Category Archives: Life


// a thousand threads
I’m trying to concentrate on serious things. I am. But I keep feeling my fingers creep over to the search bar to plan…

Yesterday we made it official — later this year, we’re planning to take a trip to Ireland and the south of France. Ireland with my family. (My great grandfather grew up in County Cork, and my father’s never been, so it’s something of a requirement that we get him there eventually. I’m so happy to say that we’ll finally be able to make it happen.) And France for us. (A short getaway to the sun and the sand and the lavender fields of the south. We haven’t left the country since our honeymoon, and we’re both feeling the itch for a nice, relaxing getaway.)

So you’ll excuse me if I can’t quite concentrate on the task at hand. My head is already on a plane, dreaming of the beautiful places I can’t wait to see.

Have you been to either place? I’d love to have your recommendations if you have! I’ve been to Ireland once but it’s been quite some time, and I’ve never been to the south of France.


Eye the Fresh Exchange’s updates from Spain — more fuel for my wanderlust.

Buy this perfect, easy spring/summer dress.

I’ve been dying to make a copper clothing rack like this for a while.

Bake this awesome chickpea tofu.


Frustrated that women continue to have such a hard time competing in professional kitchens, but inspired by this profile of Barbara Lynch.

Joy the Baker is brilliant (and on point).

Reflections from Maria Popova of Brain Pickings on 7 years of blogging.

This home.


Eight years old

// a thousand threads// a thousand threads
Our little dude is practically an adult today — at least that’s how I’ve always felt about eight.

Those pictures were taken only about a year and a half ago, but looking at him now it feels like light years. Light years since he’s carried an arm full of stuffed animals. Light years since that front tooth grew in. Light years since he was still tiny enough to pick up and love, instead of reaching almost all the way up to my shoulder, feeling more and more like a teenager every day. Light years and no time at all… and in just eight more he’ll be driving.

In a lot of ways, I miss the baby who toddled into my life at a year and a half. But I also adore the tiny person he’s become, who still sees the world in black and white like the pictures above, simple… at least for a little bit longer.

A week ago I asked him if he’d like to learn to play the guitar. “I can play the guitar,” he said, a little confused. He’s been “playing” one since he was two. “Well, the thing is there are chords and… you remember how we talked about learning to use the camera and you thought it was just point and shoot but then I showed you there was more to learn?” I explained to him what he didn’t realize, and then stopped to think how much I wish I still had the confidence to proclaim I didn’t need any extra instruction in something I loved.

That confidence, that ability to hear beautiful music when all you’re doing is strumming away, it fades when we start to grow up. Insecurity starts to creep in. One part of me wants to keep him tiny and protect him forever, protect him from all of those things in a bubble that keeps the perfect bit of wonder he still has alive and well… but another part of me can’t wait to meet the grown-up he’ll become.

I’m sure I’ll always miss his tiny feet, hanging out of a pack as we wandered through the woods, but I’m in awe of how smart he’s become, how strong, running ahead of us and leaving us in the dust. It’s the reason that we try to remind ourselves to stay present now. To remember this moment, this person who’s practically an adult, but still very much our little guy… and who won’t be the same for long.

The moments are fleeting, but the good news is that they’re replaced by days and months and years that only get better with age.


Setting a workday schedule (so you can relax)

breathe // a thousand threads
I’ll admit, lately I’ve been repeating that phrase a lot, trying to remind myself to take a break. When you’ve got a lot going on, it can be easy to fall into the busy trap and never stop to come up for air. And I’m always looking for a way to squeeze just that much more in — which can be terrible if you fill the available time with more work, but amazing if you use that free time to take a breath and enjoy a few moments of silence. So, in honor of silence, here’s one new way I’ve managed to squeak out a little extra time, and leave work at work.

By setting a schedule and sticking to it, I’m able to cut down on a lot of the distractions I’d normally get lost in — Pinterest, I’m looking at you. And once I’ve ticked everything off the list, that’s it. I can stop and relax, knowing that everything is done.

Of course each day varies with its own more specific tasks, but with my work flow all laid out I’m able to concentrate on my to do list and actually get something done, instead of falling into the black hole of social media that can suck me in for hours.


Morning //
// Finish anything urgent or on a tight deadline.
// Read the news, catch up, and schedule tweets for the day. (30 minutes)
// Post blog post to Google+, Facebook, and Pinterest. (5 minutes)

Daytime //
// DO NOT continue to stare at social media. It’s hands off for now.
// Respond to ALL email. (30 minutes)
// Get shit done. (Exactly how it’s worded in my schedule.)

