What I'm Into

On My Nightstand: The Girls From Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow and Living Off the Grid by Nick Rosen
Totally completely opposite books but both very good so far. The Girls From Ames is definitely written by a guy, as it lacks the emotional depiction of friendship and tells the girls story from an investigative journalist kind of way, but still interesting. Living Off the Grid fascinates me and right now I'm still trying to absorb the concept... although I dream of someday making it a reality.

Want to Read:  The new issue of Shape that has been laying on the bar for a week now and I still haven't had time to open it.

T.V. Show Worth Watching: I honestly haven't watched any tv lately. I go through phases of love and loathe when it comes to tv programs. Everything is a repeat right now... but I am looking forward to my Thursday night rendezvous with Damon Salvatore when the new episodes of Vampire Diaries return!

Movie I've Seen (in or out of the theater):  um.... does watching my favorite clip of Love Actually on YouTube count? I haven't watched any movies lately...

In My Ears:  This is my favorite subject! I've recently become obsessed with Matt Hires (Honey Let Me Sing You a Song), Tje Austin (Sunshine), and Matt White (Love). 
Items of Note: I did in fact purchase a pretty little macbook pro like I said I was looking forward to last month. I thought it was a boy but then I bought it a pretty pink silicone keyboard cover so now I have to find a girl name for her... 
-another huge item of note is that I have 41 followers... this makes me incredibly happy because it means I'm not just rambling on to myself :) 
-and I stopped eating meat on March 12th... so far, so good! I've found a lot of really good veg recipes and haven't had any problems finding yummy meatless dishes when I've went out to eat. 
-I've discovered a great app on the android market called Camera 360 that has all kinds of fun photo filters...
dream style filter
japanese style filter


What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month:My paintings are going to be displayed in The Wine Gallery in May! So in April I will be painting at the wine tasting... which I'm nervous and excited about! 
I'm also looking forward to brainstorming some great ideas for marketing the Plaza Festival.... 
oh and I can't wait for Biting The Apple, which is an erotic art show I'm going to (my first time!!!!). I'm also pretty pumped about the Donate, Dine & Wine dinner this month because we're having it at a new Irish Pub in the Plaza District called Saints... I love Irish Pubs!


Love Actually

I should be working on my english comp research paper........

but I woke up with the urge to watch Love Actually, which is my favorite movie of all time, and since I don't have time to watch it, I figured watching this scene on youtube was the next best thing. It's the scene where Mark plays Silent Night and holds up the cards for Juliet to read... you can watch it here.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, back to writing, photoshopping, and solving math equations.... only 6 more weeks of classes! Well, these classes... then I'm taking English Comp 2 and Us History in the summer.

ooohh... I almost forgot, I snuck in some painting on sunday night and I'm one step further on my big purple and gray painting.. I wish I could just sit and paint all day today instead of do homework....


"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” Marilyn Monroe
 So volunteering yesterday went really well... we got a lot accomplished and the time flew by! I'm definitely looking forward to the Festival committee meeting tomorrow night and volunteering again in two weeks. This coming weekend I will be in Michigan and driving home on Monday. So that makes this a really hectic week for me. I still have tons of homework, the committee meeting, a lunch date with Shasta, a wine tasting at the Wine Gallery, and packing! So I'll still try to post every day but I may not be able to catch up reading all the wonderful blogs I follow until I'm in the car for 14.5 hours on Friday! :)
Hope everyone is having a beautiful, inspiring start of the last week of March! 


One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.

Today is my day to do that something. Well, the start of my doing something anyway!


I'm very excited about today because it is my first day to volunteer at the Plaza District in Oklahoma City.
The Plaza District is a neighborhood commercial district boasting Oklahoma CIty's local arts flavor. Located on NW 16th between Classen and Penn Ave, the Plaza District is home to art galleries, studios, retail shops, restaurants, and creative services. Visit these local businesses owned by young, creative entrepreneurs and attend performances at the renovated Plaza Theatre for Lyric at the Plaza. Be sure to check out the artist-made retail businesses, a quality custom tattoo shop, a local salon favorite, and many shops for vintage and retro finds. This district, once blighted by urban decay now boasts a renewed energy embraced by Oklahoma City's youth and diverse culture. Each Second Friday of the month from 7-11pm, enjoy LIVE on the Plaza, a monthly artwalk featuring live music, featured artists, special events and local shopping.We hope you will join us soon and please take a moment to learn more about us, our businesses and events!
 I'm going to help with office work and organizing, which is right up my alley! Then Wednesday I have a committee meeting for planning the Plaza District Festival. This is something that I have been meaning to do for quite some time now and I finally feel like I'm comfortable with my school workload to take on another responsibility, especially one as rewarding as this! I love the Plaza District and I am so grateful that I get to be a part of it's future!
Hope you all have a great monday!


easy like a sunday morning [poem]

I came across this poem a few weeks ago and saved it on tumblr for a day just like today, when I'm in desperate need of a little poetry to take my mind to somewhere other than my dining room on this  chilly, gray sunday morning.

