Thursday, January 31, 2013

30 Rock:

Tonight is the series finale of 30 Rock. Seriously, series finale. And I am super depressed about it. That show has been a major staple in my life for the past 7 years. About 90% of my best jokes I stole from Liz Lemon. I'm not really sure how I'm going to function without it. I'm about to get a whole lot less funny, that's for sure. It's going to be rough.

MSN did a really great montage of all the best 30 Rock moments. Take a look here.

So, in the words of Tina Fey, "just tape the Big Bang Theory for once, for crying out loud!"

Watch it tonight at 7pm. And have some tissues nearby. Cause it's the end of an era, people.

Wizard of Oz:

Speaking of the Wicked Witch of the West, I just saw this preview for a new Oz movie entitled "Oz The Great and Powerful."

Looks good, doesn't it? Apparently, I'm a sucker for all things Wizard of Oz related.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New reads:

Now that I'm not on any self-imposed deadlines when it comes to reading books, I can really dig into the ones that have been sitting on the bookshelf, eagerly awaiting my attention. I scored an insane amount of books on the cheap at the last library book sale and have yet to read them all. So, this week I picked up Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and got to it. I didn't really know what this novel was about except, duh, that it's about the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz (which I love, although she scared the pants off me as a kid).

In college, an ex-boyfriend picked it up, attempted to read it, said it was crap, and I believed him. That was that. How stupid of me, really, to let a boy decide my opinion on anything, much less a book. So, I've decided to give it a real chance. I mean, really. There are so many positive reviews of this book out there and it has done extremely well, so it can't be total crap, right? Well, I take that back. Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey are both proof that crappy books can sell. But is it fair to put this book in the same category as those poorly-written examples? I couldn't say. I had never read it. So I decided to change that and once and for all see where I stand. I am a lover and frequent visitor of the Land of Oz, after all. Have been all my life. I should be one of the harshest critics, right?

So, here's the basic plot summary, if you're interested:

"When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil."

Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? I've only just started. The story is still getting set up for me. But I'm enjoying the opportunity to see this story, one that I know so well, from a completely new perspective.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Emerson Fry:

I have a well-documented love affair with Emerson Fry (see here and here) but as much as I've talked about, wished for, and lusted over the pieces in every single collection, I didn't own any. I've always had a hard time justifying paying that much for a single piece of clothing. I just could never seem to pull the trigger. Until now. I am now a proud card-carrying member of the Emerson Fry fan club. Remember my rant about the perfect skinny jeans yesterday? Well, with Emerson Fry, I have finally found the perfect pair of wide leg jeans as well. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the vintage highrise:

They're having a huge sale right now on their remaining inventory, in preparation of their 2013 Spring/Summer collection. So, that definitely swayed my decision. And while it's still more than I normally pay for a pair of jeans, after reading the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, I've made it a priority to make smart buying decisions and only purchase high-quality clothing made in the USA. Emerson Fry started out as one lady on a farm, making small quantities of clothing, and selling them online. Now, she's got a studio in NYC and the entire internet world is girl-crushing on her. But she still has a hand in the design and construction processes. And all her clothes are made in NYC, so I feel good about supporting her label. You should too.

In my denim dream world, I would own only two pairs of jeans: the world's-best skinny jeans (still yet to be determined) and these. They are that beautiful. And insanely flattering.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Perfect Pair:

I've been on a mission for a while now for the perfect pair of skinny jeans. Here are my qualifiers:

  1. Must be dark rinse
  2. No weird back pocket design
  3. No whiskering, holes, or distressing of any kind
  4. Just the right rise -- not too high or low
  5. The legs have to be tight enough that I can easily slip into boots without any excess fabric causing bunching
  6. The legs must not be too tight that it makes my hips look wider than they are (you know what I mean, we've all been there)
  7. The fabric must be a thick, durable cotton -- I hate jeans with a lot of stretch -- they feel so thin and cheap
  8. Inseam must not be too long -- I don't want to have to roll my pant legs up (but I will get them tailored)
  9. So, to sum it all up, they must be completely flattering and well, perfect.
I tried a pair by blanknyc but I wasn't crazy about them. Something about the material just didn't do it for me. Too thin. I tried a few pairs from Gap and I liked the thickness of the denim, but I just couldn't find a fit that I liked. The super skinny jeans looked weird on me and the straight legs had just too much excess fabric happening in the leg area. Not working. I have a pair of J.Crew toothpick jeans in yellow and I like the fit of them so I decided to try a pair in a dark rinse. So, they're on their way. We'll see. 

