Thursday, October 28, 2010

Neither here nor there

Is it just me or does it feel like Friday? Just wishful thinking.
It's a brain dump sort of day.

First, you must check out this song released last week by Willow Smith, Will and Jada Pinkett's daughter.
She's incredibly talented and adorable and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't whipping my hair back and forth all day.


I have a new favorite internet game. I rarely play games, but my previous two favorites were Bejeweled Blitz and Scramble.

It's a geography game that lists cities and famous places and you have to click on the map where it is located. The faster you click and the closer you are to the target, the more points you get.
I justify playing this by telling myself it's educational. (Just like Scramble improved my vocabulary and Bejeweled Blitz my strategy and spacial abilities)


Have you read The Help? I just finished it and really enjoyed it--honest, poignant, and personal. A friend of mine out here is from Jackson, MS and we are getting together on Monday to chat about the book and her experience in Jackson 30-50 years after the book was set.

The Help


I saw this story on Cup of Jo's weekend round up and gasped. It's one of those stories that someone would fantasize could happen--what if I stepped back in time and everything was just like it was 70 years ago?
And here it is, come true--in Paris, no less!

Makes me wonder what kept the owner from ever coming back?

Hope you're having a happy Thursday!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pure Michigan

The second leg of my work trip was to Grand Rapids, MI. I extended my stay by a day so I could spend some time with my dear friend Cait.

We both got off early on Friday afternoon and headed to Robinette's to start off the weekend. I was pretty excited to experience all I'd been missing about the midwest fall.


The Apple Haus did not disappoint


We stood in line oogling the goodies, and left with two cider/cinnamon sugar donuts, a pumpkin cinnamon sugar donut, an apple turnover, and two apple ciders.


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but do you notice anything funny about this picture? (other than my hair frizz)

look a little closer:
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Its pesky bee!

Pesky bee bothered me the entire time we sat outside (and didn't bring any friends to bother Cait). he buzzed in my ear, attacked my donut, swam in my cider, and was a general nuisance.
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After I took this photo he lost his footing and plopped right into my cup. So I poured him (and my delicious cider) out on the ground and watched him roll around in juice-induced stupor. that's alright buddy, happy hour's on me today. Take it easy this weekend, ok?

We finished up the afternoon with a wine tasting where I tried peach and apple wines for the first time. So different from a California wine tasting, but YUM nonetheless.

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(what's fall without an over-sized iron apple?)

We continued the evening at Schuler Books and Music to sample some new music, and were perplexed by the long line of kids and parents trailing to the back of the store.
It turns out that Jan Brett was in store signing copies of her new book, 3 Little Dassies.

The 3 Little Dassies

This would be inconsequential except that, that very morning, I had heard part of an interview with Jan Brett on NPR, and proceeded to gleefully exclaim so to Cait.

It would be inconsequential except that a nice man walked over "sorry to interrupt," who just happened to be Jan Brett's manager (i think?) and ask me how the program went because he said it was a tough interview, and we chatted for a bit. I think she sounded great, and I'm now looking for an opportunity to buy the sweet book (I think I need a niece or nephew).

It was a pretty fun coincidence!

Then we headed to one of my favorite places in Eastown-The Winchester. It's fun and eclectic and has delicious food, and a great atmosphere.
What I love the most is the diversity of its patrons. There was a group of guys in their 20s with beers watching a football game and two older couples dressed to the nines sipping wine near us in the corner.

Caitlin had a white fish with roasted veggies
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I had sirloin with braised brussel sprouts and celery mash
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We both sipped on an Autumn Lager and chatted about cooking and married life.

Saturday morning brought us to a favorite spot of Cait's, Sparrows, for a muffin and a latte. I was so excited for the latte art (maybe I should have asked for a heart?)

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It couldn't have been a more perfect morning--colorful and lazy and sunny.


After strolling through a couple vintage stores and thrift stores, I got on the plane back to rainy San Diego.
I miss you already Cait!

Thanks for letting me share how I spent my perfect 36 hours in Pure Michigan!

(ps. I wasn't kidding about the rain out here. We've gotten 313% more than average lately!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

City musings

A miscommunication and friends' busy lives left me alone on my night in Chicago for work a couple weeks ago. I was pretty disappointed about plans falling through, (and I had no one to go out with), so I set out to just buy a quick sandwich and settle in to watch tv and do some work.

