Do or Don't: Push Present

It seems the tradition of a "push present" hasn't really been around for very long, and is probably more prevalent in some circles than others (read: first world problems).  However, it is none the less intriguing.  I don't remember the first time I heard about a "push present", but I do recall a number of different instances when friends have brought it up.  And I suppose now is the time to educate those of you who have no freaking clue what I'm talking about...according to trusty 'ole Wikipedia, a "push present" is:

present a father gives to the mother to mark the occasion of her giving birth to their child. In practice the present may be given before or after the birth, or even in the delivery room. The giving of push presents has supposedly grown in the United States in recent years. [1] A push gift is any type of present loved ones give to a woman who has recently given birth to a child.[2] The name push gift although indicative of a vaginal delivery does not exclude those women who have given birth through a C-section."

Okay, back to the task at hand.  I came across an interesting NY Times article on the subject and I was intrigued to read the differing viewpoints.  I think the title of the article intrinsically states the opinion of the author:  "A Bundle of Joy Isn't Enough?"  Another opinion from a mom in the article:  “It’s a way to honor a mother giving her emotions, body and hormones over to a baby for nine months, culminating in an experience which, when done naturally, redefines the meaning of pain. And when not done naturally, it’s still an act of sacrifice."  And yet another opinion:  “I do not think that because a woman has had a baby she requires a Tiffany & Company item. She requires help, love and emotional support."  How about one more...:  “I wear those rings every day,” Ms. Allen said. “They symbolize my kids. There’s something about them that’s even more weighty than my wedding band.”

Anyway, my Mr. & I have certainly never been one to follow "tradition" and jewels and bling and big shiny objects of material affection have never really had much part in my vocabulary.  But I suppose I can understand wanting to commemorate such a special day with a little memorial charm or trinket, something to remind you always of the birth of your child.  Another consideration:  how different (or the same, for that matter) is this than the idea of an engagement ring or wedding band?

So, I wanna know:  what are your thoughts on "push presents"?  Is there a "right" and a "wrong" way to do it?  Never a good idea?  Sometimes a good idea?  Something that you secretly judge your friends for wanting?  Something you totally understand?

P.S.  I think something like this would be a sweet (and super chic) reminder of the day of a child's birth.  Or any other special occasion--weddings, birthdays, engagements, etc.  

Soft Gold Studio



The Return of Inspiration

I'm not going to lie, the last several weeks have been hard.  In the midst of trying to tie up approximately 14 billion loose ends at work and home before baby arrives, my Mr. went and broke his ankle, leaving us one leg down.  So with just the normal craziness that accompanies any self-employed business owner who is trying to make sure things are covered during her absence, I learned the very hard lesson of just how unbelievably valuable my Mr.'s second leg is.

I hear that the last couple months of pregnancy are supposed to be for turning inward, focusing on connecting with the creature who is about to rock your world forever, learning to quiet your mind and your spirit in preparation for the greatest most life-altering experience of all time.  However, I admit I've spent most of mine in the throws of panic and stress, slowing down every once in a while to come back above water and remind myself of just how blessed I am.  But for the sake of honesty, I'd be lying if I said I didn't go back to swimming around in the great "woe is me" for the better part of it all.

Anyway, my point is:  I'M BACK.  I don't know what happened but yesterday I woke up and I was finally excited to see the beauty and inspiration that I have found for so long in this great thing--my dear internet cosmos.  There's no explaining it.  Maybe I just had enough of this whole self-pity crap.  Maybe I realized that I have less than a month before the curtain rises (supposedly) and holy shit, that's a huge of load of reality!  Time to get back into the beauty.

So, how about a round-up of a few things that have helped to remind me of who I really am.  In no particular order of importance:

1.)  Peaches--all day, every day.

Chilled Tomato & Peach Soup

Peach & Raspberry Crumble

The famous Palisade Peaches

2.) Petra Borner drawings--I want to tattoo these all over my body. (found via Jessica Comingore)

3.) Cursing, and trying to figure out how to make that work with virgin ears coming my way.

Miss Phies Boutique

4.)  Dexter--I may or may not have watched all seven seasons and got up to date to the current season 8 in approximately 2.7 weeks.  Don't judge me.

5.) My boys.

