26 November 2010

steffi's wish list

holiday season hair accessory. j (by

for our NYC travels: upstate fillipa by kate spade
Measure Up Bowls (porcelain portion control :) love it!)

golden year lip gloss? thanks, NARS
devacurl diffuser kit  (& her haircut! idevacurl, you looking for models?)
perhaps what i'll wear when i wed pw. i should have it just in case!
I'm usually anti-tiedye, but i'll make an exception for these sea-inspired yogitoes
loose leaf mint tea via teavana [make my nightly ritual sans paper]
betty draper approved ice cubes trays to ensure a delightful (& perhaps dramatic) cocktail hour
happy tape dispenser. a must-have for a crafty girl like me. {in smoke, please}

when my name change happens in 2011, let's make put one of these beauties on my wish list.

since i'm sitting out black friday, i figured i'd do a little inspiration and beauty shopping. there is so much to discover! i could get lost in the magical world of colorful, beauty. my wish list has a few new things added to it. 
 xoxox stephanie

24 November 2010

reverb 10

you've heard me gush over and over again about my girl crush & darling sparklista friend, kaileen elise.  she's up to more goodness with her 2010 collaboration with mentor Gwen Bell and Caligater

lucky for me, i've got a 30 page Literature Review due on Dec 1, and that means i'll be more than ready to jump into the goodness of this event.  Reverb10 is about reflecting on this year, and manifesting what's next. they threw the line and hooked me: exactly what i needed after a golden year of goodness, change, and challenge,  and in the midst of the anticipation of "what will next year hold?"

i thrilled to be an advocate of this event, and even {lucky me!}, part of the Crew! not because i have a ton of time on my hands or anything, but because i'm setting an intention to carve out time for these important reflections. but don't take my word for it. this is why they say about the event:

"Reverb 10 (#reverb10) is now an annual event, an inspired response to (and evolution of) #best09. It’s an open online initiative that encourages participants to reflect on this year and manifest what’s next. It’s an opportunity to retreat and consider the reverberations of your year past, and those that you’d like to create in the year ahead. We’re connected by the belief that sharing our stories has the power to change us. We look forward to reading yours."

head over here & sign up to join in on the goodness! then find me on twitter & let's be friends. xoxox stephanie

22 November 2010

priorities: straight!

a while back, my best friend ferd and i were chatting about priorities.
you've heard of those before, i'm sure.

she is a busy bee, but one of the things that makes her stand out in a crowd is her dedication and single hearted focus on a goal. sure, she trains for triathlons and can run a sub-seven minute mile (don't be shy ferdy, you know you can!), but she was sharing with me that one of the ways she stays focused is to align her week to her top 5 priorities. as invitations come through the post and calls in the que, she checks with her priorities before hitting "accept with enthusiasm" or "decline with regret."

 weeks turn into years and years into our friendship (thanks, chris!), this is one of her many delightful trademarks.  she's a friend for all seasons, and you know when ferd has been in your midst because you beam with a certain joy that only comes from time with her.  

as we all know, "how we spend out days is, after all, how we spend our lives." [annie dilliard]  so in the spirit of ferd, i decided to decorate a piece bazzill cardstock (the BEST!) and get my priorities straight.

Ready for Priorities! {before}
i think i forgot to mention here on the blog, that i'm officially a graduate student!  

that little intention i set back in june? a spark.
Doodle from a study break. that's me in the middle. 
so this fall i started in the Master of Education, Community Health program at UofL. exciting, right? very exciting.  then i took the GRE. then i got officially accepted! hooray!! so now, along with working full time, cultivating a strong foundation with my darling fiance, tending to my creative spirit, keeping fit & strong, prepping healthy meals and heading into the holiday season (its time for christmas cards again!), you can imagine that i feel like a tornado upwards of ninety-seven percent of the time. so priorities, they come in handy during the busy season of life. they keep our eyes on the prize.

Priorities: straight! {after}

A quick glance at these puppies and you see I've pulled a "stephanie" on my priorities list.  A couple years ago, my brother Mason was climbing into the jeep (he must have been 12?!) and I started yelling at him: "Mason! Push in the button! Put on your seatbelt! Change the station! Turn it down! Get my phone! now!"  >12 commands in <12seconds.  From that day forward, I'm infamously known at "The Multitasker."  So looking at this list, you'll see that it captures my main priorities, and then extensions of that intention {sub-priorities}. Without further ado, my top five priorities are:

  1. Self
  2. Paul
  3. Career
  4. Loved Ones
  5. Growth
I think the descriptions (sub-priorities) are a pretty good capture. If I had an erasable pen, I would have written "strengthen with integrity" on the sub category of number 3, but otherwise, I was pleased at how well this practice outlined my truest priorities of late.