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As I strolled the city blocks looking for a panini to grab and take back to my hotel room, I realized how uncomfortable I am in a big city--especially one that should be more familiar than it is. (I lived most of my life 30 miles outside of Chicago!)
It's fun, exciting, and busy when you're with company, but the big city can be lonely when you're alone.

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After I finished my pity walk, I started to appreciate my surroundings. People watching and musing; making up little stories for the lives of those of whom I only catch a brief glimpse. (am I the only one that does this?) The distracted dog walker becomes a busy mom taking her opportunity to get out and enjoy the night.  The well-dressed girls, a group of surgeons at a medical conference ready to hit the town after a long day of neuro-lectures.  The confident bicyclist weaving in and out of traffic, a finance guy heading home; the hipster jamming to his tunes at Starbucks, an aspiring novelist.

And I, am whoever I want to be. (though, certainly--not a tourist.  I left my camera in purse to prove this point. All the photos were taken earlier in the day, or later from my hotel window).  I am more confident, more friendly, more of everything I wish I'd be with people who really know me.

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There's a part of me that loves the anonymity and distance--it's an escape for you and everyone around you.

But a part of me misses and loves the small town I grew up in.  You can so easily get swallowed up in a city. I miss the slower pace, the unfeigned friendliness, the simpler life.

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Although I doubt I'll ever live the city life, I love living near cities (Chicago, now San Diego). I can see myself settling in suburbia, or maybe in a smaller city. (LA, Chicago, New York are just so huge!)
 Are you a city girl or country girl at heart? What do you love about where you live now?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2 year old diamond

Two years ago today, my favorite guy gave me the biggest surprise ever by secretly flying out Chicago, and proposing to me on Navy Pier.


(Taken at an impromptu family get together two days after the engagement)

We had a whirlwind weekend involving a party with friends, a family get together, and last minute engagement photos.

Thanks E, for planning an incredible evening, for giving me that beautiful ring, and for asking me the question every girl wants to hear from the love of her life. I'd say yes again and again.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Hubby

Happy Birthday to the one I love...

(us on the freezing and windy top of Pike's Peak in August)

I can't wait to celebrate 50 + more birthdays with you (and here's to hoping we'll get to celebrate more of them together!)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Boy's birthday guide

E's 25th birthday is coming up later this week. Since he'll be celebrating in New York with Alex and I'm in the midwest for work, we're going to have our own next week.

E is notoriously impossible to buy for (aren't all guys?), so i wanted to share a few of my ideas for his birthday presents in case it would help anyone else out who's looking for husband gifts.
E has a 200+ amazon wish list for books, but it gets boring to buy him books all the time, so here are a few non-book alternatives.

E's favorite book is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Carly posted about this amazing artist who creates posters depicting the cover of a book using the text of the book it's featuring.
Its would look great in E's study.



Tickets for E's trip to New York


A tour of the NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Center (It's too bad Kenneth isn't leading the tour!)


Casual loafers

Do you have a hard time buying gifts for your husband/SO? Any ideas you might add to the list?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Travels & Trifles

Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts after my extraction last weekend! It took me a week, but I'm finally back to normal now.

I'm excited to head back to my hometown, Chicago, for a few days this week. I don't do much travel for work (4-5 trips a year), but two of those trips are coming up in the next two weeks, so I'm going to be a busy bee!
I really enjoy traveling. Don't always enjoy the working part, but I generally get to see family, friends, or new places. And it's a nice break from the office routine.

I've recently started following a few fashion blogs in hopes that I could get some inspiration to start mixing and matching some of my current wardrobe pieces better (if you're looking for some inspiration, check out Kendi Everyday!)
Last week I took a couple pictures of my work outfit for the day--it was a little more frilly than usual. The lighting was just perfect and I couldn't resist. Thank you camera timer!

outfit 9.22.10

Sweater: J. Crew
Ruffle top: JC Penneys
Pencil skirt: Banana Republic
Gold pumps: Thrifted
Necklace: Target

ps. check out our great back yard! i have some potted herbs on the patio and love the big shady tree.

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