Swimming with wild ponies

Swimming with wild ponies

Happy Friday, y’all! I’m just popping in quickly, basically to brag about my vacation. This morning Sean, Eva and I are headed off to Chincoteague Island for our first (and last) vacation as a family of three! It’s not that we haven’t taken time off, but this is our first vacation together not spent visiting family, or ditching the kid with grandparents. I’m really looking forward to some time away with my two favorite people, soaking up some sun, and getting a peek at the island’s wild pony population! I hope you enjoy your holiday weekend as much as I plan to enjoy mine. I’ll be back soon, ta ta!

PS: This image was actually taken at the Camargue in Arles, France. I’ve been there too, it’s pretty incredible!

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jenny odell: digital collage with google maps

jenny odell digital collage with google maps These images have been making their way around the internets for a while, but I still really like them and wanted to share! Jenny Odell uses primarily google maps to create collages of imagery. It could be anything from sports stadiums to salt ponds, even swimming pools (pictured below). These collages remind me of a certain crazy sculpture professor I had in college. He had a ridiculous Louisiana Creole accent and used bizarre catchphrases like “makes me wanna slap my mama,” but when it came to sculpture, the man knew his stuff. He suggested that when it came to sculptural pieces featuring repetition, you should just keep going until several people told you that you were crazy. In his opinion, the part that makes it so amazing is the scope, volume, and how it all fits together. I think that same idea applies here. Click through to see more examples of Jenny’s work!

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exploring philadelphia: longwood gardens

longwood gardens philadelphia Hi guys, I’m back(ish). It’s been a pretty intense and emotional couple of weeks as Eva and I begin to deal with what happened to us (see post below if you have no idea what I’m talking about). We’ve gotten a ton of love and support which really means more to me than I can say. A big plus is the dramatic change in the weather we’ve had lately. We were out of town for official Mother’s Day, so we took my mom on a little adventure to Longwood Gardens the previous Sunday. I would describe it as Disneyland for plant nerds (hello, this guy right here). Longwood is about 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia proper, and boy is it magical. They are open year-round, and from what I hear, they have a pretty awesome Christmas display. If you are in the Philadelphia Area or passing through, I highly recommend a visit!

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The world is mostly good, even after this

ks-175g Pretty dramatic title, eh? I’ve been waffling about whether or not I wanted to share this ever since it happened last week. This post is likely to be much more personal than I usually get on here, and definitely much more horrifying than a typical Monday post. But, it just feels disingenuous to share the color palette and baby nursery inspiration I had planned for this week when that stuff is just so far off from how I’m actually feeling. So, here it goes…

Last Wednesday, I picked Eva up from school in the afternoon and we were running errands, much like a any other weekday. We’d been grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, and had one more stop to buy little girl toothpaste at the pharmacy by our house. It was 3:30 PM when we pulled into the first non-handicapped parking spot at our neighborhood CVS. I was talking to Eva in the back seat, somewhat distracted as I began to open my car door. The rest happened so quickly. A man approached our car, and my first reaction was that he was homeless and asking for money. As I began to shake my head and tell him I didn’t have any cash, his body because uncomfortably close to mine. In a split second, it became clear that this was not the interaction I had expected. He looked me dead in the eyes, told me that he had a gun, and to get in the passenger’s seat.

Eva was still strapped in her booster seat in the back.  He hadn’t shown me a gun, his hands were visible, and I saw an unfamiliar (possibly drug induced) crazy look in his eyes. in a split-second, I reacted. Friends and family have been telling me how brave I am for what happened in the next few seconds, but in that moment, all I could think about was keeping my daughter and unborn son safe, and ending that moment as quickly as possible. I reacted with sheer, primal, survival instinct. I kicked the man in his guts with every bit of strength in my body, and screamed the loudest scream imaginable. By now, adrenaline had set in. The man punched at my pregnant stomach and face, put his hands around my neck, and grabbed me by the ankles in an attempt to physically remove me from the vehicle. I didn’t feel any of it and I managed to block him pretty effectively, thankful it was over in just a few seconds.

