Reflections on 2012...

It would be an understatement to say that 2012 was an eventful year.  I don't think I'm alone on that front.

There are a lot of different ways I could approach a post about 2012.  Reflection, photos, 'bests', goals, etc.  As I was looking through my photos from the year I realized just how much I'd done this year.  Made things, cooked things, gone places, met people, new job - all of it.

Maybe it's not cool to say this, especially on your own blog, but hey, I'm proud of myself!

So here's my reflection on an eventful, stressful, and when it comes down to it, wonderful 2012.

I went to Pixar. IN Pixar.

I made a clutch...or five.

Spent some time with my kid-brother.

At this place. You know, my favorite place?

I found out how magical the TARDIS is and have a real one now. (it's bigger on the inside!)

Threw a Sherlock themed birthday party. Complete with decorations, costumes and British nosh :)

I made a throw.

I met a nautilus. And it was awesome.

I worked and I waited. And indeed, opportunity did come on that Tuesday.  New job FTW!

I made a dress.

I bought new shoes and took my favorite "foot picture."

I celebrated the wedding of one of my oldest and most dear friends.  It was everything and nothing that I expected. But mostly everything...

I met this guy.

And we went some places.

I carved a pumpkin.

Went on a business trip.

Explored minor league hockey? But took a good picture with the bro-unit.

Got my first real Christmas tree.

Dressed up.

But when it comes down to it, what got me through this year the most were the people around me.

My favorite, most wonderful family.

And my fantastic friends far and near.

There is no way I would have made it through this year without my people, achievements or not.  At the end of the day, it comes down to the people you fill your life with, and I'm lucky to be able to fill mine with the best people I know.

I'm moving on to 2013 with high hopes, exciting plans and quite a few more goals to meet.  I'm excited to start and even more excited to leave 2012 behind.  I wish all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and hope that you get to celebrate it with people who are special to you.

All my love for the New Year!

~ Marina


Some Things...

It's been a while since I've posted anything personal on here. So I thought I'd flip through some photos to give you an idea about what I've been up to.

I found my favorite shoes for the year. They are amazing.

Went on an adventure with David into emo territory. Otherwise known as Berkeley. We dressed in camouflage. 

I went on a business trip for the first time.

I managed to make my way back to this place.  For a very important game.

I carved a pumpkin. His name was Bob.

Took part in a turkey fry.  It was delicious.

Found some fantastic free type and made love with it.

Made do without pro hockey and supported the local minor league team.

Brought home my first live Christmas tree.

And then there's this fellow.

Things are good. Things are real good.  And I'm not questioning how or why, I'm just enjoying them.  In a lot of ways, I want it to stay like this for a long time.  I'm so excited to start 2013 with this momentum.

To close out, I've had this post-it on my bulletin board since the Giants went into the playoffs.  It payed off then, and it's paying off now.  In the words of Hunter Pence, "Win. That's all."

You should too.

Here's to more wins in 2013.

With love,


A Breaking Dawn Soundtrack Education Part 2...

Hello again!

Long time no Twilight!  Well, not really.

The Breaking Dawn Part 2 soundtrack track-listing was released today and wanted make quick work of educating y'all on some of the artists, seeing as a couple of them are favorites of mine.

If I'm being honest, I wasn't EXACTLY thrilled when I first read this list and I don't really know why.  I think it's because I had really high hopes for this last installment.  Favorite artists I was hoping for, and other favorites I wanted to contribute again. *coughs* Bon Iver *coughs* However, after going through each artist, I'm warming quite a bit.

My statement from my A Breaking Dawn Soundtrack Education Part 1 still stands.  The Twilight soundtracks are great ways for these artists to get a larger following, and in encourage you guys to look into more of their music.  I've had quite a nice night doing so myself.

Rather than doing Sound Cloud clips like before, I'm going speak a little about each artist and put the download link at the bottom.

1. Passion Pit - I've known these guys for a while and consider "Little Secrets" to be one of my power songs.  They have recently released a new album, but their first album is my favorite.

2. Ellie Goulding - This little chickie is 25 with an AMAZING voice.  Her cover of "Your Song" is incredible.  I think she makes a perfect match for the Twilight franchise.

3. Green Day - Here is where my puzzlement lies.  I enjoy Green Day, I have for years, but I can't say I understand why they're going to be on the Twilight soundtrack   This song must be pretty amazing.  When do we think?  Arm wrestling?

4. Feist - I love Leslie Feist's music a lot and I had no idea she was part of Broken Social Scene.  Again, another great pick for Twilight.  "1234" is one of my favorite songs, so I included it.

5. The Boom Circuits - I've never heard of these guys before.  Most of their music comes from their EP so they don't have much out there right now but I'm really enjoying their sound.  Their song on the soundtrack is called "Everything and Nothing" and I feel like this could apply to B & E. We shall see!

6. St. Vincent - As many of you may remember, St. Vincent teamed up with Bon Iver (BIG BIG SIGH) for New Moon with the song "Roslyn."  To this day, this is my favorite song off any Twilight soundtrack.  I'm really looking forward to hearing what she has in store for Breaking Dawn Part 2.  Her solo sound is a lot harsher than "Roslyn."

