Thursday, March 31, 2011

Burn Bunsen Burn



i mostly posted this because i love the google doodle gifs. they make me smile. this one is sort of a stretch for the word, but i love all the action!! you google geeks are the best. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

29 ... code for almost 30.

Today is the 29th of March.
I am 29 years old today.
In a few {very short} days I will be ... 30.
I'm having a difficult time processing that little tidbit of information.

I'm honestly not too sure what to make of it. I don't feel like I am approaching some huge milestone in my life. I haven't been dwelling on this number like some others do as a THE definitive marker in my life's journey. Though, as this birthday has drawn closer, I have realized that it is kind of a big deal. Whether I want to admit it or not, 30 changes things. No longer in your 20s, there are certain societal expectations of how you should act or things you should have accomplished by this stage of your life. I wonder if I will live up to the criteria of others. Let's get real, do I ever? No.

Many of my friends, acquaintances and even bloggers I follow seem to have embarked on a "30 Before 30" bucket list sometime in their late 20s. I thought about it last year at this time. I'm not great with deadlines, so I determined the whole process would feel more like an obligation then enjoyment to me. I opted out of this particular fad. It did however left me a bit curious about what I might have done differently if I had actually sat down and created a list of things to check-off before 30 ebbed closer. GULP. Guess I'll never know. I'm ok with that actually.

Instead, I decided to give myself some props. If you know me you are well aware that isn't really my style. On the whole I would classify myself as a more self-depricating personality. I don't throw a lot of compliments my own way.

Here are 30 things I'm proud that I accomplished before turning 30.
{in no particular order}

  1. i married the love of my life. <3
  2. i know how to use power tools like a pro.
  3. i rescued a pound dog named reese and made him family.
  4. i learned to tell people that i love them ... and only when i really mean it.
  5. i have read over 300 books.
  6. i know how to bake delicious desserts.
  7. i learned to like and eat tomatoes, granola, squash, spinach, avocado and yogurt.
  8. i own a beautiful, comfortable home that i love living in.
  9. i know how to sew.
  10. i can throw a football in a tight spiral for at least 40 yards.
  11. i know how to change a tire & check the oil in my car.
  12. i still send hand-written, thoughtful thank you notes.
  13. i have excellent penmanship.
  14. i have vacationed outside the US more than once.
  15. i can bait a hook & catch a fish.
  16. i took my granny on an all expenses paid vacation to somewhere she had always wanted to go.
  17. i have driven cross-country from Atlanta to LA with a dear friend.
  18. i have hiked the grand canyon.
  19. i gave away 10% of my last year's salary to charity.
  20. i have a savings account and a ROTH IRA that i contribute $$ to regularly.
  21. i consider my little brother & his wife two of my very dearest friends.
  22. i found the courage to quit a job that no longer made my happy.
  23. i have my own photography & graphic design business.
  24. i wrote a book documenting my granny's life because i am in awe of her.
  25. i carry my own shopping bags everywhere to avoid taking a plastic bag from stores.
  26. i have had my writing published.
  27. i have been snorkeling and wasn't afraid of being eaten by a shark the entire time!
  28. i have seen 6 broadway plays - 1 actually on BROADWAY!!!
  29. i have helped build homes and churches for those in need with my bare hands.
  30. i was the first person in my family to graduate from college.

Way to go Ash. Hey, you're not so bad after all :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

DIY Feature

My DIY jewelry organizer was featured on Chic Technique!
Thanks for the shout out.


not the kind you do to say "prepare" for a final exam. it is just the only verb i could conjure up to describe my life right now. i feel as though i cannot physically cram the information & experiences flying around me into my brain & my heart any faster. i have been reading at a blinding pace (especially when i forget to wear my spectacles). my brain is actually aching at the amount of new information it is taking in on a daily basis. i'm doing that thing that i have a love/hate relationship with right now too. i am reading about 4 different books at once. i love this because it only happens when there is so many things i want to read at once that i couldn't possibly choose what to pick first. i hate this because it is hard for me to focus like i should on the content of what i am reading. inevitably, this psychotic behavior only last a few weeks. i dabble around in all the books for a while and then the "tell" happens. before i know it one book makes it into my purse. that's the WINNER. if i feel like i must have it with me everywhere i go just in case i should find one spare second to squeeze in some reading ... it will definitely be finished first. right now the front runner is cold tangerines by my new favorite writer shauna niequist.

