Monday, February 28, 2011

Best Sisters

My role model came to town this weekend. We laughed, drank wine, played Scrabble, made delicious veggie Mexican polenta cakes, and watched Mad Men and the Oscars. We brunched at Café Gutenberg, walked to Belle Isle, crashed a fiscal New Year's eve party, and consumed overly sweet but delicious Thai coffee at Betsy's.

Though she may not tell you herself, she has a solid grasp of who she is and who she wants to be. She works as a refugee resettlement caseworker in Seattle and hopes to begin a certification program to teach English to speakers of other languages. She's an adventurous risk taker, a kind hearted gal, and a true friend anyone can count on. The only negative part of this situation is that my little sis and I live on opposite coasts. Somehow it keeps happening that the closer we become as friends and sisters, the more literal miles life puts between us. Just glad she was able to make it to Richmond this past weekend -- she's truly a best sister and I miss her already.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yellow Bird Project

[Image via YBP]
After browsing NPR for more information about the impending doom of a government shutdown, I clicked a link to check out NPR's collection of books for sale. Smiling back at me from the page was this little yellow bird and the swirly multi-colored awesomeness of The Indie Rock Coloring Book.

I read design blogs and generally think I am a creative person (just ask my mom -- parents are good at telling you that you can do anything) but when it comes to actual doodles on paper I'm better with boundary lines. 

This book is like the UK edition of Harry Potter; instead of a kid wizard warding off mythical creatures on the front cover, alternative covers were designed to keep pride intact for readers over the age of fourteen. Say, for instance, that you decide to take this coloring book on a plane. Your stuck-in-the-center-seat neighbor might begin to judge you when he sees you whip out a coloring book (he thinks it's going to be Disney princesses or something awful like that) until he notices that you're doing a maze of The Shins or drawing hairstyles on the band mates of Rilo Kiley. Other pages feature Broken Social Scene, Iron & Wine, and 20+ other indie rock bands.

The mission of Yellow Bird Project is to raise money for charities while highlighting the indie artists they work with. All royalties from the book go to charity. So grab your pack o' crayons and get coloring! Have a happy weekend, all.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Neighbors in Suburbia

[Image via NYPress]
It should come as no surprise to the people who know me well that I am hardly ever fully up to date about what is trendy right now. Just the other day I mentioned to my coworker that I heard a song on the radio with an excerpt of "Hard Knock Life" in between the rapper's lyrics. "Is that a new song?" I asked, having never heard it before. Umm, no. It's a Jay-Z song from 1998. 1998?!  Cue embarrassed eye roll. Like I was listening to top 40 tunes in '98... I was probably still dancing around to the actual Annie soundtrack, the naïve musical-loving gal that was...err...still am.

So here we are, nearly four years after its initial debut, and I'm finally jumping on the Mad Men bandwagon. Like most viewers, I probably gasped in the same spots ('The blatant sexual harassment in the workplace!' 'But Mr. Draper! You have a family!'). And even though the comparisons to today are shocking, I can't help but think that I've seen this scenario before.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lady in Waiting

This is Cat's new favorite place to be: a Costco Cheerios double-pack box inside a wine box from Trader Joe's. When my Seattle pals were here last weekend Cat would hide inside the box, wait for precisely the right moment, and dart out when someone walked by. It scared the living daylights out of them but I thought it was a hoot. I still can't figure out how she can walk inside that thing and turn herself around. My little whiskered friend's got skills...

Now Cat's waiting and ready for our next out of town visitor -- my most wonderful and lovely sister! She's in Baltimore at a conference for the non-profit she works for (no doubt germinating new ideas for saving the world) and is taking the train down to Richmond on Friday evening. Wheee!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dreaming in Pictures

Last week I discovered a site called Pinterest, an online space where you can catalog your interests, ideas, and style in picture form. When you find an inspiring photo on a blog or website, you "pin" it to one of your boards (e.g., "for the home" or "travel"). You can also browse other boards and "repin" to your own. Part of the fun is being able to "follow" other people's boards -- I've already tracked down the some of the writers of the blogs I read. Pinterest is both a visual treat and a neat way to organize your inner design genius. I've only just started, but you can take a peek at my pins here!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Colonial Times

A weekend of wine glasses, cheese plates, straw hats, dance moves, toddlers in tiaras, iced coffees, and classic food spots was topped off with incredible outdoor adventuring weather. We enjoyed happy hour on the patio of the Boathouse, spent a day in Colonial Williamsburg, and walked around Carytown before a lazy afternoon of wine and cheese on our apartment balcony. Just wishing that these Seattle pals didn't have to go back!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Can't. Sit. Still.

