27 February 2013

look what i got!

it's always nice to come home to your own place after a long trip, especially after a red eye flight. and especially when it's cold and rainy outside and you just want to cuddle up inside with your kitties.  and especially when you have to go straight from the airport to take your brother to the hospital. not cool.

anyway, imagine my excitement when i came home to two packages filled with goodies for my living room! huzzah!

first, i opened this lovely darling.  this is the first thing i have ever bought straight off of pinterest, but it was super affordable and with free shipping from nordstrom, how could you not?

polka dot pouf ottoman, $78

after my new ottoman was all set up, i ripped open the package containing these delights.  i needed some new pillow covers to breathe life into my living room where i have been dying for some color - and these affordable covers can be found in just about every color or pattern under the sun, thanks to pillow makeover via etsy.  they slipped over some pillows that i'd had laying around in drab browns and earth tones and instantly made me feel happy.

elephant pillow cover, $15

red chevron pillow cover, set of 2 for $30, orange ikat dots pillow cover $13

green chevron priced with red chevron [above], right pillow cover from a salvaged home

living room today!
loving all the color and how the room is coming together... all i need now are a few colorful throws and i'll be totally in love.

that couch is going to come in handy with all this rain - i am planning on hiding under the blankets and catching up on the mindy project and new girl :)

happy wednesday!

til next time - xo

26 February 2013

home is where you make it.

home print found on pinterest, buy it on etsy here!
PI + i have a problem.  whenever we go somewhere - anywhere, really - i'll tug on his hand, or he'll wrap his arm around my shoulders and hold me close, and one of us will say, 'we should live here.

it's true.  when we lived in denver, we would fantasize about living in boston.  when we lived in boston [the first time] we fantasized about living in brooklyn.  and once we were in brooklyn, we reminisced about living in denver and decided to move back.  and now that we are back in boston again?  well, we have been tempted by the sunshine, ocean breeze, perpetual spring weather [and of course our nephew ryder's kisses don't hurt either] of california. 

no, we aren't moving.  but we are learning to love our wanderlust instincts, moving around from place to place, not totally being tied down to any one city.  it's freeing, really.  as hard as it was for me to leave our beautiful home in denver, the longer we are away from it, the easier it becomes.  yes, it was our home.  but now, my home is a lovely 150+ year old loft in the south end of america's oldest city.  it doesn't feel so foreign anymore, like we are living in a hotel room or someone else's house with our stuff in it.  we are becoming more versatile, and i am starting to feel just as home in our loft as i did in our house. 

there is something liberating knowing that we can move at the end of the year if we want to.  that doesn't mean we will, or that we even will want to - maybe we will fall so deeply in love with boston that we won't ever want to go anywhere else.  but may we will be ready for a new adventure, and we are so lucky that PI's new job will let that happen for us. 

something interesting about PI + i is that we have family everywhere.  so we always miss people, no matter where we live, we won't be near all our family.  which means we have to kind of pick and choose, decide who we can live near and how it will allow us to travel to the other members of our family.  but with all the changes we have gone through, i am loving the idea of MORE.  i hate the packing and moving part of moving, but love the exploring new cities, making new friends, and enjoying my new home with my husband every time. 

who knows where our home will be together a year from today.  it might be somewhere new, and i can't wait to find out. 

on that note, we are headed back to boston today on the red eye... excited to sleep in my own bed and be bombarded with snow once more [ok, not so excited about that second one, but it's happening whether i am excited about it or not]. 

til next time...!

25 February 2013

on being cute.

you know what, it's tough to be a girl, to be a woman sometimes.  i was thinking about this a few weeks ago, flipping through the february issue of glamour, featuring zooey deschanel.  she had this little gem to say:
'i'm just for being myself.  there is not an ounce of me that believes any of the crap that they say. we cant be feminine and be feminists and be successful?  i want to be a fucking feminist and wear a fucking peter pan collar.  so fucking what?'
i read this quote from ms. deschanel over a month ago, and i've been thinking a lot about it ever since.  it wasn't until i watched the oscars last night that i really felt motivated to write about this topic yet again: body image.

