the happiness project

it's another cold + rainy day here in Hsinchu. I'm sitting here with cold toes and a sniffly nose, waiting out the weather for a chance to scoot off to buy a space heater. and I've been reading the happiness project [still, I know] and decided that I'm not going to wait for 2013 to roll around. I'm not going to wait until the end of the year or until I have the perfect plan in place. I'm going to start my project now.

I'm not sure how much of this whole thing I'll be sharing, but I can tell you that for December I've decided my theme will be ENERGIZE. yep, I'm copycatting right out of the book. I think that since the scooter crash and my forced inactivity, I've adapted a more lethargic lifestyle. and I'd like to reverse it. cold weather typically means bundling up and staying in, and I don't want to waste my time here doing that. three of the things I am going to focus on [and the reasons why] are below.

DECAFFEINATE: hello, my name is Jamie, and I am addicted to coffee. at some point during college, I began drinking coffee. but it wasn't until I entered the workforce that it became a daily habit. I used to drink 3 or 4 throughout the day, and a 3pm diet coke on top of that. combined with the stress of my job, I started having eye twitches and heart palpitations. so I gave up the DC and tried to cut back on the coffee. earlier this year I had several unpleasant [mostly for Husband] mornings where I did not get my cup of joe. and I realized that having my ability to have a good day dependent on a caffeine fix was not the best trait. so I weaned myself off it, and spent most of the summer not drinking any at all. then we moved to Taiwan. adjusting to jetlag "required" coffee, and I picked up the habit again. I'm currently at 1 cup every morning [not terrible] but have recently been getting headaches [whether from too much or too little caffiene I don't know] and I think it's time to stop. I want the occasional cup of tea or dark roast to be a comfort and a pleasure, not an obligation or necessity.

GO TO BED: if you know me, you probably know that I am NOT one of those people who can function on 4 hours of sleep a night. me without enough sleep is worse than me without my morning coffee. cranky, irritable, and short-tempered. being unemployed a full-time housewife/part-time substitute, most mornings I can [in theory] sleep as late as I want. knowing that, it's hard to make myself go to bed at a decent hour. but more than getting to sleep earlier, I want to sleep better. that means: no caffeine in the afternoon, turning off the computer/tv an hour before bedtime, and getting that space heater. [and maybe buying a foam pad for our mattress.] I have not been sleeping well as of late, and I'm hoping these changes will help with that.

EXERCISE: my knee is still recovering from the scooter crash, but it's time to get moving again. I'm back at yoga [with some minor pain] and have been doing some spinning on the bike at the gym. all the rain lately has made me knees extra-achey [thanks old track injuries!] it's a little depressing to think that I was supposed to be running a half marathon 2 weeks from now. I don't want to push myself to hard too fast, but I'm hoping to graduate from the bike to the elliptical to finally hitting the pavement for a run by the end of the month.

I'm also going to work on getting a full plan for the project set, finalizing my "commandments" and "universal truths" and some kind of a tracking system.

and with that, the weather has decided to break... so it's off to get that space heater.

happy weekend, friends ♥


easy canvas wall art project

a few weeks ago I made this canvas and I've been meaning to share it with you... this DIY project is one of the easiest ways to make wall art. all you need is a canvas, a sponge brush, some tape [masking or washi works best], and of course acrylic paint in your choice of colors.

seriously, that's it. tape on your design, paint the spaces any color or mix of colors you like, wait for it to dry and peel off the tape. easiest. project. ever.

you can do different variations on this project... when I was in Jersey I made a set of 3 smaller canvases all in the same color, and lined up the tape patterns so it was like a puzzle. you could also paint the canvas a solid color before taping, and then your lines would show through that color.

up close you can see the lines aren't perfect from the tape. I used washi tape because that's what I had on hand, but masking tape or painters tape [heck, even scotch tape] will work. the washi tape curled up a little between coats of paint and that's how my lines got fuzzy... but it doesn't really bother me.

