Since I already gave you a rundown of all my favorite crafts for Halloween, I thought I would get you in the holiday spirit today by sharing the truly weird, wacky world we live in via these crazy photographs of unusual species. Taken as part of the new book Animal Earth, these beautiful/bizarre organisms hail from the deep ocean and other adverse climates to represent real life creepy crawlies. Perfect for a holiday devoted to all things odd and slimy, right?

Find out more about the project and see more photos here.

p.s. The images are gorgeous, no? Shows that even the strangest things in this world can be beautiful . . . 


My first year living in New York I shared an apartment with a roommate. She was a super cool girl who was obsessed with Halloween. Literally, she would start planning her costume and her wild Halloween party months in advance; the spider webs went over the cabinets in our kitchen in September! Coming from a house that was steadfastly anti-Halloween (my parents kept the lights off like we weren't home, ha!), I was in awe of her spooky spirit.

Feeling inspired with some creepy creativity this year, I thought I would share a round up of fun Halloween crafts to get you in the mood. Even doing just one or two of these thirteen thrilling DIYs (plus a viewing of this classic movie) would get you sufficiently ready for All Hallows Eve.

Without further ado, here are the choicest crafts for your fabulous fete (or chill night at home!):

one.  Shrunken Heads in Cider, Martha Stewart

two.  Gauzy Glow Pumpkin, Better Homes & Gardens

three.  Car & Camper Pumpkin, Better Homes & Gardens

four.  Masked Portraits, Country Living

five.  Mini Fanged Pumpkins, Martha Stewart

six.  Waterproof Outdoor Paper Lanterns, Sugar & Cloth

seven.  Eerie Eyeball Wreath, Country Living

eight.  Masked Animals, Merry Thought

nine.  Lantern Pumpkins, Country Living

ten.  3D Halloween Balloons, Small Fry

eleven.  Boo-tiful Cake, Martha Stewart

twelve.  Mad Scientist Pop-Up Laboratory, eighteen25

thirteen.  Bloody Mary Shots, Pottery Barn


How cool are these? Artist Gavin Worth creates beautiful line drawings out of wire and mounts them onto simple wooden bases (reminds me of these!). With just a few short strokes he can communicate the essence of human emotion and interpersonal relationships. The result is both moving and poignant and I would love to have one of these on my mantle.

Check out his gorgeous portfolio here.

And have a great weekend!


I don't know about you, but every once in a while I find myself feeling a bit unmotivated. Daily tasks occasionally strike me as necessary but painful (who really like emptying the dishwasher or writing a paper?) and something I would love to delegate. Similarly, I sometimes find it hard to keep focused and keep pushing towards my ultimate goals when they so frequently feel so far away. Does this sound familiar?

Well one listen to this incredible speech by nuclear submarine Captain David Marquet has put all that in perspective. Having turned his boat around from the worst ship to the most efficient and productive vessel in record time, he shares one major message: greatness comes from leadership, and leadership starts on an individual level with intentionality and investment in the project. It's a simple thing with great consequences. Invest at all levels—both with your colleagues and yourself—and reap the rewards.

This is a fascinating (and beautifully illustrated talk) that is well worth its ten minutes! I highly recommend it!

(thanks to swiss-miss for the tip)


Recently I have been sprucing up our apartment. Ever since I quit my job, my schedule has been incredibly flexible, allowing me to stay home and completely rearrange the cabinets in our kitchen on a whim (which I did last Wednesday, haha) just because their layout was bothering me. It's all about productive procrastination, right?

Anywho, I have started compiling a mental wish list of furniture, artwork, etc. that I would add to our apartment if I had the money or space. One category at the top of the list is beautiful, minimalist tabletop sculpture. I love the idea of putting a simple piece on a side table, book shelf or credenza; it seems like a simple, elegant solution to decorating.

And a great resource for lovely small sculpture turns out to be Dwell Studio, a modern furniture and home goods website. I am particularly in love with the gold bar sculptures (each about $375, find them here and here), but that 'urchin' piece ($24-$38) would look great on a dresser and the black cubes ($125-$150 each) could look cool on a bar or as a centerpiece on a dining table. Check out all the cool stuff at Dwell Studio here.


