Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Something you love + mini = pure joy

Coming home to this gorgeous package from Olive and Cocoa waiting on my door step was certainly a major highlight of my birthday weekend. The women in my family have scored some major brownie cupcake points with this one. Thank you for enabling my cake stand fetish and bringing my collection to a whole new (mini) level. xoxo.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Vintage Me

 I just want to wrap my arms lovingly around this little girl and say to her... someday you will have to teach Relief Society, the good news is that you can cut your own piece of birthday cake. 

I am: Twenty-Nine, a Weekend Birthday Recap

Someone had a birthday this weekend and I'm pretty much exhausted from all the celebrating. Not that I wouldn't mind dragging it out a few more weeks. I'm eagerly embracing the last year of my twenties, and the crows feet. It was a beautiful snowy long holiday weekend and I've been completely spoiled by family and friends. Thank you all (for the sweet phone calls, texts, drop-by's, and even the FB shout-outs).

A Long-Weekend Birthday Recap:
  • L & T surprised me with a power-lunch at Bambara. It was sheer heaven to fine dine with two of my faves. You know your best friend loves you when she drives all the way up to the big city just for you. We three could have stayed all afternoon nestled in that houndstooth booth just talking. Or whatever.
  • Another surprise lunch with LtB who happened to be in town and happened to be right in my neighborhood at just the right moment. Serendipitous I tell you! French Onion soup at Goumandise, please.
  • A date night with my beau. He gets triple extra points for making reservations and planning a very special evening for the two of us. Not just dinner, but a true culinary experience at Forage. We're now totally broke, but it was worth it.
  • A foot rub and breakfast in bed: BD can make a mean bowl of porridge. Never underestimate a man with a whisk.
  • Lunch with mom and sisters, and the best burger I've had in a good long while. I keep waiting to grow out of my cheeseburger and fries phase, but there's always my thirties, right?
  • Treats from La Bonne Vie at The Grand America. I'm trying really really hard to embrace macaroons like the rest of the world, but I just can't do it. I have yet to eat one that I'm even remotely excited about.
  • A new stove!! Miracles. I guess BD was starting to notice the lack of culinary goods being produced from our kitchen. He's no dummy. 
  • They hauled THE BEAST away. I did not shed a tear. There was no moment of silence.
  • It's possible that I've kissed my new stove several hundred times. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.
  • A successful lesson on Sacrifice taught in church. Successful in that it's over, and that feels really good.
  • No Sunday night blues! Just a Sunday afternoon spent lounging in my yellow ice-cream cone pajama pants. You know you want some.
  • And because this weekend was not food-centric or caloric enough, a liege waffle with crème fraîche and strawberries from Bruges. I thoroughly enjoyed watching my friend J's first experience with a Belgian waffle.You never forget your first time.
  • A whole day spent with BD running errands, carefully selecting items for care-packages to Brazil, neighborhood house gawking, and trying fun new drinks. I love that he's always up for an adventure.
Whew! I need an extra day just to sleep it off. Truly, I have the best, most thoughtful family and friends. I love you all. Thank you for making me feel good-enough, and young-enough, and simply loved-enough.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Map Your Valentine

OK, one more Valentines post for the die-hards out there. Check out Map Your Valentine. How ridiculously clever and adorable is that?! I can think of hundreds of places to send BD...

I sent him to The Eiffel Tower in Paris and he sent me to the Comtemporary Museum of Art in Rio. Aw. Both places I'd love to be. If only I had some ruby red slippers to click.


 "I have since come to know that love is more than a paper heart. Love is of the very essence of life. It is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is more than the end of the rainbow. Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arches across the sky on a stormy day."
-Gordon B. Hinckley, February 14, 1978

There are two types of people in this world. I am the other one, the one who loves Valentine's Day. Not so much the part that demands red roses and heart shaped boxes of bad chocolate. I dig the actual Valentine element - where you write little notes and send them to the people you love. Plus, candy! BD was traveling for work (boo to the hoo) part of last week, which provided some free time to create his perfect Valentine card. A little inside joke between us, if you will. I'm still such a novice at Illustrator, but thank heavens for Skype and a patient older brother who has skills and could talk me through some minor formatting issues. I had the cards printed at a local print shop so they looked legit.

While on my Valentine-making kick I made a separate card with "I love you more than                     " so I could spread the love to family and friends. I gave all my extras away so others could spread their Valentine love as well. It was a total blast filling in the blanks and sending my Valentines in the mail. Turns out I love them all more than dark chocolate, Bono, new boots, Photoshop, Paris, salt & vins, Bones and even cupcakes. Get this, I told each of my sisters that I love them more than another sister. Sometimes I think I'm so funny.
Happy Valentines Day!