A second man approach my car and pulled the attacked off of me. I learned later that he was actually a firefighter who just happened to be on break. He was bigger, stronger, and exceedingly more capable than the attacker. Our firefighter hero stepped in, and completely took control of the situation. I was able to close and lock my car door, and call 911. The police were there in about 5 minutes, maybe less. During that time, the attacker tried to flee in another car and on foot, which was prevented by our firefighter hero. A large crowd heard my screams, and gathered around the edges of the CVS parking lot. Many people pulled out their phones and took video. The entire attack was caught on the CVS security cameras. Both the firefighter hero and I were able to positively identify the attacker. Later, I learned that the attacker had stolen the car he tried to flee in earlier in the day, and had attempted to rob a dollar store down the street just before he tried to carjack me (AND MY CHILDREN). He is in jail, and will likely stay there for a very very long time.

I feel so deeply grateful that in the moment, I was able to make my body react the right way. I’m grateful for the kindness of strangers who stuck around to give statements to the police, and bring water and juice to the car for Eva and I. Most of all I’m grateful for Steven, the firefighter who was responsible for the capture of the attacker, and also quite possibly for saving the lives of my children and I. In the moment, he reacted without hesitation. He put his own life at risk to save mine. It wasn’t until later that he learned I was pregnant and had my four year old daughter in the back seat. He just did it, because it was the right thing to do. I’m quite sure he would have done the same for you.

I’d be lying if I said this event hasn’t affected me deeply. I feel a bit scared in my own skin, and so angry at this man for putting my children and my own life in danger. It’s hard to think about much else…how if anything had happened a little differently, this story could have a much worse ending. Eva was understandably scared when it happened, but seems to be coping quite well. We are watching her like a hawk for any signs of emotional trauma, but so far, so good.

You might think it hard to find a positive takeaway in this situation, but I don’t think so. We have our lives! So many friends and family members have called since it happened. We’ve received so much support, and so many I love yous. On Thursday afternoon, Eva was eating raspberry sorbet with the biggest grin on her face. I started crying, because I just couldn’t possibly love her sticky, freckled little face any more. Every baby kick in my belly feels like such a precious gift. When Sean gets home from work and we can all be in the garden or reading books together, it just feels like heaven. I’ve never felt more in love with my life or my family. It’s going to take some time to feel normal again, and until then, I’m going to take a break from blogging. I need to hold the people I love extra close, and take care of myself too. Thanks for your support.

image by kitty sabatier

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Finally back in the garden, with Rodales!

earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales Happy Earth Day, my friends! I am so delighted that the weather has finally warmed up enough to enjoy my garden! It is my absolute favorite place. It’s where I go when I’m feeling stressed, or just have a few minutes of free time. The garden is part of my home that my whole family enjoys immensely, and I’m so grateful to have.

earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales Rodales recently sent me some goodies to use in the garden, and I’ve been eagerly anticipating the opportunity to use them. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Rodales, it’s the relatively new e-commerce site from the publishing giant, Rodale. They sell products for the whole family, home, and garden with an emphasis on quality and concern for the environment. As a total garden geek, that’s the section of their site that I’m particularly drawn to at the moment.

earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales This past weekend, Sean, Eva and I got serious about some garden planting. When I say serious, consider what that means for a four year old…lots of giggling, excitement, and barefoot dancing in the fresh-cut grass. Eva just about burst with excitement when we opened up her very own secret garden kit, and she discovered that it came with a key! Super exciting! We planted all the seeds and are expecting a nice variety of flowers for her own little corner of the garden.

earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales The thing I was most excited about has to be the milkweed seeds! Milkweed is just as described, a weed, but a very important weed! Milkweed sap contains a mild poison and tastes bitter, so most animals leave it alone. Monarch butterflies aren’t affected by the poison and for this reason, they actually seek out the plant to lay their eggs. The larvae eat the milkweed plant, and then form their chrysalises on them. When they emerge as the beautiful butterflies we know and love, their bodies are toxic to predators from all the milkweed consumption. So, if you care about monarch butterflies, the best thing you can do is plant some milkweed! The beautifully packaged kit from Rodale’s actually contains 4 packets of seeds. If you want one, mention it in the comments below! I’ll send them out to the first three people, and contact you privately for your address. Unfortunately, I’m going to limit my offer to the US only as policies about international seeds vary from country to country. I think earth day seems like an appropriate day to do our part in a little butterfly saving!

earth day garden, earth day, back in the garden, rodales Here’s one last outtake of the quickly growing belly bump. Several of you have asked, and I didn’t want to disappoint!  I hope you enjoy the rest of the week and are able to spend some time outside appreciating nature!

