gonna make it through this year (if it kills me)

So I've been watching Lie to Me on Netflix streaming. I am learning a lot. This is like the bulimia after-school special of lying. As in, more of a how-to manual than the producers had in mind... maybe? I am learning a lot about lying! For example see this expression, my mouth turned up at the side ever so slightly? Yeah apparently that is contempt. I am not sure what I am contemptuous of in the moment of this picture but I really hope it's not my subconscious telling me my bright orange-red NARS matte lipstick is not working for me. I reeeeeaaally want it to.



what a super long intro to ask people if my lipstick is pretty yea?

moving on.

Do you remember the scene in High Fidelity when Charlie finally calls Rob back and she starts talking mad cliches about she is too young and single to have children, because kids are so "time-consuming" or something and he breaks the fourth wall to tell the audience IN SHOCK AND AWE that this is how she actually talks, as if "nobody ever had a conversation about having kids in the entire history of the world?" Do you remember that? That exact shock and awe is how I live, immersed, for the first half of every January while I listen to people talk about resolutions (what theirs are, why they're the worst idea ever, how quickly they were broken, how long theirs lasted last year, etc.) I am in shock because I can't believe I am the only person who tires of saying the same gotdamn things over and over (hearing 'em too.) I am in awe because there is something to respect when a person can get into the mindset that THIS YEAR IT IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT... every single year... and truly believe! I certainly can't. I am the girl who went skiing once and had a bad time only to declare at that moment (and forever since) that I hate skiing. The nice way to put it is that I am not a dweller. I move on. (*cough*quitter*cough*)

So while yes, I do realize that 17 days into January I MYSELF AM TALKING ABOUT RESOLUTIONS (I blame you) the point is while they are neither good nor bad intrinsically, they don't often work, let's try something else! That is not to say I don't love, value, and respect the desire to change or improve. However, I do believe those ideals are hampered by the broadness, cliches, and time constraints of the "resolution" format. I want to better myself, do new things, and improve my life in all kinds of ways! My strategy to avoid the disappointing fate suffered by millions of resolvers each year is...

  • be specific.
  • avoid time limits based on the calendar year
  • reward myself HEAVILY for even the smallest steps taken ( heck I gave myself 2 cocktails for completing that last blog)
Wham AND bam, there you have it. My personalized method for diving into and conquering my 29th year. My GOALS (not the R word) are action based. Things I want to DO that I have never done. Things I want to try or learn because I will benefit from them in my heart, in my family, in my business, and in my mind. Its a pretty forthright, obvious concept. We all know it's a better idea to decide to train for a 5k than to just "lose weight." Let the outcome of your actions be the benefit you receive and let the challenge of your actions be the change.

My admittedly ambitious list of action goals for this year include...

  • Master 5 recipes- what can I say, the guilt I am carrying around from living the dream (aka my husband comes home from working all day and then makes me an awesome dinner while I get up to speed on the newest Netflix streaming options) means I will be a happier, emotionally liberated girl when I can throw something culinary down at least once or twice a week. PLUS, I need (like, neeeed) an excuse to buy and wear these adorable anthro aprons. I am hardly a domesticated kitchen-type wife but a little role play never hurt anyone and me putting on an apron + heels in the kitchen is almost the exact same thing as your unsuspecting suburban housewife putting on her leather chaps at night after the brood is asleep! Yeehaw! I have been poking around the internet trying to decide where to start ( the classics? asian fusion? no baking...) and I have to say I am leaning towards this insaaaane looking

    Baked Penne Pasta with Roasted Chicken in Tomato Cream Sauce

recipe at everday occasions
Healthy? not so much. No one ever had an erotic kitchen moment over grilled ahi.

  • DIY 5 things- no kidding I am doing a WHOLE new thing here. Don't be frightened. I am merely experimenting with my own pathos. Do I not do anything domestic because I really don't enjoy it? Or am I subconsciously frightened that I will suck at it? I have no idea. Granted option A is more likely because I rarely have any DESIRE to do these handy little crafts but recently with the exponential increase on the internet of DIY how-to's on projects that don't make me want to bite the head of a precious moments doll... there's no harm in trying! I have been scrolling through the crafters blogs of course, searching for the right beginners level projects to get started with. I have to be real, I would loooove to make/own one of these spiked vinyl hats I saw on Outsapop but realistically it is a little complicated for the inexperienced, ADD crafter. I think I may start with this little sock headband turban deal. What do you think? Suggestions? Good places to start? Should I just get a glue gun and start attaching paraphenalia that falls off my cheap jewelry to my shoes???

  • Take a road trip, alone- I have taken a lot of roadtrips with my family, with my friends... It is one of my greatest pleasures. The one thing I have never, ever done is a road trip all by myself. Not that I haven't ever driven myself anywhere, that would be ridiculous. But there is a difference between driving 14 hours as fast as you can to see family and actually being on the road. It's a different experience when you stop whenever you want, leave plans open ended, allow yourself to breathe, allow yourself to take a backroad or or the long route...My husband wants to do the same thing and we've agreed to accomodate each other. A beautiful part of a good relationship is when you can support each other in being alone for a bit. I am thinking of a weekend in Memphis or maybe Santa Fe! It will probably be spring before I decide to take off but I am so excited for this! I am a compulsive "from the front seat" photo taker so expect a whole lot of this action-

  • I want to redecorate/zen-out our bedroom. I have never been a big decorator but I think it's time to have a relaxing, serene, adult space. No more corkboard (yes, I am serious), beige sheets, and piles of shoes. I have already started by creating a little peace-nook on my bed side table, including lots of little items I love...










