Thursday, November 29, 2012

Framing Wedding Photos

It's been almost one year since our wedding and I haven't done too much in the way of framing any of our wedding photos. It's not that I'm interested in a whole gallery of our wedding photos, or that I need to frame a bunch of them. But we do happen to have some absolutely iconic photographs--taken by my brother and by our hired photographer--that are incredible photos in and of themselves and bring back the most wonderful feelings of our wedding day. So as we approach our anniversary I'm planning to frame two or three of these and give them to my husband as gifts (I'll have to tell him not to read this post!).

I was inspired by the lovely antique look of the photo of the bride that is pictured above, combined with a white mat, and placed casually on a nightstand surrounded by books. Here is my version of this look:

I found this rustic frame at TJMaxx and I printed the photo with an "antique" coloring, which is a little bit warmer than black and white. I love the way it turned out and I hope my husband does too! The next photo I frame will be one with my husband in the incredible cathedral we said our vows in. My dad once remarked that we could print a poster-sized photo of one of those cathedral shots--they're that good, and the church that grand and dramatic. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wise Words

This scrap of paper is something my mom found while cleaning and going through old things, and she photographed it for me because she thought they were wise words and that I would find them helpful and meaningful. Wasn't that so thoughtful of her? To make it even more perfect, the church I used to go to in New York, two doors down from my building, was named after St. Francis de Sales. Here are his wise words:

Uneasiness arises from an inordinate desire to be freed of some evil or from the suffering we are undergoing; or it results from the desire for some benefit we want too eagerly. In either case, anxiety only aggravates the situation. So when you are seized by some desire to be freed from an evil or to acquire something you think is good, in the very first place put yourself in a calm and tranquil mood; tone down your judgment and your will, and then with gentleness quietly await the outcome of your desires.

-St. Francis de Sales

Moms know just what their daughters need, don't they?

p.s. A big happy birthday to my older brother today!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

She Said Yes

Courtney and me at my reception

Last week, the first of my close college friends got engaged! In fact, she is the first one of my close friends in general to get married and I'm thrilled and so happy for her.

Courtney was one of the very first friends I made at Notre Dame. We happened to be in three classes together freshman year, and after recognizing each other over and over that first week we began to meet regularly for coffee. Over peppermint mochas and pumpkin spice lattes (our college town's perpetual cold and snowy weather begs for these cozy drinks) we got to know each other really well, and helped each other through so many new emotions and new experiences. Those deep talks morphed into one of the best friendships I've ever had.

Courtney's engagement is especially exciting for me because she and I have been gabbing about getting married since we were 18. So many of those long talks in the Starbucks on campus revolved around the men in our lives, dresses and engagement rings, future husbands, homes, and love. On a few occasions, we huddled together around one of our laptops and gazed at diamond rings online, and probably scared a few of the college boys around us. As a wedding gift, Courtney gave us a set of mugs and attached the sweetest note. She said she realized that my husband and I have the chance to have our own coffee dates, just like the ones she and I used to have all the time, each and every morning for the rest of our lives. It was such a beautiful way for her to tell me how much our talks meant to her and to encourage my husband and me to carry on the tradition.  

Courtney was one of my bridesmaids and the night before my wedding, she stayed in the guest room in my parents' house. When we got back from the rehearsal dinner and I said goodnight to my parents and brothers, Courtney and I sat on the bed together and became teary-eyed as we talked and laughed and reminisced, remembering all the hopes and dreams we had shared so openly with each other through the years, and in awe that one of us was on the brink of that long-awaited and much talked-over day. Now, it's Courtney's turn, and I pray that her wedding day and her marriage are as happy and perfect as she has always dreamed they would be. 

Congratulations, Courtney!

Here she is right before the wedding, listening carefully to something I'm saying and looking like a very dutiful (not to mention beautiful) bridesmaid.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Am Thankful

This year has been full of blessings. When I think about all that has happened since last Thanksgiving it astonishes me! Before my husband and I head out of town I thought I would take a second to give thanks.

My wedding day, my husband, my marriage--far and away, the best part of this last year and the thing I'm most thankful for.

This blog. And all of my lovely new blog friends and readers. It's been so rewarding and this is only the beginning!

My husband's graduation from flight school. I'm so proud of him.