*DISCLAIMER: the below photo of my Mr. was taken in more innocent times, times before the reality of rock climbing injuries and the always present probability possibility that one will indeed bust their ass on an outcropping and send said climber straight to the surgeon's table and into the "non-weight bearing" oblivion of 8-12 weeks.*

**DISCLAIMER TWO:  if you were drenched by disdain from my previous disclaimer, please forgive me.  I'm working through it.



For someone who really loves beer, Colorado is a great state to live in.  The New Yorker recently published an article in which they literally mapped the rise and abundance of craft breweries in the U.S.  Colorado ranked #3 for total number of craft breweries in the state and for total barrels of beer produced in 2012.  They also came in #5 for having 15 craft breweries for every 500,000 people in the state.  Not too shabby.

And because I know I have such adept and meticulous readers, I'll go ahead and jump ahead of the curve and assess the fact that yes, I am indeed writing a post about beer on a Monday morning while 30  weeks pregnant.  No need to worry, my dear internet cosmos, I am still firmly planted on the wagon.  

On a side note, I may or may not have already asked my Dr. if it's acceptable to crack open a beer right after delivery in the hospital.  And being that we live in CO, she may or may not have responded in support of the matter.

Check out the full interactive map here.  How'd your state do?


Warby Parker Sunglasses

I've had a long running love affair with Warby Parker and have been loyally sporting these frames ever since my big glasses search a couple years ago (remember?).  As much as I love my glasses, I find myself keeping them in the case rather than on my face much more often than I should.  What's my excuse?  I have none.  I'm just lazy and forgetful.

Anyway, I've recently been trying to be better about wearing my glasses more, as my vision is certainly not something that is going to get better without them.  And I'm thinking that it might be time to invest in a pair of prescription sunglasses so I can work on my peepers even while enjoying this lovely sunny state of mine.

Here are my current faves:




So tell me, my dear internet cosmos, which ones are your favorites?


HOW TO: Cook & Camp

Hopping in the car and heading off into the woods with my Mr. and the furry children is one of our favorite pastimes.  This is what we lovingly refer to as "car camping"--load up all your stuff, go park the car somewhere, unload all your stuff, set it up, enjoy the outdoors for a couple days, then load it back in the car and head home.  Easy peasy.

When we go car camping, we take advantage of the fact that we're not hiking in with only what we can wear on our backs.  Translation:  we turn our campground in into the freakin' Ritz.  We bring the camp stove and the skillets and the french press and the lanterns and the hammock and the speakers for the iPod.  To steal a slogan from a super ritzy local ski resort, it's "not exactly roughing it".

I think one thing that intimidates a lot of people about camping is what will be on the menu once you're out in the middle of nowhere.  This is where car camping becomes especially perfect.  You can cook up a straight feast in the woods with nothing more than a campfire, a grate that goes over the fire (a regular staple at most campgrounds), and a skillet.  And to kick it up to the next notch, you can buy a relatively inexpensive camp stove (we have this one and it's perfect) and french press and have almost all of your kitchen conveniences right outside your tent.

Some of my favorite camping recipes include:

Campfire Potatoes:
This recipe is intended for the grill at home, but if you par-boil and prep at home, you'll have little foil-wrapped potato packages ready to be thrown directly into the campfire when you arrive at your site.  I've eaten these along side campfire-frilled steaks and veggie-kabobs roasted over an open fire.  Oh, and don't forget your favorite wine and the perfect little stainless steel wine glasses to drink from.  Perfect.  

Campfire Cakes:
Who says s'mores are the only way to go?  What happens when you put boxed cake mix into hollowed out oranges, wrap in foil, and throw into the campfire?  Heaven, I tell you.  Here are two recipes that will get you there.  I recommend using dark fudgy chocolate cake and adding chocolate chips.  The chocolate cake becomes infused with the orange that it's baking in and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

Campfire Pancakes:
I can't remember a time we've gone car camping and not woken up and made pancakes in the morning. Bring a good skillet and whip up a batch of your favorite pancakes (this one looks particularly yummy) in no time over the open fire or on your handy dandy camp stove.  Make sure to bring a kettle or pot to boil water for your freshly brewed french press coffee as well.  

Now get out and enjoy the outdoors!  



