Friday, June 29, 2012

i'm thankful for ... (birthday edition)

my sweet husband who worked his booty off for the past several weeks (he even got bit by a nasty spider) helping me get the house ready for my party.  i am always amazed at how much of a rock he is.  he works so hard and i couldn't be more thankful for him!

birthday cards -- every year jeff gives me multiple birthday cards that he has collected throughout the year - one is more sentimental, one is funny - actually, all of the others are funny. my friend tita said the other day "jeff is a mutant man and his super power is romance."  it's hilarious, because it's true.

sushi for my birthday

incredibly thoughtful & generous friends who made me feel so special by not only getting me a present, but by taking the time to pick out something that was so "me."  the weirdest part was that it all came together in this sort of parisian theme with lots of coral and blue -- so, so lovely. 

facebook messages -- say what you will about people being too plugged in, but there is nothing like getting birthday wishes from all the people in your life :)

all in all, it was such a great way to welcome 36.  i have a feeling this is going to be a good one!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

going down memory lane

the other day while i was driving through practically every neighborhood in los angeles on a massive hunt for a pair of spearmint skinny jeans from j crew  - they are sold out :( - i found myself in my old los feliz neighborhood.  it was the very first place i moved to when i arrived in los angeles ten years ago.  in fact, i found the apartment below within my first 24 hours here.  just having moved from washington d.c. i really wanted to be somewhere walkable.  i fell in love with the location and lived in two apartments in this building and then moved to a one-bedroom down the street.  i was feeling super nostalgic, so i took a quick tour through the neighborhood.

i used to love walking across the street and hearing marty & elaine sing

best conchinita pibil burrito in la

skylight - great neighborhood bookstore

loved eating pastries at figaro

my friend nedra was obsessed with fred 62's thai cobb salad

Sunday, June 24, 2012


today i turn 36 and i'm reminded of that sex & the city episode (click here for the clip, but scroll to 3:26) where carrie waits forever for her friends to join her for her birthday at il cantinori and while she is sitting their alone, a birthday cake arrives at the table next to her and as the girl blows out her candles she says "25, f**** i'm old!" oh, to be 25!

that being said, i'm definitely one of those ladies who loves to celebrate her birthday.  maybe it's because my mom always made a point of making my birthday a big deal -- she still calls me and sings happy birthday first thing in the morning -- or maybe it's because i love birthday cake - either way, my birthday excitement ends up being something that stresses jeff out. what exactly do i want? do i want a party? just dinner? a cake?  do i really mean that i don't want a big present?

so this year, i said to him that i wanted to have a small group of friends over, have ricky of ensenada's fish tacos cater it (more coming on that later, but click here for more info), and margaritas.  when i told my friend marleine i really wanted a birthday cake, she said she would make one for me.  i told her not to go crazy, but she is known for her inability to do anything small.  she made this almost-wedding cake for me (thanks, mary!) - amazing!

even though my simple request turned into weeks of prepping the garden, buying new furniture, hanging more art in the house, it was all worth it in the end.

i just feel so blessed to have such amazing people in my life - my husband, my family and my incredible friends who journey to pasadena even though it means sitting in traffic for an hour.  (i only feel bad that i didn't get to spend more one-on-one time with everyone, but that's always how it is when you host a party, right?)  i have a good job, a house that really does feel like a home, i'm in good health and on most days, i almost always find myself laughing.  it all makes turning one year older seem more like a gift than something to dread.