It's not that other things won't come up, it's just that I'll know whether those other things align to my big goals during this season of life. And you see, if we're busy focusing on our hearts desires, driving our energy towards that which energizes us, we're going to be caught in the act of doing a lot of good.  I can think of nothing more flattering than being a unstoppable force for positive change, and being a good steward of the resources and responsibilities given to me.

I'd certainly encourage you to partake in the goodness, if you have time & if the creative spirit moves you.  Be sure to link me to your blog if you do! I'd love to see what you come up with!

Don't feel any pressure to multi-task yourself---just look deeply and I think you'll be surprised what you find. I firmly believe we really do know what matters most, and if we allow ourselves the to sit in the quiet space, we'll have a deeper understanding of exactly what that is.  Then, knowing what matters most, we'll be able to align our everyday efforts to those goals.

Happy creating! xoxo Stephanie

20 November 2010

pairing up the socks

when i dreamed up this post, i couldn't decide whether i should call it "shoving the boxers in the drawer" or  "pairing up the socks." for the sake of getting less trashy [spam] comments, i decided on the socks title. but both titles appropriately fit the topic.

i'll just be straightforward with you: this is not about paul's sock drawer. but that was the spark. my saturday chores often involve laundry, and i a l w a y s loathe folding his mountains of socks and boxers. its not that he wears an unusual amount of these items, its just that they are always in the mix. i'm a girl that loves variety. but there's always gotta be socks & boxers, socks & boxers. week after week.

paul's handsome sock drawer
socks & boxers, however, are not the point.  the point is about my firmest belief: that everything, every little living action, adds up to the total sum of what manifests itself in our lives. and that there is nothing, not a single thing, in our lives that isn't used to grow and challenge and assist us in becoming the most full, flowing version of our selves. 

and i realize this belief, week after week. as i go to put away laundry, i consider not pairing up his socks.  i don't know why, really, it's not that hard to do, its just that:
  • he has a lot of socks
  • many of these socks look alike
  • i like to do my chores expeditiously
  • mid-folding, i think to myself, "geeze! look at all these g.d. socks!" 
  • i finally find something in the clean laundry pile that's mine, and wouldn't you know there is a sock clinging to it!
  • and so on and so on
but then, a more gentle, focused stephanie steps in and reminds swift stephanie that the simple act of folding paul's socks [or boxers] could be the most important thing i do.  because life is in the little stuff.  the varied, simple, and intentional efforts send forth meaningful energy in the direction of our progressive lives.

and in this lesson, i lean, willingly and ceremoniously, towards the knowing that a simple action [as small as pairing up and folding paul's socks] is everything my life is made up of. simutaneously, i'm caring for paul, keeping the house organized, aligning my actions with intention, showing up in all that i do.  not because it matters in some grandiose way, but because the miniscule moments make up the breadth of our lives.  and if we're practicing full presence when its "not" required of us, imagine the fullness with which we will show up when it "is" required of us!

it's silly, i know, but it's also the most wonderful way to describe a deep belief of mine. i hope we can share that sacred space here. have a delightful saturday. xoxox stephanie

14 November 2010

my lineup of inspiration

i've been absolutely smitten with inspiration and delight these days.  something about re-committing to claiming my creative space and allowing myself to take time to be inspired and share inspiration has been restorative and rejuvenating. for various reasons, i thought i didn't have the time & space in my life for frivolous reading, but when i looked more closely, i wasn't using the time i had wisely, and my priorities weren't quite clear. more on that tomorrow.

today, though, i thought i'd share my lineup of inspiration. among these sources, you'll find creative, spirited, authentic words & images. always thought-provoking,  always charming, wide-winged & deep-rooted, these ladies are a treasure trove of inspiration for me.  worth a read with your afternoon tea. daily.

this is all to say, if you're looking for delight & sparkle this sunday, consider yourself lucky! you've found it. now boil a pot of water, and pull up a chair. there is plenty of inspiration to share.

10 November 2010

a special place

you may remember that paul & i got engaged at bernheim forest. {if you're feeling gushy, or need some extra love-mush in your life, go ahead and do a little afternoon reading: the story of our engagement}  so it goes without saying that bernheim holds a special place in our hearts.

this year, for my birthday, my best-give-giving-couple-on-earth sister-in-law & brother gave us a membership to the arboretum. such. a. great. gift! we were thrilled when our sticker arrived and promptly put it on the windshield of the Golf. and made a goal: visit monthly.  it's a hop-skip&-a-jump outside of the city, and welcome respite from the hustle and bustle.  this week, we went up to Paul's Point and hiked the "Iron Ore Hill Loop." It was a short, engaging hike: the quick slopes, fallen leaves, and fresh air made for an adventure.

