Friday, April 29, 2011

Will & Kate: a romantic early morning

I'm one of the 2 billion people who watched the Royal Wedding live (yes, at 3am PST), and it was so worth it.

I slept over at my in-laws so I could get up to watch it early since we don't have cable at home.

I'll keep this sweet and simple, I just to remember this moment.
It was stunning, romantic, regal and simply perfect! I loved every minute. And despite the serious lack of sleep I'll experience today, I can't wait to tell my future daughters that I got to see this when it happened.

Things I loved:
  • Reading lips--from Will's "You look beautiful" during the ceremony to Kate's "Wow" when she stepped onto Buckingham's balcony. Such an intimate glimpse into such a special day.
  • The hats! Need I say more?
  • Seeing Kate's mom, proud smiles and a little teary-eyed
  • The ceremony. I thought it was just beautiful, and impressive. The prayers, hymns and message were all wonderful.
  • How excited the crowds were, but calm and peaceful
I'll be swooning all day. Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

3 ways to wear a scarf (or, channeling Betty Draper)

Friday was a day off and I couldn't decide whether to use it to check things off my To Do list or relax after our trip to Chicago and a busy week of catch-up.

I ended up doing a little but not nearly enough of both.


Putting together this outfit I had hard time figuring out how to wear the scarf. I started with it tied loosely around my neck. and i put my hair up with a bunch of bobby pins. Not sure what I was going for--but it looked too weird to have it down.



Then I went kerchief on it, and tied it like a bandana. I was going for 60's sexy housewife look--think Betty Draper or Jackie Kennedy....without the white rimmed cat-eye sunglasses. I'm not sure I impressed E, but I still liked this change.




After half the day, I was getting annoyed with the scarf flapping. So I folded the whole thing to make it a headband.



Which is your favorite way to wear it?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter weekend

Thanks for all your excitement and well wishes about our plans for the summer. It hardly seems real, but we're leaving in 5 weeks!
You will be hearing much more from about the trip as we figure out our living situation there, what sites we'll get to see, and how in the world I will pack clothes for 4 days in NYC and then 4 weeks in Italy, all in one suitcase.

In the meantime, Easter weekend! This weekend was a time for us to reflect on Christ's sacrificial atonement for us, and his Resurrection that gives us life. It's the most meaningful event of the year for us as Christians.

On Saturday we went to see The Pageant of our Lord. It was a production of living art, in the style of the Pageant of the Masters.
Essentially actors create famous art pieces (in this case, religious-themed) on stage, holding their poses perfectly still for 2-4 minutes. The art was really stunning. (E kept hoping they would move or blink!) it made me all the more excited to see The Last Supper painting again in Milan.

We finished the evening off with wine tasting and totally indulgent Italian fare





On Easter my in-laws had a hodge-podge of people over for Easter, mostly friends whose family is far away.
I made the vegetables (including an incredible broccoli casserole recipe by Paula Deen.) and a carrot cake for desert.



I over-ate and have to admit my disappointment when I checked the scale. I now have 8 total pounds to Italy? I'd settle for 5 in 5 weeks, but it's going to take a lot more work.
Shortly after this post I hit a wall (which proves to me that I never should have had those first 7 lbs!). It's gotten harder to lose, and harder to motivate myself.

[despite the loss of momentum, we are starting to see noticeable progress--and others are as well! We're also maintaining it, a total of 20 combined lbs...and counting!]

Monday, April 25, 2011

Summer plans

I can't believe I'm posting this. We got some exciting news about our summer a few weeks ago that I'm happy to share.

Wanna guess? Here's a clue:

Here's another

give up?

We are heading to Milan!

The story:
E usually has church internship opportunities in the summer as part of his degree program in seminary. Last summer he was somewhat local (Inland Empire area, about an hour away) and we've been talking for months about what he could do this summer. It didn't feel urgent, because he's completed his requirements, so any internship would just be for more experience.

A couple of weeks ago a local pastor in our denomination asked E if he'd be interested in interning full time at a church in Italy for eight weeks. We were shocked, thrilled, and totally overwhelmed by trying to figure out if we could swing it. (But how could we say no?)

The internship is not paid, but room and board is included. We have to get there, as well as have money for anything we buy there. We started praying about it, especially that we would go for the right reason (I mean, it is Italy after all. its easy to think we would do whatever it takes to get there)
After a week of prayer, some difficult news, and some real blessings we bought our plane tickets.

[For those of you that follow on Twitter, this was the mega stress of a few weeks ago. Trying to figure out if my work would let me go for any amount of time longer than my one week of vacation]

My job is allowing me to work remotely part-time for three additional weeks (not as much as I hoped for, but far more than I deserve!) so I can be there for the whole month of June.

We're still going to NYC, then flying out of NYC to Milan. I'll stay for almost four weeks, and E will stay for all eight.

We've been to Milan before on our honeymoon--it's no Florence or Venice, but we're also just a two hours train ride from some really amazing sites! (I'm secretly hoping we get to go back and hike Cinque Terre)


E's schedule only allows him one day off per week, so I'm sure I'll be using some of my extra time off to explore on my own.


