Monday, January 30, 2012

PC: Day 19

Favorite beverage

A piping hot cup of tea.

Any time of day.
In any weather.
With or without sugar.
Or milk.

It's good for headaches, heartaches, sore stomachs, bad days, happy days, blue days, yellow days

and all the other days in between.

It's good shared with a friend
or just a good book.

Join me for a cuppa?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

PC: Day 18 (and also I talk about cake)

Someone I love

This is Hannah. She's my cousin, roommate, coworker, and best friend. We would have to literally be attached at the hip to spend any more time together.  I love her because she's hilarious and sweet and enormously kindhearted. I also love her because she's the world's best masseuse, an excellent chauffer, and a superhero in times of crisis.

But most importantly, she laughs at all my jokes. It's fantastic. :)

Anyway, it's not quite yet her birthday but because I won't be with her on the actual day, I made a celebration cake for us this afternoon.

I used the chocolate cake from the recipe for Sweet & Salty Cake from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking (also found online here) and the frosting recipe from Magnolia Bakery, found here.

It is one of the best cakes I have ever made. The buttercream is a perfect fluffy vanilla to balance the chocolate cake, which is moist and rich (the secret is sour cream!). Obviously my icing technique needs work but have a taste and you'll stop complaining.

Oh and I may have put mini chocolate chips in the icing between the two cake layers. Nope, I definitely did.  Don't roll your eyes at me, you think I'm going to serve it with a side of asparagus just because it's already laden with calories?
Think again, cowboy.

You just don't want to know how many sticks of butter sacrificed their lives for this dessert. 
You really don't.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

PC: Day 17


Yes, I post photos from Rocky Woods like three times a month but if I find relaxation anywhere, it's definitely there, particularly at Echo Pond. And today was the perfect day to head out there after work: clear blue skies and a pleasant 45 degrees. 

My body is tired and my mind is clear--ultimate relaxation. 


PC: Day 16


Late again, late again! Last evening I laid down after taking my photos outside, just for a minute and didn't get up again til 5 am this morning. Such an excessive amount of sleep led to some weird dreams, let me tell you. I dreamed I was sent to juvenile detention and the weird part was not that I am clearly too old for juvie but that in my dream I had been there before. Sadly, I have no idea what crime I committed to put me there. When I got out, my Nana disowned me and I became inconsolable, lots of crying and flailing about. I must have thrashed a good deal in real life too, because my blankets were rather complicated to get out of this morning.

Anyway, yesterday was cold and damp. It tried to snow the night before but nothing stuck so it gave up and turned to rain. I tried to go for a photo of a single raindrop but I was having some trouble with my manual focus. The resulting images were a little noisy but I think it accurately captures the mood.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

PC: Day 15


Shocking, I know, but these Lego sets aren't for me.
Fortunately my youngest brother is much too busy being 8 years old to bother with reading my blog, or else this post would take away any surprise on his upcoming birthday.

Thank goodness for little boys and their uncomplicated taste in gifts. Makes shopping so much easier.

But just to keep him guessing, I sent my mom this picture from my phone while I was at the store tonight. I told her to tell Spencer that this is what I got him. 

His reply: "Seriously? That's just mean!" 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

PC: Day 14

My front door

Technically, this isn't my front door. Ok, it's not even a front door. Let me explain: this is my aunt and uncle's door, but I live here so this is what you get.  Secondly, no one even uses the actual front door except company and strangers because it's out of the way, while this one is right at the top of the driveway. Plus the house is a split-level so a front door is kind of useless. You open the door and the only thing level with you is the landing between the stairs. And so you are unceremoniously dumped into the valley of indecision: up or down? Listen, front door, I just got home from a taxing day dealing with the public and you expect me to do more work? That's just rude.

But fine, I'll fix the title, if you're going to be picky.