My in-laws--I love that my family grew when I got married. My mother-in-law will drive hours to attend her daughter-in-law's recital, or to be with her son on his birthday (and these are just two examples).

My Masters Degree, which I received in May, and my fantastic teacher who encouraged, challenged, pushed, and nurtured me and transformed my playing.

My parents, who are beginning a new adventure as empty-nesters and are having loads of fun with it (think: houseboat!). They are the best parents in the world (in my humble opinion) and I'm so grateful to have them as examples to look up to as I begin a family of my own.

My little brother starting his freshman year at Columbia, and loving every minute so far.

My older brother beginning a new job in Dallas, and loving every minute so far.

Our cookbook getting published!

In the past few months, I've finally figured out how to perfectly roast a chicken. Definitely something to be happy about. Sometime, I'll share my tips.

Zumba! (Yes, it does require brightly-colored sneakers, thank you very much!) It's a workout I look forward to and it truly makes me happy. I'm thankful to have a gym that offers an abundance of classes with a great instructor at military prices.

Reconnecting with a few old friends unexpectedly. It's been such a blessing.

Our first home. While not exactly in the part of the country we'd planned to start out in, this is more than we've ever had, and I'm thankful.

Getting to know the South. We've explored Atlanta (a bunch), New Orleans, and will soon be in Houston. The list of states my husband and I have been in together is growing steadily (yes, we actually do keep a list!).

All of the gorgeous pieces my parents have given us as a result of their downsizing and move to D.C. It's all still in storage now, but boy do we have big plans for everything!
Having a washer and dryer in my home. I do not miss hiking to the laundromat through the streets of New York.

A successful last recital as a student!

And finally, I'm thankful for my faith, and for God's grace, which is the glue that holds me together.

What are you thankful for? 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

DIY Pretty Hanger

I will admit that I had an ulterior motive for doing this project. I've been inspired by the beautiful walnut stain look that one of the bloggers I follow has achieved in some of her projects. She uses Minwax Dark Walnut Stain and she always makes it sound like it is a cinch to use, and the results are so beautiful and professional-looking. I decided I would try the stain myself but I wanted to test it out on something small before delving into a furniture staining project.

Wood stains, of course, work on natural wood, so I found a natural wood hanger in the closet (I didn't take a picture but it looked like this) and began my staining. I used only one coat and I think it looks great! I got a feel for how the stain works and learned a few things, and I'm now feeling more confident about moving on to a piece of furniture.

To complete the dolled-up hanger look, I sprayed the boring metal hook with an oil-rubbed bronze spray paint, which goes nicely with the walnut. Then I cut a strip of fabric I had from another project, sealed the edges with a little bit of clear nail polish to prevent fraying, and tied my hanger with a bow. This must be the most loved hanger of all time, don't you think?

Even though I had another motive for doing this hanger re-do I really love how it turned out, and I think it's a worthwhile DIY project in and of itself. It would be a beautiful gift for a bride, or from a bride to her bridesmaids. Just choose ribbon that works with the wedding colors. Or make one for yourself and hang it artfully on a doorknob, or on the handle of your dresser, or on the back of a distressed chair (like in these photos). I think it has a sweet country look to it. Right now, mine is hanging from the corner of a curtain rod in our bedroom and I think it looks lovely.

(Note: I didn't finish my hanger with a clear sealer or polyurethane, but I would recommend doing this if you want to use the hanger for clothing and not just as a decorative piece.)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Therapeutic Mozart

My beloved piano teacher growing up once said something I'll never forget--she said that, "Mozart is therapeutic." At the time, I'm not sure I fully understood what she meant, but now I do. There is a purity and a serenity in Mozart's music that is somehow cleansing and peaceful, something that is reviving to the soul, something transcendent and calming. I've experienced it over and over again, when listening to Mozart, and when playing Mozart. I was told by another beloved teacher, more recently, that a famous conductor once said, "Beethoven strives for the heavens, but Mozart is from the heavens."

