Details, details

I've been pouring over my copy of the Domino Book of Decorating, and getting really excited about decorating the new place. I suppose I should be most concerned about the big items at this point - bed, dressers, bookshelves, etc. However, I find that I love picking out the little things even more. The finishing touches. The details. The rugs and pillows and lamps and even the salt and pepper shakers ( I love these, by Jonathan Adler!)

I've spent this evening scouring Etsy for cute, handmade stuff. Don't you love this print by rosiemusic? Jason and I often hang out side-by-side, just working on our computers or reading (yes, we're both introverts...), so of course, I had to order it.

I also snapped up this print by Sooooound. Isn't it pretty?
I think I'll hang it above my desk.

Images via


Condo, dinner, and a dress

Well, we did it! We closed on the condo!

I can't believe it actually happened. There was some snafu with some of the paperwork and it looked like it was going to be postponed, but we got the call at around 3:45 pm today asking if we could make it to the title company office by 4 pm. We booked it on over there, signed a bunch of papers, and
voila - the condo is ours!

It felt so amazing when our realtor handed us the keys!

We went out to dinner at a wonderful restaurant and wine bar called Proof to celebrate our purchase, and
wow - it was absolutely divine. I had tuna tartare with avocado and wasabi soy emulsion; duck breast with roasted jewel yam purée, pomegranate, vinaigrette, and grilled scallions; and sticky toffee pudding cake with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch. Plus maybe a glass of Viognier and a glass of Riesling, both very good.

Since we had some extra time to kill in Annapolis, we wandered around the mall for a bit, where I picked up this dress, on sale, at Nordstrom.

I've been trying not to spend money on things like clothes recently (what with the
buying a condo and all) but this was too cute to pass up, so I justified it as a "congratulations to me" gift. (And yes, my books are organized by color.)


Souped up

Ugh...I am sick, sick, sick. Headache, stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, etc. It seemed to come on really quickly yesterday and this morning. It's not completely unexpected, I suppose, since my sleeping schedule was out of whack while I was on vacation, and I always seem to get sick after being on airplanes (something about the recycled air maybe...), combined with being jet-lagged upon returning and the stress of getting ready to move.

Jason's at the grocery store picking up ingredients to make me some homemade chicken noodle soup. (I'm a pretty lucky girl, huh?)

Here's the recipe we use:

Start with heating just enough olive oil to saute lots of garlic. Garlic can be sliced or whole clove. Add skinless, bone-in chicken breasts and thighs, large, whole sliced sweet onion, sliced carrots (can add now or later, depending on how soft you want them), and water to cover. You can also add thin, leafy celery stalks and fresh parsley. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer until chicken is cooked. Remove layer of scum from surface of pot. Place chicken to cool a bit on a platter. When cool enough to handle, hold chicken with one fork, while deboning with second fork. This will shred the chicken as you remove meat. Put shredded chicken back in soup. If you plan to eat the soup throughout the week, cook a separate pot of pasta, and add as needed before warming each batch of soup. Otherwise, the pasta soaks up the broth and becomes too soggy. Ladle into bowls and top with freshly grated parmesan.

I hope all of you are having a good weekend and feeling a bit better than I am!


This weekend

I'm looking forward to...

Dinner tonight at one of my favorite restaurants with three of my favorite people. I've been being good and eating at home all week (and packing my lunches), so it feels like a real treat to eat out!

Furniture, appliance, and mattress shopping. Time to make some decisions!

Day-tripping to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia on Sunday with Jason. We plan to go hiking and explore the town a bit. I can't wait, as I've heard it's absolutely gorgeous!

Catching up on sleep. I'm still a teensy bit jet-lagged.

Closing on the condo on Monday! I've got my fingers and toes crossed that everything goes smoothly.

Photo by Ngoc Minh Ngo.


Things that make me say "Ahhh"*

*A fair amount of this is more fantasy than reality

A linen closet brimming with freshly laundered organic cotton sheets, shams and extra duvet covers; a selection of cozy quilts and comforters; a stack of thick bath towels and fluffy robes made from Egyptian cotton; and woven baskets filled with soy candles and aromatherapy sprays.

