A hub for all things to do with design, furniture painting, photography, style, event planning [and some foodie bits for good measure].  

Tell All Your Friends.

The song "There's No 'I' in Team" has to be on my top 100 songs of all time. 

There are some songs that just resonate with me. There are certain albums I can listen to start to finish. Again and again.  And years later, I'll stumble upon that CD [or these days, it was likely by just listening to my itunes on random, but rediscovering a CD is far more nostalgic] and be brought back to that same time in your life; an album that stirs up emotions you forgot were buried deep.  

Last night, I had that very experience with Taking Back Sunday's debut album Tell All Your Friends [circa 2002].  

If you don't know me well, you may not know my past was filled with emotional punk music.  Lots of screaming, sometimes slightly whiny, lyrics strewn with love and heartache.  I'm not a fan of anyone who uses the term "emo" and even less so when it's used as a negative connotation.  I wasn't some sad "emo" kid crying softly in the corner of her bedroom listening to depressing music.  These songs and this style of music just reverberated with me. The entire New York/New Jersey/Long Island punk music scene was part of my birthright.  Bands like Thursday and Brand New [and of course, Taking Back Sunday] will always hold a special place in my heart.  

Yesterday, I was in bed, and again had another bout of insomnia.  Something just wasn't sitting right with me [and I don't mean my favorite frozen yogurt].  
So I reverted to my usual location of contemplation: the back porch.  I flipped open my laptop and pressed play on itunes.  

Sure enough, Taking Back Sunday's track, Great Romances of the 20th Century, came on, and within the first few melodic chords, I was brought right back.  The lyrics fell completely in line with how I was feeling [and quite literally alluded to my lack of sleep]. 

This won't mean a thing come tomorrow
and that's exactly how I'll make it seem
Cause I'm still not sleeping
Thinking I've crawled home from worse than this
So please, please I'm running out of sympathy
and I never said I'd take this lying down
You always come close but it never comes easy
I still know everything
You always come so close
If it's not keeping you up nights
Then what's the point?

Then I found myself writing down lyrics, something I do quite a bit. I started doodling alongside them [as you can see at the top of this post].  It's therapeutic.   I also picked out specific lyrics that spoke to me and created a little Tell All Your Friends album art. 

 Two hours went by and I'm not sure if I felt any better.  In fact, I felt even more uneasy and incensed than I did before. This is just one of those albums that incites me.  It makes me feel things I'd long forgot about.  It's a little piece of who I was in high school, that every so often comes back and reminds me of my past [or in this case stirred up more recent memories that I've worked hard on forgetting, but can't seem to shake].  As Vonnegut said,  "so it goes."

The nightstand series: 6-10

6. Glass of milk: yes, you might think- what is a grown adult doing drinking milk by her bedside? But frankly, I don't care- it's a ritual I've continued with since I was a kid, [though over time I switched from 1% to skim- so I suppose that was an adult move...] and it helps me get to sleep, since I can have insomniac tendencies at times.  Nothing too severe, I just get stuck with all the thoughts in my head jumbling about, vying for my attention and preventing me from going straight to a dreamier world. Sometimes I dream about my favorite milk that I could only get while up in Boston during college. Yum.

7. Scented candle: the current one I've got is called 'Vanilla Berry' and it brings me right back to a memory from when I was a kid.  I can vividly recall having a Strawberry Shortcake doll that had this VERY same scent.  I rarely light the candle, but every time I turn to my left, I get a brief scent of Strawberry Shortcake, and I'm soothed to sleep.  

8. Pill box: I don't keep any hardcore drugs here [though it does house some fast-acting Tylenol gel-caps if I'm feeling extra crazy] but it's just such a pretty piece, so I like keeping it nearby.  My Mom got this pill box on a visit to Buckingham Palace in London, when I was ten. I remember not thinking much of it [and the tea cup it matched] but now it's a favorite [or is it favourite?] travel token. 

9. Fresh flowers: I've been a bit lax about this.  I haven't had anything fresh by my bed for a week now- so I'll need to remedy that soon.  I'd love to get fresh flowers from the grocery every week, but usually I end up cutting something pretty from the garden and that does the trick.  Here, I picked a yellow rose and tucked it in an old coca-cola bottle.  I love the combination of pale greenish-blue with the bold yellow. 

10. Moisturizer: I've been using L'Occitane Ultra Rich Body Cream with shea butter. It's so decadent on my tired skin at the end of a long day.  A little bit goes a long way, so although it costs a pretty penny, I've had it for almost a year now and it'll stick around for a while. 

So that rounds out the top ten [or really, the only ten] objects you'll find on my nightstand each night.  Some are meaningful, others purposeful, but all are essentials to me getting a decent night's rest.  

Do you have an interesting nightstand, or want to share yours with me? I'd love to hear about it and add to the nightstand series! Leave a comment, or shoot an email my way: