Wednesday, August 31, 2011

on irl.

we've all come across blogs we loved at first sight. or those that we comment on regularly and look forward to reading everyday. and some bloggers that we feel would be our new best friend if we were near each other irl.
you know. in real life.
sidenote: i'm a loser.
so, when i stumbled on molly's blog, and found she lived in nyc, i got a little excited. lo and behold, she visited my blog and also seemed to really like it, and then asked to meet me up. while i was totally on board with this idea, i realized i had agreed to do the one thing you promise your parents you would never do ever since you started wearing training bras:
you would not meet up someone you met on the internet(s).
so with some trepidation, and letting the boy know that i was doing this and that i hoped she wasn't packing heat, off i went.
molly's picture taken with her awesome camera. at eataly.
and wouldn't you know, she was awesome. we talked until 1 am (on a school night nonetheless!) we laughed a lot. we had some good wine. and we had some great conversations.
and no, she wasn't packing heat.
the wonderful molly, taken with my crappy camera (who i still love dearly).
have you ever gone out on a limb and met up with a fellow blogger or group of bloggers? was it awesome or awkward? inquiring minds want to know.
molly's version of our night found here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

on track fashion.

this  past weekend was the big traver's weekend in the town my boyfriend lives, and luckily for us it was a beautiful day. irene hadn't hit yet and the day was sunny with a breeze. days at the track are spent watching horses (my favorite), having a few drinks and trying to the beat the heat. it's best done with an airy outfit and a large hat.
skirt: forever 21, shirt: forever 21, shoes: steve madden.
and we can't forget where i got this wonderful hat from, now can we?
hat: walmart. where i'm sure kate middleton duchess catherine gets hers, too.
i'm no fashion blogger (obviously), and i have no idea how they look so normal and natural in their pictures. whenever i do a post like this we like to think of a ridiculous staged picture that we can take - here it is. it gave us a good laugh. 
oh don't mind me. just smelling a lovely flower.
but let's not forget the real reason we go to the track. not for the fashion, but for the shake shack.
this shake shack is the track's dirty little secret. it was the first shake shack outside of nyc and it never. has. a. line. ever! because going to the track is day-long event where everyone eats at different times and sometimes bring their own, it never has a line. it's the greatest. but no, really, here is why we went to the track.
horses horses horses. all horses are beautiful but racehorses are really something else. it's great to spend a day watching them. although they're no match for my favorite horse in saratoga.
my yearly horsehead-cupcake-cake.
all in all it was a wonderful weekend - i hope yours was the same.

Monday, August 29, 2011

on my disney movie theory.

i'd like to take this morning and share with all of you my theory on disney movies.
bear with me - i was quite cooped up this weekend.
my college roommate and i developed this theory our freshmen year, a shining example of the future of america. let's start with the first sign that we knew something was off at disney.
via here.
as we all know (seriously, if this spoils the movie for you, you were never gonna see it anyways), bambi's mother is killed. man, had entered the forest. she is shot as she is bounding and leaping behind him to safety. shot. to. death.
let's think about when we watched this movie for the first time. five? maybe six? it is, clearly, very traumatic for a child to watch this movie and realize
(yes, caps, for the first time on the blog was required)
and yet disney movies are a staple of our childhood. my roommate and i decided to dig a little deeper, and we were shocked about what we found. and so, i present to you, our theory:
all disney movies involve an orphan or a parent's death to scare the ever loving shit out of you into finally cleaning up your room.
1. bambi - discussed above.
2. beauty and the beast - belle's mother has died.
3. the little mermaid - ariel's mother has died.
4. snow white - snow white's mother has died.
5. the lion king - watches his father fall to his death. cries about it in yo' face.
6. aladdin - jasmine's mother has died, aladdin is an orphan. double whammy.
7. the jungle book - mowgli is an orphan, raised by wild animals.
8. the princess and the frog - father dies during childhood.
9. pinocchio - never has a mother.
10. dumbo - has no father, taken away from mother.
11. cinderella - father dies, leaves her behind to evil stepmother, because, oh yes, her mom is already dead.
12. sleeping beauty - taken away from parents and raised as an orphan.
13. the rescuers - they are searching for a kidnapped orphan.
14. finding nemo - stolen away from his father.
the outliers here are lady and the tramp and 101 dalmatians, who have parents / owners. i suppose if you're a dog, you're in the clear.
so, this is the theory i leave you with on this monday morning. feel free to discuss amongst yourselves, both the theory and just how stir-crazy i got this weekend.