I Sit and Think 
I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall never see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien 

Also here is a sneak preview of the first stage of my newest painting.... It's a 30" x 40" and I don't really have a plan for it... I started thinking wine, which lead me to think of grapes, which lead me to purple circles and I really like the combination of gray and purple... so that lead me to where I am right now... hopefully I'll get to work on it more today so I can post new pictures tomorrow!


a home without books is a body without soul

I've come across a few good books that I feel really get me thinking and getting my creativity flowing that I'd like to share. These are kept separately from the rest of my fiction and non-fiction and reference books and magazines. These books share the shelf that is home to my sketchbooks, creativity journal, and folders stuffed full of eye catching articles and images  carefully torn from magazines.

First is The Happy Book.

It is just as the title implies, a happy book. Just seeing the color of the book made me happy. Then I opened it and found that it's one of those wonderful books where you get to scribble and fill it in however you'd like! Each page has a prompt that gives you a starting point of what to draw or write. I like writing in it when I am indeed happy and then looking back on it for inspiration when I can't seem to shake a grumpy mood. I have a rule of not to fill out more than one page at a time. I don't write in it every day, sometimes not even every week. But seeing it on the shelf when I have a few spare minutes is like opening the cookie jar to find there is only one cookie left... and it's all yours!

Wreck This Journal was a gift from my friend, Diana. It's by one of my favorite bloggers, Keri Smith. I could spend hours going back through her archives on her website and I'd love to eventually get all her books. She always inspires me to completely step outside of the box. Wreck This Journal is similar to The Happy Book in that each pages gives you a suggestion/instruction. However, in this book it is to literally destroy the pages.  One page suggests you tie a string around the book and drag it around. Another suggests you cut along the dotted line and crumple the page up.  It's full of suggestions that no other book would ever encourage and that's maybe what I love most about it. There is a reserved part of me that likes things neat and orderly, a part that needs straight lines and papers to be stacked evenly. This book tells that part of me to go find something to organize, while the other part of me has fun being creatively destructive.

I came across this chair a few years ago and fell in love... this is a book lovers dream!

Now I'm off to play... my Adobe CS5 software was delivered yesterday and there are designs just waiting to be created... Happy Saturday :)


exciting news!

This is the view from my back yard that I see every morning when I let my puppies outside... The sun is usually just coming up, like it's greeting me... this is my favorite way to start the day.

 So onto the exciting news..............
A few days ago I was contacted by a guy named Adam who owns a liquor store in OKC called The Wine Gallery.  I had signed up for newsletters about upcoming wine tastings/art shows. He said he liked my paintings and asked if I would be interested in hanging a few in his store for the month of May. Of course, I said I would absolutely love to (and then I jumped up and down in my living room and squealed really obnoxiously loud)... so now the preparation begins :)
I stopped by the store yesterday in between classes to meet him and check out the spaces available. The store is great and has a good flow to it... it's a pretty pale purple which works well with the black metal wine racks. It's also not crowded like most liquor stores, it's got plenty of room for browsing. The best part is that there are two great places right at the very front of the store, on either side of the front door, to hang large pieces. So although I have a few pieces that could do there, I really want to create a few new that will go well with the store and maybe even a few wine themed.
I also need to redo my business cards. I have a bout 250 i ordered through vista print last year but they don't have my phone number on them and the only contact, other than my email, is my etsy shop. And the more I think about it, the more I'm not really all that into Etsy anymore. At least not like I used to be. I've only had three sales on etsy, and I've found word of mouth travels faster than relisting. It just seems a little crowded to me. So I really need a website, but I haven't quite figured out how to make a great one yet, so I may just spruce up my blog and add a nice shop tab to it and list this on my business cards, along with my phone number and email. My darling little sister has already designed 4 lovely cards that I'm having a problem deciding between! I think I've narrowed it down to two, I'll post pictures tomorrow :)
Another great part of this is that Adam does monthly wine tastings. At April's wine tasting, he's asked me to be there painting and introducing myself to customers. Which makes me excited, yet nervous at the same time! I typically paint in my house, or out on my porch when I have the house to myself... so I think my plan is to get a painting started and at a good halfway point before the tasting, that way they can see the process of it, and I can paint little bits that don't require concentrations, while chatting.
It's going to take a lot of work in the next month to get every piece perfect and ready for public display but I feel like I have a good plan and I couldn't be happier! I'm so grateful to Adam for giving me this opportunity! Hopefully I can repay him by telling everyone I know to go see my art and buy a few bottles of wine :)
pretty flowers in the back yard (random)
Today is going to be a fun day for me... my homework for the week is done, I have the meeting with Kristin in the Plaza District at noon, then it's off to Michael's to stop up on canvas! I'll be sure to keep you all updated on my progress of the new paintings throughout the month so I can get your feedback :)
Thanks for all the support! I really appreciate that you take the time to read my rambles :)