Evening //
// Read blogs, say hi to friends. (30 minutes)
// Play on Pinterest. (30 minutes)

For me, this schedule runs from train time in the morning to train time at night (the biggest part of my commute). Once I’m home, I usually circle back to work on the blog — such is the life — but if I’ve stuck to my schedule I can do it without any worries hanging over my head from the day. I know I have my emails out of the way, my social media under control, and I’ve made a big dent in the rest of my work. If there’s something left over, it can wait until the next day when I’ll do it all again.


Happy Friday!

// a thousand threads
Lately my brain is on hyperdrive with so many plans. Plans for this blog, plans for our home, plans for making plans… it’s hard to keep up and more often than not I find myself wishing there were more hours in the day. But it’s exciting too.

This weekend we’ll be working to turn some of those plans into a reality that I can’t wait to share. I know I’ve been mercilessly teasing our little business venture for a while now and you’re probably ready to punch me in the face if I don’t get around to sharing soon, but let’s just say there’s some major test kitchen action going on at our house these days, and I wish you could all move closer to me so you could tell me what you think.

Really though, it’s a lovely neighborhood.

Now tell me, what plans do you have for the lovely spring weekend ahead?


Eye this walk in closet perfection.

Buy a bathing suit (It’s almost that time!)

Make these adorable Easter treat bags.

Bake this crazy caprese mac ‘n’ cheese.


Elsie’s optimistic thoughts on the future of blogging.

On being busy.

This totally ridiculous-perfect home.

This app for speed reading.

Still pretty sure some of these are lies.

Everything about Orn Hansen x Hackwith Design House.


Windows open, stars bright

hemingway / a thousand threads
Happy first day of spring! Here’s to the many lovely, warm, star-filled nights to come.

* Wreath via Brittany’s beautiful pack on the Studio app.


Pi Friday

// a thousand threads
I know I’ve only just come back, but I’m already dreaming of the next vacation. Sweet summer road trips and days near the water… the best time of year is on its way and I couldn’t be more ready. This weekend, however, I will not be taking any road trips, or sunning myself on any beaches – I’ll just be dreaming away, making plans.

How about you? Do you have any big plans for this summer?

So far we mostly have dreams, and have yet to firm anything up, but we do plan to take a few nice long weekends away. Happy pi day! And happy pie in the sky, whatever you might be dreaming about. Here’s to making them all come true.


Eye this beautiful home, film and interview.

Buy some new (on sale) sunnies for spring.

Make a lovely get-together for friends.

Bake a pie, of course — it’s pi day! Then go to sleep, wake up and bake this crispy coconut french toast with sour cherries and chocolate.


IKEA’s new PS collection looks kind of amazing.

You’ve probably already seen this Zach Galifianakis interview with President Obama — but just in case.

This cake is insane.

Dare to…



And we’re off to New Orleans!

// a thousand threads
We’re packing, prepping and praying the rain stays away for our trip to New Orleans on Sunday!

It’s been years (yikes!) since I’ve been down to visit my sister and even more years since I’ve been to visit during Mardi Gras, so excited is the big hulking understatement of the century… not to mention the fact that I can’t wait to escape this damn cold! (It’s supposed to snow again here Monday… 60 degrees here I come, rain or no). And the food? Oh, the food… Sunday can’t come soon enough.

I’m sure we’ll have plenty to share when we get back, and of course we’ll both be over-gramming while we’re away (Mark here, me here) so I hope you’ll stop by and say hello!

Tell me, what are you up to this weekend? Staying in to watch the Oscars and savor the last bits of winter warmth inside, starting to think about a little spring sprucing up? Any big plans?


Eye this gorgeous, gorgeous house.

Buy anything Lisa Hackwith touches — did you see her lovely profile on Emmadime this week?

Make lots and lots of paper flowers for spring — Design Sponge has a roundup.

Bake this nutella milk — duh. (Anything nutella, I don’t care… I’ll always be sold.)


Newer, better stock photos of ladies (and gents) that rock.

This insanely cute little lady.

Breakfast bread pudding? Yes, please.

Loving everything about this new conference and wishing I could go.

Kate Arends’ apartment is pretty much perfect in every way, and so is her advice.


5 things I wish I knew when I started a blog

5 things I wish I knew when I started a blog // a thousand threads
When I started this blog I knew next to nothing. I didn’t know how to edit a photo, or promote my posts, or change even the most basic design elements on my blog… and I’d definitely never heard of anything like SEO. Looking back, I marvel at how long it took me to learn some of the simplest things. But sometimes it’s the simple things that can be the hardest. I can’t tell you how long I struggled with branding, or how much and what I should share (and to be honest, it’s a process… I still do) so even though there are tons of nitty gritty details I wish I’d known when I started this blog, these are a few of the really big basics that stand out…

1 // You have to tell people about it.

