Friday, October 2

link it up

Friday again! Aren't we lucky. D and I are heading to our first of three weddings this month in Charlottesville, VA. I've never been to UVA, so we plan on checking out campus and the cute downtown area. Any other suggestions for us?

I'm sure we all remember the famous "Why Women Can't Have it All" article from the Atlantic in 2012. She did a follow up that I'm looking forward to reading this weekend.

Every year, Fortune releases their list of the Most Powerful Women in business. I enjoyed seeing these stats on where they all went to school. Sounds like the caliber of school isn't as important as continuing your education (only 9 went to ivy league schools, but almost 60% hold graduate degrees).

A new use for Yelp. Incredible.

Do you have feelings about these HBO shows? I am currently in the middle of the following shows: The Wire (love), Breaking Bad (good), House of Cards (getting worse), Game of Thrones (love), Downtown Abbey (so sweet), Revenge (don't bother it's terrible).

Price paid is different than price charged at colleges. Fun to look up your alma mater.

Wednesday, September 30

cheap eats [pumpkin pasta]

I'm lucky enough to be living with my good friends until my DC move-date of November 1st, and wanted to cook us all a nice fall meal this past Sunday. I'd seen the dish below on Pinterest, and knew it checked all my autumnal boxes: sausage, pumpkin cream sauce, apples, sauteed onions and garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg, what's not to love?

I see her recipe was altered slightly from a well-loved Rachel Ray dish, and I altered it even further based on my preferences. I doubled the onions and apples, used less cream and more pumpkin, and went for spicy sausage rather than sweet. This really is an affordable dish: $3 for a pound of sausage, and otherwise everything is a dollar or two. Here's a brief rundown of what I did:

1. brown 1lb spicy Italian sausage (I used this one), drain on paper towel
2. add 2 onions and 4 cloves of garlic to the leftover sausage fat to soften
3. add 2 chopped apples in with the veggies
4. add 1 cup of white wine, plus sage and a bay leaf, and cook for 2 minutes
5. add 1 can of pumpkin puree and enough chicken stock to thin out the sauce
6. return the sausage to the pan, add 1lb cooked pasta (I used shells), some cinnamon and nutmeg, and 1/3 cup of whipping cream. DEVOUR.

Mine wasn't photogenic at all, but it sure was tasty.

Tuesday, September 29

DC Digs [bath mat shopping]

I'm going to have quite a few posts to write detailing searches and purchases that have happened since we moved, but I'd rather jump right in with what's currently on our mind to start. And what's on my mind is rugs. Specifically, one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom. Keep in mind kitchen = living area too, so that makes it tough because it has to match the larger room. Since that's more difficult, let's focus on the bathroom first.

We have a pretty old bath mat that I believe is from the Target college line, but it's just a smidge too big and can't lie completely flat. For something so inexpensive, it seems dumb not to fix. I have a few things I'm considering:

Something wood-like, such as the lattice wooden mat from Crate and Barrel:
Something bold but neutral, like this black and white strip rug from Overstock:

Something bold and anything-but-neutral, like this orange Nate Berkus number:
I can see the appeal of all three, and might need to visit one and three in person. Any resources I'm not thinking of?

Friday, September 25

link it up

FRIDAY. It's my first weekend alone in Durham for weeks. Which does not excite me. If we are friends IRL text me.

Embarrassingly enough, this was like, my favorite part of blogging. Sharing the hilariously awesome or moving or delicious or attractive things other people are doing in the world. Here's to my first link it up!

There's a new bar in town. [SO ACCURATE AND FUNNY]

Speaking of bars, Eater has updated their DC heatmap for the best drinking establishments. If you're planning on visiting us this year (during cherry blossoms, perhaps?) take a look and pick your poison.

I'd like to apologize to my sister's employer. Ever since I sent her this, she has been deeply unproductive.

Love checking in on this tumblr...

...but it's nothing compared to THIS TUMBLR. I need someone to back me up on this. I read a couple (the captions are everything, of course) and after a few I'm laughing out loud. Super giggly. Can't stop. Am I alone? Why is this my exact sense of humor? I think my brain is broken.

Looks like this week was all about alcohol and jokes. You're welcome?

