Sunday, November 6, 2011

a sunday in november

chimney smoke and chilly apples

Thursday, October 27, 2011

since last i wrote

since last i wrote
the seasons have changed
i've roasted another chicken
i've developed an intense morning regimen
that i believe in
solid as i believe in anything
i've cuddled with tank
i've laughed at myself
i've laughed at others but only
if they were laughing too
i made soup and lit candles
and called it a date

since last i wrote
i have earned some stripes
but only a couple
i'm left to think
just how lucky i am
just how happy i am
just how much i need to always
remember all the quiet little things
that make life good and lucky
because as soon as you stop doing that
the world can seem like a pretty weird place
but it's not
it's really not

since last i wrote
i became who i was always meant to be
and even when the edges are frayed
and the circles are dark
it's right
all of it

happy friday.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

oh hi.

let's start at the top. i owe you some house photos, and then i owe you an explanation. 

let's start with some house photos (because it's just so lovely out there i can't stand it). this is a disjointed, incomplete mix of befores and afters -- 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

happy birthday, tank.

he was cute as a button
and he still is.
happy birthday to our little doggy. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

this weekend was a long one
we had our first house guests!
(my parents!)
we ate on the waterfront
we ate by the capitol
we ate on main street
and we ate in our backyard
i'm full, in so many ways.
it was, as always, wonderful to see them.
and now it's busy september.
when did that happen?

photos of 24 fleet coming soon
(when it's clean)
know that it's definitely
a work in progress

have a great tuesday.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

love this one.

i've been looking through my photos
trying to pick out some good ones
for the new house
i just found this and i am so struck
by its gentleness
and serenity
i hope you can see it too.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

you may ask yourself

 you may ask yourself what it feels like to be a new homeowner, have a sick dog, then experience an earthquake followed by a hurricane? it feels kind of exhausting, but on the other hand, it has really deepened my patience, my sense of humor, and my perspective on a lot of things. so: not so bad, you know?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

home depot: where all your dreams come true.

i wrote that very sweet post about our house shortly after i found out it was ours (and i added the last paragraph when all was said and done, as i'm a little superstitious about saying something's done before it's actually done). but, you know, the actual to-do of the whole thing is...well, it's a lot to do. and, whether it's true or not, i'd like to think that i survived one of the most difficult weekends of my life last weekend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

tuesdays with tank...the dog days.

our little buddy has had quite an under-the-weather-week which started last week, which continued into the weekend, which resulted into an urgent (and early) saturday trip to the vet, which didn't yield results, which resulted in a trip to the pet ER last night...which always sends his parents into a panic because we feel just so...responsible for him. first allergies, then it ballooned into...something else (have you ever wanted to just un-smell something? i want that so very badly). this was all pretty exciting when there was a herd of painters, plumbers, cable guys, and other assorted handymen running around the new house this weekend, and when our savings account was looking a little anemic after closing the house. woof.

but, tank is a champ, and even though the poor guy's not totally out of the woods yet, we're hopeful that he'll pull through for us. here he is, looking probably very much how he feels, in the new house. he has already staked a special spot on the stairs as his very own lookout and hangout.i think he's going to really like it there, even if the first impression wasn't exactly as we hoped it might be.

happy tuesday.

Monday, August 22, 2011

as much as i could love a place, i do.

it was a couple of years ago when i laughed at brad when he asked me to go to annapolis for the night.

"come on," he said, "you'll love it."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

lazy sunday roast chicken

maybe it was because it was rainy, or maybe it really was fall whispering to me this weekend, but i had the urge on sunday to just make dinner. like, real dinner. in the oven. i walked over to eastern market and found the perfect little roasting chicken, ten new potatoes, some herbs, a lemon, and a bulb of garlic and got to work. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

tuesdays with (tiny) tank!

here's a little gem i found last week
i can't quit watching it.
if you thought tank was cute now...
check him out as a puppy.
happy tuesday.

Friday, August 12, 2011

to know and feel too much

the other night 
while i was avoiding all the dishes
and all the dusting
and all the vacuuming
i did something i should've done a long time ago
i introduced tank to dylan
here we are
listening to this classic: 

happy friday,
happy weekend to you.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

a highly decent date night in

a little cold rose, 
a sandwich to share
(with plenty of good mustard)
some sausage and cheese 
and crackers 
thanks to p&c market near lincoln park.

sometimes it's the
really simple stuff
that, with the right company,
that seems really rare
and wonderful and fancy

treat yourself today. 
happy thursday.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

a room for baby notario...unveilled!

