Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Celeste and Jesse Forever.

I'm always a little hesitant to make movie or music recommendations because people's tastes vary so broadly and sometimes I like, um, questionable things, particularly of the romantic comedy variety. But on Sunday—a day when I literally spent a grand total of two hours in street clothes and the rest of the day in pajamas, coming down from the high of a perfect weekend—I watched Celeste & Jesse Forever and totally loved it. Rashida Jones, who plays Celeste, is one of my favorite actresses—she manages to imbue every character she plays with tons of pathos—and she's great in this movie, which chronicles what happens when you break up but can't move on. Andy Samberg as Jesse is wonderful, too, and the chemistry between the two actors is palpable—you can totally see how their characters got together in the first place, and what keeps their bond intact even after they've split up.

Yeah, it's safe to say this movie is going on the to-buy list immediately. What great films have you all seen lately?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Wedding weekend.

What a weekend! I can't believe Kate's wedding has come and gone; it's so weird to not have such a big event to look forward to (or a shower to plan!) anymore. But the wedding was amazing—gorgeous weather, the best group of people, the awesomest band in the world and really excellent food. The photo above is the arbor under which Kate and Ross got married; isn't it pretty? The ceremony was in her mom's back yard, right on the water. It was perfect. We are going to be reminiscing about it for a long time.

And I have to say, after a pretty indulgent last, oh, seven days—I don't know who I was kidding when I said I thought I was going to be able to detox in between celebrations; pinot grigio and cheese and I were totally BFFs all week—I'm looking forward to a week of getting back on track with spin classes, home-cooked meals, sleep (I don't think I went to bed before midnight any day last week) and getting my house organized again (I think it's time for a closet clean-out).

How about you guys—what are your goals for the week?

Friday, April 26, 2013

What are you doing this weekend? (I'm going to a wedding!)

Happy Friday, friends! I'm actually playing hooky from work today because my best friend Kate is getting married tomorrow (!!!), so today is all about the wedding rehearsal in the morning, manicures and pedicures in the afternoon, the rehearsal dinner in the evening (which is going to be full of South African food in honor of Kate's fiance, Ross, who is in fact South African) and a lot of giddiness in advance of the big day. Tomorrow we're getting our hair done—I'm going to make the stylist do a braid of some sort on me, to combat the Florida humidity (because of course it's all about me, right?! Ha!)—and then Kate and Ross are tying the knot at sunset, on the water, in what's sure to be a gorgeous ceremony. Can't wait. Man, I love weddings.

What are you guys up to this weekend? Whatever you do, I hope it's wonderful. And if you're in the mood for some reading, here are three fun links from around the web:

Garance Dore's thoughts on friendship.

This article about being busy has been at the forefront of my mind this week because I...keep saying how busy I am (and then rolling my eyes at myself). Time for a reread. This article, also about busyness, is great, too.

And in honor of Kate's wedding this weekend, here's a slideshow of sweet city hall weddings. Ah, love.

Have a great weekend, friends! See you back here on Monday. xoxo

Photo by Jessica Lorren

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A couple of photos from life lately.

Just a couple of photos from life lately: Leftover flowers and party decorations from Kate's bridal shower; the beach on a perfect, golden evening; baseball games on surprisingly chilly spring days with ACS; my lemon tree (which I'm crazy attached to); my sweet fluffy felines; meeting Tom Brokaw and Dylan McDermott for work (separately—I've been having some pinch-me-am-I-dreaming? professional opportunities lately); an explosion of yellow on my parents' golden trumpet tree (given to them as a gift when I was born); spring dresses; new shoes; and Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook, which I'm loving for both the healthy recipes and beautiful photography.

How are you guys doing?

All images via my Instagram

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pennyweight Goods.

Do you read Elise Joseph's beautiful blog, Pennyweight? It's quite well-known, and I'd heard of it (and Elise) before, but I only started reading it regularly after discovering Pennyweight Goods, which is a collection of exclusive, limited-edition, affordable pieces that Elise curates and works with artists to produce. You all know how I feel about that Camus quote and poster, but I love each of the other Pennyweight Goods editions, as well. That lamp up top is the newest; if the previous editions are any indication, it'll go fast.