If you aren't sure if you've ever experienced Mozart as "therapeutic," or even if you have, I urge you to take 5 minutes out of your busy Friday, or your weekend, and listen to the third movement of Mozart's Serenade for Winds in B-flat (the video is above). I hope it brings some peace to your day and into your heart.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving Pie

Thanksgiving is one week away! We are spending it with my husband's sister and her husband, who were married four months before us. Two semi-newlywed couples in the kitchen putting together a Thanksgiving meal (for the first time, all on our own!) should be very fun, and fun-ny! We can't wait, and I will certainly be bringing a copy of Finger Lakes Feast along to guide me.

I thought I'd write about pie crust today. Do you make your own? I imagine many of you already do, but if not, I urge you to try it this year! The fresh flavor and crispy flakiness of homemade pie crust is unrivaled. Here is our family's recipe, as found in our cookbook:

Real Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups flour
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup cold water

In a small to medium-sized bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut the shortening into the mixture, using a pastry cutter. Do this until all of the shortening is the size of little peas, or smaller.

Add the cold water and quickly whisk the dough with a fork until it forms into a soft lump. Do not overmix.

Place the dough on a well-floured surface and split into two halves. Gently mold it into a round ball using your hands, and when it is well-formed, begin to roll it out with a floured rolling pin.

The key in rolling is not to press down too hard onto the dough. Simply roll it and allow it to take its time in stretching. Flip it often, dusting flour underneath to prevent it from sticking to the counter.

When the dough is about 1/8-inch thick, fold it over on itself, gently pick it up, and lay it across your pie pan. Unfold it and let it take the shape of the pan.

Place your filling inside, and add the top crust (or for an open-faced pie like pumpkin or pecan, you can use the top crust for another pie). 

Cut around the dish to trim away any overhanging dough, then seal the top and botton crust together by pinching them at the edges (again, for an open-faced pie, just crimp the edges of the bottom crust onto the pie pan).

(Recipe makes one 9-inch top-and-bottom-crust pie, or two 9-inch open-faced pies)

              Won't this new pie dish I found look beautiful against the brown sugariness of pecan pie, 
             or the orange spiciness of pumpkin pie?

And I can promise you that this pie crust will make your families so happy. You should hear the thank-yous my mom always gets from my brothers! It's just so delicious. Happy baking to you all! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guest Post: Decorating Within Your Landlord's Rules

Today, I'm very happy to announce my first ever guest post on Something Ivory! Mary Katherine, along with her parents and siblings, is an old family friend, and I'm so excited to be sharing my blog with her today.

She has written a very fun, lively post on how to create a cozy, pretty home while renting and living within someone else's constraints. But I think her tips are great for anyone looking for new ideas on how to liven up a space, decorate on a budget, or create a new look with minimal adjustments and labor.

Thanks so much for this great post, Mary Katherine, and I do hope all of you enjoy it!


Hello! My name is Mary Katherine and I am excited to be guest-posting on Something Ivory today. Kate and I have known each other since we were babies but fell out of touch about a decade ago. We reconnected through Pinterest (of all things!) and have had a wonderful time getting to know each other as adults. I was recently touched by the post on November 6 about her husband's birthday because the Anne Bradstreet poem she shared happens to be hanging on my fridge right now. 

My husband and I are blessed to live in a place where we are permitted to paint and hang art on the walls.  It has fun architectural details and hardwood floors. But for the first two years of our marriage, we lived in a plain, boxy apartment where we could not paint and had to be approved for every nail. Whatever your constraints, there are ways to bring chic and homey details to your space.  

1) Remove cupboard doors to create the look of open shelving

My kitchen had a gigantic cupboard with overlapping doors.  In order to get to anything on the left side, I also had to swing open the heavy right side. The cupboards had been repainted multiple times, so I had to scrape some paint from the screws, but with a few twists of a flathead screwdriver, they came right out. I chose to display my favorite every-day dishes, along with my prettiest cookbooks for a pop of color. 

The second photo shows a built-in cabinet in our dining room which became so much more functional and beautiful when I removed the doors. Here I display our china, crystal, and bar items. Most landlords won't mind you removing the cupboard doors as long as you carefully store them (with the hardware in clearly labeled plastic bags) in the back of a closet.

2) Break up a plain wall with statement art

I framed twenty vintage book covers and hung them in a grid. It is still my favorite wall in our apartment. Do you need something larger, or light enough to hang on a few thumbtacks? I found a fabulous tutorial at Sugar Bee Crafts for creating a 3x4-foot black and white photo for under $15.

