sunday brunch

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If we were having brunch today, I’d wish you a belated Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you feel loved everyday, but especially after yesterday. Whether your valentine is your significant other, your dog, your bestie, or yourself, you deserve to feel a little spoiled and pampered. We played it super low-key and ignored all of my date ideas to do touch-up paint in the master bath where we replaced the toilet (BY OURSELVES. WE ARE AWESOME.) and eat takeout sushi, drink wine, and watch Netflix. It was perfect. (By the way, we started watching The Fall. It’s great. Agent Scully forever.)

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I kinda, sorta hate myself for going to see 50 Shades of Grey this afternoon. I know. My only excuse is that it’s a girls’ outing and I miss them. Ok, and maybe I want to see it. The book was so horrendous, I feel like it’s going to be a hate-watch kind of thing. I just hate giving my money to such horrible, awful poorly-written crap. Whatever. Laters, babe.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I am in the middle of a major home renovation fever. The only prescription is more cow — just kidding. The only prescription is more money, which is not exactly flowing my way. I’m making myself content with a few small projects I’ll share soon: The previously-mentioned bathroom painting, framing and hanging a few of our favorite concert posters, a DIY twine project for the guest room, finding a new side table for the living room to replace our current Ikea Lack situation…it’s not an expensive list, just expansive. And you know how good we are at actually doing the work…

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I’m starting to get super pumped about a few small getaways we have planned starting next month! We are choosing to forgo a big vacation this year so next year we can (hopefully) afford Europe. But everyone needs a break now and then so we have a few long weekends in the books. We’re going to see a few concerts, Sylvan Esso and St. Vincent, and then taking a trip down to the Bourbon Trail. We’ve got a limo and a driver, and I’m already feeling the post-trail headache…

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I am loving Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings. It’s our book club pick-of-the-month and it’s really beautiful. The characters are so deeply drawn and I love the way the narrative jumps back and forth between the two main characters, giving two different views on the life of a family and their slaves. They are heartbreaking and strong. It’s not a book I would have picked on my own, but it’s an important one to read, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone.

Happy Sunday! What’s on your mind today?

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what i love: april

This spring is killing it. For the most part it has been beautiful and my mood has lifted along with the weather. I’ve loved getting to be outside all the time (though my itchy/burny/crying eyes would beg me to stop if they could – is it possible to get adult-onset allergies?!?) and fresh air in the house has never felt better. I even planted flowers you guys. That’s huge! But one word of advice: go alone to pick out annuals ladies or you’ll end up with only flowers of a certain color scheme. Even our garden screams “geaux tigers” now. Joy.

Here’s what’s making me smile this April!

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1. I’m obsessed with this cookbook shelf and want one immediately. Where else am I going to put my oodles of perfectly coordinated Fiesta pitchers and platters and vases? It’s no secret I love white kitchens and the colorful shelf and stools of this one add in the personality and flair needed to make the space fresh and lively. In fact, the whole house is classically quite beautiful. And the navy in the back of the upper cabinets? I die. Someday my dream kitchen will be mine. Until then, bear with me as I pin beautiful picture after beautiful picture and wax poetic…

2. How adorbs is this outfit? I won’t lie, I’m wearing a slightly less cute and put together version of this today because I love it so much. All I need is white jeans! Can a short, not-super-skinny girl pull them off? I’m going to try. Maybe. Am I that brave? Anyway, the yellow is just so much fun and unexpected. I would expect to see this look many times in the next few months since my office is FREEZING even in 90+ degree weather. Always have to layer.

3. Two words: Funfetti. Blondies. Do I need to say more? I want to make these for a cookout immediately. So someone invite us to a cookout, yeah? The confetti sprinkles are so spring-like and I honestly can’t imagine someone seeing these and NOT singing along to Pharrell in their head. Oh that’s just me? Sorry. I’m happy!

