Friday, March 29, 2013

on a few spring favorites.

hello lovely readers! today it truly, really, feels like spring out there - finally! so what better way to kick off the season then talk about all the lovely pieces currently catching my eye and inspiring me. i know it's been a bit quiet on the blog, so it feels good getting back into the groove today - just what spring was intended for.
Spring Favorites

1. after using a duffel bag hundreds of weekends to go see brian, and now to spend time in his brooklyn apartment than my manhattan apartment, i've decided i need to invest in a nice, leather weekender. i wish i had done it a long time ago, but alas. a few great ones have caught my eye, including this tory burch one. way out of my price range, but a girl can dream, right?
2. and dreaming brings us to number two. these saint laurent shoes are the epitome of a well made shoe - so simple, yet so stunning beautiful. the curve and arch of the heel makes me swoon, and the black and white is so very on trend. lamb makes a less expensive (but still quite expensive) version. i'll be keeping my eye out for shoes like this that are a little friendlier to my wallet.
3. when i first saw this bag at j. crew i thought it was beautiful. then the website kindly informed me that it's real python, hand-painted, and had the price tag to match. maybe i'll catch it on sale with an extra 30% that j. crew likes to do? or maybe i'll keep dreaming. le sigh.
4. it's official, i can't give mint up. and my favorite is when it's paired with gold - a match made in heaven. i like these, along with this version from etsy.
5. i have one pair of patterned shorts that i love, but normally i shy away from shorts. my legs, never my favorite of my body, are a little thicker, shall we say. but those same legs have taken me through 10Ks and half-marathons and biked me across vineyards of south africa so you know what - i still love them (thickness and all). these cream and light baby blue shorts would be perfect for spring - maybe if i pair them with a high wedge i could pull them off. and if you've got a great set of gams - these shorts are for you.
6. oh art deco design. you'll never let go of my heart, will you? i've never ordered anything from bauble bar, but this bracelet might be my breaking point.
7. finally - something at j. crew i can afford! and it's currently 25% and ships for free. this swimsuit would look great on a honeymoon, don't you think ;)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

on five things.

after a fairly non-photographic weekend, i'm back. (i know - no weekend post! what the heck!) anna tagged me in this earlier and i'm just getting around to it. if you ever need to tag someone in one of these, feel free to tag me. i love this stuff, and i feel like such random and funny or insightful things come out of these posts for long-time readers. so, without further ado...
italy, last year - taken with the diana.
(1) when i was a small child, i became suddenly very aware of the fact that not everyone finds work, or stays gainfully employed. it truly frightened me, at the age of eight, to think that such a fate might be in my future. it was then that i really delighted in the fact that i was being raised catholic - i assured my parents, when i was in the second grade, that no one had to worry about me getting a job because i could always have the "fallback option" of being a nun. to say that i am type a, is putting it mildly. to say that i regularly fascinated and disturbed my parents with my type a behavior, is putting it even milder.
(2) i feel as though i've talked about my love for the godfather on here (and it's true, it's in my top 5 favorite movies), but another movie i love that seems to fly under the radar is the last emperor, directed by bernardo bertolucci. it won nine oscars in 1987, including best picture and best director, but i had never heard of it until i watched it in my history class senior year of high school. it's an amazing, fascinating, and compelling movie. it's stayed with me for years. it's one of those movies that, after watching, you want to go read all the material on the subject and history. if you're looking for a good movie to watch, get a copy of this.
(3) one of my favorite quotes comes from an old man from south carolina, who was featured on bobby flay's throwdown, the episode about shrimp and grits (naturally): "they say you only live once - but if you live in the south, once is all you need."
(4) i wear the same size shoe that i wore in the 7th grade, when my feet stopped growing.
(5) i've had a few pretty bad blonde moments. they include running the washing machine with no clothes in it, and freaking out when I came back to an empty washing machine, before a search led to me discovering they never left the basket, and, when i was a kid, baking a sheet of cookies for almost an hour, with no progress, before realizing i never turned on the oven. true life, people.
i tag sherri, melissa, tatiana and molly.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

on an engagement.

