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To Do: Spring Awakening

I am a new person.

There is sun, and birds are chirping, and if you look hard enough, little green buds can be seen fighting through the mud and salt and sand for a chance at that sun.

Spring might just be on it’s way.

The clocks changed overnight into Sunday, and though it meant losing an hour of sleep, it meant gaining and hour of light and peace when I’m actually awake to enjoy it. And with that, I was reborn as the calmer, more focused, happier Kelly that everyone certainly likes more, myself included.

Winter isn’t guaranteed to be done, of course, as we technically have a few more iffy weeks ahead. But I don’t care; I’m done, and my outlook must be springy and positive and one of renewal from here ’til Halloween. Dr. Jekyll has arrived; Mr. Hyde is hibernating.

With this sunny outlook, I have a renewed sense of motivation to get stuff done. The problem is, I’m not entirely sure what said stuff is. Like, spring cleaning? No thanks. Spring shopping? Naw. Drinking outside in the sun on patios? Yes, I think that’s the winner! Sadly this little thing I call “work” gets in the way of that…

What can I do, though? A few things have been done, but I should set some new to-dos.

  • Pack away my black clothes. Wow, dudes: I did this. Even the black dress trousers. The black tights came out of the wash on Sunday, and into the “black box” they will go. My mom emailed me after my last blog post with her solution to this obnoxious problem: “You may recall my March habit: whatever I wear in March gets put away, washed, donated, or sent to the cleaners, not to be worn again until next winter.  By the end of March I am ready to bring out spring clothes.  Even though some years I have had to layer up a bit, it is spring clothes I am wearing on April 1.   It gets me through the doldrums.  Also I wear the colorful wools and cords–not brown, black or gray!” This is exactly what I needed!
  • Hide my boots, highlight my shoes. All the boots are up on a shelf, lined up, like black leather soldiers, staring me down and challenging me to a battle. I’ll win, boots, just you see: I have a whole bunch of lovely flats and kitten heeled shoes that are vying for my attention, and they will be worn today (eg: today, it’s a pair of black and leopard two-piece d’orsay flats with a fun zipper detail).
  • Fresh flowers, every day. I picked up flowers last week when I wrote this, and then again this Sunday on my quick trip to the grocery store. Beautiful bunches of tulips–visually, my favorite–for $4.99…so I bought three bunches. Two bunches of orange tulips on the dining room table, one bunch of white and pink striped tulips in the bedroom, and the other flowers on the coffee table (…miraculously uneaten by the dogs).
  • Just generally pretend it’s Spring. Cous cous salad for dinner last night, a celeriac and apple salad tonight, massaged kale salads for lunch, and perhaps some shrimp and pineapple skewers later in the week…not a braise or stew in sight.
  • Get back to outfit planning. The end of a season is easy, right? You’ve worn all these clothes a ton and you instinctively know what works together (or, alternatively/more likely, you don’t give a flying feck anymore), even if you’re running on one cup of coffee and you are about fifteen minutes behind schedule. You can make time up, because outfits are easy then. But the dawn of a new season? HARD. Like, what is this bright, light reddish color you call pink? What can I wear it with? Ooh, I forgot I had these! And then you end up running later, and unsatisfied and uncomfortable and likely in black instead of the springy outfit you had wanted to wear. …or something like that, she says, fifteen minutes later to work than she had hoped, wearing black and white and with wonky hair (but excellent makeup; that fifteen minutes came from somewhere), having tried on four other outfits and two other hair styles first. So, yes, outfit planning the night before. Sounds great.
  • Mail the taxes. Frickin’ taxes, man. I was on a roll on Saturday–so productive!–and thought “might as well just get these done!” Ugh, worst hour and a half of 2015 so far. Just so blergh. But, they are done, and just need to be mailed.
  • Again, move the phone from my bedside table. Somehow, it crept back to a spot within arm’s reach, and it means I spend at least thirty minutes clicking back and forth between social media, email, and other crap, mindlessly, when I actually don’t give a shit. So, must stop that. Relegating the phone back to a spot away from the bed.
  • Drink more water. Simple as that.

I’m not sure this is enough of a list or that it will satisfy my motivation to do something, but it’s a start, right? I need something to do. KellySignatureCard

To Do: March On

Oh, man. The past two weeks have been a bit hectic, so sorry for the radio silence. Last time I checked in, it was Valentine’s Week. Now, it’s March. Whoops! But, a lot happened in those two (three?) weeks. I can provide a little catch-up, then we can march on (tee hee) with the list.

