A Word with You :: Same

Life has been CA-RAZY lately. We somehow found ourselves at the beginning of April staring down an extremely packed calendar.

This month, for ‘A Word with You,’ I thought it might be fun, and potentially calming, to review the things that are the same in each crazy day. Amidst all the busyness and coming and going, there are consistencies – little restorative, dependable things to be grateful for.

morning routine :: Like it or not, I get up each morning around 7. I sleep in later than I should and race around to get ready in time to make a smoothie before heading out the door.

my commute :: I really appreciate the 15 minute walk I have each morning before I catch the T into town. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I am starting to enjoy it even more. I usually take this time to call my sister or chat with my mom during her drive to work.

solid joys :: Since I can’t seem to slow down my am routine, I have started reading a devotional during my ride into town every morning. The Solid Joys app from John Piper is my current fav.

lunch hour :: I look forward to my lunch hour every day. I typically spend my break walking around town and finding a quiet place to read. Check out the Good Reads widget in the sidebar for a list of books I’m currently buried in.

the ride home :: Now that Sean is done with school, he has been picking me up from the T stop most days of the week. I love these few moments in the car with nothing to do but catch up on how our days went.

ice cream :: Somehow, ice cream has started to play a major role in our evening plans. As much as I love this snacking pattern – I have started to rethink the health benefits of indulging every night. Currently, we love anything with chocolate & peanut butter and eat it while enjoying another recent addiction: episodes of Mad Men.

This spring & summer I hope to add ‘evening walks’ to this list of daily activities. Sean and I took one last week and it was fabulous!

While the word ‘same’ tends to dredge up feelings of boredom & monotony – I feel like there is a lot to be thankful for in the midst of some ‘sameness.’ In a season of ‘busy,’ some ‘same’ is often just what I need.

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A Word With You :: Green

Even though I could never consider myself a “green thumb,” I love having plants around our house. They tend to add a little bit of decorating texture and depth that helps to make a room really feel finished and homey. I have managed to discover their one short-coming – they need to be kept alive in order to be pretty.

I have a mixed track-record when it comes to growing things – some successes, but I have killed my fair share of greenery (It’s still too soon to talk about my Fiddle Leaf Fig casualty). Along the way, I have developed a workable routine for keeping them green.

We have had this Philodendron since we moved into our first apartment. It was a house-warming gift from my grandma, and although I might be ashamed to admit to her how poorly I have tended to it over the years, it has kept right on growing in spite of my lack of care. This is a great plant for homes with minimal windows or beginner gardeners.

wpid-plants.jpgThis plant was a gift we received from our friend Jaci when we moved into our current place. It has been extremely easy to care for as long as it’s sitting by a window. At first, I was hesitant to place plants that called for low-to-moderate light in front of windows. I realized though, that our apartment really only has one ‘direct light’ window. Our plants really weren’t getting the sun that they needed by sitting out in the middle of the room, so I shifted things around and now everyone seems to be much healthier.

wpid-plants-4.jpgMy current favorite houseplant is this beauty that I got at Anthropologie for $5. It was something they had previously used in a display and were trying to get rid of. Anthro frequently uses plants throughout their stores, so it’s always worth asking if they have anything left over in the back for sale. (If anyone can identify what type of plant this is, I would be grateful!)

wpid-plants-3.jpgMy new favorite trick has been to take clippings and put them in water near a sunny window. Within 1-2 weeks they start to grow roots and can be repotted in new containers or with the original plant to thicken the foliage. I have also been trying to get in the habit of pruning my plants. Although it seems strange to lop off parts of something perfectly healthy – it helps the plants to grow into a fuller shape.


While our entire indoor garden makes me smile, my favorites may be Sean’s contributions:


Join the link up below to share your post about the word ‘Green’!
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And we’d love to have you join us next month.
Our word for April :: Same
Link up will be Monday, April 29th.

A Word With You :: March

Our word for March :: Green

As always, there are no rules, just write something that ties in with this month’s word in some way. On Monday, March 25th, we’ll host a link up so that you can share your word with us!

Check out other Word With You editions:
(make sure to scroll to the bottom to see posts from all of the participants)
January :: “Direction
February :: “Ordinary

And feel free to spread “the word” on twitter and instagram: #awordwithyou, and grab a button for your sidebar:

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My Favorite Lunch Spots in Downtown Pittsburgh

For the days when I’m running out the door in the morning without a packed lunch, I have found a few tried and true places to visit on my lunch break. Below are my top picks for best downtown Pittsburgh lunch spots. Unfortunately, I have yet to find some really good ethnic food, but what these spots lack in diversity, they make up for in service and taste.

City Oven :: I had originally visited City Oven in their locations north and south of the city, and I couldn’t have been happier when I discovered that they recently added a restaurant downtown. City Oven boasts great fire-roasted pizza with equally good red & vodka sauces. I usually grab a slice & salad and a seat at one of the counters facing the street. An added bonus: City Oven is committed to the city – giving back through their continuing education program that provides mentorship and training to local aspiring entrepreneurs.

Franktuary :: Founded by fellow Grove City alumni, Franktuary has a great variety of gourmet hot dogs made with local, natural beef. My personal favorite is the traditional New Yorker – sauerkraut, onions & mustard. They also have locations in Lawrenceville and a food truck that travels to various locations throughout the week. Track them down – Franktuary is a must-visit.

Noodles & Company :: This place feeds my love of pasta in all its forms. From mac&cheese to their penne rosa (my personal favorite), Noodles is my go-to lunchtime spot. If you can, head over after 1pm, as the lunchtime crowd usually thins out by then.

Bluebird Kitchen :: Bluebird Kitchen is my absolute favorite lunchtime spot – combining amazing food and beautiful furnishings with a cool hipster vibe. I had their Croque Monsieur the first time I ate there, and I have yet to try something else – it’s that good. Their selection of cookies & pastries is also hard to resist. Sometimes, if I’m feeling particularly giving, I save half and bring it home to Sean – some things are too good not to share.

Do you have any good lunchtime tips to share? Most importantly, do you know where I can get some good Thai food downtown?


Every night this week, Sean and I have sat in our living room together.

Riveting story, I know…But seriously, it has been stinkin’ wonderful.

Since we got married four years ago, our schedules have been off. First, I worked a lot of evenings. Then Sean started grad school. And recently, he was coaching wrestling. Life has been busy, and for almost four years, the nights that we’ve had free to just sit in our living room together have been few and far between.

I have been wanting nights like this for a while now. Time to sit and read in the same room. Time to chat. No busyness, no running from one thing to the next, time just to be.

I like looking up from my book and seeing him sitting across the room. That’s the only thing I want to put on our calendar for a while.