Friday, March 4, 2011

keepsakes and kick up the dust. {seven kinds of happy for friday the 4th}

Listening To: Devil's Spoke by Laura Marling
Devouring: the February 2011 edition of National Geographic. The cover story, about the parties that happen in the tunnels underneath Paris ... is totally creepy. And scary. And, of course, a little bit dreamy.

Greetings lovelies! I have a confession to make, which might seem quite banal, but I promise this is need to know stuff I'm about to tell you:

As I type this post, I am munching on the most delicious homemade granola ever.


I suppose it isn't exactly "homemade." Because it's not like I actually harvested the oats. Or picked the fruit. Or dried the fruit. Or gathered (... scooped?) honey from ye olde bee colony. God is the only one who really makes stuff from scratch. I just mixed all that goodness together. (Saying I "made" something this easy feels like cheating.)

And, technically, as I type this, I am not eating granola. I'm more like sideways glancing at the bowl. Eating from the bowl of granola while I type would be a crazy cool trick, rabbits-out-of-a-hat cool. I suppose I could try to dive in face first, the way my dog eats. This granola is certainly good enough to attempt such a task. Alas. I'll try to keep it classy.

That said, if you're in a baking mood this weekend, you should totally give the granola a whirl! I used Lucinda Scala Quinn's recipe. That recipe is a perfect base. The fun part is playing and planning and mixing whatever kind of other fruit or nut you want in the mix. The granola is good this morning but the best was last night -- taking the granola out of the oven at the 30 minute mark to "stir" it. At which point I totally "ate" some of it. It tasted like a cookie. (For those of you who are local, I get all my granola fixins at the grocery store on this campus. By far the hippest little health food store I've ever discovered.) (They have a whole aisle of candy too, which is my favorite kind of health food.)

Anybody cooking up anything fun these days?

The granola started my morning off happy. And the happy got me to thinking about 7 Kinds of Happy. Remember that old concept that I thought would become a regular feature? That sort of faded to a one-timer? :) This seems like just the right kind of day for another round of seven. Here goes!

7 Kinds of Happy for Friday the 4th.

1. Q&A a Day. This is the coolest concept for a journal I've seen in a long time. You'll note that this is a thick "diary." Like, text book thick. But there is a cool reason for the vastness. The idea behind the Q&A book is that you are asked to write the answer to a different question, every day, for an entire year. When the year is up ... you start over again ... answering the question that went with the day. Each question page has a space for five entries. The idea is to look back after five years and think about how you've changed. And also, to see how far you've come. I think that could be so interesting. And maybe easier to maintain than a traditional journal. People are often surprised to find I don't really journal. I have a journal, but it only contains an ongoing list. (I'll tell you more about it some other time.) I think this Q&A book would be a great place to let your heart unravel. I've seen it in Books-a-Million and it's also carried over on the Anthropologie site.

2. The Butterfly Globe. I can't remember where I saw this, originally. It makes my heart so happy.

When I was a kid, I used to sit in the floor, and spin the globe, and press my finger against the bumpy world until the spinning stopped. And then I imagined that I lived wherever I ended up pointing (which was usually somewhere in the ocean). Did you do this too?

The fact that this globe is covered in butterflies makes it extra wonderful. And heaps on even more nostalgia. When my bffMelanie and I were kids, we started a club called "The Butterfly Agency." (Membership was limited to us and our imaginary friends). Melanie would scamper through the yard, trying to catch butterflies in a Mason Jar (we were professionals ... we didn't need nets).

While she was doing this, I usually sat on the porch and ate Doritos.

Then we both studied the butterfly and matched it with a butterfly in a book my Dad brought us all the way from Kentucky (!). So, so fun. I love butterflies because they remind me of summers with my bff. Butterflies also remind me of my granny. She gave me a jewelry box once, a gorgeous little porcelain jewelry box, with butterflies painted all over the sides. She said, "You've always reminded me of a little butterfly - the way you
flit-flit-flit, all bright and sun-shiny all over the place." That's pretty much the sweetest compliment ever. It's fun to know something bright and happy makes somebody think of you, isn't it?

My friend Aaron texted me one day and said: "I just ate a taco and thought of you." That didn't have quite the same effect on my psyche. (But I was flattered all the same.)

(PS - I'm not going to try finding the link for the site again. The globe costs like a billion dollars or something crazy. You savvy DIY types could totally whip up something just as pretty!)

3. Sergey Ponomarev's photograph from the latest edition of National Geographic.

The picture is even more beautiful when you see it in line with these others. So much devastation. So much loss. Ashes and tears and remains. And then ... a wedding. When I see love up against that kind of darkness, I realize the weight of it. Not just the weight of the words - I love you - but the weight of hope, and security, and responsibilty. The way loving another person anchors you back to the good. Makes me think of that verse in Psalms, "The darkness isn't dark to you."

