Weekend Links + Small Talk

A few last al fresco meals before it's too chilly

Yesterday morning when I took Kona out for her morning walk, it felt like fall. The sky was overcast, the air was cool, and the trees are just beginning to flush orange and gold. While fall is my favorite season, seeing everything begin to turn this early makes me nervous — will we still have foliage in October? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. In any case, this week wraps up the summer and soon enough it will be time to get those trench coats and boots out of storage, and that’s reason enough to celebrate!

Here are the five best things I discovered this week:

This blew me away. You never know the talent hiding inside the person next to you!

Does anyone else feel awkward when it comes to small talk? A tool for your social arsenal.

What if you woke up with amnesia and no one else knew who you were either?

I love this idea to prepare for the busy days ahead.

What are you up to this weekend?

P.S. The newsletter was on haitus for a couple of weeks as we adjusted to life with Kona. It’s back in full swing this Saturday! Thanks for your patience and understanding.

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Weekend Links + Be Glam, Be Elegant

Weekend Links + Being Elegant and Glam

How was your week? We had a bit of a roller coaster. As was par for the course, our puppy adoption was drawn out an extra three days because of an issue the breeder encountered with the last set of vaccines. But then Kona finally came home yesterday afternoon and all headaches were forgotten. We’re trying to maintain our calm, assertive energy a la Cesar Milan, though all we really want to do is squeeze her and give her kisses! James’ family is coming over to meet Kona and to celebrate Papa Norm’s 80th birthday. What does your weekend hold?

To welcome this much needed break, here are a few great things I found:

Like every other little girl, I adored Princess Diana. But now I’m even more excited for this film because I’ve just learned that my favorite LOST star is also in it. (I saw him once in real life. His hair really is that spectacular.)

Sometimes the kindest thing to do is to say what it is you want.

Leah comes up with the most elegant recipes.

I love raspberries and peaches, as you know. Melissa came up with a brilliant way to use them.

Gala Darling. To know her is to love her. And in this interview, she explains the winding path she took to her fabulous, galmorous, and diversified life.

Why is it so hard to find female friends?

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Weekend Links + Standing Out

Paris Apartment Airbnb

Can you believe that it’s going to be August next week? We’re spending this last weekend of July getting some DIY projects out of the way, visiting family, and catching up on some much needed rest. As a celebration to Friday, here are a few great finds:

Did you know that half of the people who take jobs last less than 18 months? A large reason for that statistic is a cultural mismatch. Good.Co is a new website focused on helping people discover their own personal brand of success by identifying strengths and matching cultural preferences with companies that inhabit the same ideals.

It’s a sign of maturity not to be sandalized.

Sick of Pandora? I’m smitten with Songza. No commercials, and hey, you don’t even need to set up another new account.

How to make your blog stand out from the rest.

This is the way to travel. (Hint: the photo above is from here.)

Successful entrepreneurs share their advice with startups (applies to blogs too).

What are you up to this weekend?

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Love in the Everyday

Happy Valentine’s Day, cupids! We’re celebrating over here by spending as much time as possible outside.

Yesterday, as the sun was beginning to set, we jumped in the pool. An old woman sitting nearby asked if the water was cold, and we told her it was. She said, “Probably not as cold as where I’m from: Philadelphia. But it’s okay because I’m here and it’s my birthday!” We wished her a happy birthday and talked about living on the East Coast for awhile. She told us that she hopes next year Philly and Boston both make it to the World Series.

We dried off and James went to order drinks for us. I wished that I had asked him to get one for our new friend too, but he was long gone. I shrugged it off — it was getting windy and she might go inside soon anyway. And how were we to know what she would like? It was probably for the best, right? I went back to reading my magazine.

But then, when he returned a few minutes later he told me he’d ordered our drinks and a slice of chocolate cake (with a candle) for our pool-mate from Philly.

This is why James is and always will be my Valentine.

Over the last month, Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project put together a 21 Day Relationship Challenge. It was all about strengthening your connections with loved ones rather than taking them for granted. Here are a few of the ideas that I liked most, which I think we should all practice every day  — not just on Valentine’s Day.

Joanna Goddard once wrote that she and her husband kiss for at least 10 seconds before he leaves for work in the morning. As a big fan of kissing, I’m totally on board with this.

How do you want to inspire more romance into your everyday life?

P.S. I’m sharing some parts of my life that I haven’t yet talked about over on Not Merely Living today. Go there and meet the lovely Mere, who you’ll wish lived next door so you could be best friends.

Turn It On!

A few weeks ago, I came across the new TED Radio Hour, which was focused on where great ideas come from. One of the stories, about turning a scary experience into a fun one for kids, lingered in my head for days. It planted a little seed inside of me, and I realized that those kinds of shifts in perspective don’t just work for kids; they work for everyone. Over at her blog Pars Caeli, the talented MJ writes about happiness for kids and adults, so I was thrilled to find that she was equally excited about creating a series based around this idea with me. We launched the series on MJ’s blog today, and we hope you’ll tune in as we share our ideas on turning the difficult things into happy experiences every other Thursday from now until Thanksgiving.

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