Sunday, June 30, 2013

the sunday currently, volume 41.

on my wish list: a Don Draper fan for my desk

I've been a girl of few words this week, & it has felt good. To my blogging credit, I have been working on the Pinterest boards which are inspiring my Wardrobe Reconstruction Series, so be on the lookout for those posts in the next couple of weeks. I'm excited about the process of cleaning out my closet & filling it with wonderful, magnificent things.

It has also been raining cats & dogs around here, EVERY DAY. Each day starts off sunny & clear - albeit humid as all get out - then, around four p.m., the clouds begin to roll in, & by nine p.m., the thunder & lightning begins & it continues through the night. 

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y  .  .  .  

R E A D I N G Bridget Jones's Diary... & with not nearly as much enthusiasm as I had anticipated. I wish I had the Sedaris & Hosseini selections in my house, staring me in the face, so that I would have inspiration to power through, but all of the copies are checked out at all of my local libraries. I'm going to have to reserve them soon, or I'm never going to get to read them.
W R I T I N G out some study guides this week. I have my first tests in both of my classes on the same day this week.
L I S T E N I N G to Justin talk about how he doesn't want to clean the house today. Trust me, I don't want to either. But it's one of those adult things we have to do, I guess.
T H I N K I N G that I'd like some coffee from Starbucks... & I think Justin is about to make that happen. On the menu for me this morning? I'm trying a Hazelnut Macchiato - instead of my usual choice of the Caramel Macchiato - on Hope's suggestion.
S M E L L I N G like Sunflowers, by Elizabeth Arden, this weekend. Middle school signature scent, in the house!
W I S H I N G there was a magic laundry & house-cleaning fairy. I'll even pay her.
H O P I N G to be like Charlotte York & become one of those people who just run every day, no matter what. My last few runs here have been absolutely miserable, due to the humidity. October, where ARE you?
W E A R I N G the look of someone who does not want to do anything today, besides catch up on season six of Mad Men, & possibly supplement that with the viewing of a few episodes of The Office.
L O V I N G that we're having Netflix delivered again. I've had my account since 2008, when it was only the DVD rental service. Then, it switched over to two different plans for streaming & DVDs, so I chose streaming. Now, we're doing both. We watch Netflix a LOT, & we use the streaming to watch TV, but the movie selection is so much better on the DVDs. All of this explanation to say, it's exciting to get happy mail again, instead of just bills.
W A N T I N G to have more patience. Yesterday, my patience was nonexistent. And I hate when I feel that way, because not only do I not have any patience with others, I have no patience with myself, either. 
N E E D I N G... & GOING TO limit my sweets intake to the weekends. I had an epiphany about this last night while watching Sex & The City. So yeah, that's happening.
F E E L I N G a little bit worn out. I need to get on top of everything this week so that I don't have to feel very much stress. Well, at least that would be the aim. 
C L I C K I N G The Sunday Secrets this morning. I've been forgetting about them, which is a shame, because I do love them.

What are you doing right now? What have you been doing this week? Link up & share below.

Monday, June 24, 2013

rain on monday.

Yesterday evening, as I rushed to complete the study guide for a test that is happening in a few hours, I started feeling an almost intolerable amount of this emotion - that nasty sort of nostalgia that makes you question what you're doing, where you're going, & why you're participating in it all. 

Just like last time, it took me a while to realize what I was feeling. That it was nostalgia, not anxiety. Is it weird that sometimes my brain gets the two confused? Maybe not... maybe they're more related than we think.

All of that to say, as the rain falls on the day that is Ugly Monday, I am longing pretty hard for the weekend. It was a weekend filled with perusing memory-filled antique shops on Castle Street. A weekend of sitting on the dock of the Cape Fear River, indulging in bread baskets & red chowder. It was just one of those weekends. 

How do you deal when you're blindsided with the sting of nostalgia? Do you recognize the feeling right away? Or perhaps do you - like me - grapple with it for a while before you understand it?

If you read anything today it should be... Alison's post on embracing your imperfections. What a gal. She inspires me, folks.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

the sunday currently, volume 40.

I'm glad my blog has gone all gray & black & white... when color photos are added, they pop like nothing else. 

This weekend has - just like last weekend - been one of relaxation & sleeping probably just a little bit too late. Yesterday, we went for coffee, picked up some framing we had done at Michael's, went antiquing on Castle Street, then had lunch at Elijah's. After that, it was all Mad Men & corn dogs & doughnuts (yes, I just admitted to a pretty bad eating day). On the agenda for today? I have a big hope that Dixie Grill is in our future. We'll have to see how crowded it is, because last weekend we had to say no to that hour-long wait. Perhaps some of this rain has deterred those less committed this morning...