4. Essie's "Little Brown Dress." I know spring is coming. I know it's time to start rocking the greys and lavenders and spring shades (those neutrals are so pretty aren't they?) but I'm holding onto the dark just a bitty bit longer. Against my pale skin, black is a little too garish. But this dark shade (a very chocolatey brown) is great. (Another favorite dark-not-black is OPI's "Lincoln Park After Dark.")

5. Verabel + Fox. I have it on good authority that my Mom, The Pie Wizard, is hoping to eventually purchase a locket for me and my sister (and for her too). She's not necessarily interested in getting lockets that match (the three of us have different taste in jewelry) but she wants to possibly get them from the same place (so there are similarities). And she wants pieces unique-looking enough that they would feel very special. Keepsakes. Presently, she and I are both flipping over Verabel + Fox, a Portland based company that makes gorgeous pieces.

Perfect mix of heirloom and modern, I think. The art deco locket is my favorite, but there are so many lovelies in their shop. I adore the design of their website too. My other favorite locket is this. Way more pricey that I usually pay for jewelry, but it has such a timeless look about it (especially if you're looking for a keepsake or special gift).

6. Julianne Moore for Talbots. I gotta be honest ... Talbots is not a store that typically intrigues me much. These days, Mom and I are into consignment shops. And Target sale racks. As far as major chain stores, Talbots has never been my thing. But these ads with Julianne Moore were so gorgeous that I clicked through to look around. Love the way they shot these pictures! The lighting makes them look so storybook.

My mom thinks I look like Juliane Moore. Whenever she tells me this, she's usually squinting. And not wearing her glasses. But I like to latch onto that compliment all the same.
Because last time I hung out with my nephew? He told me I looked like Velma from Scooby Doo.

We were dueling with light sabers and I made some kind of quip about the republic and the emperor and he put down his light saber and said, very seriously, as though he was breaking this news to me as gently as possible: "You really are a nerd."

And I said: "Most assuredly. Yes."

He said: "You look like Velma from Scooby Doo."

And I said: "Great. That's exactly what I was going for."

He nodded. "She's a nerd too."

"They're all nerds on Scooby Doo!" I said. "Except the blonde. She's just an idiot."

She's just eye-candy for Shaggy. I didn't say this to my nephew, but that's my consensus.
7. Laura Marling
As you probably know, Laura Marling is a British songbird who specializes in dark, plucky ballads. I'm smittten with her album, I Speak Because I Can. I don't listen to music closely enough (typically) to see differences in each album an artist sends out. But this album had a very different vibe from her first. Her voice is still clear and strong and the writing is still great, but these songs growl more. They're not too perfect. I love art that isn't too perfect. I love musicians like this, who write kick-up-the-dust songs. You know the type? When you can picture people jamming on a front porch, dancing around and kicking up dust over a song? I love that, when music is earthy and elegant and unrefined. That's how Laura Marling writes and plays. I think. (This is why I don't write about music often ... ;)

(PS: I hear, from The Rogue Accountant, that Laura Marling dates the lead singer of Mumford&Sons. Is that a glimpse of his face around 1:18?)

Would love to hear what's making our heart spin this week. And let me know your thoughts on Beastly if you see get a chance to catch it this weekend!
I'll be watching it with my mom. I haven't seen a movie in an actual theater in a really long time, so I'm quite giddy over this :)

Happy Weekending!



    1. I see scenes like that NG photo all the time here in Kiev, but minus the smoke. I shall send you an email or FB message to give you some more history, because it's too long for a comment. I hope you're okay with a history lesson. :)

    2. Spinning the globe -- I knever (um, I mean NEVER) did this, but my friend and her sister had a similar game. They'd wrap their arms the globe, and wherever their fingers touched, that's where they would live. She remembered a few months ago, that she was going to live in a big pink country in Central Asia. She's been living in K-stan for 2-3 years now. :) Crazy, huh?

  2. I think that sometime this weekend, between studying for a BIG BIG Test (also the very first college test I HAVE EVER TAKEN. I'm fifteen. It's terrifying) hopefully watching Beastly, and looking at my new floral scarf, I'm gonna try to make a globe like that. I love it.

    Fact: your mom in awesome. I saw that photo and I was like, hmm, that looks like Natalie. And your mom thinks so too!

    And lastly, I'm putting the Q & A journal on my birthday wishlist.

    Have a lovely weekend!

  3. I was so so excited to see that you had done this again. yay!
    I love that journal. And that globe. And essie nail polish rocks. And those lockets are super mondo beautiful...
    PB and I are trying to decide if we want to see Beastly or just wait for the DVD. We're being a little dorky tonight and are going to see Rango.

  4. How come everytime you write about your life it seems like a fairytale?? Why can't I have that?!?! haha! My dreams haven't exactly been coming true lately and honestly, I really wanna give up on them and just work at Starbucks and B&N's the rest of my life, wait... that actually sounds pretty awesome!!! Haha! I would just LOVE to see how your life is! It seems so cool!

