Archive of ‘2009 Blog Challenge’ category

Catching up with the Bestest

Here’s some Best of 2009 Blog Challenge catch-up.

Album of the year - December 10
What’s rocking your world?

Okay, this one is really tough. First of all, it’s hard to choose an album of the year. Secondly, I tend to listen to music so much differently in the past few years. I no longer buy a CD, rip off the packaging, check out the booklet, and listen to it from beginning to end (rinse, repeat; rinse, repeat). I still listen to full CDs (and hope that the songs are actually in the intended order in my itunes) but more often, I listen to songs, musicians, playlists. I listen on and pandora where the listening experience is much different than listening to a CD. That being said, some things that I totally dug this year:


Camera ObscuraMy Maudlin Career


Andrew Bird - Noble Beast


The DecemberistsThe Hazards of Love

The best place – December 11
A coffee shop? A pub? A retreat center? A cubicle? A nook?

Well, default on my list will always be NYC. I just love it! I miss going whenever I wanted to see a show at a museum or meeting friends for drinks and dinner (and more drinks) and music. BUT I didn’t make it up north much this year and don’t think I hit the city at all in 2009 (ah! the horror!). I’m definitely due for a visit but when I get up there next week for Christmas there will be no time.

So, my second best place of 2009 is our living room at our cute little house in Mars Hill, NC. The many faces and phases:





But, it’s our living room in our old house that we moved out of in July. Our new living room also rocks (humungous stone fireplace (I mean, a whole entire wall of fireplace and hearth!) and giant built in bookcases (floor to ceiling) and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake. Great living room but the old one had a cozy vibe that can’t be imitated or replaced.

I think I also have to give an honorable mention to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It would probably be higher on the list (though I really loved that living room and miss being in that space) if we had spent a little more time there and really immersed ourselves. But I did fall in love on the night we arrived (and saw the streets and streets and streets of galleries and art studios). Oh, and did I mention the snow-capped mountains as the backdrop? Yeah.



New food – December 12
You’re now in love with Lebanese food and you didn’t even know what it was in January of this year.

Almond butter. I know, it’s not exactly exotic, but when you give up eating nuts for the one you love and live with (due to severe food allergies), something like almond butter does become exciting. I have avoided them for the past, hmmm, how long have we been together (?), 6 and a half years I think. But my midwife said that I should add nuts as a snack as opposed to fruit all the time. Protein and deliciousness. Great new food. It won’t last forever though! I’ll return to the nut-free life eventually…but for now and embracing it during my pregnancy.

What’s the best change you made to the place you live? -  December 13

We’re adding a new roommate!



This has been a Best of 2009 Blog Challenge moment.

Challenges Schmallenges

Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?

I think that the past three years have been filled with challenges. Financial and career challenges seem to have been the most major ones. I think a lack of relationship challenges and a strong base in that area have helped me grow and face my fears in the other areas, but there have definitely been challenges. In this past year specifically, job challenges have been in the forefront. Balancing creativity and bosses. Balancing freelance and full-time work. Wishing I had time to fit in the hands dirty, painting, gluing, ripping, tearing, destroying and putting back together again art. In the midst of all of this, I think I’ve become a stronger designer (though other areas of art have been tossed out the window for a while) and have more of an understanding of designer’s wants vs client’s wants and fitting it all together in a way that makes everyone involved happy. But I want to get my hands dirty. The latest challenge has been pregnancy and creativity. Or should I say, pregnancy vs. creativity. It seems as though pregnancy has sucked the creative juice from me. I know it’s all for a good reason, though sometimes it’s frustrating. I have barely picked up my camera. Partially b/c it’s been having problems, but also because I’m just not feeling it for some reason. I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that all of this comes back to me once the baby is here. I mean, there will be this new inspiration in our life. I guess we’ll find out when it comes. For now, trying to find the creativity and inspiration wherever I can and work through the blocks.

This has been a Best of 2009 Blog Challenge moment.

Finding the Stillness

Moment of peace.
An hour or a day or a week of solitude. What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did you get there?

Today is the 29th anniversary (seems like an odd word to use since it sounds celebratory) of John Lennon’s death. I just thought that this question seemed appropriate for this day. So, a moment of peace. I can’t really think of one specific standout moment of peace in 2009. Those moments usually seem to come in small doses and seemingly at random times. The breaths are usually deep and calming and cleansing, but deep in an easy and natural way; thoughtful but not trying.

Since I’ve been pregnant, despite some of the stress and busy-ness and tiredness, I’ve had many moments of peace with the baby. Moments where I can just lie on the bed and sit and be with this little being growing inside of me. They have been some of my favorite times during pregnancy. Tummy time I suppose. It’s been nice when Dave can share in them too, though different when it’s just the belly and me. At times I wonder, should I be talking, should I be singing, humming, but I like the silence and the stillness. It’s a new stillness that I haven’t had in a while. I used to enjoy finding the “stillness within the dance” while doing Shiva Rea yoga flows and though that yoga has been a little too intense while pregnant, this seems like a new stillness to be found and to linger in. And I will return to the stillness within the dance, in fact, can’t wait, but for now am loving the still still moments that I get to enjoy. They’ll be more of them to come, so here’s to letting them happen and enjoying and cherishing them as they come. Namaste.

This has been a Best of 2009 Blog Challenge moment.

I’m Smitten

Blog find of the year.
That gem of a blog you can’t believe you didn’t know about until this year.

Smitten Kitchen. How did I not find out about this blog until this year? It’s pretty and it’s delicious.Beautiful photos of the delicious foods are in every post and personality comes through, unlike many food blogs. Also, it’s well-organized and easy to navigate.

Cream biscuits. Mmmmm……

This has been a Best of 2009 Blog Challenge moment.


Workshop or conference.
Was there a conference or workshop you attended that was especially beneficial? Where was it? What did you learn?

converge_avatar_normalSo, I actually only attended one conference this year. Converge SC (yes, as in South Carolina).

“ConvergeSC is a web conference where designers, developers, business and marketing professionals can gain insight into all aspects of our industry from some of the best and brightest the Carolinas have to offer.”

I would love, love, love to attend more conferences throughout the year (An Event Apart and SXSW come to mind!) but it is usually just too much money (conference cost plus travel costs) and I’m not lucky enough to work at a job that will send me. Once I’m my own boss, I’ll send myself. So, back to Converge. It was a small conference (in Columbia, SC if I remember correctly) but I came home with tons of great info! I think the most important thing that stuck with me was the importance of telling a story. Sometimes we, as designers, get caught up in one message or even in small details and forget the importance of the story. Everyone loves a good story. For me, sometimes the problem is not knowing the product/service/history/etc. well enough to be able to tell the story and getting a client to “tell the/their story” isn’t always that easy. I’m still working on this idea and trying to incorporate it into new projects. It’s proving difficult, and I don’t think everything I work on will have a story, but I can at least try to find one and tell it.

This has been a Best of 2009 Blog Challenge moment.

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