Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Have you all heard about this story of Joshua Bell on the DC metro?  (FYI, this is from 2007 but still fascinating!). Bell was a onetime child prodigy and is a grammy award-winning violinist. Bell is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso and he has filled Boston's Symphony Hall, won the Avery Fisher Prize and the list of accomplishments goes on. Anyways, in 2007, Bell in coordination with the Washington Post, went incognito at the L'Enfant Plaza metro stop and played for 45 minutes on his $3.5 million dollar Gibson ex Huberman violin that was handcrafted in 1713 by Antonio Stradivari during the Italian master's "golden period". He played Bach's "Chaconne" which is apparently considered one of the most difficult violin pieces to master and which he had also just performed in concert to a standing room only crowd. 

This was all for an experiment, as the WashPost said, an "experiment in context, perception and priorities". Well, in the 45 minutes that Bell played, 7 people stopped. He made $32 total and over a 1,000 people rushed by without a pause. Amazing! There is a full write up and video of it here on the Washington Post and NPR also did a story on it here that you can listen to. 

So, there you have it! Remember to stop and listen to the good music on the street and in the metro!

Monday, October 29, 2012


So, I was over at Nasim's house on Saturday night with Alison, Emily, and Roy and Emily started talking about "FOMO".  I had never heard of it. It is a syndrome called the "fear of missing out".  For instance, someone who is at one dinner party but can't stop thinking about what they are missing at another party they were invited to across town. It is that person that goes to literally everything they are invited to because they have FOMO! 
Tonight, I decided just to google it and the amount of coverage on it is unbelievable. A NYTimes article here talks about how social media is breeding FOMO. Or this ABC story on being a slave to FOMO. Apparently, this is a new syndrome and it is being provoked and brought about by the likes of Facebook and Twitter. 

Interesting reading if say, you're caught in a rain storm and can't leave the house...

swimmers itch.

The streets are flooding and water is the only connection to this random posting. I love this swimsuit...raise your hand if you can't wait for summer again!

sandy time.

It has been a very productive day over here on N Street today thanks to Sandy. Of course, the storm has really only begun and I will be the first to admit that maybe I should have stocked up with some provisions but I think folks might have gone a touch crazy in the grocery store yesterday. I do regret not buying milk though! Anyway, I started the day by reading the latest Anthology issue (thank you again Hannah!).

This issue was called Rhythm & Hues and one of the stories made mention of The Silver Seas. So, I downloaded some of their music and have had this one on repeat throughout the day.

Around 9ish I started baking. I started with some chocolate chip cookies. After that, I made two loaves of banana bread (click here for the recipe from a post before - so good!).

Once the bread was done, I started in on a pumpkin pie. I wanted to test this recipe from Bon Appetit for Thanksgiving. I haven't tried it yet but it looks good and smells so good!

And finally, I finished up with some brownies. Here is the full production!

Am I scared about being bunkered into my apartment for a potential two full days with sugared carbs? Nope. After this picture, they were all promptly packaged and stored...hopefully they survive to Wednesday!

I also watched the latest episode of Homeland (thank you again Jordan + Hannah!).

I am about to get some reading done and catch up on paperwork. If the power goes out and there is still light I plan on making the most of this nail polish with an at home manicure. One of the few things I did grab in CVS yesterday.

I will say. While I might have forgotten milk and should have planned more for subsequent meals, the smartest thing I did do was buy this bunch of flowers! With a huge storm outside and everything is grey, this splash of color is really nice right now!

Hope everyone is safe and dry!


Argo! Have you all seen it? It is so good. So good that I need a massage because it was so intense and living every minute of it. You should definitely go see it if you haven't already...

Friday, October 26, 2012

love story.

Ben sent me this piece from the New York Times, After Years of Silence, a Voice Restored. It is really a very sweet read. You should read it if you have time this weekend...

It also made me think about the question of whether it is a good thing if you change in a relationship. I know everyone's mother tells them not to try to change someone in a relationship. But in reality, it seems like we all do. I think women particularly struggle with this. I get so frustrated by my girlfriends who start dating someone new and suddenly fall in love with kayaking and Modest Mouse because he likes them. But at the same time, I know I have been there and done this in the past. And, I know being with Ben has changed me some and I hope I change him some too. Maybe it is finding that delicate balance of being changed but not too much. Or maybe it is what Howey is talking about in this piece when she says, "all I did was unlock a door that desperately needed unlocking", and it isn't really change but as we would all say, "bringing out the best" in the other person.  

What do you all think?

the pickings.

Some picks from around the internet for your Friday enjoyment!



Check out this new place opening on 9th and U called PhilanthroPub. Alison told me about it last night at dinner and apparently they donate all of their profits to other organizations. And click here to listen to NPR story on it earlier this week...

Thursday, October 25, 2012


CrossFit. Who's done it? A number of people in my life are now doing it and swear by it. Scott started it when he got back from Peacecorp and Melissa's husband, Patrick, has been talking about it since last year. But, I can't decide! I am intrigued and since I am slow to new trends and take my time getting around to these kinds of things, I am trying to get myself on this train sooner rather than later!  And in fact, since they have a gym in both Dupont and Logan Circle, I really have no excuse. Oh yeah, and they offer a free first class. What do you all think? I don't like the throwing tires around and lifting but I would love to do something to build some more strength....


I love Patagonia so much. It is the Colorado in me. And right about now every year is when I really start wanting a new fleece. I still wear my Patagonia fleece from 8th grade. Love it but it is not insulating the way it used to. Patagonia also makes me want dry air and mountains. I do miss Colorado at times...

close call.

