i'm feeling a tad sentimental this morning, so i thought it'd be fitting to drag my laptop back to the very mcdonald's depicted above, to grab coffee and write about this last year. the plan is backfiring since their coffee is just so-so and they play the sort of weird top 40 pop ballads i try to avoid, especially when reflecting on a rough year. this particular image emerged victorious when i pored through my photos from 2011, trying to select my very favorite. it was taken on a morning in august after that highly anticipated hurricane meekly meandered up the east coast. the beach got hit hard enough to lose power (air conditioning necessitates power, you know), and my brother and i bravely drove through flooded streets and around fallen trees to find the nearest free wi-fi and wall outlets. this moment marks a pretty monumental shift in the year for me. i'd spent the summer laying low, mourning the blurry end of a very long relationship, missing my catbaby who stayed in florida with her dad, changing my mind every three days about where i really wanted to live, and generally feeling unsure what to do with all the new found freedom and possibilities i was blessed with. so that morning i sat there with my decade-younger brother, each of us nursing hangovers, and i found myself so happy to be with my favorite person on the planet. i allowed myself to appreciate the moment i was in. i felt surprisingly free of stress and sadness, and i took stock of all the things i did have, instead of wasting away lamenting the things i didn't. since that magical greasy breakfast, my life and attitude have been in steady upward climb. i am so excited about 2012. i hope you guys are too; life is really really beautiful. happy new year!
Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
virginia beach is a completely different animal in the winter! my family and i walked along the boardwalk this afternoon, braving a crazy cold wind as it came in off the ocean. it's funny to remember the summer months; sipping from my brother's flask and burrowing my toes in the scalding sand. in florida, i'd still be wearing sundresses right now! i'm a fan of this whole seasons thing.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
i'm up bright and early waiting for a very important phone call about a very important christmas gift. did i procrastinate on my holiday shopping or shipping? no! but always, there's that ONE gift that requires multiple steps to perfect. step one: ordering it from spain? no sweat, did that in early november! nonetheless, if all goes as promised (knock on wood), i'll get this gift wrapped (see above! i did that!) this morning and drive only five miles over the speed limit to... THE POST OFFICE.
on the subject of holiday shipping... allow me to vent. oh no, not about how my mailman, who usually drops the mail off by 2pm, isn't arriving with my christmas cards and nylon until well after sundown this week. and not about how the post office parking lot incites riots, or how once you make it inside, you're welcomed by a line that twists every which way. because hello america, IT IS CHRISTMAS. and guess what? every single year of your life, christmas has fallen on the same day! you totally knew it was going to happen. yet, all my avid people watching catches snarls, moans, gasps of shock and surprise, and even profanity from customers upon entering the hallowed halls of shipping??? so today, i will anticipate spending two hours braving the parking lot, waiting in line (it's why we have words with friends!), and placing my already-packaged-correctly* parcel on the counter, and i will do it with cheer! [*biggest pet peeve!] might i be greeted by a disgruntled face at that counter? you'd think so, they're certainly entitled! but nope- every single u.s. postal service employee i've seen and interacted with this week has been a smiling, helpful, patient beacon of christmas light. man, can you even fathom what their days must be like?! i surely cannot. so THANK YOU, lovely postal workers. because getting this gift to someone i love would not happen without you. if it arrives on the 26th? no sweat, i waited til today to ship it.
ps- this should go without saying.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
this week is going to be busy-busy and really fun! i've unearthed all the red and sparkly gold vintage i've collected throughout the year thinking, "oh! i'll wear this for christmas" and i'm making good on my thrift store rationalizing. my sister and brother-in-law are en route to the east coast (hopefully for good!), and i'm looking forward to some adventurous vegan holiday meals and lots of photo-snapping. all my gifts are wrapped and under the tree, and i can just kick back: old movies in front of me, crackling fire to the left. have a fun week, kittens!
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
i'm a horrible friend! i should have shouted from the rooftops weeks ago when my pal owen's record was released, but now i'll put a holiday spin on it so maybe i can be forgiven? did you finish all your christmas shopping? if not, i've got the perfect gift idea for you! if so, i've got the perfect reward for you! the new gospel music album written, sung, and strummed by one of my very best friends (and favorite writers), in and about the city where our mamas birthed us! the city in which we started college, and had our first boy-girl sleepovers and first hangovers, the city i left six months ago and miss terribly every day. do you guys have it yet? (this guy at mtv.com liked it better than rihanna's new joint! damn!) sometimes i'm so proud of my amazing friends i get all verklempt.
the song that maybe just might be my age 18-23 personal anthem? this town doesn't have enough bars for the both of us. lucky you, you can download it free on amazon... then buy the rest of the record, duh. i would never ever lead you astray.
Monday, December 12, 2011
this is the time of year when i make the biggest messes in the kitchen. truth be told, as if you haven't already noticed, i only go into the kitchen to bake desserts or pour myself a bowl of kashi. and though you shouldn't trust a skinny baker, i'm sort of a whiz with an oven! promise! a new friend (who happens to be my mom's age) mentioned that she needed to bake, oh, 25 pumpkin rolls like she's done every year for decades. my world came to an immediate halt and i asked, "WHAT is a pumpkin roll?!" yadda yadda yadda, all i care about is pumpkin stuff, we know. so long story short, i spent my saturday learning new friend's tried and true rolling technique, and single-handedly baking nine of these bad boys. i think i've found my holiday thing. my future kid(s) should be really pumped. so delicious. try it!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
pretty sure my phone's going to explode this month thanks to all the photos i'm compelled to take when sparkles and red abound. those pretty white lights stuffed into jars up there? that was a display at the gap. i probably need to reign it in a bit. but, i'm not kidding when i tell you this is how my days are looking lately. merry and bright!
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
typically i like my christmases nice and 70s. thrifted vintage decor that i can take right back to goodwill in january; the kitchier the better! i decorate in a day, then spend the rest of december planning my annual holiday rager. this year, something's shifted. maybe it's because i'm now 30 and therefore an adult, or maybe it's because nearly every blog i follow is that of a married mama (the most stylish and witty ones, of course!), but i find myself caring about new things. like, ornaments? i spent a really long time scouring the net for the perfect ornament to gift my special someone. that thing's sticking around for years to come, it's not a decision to be made lightly! also, crafting? i'm not big on the crafting, never have been. i admire really nicely handmade things for sure, but stuff that screams CRAFT! has never been my bag. except in december! in december i check martha stewart's site before i check the day's news, and if this past weekend's any indication, i'll be clocking an average of 60 trips to a.c. moore this month. i suddenly want to slap paint on everything. and i've shoved all sorts of materials into my sewing machine that surely don't belong there. aaaaaand let's not even broach the subject of festive baking, you guys. i'm still recovering from last year. here are a couple sweet ideas i've pinned lately. we're only a week in, i'm sure i'll have lots more to share soon!