Mother's Day

Usually Mother's Day is a pretty uneventful holiday for me.  Of course, it usually includes flowers or cards or calls to all of my favorites mothers.  But there's a feeling that accompanies a holiday that you only celebrate from "the outside looking in".  Like when you learn about the holidays celebrated in other cultures and religions and you go to parties and festivals to watch how they celebrate their own.  And sometimes you may eat a latke or run through plumes of chalky colors.  But you're still just observing--standing on the outside looking through the glass at the wonders of the many celebrations that are not your own.

I hadn't really thought much about this Mother's Day and how it relates to me until yesterday I received a card in the mail from a friend that said "Happy Mother's Day".  I had to pause for a minute to wonder if she sent it to the wrong person.  But then, as if she knew exactly what I was thinking, I felt a little squirm in my stomach and remembered that Motherhood is upon me.  Inside me.  Slowly peaking it's little light above the horizon.

So this year I feel slightly different about Mother's Day.  I feel like I've picked a new religion or been reborn in another country.  I feel like this year, I'm celebrating a whole new holiday:  one in which we honor the ones who carry life.  One measly little tiny second of eternity, nowhere near adequate enough, where we stop to say thanks to the person who birthed us, who carried us inside of her, who gave up wine and caffeine and wine and sky diving and wine and yoga inversions and wine for us.  The one who, at one time, had her own heart, and also yours, beating inside of her one body.

This year, as I feel this little one inside of me--another heart, another brain, another set of lungs, another pair of ears and eyes--growing and dancing and exploring, I am so very humbled and so extremely honored to be inducted into this new culture, the culture of mothers.

This Mother's Day, the most I can give to my own Mother and to the many mothers I love and admire, is my promise that I will spend every day of the rest of my life trying to live up to the amazing examples that you have set for me.  And continue to take at least a second of every day to stop and look around and remember what a mystery this all is, and how utterly miraculous that I, and everyone else wandering around here, came to be.

Have a wondrous weekend,

P.S. That's me today, about 26 weeks into the wild blue yonder.


DIY: Birthday

Recently, I've been on a little bit of a DIY kick.  Everything from decorating to parties to birthdays.  I like to say it's because I'm super creative and original.  However, I think the real reason is that the DIY options tend to be cheaper.  Either way, it's been fun, and at the end of the day, that's reason enough for me.

A couple weeks ago, I celebrated my Mr.'s 28th birthday.  This is one of the most holy of holidays in my mind because it is the day my partner was born.  Without getting too sappy, for those of you who know us, it's no secret that we are a team--best friends, lovers, co-conspirators, and soon-to-be parents.  YIKES!

Anyway, it was important to me to be able to do something extra special for his last birthday as a childless man, so I decided to go the DIY route.  

Here's what I did:

I was super inspired by Jordan's number-shaped envelope creation and decided it would be the perfect surprise for my Mr. on his birthday.  I wanted this birthday to be especially centered around the birthday boy, since it's probably the last birthday he'll ever have that won't be overshadowed by the birth of his child.  And since he had to be gone at work all day, I thought it would be wonderful to come home to a special surprise after a long hard day.  Plus, it gave me the time I needed to execute the plan.

A couple weeks before his birthday, I e-mailed all the family and friends I could think of asking for a special note for the birthday boy.  I think this is the first part of what made this project turn out so good:  don't be picky.  I sent requests for messages to all of his FB friends and every e-mail address I had of people who had been a part of his life in some form or fashion.  I didn't discriminate.  And the letters I got where unbelievable.  I got the most heartfelt messages from people who I had no idea had been so touched by my Mr.'s life.  They came out of the woodwork.  It was so unbelievable.

After all the messages came in, the next step was super simple:  print and stuff.  I used an assortment of different shaped envelopes I already had on hand because I'm nasty cheap thrifty.

Then came the fun part:  lay it out and tape it up!  I skipped the pre-planning and just went for it on the wall.  I suppose I could have made it a little better shaped if I'd taken the time to lay it out on the floor first, but I was feeling particularly cocky confident that day and just decided to jump in.

After a few finishing touches of a trail of balloons from the front door to the envelope wall and a little extra sparkle from some star garland, I couldn't have been more happy with the way it turned out!

The best part of the whole thing was how happy it made the birthday boy.  He was reading letters with a big smile on his face for days.

