curveballs.

i’m going to be honest with you, all 2.5 of you out there:  i was totally in danger of writing a stuffy post today. it was all about life lessons and all that stuffy kind of stuff. i promise that i started it with good intentions. i briefly mentioned what my plans were {they were pretty awesome – at least in my book} and why none of them panned out. and then…

ok, i take it back. i’m going to live on the wild side and just go with the stuffy post because that’s what real bloggers do – they stuff it up, right?

here goes. take two.

i had, what i believed, was an exciting weekend planned out. saturday was to be spent perusing north plainfield’s big yard sale outside the vermeule mansion*, visiting the fleetwood museum inside the vermeule mansion and potentially gardening with the coolest lady ever – my mother*. then sunday, it was off to a big hike/getting lost in watchung reservation* with my two boys*.

and then early saturday morning i received a phone call; my grandpa*, who now lives back in the motherland of portugal, had taken a turn for the worse. the weekend suddenly went from adventuring to planning my mother’s impromptu trip to visit her ill father. it goes without saying that we were thrown a major curveball in both our plans and life, in general.

it has dawned on me that perhaps life is simply that – a major curveball. we, as humans, keep planning and acting as though we are in complete control of everything and learning each day that we are, in fact, at the hands of some greater force – whatever it may be. with that being said, however, it is not an excuse to not try and do the things that we want to do; to not be the best possible version of ourselves; and to not continue fighting for the life we want. it is also not a reason to not be grateful for the good things that are thrown our way.

unfortunately, this weekend did not pan out the way i had wanted it to – but i was able to spend it bonding with my family, which is just as big of an adventure most people could only hope for; an adventure so obvious that most often it is overlooked.

so, i confess once again that this blog entry is perhaps one of the more stuffy and less quirky that i will write.  the lack of grandma jokes actually both irritate and frighten me. but i guess in the end, this blog is just like life – full of curveballs. 🙂

if nothing else, i hope that all of you were able to embark on a similar adventure of family bonding this weekend. 🙂

<3 always,

ana patricia

vermeule mansion – north plainfield, nj

my awesome parents: paula + max

watchung reservation: al + tanner, march 2012

my adorable grandparents: luisa + jose

 p.s. i may have just created a blog post inception: a blog post within a blog post. that clearly makes me just as cool, if not cooler, than leonardo dicaprio.

p.s.s. stay tuned for upcoming non-stuffy blog posts. i just got some cork laminate floor tiles that i am looking to – ahem – revamp. it should be interesting.

what kind of curveballs have you been faced with recently?

starting small + simple

there has been something on my to-do list for almost two years now. something that could easily be dismissed as small and trivial; something that takes only minutes to do. that small and simple something is: opening a library card in my “new” hometown.

it is with great satisfaction that i inform you all that it has now been checked off my to-do list. ::insert celebratory sound effect here::

so, without further ado – here are some pictures from today’s mini adventure. 🙂

here it is: the library card!

books checked out.

can you tell i’m very much looking for some landscape + garden inspiration? i’m far from having a green thumb, but would like to at least have some gardening victories under my belt at some point in my life. {i mean, there has to come a point where you stop unintentionally killing all of your plants, right?} there are some other obstacles –  primarily in the shape of a medium-sized dog who loves to dig – that are keeping me from my ultimate garden, but hopefully there is some success in my gardening future . first though, the inspiration.

movies checked out.

i also checked out two free movies from the library, because really who can resist free movies? and it  looks like i inadvertently made it a vince vaughn weekend, which i can’t complain about. i’ve already watched “into the wild,” loved it and totally recommend it.

and that, my friends, concludes today’s mini-adventure. here’s to hoping you had/have a mini – or massive – adventure of your own today. 🙂

<3 always,

ana patricia

has there been something small + simple that you have been meaning to do for a long time?

where do i go from here?

second posts seem to be even more intimidating than the first: where do i go from here? how do i transition into talking about all of the randomness i had in mind? wait, what was this blog about again? 😉

i was once told that you don’t know where you’re going until you know where you came from. i’m not sure if it was a joke, and i’m not entirely sure how i feel about it if wasn’t a joke. all i know is that it fits here. well, not really – but reallyish.

with that being said, i have been wanting to participate in the genographic project ever since my friend, diane, told me about it. national geographic and ibm teamed up to create this project that will ultimately help ‘to better understand the genetic and migratory history of the human race.’ and because i am a major pseudo-nerd, i wanted to better understand my own family’s migratory history out of africa. so, for the past few years it has been on my unwritten, quirky version of a bucket list.

well, it turns out that al actually listens to all of my random babbling sometimes and surprised me with a participation kit for ‘the genographic project’ for my 28th birthday. {what can i say? some girls dream about jewelry for their birthday – and some girls dream about swabbing their mouths for the sake of learning about their family history.} anyway! the participation kit finally came in a few days ago and i am super ready to get started. {that is, after i brush my teeth; i don’t want them knowing i just had some pepperoni.}

so yeah, i guess the question now is no longer “where do i go from here” but “where did i come from?” {yeah, i’ve got grandma jokes for days.}

i will keep you all posted on the process and the outcome once i receive it. looking forward to this adventure!

