Friday, July 29, 2011

what are you doing this weekend?

happy friday, friends! how have your weeks been?

mine was...eventful. for some reason, i felt like, between work and personal commitments, i was exceptionally busy this week, and it looks like next week will be more of the same. yesterday was kind of a strange day, too -- everything felt a tad "off" to me, and then last night's paddleboarding trip, which i was so excited about, got cancelled due to bad weather. plus i did an inordinate amount of late-night cleaning, which, while necessary, is not my favorite -- so i'm really glad it's friday.

tonight i have dinner and movie plans, but the rest of my weekend is pretty open, and i'm glad for that. we're supposed to get a "heat wave" today and tomorrow (um, how much hotter can it possibly get? it's like 95 degrees every day here..eek), so i'd love to squeeze in a little swimming action, and time with friends is definitely on the agenda, too. it should be a good few days.

what are your plans? tell me, and i'll see you back here monday!

photo by hamjolou

Thursday, July 28, 2011

hot child in the city.

i've got first dates and birthdays on the brain lately (i'm an august baby -- august seventh, to be precise -- so i'm in planning mode right now), so it makes sense that i'm smitten with these two dresses (and entire looks, actually) from j.crew. they'd be perfect for both, wouldn't they?

p.s. the title of this post has nothing to do with its content; i just (a) sing that song a lot in the summer and (b) have literally been a hot child in the city as of late, to the point where i'm proclaiming it's too hot for pants. hence the dress love. (ok, maybe it does relate.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

loving: rosegolden

this past sunday, i tweeted that i woke up thinking about creating a gallery wall somewhere in my apartment, which struck me as a fairly random but also as rather a lovely way to start the day. this week, i've continued to think more about the art (or lack thereof) in my home, and in particular my bedroom, which was repainted several months ago but which is still embarrassingly bare.

so i was delighted to discover that one of my favorite bloggers, anabela, in collaboration with erin, has created rosegolden, a shop selling beautiful, blown-up pictures of flowers that also feature a bit of gold-leaf detailing. (in fact, the shop's "about" section says that it's anabela and erin's way of "bringing together [their] love of flowers and shiny things.")

i can get behind that. and i can get behind hanging one of these in my home, too. how about you?

images via rosegolden

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

loving: hand-painted and dyed tees by rachel rose.

i've fallen hard for these beautiful handmade, hand-painted t-shirts by rachel rose. aren't they gorgeous? i'm super into the watercolor clothing trend right now, so i was delighted to discover rachel's beautiful shop. putting one of these (actually, that last one in particular) on my wishlist, for sure!

images by rachel rose

Monday, July 25, 2011

the weekend + committing to...

at first i was afraid this image wasn't appropriate for a bright-and-sunny monday post, but now that i'm typing it at 10 p.m. and it's officially dark outside, i've changed my tune. so before i get started, isn't it gorgeous? peter pan has always been one of my favorite stories, and this image makes me think of one of my favorite lines from the book (and in fact, from children's literature, like, ever): "second star to the right and straight on till morning." i'm smiling even as i type it.

so! the weekend! the weekend was fantastic. in the spirit of doing things that scare me (in the good way), i spent some time with someone new and had way more fun than i expected. i also made the aforementioned lemon bars (success), spent time with friends, spent time with family, celebrated a birthday and drank champagne. a good few days, indeed.

so in the spirit of those good things, here are my commitments for the next week:

+ continue to be open to new things.
+ learn to paddleboard! (this is actually happening on thursday. i cannot wait.)
+ do two spin classes and at least one good yoga session. (i've already done one spin class -- woohoo!)
+ rack my brain to figure out something super fun and quintessentially sarasota to do with someone coming in from out of town this weekend. (this should not be hard for me but it's proving challenging.)
+ give my house a deep clean. i've started with the bathroom, my least favorite thing, so at least that's done.

and you? what are you committing to this week? tell me, and i'll see you back here tomorrow!

photo by hamjolou

Friday, July 22, 2011

what are you doing this weekend?

happy friday, friends! how have your weeks been?

mine was quite busy, and it looks like that busy-ness will be continuing into the weekend: i have dinner plans after work tonight and then a birthday party that's taking me out of town tomorrow. the party has a lemon theme (which i think is so funny and whimsical), so i'm whipping up a batch of lemon squares to take with me and will be wearing a bright yellow blouse. i'm also hoping limoncello will be involved, but even if it isn't, it will still be a good time.

what are your plans for the weekend? tell me, and i'll see you back here monday, hopefully with some new photos from the weekend!

speaking of lemons, love these new lemon recipe cards from my favorite, rifle paper co.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

on guilt + chickens.

my poor blog has really been neglected lately, and although i try not to feel guilty about it (when i'm not here, i'm living my life, you know?), i still do, because i love you guys. so here is a pretty picture and the promise that i will be back tomorrow (and maybe even later today) with something more substantial.

