Sunday, April 26, 2015


Saturday was filled with 3 of my favorite things: friends, food, and crafts
The thing about being a craft-addict is, there's only so much you can make for your own house before your husband threatens to leave you you run out of wall space. 
This weekend was the perfect opportunity to expend a bunch of crafty energy for a good cause. 

On May 16th, I'm helping to host an embryo adoption fundraiser for Lauren and Jesse. 
Saturday, a bunch of us gathered at Coop's Event Barn down in Dodge Center, MN for a day of crafting items to be donated and sold at the fundraiser. Lauren's parents have a whole shed full of barn wood that's over 100 years old. To say I was geeking out was an understatement. 

A sampling of what I made.

Lauren's parents said they'd let me take whatever wood was leftover after projects at the barn were completed. I've been toying around with the idea of opening a shop of some sorts..what form that'd take I'm not sure- craft fairs locally? Facebook sales? Garage style pop up sales? Regardless, I think a gift of a heap of wonderfully perfect barn wood may be the push I need!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


For those of you (ahem, Sar) in the Pacific Northwest, this post may strike you as funny.
I've learned this is true of places we call home- sometimes we don't look at them through the eyes of a visitor.
That being said, this summer M and I are taking a trip to..... Idaho!
I'll pause while you go and google search Coeur d'Alene to understand why. It sort of looks like the Tahoe of the northwest. Ever since M roadtripped from Minnesota to Seattle last summer with his family, he's insisted we visit CDA, ASAP.

CDA is about 40 minutes east of Spokane, WA- where I happen to have had several cases recently. Those cases all settled, but in talking to defense counsel, I was googling the area pretty regularly just to see where things were and to google-street-view them. (anyone else do this? just me? mkay). So after M's rave review of passing through CDA, I started to look into vacationing there this summer. After feeling satisfied there were enough things to do to justify a long weekend there, I looked at the Spokane area, too. Ta da, even more! We're going for a combination of active (hiking, kayaking, walking) and relaxing. This won't be like a trip to Seattle where there are must see physical landmarks- more so, must see hiking trails.

Anyway, what I'm wondering from any of you: Have you been there? Do you live there? Any must see, must do, recommendations for CDA or Spokane? I think we're going to spend 2 nights in Spokane (so 1-2 full days, depending on when we drive to CDA) and 2-3 nights in CDA.

Plllllleeaassseeee share!

(p.s. I did a little blog design work this week- I added tabs for travel and home tour with some handy buttons to take you to those posts- click around!)

Monday, April 20, 2015


"Real life." 
"Keeping it real."

These are phrases that are thrown around a lot on the internet.
I've received comments myself even that people love that I "keep it real".. and then go on to talk about these fake people who are fake and post overly staged fake photos of their fake life. Maybe I'm just not following the right people, but upon receiving these comments I usually wonder who these people are.*

Maybe I'm naive, but I tend to believe that most of what I see on social media stems from the truth, and it's just a question of, "to what degree, is this the truth?" For example, that eggs benedict with the paprika sprinkled on top, mimosa with an orange garnish, sitting prettily on a rustic wood table. I assume that's real food, at a real restaurant, on a real table. Did I maybe move the salt and pepper shaker out of the photo? Perhaps. Did I place the mimosa in a more photogenic location? Likely. But that doesn't make my meal any less real. It means I view social media (Instagram especially) as a creative outlet. I enjoy the challenge of trying to see and capture things in a different way- from above, from the side, slightly off center, half in the frame. So- YES- sometimes there's some rearranging that goes on before a photo to make it look clean and presentable. On occasion I even take a few shots of it, although I would hardly consider myself over the top in this respect. I'd go on to say that in this respect, I'm a very average Instagrammer.

But here's my question- why do you need to see shit piled on my counter or in my sink or my dirty closet for you to think I'm real? Do you lack critical thinking to know or assume those things exist? My social media is not a place for you to go to feel better about yourself. To assuage your guilt or get peace of mind that I'm just as messy as you are. If that's what you're using it for, well, that says more about you than it does me.

The same can be said, perhaps even more overwhelmingly when it comes to topics for blog posts. I don't need to wish Matt a happy birthday on my blog and qualify it by saying "even though you drive me nuts and we fight, I love you" to make you feel better.. because that's exactly what those sentiments are designed to do. People are so damn scared of coming off as inauthentic that instead of just doling out praise, we make sure to qualify it with something "real", for example, "I love you so much, I love our life, even though we have struggles." and honestly, that drives me more nuts than just saying something positive.