when i started the class at the corcoran this summer, i found out that for our final project we had to design, finish, and furnish a 1-story floor plan. my mind immediately jumped to my friends who were just married and expecting a baby and living in a really cool apartment in a chic neighborhood in dc. they knew they were going to stay in the apartment for a couple years (but not forever) and for that reason they wanted a room that wasn't very-very baby but rather it was pretty sophisticated, matched the rest of their apartment, and didn't require them to accumulate a whole lot of extra baby stuff.

what i didn't plan on was that a couple weeks later, they'd tell me they were moving to tampa and buying a house and going to live there instead -- i think i just yesterday picked my jaw up on the floor, but that's neither here nor there. my project remained unchanged, because even if it wasn't for them...i thought someone might be able to use an idea like this one. i wanted the space to match the rest of their house which had a soft sophistication to it, using organic elements to enhance the colors and style they had chosen. 

so here it is:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

tuesdays with tank...the luna ball.

it may be hard to believe, but that sweet little face is capable of destroying ...well, just about anything he puts his mind to. he's gone through the requisite shoe phase (but only the expensive ones--not the ones that were already worn out), various rugs, along with stranger things like hangers, remote controls, computer cords, the list goes on, etc. 

it may also come as a surprise, therefore, that when he gets a toy that he has every permission to chew on, that he destroys it in sometimes as little as a few seconds. if he can't destroy it, he loses interest in it. 

until one day when brad brought home the luna ball:

Friday, August 5, 2011

it took so long for friday this time

yesterday, i lucked out with 
breakfast with my sister-in-law
and then i lucked out with
champagne and oysters for dinner
with brad and our friends
and today i woke up to 
a beautiful cool morning
and tonight
we're going 
to the beach.

(the music i discovered from an episode
of jersey shore a couple years ago.
posting it in honor of its 
triumphant, shameful return to mtv.
welcome back).

happy friday, happy weekend.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


sometimes you just need 
to drink a glass of wine
and order a pizza
and sit with a dog in your lap 
and a friend by your side
and watch some crappy tv. 
because you just do.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

last day of school

unbelievably, today is my last day of summer class at the corcoran. in may when i started, august seemed to be impossibly far away. here we are, anyway!

for our final project, we had to ink a complete floorplan for a 1-level home, complete with furnishings and appliances and bathroom fixtures, and on top of that we had to complete construction documents with elevations, a light plan, and beyond that we had to create a design for at least one other room in the house. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

tuesdays with tank: dog bed days

when we first got tank, to say i was hell bent on getting him a great dog bed was and understatement. brad didn't share my zeal, but much to his dismay after my repeated pleadings, he relented and i began my cross-spectrum dog bed research, from wal-mart to neiman marcus. after a lot of hemming and hawing i chose the orvis, and then the real debate began: round or square? cedar or styrofoam filling? memory foam? seriously, memory foam? tough chew cover or regular cover? i finally decided on the classic dog nest with a herringbone cover and polystrene bead stuffing, monogrammed with his name. when it arrived in the mail, it was all i could do not to run home that instant and have tank give it a try.

it wasn't love at first sight as i had hoped, with the dog bed and tank, but we worked at it and eventually he called it home. he would dig his little nest out and plop down rump-first right before he dozed off for the night, that is, until he persisted that we let him sleep in our bed with us, which while we never thought we'd do it, is kind of awesome, except for the fact that i swear to you tank grows 12 sizes at night and now we need a bigger bed. but that's neither here nor there.

all of this is to say that the dog bed i had so diligently researched and procured is now making a lovely bedside mat for me. which, if that's all i lost to get the world's most awesome puppy cuddles, is alright with me.

happy tuesday.

Monday, August 1, 2011

be thankful.

i had a day the other day.
you know the kind--
where everything that can go wrong
and it's easy in those moments
to stop and to give up
and to wallow
why me?
why now?
but what good is that
to give up?
it isn't--
you know what i did?
i started to count the things
around me that i was thankful for
and almost immediately after i had begun
i felt overwhelmed at how much i had
to be thankful for
and i'm pretty sure
that even in the darkest hours
of the darkest days
there is still something 
for which it is worth being thankful.

try it. 
tell me what you see. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

do we need a ray ban ban?

brad came home. i was glad to see him. he brought lots of things with him -- good news, a pepto-pink disney nightshirt for me, and ...ray bans. two pairs. because we didn't have enough. i say we, because as far as i'm concerned, ray bans are unisex (mostly) and therefore great husband/wife accessories. but, how many is too many? do we need a ban on ray bans?

so -- aside from keeping the good people of ray ban in business, we're going to have a nice weekend here. hopefully i'll get some work done for class, brad's got a softball tournament, and aside from that, there's really not much planned. just how i like my weekends. 

hope yours is a good one.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

the flowers spoke to me

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

when bag's away, i will cook salmon.

last weekend, the average temperature in dc hovered between 100-105 degrees (nevermind the astonishing heat index that went with it). not exactly turn-on-the-stove weather. on monday, after a day of rainshowers, it cooled down to a balmy 85 degrees, which felt downright autumnal by comparison. brad's been traveling, so i did something i hadn't done in months (maybe years). i made dinner. with the stove. for myself.

i selfishly took advantage of his absence and made every single food that i love that he hates. cue: barley, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and yes...salmon. not exactly light summer fare (but then, my favorite thing to eat at any point in the year is frozen lasagna), but it was just what i wanted: deeply savory, a little spicy, hearty, and but for the butter -- pretty healthy. in any other instance i'd say this is a perfect recipe for those warm early fall days. recipe follows...