What blogs have you been loving lately?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Baked! Pink cookies.

This is really shameful, you guys, but I didn't take a single picture at the bridal shower on Sunday. Others did, I'm sure, but I was so busy setting up and then talking to people and doing other things that by the time I noticed this sad fact, it was too late. Ah, well.

Anyway, it all went fantastic—at least, I think so—and the decorations and the desserts turned out just as I'd hoped. So today, in lieu of photos, I thought I'd share with you the recipe for the pink cookies I made, because they're not only pretty, they're delicious. They key is to add just a little cherry extract or maraschino cherry juice to the frosting—not enough to make you think that you're eating cherry-frosted cookies, just enough so that the cookies taste pink.

(Oh, and full disclosure: Thanks to the butter and sugar I consumed over the weekend and the fact that I have a major work event and four days of wedding festivities this week, I'm on as much of a detox as I can be for the rest of the week. So I will not be eating any more of these pink cookies, although they really are a delicious treat and they are perfect for a party—especially a bridal shower, because you can cut them into heart shapes. Happy baking, friends.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kari Herer prints.

How beautiful are these prints by Kari Herer? I am in love with them. Thanks to recent spendiness (yes, that's a word), after this weekend I'm putting the kibosh on shopping for awhile, but these are definitely going on the wishlist (or the, ahem, birthday list). Wouldn't a framed group of three look lovely in a bedroom?

Friday, April 19, 2013

What are you doing this weekend?

Happy Friday, friends—it's the weekend, yay! As you read this, I am likely prepping to interview Dylan McDermott (total pinch-me moment), which is really exciting to me, not going to lie. He's so cute!

And after Dylan, I'll be heading home to begin the Great Bakefest of 2013 for my BFF Kate's bridal shower, which is Sunday (you can see the menu here). I'll try to remember to post pics of the treats and the shower here next week, and you can follow along on Instagram, too, as I'm sure I'll be documenting the progress there. (My handle is pinkoclock.)

What are your plans for the weekend? Tell me—and if you're looking for something to read, here are three great links:

How Jenna Lyons transformed J.Crew into a cult brand. Love J.Crew, love Jenna Lyons, loved reading this.

The Time 100. Always one of my favorite reads of the year.

On a much more serious note, you should read this op-ed by Gabby Giffords. Really moving.

And there was a mixed bag of posts here this week, too, in case you missed any: Words to remember, hopeful thoughts for Boston, the dessert menu for this weekend's bridal shower, Rita Konig's amazing NYC apartment and thoughts on being assertive.

Have a great weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday!

P.S. Despite the fact that I'm having a really good week, particularly in terms of work opportunities, and posting happy things here, I'm well-aware that it's been a terribly sad week for the U.S.—especially for those in Boston and Texas, of course, but also all of those who are as disappointed as I am in what happened with the gun-control legislation. Let's all hug our loved ones—friends, family, pets—a little tighter this weekend, yes? xoxo

Photo: Pacific Coast Highway; credit unknown.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

On being assertive.

Here are two things you should know about me: I am a people-pleaser, and I hate confrontation. I've gotten a tiny bit better about standing up for myself in the last few years because, well, I've had to, but in general I have a hard time telling people how I really feel—particularly if I don't know them exceptionally well, and sometimes even if I do—because I have a fear that they'll (a) get mad at me or (b) judge me. So for the most part I've tried to completely avoid either of those scenarios and live in (or project an air of living in, which is an important difference) "the marshmallow," as my friend Kate likes to say—in other words, in a white, sugary, fluffy cloud of happiness. As you can imagine, that's not especially healthy for my mental well-being.

Especially because sometimes the marshmallow gets singed. Sometimes it actually gets burned. And when that happens, I have to do something about it. The wise person who told me I should keep a worry journal and set boundaries with others so as not to be a doormat also told me that "there's passive and there's aggressive, and then in the middle there's assertive. You need to find that place and live there." And I'm working on it, but when you're almost 30 and you've made a career of avoiding this kind of thing, it is hard. I've been pretty good about setting the boundaries, but when it comes to telling people why I'm doing so, I choke—for exactly the reasons mentioned above.

This growing up thing, it is hard.

