Monday, November 17, 2014
♥ Trying to consolidate to just e-books? Love this idea to get some of the books you already own in their electronic counterpart.
♥ Always looking for ways to be better at my job, and just not feeling like I am drowning. I have yet to carve out the time to give this a try.
♥ New York wedding inspiration in a beautiful building.
♥ Love the option of a better-than-average wedding website option.
♥ I forgot about this blog, but have been catching up on owning a chateau, and wondering where I can buy one.
♥ Mulling over my Quotes board on Pinterest, this one jumped out to me tonight.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
I grew up hearing stories of my parents "days in the house", and shenanigans with their friends, many of which they are still in contact with today. My sister also has maintained ties with her sorority sisters, and I knew from example that sorority life and sisterhood will be four memorable years, followed by a lifetime of meaningful friendships.
My choice to join ADPi, has and will be one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.
Never mind that I loved living in a true house and having a cook and house boys to move furniture. Or the fact that we had dances, socials, sisterhoods, and fun events just about every week. It wasn't about being President, or having my own room, or receiving that wooden gavel which still means a lot to me.
What I took from ADPi was the opportunity to reveal and discover myself, to share some of the most formidable years of my life with women who supported me as more than just friends, but individuals who believed in the same life philosophies and treatment of others. I didn't develop my confidence from holding leadership positions, or learning how to talk to boys at grab-a-dates, or participating in a beauty competition in front of the entire Greek community. It was through unconditional love, support and mutual respect with the 100+ women I called sisters during those four years. Particularly, the women in my pledge class, who have remained some of my closest and dearest friends that I know will be with my through the rest of my life.
I was a tad emotional when I saw that email about 10 years an ADPi.
I paused for moment and through some uncertain feelings about my life right now- I remembered how insanely fortunate I am for what my sorority experience has given to me.
Ten years and counting for belonging to the best sisterhood and knowing some of the best women I could have ever asked for in life!
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Time continues to evaporate, and I find myself not even knowing how or where to start when I am presented with some down time. Most "down" time is spent watching TV--which is such a waste in so many ways, but often all my brain can comprehend after multiple busy weekends, and weeks of intense work.
After family visiting, a trip back west, a work trip up north and early morning weekends, I relished in a lack of an alarm, and taking my sweet time to get dressed and ready for the day.
To re-cap some of happenings from the last few weeks...I present mediocre iphone photos to capture the moments:
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Insight into our personality always comes at random times, a burst of introspective thought and you think "hmm, yes, I really am like that".
My latest revelation is that I don't like sharing special moments that I bonded with someone over. Which ties into my natural tendencies to keep my group of friends small, and that I am allllllll about loyalty (and trust) in relationships.
So back to being a non-sharer. I hate finding out that a particular behavior, phrase, facial expression, or joke is something that is shared between my person and another person in their life.
I feel cheated. I feel duped into thinking there was something special and unique to our relationship, only to find that instead of a one-of-a-kind relationship, we have a mass-produced-IKEA-expedit-bookcase esque type of relationship.
Sure it looks good, but it loses it's luster when you realize that IKEA has compromised your special bookcase, by selling it to hundreds of millions.
Call me jealous, or unreasonable, but whatever happened to protecting relationships?!? Or preserving some things just for a special person? I guess people are greedy and will mass produce something purely to be in every home...
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
What happened at Barnes & Noble was...shocking. My head is still reeling from the incomprehensible absurdity of the interaction we shared over the the table that opened up in the Starbucks cafe.
Now, I am sure I have no idea how stressful your day had been. Perhaps your kid screamed all morning, or your wife was mad at you for not remembering something you should have, and perhaps (just perhaps) you were trying to make up for it by securing a table in the Starbucks cafe so your child could enjoy a milk box, and your wife and you could sit and chat while the fruits of your loin made you two realize how in love you two are.
However, the statement "have some mercy! I have a wife and child" said in your entitled voice, as you leaped in front of me to steal the table we had patiently been waiting for, was uncalled for, and frankly absurd.
