Sunday, January 31, 2010


it's no secret I had a bad week. the exhaustion and anxiety overwhelmed me (don't you hate it when those two tag team?). nothing was moving me forward except the thought of a weekend filled with yoga class, some shopping, cooking, art, photography and a screening of pretty in pink. for some reason, the blizzard buried any hope of achieving these things, even though every single one of them can be accomplished without leaving the house.

maybe I just needed to be angry at something much bigger than myself. that way I could feel like the underdog, the little guy, the wee scrapper who no one expected to fight the fight and win.

this morning I woke up remarkably sulk-free. it lifted, whatever it was. so today on this snowy sunny sunday, I will:
  • kiss my husband first thing when he wakes and thank him for so aptly tending to her royal highness of bitchiness and sullenness.
  • drink lots of hot tea that fills my nose with the scent of roses.
  • play in the snow.
  • purchase a pair of sandals, because I'm done with winter and want to look forward. maybe I will wear them around the house for the next few months and pretend.
  • have an afternoon date with andie and duckie and iona and the psychedelic furs.
  • for dinner: chicken with picholine olives and pine nuts.
  • be grateful for a beautiful life.
happy sunday friends.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


to prolong the longest week in the history of the world ever: snowed in.

I guess it's the universe telling me to get on those home projects already.

{big huge sigh.} okay, I'm done with the exaggerated self-indulgent pity party.

well it's pretty clear

when I gather some of the polyvore fun I've had...I certainly have a "look" I prefer. and my wardrobe confirms this: jeans, cardis, striped or paisley tops, flowy tanks, big bags, bangles, boots and scarves. wow. I didn't realize I was so predictable.

Friday, January 29, 2010

ponder this

I love it that one of my favorite lunchtime spots has a stack of question cards on each table. they feed my mind and soul with topics to savour during after-lunch daydreaming. this one came up last week and I've thought about it daily since then.

our childhoods can be memory minefields. even though this question focuses on remembering something positive, we can't help but think of what we miss in context of the entire experience and some may feel the need to tread lightly. I know that I am blessed to have several immediate good memories come to mind when prompted, but I too venture off into unresolved hurts and magical thinking about how I wish it could have been. but in the spirit of focusing on the good, here's my answer:

  • living in a little girl bikini and bare feet for days on end, in my mind nothing beats a california summer.
  • exploring tidepools with my dad and poking my finger into purple sea urchins as they curl their sticky paw around it like a newborn clutching a parent's finger.
  • resting my head on the sturdiness and loyalty and certainty of the rascally mixed-terrier sam.
  • holding "who can make their belly stick out more" contests with my friends...before the time when we felt pressured to pull in, be small.
  • lying in my bed during a nap, the scent of the gardenia bush right outside the open window and the soft chirp of lazy birds on a hot central valley afternoon. this is my "happy place" to this day.

what about you?

{speaking of beautiful girlhoods, look at this.}

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

longest week ever

seriously, it's only wednesday? think I've been sucked into a slow motion time warp. horribly distracted, bored, and not interested in much of anything except doodling and staring out the window. I doodled my datebook so much (above) that I colored right over an appointment and missed it.

I dreamed last night I was cast in a play that opens today and I was scrambling to learn my lines. part of me wanted to abandon the part in fear, but I really, really loved the character and felt obligated and honored to portray her beautifully.


Monday, January 25, 2010

looking up

thanks for all the love, friends. it really helped.

so faux

here is my attempt to pull myself from the ledge of despair. it's no secret that sometimes I have to fake it. the last week or so has been challenging: the world is joining in collective sadness over haiti, new terrorism threats and the economy. closer to home, we're dealing with the mass murder of eight (including three teens and a 4 year old) and the death of a toddler recently returned to his home from foster care.

personally, I'm further outraged that the culture I live in doesn't have the sense to know not to run the salem gun show commercial ("exercise your second amendment rights!!!" shouted over triumphant americana music and fireworks!) as the news breaks from reporting mass death and suffering by guns. or that there is no public demand (or polite inquiry for that matter) into what happened to the baby?! (that's right, I'm looking at my own field now.) sometimes the malaise and stupidity and apathy is too much for me to bear.

so this weekend I retreated to my own little world of comfort and books and quiet conversation and music and good food. this little heaven was made even more sweet by forbidding news of any type and severely limiting public contact. it was so good.

alas, I must return to the real world today. I'm sure many of you are facing the same type of day and week. well we can't be hermits forever and, quite frankly, our world needs us. even if our smiles are not quite fully realized, if we set our intention to lighten someone else's grief by a kind word, a glimpse of brightness and thoughts of love, we can make the journey back to happy together.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

nothing quite like

the resilience of children.