And at the end of the day, that's really the point of a birthday gift, right?  To let that special someone know just how happy you are that they were put on this earth, just for you to celebrate.


P.S. Obviously this couldn't have been done without all the amazing friends and family who contributed.  Our endless thanks for the gift you gave us both.  xoxo


Craving: Fruit & Butter

My grandmother used to make the most sinfully delicious and easiest dessert of all time, dump cake.  Seriously, it was so easy, she would put my little brother and I in charge of making it.  When I was like 8.  And he was seriously 4.  Then, a few years ago, there was the sweetest lady at the church I played at who made her own version of a dump cake and would make it for me all the time.  Fast forward to just over a week ago, I find myself at a rehearsal dinner in the Texas hill country eating blackberry cobbler.  So, now I can't get it out of my mind.  

I need butter and fruit.  Stat.

Here are some particularly delicious looking recipes:

Blueberry Crunch Dump Cake

Stone Fruit Cobbler

Blackberry Pie Bars



Boy or girl??

Well, we've got big news over here!  After two agreeing ultrasounds and a few weeks of private jubilation, we're so very excited to announce that our little Lombardo baby is a GIRL!

I'll tell you that I was pretty shocked as I had myself pretty much convinced it was a boy.  But I think that made the revelation just that more exciting!  Our hearts are overflowing, we are completely over the moon, and we are so excited!

Let the shopping begin...

Clockwise from top left:  


Spring/Winter Wardrobe 101

According to the weathermen, Spring is here.  However, I live in CO and that means that Spring is in fact still Winter.  I mean, we got a foot of snow this weekend.  Highs are in the low 40's today.  Does that sound like Spring to you?  I don't think so.

So, that means that I have to push my winter wardrobe for at least a few more weeks of low temps and try and disregard all the adorable new spring clothing that is now in every store.  But I'm not very good at following the rules.  

Which brings me to today's lecture:  "How to combine Spring and Winter wardrobes"

Lesson 1: The Breezy Blouse--pair a new tissue thin pastel button-down with a wool jacket and booties to stay warm.  Top it off with sherbet-hued glasses for an extra spring in your step.


Lesson 2:  The Silky Shift--Pair a breezy dress with your staple opaque black tights and knee-high boots.  Top it all off with a cozy cashmere cardigan and you're good to go.


Lesson 3:  The Bright Brogue--Take off your clunky winter boots and throw on some bright kicks to liven up the day.  Pair with colorful jeans, your favorite chambray, and a thick wool jacket, and you're all set.


And that concludes the class for today.  Any questions?  Good.  Now go and conquer the last few weeks of this stubborn winter.  




Hello my dear internet cosmos!  Hope you all had a fabulous weekend.  We spent our snowy Saturday inside painting our and baby's bedrooms.  We've been trying to rectify the sheer terror of "builder's brown" that was plastered over every square inch of wall in this house before we bought it since we moved in.  Slowly but surely, we will win this war.

Anyway, as we continue to trudge through the never ending wall reformation, I am becoming more and more intrigued with the idea of wallpaper.  No, not the floral kind your mom had on her dining room walls in the 80's.  Wallpaper is back with a stylish vengeance and it's ready to take over.  I'm particularly into the super graphic prints that tend to be a bit more whimsical.  I think if you're going to put a print over an entire wall, or room, it needs to be fun and not too serious.

I'm starting small and we're covering just a tiny sliver of wall in the baby's room with this graphic whimsical print (UPDATE! According to the website, this wallpaper is no longer available.  I'm convincing myself this is just a major technical error and not the truth. Breathe in.  Breathe out.):

Kalahari Vignettes Wallpaper, Anthropologie

And if in fact the damn website is telling me the truth, here is a round up of some other amazing wallpapers that I also love:

Origami Wallpaper, Dottir & Sonur

Wallpaper Owls, Mini Empire

"Hand made", Paper Boy

And this is technically not a wallpaper, it's fabric--but how awesome would this big colorful graphic be on a wall:

"Zahara", Alexander Henry

Now, if we could all hold hands and pray to the Anthropologie gods for the return of my beloved wallpaper, that would be great.  I appreciate you in advance (did you listen to this amazing This American Life recently?  I am totally obsessed with that saying now).



