Sunday Surfing - Pertinent Poetry

Sunday Surfing

I have been listening to TedTalks on Podcast during my morning walks with Lucy and have found many of them greatly inspiring. If you are unfamiliar with the TED conference you can learn more about it here. Most of the lectures and talks that are presented there can be found on YouTube or on Podcasts and they cover almost any topic worth talking about. I have been listening to the business and design ones mostly, but there are SO many and they are fascinating! This morning I stumbled on a talk by Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate and was really taken with his work. I thought I would share one of my favorites. If you have teenagers I think you will find this particularly funny, but even if you don't, it's humor and human-ness is worth a watch.

Have a great Sunday!


By Leigh 08.26.2012 – 10:10 am


Habits of Happiness

Habits of Happiness

For a while now, my friend Lacy and I have been chatting on the topic of "happiness". What is it? Where does it come from? How do we get more of it? What makes us really happy? What makes one person a "happy person" and another not? The questions are endless, but the research, it turns out, is fun! We have in no way become experts, but have learned one thing: Happiness is, among other things, a practice. So like anything else we want to do better, we must make it a habit.
Lacy has been 'practicing' for a long time now, and I feel she has a lot to share on the topic. So when I decided to start this blog, I asked her if she would do regular guest-posts to talk about it. I plan to make a habit of reading them. xoxo, Leigh

Buying Happiness

Hi All! Lacy Here!

I'm here to tell you that money can buy you happiness.

Did all your red flags and beliefs about money and happiness just go up? We've been so trained to believe things like "money doesn't grow on trees" and happiness is often reserved for special occasions when it's appropriate to celebrate.  I've found life to be way more interesting and fun treating everyday like a celebration and releasing fears about money. The little apartment in the pit of my stomach where anxiety and worry over money used to live is now filled with love and trust that all is well and I always have everything I need. I'm not suggesting you need money to be happy but I am suggesting that you take just a little bit of it and buy things that create the essence of the life you want to live!  

I took a soul journey to Hawaii for two and a half months earlier this year and part of the take home from that experience was the realization of the importance of essence. Maybe you can't be on vacation all the time but you can foster a vacation mentality. Maybe you can't fly to the Napa Valley but you can create a fabulous cheese board and wine tasting at home.  That's essence.

So here we are all moved into our new Texas abode and the backyard has the most perfect hammock tree! And for me right now, happiness is a $50 hammock (total score 1/2 off on sale at Anthro and found via an instagram friend-- I LOVE the power of community and connecting via the web- such good stuff). I've wanted a hammock since I was a kid... truly for as long as I can remember a hammock, a scooter and a tepee have topped the list. My powder blue scooter is my main mode of transport these days and the hammock is now the spot where I do all my best thinking. It's just a teensy tiny detail in this new house and this new life in Texas but it's one of the things that makes today special. It's one of the things that gives me that feel good feeling called happiness.

What do you want to feel and experience?

What would add a little or a lot of delight to your days?

How can you invest in that feeling?  What can you invest in to create that experience? Can you get creative around it?

We love a challenge! Here's to the little details that make you oh so happy!  And to Leigh for being one of my great teachers on creating the kind of life I want to live.


Lacy Young is a professional happy person. You can find out more about her on her blog.

By Admin 08.23.2012 – 9:03 am


An Elephant in the Room ~ Styleboard

Style File

I am always careful about saying that I am really into a specific animal or icon. Not because it's not true (which it is), or because my tastes change frequently (which they do), but because the moment you utter it out loud in a definitive way, it becomes 'your thing'. My aunt made the mistake once when I was younger to declare her love for penguins, and from that moment on, no matter how much she clarified or redefined her interests, people bought her penguin things. ALWAYS WITH THE PENGUINS! I believe the same is true for some specific dog-breed owners (ahem, daschunds...) before you know it, you have 7 foot stools with doxies on them and your whole house is overrun by all-things wiener dog.

SO, that stated. I love elephants. But in a very very very specific way that no one that knows me (or doesn't know me) should attempt to understand and should feel no obligation to support or make additions to my collection.

Unless it is REALLY cute. And you are in India. Or unless you have a real elephant. And I can paint it and ride it.

Other than that, you are forbidden to give me elephant things off the hook.

Fortunately for me, my penchant for pachyderms is being fully supported by the home and personal decor gods this season and I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you. Enjoy!

1.) Jonathan Adler Salt & Pepper Elephants - Macy's : Jonathan Adler is the self-proclaimed King of Happy, and he has done his job with these adorable Salt & Pepper shakers! The box is almost as cute! I love how the salt and pepper comes out of their trunks!

2.) The Sydney Resin Elephant Head ~ WhiteFauxTaxidermy : Every well-decorated room needs a wink. A little something in it that relieves it of formality and reminds people in it that actual humans live here. And they have a sense of humor. I can think of nothing more perfect than faux taxidermy to do the trick. When the wink is in the form of an aqua elephant head, you have me signed, sealed and showing you where to hang that bad boy!

