Wednesday, February 29, 2012

That's sew hot right now.

I saw this on Pinterest a while back and thought I'd be adventurous.
Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

So I went to the nearby (scary) Ross and found an XL men's sweatshirt for $4.99 and bought it.
I used a favorite fleece jacket as a guide and trimmed down the arms.

Then, I psyched myself out and got very very afraid that I wasn't going to do this very well at all and I put everything in a bag and put that bag in my closet.

 Then, my sainted mother came to town, and helped me finish this baby in a few hours.
Then I saw another thing on Pinterest-- heart shaped elbow patches.
We each hand-stitched one on.  While "Downton" played.  That detail was very important.  Overall, this was the best $6 investment of all time.

After the After

(Here I am with a little Tae Bo action for all you Billy Blanks enthusiasts out there)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ski Adventure

A few weeks ago, we got an email that was sent to our whole student housing complex offering discounted ski tickets/lessons at a nearby Tahoe resort.  We jumped at the chance to do it.  Last year we'd tried to go skiing with friends, but the very morning that we tried to go, a blizzard caused all the roads to close.  We kept a store credit from the place we'd used to rent equipment and vowed to go before graduation.

When this offer came up, we jumped on it.  And yesterday was the day to go.  Leading up to yesterday, I was PETRIFIED to go skiing, for you see, I had never been before-- ever.  I was battling conflicting feelings of pure dread and mild excitement... do I really want to spend my precious, precious, precious Saturday doing something I might be completely terrible at?
Last time I felt this kind of dread this was my first week of summer cross country practice as a freshly minted high school freshman.  I realized that starting something from scratch at an older age can be really hard.  I don't consider 14 OLD, but I was certainly a novice runner (and a novice athlete in any sport, for that matter).  I quickly noticed that all the girls who had played AYSO soccer or swam on the Nova swim team since they were little kidlets had a HUGE leg up on me in running (lousy pun semi-intended).

As a 25 year old first time skier, I certainly didn't feel old.  But I knew a lot of my bus mates, including my husband, knew what to expect and could comfortably hop on a lift and coast down the mountain without the fear of going the way of Sonny Bono.

The only relatable experience I'd had to snow sports is that one time my senior year of high school when I went snowboarding for my first and only time at Mountain High in California over Christmas break.  I spent most of my time tumbling down the mountain on a thin layer of icy snow.  Not pretty.

I have felt massive amounts of regret that I lived in beautiful, snow-sports-friendly Utah for college and never once went skiing.  I find solace in remembering that my class and work schedule never allowed a skiing class (I did try every winter semester to fit one in but to no avail).  And, let's be honest, if I don't feel strongly about something, it's not really on my radar.
The bus ride out to the resort was four hours each way.  I prepared by getting an audiobook I've been wanting to read for a while now.
It did not disappoint.  I was laughing like an idiot to myself the entire way up and back.

We arrived, strapped on our boots, and I headed to my beginner class.  And I'm thrilled to say that I LOVED every moment of skiing.  I took a beginner class for an hour and a half, and didn't fall ONCE!  I met up with Harry after class and he did some bunny hills with me until we were starved for lunch.  And after we ate, we went right back to the slopes.
My hot ski date
I am in LOVE!  With skiing.  I would do this every winter forever if I could.  I had a blast.

I have also decided that there is nothing cuter on this earth than the three year olds on little baby skis.  I melted when I saw the little ski prodigies who whipped down the mountains, no poles, out-stripping me by a long shot, their expressions saying, "Yeah, no big deal."

After lunch, Harry said bamboozled me into thinking we should try some intermediate slopes.  He said I could handle it, no problem.  So we went.  Let's just say I survived it.  I didn't fall at all, but I was thinking "OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOHMYGOSH!" the whole way down.