(a note on the photo: this is the back yard of author flannery o'connor's childhood home in savannah, where she famously taught a chicken to walk backwards. i love it.)

until later: xoxo!

Monday, July 18, 2011

the weekend + committing to...

happy monday, friends! how were your weekends? how are your days going so far?

the last few days have been a total blast here in sarasota -- in fact, as per usual, here are five fun things from the weekend (actually from thursday night on):

+ gin and jazz at the ritz-carlton, sarasota, with new friends on thursday
+ happy hour with my best sarasota friends on friday night (note: you cannot beat $2.50 wine specials and laughter)
+ hanging out in my friend t.'s pool and eating homemade pizza on saturday afternoon
+ kayaking/paddleboarding on sarasota bay on saturday evening (yes, when i tried to stand up on the paddleboard -- it was my first time doing it -- i plunged headfirst into the bay. looking forward to pro lessons next week. but it was so fun).
+ a relaxing sunday that involved more time in pajamas than out of them.

and on the commitment agenda for this week:

+ gym time!
+ meal planning. i'm thinking a big pot of curry, a big pot of split pea soup and a big batch of egg salad sound pretty good.
+ catch a sunset by the gulf. it's been awhile since i've done that. (and i'll take pictures, to boot!)
+ work some more on personal writing projects. i dropped the ball on that a bit in the last few months.
+ believe in my own self worth. a reminder i still need from time to time.

and you?

photos above from my trip to savannah. that saxophonist played the most beautiful music outside the olde pink house restaurant every day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

loving: gorgeous nova scotia home.

love, love, love the use of greens and blues in this nova scotia home. aren't they just beautiful?

p.s. read more about the home and its owners here.

photos by tony cenicola for the new york times

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

travelogue: savannah, ga.

i don't travel very much -- it's something that i really want to do more of in the next few years, especially as i become more financially stable and as i (gulp) hit my 30s -- but i still thought i'd share some pics and write up a mini-travelogue about my time in savannah, which was wonderful. (warning: this is going to be a long post.)

i guess i should start by saying that the past six months have caused me to do a lot of thinking about where i'd ultimately like to live. i came thisclose to moving up north in february for work, but then, at the eleventh hour, decided to stay in sarasota thanks to a seriously fantastic job offer that i thank my lucky stars for every single day.

and before all that, i never questioned that i'd someday live up north -- new york city was my top choice, but i would have been happy in boston or philadelphia, too. in fact, when i friend told me upon our college graduation that he never saw me any of those cities -- that he saw me in a city like charleston or savannah instead -- i scoffed. stay in the south? me? no. i was northeast bound.

but my trip to savannah -- and the time i've spent in sarasota over the past five years, and, again, particularly the last six months -- has changed that a little. i'm still not sure that florida is my forever state, but i love the south more and more each year. and who knows? maybe savannah is in the cards for me in the next couple of years. i guess we'll see. the point is: i loved it there. here's what we did and my thoughts on all of it.

avia hotel - i picked this after doing just a little bit of googling, and i'm pretty proud of my choice. the hotel is new-ish -- about two years old -- and the staff is super friendly and accommodating. the beautiful modern decor is a nice contrast to savannah's otherwise very southern gothic style, and in addition to a fun bar (see below), there's also a beautiful second-floor pool with canopied seats and an outdoor bar. my only criticism -- and it has nothing to do with the staff or amenities provided -- is that the room doors are very thin, and you can pretty much hear everything that goes on in the hallways. otherwise, i'd absolutely, 100 percent stay there again, especially since it's so centrally located.

flannery o'connor's childhood home - an interesting way to experience a slice of the author's life. the house is smallish and the tour quick, but i loved looking at its antique pieces and hearing stories about the strongheaded, often-impish o'connor.

the telfair museum of art - a small museum in a gorgeous building (actually called the jepson center for the arts) with a seriously impressive entryway (see the pic of the installation above). currently on display is work by judith godwin, which i just loved.

telfair academy of arts and sciences - originally a mansion built for the telfair family, this museum -- which is gorgeous -- now houses some of the telfairs' furnishings as well as 19th- and 20th-century american and european art, including american impressionist pieces and work by artists like robert henri (whose beautiful salome is my favorite piece in sarasota's ringling museum).

