Happy Monday!

Good morning, friends! It’s been a while! Work & life has been keeping me pretty busy of late, but I am five days away from a nice long spring break – and I couldn’t be more excited and ready for some ME time!

I did take a stab at a few projects this weekend, but most of them are still drying (it was a paint & stain filled Sunday). My most exciting project, however, has been the photography class I am taking from Clickin Moms. I will tell you ALL about it after I wrap up the three week course – but I will tell you that, only one week in, I have already learned SO much about my camera & how to use it to create purposeful images!

My model this week had four legs and a little more fur than most of the kiddos & babies my classmates were shooting, but Emma was more than happy to bask in the sunlight in her favorite spot on top of our loveseat while I shot some images of her using natural light & manual focus.

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And all I had to say was “bacon” to get her to look at me. Like mother, like dog-daughter I guess.

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I had better luck shooting some stationary tulips – aren’t you just SO happy that it’s finally SPRING!??

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Nothing like a cute pup & some cheery flowers to start off the week, right? I hope you have a great Monday!

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February Highlights

Hi friends! I’m back! It was a crazy busy few weeks, and while I can’t say my schedule has really calmed down a great deal, I am ready to get back to it here at Some Kind of Lovely Ride!

March is here – so let’s take a second to review some of my favorite projects from February!

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Top: 1) This Wire Wrapped Cement Planter was a fun and easy DIY using quick set cement. 2) I loved putting together this Arrow Picture Mobile, using some DIY-ed arrows as hangers and displaying some of my favorite prints from Social Print Studio!

Middle: 1) I made these cute heart decals with washi tape & an X-Acto knife – a fun five minute DIY! 2) Feeling the love for V-Day, I strung up a garland of mini doilies & pretty white feathers.

Bottom: 1) For one last Valentine’s Day project, I shaped this heart out of wire & wrapped it in pink twine. This is super customizable to any shape, letter, word, whatever! 2) Before taking a break to focus on my day job, I shared some of my office/work/productivity essentials.

I am SO looking forward to the start of Spring (which you may have noticed if you follow me on Instagram – can you say tulip addict?)

 

 

My Work Essentials & A Short Break!

Hi there, friends! It’s another snowy morning here in Sochi on the east coast. After a relaxing day off (thanks, presidents!), I am gearing up for a MAJOR week on the work front (my full time teaching/music directing job(s) that actually pay the bills, unlike my little crafting/blogging hobbies!) Most weeks are easily 50+ hours at work/doing work things, but this week will really top the charts. And, to further complicate things, I’m trying to kick a nasty cold.

So, to preserve my sanity, I will be taking the rest of the week (and likely a portion of next week) off from the blog. I’ve really been making an effort to be more consistent with my posting & projects, so rather than simply disappearing (as I’ve done in the past), I wanted to give you, my lovely readers, a heads up. I wouldn’t want anybody feeling abandoned!

Before I go, I thought I would share a few of my essential needs for keeping myself organized, motivated, and on the ball when things get particularly stressful at work.

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The one personal belonging that I seriously could not live without is my MacBook. I don’t know what people did before they had computers, and truly – I don’t even want to know. My MacBook Pro is my number one tool for work, blogging, and communicating with the world. And, though not pictured here, my iPhone works as an extension of my computer (with the added bonus of access to my favorite game, Plants Vs. Zombies 2).

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Though I am meticulous with my Google Calendar (which is synced to my laptop & phone), I have always taken great comfort in organizing my schedule in a physical planner as well. It eases my mind, and my 2014 planner is quite possibly the greatest planner I have ever owned. The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley is attractive, sturdy, and meets all of my organizing/planning needs (plus a few needs I did not even know that I had). In the words of Lady Mary… GOLLY I love it so.

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No matter how busy you get, a little desk candy can never hurt. When I get super busy, I go into ‘conquer-the-world’ mode. (Basically I just get super intense & attack everything with a laser-beam-like focus.)  And really, who can conquer the world without cute office accessories?