Friday, August 26, 2011

on a birthday cake.

i saw this cake on martha stewart (here on out, known as marty), and said,
 "that would be a wonderful birthday cake! i'd love to make it!"
now, for those who think it's sad to make my own cake, let me inform you - it's actually awesome. i love to bake, but if i did i'd be the only one around to eat it. if i made all the amazing pie and cookie recipes i come across, i wouldn't be able to walk out the tiny door of my apartment. and i enjoy leaving my apartment every now and then, so it's not really feasible. when i get the chance to make baked goods for a crowd, i get excited. so without further ado, my cake.
marty would probably lose it when she found this out, but i used a box mix. pound cake was just too heavy for a summertime cake, and the rest of my week was taken up with being fabulous (as i know you can relate too) so i didn't really have the time, either. so i bought a store mix (keep it together marty!) and put in the zest and juice of one medium lemon. the juice of the lemon, about two tablespoons, i substituted for some of the water the box mix called for.
mix it up real nice.
after the cake was all mixed up, i decided to make three layers instead of two. i just felt with the lemon curd in the middle, it would be really nice to have two layers of frosting around it, as opposed to just one. if you disagree, you're probably a communist.
oh hello old friend.
so let's talk about my frosting recipe. does anyone else feel like homemade frosting can be way too sugary? just too much powedered sugar? it's almost gag-worthy. this no muss no fuss recipe takes care of it. the secret? whipping cream. it tastes like the frosting from my favorite bakery in nashville (and, also, in the world), due to the lightness the whipping cream gives it.
sidenote: when given the opportunity to eat
cake from this place,
(i.e. nashville weddings)
i try to eat enough until i feel sick.
otherwise, i think i've wasted a great,
and seldom occurring, opportunity.
i need help.
even if you don't want to try this recipe, use a tablespoon or two in your buttercream - it will be all the difference. this recipe might taste a bit sweet in the bowl, but it's perfect once it's on the cake. i always receive tons of compliments on it.
what i'm saying is: try the damn recipe already.
next up, lemon curd for the middle layer! and yes, we can add lemon curd to the list of things i have no desire to make from scartch. besides, trader joe's version is incredibly delicious.
thanks trader joe's!
we have a drippage situation.
ok, so then put on the top cake layer and cover everything with frosting.
and there you have it - a wonderful summertime birthday cake!
of course the best thing about birthday cakes is that you get to eat a piece the next morning for breakfast. am i right?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

on birthdays.

guess who that is???
i love birthdays. i love other people's birthdays. i love my birthday. i just love them. it's a day to celebrate life and do whatever you damn well please. so, because it's my birthday, i want you to read a quote of someone i have always looked up to - steve jobs - who sadly retired, most likely because of health problems, on the eve of my birthday. it's always good to take stock of your life, and where you are, around the time of your birthday. i know i still have a lot to work on in order to live the life i've always wanted, but i think i'll get there. and, if not, i'll have a damn good time along the way. i can guarantee that.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

on my thrifting rule.

i like things to match. if i accidentally pack my brown belt with my pair of black jeans, i will refuse to wear the belt. and no, mr. security man at the airport, i don't care if you give me weird looks as i continually hike up my pants. or bridesmaids these days. you know, they wear different colors or different styles. and they look lovely, really, they do. but as i watch the ceremony, i slowly develop a tick, staring at those mismatched bridesmaids. it drives me crazy. it still looks nice, but i just can't handle it.
clearly, i have a problem.
so i was quite surprised to find myself drawn to everyday dinnerware in the form of mismatched vintage china. "my gosh", i thought, "i'm conquering my matching problem!"
because as i saw pretty patterns here and i there, i always hesitated before buying them. i felt that soon enough i'd have my plates, and as pretty as they were, they would look too random. so after some thought, and remembering that i always wanted to have a kitchen with soft, yellow accents, i decided i should focus on plates that incorporate yellow, or blue, or both, and i'd soon have the little collection i always wanted with something to tie them all together.
and so that is my thrifting rule. really know what you want. save those pictures on pintrest, or tear them out of magazines, and really start to form a concerte plan of the look you're going for. there's so many pretty vintage items out there, but sooner or later it can turn into a large number of unused items taking cluttering up your home. if i follow this rule, i usually end up a lot happier with the results (and a little richer, too).
so without further ado, some of my etsy finds that fit into my color scheme. the nice thing about etsy being that i still have more time to think about it before i order any. until then, i can always be on the lookout at my local stores, where the shipping is always free.
i love the bright yellow on this plate. via here.
via here.
my favorite plate (and the cheapest!) i love how the sprig of flowers is just placed on the plate. via here.
a serving bowl to go with the plates. via here.
of course, the point of this whole exercise is to resist pretty cups like this one that don't quite fit into the scheme. le sigh.
via here.
do you have any thrifting tips?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

on interior influence.

