makes me happy

Le Shack

I read this story in the New York Times about Isabel Marant’s little shack up in the French countryside (via Emily). I love that it is 30 minutes from the city and it is a pretty simple set up ie: it doesn’t have any running water, just water pumped from a spring. I would love to put something together like this outside San Francisco. If it was something really simple I wonder how expensive it would be? It looks like heaven. (It reminds me a little of this.)

photo by Adrian Gaut

My Dream Car

One of my bad habits when I have a deadline is I look for adorable microcars on ebay. I’ve even been known to place low bids on occasion without telling Paul. hehe I can’t wait for the day I actually win one and I have to tell Paul I’m going to Illinois to pick up a really impractical new car. I was looking at ebay listings here in Europe (which are a lot more exciting) when I found this amazing car. It’s a Fiat 500 Jolly Ghia, I guess they were made as resort cars for when you are on vacation. All I know is the wicker seats are killing me! I’ll take one in minty green please. Here is some information I found on this site.

Produced between 1958 and 1966, the Fiat Jolly vehicles (also knows as La Spiaggina or the beach-ette) were used by many celebrities of the era, including Aristotle Onassis, Yul Brynner and the late Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli, as beach and estate cars, golf carts and yacht tenders. The cars came with cut-down sides, chromed pipe-work, wicker seats and festive surrey top, while color choices included coral, pink, pale yellow, sky blue and white.

Don’t quit your day job

I don’t remember who came up with the idea but when my friends were in town last week someone suggested we take pictures of people in front of the Eiffel Tower with my vintage polaroid camera and then go out to dinner with our earnings. It sounded like a fun challenge and the entrepreneur in me was curious if it would work. It was hilarious! As an adult I’m not used to rejection like that! After two hours we’d made 45 euros. Not enough to pay for dinner but not bad either! It was a lot of work but ended up being really fun to interact with all the people. I’m glad I have friends who think doing things like this is a great way to spend an afternoon. Would you ever do anything like this? It’s essentially a lemonade stand.

Thanks to Charlotte Beck for the photo.

Thoughts on Books

I had kind of a life changing experience this fall when three things serendipitously happened.

1. We got an ipad and decided to sell our tv. We still watch plenty of shows (I’m not anti tv, I love it) but with the new setup the tv doesn’t get left on and all of a sudden you find yourself watching one of those awful celebrity shows that come on and you are listening to Mario Lopez tell you things you don’t care about.

2. We got a coffee table. Since we’ve had kids we haven’t had a coffee table. We thought it was better to keep the space open for the boys to play. But I changed my mind last fall and picked up an Ikea coffee table to do projects on.

3. We got new books. I had some Amazon credit so I decided to buy some books that were sitting in our online shopping carts so that it wouldn’t expire while we moved to Paris.

We have a pretty great collection of books already but we’ve always kept them on the bookshelf. Something happened when we put the books on the coffee table. They were literally right in front of us all the time. So we started spending a few hours a day reading and then we found ourselves having great discussions and getting really inspired. I’ve never liked the sentiment that one form of art is better than another. So please don’t take away that our minds were suddenly opened when we started reading books instead of watching tv (I think it’s more about editing the content). But I loved that we would sit quietly together in comfy chairs reading and then talking about things we care about, it was good–our lives felt better.

Have you ever gotten rid of your tv? Or do you only watch shows if Mario Lopez is on them?

photo of our coffee table in San Francisco by Aubrey Trinnaman

Stephanie Nielsen Makes a Calendar

Back when I was discovering blogs (about a year before I started Oh Happy Day) I found Stephanie Nielsen’s blog. She wrote about things like her family and beautiful home. I remember coming home from work a few months after we were married and telling Paul “I found this blog of this girl and she has the cutest painted furniture and she makes having kids look so fun.” We became internet friends soon after

Fast forward a few years, Stephanie was in a near fatal airplane crash where she was badly burned. It was heartbreaking to hear about the accident and then so inspiring to see her work through (and continue to work through) the practically impossible challenges. I feel so blessed that she shares her story with the world. Personally, watching her life (before and after the accident) has been so influential on me and shaped how I view my own challenges. Watching her life really has been an honor for me.

I was so happy to hear about the 2011 Calendar she made. They are gorgeous quality and they have a beautiful note at the end (that made me cry.) I’m taking mine to France with me and will hang it right next to my desk. You can get one right here.