Friday, September 28, 2012

What are you doing this weekend?

Happy Friday! What are your plans for the weekend? I'm going to a wine tasting tonight (not complaining!) and then tomorrow I'm heading out of town to meet ACS for a weekend of relaxation. We're staying in a hotel, which is one of my favorite things ever—something about the big beds and tiny shampoo bottles makes me really happy. How about you? What are your plans?

And if you need some weekend reading, here are three things I've read lately that I want to share (I'm going to try to do this every week—share three long-ish articles that I've read recently—and maybe you'll share some with me, too, in the comments?):

great profile of the awesome Mindy Kaling. Are you watching The Mindy Project? (NY mag)

Online ethics. And this post, too. (Le Projet D'Amour)

What the wife of a Ponzi schemer knew—or didn't know. (Sarasota magazine)

Plus, a bonus: This one's making the rounds, but it's worth a read: Scientology, Tom Cruise...and Katie Holmes. I find Scientology fascinating. Kind of terrifying, but fascinating. (Vanity Fair)

P.S. If you're reading this post in Google reader or the like, pop on over to the blog itself—I gave it a little makeover and I'm pretty happy with the results. The pink, the polka just feels more like me, you know? (Plus I totally took inspiration from this fruit. No, seriously.)

Have a great weekend!

Photo of Mindy Kaling by Zachary Scott for New York magazine.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Feeling dotty.

This may be the most beautiful coat I've ever seen: Vintage, mohair, ivory with blue polka dots...and ringing in at a whopping $895. You know, pocket change. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Things I realized while traveling last week.

Things I realized while traveling last week:

I could never live far from the ocean. (Nighttime walks on the beach reinforced that. Why don't I do that more here?)

That said, South Florida (i.e., Fort Lauderdale, Miami, etc.) is not for me. It's just...too much. Sarasota all the way.

Nothing beats wine on a patio overlooking the ocean. (Especially when it's complimentary wine.)

The Internet is truly The Great Connector. I've now been introduced to two real-life friends via Twitter (hi, Megan and Ashley!).

Staying in a hotel is so much fun, no matter how old you are. (Bonus points if your hotel room has a balcony overlooking the hotel pool and the Atlantic Ocean.)

I am perfectly capable of and happy to enjoy a meal alone. I still can't do it without having my phone/some reading material on me, but—like going to the movies by myself—I even kinda prefer it sometimes.

I absolutely, 100 percent chose the right career for me. This really hit home when I was listening to Pulitzer Prize-winning author/journalist Rick Bragg speak on Friday morning—I'm so glad I have a job that allows me to do that. (P.S., a tip for writers from Bragg himself, about writing with color: "The thing I've learned in my old age is that simple and powerful is probably better.")

Coming home from a few days of travel, especially when it's to your cozy apartment, soft bed and two happy, fluffy cats, may just be the best part of it all.

Photo: My own.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Your Sister's Sister.

I was sick for most of last week (nothing serious, just a weird cold that's—annoyingly—still lingering) and felt like doing little more than lying on my couch and watching movies almost every night after work. So one night, I made a big pot of soup and curled up with the cats and Your Sister's Sister, a sweet film starring Emily Blunt (my girl crush), Rosemarie Dewitt and Mark Duplass (my new boy crush; he's adorable). It's a love triangle of sorts, but something about the smart, character-driven plot feels very French, and the cinematography—filled with shots of the Pacific Northwest—is beautiful. I watched it more than once. Thumbs up, for sure.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dress like your fruit.

Here's a sentence I never thought I'd type (also, we can officially file this post under "most random ever"): I would be totally happy dressing like the dragonfruit I discovered hanging out in the hotel breakfast buffet over the weekend. Hot pink and black-and-white dots? Yes, please.

Photo: My own. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Stuffed animals and memories.

I have always had an affinity for stuffed animals, beginning with the two that slept in my crib with me when I was only a few weeks old. Lamby is a stuffed lamb that my Aunt Rose knitted for me; Kitty is a stuffed cat that was my dad's when he was a baby and that he gave me when I was born (meaning that Kitty is, for all intents and purposes, 57 years old). I still have them both, hence the present tense—poor Kitty has lost both her ears and her eyes but is still maybe the most precious thing I own; Lamby has held up really well aside from some weight loss due to missing stuffing. They are both at the top of the very short list of things I would take with me if my house was on fire. I love both of them with an intensity that I can't quite explain, almost as if they're real pets; they are just so incredibly familiar and comforting. (Can you see why The Velveteen Rabbit is a favorite book?)