4. Anyone else feel like this all the time? Maybe it’s a symptom of “impostor syndrome” or maybe it’s just growing up, but so much of the time I feel like I honestly am just making it up as I go along. And I’m kinda ok with it. This month I’ve been trying to take a few chances and stretch myself personally and professionally even though it’s frankly scary as hell and I feel all vulnerable and awkward. But on the flip side, it’s also incredibly liberating for a recovering type-a control freak to say, “I don’t know what’s going on,” and just go with it.

5. I know the newest Arcade Fire release has been out since late last year, but I’ve been playing them on repeat the last week or so because tonight we’re going to see them! I am super excited! (Ok, real talk: not as excited as I was to see Billy Joel, but it’s not everyday you get to be in the same room with your longtime musical idol.) The dress code for the concert tonight is “formal or costume.” Yeah. I can’t wait to dance my little fool head off and party hard. Party hard, but responsibly. Work still has to be done on Wednesday. How’s work on the coffee I.V., science?

What are you loving this month?

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sunday brunch

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If we were having brunch today, the first thing you’d notice is my crazy sunburn. We get ONE genuinely AMAZING day yesterday and like the total a-hole that I am spend it running four miles and cleaning the yard and reading Stephen King (11/22/63 is great by the way)…so basically I spent the hours of 10am-3pm in the sun. And I am paying the price for that binge my friend on my crackly, lobster-colored skin. Worth it? You bet. Repeat today? 100 PERCENT. Though sunscreen would probably smart, yes?

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that the husband and I saw Billy Joel last week and my life is complete. Guys. He was incredible. My cheeks hurt for days after the show because I was smiling SO much. I am still giddy thinking about the concert and how much I loved every minute. Billy was funny, his band was spectacular, and he rocked for over two hours. I honestly feel like I don’t have the words to properly describe my excitement about this show, so just imagine me with the biggest and cheesiest grin feeling all the joyful feels like a 5 year old on Christmas morning and that should come close.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that we got a Fitbit and it’s really fun. I really suck at getting in all my steps unless I go on a run, and I really felt like I walked a ton at work before, so the Fitbit has been great at getting me moving even more and taking the stairs at work. It’s so satisfying to see the little blinking lights. I also love that it tracks your sleep patterns and can be a silent alarm. Technology is awesome.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that Kate and Will and George’s big New Zealand/Australia trip has been my favorite thing. Not only do I want literally EVERYTHING Kate has worn (that red coat and pillbox hat! the Zara blazer!) and really wish my hair could look even 1/10th as good as hers, I am obsessed with baby George. Could he be any cuter? He wears things with sailboats on them, so I think not. I have been following their activities like a crazy woman (though I haven’t yet started watching the livefeed – I do have boundaries…sort of) and I know it’s a lot of work to be so “on” all the time, but they seem to be having so much fun.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that we’ve fallen down the rabbit hole that is the melodrama of Dillon Panther football, aka Friday Night Lights. Much like The West Wing, I have to ask, where was I when this was actually on TV? Oh right, I didn’t like football then. But apparently now I can’t get enough of it and have to watch the fake stuff during the off-season drought. I had a weird stomach bug earlier this week and watched 6 straight hours of it alone, and then a few more when the husband got home. Can’t get enough.

What’s going on with you today? Grab your coffee and let’s chat!!!

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what i love: march

Well, March is almost over and spring is, while technically here, still shyly peeking its head over the horizon. Its beauty and optimism are so close, you can taste them, can’t you? It’s been a great month. I’ve loved being able to run outside in the sun and warmth and have said good riddance to my sweaters. See ya never (ok, in October I’ll welcome them back with open arms – who knows when a polar vortex will be back)! Life has simultaneously moved quickly and slowly…maybe I’m finally learning how to find the happiness in the small moments of the present.

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1. It might be hinting at warmth (and not quite making it) around here lately, but oh how I’m dreaming of balmy summer nights by a fire pit or beers on the deck. I’m obsessed with the color of that house, it is seriously the perfect dark blue-green, and I want it all over my own house immediately. Anyone want to paint my shutters? Oh and those lights? I die.

