Tuesday, February 28, 2012

things that made me smile this week

* a south facing yard across the street is in full bloom with bright, sunny yellow daffodils. it makes me smile every time i go outside.

* meanwhile, my daffodils, tulips, crocuses and hyacinths are sending forth green shoots of plant life. my yard is north facing and doesn't get quite as much sun, so it's a little more slow going. but there are signs of life.

* reading four books in 4 days last week. i haven't done that in a while.

* dinner with great friend MJ. it was so great catching up with him and reliving a couple of funny moments from chief's training. plus the food at rosa mexicana is amazing.. the crab enchiladas are to die for.

* so, i'm chatting with a friend who tells me my birthday present is on order. i tell him that i have his birthday present and in fact had tried it on the other day, and it was pretty snug on my head and i was hoping his head was smaller than mine. he looked at me and said, "sooooooo, i'm getting a hat..." doh!

* a friend's birthday party with sparklers for candles on her cake. so much fun!

* almost a full week without desserts and other kinds of sweets. i like observing lent in my own little ways. helps me refocus energies and thoughts.

* my roommate brought this recipe home last week for kale pesto. it's like eating green sunshine. scramble a spoonful into scrambled eggs. eat it on baghette. add it to stir fry. stir into pasta. seriously, it's sooo good.

* my mom is almost committed to coming for a visit. please keep her in your prayers, as physically she's feeling a bit frail and not sure she's up to it.

* and finally this little picture from here. ha ha snort....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

thoughtful thursday: love is awareness

"Awareness born of love is the only force that can bring healing and renewal. Out of our love for another person, we become more willing to let our old identities wither and fall away, and enter a dark night of the soul, so that we may stand naked once more in the presence of the great mystery that lies at the core of our being. This is how love ripens us -by warming us from within, inspiring us to break out of our shell, and lighting our way through the dark passage to new birth." -John Welwood

from here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

reasons i love dc: the national cathedral

This past weekend a spur of the moment trip to the National Cathedral provided the perfect amount of being outside in the beautiful sunshiny weather, time spent with friends and being a hometown tourist. 

I love the National Cathedral. Planning began in the 1890s, with construction beginning in 1901 and completion in 1990. I think it's remarkable that it was built entirely in the 20th century. The craftsmanship and architecture rivals any cathedral I have visited in Europe. It's a beautifully crafted building, and it makes me happy that even in our modern age we still take the time and have the inspired talent to create such a wonderful work of art. It's a favorite place to visit and it had been far too long since I visited.

We discovered that Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan are interred in the columbarium located in the downstairs of the cathedral. We also took the elevator up to the west tower's viewing galleries which provided beautiful views of the city. We could even see the distant white spires LDS Temple to the north. It was a beautiful day!

the west entrance

spires that fell during the earthquake in July 2011

the space window

a beautiful gate

close up of the gate

a chapel entrance

one of the hand made kneeling cushions in the Resurrection Chapel

mosaic detail in the Resurrection Chapel

the end of the rainbow... so cute. 
fishers of men

a little prayer corner

whale detail on an archway

looking out the window of the west towers

repairs are underway to fix the earthquake damage

looking south

all photos taken with my droid incredible 2 phone. love this camera!

Monday, February 20, 2012

stuff that made me smile this week

* valentine's day! i love this holiday. yeah, i know we should tell and show our friends and families how much love them every day, but i like stopping for a day to really focus on the love. it's kind of like thanksgiving for me--give thanks every day, but stop for one day to really focus on it. focusing on the love always makes me smile.

* a valentine's date. :)

* receiving valentines from family and friends. (on a not so happy note: the valentine from my mom still hasn't been delivered. boo usps!)

* winning a couple of battles at work that are in the best interest of the boss. yay!

* brunch with some fun ladies, followed by a bus trip to the national cathedral and some sweets.

