Sunday, March 31, 2013

the sunday currently, volume 28.

justin's new cologne | birthday deliveries | lunch in chapel hill | hello from winston-salem
reading the final pages of Little Women, college course schedules, & I think my next book is going to be The Out-Of-Sync Child, which was a recommendation from Tammy.
writing in ink-&-paper scribbles, drafting blog posts in my journal, trying to get ahead around here.
listening to the movie Lincoln, which I have been wanting to watch since it came out in theaters. I'm beginning to learn that I love movies based in history.
thinking that Justin & I spent quite a lot of time on the road Friday & yesterday. We visited Chapel Hill, Winston-Salem, Alex & Ashley in Asheboro, Charlotte, & Hickory. North Carolina is a cool state.
smelling like Bath & Body Works' Warm Vanilla Sugar, as well as Paris Amor, lately. Two of my favorites.
wishing for simplicity & security.
hoping this week will be a good one for eating habits. 
wearing comfy clothes. 
loving that Justin is willing to be the driver every time we go somewhere. My interstate anxiety is ridiculous.
wanting nothing but the safety & happiness of all those I love.
needing to go through my inboxes in the next couple of days. 
feeling tired, but thankful.
clicking: As a girl with a coffee cup collection & a big love for warm beverages, Sam's post spoke to me.

seafood in charlotte | no greater comfort than cracker barrel on a road trip

photos: iphone

Friday, March 29, 2013

friday's fancies #64: queen city pastels.

I don't think it's ever been a secret around here, that I love pastels. Need proof? See here & here & here. Bearing this week's Friday's Fancies theme in mind, I created a soft & sweet look, which I'd love to wear as we trek west across North Carolina to The Queen City this weekend. Why the road trip? Just a little impromptu birthday celebration for Justin!

friday's fancies #64: queen city pastels.
skinnies | top | earrings | watch | bag | lip balm | bow | flats | ring

I need to go ahead & spring for the watch - it's seriously affordable, & I used it in this FF, too.
And that precious navy + white bow? I'd rock it in true Joelle Duff style.

It's been far too long since we were last in Charlotte. While we popped in for brunch there during The Trek to Kinston, we haven't had a proper visit since the summer of 2011, when Justin was doing his preceptorship in Greenville, South Carolina. That was so long ago, I even had a different blog then. I can't wait to be in The Queen City* again! 

this week's posts:

link-up: friday's fancies \ {long distance loving}

*Each time I mentioned The Queen City in this post, I kept thinking of a blog by the same name, so I just had to mention it. So, shout out to Allison's blog - In The Queen City!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

a husband's birthday.

Last year, Justin had to wake up obscenely early for work on his birthday. He had to travel from Kinston to Jacksonville, with an extremely long day ahead of him. We were pinching pennies, anticipating our upcoming wedding, so I gifted him with a surprise breakfast: homemade pancakes, with syrup, whipped cream, & strawberries. 

Things are decidedly different this year. We're married now. We are living in Wilmington. He works regular hours, with no travel involved. I have bought a couple of little gifts, that I think he'll really enjoy. And, we'll get to go out for birthday dinner tonight. Maybe I'm biased, but I think this year is better.

In my family, we have a ritual for birthdays. And this morning, Justin was initiated by way of the ritual. I hope this one is his best birthday yet. He sure does deserve it.

Happy Birthday, Justin! 

photo: justin in charleston \ nikon

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

charleston snapshot: the holy city.

Today's installment of the Charleston Snapshot series will wrap up the coverage of our road trip 
to Charleston way back in February. The following photos are among my very favorites from the trek south.

rich carolina colors

needless to say, i love sunburst photos

charleston is inundated with palms

i especially love this one

cobblestones steeped in history

i want to live in a pretty yellow house

though i wouldn't mind residing in this brick beauty

justin is an SAE, so of course, lions always capture our eyes

Want to see more of Charleston?