I am still a little in shock that we'll be spending our 2nd anniversary where we spent our first weeks of married life. E is thrilled about the church where he'll be serving, and I'm excited to see another side of Italy--this time not as tourists!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thrifted Challenge complete

I had a lot of fun putting together outfits the past few weeks. Getting up earlier in the morning gives me time to think about what I could wear before standing in front of my closet for 5 minutes drawing a blank.

Thrifted: Ann Taylor Loft cardigan

(there is so much awkwardness that happens before an acceptable picture. You can tell the days in which I only had time for 3 shots before getting to work.)

Thrifted: Seychelles shoes and teal belt

Thrifted: Ann Taylor jacket, handbag, gold bow shoes

Thrifted: polka dot top and cropped pants


But I've gotten several compliments lately that I've become 'more adventurous' and fun, so thats encouraging. and I've worn every newly purchased piece at least once!

Thrifted: H&M marching band blazer

Picnik collage

Thrifted: red belt and Seychelles shoes
shabby apple dress

Thrifted: gray belt
macy's dress

I feel like I've now got so many thrifted items in my wardrobe that it doesn't matter what I put together, it's almost certain that at least one item will have been thrifted! I am going to try to start tagging my photos in Flickr so I can easily track how I wear different pieces

American Apparel dress

My favorites are the marching band blazer and skirt outfit, and the ruffle dress with teal cardigan ensemble.

It is SO easy to get into a rut with pieces you regularly wear (this teal top go with those gray pants) over and over. So my next personal style challenge is to not repeat an outfit I've already worn (ever) in the next month!

If you'd like, follow along on Flickr, or my new Style Tumblr.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chicago: lattes, friends, photos

Katie-2 copy

I was thrilled that Anni, a not-so-fledgling photographer, agreed to take some photos for me last week in Chicago.

Many of you have already seen these shots, because Anni was SO quick at getting them posted! (there are a few new ones in this post!)

Katie-10 copy

Katie-8 copy

I'd been dying try a latte at Intelligentsia, so we met up again on Friday morning (late morning, thanks for your patience, Anni!)

Katie-11 copy

Its sort of awkward to get your photo taken alone. It wasn't that busy, but I felt a little self-conscious every time someone walked by, or slowed down to see what was going on. Anni made me feel really comfortable, and was super encouraging (she kept saying how much she loved the shots she was getting!)

Katie-12 copy

I wanted a headshot for this blog, so I thought it would be fun to get some shots with latte art in a coffee shop. (and p.s. I love lattes, but I've not had anything like Intelligentsia. YUM)

Anni had already scoped out the neighborhood and found some other great spots too.

Katie-20 copy

I'm amazed at what she accomplished in just over an hour. We had a lot of fun (despite the cold wind!)

Katie-24 copy

Katie-26 copy

Katie-28 copy

There are so many shots I love, but now I have to decide which one to use in my bio.
I hope you can help me choose! I've embedded a poll in this post so you can vote for your favorite.

Photo 1
Katie-4 copy

Photo 2
Katie-7 copy

Photo 3
Katie-13 copy

Photo 4
Katie-25 copy

Photo 5
Katie-29 copy

Thanks again, Anni for a wonderful morning, and some great photos!
obvs, all photos by Anni Cee Photographie

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chicago, the work bit

The reason I was in Chicago last week was to attend/work a large Christian conference being held at McCormick Place, The Gospel Coalition. E came along because he was really interested in the conference (he is a seminary student after all), and was able to help me.

[We really enjoyed being in Chicago with the almost 6,000 other attendees and really benefited from the sessions. If you're at all interested, I would highly recommend listening to the talks by Tim Keller, Matt Chandler, Conrad Mbewe, Mike Bullmore & Don Carson.]

The days were really long, 12 to 14 hours, and we chose to stay at the historic Palmer House Hilton in the Loop instead of at the conference hotel, so we had a commute as well.


palmer house

But even after getting out at 9-10pm each night we couldn't just head to bed! (and staying at the Palmer House was worth it)

I tried my first bubble tea (coconut) at Argo when I stopped in for a quick bite. It took a minute to get used to, but I loved it!


The second night we weren't feeling adventurous enough to try something new, so we stopped in at Bennigans on Michigan avenue. I was craving their monte cristo sandwich and it did not disappoint.


essentially, a fried dough deli sandwich sprinkled in powdered sugar & dipped into raspberry jam. ( did not eat it all (though I wish I could have!)


We spent time with friends eating at Lou Malnati's (after which E proclaimed he actually liked Chicago-style deep dish--a miracle!).

And met up with our friend Gino for drinks in Old Town.

I've never spent this much time in the city, because I lived far enough into the burbs that we only came up for special occasions, but E and I were surprised to discover we really enjoyed the urban environment after spending a few days 'working' and 'living' there. There are a lot of facets to city life, but being there together made it seem somewhat different than last time I was in Chicago.

I was still happy to come home to my 75 and sunny home with views and mountains (it had just started to snow when we took off!), but we wouldn't rule out a city when it comes to our next place to live.

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