My front door
My aunt and uncle's side door

Anyway, I only like this shot because you can see the sunset reflected in the glass. So stop your bickering and admire nature's work, ok?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

PC: Day 13


Checklists make me deliriously happy, so discovering a whole company devoted to helpfully providing notepads of lists for every conceivable occasion sent me into a tailspin of organizational glee.

PC: Day 12

My desk

Don't yell at me. I know I'm a day late again, but I promise (cross my heart) I took this photo yesterday. Full disclosure, shortly after my home office photo shoot, I discovered Masterpiece Theater's Downton Abbey and spent the whole evening wrapped up in a British costume drama. Shameful.

And yes, my desk is actually a small dresser. Fortunately I have a lovely window ledge that runs the length of the room which serves as sort of an auxiliary work station for my file box and printer. At first it seemed rather inconvenient but then it grew on me. It certainly cuts down on the usual desktop clutter. Also, it pleases me to be able to reach into the drawer in front of me and pull out a pair of socks when my feet are chilly.

Oh, and my super sweet desktop wallpaper is brought to you by a rad graphic design blog, The Fox is Black

Sunday, January 22, 2012

PC: Day 11

Favorite color

Purple. Toujours, chaque jour.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

PC: Day 10

View from my window

Friday, January 20, 2012

PC: Day 9


I am torn. I love shoes, almost in an unhealthy manner. But on a day to day basis, my footwear choices are appalling. I work in the food industry. With the exception of that time I worked in a dog kennel, I have never ruined shoes so fast. So today's photos of my feet are not going to be found on the runways anytime soon.

Don't say I didn't warn you. 
Today was the first day there was any remarkable amount of snow in Massachusetts since Halloween weekend so I broke out my winter boots for the commute.
I will defend my L.L. Bean boots to the death, however. They are extremely warm and comfortable and the only pair of shoes I wore in the winter months all through college and all over Europe. Also, they are currently the height of fashion, so bonus points for me.

But just to appease your more delicate sensibilities, I have also included snapshots of two pairs currently on my wish list. ...ahem...size 7 in case you're interested, or just happen to be near a Von Maur. ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

PC: Day 8

Morning routine

5:45 am. Those bagels won't serve themselves.

Note to concerned mothers: the car was still very much in the driveway for both of these photos.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

PC: Day 7

My handwriting

First one to tell me what these words are from wins the prize of being just as much of a nerd as me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

PC: Day 6


Food: egg, avocado and sharp white cheddar on wheat toast. Not pictured: I added fresh salsa to the second half of the sandwich. Arrrrrriba!
Beverages: cranberry juice and decaf black tea

Don't worry, I only eat like this on days when I have photo challenges nowhere to be.

Monday, January 16, 2012

PC: Day 5

The sky

Yep, it's definitely winter.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Photo Challenge: Day 4

What I'm reading

Stuff Parisians Like by Olivier Magny

This was a Christmas gift from my mother. Highly entertaining and informative.
Stuff Parisians like includes:

  • Belgians
  • Considering Americans Stupid
  • Last-Minute Flaking 
  • Not Exercising
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Saying Trop (which means "too much")
You're welcome for the culture lesson.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Photo Challenge: Day 3

My closet

So, white girl confession time. In my current living situation, I actually have two closets. It is so stressful. When I moved in, I had no idea how to organize my wardrobe between the two. By season? By color? By clothing type? By material? And they are on opposite corners of the room, so obviously journeying back and forth between the two is just too much to consider on a daily basis.

Ugh. Drama.

"But why," you ask, shaking your head at me. It matters because for many years now, my closet has been the only thing in my life that is consistently and obsessively organized. Like, my chakra are just all out of whack when my closet is not color coded and arranged just so.

You'll notice the two photos are of the same closet. Well, I felt a bit exposed looking at full-length photos of both my closets. And let's be real, I don't need you judging my entire wardrobe.
"Girl, you have got to DO something with that scarf collection. It is just out of hand."
I know. So that's why the other closet, the one with not one, but two scarf racks, is not up here for you to see and judge accordingly.