Like I said, this is the final Charleston Snapshot post - that is, until we visit next time! 
Next week, be on the look out for a Pinehurst Snapshot, featuring photos from this little vacation.

photos: the holy city \ nikon

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

working hard to make this space mine.

I can say, with absolute certainty, that blogging is one of my favorite things to do.

Since the beginning of the Internet boom, I've been searching for ways to document my life via the Web. The earliest form of blogging I did - & I very loosely consider this blogging - was my daily posting on one of the AOL posting boards - the Alternative Music board. It was pretty cut-throat: snark abounded, snobbery abounded, & signatures with Modest Mouse lyrics abounded [not that there's anything wrong with an abundance of Modest Mouse]. My in-real-life, posting-partner-in-crime friend & I often discussed the board, & we referred to the people who really belonged as Alties

As much as I loved pretending to be one of the Alties, I really found my niche when I opened up a Xanga account. Oh, and a LiveJournal. Yep. I had both, at the same time. For some reason...

Throughout both high school & college, I religiously kept my Xanga account[s] alive, posting about my every day, venting, & sharing inspiration. The death of my very oldest Xanga account - LalaDawg... I know... Shudder - was a sad & heated occasion indeed, but that is neither here nor there. 

I think the thing I loved about Xanga - you know, other than the oversharing & overanalyzing & overwriting - was the ability to customize the appearance of my little space on the internet. The ability to add a background image, change the typefaces, change the color scheme... etc. 

So, when I made the transition over to Blogger in 2009 [the account that came before this one may be found here], I was thrilled with all the possibilities... overwhelmed, even. And even this little blog you're reading right now has undergone several facelifts over the upcoming-two-years I've occupied it. 

All of that to say, I am entertaining the idea of a big redesign to my blog. I can't exactly explain why... I am actually really loving my layout as of late. It has a newspaper-y feel to me, which I really love. BUT, the other design I'm playing around with combines elements of many blogs that I really admire. It is admittedly watered-down... simpler, plainer... but I am considering it. 

In the spirit of sharing more, I thought I'd divulge a little screen shot of the work-in-progress. 

What do you think? Keep heading down the path I'm already on? Or switch it up a bit? The new design is far from complete, but I kind of love it. But do I love it as much as this one? I suppose only time will tell.

I love the fluid nature of blogging. The evolution that both my page & I take part in as the time quickly passes by. I still visit those old Xanga pages. And sometimes, I even add a little bit for posterity. Because I can't think of anything better than having a living collection of thoughts, ideas, dreams, & inspirations, which represent my life.

Can you?

photo: blogging \ instagram

Sunday, March 24, 2013

the sunday currently, volume 27.

These photos couldn't be more indicative of my life lately: eyes glued to my phone, coffee after coffee ingested.

Do you ever have to police yourself on how much time you're spending on your phone? Because I do. The other night, I realized I was feeling a bit dizzy, nauseous even. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, until I put my phone down, acted like a normal human being for a while, then felt completely better. I had seriously been staring at my phone so much, it had given me vertigo. This is unacceptable behavior. Obviously. 

In a similar vein, the other morning, I had two very strong cups of coffee, back-to-back. Since I'm one of those people who feel remarkably zombie-like in the morning, sometimes I feel like I should over-compensate by pumping my nervous system full of caffeine. Finished the first cup, felt great, wanted to feel even greater. Finished the second cup, felt even greater. Thirty minutes later, though, when the drug had completely infiltrated my bloodstream, I felt like a crazy person. Long story short, two cups, back to back, is too many. Just stick with one, Lauren, just stick with one.

