A Few Good Gems

Happy Friday! September weekends rank right up there with the best of them, I think. What's on the docket for you? G and I are in Utah right now so we'll be heading up to Logan for some family time, hikes, breakfast at Herm's, and maybe even a USU football game (go Aggies!).  Before we take off, I wanted to share a few good gems from around the internet:

  • Harvest season means awesome veg-and-flower centerpiece opportunities! I'm loving this one:
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  • I'm sorry I missed this Kennedy Center performance in January with Sara Bareilles and Ben Folds but, happily, they filmed it. I could listen to Sara hum all day long and this song is one of my faves of hers:
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  • I just noticed that all the haircut idea photos I've been gathering and pinning lately look something like this. Is it time to bring back the Princess Di cut? 

Happy weekending, friends! What gems have you found and enjoyed this week? We'd love to hear and share!

A few good gems

Hello and happy summer to you! I've been enjoying a verrrry gentle and restorative May and June after the mad dash to the end of the school year. We made it through another high-mileage semester, commuting back and forth between our respective jobs. The up side to all that intermittent separation is that we are delighted to be together full time now--well, as full time as we get, with G's work travel. 

He actually just returned from an overseas trip this morning so this weekend we're planning on some good long city walks, teaching Sunday School to our class of 17- and 18-year-olds, and checking out the Black Out: Silhouette exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. I highly suspect it will further fuel my obsession with collecting little pieces of vintage silhouette art. Or, better yet, getting out some scissors and black paper myself...

First, a few good gems for your weekend:

  • Did you HEAR? There's a Freaks and Geeks documentary coming soon to a television near you!! Monday, July 16th on A & E.
Photo: Chris Haston/Getty Images

Photo: Chris Haston/Getty Images

  • NY Times obituary writer Margalit Fox says goodbye today and I loved what she had to say about finding her path, writing about others' paths, and coming up with her own epitaph. (Thanks, Maddy, for sending me this)
  • I'm deskless here in our little one-bedroom condo in DC, which is fine, but this window-mounted standing desk has me rethinking the situation!
     
  • Recently I followed a delightful rabbit hole through the comments of this Cup of Jo post: What's the Most Beautiful Thing You've Read? The post itself is three years old and readers have come back and posted their favorite lines of poetry and literature. Clear your schedule if you click over and start to read! There are some beautiful gems there. 
     
  • Isn't this a gorgeous dress? I tracked it down to Johanna Ortiz in Russian Vogue.  Next step: either figure out how to purchase it or how to make one of my own--I'm not sure which one is more likely/possible, ha!
  • Do yourself a favor and go see the Mister Rogers documentary, Won't You Be My Neighbor, stat! It's no secret that I love Fred Rogers--and in large part my career was influenced by him. Even if you're not a certified Mr Rogers fan, it's a good, hope-filled film. Exhibit A: G and Maddy both liked it when I invited (dragged?) them with me.  And, listen: I like you just the way you are. 

Okay, friends. Happy weekending! It feels good to reconnect with you here after a bit of a break.  

A few good gems

Hello! I'm a little giddy today--my spring break starts at the end of the day and I'm looking forward to a week with family and friends. (Never mind that it will feel more like *winter* break--I'll take it!) What do you have brewing for the weekend?

Here are a few gems I've collected from the internet recently. Enjoy!

How great is this By The Sea painting by Lisa Congdon?!

Joanna Goddard recently featured a terrific selection of insights and epiphanies on parenting teens. Read the 286 (!) comments, too; there are some winners there! 

Why are more teens than ever suffering from severe anxiety?

A great Traders Joe's breakfast hack for your Saturday morning enjoyment (yum!)

Are you watching the Netflix series of David Letterman interviews, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction? I've missed him! I loved the ones so far: Obama and George Clooney. Next up: Malala! 

I love this idea of Overlooked, "a history project recalling the lives of those who, for whatever reason, were left out of The Times’s obit pages." Like Charlotte Bronte! Ida B Wells! Read about it here and watch for more great updates/entries here and nominate someone to be included here. (Thanks to my friend Deirdre for sending this along.) 