Valentine’s Day itself was lovely. We are big believers in staying in and eating a great meal at home, and so we did. This year, that was even easier because we had committed to not eating out in February. So, I whipped up some rabbit porchetta, a fontina and roasted yellow pepper salad, and…something else (I can’t remember!), and we opened a bottle of our new favorite wine, a Virginia Norton. It was an excellent, romantic, delicious dinner. I mean, just check out that bunny!
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Steve had President’s Day off; I did not. And then we both had a snow day on Tuesday. So it was a relatively nice, slow week, with plenty of time to laze about for at least that one Tuesday. I’ll take it.

Saturday, we–me, Steve, and Hala–hosted an engagement party for two of our friends, and it was lovely, especially given a freak snow storm that threatened our attendance numbers. Everyone showed! It was amazing. And we had so much fun. Unfortunately, I have no photos of the party or food, but suffice it to say, when a Texan-Mexican gal marries a gal from Wisconsin, there are lots of dips, chips, and pickle trays. It was glorious.

The next week was a bit of a blur. Our law school alma mater was in town, so we met up with them on Monday (for some alumni planning), Tuesday (for a cocktail reception), and Wednesday (to be admitted to the US Supreme Court Bar). My parents came into town on Tuesday, Hala’s also, and we enjoyed a quick visit together around the Supreme Court swearing-in.
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My parents couldn’t come into the Court due to a limitation on space, but I’m pretty sure Steve was excited to be there! The justices were in fighting shape that day, and we heard two opinions issued, two arguments, and a lot of corny jokes from Justice Breyer. It was lovely.

Afterwards, we all–my parents included–headed to Béarnaise on the hill for a celebratory lunch and drinks. The chef was in the kitchen that day, which was a nice touch, and me and Steve even exchanged a few pleasantries with him on our way out. We’re such fame whores.

After that, naps were in order, then Steve and I spent some time with my parents at home before they had to head back north the next day. It was a great but short visit!

On Friday night, I received a text from an old friend who was in town for a few days, asking to meet up. So we did: brunch on Sunday, of course! Well, a wonderful 11am bottomless brunch turned into beers at 8pm in our other friend’s apartment, by which time we had already gone through our high school yearbook and made edits (“THAT IS AN INAPPROPRIATE USE OF AN EM DASH! Who are these idiots?!” and “Oh, he’s dead….yikes!” were each spoken more than once). We even recreated a famous (…sure) shot of the three of us from the yearbook:
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That, I guess, brings us to this week. The calendar may say March, but I’m in HELL. I am so sick of winter, and cold, and rain, and warm clothes, and corduroy, and heat, and static hair, and…yeah. TL;DR? SPRING ALREADY, K?

Seriously? No more of this crap.

Seriously? No more of this crap.

If I have to make a soup or braise one more time, I might poison it just so I can’t do it again. I’m longing for springy farro salads and radishes and crisp citrusy cocktails, outside. I have even contemplated buying SALMON, people. And I hate fish. But it just seems so springy.

I initially went into this week vowing not to wear any all-black or all-gray (or mixed black-gray) outfits, opting instead for springy brights. That worked for like 2 days. Today I’m wearing gray corduroy trousers, a gray shell, and a black, white, and gray plaid (which should also be banned, btw) blanket sweater jacket. And boots. And I’m miserable. I might just put away all my reliable doldrummy clothes–including all my black tights!–and force myself to wear the bright stuff. Good luck…

I guess it will help to have a list going. Let’s check in with where I was, and let’s see where I need to go.

  • Renew our passports.  DONE! Received them yesterday in the mail, in a total time of 3.75 weeks. Amazing! I even bought Steve a passport cover to celebrate (he’s green, I’m blue-ish).
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  • Commit to “No Eating Out February.” We did it! We knew we had some planned meals out during that last week (when my parents were here), but otherwise we didn’t do it once! No coffees, no lunches, no nada. Now, we need to deposit $375 each into our vacation account at the end of March, and we’ll have completed the challenge officially. Except…we might still do this, albeit on a limited scale. We’ve talked about maybe two shared big meals out per month (brunches, dinners), two lunches/happy hours each out per month, and two shared grub-hub orders per month.
  • Finish sending stuff to Twice and ThredUp. All of my responses are in! I made about $65 total from Twice (plus about $15 in bonuses I declined; to get that cash you’d have to take it as a store credit…no), and $95 from ThredUp. That was plenty to fund a spring Stella and Dot refresh! This necklace should help bring in Spring!
  • Assess under-bed storage. DONE! And my closet is beautifully tidy as a result!
  • Begin to map out our London/Paris/Normandy trip! Still working on this, but our likes/dislikes/goals are becoming clearer. We’ve talked about the trip to many friends, and we’ve gotten some great advice. Looking forward to it!
  • Find something productive for Sundays. Does spending all day drinking with high school friends count? Because if it does, then yes, I did this. If it means take awkward portraits of your dogs, then yes, again, I did this.image6