3.)Shirley Fintz Elephant Table Lamp ~ West Elm : In a collaboration with Cape Town artist, Shirley Fintz, West Elm has managed to marry traditional ethnic with playfulness with this stacked elephant table lamp. The blue and white playful pattern is a welcome bright spot to a more formal room and looks like you picked it up on your travels. I think it would also be great in a child's room.

4.)Sculpted Monkey and Elephant Tape Dispenser ~ iomoi : This adorable tape-dispenser is going straight on my Christmas list!! This 3-pound hunk of adorable is hand crafted by a New York sculptor, and I can't think of anything that would make using tape more fun!

5.)Ling Linen Loafers ~ iomoi: While we are on the subject of 'winks', I think these adorable and hilarious little slip-ons fit the bill. A good outfit needs a wink too and what would bring a smile faster than a bright shoe with a pachyderm-riding primate on each foot!?

6.)Elephant Art Print ~ EMCdesignlab on Etsy: This happy art print would be the perfect pop in a gallery wall or in that little spot that needs something. I love the yellow, but it is available in a mess of colors! Check out the zebra bird too!

7.)Thomas Paul Elephant Tray ~ Spark Living : Oh this combination! A perfectly beautiful elephant print with a bright pop of pattern and color all wrapped up in something totally useful! Swoon! It's the perfect price point to bring a little peaceful punch to your party.

8.)Elephant Necklace ~ Kenneth Jay Lane at Net-a-porter: Bring on the bohemian with this jade green elephant necklace complete with Swarovski crystals on his carriage! A maxi dress and about a billion bangles and you are ready for a kasbah party!!

9.)Key and Elephant Pillow ~ Sugarboo Designs at Couture Dreams : Sugarboo Designs has long had the key to my heart, but they've outdone themselves with this cute rustic pillow. At 24" x 24" inches it is a centerpiece and has the word "Always" printed on the front to remind you how long you are loved.

10.)Elephant Side Table ~ Burke Decor : We carried these side tables in Marmalade for a long time and could not keep them in! Perfect size. Decent price. Wonderful, simple and unique addition to any room!

11.)Elephant Print Scarf ~ Gap : I can't talk about all these accessories for the home without including one or two for your neck! Wrap yourself in your elephant-sized love with this cute patterned scarf...loving the teal color for fall!

Have any favorites? Any elephants you can't live without?


By Leigh 08.15.2012 – 10:54 am


Image via

A few truths.


Hello and happy Friday to you!! Thank you all so much for your sweet anniversary wishes! The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of family, friends, parties and miles on the Mini! After it is all said and done, I have a new Godson (Jack!), my cousin has a new husband (Bob!), I have been a bridesmaid, a florist, a stylist, a wiffle ball champion and a Sunday driver. The Mini has its first two thousand miles on it, and those miles have brought me QT with my whole family, and my two college besties. We have seen sunsets on a farm in central New York, and on the beautiful coast of Maine. If I could stitch all that into a quilt I would wear it around my shoulders everyday.

I will fill you in on all of those adventures with about one million photos over the next few weeks, but today I wanted to pause because I noticed something.

I am happy.

This is not a rare occurrence at all. Not in the slightest. It's just that yesterday, as I was walking to work, that actual thought went through my head. I AM SO HAPPY. The thought said. It has been ringing in my ears ever since and making me notice the things that are making me happy. Simple things that are making me unreasonably happy (such a funny term...when is happiness unreasonable?...but I like it.)

It's not that I have never noticed this before, or had the realization that I am, in fact, happy, it's that I don't very often write about it. Even to myself. My journal pages are filled with lists and conversations with myself about things that are wrong, or that I want to change or do better. I very seldom write when I feel awesome. I guess I don't need to or I alone here? Anyone else leaf through their journals to find mostly 'work'?

SO, for the record, my few truths today are 6 things that make me unreasonably happy:

1.) Wearing tank tops on warm summer days and feeling the sun on my shoulders.

2.)Naps. Not because I have necessarily been able to take that many recently, but just the idea of them and the fact that they are at our disposal to recharge our bodies makes me feel good.

3.)Beautiful Food. Summer is a free-for-all of fruits and vegetables that come in so many brilliant colors and shapes. When I bring them home I am always amazed that we get to have things that beautiful. That we get to *EAT* things that beautiful. It seems so luxurious.

4.)Possibility. I love the possibility of things and when I start planning things and trying to make things work and fit together, I get all hopped up and happy.

5.)Vacation. For-real vacation. Not work-a-little-play-a-little vacation, but shutting off, shutting down, shorts and flip flops (maaaaaybe a shirt, but probably just a bathing suit) kind of vacation. It actually adds years to your life.

6.) Sparkling Shiraz. I'm not kidding. This kind in particular is one of the things that makes me unreasonably happy. Not because I drink too much of it, but because it is delicious, served chilled and makes that magnificent *POP* sound when you open it. Joy all around.


There you go. I wrote down a little happy. Take that journal!

What makes you unreasonably happy?? Can you pick just 6?


By Leigh 08.10.2012 – 8:48 am

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