Kelsey and Galyn are in flight. 
The weather is sunny and in the 70s. 
Happy hour is calling.
Weekend, I love you already.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

On Constant Replay

A little booty shakin' inspiration to get you through until Friday...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Life as Cat: Hours 1-24

60% sleeping on the bed like a Firefox
15% chasing her tail (watch it here)
10% "loafing" -- acting like a loaf of bread
5% hanging out in a box
4% in conversation
3% sitting in a random spot on the hardwood floor
2% engaged in parent-cat bonding time watching Jeopardy!
1% perched high atop a kitchen cabinet giving me a judgment stare

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tea Time

[Image via Sagaform]
The last thing I need is another item for our already-at-capacity kitchen cupboards. Yet despite this truth, I am continually drawn to every darling mug and and useful contraption that I see. It's easy enough to walk out of Anthropologie with a trivet or butter dish (better than coughing up $128 on a dress), but there is absolutely no more room for me to add to my collection of eclectic sale teacups. But you, Sagaform Retro line, I'd definitely make room for you.

Monday, February 14, 2011

La Vie en Rose

[Image via the kissssing blog]
One year in college -- Chris and I were in different states -- I didn't hear from Chris at all on Valentine's Day. I downheartedly arrived at my babysitting job that evening, admittedly a little jealous that I wasn't the one going out on the town . As I was welcomed through the door I saw an enormous bouquet of red roses on the mantel and the mom gave me a 'gotcha' smile. Chris had arranged for the flowers to be delivered at their house, knowing that I'd be there on Valentine's night. Those flowers stayed on my desk for as long as they lived, and it was the happiest Valentine's surprise I'd ever had.

(Also, you can listen to the song "La Vie en Rose" here. I'm a little obsessed with Edith Piaf music after watching the movie on Netflix last month. Happy Valentine's Day!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

All Natural Mood Booster

When the rest of the country is covered in snow and recurring storms just won't let up, that's when I say, "Richmond, you were a darn good choice."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pack Your Bread and Water

It's official! For the seventh year in a row -- and for its seventh annual appearance -- my sister and I will visit Pike Place Market in mid-May for the vegan nightmare that is the Seattle Cheese Festival. Picture this: the hustle and bustle of Pike Place Market is inundated with long rows of tents and tables serving sample cubes of cheeses from around the nation and the world. FREE samples. We've had lavender cheese, Rogue Chocolate Stout cheese, fiesta cheese, Tillamook cheese, string cheese, goat cheese, and stinky cheese. Over the years we've really wised up and created a strategy; we arrive right when it opens to avoid long lines, bring bottled water and pre-sliced bread (Essential Baking Co. makes a mean loaf), and pack for all kinds of weather. Pouring rain or blazing heat, we've seen Cheese Fest at its soggiest (what do you expect -- it's Seattle) and sunniest (the cheese was melting before our eyes). CHEESE FEST CHEESE FEST CHEESE FEST I LOVE YOU.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An Impressionable Decade

[Image via here]
Yesterday Chris and I discovered an old ruler from elementary school with all of our random desk-related items. It's made of wood and has green little tick marks that match the "Give a Hoot! Don't Pollute!" slogan printed in between the imperial numbers and the metric ones. Take a closer look and you'll notice that I've inscribed little doodles all over the front and back. "Are those stussies???" Chris asked with a laugh. Yes. I was a stussy master.

The only natural next step was to Google it. According to this source, "the 'Super S' or 'Stussy' symbol was drawn by kids worldwide in the 1990s. It was a worldwide meme reaching countries all over the world, primarily drawn at school on binders or notebooks. There is a technique in drawing the symbol (which consists of 14 lines) which was regarded as a kind of special knowledge."

Then stussies got me thinking about pogs. And slammers. Then slammers led to trapper keeper binders, Yikes pencils, episodes of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and the yearly subscription of Highlights magazine from good ole' grandma and grandpa. If the 90s and the arrival of color TV had coincided, it would have been too much for people to handle...all that NEON.

It scares me to think of the day when the 90s become vintage and trendy. Just don't bring back the clothes. 

Don't. Bring. Back. The. Clothes.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spot-On Sentiment

[Image via Design*Sponge]
New-to-us car, new full-time hours at work, and two upcoming visits by three of my favorite people. I'd say February is off to a darn good start.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ode to Truck

Dear Truck,
We loved you so.
(click the link to read full post after the jump)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What a Wednesday

The sun was out, the skies were blue, and the Beatles seemed like the perfect soundtrack to the day. It was almost as if summer had arrived.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


How fantastic is this?! It would make me smile every time I walked out the door. Suggested by this gal (see for sale code on 2/1) and found here on Etsy . Happy February, folks!

Je voudrais...

I spotted this dress yesterday during my weekly (well, sometimes daily) Anthro browsing. Aptly named the "city touring dress" it makes me want to don a floppy hat and shades, take an outdoor seat at a Parisian/Italian/Spanish establishment and sip a café créme. Oh right. It's February. So maybe in a few months from now? After I've saved the millions of pennies I would need to purchase this sweet little dress AND the plane tickets to that outdoor café.