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y  .  .  .  

R E A D I N G Bridget Jones's Diary. The first time I saw this movie - I believe - was Christmas 2011. It arrived in the mail via Netflix & my sister & I plopped down in front of the TV in the den. When it was over, we could not believe we had never seen it before. I think I'm going to feel the same way about the book. [And by the way, I devoured Where'd You Go, Bernadette in a weekend. It was the best book I've read in quite a while.]
W R I T I N G a Wardrobe Reconstruction Series this summer. This is going to coincide with cleaning out my closet & only buying things I'm in love with. Also coming this summer: drugstore product reviews. You may have noticed the added Drugstore Living tab up there - that's where all of the said product reviews may be accessed. I am thinking that I will list all of the products - by brand name - on the landing page for that tab. That way, if you are looking for something specific, it'll be easy to find. Have a product in mind you'd like for me to review for you? Email me ( & let me know. Then, I'll head out to the drugstore & pick it up & review it after I've had a few days to get acquainted with it. 
L I S T E N I N G to pouring rain right outside my window. A Sunday morning treat at its finest.
T H I N K I N G that knowing your boundaries & limits is important in maintaining a manageable stress level. I let my worries get away from me this week & was a complete mess on Monday & Tuesday. So much so, that I had to take the day off on both Wednesday & Thursday so that I could summon the resolve to get things done on Friday. This is no way to live. If you find yourself in the beyond stressed category, it's time to chop your to-do list in half & relax a little bit. Things will work out if they're meant to be.
S M E L L I N G a freshly-brewed pot of french vanilla New England Coffee. Also smelling like Honey Sweetheart on the daily, due to the ton of body cream I bought during the Bath & Body Works sale. The body cream really is worlds better than the lotion.
W I S H I N G doughnuts had the same nutritional content as a big bowl of broccoli. The reason for this should go without saying. Doughnuts are all I have been wanting this week. And we may - or may not? - have had them just last night.
H O P I N G that all the phone calls & issues I have to resolve this week don't throw me into another stress frenzy. Y'all, seriously, I needed a family-sized chill pill this week.
W E A R I N G my hair up all the time lately. I haven't put heat on my hair in over a month. I'd love to say I'm doing this on purpose to boost the health of my hair (which it has totally done), but the truth is, I left all of my hot tools in Shreveport when I visited in May. My mom is sending them all to me, but until then, my hair is getting a much-needed break.
L O V I N G the simplicity of my new blog design. It's still a work in progress - I need to polish the footer's appearance, as well as some other little logistical things like that. I love a good blog redesign. It makes me endlessly happy. 
W A N T I N G a renewed subscription to Birchbox. Also, Starbucks. Maybe I can talk Justin into traversing the rain-logged roads with me to get a caramel macchiato (the best drink from Starbucks, hands down) after I've finished this post.
N E E D I N G to remember to relax. As I touched on in the thinking category up there, I let my stress get out of control this week. I put entirely too much on my plate - & on my to-do lists - &, instead of inspiring me the way to-do lists normally do, it actually made me completely crazy. And really mean, too. Sorry, Justin.
F E E L I N G well-rested this morning. I think a sleep during a thunderstorm will do that to you. Also, feeling sad that we finished season five of Mad Men last night. That means we're done with all the ones that are on Netflix. Now what? What show are we supposed to watch next, while we wait for season six to show up on our instant queue?
C L I C K I N G this post from Meg. I've been struggling with what-to-eat-what-not-to-eat lately, & I've been tempted to start the heinous practice of counting my calories again. It really is no way to live. Swimsuit season always does this to me. It's important to remember not to be too hard on myself. Everything in moderation. Working out daily. Every little bit counts. All of those need to be my fitness mantra.

What are you doing right now? What have you been doing this week? Link up & share below. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

beach reading.

summer reading 2013.

After Allyssa posted her Summer Reading List, I knew I had to create one of my own. Above are my picks for throwing into your beach bag, picnic basket, or to arrange on your coffee table. Oh, &, you know, to read. 

one: J.K. Rowling, I love you. Still missing reading this book. It was that good.
two: Loved it, but not as much as The Kite Runner. An emotionally draining, poignant read.
three: Of course I'll have to round out the trio of Hosseini novels. I love his writing style. 
four: I read this book in a weekend. I still can't stop thinking about it. Loved its witty quirks. 
five: Looking forward to finally devouring this modern classic.
six: This will be my first Sedaris sampling. Pretty excited about it. 
seven: Just want to finish this. Been reading it for what feels like forever.