Enough about my addictive behaviors. 

reading Little Women, although I must admit I've fallen off of my schedule. This means I'm going to have to re-calculate & formulate a new schedule to finish it by March. Why can't I get through this book? I love it when I'm reading it, it's just the sitting-down-to-read part that I'm having problems with. I guess I'm just not in a reading mood lately. I want my next book to be something I can't put down, even if I'm not in a reading mood. Any suggestions?
writing a book. For real. Thank you so much to everyone, for y'all's words of encouragement. I've always wanted to do this, & I've always had the support of all the people in my life. I just decided the other day, that it was time. 
listening to words of advice & encouragement from a bunch of wonderful people, regarding the path(s) I'm going to take with my career. I am extremely grateful for all the great people in my life.
thinking that sometimes a simple phone call can erase the distance between friends. I miss all of my mine, but it's so comforting to simply know that they're out there, only a phone call, text, tweet, email, etc., away.
smelling Sensual Amber, & realizing it's one of my all-time favorite Bath & Body Works scents. And also deciding I'm not going to limit its usage to the colder months, even though it feels like a cold-weather scent. Still thinking Sensual Amber is a lame name, though.
wishing teleportation existed. This would make travel from Wilmington to Shreveport much easier, thus alleviating a lot of stress.
hoping my skin continues to clear up. The prescription I got has really worked. I feel so much better about the state of my face, & that makes me happy.
wearing the nail color I wore when I got engaged. It's Ciate's Cocktail Dress, & my sister gifted it to me for my 25th birthday. It's one of those any-time-of-the-year colors, though right now it feels decidedly Spring.
loving cleaning my house lately. I mean, what?! I am not someone who enjoys cleaning, but I have lately. This is such a lovely, lovely thing.
wanting more spinach & artichoke dip from Copper Penny. We had it at lunch yesterday afternoon, & it was ridiculously good. It was also a huge portion size, so we had plenty to bring home & enjoy later.
needing more nights like Friday night. Basketball, beer, socializing, frozen yogurt, & hilarious group texts from friends back home. It was the best night.
feeling so fantastic, due to our consistent workout habits as of late. Nothing compares to being in a good relationship with food, as well as in a good routine with the gym. I am just LOVING it.
clicking this list of Canadian books, in search of my next read. Also, this post by Tina. And this one, by Laura. Especially loving this line: And there's something to be said for realizing that home can exist in more than one place. Also, Penzu is the site I'm using to write my book. I'm a fan.

photos: embarrassing self-portraits taken in public, surrounded by people, at port city java \ photobooth

Friday, March 22, 2013

friday's fancies #63: little spring wishes.

friday's fancies #63: little spring wishes.

Above are the little things I'm wishing for this season. Crisp, preppy clothing, paired with monogrammed accessories, 
a beautiful Longchamp bag, some Jack Rogers staples, coral lips, & fresh flowers displayed in opaque mason jars.

Dear Stress, Just... don't. Don't get in the way of my productivity or my happiness. Dear Anxiety, Same goes for you. Dear Coffee, I think I have deduced that only one cup of you per day should be happening. Don't try to pressure me with your deliciousness, into indulging more than I should. Dear Strength & Passion, Stick around, if you please. Dear Antibiotics, I love you for your skin-clearing properties. Dear Justin, I'm getting excited about all that's in store for us in the next couple of years. Dear Book, Let's get written, how about? Dear Sweets Addiction, Oops. What are you doing here? Dear Blogging Community, Thank you for being awesome. I refuse to pay attention to anything that's bad about you. All I see when I think of you, is goodness. You enrich my life, open my eyes, & remind me of the vast differences of all the people out there in the world. And for that,  I thank you. You also remind me of something I once heard in A Series of Unfortunate Events:

There's always something.

this week's posts:

friday's fancies \ {long distance loving}
friday's letters \ the sweet season

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

charleston snapshot: notable buildings.

And by notable, I mean, the ones I really liked

I delighted in the abundance of color & interesting architecture offered up by the blissfully sleepy streets of Charleston.

Want to see more of Charleston?

The next & final installment of the Charleston Snapshot series will go live next Wednesday. 
This collection of photos will be my favorites from the trip. Be sure to come back & see them!

photos: buildings in charleston, south carolina \ nikon

the sunday currently, volume 125.

reading a mish-mash of things right now. I don't usually like to read more than one book at a time, but I am in a reading rut... and I...