OFF THE WALL: INSPIRATIONAL WALLPAPER





Hi, there. I realize it has been ages since I last posted but, to be honest, social media has been the last thing on my mind recently. Normally I try to keep things really light on here (it is a blog about things that make me happy after all), but recently I haven't been feeling very sunny so I have kept quiet until I felt up to the task of being the obsessive, colorful person you have come to know.

It's been a tough year for the hubby and me. (Note: I have the best person by my side I could ask for; nothing like a few dozen crises to make you realize how much you can't live without someone.) We have faced a lot of professional challenges this year that have tested our fortitude, self-assurance and conviction. I am proud to say that we have both come out on top and are each looking forward to starting new exciting jobs in the very near future. For me, however, that means an insane push to the finish line with my dissertation, a push that has been incredibly stressful, a bit chaotic, and largely overwhelming. I am continuing to move forward and check things off my to do list, but sometimes it is hard to keep from getting knocked out by the tidal wave of work left to do in a very short amount of time.

On top of that I have been facing some upsetting health issues for the past several weeks that have really thrown me (and the hubby) for a loop. It's been hard to work through them (in fact, I am still working through them) and manage to stay productive and upbeat. Some days, hey sometimes most days, I just want to curl up at home with a Netflix marathon and pretend nothing's happening, nothing is on my to do list, no major life changes are barreling down on me.

But that only works for so long, right?

So I am checking in today—possibly one of the few times for the rest of the summer—to give myself (and you, by association) a public pep talk. Life stinks sometimes. It's messy and painful and stressful and—worst of all—often completely out of your control (remember the obsessive part of my title?). But giving up will get you nowhere and its how you handle the tough parts of life that define who you are  and help you be grateful for the countless things in life that are good (and I have so many things to be grateful for on that end). So today's 'Off the Wall' desktop download is a quote by William Shakespeare. I am going to put it on my computer for the next several weeks and use it as a mantra as I work to get healthy and work to get this dissertation done. Because we all need a little reminder of what we are capable of now and then, don't you think?

Thanks for reading this update. If you want to download the wallpaper (for free) you can do so here:



Have a great week!



WE'RE BACK!





We got back from our two week adventure in the United Kingdom super late on Sunday night. I am still trying to get back into a normal routine (like not eating a proper English Breakfast every day (sigh), getting to bed at a normal time, and actually writing this dang dissertation), but I wanted to check in with you guys and let you know that we had a great time and there will certainly be some photos and recaps of the trip to come. In the meantime, I stumbled across this funny round up of images of majorly overloaded vehicles from all over the world. It reminded me about how, during our trip, we stuffed our miniature-sized Kia full of our overflowing luggage and attempted to navigate the tiny (read: the size of a golf cart path) roads in much of back woods Scotland. We got used to using "laybys" regularly—small pull overs on the side of the road—that laughably looked like rain gutters. Combine that with a ludicrous number of Highland cattle and bleating sheep in the road and many of our drives felt like the last photo—borderline chaos!Hope you had a great holiday weekend. If you are interested, more crazy photos of overloaded vehicles can be found here.
 

SCOTLAND: A LAND OF GREAT AND MYSTERIOUS BEAUTY




I haven't had a chance to process my photos or videos from our trip thus far—hard to believe we are almost halfway done!—but I can say we have some great adventures and, despite some unseasonably cool and cloudy weather, have basked in the great and vast landscape that is Scotland. We spent several days in the Scottish Highlands this week and truly enjoyed its splendor. I think this short film by Josh Brine on Vimeo captures much of the magic here; I hope you like it!

(Thanks to swissmiss for the conveniently timed tip!)



A BONNIE WEE ROMANCE! WE'RE OFF TO SCOTLAND!










Well folks, I am excited to say that today the hubby and I are headed off on a little adventure. We are going to the United Kingdom for two weeks, mainly driving around Scotland, seeing the islands, and then headed down for a couple of days in London and a dear friend's wedding. Though I am sad to report that I will have to squeeze some school work in on the trip, I am head over heels happy about spending some quality time together given our crazy schedules of late. With new jobs for both of us coming up (more on that in the future!), this may be the last overseas adventure we have in a while. So we will make it count!I will do my best to post an update here and there, but you can plan on seeing me for sure after the Fourth of July when we get back. Until then, I hope you are able to enjoy some lovely summer weather!
(All photos snagged from Pinterest and saved on this board here.) 


SAVINGS AND LOANS: LAY OFF MY BLUE SUEDE SHOES




Several years ago I splurged and bought this adorable pair of stripey and bow-topped heels from JCrew. At the time I thought, hmm, how often can I really wear blue shoes? Turns out quite often! I get compliments on them all the time, which has basically rewarded my splurge time and time again.

So now I have my eyes on a new set of likely impractical but beautiful shoes: the Mira Heel from Madewell (on sale for $135) and the Adelia d'Orsay Pump from Banana Republic ($158). What do you think? Should I treat myself to some blue suede shoes?




COLOR HEAVEN: THE RAINBOW CHAPEL IN SHANGHAI









So, nearly three years ago, I had the honor and joy of marrying my husband in a gorgeous historic church in Massachusetts. And while I loved every minute of my wedding day, I have to say that if I got a chance to have a second one (to my same husband, of course!) I think I might go modern all the way. Though it wouldn't be in Shanghai, China, this Rainbow Chapel designed by Coordination Asia for the G+Park museum park is spectacular. Pretty much my dream venue. Now if we could just ship it to New England . . . 

Learn more about the Chapel here.


(Thanks to Design Milk for the tip.)