her quote, to me, epitomizes a struggle i have felt for a long time.  i have always had my own style that i like and that i feel secure in.  but the one time i had a very hard time looking like myself was when i was shopping for a wedding dress.  see, i had decided years before what dress i would wear.  i was maybe in high school or early in my college years, and i was flipping through lucky magazine, and i just saw it.  i wasn't even dating at the time, but i tore the page out and kept it.  so as soon as philip + i set a date for the wedding, the first thing my mom and i did was try on my melissa sweet wedding gown.  when i put it on, i felt like myself.  i looked like myself - not like someone trying to play dress up.  i instantly knew it was the dress.

my dress!
but i struggled for months before finally deciding to buy it.  why?  because everyone told me that i looked so 'cute' or 'adorable' or 'sweet' when i put it on.  i was never beautiful, or glamorous, or sexy.  i wanted, just for one day, to look beautiful.  but the truth was, that just wasn't me.  over time, i accepted that and bought the dress i wanted.  and on my wedding day, i felt like i looked like myself, and my dress fit my personality and our wedding just perfectly.

me in the dress.
however, the issue of cute v. sexy is something i still come back to quite a bit.  i am 28 now, and i am not beautiful, i'm cute.  and you know what?  i'm finally, 100% ok with that.  in fact, i LOVE it.  but in our society, in our american culture, you still have to have the perfect figure to be called beautiful.  remember that lovely girl zooey i was quoting above?  well, a certain word has been coined to describe her - adorkable.  which i absolutely detest, more than anything.  when she walks the red carpet, why isn't she described as gorgeous?  can't a woman be sexy or beautiful even if she isn't willing to be slutty?  no.  she buttons it up and puts on glasses for time to time - which earns her some weird hybrid word between dork and adorable.  pathetic.  and mind you, she's a tiny thing.  but she's secure with who she is, and i love that about her.

work that buttoned up collar, girl!
the truth is, to me, i wish most other celebrities could be more like her or these beautiful ladies below.  i wish everyone could be secure enough to just be themselves and stop trying so hard.  trying so hard to fit into this box that has been created for women, and stop cutting down other women who don't fit inside that box.  it's unhealthy. 

so, on that note, i'd like to share a few other of my girl heroes, besides the fab ms. deschanel.  

'i don't like going to the gym.  i like eating fine foods and drinking nice wine.  even if i had a really good figure, i don't think i'd get my tits and ass out for no one.  i've seen people where it rules their lives, you know, who want to be thinner or have bigger boobs, and how it wears them down.  and i just don't want that in my life.' 
'i like looking nice, but i always put comfort over fashion.  i don't find thin girls attractive; be happy and healthy.  i've never had a problem with the way i look.  i'd rather have lunch with my friends than go to a gym.' 
'no matter what you look like, i think the key is to be happy with yourself.' 

queen latifah
'i had to grow to love my body.  i did not have a good self-image at first. finally it occurred to me, i'm either going to love me or hate me. and i chose to love myself. then everything kind of sprung from there. things that i thought weren't attractive became sexy.  confidence makes you sexy.' 

maya rudolph
'for me, i feel beautiful when i'm just resting.  i think that's when you really get a chance to sink into your own skin.'   
'i don't look my best when i wake up.  but, i do feel beautiful when i'm tired and happy and i've had a good laugh and a glass of champagne.'

gabourey sidibe
'people always ask me, ‘you have so much confidence. where did that come from?’ it came from me. one day i decided that i was beautiful, and so i carried out my life as if i was a beautiful girl … it doesn’t have anything to do with how the world perceives you. what matters is what you see. your body is your temple, it’s your home, and you must decorate it.'

amy poehler
'when you feel really  crappy about your body or how you look, sometimes a good way to help yourself out of it is to have some gratitude.  if you can go around your body and kind of thank it for what it gives you and thank yourself for your great eyesight, or your think hair, or your nice legs, or your strong teeth or whatever it is that you have that you were given.'
tina fey
'now every girl is expected to have caucasian blue eyes, full spanish lips., a classic vutton nose, hairless asian skin with a california tan, a jamaican dance hall ass, long swedish legs, small japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of michelle obama, and doll tits.' 
'don't worry about trying to change  opinions.  do your think and don't care if they like it.'