And from the blogosphere...

- Joelle has always inspired me with her bow-festooned up-dos, so of course I am loving her Sunday Bun Day posts. I mean, seriously, how cute? I've always been a fan of buns, but I really need to invest in a little bow collection.

- I loved this post from The Londoner on The Anti Diet. I'm always looking for fitness inspiration, & this one is a gold mine.

- One of my favorites photo blogs - Afternoons & Coffeespoons - recently posted a collection of photos from Charleston. Since Justin & I are headed there for our One Year Anniversary in October, I got excited as I pored over the images. I've only been to Charleston once so far, but my love affair with it already runs deep.

C H E E R S  T O  T H E  W E E K E N D .

Monday, June 17, 2013

first playlist of the summer.

I LOVE YOU | said the whale
LITTLE TALKS | of monsters & men
RISE TO THE SUN | alabama shakes
CRUEL | st. vincent
PRAISE YOU | fatboy slim 
22 | taylor swift
MAKE IT TO ME | manchester orchestra ft. grouplove
THAT'S WHAT'S UP | edward sharpe & the magnetic zeros
LET'S GO | matt & kim
OUT OF MY LEAGUE | fitz & the tantrums
ROYALS | lorde
SAN FRANCISCO | the mowgli's
ON TOP OF THE WORLD | imagine dragons
PURPLE YELLOW RED AND BLUE | portugal. the man
DIPLOMAT'S SON | vampire weekend

Sunday, June 16, 2013

the sunday currently, volume 39.

Happy Father's Day, to a dad who would do anything for his family. A dad who is always working on a project on the weekend. A dad who grills a mean steak. A dad I know I can always pick up the phone & call. I love you, Dad.

reading Where'd You Go, Bernadette, & absolutely loving it. I finished A Thousand Splendid Suns on Thursday - it was moving, & upsetting, & haunting. It really made me think. No book has ever made me more thankful to be an American.
writing applications that I hope will prove fruitful. Also, book proposals. Yep, you heard that right. And I'm excited. Also, a new blogging project, which I'll share in a couple of weeks.
listening to summermood2013, which, I think, is a compendium of the very best summer songs that two thousand thirteen has to offer. What are you listening to this summer? I have a big love for summery music. I will be sharing SM2013 tomorrow here on siddathornton!
thinking a light-hearted read was a good idea after Splendid Suns. I was going to read Hosseini's third novel immediately after, but it is currently checked out of all the libraries in Wilmington, & like I said, I needed something lighter after the emotion-wrenching experience that was Splendid Suns.
smelling like Burberry Brit a lot lately. It will always be one of my top favorites. It's a warm, comforting, timeless scent.
wishing for a shiny new pair of tennis shoes. Mine have been in commission since 2008. There's no telling how many miles they've clocked.
hoping for a wonderful day for my Dad. He deserves it.
wearing summery dresses outside & then big, bulky sweaters in class. Beach weather outside & Antarctica inside. It's interesting.
loving the snack foods we've filled our house with. And the fact that we had corn dogs for dinner one night this past week.
wanting to live more simply & with more intention.
needing... REALLY NEEDING to make water consumption a bigger part of my life. Like, really.
feeling lucky, blessed, happy, content, & every other good thing. I am grateful for my life.
clicking Tumblr a lot lately. I have a productivity blog over there, where all my to-do lists live.

What are you doing?

Friday, June 14, 2013


It's been the kind of week where I wake up & sleep-walk to the coffee pot. Yes, believe it or not, not every single week is like that for me. Weeks like this leave me wishing for long, lingering weekends in which I can wear outfits like those below, flitting around to antique shops & beaches & swimming pools, just being lovely. And while this week's Friday's Fancies theme revolves around wedding guest wear, I thought I'd share a lazy little summer outfit.
friday's fancies #72: flitting from place to place, summer-style.

summer scarf | flip flops | shorts | top

The top is a pretty great value - thinking of ordering one in every color.

beach reading:
- Sometimes I need to read quotes like this one that Betsy meditated on, on Sunday.
- My style muse & namesake, Lauren, reminds us not to get caught up in the numbers.
- Julia's pattern mixing party has taken my summer wardrobe inspiration to new heights.

this week's posts:

After a bit of a trying week for both of us, Justin & I are excited to hit the beaches of Wilmington this weekend. There aren't many other plans for the next couple of days, other than that. I have reading to do - both school- & leisure-related. The house will - God willing - be clean by this evening. Add in some crafting, & you've got an accurate look inside my life. Here's to sand, ocean-views, words on pages, & spools of yarn, waiting to be made into something.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

around here lately.

