Wednesday, February 29, 2012

elephant love.

Elephants amaze me. They strike me as so wise. Did you know that they mourn the death of their loved ones? They seem steady and loyal and kind.

In Uganda, on a rare weekend off site, I went to Kidepo National Park in the far northeast corner of the country. We were incredibly lucky because the roads to Kidepo from where I was living had just recently re-opened. The park is in part of the north where the Lord's Resistance Army was still operating. As a result, Kidepo is not yet on the tourist map. The only people who really had access were those who could charter a plane from Nairobi, so it felt like an untouched corner of the world. There is only one lodge in the park, the Apoka Lodge. It was simply unbelievable. But I digress...getting to the point of this, they had watering holes right at the edge of the pool and the elephants would come right up. Amazing! We also happened upon a group of elephants one morning on a safari and followed them for an hour.

You can imagine what all of this did for my obsession of elephants at the time. And, if you still aren't with me on the whole elephant thing, this story in the Daily Mail today should get you on board. Look at these photos below of a group of elephants, captured by photo, protecting one of their own while she gives birth. They circled and shielded her to fend off the hyenas. And, after they threw dirt around to cover the smell and throw any predators off the trail of the newborn! Just astounding. Elephants. Oh elephants.

the humanity.

This short preview piece in the NYTimes today is powerful.
Focused on Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, the photojournalist captures the "humanity behind the headlines". In the midst of all our news, I know I need this reminder regularly...not to lose sight of the humanity in it all.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

destination morocco.

I am in the black-hole of mid-terms and studying for my oral exams at the moment. Just beyond that horizon of stress is the dreaded job search. My coping mechanism for the mounting anxiety is now to feed my wanderlust! Today, I spent a solid ten minutes during a break in the library scouring the National Geographic travel site. I have been talking about a trip to Morocco for several years now and today did nothing to abate my appetite to get to Marrakech. Just look at these photos below and tell me you don't want to join! Based on the itinerary in my head right now, we'll start in Rabat, work our way around the country, and then end the trip with a couple days in southern Spain. Stay tuned to next week when I have completely changed my tune and decided on our next destination!

clipboard organization.

What a great idea for cheap and easy organizing...

barn style.

I have no real connection to farming, so I am not sure why I care so much about barns. Love barns. They are just so beautiful and charming. This recent NYTimes article is all about the recent efforts to photograph and preserve old barns. Good stuff!

These are just barns I think are beautiful and figured you would appreciate!

Monday, February 27, 2012

suit me up.

The last time I bought a suit was in 2005. Almost seven years ago! Now, as I am closing in on graduation and hopefully job interviews (cross your fingers for me!) start in earnest, I am in desperate need of a classic black suit! I have a couple weeks to figure out my game plan and budget for this. So, today, I waded into the baby pool and took a look at some styles and ideas. Here are a couple below...
Theory - Gabe Blazer and More

JCrew - 1035
Banana Republic

race challenge.

Here's the thing. I want to be healthy and I want to do good. I am always looking for new things for me and Ben to do and I am extremely goal oriented. So with all that said, it would seem that some races would be the silver bullet to this combo. It makes all the sense in the world...except that I have a sorted history with running (dating back to my cross country days in high school that I won't burden you with:)) But, I have finally decided to sign up for a race in the next couple months. The plan is to start small (read: 5k, 7k) and go from there...anyone want to join in?! Click here for the Washington Life piece on races coming up in the District.

oh new york.

So much change but then so much stays the same. Look at these great photos of New York from the LIFE magazine archives, Love Letter to New York: Classic Life Photos. I am headed up to NYC at the end of March for a wedding/to see friends and can't wait!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I love stories of courage, and camaraderie, sports, and comebacks. This NPR story, When There's More to Winning Than Winning, is all of that.

get animated.

Ben and I went to see the Oscar nominated short animated films on Sunday. We went to the Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor. The theater itself is gorgeous and old. And to top it off, they had a live organist in the actual theater to entertain before the previews!

The short films were good. In fairness, I have to put out there that I am not big on animation. But, there were a couple great pieces, including the two below. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is such a sweet story, especially for the book-lovers out there. It is a little long, but worth the watch. And Pixar put out a sweet film, La Luna. It is all about shooting stars!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

fabric magic.

This easy DIY project over on Blue Eyed Yonder explains how to turn fabric into an a paper-like texture. It caught my eye this morning. I have loads of gorgeous fabric that I brought back from Africa and am yet to do anything with. This might just turn into a project...I am even thinking I could use this idea for shelf liner in my cabinets. Thoughts?!

Monday, February 20, 2012

pillowed out.

