Shutters + new friends

In my old neighborhood I would take early morning runs around the lake. It was quiet and occasionally a car would pass and we would gently smile at one other or raise a hand in an early morning greeting.

The neighborhood housed grand historic homes with well kept lawns, beautiful front doors and tree swings in the front lawns.  Nestled in between these lovely homes was a house with bright yellow shutters and a royal blue and yellow awning that reminded me more of dr's office than a historic home.

I hated that house.

Last night while I was dropping a new friend off at her home I encountered the home again. Barbara is seventy-seven and happens to be in the same fiction workshop as myself. Her stories are gems, with most of them being set in the 50's and her characters hold classic names like Celia and Burt.

Last week she emailed me to say that she loved the comments I gave on her latest story and told me that I sounded like a professional editor.
"We must get together for drinks,"she said in her email.

And so last night we talked and laughed and shared stories over cocktails.
"I'll have another Vodka martini," she said to the bartender. I looked down at the beer in front of me. I was   barely halfway through.
"This is my first time out in four months. I'm going to enjoy myself!"

She wanted to know everything about me and I wanted to hear all of the details of her life.

"I spent a lot of time in bars. I even lived with an alcohol for six years," she said, her eyes flashing with memories.
"But I couldn't marry him. And he wasn't a bad person, he just drank too much."
She did end up marrying at the ripe age of forty-two to a man she met in a bar who had hours earlier finalized his divorce.

After two hours of swapping stories, she announced that she was ready to go.  I handed her her cane, helped her off the bar stool and to my car to give her a ride home.
"New Yorkers don't drive. I'm so glad you're driving, I could never do this," she said as I made a three point turn.

We chit chatted as she gave me directions to her home and I navigated my Volvo into my old neighborhood. 
"The corner of Massachusetts and Gosnold "she said. "It's the house on the right with the bright yellow shutters and awning."

I laughed to myself and helped Barbara out of my car and into her home.



This internet can be a lovely place filled with  unexpected treasures by creative and curious people. Inspiration is hidden like Easter Eggs in tall grass, but when you find something good you know it's golden. 

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by God, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.


is good....
{Photo via:here}


Chic + Warm

{photo via:perricatherine}

I want to look this chic and warm when it's cold and snowy in London.
That is all.


It felt good...

I realize that if this blog turns into a space where I talk about how nervous and anxious I am all the time, then no one, including myself, will find it helpful.

But, today I cried in my bosses' off.

It felt good.

See you tomorrow.


Plane Ticket Tuesday

 {photo via:instagram}

Guess, what I'm doing today friends? I'm buying the plane ticket. Yes, THE ticket to London. I don't know why I'm so nervous but I'm kinda sweating. {Yes, actual sweat is forming on my brow.} It could be the amount of cash that I'll be putting down but it seems bigger than money at this point.

Buying this ticket is the next step of so many steps I've already taken, but somehow seems more  monumental. There's  no turning back now. And really when it boils down to it, I don't want to turn back anyway....


French Press Fail

 {photo via:pinterest}

Do you want to know the sad truth? I have a french press and I don't know how to use it. {I told you, sad but true.}

I've read instructional articles, watched youtube videos and still, every time I make a cup of coffee, it turns out a murky brown color and tastes like dirty water. I don't need this coffee drama in the morning when I'm already scrambling between curling my hair, packing my lunch and putting together an outfit that is both professional yet 'hip'. {These are the 'woes' of my life.}
Once I even tried using bottled water and bought a fresh bag of coffee from Starbucks. My results? Dirty. Brown. Water.

What could I possibly be doing wrong? Someone please help me out. My waning caffeine fix thanks you.



Hello dear friends!

Have you heard of Kinfolk Magazine? It hasn't officially launched yet, but come July 15th, this Friday, it will be up and running. It's a "A guide for small gatherings." Please check it out. It's such a lovely project. So much so, that I am brainstorming ways to do a piece for them. Considering I have a book club meeting coming this Sunday I'm thinking it would be a prime opportunity. Thankfully my roommate and good friend has the menu set. She's going for a Mexican theme and serving dishes like:

shrimp and avocado salad

and, sangria of course.

(Images via 1, 2}

So my job will be to make the house look beautiful. {Fresh flowers and white serving dishes always do the trick for me.} And then I'll be buzzing around her  and the apartment trying to get some good photographs. Wish me luck friends.

We're reviewing Quitter by Jon Acuff. Have you heard of him? Let me tell you...

1. He is hilarious and 2. This book is worth picking up.

If you, like me, have ever felt a little lost on what you were really passionate about, what you really wanted to do, and how you wanted to get there, then read Quitter. Seriously. Half, ok the entire reason I am up right now at 6:36 a.m. righting this post is because I am putting, 'Death to the Discussion.' You know how it goes if you're trying to pursue something and you have the back and forth conversation with yourself to see if you're actually going to work on it TODAY.

But, it's no longer a discussion. I am writing. Why? Because in order to be a writer, I must actually write. You wouldn't believe how long that took me to understand. {Sad. Very, very sad. But true.}

Until tomorrow, xo.


London Style

I've heard many things about the weather in London - mostly that it's crap. And as much as I love London, that makes me a bit nervous.
I grew up with the beach being ten minutes away and on occasion it's been 90 degrees in...May. So, you know, wet and cold will be quite an adjustment.

The rain will suck, and I'm sure I will have to find a hair dresser the moment I get there. {When the natural state of your hair is an afro and you chemically straighten it, finding someone you trust to do your hair is imperative.} Besides the hair issue, I just hate being cold. Right now, I'm sitting at my desk, freezing and the thermostat is on...75. {le sigh}

I've been scoring my Pinterest account for inspiration on looking stylish is freezing temperatures. 

{Photo via:pinterest} 

Looks lovely, no? And, perhaps more importantly, she looks warm. With my budget being tight, I have to first shop my closet.
That big chunky scarf? Have it in navy. 
White shirt? Check.
Black pants? Of course.
The jacket and sweater? Hmm, may need to add something similiar to my list.

{Just a note. You would think I would consumed with other important details of moving such as packing, my visa, financial aid, culture shock et al, but no. Not today at least. Strictly style business this Thursday and, I'm ok with that.}


Fear is a real thing

 {photo via:pinterest}

I was recently e-introduced to some of my future flat mates. We're all studying similar programs and instantly  I started judging: myself, not them. They seemed more intellectual, talented, worldly and sophisticated. And who am I? Well, some American who fakes a British accent from time to time, loves sweets and enjoys a fair amount of 'chick-lit.' I don't know why I do this to myself. I must find some type of pleasure in taking a mental beat down. And to be honest, it's embarrassing to admit that sometimes I feel insecure, unsure and even uncertain as to why I'm sharing this with you.

Anyway, later that night I started reviewing some of the video journals I made about a month ago. There was one in particular that surprised me. It was the shortest video but in it I said, with sincerity that I could feel, "I just want to thank the Lord for making me this way. With a creative mind. It's just who I am."
And for a moment I felt comforted in who I was.
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