Tuesday, April 30, 2013

landscaping.

We have a lot of ideas and projects for the house come move-in. Naturally, as we have started to prioritize and budget, the reality of the "money-pit club" (as one of Ben's family friends aptly named it) has come into sharp focus. Most notably, the backyard. Here is our beauty of a space. We are very excited about grilling and spending quality time out back and we really want to be able to have friends over and entertain.
We would love to get to work on the backyard right away but yikes, landscaping is expensive. We are open to doing it ourselves, but yeah, landscaping also takes some skills that we don't have! This project has definitely been pushed off for a bit and in fairness, we can make do with what we have for the time being and we will have a lot going on this summer anyway.

With that said, we have lots of ideas. We are working with a small space but there is a lot of potential! Topping the wish list would be patio area with a table, some raised beds and maybe even a corner for a firepit. For inspiration and ideas, we have been collecting photos just to get a sense of look and materials. Here are some examples:

And today, Ben found this, which we both love love love! Great for the size of our yard.

In the meantime and until we get to the big project, we are looking forward to buying some great outdoor lights and a grill!

to ebay.

Have you all bought things on Ebay? I am very late to this party. About 6 years in fact. Nevertheless, better late than never, right? Alison showed me a great bag she got on Ebay a couple weeks ago for $20. And then over the weekend, I was complaining a lot about my bag and shoe situation. So much so that Alison described it as an existential crisis. So, I decided to amend the situation and went home and got myself and started the hunt. The thrill of the auction is great, almost addictive...be careful! Really though, Ebay has everything. Its amazing, why ever buy full price in a store?! 

Here is the Cole Haan bag I snagged. I have been in desperate need of a new purse for work.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

glenstone.

Nasim just made a reservation to go visit the Glenstone property in May and while I can't join, I wish I could and I can't wait to go maybe later this summer. Glenstone is out in Maryland and has an incredible art collection and obviously beautiful grounds. You have to make a reservation pretty far out in advance, but Ben and I are going to make a date of it at some point and head to check it out!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

bowling.

My favorite part about our kitchen to-be is the shelving that the previous owner built. It is hard to get a feel for how well he worked with the space and how nice the wood is throughout, but he put in two great pieces on the walls in the kitchen. Come fall, I am going to tackle the cabinets (we are thinking white as of now to lighten it up) and we are also painting throughout as soon as we move in in June. But in addition to that, I am border-line obsessed with this very minor detail: bowls on the shelves. Ben and I are in negotiations over how much shelf realestate will be dedicated to it but I have already laid claim to the narrow, long shelving between the door and the windows. What the hell, I'll give you a picture with big red arrows to help with the visual...

This isn't the best picture but it gives you an idea. I am determined to make use of this shelfing area with colorful bowls. As I have mentioned before, I am infatuated with Jenny Komenda's blog and work over on Little Green Notebook. About six months ago, she posted some pictures of her kitchen that she has been rehabbing. This was well before we ever saw our house but the shelves with bowls exposed in her kitchen stuck. Here it is...I love it!
And then last week on pinterest, I saw this too.
Basically, pinterest, Jenny Komenda and the universe are all telling me and Ben that we have to use those shelves for colorful bowls. Don't you agree?! 

long gone.

My next read is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Have you read it? I have been waiting to read it for a couple months and finally just decided to treat myself and bought it last week. I plan on carving out a couple good hours this weekend just for diving in to it....

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

spy game.

I was totally captivated reading this piece from The Washington Post Magazine, Ana Montes did much harm spying for Cuba. Chances are, you haven't heard of her. You should read it! It is all about her spy game and capture.

Monday, April 22, 2013

bag(h)ed.

Scott has been in Iraq for almost 5 months now and he is headed to Baghdad this week. Travel safe and then report back with stories and details!

rainy day.

Big news for all of you in NY. The 'Rain Room' is coming to MOMA next month! I am so jealous. It was in London last year and it is really cool, you have to go and report back. You can walk through these rooms of rain but never get wet. The sensors are such that the water stops as you walk through but you can be standing in the middle of the room with water pouring down. Tell me you aren't intrigued!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

genesis.

