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The sun had moved, just enough, to start flooding though my living room window again. It gave the whole room the same glow that made me fall in love with the apartment in the first place. My fig tree noticed too and started blooming to life again. Translucent lime sprouts, the first new growth I'd seen amongst the stale deep leaves that had held strong all winter, and something different, a little green bulb. My first fig was growing. I was growing a fig. Me, the girl with the blackest thumb you could imagine, was growing fruit. I knew it was too early in...

It was my first time in Europe. My first time out of the country. I'd tagged along on my friends' three-week backpacking trip - eight cities in six countries- a pace that now has my quivering. Paris was our last stop. And, like many American girls who had never traveled before, Paris was my dream. The Eiffel Tower was my dream. Seeing the Eiffel Tower, the symbol of romance and beauty and all things European, up close and in person, was my dream....

East Meets West (Elm) — my teal, aqua, and gold mid-century modern meets global-inspired living room.   Over the holidays I had seven extra days off from work, everything from Christmas Eve through New Years. Combined with the weekends, that was eleven days off in a row. Eleven days where I didn't have to think about work. I thought about maybe traveling somewhere over the break, but I couldn't afford a trip and have had so many things I've wanted to work on that I decided to stay home and use the time off to catch up on my life. In preparation I...