auldlangsyne

we’ll take a cup of kindness yet

It’s been one wonderful year, hasn’t it?  Mr. Lovely and I are actually flying back to NYC tomorrow, so our New Year’s Eve will be pretty mellow (secretly just how…

It’s been one wonderful year, hasn’t it?  Mr. Lovely and I are actually flying back to NYC tomorrow, so our New Year’s Eve will be pretty mellow (secretly just how I like it).  I just have to say once more that I’m so grateful for everything 2011 brought into our lives, and we’re so blessed to have had such wonderful adventures with wonderful people. I absolutely cannot wait to find out what’s gonna happen next year.

Whatever your plans are tonight, be safe and make sure you’re celebrating with someone you love!  See you in 2012, Lovelies.  xoxo

{Confetti photo by Amanda Pham.  Watercolor hearts by Samantha Hahn.}

 

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2011: a year in review

I won’t lie — this was kind of a huge year in Lovely Land.  Looking back, January seems like it just happened and somehow also like it was a million…

I won’t lie — this was kind of a huge year in Lovely Land.  Looking back, January seems like it just happened and somehow also like it was a million years ago, maybe because we packed so much goodness into the year.  Here’s a little look back, for y’all who might be interested.

January to April had Mr. Lovely and me on the road together with Madagascar, a live stage version of the cartoon movie.  I played everything from penguins to lemurs to Gloria the Hippo, and we traveled to about 15 states.  We ended with a run at Radio City Music Hall, and I was able to bring some of my closest peeps backstage and onstage for tours.  I loved that.  I danced on The Today Show as a silly penguin, and somewhere in there, I also turned the big three-oh.

I was lucky enough to book another job directly after Madagascar, and so a few weeks later I traveled to Sarasota, Florida (again with Mr. Lovely, luckily enough!) to do a show called Cowgirls, which I loved.  Sarasota was an amazing place to spend the summer, and we met some truly wonderful people there, both in the cast and among the theatre production team & patrons.  I also took the leap and joined the Photo A Day For A Year project over the summer, which has been a cool and challenging experience so far.  All in all, it was a pretty idyllic summer.

We wrapped up Cowgirls and got married three weeks later.  The timeline was a little tight — there may have been a couple of moments there where this bride wasn’t sure if it was all going to come together.  But we slid into town with exactly the right amount of time to put the finishing touches on our very DIY wedding, and I can truly say that I enjoyed every second of the day.  It was perfect.  Is there a word that means “better than perfect?”  If there is, it was that.

After the wedding came our honeymoon extravaganza, which was more than I could have asked for.  Some time on a few islands in Tahiti was followed by a gorgeous road trip up and down the California coast.

Post-honeymoon, I was able to be in California for my high school’s 60th anniversary, where I had the privilege to conduct the choirs with my mentor and my successor (I taught there post-college).  It was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.  Then, it was back to the real world in NYC, where Mr. Lovely was blessed to get a new job in the city that he’s loving, and I’ve been happily blogging away and pounding the pavement on the audition circuit.  A few fun projects have kept me writing music and working in recording studios over the past couple of months, and that’s how I’ll probably remember the end of this year.  It’s been a wonderfully creative time, and you can keep an eye out for some of those projects to come to fruition in 2012.

A few other highlights:  I began guest blogging at two of my favorite places — The Sweetest Occasion and Society Social, and it’s been so exciting to work with the amazing girls who run those blogs and businesses.  I was also able to be in California for a good amount of time, and have been there to see my niece grow and spend time with my family.

I don’t know how Mr. Lovely and I were so blessed to have such a red-letter year, but I’m so thankful for the whirlwind of it all, and I’m looking forward to whatever 2012 has to throw at us.  So cheers to 2012 and cheers to YOU!  Thanks for coming back to Lovely Indeed and making it really cool here.  I hope your year was everything you wanted it to be, and that the next one is even better.  xoxo

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a good christmas

I’m so thankful for another wonderful Christmas this year with my family.  Our last couple of Christmases have been transitional, as old traditions are making way for new ones.  But…

I’m so thankful for another wonderful Christmas this year with my family.  Our last couple of Christmases have been transitional, as old traditions are making way for new ones.  But regardless, cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents and parents (and now babies!) all come together in whatever way they can, and we celebrate.  There was lots of cooking, eating, catching up, slowing down, wearing of pajamas, playing with babies, quiet reflection, and eating some more.  So while it might be difficult to give up an old tradition, it’s all the more lovely to begin a new one and see where it will lead.  xoxo

 

 

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diy holiday packaging

Well hey there, Lovelies!  Hope you’re all coming out of your Christmas coma and that your holiday was just wonderful.  I had a fantastic time celebrating with my family, and…

Well hey there, Lovelies!  Hope you’re all coming out of your Christmas coma and that your holiday was just wonderful.  I had a fantastic time celebrating with my family, and you can keep an eye out tomorrow for some photos to prove it!  But today, we’re all about packaging.

Remember the holiday baking bummer that we narrowly avoided last week?  Well, after all was said and done, the little treats we ended up with needed to be wrapped somehow.  So here’s what we came up with.

