Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Long Weekend!

Thank goodness!  A 3-day weekend is upon us.  I hope that everyone has a wonderful and relaxing Memorial Day weekend.  My goals for the weekend include:

-spending lots and lots of time outside
-not using my car unless completely necessary
-enjoying food and drinks with friends
-getting my closet cleared out for my closet-to-office makeover (Remember when I blogged about this?  It's becoming a reality! Pictures to follow)
-taking advantage of some Memorial Day weekend sales

Happy Memorial Day!

I'm thankful for...
16) Long weekends that leave me refreshed and rejuvenated
17) Omelettes from the Crate & Barrel cafe
18) Beer gardens on warm summer evenings
19) My cat, Babs, who loves to cuddle
20) When my nails actually grow a decent length and don't break

Live Sweetly :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

All I Have to do is...

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Matthew 7: 7-8

Thanks, Lauren, for reminding me of this verse.

image via my talented photog friend, jlukianuk

I'm thankful for...
11) The angels who God places in my life at the exact moment, at the right time
12) Gena, the lady who threads my eyebrows
13) How quickly my hair grows
14) Warm Memorial Day weekends
15) My minty flavored lip gloss from Bath &'s awesome.

Live Sweetly :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Marathon Training: Week 1

This week marks the first official week of marathon training. Running a full 26-mile long marathon is something that’s been on my life list for years. I’ve wanted to do it ever since my cross-country days back in high school. Each year up until now, I’ve told myself that I’ll do it when I have more time. Well, I’ll never have more time, so I’ve decided to make the time and commit myself to training for the next few months until the big day, Sunday October 10th (the date will be 10/10/10…kind of cool, right?). So far, I’m up to 7 miles for my long run and I’ll be adding a mile each week with shorter runs on the days inbetween. It feels really good to be running regularly again!                                                                                   

When I signed up for the marathon, I learned that I could run the race on a charity team and raise money for a good cause. After reading through the many charities that offer training programs for the Chicago Marathon, I have chosen to run with the Special Olympics charity team. I’ve known about this organization for years and have some personal connections to this community. I’m excited to be making a contribution towards helping the Special Olympics reach their goals.

I have pledged to raise a minimum of $1,000 for this amazing charity. I would appreciate any help I can get from you to reach that goal. Any donation, big or small, will make an impact. Your donation will not only help me reach my goal, but it will also play a part in the life of someone with special needs.

Please take the time to visit my fundraising website and consider placing a donation by clicking here.

Thank you so much for your support! I'll be sure to keep you all updated as training continues.

I’m thankful for…

6) My legs…I wouldn’t be able to run this marathon without them.  They're long, too, which helps a lot :)
7) The kind words and encouragement from my small group
8) Really cool finds on craig’s list
9) Clear skies on sunny days
10) Oatmeal with peanut butter and raisins...what a great way to start the day!

Live Sweetly :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Thousand Gifts

This morning I woke up feeling frustrated…annoyed…a little disappointed. I hate waking up that way, especially after coming off of a really fun weekend.

The heat in my apartment made me mad. The radio wasn’t playing any good music, so I turned it off in a huff. Someone cut me off driving to work. Traffic was…well, traffic. My back hurts because I slept funny. And even though I feel like I’m trying to make changes…everything just seems to be the same.

Ok. Now that I got that off my chest…

When I got to work this morning, I did a quick run through my google reader while drinking my cup of coffee. And it just so happens that the theme of some of my favorite blogs on this unusually ungrateful morning was…thanksgiving. The first blog entry I read was titled The Treasure of Thrown Away Food written by Lysa Terkeurst at (in)courage. Somehow through the web that is the internet I made my way to an entry from the blog a holy experience titled The Thousand Gifts…and this was probably the fourth blog entry I read that focused on gratitude.
image originally from blackcat1996
Ok. I get it. The message is clear. God is teaching me a lesson…and it’s a reminder that I clearly need. What happened between yesterday and today that made me so ungrateful? I woke up this morning feeling down about everything I don’t have, rather than being grateful for the many gifts I’ve been lucky to receive.

I have a job. I have amazing friends. I have a loving family. God has granted me another day to live on this earth and spend time with the people that I love so much. I don’t want my view of this world to be clouded by ungratefulness for even another minute.

So, with that, I’m going to start my own list of gifts. From here on out, I’m going to add to my list of things I’m thankful for at the end of each blog entry. The goal will be to get to 1,000 gifts...but hopefully by the time I get there the act of gratitude will be so addictive that I won’t want to stop.

I’m thankful for…
1) Being awake and alive on this glorious morning
2) The flowers my sister sent me for my birthday that are still blooming and beautiful after over a week.
3) Going to concerts with my music loving friends
4) Beautiful days at the beach
5) Emails from the renegades

Have a glorious day!

Live Sweetly :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Music Monday 05-24-10

Rather than featuring another one of my favorite artists, I'd like to highlight the charitable efforts of one of my favorites, who I happenned to highlight in last week's Music Monday...

I saw Imogen Heap in concert for the second time last night, and the show was incredible.  She played a lot of songs that she didn't play the last time I heard her, including the song "Let Go" (click here to listen), which she originally sang when she was a part of the talented duo called Frou Frou.

At one point in the show, Imogen did a completely on-the-spot improvised piece.  She had the audience vote with applause for the key and tempo of the song, and then she just let her creativity flow for about 5 minutes.  The best thing is that Imogen's goal is to sell each improvised song on her website and donate the proceeds from each song to a local charity for each city on the tour.

Please take the time to go on Imogen Heap's website by clicking here and downloading one of her impovised pieces for your chosen city.  So far, songs for Detroit, MI and Chicago, IL are on their way to being uploaded.