I know I just shared an Around Here Lately post with you this past Wednesday, but I've amped up my picture-taking since being back here in Wilmington, & there are some Instagram shots I'm itching to share...

weekends at the beach | mrs. t's signature wedding candle | bright manicures

trekkin' it  to school daily | outdoor rainy brunch at the george | finding vintage lace china while antiquing

downtown murals | the simple joy of a morning ritual | late lunch at riverboat landing on the private balcony

bow ties | feeling thankful on memorial day | little lamps at the antique store

I like to think that we've kicked off the Summer Season here in Wilmington pretty perfectly. It's hard not to be completely overjoyed when your weekends are filled with beach time, brunch, & antiquing in a picturesque little downtown. Fill in the weekday spaces with school & limitless cups of coffee, & I guess you could say I'm one lucky girl. And, well, my husband is pretty badass - helping me study, making me laugh so hard I cry. Don't mind me, I'm just riding the wave of blissed-out summertime*. And it's still only early June. There's plenty more in store, I hope.

*playlist coming soon

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

recognizing nostalgia.

Yesterday, as I walked from class to my car, a strange kind of sadness gripped me in a way that hasn't happened in a long time. I wasn't sure what to make of it, & it made me feel pretty horrible, truth be told. As I trudged down the street, partly composed of cool concrete, partly composed of sun-warmed bricks, I kept my head down. The sadness was pulling me deeper & deeper, & I only wished for an explanation. 

I was thinking weird thoughts, abstract, yet vivid. I felt a sense of possession over the place we live, the time we spend, the activities that fill our days. Outsiders felt like threats - I didn't want them to tarnish our experience, to call our home anything other than that. 

As I approached the parking garage, I just wanted clarity: why was I feeling these feelings? At that moment, I glanced up at the sky, saw the frothy clouds moving this way & that, & realized it: life is a miracle. And the feeling I was feeling? Nostalgia. Nostalgia for a time that is still happening. 

And I know that in the distant future, when I think of our first married spring on the east coast of North Carolina - here in Wilmington, I'll think of this very time in my life. And I'll feel that familiar sting - the ache of nostalgia. And I'm sure that, at first, it won't feel pleasant. But, once I realize it for what it is - the bittersweet recollection of a vibrant memory - it'll be cherished.

wilmington magnolias | iphone

Sunday, June 9, 2013

the sunday currently, volume 38.

The above photo couldn't be more indicative of my life lately. Being in a summer session class means there's no down time. We're cramming a whole lot of stuff into very little time. But, I like the pace. I like that we're getting it done quickly. And I'm already excited for my second session classes. 

Ok, enough about school...

reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. I ripped through The Kite Runner, so I'm excited about reading his second novel, to be followed up by his third & most recent one.
writing the rest of my sociology study guide this afternoon.
listening to Justin watching a clip of America's Got Talent.
thinking that I finally got a good night of sleep last night. I woke up & actually feel rested. This is a relief after a few weeks of tossing & turning.
smelling the coconut conditioner I used on my hair last night. It's new, & it's good.
wishing I had woken up at 5:30 a.m. I have a lot to do today.
hoping we get a lot of good stuff at the grocery store today. Ready to have coffee in this house again, as well as healthy snacks!
wearing the biggest t-shirt I own, as well as some lemon pajama shorts. A vision, as usual.
loving our anniversary plans. And the phone conversation Justin & I had with my mom & dad last night. Oh, & Mad Men. Justin & I basically shirked all our other tasks yesterday & camped out in the living room to watch. We're now to the middle of season three.
wanting coffee. We're going to go to the gym as soon as I'm finished with this post, & then we get to go grab some Starbucks Sunday.
needing coffee. I may be well-rested, but that doesn't mean I'm any more a morning person.
feeling ready to work out!