I love you, too

I love you because you iron my skirts on Sunday morning
I love you because you buckle my snow boots
and change my flat tires
and glue the soles of my shoes back together when they start to flap around
I love you because you kiss me goodbye in the morning
and you never forget to kiss me hello in the evening
I love you because you are deeply passionate about heaps of things
like your work, and cycling, and perfecting the homemade cheese quesadilla
I love you because you care a lot about the world in which we live
and I know that because you write to the governor, senator, and mayor on a regular basis
I think it's rather cute
I love you because you are the worlds greatest researcher
driven by facts, you are
I love you because you make riding public transportation cool(er)
I love you because you eat everything I cook
and pretend like it's the best thing you've ever put in your mouth
even when we both know it's not
I love you because you are not afraid of little tiny infant babies
or the bigger walking talking babies either
I love you because you are genuine
I love you because you are forgiving
funny thing,
I love you because you are strangely picky about the clothes you wear
which makes shopping with you extra fun
but only when you have a specific item that you need
otherwise you require a lot of treats
I love you because you have really big ideas
and I'm sorry when I roll my eyes
I don't meant it
I love you because you ask me everyday have I told you that I love you today?
and I sheepishly respond no because I want to hear you say it again
everyone likes to hear that they are loved
especially me
and that's why today
I wanted to be the first to say
I love you, too

*This has been sitting in my drafts pile for several months now, waiting for an opportunity to publish. I began writing it right after watching BD glue my running shoes back together so carefully. I remember feeling incredibly grateful for all those little things that over time become hugely important to a committed relationship. I give myself leave to write something for BD a few times a year, Birthday's, Anniversary's and Valentine's. On this blog, sap happens. Thanks for reading anyway!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

I am: An Art Lover

We're having something of a lazy Saturday, both of us catching up on some work while still in our pajamas, eating leftover chocolate cake for breakfast and breakfast burritos for lunch. We've watched this commercial about 7 times already. Cutest thing I've ever seen. I couldn't be happier bundled up on the couch listening to MJ hits, watching BD furrow his brow at giant spreadsheets. You know, he has a post-grad degree now so technically I should be referring to him as Master BD. He just rolled his eyes at me.

At the MoMa, 2008
Anyway! This week Google announced the Google Art Project which is a street-view take on art museums all over the world. Genius, right? I don't even have to tell you how amazing it is or how much I love it, but I'm going to anyway. Just know that if I were explaining this in person I would be talking in my one octave too high excited voice and flailing my arms a lot. I love art. I love what art teaches us about our past. I'm fascinated about what influenced the artists and the ways in which they pushed political, religious, and social boundaries through art. If I'm not careful, I can become really geeked out about art. Today as I'm looking out at the cold gray hillside I'm also taking a stroll around the Met. Yesterday when I needed a 5 (or so?) minute break from work I went to Florence and stood in front of "The Birth of Venus" at the Uffizi Gallery. You can even zoom in really tight to see every brush stroke. If you're into that kind of thing ;). No doubt I'll be following this project closely to see what museums and what art pieces they continue to add to the collection. I love it, because I am an art lover.
Detail of "The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh

Because it's right on topic I'll leave you with one of the best movie lines of all time from Clueless:
Tai: Do you think she's pretty?
Cher: No, she's a full-on Monet.
Tai: What's a monet?
Cher: It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

I am enough

February is pink and red and heart shaped. As if that's not fabulous enough, February is also my birthday month and therefore becomes saturated with excuses to pamper myself and eat copious amounts of cake. I can handle that. Not that I've ever required an excuse to eat cake, but once a year it's nice to actually have a reason. Fact: I grew up with a girl named January and always wondered why I wasn't named February. It made so much sense at the time. Life as a 7 year-old was ridiculously unfair.

[Enter 100 self-deprecating comments about this photo]. Image courtesy of my amazing, ever-talented and dearest friend Jessie.

January came and left and I didn't even give a smidgen of a thought to producing New Year's Resolutions of any kind. Been there. Done that. Failed at most. I'm, like, so cliché. I'd like twenty-eleven to be the year I stop trying to change. This is the year I celebrate who I am right now. The best part is that it doesn't require a gym membership, a big fat mortgage, or septuplets. Take THAT 2010. I'm going to give myself a break this year and just be me. I am enough.* The catch though, because there is always a catch, is that this concept is a hazy camouflaged kind of sort of resolution. Just by typing "I am enough" I nearly choked on my own inadequacies. It is much easier to think of all the things I am NOT. The real trick is to focus on all the things that I AM. That's the goal.
Recently someone gently reminded me that the infinite Atonement is not just for sins. The Atonement also covers our heavy emotional burdens such as sorrow, disappointment, fear. And it instantly clicked with me. I am enough, because He can make me whole again. Jesus is totally invited to my birthday party! I'm admitting to myself right now, upfront, that this could be at least a year-long process. Just as I'm about to hit publish on this post I'm fighting the urge to call a friend to have her read it first. Is it dumb? Do you hate it? VALIDATE MY CRAZY!! I'm a work in progress people.

Comments Off because now I'm feeling vulnerable :).

*The concept "I am enough" is taken from Brené Brown's 2010 TED speech The Power of Vulnerability, I highly recommend you take 20 minutes for yourself and watch the whole thing.