Wednesday, September 23

DC Digs [paint choices]

I read somewhere that there are bedrooms to fall asleep in, and bedrooms to wake up in. Isn't that great? I can picture a bedroom to wake up in, with bright white linens and windows thrown open and a lazy morning with coffee and a newspaper. But that's not me, or D. We are night people. Give me snug, give me intimate, give me a book lit by a soft glow with a glass of whiskey any day. Or any night, I should say.

D and I have always been drawn to deep paint colors and dark cozy rooms (check out our last bedroom here). We loved that deep teal, and actually had plenty of that paint left, but I'm moving away from blues and embracing my green side. I was drawn to this room, from Elle Interior Sweden. How good does a dark hunter green look with light wood? It also works well with persimmon and super pale blush and lavender, all colors I'm loving lately.

The bedroom is far from finished- in fact, we've hung nothing but a mirror and curtains- so I'm not going to share the final product, but here's the color along with our new bed.

Painting is always a project that should be tackled when you first move in, IF you have an idea of what you want. If you're the type that's indecisive, want to see how the light is at all times of day, need to get a feel for the place, then go ahead and wait, but it'll be a pain to have to move and protect everything once you've made a decision. Plus you can't do anything else until that foundation has been laid- no hanging shelves or art, for example.

The other room we knew we'd paint is the bathroom. Talk about builders grade boringness in there, as seen below. I'm hating that I even have to show these pictures. I had a gallon of dark gray paint by Martha Stewart that I got for $5 at Home Depot back when I thought it was a good idea to hoard gallons of paint with no use in mind (let's consider that pre-600 sq ft, shall we?)

Well, turns out that dark gray is pretty much is definitely black. No complaints here, I love that look, like this stunner from Schoolhouse Electric.

I gotta say I was a bit shocked when I first that is dark...but I'm very happy with it now. More to come on that room, including adding storage (if you noticed, there is NONE besides under the sink, which is mostly taken up by plumbing).

Monday, September 21

DC Digs [an overview]

Before I jump into things, you're gonna need a quick overview of our home. We are the first floor of a 3 unit row house on Capitol Hill, near Eastern Market. There are couples in the English basement and on the second floor. We have a few steps outdoors leading up to the front door (see picture from Friday's post); once you're inside, our door is immediately to the left, and our upstairs neighbors head up the stairs to their own door.

Inside, there is one large (HA) common space. It starts in the front of the house with a bay window area, complete with lovely stained glass. This feature fits my "charm and personality" necessity for sure. On our first morning it cast a lovely pink glow over all our crap.

In this picture, our front door is to the left and there is a small nook-like area on the right, behind the (non-working) fireplace bump out. That's where our dining table is going to live. Big 'ol leather chair and the dinosaur plant, AKA fiddle leaf fig, will live in the bay window area. It's painted a neutral taupe-y gray, which I'm fine with, and has molding running around about 1/3 of the way up the wall. Pretty, clean, it works. The fireplace is painted white. 

The room is so small that our fridge literally touches the fireplace, which is the only feature in the room that bums me out. You can sit on our crazy long 7 1/2 ft couch and look straight ahead at....GE's finest white fridge. Oh well.

The common area is a long and narrow room that ends with our kitchen area on the left and a hallway on the right. The hallway has a decent sized closet on the right and the bathroom on the left, stacked behind the kitchen. The hallway ends in our bedroom. The back wall of our bedroom is mostly windows, the right wall of our bedroom is all closets. There is a lovely view onto foliage, flowers, and a back patio out of our bedroom windows, but we don't have access, sadly. Our place is small, and sadly somewhat dark, but I LOVE IT.

Friday, September 18

returning to my sliver of the interwebs

So I kinda miss blogging. Or, I suppose I miss sharing my life with loved ones in a way that includes pictures. I've been dragging my feet, mostly because I previously put arbitrary rules on my blogging, like having a schedule, posting a certain number of times per week, feeling the need to promote my work, and so on. It would sometimes take HOURS to do a single post, and it was the dumb stuff, like formatting, picture editing, linking things, blah blah blah. This time around I think I'll just share when I have something to say or show. Very no pressure, very personal.

SO. Things I've wanted to post about: our Europe vacation from the spring...

and our new apartment in DC.

I've been meaning to write notes from our incredible vacation this summer- Vienna, Prague, and Budapest- but just haven't gotten around to it. I have gone back and re-read my Copenhagen and Berlin posts several times, to send friends recommendations and just to reminisce (if you'd care to join me, ahem D, see post 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5), so I KNOW it will be worth it when I finally go through our photos, our itineraries, and our brains to piece together the what when and where of our trip. Perhaps this weekend?

