On to 2012!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone rung in the New Year with confetti and glitter and far too much food. 😀

My resolutions for 2012 are:

1. Less house. More play.

2. Eat more fresh produce – join our CSA in the spring!

3. Get to know my sewing machine and camera better.

But before we move on to the new year, let’s look back at my 2011 most popular project posts:

3 Little Ladies and a Sugar Jar

DIY Project: Cupcake Flags

An Inspired Dining Room (And Beadboard Wallpaper Returns!)

DIY Felt Autumn Wreath

DIY: Shake your PomPom

Recessed Refrigerator Progress

Paint like a Saint

DIY Chalkboard and a Blue Kitchen

DIY Necklace Rack

Weathered Wood Block Artwork


2011 was a great year! I went skiing for the first time in Colorado, we packed up our apartment by the beach to buy our first home, I’ve been to Home Depot more times this year than I’d ever have imagined, used more tools I’ve never seen before, celebrated out first anniversary in Cape Cod and lived through the Halloween “ThunderSnow”.

It was a good year. Here’s to 2012!

How did you spend New Year’s Eve?




I’ve been a members of the Four Eyes Club for about fifteen years now.

I vividly remember the first time I saw leaves. I was in fourth grade and oddly unaware that I didn’t have great vision. (How does one know they aren’t seeing things until they do?)

It was the day after my birthday. I had, like every year, a costume party sleepover (one of the benefits of having a Halloween weekend birthday).

I was standing at the front door with my mom as my four-eyed friend was getting picked up in the morning by her mother. Somehow the conversation led to me trying on her glasses.

And the world unfolded before me.

“Mom! I can see the leaves! Each individual leaf. The blades of grass! I can see the leaves!” I exclaimed  as I looked out the door with her glasses on with eyeballs the size of saucers.

I can still remember that exact moment. That moment when the trees morphed from hazy, green trees into detailed tree trunks with layered leaves in 100 shades of green. Seeing the tiny branches and not just the big ones. Knots in the tree bark. The rustling in the wind.

I can only compare it to is looking at something under a microscope. All of a sudden you see what you never saw before. The variations in colors, the scraggling lines of texture and shadowy details.

Suffice it to say my Mom felt terrible. Shortly thereafter I went to the eye doctor and came back with my own set of frames.

While I don’t remember being devastated about wearing glasses (as some girls do), I don’t remember being too pumped about them either. I felt mildly indifferent about them.

My glasses were always hilariously tilted at a slight degree on my round face because I would read in bed at night. From lying on my side with my face on the pillow while reading my glasses slowly tweaked to sit crooked on my face. Every time I went back to the eye doctor he would straighten them out again, but it never lasted for long.

About eleven years ago I transitioned to contacts and have never looked back.

I remember walking around Marshall’s right after my first appointment when the eye doctor put them in for me. I was standing in front of a dressing room mirror staring at the clear orbs covering my eyeballs and thinking about how weird they felt. I was sure I was going to accidentally rub my eyes and lose one..

These days I can take them out or put them in in a pitch black room with one arm tied behind my back. I don’t even notice them.

I like glasses, but when I wear them I always touch my face and squinch up my nose. I wear them infrequently enough that they feel like a foreign object to me.

It’s odd to feel so dependent on glasses or contacts. I don’t think it’s something that people with decent vision will ever understand.

When I was younger I always wanted to go on Survivor or the Amazing Race, but the first hindrance I thought about would how could I deal with my vision? I certainly couldn’t wear glasses in the challenges but wasn’t sure if I could bring contacts solution. Or what would happen if I lost one?

When asked what is the greatest invention, people often respond with answers like electricity, modern plumbing, the lightbulb or the internet. Clearly all of these people don’t have bad eyesight.

I beg to differ. To me the greatest invention is glasses.

Without them I’d have to live life relatively close to a blind person.

To see is to swim in the ocean and be watch the waves coming towards you.

To be in a crowd of people and find the face of a friend.

To look at the night sky and gaze at the stars.

To look out the window and linger on the leaves on branches, the blades of grass and the birds in the air.

To wake up and see the time on the clock.

Such is the stuff of life.



Don’t forget to make a wish.

It is 11/11/11 afterall.

And if you make a wish at 11:11 on 11/11/11 all the elements of the world will implode and grant your wish.

I was supposed to be throwing a party tonight. Or at least that’s what I told myself about 10 months ago, but life got in the way and it was November 8th before I knew it.

But that’s okay. I’m too busy thinking about my Twilight party costume for next weekend.

That’s right. Read it again. Twilight Party. Costume. Purchased Tickets.

Happy Friday to you and yours. : )



Happy Veteran’s Day.

Thank you to my veteran family members, friends and strangers.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
– Zell Miller.


Zumba, Zumba


I have officially crossed over into Zumba workout territory.

The verdict? It was… fun!

And while there were more baby boomers in Lycra than sexy 20 somethings, but I’m definitely going back.

Have you Zumba-ed?


Happy Birthday.


Happy Birthday to me and Happy Birthday to Withywindle.

