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this has nothing to do with God or relationships or anything whatsoever deep in the least. but still: what could be more perfect than yo gabba gabba + mates of state? really.

that’s all 🙂

p.s. happy birthday miss cathy baker. here’s to cheesecake factory goodness!


I need to start using my phone more for its primary purpose (talking) instead of for texting. It really annoys me how much I rely on that function rather than on a real, voice-to-voice connection. When did I start hate talking on the phone so much? I didn’t even get a texting plan until last year. The impromptu-nature of it is nice (like for times now when i’m at work and want to make sure I won’t forget to remind someone about something) but in general, pure typography is just so impersonal and isolating.

But then, I say all that now. and how much do you want to guess that when my name pops up on your phone screen, it’s for a text rather than an incoming call?

i know that’s a nerdy thing to say, but it’s true. i love lists of things to do, usually scribbled on various pads of paper or–mostly at work–on post-it notes strewn around my desktop. post-its are my favorite because rather than have to read through scribbles and scratches on a single list, you can just rip them up and toss them. i love lists of books to read. i love my amazon wishlist (where i keep tabs on the books i want to read). i love lists of meals to make (because i need all the help i can get in the kitchen; my latest project was to transfer every recipe i had–but none that i’ve actually ever cooked from–to uniform and organized index cards, which made me very proud). i love lists of things to do–because invariably i’ll think that i’m bored or something and that’s when a list of fallback ideas would come in perfectly, though the reality is that i never fall back on those things but instead on something mundane like watching TV or calling a friend. rarely do i whip out the list and decide to go drive around a new part of town or visit the conservatory or anything.

it’s also something that my best friend often will admit to, too, about how she makes lists of things to share or things to buy or things to do or things to tell someone. one time we sat in a park and just made a list of all the bands we could think of for different letters of the alphabet. (i think i ended up getting a little sunburnt even!) and that probably explains why one of our favorite games and pastimes to do together is to play the playground favorite M.A.S.H., where you list out your future possibilities: husband (where Jake Gyllenhaal is a staple and Sufjan Stevens is an often as is Jess from Heroes); job; travel location. we also like to shake things up and invent new options (because the age-old “wedding colors” and “number of kids” just is boring and totally irrelevant). instead, we list out things like “transportation” (how about a battleship or a bunch of balloons or a jetpack or a unicorn?) or a unique talent (you might be able to predict the weather or whistle any tune or collect leaves). and then, we mark them off one by one to reveal the futures that lie before us (Jake?! In a mansion?!)

and i think in that way, lists are my way of dreaming and fantasizing, of all the things i hope to accomplish–or at least the idea thereof. they’re like wishing on pennies, scribbled on pieces of paper instead of in the bottom of a fountain. they give me time to pinpoint the future and what i hope for it to accomplish. every so often i scratch something off of it, but in the meantime, it serves as a horizon line, where reality meets the pie-in-the-sky. where the future is put into nice, tidy, attainable bullet points rather than some looming “someday.” bite-sized and fistfuls.

i’m not sure the point of sharing all this, except that it’s true and sometimes that’s enough. or at least sometimes it ought to be.

on saturday, holly and i are finally getting to have our pancake party. but guess what i just found out? national pancake week ends today. i suppose it’s close enough, but had we been one week earlier, it would have been so picture perfect! of course it still will be perfect because, well, it’s a 50s-theme party and that’s why it’s the Golden Age and Happy Days and the good ole days to begin with. but so, so close!

here’s the save-the-date we made that i could not be prouder about:

i have 2 outfits i’m deciding between: one that includes a fluffy skirt with butterflies all over (that a former co-worker used to call my “nature guide skirt”) but no apron to match, OR a simple blue-striped circle skirt that i can pair a crazy floral print apron with. admittedly, i’m leaning toward the sans-apron outfit. the butterflies are just so prettily perfect!

but, come saturday night, when the griddle’s all heated up and the pancakes are flipped, all will come to pass. let the dancing and twirling and rockin’ and rollin’ begin!

p.s. despite 3 posts in an hour’s time, i really have been quite productive today. i promise.