Body Basics: dry skin edition

Hello my dear internet cosmos!  Hope you all had an awesome weekend.  Ours was spent mostly huddled inside as we got our first real snow storm of the year (and of our lives), and after watching cars get stuck in the middle of our street, we decided not to brave it.  And lo and behold, I look outside right now and it's snowing again.  Shocker.

We also spent the weekend reflecting on the unbelievable amount of love and support we received from my last post--I really never expected to see so many well wishes in our lifetimes.  We are so very grateful for you all.

So between being pregnant and living in CO in the winter, one of the most important lessons I have learned is:  MOISTURIZE.  You thought you were gonna get something deep and profound, huh?  Well, winter at 5400 ft. and pregnancy hormones will teach you real fast that remembering to pack in as much moisture as possible is about as profound as it gets.  Plus, when you're pregnant, it's easy to obsess over ever ingredient of what you put on and into your body, so finding products that are safe and natural are an added must.  And it can get real expensive real fast buying every all-natural moisturizing beauty product you can find before you actually find what works for you.

And that's where I come in:  in hopes that you may have a bit of an easier go at it than I did, I put together a little cheat sheet for all of you searching for the perfect products.  Here we go:

1- Burt's Bees Richly Replenishing Body Lotion.  I searched and searched for a lotion that wasn't greasy, yet was still thick and super hydrating and this is the hands-down winner.  Plus, it makes you smell like a cake, in a non-barf-inducing-knock-you-over-the-head-and-out-the-door kind of way.  

2- Manuka Honey Night Cream.  I've found that no matter what face wash or daily face lotion I use, this is the only thing that ensures that my face stays hydrated.  I put it on after a lazy swipe of a cleansing cloth before bed and I wake up with noticeably more moisturized (and clearer!) skin.

3- Rosebud Salve.  I have spoken before of my love affair with this stuff and I swear it will never die.  In addition to using it on my lips and dry cuticles, I've starting dabbing a bit around my eyes if they feel extra wrinkly and dry and rubbing it on (and possibly in) my nose as the big bad pregnancy hormones turn my nose into a rock garden.

4- Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deep Moisture Shampoo.  It is borderline impossible to find a good hippie-shampoo that lathers and moisturizes like all the non-hippie shampoos out there.  And I have a particularly thick head of hair that demands a good moisturizing cleanse, regardless of my geography or the status of my latest pregnancy test.  This shampoo is the clear winner.  You'll never know you're skipping out on all the gunk and grime that makes other shampoos so silky smooth.

5- Sedu Anti-Frizz Polishing Treatment.  No matter how wonderful your shampoo is, the second you throw a hair dryer on your head, your hair is gonna go flying.  This argan oil serum is unbelievable.  I literally use ONE drop of this stuff after drying my hair and it makes my hair shine like the dickens.  That's right.  Like the dickens.  I'll even use it on my second-day-without-a-wash head of hair and it gets rid of the static without making my hair oily.  Seriously.  Buy it now.

6- Kiss My Face Peppermint Foot Creme.  When I first moved here, I tried to lather up my feet with regular body lotion at night and put on some socks and head to bed, but alas, I'd wake up in the morning with no socks on and feet dryer than they were before.  Now, I've found the trick.  Every morning, before I get out of my house shoes, I'll put this all over my feet, put my super soft wooly house shoes back on, and not take them off until I'm putting on real shoes to walk out the door.  Works like a charm.

7- Burt's Bees Baby Oil.  Yes, I know it's for babies.  Yes, I realize you are not a baby.  And no, you do not have to be pregnant to use this.  All I know is that if it's safe for baby's skin, it's probably safe for momma's skin, and it's certainly safe for everyone else's skin as well.  Once or twice a week, I'll squirt a little of this onto a wash rag and wipe it over my entire body at the end of a shower and then rinse.  It is outrageous how much more moisture this adds to your skin.  Before I lived in one of the most scorched places in the US, I would use just this at the end of the shower and not even need body lotion.  That's how good it is.

8- Origins All-Purpose High Elevation Cream.  I keep this in my purse and put it on my hands multiple times a day.  I think the name speaks for itself--it was formulated for us up here in the clouds and it is heavenly.  A little bit goes a long way thankfully because it's certainly not cheap, but it's the absolute best.

