Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Ever have one of those times when you had this great idea brewing in your mind, but when you tried to make it a reality, it didn't come out as neat as you expected and turned into a big ol' mess that you didn't want to deal with?  Well, this was one of those times.It took way longer than I thought, didn't look as amazing as I had envisioned, it was too dark to take pictures last night to post this before today, I just wanted to lie down and watch TV, etc.

I came up with this last minute Halloween costume idea last week when I was thinking about the quote "we are all made of stars" that I posted about.  I thought it would be so cool to come full circle and make a costume based on it.  So I imagined draping myself with gilded stars and thought it would take at the most 20 minutes to complete.

It didn't take too long, but it wasn't the breezy 20 minutes I expected either.  I think part of the problem was I didn't want to ruin my black shirt and wanted to make something to just hang over my clothes.  Just gluing all the stars to my shirt would have been easier.

I was going to label this a DIY fail, but I figured it was such a pain in the butt the concept was interesting and could make an easy DIY for someone with more skills than me else.  You could label this costume as "we are all made of stars", "starry night", "a night under the stars".  The possibilities are endless.

Supplies Needed:
--2 pieces of 12x12 cardstock in shiny gold and glitter gold
--2 black pipe cleaners
--1 headband
--1 roll of black ribbon
--Hot glue gun

Step 1:
Trace a star shape out in a big size and little size.  Then use it to cut a ton of stars out of your gold card stock.

Step 2:
Cut a piece of ribbon about 42 inches, or whatever fits around your shoulders.  Then cut two more pieces of ribbon, each 50 inches long and glue like the picture above.  This is forming the shape that you can put over your head and glue other pieces of ribbon to for the base of the stars.

Then glue varying lengths of black ribbon onto the front of the shape and hot glue all your stars onto the ribbon strands in a mismatched pattern.

Step 3:
Now for the headband.  Take an extra star and glue a pipe cleaner to the back of it.
Then measure how long your pipe cleaner needs to be by measuring it on the headband.  You'll just wrap the pipe cleaner around the headband, so you can always remove if you don't like it.

And you're done!  

And then I thought it would be funny to throw a big pile of wet leaves over myself.

Have you ever had a project that didn't turn out the way you expected/wasn't as easy as you thought?  Happy (almost) Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 28, 2013


While away a few weekends ago, I got a few moments to myself.  The weather was so perfect that I decided to take advantage of it.  Last year at this time, my favorite thing to do on a day like this would be to go on a run.  It was my alone time, my time to clear my head, my solace.  If you've been reading for a while, then you know I've been having knee problems for the past 10 months.  My knee seems like it's slowly starting to get better, though.  I tried those minimal running shoes, but haven't found that to be a cure all solution like I was hoping.  I've been trying to change my running style, but it's hard to break habits you've had all your life.

This day, though, I just wanted to go and run.  Didn't matter if it would be for 2 minutes.  I just wanted to prove to myself I could do at least a little something.  I didn't have my GPS to tell me how far I had gone or how long.  I had no idea where I was going since I was in a new place.  I found a huge field to run back and forth in, and you know what?  My knee held up ok, and it turned into one of those moments where everything feels right with the world.  For that moment, my body was working like I wanted it to.  I wasn't worried about what I had to do later.  It was freeing to be able to do something I used to do, but without the goals and timetables I used to place on myself to validate I had a "good run".  At least for this day, I felt a little like I was on the road to recovery.

What do you do to find quiet time that makes you happy?

Friday, October 25, 2013


I usually stick to solid colors, but this season I find myself being drawn to different patterns and a mix of colors.  I'm really looking for alternatives to wearing jeans every day, like I usually do.  Any recommendations on really thick leggings that keep you as warm as jeans?

I would also love a big colorful sweater that I can wear around with leggings and that is bulky enough to also wear as a coat.  I like the one above (#2), but am not fully in love with the colors.  I'm still on the hunt.

How cool are those nail stickers (#6)?  That's what I need to add a little interest and pattern to my nails, but doesn't require me to paint it on myself or use those nail art wrappers where you have to cut them to fit your nail.  It's hard enough for me to paint just on my nail, so I don't think I could handle any more detailed work.

What is at the top of your fall wishlist?  I'm loving the mustards, shiny golds, pea greens, and black/white combinations right now.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Source: Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan may have actually said that we are made of star stuff, but I've always loved this quote.  It popped into my head a few days ago when I was thinking about Halloween costumes.  (Wonder how the two are tied?  I may have a little DIY planned for next week.)  Anyway, this quote was in my mind and made me wonder if it's true.

So I did a bit of research (i.e. a quick google search) and learned that the gist of the quote is from a series Carl Sagan did in the 1980s.  Our bodies are primarily made up of the stuff that is in stars, so we are made of star stuff.

