Archive | Book Review

Two Words for 2012 – Comfortable Boldness

image :: Open your heart.

My whole life, I’ve wanted to feel comfortable in my skin.
It’s the most liberating thing in the world.
(Drew Barrymore)

Image :: Day 78 / Ready for take-off

Fortune befriends the bold.
(Emily Dickinson)

image :: 200.365

Comfortable: relaxed, secure, and in content…
It’s funny how even the word brings some comfort.
We’ve all experienced it.
It’s a safe feeling, pure happiness, or emptiness.
It’s hard to find the right medium & how long you can sustain
being uncomfortable. I am a firm believer though that
until you let yourself be truly uncomfortable,
you can’t reap the joys of being truly comfortable.
(Shayna Sandlan)

image :: laughing

Laugh at yourself,
but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself.
Be bold.
When you embark for strange places,
don’t leave any of yourself safely on shore.
Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory.
(Alan Alda )

image :: westelm.capiz

A comfortable house is a great source of happiness.
It ranks immediately after health and a good conscience.
(Sydney Smith)

There are many bloggers who name a word for their year. When I created my 12 Intentions for 2012, I was seeking something similar — a focus, a thread, a theme, to weave in and out and through my year.

In 2010, my word was nurture. It was serendipity in 2011. I found the words uplifting, but the overall idea didn’t stick. Maybe that’s why I struggled to find my word for 2012? As the new year approached, my mind went blank and I almost gave up on the idea altogether.

Then I started reading Style Statement by  Carrie McCarthy and Danielle LaPorte. As I worked through the stories and prompts, I came upon two words: my foundation and my creative edge. As the book explains, “Your foundation word represents your being. Your creative edge is how you express and distinguish your being.”

Determining my style statement was like recognizing an old friend. I began to see myself in a new light. Asking myself questions like, “does this represent comfortable? Am I embodying boldness?” helped reveal inner motivations and  began to shed light on why I do what I do.

My words are Comfortable Boldness, for this year and beyond. Using these words as my touchstone, I hope to make decisions and attract opportunities that align with my style statement —with my foundation and creative edge.

Style Statement defines Comfortable Boldness:

Comfortable is the consummate pleasure seeker… In their best form, Comfortable is easygoing, sincerely cheerful, and free from doubt. They can be highly sensitive, and when they feel something in their bones, they will operate with steady determination… Comfortable is body centered, so the priority with fashion and furnishing is comfort.

Boldness has a strong warrior spirit that can translate into risk-taking, maverick ideas, and lively adventures… Do it right, or don’t do it at all… They are quite comfortable with uncertainty because they know they can draw on their own daring and multiple resources to fully embrace any situation… They focus forward.

What Comfortable Boldness means to me:

Comfortable is the space between smooth sailing and working to my edge. Comfortable is leaning into my dreams while maintaining a sense of groundedness. Comfortable is carefree and cozy. Boldness is passionate, spicy. Boldness has the guts to follow through. Firm, steady and strong, Boldness leaps fearlessly and loves deeply.

My recommendation on Style Statement:

Read the book from cover to cover, or skip ahead to the exercises in the back. The stories and photos read like a magazine with journal prompts and excises mixed in throughout. This book is most enjoyable when read with a big mug of tea, cozy blankets and the Amelie soundtrack playing in the background.

Image Credits:
Open your heart. via lululemon athletica
Day 78 / Ready for take-off via Noukka Signe
200.365 – City Love via Jos Liba
laughing via lululemon athletica
westelm.capiz via coco+kelly

Would you like to receive these posts & my monthly newsletter directly to your inbox? Sign up today to let the magic of Inbox Inspiration and Muse Memos begin!


12 Books for 2012

image :: reading and drinking (in bed)

Think in the morning, act in the noon, read in the evening, and sleep at night.
(William Blake)

The first few days of school were always my favorite, and I especially loved when instructors introduced the course syllabus. There was magic in having knowledge at my fingertips, with a map and experienced guide to show me the way. Life has been busy since graduating from college several years ago, and I often miss the discovery and excitement that comes from studying, learning and uncovering information.

Last November, I decided to stop buying books and start reading more. Blogging about my 1-year challenge made it real, and so far I’ve stuck to my promise. I love the idea of learning and developing myself, but finding time is another story. To help myself get motivated and excited about reading on a regular basis, I created a list of 12 books I’m finishing this year.

image :: 12 books for 2012

Jan: Style Statement by Danielle LaPorte & Carrie McCarthy
Feb: Crazy Sexy Diet  by Kris Carr
Mar: Onward by Howard Schultz
Apr: The Power by Rhonda Byrne
May: The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry
June: 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong
July: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Aug: The China Study by T. Colin Campbell & Thomas M. Campbell II
Sept: Getting Things Done by David Allen
Oct: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Nov: Creative, Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho & Meg Mateo Ilasco
Dec: A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

The books I selected are loosely aligned with my 12 Intentions for 2012, which I think will help me stick with the plan. In addition to these books, I’ll also be listening to some great audiobooks and podcasts during my commute. I’ll be sharing my thoughts, feedback and reactions to each book throughout the year—and invite you to join me by reading along!

