Monday Morning Madness: Happy Labor Day, Loves

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Hi lovelies, happy labor day! Hope you’re relaxing and enjoying some of the last sunny days we have before fall arrives! Me, on the other hand, well, I’m terribly sick with some sort of icky allergy ordeal and that’s pretty much been my weekend and Labor day.  Although, the picture above was from the beginning of last week when I was still okay and all was clearly sunny and bright.  I did get to enjoy my first pumpkin latte yesterday that my sweet boyfriend brought to me as an offering of ‘get well soon.’ Such a love he is. Anyhow, the rest of my week will literally be packing up my entire apartment to move out next week (procrastinating at my finest.) My living quarter is in shambles and I’m, of course, an anxiety-ridden old lady at the moment, but I’m sure all will settle down once everything becomes..well, settled down. Oh, sweet, sweet, life.  I am, however, very excited to show you guys the shambles (ha) I’m moving into and share how I’m turning the place around with a little pinterest inspiration and my love of all things decorating. It’ll hopefully end up being a soothing process, so we’ll see. I’ll keep you guys updated! Oh, and did you read my little number about sex everyday for a year?! That was a pretty interesting-while enlightening- article to think on. Have a lovely rest of your Labor Day dears, talk soon!

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 With grace and good vibes to you, Laura xo

In My Cup: Life Lately, In Pictures

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Happy Tuesday, loves. Hope yours was all lovely. This week has been about adjusting and embracing, so far.  So, I figured today’s post I would share what has been balancing the notorious moods of being 20something. You know, those marvelous moments of bucket-list achievement-highs with a wonderful side of, ‘Oh, my god, what is my life?!‘  Makes me laugh, but it’s so true. Don’t you love it?  Anyhow, last week marked my first article/DIY with Zooey Magazine (which I’m kind of thrilled about, it was too fun!), definitely my ’embracing’ side of the week. It was complete with lots of pineapples, as you will see. (ha)

As far as the ‘adjusting’ side I’m talking about, I suppose it’s mostly my constant ‘control freak spazz’ moments that often times equals the emotion of ‘overwhelming.’  So, how to battle that feeling? Well, in-between Zooey’s little project I was at my best friend’s home for the weekend and got to catch up with her.  That was nice, and definitely a sort of balance I was looking for. We drank pre-fall pumpkin beers (which made us way too excited) happily while cooking and listening to Frank Sinatra, talked like teenage girls, and laughed a lot. Complete with this adorable movie called, ready? ‘Cheesecake Casserole’ that we stumbled upon on Netflix, that we have no shame in recommending, we’ll say. Also, I was visiting my parent’s home (which is in the foothills of NC) and found myself finding really beautiful moments in nature. It’s so calming to find places that used to make you comfortable as a child, don’t you think? Also, this week was apparently ‘national dog day’, who knew? I got a hilarious picture of Ciel looking like she was praying- am I crazy? Yes, and sadly I was all about it, ‘Aw, look! Ciel was definitely Indian in her past life!”  No big deal or anything (lol.) Anyhow, figured I would share some of my ‘life lately’ moments with you guys, xo.

Tell me, what are little things you guys do to find a little ‘peace’ in this sometimes hectic world? I would love to hear!

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{one of my favorite places to swing, sing, and think about life, as a child xo}

In My Cup: Simple Inspirations From Friends.

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Even though all I can dream about lately is my favorite season, Fall, I decided I might as well embrace summer here and there before it’s gone. To be completely honest my week has been little sparks of wonderful, and other moments have been a drab. Lots of pondering on where in the hell I’ll be living in exactly one month from now, and trying to find a new job that won’t make me completely miserable, and also balancing heavier thoughts of the universe (i.e. oh, you know, just the meaning of life and all.) On the other hand, I have definitely had my fair share of catching up with friends lately whom I haven’t spoken to in a while, which is always a welcomed change.  For instance, one of my closest friends lives in Asheville, NC and just got a new ‘big-girl’ awesome job where her job title includes camping eight straight days every 2 weeks. How amazing is that? Of course we talked about it for about an hour like two crazed 20somethings having a rare ‘hey, things are going to be okay’ moment. Ah, to have a job hanging out in nature? Lovely. She is a newly-licensed Recreational Therapist, so to score a job within a huge Wellness center is definitely nothing short of amazing.  She will be helping people with substance abuse problems- what a wonderful way to be around people and nature everyday and to give back in a way. It made me rethink a lot of where I’m heading, and where I want to go. Good vibes. Anyhow, hope you loves are having a wonderful Thursday! xoxo. Here’s a few things that have made my life a bit more whimsical as of late, the first being Jessica (whom I talked about in this post) and me in the ridiculous boa, naturally:

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{sweet (blurry) memories of childhood and playing ‘Cinderella’}

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 {summertime treats: GoAgave natural soda}

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{an article I wrote this week about my experiences of living in the South, and how it taught me to trust + a beautiful view from my parent’s home}

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{new superga sneakers, before rainy Dave Matthews concert}

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 {fall-inspired candy corn scented candles in midsummer- instant cozy home makeover}

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 {the plants in my home are starting to make the place look like a jungle, which is a welcomed look especially on rainy evenings while reading}

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 {cupcakes and cashmere + thanks for the drink idea+ carrot margaritas}

xo. Cheers to the weekend!