SebastiĆ£o Salgado's body of work is stunning and awe-inspiring. He has won countless awards for his photographs and photo journalism and his many books have been recognized around the world. For those who aren't familiar with him, start by looking at photographs from Workers. Jordan turned me on to his work years ago and ever since I have coveted his books. 

All this is to get to the point that Salgado has a new book, Genesis, coming out. The New York Times included an opinion on it in today's paper, In Love With My Planet and there is accompanying slideshow with a sneak peak.  

I think you'll like it - go check it out!

a century.

Yesterday was Grandpolly's 100th Birthday! 100. A complete century. Incredible.

In full disclosure, Grandpolly didn't really know it was her birthday yesterday. Over the last two years, she has disappeared as her heart and brain are failing her. But my Mom and Aunt, three cousins and others were there to celebrate her. She had chocolate ice cream and my Aunt arranged for a 5th grade class to make a 100 year timeline of things that had happened in her life.

Grandpolly is a remarkable woman. She is also the certain matriarch in our family. Today, I was thinking about the small things I love about her. I love her hands. Her fingers are just a little bent from arthritis and she has the most beautiful long fingers that I always watched as she patted her napkin when she told a story. I love the slight gap in her front teeth. I love her giggle, especially since she is not one to laugh easily. I love the color of her light blue eyes. I love how even after she lost much of her vision, she would feel the door lock with her fingers to unlock it. I love watching her swim to pansy point every morning in Walloon. Most of all, I love a good backgammon game with her.

I love you Grandpolly, all 100 years of you.

subscribed.

*Note - I guess the bus internet wasn't as reliable as I thought. So this is going up a day late!

Happy Weekend! I am en route with Em up to NYC for a quick jaunt up north. Kate and Doug's engagement party is tonight and it looks to be a beautiful weekend in the city. And to top it off, Em brought magazines and catalogue galore with her...she has hands-down the best magazine/catalogue selection in the District!

Friday, April 19, 2013

newseum jfk.

I am unabashedly all about the years of Camelot (see here and here for a couple examples). So, when Valery mentioned this exhibit at the Newseum, JFK, a couple weeks ago, imagine my excitement. I can't believe I forgot to post it. Anyway, it is a collection of photographs and I can't wait to go see it!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

d-town.

I am always keeping lists of restaurants and places I want to try on my iphone. And I always have my eye out for restaurants in Denver. It is part curiosity and also to have options whenever I am home. Well. Well. Well. There is some great stuff happening D-town and here are some of the latest places I can't wait to try the next time I head west...

  • Uncle. It looks good and indeed it was recently named the best new restaurant in Denver. Ramen seems to be taking this country by storm and by god, the pictures speak for themselves in this case. 


  • Denver Biscuit Company. "Big, buttery, flaky biscuits". I think that pretty much sums up, doesn't it? I wish I could taste just about everything on the menu. This might be my first stop next go around!
  • Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen. Down in Larimer Square, this place looks like it has real potential especially if you're headed to Coors Field for a game. 
  • Jelly. This is topping the list for breakfast. It kind of has an old-school diner feel and the fact that buttermilk pancakes is at the top of the menu has to be a good sign, right? 

morning readout.

Not our country's best week. You should read this Op-Ed by Garbielle Giffords, A Senate in the Gun Lobby's Grip.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

no more zara.

No more Zara. Zara has been accused of more sweatshop conditions. This time in Argentina. I say more because a quick google search to read about it brought up years of hits and sweatshop stories in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and I am sure other places. So, in short, don't shop at Zara. There are too many places to buy in our world and there is absolutey no good excuse for buying anything at the store. I'll get off the soap box now, but Zara is off the team and won't ever be back on. Repeated run-ins with sweatshops and abusing workers is unforgivable. Spread the word.

summer screen.

Speaking of the new neighborhood, the NoMa BID posted schedules for upcoming summer events including some outdoor movies and concerts. Very excited for this. It makes me want to go buy a crazy creek and figure out a good cheese to pair with our wine in paper cups!

lock & key.

