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If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you to stay far, far away. I was SO lucky to catch a late-spring cold and it is terrible. I’ve run the gamut–super tired, sore throat, stuffy AND runny nose–and luckily it is on its way out. No one wants to get sick, but trust me, it is far better to get these kinds of things when it’s not 75 and sunny. I just want to run and play!

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you, no, you didn’t miss anything, we STILL don’t have our new floors. I don’t know either. Are they growing the bamboo shoots one at a time? It’s the only explanation I can come up with that doesn’t leave me raging. In the meantime, we’ve done things like build a half wall in our living room (replacing a spindly banister over the stairs), started a DIY fix-up of some patio furniture I got at a yard sale, and replaced our refrigerator (reluctantly), but ugh I want the floor. Now.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you I did it. I started the last Tana French book. I…can’t explain myself. I knew that I would race through them after I loved The Likeness so much, and I had no willpower to stop myself. I love them so much. Please, please, read them all. Thanks.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I am so ready for this summer. We have a few little weekend getaways planned, some concerts, and because we’re crazy, we’re planning to ride our bikes 100 mile. It’s…so far. Please keep the ice packs and Advil handy as we start to ramp up the training miles these next few weeks. (I’m only sort of kidding…it’s actually so much fun, much better than I found marathon training.)

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that we have been watching Netflix like crazy people. How are they SO GOOD at their original programming? I love Bloodline and I know it sounds so dumb, but Daredevil is insanely addictive. Damn Marvel. I am also already dreading the finale of HBO’s Silicon Valley. I love those nerds so much. Can we also talk about Mad Men? I was on the fence for the last few seasons, but still stuck it out, and I am getting a little weepy that it’s going to be over tonight. I’m a few weeks behind so I at least get to savor the end. Sadface!

What’s going on in your world today? Share!

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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?

sunday brunch

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If we were having brunch today, you’d probably laugh SO HARD at the ridiculous smile I have on my face when I tell you all about my new job. It’s so great. Everyone has been so welcoming and the work is fun. Does liking bank work make me a corporate schmo? Eh. Sorry I’m not sorry. It’s certainly a different world from what I’ve been used to, but I am enjoying being part of a large team and actually having a designer to learn from again. Oh and bank holidays. Yeeeaaahhhh I’d probably also be telling you all about my plans for tomorrow, including sleeping in, watching tv in pajamas all day, reading, cuddling with the dog…you know.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I am obsessed with the Netflix show Peaky Blinders. Have you seen it? Ermahgerd I love it so much. We watched the two seasons in less than two weeks (would have been less than two days but the husband enforced a mandated rationing — boo). Imagine Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey having a glorious love-child and you’ve pretty much got the gist of Peaky Blinders. The Blinders are a family mob in England after WWI who run a gambling circuit and various other illegal activities and it is great. I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch this:

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If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that any attempt so far at trying to be healthy in 2015 (I didn’t set any resolutions, but I’d always like to have a little better habits and the new year is a good time to start fresh) has failed. Miserably. I’ve been running really consistently 3-4 times a week, and that’s really awesome in this cold we’ve had, but besides that…nada. Zippo. And food? Uhhhh it’s best not to go into it. Anyone have any tips for getting back on track? I need Amy Poehler’s advice here, the doing of the thing is the thing, not the talking about it.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I am so over this winter EXCEPT that we haven’t really had any snow. Can we make a big storm happen? Preferably on a weekend so I don’t have commute stress? Cool.

If we were having brunch today, I’d ask you if you’ve seen any of the Oscar nominees and if you have any recos. We’ve seen The Imitation Game and Birdman and I thought both were excellent films. Michael Keaton was especially brilliant. I want to see a few more before the Oscars, namely Boyhood (I’ve heard it’s great but very long) and The Theory of Everything and I guess I’ll eventually see American Sniper,  though I am generally not a fan of war movies. In general, this was a great crop, right?

Your turn! How’s life with you today?

