Wednesday, November 30, 2011

[The day after.]

Beach. 68 and sunny. Turkey sandwiches and sparkling apple cider. Volleyball battles. Wardrobe malfunctions. Sunset. Sand in my hair for days. Lifeguard stations and palm trees. Better than anything.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

[Two Tunes Tuesday: 'Tis (always) the season!]

I don't know what your rules are, but I do NOT have a strict no-Christmas-music-before-X-date policy. I listen to Christmas music year round, as it is always appropriate to be merry and bright. But I'm quite sensitive and considerate, so have restrained myself from posting any such tunes here until now, after Thanksgiving and well into the Starbucks red cup season. This first song is a beauuutiful Christmas hymn sung by Vocal Point, the BYU male a cappella ensemble (you may have seen them dominating this season of NBC's The Sing Off...). I heard it for the first time this weekend, when Vocal Point spent an afternoon at my house, chilling with the fam, eating lunch, cleaning up our kitchen, giving us a private little concert in our living know, normal stuff. Anyway, they sang this song and I *may* have fallen just a teensy bit in love with the lead (though he was already a favorite from the start of the show). Girls (and everyone else, really), I dare you to watch this and not swoon. Seriously. Go ahead. Try.

Told ya you wouldn't make it out alive.

And then...there's this. A classic oldie, and a favorite of mine. It's excellent. And fitting, don't you think?

whomp whomp whomp

Monday, November 28, 2011

[Home for Thanksgiving.]

In a nutshell: Kelly was cool, Mathis chowed down, and I spent most of the day sick in bed. And there were pretty things and delicious food sprinkled throughout the day.
Happy Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for family, sparkly things, jalapeños, and you.

[Where it all started.]

A visit back to our elementary school with the sibs.

It's a lovely, charming little place nestled on a hill in Bel Air with views to the ocean. By L.A. standards, it's an old school, having been established in 1929. Its emphasis on tradition is one of the things I appreciate and remember most about attending school there -- think white robed Christmas caroling, candle-lighting ceremonies, poem recitations... My little brother is in his final year there, so when he graduates 6th grade this June, our family will be effectively graduating as well. Last week my sisters and I visited him at school for a morning and attended a few classes with him as his guests on Grandparents and Special Friends Day. Old lady alert: I was amazed by the technology these kids get to use every day in the classroom (two words: Smart Boards), and floored when the entire second grade class performed a violin concert. Kids these days...

My favorite John Thomas Dye School tradition: Every morning the entire student body gathers around the front lawn overlooking all of west L.A. to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and then, with arms raised to the sky, a Sanskrit poem, "Salutation of the Dawn":

Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn:

Look to this Day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course lie all the verities
And realities of your existence:

The glory of action,
The bliss of growth,
The splendor of beauty.

For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision.

But today, well lived, makes
Every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn.

Tender, right? (I kind of wish I still started my day like this. Roomies, if you see me in the front yard one morning with my arms outstretched towards the sun, reciting an ancient Sanskrit poem, you'll know why.)

Love this school. Love these kiddies.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

[Two Tunes Tuesday: The pretty & sad.]

Songs like these have been filling my ears lately. Pretty mixtures of calm, sad, hope, despair...pretty much my jam right now. Here's a little Bon Iver by way of Jose Vanders & Luke Leighfield, plus a mix of the prettiest man voices out there, Jason Mraz & James Morrison.

'Cause blinded, I was blindsided...

Hold your own and know your name and go your own way. Everything will be fine, everything in no time at all. Hearts will hold.

Monday, November 21, 2011

[These ones.]

A collection of snapshots. Happy moments in NYC with the very best friends.


These ones knew me before I was me. These ones I can go a year without seeing and it doesn't matter. These ones remember my shy kindergarten self, my braces and glasses, my Grandma's name. These ones are beautiful, ambitious, caring, and kind.


These ones make me happy. These always root for my team and never judge. These ones have put roofs over my head. These ones are constant, loyal, and encouraging.


This one has been to hell and back with me. This one has been with me as we've lost and regained our minds, hearts, and souls. This one wears the matching silly hats with me, spends the all-nighters studying with me, and cries to the breakup music with me. This one is lovelier and smarter than anyone.

And I am the lucky one to count these ones as my bests. I'm mostly on my own here in D.C., especially now, so knowing that these people are just a few states away means everything to me these days. I love New York for a million reasons...the sights, tastes, sounds...but these people are the heartbeat of the city to me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

[On mollusks, tauntauns, and running a mile.]

Yeah. You see that sexy hip pop? Confidence embodied, people. This is right before I took off on my run last night. I put together a workout "outfit," you see, that I wanted to document. "You mean those purple spandex leggings were a choice??" Yes, yes they were. An excellent choice. As was the visible bright blue sports bra, which flattens me to the shape of an 11 year old boy. I specifically planned to run one mile. No more, no less, even though I am perfectly capable of running at least 1.2 miles, if not 1.3. I'm taking baby steps here. Next run maybe I'll add another block or two.

This celebratory pic was taken seconds after finishing my grueling, one mile run, during which I lightly jogged approximately ten steps before I began to wail, which most closely resembled the sounds made by a dying tauntaun (if you know what that is I shall kiss you), and didn't stop until Melissa, my roomie/running partner, managed to distract me by asking about the breakup (plenty to say about that topic, of course). I like having a running buddy. Gives me an excuse to wail "I haaaaaaaate this...I'm dyyyyyinnngg..." over and over again at the top of my lungs instead of grumping internally. I am a delight.