It's official! We are homeowners as of yesterday. Ben and I are so excited and I have to say, I wasn't expecting the flood of relief. Apparently, I have been more stressed about it than I knew and it feels good to finally be on the other side of all the paperwork. 

We won't move in until June (though I may have started packing two weeks ago!) and so now the planning commences. Thanks to everyone for all the support and love!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

weekend dating.

The weekend isn't over and it has already felt long! Ben has been in town and we have been making the most of the spring weather and short visit. On Thursday night we checked out Le Diplomate. We loved it. They have done a spectacular job with the entire concept of the restaurant down to the details on the floor. Everybody in the city seems to already know about it and in fact it felt like half the city was there, so I won't wax on about it, just go try it.

Friday night Ben's buddy, Matty, stayed over with us and yesterday morning we grabbed brunch at the Tabbard Inn. After Matt left, we walked around the neighborhood a little and then went for an afternoon date in Logan Circle. We laid out the blanket. It was beautiful and even a little romantic...
....until my law school boyfriend pulled out his 1st Amendment reading. So, I took a nap in the sun!

We also planned to save Saturday as a date night just for us. Usually when I go to him or he comes to DC for the weekend, we end up packing in as many dinners and meet-ups as possible with friends and date nights don't happen. We agreed that Saturday night would be just us. We rode the bus over to our new neighborhood. We walked by the house and then walked through the neighborhood. We had mapped our route over to Eastern Market area and strolled for about 45 minutes.

Our date spot for the night was Beucherts Saloon. This might be one of our top three favorite new spots in the city. I have had my eye on it for a while and have been wanting to get there and it exceeded all expectations. The bar was great, strong cocktails, great ambiance, fantastic food, and phenomenal service. We loved Nathan running the front (and his bow-tie) and pretty much the entire experience. We can't wait to take Ben's parents, it was just an outstanding meal (braised spring lamb with gnocchi, carrot salad, rutabaga mash, butterhead lettuce) and the perfect date night!

Friday, April 12, 2013

tear inducing.

Wow. You have to take the 45 seconds to a minute to go through these pictures from The Battle We Didn't Choose. Angelo started this project to show day to day life of cancer, and his wife who died of cancer is the focus. Heartbreaking. Oh man. If you aren't crying by the time you get through the photos, click over to the blog, start at the bottom with the first post and just wait for it. Beautiful and so sad all at once.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

factory life.

J.Crew Factory has some good deals going on for any folks out there looking for summer pieces. Here are a couple of my favorites...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

with a cherry on top.

If you know DC you know that there is about a three week window of total bliss and happiness during the spring. Why? Mostly because people know that the onslaught of humidity, mosquitos, and brutal swampy heat is headed our way and so we all run down to the tidal basin to see the Cherry Blossoms during our 20 days of comfortable weather! Yesterday, Shama and Alison and I joined the pilgramage. We braved the slow-walking tourists, Japanese tour groups, and crowds of people angling for that perfect picture and it was worth it. It was beautiful. And now I am ready to sweat it out - bring on the summer dog days!

Monday, April 8, 2013

pure michigan.

If Michigan wins tonight, I lose the office pool. Mind you, the Secretary's pool. I'm one of the last three standing. With that said, Go Blue. Go Blue. Go Blue!!!

retro.

What a great start to the week, take a look at these two folding chairs I found this morning!
Remember this post from last year about my folding chairs project? Well, that has been kicked into high gear. I figure it will be a great option for being able to pull chairs out of the basement and put outside when we have people over. And I am beyond excited about the cool design of these two chairs.

And to top it off, my boyfriend responded immediatly and went into full bargaining action at 9:15 this morning  when I sent him the emergency email to make sure he got these chairs (yes, we are shopping on Ann Arbor Craigslist because we think we can get cooler stuff and better deals). Did he get the chairs? Yes, yes he did. And for $15. #Winning. #BoyfriendoftheWeek.