the art of book-shelving

As with most readers and lovers of books, I spend a lot of time thinking about my presentation of books on my bookshelves. When I moved to DC, I think I had a total of three books with me. It was truly tragic. And in my first basement home here, I even had a built in bookshelf. Each time I flew home, I would bring back a few books to add to those shelves. Gradually, that little space on my wall started looking more like home. And trust me, it was the only thing that looked like home in that tiny, white-walled cellar of a room.

When Eric and I drove to Oklahoma for Christmas, having an actual back seat AND trunk of a car for storage was a little piece of heaven for me. I got to take back an entire box of books. And while I still have more at my parents’ house in Oklahoma, I feel okay about my collection here. 

A few weeks ago, I finally got our books organized in a way that didn’t make me take a second glance, rearrange something, and then step back and wonder if I liked it. It was a big deal for me. Book shelves are a work of art. They can be arranged in so many ways: By color, by genre, by author, by who owns what, etc. If you must know, ours are organized by genre. 

Are you obsessive about your bookshelves, too? 

A few days ago I was looking through Etsy and falling in love with all the cool Washington, D.C. prints. I almost placed an order. However, I decided to try my hand at a little metro-map making myself. And it didn’t turn out half bad.  The DC Metro map fills my heart with joy. What can I say?

More book-related posts: 
book for bloggers
book entitlement 
the children’s books we grew up with

blogging love

As a blogger, I inevitably suffer from a few things, on occasion. If you are a blogger, you can probably relate. If you are not a blogger, you can sit back and laugh at me. This is your time.

1) Moments of panic where you wonder if you are becoming an over-sharer
2) Lots of moments of wondering, “why do I spend so much time doing this?”
3) Over-thinking a post, only to realize no one really cares in the grand scheme of life
4) Wondering if you live through your blog, more than you live in real life
5) Wondering what readers really think

I have spent a few posts talking about the topic of blogging. I try not to do it very often, though, because I find them to verge on tiresome for both bloggers and non-bloggers. However, I do feel a realignment of blogging beliefs, if you will, is sometimes necessary to keep yourself on the track you want to be on.

All those things I listed above are not things that weigh me down. They are fleeting thoughts, but I find myself not resting until I can repeat a sussinct answer to myself for all of them. Why DO I spend so much time blogging? Oh yeah, because I really do love it. I love writing, I love having a place to categorize my ideas and thoughts that would probably stay on sticky notes at the bottom of my purse for eternity otherwise, I love stretching myself creatively, and most of all, I truly love getting to know other writers and bloggers.

Big-time bloggers always advise smaller bloggers to network, network, network. While it might seem like too much trouble in the beginning, it is not just a method of getting your blog’s name out there. I am finding, the more I get to know the amazing women behind some of my favorite blogs, that relationships with other people who share your same passions are crucial in keeping sane in this community. If you are not a blogger, you may not realize the “community” that blogging is. It’s huge, and it’s a lot like high school: full of crazies, with a few good ones. But the good ones make all the difference. The good ones keep me from divulging into my own world which is sometimes terrifying.

Getting to know other people who do this same thing also keeps me from blogging for the sake of blogging. It reminds me that blogging is entirely what you make of it. It may seem like there are rules in the blogging world, but I try really hard not to stick to them. Which is hard for me, I might add. And also good for me, which the previous sentence probably made obvious. Blogging does not have to end with blogging. It is not a dead-end street. That is another thing I love about it. And isn’t that exciting?

Oh, and hey, last week was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed discussing food and nutrition with many of you, and I appreciate you letting me talk about that stuff to my heart’s content. And, if pageviews are any indicator, I think it may be time to welcome any new readers who have joined in the past few days or so. Hello, and welcome! 

Despite all the blogger-love exuding from this post, if you are not a blogger, your presence and feedback are no less appreciated. Writers and readers have a kind of symbiotic relationship, really. Actually, I would say writers may even benefit more from readers.  Anyway, I probably shouldn’t ever attempt to bring science into a blog post again…all that to say: thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting blogs. Thanks for supporting me. <3

photo: Children watching a puppet theater in Paris, 1963 (does anyone know the original source??) It might be my favorite picture of all time.

