Rambling

Friday I’m In Love

Rainy day in Rochester

A familiar sight as of late

This week flew right on by. And then, I woke up today and thought it was Saturday. Womp womp. Total buzzkill. But, on the bright side, only a few short hours until the weekend! And, bonus, it’s Cinco de Mayo. Bring on the margaritas!

This week, I wrote about burnout. Here’s an interesting perspective on burnout being a result of not doing enough of what you love.

Along the same lines, and for all my blogger pals out there, I’m sure this post by The Fresh Exchange will hit home.

I adore this fun video from Billy and Pat, touring the Buffalo public art scene.

The 25th annual AIDS Walk Buffalo is happening tomorrow morning at Delaware Park. This post in support of the AIDS Walk, by my friend Scott from In a DC Minute, really stuck with me this week. HIV and AIDS affect thousands in Western New York—your neighbors, friends, and family.

Through my series Run the World, you’ve read about how inspired I am by women in business. Check out this interview with Buffalo-based fashion designer, my friend Nkay, on LadyBossBlogger. 

Speaking of fashion – while I could never pull them off, I am obsessed with these Spring boots worn flawlessly by Sushmitha from Miss Minus Sized. (Ok, one more from Sushmitha because, I mean, this cactus garden, WHAT?! Is that even real life? GORGEOUS.)

I guess I’m extra inspired by my Buffalo fashion lovers this week; here’s another one! I’ve never been a fan of off-the-shoulder looks, but Lucy from Write. Style. Travel. has changed my mind. I especially love this look!

Whatever your weekend brings (even if it involves a little snow…sigh), I hope it treats you well! Cheers!

Beating Burnout & Getting Back On Track

burnout

Stress. Overdrive. Fatigue. Collapse.

A few weeks ago, I posted on Instagram that I’m burnt out. Between my job, boyfriend, our house, friends and family, this blog, other projects and ventures, making sure we have food on the table every night, and trying to squeeze in a workout here and there, I’m exhausted. And all of you with kids? I don’t know how you do it. You amaze me.

But really, these feelings I’ve been experiencing are no different than ones you’ve had, I’m sure. We’re all busy! Stress happens to the best of us. I simply took on too many things too quickly—a classic tale that’s left me feeling like I’m not doing a good job at any of them.

You know how, when your computer is overheated, the fan runs constantly? That’s what’s happening in my head lately. I can’t cool it and focus on one thing at a time anymore.  As a result, I’ve been thinking a lot about balance and how to find it. I set out specifically looking for achievable modifications that can help me make a big lifestyle change, rather than a temporary fix, like going on vacation (though that sounds great too!). I narrowed down the top 10 practical adjustments I’m going to try, so I can get myself back on track.

Read More >>

Friday I’m In Love

spring flowers

Channeling spring this week

The unseasonably warm weather this week in WNY switched me right into spring mode. According to my short-sighted brain, winter is out. If you live in a place where winter is dark, cold, and dreary, you understand the complete mood swing that warmer weather brings each spring. You’re reminded that there are people who live around you (gasp!), and that your living space isn’t limited to stuffy rooms. It’s always a breath of fresh air, and one I’ve been searching for as of late. Thank you, universe, for bringing this much-needed revival.

It’s been awhile since I did a Friday I’m in Love post, so here are some things that have been catching my eye around the web as of late.

I think Sarah from The Pastiche is ready for spring too. Love this outfit! And her kitchen – what?!? Goals.

My college friend Ben is a total rockstar, a silversmith at Tiffany & Co. Check out this amazing and bold artist collaboration he worked on.

I’m a big fan of CreativeMornings, a creative breakfast lecture series, and Ben Brindise gave my favorite CM talk so far last fall. Yeah! Buffalo interviewed him, and it’s just as good. Certainly helps recharge my creative batteries.

My new friends Colin and Caralyn are completely slaying. I’m loving their collaboration, too.

I had the pleasure of meeting Lindsay this week at the Buffalo Bloggers meetup and have been obsessing over her home projects since. I LOVE this gallery wall in her entryway.

One of my partners in blogging crime, Ashley from Morning Glory, launched her website redesign today. I’m digging her gorgeous nautical portfolio.

If you missed National Margarita Day, this weekend might require a little belated celebration. According to In a DC Minute, here are some of the best places to grab a margarita in DC and Western NY.

Pizza always brings people together. From this site, you can send pizza to protesters. That’s a cause I can get behind.

For all my Ohio peeps, the best pizza by county. Do you agree?