via here.
when i was a little girl, i loved our guest room. it was my favorite room in the whole house. my mother, perhaps before her time, decorated it with an antique dresser, an old french, chenille bedspread and lace curtains. the walls were covered over in sky blue and white lattice wallpaper, and i used to think waking up in that room was like waking up in heaven. the room would be bright with sunlight, and the whites and blues added to the dreamy effect. if i had one friend staying for a sleepover i would beg my parents to let us sleep in the guest room, as opposed to downstairs in our sleeping bags. sometimes, if i had been on really good behavior, i'd even ask to sleep in there by myself on a friday or saturday night as a special treat. i'm sure my mom was annoyed in some aspects - she'd invariably have to change the sheets all over again before a real guest showed up - but i think she and my dad enjoyed how easily something that small could make me so happy. i mean, all i was asking for was to sleep in a different bedroom for the night and i'd be pleased as punch. if someone told me today that next friday or saturday night my great adventure would be sleeping in a different bedroom than my own, i'd give them a weird look and most likely call the police.
so it's no surprise that for years since leaving home i've looked forward to one day making my bedroom filled with bright whites and sky blues - the childhood bedroom of my dreams. i'm sure with my first home purchase it won't be too hard to make that a reality. but in thinking about it, what i really want to take from this isn't how to decorate a bedroom - i want to remember that feeling that came from waking up in that bright and sunny guestroom. i want to remember to find joy in the small and simple things. i want to remember that if that's how my day starts out - with sunlight streaming into my bedroom waking me up - my day is already pretty extraordinary.
so here's to sunny mornings and bright rooms, and all they can offer us and remind us as we start another day.

Monday, August 22, 2011

on a fall work wardrobe.

well, fall fashion is starting to be advertised (a little to my dismay), and thanks to the nordstrom anniversary sale i scored a very similar skirt to the one pictured below. while i would have never thought of a mustard color paired with chambray, i recently saw it styled that way (in one of the many fall fashion magazines i have been pouring over), and have completely fallen for it. since chambray shirts are sold everywhere, it won't be hard finding an affordable version. paired with plum accessories i think it would make a perfect outfit for a casual friday in the fall. (i can't be that casual in my office but lord knows i try.)
Fall Work Wardrobe
and then i saw these booties advertised in said fashion magazines, and i fell for the neon stripe. it's a bit off the beaten path, and i love that about these. luckily there are already sold out, so my debit card is safe for now.


any fall fashion items you've been particularly taken with?

Friday, August 19, 2011

on gifts for oneself.

so my birthday is coming up. no it is not today and yes, i will alert you to when it occurs. like most people, i think it's quite proper to give myself a gift. i mean, it really is the right thing to do. so finally, after much hemming and hawing, i got myself the perfect gift:
something i don't need. (right now, at least).
i have had my eye on this crystal wine decanter for months. months, i tell you! while i may not be having people over for dinner now (you know, at my two seat table that's squeezed in so tightly you can't pull one chair away from the table), but one day i will. in my big, new york city girl dreams, i have a table that seats four people.
i know, i know, it's a very grand dream.
and in that dream i pour them wine from this decanter. like i said, it's very grand.
like all things from etsy, it was a great vintage find. in perfect, no-chip, condition, it was a fraction of what it would be at retail today. oh etsy, how did i live before you?!
so please, have a wonderful weekend and even if it's not your birthday, pick up something you've had your eye on for awhile. you won't regret it. and get ready for next week, when i unveil my birthday cake, semi-homemade addition! (you know, to make the semi-first lady of new york proud).
all images via this shop.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

on the case for summer.

i've been seeing on a lot of blogs lately that people are *really* excited for fall.
they are pumped. up.
now, don't get me wrong, i love fall. pumpkin pie. college football. leaves changing colors. wearing boots. i get it. it's fun. i appreciate it. heck, i love winter too! christmas season is pretty much my best friend. come december you can't turn your head in this little studio apartment without a santa figure calling you out on being a ho.
santa is a a little saucy like that.
but people, particularly my east coast readers, am i the only one who remembers this past winter? how we got inches (feet, even) of snow every week? how march and april were freezing? how may was cold and rainy and then boom - summer was here, no spring? am i the only godforsaken person on this island who remembers that winter was so long it destroyed the spring season? am i?!
seriously people, don't make me write in caps here. you know i don't want to do that.
so it's with great dismay that i've seen people looking forward to fall. i mean, summer has been pretty mild, too. yes, we had a heat wave. it lasted like, four days. give me a break.
side eye to all the people complaining about the heat wave
and driving to work in their air conditioned cars
that don't wait for the subway in their
button down shirts after
walking five avenue blocks.
major. side eye.
so i'm here to say - summer, i love you. you've been awesome. i want you to continue to be awesome for as long as possible.
and without further ado, let's cheers all the great things that summer has brought us and, luckily, will continue to bring us for a few more weeks.
fresh basil, that i put on everything. via here.
fresh strawberries to make pies with.
baseball games. 
margaritas by the pool.
going to the racetrack.
and, my number one love, hot dogs.
so fall, i will welcome you with open arms, don't worry. as long as you come at the appropriate time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

