Top 5

A friend of mine had some good advice for me the other day as I told her about my least favorite question. I am haunted by a question I get at parties (because, you know, I go to so many) or church fellowship halls, “So, where do you want to end up?” It’s basically the informal version of “Where do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years?” As a kid it was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” You can see I’ve been chronicling these questions (i.e., harboring anxiety) for quite some time now – I’m not that old, but come on, 27 isn’t exactly that young. Oh my gosh I’m old.

So thankfully this happened: Friend asked, “Maybe the better question is, ‘What do you keep coming back to?’” I paused and she forced me to articulate where I’m passionate for particular ideas, concepts, movements, people. It was difficult, but in a way, it just flowed out of me and was the easiest thing. Instead of guessing at what’s to come, I had to sit in “well, where have I chosen to be?”

I don’t have a dramatic unveiling of my 10-20 year plan (I know! Right?). But what I do have is my top 5 – My top 5 things/people/ideas I keep coming back to. They just won’t go away. I have to come back to them. Something in me is compelled to revisit and learn what is new with these people. They just aren’t going away on my radar. So here they are in no particular order:

Emily McDowell. Ok, this woman is nuts. She takes ridiculous sayings and puts them on greeting cards, tote bags, and temporary tattoos. I showed one of her greeting cards to my husband and he said, “It’s your birthday, go shorty.” Nope. I then corrected him by rapping said song and felt ridiculous, but I think that’s mostly a function of my inability to rap and not a reflection on the genius that is this greeting card.


I seriously love her.

Caroline Tran. Oh my goodness, I get lost in her blog. She’s a LA-based photographer of weddings, boudoir, engagements, and people who love each other. Her pictures are art. This one takes my breath away:

[Aaaaand of course I can’t find it. So just imagine a cute couple at their wedding and it’s cute. My eyes can’t handle any more hour-long Google image searches. See other abundant prettiness here.]

Christiane Lemieux. SO – There’s this Instagrammer named Christiane Lemieux. She’s the executive creative director at Wayfair, & founder and creative director of Dwellstudio. But mostly she’s just a fabulous creative person who makes me want to fly standby at MSP every time she posts something like this on Instagram. A few months ago she posted a picture of Lisbon, Portugal. She inspires within me major #wanderlust, goodness.

nala_cat. If I made my cat an internet star, Nala would be Buddy’s main competition. This cat is fierce and cute. Most notebly, she models her owner’s crocheted cat hats, making Nala look like a shark (no, really). All I can say is that this is a super cute cat to follow, so if you’re on Instagram, you know what to do.


Melody Gardot. I’ve talked about her a few times on this blog, but I guess that’s the point of this. When I listen to her latest CD, “Absence,” I feel like I can breathe. There’s rumors she’s working on her new CD. I hope it comes out soon because if her latin-jazz-inspired “Absence” is any indication, I think it’s going to be awesome.

So those are my top 5 things I keep coming back to. What are your top 5?

Photo credit: Emily McDowell and Nala Cat


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