highlighting queen | instagram

Friday, June 7, 2013


Happy Weekend! Justin & I don't have any big plans for the next couple of days, other than soaking up some sun on one of the local beaches. Not long ago, we made a promise to ourselves that we would take complete advantage of our proximity to the ocean every weekend of this summer. And that is exactly what we intend to do this weekend. For that reason, I was thrilled that this week's Friday's Fancies theme revolves around sunglasses. Can you tell I've got Mad Men on the brain? Those shades are screaming 1960s.

friday's fancies #71: sunny sunnies.

p.s. don't forget sunscreen!

beach reading:
- Allyssa's Branding Your Blog series has me inspired to polish my layout.
- Bethany is home & happy & shared a bit about the hardships she's faced. And it's inspiring.
- This isn't reading, but I have a new favorite beauty guru. Here she is.

this week's posts:

When I think about goals for this weekend, I think of relaxation. And that, of course, leads me to think of the beach. I do, however, need to pick up A Thousand Splendid Suns from our library, to tote with me when I plop down in the sand & the surf. We have also GOT TO FIND a wreath hanger this weekend. I know, it sounds silly, but this task has proven futile for weeks now. And do I really need to say that I plan to watch as many episodes of Mad Men as I can? Also on the docket? Finalizing Father's Day gifts & planning our Sowell Family Trip to Destin!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

favorites as of late.

I used to indulge myself by creating a love list for each month of the year, but, truth be told, at times I felt it was a bit of a stretch. I was finding it harder & harder to produce an authentic list of ten things I was absolutely adoring for each month. So, when January Favorites time rolled around this year, I made the executive decision to hold off, vowing to compile a list as favorites showed themselves, publishing the list when & only when a collection of the ten most glorious things ever filled its spaces. Thus, I give you... favorites as of late.

twinkle lights on frenchmen street in new orleans

1. Pitch Perfect. Justin & I crave watching this movie all the time. And we sing the songs constantly, because they're in our heads constantly. And I haven't met one person yet who doesn't like it. 
2. Urban Decay Suspect eye shadow all over lid & smoked out. This is the easiest smoky eye on the planet. Suspect can be found in the Naked2 palette, or may be purchased as a separate eye shadow from Urban Decay. 
3. Vanilla Caramel Tea from Bigelow. This has long been a favorite of mine, but I've recently put my red Le Creuset teapot to use, indulging in a cup for many days in a row. This flavor is reminiscent of caramel popcorn. It smells - & tastes - delicious, no sweetener or creamer necessary.
4. Black & White Cookies. Believe it or not, I had never tasted this particular type of cookie until one of my Shreveport book club meetings over at Natalie's. The book we had read was If You Have To Cry, Go Outside, by Kelly Cutrone, & Daci brought black & white cookies, in keeping with the New York theme. Imagine my delight when I discovered that my local Harris Teeter makes these fresh, daily.
5. Aveeno Lavender Chamomile Lotion. I went through an entire tube of this in under a month, & trust me, that is saying something. This is my favorite lotion to apply after a shower & before bed. The soothing scent reminds me that it's time to put my phone and/or laptop away & go to sleep.
6. Light Pink Camellias. On our visit to Pinehurst earlier this year, I discovered an abundance of these beautiful blooms. I texted my mom, asking if they were, indeed, camellias, because I had an inkling that's what they were. She not only confirmed that they were, but also reminded me that they are blooming in front of our house in Shreveport. And now, well, they are topping my list of favorite flowers, right alongside hydrangeas & sunflowers.
7. Pastel Colors. As you may guess from the design of my blog, I've always been drawn to the softer range of colors; however, my love of them lately has increased exponentially. Blame it on the season, but I don't think that has much to do with it, really.
8. Twinkle Lights. I mean, who doesn't love twinkle lights? But lately, I've had an increased affinity for them. So, that's what earned them a spot on this list. The fact that they are now used in abundance - not just for the Christmas season - makes me so very happy. I want to use them in our home decor soon.
9. Spring-time Scarf-wearing. Not only is the room that my afternoon class is held in a frigid scene out of Antarctica, I truly just love the wearing of scarves in spring-time. And I'm calling it spring-time because the first official day of summer has not come yet, though it both feels (& looks) like it has here in Wilmington.
10. C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint. Basically, I sit in class & apply this stuff over & over. Its minty quality is quite addictive, I'd say. My mom loves this stuff, too.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

shreveport snapshot: around here lately.

some recollections from my time in shreveport: long runs, my dad's birthday, mother's day, my parents' thirty-second wedding anniversary, mrs. t's bachelorette party & wedding, kelsey's graduation, & technicolor flowers dotting the ontario house's neighborhood. it was a good visit.

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...