a lake break

this is the first spring break in a long time where we actually got to take a few days off and relax and it was much needed. this semester has been so crazy that between work, school, teaching, coaching, and everything that needs to happen in between austin and i barely had any time together. seriously, we haven’t had a free weekend in 3 months. so we sought refuge at the lakehouse for a few days of r&r.


it usually takes about three hours to get there, but the drive itself can be a nice way to unwind. plus it’s been rare that we get that much undivided time to just enjoy each other.



each day started with a cup of coffee out on the porch and ended with a glass of wine under the stars (which were bright & fantastic). in between all of that there were gigantic breakfasts, lots of music, pool rallies, dominoes, micheladas, sunbathing, james bond movies and of course fishing. it’s pretty amazing to go three days without internet, cable and wearing shoes. i could get used to it.


lawn time


nug & pop




having a few days off with loved ones means so much to us. and gosh it’s nice to leave all of the distractions behind and just focus on simple fact that i am completely and totally in love with my husband and beyond smitten with my pup. spring break 2013 totally rocked.



i felt like this lamp.lamped

a little bit tangled and worn down. a few days into january and i was feeling less than inspired, less than energized, and less than well…exquisite. i’ve gotten past the days of putting new years eve on a pedestal of epic party-going and champagne toasts, but there is still a part of me that hopes each new year will be entered with a childlike wondering of ‘what’s next?’ instead, kicked off 2013 exhausted, annoyed by to-do’s that weren’t accomplished over the holiday, and my shoulders were tight with the impending stress of night classes looming in the coming weeks. if we’re being honest, i’ve used the phrase ‘pull yourself together’ way too many times this month.

after being off of work for so long, i realized i had little to nothing to look forward to upon returning to my beige desk equipped with two computer screens and a phone that rings incessantly. (did i mention my office is in a metal box building with no windows?) i find that i ping pong between the notion that ‘work is supposed to be this fulfilling and enriching atmosphere of creativity and connecting’ and ‘suck it up you baby, the economy tanked, and jobs are hard to find.’ and i was deep in the former and wishing for something more. however when i step back from the emotion of it all, i see that my job serves a purpose. it is keeping me out of heaps of school debt and i am very thankful for that.

in the midst of my pity parties i am seeking solace in a few new interests, and if there is i make time, i hope to find myself somewhere balanced in all of the pingponging. last semester i started reading up on mindfulness and lucky me, it’s a focus of one of my classes this spring. i’m almost done with mindsight (i love it), and just started mindfulness and psychotherapy (a little more textbooky, but still good). if you’re curious, spend some time hearing what dr. dan siegel has to say – i promise it will be fascinating and it could do ya some good too. after reading this article i’ve decided to put words to how i can improve my everyday by becoming more intentional with how and what my time and mind are focused on (i’m looking at you people.com). sabbath manifesto’s ten principles are a good starting point i think, but i hope to create my own principles.

grounded lamp

i’m already feeling a bit more grounded.



so at midnight i will be twenty eight years old. pretty neat huh? i know everyone is always dreading the impending age of 30, but why? we’re still babies if you ask me. i know i’ve got a lot of living and learning left to do and i’m actually thrilled about getting older. each year of life offers me countless opportunities to get to know myself better. for me at least, with age comes self-awareness, self-love, and a better ability to care for myself and be in the world without feeling the need to be anything other than little ol’ dani. so looking back at twenty-seven, i can say i learned a lot. here’s the year in review:

-i started grad school. crap, my courses are more about figuring my own mess out than anything else and i love that. this program has given me limitless lenses to see the world through and all in all i’d say it’s making me a better human. (and i got a’s this summer. yippee!)

-my dad beat cancer. let me repeat that, my dad is now going on a year of remission. what a feat. i have a new level of appreciation for my family, and through this experience i’ve seen many different sides of my papa, all of them beautiful and revealing about the standard of man that he is. i love him so much.

-we adopted sadie. the phrase ‘best decision of my life’ comes to mind but that even feels like an understatement. this pup means the world to us and we are delighted to call her our own each and every day. i still can’t believe we get the privilege to have her in our family.

-we bought a house. nuts. at times i can’t believe i’m a homeowner. we’ve only lived in this house for about 3 months now, but it feels so perfectly like home. i love it a little more each and every day and i think this home will be good to us.

so twenty seven, thanks for good times, and twenty eight, brace yourself, this spring chicken is a comin’ for ya.

close to closing

we are approximately 75 hours from closing on our house. and in the last 24 hours i’ve been hit with the mildly shocking reality of all it takes to buy a home. here’s how i saw this playing out:

monday morning: wake up. wear something cute so i can take a picture with the keys to our first home. drink coffee. buy a house.

who knew we had to line up homeowner’s insurance, pick a home warranty company, and crunch tons of numbers/get quote after quote looking for the best coverage. if you haven’t guessed it by now, i am clueless in the world of home ownership, but we finally have it all figured out (talk about down to the wire).

my pinterest boards are exploding in sweet anticipation of this home and i may or may not currently have a gigantic color wheel in my purse.

we are so fantastically thrilled to be so close to owning our first home. little sadie has no idea how epic this will be for her. her own yard and a doggie door to boot. monday cannot get here fast enough.

photo source.

the skinny

so as evidenced by my complete lack of posting, i’ve been busy these last few weeks. for starters, i finally got a j.o.b. and adjusting to full time employment after seven months of teetering between temp jobs and unemployment is a tall order. also, classes started back up, so my free time is spent with my head in a book.


i have not given up on posting. let’s just say i’m going to scale things back a bit. so bear with me while i work to get my feet back under me.



now that we’ve agreed, here’s the plan stan. due to the popular demand of loved ones i’ve made the following goals: at least one style post a month. at least two fab recipe posts a month. and the obvious sprinkling in of life updates, nonsensical rants, and sharable inspiration. also, per the request of dear rob, i’ll finally add to my ‘stuff i love’ page, as he made the valid point that it’s no secret that i love my husband and my dog. touché.

get excited folks. it’s going to be epic average, if not enjoyable.

settle down

fantastic song. fantastic video.

i think a lot about redefining the idea of “settling down.” changing the picture of  having a dog, two kids, and a mortgage to austin and i doing whatever the heck we want. and who knows, that may be exactly what we want. but perhaps we’ll be that couple who rents downtown til their old and gray, or opens up a flower shop where sadie comes to work with us everyday, or adopts, or travels, or who knows what else. there certainly seems to be no settling there whatsoever. but for some reason, taking the less traditional route can seem so damn scary. maybe it’s because there just aren’t as many examples in life of happy people doing things differently.

i don’t think that just because you choose to commit yourself to your someone means that you stop being yourself, dreaming, and “put those days behind you” whatever those days may be. but that now you just have a companion that will dream alongside you, explore with you, be your partner in crime, and most certainly make mistakes with you. there is some comfort in the concept of settling down. it sounds safe and predictable. but that’s only because we’re all picturing the same ending. at the risk of sounding hokey, whatever path we take, i just want it to look like us. like our ending.

making christmas

can you say decor on a budget? with travel plans, a new puppy, and low fundage we decided to forgo the christmas tree this year. however, austin put together this fantastic book tree for us which rivals last year’s yarn tree (we had just moved and had no furniture yet). the house feels so cozy right now!

honestly i’d always rather make than buy when it comes to the holidays. i’d have to say the homemade stockings are my favorite. made from vintage pillow cases and fabric from austin’s grandma. although making paper snowflakes can be quite therapeutic.

i still need to make little sadie a stocking, but by next year we’ll be settled and i plan on going all out.