Thursday, February 28

poetry reading

Bit of a departure here at for a song today. Goodreads hosts a poetry contest, and I was just blown away by a few of the pieces. I believe the three below were all finalists in last year's competition? I like poetry very much, but don’t dedicate much time to that interest. Do any of you have suggestions for where I start? I do like when sources I trust pull together ones worth reading. Especially love the last one.

Hope you all enjoy.

At this time of night no one buys matches
If they have cash to burn. They’re all at home
Fires newly lit in glowing iron stoves
Fat bellies apple-red and satisfied
The cold of morning still nine hours away
When they give birth to ashes, sleep, and dream.

My matches sleep in rows, lie head-to-toe
In box-beds. Night-caps of white phosphorus
Warm them until they rise to meet the sun
As equals. The vapors of their making
Eat their makers' bones. “Brief lives are best,”
They say and say and say until they die.

I pass a clutch of men, their tin-can stove
Of pigeon stew too meager for them all—
Just six of them, but might as well be sixty.
They simmer with the promise of a brawl
While my stomach yowls, loud as tomcat lust.
There are no cats here since the winter came.

My matches wake to violence and light
And a sound like the hissing of great cats
And burn until they die. They promise only
To burn, but not for how long, or how well
And yet they cost the same. You cannot know.
You cannot know until you strike the match.

I strike the first one on an iron stair, 
The second in an alley, then the rest. 
In each flare, with each whiff of sulphur breath
I see a dream of plenty, kind visions
Of family, until it gutters, dies
And falls to join the others, each the same:
The cold black nodding head, the bright white wood
The length that’s left to burn, that never will. 

--Aaron Swenson

It's getting cold. Put some brandy
in that flask. We'll get a sub
on the way out of town if you're
hungry. I like those boots.

We're going up to the Seven
Sisters. It's a limestone cliff
where the Mississinewa River
carved columns in the rock.
The sunset shadows move across
like a gate. There's never
anyone there. The nearest house
is a mile away, and I know the guy
who lives in it. He isn't going
to say anything. We'll have fun.

And bring that little purse gun
of yours. I'll show you how close
you have to get to hit something.

--Dylan CC

—upon hearing of a bill to ban books with gay characters in Alabama libraries

You think of Mr. Rochester, mad wives
in attics, Jane herself, as plain as flan.
You don’t remember Helen Burns, Jane’s friend

from school. Reader, I married her. I pressed
my eighth-grade self between those pages like
a flower, left for later hands. Helen.

"I like to have you near me," she would cough,
romantically consumptive, after Jane
sneaked to her sick-bed. "Are you warm, darling?"

We’ll always find ourselves inside the book,
no matter what the book, no matter how
little we’re given. I was twelve; gay meant

nothing to me. I only knew I’d go
to Lowood Institution, rise at dawn,
bare knuckles to the switch, choke down the gruel,

pray to the bell, if this meant I could hold
another girl all night, if I could clasp—
this even if she died there while I slept,
this even if I died there in my sleep.

--Emily Lloyd

Wednesday, February 27

DIY [birthday card and balloon crafts]

Guess what. My roommate K's bf (that stands for boyfriend, since her bestfriend is me, duh) just had a birthday. The card she made was so cute that I have to show you here. She followed Martha Stewart's instructions for the happy birthday banner card. Here's Martha's:

Anddddd here is K's! I think she went with more masculine colors, and of course you gotta love the gold embossed lettering.

Cute, no?

I also thought this was an awesome idea for a party backdrop. Bookmarking for my next New Year's Eve party.

Balloons galore!

Tuesday, February 26

bibliophile [Drowning Ruth]

A bit dark, but I like this one.

Drowning Ruth, Christina Schwarz

Got this recommendation from Oprah's book club, which is often good and occasionally a bust. This one falls into the first category. I decided to go with a review, rather than a book summary, for your blurb. It's a bit more exciting (and all of the summaries were too long). Here ya go:

“[A] gripping psychological thriller . . . In the winter of 1919, a young mother named Mathilda Neumann drowns beneath the ice of a rural Wisconsin lake. The shock of her death dramatically changes the lives of her daughter, troubled sister, and husband. . . . Told in the voices of several of the main characters and skipping back and forth in time, the narrative gradually and tantalizingly reveals the dark family secrets and the unsettling discoveries that lead to the truth of what actually happened the night of the drowning. . . . Schwarz certainly succeeds at keeping the reader engrossed.”

