Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gratitude After a Great Day and a Great Year

    Today was a great day. Filled with family, enough food to feed a small army, and a lot of laughter in part to my nieces and nephew, it was the perfect Thanksgiving.  Last year being in NYC and at the parade was amazing, but I have to say it felt great this year to spend it with my family, and the icing on the cake was that JB was off work and got to be there too!
     Thinking about how it was just a year ago that me and my friends were in NYC, and how quickly the time has gone by, I started to think about this past year. I have a lot to be grateful for and have gotten to do some amazing things. I am thankful that I got to go I am thankful for the travels to New York, to Mexico, and most recently to France and Italy. 
    My solo trip to Europe was a lifelong dream and part of me can't believe it really happened. And while spending 22 days solo was a fulfilling experience, it definitely made me appreciate all that I have here at home too.

Some things I am thankful for....
my dad beating cancer, which is always the top of my list. I try to say thanks for this every day, and this year I can add my favorite aunt kicking cancer's ass as well.
a wonderful husband, who loves me just the way I am, flaws and all.
parents who love and support me, no matter what.
a family that accepts me, rallies around me when I need 'em, and constantly makes me laugh.
friends that feel like family.
our fur baby, who is the best companion I could ever hope for. 
a job in which I teach people to move their bodies, connect to their minds and to improve their health.
living at the beach, another life long dream of both me and JB.

Life is full and I feel very blessed and thankful this Thanksgiving eve. (that's a thing right, Thanksgiving eve? Well, it is now!;)


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

~ab

image source: busy being fabulous

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Little Motivation

At the beginning of the month I posted about a few goals I have for this November. The first on the list was writing 750 words a day. Days one through six rocked, hitting my goal and sometimes passes it. Then JB came home and I fell off the writing wagon. I've managed to hit my goal two more days. Eight out of twenty is a bit shy of my hopes, but it's better than nothing. And I've got ten more days to keep at it, which also reminds me that I only have ten more days to work on those other four goals. To light a bit of a fire under my butt on number two I rounded up some inspiration...
   I've mentioned before how I believe that clearing out the old is important to make way for the new. I am hoping that a good 'ol closet purge is going to do just that, both literally and metaphorically. But the metaphorical part is another post for another day.
    I am a bit out of sorts with my wardrobe, which currently is made up of workout wear (which is my work uniform) and then a mash up of items that don't seem to go well with each other nor do they reflect any style. I have difficulty deciphering what my style is. I am constantly admiring the wardrobe likes of girls like this one and this one, and must say that when I stumbled upon their blogs a few years ago (has it really been that long...) I felt so excited by their girlie style and vintage flair. But I am not sure that their style, no matter how much I may admire it, is truly my style. Somewhat of a tomboy at heart, I think I will always lean towards simple, classic items, but maybe with a bit of a twist. Think J.Crew meets FOAM Magazine, with a little thrift store magic sprinkled on top. That's attainable, right? ;)
   So with that in mind, this week I am going to start culling some wardrobe inspiration in hopes of finding some direction. Wish me luck. Hope everyone had a great weekend. I spent my Sunday helping to paint my nephews wall like a giant baseball. It was pretty fun.

~ab

All image sources can be found here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Fun and Easy DIY!

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Hey everybody! Today I am sharing a quick and easy diy for these upcylced leg warmer/boot socks over at my friend's blog The City Bird's Nest. All you need is an old sweater and some cute trim! Head over to Cristie's blog to get the full scoop!
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So cute and fun to wear! Have fun :)

~ab

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Breaking the Rules at A Magical Bookstore

