lovely things | valentine’s day

calligraphy kit  |  teardrop earrings  |  scratched circle studs  |  watch bands  | lip balm  |  hex studs  |  ring  |  mug

james & I don’t make a big fuss about valentine’s day these days. if we do go out for dinner, it’s never the day of & we’ll likely choose a low-key place where we’re regulars. if we do choose to eat at a fancier dig, it’s a place we’ve gone to before for some other special occasion & loved. as for gifts, we keep things simple there, too. I usually pick him up some book he’s been eyeing or if needed, a refill of his favorite cologne, plus a card. a card is a must, because really, it’s the thought behind the gift that makes the whole thing.

since we’re apart this valentine’s and he won’t be coming to visit until the weekend after, james asked me to put together a little collage of little things I’d want as a gift. I would love to receive any (or all some, ha!) of these items, but honestly, having him back for a couple of days is the best gift in itself. mushy, but true.

the new normal


james left for boston on sunday and I’m adjusting to the new normal. it’s been easier than I thought it would be – being busy with school, work, & this blog really helps the hours/days fly by, so I’m thankful for the distraction. it’s only in the little, random moments that I find myself lonely: doing errands on the weekend, just before I fall asleep at night, when I wake in the morning to find the side next to me empty, and on the commute in to and from work. I walk around feeling as though something’s missing, and then I realize, oh, james is missing.

all things considered, we’re holding up as well as can be expected, so I’m grateful for that. I’m also immensely grateful for cellphones & skype & facetime & all the other ways we can communicate with far-away loved ones these days.

have you been in a long-distance relationship? any tips? :)



old school


today is the first day of the new semester. I’ve spent the better part of this morning getting my agenda ready to go & planned out through mid-march. I love my iPhone, but I will forever be a paper agenda person. there’s something about actually putting something to paper that makes it seem more concrete than any digital version ever could. when I’m done putting in all deadlines and various other important events, I feel this odd sense of satisfaction at seeing everything laid out. I guess I’m just old school like that.

besides, there are so many lovely agendas out there. this year is my first year using this agenda and I’m telling you: it’s love. it’s incredibly versatile in its simplicity: because everything is so pared down & simple, I find that I can find/make space for everything I need. I love that I can fold the covers unto each other completely for a perfectly flat writing surface. and last but not least, it’s also really pretty. I opted for the “happy stripe” version and it really does make me happy just looking at it.

p.s. it looks like the agendas are all sold out as of now, but the academic year version  should be coming out later this year, if you’re interested. :)

force of nature

we had a hell of a commute today – 2 1/2 hrs. to go 50 miles – but I’m just glad we made it in to work safe & in one piece. there were plenty of accidents on the road ahead of us on our way in, and we took a scary little spin in the middle of the road, but we miraculously got to work without hitting or getting hit by anything. my boss wasn’t as lucky: his car did a 360 on the stevenson, hitting the concrete divider with both of his fenders. luckily, he wasn’t hurt and the car, though seriously damaged, was still safe to drive in, but he said that it sure was a wake-up call & that he had to pull over to take a few deep breaths before continuing on.

the weather wasn’t even anything too terrible – just cold with last night’s snow loose on the ground – but it was still a beast. today was a good reminder that nature is a force to be reckoned with & anytime you walk away with no or slight bruising is a victory to be thankful for.

stay safe & warm out there, wherever you are!

a may wedding


happy monday! hope your week is off to a great start. I’m taking things a little bit easier today as our weekend was busy with wedding planning. I bought my wedding dress on saturday morning, then we had dinner with our friend jesse that evening, during which we informed him that in addition to being one of the groomsmen, he would also be the unofficial MC. we spent the night in his apartment then the following morning, we did some light grocery shopping before heading over to one of my closest college friends’ apartment to ask her if she’d be a bridesmaid (she said yes, phew). after that, we sort of decided to pick out wedding bands on the spot in between the two playoff football games, so we did just that. james’ band came home with us the day of but mine had to be sent off to be resized. I’ll have pictures up once I get them in. james opted for a tungsten ring and I opted for a thin 3/4 diamond band with a prong setting.

it’s been a little surreal & exhausting getting all these plans made and/or checked off in the past couple of weeks, but we’re having a blast doing it at our own pace & as stress and drama-free as possible. we want to enjoy these few months before our marriage & really take the time to appreciate this moment in our lives.