use it: vera bradley summer 2011

I’m most definitely a Vera Bradley junkie. Last week the company came out with its Summer 2011 collection, and these items made my wish list.

A cosmetic case in Watercolor…but I’d use it for pens and pencils : )

Travel bag in Deco Daisy

I would love some note stationary in English Meadow.
But the Viva la Vera pattern is definitely my new favorite!
Do you like Vera Bradley? What new pattern is your favorite?

design dreams: kitchen envy

Source: nestfully.com via Kelly on Pinterest

Source: nestfully.com via Kelly on Pinterest

Source: nestfully.com via Kelly on Pinterest

As I mentioned on my spring break to-do list, I plan on cooking and baking a bit during spring break. I wish I could have one of these kitchens someday…to cook in, bake in, read and drink tea in, to generally love. What would your dream kitchen be like?





my life: spring break to-do list

  1. Catch up with friends over coffee.
  2. Bake some sweets.
  3. Cook a new meal.
  4. Talk, laugh, watch movies, eat dinner, and play cards with family.
  5. Walk the dogs.
  6. Chat and watch TV shows with the boyfriend via Skype.
  7. Grade papers and plan lessons.
  8. Work out.
  9. Apply for jobs.
  10. Read a few magazines and a book or two.
  11. Daydream.

What would be on your spring break to-do list?




weekly gems


How was everyone’s week? Mine went pretty well, mostly because I followed the quote above, getting enjoyment out of morning skinny vanilla lattes, thought-provoking conversations, catching up on blogs, walks with the dog, and baking brownies. I am still enjoying the little things today as Dan, Madison, and I are visiting Dan’s family this weekend. We’ll head back to school tomorrow, and Monday morning I’ll head home for a few days…because I am finally on spring break!! : ) What are your favorite spring break activities?
  • This hydrangea cake and the painting that inspired it are both beautiful! These tiramisu cups look delicious, too. And I’d like to make these cake pops for Easter this year.
  • Awesome tips for building your blog, whether it’s a design blog or not.
  • Love me some JGL ; )
  • A 200-year old love letter was found! What a story…it feeds my hopeless romantic soul.
  • Tributes to the late, great Elizabeth Taylor – here and here. And an all-photo tribute here.
  • Super excited about Glamour’s cookbook!
  • Cute and classy bangles.
  • These tips on shopping for books are excellent.
  • Thoughts on the new additions to the Oxford English Dictionary?
  • I read The Magician’s Nephew for a book report in 5th grade and totally loved it. If it does actually get made into a movie, I will be first in line to see it!
  • Beautiful paintings.
Image: my Pinterest

LOL: everyone loves recess


Remember a couple months ago when I posted about elementary school kids’ thoughts on a pet cheetah? Well, my dear teacher friend recently shared another question and response set with me. The question this time was: “If you could change any school rule, what would it be?”


Student responses…
  • “If I could change any school rule it would be no homework on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.”
  • ‎”If I could change any school rule I would change 30 minutes of recess to have an hour of recess because I want more time to play tag.”
  • “If I could change any rule in school it would be to have an extra recess whenever we want to.”
  • “If I could change any school rule it would be that every grade gets a break at 2:30 pm.”
  • “If I could change a school rule I say we can have recess for the whole school day.”
  • “If I could change a school rule it would be that everybody could go to the gym whenever they want to.”
  • ‎”If I could change any school rule it would be the no talking rule because I always get in trouble for talking.”
  • “If I could change a school rule it would be to have lunch for free because if kids don’t have money they will still get lunch.” [This sweet student was unaware many students at the school already benefit from free/reduced lunch]
  • “If I could change any school rule it would be the one about running in the hall.” [My teacher friend assures me this student meant running in the hall should be allowed]
If you could have changed any school rule during your K-12 years, what would you have changed?




image source

(belated) weekly gems

Hi, everyone. Sorry about the delay in this week’s weekly gems. As you may know if you read this blog often, I’ve been sick on and off for about three weeks. Over the next couple of weeks, I need to pull back and rest a lot to ensure I get fully better/don’t get worse. I want to thank you for continuing to read even though posts have been a bit unpredictable. Posting will be a bit sporadic this week as well, but should finally be back on track the last week of March.
Images: my Pinterest

pet love: dogs are a (wo)man’s best friend

I’m sorry for the lack of a post yesterday and the late post today. I stayed home from school yesterday and had an adventurous experience at the health center, but I’m doing much better today. How are you all doing so far this week?


I have always deeply loved my family’s pets, but for some reason this week I have been especially grateful for my dog, Madison…probably because it’s been rather stressful and tiring. In any case, I was very excited to discover a few articles about pets (especially dogs) that seem to be popular this week.

Have you read any interesting articles about animals lately? Or about special things in your life that keep you happy?



Photo 1, author original
Photo 2, Pinterest