When I wake up these days and look beside me at my little joy collection it is calming and brings a little smile to my lips :)

The truth is I have at least 50 other things on the list for this year. Some of them will fall off the list as new, exciting things occur to me. But some of them will become a part of my life and build new parts of my identity. I want to continue learning the guitar, pursue other blog ideas that keep popping up inside my brain, listen to 100 new bands, take a vintage caravan on a festival circuit, read every word Erica Jong has ever written, and learn to take beautiful portraits of and for my friends/loves. And instead of approaching it like I must do X to be amazing/attractive /successful I am entering into a contract with myself to say I am amazing/attractive/successful so I will do X (and x and x and x), for who could resist it! ;)


thanks so much to anyone who read this ♥
if you please, find Magnolia Family Vintage and myself on


watch me while I congratulate myself


post apocalyptic backyard much?

post Christmas party ubiquitous red cup? check
post summer wishful thinking tiki-torch? check.
giant hole dug by spaztatistical puppy dog? check.

So it's freezing. Not so much freezing in that way that things are frozen, or there is ice involved, or even so much as to say that the temperature has reached the freezing point. It is freezing in the way that I spent 90% of my life in Southern California and haven't yet developed the emotional resources needed to carry me cheerfully through a dismal Texas winter. It's not a powdery, sparkly fluff kind of winter here. It can only be described as devoid (on the bad days). Devoid of light, sky, and leaves. It's not my cup of tea. But I am trying to power through and keep warm with robust doses of florals, plaids, boots, and fancy gloves as you can see. Nothing cheers me up like a little pattern mixing, some big-ass jewelry, and a hands-free hand-bag (er, backpack.)







DKNY wool blazer- thrifted, $1.25
Floral mid-length skirt- thrifted, > $5.00
Turtleneck- F21, yeeeaaars ago
Rings- F21 last week y'all! cheap?
Fingerless gloves- Christmas gift ♥ my Mama
Hairdid- Dawn at Joie de Vie
booty like whoah- model's own ;)

I think we can officially call it 2011. I may be a few days behind here but I like a sure thing. I needed to make sure that I had time to get my head around everything that went down in 2010 before I committed (new house! new dog! baby starts kindergarten! bizniz partnership! ohmy!). More importantly I needed to deal with the head-spinningly fantastic entree of my 29th year! Truth be told I really never feel the New Year until January 10th because that is when MY new era begins... January 10th was my birthday, in case you didn't pick up on that in the previous sentences.


This birthday was not taking any prisoners. In the brief downtime between Christmas and my day of birth I was steamrolled by the implications of my 20's, or "the 20's that were" as I am calling them now. I was noticing more eye-wrinkles, hearing the word ma'am like a gut-punch, and stressing over my nightly need to retire before 11PM (like... hours before.) The willies of another year passing quickly subsided in the face of the best gotdamn birthday I can remember. Declaring the whole weekend as titled "29 problems but a bitch ain't one" caused this photo to happen-


courtesy of Tealy
. well played.

In all honesty I can say I don't remember feeling as special or as valued as I did this year when my friends and husband got together to put together a fantastic birthday celebration for me. Dinner at The Good Knight (oh not enough seats to accommadate all my loving amigos?? #tooflatteringformyowngood #egofantastico) ...



to my left...


to my right...


Oh, where I passed the camera around the table and scored these gems...




Har! Har!

Dinner was followed by rump-shaking all about town, where I managed to score these whopping DOS photos before my camera battery died...



get it gurls

and the night was topped off (nee! CROWNED) by the presentation of a Best Buy gift card that a whole gaggle of my friends got together on so I could go get a new SCHMANCY camera I want so hard. In all honesty they were trying to shut me up because I won't stop whining about my crappy point and shoot but who says a good gift can't be beneficial to SEVERAL?! Not I. The night ended with a torrential downpour that soaked through my leather jacket and saw several of us wandering the streets like soggy stray dogs... in Jeffrey Campbell platforms. By the time we got a taxi (came equipped with the worlds lousiest, rudest taxi-driver) and then walked (er, stumbled?) several blocks to our car (did I mention the lousy cab driver?) I was a ready to fall into my bed and sleep tight in my own self-made puddle. I spent the following day recovering by watching Party Down on Netflix and whining about my sore dancing legs while my man listened and sympathized attentively. Happy.as.a.clam. :)

Leaping into my 29th year, the last of my twenties obviously, made me think a lot about what I have to show for it. It's the standard reaction and I didn't dive in too hard because it was easy. I came through the first half of my twenties like a bruiser, knocking down your average moving to a strange city alone, token damaging relationship with a guy who can only be explained as guaranteed to break my parents heart, accidental pregnancy turned unprepared mommyhood, long-distance whirlwind romance turned matrimony, and the total rejection of, how do you say, "employment" for the uphill battle of my own passion-following small business. Despite the perhaps trainwreck-esque expectations I inspired in people, I clawed my way through the last half to this very day, where I find myself with a beautiful daughter, a wonderful husband, a home I love in a city that has shown it loves me, and a circle of friends that are INSPRING most importantly and never less than unconditionally supportive*.

*See this is the part that relates to the title of this post. I am indulging in a big ol wank fest of self-congratulations. It's almost as horrific to watch as a bunch of "country-rock" dudes with their arms around each other on stage, swaying and singing Wild Horses (personal anecdote, pay no mind.) It's way better than my innate tendency to downtalk and negate my own achievements internally, trust me. Self-aggrandizing > self-pity any day in my humble opinion... haha, see what happened there? With the humble but I said I was self-aggrand- oh, nevermind.

The point is, I started this year with a good bit of contentment and a pinch of pride, no doubt. I have big plans for 2011 because I want to barrel into 30, into next year, with more than a pinch yeah?