I'm still on the hunt for that one amazing pair. I spend a lot of time in denim so I don't want to just feel "meh" about it, you know? I want to find one that really blows me away. One that I get excited about putting on in the morning. I know they're out there. We just haven't found each other yet.

Do you have a pair of jeans that you love? If so, I envy you. What brand are they? Any tips to help me with my search?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Weekend:


Happy Friday! Oh man, I love a short work week. Makes things so much more bearable, ya know? Here's a little of what we've been up to this week:
  1. Enjoyed a day off from real life on Monday. So thankful for mini-vacations!
  2. Had a tea date with a good friend and her kiddo
  3. I joined a committee to help plan our high school reunion (Order, I know I've just surprised the hell out of you with that statement)
  4. Had a taco and game night with one of my running buddies and her husband. Tillie came along to play with their puppy and they were thick as thieves the entire time
  5. Got a new juicer. We've gone juice crazy!
Got any big plans? We've got another 10-mile run on Saturday and we're throwing ourselves the most major cleaning party there ever was. Sounds fun, doesn't it?

Hope your weekend is filled with more fun activities than ours. It'd be hard not to be.

Have a good one. XO.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I may be behind the times, but lately I've been on a juicing kick. And here's the thing: we didn't even have a juicer until recently. Very recently. Like, last week. I had never juiced anything in my life before last week. But I wanted to. So. Badly.

I've been reading all about juicers, juicing, juice recipes, and juice cleanses. I've done massive amounts of research. I am now an expert on juicing. A wealth of juicing knowledge. And I've officially jumped on the bandwagon.

We're vegetarians. So we have to work really hard to find sources for protein, iron, etc. And that usually requires a lot more food than if we weren't, because there isn't as much of all that stuff in veggies, ounce for ounce, as there is in meat. Sometimes I feel like all we do is eat (which I am totally okay with, don't misunderstand), but my stomach can only hold so much at any given time, you know? I've been looking for a way to be more efficient about our eating; to pack our diet with the most nutritional content possible. It's surprisingly hard to do. Real life: sometimes I don't want to eat a salad loaded down with 5-8 different kinds of vegetables and beans and then go for a run. Sometimes I want to eat half a pizza and watch a movie in bed. So, on those days, I'd feel a lot better about myself if I washed my pizza down with, say, a glass of homemade carrot, orange, and apple juice. Drinking my vegetables is a much more reasonable way to load up on vitamins, minerals, and other good stuff. And it's a great way to sneak in those vegetables that I'm just not crazy about (read: beets), despite their nutritional value.

So, juicing: it's happening. And I'm excited. Probably far too excited. We decided to go with the Omega 78006 Juicer. It's a masticating juicer, which after my research, I feel is the right decision for us. And bonus: it also makes pasta, grinds beans and flour, and has a homogenizer to make nut butters. Homemade peanut butter!

Do you juice? Everyone I know who started it has gotten really into it. And I think we will too. It seems like a really easy, natural transition for us to make.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pretty as a picture (or some equally cheesy phrase):

Per request, here's a little peek at what we wore to a friend's wedding recently. I didn't snap too many photos. I didn't even bring a camera with me (although I'm sure there are plenty of us taken by the photographer). So this is all I have to leave you with. But check out those earrings. They're the most important part of the entire outfit. And very out of character for me but I love them. I secretly wear them around the house. With pajamas. It's very glamorous.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Because of some inclement weather last week, I had an afternoon off. And for some reason, when I'm cooped up I get in a pretty intense baking mood. So, I made cupcakes (Joy's recipe, of course!):