A laundry room with baskets for sorting clothes and a table upon which to fold them, plus plenty of extra allergen-free laundry detergent and lavender-scented dryer sheets.

A bathroom well-stocked with a bevy of shampoos, bubble baths, shower gels, and fancy French milled soaps.

A refrigerator loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers market; several tubs of Greek yogurt; eggs; milk (soy, almond, or rice, plus organic skim); several varieties of cheese (goat cheese, mozzarella, cheddar, fontina); hummus, spinach artichoke dip, guacamole, and salsa; free-range chicken and fresh salmon for grilling; fresh scallops, shrimp, and mussels; some cured meats like prosciutto or salume (to throw together appetizers for impromptu guests); packs of Vitamin Water and sparkling water; neatly stacked containers of fresh prepared deli items from Whole Foods (for nights that I don't feel like cooking); every manner of condiment; ginger beer; plus several bottles of champagne and white wine. A freezer boasting several kinds of cooking stock (chicken, vegetable, etc.) to thaw and use in recipes, frozen fruit to use in smoothies, Amy's frozen meals to grab when I don't have time to pack a lunch; several types of Ciao Bella gelato plus Ben & Jerry's for Jason.

A pantry with oatmeal; granola; dried papaya and Medjool dates; cashews, pistaschios, and almonds; at least three different kinds of Yogi tea; several tins of Illy coffee; cans of San Marzano tomatoes; tomato sauce; canned garbanzo beans, black beans, and artichokes; dried bread crumbs; cous cous; basmati and whole grain rice; quinoa; a high-quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar; raw honey; an assortment of dried spices plus fresh ginger and garlic; blue corn chips and pita chips; whole grain bread, pitas, and crackers; olives and capers; cashew and almond butter; a variety of pastas (spaghetti, papardelle, soba noodles); a full arsenal of baking supplies; several bars of organic chocolate; and red wine, of course.

Electronics that are fully charged, with a drawer of chargers neatly organized and extra batteries at the ready. A cabinet full of extra toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels, light bulbs, and cleaning supplies. A floor that is vacuumed and mopped, counter tops wiped clean, and other surfaces dusted. Papers and bills filed in attractive file folders; magazines in cute display cases; important receipts and warranties in a labeled binder.

Dresser drawers filled with impeccably folded t-shirts, tank tops, and other basics, in an array of neutral colors, with rose and vanilla-scented sachets nestled within. A walk-in closet that holds a collection of beautifully tailored high-quality dresses, hats, scarves, blouses, sweaters, and pants, always fresh from the cleaners, never in need of mending or tailoring. Shoes that are shined, with nary a scratch or scuff.

A desk with a well-edited supply of beautiful stationary and notecards for every occasion, notebooks and journals, office supplies, art supplies, pens and pencils.

A good book waiting for me on my nightstand.

A Gmail inbox sorted into folders, and devoid of spam; a calendar with important dates and friend's birthdays; an up-to-date and steadily shrinking to-do list.

A purse that is free of random receipts, old sticks of gum, and other clutter, and always contains my wallet, keys, cell phone, sunglasses, iPod, lip gloss, and green tea mints.

Freshly manicured fingers and pedicured toes, hair recently blow-dried and straightened, teeth flossed (I've become religious about flossing actually), skin moisturized, and muscles relaxed from an intense yoga workout.

Walls decorated with beautiful art; fresh flowers in pretty vases; orchids that are watered and well-cared for; an almond-scented fragrance diffuser in the foyer that greets me with a yummy smell.

An iPod programmed with playlists of my favorite music, suited to different activities, occasions, and times of day, and several interesting new podcasts.

A big bottle of water that I bring everywhere I go.

What about you? What creature comforts make you breathe a small sigh of joy?

Image via Martha Stewart.


