30 January 2011


an egyptian protester kisses a riot police officer.

lots of explaining around these parts these days, lots of missing where we once lived...and all our most hopeful thoughts.

really. all of them.

image i won't soon forget found here.

28 January 2011


i have so many friends i found at alt summit that i want to share with you, but.

can i just write but and you'll know what i mean? i just met too many who mattered. and then what if i forget one in my summary? that would be a bad.

let me try, though. if i get overwhelmed, i'm just going to stop. is this okay? say yes.

so i walked into the lobby of the grand america to a sea of smiling faces. best. employees. ever.

after i checked in, i strolled over to the bar and was immediately accosted by a sparkle of a sprite in most excellent boots. all i heard was KAREY MACKIN INK! I LOVE YOU! she hooked her arms 'round my neck and i think we spun in a circle and my right foot might have lifted up with love.

hi erin.

{in other news, i'm seriously considering changing my name to karey m. ink. you may pronounce my new last name mink.}

kelly's over there! she pointed, knowing i'd be looking for my design crush. one glass of white later, i'd met some of my new favorites: and kathleen, amy, and capree. and, yes, i will forever in my head call her and kathleen. you should, too. also? ab chao has the cutest accent ever. one that makes you want to call her anna beth, all louisiana-like.

this is boring, isn't it? okay, then. i'll just tell you some of my highlights.

i love how completely naughty amy is just as much as i love how she sat in the front row of my panel with tears in her eyes for the entire hour. i told her she reminds me of my sister in all the best ways, and she teared right up again. i love how suann grabs my arm really really hard when she laughs, and you should know that she laughs all. the. time. even when the tip of her foot is stuck in the elevator doors and i'm pushing the door close buttons as hard as i can to save her.

those darn arrows always confuse me.

i love how melissa went home a day early to be with her baby, gaia miette. how alexis has a trio of chanel bracelets handed down to her by her mom. how caitlin's must've worked extra hard on her to make a girl so full of grace, it's almost unfathomable.

good moms, man. they get me every time.

there was erin's giant smile and legs that never end, paling only in comparison to her ability to make you feel like the only one in every room. jeanne's blonde mane that kind of drove me to covet. christy pretending she wanted a photo with me...while she was waiting patiently for stephanie's never-ending line to wind down. i liked giggling with that girl. i also liked not being disappointed; marta is even better than her blog, trina is honestly la la lovely, and brandi is a keeper and not at all your average ordinary.

i found friends that made me want to move to boston. pronto. paige's smile is one of the most authentic that's ever shined on me, and christine's red lipstick made me want to kiss her. plus also, there was this weird love at first sight thing going on with the three of us. so cool when that happens, isn't it?

speaking of brilliant supermodels, there's my fave kirsten. everyone knows how i despise pictures of myself {i'm way cuter in my imagination!}, but i love love love how happy i look standing next to her in this one. ages ago, joslyn was in a dwell contest, if i remember correctly, and her main competition was this chick from simply grove. it was before we met, kirsten and i, and now i regret not voting for her, too. i would've.

i'm missing a million more, from the genius kirtsy girls to...to...ohmygosh. i just totally lost focus. let me publish this one, and i'll add more when my mind unfogs.

do you really think my mind will ever unfog? ugh. that's another post altogether. catch you later, friends. all photos stolen from jamie flannigan's pinterest. i hope she doesn't mind! xoxo.

26 January 2011

waking up...

i miss my grand america coffee.

for two years running, joslyn and i began every morning at alt design summit the same. exact. way.

we'd head to bed at around midnight. talk until one thirty. she'd ask are we getting coffee in the morning? and i'd narrow my eyes and ask do you want me to call down and arrange it? and she'd smile smugly in the dark and answer that would be great.

i guess i was closer to the phone. whatever. {she's bossy! do not tell her i told you this.}

so then we'd sleep until the doorbell rang, which was usually dark o'clock. i'd gasp straight up in bed, say i'll get that, and then lie back down again. she'd jump from hers and walk purposefully smack straight into the wall. then she'd open the door for the sweet little room service man, who would inform us that it was a good morning and avert his eyes ever-so-politely from our sleepy-frownies and matching black pajamas.

at this point, we'd both be back in bed. i'd never really left. but there was always a bill to sign.

on day one, the gentleman brought it to me. in bed. i was so super grateful and so super bad with numbers that i gave him a five dollar tip on a nine dollar beverage. i think he wanted to bring it back to me for my usual tip the second and third days, but i guess i was snoring. whatever.

i make very good coffee at home. my machine is pretty genius. but nothing really compares to sharing a cuppa with my girl in the pitch black lit by one little glowy lamp, chatting about the inspiration we found yesterday...hopeful about the burst of creative we'll land in today.

that's the genius thing about alt, do you know? it's not really about the information or the schedule or all the brill activities and dinners. it's about the sharing.

and whether you're sharing secrets or rates or contacts or your enthusiasm or just a cup of coffee, that's when the magic starts happening.

i miss the coffee, yes. but i miss my joslyn even more.

i've got to write an article by friday, but as soon as that's finished i MUST tell you stories about all the others who shared bits of themselves with me. wait. that sounds dirty. it was not. and if i were you? i'd definitely start saving up for next year. alt will change your little imaginary life. promise. also, this tumblr has a coffee of the day shot every week or so. genius.