Tillie was my assistant. She made sure the floor stayed free of any and all ingredients the entire time.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Monday:

I'm not usually one to celebrate Mondays. Mondays are typically horrible and leave me feeling like I've barely survived. But not today. Today is one of those rare Mondays that I actually looked forward to. And why is that?
I'd like to thank MLK, Jr. and the state of Arkansas for making today happen. I'd also like to thank my bed for being so ridiculously warm and supportive on a day when I didn't have to leave it in the wee hours of the morning. And Andrew, for not complaining about the day's pajama-intensive wardrobe.

Do you have today off? What are you planning to do with your holiday? I'm hoping to get to spend some time with a good friend this afternoon. There may be a tea party involved. And I've got an evening run with the girls to help me get my lazy, food-loving butt off the couch. There will, of course, be large amounts of food consumed.

Hope your day off is refreshing. Or if you don't have the day off, that it goes by quickly and without incident. Either way, treat yourself today. Chocolate? Long nap? A new sweater? All great ideas.

Happy Birthday, MLK.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday, everyone! I'm not going to lie, this week has been a little miserable. It has been so intensely cold here. And bleak. And icy. Even with the boot fiasco of 2013 (kidding) behind me, I can't seem to shake this lonesome, grey feeling. This is what they call the winter blues, isn't it? Maybe I am suffering from a lack of vitamin D. 

Anyway, we will be spending our weekend like this: running (10 miles, yikes!), sleeping, eating, and reading. And that's it. Absolutely nothing else. I've figured out that sometimes, when you're feeling the way that I am, the best cure isn't to try to fill your life with sunshine and daisies to snap yourself out of it; the best thing you can do is just submit to it. Let it take you under and ride it, like an undertow. Eventually, it will spit you out someplace new. And let me tell you something else; the ride isn't half bad either.

Have a great weekend, people. Try and stay warm out there!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Comfort food:

This week has been really cold. So cold that I've dumped my weekday runs in favor of pajamas, blankets, and warm mugs of tea.  I feel a little guilty about being negligent to my training but the upside is I've had more time to cook in the evening. The other night, when deciding what I wanted to make for dinner, I was cruising Joy the Baker's blog (my obsession is reaching dangerous levels, I know) and stumbled upon her recipe for polenta. I had never made polenta before but it looked too delicious to pass up. So, baked polenta with tomato and basil it was.

Read more after the jump!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Want to know the fastest way to joining us in our vegetarian ways? Watch this video about how hot dogs are made:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Packing list:

I'm itching to travel this summer. I don't care where. Anywhere. I just want to get up and go. And as you might think, one of my favorite things about traveling is the packing (and the prepping and list-making that accompanies it). So, the new packing list on the J.Crew website has completely stolen my heart. It speaks to my Type A personality. For the most part, I already own the majority of the items pictured (although in different colors) so I will be taking a page from them this summer and using this list as inspiration. 

One idea for planning outfits when packing for a trip (that I think is completely brilliant, btw) is having a theme, of sorts. And I think that's what the people at J.Crew were going for. Picking one color and only packing clothing that are different variations of that color. So everything is mix-and-match and you never have to worry about what works well together. It all does. You can bring less clothing, rework it, and double your wardrobe. It makes dressing a breeze. Cause when I'm on vacation, sometimes even getting dressed seems like a chore.

I'm definitely doing that this summer. Wherever I end up. Packing light is the way to go.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The story of my boots:

Okay, so this weekend was dramatic, as far as boots go. My Frye Dorado riding boots came in and they are beautiful. But too big. And not just the size. Everything about it is too large. It is too wide around. It is too tall. My foot steps out of it when I try to walk. It's just not going to work. It's a beautiful boot, but it's wrong for me. I have accepted this, though it was hard to do.

Saturday, while doing some errands, I went to Warren's, a local shoe store, and tried on a few different pairs of Fryes. I wanted to see what they looked like on before I committed to another pair. And I fell in love with the Melissa Button boot. A different look, but so much better suited to me and better proportioned to my body.