sometimes i think it’s funny how people end up coming across this blog.  and, as you will see, i ought to be spending less time talking about God or beliefs or friends or hearts and more time talking about bangs and couches, because that seems to be what everyone’s looking for:


saw this crafty idea of how to DIY a cool spin on the spice rack:


this week has flown by. case in point: every tuesday we have our staff meeting and i was sitting at my desk when one of my coworkers stopped by another’s desk and said, “it’s that time again!” scratching my head (i’m always afraid i forgot to write a meeting down), i glanced at the clock: 2pm. in fact, it was tuesday not monday, as i’d otherwise thought. that has been the theme of this week.

because here i am today, at friday.

it’s been a busy week at work; we just sent our april issue to the printer and are already rockin’ and rollin’ on june and just starting assigning august features. then, i’m taking over our bimonthly e-newsletter, so i’m gearing up for that. and on top of that, there’s another big project that seems looming over the horizon.

but it’s good because it makes me feel really productive. monday i spent recovering from my TCTC weekend and catching up on TV; tuesday was a lovelies night where we flipped through magazines and checked out some more bridesmaids dress options (slowly but surely!); wednesday was my small-group meeting at starbucks; last night holly’s friend brandon came over in our first installment of Special Guest Nights in Mariemont–it was fun. we made grilled cheese and soup (which he called “a treat”!) and watched MTV and then played the oldest version of clue i’ve ever seen! and tonight i’m going to step on a soccer field for the first time since 1999, in my junior year of high school. eek! but i’m playing with kitty so i’m totally stoked.

so life is ticking along. so quickly, in fact that i’ve already started getting emails about … SWIMMING SUITS! where did winter go?!


so i don’t really do the whole resolution thing. well, not at new years at least. i of course make commitments to myself throughout the year (things like taking more initiative or becoming more decisive or less gossipy) but i just find the whole news years resolutions to be a little cliche. i don’t know. maybe i feel like they’re more genuine when they surface in the ordinary–not just when everyone else is doing it.

regardless, here’s a set of resolutions i can support–they have to do with photography. kristin passed the list along to me and i think it’s full of good ideas for tapping into the Nigel Barker in all of us! even though it’s a little ambitious, i like the idea of taking a photo every week of something you’re grateful for. (i think one a day is REALLY ambitious. good thing i’m not working on having more ambition for the new year, huh? ;)) there’s also a cool link to how to DIY a fish-lens. who knew?!

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful. —Buddha

Everyone likes lists, right? Well welcome to the humble abode of the List Maker:

  • I was talking to Holly last night (in the midst of all-out, no holds barred girl talk) and mentioned that “Emotions aren’t logical.” and I think about it, and it seems ever more true. For instance, an hour ago I could not have been any more upset and angered, towing my little gray storm cloud (not even a rain cloud would do!) behind me. And while I’m still hurt and upset, I’m licking my wounds a bit more because now I’m softened. But the sad thing is that I know that if you give me long enough, even just a few hours, that rollercoaster will take off again. And that instability, inconsistency just doesn’t make sense. Illogical.
  • Which leads me to my next point. God isn’t logical. But that’s one of the reasons why I love him so much—he’s so much bigger than I can understand and I think that’s a good thing. I rest assured putting my faith and hopes and future in the hands of someone who is that much bigger than me, someone who I can’t even come close to understanding. Because I’m not supposed. That’s why I’m made in his image; merely a reflection, not an equal.
  • I gave up reading that book “A General Theory of Love.” it was interesting at first, talking about all the different roles of the brain and how the brain’s evolved and that the last evolvement (the limbic part of the brain) is where emotions came into play. it was interesting and had me captivated for about an evening, but then I got tired of wading through the science-y muck.
  • I’ve now started reading this book I nabbed when I was down in Birmingham—back in 2004. It’s called “Devil in the Details” and is a memoir of a girl who suffers from OCD. I’m only about 20 pages into it because last night I was set to dig in and waste my night away doing that but, given the Rollercoaster, couldn’t concentrate and instead wasted it on naps and TV.
  • I’m patiently waiting for a package of American Apparel t-shirts to arrive. I ordered them about a week and a half ago, I think. I WANT MY CUTE V-NECK T-SHIRTS!!
  • This weekend I’m going on a retreat for the middle and high school ministries at church. I’m really looking forward to it and to take a break from everything stressful that’s going on, and just focus on things that are good and healthy and hopeful and promising. Which is also why I’ve agreed to go to this teen christian convention, TCTC, as a chaperone in January. I know it’s some time away and I know that after last January, I said I’d never do another overnight again (those kids can be so wild, and I’m not one for discipline), but I feel like this is something I’m sure I can’t go wrong with. So I’m looking forward to it and, for one weekend, letting go of the selfishness that otherwise consumes my life.
  • tonight I’m going to paul’s awards dinner + ceremony. I’m conflicted about it because everything has not been going well in that area and I feel like this is just one more opportunity for stuff (well nice to meet you, euphemism) to hit the fan. I want it to go well and for things to be smoothed over with us but my hopes aren’t high. It just seems that frustration has been reigning supreme lately, above all else. And that’s draining. So we’ll see. I think that’s one of the big reasons why I’m so glad to get away this weekend.

