Monday, January 31, 2011

Travel Bug

Have you discovered the wonder that is Airbnb? About this time of year everyone is itching for a vacation and a few blogs have enthusiastically pointed in the direction of this incredibly useful site. A step above couch surfing and cheaper than paying for a hotel, Airbnb links national and international travelers to a variety of places to stay around the world. I've been browsing some spots in DC just in case we spontaneously have a weekend away this spring...(hoping!)

Another great site is Cross-Pollinate, started by an American couple in Rome (my pal G and I stayed at their Roman hostel back in 2007). Just this past summer Chris and I booked a week long stay at a one bedroom apartment in Paris with the help of this site.

I'd gladly take the travel bug over the flu bug ANY day. Topping my list are Boston, London, and Amsterdam. Is there somewhere that you've been dreaming of going or an unforgettable place you've seen already? Please share!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bridal Bliss

[Image via 100 Layer Cake]

A little birdie told me that Anthro is going to have a wedding line?? The magical date of unveiling will be February 14, but this sneak peek website will give you a glimpse of some of the fabrics, eyelets, and laces yet to come.

Thank goodness this is happening now and not two years ago, otherwise I would have probably redirected the majority of the wedding funds to purchase one of these beauties (and I haven't even seen one!). 

Happy Friday and enjoy these last few days of January!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Yesterday after lunch I settled down on the couch, Cat already curled up next to me, and rested my head for what was going to be thirty minutes. About three hours later I woke up with a splitting headache and a still-sleeping Cat. Oops. Hence the lack of a post yesterday.

Winter just makes me want to hunker down, hibernate, and stay warm. We recently decided to kick the thermostat up to 67 degrees (splurge!) but it doesn't seem to be making that much of a difference. A little travel alarm clock with a temperature feature consistently reads five degrees cooler than the thermostat. I think I know which one is fibbing....

When I can I like to go out for a warm drink to catch up on my reading (I've still got 300+ pages to go of The Idiot before next Sunday. Yikes!). In fact, that's where I'm headed right now. (And because I feel bad, here's a sweet little post on winter to make up for yesterday.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Pink Martini Morning

Not the cocktail, you lush! Who do you think I am?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Guilty as Charged

I think I need to join a support group. I've cultivated a such strong addiction to blog reading that, should I ever return to full-time working status, it's going to be a real problem cutting back to actually do the important things (like cleaning, eating, sleeping, etc).

I found this article posted somewhere on a random blog after clicking side link after side link after side link. (I think all of this link-clicking is part of what's feeding this blog reading addiction. Maybe you click the side links on this blog too?) While I thought the title of the article was hilarious--"Why I Can't Stop Reading Mormon Housewife Blogs"--I realized that it's absolutely true. Rockstar Diaries, mentioned in the article, is one of my daily reads. You can find the entire article by Emily Matchar here.
I'm a young, feminist atheist who can't bake a cupcake. Why am I addicted to the shiny, happy lives of these women?
At first glance, Naomi and Stacie and Stephanie and Liz appear to be members of the species known as the "Hipster Mommy Blogger," though perhaps a bit more cheerful and wholesome than most. They have bangs like Zooey Deschanel and closets full of cool vintage dresses. Their houses look like Anthropologie catalogs. Their kids look like Baby Gap models. Their husbands look like young graphic designers, all cute lumberjack shirts and square-framed glasses. They spend their days doing fun craft projects (vintage-y owl throw pillow! Recycled button earrings! Hand-stamped linen napkins!). They spend their weekends throwing big, whimsical dinner parties for their friends, all of whom have equally adorable kids and husbands.
But as you page through their blog archives, you notice certain "tells." They're super-young (like, four-kids-at-29 young). They mention relatives in Utah. They drink a suspicious amount of hot chocolate. Finally, you see it: a subtly placed widget with a picture of a temple, or a hyperlink on the word "faith" or "belief." You click the link and up pops the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Yep, Naomi and Stacie and Stephanie and Liz are Mormons. They're members of a large, close-knit network of Mormon lifestyle bloggers -- young stay-at-home-moms who blog about home and hearth, Latter-day Saint-style. From Rockstar Diaries (Naomi) to Underaged and Engaged (Stacie) to Nie Nie Dialogues (Stephanie) to Say Yes to Hoboken (Liz), Mormon lifestyle bloggers occupy their very own corner of the blogosphere. 
Clearly, life for the Mormon wife is not all crafts and cupcakes. Even if it were, I seriously doubt that crafts and cupcakes are all that much fun when you do them all day, every day.
But the basic messages expressed in these blogs -- family is wonderful, life is meant to be enjoyed, celebrate the small things -- are still lovely. And if they help women like me envision a life in which marriage and motherhood could potentially be something other than a miserable, soul-destroying trap, I say, "Right on." I won't be inviting the missionaries inside for hot cocoa now or ever, but I don't plan on stopping my blog habit any time soon.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Portland: Where Young People Go to Retire

A place where 'the tattoo ink never runs dry' and 'all the hot girls where glasses--yeah.' More teasers of 'Portlandia' hereHappy Friday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Plant Life

[Image via For Me, For You]
I love this idea of a corner dedicated to plants. I had a succulent (not unlike that flowery looking one second from the right) but I think I watered it too much and didn't put it in the sun. It died. 

I'm crossing my fingers that my black thumb died along with it because I'd love to fill parts of our apartment with potted greens. It definitely would give the month of January some extra 'ooomph.'

