Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Can I...

...please have everything in this shop?

especially these.


And these.


And definitely this.




Monday, September 27, 2010

My Mighty Life List

Two things you need to know about this list:
1. It's no exactly a "life" list. It's a "before I turn 30" list. I just used this title because...
2. ...I am a thief. The list is more of a combination of ideas from this Mighty Girl post and this post from Making It Lovely. As someone who spends a lot of time on the internet because their job involves a lot of sitting around, I'm able to find sources of inspiration from lots of different places. And these are two of them. I won't lie, some of the things on this list might be...ahem...*borrowed* from Maggie and Nicole.

1. Open a champagne bottle with a knife
2. Ride an elephant through the jungle in Thailand
3. Throw my parents a kick-ass anniversary party
4. Audition for The Amazing Race
5. Learn to ride a motorcycle
6. Go on a camping trip through the mountains on horseback
7. Skydiving
9. Swim with dolphins
10. Learn to sail a boat
11. Own a dog
12. Have hair past my shoulders
13. Taking a cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu
14. Wear red lipstick every day for a month
15. Learn how to sew
16. Make a blanket out of all my old t-shirts from high school
17. Learn to speak French
18. Travel to Japan
19. Have a story published in a magazine
20. Write a novel
21. Write a play and have it produced.
22. See a show on Broadway
23. Live in a foreign country for a year
24. Go whale watching
25. Sing at an open-mic night
26. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
27. Visit a Buddhist temple
28. Learn to play guitar
29. Move out of my parent's house
30. Read 100 books
31. Participate in La Tomatina
32. Learn to drive stickshift.
33. Run a half-marathon
34. Buy handmade (or make) Christmas gifts for everyone on my list.
35. Learn how to change a tire on my own
36. Ride a zip line through a tree canopy
37. See Mt. Rushmore
38. See the Grand Canyon
39. Camp in Yellowstone
40. Host a beautiful, classy dinner party outdoors.
41. Have an adult, big-girl wardrobe
42. Define my own personal "clothing" style
43. Drive a car in a country where they drive on the other side of the road
44. Get headshots taken
45. Spend the night in a haunted castle
46. Visit CS Lewis' home
47. Learn to ride a unicyle
48. Go scuba diving
49. Plant a vegetable garden
50. Grow roses
51. Attend an Alabama/Auburn game
52. Build an igloo
53. See that church made entirely of bones
54. Pay off all my debt
55. Volunteer somewhere different one day per week for a whole year.
56. Go on a road trip with my Dad.
57. Pet a giraffe
58. Ride in a helicopter
59. Swim in hot springs
60. Visit MoMA
61. Stand under a waterfall
62. Travel to Venice
63. Camp in the Badlands
64. Attend a foreign film festival
65. Blow through a conch shell
66. Learn how to ski
67. Watch all three "Godfather" movies
68. Go to Las Vegas for a girl's weekend
69. See Cirque de Soliel
70. Visit the Baseball Hall of Fame
71. Drink raw coconut water from an actual coconut.
72. Read 100 books.
73. See a performance Shakespeare in Central Park
74. Go to The Four Corners and take a picture
75. Walk in a rainforest
76. Go to a hip-hop concert
77. Take the Wrigley Field tour
78. Drink Uzo in Greece
79. Slide down a natural rock water-slide.
80. Have a family photo taken (Mom, Dad, Me, Joey, and Janie).
81. Attend a film premier.
82. Paint a mural
83. Try bamboo pickles.
84. Swing on a trapeze.
85. See the Northern Lights.
86. Read every single Jane Austen book.
87. Take a hot-air balloon ride.
88. Paint a self-portrait.
89. Do the Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues
90. Play in a poker tournament.
91. Put my leg behind my head.
92. Have an outfit custom made for me.
93. Protest something I believe in.
94. Participate in Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
95. See a meteor shower.
96. Bake a pie.
97. Attend a Comic Con.
98. Learn to knit.
99. Have dinner at French Laundry.
100. Attend a reading of The Moth

Saturday, September 25, 2010

BULLS#!T

Okay J.Crew.
I get it.
I get that every time you guys have a corporate meeting, priority numero uno is: "how can we make Molly's life suck exponentially more?"

A veritable gaggle of cashmere sweaters in new colors?
Maybe.

Seductive, feather-light silk shells that work under cardigans and blazers?
Slightly painful.

Creating a line of breathtaking wedding apparel when I have no need for such a thing?
Torture.