There's a feeling of doom through the whole thing, which I generally like. For some reason, darker books seem a little more legitimate to me, maybe because they're such a far cry from the romantic comedy chick lit that I dislike (though occasionally still read...hellloooo shopaholic series!).

The real strength here is the pacing. There is some back and forth between characters, and some back and forth across the lives of those characters, but I think it's artfully done. In the end, I guess it was all a bit predictable-- it's definitely not in my top ten or anything-- but it was worth the read.

What's your opinion of Oprah's reading list? Had any good or bad experiences? I've both loved and hated.

Monday, February 25

DIY [etching update]

"Yay it's Monday" -said no one ever.

Yesterday, D and I went on a 3 hour date to Hill Country BBQ (the best) and discovered House of Cards on Netflix, so if you're wondering (or even noticed) why this post is going up late, well, now you have your answer.

J came over for some advanced etching a week ago, and had a great idea for a set of wine glasses that I wanted to share.

She started with making some beautiful cuts to the contact paper. That girl is muy talentoso with an exacto knife, let me tell you. Make sure to do your cutting on a cutting board...duh. I thought the scraps were just as pretty as the finished project.

Next she slapped on some etching cream, then went and made herself a drink. 'Tis a waiting game.

Finally, the fun part: the reveal!

Pretty awesome, right? Now you just have to hope your guests are typeface-savvy and can still identify their drink and differentiate between ampersands...

I'm the kind of person that reallllly gets into something, so you can expect one more etching project coming your way next week, which will have more detailed instructions and was done by yours truly.

Pretty much all I do now is etch glass and drink green smoothies.

I am a creature of habit.

Friday, February 22

link it up

Friday again. Can't WAIT to get home for a quiet night and my own bed. Here are all the things I found interesting this week that I wish I could take credit for:

As an addendum to my green smoothie recipe, I saw this idea from Shoe String: make a huge batch of the smoothie, freeze it in cupcake molds, and store in the freezer for convenience. Genius!

One of my favorite people ever sent me this idea from Charles Murray: is your marriage a merger or a startup? He's also the author of one of D's favorite books, "Coming Apart", which I'm sure he would recommend, but I won't because I've never read it because I read for pleasure, i.e. no highlighter in hand ahem.

I dare you to not dub this one of the best Craigslist ads of all time. I giggled a few times.

Let's keep the laughs going: this is a phenomenal idea for a website. I have a few of my own I'd like to submit.

A comparison of 12 photo book companies? Bookmarking this for whenever I decide to make one.

WHAT this is so well photographed. That first shot makes me want to run to the supermarket, buy all the ingredients, and make this tonight.

What are you up to this weekend? Give me something good so I can live vicariously through you.

Thursday, February 21


Hey y'all, here are some images I've loved via Pinterest lately.

Loved this post from Jenny Komenda over at Little Green Notebook. She made the art by framing prints from an art book, which is an affordable way to do it for sure. I also love the coral and everglade color scheme (and pretty much everything else she's ever done, ever). Last week I wore an outfit inspired by this room's color scheme, and she instagrammed me that she "loved it". She even included a smiley face. True story.

I've already found this super helpful. May try to transcribe it onto one of my many chalkboards in the kitchen? Martha Stewart is the queen of attractive functionality.

Before I try my hand at chalkboard art, I should read this article on typographic chalk drawings. Very marketable skill, I'm sure.

GAH spring you can't come soon enough. Freezing my footsies off in Chicago currently, but these floral prints are keeping my spirits high.

The back of this Anna Campbell gown is killing me.

That's all for now lovebirds.

Wednesday, February 20

DIY [hanging chairs]

So y'all know my dear friend J, the one that owns a condo and does cool DIY projects like this? Well, last year she hosted a fall feast in her new abode, and ran into the age-old issue of all hosts: what to do about seating. She does not have a banquet table that seats 18, but she does occasionally throw a shindig that calls for more than 4. What does one do?