i have also been slaving away at a back breaking pace on my home with the hubby during every available daylight hour. we race home after work, change into the yard clothes and get to gettin'. on the weekends - forget it. we are in the yard from sun up to sun down. everything in my body hurts from this endeavor, but we are seeing real progress. most of the projects were things that have been floating on the to-do list for years. we finally just rolled up the sleeves and started chipping away - literally in some cases - at them. i have really enjoyed spending time outside working, but now that my nemesis pollen is arriving on the scene i am ready for a little indoor work.
*hopefully picture updates to follow soon from some of the projects. 

i've also been compelled to cram in some quality time with friends. it has been largely uneventful, but meaningful nights out by the fire, a few dinners and some hanging outside until the sun is long gone. i am holding onto and cultivating friendships with people that seem to have made their way into my life at exactly the right time. just when my life needed a few extra hugs and people sending good vibes my way.

even though it's been a season of cramming, with a full mind and an achy body, i have no doubt that i will look back on this time and be glad. for the things i have learned, the work i have done and the people i have loved.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


A few months ago I compiled a six-page guide to Vegas for a friend who was going for the first time. Just trying to give her a wide-sweeping lay of the land out there. Keep in mind that my typical Vegas experience is a bit different from some who might be making their way out to sin city. That is to say ... I'm not really looking to do too much "sinning" when I'm out there. After all, I'm an old married gal and I have been to Vegas with the hubby every time. I'm more of the touristy, sightseeing, mild-mannered typeVegas visitor. I know, lame right?

Well, since I created the document I have actually sent it out to eight different people that were going to Vegas for various reasons. My friend Christy and her husband went recently for a conference. Since they were going to have some downtime everyday ... I sent the info her way. She sent me a message and suggested that I post it on my blog. Here it is.

Click HERE and it will take you straight to a printable Google Doc.
Enjoy & feel free to pass it along to anyone you think might like it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


i have been enamored by a seemingly endless list of topics in the first weeks of this new year. it seems as though every time i sit down in a book store, breeze by the checkout magazine racks or hop on the ole' interwebs i am bombarded by information that i didn't even know i wanted.

yesterday, while watching many a TED Talk (and multi-tasking of course) i came across dan pink's "talk" about the surprising science of motivation. as generation y-er myself, this didn't really seem like late breaking news to me. in fact, i can vividly recall many a lunch break at my previous job spent pontificating on this very topic with my co-workers. seriously, we could go on-and-on about all the reasons why what mr. pink is saying about this movement is right on target.

in the most basic terms - R.O.W.E is getting paid for performing. seems pretty simple right? just 3 simple building blocks. 


employees are evaluated on performance, not presence. in a R.O.W.E. people focus on results and only results – increasing the organization’s performance while creating the right climate for people to manage all the demands in their lives . . . including work. this is how you achieve what i have always believes is everyone's ultimate goal -- a positive work/life balance. it provides employees the opportunity to set their own priorities, yet still be held accountable for the work (output) they have agreed to do in order to earn that all in important paycheck. whether you power toward the deadline while burning the midnight oil because you are night-owl & procrastinator like me, or you wake up early, diligently devote an allotted amount of time to your work and then enjoy the rest of your day ... either way, the work is getting done, the results are the same and you feel empowered over your life. 

it's a revolution in the way society thinks about "work" in the traditional sense. everyone is always worried about how the newest generation of workers will integrate into the systems that already exist. well i say ... BUST OUT people. let your boundaries on this subject be budged just a little and consider the possibilities a work environment like this would make possible in your own life. 

i love it. it sounds like my perfect utopian work environment.
ps: have you ever heard of the candle problem