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If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you all about the changes coming my way in a few weeks. I am so lucky to be starting a new job in January, one that is going to push me to grow as a designer and hopefully grow into leadership positions. It’s exciting and scary and wonderful — everything that a new adventure should be — and is the best Christmas present ever. Plus, you know, I get to buy all new clothes. BUMMER.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you we’ve had a truly festive holiday season. I don’t know if it’s because of the late Thanksgiving or just the way the Christmas cookie crumbled, but we’ve had so many get-togethers and parties with our friends and family. It’s been a great reminder to be with the ones we love and stay light. It’s almost enough frivolity to distract me from the fact that we haven’t seen the sun in what feels like years. (Hey Sun, PLEASE COME BACK.)

If we were having brunch today, I’d probably want to dissect Serial with you, and/or spend at least 15 minutes convincing you to listen to it because OMG. I thought the ending was actually pretty perfect in its ambiguity and I agree with all of Sarah’s conclusions. I’ll admit, I feel kinda skeevy getting so much entertainment from someone’s very real and very traumatic life, but the mystery is so compelling. I can’t wait for the next one!

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you the husband is campaigning extra hard right no to get a second dog and I am feeling like the meanest person ever. I don’t know how much longer I can stay strong…

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that Goodreads did their annual “your year in books” review and I read 59 books (which will probably go up to at least 60, probably 61 or 62 by the end of the year). That is…so many. Over 24k pages. It’s kinda shocking really, and yeah, really a little sad. Oh well, we’re all a little (or a lot) nerdy about something, and this happens to be my particular brand. Stay tuned for a favorite books list!

What’s going on in your world? Let’s gab!

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If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I am super happy that the husband is coming home from his long weekend away tonight because bad things happen when he’s gone. I mean the house is super clean and all of that…but it’s so quiet I simply fill the time with an endless binge of Veep and GoT until I crash on the couch and have to put myself to bed. On the other hand, I did have the time to pick up and get started on a truly amazing freelance job, go to a wine tasting with good friends who have moved into the neighborhood, and head over to Findlay Market for some casual girl talk and fancy food browsing with one of my closest girls. So there’s the good with the bad. Though really, is a TV binge ever really a bad thing?

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that it’s finally truly fall here and I’m kinda not ok with it. I know, I know. Last month I was raving about all the fall things. But it’s been rainy and gloomy ALL WEEK, I had to break down and turn on the heat already, and my vitamin d pills can’t keep up. Yes, it means the boots and scarves can be on heavy rotation, but that also means they’ll have to be on heavy rotation until, say, April. UGH! Maybe I just need more pumpkin spice?

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I’m basically counting the minute until I get to go to Florida in a few weeks. A spur of the moment airfare deal presented itself, so I’m heading down south for a week to visit with my bestie, hit up Disney World for some Everest action and a whole lot of food and wine thanks to Epcot’s glorious Food and Wine Festival, and head over to her fab beach condo for some reading and relaxing and vitamin d replenishing. I cheated and looked at the Food and Wine menu…so much money will be spent and I’m pretty sure I’ll gain 5 pounds in a night. WORTH IT. This getaway is so, so needed after a few stressful months at the office.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I’m missing my long hair. That’s the way it goes right? You have long hair, you want the pixie. You have the pixie, you miss the days of the top knot. And I really do miss the messy hair-don’t care top knot. It’s going to be a long year of trying to get that back…

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I started following IKEA on Instagram and whoa, I need a house project. It’s been WAY too long since I’ve done anything and the houses they feature are making me feel some serious envy. Should I find some furniture to redo? Maybe get started on the lower level? Some DIY artwork? Small kitchen updates? I don’t know what I really have in mind at this point, just that I need something to work on after this freelance job is over. Y’all got any ideas? I still don’t even have a bathroom mirror and it’s been like 6 months, so that should probably be the first priority. And it should tell you the pacing and effort level we like to give around here (aka, neither are good).

What’s going on in your world? Let’s gab!

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If we were having brunch today, I’d probably be mainlining coffee and nursing sore feet from dancing all night long at our dear friends’ wedding last night. I’m always amazed at how each wedding we go to truly reflects the couple’s spirit and individuality, despite the fact that all weddings follow basically the same format. You know the drill: I do, food, CAKE, dancing, etc. The husband and I had such a fun night dancing (ok, maybe only one of us actually had fun dancing…) and celebrating with one of the most fun and light-hearted couples we know. Plus I got to wear boots. It’s like the weather knew we all wanted fall RIGHT NOW. Such a perfect night!