Do Matt and I have disagreements and hard shit? Yep- and maybe I just violated my own rule by even putting that out there.. but it's illustrative of my point. The thing is, the struggles in my relationship are none of your damn business. It'd be one thing if the topic of this blog was relationships and relationship advice. Then perhaps it'd be inauthentic to not spill everything. On a more personal note- I ran into serious issues in past relationships by divulging too much of the personal with family and friends. Every. little. tiff. was aired out via email to girlfriends. That possibly had more to do with a) the relationship I was in not being a fantastic one, and b) my age and maturity at that point, but I've come to realize others are not so quick to forgive and forget those wrongs as you are. The more people you bring into your relationship the more people think they have an opinion on what happens. My relationship is personal and sacred and it's between us. If you (the proverbial "you" of course) come here expecting me to air my shit, it's just not going to happen, and perhaps should require some introspection on why you feel like you need to see that from other people in the first place.

This isn't to say I'm perfect, and that everything I see on Instagram or read in blogs I can view through the mature, reflective lens, and repeat to myself those things I said before. Absolutely on occasion I find myself feeling a down or dare I say, jealous, of something I see. Again though, with the self awareness I try to stay in touch with, I really try to use those moments of inadequacy and jealousy and funnel them into something good. If I see a brunch I'm jealous of, I do some menu scouting and plan a little brunch date with M or my friends. If I see a beautiful vacation or home, I think of ways I can replicate that locally, or fix up my own bathroom to turn that jealousy into happiness in my own life.  I fail at this sometimes, but it doesn't mean I fault the people taking or posting the photos.

Maybe it's just me, but I find overhyped and overpraised efforts to keep it real, insulting. I share what I want when the mood strikes and not to satisfy anyone else that my life is real.

*There is absolutely an exception to this statement, and these are the hyper stylized, sponsored, "professional" instagrammers. The thing is, I don't usually follow these people. It's less to do with the portrayal of perfection and more to do with the constant. schilling. of shit.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015


One thing I really pride myself in is possessing a level of self awareness, and the ability to pinpoint the source of my feelings.

For example, if I see something on Facebook or have an interaction with someone in real life and have a certain reaction, I almost always can identify, psychologically, the WHY behind that reaction. Sometimes it's as simple as, "I'm clearly hungry, this is making me crabby for dumb reasons." Sometimes it's deeper than that and it's, "this makes me jealous, they have all the means and access in the world and squander it." Am I mature enough to acknowledge outwardly when it is the jealousy? No, probably not. BUT at least I know, right?

Lately I've had this really unsettled, anxious, spazzy feeling deep in my gut and I'm having a hard time identifying why. What I do know is it usually surfaces when I'm thinking about one thing in particular. For a while now I've toyed with the idea of opening up some kind of a side gig. I know I feel my best mentally when I'm doing something creative that balances out the very UN creative (unless you count sassy motion writing...) aspects of my day-to-day career. I know what makes me happy, I know what I enjoy doing, but when I think of ways to actually turn it into a fluid business I get discouraged. One, because the idea of dumping money into something that may go nowhere gives me hives. I hate gambling because I like, no ..I need, to see a physical return on investment. I'd rather spend $20 on a t-shirt or happy hour than a slot machine.

The same can be said for putting any money at all, no matter how small the amount, into start-up costs for a venture. I enjoy working with wood (decor items- mason jars hanging on wood, signs), I enjoy watercolors, I absolutely love anything to do with weddings: I helped a friend with assembling flowers and reception decor at her wedding recently and had a blast. I'm a militant type-A who has contingencies for every possible flaw and can think on my feet unprecedentedly well. But then I start to think about the hassle of selling on etsy, especially for wood pieces- or getting an insanely high quality printer to duplicate watercolors, and taxes and whatnot and I get discouraged and stop.

I also think about redesigning my blog, and I mean REALLY redesigning professionally, and putting more time and energy into this as a source of income. But I really don't see the point of doing that without something to offer. There are enough bloggers who blog about blogging and get rich because of blogging about blogging to have turned me off to that entirely. I enjoy blogging for what it is: an outlet (for me at least).