Even though I just fully admitted to having a scarf problem.

On an unrelated note, I hate the word "scarf". It just seems so...tawdry.
I'm going to start using the French word instead: écharpe (ey-SHARP) 
(p.s. don't forget to under-enunciate the 'r')

You there, hand me my écharpe, there's a chill in the air. 
See? Much classier.

Photo Challenge: Day 2

Where I sleep

I know, you're thinking, "Way to go, champ. You dropped the ball on day 2."
Well I was tired, you guys!

I remembered, though. I was crawling into bed after a long, stressful day at work and I thought about it. So I quickly booted up my computer for a look at the list, and wouldn't you know, the prompt was where I sleep. Two shots later, I was back in bed with the lights out.

But I solemnly promise, hand on my heart, tears in my eyes, that I actually took these pictures yesterday, even though you aren't seeing them

Anyway. Where do you sleep?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Photo Challenge: Day 1


Photo challenges are a popular theme in the blog world. The idea is to improve your photography by taking a picture a day (for anywhere from 30 days to a year) of a series of predetermined subjects or ideas.  I'm a big fan of the picture-making but never before have been tempted to do one of these challenges, until now (...she said, dramatically).

I found this particular challenge via Pinterest and became interested because the various "assignments" are less about vague ideas and more about a matter-of-fact portrayal of your everyday life, over 30 days.
Rather than share the whole list upfront, it will be a day-by-day reveal. Disclaimer: the photos won't all be interesting. They probably won't even be high-quality. (Let's not lie, I'll probably lose motivation in a week and start using my cell phone camera.)

Anyway, begin.


See? Not the greatest. It may surprise you to learn that my torso is not this awkwardly short in real life. This is a "lean over and get yourself in the frame of the mirror propped up against the wall" shot. Even the outfit choice is clearly the result of careful planning. Whatever. I'm done explaining myself. Sheesh, critics...

Une petite pensée

There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

So This is the New Year

How quickly the calendar pages fly off the we are in January again and it's not even the first, I'm sliding into the obligatory resolutions post on the tenth. Well, better late than never so don't mind me while I straighten my jacket and fix my shoelaces, at least I'm here ok?

Anyway, last year's resolution was to live life with fire and zeal or don't do it at all. Admirable, but a little ambitious, in retrospect. And if we're going to be perfectly honest, I chose the later. As in, don't do it at all. If you've been following for some months now, (or know me in real life), you know the Swiss adventure ended earlier than originally planned and I came back to the States in early April.
Well, I fell into a little bit of a black hole and have had some trouble coming out of it. If I had to put a label on it, I'd call 2011 the "Year of the Retreat". Like a bear going into a cave for winter hibernation. Except winter came and went and I kept pushing "snooze" on the alarm clock.

But it's the new year again so I should probably get out of bed, right? Rather than make dramatic pledges to "New Year, New Me" and all that jazz, I thought I'd rather take it slow. I mean, I'm not planning on hanging around in my pajamas until the middle of March or anything but I also don't feel the need to cram all of life's experiences into one list of resolutions.

I don't know how to explain myself, really. All I can think to say is, one day at a time. I'm rather tired of trying to figure everything out. And so if we're going to sum it up in a sweeping statement, I'm ready for 2012 to be the "Year of the Moment". I know what I'm doing today, and that's enough for me. As we all know, worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength.

And that's enough cheesy quotes for today.

Just relax, ok? Let's all take up yoga, smiling for no reason, and doing anonymous good deeds for strangers, like in the adorable movie Amélie. 

And maybe work on my Internet shopping problem.

So if you need me, I'll be over here listening to this happy tune by a delightful hipster indie band from Iceland. Also eating a banana. In a totally, of the moment, not premeditated way.
  Little Talks by !Turnout!

Happy New Year, you merry little chipmunks.

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