a new adventure

A new look for a new adventure. I would have waited to post the new banner until AFTER we were actually in the BK, but the movers contractually have 7 days to deliver our stuff and since today is my last day at work, that means I'll be computer-less for a few days.

I like how my illustration turned out. I guess we'll find out next week how true-to-life it really is. It may be a little unfinished...maybe I'll add to it as we get to know our neighbors :).

happy birthday to us!

The Captain's computer died in April and mine is really on it's last leg...given this scenario and not having a TV, we decided to splurge on ourselves this year for our birthdays. And let me tell you, it is a beaut and well worth it!

sum sum summah

summer is coming and ever since I was a youngster summer has been for bike riding, for a few years it was beach cruising, and now I just want one of these. I spied this propped up outside of the blue duck tavern on my way to work the other day. I have no idea what the make is and since I took the shot with my bb it's too blurry to tell. Anyone out there know?

and speaking of bikes, how cute is this MSL craft?


I've been advertising the wrong dates! Saturday we'll be on the west side of University Avenue around about  4500 North (just south of riverwoods mall). Click here for a list of some of what you may find! 

2 coasts collide...

...and crash smashingly into DC! At we aren't leaving the city empty handed (not that the Captain nor I had anything to do with it).

 Behind the Bisnow branding (a gift from an advertising vendor that we signed a contract with a few weeks ago) these are 100% Sprinkles. This California-based cupcake original makes one good piece o' cake.

Is that...? Yes it sure is! NY has decided to share. The line was ridiculously long when I walked past today on my way to its neighbor for lunch. I wanted to tell all the stuffy businessmen that were gauffawing at the line that they should be so lucky as to have to wait for such a burger.

What's next? Cafe Rio??? Oh wait, some obscure town north of here in Nowheresville, Maryland got it.

if walls could talk

I had a voice mail from our new landlady this morning telling me that her local paint store didn't have "igloo" which was the Behr paint color we had emailed to the broker who was talking the owner into repainting some of our new apartment. She (landlady) sounds like the sweetest thing--called me honey. I have no idea how to place her accent, but I looked up her surname and it belongs to Saudis. She asked if I would pick a Benjamin Moore color. That is what they carry at her local paint store (which may be our local paint store since she only lives a few blocks from the apartment). I sent her this:

Because I've been drawn to light and airy decor lately and I think a light gray will make white gauzy curtains look so great

Because of the promise of all the tall windows and natural light that we'll have

Because the wood floors and accents look very warm in the photos and I wanted to find something that would "cool" the rooms down but also give a little depth

I have to keep in mind that she is only painting the bathroom and the office/second bedroom, though I do have secret hopes that we'll get there and she will have liked the color so much that she'll have the whole apartment painted.

A girl can dream, right?

in the news :)

the last time I was in a local publication, I was a missionary in Nanaimo, British Columbia running a Family History booth at a mall with my companion.

better mark your calendar!

love this

before & after via Curbly

I know a name, a glorious name

quote via curbly

I will be forever thankful that I have the mom I do.

welcome friends!

Now that we've signed our lease, I'd like to introduce you to our new dwelling place. We are trying to convince the owners to repaint, but she seems like a hard sale. Obviously this is furnished with the current tenant's belongings. As we settle in, I'll post some afters. 
master bedroom
dining area
another angle of the dining area and kitchen bar

living area

IKEA online magazine

 maybe this is old news, but I loved browsing through this...

fingers crossed

Last weekend the Captain and I took a bus ride to the big apple. Our mission? To find an apartment...or at least figure out what area of Brooklyn we want to live in. After a lot of walking and a few bumpy public transit bus rides, we narrowed it down to two neighborhoods. The problem is that one is a lot "nicer" meaning straight out of the movies people. Brownstones and tree-lined streets, cute and trendy shops and cafes, lots of young professionals and families. The other, not quite so cute and trendy but still not ghetto, but a ton more bang for your buck when it comes to the interior living space.

To give you an idea, the apartments we were discussing yesterday: [on the south end of the"nice" area, aka: borderline not so nice anymore, but about 6-7 blocks from the cute and trendy parts] 2 bedroom 1 bath, in a charming pre-war building with large bedrooms and closet space, hardwood floors, exposed brick (which is a nice feature), lots of sunlight, probably about 700-800 SF.

Sounds pretty good, right?

Compare with [in the more "affordable" area] a 2 bedroom 1 bath, top floor of a fully renovated brown stone, stainless steel appliances, recess lighting, dishwasher and washer and dryer included. Central air and heat. Open layout with huge living room and king size master bedroom with bay windows. 1000 SF. Hardwood floors throughout with massive custom closets. Apartment is flooded with light during the day. (description taken from craigslist)

The difference in price? Oh, only $400 a month. To get the same quality apartment in the "nice" area, we would have to pay about $600 more a month. Yes, this is me validating our decision to go for the nicer place in the less trendy neighborhood, but it's the right thing to do, right? Right.

As soon as we are confirmed [meaning, the owners want to talk to us before we can sign], I'll post some pictures. This will be our neighborhood. People. Do you know what this would mean? We will have plenty of space for VISITORS!! Maybe we can finally get some family to come visit us :).

Live with Virtue

I have felt a need lately to feel inspired. Every day I wake up, go through my daily routine, go to work, sit at a desk doing mundane work just to keep the money coming in. I go home eat some food, interact with the Captain for a few short moments before I'm too tired to keep my eyes open, crawl into bed to sleep and do it all again the next day. Auto pilot has taken over.

My spiritual life has been neglected and I am almost desperately trying to fill my life back up with positive messaging.So what do I do? I sign up for email newsletters from wellness professionals and come up with lists of things I should do, like mediate more, move more, eat more veggies and less crap, accentuate the positive and minimize the negative. Translation: be more diligent in my obedience to gospel principles.

In my inbox this morning, I had a note from a philosopher, Brian Johnson (who is, mind you, an exceptional person and positive thinker, lover of wisdom, but still from the secular) about Positive Psychology.

Near the end of my masters program in Family Therapy, several of my classmates got really excited about a relatively new movement called Positive Psychology. The founders, Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi started on a quest to find identify the science behind happiness. To most of you the results from the foundational research will not come as any surprise.

Brian's note:

"Guess where they started.

"They went Old School—sifting through all the classic wisdom texts where they saw the same ideas repeated again and again. Although they differ on the details, these classics (from the Bible to the The Bhagavad Gita to the Bushido samurai code) say the same thing: Live with virtue.

"In fact, the researchers identified a constellation of six core virtues: wisdom, courage, love, justice, temperance and spirituality. They set out to *scientifically* establish that, when we put these virtues in action, we’ll live with more happiness, meaning and mojo.

"The equation is simple: Happiness = Virtues in Action (VIA)."

See what I mean by not surprised? Sounds a little familiar, right?

"Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven." ( Doctrine & Covenants 121:45

I love finding truth out there. And I love being reminded of fundamentals that I have known my whole life.

Brian's conclusion: "As Martin Seligman, the author of Authentic Happiness and the Godfather of the Positive Psychology movement tells us, one of the keys to happiness is simple: Use your strengths often. Do so in service to something bigger than yourself and you’ll be blessed with abundant happiness and a life filled with meaning and all that goodness to boot."

The first step to using your strengths often is figuring out what your strengths are. And then remember to use them to building something bigger than yourself. 

To revisit the my self-prescribed cure for auto-pilot, meditation (aka: pondering), movement, veggies and elevating my thoughts...Translation: be more diligent in my obedience to gospel principles.

Happiness = Virtues in Action = Obedience. Period.