Blushing Berries: DIY Beauty

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Speaking of keeping myself balanced with fun projects, I am always up for a good DIY project- especially when it involves homemade products for your skin. There is something really light and refreshing about not questioning whether you are applying some sort of heavy synthetic chemicals or disease-causing additives on your skin. Not to mention using fun, summer-inspired, ingredients that won’t cost you ten bucks for a tube of questionable goo. I’ve been playing around the idea of creating a natural, berry cheek & lip stain…and I think I finally got it down. It’s not a hard process and definitely fun for a lazy weekend ‘craft’. It’s my first time playing around with the idea, so if anyone tries this out and has some suggestions of their own spins and tricks, do let us in my dears! Simply leave me a comment below. Anyhow, cheers to pretty berry makeup for summer evenings out! xoxo.

you will need:

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{I clearly used cupcake holders (the plastic-ish kind) because they bend really well, especially after you are pouring blackberry juice (hopefully not) everywhere}

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In first mixing bowl, add about a tablespoon of your choice of facial oil (mine is a mix of organic almond, argan, ylang ylang, and vanilla bean by a local producer called Small Keys, which is amazingness) and about a teaspoon of shea butter- mix together. First step is to Mash the blackberries in your mixing bowl, making sure you really pay attention to separating the pulp from the berry’s juice. Next Pour your berry juice (remembering to separate pulp) into your mixing bowl of facial oil and shea butter. Mix the oils and berry juice together, this is probably the hardest part because you want the color broken into the oil as much as possible. Final step is to Heat your mixture. I used the stovetop on a med-high heat for about one minute, just make sure it never bubbles- you are just looking for the color to really become a part of the oils. Carefully pour your lovely new berry lip/cheek stain into your repurposed compact; stick in the freezer just a tad bit to hang out with your skinny girl vodka (of course), so it can set. I will admit, it’s best to store your berry stain in a compact that has a deeper setting. Often times, the natural oils will change consistency depending on varying temperatures. In this case, leftover eyeshadow compacts (think, baremineral’s eyeshadow) are usually best. I simply used my compact below because it was one of the only free spaces in my makeup drawer at the moment. Keep this in mind, and you’ll be good to go.

Voila! Berries- beauty’s best friend. xoxo, loves.

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Monday Morning Madness: New Age Martha Stewart, Here.

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Hello Monday, you’ve really kicked my ass. Stress-wise, that is. You know the feeling, so I’m not going to harp, or keep the negative energy flowing, I’m going to make peach and fig tarts. As I did above. And, yes, they are pretty mostly because I like pretty things, but note, they fell apart the second you tried to eat them because, again, yes, I insisted they be gluten-free. So no worries, I’m no real Martha Stewart, my tarts are all show. But they tasted amazing and were also vegan, so woo! I only used honey and a tad of agave to sweeten, so I suppose it’s ‘a give and a take’ sorta’ thing. The flour was gluten-free obviously, so they were a brown-rice flour, so it makes the dough a little, hm, flakier, we’ll say. However, it did singe the ‘guilt’ a bit. Anyhow, this was the inspiration for a Monday afternoon full of attempt-to-be-Martha-Stewart fun. Of course, I opted for the ‘Laura-version’, trying to make it vegan and such. Note: I am no longer vegan (vegetarian), yet I sometimes find making things vegan are easier, and no, I have no idea as to why. I am definitely by no means good at baking, but it was actually quite lovely and stress-relieving. Maybe it was the wine? Probably, but we’ll go with the baking on this one. Perhaps we’ll be drunken Martha’s together? Perfect. Creative endeavors come in all forms, we’ll stick to that. xoxo. 

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{p.s…when you are trying to ‘vibe’ with your inner Martha, if you mix honey and cinnamon…it makes a mean natural and delicious decorating tool/option when you put it in a ketchup bottle, etc., so you can make frilly hearts, like above, without all the added refined sugar, hell yea!}

p.s.s…check out my 10 Reasons He Doesn’t Have a Girlfriend, with all the other awesome writers over at 20something. xoxo.

