Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I hope, that no matter where you are in life, that you are able to have gratitude in your heart today.

“This is an important lesson to remember when you’re having a bad day, a bad month, or a shitty year. Things will change: you won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. I believe you can’t feel real joy unless you’ve felt heartache. You can’t have a sense of victory unless you know what it means to fail. You can’t know what it’s like to feel holy until you know what it’s like to feel really fucking evil. And you can’t be birthed again until you’ve died."
- Kelly Cutrone, 
If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You

Enjoy some FRIENDS, and I'll see you Monday!

xo. di.

*image via Glitter Guide

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why You Should Go to Your Ten Year High School Reunion.

{Summer 2002: My bestest high school girlfriends, about a week before we all left for college}
{Thanksgiving Weekend 2012: Before our 10 year high school reunion; down 1 due to California to Detroit travel length}

I have been meaning to write this post for almost a year, since I attended my 10 year reunion last Thanksgiving weekend.  As I know Thanksgiving has become a really popular time for reunions (C's is this weekend! - I'm such a cougar), perhaps my procrastination was serendipitous :)

So, why do I think you should go?  Because I'll bet you'll have fun.  Because it will surprise you.  Because you will have an unexpectedly pleasant encounter with at least one person, and it will make you leave thinking, "I'm glad I went."  Because no one else knows what those four years of your life were like but the other people in your graduating class, and camaraderie means a lot.  Because all the hang-ups you still have swirling in your subconscious from that time in your life can be embraced, and then (hopefully) released. 

High school experiences vary drastically, obviously.  I went to a suburban Detroit public high school (that Madonna attended btw - British accent my a**), with a graduating class of about 450.  We had our cliques and our stereotypes and our separate groups of friends, but it also wasn't impossible to find a lot of cross-over and well-rounded, good people.  It felt good to see that hadn't changed.  There were still mean girls and a**holes in attendance, but - and here's the key - it's a lot easier to ignore them now.

I am also lucky to have an amazing group of high school girlfriends who I still consider my best friends.  Yes, it was easier to walk into the reunion as a group of six, and if you can convince lots of your friends to go, all the better.  We live across the country (actually the world, one of us is in Munich!) from each other, and so the reunion was the perfect excuse to catch-up and get a little drunk together. 

I know it's really easy to say "Facebook keeps me updated on everyone, I don't need to know anything else about these people," or the enticing excuse, "If I haven't stayed friends with them over the last 10 years, why would I want to see them now?  There was probably a reason."

Well.  Turns out, in-person experiences are far superior to online ones.  You'll find out that so-and-so and so-and-so happened to move to neighboring towns in Colorado, and even though they rarely talked in high school, they reconnected and hang out together now.  You'll love hearing that other people have remained friends like you have.  You'll be surprised by how much you have in common with someone.  You'll meet fiancés and husbands and wives of acquaintances you always liked but never became close with for whatever reason, and you'll be glad to hear about their lives.  If all else fails, grab another drink with the people you came with and spend more time with them.     

I do appreciate that there are many valid reasons for not wanting to voluntarily be in the same room as your high school classmates, but I encourage you to think about it.  Face those fears, accept the challenge, all that good stuff, and enjoy precious time with old friends.    

xo. di.

*images property of Diane Crary

Monday, November 25, 2013

Grateful | November 25, 2013.

I am Grateful.  

It's Thanksgiving week!  And I am grateful for 3-day work weeks :)

Pictures of the Week.

{It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...}
 {Friday night calligraphy, Christmas cards & my DVR}
{Our Saturday night: the most amazing seats at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra c/o my boss}
{Christmas tree picking, city style}
{Pre-Thanksgiving decorated tree?!  First timer right here!}

Links Worth Sharing.

Channeling Contessa created a recipe for Nutella Hot Chocolate.  YUM.

It's still fall, and pumpkin is still on the menu, so don't these Iced Pumpkin Cookies by Papery & Cakery sound delicious.

Rock Paper Scissors, a lovely stationery store in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has an awesome run-down on new developments in Detroit.  Yay, Detroit!

The Everygirl has a beautiful redesign!  and a shop! - via Breakfast at Toast

Have a wonderful week.

xo. di.    

*images property of Diane Crary

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fall Fridays | Almost Christmas.

Isn't this arrangement gorgeous?  Style Me Pretty shared a video on how to make it yesterday.  

Well this weekend is really the last one before the holiday craziness really kicks in, isn't it?  Will be taking advantage with projects and sleep and more present hunting.  Anyone seeing Catching Fire?  I'm not super intense about Hunger Games, but this was my favorite of the trilogy, so I'm trying to squeeze it in on Sunday. 

Have a wonderful weekend. 

P.S. The 50th Anniversary of JFK's Assassination is today.  Wow.

xo. di.

*image via Style Me Pretty

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Calligraphy | Favorite Tools & Resources.