Friday, June 22, 2012

i'm thankful for ...

next monday, i'll be 36 - eek!  i can't believe i am actually going to now be mid-to-late 30s, because honestly i just don't feel 36.  it's not that i'm freaking out about it so much, as i'm just sort of astonished i've been on this earth for almost 36 years.  so this week, i'm thankful for ...

my favorite store knowing just how to celebrate my birthday by giving me 15% off

late afternoon swims in the backyard

my adorable niece addie who always sends me love notes when she stops by (absolutely love the "j" spelled backwards).  how did i get so lucky?

my find at the barney's outlet ($35), which is just in time for summer

discovering a healthier way to eat spaghetti & meatballs:  spaghetti squash & meatballs.  thanks, chef extraordinaire, helen cavallo for the delicious recipe!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

mark downs

i posted about my new favorite pair of summer jeans earlier this year and just saw that they are on sale at jcrew for $89.99 + 30% off at checkout!  they were originally $125.  i can't recommend these enough - the bright colors go so easily with a simple tank, or a chambray shirt -- and they are actually comfortable.  not every color gets the low price tag, so i'm still holding out for the spearmint ones to go on sale, as i can already envision wearing them with my slew of nautical tops.  i bought the ones in neon rose below, but also really love the ancient fig. 

go get 'em ladies!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

prints for the someday bun

i love words and i love having them surround our home, so we have lots of typography prints hanging all over the house. as my pinterest addiction has grown, i've spent more time thinking what can i decorate next?  every time we travel, i always try and buy a children's book, knowing that someday it will be so sweet to snuggle with my little babe and read a story i bought for him/her in new zealand, or hawaii, or ny.  so my secret is out people - i love looking for ideas for our hopefully-someday-nursery.  (i found almost all of these pics on etsy and meg fee on pinterest, btw).  here are some prints i'd love for our future little bun:

*from etsy*

*love how it looks framed - via littlegreennotebook*

*etsy - gusandlula*

*etsy - handz*

*for the ron burgundy fans out there*

*print by handz*

Sunday, June 17, 2012

marrying a gentleman

i ran across this print on etsy and ordered it immediately,  partly because i will absolutely hang it in my future son's room (when and if i have a boy), but mostly because i am reminded of it every day, being married to jeff, my old-fashioned gentleman.

i think it is important for me to preface all of this with the fact that i took my fair share of womens' studies classes at unc and would absolutely define myself as independent.  i didn't walk through life waiting for a man to do things for me.  all that being said, i can't tell you how many times i've been in an elevator with a guy and been floored when he cuts right in front of me the minute the door opens.  maybe it's the southern girl in me, but i just find it to be rude.

it makes me so happy when i see jeff being thoughtful and considerate to those around him.  for example, yesterday when my new hairdresser (thanks for the referral, tita) was walking out to her car with her mobile office (aka suitcase) and jeff insisted on carrying it out to her car, she was so taken aback by it.  she must have said "really? you'd do that?"  at least three times.  when she left she said "you are such a gentleman and there aren't that many left." i think she was genuinely shocked by jeff's graciousness, but that's just who he is.  on one of our very first dates, we had both driven separately to a bar and when i got up to pay the valet said jeff had already taken care of it.  that was such a gentleman move.  and if you didn't know this, jeff is an identical twin and his brother is exactly the same way (nice work, debby).  it makes me so happy to know that my two nieces are growing up with such an incredible father and what a gift to be able to give your daughters - showing them how men should behave.

jeff is the man who showed up at my door on our first date with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  he's the man who still opens the door for me -- and not only my car door, but my friends' doors, as well.  he's the man who wears the same cologne that jfk wore.  he's the man who offered up his seat multiple times on a new york subway, only to be met with nasty glares from independent new york women, stating "no, i'm fine!"  he's the man who respects his elders and always stops to open doors for old ladies.  he's the man who bought a police officer behind us in line dinner.  he's the man who works incredibly hard, but rarely complains.  he's the man who always brings me home a thoughtful gift when he travels for work. he's the man who took me on a very lovely mini-break for our first trip together and refused to let me pay for one thing.  he's the man who knows the importance of nice quality wrapping paper and yet is also 100% handy around the house.  he's the man who wakes up early to make me a coffee in the morning.  he's the man who looks you in the eye when he shakes your hand.  he's the man who treats my girlfriends to dinner. he's the first man that told me it was okay to be my goofy self.  he's the man that called my dad, my mom and my sister separately to ask permission before marrying me.  he's the man who makes me feel so, so loved and he was definitely worth the wait.

i know we're all independent women and can 100% take care of ourselves, but it's nice to have a gentleman around.  tell me, what was the last chivalrous thing a man has done for you?