thank you thursday

It's 7:04am. The sun has not yet crept over the horizon to welcome a new day with it's cheerful rays. Yet for some reason Franklin thought it was necessary for me to get out of bed and nudged me with his big cold moist nose and grumbled at me until I stumbled out of bed. After I made my way into the kitchen and started a pot of coffee, I was greeted with an overwhelming mixture of sheer makes-you-want-to-jump-up-and-down happiness and what-the-f-was-I-thinking-I-can't afford-that. Sitting on the counter, carefully wrapped and placed in it's simple box, was the 13" Macbook Pro I bought yesterday.

Don't get me wrong, I may be known for making sporadic, spur of the moment, impulsive decisions, but this was well thought out and very calculated. I talked to several mac owners, my professor, my sister (who's about to graduate with a bachelors in Graphic Design next month) and everyone highly recommended that I purchase this. I've been spending my Mondays at school in the Mac Lab working on InDesign and Photoshop homework and projects and I felt owning a mac would not only save me from having to sit in class all monday, but also give me more opportunity to familiarize myself with the programs I'm going to be using. I debated between the macbook and the macbook pro... after surveying several apple junkies, I went with the pro. It wasn't that much more and it has more to offer. Plus I got a student discount on the computer and the protection plan, although even with that by the time I bought the computer, protection plan, and ordered Adobe CS5 on amazon, I spent close to $2k yesterday, which makes my heart palpitate. severely.
Moving on... I'd like to eventually get on somewhat of a blogging schedule, I even brainstormed and wrote down some ideas over spring break... but I'm always thinking of something new so I don't know it I can blog in a structured manner just yet... but today is a small step in that direction. I'm dedicating Thursdays to everything I'm thankful for. I have a lot to be thankful for and to help me better appreciate and put that into perspective I'm going to focus on it once a week.

This week I am thankful for :
  • hot coffee in my Sea World mug
  • my patient, workaholic bf, Jeremy, who makes it possible for me to concentrate on school without working full-time... ty!
  • the student loans I received to make it possible for my fingers to be clicking away on the beautiful back-lit keyboard of my exquisite macbook pro (and the salesperson who helped me after questioning me for 10 minutes... apparently he's not used to girls knowing precisely what they want because he looked at me like I was craaaazy when I walked in and told him exactly what I wanted without even looking... I prefer to research from the comfort of my home rather than in a store under watchful eyes and persuasive tongues of salespeople)
  • an email I received from an owner of the OKC Wine Gallery, who wants to meet with me today between classes to discuss hanging 7 of my paintings in his store for the month of May!!!!!!! plus painting during a wine tasting in April!!!!!
  • the meeting I have tomorrow with Kristen, the Executive Director for the Plaza District Association, to discuss how I can help out. I've been meaning to do this for a while and I'm so happy I finally did! I love the Plaza District and figure while I'm looking for a flexible job I might as well put my extra time to good use and volunteer. I'm also on the Plaza District Festival Planning Committee... first meeting next Wednesday! Getting involved makes me giddy :)
  • lastly, I'm thankful for the amazing new purse I bought yesterday. I had a dream the other night about this purse... maybe because I've been wanting one for a while but haven't found the right one. So when I saw it hanging there, all by itself, I knew it was meant to be... It fits me way more than my pretty little pink coach purse... and it was 1/6 the price of my little  miss Zooey Coach purse.... and much more colorful. :) I went into Target to find a tote for my macbook, and came out with a purse, 3 hoodies for Jeremy, a heather grey set of king size jersey knit sheets and the new Oprah magazine. success.
loooove new purses!
Now the sun is slowly rising, reminding me that time is a ticking... lots to do today! Business Math exam, then class, meeting with Adam at the Wine Gallery, then Photoshop class, where I'll be taking an exam. Hope you all have a positively wonderful day :)


Life Lessons

Today seems like a good day to share an list I came across a few years ago. I received it in an email and loved it so much that I printed a bunch of copies and I usually put a copy in each birthday card I mail out... this is a good thing to read every so often as a reminder that life is beautiful... Enjoy :)

41 Life Lessons to Celebrate Growing Older

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
so thankful for my beautiful friends!
Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

Pay off your credit cards every month.

You don't have to win every arguement. Agree to disagree.

Save for retirement, starting with your first paycheck.

When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

Make peace with your past so it won't screw up your present.

Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

If a relationship has to be secret, you shouldn't be in it.

Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

When in doubt, just take the next small step.

Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

Cry with someone. It's mire healing than crying alone.

It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you & no one else.


When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occassion. Today is special.

Over prepare, then go with the flow.

Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

The most important sex organ is the brain.

No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

Frame every so-called disaster with these words "In 5 years, will this matter?"

Always choose life.

Forgive everyone everything.

What other people think of you is none of your business.

Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.

However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

Believe in miracles.

Your children only get one childhood.

All that truly matters in the end is that you are loved.

Get outide every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

The best is yet to come.

No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.


Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.


tuesday's playlist

As I sit on my couch with a steaming hot cup of coffee and my 3 puppies, the sky outside is still dark. Life has been busy lately and it's calming to let the still of the morning consume me. I'm going to keep things simple today because it's my first day of classes in over a week. Here is a list of songs that have recently found their way on to my playlist and an artist I found in last months issue of Nylon that I find really inspiring.

Nicole Atkins - The Way It Is
Ryan Adams - Answering Bell
Tje Austin - Sunshine
Lucy Schwartz - Count On Me

Now if that's not enough inspiration for you, this will certainly push you over the edge.
Alexa Meade paints portraits of people on people. 

Here's the explanation from her website...
Rather than creating representational paintings on a flat canvas, Alexa Meade creates her representational paintings directly on top of the physical subjects that she is referencing. When photographed, the representational painting and the subject being referenced appear to be one and the same as the 3D space of her painted scenes becomes optically compressed into a 2D plane. 

just go here and see for yourself.... http://alexameade.com/ utterly amazing.
Last week I wrote a post about my recent efforts to be more green. In it was a link for non-toxic cleaning recipes. I've tried the household cleaner, drain cleaner, and toilet bowl cleaner and I'm impressed! Not only do they actually work, they don't have that horrible smell most cleaners do that gives me a horrible headache. So I'm breaking up with my old cleaning products and ending our toxic relationship. 
I've also been meat-free since around noon on Saturday March 12 and I'm quite content. I have stocked up on brown rice, whole grain pitas, black beans, almond milk (dark chocolate is my favorite!), cottage cheese, and every veggie & fruit you can possibly imagine. I've went out to dinner twice since then and had no problems finding a delicious vegatarian/vegan entree. So, for me, this has definitely been a positive lifestyle change... so far. I may need to be reminded when I've had a few Teacates at Hooters watching everyone around me eat their delicious wings!

Now to do some more research for an essay I'm writing about Oklahoma's recent decision to suspend funding for public art for three years and why that's a horrible idea. Then InDesign and Business Math :)

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.


poems of war, peace, women, power

I've been slightly obsessed with ted.com lately. I love watching the videos of people speak about such a variety of subjects... I makes me so happy that all these short yet motivational, informative, eye opening speeches are all in one place, available to everyone and anyone...

I came across this video today and it touched me. From the very second I started watching I was captivated. Her passion and the beauty ad heartbreak of the words and the way they flowed out of her mouth literally took my breath away. I found myself holding my breath and absorbing every syllable of these two poems.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.  ~Tracy Chapman

Today is all about sending some love to those who need it most.
I'm sure I don't need to tell you about the tragedy that struck Japan last week so instead I will tell you a few unique ways you can help. 

Go the extra mile.  It's never crowded.  ~Author Unknown

TheForestFaery has made beautiful bracelets that come in a set of three and 100% of the sales will be donated to Japan. She's also offering free shipping :) check out her blog here.

 If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.  ~Lucy Larcom

KnitfulDesigns has knit an amazing beanie and 100% of all sales will be donated to Japan. Looks super comfy and that warm brown hue could easily be worn with anything! Check out her blog here

There are two ways of spreading light - to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.  ~Edith Wharton

Bubby and Bean has made an art print and 100% of all sales will be donated to either the Red Cross or to Animal Refuge Kansai (your choose when you check out). You can check out her blog here.

Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.  ~Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Now before I fall asleep at my computer I must go get some coffee (I'm out of damn creamer!) then get back in the swing of things... homework is waiting for me so I'll probably be at the library all day long. At least I'm halfway through the semester! :)

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.  ~Winston Churchill    


everyone needs beauty on sunday morning

I simply have to share this because I think it's beautiful and everyone needs beauty on a sunday morning. This is the video from my very good friends Jill & Jesse's (aka Team JC) wedding that I was so very happy to be a part of in January in the lovely below zero degree temperatures of Wisconsin. I've watched this several times and it brings me to tears each and every time because I feel the video captures the emotions of that day perfectly. Don't Shout Films did such an amazing job!

Jill and Jesse from Jonathan Wheeler on Vimeo.