Lazy Strawberry Scone Cake

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This is, indeed, the easiest, laziest, cake you’ll ever make. Mostly because it’s so versatile and only requires about three ingredients, but mainly because it does involve a box. Now, I’m usually not too keen on anything boxed, I like to make everything the ole’ fashion way…from scratch. However, if it’s the best box possible, I’ll take it. It can be gluten free, vegan, purple-polka dotted, and it would undoubtedly work in this recipe.

 So without further adieu, you’ll need:

 1 box of whatever delicious scone mix you desire. (options: Wholesome Chow has a great vegan, gluten-free mix, or Alex Jamison’s homemade scone recipe could add some prep time, but would pay off)

 1 1/2 cups farmer’s market strawberries (you can also mix around the fruit, peaches would be delightful)

 Coconut oil, about 3 tbsp.

 1 cup Almond Milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F

Follow the scone recipe as directed (the oven prep time might be a bit different depending on different mix use, if so, follow their directions). Pour scone batter in coconut-oil greased glassware. On top of the first layer of your batter, add your strawberries. Then, with remaining batter, simply pour over the strawberries (hell, get crazy, if you think you may want more strawberries before you cover them with your batter, throw some more in). Pop it in the over for around 15-20 minutes depending on your oven. Serve warm (my pick), or at room-temperature.

*note: you may have more or less bake time, because you want to the strawberries to cook down and become almost, jam-like. So keep an eye on it, once you see a bit more of a ‘melted’ strawberry middle and a bit of browning on the top, it’s done.

 It’s kind of crazy how pretty and Southern cobbler-ish, it turns out to be, being so…lazy. It’s perfect for a cozy get-together dessert, and best right out of the oven. You could have it in your fridge ready to go, and pop it in the oven just before dinner or whenever, and voila! Call me a cheat, but being a ‘southern belle’, and such, best believe it’ll be ‘homemade’ that night. xoxo.

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What I’m Adoring: Favorites, Here, And There.

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{This Urban Outfitters Pink Striped Tank is heavenly soft (wearing above) and on sale}

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{Rebecca Taylor shared the best summertime cocktail, ever}

This week has been pretty sweet, so far; I got a call from a prior employer that made me feel like I was made of honeysuckles and sweet molasses (wrong number? perhaps.), I am just about finished with an awesome interview with Vitamin Angel’s that I’m super stoked about sharing with you guys, a somewhat troubled friendship is perhaps on it’s way to health, fun writing opportunities are falling out of the sky, and awesome people are randomly everywhere all of the sudden and I’m surely diggin’ it. I just can’t complain right now. So, I’m feelin’ pretty ‘roll the windows down and blare the music’-ish. I can actually see me now…”I DON’T CARE, I LOVE IT!”, as the people beside me at the stoplight whisper sweet nothings at the sheer epic-ness of my less-than-impressive adaptation of the song. Whatever, as long as my destination serves the best Sparkling Sangria ever (above) let em’ laugh, I’m untouchable!…kind of.

Anyway, I think a really awesome lesson I’m beginning to learn is if you put yourself out there enough- even when it scares you a little bit- good things start to be created in the midst. There are people out there just like you that really are worth finding, and I’m a big believer in everything happening for reason. Ah, the life of being in your twenties…and the lessons you accidentally stumble upon, brilliant. But on with it, here’s what I’m adoring and inspiring me as of late…xoxo.

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{ Paul Octavious’s Pantone Project shows us the beauty of choosing colors that remind us of the brightness we can find in daily life, how freakin’ awesome}

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 {Peppermint tea infused with local peaches + lemons, my pick for a summer refresher}

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{What an easy, beautiful, tart for get-togethers this summer, Luscious Magazine is becoming a favorite read}

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{I’m kind of dying to see ‘Frances Ha’ in theatre’s, it looks hilarious and very ‘coming-of-age-ish’, see the trailer here}

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 {Because of this, vegan ‘BLT Salads’ are quickly becoming my life in a lunch, as clearly seen above}

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 {love on a sidewalk}

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 {a vintage gold clutch that belonged to my Grandmother, which I finally decided to wear yesterday-I realized how nice it was to carry a piece of her with me xoxo}

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 {Tiny dogs named Ciel basking in the sun + our botanical garden blossoming in the window- the basil plant is absolute love, far right}

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 {The most enticing combination, Tobacco + Honey all-natural lotion. I feel so rustic putting it on, but it has this wonderfully intoxicating sweetness to it as well, brilliant. Found at a new vintage shop around the corner, here}