2. This past weekend, we made the conscious effort to turn the tv (basketball, ugh) on mute and turn up the records. It’s embarrassing how long it’s been since we turned off the screen and enjoyed one of my favorite date nights – lots of wine and music and talking together on the couch. It made a lazy afternoon of reading (The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, SO good) absolutely perfect. I plan to actually use our favorite music collection again immediately.

3. Can we talk about how I have become obsessed with white Chuck Taylors? I covet them. I need them to create the perfect preppy-tomboy casual outfits of my dreams. Can we also talk about how I need to buy all the spring things and I just can’t! Oh trust me, my online shopping cards are full and ready to complete their orders, but yet again we owe lots and lots of taxes. Doesn’t Uncle Sam want me to look cute? Take a gander at my “wish list” board and tell me what to buy with the very few dollars I have.

4. Wow, I could not be later to the party here, but I finally picked up Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In to read for one of my book clubs. When it came out last year, I read some of the praise and some of the critiques and felt kinda meh about it. But I am loving it! I totally get some of the criticism – she obviously comes from a family of means and has had a ton of help professionally along the way and has a lot of help raising her family. I get that. But she also obviously has worked hard and her book has a lot of lessons, even if you don’t want to be in leadership. It’s helping me to feel less complacent, to build confidence, and to set some real goals for myself. I can’t wait to tell you about the convo my book club will have!

5. SALADS! All I want to make are pretty and fresh salads full of disgustingly healthy things. I have been pinning them for dayssss. I guess my body really does want me to lose the extra weight I’ve got thanks to an extra delicious winter. I’ve only got a few weeks before it’s beach time! (CAN’T WAIT.) But don’t worry, for every salad I pin I probably pin two of these. And now I’m hungry…

What are you loving lately?

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sunday brunch

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If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you the mini-breaks in the weather have been so amazing and SUCH a tease. I can’t wait for it to be warm everyday, not 60s one day (yesterday) and 40s and maybe snow the next (today, UGH). I even lifted weights on our deck earlier this week because I was so desperate for sun and couldn’t stand being inside when it was in the 70s. I’m sure the neighbors got a good laugh. And let’s be honest, I reeeeallllly want to go shopping.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that last night I got to see one of my 16 year-old self’s heroes, James Galway. Band geek 4 life! He played one of my favorite songs I ever played, Mozart’s Flute Concerto in D, and was simply breathtaking. Combine the gorgeous music with the beauty of Music Hall and a fantastic dinner out in Over the Rhine and you’ve got my perfect date night!

Speaking of date night…if we were having brunch today, I’d tell you today is the husband’s and my anniversary…sort of. Four years ago we went to the court house and got hitched all shotgun style. Seriously, from deciding to get married to “I do” took about 6 hours. All because I needed health insurance! And you know, that whole love thing. While we don’t really celebrate this anniversary (we think of the one in October when we had an actual wedding as the “real” one), the fact that it’s been four years is blowing my mind. I’m so glad I get to spend everyday with my best friend and can’t wait to see what the next four have in store for us.

If we we’re having brunch today, I’d tell you we still don’t have a mirror in the bathroom. Or a cabinet. The counter clutter is driving me BONKERS. And styling my hair blind is proving to be an exciting adventure (yay sarcasm). I did finally buy a bath rug (this one) and install the vanity cabinet knobs and drawer pulls in a fit of productivity yesterday and their polka dots are adorable. You guys, I just want it to be done so I can move on to the next project. Come on tax refund, just waiting on you!

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you I’ve been reading so much YA recently. I need to break this streak badly. Luckily one of my book clubs has picked Lean In and it’s about time I dive in. I’ve read so many conflicting reviews about this book and I can’t wait to talk about it. I doubt I’ll like it as much as I liked Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman, but it’s always good to read and ponder the eternal question, “can we have it ‘all?'” (My gut says let’s just get rid of all the “shoulds” please and do whatever is best for ourselves, not some random social standard, mmkay?)

Your turn! What’s going on with you this month?