Ok... next on today's agenda... Kindle. I love my kindle dx. I got it for christmas from my wonderful bf two years ago. It lives in a pretty pink case (which matches the pretty pink case my motorola droid lives in, and the pretty pink coach purse in which I carry both of them around in... yes, it's a slight obsession) and I named it Libby. Now, I don't typically name things but it asked me for a name to display in the upper left hand corner and to distinguish which device I wanted things sent to when I buy them, and for some reason Libby just fit. Back when I worked full-time and actually had money, I used to subscribe to blogs and magazines on my kindle. It's $1.99 a month (with a free 14 day trial) and while it's the same content you could read for free on your computer, it's conveniently delivered to your kindle everytime the blog is updated. unfortunately I had to cancel all my subscriptions because I'm a poor college student who hasn't gotten a full paycheck since December, but I did manage to figure out how to add my blog to the wonderful world of kindle blogs available to subscribe to :) now if you go to amazon and search for simply sarafina it allows kindle users to subscribe to me. It just amazes me that all this is even possible... considering that 11 years ago when I was a senior in high school no one had cell phones, technology never ceases to amaze me!
Now I'm off to get ready to spend the day with Diana, book shopping, sharing music and maybe something yummy for lunch...going to enjoy my last day of spring break. Tomorrow I have tons of homework to do that I've managed to put off all week :)
Be sure to check back tomorrow because I'm going to feature several amazing ways to help the people and animals of Japan!

BTW... I've now gone over one whole week without eating meat and I honestly don't even miss it :)


donate, dine & wine and new paintings

I didn't write yesterday, but I did update my blogs look a little... I think this template is a little more 'me' so I hope you like it!
Yesterday was my most favorite day of the month because it was the 3rd Friday of the month, which is the day I get together with my girlfriends for Donate, Dine & Wine.
Donate, Dine & Wine was started in Edmond, OK almost 3 years ago. The concept is simple. Get a group of friends together for dinner and/or drinks and then choose a charity to make a minimum $5 donation per person to each month. There are 6 groups (4 in Oklahoma, 1 in California, 1 in Texas) and our group name is Girls Behaving Generously. We formed in July of 2009 after 2 girls heard about Donate, Dine & Wine from a co-worker. We only dine at locally owned restaurants and we donate to local charities to be sure we're giving back to our community. This year we're donating to Best Friends of Pets. The mission of Best Friends of Pets is to end pet overpopulation by helping pets, their owners and our community. They offer great services, like low cost spay/neuter clinics, pet adoptions, id tags and pet education.
(To start your own group please read how easy it is here and then email Yara... I promise you will love it!)
We ate at West last night and the best part was they served a plate of blue cotton candy for dessert! Here we are....
Diana, me, Cindi & Amber at West
Aside from blog templates and donating, dining and wining (or beering, in my case), I worked on 2 paintings yesterday which aren't completely done but I posted them to facebook and got tons of great feedback so here they are....
12" x 16" x 1.5"

16" x 40" x 1.5"
I'm really excited about both of them and have actually come up with an idea to combine the two ideas to create a collection called 'a little bird told me' (inspired by my fabulous little sister). this collection will feature cute little chubby colorful birds full of wise quotes. The quotes will either by in thought bubbles or written in the branches the birds sit on. I'm in love with little birds and letters so intertwining them makes me giddy like a little kid in a candy store!
As a side note, I also had a really successful shopping spree at Half Price Books yesterday... I found this months issue of Nylon.... Score! Now to read my new magazine and paint a little before I have to go to a birthday party tonight. Such a beautiful day! I hope you all enjoy it :)


Going Green

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today is all about green. I'm half Irish and filled with delicious memories of my mom making corned beef and cabbage to celebrate. Sometimes she even made green eggs and ham or green jello. Since I haven't eaten any meat since last Saturday, I won't be eating any corned beef, although I am still cooking some for my boyfriend. So I'm putting a little twist on celebrating this holiday full o' green... by doing a few simple things to be more 'green'.
Yesterday I went to Hancock Fabrics. It's one of my favorite places, aside from the library or Half Price Books, because everyone is friendly and interested in knowing what you're making, and also because I like walking up and down the aisles touching the different textures of fabric. I made my way slowly to the back of the store and chose a white nylon mesh material. When I took it to the counter, the clerk told me it was on sale and only $2.50 a yard, which made me even happier. So I bought 2 yards and drove home with the windows rolled down listening to Florence & the Machine extremely loud.
2 hours and a tall can of Chelada later, this is what I had...
nylon mesh reusable produce bag
A few years ago I started collecting tote bags to put my groceries in so that I didn't have to use plastic. But when I buy produce I'm stuck with using those annoying rolls of plastic bags that refuse to cooperate and always stick together. So I did a little research online and found a few tutorials on how to make my own reusable bags. I didn't follow a pattern and just kind of experimented, but I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt. I chose a pretty green ribbon with flowers that I'd had for a while to make a drawstring to tie the bag closed. Sewing it by hand was kind of a pain and took forever but luckily Miranda is visiting me next month and she's going to thread my sewing machine and show me how to use it so I can make more bags in less time!
My other green project for the day was inspired by my friend Diana, who sent me an email with a link to Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes. Not only are they safe but they're also cheaper! I personally can't say whether they're more effective because I just bought all the ingredients this morning and haven't made them yet, but I will let you know tomorrow!


wallets and wacky fish-shaped rings

Today I have a really long to do list so I'm going to keep it short... I want to share two of my favorite finds.

