Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gold Medal

I'm so sad to see the Olympics close for another couple of years, I am, however, happy to start getting to bed at a more reasonable hour, the circles under my eyes are getting ridiculous.

To all my friends who spent countless hours and in some cases years, organizing the Games - GREAT job! It was a pleasure to watch and you deserve a medal of your own. I hope you enjoyed every minute and made a lifetime of memories.

After watching the past couple of Olympics from outside the US, it was so nice to be able to watch from home - and as much as I wish NBC would show a few more things live - I have to say they really did an amazing job. Not just of broadcasting the Games, but telling the stories that inspire us to try a bit harder and do a bit more. I even enjoyed some of the commercials that aired - including this one, doesn't it make you smile?

I hope you've enjoyed these Games as much as I have and have been inspired by something you've seen.  I fell in love with this song when I heard it at the close of Salt Lake's Games, it’s taken me days to remember the artist and track down a version I could post, but it was worth the effort.

I wonder if when all is done,
Anyone heard my voice...
But from the start, we have no choice-
Our journeys just begin

I'll never know if I was right
Did I fight hard enough?
Or when the battles grew too rough,
Should I have given in?

But here I stand and swear to you:
I did the best that I could do

I know my voice was just a whisper
But someone may have heard
There were nights the moon above me stirred
And let me grab a hold
My hands... have touched... the gold...

My heart's been driven by extremes,
Blind with dreams, tight with fear
But still, God knows that I was here,
And oh I was alive! And now i
lay the past to rest,
For in the end, I did my best

You have to live the life you're given
And never close your eyes!
You hold on and stare into the skies
And burn against the cold-
For any moment you might find the gold!

And there was joy through it all,
And I am standing tall
And though my voice was just a whisper,
Someone must have heard!
There were nights the moon above me stirred
And let my life take hold!

I rode across that sky!
And once I touched the gold
Here in my own two hands...
I once held the gold

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Simply Gorgeous

If you can get through this without tearing up you are better than me.

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Friday, February 26, 2010


It doesn't really matter how much I enjoy my job (and I really am enjoying it here in Lexington.)  I'm always EXTREMELY grateful when Friday rolls around.  This week is no exception.

I've worked in a lot of different places but this is the first time I've worked out of a converted horse barn.  You couldn't tell that's what it is from the inside, but from the outside it looks like the traditional Kentucky horse barn.

The biggest adjustment for me at this work site is having an office.  I've had lots of cubicle and few times have just worked on a table in the middle of the room, so it is very strange to have an actual office with a door.  Sometimes I find it lonely, but I think I could pretty easily get used to it.

Any fun plans for the weekend?

I feel like its been too long between posts with a little Ray LaMontagne,  so in honor of my horse barn office - here is his "All The Wild Horses."

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Thursday, February 25, 2010


I thought I'd share my weekend craft project.  I've been trying to find super cheap ways to add some color and personality to my apartment, so I constantly have my eyes open to find bargains to help me decorate.

This weekend I stumbled across a package of four 12x12 cork tiles for a great price.  I figured I could buy scrapbook paper to put over the top of the tiles, add a few photos and I'd have something interesting to hang up in the bedroom.

This project cost less than $10, required no glue, scissors or any special skills.

I love simple craft projects like this - mostly because it is a project I can see through from idea, planning to execution in a short amount of time.  Most of the time the projects I work on for work take months if not years and I crave that feeling that comes when I finish something and can see the end result, craft project give me that. 

What about you?  Do crafty projects reduce your stress, or do you find it stresses you out more?

Have you heard that two of the Dixie Chick's are about to release a new album under the name Courtyard Hounds?  I'm counting down the days till its released, until then I'll listen to some of my old favorites.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Melody Gardot

I'm glad I live in the age of Google, it saves me from hours of frustration with its easy answers always at my fingertips.  This week I heard a song in the background and knew I recognized the artist, but couldn't put a name to the voice.  I loved the song and wanted to track it down, so I focussed on memorizing two lines from the song hoping one would be the title.