Hope this helps!  Now go and save your dry skin!


Baby Love

Happy Friday my dear internet cosmos!

So, I think my last post was a little too obvious because you guys totally guessed it.  My Mr. and I have fallen head over heels in love with a new little something in our life, and we've been waiting 3 months to tell you about it...

We are expecting our first baby in August and we are completely over the moon.  We never knew that we could feel a kind of love like this.

And I am excited to be able to share this journey with you, my dear internet cosmos.  Maybe one day our little one will stumble across this post on the glorious internet and read about how much mom and dad were unbelievably in love with you from the first day we knew you were beginning to exist.  Even when you made momma's jeans not button anymore.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, filled with joy and wonder.  Every day has been that way for us since we found out about this new little one, and I don't foresee that high ending anytime soon.



Music Love

Happy Monday everyone!  Hope you all had a fabulous weekend.

As Valentine's week came and went last week, I couldn't help but keep thinking about one of the things that really bugs me about this once-a-year holiday.  How is it that so many people take just this one day of the year to dedicate to the loves of their lives?  I mean, if you truly loved someone so much, wouldn't you celebrate them every day?  And as I discussed last week, if Valentine's Day is truly just a day to celebrate the one you love, it sure does leave a lot of people out.

So I'm continuing this week with more love themed posts, not about people specifically, but about the many things that I fall in love with every day.

Anyone who knows me knows that music is my oldest true love.  I fell in love with making music when I was 6 years old and I dedicated my life to it not long after it feels like.

To celebrate my love of music, I'm bringing back the Weekly Shuffle today!  This one is a tad bit different than some of my others in the past as it has a little theme to it, and a hint to another true love in my life.

Can't figure it out?  I'll be back later this week to explain.  Until then, what's going down on your shuffle today?



Food Love

I think all of us can unanimously agree that there has been a point in our lives when we fell madly in love with something edible.  Single, dating, married, hopeful, bitter--we all have a true food love.  For me, it's cheese.  Preferably when mixed with an assortment of carbs and starches and fats.  But of course there's also chocolate, the food that does not satiate hunger but obsession.  For my Mr. it's things like tofu and carrots, mainly because I think his life's work is to be the most perfect specimen of human being ever.  Ugh.

Anyway, I think it's safe to sing the praises of the food and drink lovers in your lives, regardless of your romantic inclination.  Here are a few of my favorite recipes to accompany this lovely week:

Roasted Fig, Blue Cheese, and Honey Tartines.  Strong soft cheese, smokey floral figs, sweet sticky honey--all adjectives that can otherwise be used to describe other feats of pleasure.  Plus, I hear that figs are supposed to be a fertility boosting food so if you're headed in that direction this evening...

Blissful Eats

901 Smoked Peach Cocktail.   I had this cocktail at Williams & Graham in Denver and fell hard (I only had one drink so I didn't actually "fall hard"--just theoretically speaking.  But too many of these suckers will send you flying so drink responsibly.)  Spicy silver tequila meets smokey Mezcal.  Garnished with a slice of Colorado-grown Palisades peaches and you're in heaven.

A History of Drinking

Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge Cake.  Rich dark chocolate cake, divided by layers of salted caramel buttercream, slathered with fudge icing.  I think the combination of salty and sweet brings out a bit of dualism in us--naughty and nice, one piece or two, fat or somewhat-less-fat.  Anyway, you get the picture.


And if all goes well, you're gonna need a morning-after meal.  Biscuit Cinammon Rolls, at your service.

Joy the Baker

Hope you have a delectable gluttonous Valentines Day--


Puppy Love

Well, it's Valentine's week.  For some of you, this means you will be spending the week frantically searching for a last minute gift for your honey or fighting for the last reservations at your favorite restaurant.  For others of you, this means you will be drinking heavily and trying to avoid all the love-sick couples that have seemed to received the memo that you are boycotting happiness.  And for some of you, this means that you will be baking a extra huge chocolate cake because it's Valentine's day and that's reason enough to eat an entire cake by yourself.

I think I'm mostly in the first of the aforementioned categories, however baking myself a chocolate cake does sound like a pretty good plan as well.

