Thursday, September 27, 2012

New York, 2012

Guess what? There are people that you can spend every single second of seven days with, waking and sleeping, in a studio apartment with a single bathroom and you won't want to kill each other at the end. In fact, you will feel a little teary eyed at the airport and never want to leave. I find this hugely life affirming.

beer garden
{brooklyn beer garden}
basement books
{book basement at manetamed}
paletas on the highline
{paletas on the highline}
rach and beth on the highline
{prickly pear paleta}
stationary taco truck
{taco truck at fonda nolita}
{really good jamaica (not sweet!) from fonda nolita}
goldsworthy at storm king
{goldsworthy at storm king art center}
poppy's in beacon, ny
{poppy's in beacon - i will be eternally devoted to the yelp app}
glass + sugar, storm king
{glass stained with caramelized sugar at storm king art center}
Cloud City (from D)
{Cloud City - photo of us ladies through the installation taken sneakily on D's phone, don't tell the Met!}
the penrose
{a very long happy hour at the penrose}
pickle martini
{pickle martinis!}
mard, in nyc
{dear friends}

We haven't had a full week of vacation in a while and it was amazing. We ate enough food for a month, we walked for hours, we managed to not hear a single snippet of news the whole time and we were so out of touch it was blissful.

It does, however, make it kind of difficult to go back to work and regular life. I miss my people. I'm convinced we were meant to live a life of leisure together and I'd like to know if the vast fortune that would enable us to do so was misdelivered. Universe, please look into this.

The point of our trip was to be together, but we managed to fit in a lot of activity on the side, including renting a car and making a day trip up to the Catskills for some museum-going. D drove in Manhattan, I managed not to cover my eyes the entire time and no one died. We also really wanted to make it to the Whitney for the Yayoi Kusama exhibit but were defeated by the line snaking around the block. This gave me the perfect opening to slip in a trip to the Natural History Museum, which I'd never been to before. I may run with a crowd of art lovers, but a few dioramas can be the perfect palate cleanser.

We wrapped up our trip with a missed flight. My first ever. We showed up at Newark just in time to board only to realize that our flight was leaving from JFK. So romantic comedy-esque! I considered divorcing Dustin, but couldn't convince myself that it was really his fault, seeing as we both had copies of the itinerary. One very expensive cab ride later, we made it on another flight on standby and boarded just in time to sit on the runway for 1.5 hours. I'm about 90% sure that all this was a sign that we're supposed to stay in New York forever.

A partial list of notables:
The Met (always)
The New Museum
The Natural History Museum
Running in Central Park (I always bring my running shoes on vacation and then sleep in instead. This time we slept in AND went running, which is clearly the solution, even though it meant our days started at noon)
Momofuku Noodle Bar and Momofuku Milk Bar IN ONE NIGHT(I may never recover)
Lots of pizza
Chinese take out
Brooklyn Flea followed by Brooklyn drinking and rambling
Mai tais and painkillers at PKNY (thank you, kidchamp)
Pickle martinis at The Penrose
Shake Shack (where I perversely ordered a hot dog)
Monument Lane in the West Village
Not-particularly-Cambodian but very delicious sandwiches at Num Pang
Tacos worth eating in NYC! (as a snobby southern californian, this was mind blowing. I've never before bothered trying to get mexican food on the east coast, but Fonda Nolita KILLS IT)
Paletas on the highline (I know how much it annoys people, but we walked the whole thing and it was awesome)
A new haircut for D at MANETAMED (caps theirs, not mine, but it deserves enthusiasm)
Window shopping in Nolita
Cafe con leche from Cafe Habana (twice)

And outside of the city: (If you opt for a rental car, I recommend going in this order and taking Google maps route 2 on the way home. The 9S was gorgeous)

Storm King Art Center
Poppy's (in Beacon) - such good burgers
Dia: Beacon

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A tiny bite of Seattle

epic ales
{epic ales}

the ace, seattle
{the ace, seattle}

the ace, seattle
{the ace}

{pastry - rhubarb + cream}

turkish delight
{turkish delight}

turkish delight!
{turkish delight!)

pike brewing co
{pike brewing co}

ace seattle
{ace breakfast}

We just got back from a one week vacation that started with less than 24 hours in Seattle. We had a strange itinerary because we were using airline miles, and we decided an overnight stay was better than a long layover. We quickly realized that Seattle has more than enough food and bars for a single night but we tried to do it justice. The weather was ridiculously good and we wandered around for hours, tasting as much as possible.

Of note -

The light rail was perfect for getting from the airport to downtown and then taking us back to SoDo to explore some breweries. Day passes were cheap and the trains run often.

Epic Ales is a tiny little brewery and they were pouring an amazing tart cherry beer that I would have loved to smuggle home in my suitcase. Currently it's just one room tacked onto the back of an old building, but they're planning to open a gastropub in the coming year. I'd come back just for that.

