I'm a huge stationary buff, and at the risk of sounding like a big nerd, I will share that I love stamps. Love them! And, when I saw these gorgeous calligraphy stamps from Primele over at From Portland to Peonies, I decided that I have to order one, asap! Cute, huh? Do you write a lot of snail mail? I'm trying to be better about sending letters because I love receiving them!

My first bouquet of the season! I cobbled together the following lovelies from my garden to make an arrangement for my grandma (who I got to visit on Friday night) but forgot to grab it before I left (doh!), so here it sits on my desk. Its contents: daisies, red climbing roses, mint (makes a great filler!), and chamomile flowers. Currently sprouting up in the garden for future arrangements: sweet peas, roses (more), dahlias, zinnias, a ton of herbs, lavender and a gazillion other things. I love this little tip that I read somewhere (one I've been practicing for the past few years): Keep a stash of little cheapie vases on hand. Buy them at garage sales, second-hand stores, etc.--the more unique, the better. Then, whenever you have a party to attend or are seeing someone you love (like my grandma), you can snip some flowers from your yard and create a really special gift with a personal touch (and, psst, it's a lot more affordable that a bottle of wine!). Mason jars work really well as vases, too. (I've used them in a pinch.) Do you have a garden?

Hi my dears! I have been away from this blog for a little while–busy at work over at Glamour.com, of course, and on my book, which I’m happy to report is finished and in my editor’s hands at Penguin (and my editor in Germany, too!) where it is now launching forward in the production process. Woohoo! I worked for about three months on the revise, and I couldn’t be more proud, and thrilled, about how it turned out. Of course, I’ll have two more opportunities to review the book prior to publication next summer, so that gives me some comfort. (A writer is never done revising, right?) The book is getting a title change, so stay tuned about that. And, I’m happy to share that I am nearly halfway through my second book, which I’ll be sending to my agent next week for review. I’ll be writing more here about my process (and inspiration!) for book numero deux, so, again, stay tuned.

For now, I want to tell you about this rose …

Oh my goodness, it's sunny in Seattle (crazy, I know), and I totally have spring fever. Here's a bunch of tulips for you. Aren't they pretty? This will be the shortest post in the world because I'm off to do some springy things: a.) walk my dog, b.) plant sweet peas (giddy!), c.) pour a glass of wine and enjoy it on the deck outside while the boys play! Hope it's springy where you are. P.S. I may have some exciting news to share soon, so check back for details!

Isn't this the most beautiful thing? This salmon-colored amaryllis was a gift from my mother-in-law. She brought it over a few weeks before Christmas when it was just a little sprout. Then, miraculously, it bloomed into this on Christmas morning. Of course, I had to snap a photo of it with my new macro lens. (Thank you Santa!) Swoon! This flower always reminds me of my late Grandma Cecelia who loved them, and had a pot on her mantel every Christmas.

Did you love advent calendars as a kid? My mom always hung them up for us, and we loved opening the little doors every day in December until Christmas. We always had paper calendars, but I recently bought this one from The Land of Nod for my boys. So cute, huh? It's made of felt, and the pockets are big enough to tuck a little treat inside for each of them, though there will be no chocolate for my 11-month-old (sorry Russ!). It also looks really adorable hanging on the wall in our playroom. Don't you love advent calendars?