She bought some folding chairs, but wanted to have a more creative way of storing them. How about hanging them on a wall?

It's certainly been done before, as you may have seen in my inspiration post last week. The two images below are actually both from the same blogger- it worked in her first home, so she did it again in her second!

Great idea, right? It keeps them out of your hair when you don't need them, takes up some wall space if you've got it, and is just plain cool.

Here's another set of images- poor quality photos, compared to above at least, but the Pantone color chip idea was too fun not to share:

Top Flat
J decided to give it a try herself, and I think it came out great! She took a really cool panoramic shot, but it's too large for you to see it properly on the blog, so I cut it down (which explains the wonky-ness. No she didn't install curved wainscoting). 

I love that the chairs match the black table, and are visually interesting. We all know art is expensive, but this kills two birds with one stone: covers up the wall AND is functional for impromptu dinner parties! Here are some non-panoramic close ups:

And one of the hook:

Too easy. I'm hoping to do more posts on her beautiful home, so you can see some larger-scale projects than what I typically do in my renters apartment. She's done great work to turn a standard condo into a very personalized, comfortable home.

FYI, J bought these chairs from Ikea, and is happy with them.

Tuesday, February 19

weekend recap

Anyone else have President's Day off? Anyone else not know they had President's Day off until the Thursday before? Nice little surprise long weekend for me.

My sister M was visiting, and we had a great time: ate some great food, made some strong drinks, did a DIY project or two, talked a lot, and snuggled. Pretty classic sisters' weekend.

A quick trip to Home Depot resulted in quite a bit of greenery being purchased. I can already feel the air quality in our home improving. Post coming soon about potting succulents, since I couldn't resist.

A few little succulents weren't enough: I also bought a huge...tree? Don't ask me what it is, I didn't check, it just spoke to me. A fellow plant shopper told me he had one at home that got so large it started growing across the ceiling. I am psyched.

I'm on a green smoothie kick, which M didn't quite get behind (we made her a delicious strawberry yogurt version instead). My newest recipe? Cucumber pineapple mint. So refreshing!

D made us martinis while we got ready to go out for dinner. M got the fantastic eyelashes in this family.

Obviously we went shopping. I found my dress soul-mate in this orange and magenta Trina Turk number at Nordstrom's Rack. LOVE the rack, and they're having a big sale this week. Think I may bring this baby to Miami next month!

We did a cupcake decorating class at Hello Cupcake on Barrack's Row. They do a culinary crawl where many local shops and restaurants offer 1-1.5 hour classes in this popular 8th St area, and we were lucky enough to have friends in the know. The class was for 20 guests, all but two of which were friends. I felt like I was at a birthday party. I definitely over-frosted, but had a great time learning how to use fondant.

We did a second class that day with the owner of Banana Cafe in DC. He was funny and engaging, the food was delicious and unique, and the mojitos were fresh and reminiscent of summer. If you're in the area, I would HIGHLY recommend this restaurant for Cuban and Puerto Rican food (and drinks).

Did another little DIY project with my day off, to be revealed soon. It was super easy to do, and was actually the result of a mistake. Love when you can turn things around.

Have a great (short) week! I head to Chicago tomorrow until the weekend, crossing my fingers it's not as cold as my last visit.

Friday, February 15

link it up.

Genevieve Gorder is my love (I shared my LearnVest Live experience here). Granted the sound is terrible, but she's still amazing and her advice is sound. Get out of your beige world! Listen in here.

Is it just me, or does the weekender bag for the new Kate Spade Saturday line look exactly like the OG bag-of-my-dreams from Lo & Sons, complete with shoe compartment? Slight difference is that it's half the price...

Restoring sight to the blind? Sounds too good to be true, but the world's first artificial retina has been created. How incredible.

Doing a DIY project similar to this over the weekend, I hope. Stay tuned. Going to wrangle my little sister M in to helping if I can.

I know it's not summer, but recipes like this are getting me in the mood. I'm typically a winter-lover, but this year, bring on the spring.

Happy Friday! More chairs-on-walls next week, as well as a recap of the many projects I hope to do this long weekend. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 14

will you be my valentine?