24 January 2011


i've a flood of mails in my box asking about alt design summit.

if i haven't replied yet - and i will. i totally will. - it was awesome. i feel like i learned a lot, connected and connected again with my friends, refilled my inspiration levels, and laughed so hard three times that i had to plug my nose.

not a pretty look.

mostly all of my friends wanted to know what she was like. and so, in a word, i'll tell you.


i don't get it. i can't explain it. but here's what i do know...

i didn't feel sorry for her. couldn't take my eyes off her. wanted to scooch my chair closer to her. could've listened to her all afternoon. kept trying to make her giggle, just to hear it again.

the night before, someone asked me if we'd ever met. no, i answered. is it sad to see her? because, i have to tell you, i have a pretty breakable heart and my eyes are always one drop away from puddles.

it's not sad at all, my friend assured me. she's beautiful.

she told me that when stephanie goes to the grocery, all the shops nearby clear out. it's the strangest, most inexplicable thing, but everyone's happy just to see her. the lucky ones get close enough to reach out one gentle finger and touch her.

i get that.

this is going to sound insane, but i feel it and so i'm just going to tell you.

i believe in pretty much everything. this is not as easy as it sounds, some days, and i find myself disappointed a lot of the time. so proof is a fine little surprise if and when it ever comes.

good to know i was right about angels.

i love a good mask, don't you? found by her first. the girl is genius at finding hot-cha-cha photography, isn't she?

23 January 2011


i've just returned home from an insanely inspirational few days at altitude design summit. i'm sure you're already bored of me chatting on and on about it.

which really stinks because i think all my stories this week will be all about all things altitude design summit.

my advance apologies, kind sirs.

lately, i've been calling all girls mister. i've also been responding to uncle sugar with an enthusiastic right on, sister! he is not a fan of this. either, might i add, are the more masculine girls i may be addressing. two of whom i sat beside on my way home yesterday. one had a beard. i blinked twice and prepared myself for fireworks when the flight attendant called her ma'am. for a second, i thought she was pulling my opposites are funny trick. she was not. clearly, there is no point to this section of my post. i guess i've just missed talking to you, yes? yes, indeed.

i came home with an extra case of creative, and i think...i think...that extra bit of nerve i needed to assassinate mackin ink.

but she's tricky, that one. wily, even. she's stuck around for, like, ever. so it may take a little extra push and another space in which to practice writing every day, but that's my baby goal.

off to watch the chicago bears. the girlies three are pinned to the telly, threatening to perish should the bears not win.

it's currently fourteen to nothing.

much-needed inspiration found here and here. i'll be back here and there through the week to tell you stories from the conference, ok? see you in a bit. xoxo.

17 January 2011

a new view...

i came home last night to a three-layer golden cake with chocolate frosting baked by uncle sugar and the girlies three. it looked so profesh. presentation is huge for pat. perhaps a result of too many tasting menus or too many episodes of chopped.

esmé was almost bursting. that little thing looked completely overjoyed at the fact that her dad was way better than just risotto and fancy red meat.

we're all off to a museum or two. despite the muss of the house and midterms and one sad little cold for my sad littlest and deadlines and an upcoming trip to utah and all the words i'm planning on taking along, too. we all need some fresh views today.

i might not chat with you until i come home from alt summit. so have a really pretty week, you pretty little things. image from here.

13 January 2011

what would johnny cash do...

next week, i'm on a panel at alt summit discussing how to write personal stories. how to make them un-boring. how to weave a personal moment into something...magic.

i would say this: don't ever write about going to the grocery.


and for my next trick, i will be writing about going to the grocery. for the second. time. this. month.

this morning was hella hectic. i had three deadlines and as many girlies to get off to school, all before nine. and you know how i am with numbers. add that mess to the fifty quadruple items i needed to pick up at the grocery, each and every one prompting the little checker girl to ask "do you need a bag for this?" and then add the grocery itself.


and then this song started playing in the store.

it was my mom and dad's song. maybe it came out around the time he got cancer, maybe it was playing when they'd head to chicago for his treatments and any hope they could find. maybe it was playing when she was begging him to eat something...anything...because, god, he was getting so weak...

i'm not sure.

all i know is that she sat at the kitchen table the night he died and wrote his obituary herself. she ended it with ed, i will miss you. you were my true companion.


i don't mind getting misty in public. i really don't. i think life is worth a few tears.

just not at the very moment the little fish guy starts hitting on me.

even if you hate the song, you must watch this through 'til the end just to get to henry and katharine. is it just me who gets blubbery about this song? oh, probably. just go hug your loves harder today. and i really really hope you've got a true companion. xoxo. all photos from here.