Friday, June 15, 2012

i'm thankful for ...

early birthday presents from my oh-so-incredible sister-in-law

a present from anthropologie is my favorite
and multiple presents from anthropologie are even better
and the fact that i can sip lovely drinks poolside from these babies, is definitely a thing i love

our new credenza & potted plant tucked nicely into the corner

waking up to this little lover

discovering a new neighborhood favorite -- abricott

jeff telling the crazy swing lady that she can no longer come and take naps in our yard, while her son swings.  she actually argued with him, stating that where else would they go?  ummm...i don't know, maybe a PARK.

what are you thankful for?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

things that she wants

young, fabulous & broke maxi dress 
i love the soft colors and the back, whoa mama!  on sale now for $99 on *update: it already sold out, so now i'm on the wait list.  fingers crossed that i get it!

21st & urban
i am trying to hunt down this shirt for jeff.  i love the pop of orange on the buttons.

i would definitely have sweet dreams with these

vintage kmk vase
stumbled across this vase on etsy for $40. i kinda want to go to the netherlands

*amsterdamse bos park -- photo courtesy of nam at*

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

the difference between dating in your 20s and your 30s

my friend tita posted this garfunkel and oates video on my fb wall a couple of weeks ago and i think it perfectly sums up how different dating can be, depending on what box you are in.  click on the picture above to watch the video and i promise you'll laugh.

in my twenties i felt optimistic and hopeful, but once i entered my thirties i noticed that guys on (who were my age by the way) only wanted to date girls in their twenties.  anytime i went out, i was constantly asked the dreaded question "are you dating?" and although i could have expounded upon how the last really cool guy that i just went out on what i thought was an excellent date never called back, i just simply answered "no." people didn't know how to respond. they just looked at me with pity and gave me the generic response "oh, don't worry. you'll find him when you're not looking."  what people don't realize when they say that is you are aware, almost every single day, that you are single and you are trying your best to not be.  but, you also have to live your life and be happy with where you are.  the bottom line is that if you are dating in yours 20s it is just not the same as when you are still single in your 30s, 40s.  you're aware of your age, your fertility, but yet you are trying not to freak about it.

tell me are you single, partnered off, divorced?  what advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

Monday, June 11, 2012

vintage clutches

while my main mission at the rose bowl was finding a new credenza, that didn't stop me from browsing for other things.  i find that flea markets are the best places to go for accessories and these three vintage beauties prove it.  total spent:  $30

i don't know which one i love more, the silver one with the adorable leaf clasp,  the gold-trimmed black one -- or the gold?  lucky me, i get to use them all!

hitting the jack pot at the flea market

*photo: susan beal*

we live just a few miles from one of the best flea markets in the country -- the rose bowl.  it happens on the second sunday of each month and while overwhelming, it is 100% worth the crowds and the crazies.  and i promise you that the $8 admission fee will be the furthest thing from your mind when you walk away with all your bargains. 

yesterday's mission was to find an interesting piece of furniture that could hold all of our media components.  i have been complaining to jeff for over a year now about the janky system we had going on and we finally decided to dedicate some time to search.  of course, for me, that meant i i had to find something that weekend.  we braved the crowds at ikea on friday night, but really found nothing interesting. i really wanted a vintage piece.  i scoured the ads on craigslist, but again, nothing.  i remembered that sunday was the rose bowl flea market, so we were there bright and early, coffee in hand.  i found this awesome mid-century credenza and talked the guy down to a reasonable price.  being a total people pleaser, i'm usually too intimidated to bargain with these guys, but i had decided on an acceptable price in my head ($225), even though they wanted $275.  i held firm when he countered ($240)-- i even walked away when he said no.  thank god he called me back and gave me it for the price i wanted!

i think it looks pretty good in our living room.  now, onto my next project: the back yard.