We used large mason jars and cut circles out of a vintage music magazine to glue to the top of the lid.  Then we printed a label onto the inside of a paper grocery bag (using these awesome Photoshop brushes from Tristan over at Besotted Brand Blog!), cut those out in circles, and glued them down onto the first circle.

For tags, we used some excess shipping labels left over from a wedding project.  We cut out rectangles from the vintage magazine, and printed gift tags on the paper bag.  We cut those into rectangles also and sewed everything together.  Finally, we tied the tags onto the jars with a couple of different kinds of twine.  Voila!  Cheap.  Repurposed.  Happy.  xoxo

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silent night

Well, Lovelies, it’s about time to put the old blog on pause for a bit while we all go celebrate the holidays.  I’ll be around a bit next week but…

Well, Lovelies, it’s about time to put the old blog on pause for a bit while we all go celebrate the holidays.  I’ll be around a bit next week but posting will be lighter than usual — I think we could all use some time to be with the people we love and just relax.  I hope that this weekend fills you with the joy of Christmas and that you are able to take at least a moment to think on the miracle that Christmas truly is.  Have a wonderful weekend and a wonderful holiday!  xoxo

{Front Porch. Barn. Pinecones. Tree. Smooch. Holly. Girl. Front Door. Lights.}

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holiday baking plan b

Remember yesterday’s holiday baking bummer?  Well, you lovely readers swooped in to the rescue with some awesome suggestions, and here’s what we finally came up with:  Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites. …

Remember yesterday’s holiday baking bummer?  Well, you lovely readers swooped in to the rescue with some awesome suggestions, and here’s what we finally came up with:  Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites.  Also known as Turtle Pretzels.  Also known as Plan B.

For those of you who need to be caught up, we made a batch of absolutely delicious caramel that was just too soft to be individually wrapped, which had been the plan.  Turns out, the caramel was too soft to do anything but be encased in chocolate, so that’s just what we did!

They’re actually pretty delicious (and by that I mean I want to eat every one of them).  All we did was press a small ball of the soft caramel onto two thirds of the pretzel, and dip that into melted milk chocolate.  Just make sure you cover as much of the caramel as possible, so it doesn’t ooze out and make a big mess.

So!  Holiday baking disaster avoided!  Phewph.  Now I can get on with bigger things, like figuring out how to package these lovely little bites.  Are you doing any holiday baking this year?  I’d love to have your recipes!  xoxo

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holiday baking bummer

{Source.} Today was supposed to be a beautiful post about how I made sea salt caramel candy for my family and friends for Christmas.  What it actually is is a…

{Source.}

Today was supposed to be a beautiful post about how I made sea salt caramel candy for my family and friends for Christmas.  What it actually is is a post about how we tried to make sea salt caramel candy, didn’t get it hot enough, and now it’s in a blob on the counter and won’t quite hold a shape well enough to cut and wrap.  Waahhhh!

S.O.S., kitchen mavens!  Who’s got a brilliant idea?  I know that we didn’t quite get the caramel hot enough to get to “firm ball” stage.  It’s more like a soft ball.  Should we scrap it and start over?  Should we change directions and use the soft caramel for something else?  I’m sure you know my frustration — that icky feeling that you get when you’re in the middle of a project that has just gone absolutely wrong.

In any case, if any of you wonderful Lovelies has any advice, ideas, or just wants to commiserate about domesticity gone awry, I would love to hear your comments!  And aside from this little candy-making debacle, you’ll be happy to know that the rest of my week is going pretty great.  xoxo

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crazy christmas house

There is this house in my hometown.  I’m sure your hometown has one like it.  It’s that house that rivals the Griswold home in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  This house…

There is this house in my hometown.  I’m sure your hometown has one like it.  It’s that house that rivals the Griswold home in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  This house is decked out with more lights than you can shake a stick at — so many that it makes the local newspaper every year and people drive all over town to get a glimpse of it.  The first year I went, they had a light-up nativity scene, with the Baby Jesus strapped to the grille on their RV.  That’s when I knew these people were serious.

We drove by last night to take another look and the owner happened to be out and about.  He told us that he estimates there are about 60,000 individual lights that make up his display — 14,000 on the tree alone.  He’s been putting up the lights for 24 years.  I think that’s kind of cool.

I thought that this year, you all deserved a taste of the magnificence that is the Crazy Christmas House.  So feast your eyes, dear readers — and get a load of this!  xoxo

 

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travel // home again

If you keep up with the Where Am I Now posts, you probably know that I travel home to California quite a bit.  There’s nothing quite like coming home for…

If you keep up with the Where Am I Now posts, you probably know that I travel home to California quite a bit.  There’s nothing quite like coming home for the holidays, so this time around we’re giving you little glimpses of a Central Valley winter.  It usually consists of babies in footie pajamas, twinkly Christmas lights, and foggy drives out to the country.  So this is where I am for a bit!  Where are you?  I’m noticing that we’re getting some readers from all over the world these days — I’d love to read some comments about where you might be.  xoxo