But this?
This latest stunt of yours?
Hilarious.
And not so much in a funny "ha ha ha" kind of way.
More like a funny "stab stab stab" way.

Seriously, J.Crew.
Making your factory store available ONLINE?
A bounty of beautifully constructed and moderately-priced classic fashion at my fingertips?
That's just low.
Even if it IS only on the weekends.

My bank account and I do not approve.

from here.

And neither does this sea turtle, apparently.

Totally Normal...?

Five things about me that might be a little strange.

1. I crack my toes constantly. Like, my life will not continue unless I can bend my toes an experience the unparalleled satisfaction of the pop! and relief that subsequently occurs. That's how vital it is to my existence. And if someone else cracks my toes for me? Well let's just say that after that, they don't even have to buy me dinner.

2. I chew gum. All the time. I think I'm paranoid about my breath. Trust me, I'm no oral hygiene slouch: I carry a toothbrush with me at all times. My job necessitates a very close proximity to others, and as such I am inclined to err on the side of caution. I'm up to about a half a pack a day. Do they make a patch for people like me?

3. My underwear and bra must always match.

4. Sometimes when I am in a crowded place and I see someone who has a made a poor fashion choice for the day, I make them over in my head (What Not To Wear-style). I do the same thing with people's eyebrows. I've embarrassed my sister more than once by going up to random strangers and saying, "so, when was the last time someone tried to tame that face-jungle of yours?"

5. I thoroughly enjoy extracting crap from people's faces. I'm just going to leave it at that.


I hereby tag Lizzie, Molly Beth, and Sally.

Go on.
Let your Freak Flag fly.

Bibliophilia

I would be completely okay...
from here

...with and entire library filled with books like these.
Gorgeous.

Friday, September 24, 2010

All kinds of greatness

Eastbound and Down. It's baaaacccck.

This article. I have a totally ridiculous love for animals who adopt other animals. Especially when they are not of their species.

I really love this necklace. And pretty much everything else on the website.

Thinking that it's probably time to get myself some new, fun office supplies. You know. For my office.

Who wants to see It's Kind of a Funny Story with me? Because it looks pretty awesome. And I'm a pretty big fan of Zach G.

Someone explain to me why I have yet to read this book.

from here

Cubs vs. Cards today.
On one of the rooftops.
Soooo money.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

On the subject of attractive men from television

I feel as though students would be more enthusiastic about school...

from here

...if teachers actually looked like this.

Attention:

Someone needs to buy me one or all of these.



from here.
spotted here.


Immediately.

Happy Autumn

This is my favorite season.

The leaves.
The colors.
The apples.
The pumpkins.
The breeze.
The smells.
The holidays.
The sky.

from here

Go on.
Have yourself a wonderful First Day of Autumn.

We'll Eat You Up, We Love You So

from here

Paul Dougherty's installation at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden = so cool.
It reminds me a little bit of Where The Wild Things Are, which is always a good thing.

The genius in this world amazes me sometimes.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Upcycling at it's finest


from here

A gown made entirely from paper cranes?
I'll take one of those.

Y-E-S

from here

Hot damn.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Letter to Remember Me By

Dear Grandpa-

Today is World Alzheimer's Day.
Funny thing, isn't it?
A year an a half ago, this day would not have meant a great deal to me.
But you changed all that.

A year and a half ago on an evening in March, I called to see how you and Grandma were doing. Your only brother had just died and I was worried that you were sad.
When I asked how you were feeling, Grandma responded "Oh, he's holding up very well. He's been taking medication and has a very positive outlook."
Medication?
Why would you be taking medication because Uncle Vito died.
I was confused.
And then, that's when Grandma said the word.
The worst word I've ever heard.
The word that I've always dreaded, but never believed would be a part of my life.

Alzheimer's.

No.
No.
No.

Those were the only words that I could form.
My ears started ringing.
My apartment started spinning.
My world was collapsing.

And then I dissolved.
I dissolved into a pile of tears and wailing and hysteria.

Alzheimer's is not supposed to happen to people like us:
People who have family reunions every summer while wearing matching t-shirts.
People who go on camping trips and stay up late around the campfire listening to grandparents talk about all the stupid things their children did growing up.
People who eat dinner together every Sunday. No matter what.

I suppose there were a few reasons I got so upset.
The first: I was scared for you.
The second: I was scared for me.

Selfish, I know.
But who would I be if you didn't remember me?
You're the reason I'm here.
If you and Grandma had never had my mother, she could not have had me.
If you and Grandma hadn't come to stay with us for three months every year before Christmastime so my parents could work to support three children and give them the best lives possible.
If you hadn't chopped wood every day for years so that we would have heat if it was cold when we came to visit you.