I picked my calligraphy practice back up this fall, first with Molly Jacques' Skillshare Class on the subject, which revitalized my calligraphy ambition, and then I purchased Molly Suber Thorpe's Modern Calligraphy, which, let me tell you, has been a game changer.  

Yes, I do realize that is a weird thing to say about a calligraphy book, but stay with me here.  I've been trying to get comfortable with the old school pen and ink for over a year now, with spurts of practice followed by months of throwing my hands up in frustration, with no real improvement to show for my sporadic nature (sporadically: try to use it in a sentence).  My biggest difficulty is most definitely my left-handedness, which makes it difficult to hold my pen normally, unless I'm completely fine with running the heel of my hand through my writing and thus smearing the fresh ink all over the place (no thanks!).  

But Modern Calligraphy has a whole section on left-handed writing that totally changed the way I hold my pen, and the preparing to write section and supply lists are kind of incredible.  I've never read or seen such level of detail anywhere else.  

The only nib I have ever been able to work with and it is amazing and it makes me so happy: the Nikko G.

My new favorite ink (it's so smooth!): Higgins Eternal Non-Waterproof.

I have liked 2 different pen holders quite a bit: Speedball Holder and Manuscript Ergonomic Natural Wood Holder.

{Her alphabet guides make for some amazing inspiration}
{Crazy helpful}

{I feel like everyone should ready this before starting calligraphy}

As you might imagine, I highly recommend Molly's book Modern Calligraphy, and the other Molly's (Are all Mollys good at calligraphy?  Discuss!) Skillshare videos were so wonderful.  You can't underestimate how much watching someone else making pen strokes over and over again can help you out.

If you're also a newbie and have any suggestions for progress, let us know!  And as always, feel free to ask questions in the comments.

xo. di.

*images property of Diane Crary

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wedding | Bridesmaid Gifts.

Now that I have asked all of my bridal party if they would do me the honor of standing next to me next October, I can share with you all the little "ask" packages I put together for them.

{Pretty maids, all in a row, with correct hair colors :) via The First Snow}

Supplies Used

(purchased at Whole Foods)
(find at liquor stores or online at distributors like Laurenti Wines)

Have you come across any creative bridesmaid ask gifts?  Please share in the comments to help out other brides!

xo. di.

*images property of Diane Crary

Monday, November 18, 2013

Grateful | November 18, 2013.

I am Grateful.  

I had a wonderful weekend.  I caught up on all kinds of stuff, slept, exercised, and even - gasp - started decorating for Christmas.

Pictures of the Week.

{Kind of obsessed with this arrangement I picked up at T. Joe's}
 {Have been burning and enjoying this candle the last week}
{We stocked up big time for holiday drinking - we're ready ;)}
{A fresh orchid, to liven up (literally) our bar}
{Sunday's crazy weather was something to behold.  The left was in the height of the 70 mph thunderstorms 
(and tornado watch; the right is two hours later - hello, skyline and sun!}

Links Worth Sharing.

My goodness, The Glitter Guide put together a spectacular Thanksgiving Tablescape.

After seeing Lauren Conrad's Makeover of the Paper Crown Offices, how badly do you want to work in a space like that?!  - via Domaine

I hope you always click on links to Ann Street Studio, because everything Jamie Beck posts is magical.  Here's Paris in 15 Seconds.  

Style Me Pretty's DIY Ideas for Holiday Jewels and Baubles has got me planning.

Have you seen this link documenting Dinovember?  One couple's quest to get their kids' imaginations going, by convincing them their dinosaur toys come to life at night.  It's quite moving.  Creative parents are so inspiring.

Have a wonderful week.

xo. di.    

*images property of Diane Crary

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fall Fridays | Gather.

I cannot believe the blogosphere did not inform me that Shanna Murray collaborated on a collection with West Elm!  I so love her simple hand-written messages (remember my faux chalkboard art DIY?), and these would be perfect on a Thanksgiving table.  Speaking of, I cannot even believe Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away.  2013 is giving me whiplash, this fall in particular.  

I started Christmas shopping this week.  That came out like some grand confession, but it actually feels really good that I'm starting to get organized.  Has anyone else started as well?   

Have a wonderful weekend.

xo. di.

*images via West Elm

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Travel | Chestnut Hill, PA.

As my college roommate A's wedding was on Friday, C and I had Saturday to ourselves before everyone came back together that night for a Notre Dame game watch.  So we went exploring, and fell in love with Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania.  Amazing old stone buildings, quaint shops, and we were lucky to hit the peak of PA's fall colors.

{Main Street}

If you find yourself in the Philadelphia area with a little bit of time on your hands, I highly recommend a stop in this lovely little town. 

xo. di.

P.S. Chestnut Hill holds an annual Harry Potter Weekend in October.  Be still my heart!

*images property of Diane Crary
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