Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bring Happy Home

I posted recently on my travels and now I though I should post on how I am enjoying being home. There's nothing like traveling to remind you of the simple indulgence of just lounging around in a familiar space with those you missed close by.

We often bring back memories, souvenirs, or even lessons learned from our travels or even from a day at work. Wherever you go there's always a place awaiting your return. And that thought is the most comforting. There will be a place for your mementos to be shelved, a plush place to sit down, and food, wine and reading to nourish.

I like to leave all the stress, drama, and heartache outside my front door. I want to keep my home full of positivity, a place of welcome, where others can step inside and feel at ease. It's because of this sentiment that I truly appreciate Jessie Steele 's slogan "Bring Happy Home." I want to thank Jessie for sharing her aprons with me as well as her fun catalog. You'll be happy to know that her pieces will be appearing in the upcoming apronology. If you want to get happy before you get home, check out her site.

Hoping today sends you home happy : )

Friday, September 23, 2011

Midwest Memories: Part 3: Kansas Kind of Life

Life in Kansas runs on a different pace. The fastest movements are those of horses roaming wildly in fields and wind blowing against the grains before a harvest. It has been a long time since I slowed down so much. I even got to finish a book, which is such a rare treat for me, to find the time to read a novel - something I used to do frequently. Even seemingly small acts like petting horses and listening to acoustic music at an outdoor dinner can make your day, if you let them. We were treated to an outdoor dinner at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. The dinner was presented by the local Farmer's Market and featured locally grown food and wine. My favorite wine came from the Oz Winery and was called Ruby Slippers (it was a red wine of course).

While I wasn't able to click my heels together thrice, I was able to kick my shoes off a bit. And while there is no place like Kansas, there is also no place like home. I think the greatest lesson learned from traveling is finding those things that appeal to you while abroad and incorporating them into your everyday life -wherever that life is lived. For me that means valuing family and staying in touch, taking my shoes off once in a while (especially the painful ones), not being afraid of relaxation, reading more, and indulging in being home.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Midwest Memories: Part 2: Missouri, Place of Power & Light

I love it when places surprise me. When I first learned that we would be driving through Missouri on our trip, I wasn't that excited, though the prospect of seeing the Arch was intriguing. But what I found in St. Louis and Kansas City were cities I could really appreciate. And being a city girl, that's all I could really ask for.

The Arch is 630 feet tall. We went to the top of it and looked down at the world below. This is not something you want to do if you are claustrophobic, as the cabins that ride up to the top are very very small and 5 people are crammed in a cabin. But the view is worth it. The Arch is symbolic of being a gateway to the West. It commemorates the idea of expansion and the impact it has had on the forging of our country. The tour points out that all of our national monuments are simple, striking, geometric shapes (obelisks etc.) which is why the Arch was chosen as the design.

The Garment District is a store in the heart of downtown Kansas City called the Power and Light District. And they are genius, because there is a bar right inside of this fabulous, on-trend boutique. Talk about shop 'til you drop! I loved the wall art and old signs in Kansas City. While we were walking around on Sunday morning a saxophone player serenaded the empty streets. His song made me feel as if the streets were full and alive, crowded with the ghosts of all those days passed, leaving footprints from another era. Though I had never been there before, I left Missouri with many memories. So glad this stop along the way expanded my horizons.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Midwest Memories: Part 1: Illuminating Indiana

There's something very interesting about returning to the place you came from, where roots are fully in the ground and you are always remembered. I feel like my family in California is small, but when my dad and I traveled to Indiana it seemed like there was family around every corner. I even discovered that my dad's cousin is a weaver. Check out her site, www.loominarias.com for vibrant, colorful, gorgeous scarves and shawls handmade in Indy. Mindy has 3 looms in her home, and her backyard is actually on a channel. The water above is from the channel when we were on her boat. Do you see the swan up top? And the picture at the bottom is from the Indiana State Museum (www.indianamuseum.org). I enjoyed taking in both the living and static history of this state and learning how I am connected to it. Though it had been 17 years since I last traveled to be with these family members, they welcomed me back graciously. And those places I thought I had forgotten about, suddenly came back to the forefront of my memory. We never really forget where we come from.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Want, I Want

I want to thank Christine Wallace for this amazing pair of pear earrings. They are stunning, truly.

Christine sells on Etsy, and every day it seems like I am roaming the site, finding many new things to wish for. Jewelry especially is a weakness for me, as so many pieces cost a pretty penny, and it truly feels impossible financially to own everything I want. In truth, I could order one of each from the pages of Jewelry Affaire, but alas, that is not the reality of life.

In thinking about wanting you have to think about needing. When growing up, my mum was very careful to point out that I "wanted" things I did not "need." It's true, we forget that we have basically everything we need and want most else. We live in a society that fuels pushing the "want" button so much that it's hard to stop.

I have wanted a great many things in my life (Miu Miu pumps, a Mini Cooper, a bigger closet, a career, just to name a few ... ) but today it occurred to me that my wants have changed. It can be a pleasant surprise to realize that you'll gladly forgo a dress in order to save for the things you crave so badly. It's refreshing to see you have grown overnight, content that finally you have everything you need and the only wants left are those for a secure future.

There are endless lessons to be learned from jewelry. I want to learn more ...