go forth and craft, my friends!


closet organization [11]

my most exciting blog post yet: closet organization.

a few weekends ago, Husband was in Taipei for a school trip and I was left to my own devices. it was rainy and kindof gloomy. the perfect kind of weather for curling up on the couch with kittens + blankets and read a good, familiar book while drinking hot tea.

but. both my kittens and all my old familiar books are back in the states. and the house was pretty messy. [apparently trading 9 to 5 employment for full-time housewife life does not automatically make you a domestic goddess. who knew?]

so it seemed a good day to tackle something else off my 13 by 2013 list, and then some. I swiped and swept and scrubbed just about everything in our apartment. and finally got my closet under control. I did take some "before" and more "after" pictures... but I'm not going to subject you to a full post about my closet.

in fact, I will leave you now with just one more observation: 3M hooks are awesome for anything you need to hang... belts, bags, scarves, helmets, etc. thank you, adhesive engineers.


thanksgiving, taiwan style

as promised: the long and elaborate story of how I celebrated my first Thanksgiving as an expatriate.

my thursday morning started off rainy and kindof mopey, with coffee [as usual] and checking the happenings on the internet. which led to me writing this last post and pumping myself up to make the best out of what I had.

step one? deciding that even though I do not have an oven or a mixer or even measuring cups I would bake something to bring to the potluck dinner. because mashed sweet potatoes are tasty but not really a fun party food. because as much as I try to tell myself I don't miss baking because of the gluten and it's too difficult/expensive to keep that hobby in Taiwan I actually do miss it. and because I knew that Husband was bummed about having to work on Thanksgiving and making one of his favorite things from home would cheer him up.

enter: the olive cheese tart. something that requires minimal baking time, no harmful raw ingredients [in case the toaster oven under cooks], and has been made gluten-free with success in the past. AND I had most of the ingredients on hand. all I needed was some cheddar cheese and butter.

the morning that had started gloomy and rainy had turned into a gorgeous day. I'm talking 75 F and sunny. so I scooted over to Big City Mall for some seriously overpriced dairy from the fancy import store. [seriously. same price at Costco for 2 pounds as the little 8oz bar at City Super.] I wandered around a bit and then nearly fainted when I spotted this display:

essie. in Taiwan. I don't even know if it is legitimately supposed to be sold in this country. but there it was... the fall 2012 collection and a handful of completely random shades. including the ever-elusive mint candy apple. [seriously, I was starting to think it was an urban myth] how could I not buy it? the amount of joy from snatching up that bottle - completely irrational.

then again, I don't think joy is supposed to be a rational emotion. what makes us happy, makes us happy. and for me that includes finding not only my favorite brand of nailpolish, but a color which I had searched for high and low in the states and could. not. find. anywhere.

coincidence? serendipity? just the night before I had read the chapter of the happiness project on money, and this seemed the perfect small splurge. completely irrational, yes. but I practically bounced out of the store and smiled the whole way home. worth it.

//end of nail polish tangent.

once I got home it was time to start cooking. I threw on my most random but favorite playlist and got my butt in the kitchen. I started the sweet potatoes without really thinking about it being a potluck and just followed my usual recipe for 2. so then I got to make a second, larger batch while my butter was coming to room temp for the tarts.

it took a bit of internet hunting to figure out how to convert the olive cheese tart recipe to grams for butter and ml for the cheese and flour. [did you know that the "cup" measurement is not actually standardized?] I halved the recipe and still ended up with extra dough... not my day for portion estimation.

I measured the ingredients in our "water/juice" glasses and mixed it with the back of a tablespoon... and in the process broke a nail. kitchen ninja. I baked the tarts in our toaster oven and they came out just the crispy side of perfect. and just in time to head upstairs for the potluck.

we had ourselves a nice little feast! Jackie and Sean hosted, and they [and Jackie's mom who was visiting] made mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, Ruth and Ben ordered a turkey for a restaurant and used the school's oven to cook it, and I don't know who else brought what but there was food aplenty.

