Inspiration – it’s all around you!

I grew up in a small Ohio city. To be frank, I never cared for the rural, farm-like, grey town. Though I always knew I wanted to get away from the Midwest, never in my life did I imagine that I would be living in California. Not only that, but I never really realized the vastness of natural beauty until I moved to California. It’s easy to find inspiration here. When I lived in San Francisco my dorm overlooked the Golden Gate bridge and the San Francisco sky-line. Now, living in Los Angeles, I drive through mountains and cities on a daily basis and am confronted with cultural and geographical differences everywhere I look. When I to other countries my camera never stops taking pictures of what I see as exotic and majestic, fascinated that the natives find it all commonplace.

After seeing such inspiring places, I wasn’t looking forward to going back to Ohio or Kentucky, my alma matter, for the first time after leaving. But instead of seeing the grey, boring landscape of my childhood, my eyes suddenly had a new appreciate for an equivalent, albeit different, beauty of what I always saw as normal.

Here are some examples of photos I have taken of the beauty I have found in both the “grey” and also the glamorous, and how I have transformed their inspirations into jewelry:

Berkeley, CA

Berkeley, CA

Purple Haze Necklace

Purple Haze Necklace

SaN Francisco, CA

SaN Francisco, CA

Asymetrical Purple Beaded Gemstone Necklace

Asymetrical Purple Beaded Gemstone Necklace

Chengde, China

Chengde, China

Zhong Necklace

Zhong Necklace

Chinese Countryside

Chinese Countryside

Mosaic Teardrop Earrings

Mosaic Teardrop Earrings

Berkeley, CA

Berkeley, CA

Black Eye Glasses Lanyard

Black Eye Glasses Lanyard

It doesn’t matter where we are or what resources we do or do not have around us. What matters, and what makes a difference, is the lenses of the eyes of which we look at the world around us.

Where do you find your inspiration? Look around! It’s everywhere!

Thanks for letting me be part of your day 🙂

~Christyn of Bead Up

I have a blog now, too 🙂 Check it out at



I interrupt your regularly scheduled Match Maker Monday for a very special announcement…Today is a very special day…you see, today one of my favorite ladies is celebrating the anniversary of her 25th Birthday!


My blog crush on Brookem started about a year ago when Brandy introduced me to her, and she commented on me going to see Sara Barielles. I spent hours reading all of her old entries and just knew that we were kindred spirits. We shared a hatred of stupid boys and a love of martinis, shoes and men with good hair.

Over the last year, we’ve grown to be great friends. She’s always there for me when I need her via email or phone. Some days it’s nice to just talk to someone outside of your day to day world to give you insight and let you know that you’re not alone in your crazy thoughts!

My lovely Brookem…Happy Birthday! Cheers to having your best year ever! Your friendship means more to me than you will ever know. I can’t wait to see you…hope that it’s sooner than later!



Now what are you waiting for?? Go tell her how great she is! NOW!!

Haven’t we all felt this way?

lindseyfound here

My Favorite Things: Bead Up

I LOVE jewelry and crafts and all things handmade and beautiful. I LOVE that Esty opens up  doors for fabulous artists who want to make their dream a reality.

One of my amazingly talented sorority sisters, Christyn  recently opened her shop Bead Up and has generously donated one of her best selling items.

Bead Up

Bead Up

Choose from Live, Love, Laugh, Hope, Dream, Believe.

So now the rules…

  1.  Leave a comment telling me your favorite item from Christyn’s shop.
  2. If you post about this contest on your blog or twitter  you will get an additional entry. You must leave a second comment with the link to your blog saying that you did!
  3. You do not need to have a blog to enter, just a valid email address and a willingness to give me your info to ship you the book.
  4. All entries must be in by Thursday, May 7th at midnight. I will announce the winner Friday, May 8th! Get excited!!

So what are you waiting for??? GO to Bead UpNOW!!

Springtime Luvin’

Hello my long lost blog friends! I’m so sorry that I’ve been MIA lately. Work is sucking the life out of me and spring just seems to be a pretty busy time of the year.  When I saw that Jules was the only one keeping things afloat around here I was so embarrassed. My blog needs some good lovin’.Although I’ve been swamped, I have a few new additions to my life that seem to be making things better/ easier/ more fun lately.
Exhibit A: New Coffee Maker.
My Savior
My Savior

I know that this sounds crazy, but above coffee maker changed my world! I can’t begin to tell you how great it is to wake up to fresh coffee. It’s so much better than waiting and has been helpful in getting my day off on the right start.  Best $40 ever spent!

Exhibit B: Closet Store Solutions

I was on the verge of throwing all my shoes out the window due to my frustration with my closet storage. Then a friend introduced me to Neat Containers.  Pretty much the greatest storage solution every, clear containers that turn your closet in to a perfect shoe dresser!  Go to the site and check it out.

Exhibit C: Home Movies



I invested in a FLIP cam.  (Of course mine is pink.) I haven’t had a lot of time to play around with it yet, but I think it’s going to be a great investment for the future of this blog. Once I become a bit better, I’ll be sure to share with you. Right now they all look like “Blair Witch Project” material.

Exhibit D:Say Hey by Michael Franti


I am seriously in LOVE with this song. It just makes me want to roll down the windows in my car and dance!

