Monthly Archives: September 2013

What I Wore to Work

Every month my city’s Chamber of Commerce sponsors a local business mixer, and every month I promise myself that I won’t undo all my hard work at the gym with the free wine and hors d’oeuvre. I have yet to keep that promise.

JCP Sheath Dress

I don’t always dress up for work (I wear a lot of dark-wash skinny jeans and blouses), but I always try to make an extra effort on days I know I’ll be interacting with people outside my core office staff. Tonight I’ll be attending this month’s mixer, and I chose to wear this dress because it’s both conservative enough to be business-appropriate and stretchy enough to accommodate the wine-and-cheese baby I’ll accumulate over the evening. Also because I was running late, and a simple sheath dress is pretty much the easiest thing to throw on before sprinting out the door.

JCP Sheath Dress 2

JCP Dress (on sale for $21.99!) | Black Pumps | Necklace (similar) | Watch (similar)

Is this look groundbreaking? Nope. But it took about 10 seconds to throw together, which left me plenty of time to gulp down two cups of coffee before heading to the office. I call that a success.

MIX MATCH

Pretty Little Things

My sister gave me an Anthropologie gift card for my birthday, and I mentioned a few weeks ago that I used it to purchase a faux rhino head for the wall. Several days after my order was confirmed, I got an email from customer service saying they were out of stock. I won’t go into details about my emotional response to that email, except to say that evening is now referred to as the Rhino Incident and is brought up by Dave every time I mock him for getting irrationally angry about his PlayStation freezing.

With my gift card balance refunded, I spent the next few days hemming and hawing over what I should get. I knew I wanted something decor-ish, since I’m getting tired of seeing blank walls and uncovered surfaces everywhere I look. I’m still undecided on what I want for big statement pieces, so I decided to order a few pretty accents that I scattered around to temper the “barren wasteland” vibe you currently get upon entering our home:

Anthropologie Order

Bowls | Vase | Mug

These little bowls are pretty much my favorite thing at Anthro. They come in all sorts of colors and patterns, and they’re only $8. I knew I wanted one of the bowls to sit on my nightstand where I inevitably dump my watch and rings when I get home from work. The second one is currently corralling our keys on the entry table.

Anthropologie Inside Out Bowl

I put the vase on a mirrored coffee table tray I picked up at Pier 1 over the weekend.

Anthropologie Vase

By the way, if you ever find yourself wondering what a mental breakdown feels like, try explaining the concept of a decorative coffee table tray to a man.  I have spent the last several days trying to make Dave understand that the tray is for pretty things only and not his grungy water bottle and collection of 14 TV remotes and game controllers. And he is like:

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It’s not much, but having a few pretty things around the house is making me feel a lot more at home.

When Only A Letter Will Serve …

Stationery 2

I was OBSESSED with stationery and letter-writing as a kid. Up through about sixth grade I subscribed to a horse magazine called Young Equestrian, which included a pen pal section on the back page where you could send in a paragraph about yourself with your address so fellow subscribers could write to you. (Apparently publishing a giant list of kids’ names and addresses did not seem like a bad idea in the early 90s?) Anyway, I wrote a LOT of letters about my favorite breeds of horses and my love for Lance Bass and my adventures at church camp, letters that I sincerely hope are buried in landfills and not secretly stashed away in case I ever decide to run for public office.

Although my tendency to hoard pretty paper (and write to pen pals) has faded away, when I saw this vintage stationery for just $3 in a thrift store yesterday I had to buy it.

Stationery 1

The best part of this purchase, though, is this little advertisement for a booklet called “The Written Conversation” I found tucked inside one of the envelopes:

booklet

While I still enjoy writing and receiving letters, THANK GOD I live in a time where my biggest anxiety involving communications is figuring out whether to text my friend a picture of shirtless RDJ or shirtless Christian Bale to cheer her up after a bad day, and not whether my letter paper is appropriate for her personality and the occasion. And while it’s going to be a little more time consuming to print out and tape shirtless celebrity pictures inside these cards, I can now rest assured that it will mean so much more than a phone call.

Fresh Peach and Nectarine Crumb Bars

Peaches and Nectarines

This time of year always makes me grateful we live in Northern California – we are known for our stone fruit, and our peaches, pears, plums, and nectarines can’t be beat. Peach season won’t last much longer up here, so I made sure to stock up at last week’s grub club. I wasn’t planning to buy anything else until the guy in front of me grabbed a nectarine off the table, bit into it, and had to wipe juice off his shoes.

There are currently nine nectarines sitting on my kitchen counter.