(that's the point of the canopy treewalk! so cool)

if you were on the trail with us, yes, we were the couple practicing a slow dance. paul would rather be caught stealing bon-bons from a french chocolate shop than admit to that, but i had to prove to him that i thought "our song" was slow-song worthy. maybe even first-dance worthy {!}

it goes without saying that having a special place where you & your partner feel peaceful, together and "in sync" always serves to enhance the relationship from the inside out. not just the slow dancing on the trail, but the navigation of two people on one rocky road.  to get away from the noise of the city, and the pace of everyday life, and to get quiet with your thoughts and your partner and your environment.  that's a huge blessing. and one i'm super thankful for.

so thanks: maria & emile! spectacular gift! and thanks: paul, for being the delightful presence you are.  and thanks: bernheim! you're beautiful and unique in many ways.  i kind of want to get married on the canopy treewalk: spontaneous wedding, anyone?  {j/k paul}

our goal is to visit each month of the upcoming year. to see the seasons change. to connect in the purposeful way the bernheim always allows us to.  i'd certainly encourage you to find a place of that "nature" (no pun, intended!) and pursue it.

08 November 2010

signed, sealed, delivered: love.

as many of you know, one of my long time favorite activities is a simple one:
letter writing.

i write my grandmothers.
my soon-to-be mother in law.
my sister.
my long-lost friends.
local business owners.

this brings me a deep delight. it means i get to use my favorite papers, my creative spirit & my prized sparkling pens. this means juicy words & affectionate sentiments rise to the surface, along with thoughful memories, challenging honesty, and deep, meaningful words.  i really, truly love letter writing.  

it goes without saying that girls like me get card writing inspiration from ladies whose art & work tell the stories of friendship, relationship & inner exploration. while i often make my own cards to send, sometimes i think you could send a note on the back of a napkin or a carry out chinese menu and the recipient would still be smitten.

but send something! "send love," leigh @ curly girl would say. send tales of trying to maintain some kind of work/life balance. send a list of your favorite grocery items and a tale about the cute guy in the cheese aisle. send recipes and pictures and home-made face mask concoctions. send the courageous thing: the letter you're not sure you should send that captures the words that have been left unsaid.  of course, say those things respectfully, gracefully and with tender thought. send your love postcards from your adventures. send pictures of your pup, a disc of your favorite workout tunes, any anything that suits you. 

the point is this: put something in the post that is meaningful, touching & magical. it will benefit you, the sender, and certainly, the recipient, too.  have a lovely week, too!

06 November 2010

26 fun facts about turning 26 (part lll)

19. it's absolutely true: love wins.
20. my aunt sent me this picture. hysterical. so true.

21. lauren is married! congrats lauren & drew!

22. my friendship with ferd captured in such a perfect way.
kate sears talented photographer extrordinare 

23. i love brown paper atop tables. especially at breakfast time with pw.

24.daddy dave telling the smores story. it gets us all, every time.

25. there is something really darling about this picture. me & mom :)
26. laughter, dancing, {bagels} & catchup with old friends.

well part l and part ll, and finally today's part III tell the tale of the month of october in photos. these photos are representative of the celebrations, adventures and connections that were experienced & cherished.  there was family, friends, 3 beautiful brides, toasts, car trips, the GRE, a midterm, delicious meals, some spicy fried chicken, party dresses, new cityscapes, breathtaking landscapes, tears, laughter, exhaustion & stories galore.  

it was, overall, one of the most memorable months of my golden year.


i declare november a time for priorities, reflection, self-care and ease. thanks for sharing in the celebration with me. here's to life!

01 November 2010

26 fun facts about turning 26 (part II)

my cup overfloweth. october was abundant with love. 
10. Ella Bea and Caroline: my new favorite blue-eyed pair!

11. Picnics after class with PW.

12. Keeping schoolwork swanky: a box of index cards has never looked so good!
13. Seeing Paul all dressed up not once, but 5 times this month!
14. Making place cards for Julie's wedding in Florida. A how to on these beauties may be in store ;)
15. spending time with my darling friends & their partners
16. the lovely victoria marrying the handsome & charming kenny.
what a celebration!

17. Celebrating Corey & Julie's wedding weekend in FL along with some of Paul's dearest friends.
18. Hard at work on something creative. (see item #14)
the fun continues tomorrow.  eight more to go!

xoxo stephanie