happy friday!

friends, did you buy the book? did you read it? can you believe the first month of 2012 has already come & gone? are you feeling happier? how did january go? did you begin your 2012 quest towards happiness? did you start your happy high?

i am happy to report, i slept a little more than usual. and, our house is almost-in-order. this past week i tackled the kitchen – cleaned out the fridge/pantry/food cupboards, i re-organized my art cupboards.  i did the post-christmas clean-out! raided everyone’s closets, my oldest daughter has been begging for her own room since we moved here – so yesterday we were playing musical bedrooms – i am tossing, donating, and selling. since husband is out of town, i am planning a few final projects this weekend and then we’ll be organized for a few more months! it’s a lot of work, but feels so good!

i am still working on the walk*more goal. however, i did add a few walks to my regular work-outs this month, {woo*hooo!}

but, i’ll be honest, a clean-organized home makes me very happy. and these past few days i have a spring in my step because i am reaping the rewards of my hard work!

do you remember me saying that Gretchen Rubin was the closing keynote speaker at alt. design summit?!?

i was able to spend a few minutes chatting with Gretchen before she began, she is so lovely & radiates a genuine kindness.
she told the crowd to…

cram your life with things you love.

do you do that?


keeping with my first-friday-of-the-month-happy-friday theme, i will try to quickly discuss chapter 2 for february. this chapter is so good you guys! if you are married, and you own this book but haven’t read it – at least read chapter 2!

i don’t want to give-away everything in this chapter. so, i am going to only hit on a couple of my favorite parts in order to keep this short.

in the section of chapter two titled, “no dumping,” gretchen says, “I know Jamie {her husband} wants me to be happy. in fact, the happier i seem to be, the more Jamie tries to make me happy, and when i’m unhappy —for whatever reason—Jamie goes into a funk. so, as part of my attempt to be happy, I resolved, “NO dumping,” especially on Jamie. I would bring up my worries if I really needed Jamie’s counsel or support, but i wouldn’t dump my minor troubles on him.”

oh, man. this totally applies to my marriage. in fact, when i was reading this book, husband and I were traveling in the Philippines – i frequently read passages out loud to him. When this particular paragraph came up, i read it out loud to husband and he instantly cracked his sly smile. we are so aware of this. i don’t know why, but when i dump my minor troubles on husband, he spirals into an insta-funk. do you relate?

so, in this month of love that starts with our anniversary, i am going to resist dumping! {funny statement, yes?}

later in chapter two, gretchen quotes William Butler Yeats,

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth.
We are happy when we are growing.

can i get an A-men?!? oh, i love that!

she continues,

Contemporary researchers make the same argument:
that it isn’t goal attainment but the process of striving after goals — that is, growth — that brings happiness.

hallelujuah! that is just beautiful. my soul leaps at those words.


i’m adding: push myself to grow this month.
my list for this goal is big. it makes me think of a quote i’ve seen lately…


to summarize –

january {i will continue to work on these}

sleep more
be organized
walk more

+ february:

no dumping

what are your goals? in-between the Super Bowl this weekend or whatever you may be doing. take a few minutes to think about all of this – happiness, here we come!

see you monday – i’ll be posting my latest new-to-me goodies!

{images via, quote by me.}


♥ ♥ faves from around the web + gift guide ♥ ♥

friends, to complete this week …

i wanted to share one last post about my favorite spotted valentine’s from around the web,
plus a gift guide for any of those people you love & what you could buy them to celebrate.


one two three
four five six
seven eight nine

happy weekend my friends! do you have plans?
our niece & her family will be visiting from denver, so, our guest rooms will be full & we’ll be sight-seeing around bean town. ♥

…tune-in on monday, i am going to start sharing “new to me” posts each monday to start the week.
you don’t want to miss it!



