spring has sprung!

It's weird to think that so much of the country is still buried under snow, while out here, spring has made a triumphant and exuberant return. I'm so grateful for the return of sunshine, flowers, fleecy clouds, and fresh air! Here are some of my recent instagrams..


kiss me, i'm irish

I'm very proud to be Irish. Even though I'm only Irish on my mom's side (which includes nuns and even a mother superior), I look like an Irish lass and have always felt spiritually connected to my Irish roots. To celebrate this St. Patrick's Day, I want to share with you some of my favorite books about Ireland and Irish history and culture:

Ireland: A Novel by Frank Delaney
This book delves into the ancient history of Ireland as it explores an aspect of its culture that is sadly dying out, or has already died out: the traveling bard.

The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit by Patricia Monaghan
This is a gorgeously-written book that leads you on a journey into the mists of Celtic Ireland, its history, its spirituality, and everything that makes the country come alive.

Celtic Myths and Legends by Peter Berresford Ellis
This is simply the best collection of ancient Irish folklore that I've ever read.

If you have other suggestions, I would love to hear them!


beating the winter blahs

In my neck of the woods, everything is a dull shade of gray or brown. Just...blah. While we've been lucky to have escaped the bone-chilling deep freeze suffered by the rest of the country, the utter absence of snow has left me feeling a bit chilled inside. The winter blahs have severely taken over. My mind is a reflection of the dullness outside. But here are some tricks that I use to beat back the winter blahs:

1. Filling my home with fresh flowers, especially spring blooms like daffodils, tulips, and daisies.

2. Doing a winter "spring clean", clearing out junk, scrubbing down the kitchen and bathroom, and dusting and wiping down every surface in the house.

3. Indulging in something fruity. Whether it's a simple banana at my desk at work, or a glass of raspberry lambic at home, the taste of fruit always brightens up my mind.

4. Watching a "feel-good" movie. My personal favorite is Enchanted April, which is based on the equally divine book by Elizabeth Von Arnim.

5. Taking a drive. I'm lucky to live in a beautiful area, surrounded by forests, mountains, and water. But no matter where you live, venturing outside and driving out to the country is a great way to refresh your mind.

6. If it's stormy out, I love to indulge in a cup of hot tea and a favorite book.

7. And if you're into this sort of thing, cook up a new dish. I'm not into cooking, but even I like to try something new in the kitchen once in a while!

What are your favorite ways to beat back the winter blahs? I'd love to read some of your suggestions!


need it? make it!

I needed a calendar for my wall at work, and since the one I wanted wasn't in stock on Amazon, I decided to make my own, using some of my favorite instagrams from the past year. I enjoyed the chance to be crafty, and I think it turned out quite nicely!


I hate the idea of New Year's resolutions. There's something so contrived about the idea of resolutions for the new year, as if we're all jumping onto a sort of self-improvement bandwagon, all the while knowing full well that we're all going to fail. Of course, this isn't to say that I think that all attempts at self-improvement are doomed to fail. I just think that New Year's resolutions put too much pressure on us. What I prefer are New Year's intentions.

Intentions are honest. Intentions aren't set in stone. Intentions are changeable.

Here are my New Year's intentions for 2014:
  1. I intend to be more open with others, including myself. 
  2. I intend to indulge more in my favorite hobbies, and maybe even learn some new ones.
  3. I intend to let go of the past and of my fears for the future.
  4. I intend to live more in the present moment.
  5. I intend to be kinder to myself - mentally, emotionally, and physically.
I may or may not achieve everything on this list, but at least I know I won't be beating myself up for failing at yet another "resolution".

What are your intentions for 2014?