on an nyc bachelorette party.

the bachelorette party i am hosting in nyc seems to be around the corner, and last night i finally got the invitations i ordered in the mail. out of all of the different things i found when planning her bridal shower and now her bachelorette party, this is probably my favorite. while i love how the breakfast at tiffany's theme references nyc, this invite could be used for any bachelorette party.
what woman doesn't love audrey? via here.
and the tiffany blue envelope that goes with it just completes the whole thing.
via here.
i am so excited to send these out, and i think the bride will really love them. so, while i don't need as much help with planning the bachelorette party, i would love to hear about...
your bachelorette and what you loved and didn't love
a favorite bachelorette that you've been to and why
if you've planned a bachelorette, what you feel made the night for the bride and other guests
thank you and happy wednesday! halfway to the weekend!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

on horses horses horses*.

i grew up riding horses and can say, hands down, they are my favorite animal. (sorry dogs and cats.) while you can tame a horse enough to ride them and live with them, they always keep some of their spirit and let it out when they see fit, whether you are on their back or not. this is my favorite, out of many qualities, that i love about these animals and i think these pictures capture it - hopefully i'll get one to hang in my home one day as a reminder of that beauty.
a real favorite. via here.
via here.
via here.
another top pick. horses in the mist. via here.
*sleepless in seattle reference, anyone?

Monday, August 15, 2011

on back to reality.

well my three day summer vacation is over, but it was lots of fun, sun and naps. many, many wonderful naps. while i was gone i got to share my shipwreck story with you guys, which i loved. all of you who commented and read it: thank you so much. it was a crazy story to share and you seemed to enjoy it, so i really appreciate it.
while i didn't take many pictures on vacation, i got a few good shots, and one great recipe to share with you.
an ice cream snickers bar! it had been too long.
reflections in the sound at sunset.
sunset over the sound.
my personal favorite. posing as j. crew models before dinner. didn't quite get it right.
and then, of course, the recipe. grilled romaine salad!
via here.
we had ours at the paper canoe - it was so delicious and luckily, very easy to make.
1. wash and cut heads of romaine. dry the leaves very well.
2. spritz with olive oil. if you don't have a little spray bottle to put oil in, drizzle and rub it over the romaine with your hands.
3. put on high grill, no more than a minute each side.
4. pair with roasted tomatoes or grilled peaches.
5. top with balsamic vinaigrette and parmesan or feta cheese.
this dish is so good and so easy - it will blow you and your guests away. i hope ya'll had a fun weekend - here's to enjoying the last few weeks left of summer!

Friday, August 12, 2011

on the shipwreck {part three}.

via here.
i'm not sure how long i was under the water. i didn't know if anyone got washed off with me. and i didn't know where i was going to come up. in my disorientation i thought of a few things.
1. if i came up in front of, or behind the ship, i'd have to quickly swim out of it's way so it wouldn't come down on me. if i came up under the ship, well, that was that.
2. i hope i took a big enough breath to last under water.
3. is this really happening? seriously?
and then, i popped up in front of the ship. the girl who had been standing next to me was a few feet to my right. i looked behind us and the ship wasn't very far away - with 88 foot masts it could easily hit us when it rolled back over the other way. we swam as fast as we could to the people on the rock jetty who were motioning to us, which was no easy feat with a life jacket on. there were multiple times where i thought it would be better to just take it off, but i tried not to listen to the part of me that said that. as we got closer to the jetty, the people yelled at us to look behind us. the harbor patrol had come out on a speedboat and wanted to throw us a life ring. so we started to swim towards him, and he eventually pulled us into the speedboat once we got a hold of the ring.
and just like that, it was over.
he drove us into the harbor, we took showers and put on clothes from the red cross and sat down to watch the others, still stuck on the ship. it was an awful feeling, wondering if they would be alright, and they said they felt the same when they came back up and six of us had been washed over board.
i can only imagine.
eventually the ship started to stabilize more and they were directed to slide off the boat, into the water, where coast guard see-doos were waiting to whisk them away.
after all was said and done, no one was really hurt. my legs were banged up form hitting the railing when i went overboard, someone got hypothermia and another broke her arm. we went on fox and friends, good morning america, and inside edition the next day. we were still slightly stunned about what happened. about how close we came to losing much more than our luggage. i think even to this day i find it a little unbelievable. and i still feel lucky and very thankful that i made it out of this story relatively intact.
and that, my friends, is my shipwreck story.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

on the shipwreck {part two}.