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So, I am off to conquer – but I wish you a wonderful remainder of your week!

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I’ll see you soon!

Thoughts

Pina ColadaImage via Pinterest // Design by Laura of Some Kind of Lovely Ride

Some important words of wisdom for your Thursday – from the hilarious genius that is Ellen DeGeneres. Anyone else craving a pina colada & summertime right about now?

I spend my days/life in constant search of balance. Balance between work and everything else. Balance between healthy meal choices and that second serving of dessert. Attempting to accept that my life will be full of both good and bad, and that all I can do is roll with the punches. It’s a good thing that pina coladas exist in this world. And it’s an even better thing that I can look at my life & recognize that the good FAR outweighs the bad.

Good luck finding that balance in YOUR day!

2013 At a Glance

I’m not going to lie to you, friends – 2013 has not been my favorite of years. From a personal standpointl, it has been a year of trials, new challenges, and loss. At the same time, 2013 held some wonderful, happy and memorable moments that I will cherish. Sometimes it seems as though the good may not always balance out the bad – yet on this, the eve of a *new* year, I am content to accept 2013 for the roller coaster year that it was, and thank my lucky stars for all of the wonderful parts, and for my husband, my family, my friends and my four-legged-bestie – who are always there through thick and thin. AND, lucky girl that I am, I also get to look back and thank all of YOU wonderful readers, who make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside with every comment, like & follow. I love writing, creating and thinking about Some Kind of Lovely Ride, and I love that you take the time out of YOUR day to check in with me for projects, stories & tidbits of life. YOU ARE AWESOME! Some Kind of Lovely Ride is the most amazing and therapeutic outlet for me, and I look forward to seeing what 2014 will bring for my little blog. (I’ve been carving out this little niche on the internets for nearly two years – can you believe it!)

So, I invite you to take a moment to look back with me on some of my favorite SKLR moments from 2013! If you want the quick version, you can see my little year-in-review video on my Instagram this morning!

2013 in Review

In January, a few months after we tied the knot, hubs & I were excited to have our DIY wedding featured on WeddingLovely along with hundreds of other gorgeous real weddings!

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We kept the love alive for Valentine’s Day with some homemade, heart shaped sugar cookies & milk.

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As the winter dragged on, I tackled a simple upholstery project and gave an old chair a pretty update!

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This sweet little ring dish was such an easy project, I made a whole bunch and even gave one away!

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With the promise of Spring came the start of my obsession with yellow and springtime – and a couple simple DIY artwork ideas for the home, like my State Love paper art & Gnome Sweet Gnome stenciled canvas.

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One of the most meaningful creative projects I did this year was adding a photo to a pair of lockets from Heartworks by Lori so my mother and I could carry a special memory of my Mommom close to our hearts.

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Spring cleaning mode kicked in, and I created a cozy little reading nook and added some artwork & storage to my workspace area. I feel an entirely new overhaul of this space coming this year…!

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I spent the summer cultivating my green thumb with my little container garden of tomatoes, basil & snap peas. I can’t wait to give this another go in 2014!

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Probably the highlight of the year for me was planning & hosting a travel-themed bridal shower for my new sister-in-law Priscila, completely with DIY invitations, international foods & globes-hanging-from-trees! (Go check it out here, here & here!)

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Over the summer, we had our kitchen renovated and I got my open shelving! Hooray! It has been the most amazing difference in space & cheeriness!

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I took some time to reflect and give thanks in November, and made the easiest chalkboard ever.

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We also added a new stained wood headboard in the bedroom, which I love to pieces.

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And then the Christmas decorating began! You can see my decorated home, and links to some more projects in my holiday home tour posts here (kitchen), here (living room) and here (dining & bedroom).

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I was obsessed with burlap, and made burlap ornaments, a ribbon & burlap tree wall hanging, and my favorite Christmas project this year – the handmade burlap stockings I made with my mother.