Also, please take the time to visity the website for the local charity Imogen picked for Chicago, Cease Fire.  This is a charity dedicated to eliminating the violence within the city....and after the sad reports from the weekend, we definitely need the help.

Thank you, Imogen Heap, for your creativity and for using your musical talent to make a difference in this world.

Live Sweetly :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Creative Crush: Knack Studios

While scouring the internet one day for design inspiration, I came across the website for Knack Studios.  The 'who we are' description on their website grabbed me instantly:

"Knack Studios was born of a passion for discovering home prodcuts that reflect a distinctly urban professional lifestyle.  With an eye for detail and a talent for repurposing found objects, Knack offers an eclectic selection of furnishings that are sleek yet warm, detailed but relaxed. Clever Design.  Easy Style."

Don't you want to start perusing their site right. this. minute?  They have some wonderfully refurbished pieces.  Considering I do a lot of repurposing and refurbishing on my own, it's neat to see that others are making a living doing something that I consider to be a hobby.  Very inspirational!

Here's a look at a few of their pieces:

(All photos originally from the Knack Studios website.)

Aren't these pieces beautiful?  The way that Knack Studios photographs their work makes it even more irresistible.  Please click here to view more. 

I'm totally inspired to get started on some of my projects.  I'm so glad the weather is getting warmer so I can work outdoors on my refinishing projects.  Hooray for summer projects!

Live Sweetly :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Unique Finds: Stacking Dinnerware

Have you ever struggled with trying to find a way to store or display your dinnerware, but you just aren't happy with the way it looks?  Well, the A + R Store has a solution for you....Palace Stacking Dinnerware.  Each "building" holds a serving dish and either 6 soup bowls, 6 small bowls, 6 small plates, or 6 dinner plates.  When not in use, the pieces stack together to make a building.  It's genius!

Please view more images of the Palace Stacking Porcelain Tableware here.

Original featured on Design for Mankind

These are definitely being added to my wihs list.  When you own the entire block, there are enough dishes for a group of 6.  Aren't they amazing?  This is the perfect gift for the architect in your family (hint, hint!).  I wonder how easy it is to piece the dishes back together once the meal is over...

Live Sweetly :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


For those of you who don’t know, I celebrated my 25th birthday last weekend. The thing I love the most about birthdays is that it’s a day where you are reminded of how much you are loved. It’s like all of the love you feel over the year gets packed into one day, so by the end of the day my heart is just bubbling over. Thank you to all of my family and friends who made it a very special weekend.  I'm reminded every year how lucky I am to have you.

Each year, I usually do some self-reflection in the days preceding my birthday. This year I feel like I’ve done a lot more than usual. 25 is a pretty significant number. It’s a quarter of a century. I’m officially in my mid-twenties. I’m half way to 30. I’m officially an adult. College ended 3 years ago. I graduated from high school 7 years. I’ve had my license for almost a decade.

Time has literally flown by.

There were many years where I felt like time wasn’t moving fast enough for me. I was always waiting for the next thing. In elementary school, summer could never come fast enough. In middle school, I couldn’t wait to be in high school. In high school, I couldn’t wait to be in college. And although college was a blast and I had so many unforgettable experiences, there were definitely times when I couldn’t wait to start my adult life. We spend all of the years leading up to 25 preparing to arrive at this point, and now I’m here and can’t help but think, what’s next?

The scary and exciting thing about the coming years is that I don’t know what’s next. The way that I choose to live the days, months, years that I am blessed to be here on this earth is completely up to me.

I have a lot of hopes, dreams, and goals for the future. Most of them are out of my control, but thankfully He will lead me in the right direction. And while I wait to see what happens as my plan unfolds, there is one thing that I’m sure of….I’m going to spend my time sharing the love that has been given to me.

Live Sweetly :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Music Monday 05-17-10

This coming weekend I am seeing one of my favorite artists for a second time, Imogen Heap.  I saw her last fall, and needless to say, I was blown away.  I'm heading to her concert with a few of my favorites.  It's bound to be a great show! 

If you haven't heard her before, please take a few minutes to listen to a some of my favorites:

1. Goodnight and Go
2. Hide and Seek
3. First Train Home

If you like what you hear, you can check out her website here (it's one of the best websites I've ever seen), or purchase her music here.

Music is one thing that makes life sweet.  Enjoy!

Live Sweetly :)

Friday, May 14, 2010


Sunset Swing
Originally uploaded by Lumatic
I'm ready to swing into the weekend. I think it's going to be a good one.

Actually, I KNOW it's going to be a good one.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Live Sweetly :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Le "V" de Versailles
Originally uploaded by ★iPh4n70M★
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."
-Nelson Mandela

Live Sweetly :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Music Monday 03-11-10

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful week.  I'm back from my European vacation.  I was so sad to leave, but I'm really glad to be home all at the same time.  I promise to post pictures from my adventures later in the week.

For my post-trip Music Monday, I want to feature the band that opened for Owl City at their concert on Friday Aptil 30th.  The band was called Lights.  It's always a treat when the opening band is as good, or better, than the band you came to see.  Although Owl City put on an amazing show, Lights did a great job of getting the crowd ready for the big show.  I love the lyrics to their songs, and the conbination of the backbground beats and the lead singers voice are perfect.  I bought Lights' first album before my trip, and I've been listenig to it non-stop all week. 

The lead singer, Valerie Anne Poxleitner, plays the keytar, too, which is pretty awesome.

You can listen to samples of their songs and buy the album here.

Live Sweetly :)
Related Posts with Thumbnails