So, Melissa came home with me. And I am sending the Dorados back. I'm sure they will be perfect for someone, that someone is just not me. I'm a little sad but mostly, I'm happy. I feel good about my decision. My boots are really beautiful. Plus, they cost almost half of what the first pair cost. So, I'm saving money.

Here's the new cost breakdown:

The boots cost me $328. A lot for boots, I know, but the other pair was almost $500.

So, if I keep them for a year, they will cost $27.33 a month, or .91 cents a day.

If I keep them for 10 years, they will cost $2.73 cents a month, or .09 cents a day.

If I keep them for 20 years, they will cost $1.36 a month, or .04 cents a day.

And I plan on keeping them for that long. Take care of good quality shoes and they'll never let you down.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy Weekend:

Happy Friday! The weekend is finally upon us! We made it another week. Celebrate!

A few highlights from this week:
  1. I got an ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer and we made the most delicious french vanilla ice cream. On tonight's menu: lemon sorbet
  2. Downton Abbey season 3 premiered this week after a documentary about Mr. Roger's neighborhood. Seriously, PBS is television after my own heart.
  3. We enjoyed a night out eating delicious pizza with some good friends. Andrew has been really hitting it off with the husbands of the girls I run with and it has been so fun getting together with them.
  4. My throat has been killing me all week. I've been trying to fight getting sick as I really don't have time to be out of commission.
  5. I finally ordered the boots of my dreams! The Dorado riding boot arrived last night. I'm wearing them today and I'm on cloud nine. Something about having cute shoes on makes the day better, you know?
  6. Got to spend some time with the Order last night via video chat! Totally made my entire week! I miss those girls (even you, Thurm).

What are your plans for the weekend? Doing anything fun? We've got a long run and then I'm going to a writer's workshop. We're also attending a wedding reception of a dear friend and I am excited about getting dressed up. It's so fun! I have a really cute outfit planned. And this ensemble is all about the earrings. Super shiny, blingy earrings.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I love:

2013 is already shaping up to be a pretty good year. This week, the boots of my dreams became mine! The Frye Dorado riding boot is on its way to my house as I type this. And I am overjoyed. So get ready for a flood of boot-related photos/posts coming your way. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I love:

Last week, while listening to the Joy the Baker podcast, Joy and Tracy introduced me to Garfield minus Garfield. Have you heard of this? It's a site that just posts Garfield comics with Garfield completely removed. And it's hilarious.

The site puts it well: "It's a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb."

What's so great about it is that it makes Jon look like a total headcase. Super entertaining. Check it out here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pretzel Dogs:

You know how for New Year's everyone is talking about starting the year out eating right and being all healthy and everything? Well, we went in the opposite direction. I figured we eat really healthy all year so why not have a little fun on this night. Enter Joy the Baker's (who I am obsessed with) pretzel dogs (veggie, of course) and pickle fries. You guys. It was amazing. So amazing that I had it again for lunch the next day. And was secretly bummed out when A ate the remaining leftovers when I tried to eat it for a third day in a row. But I didn't tell him because I didn't want to make him feel bad. Except I just did, I guess. Sorry Andrew. 

It takes a little while to make so you're going to have to commit some time. But it isn't too bad. And they're totally worth it. I would totally make them again. All that salty, pretzely, pickly goodness. And dipped in mustard? Divine.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Reads:

This week I'm reading the Essays of E.B. White. Have you read this? Probably not. I had never heard of it until recently, and I've been a fan of E.B. White pretty much since birth. I loved his fiction growing up (Charlotte's Web, most especially). I enjoyed his words, his characters, his worlds. But reading this, I am so aware of how much I love the man behind it all. I have fallen in love with E.B. White. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to his stories as a kid. Because reading this collection of essays, I am aware of just how much of himself he poured into each of his stories. His very essence is in every sentence. That's remarkable to me.