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you all about my fantasy football team and probably be obsessively tinkering with my lineup and bore the hell out of you. Gah. I don’t know what has happened to me, but fall is here and football is back and life is so, so good because of it.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you I’m reading this creeptastic book called Night Film all about an investigative journalist trying to uncover the truth about a famous (but reclusive) horror film director’s daughter’s death years after he ruined his reputation for going after said director. It’s action-packed and scary and full of plot twists and turns, and since I’m now apparently in love with weird and creepy things, I’m loving it so much. Plus it’s chock full of notes and emails and (fake) web articles so it reads like you’re actually a part of the investigation. I can’t wait for the end.

I’m also reading a nonfiction book about the Civil War and (gasp!) enjoying it. Like I said, I don’t even know what has happened to me.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you this fall is going to be so great. I mean, Halloween is on a Friday this year, how could the whole season not be amazingly fun. The husband and I have a few weekend trips planned (though sadly, none together? boo), but other than that I’m hoping to stay here and enjoy being a little less busy. We (the collective “we”) LOVE to be busy, yeah? But it’s so draining, especially since work has kicked in again after the slow summer. So yeah, there probably won’t be any house improvements or party hosting because I think it’s time to sit back and enjoy for just a little bit. Or maybe that’s just my excuse to be a little more lazy. Potato, po-tah-to.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you go watch True Detective NOW if you haven’t. When did Matthew McConaughey become legit? Because whoa. This show is something special. In related news, when do new shows start? I am in TV withdrawal and I don’t even care how sad that is.

Your turn: What’s going on with you this morning?

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If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that next week is my birthday and it feels…uneventful? For the past three years, we’ve spent my birthday week sunning and swimming and reading the days away at Pawleys Island and though we went to Hilton Head earlier this summer, it feels strange to be home for number 28. And sadface, I might only get ONE birthday cake! I’m excited about 28 though, it feels like it’s going to be a great one. I won’t bore you with my silly positive-intention stuff, but I’m thinking it’s going to be a year of many more yeses and a lot more of The Happiness Project. Bring on the goodness (and the cake)!

If we were having brunch, I’d tell you this week brings the last of my wheel pottery class and I can’t believe it went this fast! I’m going to miss my new little hobby. I am so glad my friends and I decided to break out of our routines and try something new. (I guess I started saying “yes” a few weeks early!) I think it’s so important to make time for yourself and to keep learning and I’ve loved getting to do nothing but play and create for a few hours a week. And it turns out we’ve all actually gotten pretty good! Ok, maybe just not completely embarrassing. The perfect coffee mug still eludes me though…only one week left to get it right!!!

What should I try next? The other girls didn’t like my idea of trapeze…

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that we totally binge-watched the end of The Killing and ugh, you guys. It’s so good. The show definitely didn’t get the press or viewership it deserved on AMC and I’m glad Netflix took it over to end the series the right way. If you haven’t seen it, the show follows two homicide detectives in Seattle and is funny and sad and maybe slightly creepy and you will love love love Holder. Just trust me, it’s worth it!

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I also have been binge-reading. Can’t help it, I’m a glutton. Last weekend I somehow read an entire book. My house is a disaster and I have no social life, but whatevs right? I haven’t done that in a very long time. I tore through The Intern’s Handbook (SO GOOD) and dove into The Book of Life, the finale of the All Souls Trilogy that was just released. I’m excited to review the series as soon as I finish it, but I’ll say for now if you are a fan of smart chick lit mixed with magic and history and science, you’ll love it.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you once again, this summer has been so much fun. Despite having no money, we’ve been able to do so much (though sadly, nothing to the house!) and have felt so free with our time. We’ve enjoyed outdoor concerts (Lumenocity was so freaking amazing), have ridden our bikes hundreds of miles thanks to some really incredible weather, and celebrated little everyday moments like dinner on the deck. I even got a date night last night (Guardians of the Galaxy…love)! It’s been a great season so it pains me to say I’m maybe ready for the next? I just want some boots, okay?!?

