why i procrastinate (and how i am going to try to not).

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Image via Project Management 2.0

I recently read an article in HOW magazine (seriously, check it out if you have not already) about why we procrastinate and how we can stop.  I am going to take this advice to heart.  Top reasons for procrastination are ringing true for me– let’s see if they do for you too.  Perfectionism (wanting to get it perfect the first time, yes, me); overwhelm (you feel like you have so many things to do you don’t know where to start– yes, me, again); lack of interest (the thing you want to do the least, even if it’s simple, is the thing you wait the longest to do– yes, me); lack of confidence (self-explanatory– me).  So, Bre Pettis, founder of Makerbot and a Brooklyn-based mover and shaker, co-authored the Done Manifesto with his friend Kio Stark in just 20 minutes, because that’s all the time they had to git’r’dun.  Bravo, boys.  Hang this up where you will see it when procrastination sets in.

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advice.

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A lot of people have been asking for advice lately, so when I heard an NPR Fresh Air recently and Terry quoted this quote, it really resonated. A quick google search and BOOM– Erica had a lot of nuggets of wisdom to share.  Another favorite: “Jealousy is all the fun you think they had.”  More on that later.

another amazing commercial brought to you by Levi’s.

So, most of you may be familiar with Spike Jonze because you’re a huge Sofia Coppola fan or because you like that he made Where The Wild Things Are into a movie. I like Spike Jonze the most because he directed this commercial for Levi’s. I am not sure what exactly it has to do with jeans, but I can perfectly imagine what he was thinking when he made it. He was in a hospital, listening to the heart rate monitors, and inexplicably, Soft Cell’s Tainted Love pops into his head. He goes around the rest of the day without putting two and two together until all of a sudden, BLAM! There it is– it was the heart rate monitors that sounded just like the beat in Tainted Love. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

eat your veggies.

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We are in the middle of summer, and in Virginia that means a lot of heat, a lot of humidity, and also a lot of delicious summer vegetables.  Last week my summer bounty included hand-picked green beans, butter lettuce, summer squash, the beets I featured in this post, and teeny tiny potatoes.  Best part?  Each of these required short prep time and ingredients you probably already have in your fridge.  Here’s a quick how to:

For the potatoes:  preheat oven to 425, put the a rimmed baking sheet into the oven while you preheat.  Half the potatoes and toss in olive oil, S+P, and cumin (all ingredients to taste, but if you are a fan of measurements, I would say 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil, 1 tsp cumin per pound of potatoes).  Bake for about 25 minutes.

For the squash: cut squash lengthwise into wedges.  Toss in olive oil and salt and pepper, grill on the stove top using a grooved pan (preferably cast iron).  I added a few slices of sweet onion for flavor.

For the beans:  blanch beans in salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes.  Put directly into ice bath.  Sautee garlic (or in my case, garlic scapes) and a swirl of olive oil over medium heat.  Add beans and a squeeze of lemon for five more minutes.

For the salad: I used a homemade mustard vinaigrette, loosely adopted from Frank Stitt.  I macerate a mix (1-2 TBSP)of vinegars (ideally sherry and red wine) with a few thyme sprigs and salt and pepper.  Add a dollop of dijon, whisk in 4 TBSP of olive oil.  For these butter lettuces, I added feta and cherry tomatoes.

For the beets:  I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

Summer perfection!  What are your best easy veggie recipes?

places i want to go: castello di reschio.

image via What We Do is Discreet

image via ItalianVillas.com

I honestly can’t decide which picture best captures this place.  And I also know I’ve already posted a picture of a vacation retreat in Italy, but that was coastal, and this is countryside.  I want to be whisked away to the Castello di Reschio, in the Umbrian countryside of Italy.  Cypress-lined lanes, rolling piedmont landscapes, Italian food, Italian wine, infinity pools.  Take me away to this other place.  The Barcolino sleeps two– making the perfect couples getaway.  Other homes on the estate sleep between 10 and 13, if you’re planning for a bigger group.  Price tag problem: at $3,000 euros a night, this place may only be a dream for me.

a touch of camo.

A summer trend I am kind of digging right now (maybe it’s my Southern roots– I live in Virginia and grew up in Alabama) is camouflage as an accent.  I like it best when it’s a muted version of itself, or in a small detail, such as scarf or a pair of sunglasses.

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I was first inspired last weekend when  a friend had this OtterBox for her cell phone.   This was just one thing that she had– and you never would have guessed that it belonged to her.  The perfect accent!  I wondered what other items might be out there.  And I found that Elle had just done a piece on this exact subject.  Here are a few of my own faves to get you started.

  • Splurge on these shades from Barney’s.
  • Save on this scarf from Mango.
  • Splurge on this sheer shirred tee from NSF, available at Farfetch.
  • Save on this cool pair of Tom’s from Uncrate.

What are you craving in camo this summer?

so long, cookie.

image via that’s entertainment

It’s summertime, and if you’ve never seen the movie starring Katharine Hepburn and aptly titled, Summertime, you are definitely missing out.  Katharine’s character visits Venice in the summertime (which I hear is NOT recommended), nevertheless, she finds a spunky Italian antiques dealer to spend her summer days with.  If for nothing else, simply watch it so you can hear Katharine Hepburn call everyone “cookie,” in her amazing Katharine Hepburn voice.  Why don’t we all talk that way anymore?  I’d love it if you said, “so long, cookie,” to me.

appreciate.

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Image via WeHeartIt

Yesterday at work I was given positive feedback by my big boss and let me tell you:  it was wonderful.  I smiled.  So, as I think about how great that made me feel, I realize that I could use a reminder to tell people I appreciate them.  In little ways.  In big ways.  Challenge yourself.  Tell your friend you like her.  Tell your server he’s great.  Tell a coworker that they are doing a good job.  It will make them smile.  And that will make you smile.  And that’s a good thing.

peace.

peace.

Sometimes, you take a photo that just makes you feel relaxed. I want to be inside this photo at this very moment. The colors are perfect– a little dulled but there’s still movement. Let’s go there.