<3 always,

ana patricia

p.s. because i would have done no justice in explaining this all to you, you can just read more about the genographic project here:   https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/index.html}

has anyone else participated in the genographic project? if so, what did you think?

and we’re live.

a handful of months ago when i had the brilliant  idea of starting a blog, i had pictured it all differently; i had a plan – a vision, if you will. first off, i was going to have a visually fun and quirky blog/website and it was going to be about my d.i.y.ing adventures and misadventures. i was prematurely in love and obsessed with what i was about to embark on, despite being a major amateur in both blogging and d.i.y.ing. i came up with a name for said blog, continued thrifting for disasters projects to be chronicled, went on numerous websites to get someone to create a layout and even a vampire “mascot” for your viewing pleasure {the reVAMPsession. classic, i know.} and started laying the groundwork for what was supposed to be an amazing-ish introduction.

and then it happened…

my blog layout suddenly didn’t look as cool as “hers” and “his,” oh and let’s not forget “hers”; trying to figure out how to even make the layout look nearly as awesome as i had anticipated seemed impossible {and still does} for the sheer fact that it involved research and potentially, money. that amazing-ish introduction i started writing turned into a mess of a trilogy. and let’s face it:  i just wasn’t sure i would be able to convince people i was cool enough to be a “blogger.” things just weren’t right and so, i quit.

i made excuses and i quit.

and so the “real” story begins via that trilogy…

i.                    me

my name is ana. ana patricia if we’re going to go ahead and get all semi-technical. i am currently a whopping 28 years old, born under the aries sign. i’m happily in love and shamelessly living in sin with my best friend, life partner + soul mate – al. i’m the adopter of tanner macgyver – the most awesomest lab/beagle/shetland sheepdog mix you’ll ever get to know via the world wide web. i suppose i wouldn’t be true to my personal identity {according to al}, if i didn’t mention somewhere in here that i am portuguese-american. i used to spend a good number of hours of my life “working for the weekend” but have now found myself in that “in-between jobs” phase. and, most importantly, i am a notorious quitter when it comes to all things fun and oddly enough, not-so fun.

and just for good measure, let me throw in here some of my likes: typing in lower-case and writing in upper-case; the magic of trees; the art of capturing moments via mediocre pictures and then manipulating said mediocre pictures with photoshop to create an oddly-colored mediocre picture; naps; the feeling you get after reading a profound quote or passage; coffee in my french vanilla creamer; trips to the thrift store; cobblestone streets. i think i may be able to sum it up by saying i like all things dreamy and magical, like drew barrymore and hugh grant. 😉

ii.                  the inspiration

after having bought our first home in february of 2010, i found myself on a ton of blogs in search of home décor ideas on the cheap. i absolutely LOVED it. i loved the idea of transforming things into your own piece of artwork – and, did i mention, for a fraction of the cost? enter: a pseudo addiction. al and i quickly ended up acquiring a number of pieces from the thrift store {or for free} to “revamp.” coffee table {$24.99}; guest bedroom nightstand {$9.99}; a record player console {$30}; guest bedroom chandelier {full of cobwebs in our basement for free}; etc. the list continues to grow and with each new piece comes a greater sense of excitement in giving it new life and meaning. sadly, however, our basement is bursting with possibilities and yet, time, life, laziness and fear took over and nothing has yet come into fruition. now enter: blog. it turns out that time, life, laziness and fear {and a plethora of other excuses} have played a major role in making me a chronic quitter. dancing: quit. piano: quit. photography: quit. knitting: quit. writing: quit. learning french: quit. exercising: quit a million times. even the tarot cards that i had wanted so badly since the age of 12 and finally bought on sale at b&n as an adult: quit. and now d.i.y.: quit. and so, the point is, what was supposed to be a simple blog about a girl learning how to d.i.y., has completely transformed into a mission to revamp my own life.

iii.                the objective

when i initially decided i wanted to write a blog about my misadventures in d.i.y.ing, my goal was to…wait for it…learn. after all, i don’t know how to sew, reupholster, measure accurately and – according to the beau – i can’t even hold a can of spray paint correctly. now that i have decided to incorporate all of my quitting failures and life in general into this blog, the same holds true: i want to learn. i want to learn to make the most of each and every day; to follow through with everything that i would normally quit and to ultimately hold myself accountable for the life i really want to live.

so, here goes: this is my cordial invitation for you – whoever you are and whatever walk of life you come from – to follow me on a quest to a revamped life via the small adventures that make life feel like a cold shower after a long day at the beach.  😉

<3 always,

ana patricia

p.s. shout out to one of my awesomest and bestest friends, demaris @ cucinacubana.com, for giving me the ultimate inspiration in publishing my blog as-is shortly after hers went live. we have gone through a lot of firsts in life together and here is to another one! 🙂

p.s.s. pictures to come!