Happy-New-Year

you bettah celebrate!

You guys! We took a serious walk down memory lane yesterday, and it was cathartic and everything, but today, let’s just celebrate. For a while we were planning a New…

You guys! We took a serious walk down memory lane yesterday, and it was cathartic and everything, but today, let’s just celebrate. For a while we were planning a New Year’s Eve in our pajamas with some champagne, but plans changed and we are so, so stoked to be heading to the Golden Stag party at the Park Plaza Hotel. A friend is playing piano with one of the bands all night and we’re going to dance the night away! So you can definitely count on lots of sequins, suspenders, and a bow tie — to say the least.

What will you be doing tonight? Whatever it is, make it safe and smart, and really really sparkly. Happy New Year, dolls! xoxo

Happy-New-Year

Lights. Illustration. Party Horn. Dress.
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be a sponsor while i’m at alt summit!

January is going to be awesome. I feel good things on the horizon, and I’m so stoked to be going to (and speaking at!) Alt Summit! I’m also anticipating some…

January is going to be awesome. I feel good things on the horizon, and I’m so stoked to be going to (and speaking at!) Alt Summit! I’m also anticipating some super-fun stuff here on the blog (new columns, fun features, and awesome DIYs), and I want you to be a part of it. So if you’re looking to kick off 2013 with some great advertising for your blog or business, let’s get together. Drop a line to hello{at}lovelyindeed{dot}com for more information about sponsorship with Lovely Indeed, and let’s do this thing. xoxo

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Photo by Philippe Halsman.
2012inReview

2012 in Review

I think I grew up this year. I mean, I’ve been an adult for a long time now, doing adult-type things and making adult-type choices. But this year I was…

2012inReview

I think I grew up this year. I mean, I’ve been an adult for a long time now, doing adult-type things and making adult-type choices. But this year I was hit with some new ones, and to be honest, it wasn’t easy or comfortable.

Not that I had a terrible year! It’s not that at all — there were actually huge chunks of this year that were amazing and wonderful and great adventures. But it was interspersed with real-life stuff, the stuff that when you are an adult you just have to put your chin up and march through to the other side, and hope that someday it’ll be better.

We lost my Grandma in January. I didn’t talk about it here on the blog because it was hard. And it coincided with Alt Summit, which was a huge high point, and I was feeling conflicted about being sad and happy at the same time. Losing someone is one of those adult-type things, where there’s nothing that’s going to make it better but time. And you just let yourself feel the way you feel, and hopefully soon it’ll feel less bad. One of the great blessings of that whole situation was that we had some really beautiful visits with Grandma before she died, where she was lucid and comfortable and happy. I’m so thankful for that.

Another thing I didn’t exactly talk about on the blog was my Dad’s bout of West Nile Virus this fall. Truly, if I had one piece of advice to take away from 2012 it would be Wear Bug Spray, because West Nile is nasty. Knock-out-your-dad-who-is-stronger-than-anything nasty. There was another adult moment for you. Sitting in the hospital for days with my Dad, who was so weak he couldn’t walk two steps and would fall asleep in the middle of a sentence. The blessing here? It was a mild case and he’s back up and around, for the most part. Still building strength, but back to his daily routine. Another huge blessing was the fact that we now live in California and were able to drive home to be with him, rather than having to fly across the country. I have to believe that that was part of a plan way bigger than me.

And speaking of living across the country, we don’t any more. Talk about adult decisions. It was not easy for Mr. Lovely and I to decide to put away the part of our lives that centered around New York. That choice had an effect on every part of our lives, from career to family to friends to the way our daily lives function. And while I know it was the right decision, I still get pangs of “What If.” Now there’s a dangerous game to play!

But aside from all of that adult business, there were so many gorgeous moments that made this year more good than bad. Building sandcastles with my niece in Mexico while my sister and bro-in-law relaxed on the beach. Getting to perform alongside my husband in a fantastic piece of musical theatre. Seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. Being in a gorgeous recording studio, recording original music. Watching our best friends get married. Seeing the blog grow and knowing that it’s turning into something meaningful.