There were approximately, 20 other tables, and in fact-- one opened up not more than 5 minutes after you rudely took the table that we had kindly been offered by the individual who was leaving. Your child was not screaming, or even acting like they wanted to sit down (plus they had a stroller they could have sat in that was blocking an entire isle of books) and your wife ended up not even sitting down with your to enjoy a over complicated coffee order. (You both seemed like the type to order a
Regardless, the next time you think having a "wife & child" make your more important than a kind, patient, couple who just wanted to order a coffee and browse their travel books, and patiently followed the social norms of waiting for a table in a crowded store) you may want to think about what makes you more worthy of that table.
I hope that your wife reminded you of why she was probably mad at you (that undesirable selfish, self-important attitude may be a clue), your kid screamed the entire way home and threw their milk box on you, and that the next time I encounter you in a Starbucks I can get over my shock to kindly remind you that we had been waiting ahead of you, and social norms say that we were in the right to take that table.
Happy Reading to You and Yours MWW&C!
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
We sat in lawn chairs, utilized a desk as our dining room table, had mismatched bedding, and a very 1980's apartment complete with a sun room to fill. It was like an elevated version of living in the sorority (except at the house, my meals were cooked for me). We made do. We utilized what we had to get by. I also cleaned. I cleaned all the time. Practically every Tuesday and Thursday when I wasn't working. I made those IKEA purchased shine and sparkle.
Fast forward six years (yes...SIX years...ugh) and I now have conversations about if we should cancel the cleaning service this week since our building is still working on repairing the air conditioning situation in our kitchen. I mean....a cleaning service?! when the heck did that happen, is all I can think to myself. "When did I get so busy and tired that I have to rely on someone else to cleaning my bathroom sink?!?".
Granted, the real reality is I inherited the cleaning service. When you move in with someone and you move into their space, you acquire things that had been set-up before you came along- for me, namely- the cleaning service. Regardless, it is this strange reminder that life has gotten so...busy...and important. Two of my least favorite "DC" words: Busy & Important. But the reality is- without a cleaning services, we would have some serious issues keeping things clean. Between my new(ish) more demanding job, and the BFs work schedule, it just wouldn't happen. We aren't dirty, but we certainly struggle to find a lot of time, and cleaning sinks just isn't either one of our favorite activities.
I feel like an impostor having people who come clean for us. I mean...I'm not even married. I don't even have kids! Or a dog! I am too young, too "poor", too "resourceful" to pay someone to clean for me.
But I'm not. Not anymore.
Those days of part-time work, where I was practically begging to be hired full-time, and lazy weekends, and very limited income and where I really didn't do much of consequence outside of writing this blog and using my limited craft supplies to make really amazing birthday cards- have vanished.
Life was slower. Those first two years in DC- seemed slow. I could remember each month passing and thinking, "I've been in DC X number of months". Now, August (the month of my DCversary), passes by and I maybe pause for a split second to feel the panic rise in my throat- but then I go back to answering a pile of emails, or figuring out how to get my laundry done before the next trip we have coming up. Life is just going so fast.
I yearn for those slow weeks. I long for the time and freedom to have time to make plans to move, to end this time in DC. I wish for a few moments of uninterrupted thought to create a game plan. To figure out the "what next" part. But like the conversations around if we should cancel the cleaning service- it all is rushed, and sometimes you just have to make a decision.
Getting older certainly isn't a picnic is it? But at least there is a cleaning service.
I guess this is my ode to being here in DC for six very long years.
Monday, September 8, 2014
Happy Royal Family Announcement Monday!
We have another Royal Baby on the way, a little nugget that will be an adorable playmate for Price George! After visiting Buckingham Palace during our trip, I am practically royal at this point since I breathed the same air that touched the walls of the Royal Family's residence. I mean...you can refer to me as Princess Andrea. My new spot in the Royal Family has made me hyper aware to royal announcements, and as my alarm went off for the billionth time this morning (has anyone else mastered how to not snooze for 45+ minutes every morning?!?), I quickly checked my phone for major life updates and saw a snippet of information on the Royal Announcement. A quick Google search to confirm- and I had indeed woken up to a fantastic start to my Monday.
Hip Hip Hooray for Another Baby!!
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Monday, July 7, 2014
Basking in the evening rays, eating dinner on the back deck, ten years high school reunions, having friends in town, enjoying my family while not feeling rushed, sipping good beer, and cruising local farmers markets. Cue the overplayed "Happy" song, and call me content. Life is good. Better than good, it is fabulous.
Call it my sabbatical, call it my trial run for the real deal, but whatever it is...it feels good.