Extreme closet makeover

Last night, I got a call from my building manager asking whether a prospective new tenant could come take a look at the apartment this morning. "Sure," I said breezily, thinking that I would just need to straighten up a few things. After hanging up the phone, it dawned on me that any prospective tenant would want to check out the closet space. Uh oh. Though I keep my walk-in closet relatively neat, there is also a sort of closet-within-a-closet type of thing that you access by opening a door inside the walk-in closet. This, my friends, has served as a sort of secret repository for all manner of unsightly things these past couple of years: piles of unwanted clothes, shoes that have mysteriously lost their mates, a purse with a broken zippers that I keep telling myself I'll get fixed someday and hence cannot get rid of. You name it. I'm pretty sure there's also a spilled box of Altoids in there somewhere (fell out of one of the purses), and approximately $847,000 in pennies, though I can't be positive because it's hard to find anything in the tangled mess of clothes, shoes, and other debris.

So, I'll spare you all the gory details, but let's just say I was up rather late last night dealing with this
, ahem, situation. I'm proud to report that I am now in possession of six neatly organized bags of clothing to donate to charity and/or pawn off to my sister; a suitcase filled with expertly folded sweaters and other winter clothing; a box of boots and other pairs of shoes that I won't likely need between now and our moving date; and a darn clean closet (I even vacuumed it!). I'm still debating what to do with the purse.

It's actually a huge relief because I've been stressing about it ever since we bought the condo and I realized I would, indeed, need to pack up my apartment. Speaking of which, the whole moving thing is starting to feel really real. We close on the place next Monday, and will probably be moving sometime in mid or late July. Which means I only have a couple more weeks to pack and do a million other moving-related things. Oh, but I am feeling rather accomplished because I've picked out this Anthropologie rug for the living room. Pretty, huh?

So, tell me everyone, what's your best moving or packing-related advice?

Image via My Favorite and My Best.


The ones that get away

This evening, before yoga class, I struck up a conversation with a fellow yogi on the mat next to me. She looked familiar, and we realized that we knew each other from GW, where we'd taken the same self-defense as an elective class the first semester of our freshman year. We'd never talked very much at GW, but tonight we started talking about various things that had happened in our lives since freshman year. It started out as chit chat, but we were soon engaged in fairly animated conversation, laughing and trading anecdotes even as the opening meditation began. Even in the short time we talked, it became apparent that we had a lot in common and had a similar outlook on life. As silly as it sounds, I felt like I could've talked to her forever, and I found myself thinking whoa...we could potentially become really good friends. You know that feeling you get when you just click with someone? Definitely there. Except...it turns out she's moving to Maine at the end of the summer to attend law school.

It seems slightly ridiculous to feel sad over this. I just met the girl, after all. But for 15 minutes there, I was genuinely excited about the possibility of forming a friendship with her and it felt like a loss to find out that most likely won't happen. I've experienced the same feeling at various times throughout my life. That feeling that I would really enjoy getting to know someone better - that they may even be a kindred spirit. But, for whatever reason (timing, geography, etc.), it just doesn't seem like it'll work out.

Has this ever happened to you?

Photo by Flickr user ryanmcginnisphoto.

More blogger love

Thank you so very much to City Girl and Melita of Gussying up the Tuttle for awarding me the "Love ya" blog award.

About the award: "Apparently this award is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I would like to pass this award along to the 8 wonderful bloggers below. (I know some of them have already received it.) Be sure to check them out!


California Dreamin', Part II

I've uploaded most of my California photos to Flickr. Check 'em out if you get the chance!