I was definitely not my best photographer-self that evening. I couldn't hold my plate and my camera at the same time... or my wine. but it was a great evening with lots of friends and good conversation.  [a few who are pictured above.] Luke and I feel very thankful that we are in this great little community of friends, and that we were able to have a little bit of home here for the holiday.

[then I skyped with my family the following morning, so I still got to "see" everyone and catch up a bit.]

and that concludes your Thanksgiving expatriate tale.


thanksgiving thoughts

 [NYC 2009]

I woke this morning to the sound of pouring rain, and Husband pulling me close to tell me Happy Thanksgiving... I'm thankful for you. not a terrible way to start our first Thanksgiving on foreign soil.

Husband goes to work and the typical morning routine commences: make coffee, check email, facebook, twitter, instagram, etc to see what the rest of the world was doing while I was asleep. a tweet from my best friend, reminding me that she's my best friend. a wall post wishing me happy thanksgiving from someone thoughtful enough to remember the time difference. an email from my mother-in-law with a picture of one of my kittens napping, unaware that 2 small boys and 2 loud dogs are about to invade "her space".

also, this tweet from one of my favorite bloggers: Don't forget: most people's Thanksgiving tables don't look the way they do in magazines. And imperfect Thanksgivings are the most memorable. 

and I sat down with my coffee to start writing this post, because it's true. Thanksgiving has always been kindof a big deal in my family. my Dad's side, the Austins, all get together for a giant feast, board games, lots of drinking, and an early Christmas celebration all rolled in one. I have a lot of Thanksgiving memories, but the imperfect ones seems to stand out most.

trying to arrange the antennas just so on the tiny, fuzzy tv at the cabin [usually involving someone having to stand next to the tv and hold one of the antennas] so we could watch the Macy's parade. the year someone brought the karaoke machine up north. being banned from coming back to the Crowne Plaza. I don't remember the exact circumstances [maybe during a game of gestures?] but I distinctly remember the tree being knocked over one year at the cabin. my first Thanksgiving in NJ, when I played a board game with my family via text message and Husband went all out cooking a feast and taking me black friday shopping to cheer me up. hotel security kicking us out of the pool/lounge area of just about every place we've stayed at. the year my Mom wanted to drunk dial Husband [who was then Fiancee.] delays at Newark airport leading to making new friends. and then the year before last year, when a huge ice storm knocked out the power in our hotel... I think it's safe to say that nothing can keep the Austins from having a good time.

one more thing I found this morning: a comment on my last post saying cannot wait to see how you celebrate thanksgiving over there. [thanks, India] and it got me thinking.

it's easy to think of ways I wish this holiday was different. that we were with our family. that my fiestaware and kitchaid mixer weren't boxed up in a basement 7,500 miles away. that Husband didn't have to work today [or tomorrow.] that we had an oven. that it wasn't pouring rain. that our apartment had the light from my parent's deck. that I could make a cheese board and bacon-wrapped figs and buffalo chicken dip.

but I can't change any of that. so here's how I'm going to celebrate Thanksgiving: by being where I am, and by doing what I can. I don't know exactly what that looks like just yet. but I'll be back tomorrow to show + tell you.

Happy Thanksgiving. xo


flashback: thanksgiving 2011

last thanksgiving, there was cake. because my little sister got married. in a cute little chapel with flowers and family and friends. husband and I got all nice and cleaned up [but we were still our goofy selves!] I got to catch up with old friends, and spend some quality time with two of my most favorite Katies.
also, I made this pie.



drinking: not coffee, as you might expect from the photo above. though I had a few cups of joe to get me through subbing today, class is over and it's time for some wine. [I had to open a bottle anyway for the stew I threw in the crock pot this morning... can't let it go to waste!] this is going to be a long installation of "currently" so you may want to grab a beverage yourself.