See? All you have to do is look for it, and the good is there. I guess that’s what being an adult boils down to. Recognizing things for what they are, and accepting them as they come. When you’re a grown-up, you can’t pass things off like you can when you’re a kiddo. It’s all yours to deal with, the good and the tough.

All that being said, Mr. Lovely and I are going into 2013 with eyes and hearts wide open, ready to catch everything that comes our way. It’s amazing to look back at where we were this time last year, and I’m heartened and encouraged to find that we have come so, so far. We’re ready for what’s next, and I think it’s going to be good.

Here’s to you, lovely readers, and to everything that lies ahead of you. Cheers. xoxo

2012’s Greatest Hits // Married Life

Just one more walk down memory lane for you! I’ve so enjoyed the conversations we’ve had here on the Married Life column. Seriously, there have been days that your comments…

Just one more walk down memory lane for you! I’ve so enjoyed the conversations we’ve had here on the Married Life column. Seriously, there have been days that your comments guided me and kept me sane! And beyond that, it’s so wonderful to learn about you, your families, and your lives. If you missed them, here are a few of my favorite posts, filled with your lovely and insightful comments. Have a great weekend! xoxo

 

Pets

Kids

What Changed?

Honey, I’m Home

 Tips for Year One

Christmas Eve

merry merry

Image via Joy Laforme. Oh my lovelies, it’s Christmas Eve. I know that not all of you celebrate Christmas, but I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are…

Christmas Eve

Image via Joy Laforme.

Oh my lovelies, it’s Christmas Eve. I know that not all of you celebrate Christmas, but I hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing this evening is full of love and happiness and cheer. I am so excited to take some time to be with family and enjoy the peace that, for me, always comes with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

See, I love all of the hustle and bustle that leads up to Christmas. Really, I do. I love making things and baking things and wrapping gifts and decorating and all of that jazz. But the closer I get to the actual holiday, the more I like to slow down and just enjoy the peace. I love being with family at simple parties. I love going to church when it’s lit by candles and the choir is singing Silent Night. I love staying in my pajamas at my parents house while it’s a cold and foggy morning on the farm. Those are the best parts of Christmas.

Thank you so, so much for following along all December while we’ve been celebrating our Make and Give column. I truly hope you’ve enjoyed making things for the people you love — that project really made this one of my favorite holiday seasons. But I also want to remember a little Dr. Seuss wisdom: Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. Remember how the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes when he tried to steal Christmas from the Whos and they woke up singing anyway? Yeah, that.

Merry Christmas, all. xoxo

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

this week

Seriously, I’m getting the best of all worlds this Christmas season. Last week and early this week we were running around NYC, soaking up the festivities and taking in sights…

Seriously, I’m getting the best of all worlds this Christmas season. Last week and early this week we were running around NYC, soaking up the festivities and taking in sights like this one…

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

And now we’re home with family for a quiet, happy Christmas, just like I like it. We got into town last night and had dinner at my favorite taqueria, then drove my niece around to see the houses that are decked out with Christmas lights. And somehow she always suckers me into giving her a bath before bedtime (which I secretly love). Those little hometown things are just the best, and they’re all I need for Christmas.

How was your week? xoxo

 

syrup5

Make & Give // DIY Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup

We’re coming down to the gifting wire, and if you’re still looking for something to give, today’s DIY is beyond simple (and it seems so fancy!). So if there’s someone…

DIY Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup
We’re coming down to the gifting wire, and if you’re still looking for something to give, today’s DIY is beyond simple (and it seems so fancy!). So if there’s someone on your list who loves coffee or tea, this might just be up your alley. Today we’re doing a vanilla bean simple syrup! Grab your materials:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean (optional)
  • container to give it in

Combine sugar and water in a pot over high heat. As it’s heating, split your vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out the insides. Put both the scrapings and the bean pod in the pot. When all of the sugar is dissolved, lower the heat and let the pot simmer for about 10-15 minutes. When you take the pot off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract (you might want to add an extra dash if you’re not using a vanilla bean).

