August 13, 2012

Eats: Dinner with Julia

In my mind, Julia Child has always been and will always be the pinnacle of French cooking. So it's not surprising that until this weekend, I had never made or followed a Julia Child's recipe in my life. They just seemed too intimidating, even though the grande dame herself is the one that made French cooking so easily accessible to people like me. In honor of what would be her 100th birthday, I gladly rolled up my sleeves and got to work making a dinner I'm sure Julia would be proud of: moules √† la marieni√®re (mussels steamed in white wine) avec les pommes frites (french fries) et pour le dessert, mousse au chocolat (chocolate mousse). 

In true Julia Child fashion, everything turned out marvelous, even though I'm sure I made a few mistakes along the way. Bon Appetit!

August 10, 2012

Reflections on Resolutions

Now that the halfway mark of the year has come and gone, I thought it appropriate to check in on the resolutions I set out for myself at the beginning of the year. There's nothing like accountability to see you through to and help you achieve your goals!

Resolution 1: Be More Creative
Creativity has been overpowering, overbearing and yet at times elusive. By far, my greatest accomplishments on this resolution have been my photography and my Etsy shop. I took two photography classes and although I kind of fizzed out on the second one, I took a lot away from both classes that I'll continue to use in the future. And my shop, well that feat alone has helped me grow leaps and bounds in just a few short months. I'll admit, at times its stifled my creativity - having to churn out some of the same things over and over - but its also boosted it in ways I could have only imagined. 

Resolution 2: Take More Chances/Fear Less
Again, here I'm going to have to say my Etsy shop best embodies this resolution. A year or two ago, I never would have had the guts to put myself out there and open up a shop. It's been scary and downright stressful at times, but its also given me so much confidence - I've really had to push myself to figure out the ins and outs of opening and running a small business. The tiny army of supporters and encouragement from friends and family has really been what's kept me going through the whole process. 

Resolution 3: Give More/Want Less
I admit, I'm not exactly where I want to be on this resolution. Yes, I have been giving more, much in thanks to CharitySub's amazing concept, but I'm definitely hoping to do a bit more on this resolution by the end of the year. Clearing clutter from the house is still an ongoing process, and I'm sure it will always be, but I've  been more conscious of the purchases I'm making and the things I bring into our home. Hopefully, I'll have more to reflect on by the year's end as far as this goes.   

What about you? Have you been keeping up with any goals or resolutions you've set out for yourself? I'd love to hear about them!

image credit: Reflections by Kristina Klarin

August 8, 2012

Inspiration: Idleness

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done. “Idle dreaming is often of the essence of what we do,” wrote Thomas Pynchon in his essay on sloth.” - Tim Kreider, "The 'Busy' Trap", New York Times

Idleness...its been on my mind a lot recently. Maybe because I just took three days off from work, finally slowed down a bit and took some time to think about my life. I haven't been able to do that for some time. I've been going, going, going for almost 2 years now. Honestly, three days wasn't enough; I could have used a week, or even two! But in those three days, I was able realize that the busier I am, the more apathy seems to take over so many aspects of my life and it's high time I start doing a little less and living a little bit more.

image credit: Marie Antoinette film still via mmorrow

August 1, 2012

Recap: Mini Marketplace

Thanks to those of you who were able to stop by Saturday for the Mini Marketplace sale! We had a lot of fun and it was wonderful to get so many questions about my jewelry and suggestions for future pieces to make.

Although initially nervous about participating in the sale, it turned out to be a great learning experience for me and got me jumpstarted on adding some new things to the shop. Lily and I spent quite a few hours in the studio prepping and creating in anticipation of the event, as N captured so well in the picture above.

And I will admit that I let out a huge sigh of relief after it was over, but the takeaway was definitely worth the stressful bits!

 Hopefully, I'll have the opportunity to participate in something similar in the future. A big thanks to Lindsey Neuhaus for setting it up and including me!


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