teaching: I've been doing a lot of subbing lately- 4 days in the past 2 weeks, including today. some classes are easier to cover than others, but all the kids are very well behaved. other than having to wake up at 6am, and a broken projector [which meant I had to hand-write power point slides on the chalkboard] I haven't had any issues. it's actually kind of neat... kids have started to recognize me and wave in the halls or on campus. I'm still not going to take it on as a career, but subbing is a relatively painless way to pick up some cash.

editing: pictures from the family shoot I did a few weeks ago. I'm making good progress, but there's a lot of photomerging involved since it's near impossible to get 4 kids under the age of 8 smiling and looking at the camera all for one shot. along with that, a bunch of random things you've been seeing / will be seeing [mstly thing I'm crossing off my 13 by 2013 list]. I find it helps to take a break every now and then from editing a large chunk of photos and work on something else for a bit.

reading: the happiness project. still. for some reason, I can fly through fiction books in a few hours but it takes me a while to read non-fiction. part of the slowness may be all the notes I'm taking, though - I've been scrawling away in my moleskine with my favorite sharpie writer. I'm almost to the point where I left off last time I read it, and I'm finding even more in this book that resonates with me. I think I'm going to end up doing a project of my own... obviously I love planning those kinds of things and who wouldn't want to be happier?

sweating: I made my triumphant [?] return to the gym this past weekend. I've been going to yoga, but this was my first "workout" since the scooter crash. I biked for 20 minutes with varied resistance. yeah, not that exciting. but 2 weeks ago I was still having trouble with stairs... so it's progress. I'll give the bike a few weeks, maybe try the elliptical out, and hopefully be able to hit the pavement for a run by the end of the year.

polishing: there has been a severe lack of nail art around here lately. the last design I did was actually quite awesome- I painted a leopard animal print. you can get a peek at it here [if you follow me on instagram, you saw a lot more!] but I never took any pictures with my DSLR. wah wah. and then my last 2 manicures were thwarted by chalkboard paint and a pair of chopsticks. so today after school I did a basic two tone. maybe you'll see that soon, or maybe something else, but rest assured I will keep painting my nails and [at least attempt] to blog the designs.

obsessing: over my new chalkboard wall in my office. our main chalkboard wall in the dining room is used for a giant calendar and shopping lists and reminders, so it's great to have a space of my own where I can scribble out ideas and inspiration. yes, my life is now permeated with chalk dust... but being married to a teacher makes that not far from the usual.

and, well, that's the end of my wine and that's the end of this post!

["currently" post inspired by Danielle at Sometimes Sweet


friday five

today's friday five is brought to you by:

1. the newly painted chalkboard wall in my office
2. a pack of wildberry skittles... and maybe a dirty martini
3. small [but awesome] discoveries of new photoshop tricks
4. anticipation for Husband's return from Taipei tomorrow
5. the joy of being yourself, no matter how silly or goofy it seems ♥

happy weekend! xo


holga [9]

I finally finished off the roll of film in my Holga today. a friend of mine gave me this camera before Husband and I left the east coast [so about 5 months ago] and the original roll of film is still in it. I think I've been hesitant to use it because, unlike digital, each shot "really counts". I don't want to "waste" any film. but then, it's not really better to have it just sit in the camera because that's a different kind of waste.

I needed a break today so I went for a walk. I've been painting the wall in my office [another chalkboard wall!] and going through photos from the shoot I did last weekend, and I think the fumes were getting to me. I loaded up my bag with my Holga, my DSLR, and my iPhone. and I walked, and I shot, and I sat. and I enjoyed the late afternoon light and the 80 degree weather. it was wonderful. and I finished the roll.