Dîner en Blanc

this is one of the most amazing things i have ever seen! Dîner en Blanc. it happens every year (in a variety of locations) and the guests don’t know where they are going until 15 minutes before it starts. you bring your own white table + chairs, everyone wears white and and has a giant dinner party under the stars. most of the time, you are also requested to ride the public transportation to arrive so that the world still doesn’t know what is going on till – presto! the event has started! doesn’t it look magical?

alt. design summit officially starts at 9am this morning! woo*hoo! {i also had dinner with a great group of design bloggers last night.} i am so excited for the next three days.

tonight, alt. is hosting a “winter wonderland” party. they have planned their own, “diner en Blanc.” it’s going to be so fun to see everyone all together! cheers to blanc! have you ever attended ann all-white attire event? what do you think? this could be great inspiration for a special event.

{image source.}


altitude design summit

a.k.a. “alt.”

last year i attended alt., and had the best time. it was like adult-design-summer camp with inspiration and lovely people  everywhere.

this year, i am more prepared. i also have a serious fetish with letterpress. because of this fetish, i had new business cards designed via studio on fire. they were fantastic to work with & if you are in the market for anything-letterpress. look them up. they’re legit.

why drawstring bags? because last year i walked around with business cards stuffed in my handbag all over the place!  this year, i want to help everyone be more organized!  these little bags {made here} can help everyone keep those well-designed cards all in one place.

before i let you go, make sure you go look at this. did you know letterpress was such an intricate-involved process? truly beautiful. i watch this video & it makes me wish i had one of these machines so i could make my own cards & posters. i’ve never taken a class on letterpress, but it’s on my creative-to-do list for 2012.

three cheers for alt., it starts tonight!

{all photos by me.}


paper wall art

using doilies, coffee filters, and a couple of these paper lotus kits, i created this wall collage in my girls room:

the bottom right picture are a few flowers/doilies/filters i added on the opposite side of the room around a shelf/molding to add a little pop & some balance/flow to the room.

i was very pleased with how it all turned out, and my girls went crazy over it. sela was a bit jeally of the project, so we added a few flowers and doilies in her room too.

i love working on projects around my home. in fact, it’s never complete – there is usually a work in progress somewhere. do you have anything in the works right now?

{all photos by me.}


see jane… another year older.

i have been so touched by the warm welcome back i have received from you, my friends. i never expected so many sweet comments & emails. you are so awesome.

because of this, i want to give something back to you!

danyelle over at dandee-designs has inspired me. she does a fun giveaway on her birthday. on her 30th birthday she sent 30 of her favorite things to one reader.

i love giving gifts + it’s a fun way to send some appreciation love back to you!

here’s the deal… i want to include a few more readers than one. so, since i am 36 today. i will send NINE of my readers four of my favorite things. {9×4=36, got it?} all nine will receive the same four items.

to enter, leave a comment below + if you haven’t already, you can “like” my new Facebook page for a second comment!

i will announce the nine winners by the end of the week on this post. you have a few days to enter!!!

let the festivities begin!


this giveaway is closed.

and the nine winners* are:

#44 – jenny bluhm

#124 – chandra le

#107 – paige smith

#71 – stacy

#108 – leigh stapley

#22 – Kim

#29 – klaaspice

# 105 – shelby russell

# 31 – adena

congratulations my friends! i listed your names exactly as you have them on the comments section. if you are not sure if it is you, please check the comments again below to match your # with your name.

email me: jane{at}prolook{dot}com, send me your full name + mailing address! you will all be receiving your packages no later than early february!!!

♥ ♥ thank you for reading! ♥ ♥

* all winners were chosen by random.org, a random number generator.

question: husband and i are thinking about having a weekly-favorites giveaway since we had such a great response. what do you think? every friday?