I don’t care what you do for a living, be proud of this other more creative side of yourself and tell everyone you know what you’re up to. You have every reason in the world to be proud.

When I first started out, I was afraid of what other people might say — now I’ll admit I feel a whole lot more like this.

2 // Read other blogs, but set a limit.

Too much obsession with what else is out there can breed insecurity and box you in. We all need a little inspiration or a kick in the ass now and then, but too much can stifle your creativity.

3 // You can’t fool please all the people all the time.

You can’t be everything to everyone. No matter how badass you think that chick over there with the diy craft blog is, if you’re not Martha, you’re not Martha.

But you are passionate about something else, right? That’s why you started a blog. (And remember I didn’t say good at, I said passionate. You can always learn.) If you focus on the things you’re passionate about, it will show in your work. You just can’t fake it in this industry. You have to be comfortable with your brand and let it shine, limitations and all. Letting go of all of that extra stuff is the only way you’ll ever find your own personal brand.

4 // Natural light will be your best friend and your worst enemy.

Okay this is sort of nitty gritty, but it’s important. Photographers often specialize in one thing… still life or portraiture or landscape. If you have a lifestyle blog, you’ll need to be an expert in all of the above. So the sooner you figure out how light works, the better off you’ll be. Watch out for direct, harsh sun and dark rooms with artificial (yellow) lighting. Seek out the shade when you’re outside on a sunny day and seek out the sun next to a window when you’re inside. I can’t even tell you how long it took me to figure out how to work with the light, and I’m still learning every day.

5 // You will learn, you will get better, and you will grow. Work hard and have faith. It will happen.

I still remind myself of this every day, and when I look back over time I can see that it’s true. You don’t have to do everything right right away, and you won’t! But that’s okay, half of the fun is in improving every day.

Those are my top five… but like I said, there’s so much more.

What have you learned along the way, and what do you wish you knew more about? Are there any questions or topics you’d like to hear more about from me?

P.S. I’m sort of obsessed with Waterlogue, you too?


The waiting game

// a thousand threads
Forgive me if I’m still drunk on the little bit of sun we’ve seen the past few days. When you’re deprived of something so essential for so long it feels like some fat chunk of heaven just to have it back for a day.

But there are actual things happening in our little world. So I’ll avoid the urge to tell you that the sun is supposed to stay through the weekend and I can barely contain my almost-springtime joy… and give you a little update on some of those things.

First, we have a vacation sneaking up on us fast (Is it already almost March?). In just a little over a week Mark and I are headed to New Orleans to see family, go to Mardi Gras, and — most importantly — eat a whole lot of really good food. (Recommendations?)

… beignets, I’ve missed you so.

And second, right now, beyond all of the other obvious reasons to want to go somewhere warm, I’m particularly happy to be getting away, because we’ve recently reached the point in the “did I get into a PhD program” waiting game where my insides are screwed up and glued in an awkward, breathless position that won’t let up. Every time I open the mailbox I cringe, sure I’ll pull out a little envelope with bad news.

So, needless to say, I could use little something to take my mind off the mail.

And if that has to be fried bread doused in a bucket of confectioners sugar with a chicory coffee on the side, well… so be it.

I think I’ll live.

Have you been in this place I’m in before? Isn’t it the best and the worst all at the same time? When anything is still possible, but you can’t bear to wait to know?


Eye this gorgeous guide to taking care of your plants (in case you have a black thumb, like me.)

Buy this glass water bottle that’s so pretty it might just encourage me to drink some water.

Make this awesome geometric planter.

Bake this easy frozen fruit crumb tart.

///// Also…

These adorable illustrations of comfort food make me so happy.

Esquire’s “What I’ve learned” interviews via Mighty Girl.

This amazing hotel.

When life gives you lemons, make one of these.



Now and Then

now and then // a thousand threads
Remember that movie? I loved that movie. (And how amazing, btw, was Gaby Hoffmann on Girls?)

Appropriately enough, I was in something like the 6th grade when the movie was released, and as awkward as they come. So I thought a 1995-1998ish flashback might be fun.

I’m not gonna say I’m any less awkward now… but the braces are gone, so that’s something.

now and then // a thousand threads
I was tagged to participate in this fun game by Aileen, and I love her even more than I already did (which was a whole lot) for tagging me — it was so much fun to sit down and try to remember a time I haven’t thought about in so long.

So, if you’re into it ladies, I tag Joelle, Alecia, and Victoria to keep this thing alive.

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