Next year.

as i check in on instagram, and the other social media 'sources of inspiration' time-suckers sites, i continue to add to my 'next-year' list.  the 'next year' list that is 1/2 full of items/pictures/projects from last year that were supposed to be implemented this year.

well, the tree is up, shining bright.  the other decorations are well on their way.  new outdoor lights {'old-fashioned' ones... a 'to-do-this-year' task that was actually done} have been purchased... leon has arrived, and is monitoring as close as ever.  *homemade card supplies were ordered weeks ago...

...but still untouched.  advent calendars just put out yesterday... on the 6th of december. not the creative-thoughtful-diy kind either.  the cheap-easy-low-grade-chocolate-filled-paper-box kind.

looks like those pine cones may have to wait one more year before their trims are painted white as snow.  and those christmas card supplies might just be perfect for next year's holiday cards.   

ryan's in his last wave of classes, life is chaotic, our lists are never even closed to being checked off..... and 'in the big scheme of things' it's alright.  and it IS temporary (a necessary- daily- reminder).   
but speaking of next year...

i saw a gorgeous olive wreath the other day that i'd love to try my hand at creating my own version...

image via

and also, a magnolia leaf one...

image via
both trees in which we have.  both very simple and seemingly doable.
next year.  for sure.



Are you watching this show???
video via
Well, you should be.

It's all sorts of 'Tami Taylor' goodness, y'all.

Santa catalina island.

 It's the Monday after Thanksgiving. and for the first time ever, I'm refreshed, relaxed ~ and ready to take on

{Remind me to never, ever host this particular holiday EVER again.}

I'm kidding.  And, as I mentioned before, there are other factors involved- as to why this "tradition" (the way our family celebrates 'thanksgiving dinner') was/is in need of "tweaking"... but needless to say- it was so very nice to switch it up this year... to not wake up to this get away- mid-week- the day before Thanksgiving- to celebrate Ryan's birthday... the birthday that usually gets placed on the back-burner due to 'holiday busyness .'

For this, and for him... I am truly thankful.  


The scenic road.
 image via

Last week, an instagram friend {an incredibly successful, creative, kind friend} shared a quote from a [Californian-raised] New York-based artist, Tauba Auerbach {via the AW12 issue of the gentlewoman}.

"I've been moving in a straight line and now I just want to be able to move diagonally."

Living life in a thoughtful, focused- yet free- manner.  Free to question.  Free to explore.  Free to dig deeper.  Free to stay on course, but not to the extent of feeling stuck, forced, bored- or worse, boringFree to bend the rules, to step out of bounds, to step back... to step forward.  Much easier said than done for some [me], but somehow, a "diagonal" path sounds far less intimidating... much more doable.  

This year, I have decided to step away from hosting Thanksgiving dinner.  In light of everything written here and here, I decided that we needed a break.  My kids are off for the entire week, and for the first time in years, I'll be able to spend time with them.  Free time to try new recipes from my oldest cookbooks and newest magazines (but never have due to a pure lack of time and/or post-holiday kitchen-burnout)... Time to reflect on what I am thankful for.

We're not flying off to Hawaii- or celebrating solo.  We're not forgoing turkey, or my grandma's coveted stuffing- or pumpkin pie.  Nor are we permanently handing over the 'hosting torch.'  Just veering off the straight n' narrow route.  


The usual suspects.

a costume parade & a classroom party... cousins & trick-or-treating... chili & cornbread... pizza & wine... spooky glasses & sparkling cider... pumpkin carving & candle lighting... dry ice & {state-of-the-art :)} jack-o-lanterns... charlie brown & tim burton... black nails & only-on-halloween 'fashion' embellishments... candy & more candy...

... and two utterly exhausted parents.

Halloween [High school] HORROR.

Being that it was his first year of high school, he decided to forgo his "real" costume until this evening (for the obvious reason of not wanting to wear a big red fleece men's nightgown... aka the fierce Pac-Man ghost), and instead wear a far less in-your-face 'thrown together' sorta [non-]costume. he could still participate in his very favorite holiday, without risk of potential mortification of being the only. kid. dressed. up.

Thanks to 'design mom' & her fantastic 6 ideas for the costume averse, I recommended that he wear a few embellishments- a glove... a few plastic bugs...... 

He liked the idea.  So off I went to Target (as I do EVERY SINGLE YEAR on the eve of Halloween- despite swearing that it will/can never happen again) in search of plastic bugs... And when I couldn't find them, off I went to the even more chaotic Party City (as I do EVERY SINGLE YEAR on the eve of Halloween after I fail to find all that I am frantically in search of at the aforementioned Target- despite swearing that it will/can never happen again).

After weaving in and out of swarms of other frantic mothers... fathers... teens... party city workers... Oh, wait- they were nowhere to be found... 

I found the bugs.  Hours later (as Ryan was finishing up his "real" costume), the bugs were glued to safety pins, and in true 'Jacob fashion' - what was going to be a couple of bugs added to the back of his shirt, turned into several bugs... a ripped up pair of old slacks... last year's thrifted (and thankfully saved) Charlie Chaplin shoes, glow-in-the-dark skeleton gloves, a tuxedo tee, smeared dirt- on  his clothes... his face... topped off with a slick-yet-disheveled hairdo.  {he was going for a downgraded zombie prom king look- but downgraded or otherwise, a non-costume quickly became a full-fledged ensemble}

As I was attending to Hailey- who was wearing her "real" costume to the 8:30am parade, Ryan helped Jacob with his final touches, snapped a few shots, drove him to school...

And not one kid in sight was wearing anything remotely resembling a Halloween costume.



...we've been craving nature... fresh air... laughter... lightheartedness... trees... leaves... togetherness...  
apple donuts.

so, on saturday, we ventured out & found it.  all of the above.

...a new [old] tradition that leaves us with warm hearts, renewed spirits, & lots & lots of apples.

The weekend...

…in which fall has finally arrived.

…in which we finally watched the royal tenenbaums.

…in which we [he] {ironically, now that summer is over and 'fall has arrived'} finally made ice cream ~ incredibly delicious brown sugar-bourbon ice cream.

…in which I finally met a few of my favorite blogger friends… alice, & michelle, & jora, & desi, & alexis {man, what a group}.

…in which I finally got to wear my wellies (justified by a 5-minute-teensy-tiny-sprinkling "storm") & my jack-o'-lantern shirt.

…in which we finally purchased the last item necessary to complete this year's halloween costumes.

{which inspired this intricate highly thought-out lego creation… [luckily he's going the total oldschool route this year (aka the 'cost-effective-minimal-materials-required-easy-to-assemble-and-exectute route')… after much deliberation, we have landed on the perfect costume. 
can you guess which of the following characters that would be?}

{...if you guessed, 'BLINKY' you'd be correct :).}
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