Jerry Remy’s

we have become fans of jerry remy’s down on the harbor in the city.

and, our family loves group hugs, whenever we can squeeze them in!

who is jerry remy? in a nutshell, he was a red sox second baseman starting in the late 70s, he is currently president of the red sox nation, and a red sox commentator for NESN, so obviously we are fans of the restaurant. {go sox!}

have you been to jerry’s?


goodbye 2011, hello 2012!

this year was a great one! so many amazing memories, experiences and adventures. this post could be incredibly long if i were to name them ALL so instead i will just highlight a few…

{it’s still long so grab your favorite beverage of choice & enjoy…}

i happily turned thirty-five

…the kiddo’s were sucker’s for valentine’s day!

i made these invitations…

for a very special girl who became a teenager, with a ♥ teen-y ♥ party!

one of my best craft projects of 2011 was definitely the famous-d-i-y-chandelier!

in april, i was totally honored to participate in Justin Hackworth’s 30 Strangers photography exhibit. Especially since it coincided with the year we moved away from my mom. these photos will always be dear to me…

that same month, my typical tuesday was shown here. it might exhaust you!

at the end of april, kj helped me make these:

because he turned 8! {see here.}

…the easter bunny was super-sneaky when it showed up at night! leaving flashlights for an after-dark egg hunt!!!

in early may, we announced our exciting adventure! the rhodes were moving to Boston!!! our home in utah had an offer on it, we sold husband’s hummer for a city car. we sorted, organized, and packed for months as we prepared for a the yard sale of the century, and… took a trip to Boston in search of our future home…

we had many loving, farewell parties to say our good-byes to utah and all of those we love so dearly. here, here, here, here, and here! …one of the biggest farewells was our trip to southern utah. we spent a weekend in zions, enjoying the southern utah beauty before heading east —

days before our big move, we seriously downsized.

thank you, again, to everyone who supported our lemonade – yard sale!

{and then my blog went private. ::boo:: i missed you all, so much!}

in the midst of this chaos, i made our first blog book, and gave it to husband for father’s day – i’m hoping to finish one of these each year.

{and then – i took six weeks off of blogging! ::gasp!:: sorry ’bout that.}

during that long blogging break – we found a painted lady to live in, in the most charming of charming neighborhoods in boston. the home is complete with a tree swing!

we have lots of space for guests, and hope all our family & besties will come visit while we are in new england! {we have NO IDEA how long we’ll stay…}

if you ask big papi, the numero uno highlight of this year, was taking our entire family to a sox game. it was magical.

our little man went to red sox baseball camp – TWICE! he’s already requested to go EVERY week in summer ’12, he makes his papi truly happy by being such a loyal fan.

a total bonus to moving to boston that we never thought about before moving… the BEACHES!

seriously. we had no idea they would be so incredible!

in early october, our baby girl turned 5! it’s crazy that our youngest is not so little anymore. makes me a little sad. {but i also love the freedom of having kids grow-up!} since our move, we are having family birthday parties only for one year. starting with miss five, she requested a homemade barbie cake, an american girl doll, and a fun day centered around her. it was all her heart desired…

one goal of living back east is to travel/sight-see/tour as much as possible! so, our first mini trip was to washington d.c. in october. we had a warm weekend filled with sunshine, monuments, and family. it was perfect! we might go back in the spring for cherry blossoms & georgetown…

boston does halloween right! we headed to salem for the witches festival; we were ghosts & we handed out ghost treats!

continuing into fall in new england, we headed to an apple orchard. because that’s what you do out here, you pick apples! the kiddos loved it, and we made as many recipes as we could with our abundance of apples. also, my apple peeler-corer-slicer just seemed to stay on the kitchen counter 24 hours a day for two weeks. i loved it.

husband had a busy, busy year. he spent 27 weeks traveling for work away from home, the most he has ever been away from us. and, we miss him dearly when he’s gone. because of this, we have a little system where we all take turns going to the philipines with him. it gives us time with him & it helps him be less homesick on a few of his trips.

in November, i went with him & while we were there, we celebrated his birthday with friend in boracay. it was just like the pictures look – beautiful.

our thanksgiving was warm & cozy & our hearts were filled with gratitude as we shared the holiday with friends. and what does one do on thanksgiving in massachusetts? you visit plimoth, of course!

and, to celebrate christmas, we made our annual pilgrimage to mexico. with our dear, dear friends, the blands.

after christmas, myla moosey turned twelve! in proper myla fashion

an amazing year indeed. heres to making 2012 even better!

for the last few days of the year, we have driven from boston to new york city, for the first time. ten minutes after we pulled into new york city, husband rear-ended a guy, then got a parking ticket. all in an hour! here’s hoping he’s not in jail by the new year!!! ha!