I'm excited to see how they turn out... I can't even remember most of what I shot. a few frames I know I accidentally double exposed, so even if they aren't "good" they should be interesting. [I think that's kindof the whole point of toy cameras though, isn't it?] I'm glad I can cross this off my 13 by 2013 list, and hopefully I can find a place that will develop film and do digital prints so I can cross that off the list as well.


holiday wishlist

November in Taiwan has definitely been a different experience from the past few years. Thanksgiving is next week... and I'm still wearing shorts. Costco is selling trees and nativity sets [though they've been there since we arrived in August] and our local Starbucks broke out the red cups and Christmas music last week. other than that, there isn't much evidence that the holidays are fast approaching.

now is the time I usually start thinking about shopping for gifts, and thinking what to ask for myself. this year will be strange and kindof sad not being with any family in person, but thankfully there is still the internet [online shopping!] and the postal service for sending gifts. I'm usually close to the wire with my shopping [though one year Husband and I went on black friday] but this year I need to plan ahead to get everything there on time!

here's a peek at the wishlist I've been putting together:

1. I'm obsessed with these chocolate tortoise honeybadgers from Bonlook. I have daily contacts now, but end up wearing them everyday since my glasses give me a headache after a few hours. my prescription is a few years out of date... but if I had some stylish [and correct] lenses I would rock them out more often. [$99]

2. when Husband and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon, we brought an underwater disposable camera. I was thinking about our CNY trip and thought it would be way more fun to get a bright teal lifeproof case for my iPhone, which allows you to use your phone to take underwater photos [as well as protects it from sand, snow, and drops on the floor.] even though my iPhone doesn't work as a phone in Taiwan, I still carry it with me almost everywhere and instagram daily. [$80]

3. I've been wanting a stylus for writing on my iPad [instead of just using my fingers!] and the consensus seems to be the Wacom Bamboo Solo is the best. they come in a rainbow of colors, and I'd love any one of them. [$30]

4. this Fuji Instax Wide 210 instant camera would be so fun to play with. I've been eying instant cameras for a while now, and I think a polaroid wall in my office needs to happen. [$80 camera only / $99 camera + film]

5. obviously, my wish list can't be complete without a few shades of essie. I'm loving the bold shimmery red of "leading lady" and the glitzy silver/gold of "beyond cozy" from the new winter collection. I've been a very good girl since we got to Taiwan and I haven't purchased ANY polish... so I think Santa owes me a bottle or two :) [$8 each]

so... what's on your holiday wish list? does yours look as nerdy as mine? [I mean, glasses + gadgets, really!]


blog redesign [10]

crossing something else off my 13 by 2013 list... here's a little tour of my new blog design! [if you are in a reader, you may want to click over to my site so this makes sense] I've moved to a 3-column design that hopefully puts what is important right up in your face. I added a search feature in the top right corner, and created photo links to various categories. links to various social media are now nice big words instead of tiny icons, and under the "followers" box on the left you can find links to subscribe via RSS, Google, Email, or Bloglovin'.

the new font you see everywhere is one I made myself using my iPad and my finger [stylus is going on my Christmas list.] the "polaroids" are from the shakeit photo app for iPhone. and... that's about it! if you have any questions or if you are having issues viewing the new design or find problems with any links, please let me know :)


friday five

well. it's friday again. here's my list of happy smiley good things and moments to be thankful for this week [and of course a mostly unrelated instagram photo... though my nailpolish collection does make me quite happy!]

1. the overwhelming response I received to this post. thank you all for the comments, emails, tweets, and messages. [especially those of you who don't share my views.] you guys. are. awesome.

2. this post on happiness. yes. read it, do it, be it. [also loving her super simple blog design.]

3. these 10 real-talk blog tips. my favorite is "find your voice and be vulnerable". both things I'm working on and feel like I've made some progress as of late.

4. my knee has healed enough that I was able to return to yoga class this week. I am definitely going to need some time to catch back up, but I was able to do a lot. our teacher is very sweet, and after looking at my knee she sent me a traditional Chinese remedy. it's basically liquid icy hot that you massage into the bruise and it smells like aftershave gone wrong... but at this point it's worth a try.