First is a ring that I found at Dustie's. It's not a store I usually shop at but I needed to find a cute necklace for a friend's wedding on a limited budget, so I gave it a try. and I found this.....
The most fabulous fish ring. ever. I typically don't wear rings and I haven't actually worn it anywhere since I bought it, but every time I see it on a my jewelry rack, it makes me smile. It's slightly too big but what it lacks in the size department, it more than makes up for by being super bright and colorful.

Now onto a wonderful gift that I received for Christmas from my boyfriend, Jeremy. I found it on Etsy and added it as a favorite about a month prior to Christmas. He was super smart and went through all the amazing items I have listed as favorites and picked out this one :) It's a handmade wallet from KomonoArt.

I get tons of compliments on it. Not only is it unique and doesn't look like every other wallet out there... it's sewn perfectly! The construction is amazing... and my most favorite part about it is that it's made of so many different patterned fabrics! I check her shop frequently and every time I see a new wallet that I just have to have.
This is the only one I have so far, but I definitely see more wallets in my future :)


stylish blogger award!

My day has started off good for 3 major reason.
  1. I slept in! This never happens... but it did today! I slept until 9:45 :)
  2. I noticed as soon as I opened my eyes that the sun was shining.
  3. I had a little pink blinking light on my phone telling me that I had new emails and text messages. One of those messages was from Tiffany at My Lemonade Dreams informing me that she had chosen me for the Stylish Blogger Award! Thank you Tiffany! I love your blog, too :) This really means a lot to me because although I'm not new to blogging (I started a few years ago), I am new to blogging consistently. This just inspires me to keep on going :)

Here's the rules:

1. Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their blog.

2. Share 7 random facts

3. Share the blog love!

Ok so I've already thanked Tiffany, but let me urge you all to take the time to check out her blog, My Lemonade Dreams. I'm pretty sure you'll love it :)

Now for my 7 random facts....
  • I have an addiction to magazines. Admitting is the first step, right? I subscribe to Shape, Self, Real Simple, Fitness, US Weekly and I buy Nylon, Bust, InStyle, Oprah and Juxtapoz regularly from Half Price Books. I also have apps on my phone for Reason and Nylon.
  • I have the biggest crush on Ian Somerhalder, who plays Damon on Vampire Diaries. Not only does he have gorgeous smoldering eyes, but he has his own foundation. The IS Foundation aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures. Beautiful and wants to save the world... now that's perfection in my eyes! and he lives in ATL, where my best friend lives and where I happen to be going in fall :)
  • I moved to Oklahoma on Friday June 13th, 2003 when I was 20 years old. I packed as much as I could in my red four door Pontiac Grand Am and left around 8 am, embarking on my first ever road trip. I only took the wrong highway once and quickly turned myself back around. The 1,000 mile drive took me 14 hours and I arrived in Moore, OK safe, sound and super excited around midnight. Since then, I've driven back and forth about 20 times, the last time was January 2011 for Jill's wedding.
  • I love Reese's Peanut Butter cups. LOVE them. I could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Spring is my favorite because they sell Reester Bunnies!
  • I hate being cold. I hate winter. I hate snow (but I loooove driving in it!). When I was in high school, my bf Katie and I decided to get a job at a ski resort because we thought there would be hot guys working there. But we hated standing outside for several hours in the freezing cold so we called in all the time. Once we called in and said that we had gotten in a car accident on the way to work so we couldn't come in and went to a guys house instead. Perfect plan, right? Well, it was until the resort called our parents later to make sure we were OK. Busted.
  • I love coffee but I can only drink it if it's Folger's Breakfast blend and I drown it in sugar free french vanilla creamer and sprinkle it with cinnamon.
  • I haven't eaten meat in 4 days. The more I think about how much I love animals and hate the idea of hunting, the less appealing eating any animal becomes. I've still been cooking meat because Jeremy is definitely carnivorous, but so far I'm over it. The only meat that sounds amazing to me is rainbow trout and seared mahi mahi!
Now for the best part! I would like to pass along the stylish blogger award to.............

Congrats ladies... you definitely deserve this award!