the irving johnson. run aground, the day after the wreck. via here.
as we all got into our life jackets, you could feel the nervous energy on board. almost excitement, even. we were about to have a real adventure! couple that with the typical young adult attitude that we knew everything would be alright, it had to be, we weren't that worried yet. the ship was starting to be tossed side to side by the ocean as it's hull dug deeper and deeper into the sand channel it had run into. we all gathered on the side of the ship that looked into the shore and grabbed on. by then, a few waves had started to crash on board and we were all soaking wet.
the first wave that came over the ship, none of us saw coming. the boat tipped up on it's side so we were all looking down into the water, and when it tipped backwards the wave crashed over us. i struggled to hold on, and when we resurfaced the girl next to me started to cry. by then the energy and excitement were gone. a crowd had gathered on a rock jetty leading into the ocean, watching our struggle. coast guard helicopters were overhead, and they had sent a powerboat out to try and help us. when i saw that boat - how small it was, how big our boat us, how our boat couldn't stabilize in one place - that was when i got scared. i knew there was a real possibility some of us could get hurt, or worse. the second wave the engulfed the ship was stronger, and it shifted us all over a few feet. all in all, i was probably on the boat for 45 minutes, but it felt like 5. by the time the last wave came over us, we had someone watching behind us when we tipped down, warning us if a wave was coming. he shouted out to get ready, it was a big one.
later he said the wave seemed to be 15 to 20 feet tall. like a wall of water coming to us. who can say. i didn't look, and when your adrenaline is pumping everything looks a bit different. but i do know that wave felt different. when it came over us, i didn't fight. there was nothing to fight.
i immediately knew i had been washed overboard and off the ship.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

on the shipwreck {part one}.

the irving johnson. via here.
2005, to put it lightly, was not my year. my boyfriend and i broke up when i came home from study abroad and it didn't go well. cheating. lies. betrayal. so many things came to light in a short period of time. that break-up really it had it all. it was, at the time, one of the worst and most painful times of my life. as i've gotten older i've gained more perspective on it and realized there are worse losses in life. but everyone has heartache at some point, and at that point it was my heartache and it had consumed my life. by march i was ready to go very, very far away and do anything to take my mind off of it.
so, i thought, i'll learn how to sail.
a program at my school offered the opportunity and while i'm never one to take an active vacation, much preferring the lazy, relaxing kind, i thought being busy and doing something different would help keep my mind off my troubles.
the last week of march i flew out to california, ready to sail the channel islands with 15 other strangers from various colleges and a ten person crew with more than enough sailing experience to go around.
the first night out on the water was a disaster. i threw up everywhere, all the time - sea-sickness hit me hard. i felt like i was on a floating frat house keg party - people were just getting sick everywhere. that night, when we fell asleep in our bunk-beds under deck, i wondered why i thought this was a good idea. 
my first, and only full day on ship, went better. while i was exhausted i only got a sick a few times, and by the end of the day i was back to normal. we let our anchor down at night near one of the islands, and i stood the first shift of night watch with a few other people. the stars were amazing, the conversation was lively, and i felt miles away from my troubles. unlike the pervious night, it was a good reminder for why i had signed up for this adventure in the first place.
our second full day was spent sailing back into land - we would spend a night docked in the harbor before picking up under-privileged children to sail with us the next day. as we neared the harbor we started to take our sails down and turned the engine on. i was standing by the rail, looking into the harbor when it happened.
side note: you know when you bring a canoe into shore?
you paddle until you feel it run into the sand, then jump out and drag the canoe out of the water?
well, we felt that same bump.
except we were in a 90 foot tallship, a few miles offshore.
when that jolt happened, i had a feeling it wasn't good. when i heard the captain curse under his breath i knew it wasn't good.
and that's when we started passing out life jackets.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

on summer vacation.

i leave tonight for my summer vacation. all three days of it. i don't ever think i took summer vacation for granted when i was growing up, but man, those were the days. even though it's only three days i am definitely going to make the most of it.

and in my absence, guess what you'll get to read?
my shipwreck story.
batten down the hatches kids. it's gonna be a good one.
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