mindy kaling
'since i'm not model-skinny, but also not super-fat and fabulously owning my hugeness, i fall into that nebulous 'normal american woman size' that legions of fashion stylists detest.  for the record, i'm a size 8 (this week, anyway).  many stylists hate that size because , i think, to them, i lack the self-discipline to be an aesthetic, or the sassy, confidence to be a total fatty hedonist.  they're like 'pick a lane.'
[stepping off of soap box].  on that note, i want to say that yes, some women are naturally slender or like being fit, which is wonderful.  i think everyone should be at a healthy place, inside and out.  to me, it's about being happy and healthy however you look. 

hope this is a good way to start your monday long with looking at the best red-carpet looks from last night [which i will also be doing too].

i guess the sun of california really is doing me some good :)

til next time!

22 February 2013


hi all, and happy friday!  i am so happy to be writing this from sunny california instead of snow-covered boston for once.  a little sunshine and warm air is doing me a lot of good so far, and i am pretty stoked to spend the rest of the weekend with our family and friends out here.

but i am also happy for another reason today - today i get to share that i am doing some blogging with LOVEPOST

LOVEPOST is the online destination for love [as well as one of my favorite websites].  readers can share their own love stories and proposal tales.  but more than just love stories, they have great tips on wedding planning, dating, and now, tales from newlyweds.  i have been sharing some tales from our bathroom renovation, sharing our story as well as what we learned along the way.  i'll be sharing weekly updates of adventures from our house, as well as updates from our married life in boston.

i hope you'll hop on over to LOVEPOST, explore their site, and check out my first tale of the bathroom.

happy weekend to you, friends!

til next time...

21 February 2013

awesome flicks.

with philip traveling, i have started a list of movies that i want to watch that he is not interested in.  so, last night, i poured myself a ginormous cup of tea and went through my list til i found a good one.

 i decided on the giant mechanical man. and it was AWESOME.  it made me laugh [and yes, maybe it made me cry a little bit at the end], but it made me feel something.  movies are great entertainment of course, but for me there is no substitute for watching a movie and almost being able to identify with it.  being able to connect with a movie, kind of the way you can connect with a song.  it's fantastic.

so i thought i would share a few other movies that i connect with, for anyone who is interested in some really good movies.

'i think you’re just great. you know what’s so great about you? you’re real. you don’t pretend like you have it all figured out, like everyone else in life. you’re real. you’re genuine and you notice things too. you pay attention, like the monkeys. i don’t know, i look at you and i can see you. i see you. i don’t know, i just think you’re great.'

'i like to think that if you put your trust out there, i mean if you really give people the benefit of the doubt and see their best intentions, people will rise to the occasion.'

gus: well, it's not like you're one thing or the other, okay? there's still a kid inside but you grow up when you decide to do right, okay, and not what's right for you, what's right for everybody, even when it hurts.
lars: okay, like what?
gus: like, you know, like, you don't jerk people around, you know, and you don't cheat on your woman, and you take care of your family, you know, and you admit when you're wrong, or you try to, anyways. that's all i can think of, you know. it sounds like it's easy and for some reason it's not.  

jack goes boating
jack: this always happens.
clyde: what?
jack: whenever there's anything good, it fucks up.
clyde: it fucked up, but it fucked up because we forgot.
jack: no, you fucked it up because you made a fucking toast!
clyde: because i love you. we all love you. we forgot the food because you were being loved. that's the important thing to remember.
500 days of summer
'this is lies. we are liars. think about it. why do people buy cards? it's not because they want to say how they feel. people buy cards because they can't say they feel or are afraid to. and we provide the service that let's them off the hook. you know what? i say to hell with it. let's level with america. or at least let them speak for themselves. right?' 

away we go
'it's all those good things you have in you. the love, the wisdom, the generosity, the selflessness, the patience. the patience! at 3 a.m. when everyone's awake because ibrahim is sick and he can't find the bathroom and he's just puked all over katki's bed. when you blink, when you blink! and it's 5:30 and it's time to get up again and you know you're going to be tired all day, all week, all your fucking life. and you're thinking what happened to greece? What happened to swimming naked off the coast of greece? and you have to be willing to make the family out of whatever you have. ' 

