Archive for December, 2011


looking back.

every year at the end of december, i think about how i can be better in the next year. the ‘resolutions’ are always the same. lose weight. eat better. exercise more. lose weight. blah blah blah. [side note: i definitely need to do those things, but shouldn’t ‘resolutions’ be goals about my life as a whole and not about my waistline? more on goals tomorrow.] i never really build the resolutions on my present self, i just think about what i should be doing since i didn’t think i did anything in the present year. it wasn’t until i came across holly becker’s post that i realized i haven’t been giving the present year the recognition it deserved. she says “sadly, some get rather down over a year ending because they feel another year has escaped them – they somehow didn’t manage all they had hoped to, they’re getting older, life is passing them by, etc. do you feel this way right now?”

yes! yes i do!

i decided to take holly’s advice and make a list of things i accomplished this year:

  • traveled to las vegas, louisville and nashville – all for the first time.
  • quit the corporate world for the creative world.
  • expanded my camera collection & photography portfolio.
  • adopted two beautiful kittens.
  • met grace bonney of design*sponge.
  • got a new car.
  • sent christmas cards out for the first time.
  • completed a few refurbished/diy projects.
  • shot/wrote a review on incubus.
  • got business cards.
  • went to lolla and warped tour.
  • moved into a new apartment in the city with a.
  • biked the boardwalk into downtown.
  • flea-marketed in shipshewana.
  • finally saw death cab for cutie live.
  • got a freelance job planning an event in evanston.

making this list made me feel much more comfortable with starting a fresh new year. bring on 2012!

if you feel the way i did and want to look back at your accomplishments, i encourage you to make your own list – either in my comment section or in your journal :]

have a safe & happy night ringing in the new year <3


recap friday*.

these past two weeks have been a whirlwind of work, family time, road trips, presents & love. both a. and i visited family back in michigan, came back to work/celebrate christmas, and then were visited by mi madre & my little cousin.

here are a couple of snapshots taken amongst all the wonderful craziness.



1. decorating christmas cookies at my ma’s house. see a.’s hangman cookie? priceless.

2. the best surprise of all – given to my ma :] [more to come, soon!]

3. a new addition to a.’s extended family.

4. my man lookin’ sharp.

5. cherokee [my little cousin] & i battling it out on the wii.

6. the holiday light show in vernon hills.


*recap friday is a post i am going to start doing every friday to showcase my week through six photos :]


house tour – christmas edition!

seeing how there are only four more days until christmas, i thought it would be fitting to post the christmas edition of our house tour :] enjoy!


a. and i wanted a big, real christmas tree this year – but since our kittens have never experience the holiday season before, we figured it would be a smart decision to just get a small one [side note: the kittens have done good so far… they’ve only knocked it down once!]. the crates ended up being the perfect stand for the presents and the tree.


call me crazy, but i am obsessed with matching the wrapping paper to the the tree and to the holiday decor. i wrapped everything in red/white or brown paper – then a. came along and wrapped his things in lime green. oh well, still looks good, i suppose ;]


why yes, that IS a peace sign made out of pipe cleaners.


details make the space, and these two are my favorite.


my red bookcase got a little makeover when mi madre sent me that white owlie oil diffuser. isn’t it the cutest? the wall opposite of the kitchen was looking a bit bare, so i added some frames & some icicles.


the clipboards are a bit more cheerful now that they hold holiday pictures and our stockings :] the lone window was the perfect place to hang snowflakes and put some trinkets.


in order to bring the color red into the kitchen, i opted to get holiday poinsettias instead of regular flowers. our dining room now holds a couple books, a vintage mirror and porcelain birds. oh, and sweets, too!

i just love decorating for christmas :] are you finished with your home and your tree? i would love to see pictures!


ever wonder…

where the time goes?

i always think there is enough hours in the day/days in the week to get things done, but i feel as though there never is. do i bite off more than i can chew? do i manage my time poorly? i need to edit photos, go shopping, wrap gifts, clean the house, start packing… but here i am, writing a blog. maybe it’s because i didn’t do it yesterday. maybe it’s because i need to vent. either way, i’m not doing what i’m suppose to be doing.

this must be what ‘overwhelmed’ looks like.

do you ever get this way?


holiday gift guide!

there are only 14 days left until christmas… have you gotten all your shopping done? if you have, more power to you! if you haven’t, then maybe you’ll enjoy and get some new ideas from the small gift guide i put together :]

this iphone cover looks so real, i almost clicked ‘add to cart’ before i read what it actually was! it’s a perfect stocking stuffer for the photographer in your family.

the astor bead and link necklace from jessLC is light, quaint and perfect for your little sister or best friend. if you don’t like the sky blue color, it comes in a honey color, as well as a cherry color.

i am so, so excited about diane keaton’s new book ‘then again’. in it she explains her complicated relationships with her mother, woody allen and al pacino. this book is the quintessential gift for your mother or grandmother [or anyone who loves diane keaton, like me!].

i don’t know about you, but i always lose my headphones. and when i find them, they’re always in the most random spots. what better way to keep your headphones safe, than with a headphone holder! or better yet, give the gift of color with urbanears. perfect for any music-loving teen.

why not give the gift of music? michael buble’s new christmas album is heaven. i have had it on constant repeat.

while we’re on the subject of music, who wouldn’t love this beatles poster? just saying…

i found these owl measuring cups from west elm on pinterest and almost had a seizure – they are so stinking cute!

have a person on your list that doesn’t need or want anything? bake them something! these eggnog cupcakes with spiced rum frosting will please anyone & everyone :]

i had so much fun making this list – hopefully you had just as much fun reading it!

good luck christmas shopping, everyone!


it’s beginning to look a lot like christmas…

the fact that chicago does not have snow yet, hasn’t stopped us from getting into the christmas spirit. we have been decorating the house, watching christmas movies & making christmas lists and plans. below are some of my holiday pictures from the last week via instagram :]



within the next week, i will be giving an in-depth christmas edition house tour, so you can see all our spirit! i am also working on a gift guide post for everyone in your family. originally i wanted to post a wishlist like i did for my birthday, but what fun is that for everyone else who reads it? inspirational ideas for others is so much more exciting, so stay tuned for that!

have you begun your christmas decorating? i would love to see pictures! you can send them to me at tttbelll [at] gmail [dot] com :]