Here are some of the highlights of the trip:
  • Waking up early to go running with Jason (every morning except one!) through wooded trails or along the beach. One morning we discovered a place called Wedding Rock and hiked all the way up to the top. The views were stunning and we even spotted some sea lions swimming through the ocean. Apparently dozens of couples choose to get married there each year - hence the name!
  • Stumbling upon Katy's Smokehouse in Trinidad, purveyor of what is widely considered to be the best smoked salmon (and other kinds of fish) in the country. Trust me - you haven't had smoke salmon until you've had Katy's. Oh, and you can order it online!
  • Rachel and Brennan's wedding, of course! It was small, simple, and beautiful. I really liked the colors they chose: a burnt orange and a subdued olive green. It had kind of a mod, Orla Kiely-esque vibe to it. Oh, and the reception was at a beach house. Literally, a house on the beach. Does it get any better than that? No, it doesn't.
  • Post-wedding brunch at the Historic Samoa Cookhouse in Eureka, which used to serve as a cookhouse for the many lumberjacks working in that part of California, and still serves authentic lumberjack food.
  • A quick jaunt to the fairy tale perfect Mendocino, an idyllic little town and artists' colony situated right on the coast, a few hours north of California. We hiked out to the edge of the bluff overlooking the water, and noshed on organic Neopolitan pizza and ginger ice cream at Frankie's.
  • Unbelievably fresh and delicious oysters with a glass of Pinot Grigio at the Hog Island Oyster Company, located in the amazing Ferry Building Marketplace (a huge indoor market featuring some of the area's best meat, cheese, seafood, produce, chocolate, and flowers...basically a foodie paradise).
  • Superb porchetta sandwiches from Italian deli Boccalone at aforementioned Ferry Building Marketplace.
  • Walking, walking, walking in San Francisco. We walked our way from the Ferry Building Marketplace down the Embarcadero to Ghirardelli Square and then through Telegraph Hill, Chinatown, North Beach, and the Financial District before an absolutely divine sushi dinner at Ozumo, which apparently flies their fish in daily from Japan. It just may be the best sushi I've ever had (and that's saying something!)
  • Private tastings and tours of Madrigal Winery and Sequoia Grove Winery in the Napa area. I'd heard that Napa was gorgeous, but I didn't quite realize just how gorgeous until I saw it for myself. Wow. Great wine + gorgeous scenery = heaven.
  • Driving past Chez Panisse in Berkeley. (I am slightly obsessed with Alice Waters - her cookbooks, her philosophy, her fascinating career - so this was a major thrill.)
  • Visiting SFMoMA before leaving on Saturday. The art was wonderful of course - an incredible Rothko, a great collection of Clyfford Stills, and the show-stopping Khurasan Gate by Frank Stella (one of my favorites), and since I work in an art museum, it's always interesting to see how other museums are doing things.
I'm sure there are more things that I'm not thinking of, but this should give you a good idea! Needless to say, it was absolutely wonderful and I feel like a very lucky girl. A big thanks to the Browns for letting me tag along!

Oh, and in case you can't tell, that first photo is of one of the vineyards we visited, and the second is me and Jason at the beach!

California Dreamin'

Good morning everyone!

I had a truly lovely time in California. The scenery around Trinidad (where Brennan and Rachel's wedding was held) was absolutely breathtaking, the wedding itself was beautiful, and San Francisco was amazing, of course. I'm already missing California (though I must admit, it was nice to sleep in my own bed last night). I'm pretty much exhausted and staring down a giant to-do list right now, so I'm going to keep this short, but I promise I'll share more details later.

I'm glad to be back, and look forward to catching up with all of you! Have a wonderful Monday!

(Oh, and I snapped the above photo while exploring the coastal area near the town of Trinidad. Isn't it gorgeous? I will upload more pics to my Flickr account and post the link here soon.)


Leaving on a jet plane...

Tomorrow, I leave for a week-long trip to California with Jason and his family to attend the wedding of Jason's cousin, Brennan and Brennan's fiancee Rachel. Check out their engagement photos here. Are they cute or what?

In addition to this being the first real vacation I've had since I graduated from college two years ago, I'm excited because I love weddings and everything that goes along with them...pretty dresses, decorations, good food, drinks, dancing, and, of course, celebrating love!

We'll fly into San Francisco, then drive the rest of the way to Trinidad, California (a few hours north of San Francisco), where the wedding is taking place. After the wedding on Wednesday, we'll drive back down to San Francisco where we'll spend the rest of the week, with a day trip to Napa Valley to do a private wine tasting/winery tour on Friday!

I hope you all have a lovely week. I will catch up with you when I return!


Rugs Rugs Rugs

I'm thinking one of these would look lovely in my new living room.

What are you attracted to?