A few hours later when I got home I google the lyrics and discovered I was searching for Melody Gardot's "Who Will Comfort Me."  Love her bluesy, smoky voice - a great song for the end of a long day.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shimmering Fields

One of the reason I don't really mind my commute to work is the gorgeous scenery I drive past each day.  Once I get outside of the city I drive past acres of rolling fields.

I have a serious case of spring fever - I'm ready for the snow to be gone, for the leaves to come back and the flowers to start blooming.  I'm ready to pull out the sandals and put away my boots.  Until that time comes, I'm going to listen to gorgeous music by folks like Matt Costa and dream.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Life is Good Today

I had a wonderful Saturday, one of those days where I started with a list of things I want to get done and not only did I finish I made some great discoveries along the way.

I started by dragging my lazy self out of bed for Jazzercise - what a great way to start the day.  I was home shortly after 10 and decided that before I did anything else I would get the house clean.  And not just a quick vacuum and dust like I did the last couple of weeks.  This time I got the place so clean it sparkles.

It was finally time for a reward.  I've heard about Home Goods on the design blogs I spend way too much time reading - it is supposed to be a mecca for cute, well priced things for your home and there is one just a few blocks from me.

What a great store!  I could have spent a FORTUNE, but I didn't buy a thing.  I just couldn't figure out how to easily get anything back home.  And while the prices were good they weren't quite at the super cheap level I'm using for decorating the apartment here.  Utah needs this store.

Next door to Home Goods is a Stein Mart, a store I loved in Dallas, but haven't shopped in since I lived there.  This is where I really lucked out.  I found the perfect pair of jeans for $35!  That would have been enough to make me happy, but I also found these sassy shoes.

Nothing makes me happier than finding cute jeans and shoes!

I love the Zac Brown Band, especially their song "Toes."  It has such a great message - by enjoying the little things in life like great jeans and sassy shoes  - "Life is good today"

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Progress Report

A progress report on my apartment, it finally feels like home.

My living room with its tiny TV and comfy recliner.

A few additions to the bedroom

Dressing area & bathroom

I'm finally settled in and am sad to realize I've only got a little over a week left before I pack up and head to Delhi for several weeks.  At least I'll have someplace nice to come home to in April.

This sweet song, a recent release from Carrie Underwood, reminds me to keep my eye on the big picture even as I work to make my temporary home as nice as I can.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Little Dreamers

(My nephew Tiny T when he was really little)

On Friday one of my favorite bloggers shared a song that kept her going, James Morrison's "Once, When I Was Little."  I have it in my collection since I'm a fan, but it had never made an impact on me, so I decided to give it another listen.

Its a great song with amazing lyrics

We could build a rocket,
Fly to the moon
Leave Tuesday morning
And be back for noon
There wasn’t nothing,
Nothing that we couldn’t do
Once, when I was little

Yeah I could dream more than
Yeah I believed more then
That the world could only get better
Yeah I was free more then
I could pretend more then
That this life could only show me good times
Once, when I was little

I started thinking about my dreams and the things I imagined I could do when I was little.  I remember believing the swing set could substitute for the General Lee and I could drive like my hero Luke.  I was Wonder Woman when I jumped on the trampoline and I made gourmet meals out of mud.  

Somehow as I grew up I lost all of that (which given some of my dreams was probably a good thing.)  But since I've spent more than a week glued to the TV watching the Olympics I can't help but think that the athletes I've been watching took those childhood dreams and found a way to believe them and dedicated their lives to achieving them.  

I'm passionate about the Olympics for many reason, but the number one reason is that they inspire me and many others around the world to keep pushing to make our dreams a reality.

What did you dream of doing as a child?  What inspires you today to keep reaching for those dreams?

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Friday, February 19, 2010

The face at the end of my fist

I'm guessing a couple of the instructors at my Jazzercise class had a bad week - because we did a ton of kick-boxing routines.

Just how bad is it for me to admit that I had a person in mind for each punch or a kick.  Imagining that face at the end of my fist was cathartic and I'm pretty sure my punches were much harder which means I got a better workout.

A great reminder of the reason Jazzercise is so great for me - I get a good workout and I get to take out all my frustrations so the don't stay bottled up and keep me up at night.