Happy Valentine's Day! Did anyone follow my lead and make a shoddy Word Valentine? If you want better ideas, Real Simple is the place to look: my roommate K made the matchbook one.

If you're in the boozy mood, check out this list of 6 delicious champagne cocktails, from the boys at Primer. I hesitate to open bottles when it's just D and I, since you can't re-cork, but with my sister in town, I think popping some bubbly is in order!

I'm doing this kiss art over the weekend, hopefully I get some practice today. I think it's kinda creepy and personal...but I like that.

And finally, making this dessert today for D. He's going to die, obviously. Already bought the Krispy Kreme's yesterday.

In case you're dateless, I've provided you with a few entertaining links as well!

A hilarious answer to "my ideal girl is out of reach, should I settle?" on Quora.

Love is dead. That is the WORST Valentine's Day freebie I've ever seen.

And the best geeky pick up lines (number one is amazing).

Wednesday, February 13

DIY [valentines]

More on hanging chairs after the Valentine's rush- trying to be timely over here!

Valentine's Day is something that D and I more or less ignore. I like to go big for Christmas, medium for birthdays, and small for anniversaries, V day, etc. Which means I make a special dessert for D, and he gets a card. That I make in Microsoft Word. On my lunch break. I'm romantic like that.

You should know you can do quite a bit in Word though! I've seen some beautiful, graphic, typography-filled things come out of Word. I'm going to share my past 3 years of Valentine's cards with you here. Typically I print on card stock and attach to nice colored paper, maybe do a little corner edging, that kinda thing to jazz it up.

colorful Impact font + graphic shape + cheeky message = Meaghan Gibbons Valentine recipe. You'd think I'd vary my messaging and design, since I've had the same valentine for the last 3 years, but I'm too lazy for that.

Here's my Valentine from 2011, which I ended up printing and hanging on our gallery wall (post on all that jazz coming soon, ugh):

Get it? It says I love you. Not that sneaky but still cute.

Ready for Valentine 2012?
He's not really all those things, I just used a thesaurus for "love of my life" and that's what came up.  Without further ado, THREE options for Valentine '13:

I thought it was time I cut to the chase.

I completely stole the idea from this funny blog, You're Welcome (a humorous gift guide for weird occasions). And I think they stole it from Etsy. Imitation is the surest form of flattery, no?

Looking at this post, I think it's time I switched up my style for next year...come back tomorrow to see the adorable (and far more creative) ideas my friends came up with for Valentine's cards!

Tuesday, February 12

DIY inspiration [hanging chairs]

I have a simple project from my friend J to share with you tomorrow, and wanted to show you some inspiration. You know I'm no stranger to hanging odd things on walls, so I fully support the idea of getting all four legs off the ground. Have you seen ideas like this on pinterest? I'm talking about reurposing some old chairs into shelves, storage, towel racks, closets, you name it.

Wouldn't this be sweet in a mud room? Provided the space was wide enough...

This one comes from Better Homes and Gardens. Give a whitewashed, country look to your powder room by using a ladder-back chair to hold toiletries and towels. Perfect for a guest bath. Could also see this fitting well next to an outdoor shower at a Cape house.

This last one comes right from Ikea, where the chair is used solely as a shelf. Chairs can be found for very cheap at most flea markets and thrift stores, so you could potentially have a new shelf for as little as $5 and a coat of paint.

What do you think? I bet some of you even have a chair or two laying around the basement or attic, just waiting to be repurposed. Check back tomorrow for more on-the-wall ideas.

Monday, February 11

c'mon comcast.

no internet in my abode this weekend. annoying. post coming soon.

For now, enjoy this pretty little vignette. Wouldn't it be visually interesting to do a string and pin city map? I picture it very loose and dreamy, like this, but place the lines in a meaningful arrangement. Inexpensive, attractive, and special.

Friday, February 8

link it up.

Whoops! Little slow on the uptake today. Thank goodness my funny and awesome friends have my's become a bit of a thing now where people (again, mainly my sister and a few select rockstars) send me things to add to the link up.

Without further ado...

I'm literally dancing/laughing in my seat to this. Love Ellen and this kid and dancing.