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Monday Morning Madness: Creamy Coconut-Garlic Dressing

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The other day we were grilling out and I was in the mood for a homemade salad dressing. I wanted something with a punch and yet had a light feel to it, quick to prepare, and of course- fresh ‘laying around the house’ ingredients. I whipped this together and it was a hit, even with people who definitely would rather slide the idea of ‘healthy’ over. The coconut oil gives the dressing a light and subtle sweet coconut flavor, while the garlic is a balance of rustic and savory, and the avocado I used helps to give everything just the right creaminess for a dressing I plan to use quite often. Plus, it’s super versatile- you can use it a lot this summer in a pinch; sandwiches, a quick dip, or a good toss in a tried and true pasta salad recipe…

Continue reading “Monday Morning Madness: Creamy Coconut-Garlic Dressing”

In My Cup: Oh, Hello, Sweet Summer.

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Summer brings about a certain kind of happiness and absolute recklessness. It’s a breathtaking combination, really. A time where we all feel light and our cares seem a little(eee) farther away. It’s a sun-kissed mirage (even when we may still be vampires, hello moi) with plenty of fizzy, light, beverages that muses a makeover for time- just a lovely haze it all becomes. Outfits consist of swimsuits with some sort of circa 70s’ blue silk robe we (perhaps?) stole from our mother’s closet. Who knows, maybe it’s just me on that one. Anyhow, we don’t even know why it seems more than appropriate to lift all responsibilities and take a cross-country drive through little towns when we’re broke (but we’re story-rich), or why we, women, take off hair in places that probably should be illegal all while casually insisting, “It doesn’t hurt that bad.”, while actually thinking, “So far, that is the worst thing that has ever happened to me.” All we know is there has to be some sort of vibrant glowing golden book that explains in detail why a time of year seems to make us want to dance around in the sun with sunflowers to match and say fuck it all, but, until then- let’s just cheers to that statement and run free. xoxo. Here’s what’s in my cup, my dears, styled by summer, of course. 

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1. My new vow to read myself to sleep this summer instead of Arrested-Development-binge-watch-myself-to-sleep. (Magazines are clearly acceptable.) 

2. The best self-tanner ever. I loved seeing it in Elle’s “30 All-Natural Must-Haves” this month, I discovered it when living in the city a few year’s ago and fell in love, it gives the perfect glow with NO orange grossness, and I’m basically Edward Cullen’s sister. It also truly leaves your skin unbelievably soft, my pick if you’re trying to get a pretty glow. {Lavera Self Tanner}

3. Aren’t these beachy pastel-hued clutches absolutely lovely? I instantly gravitated to them when I spotted their fun and bright colors in a tiny shop by my apartment. The designer, Allison Howington, started ‘My A La Mode’ this year and you’ll know each one is one-of-a-kind because she hand makes and paints them herself! As if I didn’t already adore them, she paints them in every pastel ice-cream-inspired color imaginable. {Shop them here

4. Facial oil is my favorite pick for moisturizer during the hottest time of year, it’s a cult-worthy rule of mine. Your skin needs to be balanced to look and feel its’ best, and essential oils are the most calming ways to treat your skin. I found this guy last week by Seventh Generation’s new line of ‘Boost serums’- I chose the one infused with skin-nurturing Baobab oil, which is pretty much a miracle oil for your skin. It is also infused with mint essential oil, which feels heavenly and tingly fresh after washing morning and night. They might just be my new favorite facial oil line. Oh, and did I mention it’s also super affordable too, running for under $10 in some places? Latte money, my dears, is ringing. P.s…they just launched the line, so I don’t have the link, but keep a look out at your local drugstore. They are worth the search. 

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1. This lipstick in ‘Poppy’ is most definitely the perfect red, I’ve found it. It’s bright, yet with a deep undertone, that makes the color a bit mysterious and vintage feeling. It’s summer and winter and all the seasons wrapped into one marvelous, red. I’m obviously living in it at the moment. (literally and figuratively)

2. New York in no match to any other when it comes to frozen yogurt havens, but I have been meaning to check this place out about 1000 times by now. So if you’re in the city, I’m jealous. What a perfect summer treat?

3. It speaks for itself, let’s just be honest. I mean, who doesn’t feel this way? 

4. I’m a believer, a believer in heaven-like bedding, one in which you fall into like a bath of bubbles and pillows, and vanilla scented angels. With that, West Elm is having a sale on bedding (which to me is grounds for party), and this one pretty much recites what is stated above. Plus the clean, symmetrical pattern doesn’t overwhelm the room, but rather gives it a soft, yet fun, feeling. Note: I may or may not admit it sold me when it recited it was inspired by ‘intricate Moroccan mosaic tiles’. I’m still not quite sure why that seems awesome, but I went with it. 