…we will be watching the ball drop right dab in the middle of times square.
it’s all a part of our adventure!


what are you doing for new years? watching the ball drop on tv? {look for us!}

…and, come back tomorrow to read all about my plans for 2012!

what are YOU going to do?



fedoras in cabo san lucas.

if you are traveling with the rhodes family – specifically, me. there is a good chance i might convince a beach vendor to let us borrow eleven fedoras. then i might line you up, and ask you to march in a straight line across the sand. + a little booty shaking. in front of lots of people.

just so i can play with the pictures and create* something like this:

fedora par-tay!

…we just arrived home from our annual pilgrimage to mexico. ten days of family time, and relaxing – we are now ready to conquer what lies ahead! cheers to good friends, sunshine, and fedoras! do you travel over the holidays? or prefer to stay home?

*i was given the photo-editing-action i used on these photos + learned how to create slide shows like this at blogshop! pretty dang awesome if you ask me!

{photos by moi. this is not a sponsored post.}


cabo submarine

our family has been traveling to mexico, on a regular basis for nine years.  i’m guessing a dozen trips, split between mazatlan and cabo – and, our friends the Blands have gone on almost every one of those trips with us. it’s ideal with our kids all being such good friends. needless to say, mexico is truly a home away from home. for most of those nine years, we have done the same old things, on every trip.  we’re in a south of the border rut.  

however, this past trip we shook things up and tried a couple of new things…  call us wild & crazy!

first, we ventured over to the gorgeous cabo marina, and we took an underwater adventure on the cabo submarine!

check it out:

we were face-to-face with so many fish, starfish, eels, etc – our kids loved it!

and, we had pelicans literally flirting with us. a truly beautiful day to be out on the water.

post-submarine-thoughts: this is my kind of underwater adventure! i’m not a huge fan of being underwater in the ocean with the unknown. when i was in my twenties, i had my share of run-ins with large creatures down there & i’ve reached my limit of post-trauma-nightmares. are you a fan of the underwater world?


second, husband and the kiddo’s paddle boarded for days & days! husband and i had first tried paddle boarding in maui with friends a couple of years ago, but we did not have beginner’s luck. it was hard. and this trip was the first time for our kids to try it. in the past ten days, miss thirteen proved to be our best paddle boarder, and she chose to do this almost every day we were at the beach! she would even give her siblings rides around while she did all the work! by the end of our trip, she was seriously getting good at it! and, what an awesome work-out!

check her out:

have you tried paddle boarding? are you a fan of any water sports?

{photos by me, this is not a sponsored post.}


merry christmas!

{me, xmas 1980, almost 5}

i’ve been a fan of glitter since i was a wee one…

i hope your holiday is filled with sparkles!



our christmas.

santa arrived early at our home this year.

{ten days early!}

he’s super-magical like that…
{kudos to his insane little elves that made it happen!}

we went out for a festive family dinner & returned to this lil note from mr. bean, stating,

“open your christmas jammies tonight! santa wants to come early!”

without a moments hesitation, these lil munchkins prepared everything…

i should break out my tripod for moments like this, but that is just too much work – so please forgive the awful photo quality… i like them this way. because, the room was lit only by xmas lights and there was a yellow glow.

these two pictures were taken within seconds of each other – one with flash, one without.

see: sans flash is simply more lovely. blurry and all.

5:30am —

one of my favorite things about parenting, is watching my kids interact one with another, with love. kj was thrilled with his gifts from santa, but he could not wait to give his big sis his gift to her — precious.

big papi received all red sox/celtics/bruins attire from the kiddos. just what he always wants. ♥

…at the very end of things, everyone spotted snazzy new iPhone cases that santa hid in the xmas tree!

a beautiful mess.



can you think of a better thing to do for thanksgiving, than visit…

“The first outdoor living history exhibit you will encounter on your visit is the Wampanoag Homesite, located on the banks of the Eel River. Here you’ll discover how the 17th-century Wampanoag would have lived along the coast during the growing season; planting their crops, fishing and hunting, gathering wild herbs and berries for food, and reeds for making mats and baskets. You’ll see different kinds of homes including a mat-covered wetu, the Wampanoag word for house, and a bark-covered long house or nush wetu, meaning a house with three fire pits inside. Food is cooked over an open fire using only the ingredients that were available in the 1600s. At the riverside you may see men making a mishoon – the Wampanoag word for boat – using fire as a tool to hollow out a tree.”