This post was written in partnership with Rodales in exchange for product. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog going!

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desktop decor: modern magnolia desktop wallpaper

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That peachy pink color from Monday inspired me, and I wanted to create a little something just for you guys to download. After spending my college years down south (at SCAD), Savannah, GA will always have a special place in my heart. Magnolias are the flower that I think of most from that time in my life. I designed this wallpaper with a botanical illustration and some clean modern lines (which I’m kind of into!) to grace your desktop, iPad or iPhone screens. Don’t forget, the BKS handmade pillow giveaway ends tomorrow. Have a nice weekend, friends!

2560 x 1440 | 1680 x 1050 | ipad | iphone

PS: A few other editions of spring/summer desktop decor here, here and here

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color me monday: citrus and marsala

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Hi there, happy Monday! I hope you had a nice weekend, and your week is off to a good start. Sean’s birthday was yesterday, so my in-laws flew in to spend the weekend with us. We stayed relatively close to home, enjoying some fresh air at Greensgrow, a little shopping in center city, and a lot of yummy meals out. Unfortunately, the weekend ended with a bit of a medical scare that put baby and I in the hospital, with the birthday guy by our side. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned on here that I have type 1 diabetes and have since I was 8 years old, but I do, and it was causing some problems for me. We’re all fine now, baby is good, and I’m mostly recovered too. I’m just hoping to spend the rest of the week celebrating my wonderful husband, he couldn’t possibly be any more deserving of some special treatment.

Anywho, on that note, colors! I love that top left citrus image, and thought that with citrus season coming to an end, I bet hurry up and find a way to use it. I think the brighter citrusy tones work really well with the deeper, moody marsala hue…and who am I to argue with Pantone?

Have a nice week, and don’t forget to enter to with TWO gorgeous handmade pillows from Bonnie Kaye Studio. The giveaway ends this coming Saturday! If you can’t wait until then to shop the BKS product line, you can use the code CLEANLINEGIVEAWAY for 20% off of your purchase!

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secrets to a fashionable pregnancy + maternity brands to shop

fashionable pregnancy outfits, maternity style tips, maternity brands to shop, fashionable pregnancy Women have been giving birth since you know, like pretty much the beginning of time. The majority of us ladies are mothers, or will become mothers at some point in our lives. So why oh why is it STILL so difficult to find something attractive to wear during that magical time on your life? Maternity clothes tend to come in really lame pastel colors and are often cut in super matronly styles. I’ve found it to be of a lot of work to dress the way I want while preggers, but since I’ve already done it once (and I’m half way done with round 2, woot!), I thought I’d share some favorite brands and tips and tricks with you. Not pregnant? Pin this for later, you won’t be sorry!

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Handmade Pillow Giveaway with Bonnie Kaye Studio!

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This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to our winner, Tera. If you aren’t the lucky lady, don’t despair! You can use the code CLEANLINEGIVEAWAY for 20% anything in Bonnie’s shop from now until May 2nd. Kind of perfect for Mother’s  Day, don’t you think?

Philadelphia is by no means a small town, but things in the art/design community can sometimes feel remarkably cozy. I had JUST been admiring Bonnie’s gorgeous screen printed wrapping paper when she reached out to me about this collaboration. My answer, obviously, was a swift and decisive Y-E-S. Bonnie Kaye Studio makes beautiful things, period. She creates simple designs from nature and turns her images into a variety of innovative repeat patterns. She then screenprints and sews all of her products by hand, so each piece is truly unique. Learn more about Bonnie and the details of the giveaway after the jump!

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color me monday: ruby, mint, and soft lilac

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Hello lovelies. I hope you all had a nice holiday weekend, regardless of what holiday you were celebrating. We spent quite a bit of time outside which felt awesome! On Saturday we did a little work in the garden and picked up 20,000 bees. Yes, you read that correctly. Sean’s been wanting to set up a honey bee hive, so we had to collect our (well packaged) colony that were driven up all the way from Georgia. Sunday was spent eating way too much bunny-shaped chocolate, and getting the bees cozy in their new home.

I’m always a fan of mixing muted colors with a pop of deep, saturated color. I feel like I’ve never seen a color palette quite like this one, but truthfully that’s always my goal! Have a nice week, and be sure to stop back in on Wednesday for a fun giveaway!

PS: You can view more color me monday posts here, here and here!

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