12 January 2011


it's insanity in these parts, so i won't even bother you with my usual nonsense.

just this.

life would be better with danger music. i'm wishing it would sound like a mix of busta rhymes and george baker.

available here.

11 January 2011

black and white...

i don't know what my deal was yesterday. i felt misty-weepy all darn day!

no huge reason; just a few petite mess-ups i made that kind of threw me off-balance. deflated me for a second or five. i tried to hit my reset button for hours, but i couldn't find it.

so i stopped writing and took grae to friendly's to buy ice cream take-away.

this detail alone should tell you about the state in which i'd landed. i am not a fan of friendly's. nothing personal. there may have been one little waiter years and years ago who was a spitter whenever he spoke...and he spoke to me a lot. a lot a lot. plus? i don't even like ice cream.

but my girlies three love ice cream and friendly's. so there we went. for take-away only. i wasn't that off my game.

so grae and i were sitting there, waiting for our friend-zees, when this little old couple walked in from the cold. she was all red coat and fluffy grey hair and he was all little cap and old man overcoat. but the looks on their faces just melted me. they looked hopefully and happily for the hostess to tell them "table for two, please." they were excited to be there. they were excited to be together.

and they were so. old. i wanted to wrap them up in a blanket and carry them back to their warm little house.

anyway. my eyes filled right up and grae started looking at me sideways, so i told her "it's just nice. they've probably loved each other for a lifetime." she knows i always cry about love.

when we came home, esmé had been watching it's a wonderful life. {i know...but, man, she's in love with clarence.} she was asking her dad if, when he was little, everything was black and white.

"yep," he answered. then he saw me and smiled that classic uncle sugar smile.

"in fact, your mommy used to be black."

not anymore. that boy. i forget it sometimes, but he's better for me than ice cream.

the first four photos that made me smile on pinterest. that site is so genius, it still hurts.

10 January 2011

i'm not sure...

these might be weird.

but you probably wouldn't tell me if they were, would you? you're so sweet like that.

i am not having the world's greatest day. yet. but something great is going to happen any minute. i can feel it.

until then, then!

xoxo. and sorry for the blurry and crooked nature of the photos. i promise that when we meet at alt summit, they will not be blurry and crooked. i, however, may be blurry and crooked.

07 January 2011

there was something i wanted to remember...

on christmas eve, we let the girlies three open their sister gifts. it was such a perfect moment, it still hurts my heart.

at one point, esmé stopped, stood in the middle of the room, and honestly squealed.

i feel all tingly inside!

later, uncle sugar told me he was grateful that lillie and grae still believe. or, at least, pretend to believe.

why wouldn't they? i thought. they're my girls. and if nothing else of value, i hope i've taught them that life's so much more fun when you believe in its magic. makes you all tingly inside...and that's never a bad thing, is it?

some of my favorite beliefs are utterly impossible. i love them the most.

not sure from where that ring came, but i've been saving it for a while. plus it reminds me of all the fancy rings my girlies bought me. my fave was probably $7.99. if that. but, man, is it joy 'round my finger! you can see it if you come to alt summit! xoxo and have a sweet weekend, you sweet things!

05 January 2011

good morning...

it's no longer morning. and it certainly wasn't good. but all is well now that all is well.

so. i never drink pop. but yesterday i found a flat diet coke from before we left for our holiday in florida - don't judge. i was thirsty. - and i grabbed it. sat at my desk and started to drink it. even though it made me feel guilty-sheepish and a little low-rent.

and then i tipped it. onto my keyboard. all of a sudden, my t and my y no longer worked. turns out, most every word i use includes both.

which is why i found myself standing in front of baby counter boy at geek squad telling him how i never ever not ever drink pop. because i am not a pop drinker. look at my watch, son. does this look like the watch a pop drinker would wear?!

i thought not.

i'm teasing, but you know what i mean, don't you? a pop spilled on your keyboard is so dorm.

anyway. baby counter boy and i got into a fight. i believe i asked him to send out a better geek before we parted ways.

but thanks to some brill advice via twitter, i am now the ashamed owner of a new separate keyboard that i will forever have to carry 'round with my laptop if i ever want to use it again.

i called uncle sugar about all of this, and he said do you know what i would do if that happened to me?

i suggested call some techie to magically bring you a new one?

nah! he answered disgustedly. that would never happen to me. because. i'm. not. a. pop. drinker.


pretty pics from a tumblr recommended to me by my friend the lil bee.

03 January 2011

whinging ahead...

so. mary and i are red-lining our t.ruffle girls' calendar to half-price. this makes me supra sad.

can i tell you and only you that i had dreams of selling no less than seventy-eleventy calendars? not for the money. just so i could walk around and tell people i sold out.

it's kind of similar to how uncle sugar likes those gps navigators because they always tell him he's arrived.

oh! i finished my new business cards! i've got to show them to you. remind me. there may have been too much prosecco involved in the design process. teasing!

there was no design process.

buy a bit of low-calorie sweetness here. mary really kicked it with her photos; you'll seriously smile every month when you stare at them. promise. xoxo!