One more thing I wanted to share with you today.... I discovered this song last week and I love it. It's so bouncy and happy, I find myself humming along to it even after it's over...
Enjoy :)


rx: monday morning motivation

It's chilly. It's cloudy. It's monday morning. Not the greatest combination, but like Tim Gunn says... We'll make it work.
So I'm just going to pull the curtains closed and look at bright cheery pictures like the one below and concentrate on how I can be productive and creative this week (because it's spring break... yay!). 

cre·a·tiv·i·ty [kree-ey-tiv-i-tee, kree-uh-] -noun

1. the state or quality of being creative.
2. the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts.
3. the process by which one utilizes creative ability.


When I can no longer create anything, I’ll be done for. - Coco Chanel

The block of wood should not dictate to the carver.  - New Zealand Proverb

The important thing is to create. Nothing else matters; creation is all. - Pablo Picasso

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. - Michelangelo

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will. - George Bernard Shaw

But, if you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself. - Carl Gustav Jung

Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work. - Rita Mae Brown

Hope you all have a creative and productive week! :)


Post Run Lucky

post race beer!
Well the race was a success! Considering this was the first time being done in OKC, the turnout was great... there was tons of great costumes and over 1,000 runners (not including all the walkers who did the 1k)!

I'm not sure of our exact finish times because they're not posted yet but we were pretty much in the middle of the pack the whole time. The weather during the race was perfect (overcast with a slight breeze) for running and thankfully the rain held off until after the race.

post race
We had so much fun seeing all the other costumes... my favorite was the green man who had a whole body suit... I have no idea how he ran with it covering his entire face but he did! There were lots o' leprechauns with red beard and green hats, too... however, the winner of the costume contest was a giant bottle of Heineken!

I wish every race was a costume race! It made the run so much fun... Our tutus were awesome but we could have done more... next year we'll definitely be more prepared!

Next race coming up is the YWCA 2 minute 5k in April...
Now time to put my feet up and read my new book The Girls From Ames :)

run lucky

Today is my first 5k of the year... Run Lucky. This is the first year for this race in OKC so I'm not exactly sure what to expect, but I do know that everyone dresses up for St. Patrick's Day, all net proceeds will be donated to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and you get a beer at the finish line! I'm slightly disappointed that there's a chance of rain this afternoon and it's cloudy but I'm sure it will be be fun either way.

This race has given me the chance to be a little crafty... I decided to make skirts for Diana and I to wear. I originally went to Hobby Lobby with the intention of buying tulle to make tutus but I was distracted by this amazing dark green sequined fabric and a stretchy shiny lime green fabric. I also found a thick strip of elastic with green sequins.... reminded me of a belt I had back when I was a little girl... in the 80's!

I got a few weird looks at the fabric counter but my fabric selection sparked a little conversation about what we were all making. I found myself surrounded by sewers with amazing projects, like diaper bags and baby clothes. and there I stood with 6 yards of 3 loud fabrics that I didn't even plan on sewing! Not that I don't have a sewing machine, because I do. I got it as a christmas present 4 years ago after hand sewing a huge red fleece sack for 'santa' with a pretty braided rope to cinch it closed. My Brother machine is pretty and shiny and white... and still in the box. I've taken it out a few times but I honestly cannot figure out how to even thread it. But that's a whole other post in itself... back to the skirts.
So I spent all afternoon cutting thin strips of fabric and then looping them around a piece of ribbon and here's the end result....

 I'm going to sew the ends together right before the race but I think it turned out pretty good for my first attempt. I already have green tights and a green shirt to wear to complete my outfit. I've learned two very important lessons while making this project....
  1. buy way more tulle than you think you need. because you will need it. and then some.
  2. maybe I'd sew more if I had a sewing/craft table. kitchen tables are the wrong height for cutting fabric.
 I'll post pictures of the race either later today or tomorrow :)


spring forward treasury

I just created my first ever treasury Spring Forward ! I haven't really had much time to browse Etsy lately with school but I snuck in a little time tonight to find some beautiful spring inspired paintings and prints to make up for losing an hour of sleep tonight (like the print shown below from LizWill).
Spring Into Love

coffee, acrylics, and the sound of silence.