Anyway, the reason I'm telling you this is because I had a tough week last week—nothing major, just a random grouping of events that conspired to make things a little more difficult than normal—and I found myself incredibly frustrated about the fact that I can't seem to tell people how I feel. I'm an emotional person by nature, so this perceived shortcoming is, naturally, upsetting. I do think the frustration is good--I think it's going to lead to some sort of breakthrough—but tell me: How do you guys assert yourselves? Have you learned to become more assertive? And when do you choose to speak up vs. stand down? I would really love to know.

Photo by Nikaa

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Rita Konig's apartment.

I'm starting to think seriously about redoing my apartment—new paint, maybe a couple of new pieces of furniture; definitely lots of color—and Rita Konig's beautiful, eclectic apartment is totally my inspiration. I mean, this is practically perfect. To me, at least. (Those sheets...)

Photos by Todd Selby

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bridal shower dessert menu.

My BFF Kate's bridal shower is the weekend, and her sister-in-law and I are putting the final touches on all the details. We're ordering most of the food, but I'm doing the desserts, so I thought I'd share what's on the menu here today in case you have a similar event coming up or are just looking for a delicious sweet treat to make:
We're going to have fruit salad, so I don't feel bad about not having a lemon bar or the like, and a l though I was originally on the fence about making the brownies—why, I don't know—my boss's recent comment that they were "the best thing [she'd] ever put in her mouth" and my friend Jenn's assertion that everyone loves a brownie pushed me firmly into the "make them" category. (Not to mention that they're a Smitten Kitchen recipe, so they're inherently delicious.) Also, that coconut cake is a showstopper. I made it for a charity cake auction last year and it raised more than $600. It's the real deal.

In other food news, over the weekend I ordered Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook, It's All Good, which is focused on clean eating, and I'm looking forward to sharing how the treats in her cookbook stack up. Baked! with a healthy bent? Why not? (Full disclosure: This may be a controversial stance, but I am firmly a member of Team Gwyneth. I love her, even when I'm rolling my eyes at her. And this cookbook looks genuinely good.)

What's your favorite thing you've baked recently?

P.S. You can find an index of Baked! recipes right here, if you're so inclined. 

Monday, April 15, 2013


Leaving work today, I stared at the sidewalk, feeling so sad about what happened in Boston this afternoon. As I walked, I heard chirping, and as I got closer to my car, the chirping increased in volume until it was almost all I could hear. I finally spotted a little bird, sitting on a signpost, singing so loudly, with all the feeling in his tiny body, that his feathered chest puffed out and his little feet almost left the ground.

All of the sudden, that famous first line of Emily Dickinson's poem —"Hope is the thing with feathers"— ran through my mind, and I was so overcome with feeling that my eyes started to well up. I'm so lucky that my friends who live in Boston—who happen to be some of my best—are OK, because I know there are a lot of people who aren't. So to everyone affected by today's tragedy, I'm sending thoughts of love, peace, and above all, hope.

P.S. On such a dark day, it's so amazing to see the efforts of first responders and marathon volunteers and generous bystanders. Sometimes it's hard to remember, but there is a lot of good in this world.

Photo credit

Words to remember.

"The cure for anything is salt water: Sweat, tears or the sea." —Isak Dinesen

What's your favorite quote? (Here's the other one I come back to over and over again.)

Photo: My own.

Friday, April 12, 2013

What are you doing this weekend?

Happy Friday, friends! We made it to the weekendyay!

What are your plans for the next few days? The bridal shower I've been planning for my friend Kate is next weekend (eeeeek!), which means this weekend I'll be embarking on a major party-decoration-and-baking-supply-buying excursion. My mom is also coming to town (I think), which will be nice. I love when she visits.

But what about you? Tell me, and I'll see you back here on Monday. Oh, and if you're in the mood for some reading, here are three fun links from around the web:

I've been trying to change the way I think about food lately (part of an ongoing mental-health revamp, if you will), and this article by Andrew Knowlton in the latest Bon Appetit really resonated with me: "Why do we mock, and in some cases sue, fast-food companies for unhealthy food, but accept and even celebrate it in fine dining?" Food for thought.