Before I launched into Nicé I thought there were a few other highlights from my first six days in Paris that warranted sharing. First up is my visit to Shakespeare and Co., a famous English book store right along the Seine in the Latin Quarter. I'm not sure if it was fatigue or what, but initially I had a hard time finding this place. It wasn't until I was sitting in line beside a young Japanese traveler whilst waiting to climb Notre Dame that I got accurate directions. As I looked down I noticed he was reading an old copy of Peter Pan and figured he had to just been there. Sure enough, I was right. The young man spoke excellent English and after climbing the 400 or so steps of Notre Dame, he sent me on my way in the right direction.
Shakespeare and Co. has quite a history. Opened by George Whitman in 1951 as an English bookstore and library, it soon become a haven for American writers staying in Paris, and to this day has sleeping facilities with 13 beds. It's claimed that over 40,000 people have stayed here.
 The first entrance brings you into a very small shop, filled with extremely rare copies of famous books. This would have been an incredible souvenir, but alas, they were all quite out of my budget. Next time perhaps.
As you exit the used and rare book shop you pass this 'newspaper' on a giant chalkboard. Pretty amazing.
 The second entry way leads to the actual bookstore, filled with modern day printings of English books. Again, the character of the place was just overwhelming, with something exciting tucked into every corner, as well as being filled to the brim with people.
 I would later learn, that technically I was not supposed to be photographing the upstairs, but in my defense it was a simple case of a language/culture barrier. (although, let's be honest, I would have probably broken the no photographing rule even if I had truly understood it.) You see, everywhere on the stairs there were signs that read 'No Photographs of The First Floor'. This struck me as odd because the stairs were at the very back of the store. I had been happily snapping away all through out the store, and thought to myself, 'well that was silly you Shakespeareans, if you didn't want me taking pictures of the first floor, you should have notified me a whole lot sooner!'
 But I still just got the feeling I was missing something. As I walked up the stairs, I felt like I was entering a magical land, a place that I would have dreamed about as a kid, full of old things, rare books, people reading in corners, drawings on the walls and little knick-knacks everywhere. I thought this must be what they want to keep a secret, but it says first floor. Stumped, I found a French couple who spoke a bit of English who were snapping away with their camera. I motioned to my camera and said 'okay?' as a question. They nodded and said 'yes'. That was all I needed to start snapping. Within a few minutes another French man looked at me with disdain and gave me a 'tsk-tsk'. Honestly frustrated, I looked at him and said 'What? I don't understand! Am I not allowed? It says FIRST FLOOR!' Whether it was my idiocy or the actual look of honest confused frustration on my face, his face softened, and in broken English he proceeded to explain that in France, the first story of a building is called the 'ground floor' and the second story is the first floor. Of course it is.
  As you walked upstairs, you were greeted by the daintiest song being played on a piano. I turned the corner to find this young woman, a fellow traveler, playing us all a tune, just for the enjoyment of sharing I suppose. The music only made this place feel that much more magical.
 Excellent advice, especially when traveling... I want to do a post about the kindness of strangers. It seemed on more than one occasion my butt was saved by encountering just the right person at just the right time. The universe, and it's many 'strangers', is very kind indeed.
 I do believe this was the most magical part. In the children's section, a reading nook was created with a bench seat partially enclosed by heavy velvet curtains. The perfect secret spot to hide away and devour a story and also a place for hundreds of previous visitors to leave little notes, pictures, and other pieces of themselves. I grappled for a good fifteen minutes as to whether or not I should shoot this, feeling that maybe it was just to personal. But ultimately the blogger/photographer part of my brain won and all my moral fiber went out the window. It was just too lovely not to share.
Visiting this iconic bookstore was definitely a highlight of my trip, and in hindsight I wish I would have brought back something from this place. But I suppose I have my slightly illegal photographs and memories stored away in my mind. That will have to do for now.

~ab

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sneak Peek...

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I have been away from the blog for a few days, but just wanted to stop in for a quick hello. The past week has been chaotic to say the least, but now JB is home and all feels right with the world. It hasn't exactly been all work and no play, and to prove it (mostly to myself...) I thought I'd share a little sneak peek of a diy I have been working on for a friend. Isn't it amazing that no matter how much crap is going on, making something always makes it seem better? :)

More details soon, but for now I'm off to bed.
~ab

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Goals. And a Horse.

Last week I had to go out to a client's home and since I was a bit early, I got to go meet his horse. This boy is older than me at 30, and he didn't see so well anymore, but once he realized I had carrots, I was alright by him. This was my first time being this close to a full grown horse without any type of fence or anything in between us, and I was blown away (ie slightly petrified) by what huge creatures they are. But lovely creatures, absolutely lovely.



Today started a new month, which is that fact incredible to anyone else? Where did October go? But I digress.... I wanted to make a few goals for myself for this month. A few are creative in nature, but a few are more centered on cleaning. A Fall Cleaning, if you will, because I am huge believer that as we clear out clutter, whether physical or even just mental, it clears the way for new and exciting energy and opportunities to come into our lives. If we are overloaded and stifled by crap we don't need/love, there's no room to let in any of the new good stuff that's waiting out there for all of us. So I am ready to clear out the crap and make space for new and positive things.

November Goals:
1. Write 750 words a day, whether in a blog post or just ramblings for myself.
2. Clean out my bedroom closet and the linen closet.
3. Finish my current sewing project.
4. Crochet a hat for me and JB. Cooler temps are right around the corner.
5. Start Christmas gifts.....

What about you guys, anybody making any goals for this month or season? Before we know it, the holiday season is going to be upon us. Cra-zy!

~ab