Tag Archives: Arts


9 Feb

**** Before I share my Florida trip, I have a shameless plug for Becky’s fabulous husband, Ben! He has entered a contest that could really help his career and get his artwork in front of the right people. In Ben’s words: “The winner gets flown out to pretty much the biggest comic book convention and introduced to all the bigwigs in the comic book, video game, and toy/statue industry which will jump start my career in comics and everything else!  I am so freakin’ excited about this it’s not even funny!  The voting ends on the 14th so it’s a very limited time in which to decide the winner so everything has to be a concentrated effort.  Thank you so much for the support.” So how can you help? Go to this link. Click on “Support Ben,” via the Facebook button. The website will email you when to vote; both views and votes count! *****

So, Florida.

Apart from the chaos that ensued before we actually got there (in a nutshell: Knight’s flight getting canceled, him having to juggle to get on my flights out of StL, dealing with a flat tire in the ghetto of STL, arriving at 1am) and the fact that we got no sleep the night before (hooray for 24 hour amazing breakfast places to kick off the trip), our first vacation was totally ah-mazing.

There was nothing but hugs, love, laughs, holding babies (hers, not mine… duh!), drinking, eating our way through North Florida, laughing some more, watching ridiculous reality TV (hello, Jersey Shore. Nice to meet you, finally. And I may be hooked.)

There was not lovely weather by any means but it was still warmer then this stupid midwest. Like by a lot. And it rained, warm rain. The good kind of rain, you know?

I wore flip-flops and short sleeved shirts. I slept in. I cuddled with Knight and my niece. I sat with my childhood BFF (she needs a nickname, seriously) and laughed, smiled and cried over the pictures and memories of us from the last five years. We hung with my niece and had good life chats. We sat in silence at times and it was more than ok.

I put my toes in the sand despite the insane fog that was covering the Jacksonville beaches. I had to talk to a cop in order to get into the bar since I was a dunce and left my license at home (it worked). I took shots to celebrate my childhood BFF’s birthday, the attainment of my Masters, and friendship and love in general.

Future trips were planned. Tears were shed when it was time to leave. Bonds were strengthened. Knight and I spent five days and six nights together; the most in a row since we’ve met one another and were left hungry for more.

My soul is rejuvenated (again). My heart is soaring (still). There is a smile plastered to my face (like usual). I’m in love with Florida all over again. I fell more in love with myself, with Knight, with life.

When was the last time you fell in love with yourself, your life, your loved ones all over again?


Tidbit Thursday

13 Jan


* I haven’t had soda since December 25th; I’ve had no caffeine withdrawal headaches and overall I don’t miss it one single bit. Until I eat pizza. Or Mexican. But I’m staying strong, chugging water instead of carbonation and overall I know it’s better for me. Maybe not as fun, but better.

* Last night I watched “Going the Distance.” I totally loved it. Justin Long is hilarious, Drew Barrymore has an infectious laugh and Justin Long’s sidekicks in the movie are laugh-out-loud funny. I would recommend watching this when you’re not in a long distance relationship, however. That made it a bit tough. I laughed. I cried. I loved it. And I now want to slow dance with Knight in the ocean.

* It was -1F when I woke up today. That’s just insanity. I’m wearing gloves and hats and scarves and tights and I’m *still* cold. I really hope it’s a bit warmer in Florida in a few weeks. My body needs to thaw out.

* Tomorrow evening I get to pick Knight up from the airport. This will be the second time I get to do that (his work is super flexible about where he flies in/out of, so sometimes he can plan work trips so we get back-to-back weekends together) and each time, I think of Hugh Grant at the beginning of Love  Actually. It’s really true: everyone who is there waiting for some greets them with hugs, kisses, flowers, high-fives and smiles. There is no hate at airports. Just love. It’s fun to be a part of that experience; to greet someone who has been traveling all week long, eating meals out and sleeping in strange hotel rooms, to give them a hug and just be together for a moment.

* I’m making progress on my 30 Before 30 List; over the holiday I realized I’d already seen 17 Oscar movies, so I’m upping the challenge to 40 movies instead. That seems much more fun to me! I’m trucking right along in the Harry Potter series and am totally in love with the books, the writing, the plots, the twists and turns. I can’t wait to start book #4 which I will do after I plow through (hopefully?) the stack of library books I just borroed. I’ve started researching trips to Alaska (goal is to go in 2012) and Italy (goal is 2013, if not sooner with the family) and soon I hope to start knitting lessons with my Gram. I know I have plenty of time but now that I’m post grad-school it’s nice to have something to work on.