Throughout the years I've somehow miraculously transformed into a morning person. Coffee played a huge part in that, as well as getting a regular 8-5 job. Even though I'm not currently working, the damage is done and I can't not seem to sleep past 7 am.
So here I am. Wide awake. Sitting in a sleeping house. With the exception of the animals.... Frankie and Zoe are laying on the couch with me and Elizabeth Taylor & Cleopatra are sitting in the open windowsill watching the birds outside as they serenade us a lovely saturday morning melody. I'm drinking a cup of breakfast blend coffee with sugar free french vanilla creamer and a dash of cinnamon.
This has become, without a doubt, my favorite time of the day. This is when I feel most inspired. The soft morning light is just beginning to seep over the horizon and fill the room with a soft glow. It's easy to forget the tragedy in the world when my dead end street is peaceful and calm. It makes me feel like I'm the only person in the world and all this beauty is specifically for my viewing pleasure. I have this secret affair with silence each and every morning. My head stops swimming in a sea of thoughts, to-dos, what ifs, would haves, should haves and could haves and instead floats peacefully, absorbed in the delicate sound of silence. Quiet soothes, calms, and makes me want to sit wrapped up in my favorite striped throw on the porch with a brand new canvas and a palette thick with untouched acrylics awaiting the opportunity to transform the calmness into something beautiful.

"A painting is never finished - it simply stops in interesting places." -Paul Gardner


a little friday morning inspiration

Today is the beginning of my spring break! My to-do list is so damn long that it might not be much of a break but seeing my to-do list with every line crossed out makes me incredibly happy, so it's well worth all the effort. Hopefully by next Saturday these pages will be filled with scribbles!

In the midst of making my to-do list, I got a little distracted... I came across a few friday morning favorites that made me happy and inspired me.

First is explodingdog. Not what you think... It's a brilliant man named Sam who draws pictures from titles that people send him. It's a guilty pleasure of mine and have spent a good part of my morning clicking.

Second is a poem by Langston Hughes.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.


Happy Friday :)


A house is not a home without a pet

I'm pretty passionate when it comes to animals. Another great attribute passed down to me from my mom. I grew up on a horse farm. When leaving a door open, she always would say 'Were you born in the barn?'.... it's questionable. I spent long summer days playing in the attic of the barn in my 'clubhouse' (where my fellow club members were beloved barn cats) or climbing trees (again, with the cats). Throughout the years, aside from horses and cats, I also had dogs, bunnies, birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, iguanas, fish, and salamanders. Living in OKC I don't have quite the menagerie that I used to but I probably have more pets than most.

I've had Bacchus the cockatiel since my old roommate brought him home from Petsmart in 2004. We have a love hate relationship. Sometimes I love him, and when he's squawking super loud I absolutely hate him. He's actually really funny and even though I try to give him away constantly, the house would be a little too quiet without him.

I adopted Jasmine from the OKC Humane Society in August of 2006. She was the only cat who was in the back of her crate asleep but she was also the only cat who was already declawed (and Jeremy insisted on no claw on his leather furniture) and since I don't believe in declawing, she was the lucky cat. She's turned out to have a great personality and she's pretty talkative.

Monty, Zoe, & Frankie
The next addition was Monty. I found him at the Norman Animal Shelter in January of 2009. He was bony and shivering.... his little eyes just begged me to take him home. I got him home and took him to the vet only to find out that he had heartworms (even though the shelter said they tested him and the test came back negative). $1,500 and a few months later, Monty was heartworm free. He gained weight and although he still barks at strangers and men, he's cuddly and happy.

Baby Zoe
Next came Zoe. She came from the co-worker of a friend of my co-worker in April of 2009. She was the last of her litter and they were going to take her to the shelter so I said I'd take her. She was about 4 pounds when I got her and she fit in one hand. She's a little bigger than that now but her personality is huge. She's definitely the leader of the pack and super bossy. But she's also a big baby and always wants to be held or snuggled.

Zoe & Baby Frankie
Then there's Franklin. or Frankie. He came from a co-worker who was dating a police officer in Norman who found a litter of puppies and was trying to find homes for them. She wanted to keep him but her dog didn't like him so Jeremy asked me if I wanted him. He was a 7 pound wiggly little black and white puppy and it was love at first sight. He now weighs about 90 pounds, but he has no clue. He plays with the little dogs and loves the cats and always wants to sit on my lap. He knows how to open the patio door and is an expert when it comes to digging huge holes.
Zoe & Frankie

aw, baby Elizabeth
Elizabeth and Cleopatra

The final addition came in May of 2010 when my boss called me after a huge storm. He went by the office to check out the damage and found a litter of baby kitties. I went in the next morning to check on them and they were right where he left them, so I assumed their mom wasn't coming back. They didn't even have their eyes open, so I took them inside and went to Petsmart to get formula. I became the designated cat mom and took the kittens with me everywhere I went, feeding them every 3-4 hours. We thought the white kitten was a boy so we named it Sebastian (after Shasta's favorite guy at the MAC counter) and the black kitten became Cleopatra. When they were a little bigger I took them to the vet and found out Sebastian was actually a girl, who is now Elizabeth Taylor. They have no clue they're cats. The drink water out of glasses, sleep in the dog crates, and greet me at the door when I get home. I said I wasn't going to keep them.... but now I'm attached and they're just part of the family. 
Frankie & Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth cat napping
Cleo, Elizabeth and Zoe