PS- If you can tell me about a great summer song that I just have to have for my Zumba classes that I don’t have yet, I will gift you this song on iTunes.

Exhibit E: Tomorrows Giveaway!!! Get excited!!!

What have you been loving lately that I just HAVE to know about??

MMM v.8: A Silver Lining…by Jules

Mr. Grabby Pants

Now I can’t speak for all ladies but a piece of advise as it pertains to me, a guy doesn’t need to spend a lot of money on dinner to impress me.  I could care less whether my meal is $100 or $10; what matters most is that a guy puts some real thought and creativity into planning an evening for us.  So when my big Wednesday date chose TGIFridays as our destination, you can imagine my first disappointment (no points for originality).

Then….ahhh the beauty of technology!  Now-a-days, a total frog can make themself appear like a prince in a picture with the right lighting, angulation, and cropping.  My first red flag should have been that he only sent one picture.  To my dismay, once again I fell victim to creative editing and was duped into a 2 hour long dinner with a man who wasn’t attractive at all.

To his credit, he was a very nice guy.  Potentially, a really good catch for some girl down the road.  Then we got to the parking lot…. In the words of Miss Keri Hilson:

“now wait a minute lil busta u got one more time to feel on my booty,
better recognize a lady that aint the way u do me, ya turnin me off.”

Yup you got it! Mr. Grabby Pants went right for it, a two handed grab on my booty!  Then, when I asked him to stop, he giggled and went at it again!!!  After he got done hanging on me, and molesting the goods, he tried to go in for the kill…. NO WAY JOSE!  No kisses for this one, and as a matter of fact, no more phone calls either.

Game over A Watched Pot Never Boils

I’ve had it, I’m giving up!  I’ve lost almost all hope and I’m tired of this emotional abuse I continue to enovoke upon myself.  This week I considered offering a randsome to anyone that can find me the man of my dreams….then I went out Saturday night.  Armed with my I-don’t-give-a-damn attitude, low key outfit, and low maintenance hair/make up, I went out to meet up with a group of friends. 

Eventually our group fizzled out and another group of my friends showed up so I went with them.  I was so pleased when this gorgeous new man joined us.  I knew I had to talk to him.  After a few hours we locked eyes, smiled and the rest is history.  We spent all evening talking and later that night he walked me to my car.  He took my number and suggested that we get coffee or drinks soon.  I haven’t been able to wipe the smile off my face since.  Here is a preview: this is a picture of me and a couple of the girls I was with.  New Big Sexy is in the background at our table.


It’s not a good picture but at least you get the idea.  I really hope he calls but only time will tell. 

MMM v. 7: Home, home on the range….by Jules

Farmer Pete

It keeps getting better and better folks!  This week my match was described to me as:

  • Name: Mike
  • Age: 29
  • Description: light brown hair, blue eyes, 5’8″, rugged
  • Occupation: Computer Programer

As Mike walked in to Jackson’s (20 minutes late) I thought, “Thank God, at least this one is cute.” And then he opened his mouth:

Mike (in a very angry tone): “I’m Mike”

Julie: “Hi Mike, its nice to meet  you”

Mike (in a very angry tone): “Sorry I’m late, this A** Hole customer kept me on the phone for 30 minutes.”

Julie: “That’s ok, did you have a bad day?”

Mike: *launches into a 5 minute angry rant full of expletives.

Not exactly the best start to a date right?  To give Mike some credit, he did calm down after 5 minutes and he was able to shake his anger and have a great conversation.  However, once we got to talking, I quickly realized the information I had been given on Mike was incorrect.  He was no computer programer, he serviced John Deer tractors!  And even better he had been raised on a farm where they raised and slaughtered cows and pigs, and grew corn and other vegetables. 

Even though there was definitely an attraction and the conversation was interesting, our lifestyles are definitely different.  He wants to move to Kentucky within a year, live the country life, and raise a family.  However, I’m no country girl and I’m not in the business of wasting anyone’s time so I probably will not be seeing Farmer Pete again.

It’s Just NOT Lunch

This week I found my own date! When SJ introduced me, she mentioned that I had tapped out  I thought that I had too until I continued to get emails in my account.  Out of curiousity, I signed up for a 3-Day trial.  No good potentials were in my inbox but within a few hours a mystery man with no picture sent me a “wink.”  It just so happened that he was online when I read his profile so I went out on a limb and IM’ed him.  We chatted for a while and he emailed me pictures.  To my surprise he is super CUTE!!!!!


Here are is stats:

  • Name: Jon
  • Occupation: Corporate Asset Manager
  • Appearance: 5’10” and cute!
  • Education: BA from Penn State, MBA from Pitt

We had our first phone date tonight (Sunday) and I can’t wait to talk to him again.  We have plans to go out on Wednesday, location TBD.  I’m really excited about this one, much more so than any of my IJL dates so far.  He is so nice, really cute, well educated, with a great job, outgoing, social, and most importantly…..he thinks I’m pretty and isn’t affraid to tell me so! 

After 3 years of failed dates and potential relationships, I’m always afraid that guys won’t like me.  I hope he thinks that our phone date went as well as I did, and that he still wants to meet me on Wednesday.  When do you think is too soon to call him again?