One of N's favorite kick-boxing routines is to Madonna's "Celebration."  Listen, and if the spirit moves you, put your arms up and start punching.  Don't be afraid to imagine there is a face at the end of your fist, after all it is only imaginary violence.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Dreamy Giraffe

Last year I stumbled across the etsy shop of Kathy Jeffords.  She paints colorful and dreamy paintings of beautiful big-eyed girls.  I bought a couple of prints for my niece and couldn't resist a couple for myself, I even came across one of her originals on sale.  Over the New Year holiday I finally got them all framed and hung in my library/spare room, and I have to say they look amazing.  So, imagine my joy when I discovered this week she was having a sale.  I picked up a few more prints and decided to share.

If you have little girls and are looking for some unique and fantastic artwork to brighten up their rooms, give the Dreamy Giraffe a try.  If, like me, you don't have little girls as an excuse, it doesn't matter - you'll find a place where they will look amazing.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Do you have a favorite etsy shop?  I've found some fabulous stuff there - but the site is so huge I know I'm missing out on a ton of great things - so if you have recommendations, please share them.

Let's go back a decade of two for a little INXS:

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A few observations...

(Photo from Louis Bickett's Photostream on Flickr)

I've been in Lexington a month now (how time flies!)  And I've made a few observations which may or not be true since a month really isn't enough time to really understand any city, but I've decided to share a few of my thoughts anyway - if nothing else it will be fun to look back in October and see if my initial impressions were correct:

  • By and large people are polite drivers, not as orderly as those in Dallas, but still patient enough to go every other person when traffic gets bad.
  • People are friendly - I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with perfect strangers while in one store or another.
  • The people in this city are readers - walking into Barnes and Noble on a Saturday was overwhelming.  I've never seen a bookstore that packed.
  • There are a LOT of fast food places here.
  • There is only one mall in the city and the traffic in the surrounding area is a nightmare - enough so that I don't think I will ever need anything at the mall enough to get me to go back.
  • Everyone is passionate about the University of Kentucky and their basketball teams.  Its best to bleed blue while living here.
I can't wait until things warm up a bit and I have a chance to get out of the city to some of the surrounding areas, I have a feeling I will fall in love.

I've had this gorgeous Joni Mitchell song in my head since Friday night's Olympic Opening Ceremonies - it was one of my favorite segments of the show, the only thing that could have made it better is if Joni had been there to perform live.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sharp Dressed Man

I found myself watching a bit of Curling today - I may never fully understand the sport (sorry my Canadian friends), but I do appreciate the trousers worn by the men's team from Norway.  It takes true men to wear something like these beauties.

There really is only one song that belongs with this post, a little ZZ Top:

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Vanilla Twilight

I fell in love with this song based simply on the title - doesn't "Vanilla Twilight" sound lovely?  For me it hits all the right notes - I can picture listening to it at twilight sitting on my back deck, I can smell the vanilla candle burning in the background and my ears are full of this lovely song.

I fell more in love as I started to pick up on the lyrics - what girl wouldn't love having a guy write a song like this for her.

The stars lean down to kiss you
And I lie awake and miss you
Pour me a heavy dose of atmosphere

'Cause I'll doze off safe and soundly
But I'll miss your arms around me
I'd send a postcard to you, dear
'Cause I wish you were here

I'll watch the night turn light-blue
But it's not the same without you
Because it takes two to whisper quietly

The silence isn't so bad
'Til I look at my hands and feel sad
'Cause the spaces between my fingers
Are right where yours fit perfectly

I'll find repose in new ways
Though I haven't slept in two days
'Cause cold nostalgia
Chills me to the bone

But drenched in vanilla twilight
I'll sit on the front porch all night
Waist-deep in thought because
When I think of you I don't feel so alone

I don't feel so alone, I don't feel so alone

As many times as I blink
I'll think of you tonight
I'll think of you tonight

When violet eyes get brighter
And heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again

And I'll forget the world that I knew
But I swear I won't forget you
Oh, if my voice could reach
Back through the past
I'd whisper in your ear
Oh darling, I wish you were here

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Red Neighbor

One of the reasons I chose this apartment to life in was the neighborhood.  I'm close to everything but it still feels quiet.  The streets surrounding my complex are filled with town homes that remind of something I would expect to see in Washington DC - they are all made out of bricks and are in different colors and styles.  I find it rather charming - and I'm sure when the leaves come back it will be lush and green.