One of my favorite magazines in Australia was Dumbo Feather, with its wonderfully thoughtful conversations with doers, thinkers, and creatives: June Factor on the importance of play, Brene Brown on vulnerability and being brave, Parker Palmer on living the questions, Krista Tippett on belief, the list goes on and on. 

This week's BYU devotional by Mechanical Engineering professor Julie Crockett was delightful

The Mothers Before instagram account collects photos and shares the stories of mothers before they became mothers, submitted by their children. Charming and surprisingly moving. 

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Have a great weekend! 

A few good gems

Hello, friends! What are you up to this weekend? I've been looking longingly at these days on my calendar for a while now--it's been the light at the end of the midwinter tunnel! G and I are heading south to Charleston SC for the long weekend* (it's our anniversary today--28 years!). We've never been there and I'm excited to finally see it. I've been filling up on Pat Conroy books in preparation. Any recommendations for things to see/eat/do?

A few good gems for your long weekend:

  • Have you tried the Forest app? It helps you control your internet distraction and gives you rewards for time spent focused--you grow "trees" within the app according to how long you stay focused. Best of all, the company donates actual trees to the world as a result.
     
  • I loved this annual letter "10 Tough Questions We Get" from Bill and Melinda Gates. Their responses to these tough questions all fascinated me but the part that caught my eye was Melinda's description of what it's like to be work partners with your spouse and how she handled establishing her own credibility in the room when everyone in the room was looking to Bill. (Melinda seems so cool--would love to take her to lunch sometime.)
  • Are you interested in history, fashion, and/or sewing? Here are 83,500 vintage sewing patterns in an online database from Vogue, McCall's, Butterick, and Simplicity. 
     
  • Speaking of history and fashion, I've been enjoying Lydia Edwards's How to Read a Dress Instagram account. Very cool!
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  • Amy Adams reading a poem ("Why I Wake Early" by Mary Oliver) and telling a joke. (Another person who I think would be a phenomenal friend, don't you think?)
     
  • The key to raising a happy child? "Agency may be the one most important factor in human happiness and well-being." (LOVE this and the research this full article on NPR here cites. Great suggestions on how to become a consultant parent rather than a boss/micromanager.) Hat tip to my friend Jen who sent me this link.
     
  • Finally, a few words of poetry I loved reading this week:
    Driving west tonight, the city dissolves behind us.
    I keep feeling we’re going farther than we’re going,
    a journey that started in the deep inkwell
    out of which our days are written.
    Nothing is said to indicate a monument,
    yet I perch on the edge of some new light.
    -Naomi Shihab Nye, Lights from Other Windows

I love that: "yet I perch on the edge of some new light."
Wishing you all some new light of your own. Have a wonderful weekend.
x Annie


*I have to admit I'm even looking forward to the 6.5-hour road trip down. We've had some of our best talks and planning sessions sitting next to each other in the car, watching the horizon spread out in front of us. Here's hoping for many more years and miles ahead *knocks on wood*.

A few good gems

Hello, friends! I'd like to congratulate you all for making it through the month of January. High fives all around! We are getting ready to do some bathroom renovations in the coming weeks/months so this weekend our assignment is to pick out tile and finalize a couple of other choices, which could land anywhere on the spectrum between exhilarating and anxiety inducing for me. Wish me luck! 

Here are a few gems to see you into the weekend:

  • Wouldn't it be nice to just get a quick glimpse in a crystal ball, just to put some of those everyday worries to rest? Sometimes I just need a good reminder to just remember this:
print available at  Telegramme Paper Co. 

print available at Telegramme Paper Co. 

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  • I was intrigued by this new research suggesting that doing 3 "Active 10"s might be healthier than 10,000 steps. Thoughts? (Confession: I kind of want it to be true.)
     