(photo credit here.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

tiny l.a. stories

I'm loving this collection of vintage matchbooks from los angeles hotspots of days gone by. wee artistic bits of west coast history that put my third grade collection from pizza hut and happy steak to shame.

they have me daydreaming of cigarette girls, dirty martinis and dancing at the club zarape with a handsome stranger.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


tragedies, near and far, prove how close we all really are.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

sunshine is a state of mind

the cold grey days of winter can bring about in me a yearning to retreat and cocoon. actually, that's putting it mildly. I have an alterego...a very introverted loner...who lives for the months of january and february. she likes to get all cozy and comfy and warm and spend time alone. funny, I've always associated her with sullenness and someone in need of one of those weird winter lights that make you happy. but she was here this weekend enjoying the bright sunshine and the mild weather and she was all shy smiles and quiet laughter as she delighted in sunsoaked summery colors that popped up everywhere she looked.

turns out she can get her summer on as well as the next guy. she was quite inspired. she sat in the sun and wrote and dreamed and wrote some more. her ability to remain quiet and still and listen astounds me. a subtle version of happy-go-lucky, that's her.

I rather like her.

{all of these summery photos were shot this past weekend, yes january weekend, in the beautiful sunshine state of virginia.}

Sunday, January 17, 2010

standing in january

mid-january brings on a whole new appreciation of summer for me. summer is not my favorite season, but when I am furthest away from it, I long for lush green lawns, afternoon thunderstorms and being able to sit outside on clear starry nights. that being said, I am making an effort to exist and experience where and when I am at the moment.

so january:
  • your skies rival summer's with crispness and clarity.
  • your sun makes more of an impact with its warmth on 22 degree days.
  • your trees form sculptural and linear design in the backyard.
  • the space you create...bare spots and empty pots...inspire me to think of new ways to make my garden even more colorful this year.
  • you are beautifully silent.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

curious girl crush

corita rose, you are killing me with the tattoo birds...

the milagros corazon...

and the brilliant hues. seriously, I'm done for.

Friday, January 15, 2010

notes on a friday

in my heart I am writing rainbow-colored thank you notes to:
  • the young woman who said to me, "speak the truth with love."
  • beautiful and fearless friends here at the blog. your comments make me smile. and you make me want to be more beautiful and fearless.
  • my camera. I think you may have saved my life. really.
  • january sun. you take the edge off.
  • pioneers who became dear friends. for coming to a very traditional small town and creating a beautiful place for the non-traditional.
  • the lovely colorful magazine that invites artists to create.
  • friday. I know I pretty much say I love you every single week, but truly you are the best.

happy weekend beauties!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


is not easy.

but the returns can be brilliant.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I was inspired by a post on blissful*thinking to come up with an instant reminder of my words for the year. I rather like it. and it is greatly needed as I start my work week at a job that has truly left me worn out and angry. I will do my best to act beautifully and fearlessly.

happy monday!

{please feel free to copy and use if you'd like!}

Sunday, January 10, 2010


little reminders to shine brightly.

Friday, January 8, 2010

five senses friday*

  • rainbows everywhere
  • winter sunrises
  • the most perfect purple-red of passion tea


  • the happy chatter of the downtown work crowd at the new woolworth's-style lunch counter
  • sawing and hammering and drilling and whistling coming from the workroom. I don't know what he's making in there but it's bound to be useful or beautiful.


  • baby head
  • a whiff of a clove cigarette that launched me back to 1982


  • the soft thaw of chilly fingers once they are wrapped around a hot mug of goodness
  • cashmere socks (how did I ever live without cashmere socks? it's a mystery.)