3. Use curtains to add interest to a space

Not allowed to put holes in the wall? That's trickier. Think window treatments. Big, blossomy white sheers can hang easily on tension rods. You could even carefully remove a cramped closet door and replace it with a pretty curtain to create a more open, less boxy look in a room. 

I do have a confession to make, though. Since Andrew and I adopted two cats from the local humane society a few months ago, we haven't even tried to keep window treatments in our living areas. I had these two panels in storage and pulled them out for the sake of a photo.

4. Create vignettes on your bookshelves

One last way to add depth and texture to your home is to create vignettes with beautiful books and accessories on bookshelves. They are a great place to display souvenirs and antique tchotchkes. Break up the vertical line of the books with a small painting, or by stacking some of your favorite books horizontally. This bookshelf is in our bedroom and features a signed copy of Rifles for Watie, which is one of my favorite childhood novels. It is the first birthday gift Andrew ever gave me, when we had been dating about six months.

If you don't yet own your home, what creative ways have you brought your personality to the space? 

Mary Katherine Givler lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Andrew. She loves decorating on a budget, fashion, blogging, and is currently participating in National Novel Writing Month to break through a rough patch of writer's block. You can find her blog and other online profiles here, or follow her on Pinterest.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Something Small

When I walked out our front door the other day, I noticed how lovely the tree in our front yard has become. My photo doesn't do it justice, but its leaves are a mix of bright gold and deep crimson, and they were swirling around me in the breeze and crunching under my feet as I got into my car. 

Then I noticed that ours was the only tree--really, the only one--on the whole street that looked this colorful. All of the other trees are still green, or already bare and without leaves, or brownish. Now, I am not relishing in our good fortune to have a yellow and red autumn tree while our neighbors have brown trees to look at--of course the whole street would be so lovely if all of the trees were like ours. 

This is simply my way of noticing something small in my life--especially at a stressful time for us, when it seems like everything we think about is so huge--and being thankful for the bit of beauty it brings into my day. It's my way of being thankful during this season when we try to remember not what we don't have but all that we do. It's also my way of believing in God's hands working in the world---perhaps, on a rough day, He wanted me to experience this sign from Him that all will be well, that He is near.

Have you given thanks recently for something small in your life? I'd love to hear about it.

p.s. I have something very exciting planned for tomorrow--so please check back!

Monday, November 12, 2012

DIY Leather Trunk Makeover

As promised last week, I'm excited to share with you my latest furniture re-do project. I had so much fun modernizing and beautifying this old leather trunk (which is solidly built but wasn't too attractive), and I must say I love how it turned out! 

The trunk is my husband's--something he received through his military training--and it's about ten years old. It was in our garage, not really being used for anything, and during a few of my other DIY projects I had inadvertently and accidentally splattered paint on the top of it. Even though it wasn't terribly pretty to begin with, this made it worse--and I felt badly because my husband always had a fondness for the trunk.

I asked him if I could redeem myself by making this trunk I'd accidentally mucked up into something beautiful that we could use in our home and see everyday. And he ended up really loving the final result! That made me happy.

The makeover itself was very easy. I cleaned it thoroughly first, and scrubbed the inside with vinegar and let it sit in the sun to get rid of the musty smell inside. The white paint I used was Rustoleum's white spray paint/primer, and I thought it worked beautifully. Spray paint has a little bit of a negative stigma but I think it's ideal for certain projects. I used 4 very thin coats and I let it dry for 10-15 minutes between each coat. The spray paint I used works on metals, wood, fabrics, plastic and more, so I'm confident it was a good choice for the mix of materials in this trunk.

I wanted the leather handles to remain unpainted so I taped them up carefully with painters tape before I began. Once the 4 coats were fully dry, I took off the tape from the handles (and squealed a little because I think they look so great against the white--very vintage and industrial), and began to distress. Using a regular piece of sandpaper I sanded the trunk fairly heavily and also quite randomly, to give it as authentic a look as possible. I focused on the corners and the spots where the leather was already starting to look a little bit roughed up. I was going for a rustic, aged look so I wasn't worried about perfection.