in the midst of all the excitement on friday, as we celebrated and called all our family and friends and celebrated some more, i thought - i can't wait to share this with my blogging friends! it was so fun to tell you all yesterday, and i will never tire of saying how much i appreciate the friendships this community has brought me. thank you so much for all the well wishes and excitement - from the bottom of our hearts: thank you.
friday evening started off like any other. brian and i usually spend friday night relaxing in  front of the tv with some pizza and wine, but he wanted to go out to dinner this particular friday night, and i wasn't going to say no. i got ready and we headed out a little early to stop for a drink along the way. around the corner from my apartment is a small, beautiful, but private park - gramercy park. while i've always wanted to go inside, it's pretty much impossible unless you have a key to the park or know someone with a key to the park. besides that, the only way to check out the park is if you're a guest of he gramercy park hotel - a fancy hotel near the park that also has a key to the park. and on this particular night, as we walked past the hotel, the doorman came out, walked with us across he street and then, all of a sudden - opened the park door for us. i gave brian major side eye (because i wasn't born last night, ya know), but decided to just play along with the moment. i pretty much knew at that point he was going to propose, but i was still just along for the ride. so we walked around the park, and i took a few pictures, and we sat on a bench for awhile...but nothing happened! after taking one last lap around the park i decided i was being quite presumptuous about the possible engagement and i would, indeed, need that drink before dinner after all. but on our way out, brian paused, told me he had not, just in fact, wanted to walk in the park with me, and got down on one knee and asked me o be his wife. and i, of course, said yes :)
thank you all for indulging all the excitement around here. i promise this won't turn into a wedding blog. we'll get back to our regularly scheduled programing about life and shoes now. and only talk about weddings a little bit ;)

Monday, March 18, 2013

on my weekend in pictures.

i suppose i could tell you about how great my weekend was. how i ate some great food. how i wore some fabulous shoes. how i enjoyed some guinness on st. patrick's day. i could tell you about the friends i caught up with, how it snowed all day on saturday, and how the city celebrated st. patrick's day.
what i think you would really want to hear about is how i got engaged.
yes, that's right people. i'm about to start planning the most important day of my life:
my bachelorette party.
more to come tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

on my weekend in pictures.

this post may seem a bit late to you, but my weekend started a little earlier and is going on for a bit longer. you see, i left my job early last week and am taking some time before i start my new gig. often on blogs we talk about being "real". how showing certain snippets of our life can create a certain portrait that isn't entirely accurate. sometimes, perhaps, it's intentional and for the wrong reasons. lying to our readers is just like lying to yourself - if they believe your life is perfect, maybe you will, too. and sometimes, perhaps, it's intentional for the right reasons. so while i think my blog has a pretty good mix, i intentionally have not discussed my job on here. i've never said where i work or what i do, and when some readers have asked i've simply let the question go. i don't talk about it because i simply do not want any record of my thoughts or feelings about my work on the internet. plain and simple. so let me say just this, this once:
i left my job because my boss treated me very poorly.
i love what i do, and am excited to head on to another opportunity where i will do similar work with different people. and if not talking about how this huge part of who i am (my livelihood) has adversely affected my life for the past year or so and has created an unrealistic portrait, oh well. i have nothing to hide, just a few things i'd like to hide from the internet.
this past summer, i had dinner and drinks with anna and molly, fellow bloggers. this summer was my lowest point, and that day had been particularly bad. since i see molly regularly as she lives in nyc, my troubles at work were only new to anna, who lives in boston, and she listened patiently as i took her through the whole story. but after that we talked and laughed, ate good burgers, had some nice wine, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and i, thankfully, decompressed with the help of my friends. yet if anna hadn't visited nyc, she never would have known.
i suspect we all have things in our life that we'd gladly talk about with our readers, we'd just prefer to not have the conversation on the internet. and you know what - that's ok. it doesn't make you inauthentic, or a liar, or a pretender. and i'm sure if i met more of my regular readers in person, we'd both get a deeper, fuller and richer picture of one another's lives. so if you're ever in nyc, or if i'm in your neck of the woods, let's talk. preferably over some hot chocolate with a homemade marshmallow on a rainy day like this.

Friday, March 8, 2013

on a shoe story: volume vii.