What’s going on this weekend? I’m excited to get outside, host some friends for dinner on Saturday, and do some reading/writing when winter heads back into town on Sunday. Whatever you’re up to, I hope you have a good one!

Friday I’m In Love

Abraham Lincoln Inauguration

Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln. March 4, 1861. Library of Congress.

I remember so well the day that President Obama was sworn in. I was in college and at work, where the inauguration was being projected. I didn’t expect it, but as I watched, my emotions took over. I tried to hide my tears, but looking around the room, I saw other misty eyes and felt a sense of togetherness. On that day in 2008, I didn’t feel fear or worry.

Today, I was emotional for different reasons. This time, I found myself worried about the state of our country. That sense of unity from 2008 was gone. In many places, hopefulness has dwindled. In his inaugural address, President Trump told us, “The United States of America is your country.” But is it?

I’m just not sure what to think today, as we’ve sworn in our 45th president. This may just be the sickness I’ve been fighting, but I feel a bit numb. In the United States of America, a country that is supposedly built on freedom, how can bigotry be at the forefront? In 2017?!

I already urged you to stand up for what you believe in while being kind and thoughtful of others, so I’ll spare you of that again here. I don’t want to get up on a soapbox. I’m just trying to make sense of what’s happening.

I need a beer. Anyone else?

In spite of all this, here’s some great stuff happening this weekend and around the web.

A few days late, though I hope it’s never too late, some wise words from none other than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you aren’t in DC this weekend, but want to join your neighbors in solidarity, you can search for local Sister Marches here.

To set the mood, here’s an empowering woman-centric playlist. Who run the world?

Speaking of running the world, most of you have probably seen this by now, and I shared it on Twitter a few weeks back, but I just love this commercial.

Unrelated – I’ve said it before, but the architecture in Buffalo is truly incredible. We’re so lucky to have that beauty at our doorsteps. Speaking of, I’ve only visited 3 of these 7 buildings. Guess I need to get explorin’!

Maybe while I’m out exploring, I’ll stop in at one of my favorite burger and wing bars in Buffalo, Gabriel’s Gate! Here’s a great review from In a DC Minute.

Another stop I’m hoping to make soon in Buffalo is Fern Croft Floral. I’m obsessing over these gorgeous photos by Ashley at Morning Glory. I so badly want to take a class!

Though it should be a perfect weekend to get outside, I think I’m in need of a little R&R too. I might start with one of these hair masks, suggested by Lucy of Write. Style. Travel.

Happy weekend, friends, and keep your heads up. Stay safe out there, too, if you’re headed out to protest. It should be a great one for getting outside, which I certainly intend to do. We need a little sunshine amongst these cloudy days…

Intention in the New Year: A Year of Risks

Foggy country road

Heading into the fog

And just like that, it’s 2017. As they say, each new year is a blank canvas—a time to reset and refocus. Over the last couple weeks, as I’ve taken a step away from technology, work, and stress, I’ve reflected a lot about what’s important to me. I’ve considered who I am and how I’ve lived my life as of late.

With 2017 rolling right in, I’ve been reading inspiring blog posts and social media statuses about starting the new year with a word of intention. I’ve never been one to make, and stick to, resolutions. So, to me, this concept of choosing one word to live by speaks volumes.

After giving thought to where I want to be this year, the word I’ve chosen for 2017 is risk.

Read More >>

Merry Christmas

This year’s tree situation

Merry Christmas Eve!

It’s been a minute since I’ve dropped by; my December seemed extra speedy this year without a second to spare. Did that happen to any of you?  As the holiday season approaches each year, I have such mixed feelings. Mostly, I adore it, but there’s always a small part of me that feels overwhelmingly anxious knowing how much there is to do to prepare. And I hate that I feel that way.

I try to DIY a bunch of gifts every year; I’ve always loved giving and receiving handmade gifts. This year, I had lofty plans to do the same and, in turn, produce some Christmas ideas for all of you. But, I didn’t get around to making a single gift this year. And I’m sorry about that for many reasons.

It’s time to re-prioritize, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do over the next week.

I was lucky enough to be able to take time off work, so I’m planning to step away from the screen. I need to spend time with my loved ones. I need to reflect and recharge before the coming year. I feel like I’m at a crossroads; I’m figuring out who I want to be, and what I want tracing paper to be. I know that won’t happen in a week, but I’m at a point in which it’s necessary to shut the computer down and get out there.

So now that the gifts are wrapped and the cookies are made, I’m finally taking a breath. I’m about to enjoy some hot chocolate, sit by the Christmas tree with my man, and listen to my Christmas playlist.