Monday, July 25, 2011

a summery summary

this weekend
i slept in until 11
i went to the hair salon for the first time since march
i got a manicure (what!)
i shopped at the market
i had celebratory cocktails in virginia
in honor of a couple of fantastic friends of mine then
i endured 100+ temperatures with gin and tonics here
with some different friends then
i laid by the pool and ate crab cakes and peach pie
thanks to  this blogger
and i spent a good amount of time standing 
directly in front of our air conditioner 
(when it was working)

i mean.
it was as good as it gets
for a summer weekend in dc.

happy monday.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

my "desk" vs. cb2's desk

my desk, which is actually our dining table, 
which brad lovingly refers to as "a total mess. the epicenter of disaster."

cb2's "architect desk" in a pristine white room...
that light is enough to make me weep with joy.

i like to call this arrangement of photos "reality versus not reality."
...only two more weeks of corcoran class. it's flown by! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

summer beauty: steals & splurges

looking presentable in the summer months takes a lot of time, effort, and even money -- but in my opinion, you don't have to break the bank at every turn (only some of the turns) to feel like a million bucks. i have a few loose guidelines about when i get stuff on the cheap, and when i splurge for stuff. generally, if it's going directly down the drain within 2 minutes of use -- i go for the bargain. if it's going to exist on me or around me for hours, days, or weeks -- i go for the splurge. 

in case you're off to someplace fantastic this weekend or just looking for new things to throw in your toiletries bag, here are a few of my favorite summertime steals, and a few requisite splurges, too...this is stuff i use and love on an almost-daily basis!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

tuesdays with a bbq.

our buddy tank joined us at a bbq last weekend. the bbq was at our friends' house near annapolis, and those lucky folks have a beach and access to the chesapeake at the end of their street. when we took tank to the outer banks, he wasn't much of a swimmer either in the ocean or in the pool (despite our best efforts with a modified children's life jacket). but on sunday when he saw the sandy beach, he made a beeline...right into the chesapeake. and sure enough he paddled around and chased water lapping on the sand, and did our favorite "roast beef on wheels" run on the sand. 

that, of course, earned him an icy cold blast of hose water to rinse off the sand before our drive home, which he definitely did not enjoy, but it was fun to know that our little pup loves the chesapeake just as much as we do.

Monday, July 18, 2011

stop. look closer.

 it's the middle of july in 2011.
i mean. time flies.
this year has been jam packed with
big exciting life events
for us and for our friends.
it's thrilling.

i mentioned last week a feeling of disquiet.
brad and i stayed in dc this weekend
and it occurred to me that lately
we had been going and doing so much
that i had been drifting away from
one of my favorite parts about myself:
my ability to stop.
and look closer.

Friday, July 15, 2011

this weekend

this is the first weekend
since early may
that brad and i will be in dc
for the weekend
we're planning to do it up right
backyard bbq's
trips to our favorite watering hole
and who knows
maybe i'll get a haircut or something
(but probably not)
you guys, we made it.
it's friday.
have a wonderful day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

one of those days

is defined as a feeling of anxiety or worry
i would like to add that
it feels like a piece of my worldview's puzzle is missing
and i can't find it
and nobody is letting me look
i woke up and
it was cool outside.
yes, cool,
in july,
in dc.
i went for a walk.
i made coffee.
there's no reason, but
i'm having writer's block today
i feel like 
all the windows are stuck shut
in my world this morning.
i'm hoping it's the culmination
of some disquiet i've been feeling lately.
maybe it is, maybe it's not.
and that's ok. 
happy thursday anyway. 
i hope you find lots of fresh air today.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

i have this thing

where i can't stop listening to gospel music. 
true story.

a definite departure from my other "good music" posts, yes, but
how gentle and quiet and beautiful is this?
the wailin' jennys have my number on this one.
(please pardon the mary cassatt-esque montage video. or don't.)
it popped up in my pandora the other day and ever since i've been after it like an addict. 
but then, i'm a sucker for good music, yes, and also in life. 

hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

tuesdays with tank: at the beach!

 tank went with us to the beach. what a champ! here are some of my favorites of him:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

gone fishin'

this year's outer banks trip started out as it always does: an idea over some drinks, a critical mass of willing beach-goers, and a little research into the best rental house. there's great anticipation for this trip, based on experiences in years past. this year, though, life happened. to a bunch of us. some really awful things that have left us empty inside, and some big, wonderful things that make you wonder how it's possible you got so lucky. all big, life-changing things.
i'm not sure what this year's trip will be like -- maybe more reflective, maybe more subdued than in past years. maybe not. regardless, we'll be breathing in ocean air, we'll be hanging out together, all of us taking a break from the lives that have happened to us. i'll see you in a week.