I am so close to buying this Ninja Master Prep Professional Blender. I have been talking about getting a blender for months and I really do love smoothies and want to make them regularly. There are just so many blender options out there that I don't know how to make the decision. Does anyone have recommendations? I read about this one in Consumer Reports at the airport last weekend and they recommended it as a cheap alternative to a Vitamix. Tough call...help!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

lit up.

Love love this idea! Obviously, it all depends on the washi tape you choose to use, but you can check out the details on how to do it by clicking here.

wrapped up.

A couple years ago I made my own wrapping paper. I can't say it was a huge success, but I am thinking of revisiting the endeavor next month. These snaps have gotten me thinking and it will save money as well!

the gents.

For all the gentlemen out there, take a look at this great site, Stag Provisions for Men. Here are some of my favorites I would love to gift along...

Monday, October 22, 2012

rock paper scissors.

Ben took me by this new store in Ann Arbor, Rock Paper Scissors.

Great store and I loved these bags they were selling, I think I am going to try and make my own for gifts.

And I absolutely adore this framed Michigan alphabet. I just want someone who is a big Michigan person to get pregnant so we can give this as a baby gift!

go blue.

This was a big weekend for Ben and me. We have passed through a lot of the relationship-dating milestones but one has been lingering and the point of this weekend was to get beyond it...I was finally going to see my first game in the Big House, and against Michigan State no less!

We set the weekend up perfectly. I got in late Friday night after work and started our Saturday morning early. First, we swung by Washtenaw Dairy for donuts (see here for a previous post to understand the glory of these donuts). Yes, they had game day sprinkles and if I had the time, I would just sit in there for hours. The Washtenaw Dairy is a moment in time and it might be my favorite place in Ann Arbor. 
We went and got coffee to eat with our donuts and then we wandered over to Chase Bank to open a joint savings account. One would think this would have been the relationship milestone in our weekend, but this was a sideshow to the big game!

We made a pit-stop in the M-Den to gear up and then got ourselves over to tailgate at Aaron and Brittany's place with Emmy, Charlie and a bunch of others. It was a gorgeous day...the perfect fall wet-nose cold!

And, there were fantastic Coney Island dogs for the taking...

Ben wanted to show me the Golf Course where thousands of people tailgate every game. So, we walked over there with Emmy in a rush before kick-off. I also took a lot of pictures of the leaves...
Pictures of my first Big House experience with Ben stop at this point. In a long story made short with some details left out, all you need to know is that the Michigan State Troopers are very serious about the spelling of your middle name on your student ID at Gate 2. We do not recommend trying to enter the Big House on that side of the stadium. Yes, I was escorted out of the stadium. On the upside, putting my driver's license down my pants when he wasn't looking turned out to be a good call since he couldn't give me a ticket. Didn't win the war but won that battle, eh?!

We sulked a little as any close couple would. We eventually regrouped and headed for the only possible comfort we could think of at Mani. We ate some of our depression away with pizza and beer. It did not help when Michigan won with a field goal at the end of the 4th...but we won't talk of that any longer. 

The weekend, despite this major (and I do mean major) disappointment, turned out to be great. Sunday morning we grabbed donuts again and then walked over to this beautiful spot that Ben had picked out and drank our coffee, listened to the water, ate our donuts, and sat in the morning sun. 
I had to catch a plane back to DC in the afternoon, so the weekend was short but very sweet.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

spa butterfly.

Speaking of passing on the love, here is my big give today, and I promise you won't go wrong. Let me first give you some context.

During the 2008 campaign, I worked in the GrayBar building attached to Grand Central. There were many days when the only time I got outside was the one block I walked to and from my apartment and the subway. Because the GrayBar is attached to Grand Central, I would go straight into the office and wouldn't get out of work until 11 or 12 at night. But, once a week for 40 minutes, I would escape outside and across the street to Spa Butterfly.

Spa Butterfly is hands down, no question, absolutely the best manicure I have ever gotten. In my life.  More specifically, Shirley, is your go-to woman. I love Shirley. To this day when I go to New York for a visit, I head uptown to Spa Butterfly and Shirley greets me. We talk about her son, about her mother and family in China, and of course we talk about the crazy ultra-rich east side women that come in to get their nails done.

Spa Butterfly is big inside. Really nicely designed. Quiet but busy. All the staff in there are great (Shirley is obviously the best though). Yes, the manicure and pedicure is a touch more expensive, but every bit of it is worth it. Spa Butterfly is on my mind because Emily was in NYC this week and she went and loved it. See! I am telling you.

So, there you go. The next time you are in NYC, do yourself a favor and head up there. I recommend during the day when it isn't as busy. But, you can always make an appointment. And if you go, ask for Shirley and tell her I say hi! 

cable time.

I have a couple guardian angels. And by that I mean, some blessed souls yesterday sent me their Comcast log-in so I could watch the HBO Ethel documentary piece! You can't imagine my pure happiness from this gift of love and thoughtfulness. Unfortunately, I cannot give all of you their log-in and password, but I will give you my review on Ethel. It is so worth the watch!

And to the kind givers of HBO access, I hope this is returned ten fold in good karma to you, I promise to pay forward the kindness, to not abuse the access, and to return your love in the soonest possible moment that I can. 

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

moses the elephant.

Oh my word. If ever you need a pick-me up, you should just bookmark this link in the Washington Post about Moses, an orphaned elephant who was rescued and is now being raised by Jenny Webb. These pictures are just the sweetest thing...take a look and visit the above site for more!

run on.

Just found out about this great site for running music, runningplaylist.net.

The site posts new playlists and even songs of the week for your running list. So, even if you aren't a runner or don't work out to music, it is a constant source for some upbeat music to get your heart pumping! Here is a sample playlist below...