Yesterday, one of my favorite blogs Wishstudio linked to a great post at White Hot Truth about defining what we are attracted to, and what it can tell us about ourselves. As Danielle of White Hot Truth says, "Being aware of not only what we are attracted to, but why we're attracted to it, gives us access to the most tender and creative places within ourselves. If you put your finger on the magnetism, you can attract more of what you want into you life."

What a powerful concept.
Here's my list.

1. Long strands of colorful beads (like the ones pictured above at Eastern Market)
2. The scent of neroli, jasmine, vanilla, cinnamon, and roses - not all at once though!
3. Sincerity
4. Clean modernist lines mixed with soft, feminine details
5. Whimsy
6. Bookstores and libraries
7. The colors periwinkle, turquoise, and deep rich coral
8. O'Keeffe's "Purple Petunia" (1925, Oil on canvas)
9. Vintage jewelry
10. People who are good listeners
11. The words of Rumi, Mary Oliver, e.e. cummings, and Brian Andreas
12. Old, slightly creaky china cabinets with glass doors for displaying pretty dishes and plates
13. The French language...ditto with Italian
14. Hazy pink-purple sunsets
15. People who are genuinely curious about and interested in others
16. Kindness
17. Twinkly eyes
18. Cavallini stationary
19. Fellow creatives
20. Lush musical harmonies

Looking at my list, it seems like the patterns that arise are beauty, color, creativity, wisdom, and authenticity. Now the question is: How can I cultivate more of these things in my life?

What about you? What things are you attracted to? What patterns emerge from your list? If you write your own list, paste a link in the comments. I would love to read it!

Photo by Flickr user Steve Thornton.


Feelin' the love

Aww, thanks so much to Sarah of Hindsight for bestowing upon me my first blog award. Thank you! I've only had this blog for a short while, and have already been amazed by the awesome blogging community out there. I'm finding so many amazing people doing creative and wonderful things. In that spirit, I would like to pass along this honor to some fellow bloggers.

Everyday Revelry
Gussying up the Tuttle
Magpie Girl
City Girl Lifestyle
Hang on Little Tomato (Carolyn, from one of your recent posts, it sounds like you may have already gotten this award, but I'm giving it to you anyway because I simply adore your blog!)


Teaism's Ginger Scones

I've always had a thing for ginger. Whenever I had a cold or flu as a little kid, my mom would buy me a bottle of ginger ale as a special treat. It was one of the only times I was allowed to have soda (or "pop" as I called it then). She would also whip up a steaming pot of Egg Drop Soup, with freshly grated garlic and ginger for extra healing power. I don't know whether it was psycho-somatic or what, but I always seemed to feel better afterwards.

In high school, my friend Mira and I shared an affinity for candied ginger, devouring tiny bags of the golden-hued nibs as we discussed boys, college applications, our future careers, and the meaning of life with the self-seriousness and grandiosity only 17-year-olds can muster.

Later, in college, I would open care packages from home to find bags of ginger chews mixed in with magazine and newspaper clippings and homemade cookies, and I would fight back pangs of homesickness, determined not to let my roommates see the tears in my eyes as I clawed my way through the difficulties of adjusting to life in a new city, nearly 1,000 miles from home.

Ginger remains a favorite comfort of mine. After an intense yoga practice, I'll run a hot lavender-scented bubble bath and sip a mug of Yogi ginger tea, savoring the delicious relaxation that follows a good workout. I always ask the flight attendant for ginger ale whenever I'm on an airplane, pretending that its pale bubbly fizz is high-end champagne and that I am an ultra-glamourous international spy, calming my nerves before my next top-secret assignment. Happily, Jason shares my love of good ginger ale, and we have recently taken to drinking Reed's Ginger Beer as a flavorful and healthy alternative to alcohol when we don't want to imbibe.

I stopped by Teaism on my way to work the other day to grab an iced green tea to go. "Do you have scones?" I asked, on a whim, having not eaten any breakfast yet. "Yes," the salesgirl answered. "We only have one kind though...ginger," she added, as though I might be disappointed.

I must say, Teaism's ginger scone might be the most heavenly thing I've ever tasted. Crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, with little chunks of real ginger throughout, and suffering none of the dryness that so often seems to afflict this particular type of pastry. It comes with little packets of butter and jam, but trust me...you won't need it.