The love I have for Lamby and Kitty has extended to other stuffed animals throughout the years, notably a bunny rabbit and a large mouse (Mousey—gosh, I was a creative child!), and has made me a firm believer in the idea that every child should have at least one stuffed animal that they sleep with at night when they're little and remember fondly (and maybe even keep) when they're big. That's why I was so thrilled to discover Walnut Animal Society, the brainchild of Lauren Bradshaw (she of the needle-felted birdies). Walnut Animal Society is made up of several heirloom-quality stuffed animals—including a fox, bear, raccoon and Magnolia the bunny, above—each with its own personality and each impeccably made. I don't have kids but I have friends who do, and these would make a perfect gift that could be loved for years. Stuffed animals are such a big part of the fabric of childhood—at least they were for me—so I love seeing companies like Walnut Animal Society pop up and do well.

Here's to happy memories.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some Fashion Week faves...

...from Oscar de la Renta (top; be still my stripe-loving heart), Jenny Packham (second row, so pretty) and Rachel Roy (third row—those colors!).

All photos via

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cookie monster.

It's right around this time of year that my oven starts working overtime and I begin planning all the pumpkin-flavored treats I can make and strategizing my Holiday Cookie List. (No, I'm not kidding; what do you mean you don't have a holiday cookie plan, too?) These Nutella-stuffed salted chocolate-chip treats have been making the rounds lately, but I can tell you this much: They've shot straight to the top of that Holiday Cookie List. Yum.

P.S. My favorite chocolate-chip cookies ever. 

Photo: Ambitious Kitchen

Friday, September 7, 2012

Catching up, again.

Oh, hello! I seem to have forgotten I have a blog this week. Sorry about that!

Believe it or not, I do have some more substantial things to share with you—but until then, here's a quick rundown of some cool (local) things that I've stumbled upon in the last little while.

+ Trader Joe's! It's opening in Sarasota! I am so excited I can't stop exclamation pointing! (Here's a little piece I wrote about the store for work, if you're interested. Also, I am going to need to adjust my snack budget, I think. I'm just saying.)

+ Camilyn Beth dresses. This Bradenton-based designer makes some of the prettiest clothes I've seen in quite some time (you can see two of her dresses in the photo above, which is from the Camilyn Beth Instagram feed. Hello, sparkles!).

+ The Table Creekside restaurant. Situated right alongside pretty Philippi Creek, this restaurant—which is a reincarnation of its former Hillview Street location—is one of my new favorite spots in town. Go for the great happy hour, the $20 chef's tasting menu (seriously) or the wild salmon served over creamy quinoa and a pool of yellow lentil sauce, which is what I ordered, although everything is good. Seriously. You won't be disappointed. (By the way, one of these days I really am going to write up a little guide to Sarasota, I promise.)


Reading: I finished Gone Girl (disappointed in the ending, though it definitely kept my attention) and have started The Art of Fielding, which I'm reading at an entirely different pace. I think Wild is next for me. I'm kind of on a mission to read as much as I can before the end of the year.

Thinking: About re-prioritizing. September and the promise of fall always does this to me; it's like First Day of School Syndrome, or something. Anyway, I'm making a conscious effort to get my ducks in a row—or, as Holly put it, balance my buckets.

Also, I am considering getting bangs.

Eating: Aside from healthy things like salmon and quinoa, um, Starbucks pumpkin scones are back, and this is bad news for both my wallet and my diet. I love them, you guys. But! I think I've found a copycat recipe, which I intend to try out as soon as possible, and if it's tasty, well, then, hey, I can make them at home! (Oh, wait. That might not be a great thing. Damn.)

Feeling: Considering my brother is coming home this weekend for the first time since last November (which is also the last time I saw him), I've got a bunch of fun things to do coming up this month and September means that within the next 30-60 days we'll finally (finally, finally) have a break from the sweltering Florida heat—and so begin my favorite time of year—I feel pretty good. Pretty good, indeed.

More soon. xo

Photo: Camilyn Beth