Friday, July 1, 2011

watermelon margarita

hello there. are you looking for the perfect companion for your weekend bbq's? you've found it -- this is it. watermelon margaritas are where it's at. sweet, salty, tart, refreshing, and even hinting at spicy if you like yours how i like mine, this drink goes with anything.  this margarita went through several iterations before i arrived at the winning combination i'm sharing with you. play with it, see what you like, and make it your own! here's how i made them:

Thursday, June 30, 2011

a well read audience

it turns out, i have a fantastically well-read circle of friends. soliciting suggestions on facebook yielded lots of great suggestions, from patti smith's "just kids" to janice dickinson's "no lifeguard on duty." i'll get around to these soon. in the meantime, my little online solicitation led to a very fortuitous donation by one of my favorite readers who may be relocating soon. last night after class, i swung (swung? is that a word? it's early.) by her apartment and there she was, with a paper bag of good reads. i'm going to pick two or three to take with me on vacation...right now, i'm thinking:

1) edith wharton, the age of innocence
lots of interior design references, a compelling story of scandal in upper crust 19th century new york city. what's not to love?

2) anais nin, a spy in the house of love
once again, all the makings for great beach stuff -- romance, scandal, heartbreak. the internet describes this book as "a character study of a woman in torment." much like janice dickinson's tome, no doubt.

3) jonathan franzen, the corrections
this one centers around a midwestern family whose kids flee to the east coast; the major themes this book deals with are aging, deep personal flaws, and the pursuit of personal resurrections from those flaws. not a light one, but i think it will be compelling.

any other must-reads from the above list? a huge THANK YOU to those who emailed me with your suggestions -- i am now keeping a list of them for future reference.

p.s. i love summer.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

my to-do list today

tank in a t-shirt. why not?
i had a most lovely dinner last night with my juliebride at ping pong dim sum (followed by an extended dessert session at busboys & poets). we looked at old pics of her in wedding dresses (pre-bump), she let me feel the baby kick (ohmigosh!), and talked about all the awesome vacations we're going to take in the future. then, likely due to a warm vegan brownie and milk overdose [the best kind of overdose], i hit the hay almost immediately when i got home (at, um, 9:30). which i shouldn't do. as calvin (of calvin & hobbes fame) famously said, the days are just packed! here's what's on my to-do list today:

-finish maquette and inspiration board for class
-pick out beach reads for next week's vacation (suggestions?)
-squeeze in a workout over lunch (ha, haha...ha.)
-give presentation with maquette and mood board in class tonight
-start packing for the weekend

and i'm off! wish me luck, see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

tuesdays with nyc!

my sister in law heidi, i've mentioned her, yes? she sent me a couple fun pictures from NYC today -- she's at the palace hotel which is being guarded carefully by a fellow named doggy john...who bears a most convincing likeness to (who else?) tank!
pics below... 

this is summer.

hey there, supermodel.
summertime rule #1 - sun safety first. and last. and first again. seriously.

hard to beat this.
i'm so taken by sailboats. they are so graceful and still and pretty.
thomas point. i want to live there.
fun fact: brad and i both used to dream about living in lighthouses when we were little landlocked kids.
the underbelly of the bay bridge.
the underbelly of the bay bridge is the perfect place for a swim. thrilling.
multi-talented mister stro: he can judge american teens, drive a boat, and grill hot dogs. incredible!
mara controlls the dogs. or she's holding treats. but let's pretend it's the first one.
it's extra fun in annapolis in case i hadn't mentioned that.
this place is a phenomenal little find. they are local organic beacons of hope. they raise their own chickens, who lay their own eggs, which they make into omelets to give to me. yum.
sometimes it's the smallest things that are the prettiest.
and sometimes it's the salad things that are prettiest! so healthy.
or not at all. smith island cake -- this one, i was told, was baked by a 12th generation smith islander, on smith island, and it's maryland's state cake. you would have bought a piece too if you heard all that. it was so super delightful.
i'm sending this picture of tank in with his college applications. so distinguished.
watermelon margarita. you need this next weekend (recipe coming soon).