Anyway, I figured that no matter what category you are in this year, I'm sure that there are still plenty of kinds of love for you to celebrate this week.  So I figured I'd try and dedicate all my posts this week to a different kind of love to be especially excited about.  And don't worry, I'll try not to be particularly vomit inducing.

First up:  Puppy Love.

Do you read Desire to Inspire?  It is a lovely design blog that features drool-worthy homes from around the world.  It is dangerously addictive.  As if it were even possible to make the blog more awesome, every week they dedicate an entire post to pictures of pets on furniture.  That's right.  Just cute animals on awesome furniture.  Could it get any better?

Here are some of my favorite pets on furniture as of late.  It's true that I tend to favor the canine variety mostly due to my own four-legged furry smelly children.  But seriously, is there really anything better than a nuzzle from your favorite pup?  I think not.

(Yes, I realize the last pic is not a dog.  But I have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with bunnies and have been begging my Mr. for one for years and I just can't help but include one here for your viewing pleasure.)

Start following this lovely blog if for no other reason than to get a dose of precious animal love every week.

Wishing you lots of love from your favorite animals this week,

(Images, in order from top to bottom, from here, here, here, here, and here.)


Olive Us

Happy Friday my dear internet cosmos!  Hope you had a fabulous week.  My Mr. just started a new rotation which means he's working part of the weekend (blech) but hopefully we'll find some time to have a little fun.

I've been in love with Ben & Gabrielle Blair's (yes, of Design Mom fame) video project, Olive Us, for quite some time now.  The series follows their six beautiful children through their everyday adventures and captures the magic of childhood to a tee.  The beautiful video production team, Tiger in a Jar, makes every video seem right out of a dream.

Their most recent episode, "Betty in Paris", is probably my favorite yet.  Is there anything more magical than seeing the world's most romantic city through the rose-colored eyes of a child?  I think not.

And make sure to check out the other episodes of Olive Us here.

I hope you all have a wondrous and awe-inspiring weekend,

Betty In Paris from Olive Us on Vimeo.


Lullabies for a Cause

Danielle DeCosmo

Hello my dear internet cosmos!  Today I want to share with you a beautiful project created by one of my dear friends and all-around brilliant musician, Danielle DeCosmo.

Danielle and I worked together in FL teaching music and soon started playing music together.  I have learned so many things from her and I am always in awe of her beautiful music and loving spirit.

In addition to writing, recording, and performing her own music (you can download her first album, All Good Things, here.  Seriously do it.  It's amazing.), she has been performing for patients at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida with the Arts in Medicine program.  Recently, she recorded this beautiful collection of lullabies, Little Dreamers:  Lullabies, as a gift to mothers in the neo-natal intensive care unit and as a way to raise money for the Arts in Medicine program.

I encourage you to go purchase this lovely album of lullabies at her Bandcamp page.  You can set your own purchase price and all of it goes directly to support the Arts in Medicine program at Shands.

I will certainly be downloading multiple copies for the special new mothers in my life.  I hope that you will do the same and by doing so, help give the gift of music to new mommas and their precious babies everywhere.



El Cosmico

So, I know I'll probably catch some flack for this, especially since all I've been doing since I moved here has been bragging about the perfect weather and how CO can do absolutely no wrong.  But it seems, every paradise has it's rough edges and CO is no exception.  Here's my issue:


Yes, I said it.  I'm freaking cold.  We'll have a week of temps that never get above 20 degrees and then we'll have a glorious reprieve of a few days in the 40's and 50's.  Which in CO is damn right balmy.  Right now is one of the wonderful sunny weeks in the low 50's which really is perfect, but I know next week we'll get another snow storm and another freeze and the cycle will start again.

I never thought I'd say it, but I think I'm ready for a winter getaway.

I've been dreaming of El Cosmico in Marfa, TX for a long time now and it's looking more and more necessary every day.  This dreamy lodging location boasts completely restored trailers (think streamlined, chrome, shiny bullets), safari tents, teepees, and camping, all in the meditative desert of west Texas.  They also have really fun events from time to time, like this upcoming culinary weekend featuring renowned west Texas chef, Lou Lambert.

I never thought I'd ever want to go back to TX to vacation.  But if any place can do it, El Cosmico is definitely that place.

(All images from here.)