Teaism sells the scone mix on their website if you're not able to make it to one of their DC locations. I also sleuthed around a bit and found the recipe online for all you DIY kinds out there. So, without further ado, I present you with:

Teaism's Ginger Scones
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pea size cubes
2 ounces chopped, crystallized or candied ginger
3/4 cup milk
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water to make an egg wash

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. You can mix by hand or with a food processor or mixer, but be careful not to over blend the dry ingredients. If you over-blend, your scones will be tough and chewy. Put the 7 dry ingredients in a bowl and add the cubes of butter. With your fingers, or with 2 knives, blend the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a course cornmeal. Some large pieces of butter should remain, this will make your scones light and fluffy. If you are using a processor, pulse briefly. Stir in the ginger bits. Add the milk and work quickly with a fork to incorporate. The dough should be soft and lightly moist. Again, don't over-mix. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and gently pat down until it stands about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 12 triangles with a dough cutter or a knife and put onto an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle with some sugar. Bake for 12 minutes until golden. Let cool briefly.

Photo via Open Mouth Insert Cookie (her version of Teaism's ginger scones).


Big news

Last week, I wrote that I was getting close to making a major decision. I have been practically bursting at the seams keeping this whole thing a secret. So, what's the good news? Jason and I bought a condo this past weekend! We had been talking about buying a place together for awhile now, and we had recently found a neighborhood in Annapolis, MD that we absolutely fell in love with. We went house-hunting a week ago, and found a beautiful 2-bedroom condo and decided to make an offer on Saturday. Within four hours of our offer, we had reached an agreement with the seller and we had a new home! We will be moving sometime in July.

So, yes, I will be trading in the hustle and bustle of DC for the laid back, small town charms of Annapolis. (I'm already imagining balmy summer evenings strolling along the Annapolis City Dock, or exploring the lush gardens and greenery on the campuses of St. John's College and the Naval Academy.) We will be commuting to our jobs in the city (I was able to get on a different work schedule to avoid rush hour traffic), so I'll get my daily dose the lovely Dupont Circle neighborhood, and will still have access to all the things I love about DC.

On Saturday afternoon, we scoped out our new neighborhood a bit more. I cannot believe how amazing our location is! We'll be within minutes of a fabulous new Whole Foods and a Trader Joe's, an Amish market (think incredible baked goods, handmade pasta, and fresh meat, cheese and produce, all from local sources) a yoga studio (sounds promising from the reviews), a FRESHFARM farmers market, Anthropologie, Lululemon, Target, the Rams Head (a great live music venue), the highly acclaimed Joss sushi bar, a fab cupcake shop, Mixed Greens (an eco-boutique with oodles of locally and sustainably made housewares, clothing, etc.) a sweet little wine bar, biking and running trails, not to mention the beautiful Chesapeake Bay (and everything that comes along with living near the water - boating, crabbing, jet-skiing, etc.).

Needless to say, we are insanely excited. I was going to post pictures of the condo itself, but the listing has been taken down because it's not on the market anymore. I will post pictures as soon as I can however. I have the feeling I will be asking for design tips and opinions because I know you guys have excellent taste!

Collage by me, comprised of photos by Flickr user Toshio, Destination 360, SoMdThisisLiving, Flickr user Iso100, and Flickr user RamisLevy.


This weekend

Why not...

Create an inspiring
artspace for yourself; make a soy chai smoothie; try some restorative yin yoga poses; pet a puppy; learn to salsa dance; wear pigtails; spend Saturday in your comfiest slippers with a good book; get lost at an art museum; compliment a stranger; clean out your refrigerator; have your palm read (or read it yourself); organize your tea collection by color; go to the zoo and ogle the cute baby animals; add a new blog to your Google Reader (check out Lauren or Melita); make guacomole from scratch; grab a bottle of vino, some good cheese, and a baguette for an impromptu picnic; buy a basil plant from your local farmer's market and start an herb garden in your backyard or windowsill; check out some live jazz; go for a walk and take pictures of whatever catches your eye; laugh till your belly aches; paint your toenails bright red; stock up on refreshing, organic sparkling water; throw a lavender sachet in with your laundry...

