Days of Intention – Day Nine: Wearing Your Whites


I love a good picnic. In fact I have to admit I have far to many picnic baskets (is three too many?). I also have a good bit of pretentiousness and a love Victoriana, especially excessive serving pieces and croquet.

So what I want to institute is a flouncy picnic party. I’m going to subject my husband and hopefully my friends and neighbors to come out, wear their approximation of the above and come eat cucumber sandwiches and play badminton and croquet. I mean, I have an antique croquet set and giant yard. It needs to get some use!

Ideally this will be a early Spring day. Before the bugs but not muddy from the rains. We can bring out the modern Victrola (aka iPod and speakers) and lounge in the clover.

Ideal date:

May 1st.

Painting by James Tissot – The Picnic 1879

Days of Intention – Day Eight: Central Park and Cocktails


I have a tendency to fall into crushes. A lot. Usually it is with a person, but I have to admit I am totally smitten with a place. And that place is the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park.

Maybe it’s cliche but I don’t care. I love it. I especially love sitting outside with one or two (or three) Kir Royales while nibbling on little snacks chatting with friends or even an old flame.

I want to spend another sunny few hours there on a warm early Fall afternoon. Who wants to join me?

Ideal date:

September 8th

Image by varonbc via Flickr.

Style Tracking

When I was in high school and college (oh, so long ago) I used to track my outfits by writing what I wore each day down on my wall calendar. I think part of it was an early exercise in planning and thinking about fashion but a big part of is was more because it appealed my love of organization.

Not that I had that many clothes to keep track of!

But then I stopped for a while. A few months ago I began interspersing taking pictures of my outfit posts with writing down what I wore. Partly this was because I am not able to take pictures every day and I can’t always post the ones I do take right away. So it was to help keep an accurate record.

But then I found I was adding in notes from the day and things that happened. It was becoming more of a mini-journal. And, being a paper/pens/journal junkie I figured I had outgrown scribbling notes on my desk calendar, what better place to look than to my favorite Moleskine line.

When I saw the 12-month Planner set (ooohhhh, pretty!), I new this would be the perfect solution. Small enough to carry around, just the right number of pages and color-coded. I was so excited I bought a set of blue Volants so I could start in November and not have to wait until the new year. I’m also really excited because they are sitting on one side of my desk and then I have rainbow masking tapes on the other side. I’m surrounded!

These are pretty popular already. I know a few bloggers have sparked to them. I first saw them in Barnes & Noble in October and they were running about $36 and that is what they are selling for on Amazon right now. But keep your eye out each day. I only paid $26.

By the way, I’m not using the number and month stickers on the spine. I’m putting a Moo sticker of mine on the cover and then using the month sticker on the inside front cover. But that’s what Moleskines are all about, right? Personalization.

But while the planners are going to help me keep track of what I wore, I also want something to help me keep track of all of the outfit ideas I come up. I have a notebook now but it’s pretty messy and just a series of scribbly notes. I love the idea of this Fashionary notebook. It’s great for designers, of course, but also for people like me who can’t draw to save their lives. I’m hoping it will give me enough of a template to work with so I can, poorly, draw out my outfits.

Of course, I really just need to take more pictures. One of my 2009 goals was to begin doing this and in 2010 I plan on taking even more, if only to have a record.

Do you keep track of the outfits you wear each day, why and how?
Image via

Days of Intention – Day Seven: Austrian Christmas


I’ve been trying to refocus on adding more travel back into our lives. I love to travel and there are so many places that I want to see. Some are place I want to return to and experience more fully but some are totally new. And some are for the experiences as much as the location.

I had put this wish on my 2009 Goals list but it’s being moved to 2010, because we did the trip to Ireland (tons of pictures here, by the way).

There’s something magical about the idea of visiting Austria and Germany at Christmas time. Traveling in the winter is one of my favorite times to travel. Depending on where you are going it isn’t peak season and everything seems more peaceful. Many people feel obligated to be on family trips so they don’t travel at this time, so there can be great deals out there too. Yes, we miss some of the peak season events but the reduced stress seems to make up for it.

I’m hoping we can make this trip happen. Winter snows, train rides, confectionery castles and cuckoo clocks. I’m dreaming of the Black Forest and the Danube.

Ideal date:

December 25th.

Image credit: St. Anton am Arlberg, Tirol, Austria by Kruhme via Flickr

Days of Intention – Day Six: Cozy and Cocoa


I have a dream. I want to cozy up in front of the fire. Ideally with the pups, a book or a good movie and snuggly cup of hot cocoa. I live in a house with two fireplaces, yet sadly I still haven’t realized this vision. Why? Our house is 110 years old and the fireplaces are unlined.

