So Long, Farewell

If you haven’t heard, I’m moving the blog to it’s own hosted site. Owning my own Internet real estate will be a challenge, but a fun one. I hope you join me over at If you’re signed up for email updates from The Peony Papers, you can sign up at the new site in the left navigation bar. So click here and enjoy my new adventures!

So Long, Farewell from Iain Gall on Vimeo.

Because No One Can Pronounce Peony

So here’s the big announcement, well actually two.

Number 1: I am moving.

Not literally, but the blog. I’ve taken the plunge, bought some Internet real estate and a hosting service, and I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to make the whole thing look good.

Where am I going?

But why? You may ask.

First, I’m still working to figure out exactly what my blogging career is going to focus on, and my new address gives me more flexibility.

Second, it allows me to create an online portfolio under the same umbrella so I can work on building mad skills.

Finally, while I adore the ten or so of you out there that actually read this blog, now is a good time to move if I want to try to grow a bigger audience. If I wait it’ll just be more painful. So here I go.

Number 2: I have a new job! My new post is at a design and consulting firm working with clients who need to train their employees on just about anything. I’ll be doing all the creative work plus a lot of client-relationship management. Thanks Heather and Kristin for giving me a great head start. Once my first project goes up, I’ll be sure to share, since it’s all about me.

Check out a slice of my new desk! Yes, that is a Sticky Fingers magnet.

I’m sure you can all guess the reasons why I’m excited, and if you want to know more, feel free to send me a note.

So head over to the new blog and let me know what you think! It’s cleaner, more streamlined and should be kicking out content a bit more regularly. Check out the first new post TOMORROW. I’d love to get some feedback! xo

A Bite of Monday

Happy Monday!

Things have been crazy. I have a big announcement out tomorrow and lots of fun things to post about. We’ve been busy going to DC and North Carolina, plus apple picking and meeting James van der Beek at Oktoberfest. Once I can find my SD card with the photos I can start sharing.


Like this Snow White moment I had tasting apples. This one was delicious.

If only I had a photo of Daphne finding an abandoned baseball hat in the road and carrying it over a quarter of a mile on our walk this morning. She was determined to hang onto it, until she found a leaf.

I have really loved writing a little bit and exploring what I want this blog to be. Being able to write anywhere (like in the parking lot at this moment) and learning that my posts don’t have to be long, just meaningful have been the two biggest lessons I’ve learned.

So stay tuned for lots of excitement!


Blue or Green

Most things about me are pretty obvious. I’m 5’10”. I’m blonde. I now need glasses to drive (thanks road trip from Colorado to Pennsylvania). One thing I never know how to answer is, “What is your eye color?”

“I don’t know,” I usually say, “you tell me!”

I come from a fair family. With a bit of Irish, Swedish, and Slovakian you could say my kids are destined to be beach blonde their entire lives. And I guess you could say my eyes are going greener as I get older, like my mom’s.

So why is it so hard to pin it down? Because we’re not Kelly green or emerald greens. We’re the green of the sea coming into a Caribbean island. Or the green of a Robin’s egg or a Tiffany’s box (well, maybe that’s a stretch).

Well, maybe not such a stretch. But as much as I’d love to put ‘Tiffany Blue’ as my eye color, I don’t think the DMV will go for that. So are they blue or green? I don’t know. But I do know I wouldn’t change it for even the best vampire eyes:

Chewing Gum for the Eyes

Frank Lloyd Wright said, “TV is chewing gum for the eyes.” I completely agree. We’ve been doing a good job of cutting TV out of our lives. Unfortunately it’s football season, which means the TV doesn’t get a break. Luckily I can sneak away to play with the dog or zone out on the Interwebs while Adam obsesses over each GB pass.

At least I’m getting better about not watching as many shows all at the same time. So here’s my list of shows I just can’t seem to break up with:

Game of Thrones
Intrigue, war, and a few good looking cast members. It also doesn’t help that I’ve now read all five books and am going to be very very unhappy if GRRM doesn’t publish books six and seven before he dies. Yes, I have writer envy.

The Vampire Diaries
First off, TVD is set in Virginia, the home state I love to no longer live in. Add some killer fashion from Katherine and Caroline, a great soundtrack and Ian Somerhalder (I’ve only had a celeb crush on him since 2000’s Young Americans. Yes, I do remember the entire season). TVD also has a collection of hysterical Twitter feeds (CoolAuntJenna, TheGilbertPorch, and Salvatore Fireplace) that keep the days between episodes entertaining.

This show has got to have the best cast of actors that no one has ever heard of. What they lack in star wattage they make up for in snark, sass, and style. The girls are pretty cool too. If you haven’t seen this on its summer run, check it out when it comes back in December.

How I Met Your Mother
I’m pretty sure this needs no explaining. I got into HIMYM last year when Adam and I finally moved back to the States. While I’m no expert and I haven’t seen every episode, this show is funny, poignant, and a bit scary: I see a little bit of Adam and me in Marshall and Lilly. We’re only a few years younger than this crew. What mischief is going to befall us?

What shows can you not cut off your DVR?

The Art of Charm

Last weekend we went down to Washington, D.C. My hometown. My father recently had hip replacement surgery so we went to do some vacuuming, go to the grocery store, and of course introduce him to Daphne. He was a bit under-impressed with her.

Here he is walking me down the aisle. Thanks Sara for this gorgeous photo.

Then we headed into the city to see some of our closest friends. If we didn’t live in Philadelphia, we’d choose to live in D.C. if only because our best friends live there.

They loved Daphne.

One even went far enough to insist that he walk Daphne, carry her across intersections, and never let her out of his reach. Yes, Hardy was using Daphne to pick up girls.

I can’t say if he was successful or not, he chatted with many different women. And even a fellow gentleman stopped to ask what type of puppy she was. He was keen on getting one for himself.

Ladies, beware. Men are hunting us using our better judgement against us. They’ve been going to yoga class and films like Magic Mike just to meet us. And now, they’re using cuddly, lovable puppies.

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Hardy did look pretty cute with that little furball on his arm.

Confession Tuesday

Tonight I had the dinner of champions: Sauvignon Blanc, rice with salt and butter, and chocolate cookie dough. That’s right, I’m tired, stressed out, and my husband isn’t home. But I’m still accountable for not eating anything healthier, which is why I’m writing it down.

It also doesn’t help that I have not been able to write in a few days. I keep letting my few free minutes slip me by and blaming walks with Daphne, exhaustion, or trying to get something done around the house. But really I have not fought hard enough to get the 20-30 minutes a day I need. At least we’ve been having some killer sunsets lately, like this one to the left.

Saturday we went to the Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square. Apparently it’s the mushroom capital of the world. I’ll be posting on that tomorrow. Especially since the post has been half finished since Saturday (but I won’t get into that). Then Sunday we went to Rehoboth and spent three beautiful hours on a perfect beach. Big waves, crystal blue sky, and dolphins just off shore.

Really, I should have posted this photo without a filter. We met up with an old sorority sister of mine Alicia, who I’m having a good time reconnecting with after about five years. Then while Adam watched the painful Green Bay / San Francisco game, I spent some quality time on the treadmill and watching Daphne be enthralled with my ab workout.

Then with 7pm Yoga Flow last night, nothing ended up happening. Tonight Adam is in Indianapolis for a conference with work, so I am playing Pack Master. Needless to say, I’m failing miserably. At least she is going both up and down our entire staircase on her own. Finally!!!