09.09.13 Bars 1

Dave had to work late Friday night, so I kicked off the weekend by pouring myself a big glass of wine and baking a batch of these peach crumb bars. Drinking makes me a much better baker — suddenly I don’t care about trivial things like accidentally dumping a pound of sugar on my clean kitchen floor, and it gives me the courage to deviate from the recipe at hand. Which is why I wound up adding a bunch of nectarines to the filling.

And this is where I tell all the young twenty-somethings reading this blog to enjoy your crazy Friday nights twerking in the club or whatever it is you kids do, because before you know it you’ll be 29 and your biggest booze-related adventures will involve adding random produce to recipes and listening to the Harry Potter soundtrack so loud that houses three streets over can hear it.

09.09.13 Whisk

Dave and I agreed that the tanginess from the nectarines was a really nice addition to the sweetness of the peaches. The first night we paired our pieces with Haagen Dazs vanilla bean, and last night we ate it with mocha almond ice cream. I liked the vanilla better, while Dave preferred the mocha. You should probably cover your bases and buy both.

09.09.13 Filling

Even though I’m sad about peach season coming to a close, I’m looking forward to the abundance of fresh apples that the next season will bring. Mostly so I can make this apple cider sangria, drink two glasses while wearing my pajamas, and then fall asleep by 10:30 p.m.

High Five for Friday

Peaches and Nectarines

I brought home a bag full of late-season peaches, nectarines, and raspberries from the grub club yesterday. They’re currently on the table waiting to be made into pie this weekend.

Gray Striped Shower Curtain

I am loving this shower curtain we picked up at Target a few weeks ago. It’ll be a while before we tackle the master bath decor, so it’s nice to have at least one pretty thing in there for now.

Purple Peplum

I bought this peplum top back at the beginning of summer and forgot about it until I was re-hanging all my clothes in the new closet last week. I love that it looks as good with skinny jeans as it does with a pencil skirt.

Greys Anatomy

We are a Netflix-only household, so I had to wait until last weekend to finally start watching Season 9 of Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve been watching a couple episodes each evening, sometimes with a glass of wine. I should probably be embarrassed by my love of this show on account of all the BOMBINGS and SHOOTINGS and PLANE CRASHES and INTERNS HAVING SEX WITH THE GHOSTS OF THEIR EX-LOVERS but my love somehow endures.

Raspberries and Ice Cream

Raspberries + Haagen Dazs Vanilla Bean ice cream. Best combo ever.

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Odds and Ends

{ I trimmed my own bangs this morning. It did not go well. It never goes well. Somebody please hide my scissors. }

Nightstand

{ There’s a thrift shop two doors down from my office, and most days I take a mid-morning break to stretch my legs and look around. I spotted this accent table/nightstand last week and have spent the last several days going back and forth on whether I want something more modern for the bedroom. Eventually, the fun details (and super low price) on this little guy won out, so I pulled the trigger and took him home with me. I’m excited to style it and show you pictures. And also to stop using a moving box as my nightstand. }

{ I have several important deadlines tomorrow and this morning I spent several hours in the “All The Work While Crying” zone. The only thing that would make this cartoon more accurate would be a gigantic bottle of rum after “Deadline.” }

Tomorrow’s Friday! Woo!

Running Rut

I took the last month off from running, partly because I wanted to let my IT band heal and also because this one time we bought a house without realizing it would force us to spend every minute of the rest of our pathetic lives fixing leaks and trimming branches and replacing flooring and touching up paint and WHY IS THAT GODDAMN FAUCET LEAKING AGAIN, WE JUST FIXED IT.

I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I’m going to be busy fixing stuff for the rest of my life, so I’ve been easing back into my workout routine. Dave mentioned recently that he wants to start running, so I convinced him to get up early on Labor Day to run a four-mile loop with me.¬† I felt great when we started, though I should note that our house sits on top of a giant hill so really the first half mile was just gravity exerting its pull on my (rapidly expanding) mass. Or something. I hate science.

But once the road evened out I went from this:

phoebe-running

to this:

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Except less cute.

Dave, of course, was trucking along like Hal Higdon and I really hoped the volume on his iPod was high enough to mask the sounds of my Darth Vader breathing. Fortunately, he was wearing crappy shoes and his ankle started hurting at the end so we had to walk up the giant hill back to our house. I kind of felt like an ass being all happy about his pain, but he sometimes reads me passages of his physics textbooks while I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy¬† so I think it evens out.

Thankfully, my pathetic four miles has inspired me to get back into running shape, and I think I have convinced Dave to do a half marathon with me. What he doesn’t know is that I’m looking for Halloween-themed runs. That we can do in costumes. I’ve been begging him for years to dress up as Tobias and Lindsay Bluth with me for Halloween, but I think getting him to run 13 miles in blue body paint and man-jorts will be a hard sell.

tobias gif

Maybe he’ll do it if I promise to buy him a hot dog cooker.