While I was in France, my  hubby and I spent an afternoon in Monaco ogling the super yachts at harbor there. There are some seriously large vessels there! Think three to four times a normal (land-bound) house . . . 

I can only imagine what a stir this concept boat, designed by star architect Zaha Hadid, would cause if it pulled into shore there. Created by Hadid for the German shipbuilding company Blohm and Voss, the super yacht features a distinctive (and beautiful!) exterior of sinuous interconnected support beams.

If I had the cool gazillion dollars that I am sure this would cost, I will be all over these! Until then, read more about this fabulous vessel here.


Before I got married I used to wear a watch everyday. I alternated between a vintage men's Timex (sort of like these) and this M&Co number. I loved the analog nature of checking the time via a watch but now that I wear a sparkly wedding ring everyday the watches somehow look too casual.

But that doesn't mean that I have stopped loving watches! Particularly these new designs by the eminent Milton Glaser for MoMA Store. Pretty cool, right?

Check these and more designs here.

Do you wear a watch? If so, what kind?


As you can probably guess, I am back from France! Still working on overcoming the jet lag, but that fight has the added bonus of getting me to go to bed early. I am feeling very rested if sluggish, which is a weird combination . . . 

Anywho, I have over 4,000 photos to sort through from the trip, so it may be a while before I can share them here. In the meantime, regular posts start again tomorrow. . . 


Have you seen the super cool home furnishings store Schoolhouse Electric Co.? I discovered them last Christmas when I bought a super cute present there for my hubby (a medal of honor! they don't seem to sell them anymore . . .).

Well I just got their new catalog in the mail and I am totally swooning. Every page is deliciously inspirational, full of cozy, eclectic yet modern spaces and lots of great furnishings. I pretty much want to buy everything and I think you might too. Check it all out here.

p.s. I am headed back from France today and can't wait to share all the details of the trip! It was so awesome. :)


One of my favorite things to do while I am on a trip (remember I'm in France!) is to pick out a good book or two to bring along. There's nothing like a being on a beach or outside a cafe and whipping out a great book and just relaxing. Here are a handful of books on my reading list. What would you add to the list?

W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton | I am obsessed with this series. Kinsey Millhone, the private detective main character is one powerful little lady!
The Marseille Caper by Peter Mayle | A mystery set in Provence? Perfect for my trip!
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny | Another amazing mystery series. I have fallen so hard for these characters I almost feel like they are family. Now that's a good writer!

smile inducing 
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri | Lahiri's books have been a longtime favorite of mine. Her stories are always powerfully moving, complex and thoughtful. This new one looks like a winner!
The Widower's Tale by Julia Glass | I was quite enamored with Glass's first book, Three Junes, and this new(ish) book proves her skills at crafting characters is still as sharp as ever. Two thumbs up!
Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan | This guy is so funny that his book jacket had me rolling in the aisles. His apartment has two bedrooms for his seven person family. That's a recipe for hilarity.

Blog Inc by Joy Deangdeelert Cho and Mateo Ilasco | I loved their previous book, Creative Inc, and can't wait to see what great advice they dole out for bloggers like me in this text.
Anonyponomous: The Forgotten People Behind Everyday Words by John Marciano | I keep this book by my bedside permanently. It is so fun to look up random words (like leotard!) and find out their fascinating origins.
Heat by Bill Buford | A book about traveling, cooking and eating in Italy? Count me in!


I think I mentioned several months ago that I was working on a little side project. Well it's finally done!
Now that I am back to school full time, I thought it would be helpful to have a personal portfolio website to show off my scholastic and artistic skills alike. I used Squarespace, which took some getting used to but is super customizable, and I am quite happy with the result. In fact, I have already had one research inquiry from a fellow academic who stumbled across the site. Not bad, right?

Check out the whole thing (and find out what gets my nerdy brain going) here.


I recently stumbled across the gorgeous (I mean, gorgeous) portfolio of artist Jeffrey Gibson. His work utilizes a combination of bold pattern, vibrant color and unusual materials (the shaped paintings are done on deerskin stretched over wood, the sculptures are embellished punching bags). I love how playful and tough these pieces seem to be all at once; it should be a contradiction but Gibson makes it work! The sculptures in particular take a banal, utilitarian object to a whole new level of ceremony and beauty.

See more of his lovely work here.