the owens-thomas house - also part of the telfair family of museums, this grand-even-now house is a great example of english regency architecture and one of the first homes in the u.s. to have indoor plumbing. it also has one of the oldest intact slave quarters in the united states, and honestly: it's pretty chilling to walk through those rooms. in the main house, many of the original furnishings are still present and it's so much fun to look at them as you meander through.

shopSCAD - there's so much history in savannah that it's nice to remember the savannah college of art and design is committed to keeping the city on the cutting edge of the art and design scene. we ducked into shopSCAD on the way to the flannery o'connor house, and i loved looking at all the cool pieces created by scad students and alumni.

city market - a bustling marketplace with a bunch of shops and cafes -- strolling it through it was most fun in the morning, when everything was just waking up, and at night, when a country band was playing live one evening.

your own walking tour - savannah, at least the historic district, is really-and-truly walkable. we parked our car at our hotel and literally did not use it once for two days -- it was awesome. i highly recommend wandering through the city, relaxing in some of the many squares with a cup of coffee or tea, and stopping at shops, galleries and cafes as you see fit. even in 90-plus-degree july heat, it was wonderful.

old town trolleys historic tour - there are many, many historic tours in savannah, but our concierge recommended this service, which lets you ride its trolleys all day and jump off and on at various stops throughout the city. the guides are all well-versed in city history and most have pleasantly southern drawls. not going to lie: you feel super touristy on these things, but you also learn a lot.

papillote - we started the day here with delicious, fresh salads with a definitive french flair. not necessarily a cheap lunch but delicious and beautiful nonetheless.

the olde pink house - haute southern cuisine at its best -- seriously, one of the best meals i've ever had. it started with a delicious homemade biscuit, continued with a crabcake sandwiched between two fried green tomatoes and served alongside an arugula salad, and ended with almond-crusted tilapia in shrimp butter (and, actually, topped with three plump shrimp) with grits and green beans. oh, and there was wine, too. i'm still dreaming of this meal, you guys.

also, the restaurant itself is beautiful -- it sits right beside a leafy green square and is indeed pink --  and the night we ate there, a saxophonist was playing in that square. just lovely.

goosefeathers cafe - a charming little cafe where we had breakfast on our second day. the food wasn't groundbreaking, but it was good and definitively breakfast-y, and the cafe seems to be a popular spot -- there was a line to the door the entire time we were there.

mabel francis potter's cupcake emporium - best cupcake i've had recently -- moist cake with a not-too-sweet buttercream frosting and a perfect cake-to-icing ratio. a pillar for other 'cakes. (we brought some home.)

leopold's ice cream - another best -- this time the best ice cream i've had in years. ridiculously creamy but not overly sweet,  i'm half-tempted to see if they'll ship a pint of lemon custard to my doorstep. it's easy to see why this place has been in business for more than 100 years.

avia kitchen + lounge - avia doesn't have its own restaurant, per se, but it does have a great bar (and a signature cocktail) and serves hot breakfast and light bites for dinner. i had a fresh-from-the-iron belgian waffle, a scoop of super creamy grits (side note: i have a newfound love for grits after this trip) and some fresh fruit, and all were delicious.

so there you have it -- a long-winded blog post and my little savannah travelogue. see you back here tomorrow, friends!

photos: 1. one of the city's many leafy green squares; 2. papillote; 3.-4. flannery o'connor house; 5. paris market; 6. jepson center for the arts (telfair museum of art); 7. owens thomas house. all snapped by me!

Monday, July 11, 2011

the weekend + committing to...

whew. today was certainly a monday -- the kind of monday that only comes after a week-long vacation (you know what i mean, right?). but it was also surprisingly cool outside, thanks to some threatening gray skies that never actually made rain, and i managed to make it to my spin class, which was amazing. oh, and now i'm typing this blog post with zadie cuddled up next to me. there's no better way, for me, to start the week.

the weekend was lovely, too. in fact, here are five wonderful things that happened:

+ coming back to sarasota and two felines who really missed me. love my fluffs!
+ dinner with my favorite friend t. and her new boyfriend. we drank $3 wine and laughed a lot. it was awesome.
+ sleep. oh, sweet sleep. for some reason, i didn't get a whole lot in savannah, so being back in my own bed was like heaven.
+ cupcake carnage. yum.
+ a perfectly relaxing sunday that included errand-running and movies and nothing i didn't want to do.

and here are five commitments for the week:

+ stay calm. i have a feeling that this is going to be a pretty hectic week, and i can get pretty wound up if i don't watch myself. so, yes: calm.
+ take more photos. i had a ball doing just that in savannah, and my little point-and-shoot is serving me well.
+ think about health goals for the rest of the summer.
+ finish a new book.
+ spend time with friends who have been out of town (talking to you, k.!)

and you? what are your goals for the week? tell me, and i'll see you back here tomorrow!

photo by saraseaside

Friday, July 8, 2011

what are you doing this weekend? + savannah love

happy friday, friends -- how were your weeks? (completely fantastic, i hope.)

as you can no doubt tell, i abandoned my blog for a few days so i could take a road trip to savannah with my mom. i'm prepping a "scenes from savannah" post and mini-travelogue for next week -- i have to edit my photos first -- but for now i'll just say that i am 100 percent smitten with this sweet southern city. here's a little list of things it gave me:

+ the best meal i've had in recent memory (at the olde pink house)
+ the best ice cream i think i've had, like, ever (lemon custard at leopold's)
+ a ridiculously good cupcake from mabel francis potter's cupcake emporium that rivals my beloved bluebird bake shop's (and that is no small feat)
+ the urge to heavily incorporate the word "y'all" into my vocabulary
+ a refresher course in southern history thanks to some great historic home tours and visits to a bunch of local museums
+ even more inspiration to wear fabulous printed scarves with tanks and jersey dresses and t-shirts, even when it's hot out. (thank you, scad students and fashionable locals.)
+ a nice reminder of how enjoyable a truly walkable city is -- and savannah, at least the historic district, is just that

again, more to come on monday, when it's back to work for me (and most other people i know -- seems like everyone was off this week). what are your plans for the weekend? tell me, and i'll see you back here in just a few days!

photo by walkinghead

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

the nature of space.

i am so taken with this tiny house in helsinki that was featured in the times last week. (according to the article, you can cross it in five paces.) kind of makes you take a look at your own place and rethink things, doesn't it? (and i'm not talking just about objects. i'm talking about proximity -- or lack thereof -- to the people you live with, too.)

photographs by andreas meichsner for the new york times

Monday, July 4, 2011

the weekend + committing to... + happy fourth of july!

happy fourth of july to all my u.s. readers--and happy monday to everyone outside the states! how were your weekends? i hope they were delightful (and, for most of you, that they're continuing today).

and my weekend? it was pretty great. here're five lovely things that happened:

+ a quiet friday night in.
+ sushi with friends on saturday, followed by board games late into the night. (you guys, pass the pigs is amazing.)
+ fantastic brunch with mom, aunt and cousins, followed by a full day on the ringling museum campus, capped off with a seafood dinner at owen's fish camp, one of my favorite restaurants in town.
+ a couple of storms, complete with heavy rain, flashes of lightning and claps of thunder. love 'em.
+ some new-found assertiveness.  hooray, me!

and five commitments for the week:

+ continue to focus on health. make smart choices, especially since i'll be eating out quite a bit this week.
+ make the most of my week off -- be productive, but relax, too.
+ help my mom enjoy our little trip north as much as possible. she's been so stressed lately; i want to make sure she has the best time.
+ keep up the aforementioned new-found assertiveness.
+ be open to possibilities of all kinds. i have a sneaking suspicion that there are a lot of them out there right now.

tonight i'm going to the beach to watch fireworks explode over the ocean and i couldn't be happier. how about you -- what are your plans for the fourth? and what are your goals for the week?

see you back here tomorrow!

love this photo by eleanor hardwick so much. isn't it lovely?

Friday, July 1, 2011

what are you doing this weekend?

happy friday, friends -- and for those of you in the u.s., happy fourth of july weekend! for me today starts not only a holiday weekend, but a company-wide week off. needless to say, i'm super excited, especially because the second half of next week means a little road trip and, um, i haven't been on an actual vacation in like two years. more to come on where i'm going and what i'll be doing in a few days.

meanwhile, this weekend i plan on keeping on with the cleaning/organization i've been doing, helping the felines continue to adjust to each other and getting some much-needed sleep (i didn't get a whole lot this past week, for some reason). there's also fireworks to be watched, sand to dig my toes into, and friends to spend time with; plus, i need to come up with a list of things i want to do over the first couple of days of next week (namely: eyebrow wax and mani/pedi). a little exercise would be good, too.

what are your plans for the weekend? are you barbecuing? watching fireworks? shopping? spending time with friends and family? just enjoying the first weekend of july? tell me what you'll be up to -- and whatever it is, i hope it's one hundred percent summery and joyful.

photo by andy newson