as an update to this post, i can tell you i made my decision this week: i'm staying in nyc. as opposed to the other option, which was moving back to nashville. for now, i'll stay here in new york. but you never know where the future might take us (and gosh, isn't that so damn exciting sometimes?!) so without further ado, a homage to nashville. best told through my shoe story of, what else, cowboy boots.
i got my boots the first year of grad school - from one of those stores in downtown nashville that sells boots 3 for 1. myself, tina, and our friend amanda went in on it together, fully embracing our new countrified lives when tina hosted a cowboy party in the winter. we were all set to go pick them out when...i had to go to new york city for an interview. it was my last interview in the process of finding an internship for the summer, and in my exhaustion all i requested was that the boots be brown. tina and amanda didn't fail me, and lo and behold they found a pair of boots to match my intricate request: they are indeed brown.
on the flight home to nashville i sat behind an abusive husband and wife and their two small children. while i've been on flights where we had turbulence or dips or delays, that flight, hands down, was the tensest flight i've taken. without getting into too much detail, believe me when i say listening to a man verbally accost his wife as she cries and the flight attendants ask him to please keep his voice down makes for the worst flight. i went straight from the airport to tina's party, exhausted from just all of it (you know how it is), picked up my boots, said hello to a few people, and went home to go to bed.
a waste of money, i thought. i'll never wear these. but winter turned to spring, and spring turned to summer, and i discovered that cowboy boots make for a great pair of shoes when paired with a summer dress. i started to wear them everywhere - why every woman doesn't own a pair of cowboy boots is beyond me (do it people, do it!). summer turned to fall, and then fall turned to winter, and tina hosted another cowboy party. i wore my broken in boots, had a few beers, shared a few laughs. and i also met a guy named brian that night.
but that's a story for another day.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

on jammy oat bars.

in the afternoon, after trying to have a healthy breakfast, a banana as a snack, a salad for lunch (you get the picture) - i'm ready for something sweet. but in attempt to still be healthy, i've been visiting pret for their berry bites - made of mostly natural sugar, oats and whole wheat flour, and it's delicious and sweet. but, i figured, why buy them when you can make them? using a combination of this recipe and the ingredients listed on the back of the berry bite, i made my own oat bars. as you can see, i subbed whole wheat flour for normal flour, included chia seeds (more on that later), and used a combination of half raspberry jam and half blackberry jam. i didn't add any cinnamon this time around, but i think a teaspoon or two might find it's way into my next batch.
the first step is to mix the dry ingredients. as i was experimenting with the addition of chia seeds, i added about half a tablespoon of seeds to the dry mixture. the ny times had a good article about the benefits of chia seeds and how easy it is to incorporate them into other foods, inspiring me to add them to these oat bars. the addition of chia seeds to this recipe didn't change any of the texture, and if i can get omega-3 fatty acids while eating a sweet treat instead of fish, i'll take it.
after mixing the dry ingredients, cut up the room-temperature stick of butter into the mixture. from there, i used a combination of my pastry blender and my hands to blend the mixture together. if you don't have a pastry blender, cut your stick of butter into (very) little cubes, and use a combination of a fork and your hands to blend the mixture.
once blended, press two cups of the mixture into a greased pan - that should leave enough of the mix to sprinkle over the jam layer. in my jam layer i added another half tablespoon of chia seeds, and used a combination of sugar-free raspberry and blackberry jam. again - the chia seeds went unnoticeable.
after they were baked and cooled, i cut them into little, portion-friendly squares. perfect for an afternoon snack.
enjoy! and if you can think of any other nutritious additions to this recipe, definitely let me know.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

on comfortable glamour.

while i'd prefer to be dressed up and put together on the weekends, after a week of heels and button up shirts and skirts, sometimes i just want to focus on being comfortable.
enter: blingy sweatshirts and neutral jewels that can dress up any casual top.
the past few weekends these have been my go-tos in terms of fulfilling the need to look nice, but allowing comfort to reign supreme. it's a trend i think i may be seeing in my wardrobe for quite some time.
below are some of my favorite picks.
Glamorous in Sweats

Monday, March 4, 2013

on my weekend in pictures.

this weekend was pure gold. a time to, as my friends like to say, lady out (instead of you bro out, you see). tina and i met up for a day of brunch and shopping, which we kicked off with a bottle of champagne and donuts. and as we lingered near the end of brunch we thought - well, why not order dessert, too. dessert at brunch! how glorious! besides this little adventure, the rest of my weekend was decidedly low-key: painting my nails, going to the gym, watching old law and order: svu episodes. i've been slowly but surely making my way through the all the seasons (there are 14 on hulu, it's going to take some time), and so far my favorite episode was the one about the danger of internet chatrooms. it included the iconic line, "don, two years ago i didn't know my ass from windows 95", and the episode ended with the warning that "there are 3.4 million ANONYMOUS users in a chatroom at any given time". oh law and order. so sweet, so naive.
and now here we are. back at monday. but i can feel spring starting to make it's way to us (disregarding the snow forecast on wednesday) and i can't wait. so yes, it's monday, but let's hope it's a little warmer in all of our corners of the world. see you soon spring!
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