In addition to being such a unique and fun piece I know the storage will certainly come in handy. We haven't put anything inside yet, but I could see it in a living room filled with cozy throws and pillows, as a toy chest in a child's room, at the foot of a bed filled with sweaters and blankets, or as a filing cabinet in a home office. Maybe we'll shuffle it around and use it in all of these ways! I think it's something we'll use and love for a long time.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thank You, Veterans

Eleanor Roosevelt's Wartime Prayer

Dear Lord,
Lest I continue
My complacent way,
Help me to remember that somewhere,
Somehow out there
A man died for me today.
As long as there be war,
I then must
Ask and answer
Am I worth dying for?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Painted Furniture Inspiration

I've discovered since getting married that I love to paint furniture. I've done a few different projects, and have been more happy with some than others, but mostly I feel inspired to do more. It's such a fun and thrifty and unique way to turn something old into something fresh and contemporary. I also look for ideas on colors and techniques from other bloggers and shop owners who are gracious enough to share tips.

Here are some photos that I've been inspired by recently. I just love this "No. 12" coffee table. This trunk makes a fabulous centerpiece to a room and I love the distressing. In fact, I'm about to begin a similar project that I hope to show you next week--I'm so excited about it!

And these photos below make use of something I've never heard of before--milk paint. It actually uses milk as the binding ingredient! It is safe and non-toxic and many milk paints don't contain any chemicals. What I think is so neat about milk paint is that it lends a very natural, antique look to a piece. Milk paint was used in Colonial America and the patina of this furniture really does remind me of an earlier era. The woman who does these fabulous pieces said that milk paint acts like a "stain," though it looks like paint, and that it has a much less uniform color than latex or oil paints. It also tends to flake off arbitrarily, all qualities which give it a naturally aged look.

Have you heard of milk paint before? What do you think of these pieces? Are you working on any hand-painted furniture projects?

I'm so intrigued by milk paint and think I'll begin looking for the perfect thrift shop piece to try it on!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Favorites

As Thanksgiving approaches, I thought I'd share several recipes from our new cookbook that are my favorites for Thanksgiving dinner. These are both old-fashioned salad recipes that are colorful and flavorful and so festive. They both have a substantial amount of fruit in them, so if you're finding that your menu is heavy on rich, filling dishes, either one of these would be an excellent addition. My favorite of the two is the Cranberry Salad--I urge you to try it this year!

Whisker Salad

2 small cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 cups mini marshmallows
2 cups sweetened coconut
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
1 16 oz. container sour cream

Mix the first four ingredients in a large bowl, fold in the sour cream, and serve.

24-Hour Cranberry Salad

1 12-ounce package of fresh cranberries
Half of a 10.5 oz bag of mini marshmallows
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 large can pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup heavy cream

Pulse the cranberries in a food processor until they are pea-sized chunks. In a mixing bowl, stir cranberries together with the marshmallows and sugar, and chill over night. (Thus the "24-Hours.")

The next day, add the apples, nuts, and pineapple chunks and mix gently. In a small bowl, whip the heavy cream with an electric beater until peaks form, then carefully fold the whipped cream into the other ingredients.

Both recipes serve 8-10.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Husband!

You can't see them, but in this photo taken three years ago on my husband's (then boyfriend's!) birthday weekend, we were sitting on horses. Now does the cowboy hat make sense? My husband happened to be doing some training in Oklahoma at the time and I was a senior in college. I flew down to be with him for his birthday and we went horseback riding on an Oklahoma ranch! This Army life has afforded us some adventures, that's for sure.

Today's birthday plans include a delicious dinner, extended family, German Chocolate Cake, election updates, and lots of love. A big happy birthday to my handsome cowboy!

If ever two were one, than surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor ought but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay;
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let's so persever,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

-Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)

Monday, November 5, 2012

If You Knew Me

                 Photo taken by my talented brother two years ago in a fall photo shoot we did just for fun

This post was inspired by Kristin, a new blog friend, who writes a lovely blog called Vignettes. She wrote an "If You Knew Me" post that was so enjoyable to read, it was so honest and lively. I usually try to make my posts less about me and more about things that are interesting or fun or beautiful, but inevitably, my blog does reflect me and my personality and who I am. And I know from my own experience in reading blogs that it's sometimes nice to be let into the writer's world, to get a chance to "know" them like you might know a friend. 

The best part is that I hope you will be inspired to write your own "If You Knew Me" post, or share something about yourself in the comment section below. I'll think of this as a chance for all of us to have (virtual) coffee together and chit-chat about life!

So, if you knew me, you'd know...

-When I was young I always had this feeling--sort of a sixth sense--that I would someday marry a military man (and I have).

-I have to start out my morning with a hot drink, preferably coffee or tea, but it has to be hot! It's much more about the heat and flavor than the caffeine for me.

-Going into my freshman year of college, the thing I was most nervous about was passing the swim test. I had practiced laps all summer long in my best friend's pool. I could barely walk when I got out of the pool after taking the test (how embarrassing--I am not and never was a swimmer) but I did pass.

-I have the same birthday as my mother-in-law and it happens to fall on our nation's D-Day.

-I've always preferred one-on-one friendships, as opposed to having a gaggle of girlfriends.

-I never re-read books. Subconsciously, I think it's because I know there's an endless number of great books out there--I want to read them all and while I know I'll never be able to, it seems my goal will be better reached if I'm always reading something new. But really, I wish I did enjoy re-reading. (Perhaps getting older and forgetting favorite books will prompt me to re-read?)

-I have only brothers and my husband has only sisters, so when we got married, we each gained what we did not have (and I adore my sister-in-laws, by the way).

-I once lost a best friend and it's something that still makes me very sad.

-I overthink--a lot. (My parents can attest to this one.) In fact, I was failing fifth grade math at one point (how hard could fifth grade math have been?) simply because I was thinking too hard.

-I love the dark, brooding, inward music of Russian composers such as Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, and Stravinsky.

-I've never gotten a speeding ticket (which doesn't necessarily mean I never speed.....).

-I love wearing heels even though I'm 5'11".

-I attended the funeral of former U.S. President Gerald Ford. Around that same time, I went to a Kennedy Center concert and sat next to Condoleezza Rice (who happens to be a classical pianist too). My dad had a job at the time that provided such incredible experiences as these, and I'll always be thankful for that.

-My husband and I have a rule that whoever is last to get up makes the bed. There may or may not have been a few times when we both woke up at the same time and raced to be the first one to jump out of bed.

-One of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is saute onions--the smell is heavenly and I love the way they become soft and transparent, and then dark and caramelized and sweet.

-There's nothing more comforting to me when I'm sad/anxious/worried than saying a prayer.

-I'm grumpy when I'm hungry!

-I met my husband the second weekend of my freshman year at Notre Dame, when I was 18 and he was 22, and I've always felt lucky I didn't have to wait long to find him.

And now it's your turn! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

DIY Mini Envelopes Part 2

At the suggestion of one of my blog friends (who is also the mother of several of my husband's very best college buddies) I made some more of these precious mini envelopes (which you all seemed to really like! I'm so glad!). She suggested I make a few out of sheet music, and I honestly wonder how I didn't think of this idea myself--it's right up my alley. I just happened to have some old photocopied music on ivory paper that worked perfectly.

Here we have Rachmaninoff, Bach, and Mozart paper envelopes. Thank you for the idea, Mrs. Pearl!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


It's been a few months now since I started blogging and I've noticed something that I'm hoping all of you veteran bloggers can comment on. What I've noticed is that I've started to blog in my head. When I'm driving, or drifting to sleep, or taking a walk, I'm not only thinking of ideas and topics to blog about (which is quite natural) but often I'm actually putting sentences together in my mind. In fact, I composed part of this very post yesterday as I was driving to teach a piano lesson!

So what I want to know is, do you do this too? This is very interesting to me and has made me realize something about blogging. I started this blog as a place for creative expression, as a way for me to write about and share things that are important, or beautiful, or fun. But for me it's become so much more than an outlet for my creativity--it actually fosters it. Because I blog, I think about things a little bit differently and I push myself to seek and explore and create and reminisce in ways I never did before. My new tendency to blog in my head is evidence, I think, that my mind has become active and engaged in a new way and that my sensibilities have been sharpened. I love blogging, and I think I'm better for it.

I would love to know your perspective on this, especially from my fellow bloggers! And as always, thank you so much for reading Something Ivory.

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