  • Have you found the Accidentally Wes Anderson instagram account yet? Oh my GOODNESS--it's fabulous. Visually, it's spot-on and then on top of that they also give a quick + interesting write-up of the history of the building or scene. It makes me want to take a Wes-Anderson-themed world tour!  Check them out here. (Thanks, Jenny F.B.)
  • Finally, I sent Maddy this hang-in-there commiseration video clip earlier this week since she was having a string of days full of deadlines. Maybe you know someone who could identify with the sentiment, too?

Have a lovely first weekend of February! See you back here on Monday.

A few good gems revival

When we were unpacking after our recent move I found a bunch of journals from my growing up years. "Bunch of journals" sounds like I was a diary writing fiend but really I was sporadic and fickle, switching to new ones midway through the last.

Thumbing through them,  I noticed that every time there was a time gap between writing, I spent the whole next entry talking about how I hadn't written for so long--it kind of crushed the narrative juju, ha! 

So I have good precedent for that habit but I'm going to try not to do it here.  Except to say: Hello, friends, sorry I haven't written for so long!  Nesting and launching are in full sway around here and we have lots to catch up on, you and us.  But it's a Friday so how about we start with a few good gems: 

  • The power of talking sideways to teens. Yep, I second this. Some of the best talks with my kids have been in the car or working next to each other
     
  • Sam shared this music video with me and it's a no-fail, happy-making clip. It came out about a year and a half ago but it's new to me! (I wonder if it helped Emma Stone land the LaLa Land role?)  Even if you've already seen it, maybe this will still brighten your day:
via  The Porch Swing Company

via The Porch Swing Company

Or what about a bed swing?!

  • Isn't Edie Wadsworth's kitchen lovely? I love that green hutch, the brass pendants, the light gray cabinets, and all the rest.

Have a fantastic weekend, all! I'm hoping to explore a local trail, grade some papers,  and mostly just cozy up at home to listen to conference together. What's on for you?

A few good gems

Annnnnd suddenly we're in April, folks, and a quarter of the way through 2016 (!)   Happy April Fools Day!  I miss the rocks-in-the-shoes pranks my kids used to concoct; now I think I get most of my April Fooling from Facebook. (Speaking of which have you already run across these two clever fooling attempts from Trader Joe's and Virgin Australia?  Any other good ones you liked?)

No tricks here, though! Just a few gems to enjoy as you ease into the weekend:

I love Trevor Wheatley's typographic installations in nature:

Trevor Wheatley installation via  Frankie Magazine

Trevor Wheatley installation via Frankie Magazine

You guys! A new West Wing podcast that takes you behind the scenes of each episode, one a week. I feel another WW marathon coming on... (Thanks, Jen J, for the heads up.)

Tim Urban's TED talk on the mind of a master procrastinator is hilarious. Let's just say I've gotten better over the years but I can relate.

The Arbinger Institute has produced some of my favorite books on human motivation and relationships, including The Anatomy of Peace and Leadership and Self-Deception. Their new book is coming out in June and this article excerpt describes a great mindset strategy for difficult moments, difficult people.

What happens when you let teenagers participate in the city's budgeting process, allocating $1 million for improvements and programs they select? Transformative magic and invested young citizens. (Hooray, Boston's Youth Lead the Change!)

I love to work surrounded by the happy sounds of a cafe. These two new-to-me apps have rocked my world! I can stay at home but fool my ears! Hipster Sound is a good, straightforward noise app and Cafe Restaurant by mynoise.net lets you customize the blend of sounds (chatter, kitchen noise, buzz, etc.). Hat tip to Tona--thanks!

This Australian road incident from last week is too adorable to keep to myself. (Spoiler alert: KOALA.)

A strap-on spiral staircase that works on any tree?! Yes, please:

Have a lovely weekend, friends and internet neighbors! See you back here on Monday. x 


  • Watching: The sci-fi drama Colony with G. Inspired by Nazi-occupied France in the 40s but takes place in the future with occupying (but unseen) aliens. Feels a little Lost-like, especially with Sawyer
  • Eating: cottage cheese, avocado & tomato & lime with multigrain crackers. Pretty much my lunch every single day. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
  • Listening to: Leon Bridges's Coming Home album. So good.