Then I think about doing something more in the legal community to satisfy that itch. Volunteer more, especially in an area of law that's different than mine. I went to a seminar recently on updates to the areas of Domestic Violence as a part of a women's tea that my law school puts on. I was in a room with top thinkers in the field, who have traveled to other countries on fact finding missions, collecting research and advocating for change. It was one of those nights that energizes you and makes you want to do something. Again though I get so discouraged easily.. the time, the time my current job consumes, am I even being realistic?

This discouragement across the board leaves me feeling lazy and unmotivated. I don't feel like I'm that kind of person.. I mean, I survived 3 years of law school and studying 8 hours a day for a grueling 16 hour test- I have a drive in me.. but where did it go? Is it a fear of failure? I'll go ahead and acknowledge that plays a huge roll in it. And don't even get all cliche and tell me that all great things come when people get over that fear and leap- blah blah. I know that. It doesn't matter. I would rather launch a project on 100 strangers, let it get to a satisfactory level, before ever sharing it with family and friends. I'd feel okay if it were dubbed a proven success. I don't like doing something if I can't be proficient.* This could be why, to date, I've never shared my blog on my facebook page- or with any of my family. Initially it was because: blogs are weird, even weirder and sadder when you have like.. 3 followers. I don't mind mentioning it in casual conversation now, and have given it out to friends.. but only after feeling out that they don't think it's weird.  Of course this makes things exponentially more difficult for me when typically, especially for creative endeavors, your family and friends are your best first source for feedback and, in the case of selling thing, sales. But would people just buy out of pity? Would they just pay me lip service and not mean it? Are there already too many personal endeavors on Facebook that one of my own would just add to the noise? It already feels like everybody wants everybody else to buy something from them. Is there a need for more?

Maybe the answer is, at least with the creative/crafting stuff, to acknowledge that it's not about the money- and even breaking even would be OK as long as it permitted me an outlet to release that creative energy. Iiiiiii just don't know. I know that writing makes me feel a little better if for no other reason than it's no longer knocking around in my head. There may be other things contributing to my angst as well, including the amount of debt I have, whether we're going to stay in our house or move.. among other things that aren't suitable for internet discussion.

So, take it for what it's worth.

*this is also probably why in 9th grade, after funneling into high school, when I realized I wasn't the smartest at math I sort of gave up prospects of trying to be. There are few things I hate more than trying and failing. I'd rather be openly mediocre and have a quality of life (i.e. social life and time) than be the best. I suppose this is also a reflection of my grades in law school. Could I have done way better? Maybe. But did I value having a life, family, and friends more? Absolutely. I also will probably acknowledge it was easier for me to blame my grades on this theory than acknowledge that it's a real possibility that even if I tried my damndest, I may not have done better. Feel free to psychoanalyze that to the bank.  

Sunday, April 12, 2015


 R E A D I N G 

Just finished Paper Towns for book club and was a bit disappointed by the ending. Interested to see what the movie does with it this summer. Anybody reading anything good?

 W R I T I N G 

I've got a handful of posts started and for whatever reason lack the motivation to finish them. One on how being an ambivert has shaped my life, another on "authenticity" and what that word means... I get this spark to start it and then once I get into it and get a few paragraphs in in the spark fizzles. In actuality I think I know what the root is, but because I have a vested interest in not sabotaging my future.. it's not something I can write about. Which is actually maddening and stunting my writing.

 L I S T E N I N G 

Madam Secretary is on in the background- waiting for The Good Wife to come on at 8:00. As far as law shows go, it's one of the least offensive ones.

 T H I N K I N G 

About this summer. This is usually the time of year I start to think about how this will be the summer I actually get up every saturday and go to the farmer's market. I enjoy weekend mornings.. and I enjoy the farmer's market.. what I don't enjoy is the parking situation and the crowds that are already crawling by the time I make it there (8:30/9). I need to find a smaller market. Any locals have any tips on smaller ones? I've been to the one by the Basilica...any other good west metro ones?

 S M E L L I N G 

The impending rain.

 L O V I N G 

The warmer weather (knock on wood).

 W A N T I N G 

A vacation. We've been casually talking about where we're going to go this summer and need to get something booked..before work stuff comes along and interferes.

 F E E L I N G 

A cool breeze from the window, which is pretty much perfect.

Some scenes from this weekend: