Date night

After almost three years together, I still get really excited for date night with Jason.  

Friday has sort of become our de facto date night.  Throughout the workweek, we're usually so pooped from our work-gym-cook dinner routine that we just stay in and chill.  By the time Friday rolls around, we're itching to get out of the house for some fun.  

Tonight, that means Japanese food...mmm.
And bookstore browsing
Upon Nina's recommendation (that girl just has the best taste!), I just finished reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, and I'm completely obsessed.  
I can't wait to buy the next book in the trilogy!  We were going to grab fro yo (sorbet for me) after the bookstore, but I'm thinking I'll want to just go straight home and start reading!  

Such thrilling Friday evenings we have, huh? ;-)

Hope you have a good long weekend!  See you next week!  (Get excited because I'll be sharing some fun details about my upcoming wedding next week...)


Images via WeHeartIt and Amazon.


Blogger with Heart: Robyn Michelle-Lee

Hello lovelies,

emember the Bloggers with Heart series I began some months ago?  I must confess - I've been feeling terribly guilty about allowing it to lapse into oblivion.  I suppose I could make some excuse about being too busy, planning the wedding, blah, blah, blah.  But I kind of hate excuses like that, and you wanna know why?  It's because I believe that, consciously or subconsciously, we make time for the things that are important to us

nd so the truth is this:  These past four or five months have been a time of intense growth for me.  I haven't really shared very much of this here (aside from the changes I've been making on a physical level), but I've had some really significant realizations about what I want in life and, as a result, my journey toward personal fulfillment is taking some unexpected and exciting turns.

What does this have to do with Bloggers with Heart?  While I've kept up a fairly regular schedule of posting here, my thoughts have often been elsewhere, musing about things on which I'm not quite ready to elaborate.  Blogging has, quite frankly, moved down a rung or two in my life's priorities.  I've taken some much-needed time and space to retreat a bit - to move into my own head and heart and to build up my internal reserve.  As the incomparable Julie Cameron writes in The Artist's Way, it's difficult - almost impossible - to simultaneously honor our own creative energy while entwined in the creative lives of others, as inspiring as they may be.  I've taken a purposeful step back from my interactions with others, both online and off, and I've found that my own voice - my authentic wants and needs - is more clear to me when it's not competing with so much "background noise."

esterday I was delighted to hear from one of the bloggers I'd originally wanted to feature as a Blogger with Heart.  I felt that her words were coming to me afresh, reaching me at a different place than they would've just a few months ago when I was feeling overwhelmed by the enormous variety of creative possibility in this world.  Having had a bit of distance from it all, I'm feeling inspired in a new way, and I'm suddenly recognizing kindred creative spirits everywhere.

he aforementioned blogger is most definitely one such spirit.  Since first reading her guest posts on Tranquility du Jour and subsequently finding her beautiful blog, I have continually been enamored with her lush descriptions of life's simple pleasures.  In fact, I believe her beautiful lifestyle - good food, an appreciation of beauty in the natural world, and a focus on friends and family - is partially what prompted my own introspection as to what I want my life to look like and how I'll make it happen.

ithout further ado, I am excited to present this week's Blogger with Heart: Robyn Michelle-Lee of This is Life.  


Showered with love

This past weekend, my mother's best friend Lynn and my aunt Martha hosted a bridal shower for me in Iowa City, Iowa (where I was born and spent the first eighteen years of my life).  It was so wonderful to see family and good friends, and I felt so lucky to be "showered" with so many well wishes and so much love.  
Ok, so the last one's not a photo from the shower itself, but I just had to include it because, thanks to some very generous friends, I am now the proud owner of a bright yellow KitchenAid stand mixer!  Woohoo!

Many thanks to all of you for a beautiful shower!

Image of stand mixer via Cooking.com.


The Selby Is In Your Place

I've always had a serious fascination with other peoples' homes (Apartment Therapy's home tours are like visual crack for me), so naturally I've had my eye on this new compilation of photographs by Todd Selby, who takes portraits of creative types in their home environments.  I first spied the gorgeous hardcover on Anthropologie's site, and then, a couple days later, tracked it down at Borders to admire it in person.  (This is typical of the little getting-to-know-you ritual I perform prior with a beautiful, but non-essential, item...). Now my finger is hovering over the "buy" button on Amazon.com...  What say ye, dearest reader?

And how was your weekend?  I'll post photos from my bridal shower tomorrow!



Favela Painting

Have you guys heard about the Favela Painting project in Rio de Janeiro?

ia Flavorwire:
"Sequestered within the city of Rio de Janeiro, two men are giving the poor, compact community of Santa Marta a radiant makeover. Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn originally came to the favelas of Brazil in 2005 to film a documentary about hip hop for MTV, but after MTV left, they decided to stay. Soon after, the Dutch duo known simply as Haas&Hahn began Favela Painting, an organization dedicated to bringing “outrageous works of art to unexpected places.” And if you think they’re doing this on their own accord, they aren’t. Local youths are employed as an integral part of their various projects."

What an amazing concept - and beautiful work of art!

P.S. I'm off to Chicago for the weekend for my final dress fitting and bridal shower!  See you next week!)


Images via Flavorwire.


Party time

Dear friends,

I hope you wore your party dresses, because this little blog is turning one years old today!

I began Tulips & Tea as a journal of thoughts, adventures, and moments of inspiration. My intent was to chronicle the things that make life lovely (hence the blog's name, which encompasses two of my favorite simple pleasures), and to share my thoughts on topics I'm passionate about: good books, good food, green living, art + creativity, yoga, and much more. When I began, I had no idea that this blogging community would become such a big part of my life. But it has, in ways that are hard to define and quantify. Suffice it to say...you guys have had a bigger effect on me than I'll ever be able to express.

Thank you for hanging out and being the wise and wonderful women that you are. You guys are awesome. Here's to another great year!


Image via weheartit.


The coolest wedding party in town

I love that so many weddings these days feature "non-traditional" wedding party attire (i.e. not a tuxedo or satin ball gown in sight).  This is one of the coolest wedding party  looks I've come across recently (via Green Wedding Shoes).

It's casual, fun, and totally appropriate for a laid-back outdoor wedding.  I love the way the teal in the guys' ties is echoed ever-so-subtly in the gals' blouses.  And the crespidia boutonni√®res and citrus-hued bouquets add just the right pop of cheerful color.

Here are a couple more shots from the same wedding.  Isn't it just dreamy?

Speaking of weddings...I can't believe ours is just over a month away! The time is seriously flying. I'm headed home this weekend for my final dress fitting and my (also final) bridal shower. I'm so excited!


Images via Green Wedding Shoes.


Meet our new green friends

Good morning, lovelies! How was your weekend? 

Saturday was one of those perfectly sunny spring days, and I decided over breakfast that such a beautiful day called for an outdoorsy project of some sort. We stopped at the coffee shop to pick up some fuel for our adventure (a soy chai latte for me), and made our way to the garden supply store, where we meandered amongst hundreds of gorgeous plants. I know that plants can help to improve air quality, and I swear I breathed a bit easier upon stepping foot into the store. It was as if my soul, surrounded by such lush vitality, just sort of relaxed a bit.

I've been wanting to grow my own culinary herbs forever (and just haven't gotten around to it for various reasons), so we picked out a couple sweet basil plants as well as a rosemary plant.

We also chose a hydrangea, just barely beginning to bloom. A periwinkle hydrangea, in full bloom, is truly one of my all-time favorite sights to behold. I can't wait.

I've been talking and singing to it coaxing it along.

We planted our new friends in terracotta pots with some nice organic soil. They seem to be doing well thus far (fingers crossed).

What goodness came your way this weekend? I want to hear about it.



My selfish week

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you just need to be selfish?  To take care of yourself and make time for the things you need to do in order to feel your best?