     I took the one on the top, and then
    a less flattering one, and realized I
    Agnes has done the same thing for
    the camera….see below.
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  • Pack away my black clothes. Ok, that’s kind of literal, and sounds like it would be almost impossible, but I think that any black or dark gray seasonal pieces–sweaters, tights!, wooly things…heck, even my 4-season dress pants–have to go for my sanity’s sake. I own enough navy (my favorite, actually) to get by, and I need to get more wear out of the colorful stuff. I mean, come on: that mustard wool skirt ain’t gonna wear itself, amIright?
  • Hide my boots, highlight my shoes. Ok, the first part is going to be really hard (we have 5-8 inches of snow predicted for tomorrow), but I’m so sick of my feet being hidden and bound up in boots. So I’ll corral them and place them somewhere accessible, but out of sight. And my shoes–regular ole’ shoes!–should be at the fore again, so I grab those in the morning rather than my clunky heavy dark leather boots.
  • Fresh flowers, every day. By every day, of course, I mean “have some around every day,” not “buy new fresh flowers every.single.day!” I’m not actually a millionaire, thanks, but I can afford a bouquet of whateverthehell at Whole Foods every week.
  • Just generally pretend it’s Spring. See above: “springy farro salads and radishes and crisp citrusy cocktails, outside.”

I’m sorry I’m such a winter-hating downer, but this has consumed me this week. And I don’t even live where it’s bad anymore! How the hell is my family doing this up in Boston, where the snow is higher than the hills and, at this point, dirtier than their beloved water?! I suspect beer hard alcohol has something to do with it.
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To Do: Valentine’s Day Week (It’s Like Birthday Week)

I have no idea why I named this blog post after Valentine’s Day. We’re not huge celebrators of the day, though we usually give it a nod, so don’t get the idea that I’ve strung hearts up everywhere and dipped everything in chocolate. I have not.

It’s just, you know, Valentine’s Day is this week, I’m struggling for a name, bada bing.

  • Renew our passports. MAILED!
  • Work out twice in the gym this week, and take the stairs up with the dogs at least three times this week. Stairs twice, gym once, let’s call it good. Ongoing goal, here.
  • Listen to podcasts on my commute. Again. Nope. Try again later.
  • Find a raincoat for Steve. Found! Gotta love 6PM.COM. I found a really great slim-fit, actually-rain-proof Merrell trench for $65.
  • Commit to “No Eating Out February.” So far, so good. Meals are planned for this week and we’re not sad about not being able to grab whatever whenever. Ok, I’m sad about it a little bit (Chipotle just smells so good when I’m walking home in the cold…) but I’ll survive!
  • Finish sending stuff to Twice and ThredUp. Waiting for responses, and I have a final Twice bag. Not enough to send it off yet, but there’s no real rush.
  • Assess under-bed storage. Ok, I think that the sheets and blankets will fit nicely under there, just need to make the switch. This week!
  • Begin to map out our London/Paris/Normandy trip! We booked our flights and hotels for our trip to London, Paris, and Normandy this June. We’ll have about four days in each city, and a day trip out to Normandy, so it’s plenty of time to see, eat, and enjoy the cities. We’re trying to figure out what to do/eat in each place, and that’s fun. I’ve been to London (once for a week, once for a month-long internship in law school), so that’s old hat for me, but Paris and I haven’t seen each other in over ten years (and then, it was only for two rushed days!). I don’t actually speak French, though I can fumble my way through with a convincing accent, so I’ll be brushing up on my sil vous plaits and what nots.
  • Find something productive for Sundays. Steve has his EMT class three times a week now: Tuesday evening, Thursday evening (before his overnight), and Sunday, all day. Aside from meal planning and packing, I need to find something to do on Sundays. I mean, watching Golden Girls on Amazon Prime, in my PJs with coffee and (later) wine until he gets home is a thing to do, but not exactly the ideal thing to do. Cooking is an option, as is a long walk with the dogs as the weather improves…

Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day? Right now, our plans look like a roasted rabbit and a bottle of wine. And that works for me.
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