One neighbor I didn't expect is the red sports car which has been parked in front of my balcony ever since I moved in.  It has become a presence in my life - the thing I see every time I look out a window.  I've found myself making up countless stories about why it is just parked there and isn't ever moved.  I've made up stories about the type of people who own the car.  Having that car parked there has given my imagination a workout.

I think it may actually be a Camaro, but I still find myself humming Prince's "Little Red Corvette" while I'm loading the dishwasher and watching out the window.

What do you think?  What type of person owns a car like this?  And, why do you think it never moves? Pin It

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

I dread Valentine's Day, it usually leaves me feeling blue about my single status. As it grew closer I decided I wanted to react a bit differently this year.  So, Thursday afternoon I hit the new cupcake store in my neighborhood and picked up lovely treats for my team at work.  I was so excited about giving that I wasn't as focussed on the fact that there would be no bouquets of flowers or sparkly things for me this year.

Yesterday I went out to lunch and a movie ("Valentine's Day") with friends.  It was a cute movie (only slightly cheesy) but mostly I was happy to realize that just a month into my time here I already had people I could do a movie with on a Saturday.  I was also thrilled to finally have a Saturday without snow.

Today I'm feeling lucky to have met some nice people a church - AND for a quiet day to sit back and enjoy one of my great passions in life - the Olympics.  I may not have had a story-book Valentine's Day - but you'll hear no complaints for me.

To keep with my positive attitude towards Valentine's Day instead of making my usual play list of songs that celebrate the single life, this year I've actually created a list of some of my favorite love songs.  I hope you enjoy.
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Opening Ceremonies

Pre-Salt Lake and my current job when I watched Olympic Opening Ceremonies I found myself biding my time through the parade of athletes until they got to the US before I felt much emotion.  As I watched tonight I got that tug more often - whether I was watching the team for a country I've lived in, visited or the home country for my friends.  I came to the realization that my world has expanded in the past 10 years.  I feel I'm a part of more than just my little corner of the world, how lucky I am.

Tonight I also couldn't help but reminisce about that night just over 8 years ago as I sat in Rice Stadium and watched the Opening Ceremonies in Salt Lake.  Knowing I helped make it happen was a dream come true - little did I realize I would be lucky enough for that dream to still be following me all these years later.  I am truly blessed.

One of my favorite songs from Salt Lake was actually from the Closing Ceremonies when Josh Groban and Charlotte Church sang "The Prayer."  It was simply gorgeous - and while this clip is from another performance it still resonates with me.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Get it Now Dad

When I rented furniture for my apartment here in Lexington I simply rented the one-bedroom package and didn't get give my input on what that meant.  To my surprise the package included a recliner - you know the type your dad sits in at the end of the day.

Recliners have never been high on my list of must have furniture, but I have to say I've fallen a bit in love with this one.  It isn't much to look at:

But it's a great place to relax and watch a little TV at the end of a long day, and when I add a lap desk and a computer it becomes a fairly decent office.

For some reason, I've had Patsy Cline in my head lately, and since, ever day is better with a bit of Patsy in it:

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Dream

I've shared my love of The Avett Brothers on this blog before, but lately I've been obsessing over a pattern, I've discovered in their music - they have a series of songs to or about pretty girls:  "Letter to a Pretty Girl," "Pretty Girl at the Airpot," "Pretty Girl from Cedar Lane," "Pretty Girl from Matthews," "Pretty Girl from Feltre," "Pretty Girl from San Diego," "Pretty Girl from Chile," "Pretty Girl from Annapolis," "Pretty Girl from Locust," and "Pretty Girl from Raleigh."