  • clementines (te quiero espaƱa)
  • darjeeling with almond milk & honey

this first full week of a new decade was filled with subtle and quiet sensory goodness. I hope yours was the same. happy weekend loves.

*thank you abby for fsf.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

the trouble with lisa

it's all good to focus on moving forward, our strengths and all things positive. but I truly believe in order to get there, that place called who we want to be, we have to see (really see) and look at some of the things that may be holding us back. sometimes it's easier to do this in the third person (more objective); so here are some things that may be weighing lisa down:
  1. her capacity for critical analysis is astounding: quick, incisive, accurate. this may serve her well if she were a physicist for NASA or serving a term on the supreme court. alas, in everyday life in virginia, it just makes her look like a bitch. a smart bitch, but a bitch nonetheless.
  2. she curses like a sailor. one of those old-timey sailors with a really cool bluebird tattoo on his chest and an eyepatch and a love of good scotch.
  3. she can't keep her mouth shut. couple that with often saying the things people don't want to hear and you've got yourself a winner. and a girl who's not invited to meetings.
  4. she often fantasizes about being an heiress or a princess and then secretly resents her parents, her third-grade teacher and the fact that she was born on a thursday because she has to work for a living.
  5. she blows off yoga for mexican food in a heartbeat.
  6. she does not enjoy vegetables.
  7. she has been known to throw a temper tantrum.
  8. she loves (loves!) to plan and start; finish, not so much.
  9. she is incredibly, mind-blowingly impatient.
  10. her heart can be heavily defended at times. she sees and has seen much suffering in her little world, particularly in children. she knows there are really bad people out there. she gets protective. she gets defensive. she's challenged with leaving it at the office.
ok, there's more, but that's the gist. these are things I'm constantly working on. sometimes it feels like I don't make much progress. mostly because these characteristics are who I am. I'm working on moderation and containment.
are you ready to take a (careful, gentle, with humor) look at what may be holding you back from achieving all you want this year? I invite you to comment with one thing that may keep you from shining and then make a plan (plan!) to begin to change it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I'm blown away by our words. each is so powerful; intimately personal but universal at the same time. can you just see them? swirling through the air like illuminated rainbow clouds? holding us up when we're worn down and floating up above our heads with an arrow pointing down when we embody their definition?

it's day five. I don't know about you, but I've already had to remind myself of my words a hundred times. yeah, that whole fearless choice is going to be a challenge...

happy tuesday loves.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

rainbow clouds & other things

so I'm driving down the highway yesterday on my way to the architectural salvage store and look up to see this amazing sky. since I was totally clueless how clouds could make rainbows, I indulged a fleeting moment of pure narcissism and felt the sky was painted just for me (only later did the internet smash my glory to inform me that rainbow clouds are an atmospheric phenom that occur when the angle of the sun is just so to refract the ice crystals in the clouds....apparently very rare). stunning, no? you really never know when life is going gobsmack you with greatness.

in other news, I've happily succumbed to the new year "gotta have a word or a list" frenzy. this year, there is no grand list of 45 things, I've kept it pretty simple with things that I already know enrich my life beyond beyond and a few things to stretch a bit. so here it is: the somewhat-pared-down-but-still-super-duper list for the year. and the word, the word is beautiful. {actually there are two words because I couldn't decide; the other one is fearless.}

  1. sunday supper: work my way through my cookbook collection one beautiful meal a week {yes, I finally saw julie & julia and was way inspired}
  2. yoga+pilates+local+organic {because these things just work}
  3. talk like a parisian
  4. sew {a skirt, a duvet cover, a pouf}
  5. discover new flea markets and vintage shops
  6. drive north to montreal or south to new orleans {or both}
  7. dress more like the quirky girl I am {even at work}
  8. share sweet lingering kisses with my mister
  9. explore classic diners and vintage movie theatres
  10. see and share a little bit of beauty each and every day

do you have a word or words to inspire you for the year? I want to know!

Friday, January 1, 2010

happy + new

open your window and look upon all the kinds of alive you can be.
{the weepies, little bird}

here's to twentyten spent fully alive, eyes wide open.