DIY Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup

Let the mixture cool slightly and pour it into a container! This is another project that is so easy to make in large batches, so give it to all the folks on your list — and don’t forget to save one for yourself. Make it and give it! xoxo

DIY Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup

DIY Vanilla Bean Simple Syrup

Holiday Party Style

style // holiday party

For some reason, I feel like going to a holiday party is an excuse to pull out all the stops. Well, maybe not all the stops, but a few. Like when…

Holiday Party Style

Holiday Party Style

For some reason, I feel like going to a holiday party is an excuse to pull out all the stops. Well, maybe not all the stops, but a few. Like when else could you pair a festive red skirt with gold and black polka dot tights and get away with it?

Holiday Party Style

Also, don’t tell my husband but that’s totally his shirt. There’s something awesome about wearing your dude’s shirt in a girly way. I’m into it. And I especially love it with a little bling peeking out from the collar.

Holiday Party Style

Oh and by the way, you can still get that skirt on super clearance from some J.Crew stores! I got a couple of different colors because it was such a steal. Happy holiday partying! xoxo

Holiday Party Style

Holiday Party Style

Top // Esprit Men
Skirt // J.Crew
Tights // American Eagle Outfitters
Shoes // Calvin Klein
Necklace // Forever 21
Nail Polish // Butter London

Printable Christmas Gift Tags

Make and Give // Printable Christmas Gift Tags

We’re getting close to Christmas, and I’ve got some simple little gift tags for you to print in case you’re in one of those classic “Oh Shoot I Forgot to…

Printable Christmas Gift Tags

We’re getting close to Christmas, and I’ve got some simple little gift tags for you to print in case you’re in one of those classic “Oh Shoot I Forgot to Get Gift Tags and Now I’m Home and Don’t Want to Go Back to the Store” type situations. In which I find myself just about every year.

Printable Christmas Gift Tags

So just download these and print them on some cardstock! Just FYI, the version I printed had a tint of color on them, but the downloadable version is just the outlines of the tags and the black lettering, so you can print them on any shade of paper you like. Cut them out and either tape them to your gifts or punch a hole and string them on some ribbon. Boom! Taken care of. (Oh, and if you want to know how to make that wrapping paper, check it out here.) Make it and give it! xoxo

Printable Christmas Gift Tags

Printable Christmas Gift Tags

 

Grouped // Animal Style

grouped // animal farm

You guys know how badly I want a dog. I think that my unfulfilled pet wishes are starting to rear their ugly heads on my Pinterest boards, where a full-blown…

You guys know how badly I want a dog. I think that my unfulfilled pet wishes are starting to rear their ugly heads on my Pinterest boards, where a full-blown menagerie is starting to congregate. Except these are mostly ones you can wear. Who wouldn’t want a little rhinoceros hanging around her neck? And that zebra could teach us all a thing or two about how to wear a tiara, if you ask me. xoxo

Grouped // Animal Style

 Lobster sweatshirt. Umbrella. Tasseled llama. Rhino. Bulldog earrings. Fancy zebra.

this week

We leave NY on Sunday, and it’s been a beautiful week! We saw some pals in their Broadway shows, ate an inappropriate amount of good food, and maybe even spotted…

We leave NY on Sunday, and it’s been a beautiful week! We saw some pals in their Broadway shows, ate an inappropriate amount of good food, and maybe even spotted a star or two (Any other Downton fans out there? I may or may not have become a bumbling idiot when we ran into Jim Carter on the street). Add to all of that the holiday cheer that’s out in full force and I’m a happy camper. How was your week? xoxo

P.S. I just realized it looks like I’m giving a big ol’ thumbs-up in that last photo. I promise I’m not. I mean, I love that tree and everything, but you know me better than that.