Letters of note is without a doubt my new favorite blog. It is a meaningful collection of personal letters from a wide range of famous (and infamous) authors: think Harper Lee, Mick Jagger, Dr. King, Gene Wilder. Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, I'd say your best start is to check out the best of 2012. Every single one was worth reading. If you do nothing else on the interwebs today, visit this blog.

One of the funniest things I've seen done with social media ever: I wish someone would do this to me, as I have a VERY common name.

Going shot for shot has never been so important (to sustain your marriage, that is). I think there's a lot of truth in this, for relationships at any stage.

The french are annoying, especially on social media (jk guys).

And finally, visit is it lunch time yet . com. Especially before lunch.

Enjoy the weekend! D and I plan to get sh*t done around the house, say goodbye to a friend moving away (over drinks of course), and continue celebrating my best girl's birthday, J. Stay warm!

Thursday, February 7

if I were her [romantic]

It's been a longggg time since I've done one of these, but I used to love them. It's a compilation of images that compliment each other. It's nice sometimes to make sense of the endless image stream that is pinterest and instagram, don't you think?

Wednesday, February 6

discover [card tricks]

I love my smartphone, but the more I hear about life-changing apps and technology, the more sure I am that it is underutilized. I'm especially missing the many tools of the smartphone world right now, as I STILL haven't gotten my GS3 fixed.

I wanted to share with you two new ways to use your phone to simplify, particularly with small, annoying, easily-destroyed yet important pieces of paper: gift cards and business cards.
D showed me this one: CamCard. Digitized business cards? Yeah that sounds awesome, especially if you're like me and pick up 5-10 new ones per week. You take a picture of the front and back of a business card, and it loads it up. Not only that, it reads the information and enters the individual as a contact in your phone and email. As with everything these days, it's backed up on the cloud, so if you lose your Rolodex, not to worry. You can manage all your contacts, and access them, at at any time. Check it out here- there is a free version, but I'm going with the $10 one-time fee for this baby. Available on iPhone, Android, iPad, Tablets, Blackberry.

It's post holidays- do you have unused gift cards? As a serial returner, I have quite a few. The worst feeling is checking out and watching the total purchase soar, knowing that you have a gift your junk drawer at home. Now you can store and redeem gift cards on your phone, so you never have that sinking feeling again, using Gyft. You can regift cards you don't want via text or email to friends or, you know, your favorite blogger. Buying new gift cards is an option too, though I think the point of the app is to simplify, not create more money black holes. 

Go conquer the world of little pieces of paper!

Tuesday, February 5

discover [naturebox]

I'm trying to see just how many monthly subscription services I can do before I go bonkers.

Naturebox is the latest and greatest I've tried. I originally signed up for a measly $10 via Bloomspot for healthy, all-natural snacks delivered to your door. It's typically $20 (not too shabby, though I much preferred the half-price of the first round). You get 5 full-size products, and I happen to have loved everything I got in my first box, which included lemon pistachios, dried pear slices, masa crisps (savory), pistachio power clusters, and blueberry-flax granola. Nutritious info below:

I like this service very much. It arrives in a cute green box, like so:

Wonder what my treats are??! Gah I love getting mail. I probably have the most fun mailbox in my whole building.

Resealable bags, my favorite! I ended up bringing all of my snacks to work, so I had a nice mid-morning or afternoon treat that I didn't have to feel guilty about. My second box should be here any day, and I still have some masa crisps and pistachios left, so it really can take you through the month.

I eat 3-5 meals a day, but I'm not really a snacker, so this isn't really the long-term deal for me. My sister, who is a snack fiend (and an unhealthy one to boot) should probably consider this. I'm also concerned about getting flavors or products I don't like. I was lucky this first month, but I'm interested to see how I feel about month two. I don't mind getting products I won't use (Birchbox comes to mind), but not at $20 a pop. I'd rather just go to Target and select the foods I want.

Keep in mind- to cancel your membership, you have to call in, there is no email/online option. I find this super annoying, personally. If I can't do everything online, I don't wanna know ya.

What do you think? Would you give it a shot? Have you tried this before? Any other products I can get monthly that I haven't done yet?