i’m sitting at home listening to “hey delilah,” ready for the weekend. it’s very peaceful. like a breath of fresh air.

last night i met brianna and, sitting in the comfy couches of starbucks, i sipped my peppermint white chocolate latte and she her eggnog latte (although i’m not positive that either of them were lattes; i have no understanding about any of those differences. all i can tell is whether it’s hot or cold). anyway, we got on the subject of tattoos. it’s not anything i’d ever been interested in, but over this summer, something has begun to change…i think it’d be nice.

the problem has always been that i’m a very safe decision-maker; i shop around before i make any big purchase. i don’t commit to big plans until i’ve had time to mull them over and make certain they’ll work. i keep an excel spreadsheet of my finances and budget. so when it comes to things that will last forever, it’s not exactly in my comfort zone. i look back at the clothes i wore even 4 years ago and cringe–were my skirts really that short?! did i really think the whole newsboy cap was cool?! really?! and i know that that’s as much a result of growing up and settling more comfortably into my own skin (as opposed to society/what everyone else is doing). but still. am i capable to make any decision that lasts that long?

i haven’t decided. but i’ve been kicking it around. i’ve come so far as to think that what i would like to get is something with a leaf or a fern. ideally it’d be a leaf in the shape of a heart of some sort. the idea behind that is that “God is love” and I feel closest/most aware of Him and His grandness when i’m out in nature. everything about nature just seems to edify me and–no pun intended–ground me. i think that’s one of the reasons why i love the color green so much; it’s so symbolic. anyway, so rather than the usual cross or icthus, that’s what i’d get to represent my faith for me.

i was originally thinking it’d be cool to get it on my left wrist (to remind me to spread that love out into the world, be Jesus’ hands and feet in my actions), but that’s where my fear gets the best of me. what if i’m 50 and get self-conscious of it? i’m not too fond of long-sleeves as it is, so that’s a great deal of commitment. the next logical place is my back or on my side. but then i wonder, if i don’t see it, what’s the point? however i used to wear a cross necklace because i thought it’d help me remind me of my faith and the whole WWJD thing, but inevitably i’d forget i was wearing it, so i’m sure this is just another one of those you’re-bound-to-get-used-to-it things anyway.

here’s the best example i could find:


but i did convince brianna to let me go with her when she gets hers, hopefully next month.

i’ve got to say, it’s been a picture-perfect thursday. paul’s been sick, so last night i went over to keep him company (and also learn how to play guitar hero, although i was disappointed that “reputation” wasn’t the joan jett version). we were listening to the new angels and airwaves cd that he got and fell asleep on his bedroom floor. i feel like lately i’ve been sleeping more and more, and half the time i feel like i ought to be back in high school, heading to bed at 10:30. i’ve just been chalking it up to “old age.”

anyway we woke up and i left around 2am, came home and decided to head in late to work. so i didn’t wake up until almost 10 when i made my way into work. it was a productive day at the office and flew by. came home, watched some ANTM, and here i am. in about an hour i’m going to go meet brianna at starbucks, which will be a nice way to wound down the night.

although i have been playing around with paint shop pro which came on my laptop but was always too complicated. i started messing around with it this morning and the stuff from the photoshop class i took back in college (which i can hardly believe is over 3 years ago!) has started coming back. maybe we’ll see some fun examples of that on here soon. i’d like to take photos more regularly. otherwise i feel like the new camera isn’t really going to use. in the meantime, here’s a picture i played with of me and paul:


on a less “dear diary”-esque note, my church has started a blog that they update with ideas for bible readings and discussions. i think it’ll be a good tool to use for short daily readings/devotionals, especially because there’s no flipping or fumbling involved–click and it’s there, plus you can access it from anywhere. i love seeing churches and faith be so hip to the technological age; it’s pretty cool.

kitty and betsy came over last night for a lovelies reunion and a short trip to starbucks. but (before our toilet decided to stop working and cut the night short) i was talking to kitty about different blogs i read and thought i would post them, because they’re all really, really worthwhile.