Back in the District and new pillows were waiting. I bought two pillows off of Etsy last week. This was a Christmas present from my Mom since I needed some color in the apartment. These pillows turned out great. I was admittedly a little worried about buying them off of Etsy, but the material is really thick and soft and they are made perfectly to size. For anyone looking, I got this pink/coral designed pillow along with another (not shown) for my bed from PillowFlightPDX. Good stuff!

donut glory.

Yesterday, Ben introduced me to quite possibly the best donuts I have ever had. I don't say these words casually and take donuts very seriously. Yes, there is a chance that I was so hungry and Ben had talked them up for three straight days that the results are a bit skewed. Or, perhaps they were unusually amazing this past Sunday, but I don't think so. They were...oh man...I can't even put words to it...just so damn good!
The Washtenaw Dairy doesn't even know the goldmine it is sitting on. Get this, they charge 60 cents for these glorious samples of happiness. The store is on a random corner in a residential area of Ann Arbor and the store front is totally nondescript. I cannot urge you enough to!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

biercamp & artisan meats.

I'm in Ann Arbor for the weekend, and besides celebrating our birthdays and making time for Michigan sports, yesterday we stopped in at Biercamp for lunch. Ben had spotted it a couple months ago and suggested we give it a try. It is a small roadside stop and would have taken me many drive-bys before I ever noticed it. But, once you open the door, the smell is intoxicating! We got the pulled pork sandwich and the steamship round and ate all of both of them. So, the next time you are in Ann Arbor, we recommend it for a quick lunch. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

to celebrate.

I have been waiting to write this post for so long, so I am happy the day has arrived! Yesterday was Ben's birthday and I finally got to give him his birthday present. I had bought it months ago and it took all my self-control not to just tell him what it was. Drumroll please.....

Outstanding in the Field
Ben and I have had our eye on doing Outstanding in the Field for a couple years now, and his present this year will be a meal to remember! For those who don't know about it, Outstanding in the Field organizes dinners all over the country (and now the world!), in some of the most gorgeous settings you can imagine. They set up long tables on farms, in caves, along the coast, ranches, islands, and on. The pictures tell the story.
The food and meal is locally sourced and dinner is prepared by a celebrated chef in the region. Everyone shares the table. The farmers, producers, chef, culinary enthusiasts, and diners. It just seemed like the perfect gift for Ben. No better way to celebrate him then with some of his favorites - fine food, a beautiful place, culinary enthusiasts, and a story to tell!

music fix.

This Mumford & Sons video makes me want to go dance and sing at their concert right now! Ben and I were just talking the other day about how we haven't been to a concert in so long. We are redoubling our efforts to get to some shows this summer and next fall. In our early days of dating (so long ago!), we went to some great shows in NY. Amazing what can music can do! Anyway...if you need a boost of energy this is sure to get you going!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

a capella + love note.

Happy V-Day! A capella music is so sweet. It always make me happy. Ben sent me a singing telegram this year from the Michigan Law School Headnotes. They left a singing message for me on my voicemail.  How sweet is that?! So in that spirit, look at this site, LoveNotes, by the Yale a capella group.
You can send a singing telegram by email. Of course...Valentines shouldn't be the only day you send love letters and tell people how much you love them, so what a great email to send any day of the year!

dc pilgrimage.

My brother and I stopped into the National Gallery of Art for a very brief visit over the weekend. We didn't linger long...but long enough to find out that the Annie Leibovitz "Pilgrimage" exhibit that I posted about a couple weeks ago, was on showcase. It was even better in person! I loved it. The photos are so crisp and the narratives are fascinating. If you are in DC, I highly recommend it, and the exhibition will go until May 20th, click here for details.
(Apparently, you aren't allowed to take photos. Didn't know this until I was made aware...but I took two before that happened!)

Monday, February 13, 2012

sad indeed.

I danced to Whitney hours on end as a little girl. I just loved her.

Watching all of the videos and tributes to her do no full justice to that voice and her charisma, but the NYTimes time-line, Milestones: Whitney Houston, has compiled so much of her life, it almost comes close.

giving it.

Here are a couple quick ideas for a small housewarming or host gift....

I love this wine coaster. What a great gift to bring with a nice bottle of wine!
Glass Wine Coaster - $12
Some classic tea towels. The Timothy Paul store here in DC has great thick, linen kitchen towels that I just love as a gift. These below are from Etsy
Pair of Kitchen Linen Cotton Towels 
I bought 3 of these containers two years ago when Ben and I stopped into Fish's Eddy in New York. I love them. They hold up well and are so affordable. Would be a great gift to fill four or five of these containers with some treats and ribbon them up.
Storage Bowl - Red Wheat-flower
Slate cheese boards are all the rage these days and a great gift. Bring a really good cheese, and save yourself the card, you can just write a couple words of thanks right on the slate! 
Brooklyn Slate Cheese Board