Your turn! Grab your coffee and let’s chat!

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If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you all about my sweet husband who bought me a super early birthday present – a fancy new bike! …and about how much we’ve been riding. Seriously, ouch. We definitely shouldn’t have made this purchase (thanks new heat pump), but we took my old cheap bike in for a tune up and after learning it needed a new chain and derailleur and many other things, the cost to fix it was ridiculous. So after a lot of test riding and hemming and hawing and promises that yes, I indeed would start to actually ride again, the pretty new baby was mine. What are credit cards for, right? He is fast and matte black and super comfy. We’ve done everything from a short hill interval workout that left us utterly breathless to a day-long 60 mile adventure. It’s been so fun, and even though running will always be my first love, I’ve been bitten by the cycling bug again. So much so that…

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I’ve become some other human and actually care about the Tour de France again. I freely admit this may be the nerdiest thing about me right now. A few years ago I watched EVERY single stage and knew all the riders. It was intense. I think the sport has gone through a few dark years thanks to Lance Armstrong and the drugs (it’s not just him, but he’s the most well-known and that makes him the poster boy sadly), but I hope it starts to build in popularity again. I’ve been watching the weekend stages and the drama and crashes and teamwork and of course, the gorgeous scenery are so much fun to watch. It is truly amazing what they do. The husband and I rode 40 (flat) miles yesterday and I am so sore it’s stupid. They ride at least double that in the mountains everyday for WEEKS. I also somehow have cared about soccer. There may or may not be a World Cup/Fried Chicken party at our house this afternoon. 😉

If we were having brunch, I’d tell you that I started taking a pottery class a few weeks ago with friends. I haven’t touched clay since middle school when I learned that 2-d art was much more my forte, and never ever on a wheel. Well, I remember why. My efforts have been…abstract…at best. But the class is so much fun and a perfect mid-week relaxing creative outlet. Like most things in my life, I struggle with the patience to go through each of the (many many) steps in throwing a pot, but it’s probably a good lesson for me to learn at this point in my life. I forgot how much I need a creative hobby that’s just for me. I may be creative for a living, but it’s not making art just for the sake of making art, something that feels oh so good. I can’t wait to share my creations once they’ve been glazed!

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I found a new series to be obsessed with. Y’all know already that I pretty much love any book with magic in it and will gobble up any and every one I find. A year or so, my aunt (hi!) recommended A Discovery of Witches to me, and I finally got around to reading it. And then reading the sequel Shadow of Night immediately after. They may not be the best books ever written and sometimes the writing and dialogue is quite cheesy, but I was sucked in and totally hooked. I really love the cast of characters and the author’s version of magic. The author is a historian and you can definitely tell, perfect for nerds like me who also really love learning about the past. She weaves magic into world history in really clever ways, especially in the second book when there’s time travel. The third book is sitting in the library’s processing department right now (do you know how hard it is to walk past 75 copies of the book just sitting on a cart a few times a day and NOT take one?!?) so hopefully I’ll get a copy in the next few weeks. Can’t. Wait.

If we were having brunch today, I’d celebrate that we’ve finally got perfect tomatoes and peaches. Clearly, the best parts of summer. I’ve been planning meals around all the best summer bounty and it has certainly been a delicious summer. Hence why we need to keep riding our bikes!

Your turn: If we were having brunch today, what would you tell me?

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If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you Happy Summer! I am loving it. We’ve already had a cookout, had many meals al fresco, gone to the pool for many many hours (my skin isn’t so happy about this one), ridden our bikes a ton, are going to an outdoor concert tonight (!), and maybe or maybe not enjoyed milkshakes two days in a row. Can’t be too sure about that last one! I love feeling like the days are endless – I want to squeeze as much out of each extra minute as possible.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I’m almost finished with reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and The Secret History back to back. Y’all, these are not light and happy summer reads. I need some Nora Roberts frivolity stat. These books though. I am in love. The Goldfinch is heartbreaking and dark, but the last chapter…it’s beautiful. I can absolutely see why it won the Pulitzer. The Secret History was our book club choice and I can’t wait to hear what people think (or let’s face it, if anyone else read it…). It’s fun and creepy and full of snotty New England intellectuals. Love it so much. But seriously, I need a little break on the doom and gloom here!