What would I do if you forgot about all that?

Alzheimer's is an awful disease.
Not simply because it robs it's victims of who they used to be.
Or their families of the people they love.
Alzheimer's hurts because there is no one to blame.
If it were a car accident, we could blame the driver.
If it were alcoholism, we could blame the bottle.
If it were cancer, we could blame the cigarettes, or the radiation, or the sun.
There is no one to blame.
No one.
And that?
That makes all of this so unfair.

But one of the beautiful things about all this, Grandpa, is that you've taught me how to live life.
The little things don't matter so much anymore.
Life is about all the big things.
Like watching your grandchildren play soccer.
Like listening to your children laugh.
Like dancing with your wife under the stars.

And so because of this, my darling Grandfather, I will strive to remember you not as an Alzheimer's patient but as a strong, funny, generous man who loves his family as he loves the air in his lungs.

I will remember sneezes that shake the whole house.
I will remember the BEST oil and vinegar salad in the world.
I will remember the BEST spaghetti sauce in the world.
I will remember that dinner is best when planned right after breakfast.
I will remember that money is worth more in the bank than anywhere else.

The man that jumps out of the shower to chase bats around the house with a bucket.
The man that has no belly-button (no, really. It's true).
The man who always looks good in a fedora.
The man who sang to all his grandchildren when they were babies.
The man who gives the greatest bear hugs.
The man who is a second father to me. And everyone else.

I realize that there is a very real possibility that someday, you may not know my face.
And you know what, Grandpa?
I'm not scared anymore.
I'm still sad.
I know that sadness will always be there.
But the fear?
The fear is gone.

Me and Gramps. Conquering the world together in Colorado, summer 2009

Because even if you can't remember who I am someday
I can never
ever
forget who you are.

At the risk of sounding like Rachael Ray

Yum-O.

Oh Martha...does your awesomeness know no bounds?

This is what I'm making for dinner tonight.
Along with veggie meatballs.
And marinara sauce.

Yes.

My TV might overheat

from here

from here.

I have no intention of watching these shows.
But.
These men?
Attractive.

Take a Chance on Me

Scientific fact: I make the World's Best Brussels Sprouts.
No, really.

If you don't think you like Brussels sprouts because your mother forced them upon you as a child or whatever, you should really give them another shot.
Here are 3 reasons why:

1. They are super, super simple. No, really. You basically wash them, cut them, wash them, and stick them in the oven. How could that get any easier? Oh, that's right. It couldn't.

2. There's a 99.7% chance that the ingredients (minus the Brussels sprouts, unless you're like me and you purchase them in bulk) are already in the kitchen.

3. They're delicious, nutritious, and....did I mention delicious?

I made these to go with salmon and sweet potato fries on Saturday...and I would definitely classify the meal as a success.

Okay, here's what you need:

-An oven pre-heated to 400 degrees.
-One pound of Brussels sprouts
Note: The Guy and I can polish off a pound by ourselves. And we're only two people. I can actually eat a whole pound by myself and call it dinner. So, if you're more than two people or you're a glutton like me, maybe you want to double the recipe. Or triple it. Whatever.
-
Salt
-Pepper
-Olive oil

Wash the sprouts and cut the 'em in half.
Toss them on a baking sheet and drizzle them with some olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Swirl them around so that everything gets coated with everything else.
Throw them in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, maybe longer depending on how big the little suckers are.
Grab a fork.
Gobble them up.

I'm telling you, roasting them does something perfectly magical to Brussels sprouts. They get all brown and crunchy (secret: I OVERcook them sometimes because I loves me some slightly burned food). I've seen recipes that use things like maple syrup and bacon or pancetta, but I feel like simple is better. Because I don't eat meat and if I wanted maple syrup, I'd make pancakes.

If I have failed in convincing you, maybe Andrew Bernard can do the trick?*

from here
*Umm...I apologize for the lack of embededness(?) for the video. And also the fact that it's, you know, in a different language. Try as I might, I could NOT find it on YouTube. Thanks for ruining my life, NBC.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Themed Movie Night?