Also, when I say this was taken seconds after my run, I actually mean like 15 minutes, as I spent a significant amount of time walking around in circles in my front yard with my hands above my head, attempting to neither throw up nor black out, and wondering which roomie would discover me sprawled out on the lawn first. Also, stretching, because who wants running man muscles? Gross.

And this is what I actually felt like and continue to feel like today. Note the vacant stare, the sweaty tendrils of hair, the loss of all joy for life a la a Hogwarts student post dementor interaction... It's been so long since I led an active lifestyle that I have the aerobic and muscular capacity of a mollusk, and I. am. FEELING. it. My leg muscles are convinced that we sprinted a marathon last night, and my back muscles are a tad miffed that we apparently lifted 3,000 tons all day long yesterday. Anyway, basically I'm just dying, and I wanted to tell you all about it. I have to continue this exercise thing for a while, since I plan to be in a contant state of eating between the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and the day after New Year's, so I hope you don't mind if these exercising posts become a thing. Plus I am 1000% positive my dad will drag me over to the UCLA track while I'm home next week to go running with him (how physical torture became a favorite family activity the world will never know), so I want to be prepared to do more than walk a lap while my dad literally runs circles around me. And be excited about it, because I promise more gloriously sexy photos like the ones above. So you have something to look forward to as well. Win win.

[Dancing colored pencils.]

I can't wasn't a great I'm watching pretty stop motion videos to hopefully usher me into happy dreams of colorful writing utensils (hopefully without the accompanying nightmares of evil pencil sharpeners). Seriously though, this is kind of good, and you should watch. The creativity of some people is so inspiring to me...if only I had a fraction of this talent!!

(via Rebecca - so good to see you this weekend! xo)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

[Perfect Pair: All that glitters.]

1 / 2

[Ryan Gosling I will eat you.]

the RyGos pancake!


Okay. Carry on.

[Central Park in November.]

quote by Brian Andreas

[Two Tunes Tuesday: Duets.]

Just heard this Matt Nathanson feat. Sugarland track, "Run", for the first time last week. It's cute and sweet, and I love it, claro. And then there's the heartbreaking and poignant "Poison and Wine" by The Civil Wars, which kind of perfectly describes every complicated, serious, "I don't love you but I always will" relationship you've ever had.

And it's still Tuesday on the coast that matters, so I'm in the clear, haters.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

[Macarons at the Met.]

Have you been to Laduree yet? I first discovered the French macaron shop in Paris a couple of years ago, and since I'm not yet quite equipped to make an annual pilgrimage to Paris (*ahem* future husbands, take note please), I was overjoyed when they opened a shop on the Upper East Side this year. I can't lie -- I'm such a visual person that half the appeal for me is the whimsical pastels of the shop's interior, packaging, and macarons themselves, but I obvi do love me a good macaron. This weekend while in New York I hit up the new location for the first time and met Lauren on the steps of The Met for a little afternoon treat. Nibbling on macarons was the perfect Frenchy segue into our next activity, exploring the European Decorative Arts galleries.

P.S. If you can't quite make it to Laduree but find yourself in dire need of a macaron fix, your options are the following:

1. Everyone: Get thee to a Trader Joe's, where they sell packages of vanilla and chocolate macarons. They're not perfect, but they're very sweet and do in a pinch.
2. DC people: Call the St. Regis and place an order. You must do so a few days in advance.
3. DC people: Try Paul, my new fave. It is lovely.

And remember: Your slacker boyfriend gives you a cupcake; your lover gives you macarons.
Can I get an amen on that, ladies?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

[Two Tunes Tuesday: Your Ex-Lover.]

You didn't think I was going to deny you some good ol' fashioned break up music, did you?? :) Here are two classic songs by Stars, "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" and "One More Night (Your Ex-Lover Remains Dead)" for everyone's listening pleasure (or pain, as the case may be). Both duets, and each lovely and heartbreaking in their own ways. Amazing on their own, but soo brilliant when paired together, as their titles dictate.

[Perfect Pair: You're a gem.]

1 / 2

Yeah, maybe I just bought that Kate Spade necklace. Couldn't help it. #retailtherapy

Monday, November 7, 2011

[Don't step on my heart.]

So I'm a little blue today. As much as I preach about keeping your head up, my head has been decidedly down all day long. Boo hoo, I know, I know. Anyway, I came across this cute little project in the blogsphere today, and wanted to share. I would have been thrilled to come across one of these little painted stones in the wild today, specifically placed "for people who feel so low they just can't look up," but seeing them on the computer screen was enough for me, I suppose. Cute, right? I know they'll each make someone's day.

I'm afraid I won't have much to blog about for the next little while, but I'll still try to share things like this, things I find that make me happy. I'm going to stop spamming Facebook every time I blog, mostly because it's like, really annoying to the world, so if that's how you usually get here, just check back on your own every now and then.

Bear (stay) with me (please).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

[Two Tunes Tuesday: Obsessions.]

I'm simply obsessed with both of these songs. "1957" by Milo Greene is a song I could listen to on repeat for hours...their harmonies blow me away Every. Single. Time. And "Stick Around" by Rachael Yamagata (on whom I have a SERIOUS girl crush...) has such sweet lyrics, plus Rachael's voice is so calming and peaceful to me.