20 February 2013

high high #32

ever have one of those moments... music is playing, but you aren't really listening to it.  and all of a sudden you are hearing something, for the first time, that just speaks to you.  it sounds just right, and when the lyrics begin it's like the universe is speaking to you [as one of my friends put it]. 

i had one of those moments today, and as a result, discovered an awesome band i am totally in love with.  thanks, pandora-half-moon-radio!

so here is the song that has completely memorized me.  it came on just as i was writing what was a particular emotional few pages of my book, and the words spoke to me.  i would recommend not watching this video because it's stupid, but open it in another tab and just listen to the song.  enjoy :)

here are the words:

go, lovely, go far away
i've set you free
cause i know that we belong
held in arms of the sea

and there's other things
are all on your mind through the day
and it's understood to me
we belong in freedom's way

well, i heard the daylights long
and the seas are slight but the breeze is strong
hope fills my sails, and, and i'm gone
but man, it feels like home

and i know this is all that i've dreamed of
cause i feel like living when the life comes back to me
the sun shines on my face and i feel hope

well i know the blood runs strong in your heart
but it beats harder for the life in you to grow
and you smile cause you know
this is where we belong

but just because it's wednesday, and i love you all, here is another awesome avalanche city song.  this video is pretty cute.

19 February 2013

10 best things about my life right now.

i've had a request for more '10 best' lists.  i've kind of stayed away from those posts for a while.
but, since it was requested, i came up with a new one... 

*not necessarily in order

homemade tartifilette by yours truly.
1.  i never thought i would actually say this, but the first one that comes to mind is cooking.  i've taken to going to the market every week, with at least 4-5 plans for dinners i will make.  shopping is easy, stress free, and much cheaper than it used to be.  i have plenty of time for meal planning, market hunting and experimenting in the kitchen each night, and i love it.  there is a great feeling that comes with making something new when it turns out wonderful and your husband just can't get enough.  i'm also now treating us to what i call 'the sweet of the week,' which is one baked good i try out for desserts and snacks.  it's getting me less afraid of baking, and so far so yummy.

me, while blogging, today!
2.  i'm sure you've noticed this, but another one is blogging constantly.  i'm able to post something new just about every day - whether it's a new tip, idea, some thoughts i have, photos to share, or just my own ramblings... it's nice that this blog doesn't fall to the wayside anymore as an afterthought.

me + aj hanging out on the T
3.  now that i am out east, i get much more time with my brother and dad [and his wife of course].  i haven't lived in the same state as my dad since i was in high school, and i haven't lived in the same state as my brother since before college [i don't count living in dorms - that's like a whole other world].  as much as i miss my mom, it's magnificent to be able to have sunday dinners with my dad, or call my brother up for happy hour just because.  i love it.

my mani 2 weeks ago.
4.  little things such as taking care of myself kind of took a backseat while i was working, schooling and volunteering.  now, i can give myself a mani if i want.  i am cooking a lot but also eating better, because i have time and don't have to grab a handful of potato chips for dinner as i run to a phone bank.  i have time for yoga and for running - which i love. 

tea + book = happiness.
5.  stress free living.  need i say more?

mustaches with mom.
6.  i am spending so much more time enjoying the little things and simple pleasures of my life.  becoming engrossed a great book.  a hot cup of tea.  my new obsession with the west wing.  emails from friends back home telling me how they are doing.  texts from my travel buddy in budapest.  i relish each little thing i do every day [except laundry].