I've been feeling
 un peu stressed out and off balance the past couple weeks, so I decided to make this week a selfish week.  On Sunday, I cleared my calendar of non-critical appointments; stocked my fridge and cupboard with an abundance of my favorite healthy foods; and sketched out a schedule of workouts, yoga practices, and artist's dates for the week.  I've been going to bed early, using my lunch break to get outside for a quick walk (instead of eating in front of my computer), and fitting in quality bathtub reading time (currently loving this book).  Oh, and I also booked an hour-long deep tissue massage for this evening at my favorite salon/spa. 
are the things I come back to whenever I need to get back in touch with my tranquil self: healthy foods, physical activity, time for creative play, and seriously relaxing self-care.  It's only halfway through the week, but I am already feeling a zillion times more centered.  Even though I'm calling it a "selfish" week, I know that, ultimately, refilling my reserves allows me to be a better friend, fianc√©e, employee, daughter, etc.

energy is focused inward this week, so things may be a little quiet around here, but I'll be back next week with some fun posts.

I hope you're enjoying your week - and making time for yourself.


Image found here.


Happy Monday

I hope you had a great weekend! On Saturday morning, I began my day with a nice long run. The power of a good run never ceases to amaze me and this was no exception. After a long and hectic week, running cleared my mind and relaxed my soul, easing me into a groovy slow-paced couple of days, which included:

Baking a batch of maple cinnamon muffins: Trader Joe's multi-grain baking mix + Ener-G egg replacer + olive oil + almond milk + organic maple syrup = delicious vegan(!) treats to last throughout this week.

A fresh bouquet of peonies

A pretty new phone...which I got for almost nothing since I was eligible for an upgrade!

We also went to Target and picked up some heavy duty storage containers, after which I proceeded to tackle the overflowing insanity formerly known as our storage closet. It's definitely improved, though not quite ready for its "After" photo. Soon, though.

Ok...your turn. Tell me about your weekend!


P.S. Sorry for the funky spacing in this post...Blogger and I aren't getting along today.  


Pretty porcelain by Samantha Robinson

I came across the work of porcelain artist Samantha Robinson on Anthro's site recently, and loved it so much that I decided to investigate further.  I'm glad I did because her website is a treasure trove of beauty and inspiration.  Here's a peek...

I especially love these cheerful teacups.  One of these would be so perfect for my morning cup of tea.

Pretty, isn't it?  In other news, it's almost Friday! (Woohoo!)



"the secrets of living"

may my heart - ee cummings raw art letterpress print

I'm absolutely loving this print by Raw Art Letterpress.  The words are sort of jumbled up, but it's based upon this line by e.e. cummings (my favorite poet): 

"may my heart (all ways) always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living..."

A lovely sentiment for Spring, isn't it?



A weeknight meal

We picked up some kabob skewers at Crate & Barrel over the weekend (I had a gift certificate from my bridal shower) and we've been itching to try them out.  So, tonight we made a delicious and healthy dinner of veggie and shrimp kabobs.  These are incredibly easy to make and they taste like they took way more effort than they actually do.  
I chopped up some green pepper and red onion, and skewered them alongside some shrimp, local cherry tomatoes, and sliced baby portobellas (apparently when they are babies, they're called portobellas, not portobellos...I just learned that today).  I then brushed the skewers with some tangy Newman's Own dressing and seasoned with a touch of freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder.  I placed the skewers atop a large Pyrex pan and slid the whole thing under the broiler (set on High), for about 15 minutes, turning the skewers once about halfway through.
The shrimp cooked perfectly and the veggies took on a complex and pleasantly charred flavor.  After letting them cool for a couple minutes, we slid the whole mess onto some organic mixed greens, topped with a bit more dressing, and shared a whole wheat pita between the two of us.  YUM.  It was a perfect weeknight meal: easy, satisfying, and requiring little prep or clean-up.
I'm looking forward to using our skewers again, perhaps with a different combination of veggies.  I'm thinking eggplant, zucchini, crimini mushrooms, and artichoke, dressed simply with olive oil, sea salt, and a garnish of fresh basil. Wouldn't that be yummy?

I ran five miles at the gym this afternoon (yay!), and I still need to do yoga and take a bath before my embarrassingly early bedtime, so that's all I've got for now.

Hope your week is off to a lovely start!



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