But before I go, I want to tell you how grateful I am to all of you for reading my blog this year. Thank you for helping to make this five-year dream a reality; it’s the best gift I could receive. This has truly been one of the most fulfilling years of my recent life. I’ve met the most kind, compassionate, and talented people through this blog of mine. tracing paper makes me feel whole; it completes me. You all complete me. (Sappy, but true, Jerry Maguire moment anyone?)

I wish you and yours the Merriest of Christmases! I hope your holidays are filled with all the things you love, and that you too get to step away from the chaos of everyday life. Give your family lots of hugs, rock those Christmas tunes like no one’s watching, and just enjoy this life.

Merry Christmas, friends!

Holiday Giveaway Winner

Christmas ornamentsThanks to everyone who entered our holiday giveaway this week. I loved reading about your favorite holiday traditions! I wish I could gift these fabulous prizes to all of you, but a winner has been selected. The lucky winner is… Jennifer from Chicago! Congratulations, Jennifer!

Is anyone else feeling like Christmas really snuck up this year? The weeks are flyin’ and I am so behind on my Christmas shopping. Hopefully the snow will hold off this weekend. My best friend from high school is flying in to visit(!), and I’m hoping we can hit up some of my favorite local shops and restaurants. So excited to show her this little city of mine.

And hey, Buffalonians! Western New York Book Arts Center is holding their annual Last Minute Holiday Panic Holiday Marketplace. I’ll surely be stopping in. If you see me there, say hello!

What do you have planned on this last weekend before Christmas? I can’t even believe there’s only one week left – eek! Hopefully you’re more together than I am and can enjoy a relaxing weekend. If not, I’ll see you fellow procrastinators in line somewhere!

{Photo by Annie Spratt.}

Holiday Giveaway (Closed)

Holiday GiveawayThis weekend, I finished up my holiday decorating; I’m officially in the Christmas spirit. So, I’m absolutely thrilled to announce my first holiday giveaway! This year, I’ve teamed up with four fabulous female-owned shops to give one of you an extra special celebration.

Read More >>

Friday I’m In Love (Saturday Wait)

Winter SceneHi, hello! Fancy meeting you here on a Saturday! 

It’s been a long couple of weeks, but I’m slowly starting to feel like my normal self again, especially after another inspiring Friday morning yesterday at CreativeMornings Buffalo. If you live in the Buffalo area and haven’t been, I could list a million reasons why you should change that. Every single time I’ve attended, I’ve walked out of CreativeMornings feeling energized, motivated, and ready to create. Buffalo has so much talent and creativity. I’m awestruck. And the event spaces aren’t so bad either.

In totally unrelated news, Christmas is now only two weeks away, so there’s that. I’ll be spending this weekend decorating the house and frantically picking out Christmas gifts (all while listening to this playlist!). Are you ahead of the game or behind on your Christmas prep like me?

Here are a few things that caught my eye this week.

I adore this post from Fresh Exchange describing how their tradition of cutting down a Christmas tree changed this year with the addition of their baby boy. I love how Megan takes pause to soak in life’s little, precious moments. I know I’m sentimental, but Christmas traditions really do stick with us for a lifetime.

I’m loving this adorable and fun holiday date night idea from In a DC Minute. Home Alone really is the best! (My other favorite Christmas movie is Christmas Vacation, by the way.)

For those of you who aren’t fans of winter, here are some lovely ways to stay happy during this dark and cold season.

Speaking of happy things, I’m completely feeling this post by Taylor at In the Buff. Girl, I’m totally with you. I needed this, thank you.

I think we all need a girl gang. I love this piece about all-female gatherings and the importance of female friendship.

And for an extra treat, keep an eye out right here for a holiday giveaway next week! You won’t want to miss out on this one.

Have a fun and festive weekend, everybody!

50 Things I’m Thankful For This Thanksgiving

warm chocolate chip cookiesAs Thanksgiving approaches, I’ve been reflecting on the things and people in my life for which I’m thankful. I’m sure many of you have been doing the same. I have a wonderful boyfriend, supportive parents, the best friends and family, a job I enjoy, this blog that completes me, a beautiful house I adore…I could go on and on. At the risk of sounding incredibly cliché and sappy (but let’s face it, I am), I truly have been so fortunate in this life.

But while I’m thankful for all of these blessings, like everyone, I often face struggles and get caught up in frustrations and anxieties. Sometimes it takes a day like Thanksgiving to remind me to look around and take notice of life’s little pleasures—the things that always bring a smile to my face. I hope to make a better habit of focusing on them more often.

Read More >>