* gorgeous, gorgeous warm weather (temps almost in the 60s) followed by cold, rain, and snow. such a weird winter we're having.

* watching a friday night movie from the comfort of my own couch. 

* a fun evening with sisters from church making individualized quilt blocks. i loved being around such fun and creative sisters. i need more time like this in my life.

* i'm loving this season of downton abbey. 

* good books, hot tea and warm slippers.

* learning.

* skinny jeans and boots. my green leather jacket. cuddly sweaters. cute colorful flats.

* church singles potluck with good friends. i really love this group.

* the swedish chef makes me laugh every time: bork! bork! bork!

* and for more fun, check out this site that translates web pages into swedish chef, redneck or even pig latin!

have a great week.

Friday, February 17, 2012

cleaning my face


So, I've been reading about new options to clean my face. I've been using this popular facial cleanser for several years and I feel like it's just not working as well it used to. I've been struggling lately to manage some pretty huge breakouts and my face just felt irritated, dry and angry. This isn't uncommon in the winter time when the humidity drops to under 30% here in DC. I needed something that wasn't going to irritate or dry my skin out.

The Oil Cleansing Method first caught my eye here. And then I read a review here and here. All of which led me to consider trying this method. After all, oil dissolves oil, so I thought why not and I was pretty sure that putting chemicals on my face wasn't going to fix my face. Plus, I wanted to try something I was pretty sure wasn't going to irritate my eyes any more than they have been lately.

So, yesterday I tried it for the first time. I created my facial cleanser by mixing 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of castor oil in a small container. I rubbed the mixture, using a liberal amount, into my face and watched as it dissolved my makeup. 

I let it sit for a minute and wet a wash cloth under hot water. I put the hot wash cloth over my face and let it sit for a several seconds, and then wiped my face off, rinsing the wash cloth out a couple of times until I had wiped the oil off my face. The reviews recommend using a clean face cloth every time you wash your face, so be sure to have a supply on hand.

I used a tiny bit of this eye cream and didn't use any other moisturizer. Honestly, my face didn't even feel like I needed any. My face felt amazing and in the morning, instead of an oily mess, it felt perfectly moisturized and looked less irritated. Even my eyes looked less red.

So, after one use I'm pretty much sold. I'm interested to see how skin manages the change over time and will keep you posted. I'm also interested in finding a good, natural exfoliation method as well.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

thoughtful thursday: life's change agent

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life's change agent.

~Steve Jobs, 2005 Commencement Address to Stanford University via cnn.com

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

my epic valentines

this year was an epic valentine year.

brother R2's kids sent me artwork. their mom only wrote what they said to her.
i'm a love star! woohoo!
(so, i play this game with him where i pretend i'm a brain sucking alien...)

this one is from a friend...
who really likes zombies. ugh!

and this from brother R1's family totally captures my love...
of all things star wars! 
(apparently their household is going through a light saber phase.)
plus, i need all the force i can get these days...

thanks for the great valentines. they really made me smile.
hope you had an epic valentine's day as well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

love is...

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are.


Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two. “  ~Louis de Berniers

Monday, February 13, 2012

love is...


Love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce the love in the loved person.  Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also off little love.  ~Erich Fromm

things that made me smile this week

* chopping vegetables with my new knives. i love how much easier it is to cut things with good knives. these knives were a much anticipated christmas present from my mom, who bought them from my kitchen gadget enabler, my sister. thank you, thank you, thank you.

* a return visit to the washington, dc lds temple with a great friend who was going for the first time. i was at her baptism almost 6 years ago and it was so great to be part of such a beautiful experience for her. i loved listening as she talked about what a difference joining the church has made in her life. the thing that has stuck with me is that she was ready to give up and die before she was baptized a member, and that afterwards she felt she now had so much reason to live. the gospel of jesus christ changes lives--it really does!