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what i’m loving: august

August is a weird month for me. On the one hand, it’s the month of my birthday and our family vacation, making it a month of cheer and a calendar highlight. On the other, I am so ready for fall. It’s my fave season! Please bring on the pumpkin and pumpkin beer and scarves and boots and campfires and chili and Halloween and yes, FOOTBALL. But on the mutant third hand I wish I would grow, I am not ready for summer to be over. This year, especially, I’m not ready to relinquish my pool time. I’m not ready to pack away my pretty dresses. I’m not ready to stop laughing at the ice cream truck that seems to exist only to torture Nico (and us by extension) every night. It’s bittersweet, this month.

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August may be bittersweet, but it’s still full of so many good things to smile about!

1. These brownies. They’re named “Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies” or something ridiculous like that. I mean, what the what? There is hardly a dessert I’ve met that I thought is too much, but these might just be too much. Anyone want to test the theory with me? 😉

2. FALL CLOTHES. I’m kinda obsessed with the booties in that pic up there. I love everything about them and they must be mine. Let’s just set aside the fact that I hate everything in my closet right now and focus on how awesome fall clothes are. They just are. So many layers! Boots! Scarves! Tweed! I’m headed to the outlet malls with some birthday cash burning a hole in my wallet and its going to be the best day ever. Well, the best day ever would be going shopping with unlimited cash burning a hole in your pocket, but I digress…

3. Have y’all heard The Neighborhood? The husband keeps me pretty up to date with all the up and coming bands and this is my fave from the recent group of newbies. Their album I Love You spent some quality time with me on the beach and is getting me through some long bus rides. Check ’em out and weigh in: Should the husband and I see The Neighborhood or Capital Cities this fall? (Or both?)

4. Seriously, the holiday weekend can’t get here soon enough. Not only do I plan some major end-of-the-season pool time, I’m planning some house work too. No, not like cleaning house work…fun, painting house work. And folks, we’re going to the dark side. That kitchen up there? Reimagine it as a bedroom and you can see where the guest bedroom is headed. I. Can’t. Wait.

5. This is going to make me sound so nerdy, but I have been loving training for my half marathon. I have loved making the training plan and have actually been having fun doing speed workouts. Sick, right? There are really only about six or seven weeks left until the big day and I think I’m going to be sad when it’s over. It has really given me direction and has significantly upped my endurance even though I only officially started on the 1st. Bring it on, Half, bring it on.

What are you loving this month? Are you sad summer is over or excited for fall?

{all images from pinterest}

nerdy girl listens: she and him christmas

I’m just going to skip over the part where I apologize profusely for not blogging since June. JUNE. Our life was busy and fun this summer and fall, with not much time for the internets. Quick recap: we got a dog, went to Pawley’s Island, watched lots of LSU football. Done. Moving on.

Back in February, it was E’s birthday. All he wanted was a record player. As in, the old, outdated technology found gathering dust in your grandma’s basement. So he did some research and we went to the record store in Cincy (ShakeIt)…and left an hour or so later with very empty pockets and a start to our vinyl collection. Since then, we’ve gone to the store a few times and ordered newly released albums from our favorite artists. We only have one old record – an awesome Billy Joel release I found at an antique mall (but we are always on the lookout if you know where to find some)!

Black Friday was “Record Store Day”, a day when stores feature special releases like live albums or collections, so we decided to do our only shopping there. No 4am craziness for us. We again left with empty pockets, but a record player full of musical goodness like this:

As a rule, we only buy albums that both of us like, and both of us couldn’t wait to get our hands on this one. I love the other two She & Him releases and E loves…Zooey Deschanel. Anyway, her voice is so lovely and this album is really wonderful. Most of the arrangements are stripped down and really let her voice shine in it’s vintage-y and totally unique way. Zooey’s sound seems to favor the slow, more melancholy songs, but the upbeat parts of the collection are fun too! Favorite tracks include: The Christmas Waltz, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Baby It’s Cold Outside, and The Christmas Song.

We put it on and cuddled on the couch, enjoying the start of the season. Now to put up the tree…