And in personal news, D graduated from big bad B school and has relocated to DC as of July 1. I'm following behind as of November 1, but that doesn't mean we haven't already hit the ground running in making our house a home. So many updates coming there, including:

  1. our most epic of personal apartment finding stories
  2. our first big furniture purchase off ebay
  3. DIY desk making
  4. buying a piece of original art (our first of many, I hope)
  5. space, AKA having NONE of it and how we're making it work (600 sq ft, ouch)
  6. the great mirror search, rug search, bed search, coffee table search, dining room table search, etc...
  7. a few pieces of furniture I refinished and sold to afford the items in number 7
  8. shelving 101
Anyway, much to come and looking forward to sharing it and hopefully getting opinions and ideas from y'all. Happy to be back!

Thursday, January 1

link it up [and a happy new year!]

Lots of travel plus a flu has combined to keep me away, but I'm back to say Happy New Years! I hope everyone has been enjoying the holiday season. I spent a lovely wedding weekend in DC, then onto Boston through Christmas, then to sunny Sarasota, and finally back to Durham for New Years. We used this recipe for our evening punch, in case you're interested.

Bourbon Review listed out their top bourbons under $30. Last minute present, anyone?

Like the homemade trees above? I love the neutral color palate, and that they're more winter themed than holiday, so you can keep them up longer. Get some directions from Beautiful Matters herehere, and here.

Ooooh em gee this satirical final episode of serial is hilarious.

We watched Frozen on Christmas Day, so I found this list timely. Tarzan is voiced by Fitz from Scandal??!

Ever notice how Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are often right next door to each other? DC has this in triples, but the Washington Post has this helpful guide on which is right for you.

Happy New Year, friends.

Wednesday, December 3

discover [serial]

TWO discover posts in a row? I guess I'm just finding things that are too cool not to share with you.

You've probably heard of Serial, the new (and most downloaded) podcast produced by This American Life, of the infamous Ira Glass. It's published weekly, and follows one non-fiction story (in this case, the murder of a 17 year old girl by her ex-boyfriend in 1999 Baltimore). Each episode unfolds another part of the crime and the investigation. It's like SVU, but not quite as harmless when you remember this is an actual man (serving life in prison) and an actual woman (dead in her teens). Creepy but so fascinating.

I love a good debate, and there is certainly plenty surrounding Serial: the journalistic style, the guilt/innocence of the main character (whose trial is in the final stages of appeal, BTW), the propriety of the content, everything. Here's a good article in defense, if you're interested.

I listened to episode 1 while doing busy work during the day, but I think it needs more attention, so I listened to episode 2-4 last night while getting out my holiday decorations. Got my roommate hooked, too. He mentioned something I can certainly identify with: podcasts make you feel more productive than watching TV and smarter than listening to music. In the right setting, they can be a wonderful option. I'm thinking about listening to the next few episodes while streaming my barre and yoga workouts at home, as I bet it's pretty a good way.

Oh, and check out this post from last year about some favorite podcasts and a really convenient way to listen to them.

Tuesday, December 2

discover [first editions second thoughts]

I don't even know where to begin. Let's just say it's all I want for Christmas, for the rest of my life.

Christie's is hosting an auction for PEN American Center, a non-profit that fights against censureship and promotes freedom of expression, and it's TODAY. What are they auctioning, you ask? Oh, just first editions of some of the greatest books that have been re-read and annotated by the authors. Think drawings, notes, editing, letters to the reader, jokes, histories. Watch the video here to get a better idea- worth it.

Things like Toni Morrison, Woody Allen, Bridge to Terabithia, and a flipping first edition of the first book in the "Series of Unfortunate Events" series are up for grabs. They've got Malcolm Gladwell, Gillian Flynn, a few art books, a few poetry books, just awesomely amazing stuff. This was done less than two years ago by the same group, but sadly I didn't know about it (or I would have bid on We Need to Talk About Kevin and the first Harry Potter, which sold for a cool $235k).

I can't wait to see what it all goes for, but I'm hoping big big bucks. It's truly an opportunity to purchase, for a price, the priceless: an intimate conversation with a cherished author.