A few friends to share on this Saturday afternoon…

Eggs, toast, triple cream brie with wild mushrooms, and an avocado  That’s how this morning began. Actually, I lied. It began first with this:

Eric and I have quite a bit in common, but I would say that our one major difference is that he prefers to stay up late on Friday nights, and sleep in on Saturday. I prefer to go to bed at a decent time on Friday nights, and get up early on Saturday morning. Actually, “prefer” in my case is misleading because, as I tell Eric when he begs me to try and stay up a little bit later: I do not really have a choice in the matter. My eyelids do what they want to do.

This morning, I woke up at 6:45am, wide awake and the perfect Saturday morning followed. I love waking up early and then crawling back into bed with coffee and a book, or my laptop. When Eric is still asleep, I feel like those are stolen hours. The apartment is so quiet…no wild stomping noises from above, or loud voices below our window…and I get to pretend that this is my life all the time: doing exactly as I please. 

It is cold and rainy in D.C. today, and for once we do not have a lot of plans this weekend.  I am so thankful for restful weekends. If you have a few moments to relax today, may I recommend a few of my favorite blogger friends to you?

This girl’s perspective on life is so beautifully portrayed in her writing and positive outlook. And she is the sweetest, too.

Her’s is beautifully done, with pictures she takes herself. She also has a real knack for finding interesting things around the web.

She wants to be a published author, and I have no doubt it will happen one day. Read some of her poetry or short stories to see what I mean.

Do yourself a favor: Celtic Sea Salt

The thing about food and health now days is that oftentimes, good things are given terrible reputations because their mediocre substitutes are just that: mediocre. When foods are sold in their processed forms, and then labeled as bad for you, well, that just isn’t fair to the original food. Take salt, for example. It has been a terrible victim of this slandering for years.

We all know table salt is bad for you, sodium is to be avoided, etc. I for one, find table salt pretty nasty to begin with. You will never hear me ask you to pass the salt at the dinner table because I have never found that I liked my food better with a sprinkling of the stuff.

The thing is though, Americans are missing out on the real deal. And here is the good news: the real deal is not only not bad for you, it is good for you. Do a little reading before we go on, would you, so you don’t leave thinking I am crazy? This article, and this article are a great place to start. Note that Celtic sea salt is different from what is sold as “sea salt”.

Celtic sea salt is harvested off the coast of Brittany, France and not processed at all! Table salt is stripped of the minerals our bodies need. Not only are the benefits of using Celtic sea salt great, but the stuff has an amazing flavor. As crazy as it sounds, I even like it by itself. Sometimes, if I am starving after work and I walk into the kitchen completely willing to mow down everything in sight, I put a little pinch of Celtic sea salt under my tongue while I make dinner. It truly does help stifle my ravenous cravings until I can get a decent meal in my system.

Did you see in the second article above that this salt helps “to extract excess acidity and toxins from brain cells” and that “Natural Celtic salt will help keep the electrolyte minerals in your body balanced, releasing excess sodium and water”? Put a pinch of Celtic salt into your water bottle after you work out and drink the benefits. This salt does everything that table salt doesn’t do.

This salt is the only salt I use. I love it. And you want to know a little tip? By combining two of my topics this week (coconut oil and Celtic sea salt), you can make the tastiest, healthiest homemade popcorn around. Just heat up a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil on medium-high heat in a large pot, pour the kernels in, making sure each one is coated in the oil, and cover. Let it sit for a minute or two, and once it starts to rapidly pop, turn down the heat a little bit. When the kernels pop with more than five seconds in between each pop, turn off the heat and sprinkle with plenty of Celtic Sea salt (I like to add pepper, too) and enjoy guilelessly  Actually, nay: know that you are just doing your body another favor.

Have you tried Celtic Sea Salt? I buy mine from the same place I buy my coconut oil:, but you can also buy it from Amazon. And now, your thoughts: go!