Just outside of Pike's Place Market we spotted tons of people with yellow bags and I doggedly followed the source until I found a Russian bakery and picked out a rhubarb and cream pastry. Jackpot.

You would think I'd be sugared out at that point but when I saw a sign advertising homemade Turkish delight the C.S. Lewis lover in me couldn't resist. I had the lemon and the raspberry and it was fresh and miles better than the tinned versions I've tried, but I'm still not sure it's worth betraying your entire family.

We had an amazing dinner at Rocco's, which had apparently just opened. No pictures, but the pizza was to die for and the drinks were excellent. We probably would have ordered the I Feel Like A Golden Girl just for the name, but it lived up to our expectations.

I've never stayed at an Ace hotel before and I'd read mixed reviews, but it was perfect. The shared bathrooms (um, I didn't realize they were shared when I booked it, but I shouldn't have been surprised given the price of the room) were never full, our room was tiny but comfortable and the front desk guy was happy to check us in early.

We woke up super early and ran over to watch the sunrise over the sculpture park and then checked out just in time for breakfast. The cheapskate in me LOVES a free breakfast and it hurts my heart to miss out, even if it means I have to eat at 6:30 am and take my coffee to go. So worth it.

And then we were on to New York!

Friday, September 14, 2012


No amount of exclamation points can really liven up a post about freezer organization, but I'll try!

Basically, our freezer has been a perpetual mess which for some reason doesn't bother me. Messy fridges drive me nuts but I can ignore a messy freezer even as an avalanche of ice cubes and frozen naan spills out every time I open the door. D is the opposite, apparently. So now we have this.


This is hardly a novel solution, but a few plastic organizing boxes and trays really did the trick. We put the lesser used items in the lidded boxes and tried to make sure that we leave a bit of space open at all times for rotating stuff. The open box on the very top has our daily stuff (two kinds of coffee, bag of ice cubes).

I actually think this reduces the amount of stuff we can get in the freezer, but I can adapt to that. It reminds me to use up all the stuff I toss in there.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Basil ice cream from Sweet Rose Creamery.

basil ice cream
{basil ice cream}

I needed ice cream to go with a fairly sweet berry cobbler and I was tired of vanilla. This was perfection. I'll have to try to track down a recipe to make it on my own because the line at the store is ridiculous almost all of the time.

sweet rose creamery - basil
{sweet rose creamery - basil}

The lavender honey flavor was also a contender. I normally steer clear of floral accents in food (makes me feel like I'm eating potpurri), but theirs is subtle and amazing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Minor wedding rambles

After a year, the wedding really starts to recede in the distance. The edges get fuzzy in the best possible way. The parts that matter still matter (having dear friends fly out to be part of our ceremony, getting the sweetest notes and well wishes and hugs, the feeling of that weekend) but the other parts stop seeming so important.

I don't want to go on and on about this because it inflates these issues and honestly, I'm over them. But I'm throwing this out there just in case any of it applies to anyone who is in the throes of planning. This is looong but I decided it was better than inundating you with tiny posts all week and forcing some of you to be annoyed for multiple days.

Almost every little niggling thing that bothered me on the wedding day can be summed up this way: Not trusting my gut. No one's fault but my own. If you know yourself pretty well, and something feels right to you, do it. Please.

+ I wish I hadn't bothered hiding before the ceremony. We had our "cocktail hour" before the wedding. We opened the bar at 6 pm so that guests could trickle in until 6:45 pm and find their seats before the ceremony. So civilized.

I originally wanted to be out mingling, but I let myself be convinced by everyone that it would be super anti-climatic if people saw the bride before the ceremony. I started to doubt myself. So I hid in a back room and waited, anxiously. I wasn't alone, of course, but I could not relax. Just like I knew I wouldn't. I am not patient. I despise waiting.

I think I would have been calmer, I would have enjoyed the chance to have a little extra time talking to guests and I still think that people would have been excited when I entered the ceremony even if they *gasp* had already seen what I was wearing. I mean, they already knew what I looked like. Hopefully.

+ First looks are a personal preference, not a revelation. The first look didn't do anything special for me or D. I kind of knew that would be the case. I was very glad to get a hug, but it wasn't a life changer and it would have been logistically simpler just to catch a ride over to the venue together. Some people love theirs, so maybe we're cold hearted creatures.

+ I'm sad we didn't have video, but I'm mostly over it. There was no way we could have worked it into the budget so it wasn't really a decision.

+ I'm so glad we splurged on a DJ and a photobooth. We considered tackling each one as a DIY and neither would have been nearly so successful for us and the cost wasn't that crazy. The photobooth made me so happy. We micromanaged the non-dance music in a big way, but our DJ* was wonderful and totally on board and we let him have free rein of the dance portion of the evening which made our lives much simpler.

+ Our wedding planners** were a necessity, given the nature of our wedding (short set up and tear down window, bringing EVERYTHING into the venue ourselves). I couldn't have done it without them.