Tell me, tell me, what are your fabulous plans for the weekend?

Image via WestElm.


Ten good things

Daydreaming about dining alfresco and sipping Cava at a cafe in Barcelona, wearing a little black dress and these fabulous shoes (pictured above).

Salads from Sweetgreen for lunch. I make my own with baby arugula, avocado, grape tomatoes, goat cheese, garlic pita chips, grilled shrimp, and champagne viniagrette...sooooo good.

Storypeople by Brian Andreas. I dare you not to smile.

Releasing your inner French girl.
Très chic.

Curtis Sittenfeld's latest. (Engrossing and slightly scandalous...perfect summer/beach reading.)

Ina Garten's (aka Barefoot Contessa's) new house. Isn't it so pretty? I'm having total kitchen lust.

Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel facial toner. This stuff rocks. It's really gentle, but leaves your skin feeling super clean and fresh. Perfect if you have sensitive skin.

Taschen's New Paris Interiors. I love curling up in my armchair with a cup of tea and one of Taschen's gorgeous design books.

Chuck trash cans. Don't you love those designs?

"The Call" by Regina Spektor from the
Chronicles of Narnia soundtrack. Can't wait for her new album!

So, tell me everyone. What are you digging right now?

Image via Anthropologie.

She flies through the air with the greatest of ease...

Oh, this is just so cool! I've just learned via the Washington Post that DC is getting its very own Trapeze School! Who hasn't dreamed about flying freely through the air high above the crowd? Apparently, they have already had lots of requests for corporate team-building exercises, but I think it would also make for a fun and adventurous date, bachelor/bachelorette party, or even a daring solo artist's date. I can't wait to try it out! How about you? You can check out the class descriptions and schedule here.

Art by Timmy Kramp.

Good read

I'll admit it. I picked up this book because I fell in love with the image of the girl in the red dress dancing down the middle of the street. I totally judged it by its cover, but I'm so glad I did! Nina Wise is a performance artist and teacher, who has spent her career helping people reach their creative potential. Her workshops encourage people to use movement, storytelling, vocalization, and other forms of expression to discover and claim their own creative capabilities, with an emphasis on spontaneous expression. Now, she has compiled all of these tools, tips, and exercises into this book. The nice thing is that most of the exercises take ten minutes max, and can be performed almost anywhere. I particularly like the chapter "To Render Visible - Giving Birth to Images." As any artist knows (visual or otherwise), it can be exceedingly difficult to bring the images in our head into the world. Nina provides ways of "getting out of our own way" and allowing our creativity to flow more freely. For anyone that feels trapped in a routine, caught in a slump, or just plain uninspired, Nina's wise voice and powerful vision will invigorate and refresh your approach to your art and your life. Available here.

Image via Amazon.


Good things about today

  • Perfect springtime weather - warm with a light, refreshing breeze.
  • Greek yogurt with fresh blueberries for breakfast
  • Artist's date after work - browsing at Kramerbooks and solo sushi dinner at Raku, people-watching and reading my new book.
  • Taking the scenic route on my walk home, admiring all the pretty flowers and cute dogs along the way
  • Absolutely amazing yoga class, which melted away the soreness and tension in my back
  • Catching up on my favorite blogs with a mug of Yogi Kava tea.
  • Getting closer to making an exciting decision. I can't say anything yet, but I hope that I'll be able to soon. :-)
Today's to do: Go to lululemon's website, download their manifesto (below), and set it as your computer's background.

Image via lululemon.

Gennine's Art Blog

I am really excited about this new blog I stumbled across (new to me, anyway): Geninne's Art Blog. Geninne is a freelance illustrator/designer, who blogs about her creations and shares neat little visual vignettes from her everyday life.

One of Geninne's illustrations. Pretty, huh?

And this is her studio, which I am kind of obsessed with.

Check out Geninne's Etsy shop for more bee-yoo-ti-ful stuff!

Images via Geninne's Art Blog.


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