Image Credit: Reading and drinking (in bed) via M31


Goodreads and the 1-Year Challenge


Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting
one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.
(Kathleen Norris)

When my Mister and I moved in together, decorating came easy.

Our tastes mesh well — clean lines and dark furniture, artwork of city skylines. We agreed on getting one feature piece for our new home. While he’s not a huge fan of throw pillows and I could do without surround sound, we both wanted a bookcase.

He’s an avid reader and I’m an eager shopper — the combination makes for a considerable library. Organized by color and type. Business books toward the bottom, cookbooks in the middle. It’s really quite lovely.



My love for buying books has outpaced my reading in a big way. There are 50+ books in these shelves that I haven’t finished and most I haven’t even started. Because of this, I’ve asked myself:

Can you go 1 year without buying a book for yourself?

Yes, I’m up for the challenge.

For a lot of people this might sound easy, maybe even a little silly. But as someone who has a hard time walking past Barnes & Nobel without something catching my eye, I need to do this. There’s so much knowledge, entertainment and inspiration within reach.

My goodreads account is set up, and my unread books are listed on my to-read shelf. With the exclusion of gifts and book club books, I’m dedicated to reading what I own before buying anything new.


Have you tried anything like this before? If so, I would love to hear about your experience!

Image Credit: Needtobreathe via Always Bë Cool


Currently Reading

Our Bookshelf

A capacity and taste for reading gives access
to whatever has already been discovered by others.
(Abraham Lincoln)

Hello, sweet friends. I hope all is well with you. From your comments on previous posts, it seems like some of you share my penchant for buying books and magazines. It’s one of my favorite things, truly. Maybe it’s the promise of knowledge. Perhaps it’s just another form of collecting inspiration. Either way, I love it.

Have you read any good books lately?

I recently finished The Help and Bossypants on audiobook. My commute to work is about 40 minutes each way and I’ve found that audiobooks help to pass the time. I thought The Help was brilliant and I look forward to seeing the movie sometime soon. Bossypants is read by Tina Fey herself, which takes the book’s humor and delivery of insight to a new level. I just downloaded Sarah’s Key for an upcoming book club meeting, which some might call cheating but I think it’s just an excellent case of multitasking!

As for actual hardcover, Bethenny Frankel’s most recent book is currently on my nightstand. A Place of Yes seems to be a mixture of an autobiography and a how-to for living a happier, more fulfilling life. I’ve just started reading it, but so far I really like how her voice shines through. I’ve enjoyed watching Bethenny’s story unfold on Bravo and am looking forward to gaining some tips through her version of self-help.

To check out all the books/DVDs I’m coveting, visit my Amazon wish list. I’ve promised myself that I won’t buy another book before finishing a few of the 30 unread books currently in my possession. It might be awhile before I make any big book orders!


Big Book, Bigger Inspiration

Image - Big Book Small Spaces

Be grateful for the home you have,
knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need.
(Sarah Ban Breathnach)

Apartment Therapy’s site provides the opportunity to peek in on the creative genius of stylish places that don’t exist in the pages of magazines or on the sets of motion pictures. Rather, the homes highlighted belong to folks who have crafted beautifully functional and incredibly livable spaces.

When I discovered Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan’s newest endeavor, Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces, I immediate added the book to my wish list. I have been an apartment dweller and small space lover for the past 8 years. Thus is a life of most twentysomethings. When my Mister and I decided to shack up, the stakes were raised.

Image - Cozy Kitchens

I sometimes dream of having an unlimited budget, exceptional taste and an eye for the unseen beauty of flea-market finds. My reality lies in the middle of a busy summer, with a modest budget and plenty of other things on my mind.

When I bought Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces a few weeks ago, I was surprised at how it read like a good book—with lots of eye candy. I cozied up with a cup of tea, wrapped myself in a blanket, and sat out on the porch. Flipping through the pages, soaking up the clever space-making of Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan’s muses.

Image - Miniature Bedrooms

I have a secret hope that our individual belongings will combine into a magical orchestra of perfect harmony, but I know that can’t be. Even the most beautifully put-together spaces are temporary, fleeting works in progress.

Image Credit: Apartment Therapy


© 2009 - 2017 The Pursuit of Simple Joys / An Extraordinary Adventure. All Rights Reserved.