+ People are exactly who they always are, even at a wedding. We have a portion of the family that is chronically late (it's a cultural thing, not a rudeness thing) and I originally sat them where it would have been easy to slip in quietly. Then we worried that they might notice they were over at the edge and we put them in prominent seats on one side of the aisle. As expected, they were late enough to miss the entire ceremony and it was kind of a bummer to see the empty seats on half of our aisle. Not a big deal, but it would have been easy to avoid.

+ I love our posed family photos and I wish we'd gotten a few more. I kept the list as small as possible because we have a huge family and I wasn't sure how long it would take, but with a very detailed and organized list we knocked it out really quickly and could have had more taken. We honestly only took the family portraits because we knew our parents would want them, but they're some of my favorites from the day.

+ I wish I had done a better job figuring out the serving part of the dessert buffet, but it took up all of 15 minutes of the evening, so whatever. I was really glad we had take out boxes and none of the cake went to waste. I was sad that we didn't pack even more cake for ourselves because I definitely would have eaten it for a week.

+ Annnnnd ... the one that counts - I wish I had asked our wedding planners to order a stack of pizzas once I realized the food service was going to be super slow. It wouldn't have been classy and it probably wasn't necessary, but I do think it might have made me relax a little faster. I couldn't really calm down until I saw that everyone had a chance to eat. The food is the ONLY thing that still bothers me a year later.

If you guys have any questions or deep planning thoughts, leave it in the comments and I'll try not to talk your ear off. I could have written enormous novels on how we went about selecting music, making the invitations, organizing seating, etc. I just hate to overwhelm the blog with something that was a (highly emotional) blip in our lives.

* Brady of PropsFX here in Southern California, who was so sweet and enthusiastic and happy to work with our very eclectic mix of music. I can't recommend him enough. Also, super affordable.

** Angel, Anna and Michelle from Events of Love and Splendor. Angel went to college with one of my dear friends, and she and her team were wonderful.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The weekend before last, briefly





jade forest
{jade forest}

circe playing dead
{circe playing dead}

sorting pennies
{sorting pennies}

wet paws
{wet paws}

:: notes :: 

We dogsat Circe again and it went much more smoothly this time, except that now I think she's confused about which home she prefers. I'd have tried to dognap her, except that I think my parents would notice and we also live in a no pets building. Minor issues.

I never go to the annual street fair in Orange anymore because I can't handle the crowds. But our beloved mechanic happens to be right down the street (yep, we drive 45 minutes to get to our mechanic because I've been going to him since I was 16 and I don't want to find a new one) and I snuck in for a quick order of loukamades. It was only 10 am, but since they're basically Greek donuts, I decided they counted as breakfast. They are fluffy little balls of dough, deep fried and then steeped in honey and cinnamon and they're heavenly.

We spent a lot of time at homebound with Circe, and managed to clean out two closets, wrangle our garden and roll all our loose coins. Thrilling! I adore that dog, but she is not always a considerate house guest. She basically bathes in her water dish and takes great joy in sloshing waves across the floor. Mere kitchen towels barely stem the flood.

I haven't been taking many photos lately because we've been doing lots of this type of thing, either at our own apartment or at our parents' houses. And it isn't even that decluttering and brutal yardwork is never picturesque, it's just that when my arms are occupied hauling loads of stuff around I don't exactly have a free hand for the camera. There hasn't been much cooking either. I get home and just can't work up any enthusiasm for getting  in the kitchen and then we scavenge or eat out way more often than usual. I'm not (particularly) stressed about it, but I am resolving to come up with a new, simpler meal planning strategy this week so that I can be a bit brainless for a while. Let's not even talk about crafting. There is none of that right now.

None of this is to say that there haven't been a lot of great moments around here. We've had a couple of fantastic long dinners with friends. I got D to go on a run with me so I could explore a river trail that always looked slightly too sketchy to do alone (as it turns out, it only has one marginally sketchy stretch!). There was a lot of Circe cuddling. We've had plenty of basil-mint mojitos and rattlers. I think we've done a petty good job of making the most of this summer, all things considered.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Year one

9-10-11 ceremony
{9-10-11 ceremony}

I'm still not used to saying "husband" but I can say that I love being married to this guy.

I meant to get my dress hemmed up so I could wear it on our anniversary. Totally did not happen. Next year?

I have a few wedding related bits floating around in my head, reflections on the process now that we're a year out. Don't worry - nothing too long, and it won't be a photo extravaganza or a mush fest. If I were more organized, I'd have gotten this whole week scheduled and set up. I didn't, so I'll see what happens. For those of you who are done with weddings, tomorrow will be weekend photos, featuring Circe.


Whenever I see a post where people are stressing about social media at their wedding, I think of this photo. I love it. 

You can always click on the "wedding" tag to see more posts about all things wedding related. And over on 100 Layer Cake you can see our wedding post, read more about our logistics, and see tutorials for the dip dyed napkins and streamer backdrops.