Yes please!
I have to admit, I'm watching episodes of "The Office" on On-Demand while avoiding real life (shower, laundry, cleaning the litter box, etc.), and while searching for one I haven't seen, I overheard a promo for a couple of movies I haven't seen, but have always meant to:

Frida

The Motorcycle Diaries

In The Time of Butterflies


Soooo, I then had this brilliant idea: THEMED MOVIE NIGHT.
Okay, so maybe it's not my *original* idea, but I like it.
So, here's my menu:

Zucchini and Bell Pepper Enchiladas
Black Bean Soup
Baked Plantains

Normally I would do mojitos with something like this, but since I AM NOT DRINKING FOR THIRTY DAYS (if it's in caps, maybe I'll be more inclined to actually adhere to it).

Whaddya say?
Friday night plans?

I think so.

Ole!

from here

A Challenge

Confession: I love food.

No, really. I do.

Doubt? Just look at a picture of me.

I love food.

Here's the fundamental issue with that, though: when one has a deep affection for all things epicurean, as I do, that passion often bleeds over into items that aren't necessarily worthy of such attention.
In other words, I've developed a nasty habit in which I eat for the sake of eating and not simply to enjoy food.

Well friends, we are going to SQUASH that habit here and now.

I can't lie; part of my motivation might be related to the fact that I've been unhappy with the way I look lately (weight, skin, hair, clothes...yuck). I believe that when you eat well, you feel well. At least that's true for me personally. Plus, I've found that when I eat good food from quality ingredients that taste delicious and aren't super-complicated, I'm less likely to reach for gross processed food to fill the void.

Basically, I've decided to follow the basic rules of good eating: lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and protein in the form legumes, nuts, and tofu. Simple enough, right? I'm also going to stop drinking alcohol for 30 days (I know, we'll see how long THAT lasts) to see what the results will be. I predict a couple of pounds shed, followed by an increased amount of productivity (especially at work, where I'll have to learn to survive without my daily vodka-lemonade lunch. Just kidding! Kind of.)

On top of all this, I think Mollyland is going to eliminate processed and packaged foods, to the extent that my lifestyle will allow. I mean, I'm not going to make my own cheese, or anything. But I can probably bake my own bread (I've definitely done it before). And when I want macaroni and cheese, instead of reaching for a box, I'll have to get my butt off the couch and grate some cheddar and make it myself. If I'm too lazy to do it or too busy to go to the store and get the ingredients, then I probably don't need to be eating mac n' cheese in the first place.

All right. So, that's the plan.

One of the great things about deciding to make your own food is that there are about a billion places on the internet from which to draw inspiration. Behold:

TasteSpotting: one of my favorite new finds. It's full of beautiful, delicious-looking pictures of amazing food. And...Bonus! The pictures are linked to their original blogs, thereby offering more resources for yummy food. As a highly-visual person, this is basically like the internet form of crack-cocaine for my eyes.

Rookie Cookie: a big favorite around here. In addition to being a genius in the kitchen, Whitney is also hilarious.

CuisineNie: Stephanie Nielson. Good, simple food. Adorable.

Vegan Yum Yum
: Vegan food that doesn't taste like crap? Count me in. With beautiful pictures.



Okay, so now I guess I need to grocery shopping?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Inspiration


This video makes me all kinds of happy.

Are you smiling yet?
Good.

Special thanks and lots of love to the most-awesome-little-sister-named-Jane-that-anyone-has-ever-had for introducing this to me.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

For your reading/internet trolling pleasure

Some of my new (to me) favorite blogs.

Check it:

Hula Seventy

Happy Together

Creature Comforts


Lifeflix

Penelope Loves Lists


There you go.

For the record

The concert last night?
Made. Of. Awesome.

In honor of this blessed event, I give you my favorite Jason Mraz song.



You're welcome.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Photo Essay


Tonight, I will be here:

Watching him:


And him:

With this guy:
Feeling like this:


Have a happy Friday, dudes.

Some thoughts on food

-I can eat an entire POUND of roasted Brussels sprouts. Is this normal? Surely not. I would imagine that there are worse things to eat an entire pound of, though.

-The Laughing Cow has released a blue cheese version?! Holy crap. The quality of my life just increased exponentially, I'm not gonna lie.

-Lately, I've been craving cold sesame noodles like it's my job. Weird.

-Also addicted to the roasted seaweed snacks from Trader Joe's. Anyone aware of the point at which a certain amount seaweed in your system becomes harmful? Because I have a feeling we may be approaching that juncture.

-I seriously get a headache if I don't consume a Venti black iced tea from Starbucks by 11 am every single day. This is an issue.

-I ate brunch here last Sunday. Poached eggs over crab cakes with creole sauce. It was so good I almost licked my plate. Not even joking.