* I saw True Grit last weekend; I wasn’t thrilled with it. Good acting for sure but I feel like the plot/story left something to be desired. I think we’ll be seeing The Fighter this weekend and I must say I’m rather excited for a dose of Marky-Mark. Along those lines, Backstreet Boys & New Kids on the Block are touring together and coming to STL this summer. I kind of want to go. (I saw Backstreet Boys in high school. Screamed the lyrics so much that I lost my voice. Don’t judge. I’m sure you have best friends who did it too!)

 (And don’t forget to enter my “Greening Giveaway“! You have until Sunday to enter!)

Any tidbits you feel like sharing?

Open Letters v1

6 Jan

Dear Self:

Next time you get excited about big blog changes, like self-hosting, think it through. It’s not easy. You can’t really do it on your own. Thank goodness for amazing friends who are willing to help you, though. (And look for a new Walking With Nora in the near future!)
Spontaneous Nora


To: Winter
From: Cold, Cold Nora

I’m kind of tired of you. You deceive me with incredibly sunny days and yet the temperature is barely above freezing. I’m longing for the days of flip-flops and reading outside during my lunch hour. So, dear winter, if you could take a hike sooner rather than later, that would be great. And don’t snow this Sunday night either. That would just be inconvenient.


To The New GenX Radio Station in STL,

Thank you for taking me back to high school and college. Listening to old school Destiny’s Child, Beastie Boys, and Boyz II Men is quite fun, especially on my way to work. Who doesn’t love singing at the top of their lungs while being transported back to high school dances and football games, days of being a band dork, first kisses, and crazy sleepovers? Keep up the good work and I really hope you stick around!

With Love,
Nostalgic Nora


Attention: All Semi Trucks

Please do not drive slow in the fast lane during rush hour on my way to work. I respect the fact that you have a deadline and places to go but really, driving slow and being in my way does not please me. If you could just scoot over a few lanes we’d all be much happier.


Dear 2011,

I know you are going to be an awesome, awesome year. I mean, I just know it. But it seems like you’re already going to fast! My calendar is booking into May… any chance you could slow down, just a tiny bit? That would be appreciated. If not, well, I’ll embrace every moment possible as long as you promise to continue to be a rocking new year, ok?



What letter(s) would you write today?

Believe it or Not

22 Nov

Don’t miss the first two installations of this mini-series here: Spark and Starry Eyed.

Everyone’s teeth started chattering and their bones were soaked in cold, despite the warm down comforters they had piled on top of themselves.

He grabbed her hand as helped her climb off the roof. She reminded herself that he lived six hours away from her current residence. That no matter what happened it would be very unlikely that she’d ever see him again. “That’s that,” she thought to herself.” If anything happens, it will be just for fun. Nothing can come of it.”


“Are you sure you want to sit on that couch all by yourself?” he asked, a smile playing on his lips, as he subtly pleaded with her to join him.

She joind him, albeit a bit reluctantly. Although there was no point in denying that she was drawn to him, she just didn’t see how it could possibly work out. She quietly chastised herself for being such a forward thinker and decided to enjoy the present.

He engulfed her in his strong arms while they watched some sort of ESPN late night highlights though truth be told she wasn’t paying attention. She wondered if he’d kiss her. Not more than 10 seconds later she turned to look up at him and there he was, kissing her. Soft, gentle, quick but it was enough. She drew him back down for another kiss. And then another…

“What are we going to do?” he said, his voice suddenly serious, pulling away from her.

“Ummm, about what?” Her voice squeaked. She wasn’t sure what he was asking or where this conversation was going. She wanted to be touching him, kissing him, not talking. They had limited time after all.

“I have to see you again.” He looked her straight in the eyes when he said this. Chills ran up and down her back. He was serious. He did want to see her again. A man she had met not even 12 hours prior and he wanted to see her! Again!  Her mind began to race: six hours between the two of them. They both work full-time, have various life obligations. How in the world would they be able to see each other again? As if reading her mind, “It’s not that far. We could make it work if we want to.”


The next morning at the farm she woke with a heavy sense of dread. They would say goodbye today, each go their own separate ways down the highway. She glanced over to the other side of the room where he lay sleeping. (He claimed he didn’t want to miss a minute of being near her, so he brought his air mattress into the room she was sleeping in.) So handsome. She knew it would be a tough morning.


She somehow convinced him to join her for lunch before they departed. They wandered around her old college town for a few minutes after lunch, joined practically at the waist, both of them soaking up what little time they had left before real life called to them. He kissed her by her car. They talked briefly about seeing each other again. She led him to the highway. They got separated by traffic. She surpressed her sadness and instead called a few close friends to let them know she’d met an amazing man, recounting as many details as she possible could.


Her phone rang.