5. ‘A novel about a life-altering, all-engulfing young love.’ Next book I will be reading. Sold to the girl in the crazy blue robe. 

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Smell The Roses; and other Life Lessons.

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Through a child’s eyes the world has little faults. To be simply living and breathing and laughing can make up for a kaleidoscope of troubles and hardships. I always reflect on this when life gets a little overwhelming for me. And believe me, I reflect a lot these days. We often somehow drift very far from our beginning, those roots that once kept us grounded in the pastel-lit summer breeze of our childhood- eventually sways away and we begin trying to fit jagged puzzle pieces together, a mold and creation of what we hope ends up looking like our ‘self’. It’s funny really if you sit and think about it, hell, you probably become too involved in your own mind and drive yourself crazy (much like someone I know, guilty.)- but I’ve been trying to make this ‘puzzle’ a swift trial-and-error kinda’ ordeal, rearranging what’s ‘important’ and what ‘I need to be doing’. Hence, my absence for the past bit on my lovely blog-o-space. I’ve been writing lists and marching around the internet trying to ‘get things done’, and half the time I end up realizing I’m not even completely sure what I’ve actually gotten done. Or, even better, what I’m doing. I’m also a list kinda’ girl, and if you are like me, it’s like random tiny notebooks take an Aladdin-type aura and swarm around me at all hours of the day, some filed with tiny to-do’s, other’s with, like, hilarious ten-step plans for me to be able to sip some sort of iced tea in a decent sized backyard that has flowing assortments of lemon, orange, and avocado trees, and I’m in some marvelous, flowing, white attire practicing ‘enlightenment’ and meditation. Also, I’ve helped the world in some decent, awesome, way and I have no worries because I am able to give back to the world and I get to write all the time about people’s awesome lives as a real big girl job- so everything is peaceful and lovely. It’s like, can that just happen? Ah, my life. Someday.

Anyhow, that’s where I’ve been loves. Fishing for my dreams. Oh, being 23… I’m hoping I’m not the only craze in this gen’?  It felt appropriate to write today about this, especially in light of ‘throwback thursday’, and my already (somewhat) jaded self above (haha).

I’m slowly trying not to be a human cartoon, with all the running and feeling like I’ve past the same scenery…23 times. I think if we all admit it- it’s a part of the whole ‘molding self’ ordeal. Like a right of passage or some way the Universe gets a laugh when it gets bored being so old and such. So I’ll hand it to him, half the time my life does slightly feel like a comedy, but perhaps we just have to take it as a good thing, and laugh with it. Fitting puzzle pieces together swiftly isn’t really working for me, so I figure I’ll just keep writing about the trail and error and lovely things, and somehow everything will simply be okay.

So I’m smelling the roses and keeping up just doing what I love to do, and with that you can’t go wrong. I was actually thinking about this very statement last week when I was visiting my grandmother’s home at the beach- and I figured I would share. She passed away about a year ago, but she was one of those people that always made you feel like life, indeed, wasn’t falling apart. She was born in 1920, so I always figured her advice was hierarchy to all the rest, wouldn’t you? Especially when I first had my ‘beginning-life-crisis’ in the very beginning of my twenties. She was always a big believer in things working out, and keeping light on ‘the little things’. So, a couple weeks ago I posted this from a picture I took while walking around one day. The quote I thought of just kinda’ stuck, and ever since I’ve been trying to really pay attention to everything around me because I think we are given little signs everyday, to show us we really do have a purpose, and someone is always there. Anyhow, it’s always hard going to South Carolina knowing she won’t be there to cheer me up or give me wonderful life advice, but I was sitting in the sun one day- stressing and worrying particularly at that very moment-and suddenly noticed her favorite roses were blooming in one particular spot. Right about that time, a red cardinal flew in right beneath them…I scrambled around quietly like a spazz for a chance to get a picture- and I got it just before he flew off. It didn’t end up being the clearest shot, but I caught it, and that was enough. Needless to say, even in its somewhat blurriness, it will have a lovely place on a wall somewhere in my home sometime in the very near future. I figured with something so ironic and beautiful (story and all), it has to have a more permanent space in my life.

So, maybe you’re in my boat, or something like it- so it’s a nice reminder to share with you, loves; we’re always apart of something bigger, than ourselves, than our worries, than the things that maybe bring us down sometimes. So, I suppose this post is kind of a kickoff to summer posts, and thoughts, and fashion, and food, and faith? (who knows, anything goes), and ponders, and all sorts of loveliness. From me…then, and now.

ThepureandPinkmoi