in the merry month of may!

Not only does May mark the start of a (happy) downward slope into summer, it also marks the start of Creative Beginnings Month! Although I couldn't find much information about this month-long observance, I'm elated that it exists and am taking it at face value.

So often creative projects become creative challenges because we get hung up in the details. We notice the scrapes, smudges and snags rather than the fulfillment and growth that can come from seeing creativity take shape. When you were 4, no one cared if your rainbow mobile was a little lopsided. Or that all the crepe paper colors were bleeding into the cotton balls because you used HALF A BOTTLE OF GLUE . (I did.)

Creativity, much like your preschool artwork, must be process oriented. This month, challenge yourself to focus on the process and find a new creative beginning, whether it be picking up a entirely new creative outlet, simply developing a new perspective on your current creativity or just engaging in some creative thinking.

Here are my top 5 creative projects for this month:

*Brighten up my drab office space-I feel right brain cells die each time I look at my grey bulletin board

*Make these artsy enameled bottles in time for colorful summer bouquets

*Visit the Farmer's Market every plausible Saturday

*Send my San Franciscan best friend a truly creative/thoughtful anniversary gift

*Visit the Minneapolis Museum of Art

You have 31 days. GET CREATIVE!

bigger isn't always better.

Have you ever spent 3 hours trying on sunglasses, only to buy a pair and halfway home spot an elderly woman in a giant Buick sporting the same pair? Cringeworthy.

Summer is only weeks away and I'm in bad shape in the sunglasses department. Apparently Real Simple heard my plea.

a find!

I found this cute painting at a local thrift store and am unsure whether I love the simple frame, or want to make toothpicks with it. Nothing a can of spray paint can't fix.

See that smudge by the teapot lid? Did a little spit check to make sure it was a real watercolor. LESSON LEARNED.


thinking ahead.

Wouldn't this make a thoughtful little Mother's Day gift? Love that the Courier New font has gone from ransom-note creepy to chic and cozy.

I'm a sucker for decorative "catch-all" trays and dishes, so its no wonder that I'm in love with both MudHut and elmstudiosonline's Etsy shops.


fit to a t.

Shirt.Woot pumps out some pretty entertaining designs. Each day, every day S.W posts one shirt and one shirt only. The shirt is available for only $10 (shipping included!) until it sells out or until midnight...at which time they post ANOTHER NEW SHIRT. I know, right?
I'm normally not much for message tees, but I have to admit that

You can also visit this site to view past tees, which are available for $15 (shipping included).

Gabe secretly ordered this Scurvy Awareness tee that I'd been pining after, and I wore it for an entire weekend. NON-STOP.


last minute luxury

In a last ditch effort to embrace the weekend, Gabe, my mom and I decided to spend a few blessed hours in Stillwater, MN. Although at times a bit of a tourist trap, at just over an hour away Stillwater is right on the water and provides the perfect opportunity for a last minute getaway! Most of the action happens right on six blocks of Main Street...

Pulp Fashion, my favorite store in Stillwater, turns out the most creative and hip paper supplies I’ve ever feasted my eyes on.

Normally, picking up paper and pen to write a letter or make a card feels so time consuming, but the Pulp Fashion vintage-meets-modern-meets-letterpress style could definitely make it worth my while! The store also features a "Man Room", with a big ol' TV and one massive chair that Gabe cannot get enough of. I wish I to hug whoever created this room. It has probably saved my relationship.

Just a few blocks up the street, Tremblay's Sweet Shop teems with adorable baskets of old-style candies and treats. I can't lie...I gave in to the peanut butter fudge.

At least six antique shops line Main Street, which can only increase your chances at finding a quirky souvenier! It worked in my favor that the pottery I fell for was ever so slightly out of my price range...by at least a week's worth of pay...

Biggest regret of the day? Not making it to this one. I couldn't stop drooling at the window display while trying to take this picture. Good thing next weekend looks free...


if the world was your oyster...

...how would your home look?