    Well, something awesome (and somewhat fairytale like) for me is, I get to see my BFF Kari tomorrow!! I haven't seen her in TWO YEARS!! I also get to see Paige (a somewhat friend). I am so happy! It's weird cause, we met at camp and spent a whole 5 days together standing up for each other and laughing and goofing off and playing pranks on the boys at camp (shh.. they still don't know it was us!) So im stoked about it! I'm also hoping (and praying) that I will find a dress for my Youth Groups formal at the end of march.. ya I don't have long and I'm broke. Now you know why I was I was in a fairytale world! I need a fairy godmother... or thousands of mice friends and a rather large pumpkin! Haha!!! and yes, i actually pray to God for the perfect formal dress :) What can I say, I'm a teenage girl!!!

  5. Jessica, that is too fun about your friend! That would be rad if I lived in the ocean someday. In one of those underwater hotels or something. Or not. That could get boring. Love your profile pic, btw! Super duper pretty.

    Katie, good luck on your test! You'll rock it :) Please post pictures if you make the globe. I bet it will be even more lovely than the original.

    LF, Rango is not dorky. Rango is AWESOME. I haven't seen it, but it was love at first sight for me when I saw the preview. I think you're making the wiser choice anyhow. I've heard Beastly is kinda corny. I can handle some corny ... but it always makes me sad when I realize I should have just waited for DVD. (Corny is not as fun when it's expensive.)

    Haylie, your formal sounds super fun. You'll look gorgeous no matter which magical dress you find. That's too sweet about seeing your bff. Two years is a stinking long time with no face time! About the fairy-tale thing, my life is certainly not that way. I try to keep the blog positive, and I try not to write too "heavy" too many days in a row. I hope, in trying to pick out the good and the quirk, I don't come off like I live in a dream world. I'm very grateful for the life I'm living, but it's pretty standard around here :)

  6. I'm glad you remember your 7 kinds of happy posts! :)

    0. Hmm, I love granola. I found this amazing granola-ish cereal and I loved it. It made me happy about being awake early in the morning. Until I found out it equals like 1/2 of my carb intake for the day. Rats. Why do all tastey things have to be so bad for you! And yes, I have been doing some cooking. Top Chefish cooking. Here's a link to a blog post I wrote about it:

    1. i LOVE that! I need one of those. Such a cool idea.

    2. You're going to hate me for saying this (and think I'm a tad strange), but I HATE butterflies. They scare me. to death. Yuck yuck yuck.

    3. Wow.

    4. I love brown too. So does my mom. Thus, we both own so much brown and pink.

    5. That's so unique and such a fun idea!

    6. I used to hate Talbots because my mom would spend what seemed like hours in there, but now that I'm older, I actually like it!

    7. Hmmm, I'll have to go listen :)

    My 7 things of happy are probably all wrapped up in this evening. Me and two other friends had dinner with some of our staff ladies and we laughed for hours on end. It did my heart so much good. :)

    Hope you're having a wonderful week!

  7. That article about Paris underground was creepy (I read it online, when I was looking for an article to review for class). Some of our friends gave us some homemade granola, and it was amazing! We got the recipe and made some, too, with cranberries in it.

    That journal is lovely! I keep a regular journal, anyway, but it would be cool to do that one along with mine. I've been keeping a journal for almost 7 years now, since I was 13. :)

    I love lockets- they're so old-fashioned and romantic (you can carry a picture or quote in a tiny box against your heart. How romantic is that?). I've been looking for one, and right now I'm in love with the ones in this Etsy shop ( I'm usually not attracted to such modern, industrial looking jewelry, but I love these. I love that you get 3 or 4 covers to switch out! I came so close to ordering one the other night, but I'm debating between that and a sewing pattern (and I can't completely drain my PayPal :).

    Sewing and ice cream and new music (The Civil Wars CD and the new Eisley one) and spring break (officially started yesterday for me) are making me happy!


  8. That journal = so cuute! I want one :) I love Anthropologie! I've tried journaling over the years and last year, I finally got into the habit of doing it at least once a month...oh well, at least it's something! :)

    As for me, I am sitting on my bed eating cheese, crackers and apple juice. Oh yeah, I'm living it up!

    I've also recently started a new non-fiction reading plan. I've decided to read one non-fiction Christian book a month. If you're intested, here's a list of what I've read so far:
    In January, I learned how to become a Proverbs 31 girl while reading the book, 31 Girl by Mary Simpson.
    In Febuary, I say "So long!" to my insecurities with So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore.
    This month, I am learning about prayer by reading Pray by Tony Jones.

    Oh, and Jenny B. Jones cover for her new book...LOVE! I have read every single one of her books and am im love with her blog. I am proud to be a fellow Jenny B. Jones fan.

  9. I will definitely be checking out that Q&A a Day book. It's fantastic!!! :)