  • avanoo: this is by far my No. 1 blog to read. the guy writes really powerfully and really touching stories, and he’s been in the midst of detailing his feelings about this girl “Katie” who lives far away and who he’s just friends with, for now. it’s really sweet.
  • posie gets cozy and angry chicken are charming little blogs that include lots of pretty pictures and crafts/decorating/cooking, and also detail sweet moments in the women’s lives.
  • for pretty decorating ideas and updates, i like decor8
  • for pretty, but ever-so-slightly offbeat, fashion, i like some girls wander (the author of that creates amazing paintings reminiscent of those wide-eyed girls from the 70s)
  • i love the band eisley and sherri is always making cute posts with cute pictures. i totally want to be friends with her.

and to read all those, i highly recommend using you can set subscriptions to all your favorite blogs and then make a one-shop stop there to read all the updates. it makes my life so much more interesting–like DVR for the internet!

also, our latest issue of HOW just came out, which is one of my all-time favorites, just because it’s finally turning out beautiful:


and it includes the fun office-supply story that i dug up products for and curated (which turned out to be the cover story!):




of late, i’ve been celebrating a sort of Christmas-in-August.

the other week i came home to a cute little polka-dot print package from a roasty-toasty Miss Kristin out in phoenix. inside?


a (…poor picture of a…) cute wooden jewelry box (green on the inside) full of old costume jewelry that she found at an estate sale and thought of ME.

then, on sunday, i came home from a long day spent being lazy at my parents’ (and catching up on every last miami ink and bridezilla episode) and holly had a present of her own for me: a soundtrack for our new little life. with it came a lego that she’d gotten from church as they were talking about the need to be connected.

i’ve been loving the cd ever since and when i brought it to work on monday, could hardly pay attention and accomplish anything because i was determined to learn every word to “walk it out.” (still working on it.)

here’s the playlist:

(look what my roommate’s trying to do to me with all these explicit songs. i don’t know if my angelic ears can take it.)

top it all off, yesterday my manager (with whom i have daily hot chocolate breaks) gave me some extra kings island tickets she had. me, bee and holly will be putting them to use on saturday. i haven’t been in years. backwards racer, here i come!

so, long live August! (i feel loved.)

 it’s friday, and here i am at work in a cute little summer dress, wishing i was outside playing. everyone else is gone for the day, so that doesn’t make it any easier. (except that when both my boss and my manager left, they told me in whispers, “leave early!” okay, twist my arm!) so, as i sit here flipping through magazines (three down) until 4 o’clock rolls around, here’s a countdown of things i’m amped about, as of late:

  • implementing google’s reader for blog subscriptions. makes it much easier than logging into them all seperately. except it doesn’t accept livejournal. which is only a couple pages that i like to read, but still.
  • setting up an excel sheet to track my monthly income/expenses (to figure out if i’m saving or losing money). it’s actually not that hard and it has made me feel a lot more comfortable and aware of where i am, rather than up in the air with no clue. (i’m doing just fine, btw.)
  • buying new books. for the book study that i do, we picked the relevant book “what now?”. and then i went a memoir binge and also bought “faith in the city” and “with or without you” because i’ve been especially interested to see how people live out and incorporate their faiths into their lives. i think most people–from the outside (where i spent most of my life)–see christians as people who have to live within glass castles and not touch anything. that’s how i always pictured it, but now i’m so encouraged to see that you don’t have to turn bland because christianity isn’t about being perfect (it’s kind of the opposite) or about becoming cookie-cutter. god is so big and has planted pieces of himself into all of us that we should celebrate what makes us unique because that’s what reflects him. and i think as long as our hearts are in the right place, then that’s really all that matters. then it makes sense to have everyone be different, because then it becomes like a party-invitation: the more the merrier.
  • i’ve decided, after much contemplation, to go back to letting my hair grow out again. and i want my bangs to look like this girl’s (sans the cigarette). (i have no idea who she is, unfortunately):


and now, without further ado, i’m going to make some tang. yes, Tang. call me Astronaut Carmen.