5. and finally... Skyfall. if it's out where you live, go see it. the plot is phenominal, and the story is full of "classic Bond" moments and nods to previous movies. plus, you know, Daniel Craig.

happy weekend! xo


moving forward + speaking out

WARNING: I am about to talk both politics and religion. if you do not want to hear my views on either of these subjects, please come back tomorrow ok?

this week, my country made history. and I am proud of that. major progress was made for equality, including but not limited to the below statistics:
  • marriage equality passed in 4 new states [Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnestota!]
  • 20 female senators were elected, the most in US history
  • the first openly gay senator was elected [from Wisconsin, also female]
  • the first Hindu-American representative was elected [from Hawaii, also female]
  • the first all-female state delegation was elected [from New Hampshire]
this election also gave me my own historic moment: the first time I have ever made a political statement on facebook.

my statement was not exactly a rousing endorsement of the Obama victory, but an attempt to express cautious optimism that we are [slowly] continuing to move in the right direction. that there is still a lot of work to be done, but I believe our nation made the right choice, and most of all: let's put the election behind us and get back to work.

coming from a conservative religious background and knowing many of my friends to be very openly Republican, I expected a few negative comments. what I did not expect was for the validity of my views to be called into question because I am currently an American living overseas, or for my beliefs as a Christian to be questioned because I find myself more in line with the Democratic party. a friend of mine got a little heated in her comments, as people tend to do when politics or religion is being discussed. she later apologized and deleted the remarks, but the incident brings to light that people [even those closest to me] do not know where I stand. each of us must vote according to what is in our own heart and mind, and that is something I would like to clarify.

I believe in equal rights for everyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. that means I am for policies and candidates that will allow the general population the freedom to make their own choices on an individual basis. if your faith tells you that gay marriage or having an abortion is wrong, then you are allowed to decide not to partake in either of those things. but I do not believe you have the right to restrict the freedom of others to act in accordance with their beliefs.

to me, this is not a conflict of faith. I feel that tolerance, acceptance, and equality are extensions of my Christianity. however, I was raised in a denomination that still views homosexuality as a sin. many of my family and friends hold to those beliefs, as is their right. I don't blame my friend for being shocked. since I have never voiced my views, how could she know that even though we had the same upbringing I now have a dissenting opinion?

I am not ashamed of my beliefs or opinions. my only regret is that I waited so long to voice them. if writing this post loses me followers or even friends, so be it. I cannot keep my mouth shut and meekly nod and change the subject anymore. I beleive strongly in these things and also that my opinion is valid and I have a right to express it. this is who I am, and I won't hide it anymore for fear of making someone else uncomfortable.

no, that does not mean I will plaster the internet with political posts or start attacking my more conservative friends. I won't rant on about my views on health care or education or social security or legalizing marijuana. I hope to refrain from making any inflammatory or insulting remarks. and likely you won't hear any remarks at all until 2016 starts heating up. but please know that I will no longer be ignoring my right to free speech.

thank you, and good night.

ps: you are free to express your opinions below, but please do so with respect.



sipping: on a hot tea ^ that husband brought me from starbucks. I'm starting to come down with the cold he had last week, so I'm trying to take it easy today. [side note: yes, I painted those leopard print nails myself. and yes, I am mildly obsessed with them.]

brunching: I went to a brunch yesterday and met a bunch of wonderful expat ladies who live in Hsinchu [including another Spartan!] we drank mimosas and played games and ate a TON of delicious food. and the best part- I came home to an apartment cleaned by Husband. I didn't realize how much I needed a "day off" to relax and have some fun!

earning: over the next few weeks I'm going to be making some money [yay!] by substitute teaching and shooting some family photos. obviously I'm more excited about the photography... but subbing jobs are easier to get right now. there's also a tutoring plot in the works. money isn't everything, but it is something. 