“The 17th-Century English Village is a re-creation of the small farming and maritime community built by the Pilgrims* along the shore of Plymouth Harbor. In the Village, the year is 1627, just seven years after the arrival of Mayflower. The Museum selected this year for re-creation because it is well-documented in the historical sources and shows the plantation (a word that was used interchangeably with the word “colony” in the 1600s) just before the colonists began to disperse beyond the walled town and into other parts of what would become southeastern Massachusetts.

The English Village brings colonial Plymouth vividly to life. Here, you will find modest timber-framed houses furnished with reproductions of the types of objects that the Pilgrims owned, aromatic kitchen gardens, and heritage breeds livestock. Engaging townspeople are eager to tell you about their new lives in Plymouth Colony.”

“Visiting the ship Mayflower II is an extraordinary experience. The original Mayflower that sailed to Plymouth in 1620 no longer exists. Plimoth Plantation’s full-scale reproduction, Mayflower II, was built in Devon, England and crossed the Atlantic in 1957. The details of the ship, from the solid oak timbers and tarred hemp rigging to the wood and horn lanterns and hand-colored maps, have been carefully re-created to give you a sense of what the original 17th-century vessel was like. Come aboard and learn about the 1620 voyage of Mayflower, the perils of maritime travel, and the tools of 17th-century navigation. Explore the cramped quarters of the ship’s passengers. Peer down into the lower level “hold,” where the food, clothing, furniture, tools and other items necessary to start a colony were stored. Admire the “spacious” Master’s cabin, and compare it to the wet and windy accommodations of the common sailors. You will also hear the tale of a modern Englishman’s dream to build and sail Mayflower II as a symbol of American and British unity after World War II.”


all quotes/information taken from the plimouth plantation site, found here.
i definitely recommend visiting these sites if you are in the area,
historical + entertaining. we loved it!


holiday pretzel treats

my friend gave us these little goodies last year,
and i about ate the whole batch!
she used this recipe.

…this year, we had to make our own!

Bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels
Hershey’s Kisses or Hershey’s Hugs

{a great treat to have the kids help!}

we made designs out of our pretzels —


{sela’s pattern}


Heat the oven to 170F.
Set a number of bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper,
then top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey’s Kiss or Hershey’s Hug.
Bake for 4 to 6 minutes (the white chocolate will melt more quickly), until the chocolates feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon.
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press an M&M’s candy into the center of each Kiss.
Allow the treats to cool for a few minutes, then place them in the refrigerator to set, about 10 minutes.


i am taking those little bags to a little cookie exchange party tonight.
’tis the season!!!


thanksgiving 2011

…i had attempted to get most of the cooking/baking done the day before so i could enjoy the festivities with our gang.

we started the day at our local high school football game.

wellesley vs. needham
this is the oldest h.s. rivalry in the nation!
is that so cool?!?

sadly, we lost…

but, clearly, we still had fun!
look at all of us cheeeeesin:

we have this tradition that on thanksgiving,
we have “snacks” for lunch –
crackers, deli meat, cheese, veggies, pickles, fruit, dips…

and then – the real turkey bowl begins!

pre-thanksgiving dinner traditions:
kids’ activity books!

and, the big feast + our grateful hearts.
{photo prop mini chalkboard signs were from here.}

…i am still deeply in love with all these people, and they love me regardless of my holiday meltdowns. for that, i am extremely grateful.



{i am going to be mixing thanksgiving/christmas posts for the next few days while i still play catch-up.  please forgive me.}


© 2014 jane rhodes.