"The Complete Quips of Mad Men's Roger Sterling." Yesssss.

The lavish sets of The Great Gatsby. I am preeeettttyy skeptical about this movie (which is not to say that I won't go see it), but man, it sure will look great.

And in case you missed anything here this week: Rifle Paper Co. iPhone cases (!), my favorite breakfast, gorgeous photos of New Zealand and hot pink lipstick.

Have a great weekend! xoxo

Photo by Olivia

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pink lipstick.

I've written before about how pretty red lipstick can be (and what a mood booster it is), but lately I've been thinking about trying a bright pink shade. So pretty for spring, right? I've been doing some research and NARS' Carthage and Funny Face shades look like exactly what I'm looking for (although I have it on good authority that Revlon's Moondrops line is an equally awesome and cost-effective alternative).

Do you love bright lip color, too?

Photo by Daymion Mardel

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Travel idea: New Zealand.

New Zealand has never been on my list of places to visit for the simple reason that I'd never thought about it before. But after staring at photographer Jessica Lorren's beautiful, soothing photos of the gorgeous scenery, I can say with all honesty that I definitely would not be opposed to going there.

P.S. The top of my list of places to visit? Paris. (Le sigh.) How about you?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

On breakfast.

Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries and a good drizzle of local honey, with a matcha latte on the side: This is the breakfast I can't get enough of these days. What's your favorite way to start the day?

P.S. The best pancakes, if you're feeling indulgent.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Rifle Paper Co. iPhone cases

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a total Rifle Paper Co. fangirl—I can't get enough of Anna Bond's whimsical, vintage-inspired designs, and it just so happens that her bricks-and-mortar storefront is located in the town where I grew up (and where my parents still live—it's about two hours north of Sarasota). So of course, when Anna announced Rifle would be producing iPhone cases, I knew I would be buying one.

It just so happened that the Winter Park shop began selling the iPhone cases last Thursday—they'll be for sale online this week—so my lovely mother went and picked one up; it was waiting for me when I arrived at my parents' house on Friday night. And I have to say, in addition to the design being totally charming, the quality is also really great (let's be honest, I would have bought one even if it wasn't, but sturdiness is a nice surprise. Take notes, Kate Spade). The one my mom got me has a hard outer shell, but there's also a rubber inlay that wraps around the phone to offer it even more protection if it's dropped, which—again, let's be honest—mine will be. We'll see how the whole thing wears over time, but for now consider me sufficiently impressed—and happy that my phone, which has been naked since I upgraded it in December, has a pretty case again.

Update: The iPhone cases are now available on Rifle's website right here!

Photo by me.

Friday, April 5, 2013

What are you doing this weekend?

Happy Friday, friends. How were your weeks? What are your plans for the weekend? I had a really good week: I was productive at work and at home, I did a lot of yoga and spin, and this weekend I get to see one of my best friends from college—and we're going to our favorite college-town coffee shop/hangout, too. Hooray, nostalgia! It should be fun.

Oh, and if you're in a reading mood this weekend, here are a couple of links for you:

I was so sad to hear about the death of the remarkable Roger Ebert. This essay, "Roger Loves Chaz," is wonderful. (via Hannah)

I'm heading to San Diego this summer, so "36 Hours in San Diego" is right up my alley. (PS: Any travel tips are much appreciated!)

"Why I Left News": I tweeted this a week or so ago, but it's stuck with me. Even though I don't work at a daily, I can relate to at least some of what Allyson writes. Powerful and thought-provoking and a little scary (especially if you're in media).

And in honor of Mad Men returning this Sunday (yay, yay!), I loved this interview with costume designer Janie Bryant.

And from earlier this week: April flowers for you; the best local honey I've tasted; on being kind to ourselves; and books I've recently read and loved. (Thanks for all your wonderful comments, too!)

See you back here Monday!

Snowy egret photo, snapped on Sarasota's South Lido Beach, by Matt Cattell. I love this feathery little guy.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Recently read.

Let's talk about books! I'm woefully behind in my reading—I've only read a couple of books so far this year (well, not counting one reread—The Cookbook Collector, by Allegra Goodman, which I can tell you about if you'd like)—which I tend to try and excuse because my job inherently requires tons of reading, even though the reading I'm doing from 9-5 is far different than, you know, reading novels in bed at night with my cats.