I forget what it is like to sleep through the night with out sirens waking me up. Or to have summer days where you want to be outside. How it feels to not have your stomach in your throat because you are so stressed all the time. And how wonderful it feels to feel connected. Connected to your family, to a place, to things that are meaningful and matter. My mind is still adjusting to the positive changes.
Some photos to capture some of these amazing moments so far.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
One of our finally areas that we were exploring lead us to a room with a HUGE installation that looked a lot like an adult erector set. It was a cityscape with a complex track for thousands of little cars to zip along. We quickly realized that it was actually motorized and we had come in just in time to have them turn the motors on so we could see all the moving parts.
The piece is Metropolis II by Chris Burden and it was entirely worth the trip to LACMA all on its own!
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
The BF's cousin got married in Santa Fe and it was one heck of a wedding! Unfortunately, I barely took any photos to really show off how amazing of a wedding it was, but the backdrop of Santa Fe was stunning!
The ceremony was held in the historic Loretto Chapel , which is about the most amazing church I have ever set foot in. The miraculous staircase is jaw dropping, and such an amazing centerpiece of the chapel.
Monday, June 2, 2014
♥ An adorable shop in Old Town, Red Barn Mercantile had these amazing coasters, that may need to come into my home to proclaim my west coast loyalties.
♥ A great read on the love we all deserve.
♥ If I could print money, this could be a strong contender for my Sun Valley home.
♥ A personalized cup for my favorite drink! Maybe someone will want to gift me a late birthday present?
♥ I bought this shirt in a powder blue a few weeks ago, and I am so in love with the fit and texture--I went and bought two more so I made sure to have my closet stocked with them!
♥ A few years late to see this movie, I was pleasantly surprised. Not to mention John Hamm is an outstanding jerk on screen- it is clearly his thing.
Friday, May 30, 2014
Could we talk for a minute how you are ruining the time I spend in the gym? I used to actually like going to the gym before you started to show up and leave your GIANT pools of sweat on the floor. This is just a personal opinion, BUT I am pretty sure that working out for 2+ hours while you are drinking beer and energy drinks isn't exactly doing your body a lot of favors. With all the sweat you are leaving on the floor around the elliptical machine, I would highly suggest drinking some water rather than your quad, triple-extra-large Starbucks coffee canned beverage (or a beer like you had a few weeks ago).
Also, if you are leaving pools of sweat (and I mean POOLS) around the machine you were using--be polite and wipe that nastiness up! Better yet--why don't you bring some bath towels and lay them on the floor considering how much you wick off of your toxin fueled body.
BTW...how are working out wearing that Belly Burner?!?
Another request...could you please change your clothes (that are dripping sweat down the hallway) before you go and sit on the weight machines and leave pools of sweat there as well?
Well thank you for considering my requests. I hope to see you in the gym soon, perhaps with some water, bath towels and an extra set of clothes. Happy working out!
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
I read about this "amazing", "life-altering", green of a million health benefits and ran right out to the store to grab a giant bag to incorporate into my smoothies. This was before kale was splattered all over every trendy restaurant's menu and before you could buy it at Trader Joe's- so I was a little....uneducated about the green.
I dragged that big giant bag home, read that I should pull the leaves off the stems and toss a good hearty handful into my blender with my fruits and chug it down with a post-workout smoothie.
Well THAT was a mistake.
I remember I vaguely interpreted that disclaimer about the stems being super bitter and that a little kale goes a long ways in a smoothie. I ended up washing the smoothie down the sink, throwing the remainder of my kale in the trash and vowing that glare at any person who exclaimed "I LOVE kale!".
I avoided it for a few years, steering away from it on menus, in smoothies, and it certainly never graced my grocery basket ever again.
Cue a dinner at Mintwood Place and sharing an appetizer of burrata, kales, hazelnut, apple & tamarind with friends. The crunch baked kale was outstanding. Dare I say I got territorial over the appetizer. Fast forward and a friend brought a kale and brussel sprout salad to a super bowl party. Again...delightful.
It finally occurred to me that my initial interaction with kale had been a rushed, brash experience that resulted in a less than warranted aversion.
Looking for some healthy, quick snacks I can make to munch on while I am on marathon calls for work, I decided to jump on this kale chip bandwagon (making sure to truly remove all those stems!) and have found a new craving that isn't a samoa girl scout cookie.
