July 2014 - 10 Things That Made Me Happy

Well, this post is a little late but since I spent my day being creative with my hands and not my computer I think it's well worth the delay. July is a tough month for me, I can't help but focus on my mom for much of it since she passed away in mid-July. I try to keep my thoughts more along the lines of gratitude and fond memories, but it's still tough, even five years later. It's also terribly hot and humid, my least favorite weather conditions AND the MLB trade deadline is July 31st so there is always a chance the Red Sox will do something to cause emotional distress.

All this means that this little exercise is more important than ever. So here goes...10 things that made me happy this July.

  1. The Boston 4th of July Fireworks (and by 4th I mean 3rd when there's a tropical storm on the way). There is no comparison to watching these fireworks in person, the tv does not begin to do them justice. This year the ended just in time for me to get caught in a massive, blinding downpour right in the middle of Kenmore Square while heading back to my car. It was crazy and I was literally soaked to the bone but it somehow just made it the evening a little more fun. 

  2. I've been doing a Throw Out 100 Things Challenge and this organization, Extras for Creative Reuse in Lynn, MA was the perfect place to donate all my extra and unused arts and craft supplies.

  3. 30-lbs Gone! Love watching that line trend downward. 

  4. Uppercase Magazine. Truth be told I discovered Uppercase in late May but I can't get enough of it. It's one of those magazines that is so visually stimulating and inspiring to me that I don't know where to begin when I open the cover. 

  5. Sign Painters documentary. Really cool to see these artists do their work and discuss how the sign painting industry is struggling to survive in our digital world.

  6. OMG the Veggetti. Best invention ever for those who like zucchini and can't eat pasta. So easy to use and has lots of possibilities for both Italian and Asian dishes. I've mainly just been sautéing the "noodles" in garlic infused olive oil and then adding some marinara sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese but I've seen some other ideas that I definitely want to try. 

  7. Sharing a Coke with my two favorite people. Haven't found my own name yet but Deborah has never been an easy find on personalized products.

  8. Fresh pesto. Possibly one of July's most redeeming qualities is that there is tons of fresh basil ready to be made into pesto. I make my mom's recipe and freeze as much as possible so I have it into the fall. 

  9. My 24-oz Whimsical Owl Tervis Tumbler. I fill it at least three times a day to ensure I am getting enough water. I like that it makes it easy for me to keep track of my fluid intake and the little owls are cute. 

  10. This picture of my mom right after I was born. She was an amazing woman. I am grateful everyday for everything she taught me and for the relationship we shared.

Until next month...


June 2014 - 10 Things That Made Me Happy

Gossip, er...I mean entertainment, magazines, always have quick little pieces where a celebrity reveals the contents of their purse or list 10 things you don't know about them. Likewise, design magazines always publish lists by their editors or featured designers that list things that are "so right now," or inspire them, or they can't live without.

I'm not sure if it's because they are usually typographically interesting quick reads, or if it's creative and clever placement of images that reaffirm the statements,  but I absolutely love them. I think it's interesting to see what other people are passionate about or in fact what they have in their purse. Plus I live for lists.

Lately I have been making an effort to be more mindful of my thoughts and staying in a moment long enough to either soak it in or move on from it. So, I thought I'd try a monthly series of 10 Things That are Making Me Happy. I realize this will require me to update this blog just a tad more frequently. Anyway, here goes...

  1. Watching my weight loss progress chart in the MyFitnessPal app trend downward. I'm on a VLC (Very Low Calorie) Ketogenic Diet. It's a whole new way of life and I'm learning tons everyday. It's crazy hard work so seeing my progress is extremely rewarding.

  2. Handmade (by me!) Ampersand Wall Art, I painted an MDF ampersand white and decorated it with a mix of Scotch and mt tape brand washi tapes.

  3. Meeting Pedro Martinez at the Prudential Center during a Good Humor Ice Cream promotion. (No ice cream for me!)

  4. The Kale Caesar Salad at Sweetgreen. This place had a perfect salad for my dietary requirements and has detailed nutritional information available which is something I have a new found appreciation for. If you have dietary restrictions and live near one I recommend checking this place out.

  5. Geometric Papercrafting Workshop at Paper Source in Chestnut Hill. We made triangle wall art (shown), a really cool mobile and note cards.

  6. This Guy. I have a love/hate relationship with cats because I'm allergic but I'd steal this one if I didn't think it would cost me my best friend.

  7. Local Greek Festivals. Always a good time with good food and good friends.

  8. The reunion of the 2004 Boston Red Sox team for the 10th anniversary of the World Series win. SO many fun memories. I was fortunate to see a lot of regular season games in '04 and was there for the victory parade.

  9. Tofu Shirataki noodles, specifically Angel Hair or Spaghetti. In my new life without pasta, rice, grains and bread I finally broke down and gave these "noodles" a try. They require some careful preparation but if done right they totally do the trick for me. Surprisingly, I haven't been craving all that stuff nearly as much as I thought I would be but I made a slightly altered version of Hungry Girl's Shrimp Scampi recipe with them and I loved it! (I didn't use the onions and I added zucchini. I also used garlic infused olive oil in the pan instead of cooking spray. Oh and I used the angel hair style noodle instead of fettuccine.)

  10. Sparkling Ice Lemonade, the perfect summer refresher, plus no calories or sugar.

So there you have it. What made you happy this past month?


12. 12. 12.

figured i should post since it's the last time there will be a triple date this century.

so i did.



Pretty Pretty Colors

I LOVE color. My world would be empty without it. I always have a hard time when people ask me what my favorite color is. Sometimes it's eggplant, sometimes it's cyan, sometimes it's gray. Most of the time I answer that question with some combination like Eggplant, Cyan and Gray or  Black, White and Yellow or some other completely different combination all to get out of having to choose just one. Anyway, a colleague sent me this fun but definitely challenging color quiz

I scored 12 out of 15.



Washi Tape Dilemma

I have a craft supply problem. Everyone knows.

I particularly have a hard time resisting any type of clear packaging that features a rainbow of colors. So when I went to the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum this past November, and saw this thirty something dollar box of Japanese washi tape in the gift shop clearly I needed to have it. Fortunately I had my birthday as an excuse to buy it. Now the problem is of course, what to do with it. And also, how to resist all of these other really cute styles that I could combine the solid colors with.

Stay tuned. I'm about to get crafting.

Where exactly is Alasdair Gillis?

So pretty much everyone knows that Kirk Cameron has committed himself to Christ, right? Cause I definitely knew. Same way I know that Buddy from Charles in Charge became Bibleman. But what I did not know was this. That's all I'm saying.