7.  even though it is freeeezing out, i am loving exploring the city, our new city.  new restaurants to discover, hidden bars to learn of, learning new highways and shortcuts.  i love it.  it will be even better in a few months when we can venture outside without eight layers of clothing on and a backup plan to get home in case it's too cold to walk.

lofty living space!
8.  as much as i miss our denver cottage, our home, i totally love loft living.  it's always fun to decorate a new space and make it your own, but i especially love that our new space is totally different from our old.  it just makes it different and gives us a new experience.  i love our new apartment.

nyc visits more to see this guy! <3
9.  being out on the east coast means traveling ease.  nyc is just three and a half hours south of us, so it's easy to hit the mass pike when i want to see my family down there.  we are driving up to montreal next weekend - something i've never done before - for my birthday trip, which is going to be phenomenal.  another trip for dc is slotted for april, and now that pi is traveling for work, for the cost of just one airline ticket i can go meet him wherever he is and we can have a weekend together - hence my jetting off to los angeles this weekend!  we are so lucky.

my writing setup each day.
10.  of course, possibly the best of all, is writing again.  i feel so happy, so at peace with myself, to be able to be writing again and working on my book once more.  i feel like things have come full circle for me - when i was in such a dark, depressed place in my life all i wanted to do was write.  but i couldn't, having work and school and other involvements.  and gradually i lost interest in school and just couldn't continue anymore, not having the strength to do so.  and now, here i am years later, the happiest i have ever been, and finally able to concentrate on my work.  it's amazing how life works.

one quick note... none of this is to sound gloat-y or anything.  there are many different ways one could look at my life right now - 28 and just graduated college, unemployed, living alone often while my husband is gone... but i don't have that outlook.  i am in love with my life right now and the opportunities it affords me.  i will not always have this luxury of time, so i am enjoying every moment of it and taking advantage to write my book.

18 February 2013

memories of istanbul.

over the weekend, PI and i decide to re-live our honeymoon a little bit. 

when we went on our honeymoon, we had the most amazing time.  now i am sure everyone has an amazing time on your honeymoon [how could you not?!], and ours was no exception.  i thought our honeymoon perfectly suited us.  we didn't pick a traditional honeymoon spot like jamaica or hawaii, but instead wanted someplace where we could see some history, take in a new culture, but also relax... you know, have a real experience.  so we decided to go to istanbul.

and it was just right for us.  not only did we get to see places like the blue mosque and the hagia sofia, but we were able enjoy the water on the bosphorous and the border between europe and asia. 

but, just like many honeymooners, we were tired.  all the planning and traveling that we had to deal with for the wedding [especially we had left brooklyn a week before the wedding to see the plans through in denver, then on to turkey from there] had left us just wanting to relaaaaax.  so, we would generally sight-see during the morning, then after stopping for some lunch, would find a cafe and sit for the rest of the afternoon.  we'd order a nargile water pipe, get out a deck of cards, and sip some mint tea. we would smoke, talk, laugh and just be together all afternoon.  and we still talk about how amazing those times were, while we sat around and dreamed about what our married life would be like.

enjoying the sunshine and comfy pillows
view up from our fave hangout

view to istiklal caddesi, one of istanbul's busiest avenues
so, tired of being snowed in our loft out here, we decided to venture out for some turkish style fun.  we woke to more snow on saturday morning, but by the afternoon we were heading over to allston to an authentic hookah lounge, habibi.  not sure if any of my readers are actually looking for an authentic hookah experience in boston, but if you are, this is it.  we spent the afternoon enjoying rose and lemon mint hookah, sipping mint tea, and remembering how amazing our honeymoon was five years ago, and plotting our next trip. 

the hookah - and mint tea - was amazing!
yesterday i cracked open my new book - the glass of time - and completely devoured it.  i am already halfway through it after more snow yesterday encouraged us to hole up with tea, blankets and our books.  pretty lovely weekend if you ask me.

pi is off to la tomorrow for work, so i'll be hanging out here solo.  i'll probably finish that book by tomorrow.

enjoy your monday off!


15 February 2013

28 thoughts for my 28th year

so, yesterday i turned 28.

if i am being honest, i am in a very good place in my life right now.  but i don't know what challenges or valleys may lie ahead of me.  so i looked through my favorite pinterest board and came up wtih 28 things i want to remember every day of this coming year.  i hope these thoughts help me be a better version of myself and keep positivity in my life in a big way during the big 2-8.

i've done a few of these blog posts before - once in april and once back in june, so you may have seen one or two of these around here.  i hate being lazy with a posting, but some of these are just too good not to be shared.

take notes and enjoy... 

*please note that i do not own nor did i create any of these images or quotes.  they have all been taken from pinterest and are meant for inspiration and positive vibes only.