Not to be a sell out....but... I LOVE baked kale chips.
Watch out world...I may just buy a yoga mat now.
If you are looking for Kale inspiration, I found mine here, and here.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Monday, May 19, 2014
Then two more years sailed by.
The panic has started to rise in my throat.
Laugh all you want. Say how young I am, how much life I have to live. I know.
But it has nothing to do what others think, and entirely to do with what I think. 28 is my scary age.
I feel like I'm failing. That I've done something wrong to be at this point where I feel empty handed. I don't want to grow older when I am fearful that the moments I want most are moments I don't, and won't have.
Again, laugh all you want, but I am worried I won't ever have kids. I'm terrified that by the time I get married (if I get marred), settled somewhere I actually am happy to live and acclimated to married life, that opportunity will just that much harder to come by. It seems silly, but it is a really true, deep rooted fear. My whole life I've been told how maternal I am, how great I am with kids, how "mom-like" I am, and yet I am lightyears away from having a life that I would even want to bring a child into.
See!? This is my scary age....because my head has become scarily unhinged and crazy.
It was almost easier when my idea of "adult life" was a closet full of heels, the ability to have a stocked kitchen in which you cook amazing meals for dinner every night, and a social life where you had cocktails and coffee dates every evening. All of this desire to be settled, and to feel like I am not just myself, but part of a unit that will become its own little family, is scary, daunting and emotionally exhausting.
I am trying to embrace the idea that adult life is about filling your life, your surroundings, and your heart with the people, places, things, and memories that make you happy. Leaning on that for your contentment and measure of success.
I'm focusing on accepting. Accepting...that I can't control parts of my life. I can't control that I'm not engaged, or married, or having kids. I can't control what other prioritize, or value. I can't control the really load sirens that blare by our apartment all day and drive me bonkers. I con't control that we have mice that hide behind my coffee maker. I can't control or change someone's mood. I can't control that people get sick, and hurt and that there are just some really awful things in the world.
I am trying to shift my focus on what is in my control. Go and buy a dog, move back across the country to be near family and friends and the scenery that makes your breath catch in your throat. Stop worrying about what your resume will look like if you switch jobs again, or if you don't have matching furniture. Eat lucky charms for dinner, and wear clothes that you bought at Target (in the clearance section), and you cross your fingers that your 19 year old car will last another couple thousand miles before you need to put all that money that needs to go into it.
Smile and graciously accept another year of getting older because it will be ok.
Friday, May 16, 2014
The BF knew how much this has hurt and suggested we take a trip to see a final show so I could mourn the loss of one of my favorite pieces of dance the world. We settled on Atlanta and selfishly did so for the addition of some good food and a baseball game to make it a complete weekend.
We left DC bright at early (maybe not bright- but certainly early) on Saturday morning and were in Atlanta before brunch time had passed. After a brief stop to grab some metro cards (way to go Atlanta for a way better ticket system than DC!) we headed to our hotel and checked-in. A brief nap and a little research we set off to track down some pancakes at Ria's Bluebird. Now I am not much of a pancake lover. I typically opt for bacon, eggs, hashbrowns-those types of things. However, these pancakes were supposed to be epic, and throw in the words "caramelized bananas" and I was sold.
They. Did. Not. Disappoint. Be still my heart-- they were phenomenal. By far the best pancakes I have ever had. Epic. The bananas created this amazing syrup that I would have drank from a cup if given the opportunity.
On our way back to the hotel we wandered through a beautiful historic cemetery and also wandered a bit farther than anticipated to see Coca Cola world (can we say diabetes? It was a zoo, but with 9 million bottles of soda and overly caffeinated children). After our minimal sleep the night before, we opted for pulling the black out shades and napping until we had to get ready to go to dinner.
It is no secret that Richard Blais is at the top of my list for favorite celebrity chefs (ok...I'll be honest...he IS my favorite...I mean...can you blame me?!).
SIDENOTE: I am practically bff's with Richard's sister, so it is just a matter of time until we get to meet.
Anyways, back to the trip. We had been long awaiting an opportunity to eat at The Spence. It was phenomenal. Even just going to Atlanta for that meeting was entirely worth the trip. Not only is the food fantastic, the space was beautiful, the staff was friendly, and the cocktails were delish.