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that not having any money is a drag, but it makes for some interesting challenges. And hey, we’ve faced this past week of 90-degree days and the new ac didn’t even break a sweat, so I am beyond grateful and definitely not complaining. Much. We might not be able to go on any more adventures for awhile, but I’ve been having fun scouting free or cheap things to do in the city – who knew there were so many free concerts, stargazing nights (pumped for this!), paddleboarding, etc. Just don’t try to get me to a church festival. There are about 100 million in Cincinnati and I just can’t. Ever.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you I am obsessed with Orphan Black. Now that we’re cutting our cable (see the no-money challenges above), we’ve been actually using all the streaming stuff we have and it is SO GOOD. If you have Amazon Prime, watch it now. It is so dramatic and the actress who plays the main character (characters?) is really great. And duh, Orange is the New Black. Love it. We’ve also been World Cup-obsessed (yes, only a week after being Stanley Cup-obsessed…I need a sports break) and working our way through Friday Night Lights. Tim Riggins forever.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you I’m in a food rut. I was recently told my dinner menus were a bit “monotonous,” so I need some help. Anyone got some good summer eats? Caveats: must be cheap, quick and easy to prepare, and delicious. SO easy, right? If it were up to me, my summer days would look like this: iced coffee all the time, yogurt and granola, caprese salad, corn on the cob, and milkshakes. (The last two days can attest to the last one.) I’m ok with a little delicious monotony, clearly. But apparently boys don’t eat this way, so help please! The husband thanks you in advance.

Spill, what’s going on in your world this month? Happy brunching!

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If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you all about my fab week at the beach. It was awesome, y’all. I am both happy and sad to be back home – happy because my skin desperately can’t handle any more direct contact with sunlight for awhile and sad because well, no one ever really wants vacation to be over, right? It was the perfect weeklong binge of good food, even better alcohol, sunlight so perfect it makes your heart hurt with happiness, laughter and smiles, beautiful books to read, and enough gorgeous runs and walks on the beach to avoid gaining 10 pounds (as opposed to the five or so I brought home as a souvenir). I am so thankful to have the amazing parents I do and that they let the husband and I crash their party this week.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that I am super lame and have made a “summer bucket list.” I know, I embarrass myself too. It includes things like “make homemade ice cream” and “go to a Reds game” and “go on the [brother-in-law’s] boat.” Ok, and a lot more food-related items I’m leaving off because they make me realize just what a fat kid I really am. But I can’t help it, I am just SO excited for summer to get here and to be one of the best yet because last summer the husband and I didn’t really get to enjoy anything thanks to all his health issues. This summer is going to make up for it in spades, I can tell.

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you that this girl really needs to whip her butt back into shape. Not only to get rid of that pesky “souvenir,” but simply to feel better. I’ve been kicking butt with my running, no issues there, but since I stopped lifting with a trainer twice a week and fitting in some yoga a few times a month (seriously…don’t even remember the last time I pulled the mat out of the closet), I’ve been feeling a bit off. One of my besties started a “yoga everyday” challenge and has totally inspired me this past month. Maybe I should make up a challenge for summer. I can surely do something everyday, right? Right?

If we were having brunch today, I’d tell you I picked up A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at last year’s used book sale at work (OMGITSTARTSNEXTWEEK!!!!) and started reading it a few days ago. You guys. How did I not read this before now? It’s so beautiful. I got about 10 pages in before turning to the husband at the beach and waxing poetic about how I already loved it. The imagery and tone are simply beautiful and I have totally fallen for Francie. Go read it.

If we were having brunch today, I’d apologize for my radio silence. I’m so sorry guys. Truth is, I’ve been feeling uninspired and you, my dear readers, paid the price. For some reason or another I would try to come to this space and write creative words about books and my house and music and nerd power and I couldn’t. I can’t promise to be back here wholeheartedly in the weeks to come, this is just a hobby and creative outlet after all and let’s be honest, no one wants to sit at a computer when there’s so much summer to enjoy, but I can promise not to be such a stranger. Deal?

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