I love this.  It makes me feel connected to the universe and part of everything.  At the base of our existence, we have to let down our walls to know that we are not alone, we are loved, and we are so significant.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


It's been a busy past couple of weeks, so we decided to relax and enjoy the weather this past weekend with a little trek into the woods.  We found this little spot after wandering around for a while and stopped for some warm apple cider from a nearby cider mill.  Our blanket was too small and we didn't get to stay for as long as we would have liked lounging around, but we had fun playing with the camera.  This is the first time we used a tripod and tried the self-timer.  It's definitely going to take some getting used to trying to look natural in these pictures.  I always want to "capture the moment" and reenact what we had been doing for a picture, but sometimes trying to reproduce that feeling you have when no technology is around to log the moment is ever elusive. Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be.  I'll still try to, though, because some moments you want to remember forever even when the vision becomes foggy in your mind.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Last year, Wade and I went to see the movie Moonrise Kingdom in a little theater that hadn't really been updated since the 1960s, and I fell in love.  Wes Anderson had done it again.  The clothes, the dialogue. Everything about the movie stuck with me.  So when Halloween rolled around last year, I knew I wanted to go as Sam and Suzy, the two tweenage star-crossed lovers.
   We pulled these costumes together in about a week.  Wade is pretty handy with a hot glue gun and made all his patches and even the yellow piping on his uniform.  I lucked out with my dress.  It was actually Wade's mom's from the 60s that was the perfect shade of pink.  I paired it with a raspberry beret (you know the kind you buy from a second hand store;) and made my shoes by painting white keds with black acrylic paint.  The key was in the accessories.  A pair of binoculars and a coonskin cap topped off the outfits.
This was my all-time favorite Halloween costume and even scored us as runner ups in a costume contest.

  I wish we could go as Sam and Suzy again, but we are teaming up with my brother and sister-in-law this year to go as an ensemble from a movie whose main character I've come into close proximity with in the recent past, much to my dismay.  Any guesses?  What has been your favorite Halloween costume?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I'm hanging out over at Treasure Tromp, a beautiful blog full of Nicole's adventures around the world, today.  Stop by her blog and say hi!  I am in awe of all the places she's visited and love following her along on her adventures.  She inspires me to get up and travel more.  On top of that, she is such a sweet and awesome person, and I'm so glad to have met her.  Making awesome new friends is the best part about blogging.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I got to meet my new niece this weekend.  She is just adorable.  When I wasn't cuddling her, I got to run around and play with my older niece who is two.  I love seeing the world through the eyes of a two year old. I want to live in that childlike whimsy all the time.  
We stayed in my sister and brother-in-law's new house.  It was so wonderful to see my sister so settled in her beautiful home and surrounded by her lovely family.  I don't know how she does it all, but she does, while filling their childhoods with magic and fun.  She is such an amazing mother, and I love watching her with her two girls.

I wish we lived closer together, but I guess that's what makes these trips so special.  She's not just my sister, she's also one of my dearest friends.  We can talk about anything, and she always gets my sense of humor.

Running errands with her and going on walks around her new neighborhood was the perfect way to spend the last few days.  Plus, we got a lot of candy, too, which sweetened the deal.
After such a great weekend, it's hard to settle back into my routine.  Being away for a few days filled me with so many ideas for this blog, though, so I hope to keep this inspiration train rolling.  Look for some site updates and new regular features coming soon!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I'm in Chicago meeting my new niece, but wanted to share some more fun pictures of when Kate was in town.  Last Saturday, we went to Lawrence to visit our old stomping grounds at the University of Kansas. I hadn't been to campus for a while, so it was fun to walk around and talk about what class we had here or there. I'm biased, but KU has one of the most beautiful campuses around. It's on top of a hill so I always got my exercise. For those of you who think Kansas is flat, let me know what you think once you lug a backpack up a steep hill that seems to take 20 minutes to get up. 
Below is where I spent the majority of my time. 
And this is where my mom spent her time when she went to school here. 

I love that I went to the same school as my parents. I can just imagine my mom as a rebellious 18 year old in the 60s walking the same sidewalks I did, and I can see my dad picking her up for dates in his old car and getting her back too late to the scholarship hall. My dad even proposed to my mom on campus, following a classy dinner out at KFC and getting to see Harry Belefonte. There's so much history for my family here and so many memories. 
My brother and sister-in-law bought my parents a brick on campus so they will always be here on campus for generations to come. 
They put this new hotel up near campus. In order to make room for it, they had to tear down the first Yello Sub (my favorite sub place) and a cool old bar. I have mixed emotions about it. I'm sad to see that part of the campus's history go, but you can't beat the views from the top of this place. 
Below is the first building of KU. It's still standing as a testament to time and all the people who have come here to learn. 
The inscription reads "whoso findeth wisdom findeth life". 
Then we went to my favorite bar, The Sandbar, and was elated to find out they opened up a sub shop across the street. Now I need to make a special trip back up there to try it:)
So many fun memories of these two visiting our apartment in college. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!