Anyway, here are three books I have recently read and enjoyed—ones I'd recommend to anyone looking for something new to pick up:

This is How You Lose Her, by Junot Diaz. I can't get enough of Junot Diaz's writing—"electrifying" is a good word to describe it—and if you haven't read the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy. This is How You Lose Her is a collection of short stories about love—romantic love, of course, but also familial love and self-love. It's really moving, and since I read before bed, I often found myself laying in the dark thinking about it well into the night.

This is Where I Leave You, by Jonathan Tropper. I loved this book, and I recommend it to anyone who will listen. It's both heartbreaking—about a man going through a divorce and having to sit shiva after his father's death at the same time—and hilarious (as you can imagine, shenanigans ensue). Tropper's prose is easy-to-read and straightforward, and I never wanted to put this book down (in fact, I often woke up in the morning with it splayed open next to me). I can't say enough good things about it. Read it.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish this book after the sad first chapter (seriously—I was crying five pages in), but I'm glad I kept going. The book, told through the point of view of Hattie and the family members who orbit around her, examines the question of  loss, identity, survival, where we belong and how we come to get there, and the writing is beautiful and empathic. That said, if you couldn't tell, this is not a happy book—but I can't imagine not having read it.

Next up for me is Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth, and I still really want to read Cheryl Strayed's Wild and Meghan Daum's Life Would Be Perfect if I Lived in That House. Here's to more books!

What have you guys been reading lately?

Photo credit unknown.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Being kind to ourselves.

A few weeks ago, I read a great post on Mary's blog titled "How I Take Care of Myself," inspired by a post of the same name on Meg's blog. This is a subject that's been on my mind a lot of late, as I--like most of us--seem to always be rushing, live on my cell phone and computer, and beat myself up and worry over things that really don't deserve the time of day or emotional investment.

So I decided to make a list of the things that I do—sometimes subconsciously—to take care of myself. Here it is—reading over it now, I can't help but smile, because all the things on it make me genuinely happy. And in the meantime, here's to slowing down and taking care of ourselves.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The best honey in the world.

Ever since I made the switch from coffee to tea, I've been eating more honey than I ever have in my life. I've always loved the stuff—it's especially delicious drizzled on chunks of fresh Parmesan cheese--and I know that it has health benefits, too. But I didn't quite realize the huge differences between real-deal local honey and the kind you buy in the plastic bear at the grocery store. That is, until I got to talk with the awesome people at Negley & Son Honey for work.

Negley & Son is based in Arcadia—just up the road from Sarasota—and produces raw, unheated, unfiltered honey from their more than 1,000 beehives. It's a full-scale commercial operation, but it's incredibly responsible in terms of the production process (if you want to know why thats's important, read this post on my friend Megan's blog), and it truly is a family business: proprietor Mark Negley's father and grandfather were both apiary inspectors, and Negley has been helping tend to beehives since he was a kid (he's 24 now. Twenty-four. HelloIFeelInadequate.com). I got the chance to sit down with him last week for work, and I'll share the piece I worked on when it's published in our May issue.

But the honey. Oh, you guys, the honey. It's delicious. I've gone through two bottles of the orange blossom varietal in about two-and-a-half weeks, thanks to my insane tea consumption, and it's so different than the stuff in the plastic bear—the flavor is deeper and more complex (you can really taste the floral notes), and the texture's different, too—less smooth, but in a good way. If you can get your hands on it, do. There's no website just yet, but I have it on good authority that www.negleyhoney.com will be up and running very soon.

Do you love honey as much as I do? My other sweetener of choice is agave nectar—I've been working really hard to cut back on refined sugar and all the fake stuff.

Photo by Artisan Cheese Company

Monday, April 1, 2013

April flowers.

Some April flowers for your Monday morning (and side note: How is it April 1 already?!).

I hope you guys had a great weekend—I kind of fell off the blogging map at the end of last week, I know (sometimes real life beckons), but I've got some fun things to share with you this week. Until then: Flowers. For you. And PS: You look pretty today.

Photo by Anne Lucas di Elmo