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You Are The Best Thing

Happy year and a half of married life to my best husby! We've had more adventures than some people have had in a lifetime---Mexican honeymoon, cross country road trip, year of living in NY, a month in Europe, and now settling in Virginia.
You are the best thing that ever happened to me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dream Playground

A recent trip to Costco not only meant goodies for us (hello there, bulk quantity of Blue Moon and awesome Swiffer duster pack) but also an entertaining playground for Cat. She loves boxes and bags, and she probably lived her previous life as a CIA agent. Sydney Bristow, anyone?

Friday, January 14, 2011

House Dreaming

[Image via Design*Sponge]
At this point in my life, I love renting. When something goes wrong with the fridge, all I have to do is make a quick phone call and one of the nice maintenance guys will be on it. Renting though, however lovely and easy, has its limits. We always take care of our place and try not to beat it up too much---mostly on the hope of getting that big chunk of change (the security deposit usually worth one month's rent) back at the end of our lease. 

So I don't paint. And I don't nail too many things into the wall. It would be so nice to have a house where I could destroy walls at my own discretion (nail fifty frames to the wall like the picture above), redo outdated and ugly cabinetry, and put in floor-to-ceiling bookcases (dream of dreams!). But then who would fix the fridge? Probably me. Trade-offs, trade-offs.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Check out these stunning photos from the Dancers Among Us project. Professional dancers are photographed around NYC doing typical (or not so typical) things. I wish my split leaps looked that good...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sing Along

A perfect song to get you hyped for the new year (and to get you through some dreary winter days).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why I Can Never Decorate Like This

Not because we don't have any extra money for decorating (we don't). And not because that rug looks a little too shaggy for my preference. The real reason? Because that cheerful little pillow just had to be made in green and yellow.

Tonight is the BCS championship game between the University of Oregon (read: the-school-that-must-not-be-named) and Auburn University. I asked Chris if I would still be his wife if I rooted for UofO, as a 'Hooray! A team from [the state of] Oregon made it this far!' sort of thing. I knew I was pushing buttons here. Deliberately. So for the sake of marital harmony and a somewhat pleasant end to the college football season, I'll be rooting for Auburn. But I draw the line at decorating in orange and black.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cat in a Box

On the Richmond SPCA website there are these little color identifiers next to the pictures of each cat up for adoption. Each color explains the cat's personality, and when Chris and I discovered these we had a hard (and hilarious!) time figuring out what kind of cat Cat is. Truly she's a bit of everything, but if I had to pick two she'd be the Personal Assistant & Party Animal

I'm a personal assistant.
You're working on the computer? Let me press the keys. Reading the paper? I'll hold the pages down for you. Watching TV? I'll just plop in your lap so you can pet me. I love an orderly household, don't you? I'll help you with all your chores. You'll wonder how you ever managed without me.

I'm a party animal.
I'm a cat on a mission: PARTY! I love to play and explore and test my limits. I'd love to play with you, but I can make a toy out of anything*: pencils, post-it notes, potatoes. If you're looking for some laughs and someone to liven up the party, think about inviting me.

Even now she's helping me write this post---paws on the keyboard and eyes on the screen. But I'm sure as soon as she gets bored with this blogging routine she'll go out on the floor and do some graceful pirouettes (read: tail-chasing, around and around and around).

*I moved the couch the other day to sweep and found at least eight of my elastic hair bands underneath. Or should I say eight of Cat's favorite play things?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I used to live here.

"Heavy Snow in a Narrow Target" says The Weather Channel. I'm perfectly fine with "chance of flurries" here in Virginia, thank you.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Better Than Drugs

As if I'd be the person to know (umm...I wouldn't). But this stuff is addicting. I've renamed it 'crack tea' and you can find it by the (pricey) jar or box of tea bags at Aveda. Here's why it's worth it: a little goes a long way, the taste is AMAZING, it's 100% organic, and it's perfect without any additions. My sis and I browsed some Aveda products over Christmas and sipped sample cup after sample cup of this stuff.
As huge fans of crack tea (and other loose leaf teas), we each have one of these teapots (I bought mine in Paris, she found hers on Amazon). The infuser has small enough holes so the fine bits of the tea don't escape. Pair the tea and teapot with a darling little Anthro mug and you've got a cozy companion to chilly January nights.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Most Lovely Christmas

We arrived back in Richmond last night to a chatty cat (I'm sure she was telling us about all of her parent-less adventures, but who can be sure?) and an empty fridge. This morning I slept for a very long time and woke up with the sad feeling that Christmas and family gatherings had ended. As the day continued with unpacking and fridge restocking at TJ's, I got to thinking just how lovely our Christmas had been. We were so fortunate to take nearly two weeks off to see friends and family in both California and Oregon, stop at a few of our favorite Portland spots, drink McMenamins beer, and give (and get!) some pretty fantastic things. 

Right now I'm typing to "Eight Days a Week"--Chris is strumming along to our new Beatles Rockband for Wii. My best sister found the amazing locket above on Etsy (the seller is actually out of Portland!) and I can't wait to wear it every day. I used some Christmas money from my grandparents to splurge on a Fossil bag, and I made a tasty stir fry tonight using my new mandoline slicer (thanks, mom-in-law!). The real treat was just being able to see so many people, especially those that we hadn't seen since our wedding a year and a half ago. 

Portland will always be home to us, but now Richmond is home too. I'm looking forward to what 2011 has in store for us here!