* this weekend i had my own private alarm clock each morning at 0730. josiah let me know he was also in the house and that roomie had put him in the kennel when she left, by howling. i swear, if you didn't know better, you would think this dog was dying because he wasn't in the same room as me. well, in our house you don't get your way if you throw a tantrum. so, this morning i put on a mean face and went into the bedroom to let him see that i wasn't going to fall for it, and then left him there for a few hours while i did my thing. i love that dog, and love that he loves me so much, and while i do indulge him every chance i get, he's starting to really push his limits.

* ordering thai food and having dinner with roomie always makes for a great evening.

* supporting my friend MP at her dance performance. she was amazing and danced her heart out. it was fun to be a part of her own private cheering section. plus, it was great to catch up with JP before hand. i love these two people and am so glad they're in my life.

* talking with my sister on the phone. i love that we can give each other advice about things in our lives and do it without being judged by each other. she is so wise and supportive.

* my dad's heart procedure went well this week. and my sister said that there was immediate improvement in my dad. yay!

* i have this friend that i chat with regularly throughout the day. if i'm frustrated, bored or content, he just makes me smile. it's a good thing.

* it got really cold here finally and we got a little snow. winter made a brief appearance this weekend.

* i'm on pinterest and i'm finding the coolest project ideas as well as lots of stuff that makes me laugh. (click here to see my boards and then click on the board you want to see. if you want to see more detail about something, click on the photo to enlarge and then click again on the photo to go to the source website.)

* speaking of pinterest.... a friend pinned a recipe for homemade peanut butter cups for valentine's day and invited a couple of us over to make them. we had a great girls night, making yummy treats, singing whitney houston songs and talking about guys. fun times.

* and speaking of whitney houston. i love her music. i wanted to sing like her when i grew up. my all time favorite song of hers was this one. what a great performance this is, and there's even a Sailor! i hope she found her greatest love.

here's another great performance with all the words.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

love is...


The most powerful symptom of love is a tenderness which becomes at time almost insupportable.  ~Victor Hugo

Saturday, February 11, 2012

things i love about dc

unexpected art. 18th & pennsylvania ave nw

love is


                                              there is only one happiness in life, 
                                                                                               to love and be loved. ~george sand

Friday, February 10, 2012

love is...


you know you're in love when you can't sleep
because reality is finally better than your dreams.
~Dr. Suess

Thursday, February 9, 2012

love is...


“Some people care too much. I think it's called love.” 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

love is...


“How do you spell 'love'?" - Piglet 
"You don't spell it...you feel it." - Pooh” 
― A.A. Milne

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

love is...


love is taking a few steps backward maybe even more... 
to give way to the happiness of the person you love.
~ a. a. milne

Monday, February 6, 2012

things that made me smile this week

* i got to dog sit this week. he was so depressed because roomie was gone, that he wouldn't come out of his kennel and he kept letting out these big sighs. it was so funny and cute. AND then when roomie was back he kept following me around like i had been gone all week. what a goof ball!

* a communication catastrophe with a friend that ended on a good note after talking it out. it's awesome what talking about misunderstandings can do. talking it out is the same as letting it go.

* walking the dog with a good friend, followed by pizza and watching home improvement. a good evening.

* brunch with a group of girls i love. and one in particular who shared with us about her man with potential. good times.

* an extension to my gig out in annapolis. yay for springtime in a beautiful place.

* spreading 7 bags of mulch over my front garden. it was like i could the ground giving off a sigh of relief. i love working in the garden.

* a long sunday morning walk with my dear vt. i love her!

* and this lovely little video about the magic of books. it's been a while since a movie made me both laugh and then cry. enjoy!

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

love is....

                                          true love begins
                                                                  when nothing is 
                                                                                           looked for in

                                                                                                                    ~ antoine de saint-exupery

Friday, February 3, 2012

thoughtful thursday: reading is bliss

Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficity disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.~Nora Ephron

i love Nora Ephron!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

thoughtful thursday: live each season

"Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each." — Henry David Thoreau