All day long I fell a total of two times!  TWO!  I was expecting something in the 30-40 range.
I loved the 8000 ft elevation clean mountain air-- so much that I began drinking it through a straw made of clouds (forced perspective, what what!).
Harry gets extremely motion-sick on long drives if he's not the driver, and as our bus lumbered up windy switchbacks, we knew we were both going to need to get some dramamine for the way home.  Harry took two, so when we got back to Stanford, he was in an ultra-drowsy, comatose-yet-awake sort of state, which was lots of fun for me.

As we plopped down in our car to head home from the bus drop off, I said, "Hey, we should snuggle up and watch a show when we get home if we're not too beat."  He nodded, and then in an exhausted voice that was edged with desperation, he cried, "I need my snugs, boo!"  Yes, I'm never letting him live that one down.

Oh, and we did squeeze in an In N Out burger.  Because how can you not?

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I loved Valentine's Day this year!

Since I began working for the University back in October, a funny thing has been happening.  I’ve been earning more than before, and yet, it vanishes faster than it ever has.  We have been battening down the hatches on all excess spending, and still we find ourselves in a mild panic every time a big expense comes along, which is more often than ever.  Sometimes I get envelopes in the mail, just knowing they are from someone telling us they want more of our cash for things like the BAR exam and all that comes with it, and I want to make finger guns at them and shoot, going “Pshew-pshew-pshew.”

Thus, we planned on a modest Valentine’s Day this year.  I told Harry I’d cook something at home, which ended up being more convenient anyway since he had a late class that night.

After some general hemming and hawing, I decided on the menu:

·         Filet Mignon au Poivre
·         Roasted red potatoes with fresh rosemary
·         Arugula and radicchio with herb mustard vinaigrette
·         Artisan bread with olive oil and vinegar
·         My own drink concoction- Diet Vernor’s Ginger Ale + Welch’s cranberry juice (I wanted something pink or red), in a goblet, of course
·         For dessert, I consulted Pinterest for inspiration and baked two individual pies in canning jars

We ate on cushions on the floor at our coffee table, and draped a pink linen dish towel that my mother brought me.  It has “LOVE” embroidered on it, so it was only right.  As a final touch, I played some Carla Bruni in the background.

I have to say, I much preferred our evening at home to going out.  We went out on the town last year, and it was really great, but it was nice to keep things mellow and easy at home.  I love that there was no parking, no pricey bill, no wondering exactly what goes on back in the kitchen, and that we ate in peace and quiet.

After that, he jumped up and did the dishes.  To be fair, I was folding laundry, but I still so appreciated it.
Then he somehow rigged a giant white sheet over the bedroom closet door, and we used our LCD projector to watch “The West Wing” in bed.  We rarely watch TV in bed, since we can both be such insomniacs, but it was really fun, and so much more comfortable than our 1960's love seat.

Perfect evening.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


This past weekend, my Mom came to town, and we promptly set about painting it red.

She was coming into town for her annual “Sisters-In-Law Retreat,” and this year the destination of choice was Palo Alto!  I got to see some aunts and cousins, and we all attended my cousin Erin’s concert.  She is the world’s most fantastic Soprano, and soon to be a PhD in Vocal Performance.  It doesn’t get much more legit than that, I’m afraid.  And as if that weren’t enough, she has a sense of humor that has everyone in any room in constant stitches.

On Sunday, I wowed my Mom by showing her the world of Pinterest.  I'm afraid she has now caught the bug.  She's one of the most creative women I know, and so adding Pinterest to the mix could be combustible.  We also  went for a stroll and saw a guinea fowl running wildly through the apartment complex.  I chased it down to get a shot.

On Monday morning, we went for a three hour morning walk.  It poured rain the whole time.  We walked all through the neighborhood she was raised in and laughed so hard I’m sure we were disturbing the peace.  My Mom was born and raised here, and it’s so fun to see her in her old stomping grounds.  Every few seconds a memory would pop into her head and she’d have us go down a random side street where she’d say things like,

“Oh, this is where I used to ride my bike with so-and-so sitting on the handle bars.”
“You see that house?  So-and-so lived there.  She was this really brainy girl in my Latin class.”
“So-and-so’s Dad planted that tree and now look at it!”
“I used to come here with my Mom and we’d get a few treats and then go to the ballet.”
“I remember when I’d save up some money and come here for lunch in High School and get a roast beef sandwich on egg bread with original spread and pickles, and it was like living in the lap of luxury.”
“See what this person did with their house colors?  What they really should have done is made that white trim a creamier color so that you don’t feel like your eyes are being assaulted by all that baking-soda white.”
“Let’s move to the other side of the street so we don’t get whacked by all those agapanthus leaves.”
“Oh I love what this person did with that winding brick walkway.  It just looks so romantic.”
We ate Cheese House sandwiches, bought See’s chocolates, walked around the local fabric store, and then came home, grabbed some blankets, and watched (what else?) “Downton Abbey.”

I rarely get so much wonderful one-on-one time with my Mom, and it was a perfect weekend.

I’ve never been so sad to drive someone to the airport.

Thanks for such a golden weekend, Mom.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Top 10 Things to Do When Your Floor Has Been Plastic-Wrapped

Yes, This is happening this week:

In case you can't tell, that's plastic wrap on the floor of our apartment hallway.

So, this post:  

10.  Rub dishsoap on the floor by the elevators and laugh at all the suckers who fall

9.  Play Scrabble directly on the floor with dry erase markers

8.  Shmop a carpeted floor!

7.  Carry leaky garbage to the garbage chute with no remorse

5.  Slip'n'Slide!!!!

4.  Shave your head.  I dunno, it just feels right.

3.  String up caution tape, put on a hazmat suit, and redirect people coming off the elevators

2.  Watch Friday Night Lights.  Duh.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Hound

I once read a poem in high school that I have never forgotten.  It’s a fairly well known one, and I’m pretty sure most American teenagers had to read and discuss it in some class at some point.  On days like today, I can still picture myself in Ms. Teverbaugh’s class reading it for the first time.  It’s called “The Hound” by Robert Francis.

The Hound

by Robert Francis

Life the hound
Comes at a bound
Either to rend me
Or to befriend me.

I cannot tell
The hound's intent
Till he has sprung
At my bare hand
With teeth or tongue.
Meanwhile I stand
And wait the event.

Today I arrived at work and discovered that I would be doing the responsibilities of two people by myself (that tends to happen when someone gets sick).  I’ve held down the fort on my own before, but today was insane.

I think I was in a mild state of panic for about eight hours.  I could almost hear the adrenaline rushing through my brain.  And at one particular moment in time, as the phone rang and emails poured in and people stopped by my desk to ask me questions, I thought, “Thank goodness I didn’t know this was going to happen when I woke up this morning.”

I’m a worrier by gene pool.  There are known things in my future that I worry about (will Harry like his job?  Will we be happy with our life choices?  Will we ever have more than we currently have in our bank account?).  On days like today I’m so relieved that the “unknowns” that are simply unforeseeable are exactly that.  Because if I’d known that today would be like trying to herd cats after we’d all been tossed in a swimming pool that was filled with floating inner tubes, I might not have gotten out of bed this morning.

This is not meant to sound like a “my life is harder than your life” post—truthfully, I absolutely love my life.  And today I was grateful for something I’m never grateful for: that no matter what I think or plan or do, life is equivocal, and I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen when I get out of (or, stay in) bed in the morning.

I’m so glad that everyone has days like this that catch them by surprise and completely wring them out, that it affects the employed, the unemployed, the stay-at-home-mom (which in my opinion is employed-yet-unpaid), the retired, the wealthy, the poor, the old, the young, the blonde, the curly-haired, and the bald.

This crazy day has worn me out to my very core, and I’m now planted on the sofa wearing leggings and the fake Uggs I bought in college, while the crock pot gurgles away on the counter, and the laundry spins away in the machines in the basement, waiting for Sir Harry to come home and watch something with me that we can find for free on

A picture, in parting.

found here