-I'm fairly certain that I could eat miso soup each day for the rest of my life and be totally okay with it.

-Since fall is here, that means apple season; apple cider, apple doughnuts, apple pie, caramel apples. And pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING. And people wonder why this is my favorite time of year. Pshhht.

-Mint. Moosetracks. Ice cream. That's all you need to know.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I do what I can

It occurs to me that I may have gone a little nuts with this one.

My same-sex-hetero-life-partner, Molly Beth, campaigned for my help the other day.


She is taking a friend to see Adam Lambert in concert for this friend's birthday.
And, apparently she thinks I am "infinitely cooler" than she is (not true).
Rather, my style is a little bit more rocker chic than her bohemian tendencies.
As such, she requested my expertise regarding an appropriate ensemble.

Well Mol, I had a brainstorming session, and this is what I came up with.

Let it Rock



Purple graphic print tunic, 30 GBP
Studded Leatherette Jacket, $48
Pyramid Stud Jeans, $36
Black Leggings, $6.80
Neon Yellow Chuck Taylor Hightops, 40 GBP
Rocket Dog Memories Leopard Shoe, $20
Studded Ankle Boot, $33
Skull and crossbone flats, $25
OPI Dating a Royal, $8.50
Chain Necklace, $6.80


There are several options here- obviously, I'm not expecting her to wear everything at once.

Tops: the first option (and the one that speaks to her fashion sense, in my opinion) is a graphic tunic that is bold in both print and color. I feel as though the amount of potential future use in the tunic makes it the more logical option; dressed up with black pants, heels, and a blazer for work The second, which also happens to be the choice that I would gravitate towards, is a classic rockstar tee in maroon (ROLL TIDE).

Bottoms: Black leggings, which I am positive she already owns, or gray jeans in a skinny or straight-leg cut. I happen to think that gray jeans are the BOMB dot COM. They are less expected than blue or black jeans, which can look too casual or too much like leggings.

Jacket: A faux leather bomber or biker jacket, with optional studs. This particular one is super-affordable and has a little bit of an edge. With the right choice, Molly can incorporate this purchase into her regular wardrobe rotation. Another option, which I did not include, would be a cardigan in black or gray (opposite whichever pant option she selects).

Shoes: Okay, so maybe I let the crazy take over when I thought about footwear. Chuck Taylors are a pretty standard concert choice for most people, and that yellow color will add a unique touch to an outfit. The skull and crossbone flats are a little over-the-top, but I couldn't resist. Black leather boots? C'mon. And finally: leopard flats, which I imagine are the most viable option for Molly in terms of her current wardrobe.

Accessories: A long chain necklace that will work with either casual or dressier outfits in the future without looking overly-trendy or dated. OPI's "Dating a Royal" is by far one of my favorite cold-weather nail colors; less gothic than black or purple, and flatters any skin tone. Finally, lots and lots of black eyeliner. You know, to compete with Glambert
.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Today, I believe

...in the smell of campfires.

...in self-expression.

...that black and white photography generally looks infinitely cooler than color.

...in the way the air smells after rain.

...that occasionally, shopping really is the best therapy.
Bold
...that more than occasionally, therapy is the best therapy.

...in long weekends with good people.

...in Family Guy
.

What Do You Believe Today?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"Labor Day" as a misnomer.

The weather today is quintessential autumnal weather.
Brisk, cool, and sunny with blue skies.
I was so excited when I woke up this morning that I immediately grabbed some boots, a cardigan, and packed an apple for lunch.
I'm aware that it's supposed to be in the eighties on Monday.
I don't really care.

I'm looking forward to a weekend of reading and snuggling under some blankets.
And no computers, Blackberries, e-mails, or any sort of communication with the outside world.
It's gonna be great.

Some other great stuff:

This weather is putting me in the mood for some baseball.

...and college football. Happy Game Day, Molly Beth and Sally. ROLL TIDE.

An elephant never forgets.

I like these ladies.

How awesome is this tattoo? The accompanying flickr stream is also worthy of some.

Currently in love with these photos. Surreal, yet realistic at the same time.

Inspiration to organize my life a little bit more.

I feel as though it might be time to make this.

Gosh, do I wish I could sew.

Cannot wait to try this beautiful makeup on a client. Or maybe myself.

How cute is this tutorial? I'm all over it.

from here.
I'll have what he's having.

Oh yes.

from here
I think there's a place of honor in my future household for all of this lovely business.

Some Awesomeness For Your Saturday