It was him.

” Hey. I’m coming to see you in two weeks. Let’s go to that wedding you need a date for. And also? I’ll be calling you every night until I get to see you again. I can’t get enough of you,” he said.

And so began a new journey with a new man.

Grace in Small Things: Week Ten

13 Nov

* Best friends who email with me during the week talking about everything from careers to boys, TV shows to pets and everything in between. Somtimes you really need a shoulder to lean on, a different perspective, or words of encouragement.

* Hugs from the kids in the neighborhood that I babysit for. Even though I haven’t seen them in awhile the fact that they remember my name and take time from their play schedule to talk to me is pretty amazing.

* Raking 17 bags of leaves and feeling accomplished even though more leaves inevitably fall.

* Falling asleep listening to Ray LaMontagne.

* Jack cuddles, which are more prominent now that it’s a bit cooler outside.

* Discovering that I have no late fees at the library when I was sure that I would have one… this also meant that I borrowed three books.

* Snail mail containing birth announcements = pictures of cute babies = win all around.  

What little things made you smile this past week?

12. Creative Journaling

12 Nov

I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m taking a Creative Journaling class (which counts as a writing class = counts to one of my 30 before 30 Goals!) and considering I’m pretty much in love with it I thought I’d share a little bit about it.

* The entire class is free. That in and of itself rocks.

* The lady who organizes it shares with us various ideas for journaling (inner child journals, tidbit journals, gratitude journals, travel journals), gives us prompts each week, and inspires us to try different writing styles. At first it’s awkward like the nature journal week where we had to write bird calls and attempt drawing various kinds of birds. (For the record, I  drew an owl. It looks a lot like a cat.)

* Last night we did some “gratitude journaling,” (which you know I love since I do Grace in Small Things each week). The best part? Darling shared her list with me and I shared mine with her. We had some overlaps which is really no surprise and had a few laughs/smiles over what we each wrote. And ok, maybe a few tears in the eyes too.

* I’ve found that through journaling I feel as though I’m improving my writing both in the journal and here on my blog. Not sure if it’s true or not, but my creative side is flowing a bit more than it used to. I guess that means the class is working!

* Did I mention that they provide treats during class? Last night the tables were chock full of peanuts + M&Ms as well as tons of tootsie rolls. So delicious.

* I’m not really on a regular journaling schedule per se, more just writing when the mood strikes which as of late is about two to three times per week. The cool thing is that unless I’m super exhausted, I’m writing about five to ten pages at a time. Who knew I had so much to say to myself?

* Last night we were able to convince (though it wasn’t that hard) the organizer to continue with this class after December. It will be more of a writing prompt/sharing/artistic journaling session each time but I’m ok with it because I really enjoy going to this class.

Do you keep journals besides your blogs? What kind do you keep the most?

Ten on Tuesday (v51)

26 Oct

 It’s time for Ten on Tuesday! Thanks to Chelsea for hosting; feel free to join in on the fun in the comments or on your own blog!

 1. What is your favorite decor item in your house?
That’s a tough one; I’d have to say my black and white framed pictures/photos of New York City.

2. What is your favorite hair product?
Well, I just fell in love with Aveda products thanks to my new hair stylist. The “Color Conserve” conditioner is fabulous as is the “Gloss Straightener” that helps me with the whole blow drying/straightening my hair thing. Sadly it’s incredibly expensive so not sure how long I can keep up the product usage.

3. Are you a good dancer?
Classically, yes! I took tap, ballet, jazz and modern dance from age three until early high school. I’m not a terrible slow dancer either as I taught cotillion for a few years. As for dancing to rap music and etc, I’ve been told by guys that I dance too fast, whatever that means, but I have fun doing it!

4. You get some good news, who’s the first person you call?
Hmmm. Either my mom or if I’m in a relationship, I’d call him.

5. Would you rather take pictures, or be in pictures?
Take!  However I’m learning to enjoy parties and memories more so lately I’m in more pictures than usual.

6. What is your shoe style?
A combo of flats and heels, mostly leaning towards flats lately… and boots! Especially since it’s fall. I love my boots.

7. How often do you eat out?
Once a week for dinner and usually once a week for lunch. I try not to eat out too much to save money and of course the waistline! That may change based upon the social schedule but I get really tired of eating out on a regular basis.

8. If someone has food in their teeth, do you tell them?
Always. Treat others as you’d like to be treated. I’d prefer that someone tell me if I have something in my teeth, so yup, I’ll point it out.

9. Do you fold your underwear? 
Nope. No point. I probably have the messiest underwear drawer ever.

10. Milk, dark, or white chocolate?
Depends! Milk most of the time, sometimes dark.