They are the best.  I think everybody has had a few bummer birthdays – expectations set too high, or perhaps there wasn’t enough ice cream cake – but for the most part, they are that one day a year when everything you do or feel should be extra special.

I never work on my birthday.  When I was in school, it was during summer break, and since then I’ve just always made a point of taking the day off work.  This, along with lunch and shopping with my pops, are my lifelong traditions.

This year might be one of my favorites.  Highlights I didn’t capture on “film” include waking up to roses and treats from our local coffee shop (a mocha from Zoka – thank you for the suggestion, Teeny – Joe, you’ve been outed), Sculpt at CorePower to all my favorite Top 40 hits, a mani/pedi, blonder more sun-kissed hair, and a glass of rose with the honey in the yard before dinner.

Given that many in my life have learned to call July my birthday month, or at the least the first week my birthday week, I think I’ve gotten pretty good at this.  So, here are my top seven recs for having a great day:

1. Take some time to wash away any expectations of what will be.

2. Also take some time to decide what you can do for you.

3. Buy yourself something totally cray.  Like, I don’t know, a shimmering gold yoga warm-up jacket.

I don't usually do true selfies, but the jacket just had to be showcased.  50% off at the studio, say whaaaat?  It was meant to be.

I don’t usually do true selfies, but the jacket just had to be showcased. 50% off at the studio, say whaaaat? It was meant to be.

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(this) weekend update

The theme of the weekend was definitely “outside”.  I came home on Friday (my first real Friday home since we moved in) and dug right into building the first of two Adirondacks (Cost Plus, $99, easy-to-build).  I’ve been waiting so long for these, I didn’t know what to do with myself when it was done.  I honestly just stood there and stared.  I still do when I catch a glimpse of it through the back door.  That I don’t have to cross my fingers on approach to the coffee shop in hopes one is a) available, and b) in the sun, feels nothing short of a miracle.

Okay, I’m dramatic.  I just love it.  So much.  If you would like to hang out with me this summer, you’ll find me here:

Loki guards the Adirondack, and my beer.  He knows what's up.

Loki guards the Adirondack, and my beer. He knows what’s up.

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my kinda kitchen

I’m so excited.  We had our first real meeting about the kitchen and while patience is not my virtue, and therefore it feels like one million years away that it’ll actually happen, it’s going to be our kitchen.  Exactly what we want.  Our cabinets, our countertops, our drawers (yes, drawers! can you believe the house had NONE?).

So here’s where I we start:

gray cabinetry and white quartz countertops

gray cabinetry and white quartz countertops

built in hiding spaces for the ninja & the keurig

built in hiding spaces for the ninja & the keurig

a double farm sink below the window

a double farm sink below the window

Space is limited, so no built-in island, but what am I missing?

The things we take for granted

Such as… a silverware drawer.  You heard me.  Who doesn’t have a silverware drawer??

When we were looking for houses, I made a mental checklist of a dozen or more very specific things I wanted to make sure would be in whatever spot we chose.  Never in a million years did I think this would need to be on the list.  It’s amazing, the things you don’t think about and take for granted every day.  I know it sounds ridiculous, and in the big picture, it’s really NBD, but seriously??  Also on that list – a junk drawer, the egg shelf in my fridge, and a spot in the bathroom for both Sonicare toothbrushes.   Who knew…

Which leads me to the Pinterest board currently getting the most action: Small Space Solutions.  Not the most beautiful, but oh so useful.


A home for cutting boards


A pretty place to store all kinds of odds and ends… cat food, tea bags, chip clips, vitamins, and all the junk that normally goes in the junk drawer…


A place for aluminum foil


Our fridge doesn’t take magnets. Whaaaaaa???


More options for cutting boards and cookie sheets


Ah yes, our new silverware drawer.