What this means is we have really old mortar which could have cracks and crevices in it. Fire sparks + 110 year old wood is not a good thing. So we need to have them lined. But the pitch of the roof is very steep and requires scaffolding to be erected, so it would be a pretty costly process. We’ve looked into converting the fireplaces to gas but the house (built oh so long ago) is not to “code” so we would have to cut up the original mantels to do this. Something we are loathe to do.

We also need to get one of the chimney’s capped. Right now it is open at the top and chimney swifts (small birds) nest in there in the Summer and cannot be disturbed, so we need to cap the chimney in the Winter in anticipation of working on the lining in the Summer. It’s a process.

So to make this vision a reality we need to save up. I’m hoping this is the year we can do at least one of them, so that by next Winter, the pups can sleep in front the fire for the first time.

Ideal date:

October 24th

Days of Intention – Day Five: Lazy Day


Although this does not seem to be the type of day I need to actively plan for or mindfully enjoy, a lazy day around the house seems as elusive as a more “exotic” event filled or travel-requiring day.

When I’m at home I always feel there are chores to do, or work to catch up on or sites to read. I rarely sit down on the couch with a kitty on my lap and read, much to my dismay. I love to read. I have a library. I need to push away the distractions and immerse myself in a book. Although I do take naps, I need push away the guilt and turn of the noise (aka the computer and the TV) and be silent and still. I do a lot of that over the holidays but what better time than late summer, when its too hot to be outside running around doing errands.

Ideal date:

August 8th

Days of Intention – Day Four: Paris Perfection


Maybe falling in love with Paris is trite and expected. But I couldn’t help it. I only had a brief taste on my first trip but I loved the city. I felt connected. I’m the type of person that trusts their gut when it comes to leaping and not looking. I’ve did that when I met my husband-to-be and I did that on other moves. I wouldn’t start doubting myself now.

But I can’t pick-up and move there just yet. That plan is there. The seed has been planted. It will just take a while to grow. I just have to be patient.

Of course, patience isn’t my strong suit, so I’m going to have to appease myself with more visits. And I think I need one this year. It’s been several years since my last trip and I need to go back. To take a deeper dive. To walk the streets and immerse myself as much as I can.

I am not envisioning a day that is filled with glittering experiences but a simpler time. I want to work in a visit with some other blogger friends. I’d love to have a shopping excursion to favorite stores or discovering new ones. Maybe hot chocolate at Angelina’s and over to Colette’s. I’ve seen Paris in the winter but now I want to see it in a more expansive time.

Ideal date:

May 28th

Days of Intention – Day Three: Tea Party


I have been lover of Afternoon tea for a long time. I love to collect serving pieces and different patterned tea cups and cute mismatched plates. And I especially love having tea parties where I can use all my cute stuff and host a group of friends to come over and meet and chat.

But I rarely have the time, or make the time to do so.

But this year I want that to be different. I’d love to have at least one tea party a season so I can vary the menu and the decor. But the tea party isn’t just about using pretty cups and having sandwiches and scones, it’s about connecting.

And that’s where the challenge lies.

It can be challenging to find the time to get everyone together. It’s challenging to make the time to connect. And creating authentic experiences is what I want to do more of. So I’m planning time for tea.

Ideal date:

April 17th

Days of Intention – Day Two: Post or Hack


Either via a friend or at a stables, I would like to spend at least a day spent tacking up, taking a refresher lesson and/or going out for a pleasure hack. I would then come back, cool the horse down and give him a curry (a brushing, not an Indian takeaway).

I used to take riding lessons when I was younger and have even had the opportunity to ride on a few of my travels. But I miss it and, as my riding lesson in Ireland reminded me, I’m woefully out of riding shape. I still have my boots, my jodphurs are around somewhere and I need some new gloves. I live in an area that is known as horse country. Why am I not riding more?

Oh yeah, I don’t make or feel like I have the time. That needs to change and fast. I need to find a place where I can get back on the horse – literally and figuratively.

Yep, I’ll be sore and tired and dirty. And, dammit, I’ll be happier for it I know I don’t have the time to properly own and care for a horse, but I’m going to use the next crisp sunny day to find a horse that needs some attention and spend some time with him.

Ideal date:

September 18th

Posting: To rise and fall in rhythm with the horse’s movement at a trot. Posting helps the horse stay in balance and the rider from bouncing on the horse’s back causing discomfort to them both.
Hack: Either a slow pleasurable trail ride, or a horse used for leisurely rides. A more archaic use is as a horse rented out for riding.

Image via Flickr by yOOrek