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Overall, it was a pretty great year for projects and home updates! I’ve loved sharing them with you, and I sure hope you stick around with me in 2014. It’s sure to be a GREAT year – I’m convinced it’s going to be the best yet!

Happy New Year to you & yours! See you in the next one! ❤

Hello Again, World

It’s been several months since I’ve shared my little life snippets, projects & stories here in my little corner of the blogosphere. My self-imposed hiatus was filled with the ups and downs of life, and for a while my heart just wasn’t in the writing. Increased demands at work and less personal time for crafting and decorating also contributed to my break.

But with the cooler, rejuvenating air of autumn greeting me today, I finally felt that little spark in me urging me to rejoin the land of blog. I’m back – and ready to hit the ground running with projects and photos. I expect my posting will still be a bit less frequent than before (thanks to those day-job demands I mentioned), but I hope to again find a rhythm that suits me – as I attempt to bring inspiration and joy to your computer screen!

To start, I want to share with you some of the amazing blogs I’ve still been reading, even on my own break from writing. Talk about inspiring…

Bliss at Home

Kristen’s design & lifestyle blog is one of the few that I receive to my email every day (rather than check in through RSS feed). I absolutely love her laid back style & budget friendly but stylish design choices. This month, I particularly loved her quick tribal painted pumpkin DIY. The design reminded me of the Campland font I used in our wedding day invites – reminiscent of girl scout camping trips and S’mores – but trendy enough to feel Nate Burkus – ish.

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Lacquer & Linen

I am pretty much obsessed with Sarah’s decorating style over at Lacquer & Linen. Her home entryway, decked out for fall in this home tour post, is so cozy & chic. I’m in love with the color palette and the mix of textures. I love a little bit of gold mixed in with neutrals and outdoorsy elements… yum yum!

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Decor and the Dog

I love reading Decor and the Dog for two reasons – one being Michelle’s awesomely creative projects, and two being all the pictures of her adorable dog Ike. Anyone who shares such devotion for their four legged friend is a kindred spirit in my book. I’m dying to try making Michelle’s Pumpkin Spice Sugar Body Scrub – I feel like I can smell it through the computer screen!

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So, while I haven’t been writing – I’ve been doing plenty of reading & getting loads of inspiration from these lady bloggers who are much more talented than I… so I suggest you click those links & check ’em out – you won’t be disappointed!

I, in the meantime, will be working on shaking out the past few months of silence & vying once again for a place in your morning blog feed! Thanks for sticking with me!

Trying to Stay Afloat

It feels like it’s been about seven years since I shared how to make lovely lemony shortbread bars. (It’s actually been 10 days – quite possibly the longest break from blogging I’ve taken since I started..!)

I must confess, I’ve been suffering from a bad case of writer’s block. For a combination of reasons – including majorly intensified stress at work and long hours, plus a general feelings of the “blahs” lately – I just have not been able to finish even start a post over the past couple of weeks!

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I’ve still been filling my very few spare hours with craft projects, decorating, and organizing, and I’ve had some lovely days with friends and family over the past couple of weeks, too. Still, I’ve had trouble completing projects, and I’ve had trouble finding the time to write about them.

But today, the sun is shining. It’s nearly 80 degrees out, and the work week has ended (kind of, I have a school related event to attend tonight still). It’s Mother’s Day weekend, which means it is a great time to reflect on how fortunate I am to have an amazing mother (and an amazing mother in law). Last year, I used the week before Mother’s day to share some stories and lessons learned from my mother, my grandma, and my Mommom.

DSC_5828 copyAnd this year, I am missing my Mommom even more this weekend than most.

beautiful-e1365262449119I hope you all enjoy a lovely weekend – and to all the mothers out there, enjoy your well-deserved day of celebration. I am feeling inspiration return, and I hope to pick back up with my semi-regular postings beginning next week.

I’ve missed you, friends!