anticipating: election day. [no, seriously.] being abroad has given me the benefit of not having to be smothered in political ads, and so my anticipation is not just for it all to be over and done with. I plan to spend my Wednesday morning [Tuesday evening in the states] watching the election coverage. I don't really like talking politics, and I don't want to debate them here. I have friends and family on either side of the aisle. whether I agree with them or not, they have the right to make their own choices. regardless of who YOU are voting for, check out the Huffington Post electoral map. the cartogram view is awesome, and you can even make your own map based on your predictions by using various maps from history as templates [including the fictional Bartlet v Ritchie 2002 map.]

tweaking: the new blog design. [for those of you viewing in a reader, you may want to stop by and check it out]. the 3-column thing still weirds me out a bit, and it feels a little crowded, but I'm trying to give it some time. I suppose I need to do a separate 13 by 13 post on it... but I may wait a week to see if I'm going to make any more changes first.

reading: the happiness project. again. I started this book back in January and stopped somewhere around chapter 6. I'm not sure if I was just not ready for it, or maybe the whole holy-crap-we-are-moving-to-Taiwan thing distracted me. anyway. I'm starting it over, taking copious notes, and hoping it sticks this time.

wish-listing: this floral print bikini from JCrew. we've already booked a week in Boracay, Philippines and are working on plans for a trip to Krabi, Thailand with some of our friends for Chinese New Year. when I cleaned out my wardrobe before moving here [a truly traumatic experience] I pitched all but 2 of my swimsuits. I think I may have to treat myself with some of my photo shoot and substitute earnings, especially since JCrew has free international shipping through the end of the year...

["currently" post inspired by Danielle at Sometimes Sweet



 our college friends, otherwise known as "the 434" at our wedding June 2010

one of our best friends is marrying the love of his life today, and we are not there.

it's heartbreaking to have to type those words.

this is the third wedding we have missed due to our decision to move to Taiwan [one was before we even left]. one more we know of we'll miss for sure in march, two others currently pending dates to be set. we missed homecoming. we missed birthdays. we'll miss thanksgiving and christmas and new years. we'll miss my dad running the boston marathon. not to mention all the engagements and babies that have yet to be.

we knew we would miss these things when we decided to move. it was part of what made the decision one of the hardest we've ever faced. oh, but it still hurts. maybe even more so because this is something we have chosen.

there are other things we miss: our kittens, shopping at Wegman's, running at the canal, Buddy's gluten-free pizza, having a dishwasher... but by far, it's my people I am homesick for the most.

the next few months are going to be rough, missing all the holidays. I know I'll be fine. there are still plenty of things to be grateful for here. and I'm sure I'll be writing happier things tomorrow... but today in particular I'm just feeling mighty homesick.


friday five

once upon a time, I used to write down [and sometimes blog] five things every friday that I was thankful for that week. reasons to be happy about life, people who fill my love-cup, things that inspire me, or just moments from the week that made me smile. I think it’s a good way to remember the small things in life that make it good, and to be grateful for what I have. I've been feeling kinda funky lately [bad funk, not good funk] and I think that practicing a little gratitude may help.

so, I'm bringing back the friday five. feel free to join me and post your list or a link in the comments below.

1. this incredible short documentary starring one of my favorite photographers, Andria Lindquist. I love her work. and as a person she is incredible + inspirational + just plain awesome.
2. creating my own fonts. see that ^ up there? I wrote that. with my finger.
3. starting another attempt at the photo a day project.  mostly just for fun. you can follow along on instagram if you like, my name is @jamiethewalker
4. weather that's cool enough for open windows + snuggling in sweatshirts [even if it only lasted 2 days... back to 83F currently!]
5. this book. some of it was a bit cheesy, but I like the concepts of self-compassion, accepting imperfection, and "let go of who you think you're supposed to be and embrace who you are". things to aspire to.

happy weekend everyone!
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