honeymoon? I wonder if you would meet any friends the way you always hear happens at resorts in Jamaica or Hawaii. “Oh, Jane? Yea, she’s the friend I met while soaking in the sub-zero temperatures on the deck of my Antarctic honeymoon cruise.”

To be fair, there are companies that say they'll have ships ready to sail even after the restrictions—the article mentions one of them. But, c'mon, a parka emblazoned with "Bride" on the back? I might be all over it. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

writer's block prevention

I've had "Keep Calm and Carry On" as the banner on my phone for awhile now. But isn't this take on the original slogan inspiring for any author/blogger/cover letter writer out there? I'd love to look up from my laptop and see this whenever I couldn't think of the next sentence. They have lots of other variations too, like  "Keep Calm and Snap On," "Keep Calm and Bake On" and "Keep Calm and Dance On." 

Visit KeepCalmShop on Etsy for more. 

[Photo via keepcalmshop/etsy]

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Clean house, clear mind?

About mid-week last week, I started to get this strange feeling. It seemed like everything I owned – from clothes to my published clips – was in a completely state of disorganization. And by that I mean in a complete state of "absolutely all over the place," and I was totally frustrated at not being able to find anything. I took a quick glance around my bedroom and realized that this was in fact, true. My sweatpants were sitting with my summer tank tops. Half-read books that I swore I would finish before the holidays were still sitting on my desk. There was a whole slew of magnetic poetry in a corner by my bed. Seriously, magnetic poetry. They've probably been there since, oh, 2002. Does anyone actually use magnetic poetry anymore? 

And so, in homage to that old quote about a clean house and clean mind, I decided to embark on Project Organization 2010.  I actually just Googled what that quote was, in case I totally made it up and it seems I might have. Cleanliness is next to godliness? I don’t think that was it. I've never been entirely sure what that meant, anyway. But, you know when you clean and organize everything around you and your mind feels suddenly at ease? That's what I was going for. First phase: 

Step 1:  Clear out everything from under my bed. Gems found: Back issues of Jane, which were amazing to read, and have since been placed with other inspirational things. A box full of random things from high school/college – including a mixed tape from 1997. A whole bunch of pretty stickers from back when I thought I could actually have the patience to scrapbook.

Step 2: Separate everything into piles, according to what they are. Art. Wedding. Electronics. Journals. Misc.

Step 3: Go to Bed, Bath and Beyond. Walk around the store a few times before realizing that organizational items like, you know, boxes, are set up right in the middle of the aisle. Pick up 4 boxes and one shoe organizer

Step 4: Lay out all organization tools. Wonder if I forgot to buy labels. Find makeshift labels which are actually circles. Label.

 Step 5: Take shoes from closet and put them in brand new shoe holder. Realize shoe holder is only meant to hold 12 pairs of shoes. Manage to stuff in 19.(Also realize in this moment that I own way too many shoes. Especially considering those were primarily just summer shoes. Sigh.)

Step 6: Stack boxes nicely. Place in closet. Slide shoes under the bed. 

Step 7: Mind, clear. 

Next up: Makeup drawer.  

Have you done any organizing lately? Is it just a side effect of the New Year or does it actually make you feel better? 



Wednesday, January 6, 2010

new year, slightly delayed

The perils of bangs and cheesy glasses...

I will make no excuses to the fact that I am one of those people who must thouroughly analyze the old year as the new one begins. I sometimes wish that I was above all that, that I could make no record of what happened or care, even, and just let the twelve months go already. But that, if you want to take a look at the pile of book reports from second grade in that bottom drawer, is just not me. I am a recorder, a chronicler, a pack rat. I want to remember exactly what happened in case it never happens again. Or, to compare it to what happened already if in fact, it does.

And so, I realize: 2009 was a completely up and down sort of year. There were points early on, in say, March and April, when I was so anxious, when I worried incessantly about everything from work to where I would live to what I would do with the dreaded REST OF MY LIFE. This is quite cliché, I now think, to do at 25. Slightly dramatic, too. But maybe it’s what happens when you drive over a bridge every day and spend far too much time listening to 1010wins.

In any case, the year went on and I did some memorable things, like sleeping in the woods for two nights (ok, fine, it was 1.5 nights, the other half was spent in the car), dancing to the music of an overrated Italian reality show runner-up on the rooftop of my friend’s house late in August, and seeing the Rockies in real life.

Then that whole lots more time on my hands thing happened. And my caravan of Italian cousins came to visit. There was the engagement, which put lots of things into perspective. And it all ended with a New Year’s Eve party that ended with 12 of us sleeping in one room, complete with a pitched tent, snoring boys and an alarm that went off at 8am.

 And now that I’ve come out on the other side, I want to stop dwelling and start moving forward. In 2010, I want to stop worrying so much. I want to let go. I want to take more risks and trust my instincts more. 


- Win a radio contest. This has actually been on my resolution list for the past two years, but I seem to forget about it until a few weeks before the end of the year. Can someone remind of this in say, June? 

- Take cooking lessons from Nonna. She always said I needed to know how to cook when I got married and since I have that whole engagement thing going on, I should probably get on the whole cooking thing, too. 

- Run another 5K. 

- Take better care of my skin. 

- Write something, anything, every day. 

How'd 2009 turn out for you? Any new year's resolutions made for 2010? 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Some housekeeping

While I’m still wrapping my head around the last couple of weeks (all good things, thankfully), I realized I forgot to mention a couple of recent guest posts I’ve done. If you'd like to check them out, here's some info: 

The first was for Italian American Girl, a wonderful blog written by Margaret about her experience as a first generation Italian-American, with lots of upcoming events, news and issues in the I-A community. I wrote a post about my obsession with dressing like a "Italian girl" and some of the great Italian fashion brands that are popular in Italy and also found in the U.S. 

You can read it here

The second was for i-Italy, an online magazine about Italian-American life with which I’ve been affiliated for a few years now and think is an amazing resource. I wrote about the new Jersey Shore show and the negative and positive feelings Italian-Americans have towards it. Have you seen the show? What do you think about it? 

You can read that post here

And I’ll be back tomorrow with another update, promise.