Reading his words and his thoughts, I have realized how much we are alike, how much I envy his easy way of life, and how well he puts into words the thoughts that I can never hope to voice as eloquently. I've learned a lot about him and his life. His words have changed how I view things, even if only a little, and I am thankful for that. I am a better person for having read this.

It is a special person who can make me laugh one minute and then turn around and make me seriously consider the nature of humanity the next. He is completely brilliant. And you want to know the best part? I don't even think he's trying to be. His writing is just so clever and so beautiful. He is a beautiful writer (He also wrote for the New Yorker and edited the Elements of Style). His stories feel so alive. And reading them, I feel like I am sitting in his kitchen with him, around that old wood-burning stove, listening to him tell stories from the good old days. 

I hope to be like him when I grow up. I think that is an admirable aspiration. If you read this, or knew anything about him, I think you'd understand.

So, I highly encourage you to read this. But take time. Go slow. Really savor it. Spending time with E.B. White is time well spent, I assure you.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy Weekend:


How's your first post-holiday attempt at real life been? I've had a hard time getting back in the groove after all that time off. I hate that there's a slow build up to the holidays and then after the first of the year, it's back to normal, like nothing happened at all. I have a hard time with it. So this week I've just been trying to figure out this whole life after the 24/7 cookie and blanket party I've had going on for the past 1.5 weeks. And it's been rough you guys.

Here's what our week looked like:

  1. We were excited to finally have electricity and heat again after last week's freak snow storm.
  2. Tillie turned 5 years old on Tuesday. We made her a cake and showered her with hugs and kisses. And then we cuddled with her all night. She couldn't have been happier.
  3. I got to spend some seriously good time with members of the Order (but Rim was sorely missed).
  4. Andrew had a stomach bug (which we think resulted from trying to eat something that went bad in our fridge during the power outage).
  5. Tyler celebrated his 11th (!!!) birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday, bud!

What are your plans for the weekend? We'll be going on a long run and spending the rest of the time just sleeping, hanging out, and trying to reset our internal clocks for the upcoming week. We're also going to a birthday party to celebrate with a dear friend as her son turns one. Crazy to think that a year ago, he didn't even exist on this planet and now here we are, partying in his honor.

Have a great one. XO.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Birthday:

Tillie turned 5 on Tuesday. We made her a peanut butter carrot birthday cake. 
Happy Birthday, pup! Hope this year is one for the history books.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


I've been thinking a lot about resolutions lately. I made some resolutions for 2012 and a lot of them, I completed. That was great. But sometimes I found myself thinking about them throughout the year and would panic about getting them done. It's like they were chasing me. Not good. So this year, I've decided to take things nice and easy. Naturally, the things that I didn't accomplish last year will carry over to this year (house, grad school, etc.) but I've added a few more. They're small, easily attainable (for me) things that I would like to accomplish this year:

I've been training for this one since October so it's definitely happening. March 3, 2013.

We'd like to add on to our family this year by adopting another dog. The time has come. And Tillie could really use a friend while we're at work. We might have to get a bigger bed, though.

I'm pretty good about stepping away from technology. I seldom check facebook, I stay a million miles away from twitter, and I'm super weird about my privacy on here. Have you noticed? I don't like sharing much about what actually goes on in our lives. I can talk about crap I like all day but when it comes to real talk, I'd rather not. This year, I plan on disengaging even more. Yes, that means stepping away from this blog more. So prepare your hearts for that.

I love baking. I've been baking pretty much my entire life. I have mastered cookies (with these) but these days, I've been really wanting to kill it in the bread department. I'm getting there. I've got buttermilk biscuits down. And after breads? Pasta. It's a good thing I'm running a lot.

There are a few other things I've got on my list, i.e. taking a trip, reading books, etc. But I know those things will happen, so it's no biggie. I'd die if I couldn't read.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013:

Happy 2013! Hope you have the day off and that you're relaxing/re-cooperating from any New Year's Eve celebrations. Did you do anything fun? My hermit tendencies got the better of me. We spent the evening at home hanging out, playing games, and listening to music. It was surprisingly relaxing and really nice. So nice that I'm doing it again today. All day. Happy New Year!