My latest dream?  My very own Avett Brothers song.  If they can't find the rhymes to go along with Pretty Girl from Aurora, I'm sure we can find something else that will work - it isn't like I have lived in a bunch of places:  Cedar City, Provo, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Rio de Janeiro, New Delhi or Lexington.  I wouldn't even mind if they modified one of their old songs, maybe "Pretty Girl in the Airport with the giant red suitcase, girl who looks like she spent 18 hours getting to this place...."

Until the guys decide to make my dream a reality, I'll just have to keep listening to great songs like this:

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Expanding My Horizons

A brilliant blog post written by my friend Katie, along with some great suggestions from all of you on your favorite songs of 2009, made me realize that I may have gotten a big snobbish when it comes to the music I listen too.  I'd pretty much given up on pop music - which probably explains why I couldn't even hum along to a Lady Gaga song.  Don't get me wrong, I know who she is - I don't live under a rock after all, I just didn't know her music.

I decided it was time to expand my horizons.  So I added a pop hits station to the presets on my rental car's Sirius radio.  After a week of exploring pop - I've heard her "Bad Romance" enough time to have it firmly stuck in my head.  Truth is - I kind of like it.

What about you ?  Is Lady Gaga a do or a don't?  And what other good music have I been missing out on by ignoring pop?  Finally, how have you expanded your horizons lately? Pin It

Sunday, February 7, 2010

By Request

I've had a few request to post some pictures of my place in Lexington.  So, mom, here you go.

I've spent the last couple of weeks trying to come up with ways to add some color and make it feel more like "mine" on a very small budget, and while most of the apartment is still a work in progress, I'm proud of some projects I finished for the bedroom yesterday and thought I'd share.

First - a before shot of my white box bedroom with its rented furniture.

Since then I've added a duvet set I found on clearance at Walmart ($40) and some artwork I put together with frames I found on clearance at Target ($3.50 each) and some fabric remnants.

On the wall to the right of the bed I added some color by putting up some hooks and storing some colorful scarves I brought home on my last trip to Delhi.  I wear them to add a splash of color to my wardrobe, but I think they look pretty good on the wall as well.

I also used another clearance frame and some fabric to put a splash of color over the dresser, which stands across from the bed, this time I added a few photos to the mix.

Its nothing that is going to get published on a design blog, but for a little bit of nothing I added a few splashes of personality to the room.  Next up, the living area.

Song I've been loving this week:  Muse's "Uprising."

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Favorite Stress Reliever

This weekend my very smart sister got sick of hearing me complain about my inability to get back into the routine of working out, so she found me a Jazzercise class here in Lexington on my way home from the office - she's does have an inside track since she's a Jazzercise instructor.

That hour detour on my way home means that I arrived home already wound down, with my mind off work and ready for LOST!!! I feel refreshed and I know I'll sleep better tonight.  I must remember this feeling everyday - because the truth is I need that hour in class!

After class one of my 2009 Favorites came on the radio - it was a perfect fit for the way I was feeling.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Snow Day

Early last week the weatherman in Lexington began predicting a big snow storm on Thursday and Friday - after asking around I was convinced I was going to get my first ever "Snow Day" one of those things kids dream of to get out of school.

Growing up in Utah means I saw plenty of snow, but no matter how much it snowed, we still made it to school - our communities had all the equipment to keep the roads clear.  I almost had a snow day while I lived in Dallas - but it wasn't a work day and the snow day just meant I missed a flight when I couldn't make it to the airport on time.  I had another near miss when I lived in Seattle - but I got to work before the snow started - and snuck home before it got to bad.  I was ready for a Lexington Snow Day.

Thursday arrived - no snow.  Friday - still no snow.  Friday night at 10, the snow starts.  In my mind, a snow day that happens on Saturday, just doesn't count.

Here's a bit of Jamie trivia for you.  One of my all-time favorite TV shows was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it was smart, funny and full of talented actors.  One of my favorite episodes ended with a magical snow storm (magical because the show was set in SoCal.)  One of the most memorable parts of the snow storm for me was the score behind it, written by the amazingly talented Christophe Beck.  So, here's a first for this blog, a song with no lyrics - just a beautiful melody:

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