If you've got 15 minutes (or several hours) to kill, try out Bravo TV's Dream Room and design a fabulous living room, kitchen or bedroom. There's a wide variety of furniture pieces to choose from, as well as some trendy colors and patterns!

I was planning on posting my own design, but this one from freddy&ma, completely blew mine out of the water!

official feedback.

The Bureau of Communictaion is full of fill-in-the-blank stationary for every occasion--formal apologies, statements of gratitude, official invitations and my personal favorite--unsolicited feedback. I'm fuzzy as to where I found it, but I believe it was through how about orange, one of my favorite bloggers!

Its a great new way for me to say "Gabe, your apartment thouroughly disgusts me. But I love you."


keyboard in mouth syndrome.

Several years ago, my current boss's boss wrote a letter to inform a rather large group of individuals about a meeting our agency was hosting. The top of the letter was to read Notice of Public Hearing. However, after the letters were mailed out...someone pointed out that it did not read this way at all.

It infact read, Notice of Pubic Hearing.

Needless to say, that incident induced an agency-wide blush.

Anyway, I was reminded of that story while watching a video of a teacher-turned modern poet named Taylor Mali, who does an absolutely hiliarious speech on the topic of proofreading. Although that video is cute, its probably one or two notches above my comfortable "decency" level, so I'm not going to post that one.

BUT. I will share one of his other videos that is slightly more mild, yet just as funny on the topic of "Like...you know?"


a very *green* birthday to you!

Sunday marked my big sisters twenty third birthday, and I happened upon GeoGreeting (thanks to how about orange) just in time to break it out for her! Basically, type in any word or phrase, and Geogreeting will put together a stream of arial photos from all across the world to spell out your message. It will even show you where each of the photos was taken. Surprisingly, many of these are from the Minneapolis area. Love it.

Thankfully, my sister was out of town and all too busy to see me until tomorrow night, which gave me at least three extra shopping days (thanks, sis...). But, with her birthday so close to Earth Day, I couldn't help but put together the "Going Green Starter Pack".

Here's my receipe for beginner *greenness*:

~One sizable, yet managable linen shopping bag.

~One 100% recycled notebook

~Two 100% recycled passport journals (she's hoping to visit India next summer)

~One 70% recycled small diary

~One adorable Starbucks water bottle (no picture yet--sorry!)

Its amazing how quickly green is spreading. I'm a definite green novice, but from what I've seen-green looks GREAT. Not only does it look great, but reducing, reusing and recycling has become so much easier in the last few months. Even my Target plasic bag came with a list of '10 Ways to Reuse Your Target Bag'. I'll be cashing in on use #7--Kitty Litter Liner. Go Target!

So, Dana, I hope you don't read this before dinner tomorrow night. If you do, well...there goes that surprise...

thoughts while rinsing.

First of all, hello :)

Upon taking a test in Dr. Phil's Doing What Works, Doing What Matters, it has come to my attention that I am indeed in a rut. Here's a sneak peek into how that test went:

Dr. Phil: "Do you change into the same pair of sweats everyday at soon as you get home?"
Me: "No. Sometimes I wear green ones."

Dr. Phil: "Do you stand at the refrigerator, starting into it, as if you might discover something that wasn't there five minutes ago?"
Me: "Oh. Thats not normal? Alright. I can change."

Dr. Phil: "Do your appearance and your standards of personal grooming seem to be on the decline?"
Me: "Okay, okay. Yes. They do."

Dr. Phil: "In order to meet someone new, would they have to throw themselves on the hood of your car, or pull a chair up in front of your TV set?"
Me: "Dang it. Yes. Yes they would. DANG IT."

Then, Dr. Phil told me that since I had answered "yes" to 12 or more (ahem, I 'yessed' 16 out of 20) questions, someone better send out a search party to make sure I was still alive. And then I was all, "Thanks, Dr. But I really don't need your insults/advice." SHUT BOOK.

So here I am, working on busting that rut. Forgive me if I'm scatterbrained, but its been 10 minutes since my last fridge jaunt, and I'm feeling jittery.


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