7. POP ETC - Here's another band that I've never heard of before.  These guys are kind of hybrid electric/rock music.  I enjoyed what I heard and I hope you will too.

8. Iko - Definitely one of my favorite artists I've discovered this evening.  In early articles about the soundtrack, they had dropped their name, which means that she's probably more popular than I realized.  That's my bad because her music is amazing.  I hope you like too!

9. A Boy and His Kite - It was hard to find much out about this band.  Right now there is only one song on iTunes and I included it in this mix.  Reminds me of Sleeping At Last a little.  Definitely a good thing :)

10. James Vincent McMorrow - I recently heard McMorrow while listening to Pandora.  He has very etherial sounding music that should fit well in with the film.  "Follow Me Down To The Read Oak Tree" is one of my favorite songs as well.

11. Paul McDonald & Nikki Reed - Hmmm...well. You go, Rosalie!

12. Reeve Carney - So apparently this guy sang and stared in a Spiderman musical?  Despite popular opinion...I didn't include any of those songs on this mix. They're on iTunes though.

13. Christina Perri - After being seriously wowed by her contribution to Breaking Dawn Part 1, I can't wait to hear the second half of the song!  I'm sure it will be great :)  I forgot to include Christina's music on my first compilation, so here they are for part 2!

So there you have it.  Some thoughts and opinions.  You can download my compilation below.  Enjoy and let's keep up the excitement for the soundtrack release on November 13th!


4 of 27 - Make a Piece of Art...

I'm not going to lie. I'm pretty impressed with my progress on my list so far.

I put "Make a Piece of Art" on my list this year because I don't challenge myself enough in traditional art.  It's where I started, it's why I do what I do, and I used to draw and create so much before I finished school.  I spend so much time on the computer, I forget what it's like to use my hands for things.  Heck, I even forgot how much it hurts your back to bend over a canvas for hours and hours.

My inspiration for this project was two-fold.  Number one: My friend just moved into a new condo and I haven't contributed to her walls yet. (Also, it was her birthday).  Number two: My friend and I saw this room featured in HGTV Magazine and were inspired by this painting:

The artist is Matthew Heller and his work is fantastic.  While I would have loved to give my friend one of his paintings...they are a little out of my price range.  So I figured, why not try it myself?

I decided to pick the lyrics from this song (from one of my HFF mixes) for my friend, since I knew it made her happy.  Now it was a matter of making it happen.

I gathered all of my supplies from Michael's with my 40% off coupon. (Win) A canvas, some acrylic paint, stenciling brushes, and a set of individual letter stencils from Martha Stewart in a font that I could tolerate. :)

My process for doing each line probably took twice as long as it should have, but I wanted to make sure I coud fit the words correctly in the space.  Initially, I thought I could fit the whole song, when in truth I could only fit one verse and the chorus.  To make sure I got the color blend right, I mocked up the words in Photoshop so I could focus on the color for each letter.

I was lucky enough to have two days off from work to be able to focus my efforts on making this piece.  It's far from perfect, but I think that makes it pretty great.  

Of course, the best part was making my friend happy on her birthday.  Truly the best. (That's her fantastic condo in the first photo, by the way.)

So now it's time for my "take a risk and DO IT" speech because I think everyone should take a risk on stuff like this.  Especially when it involves a little bit of paint, a wide-open canvas, and music that you love.  You are your own worst critic so...GET OUT AND CREATE!

And if you need inspiration to do it anyway, listen to this new song by Ben Folds Five...because it's called "Do It Anyway."

Happy creating!



3 of 27 - Crochet a Throw...

It's easy to start yarn projects and abandon them.  I've learned this over the 2+ years I've been crocheting.  Sometimes you come back to them, but most of the time you end up repurposing the yarn for something else.  In general, I finish most of my craft projects...eventually...but I have never yet been determined enough to finish a large-scale yarn project.  This is why I wanted to put it on my list this year.

I wanted to do it right this time.  I was browsing through Pitnerest for inspiration, as you do, and found a really simple and nice-looking granny square pattern.  In the blog post, she linked to what the finished project would look like to and I really liked the look.  I was going to do this one and I was going to do it right - buy nice yarn, plan a color palette and keep on keepin' on.

After skeins and SKEINS of yarn (and realizing it takes a TON of yarn to make a decent sized blanket) I had a rhythm going.  One of the best parts about this throw, aside from the square pattern (which was easy to memorize) was that I had to wing the rest.  ie. Figure out how to put them together, how to edge it, whether or not I wanted to felt it, etc.

Another blessing during this project was the Summer Olympics.  Talk about a way to pass the time.  I worked pretty much non-stop on this project during the 2 weeks of the Olympics and finished just in time.

I enjoyed every aspect of this piece.  The colors, the squares, the way I crocheted them together and the end product.

Also, I was working on it during a particularly stressful time, and it was the perfect escape for me.  I am so thankful was able to throw myself into this project and achieve something I'm really proud of.

So there you go.  A complete throw, lots of purple and work that I'm proud of.  I'm checking this one off my list with a heavy hand because it was so much fun.  I encourage all of you to not only try crocheting, but to take a risk in making something big.  The struggle is worth it.