I just so happened to start Withywindle on my birthday last year.

You see, I’ve always been a writer.


I wrote short stories as a kid. I didn’t want to be a princess. I didn’t want to be a ballerina, or a marine biologist or a movie star. I wanted to write and illustrate books. In kindergarten we had to draw a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up. I drew a lady holding a book with the word “authir” next to it.

(Although, a year later, according to the first grade yearbook, I had changed my mind and wanted to become a Mary Kay.)

I was the Features Editor of my high school newspaper and the Editor-in-Chief of my college newspaper. I have a degree in writing. My first job was at a magazine. And, as you may know, I read like a fiend. The concept of Word is inescapable to me.


After I graduated from college, I followed my passion for graphic design and that is where my professional life has taken me.

A little over a year ago I ran into an old newspaper friend at the library (the social scene for logophiles).

“What are you writing these days?” he asked. Surprised at myself, I had to tell him I was writing nothing. In fact, I couldn’t remember writing anything notable in the two years since my senior thesis paper.

He shook his head. “That’s not good,” he said, “You have to keep with your writing.” I agreed.

That night I went home and started Withywindle. Something I never really intended to do, but I can’t journal consistently. I’ll journal every day for three months and then I won’t pick it up again for a year.

I published my first post on my 25th birthday. Since then I’ve been so blessed with support, encouragement and readers. If you are reading this – thank you!

Now if only it were socially acceptable for me to dress like this on my birthday….


Happy Birthday Withywindle. And Happy Birthday to me.



Today was a momentous non-momentous occasion.

Today I got a haircut.

This is momentous not because I had to say goodbye to a few inches of blonde/brown locks, but because I had to find a new hairdresser.

This was one of my first steps towards settling into our new town.

We only moved about an hour and a half from our old place, but our old place was home.

After seven years (including four years of college stomping grounds) we knew where to get the best sausage-pepper pizza, where to get cheap breakfast, where to get “fancy-company-worthy” breakfast, where to take your car when the check engine light came on and where to get ice cream in the middle of the night.

We knew which Starbucks was less crowded and which one was open until 10pm instead of 9pm. Detours were never a problem because we knew all the back roads. If there was a pothole, we knew where to swerve.

Not anymore.

Today I tried to drive to Famous Footwear. Instead a detour took me through three other towns until 30 minutes later I could figure out how to get home. I supposed that is the price you pay for a new adventure.

It’s always hard to find a new [fill-in-the-blank]. I had a primary care doctor I liked. I knew which eye doctor’s office to avoid. I knew where to park at the train station for the quickest departure when I needed to pick up my husband.

I think this is the hardest part of moving. It’s one thing to put everything you own in a box and unpack it somewhere else. It’s another to live in a half-finished house for months at a time.

It’s the starting over that really gets you.

I loved my last hairdresser. I’d seen her get married, lose all her hair from cancer treatments and adopt a new puppy. But today I got my hair cut by somebody new.

It’s silly and it’s small. But it’s a step.

Fall Favorites


Things I love about fall in New England:

1. Hot apple cider donuts. Not from Dunkin’. Not from a bakery. Not from the store. They have to be from a place that has goats outside and bits of straw are trailed all over the floor. The better you can see the vat of oil, the better they taste. It’s true.

2. The satisfying sound of dry leaves crunching underneath your shoes as you walk on the sidewalk.

3. Hot beverages. Cocoa, coffee, tea, chai, steamers, you name it.

4. Brisk, chilly walks. I love taking walks in the fall. (*See #2.) The air is chilly enough to keep you cool. The air just tastes fresher. You can feel it in your lungs.

5. The changing leaves. New England is known for their scenic autumn landscape. It’s worth the frigid winter every single time.

6. The clothes. Jeans, sweatshirts, sweaters, scarves, flannel, puffy vests, boots, wool socks and earmuffs. Welcome back into my life.

7. Lumberjack husband. I used to tease my husband about the wardrobe takeover of plaids, flannels are Carharrt that would take over every fall. But now it’s not autumn without it.

8. Raking. Well, conditionally. It’s fun the first three times. After that it’s painful. But at least you’re burning calories. Right?

9. The plethora of holidays: namely, my birthday, Halloween, our dating anniversary and Thanksgiving.

10. Apple picking. Pumpkin picking. Homecoming parades. Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Maple scones. Fleece lined slippers. Sidewalks lined with hay bales. Scarecrows. Return of the Crock Pot. Hocus Pocus on VHS. And fall scented candles. Just in case I left anything out in the previous 9.

10A. Did I mention I can wear boots again?

What’s your favorite thing about fall?

Ten Years.

Time is passing.
Yet, for the United States of America,
there will be no forgetting September the 11th.
We will remember every rescuer who died in honor.
We will remember every family that lives in grief.
We will remember the fire and ash,
the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.

– President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001

I won’t relive the doldrum details of what I was doing on 9/11/01 when I heard “the news”, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

Ten years has passed so quickly. So much has changed as a result.

This weekend I will remember.