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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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#JanPhotoADay Project, Week Three

Week Three already? Where did the first three weeks of 2015 go? And why does it also feel like WAY more than three weeks has elapsed?! Time, man. It’s confusing.

I’m still sharing these on Instagram (@knobleg529), but let’s jump in.
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Day 15: Happiness. Nothing embodies happiness more than Edith’s reaction to anyone coming into the apartment. Holy hell, this dog is excited.

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Day 16: Morning. I should have included a photo of me walking the dogs as the sun was coming up over the trees, but let’s be real: I was still basically asleep at that point. So, you got a selfie on the bus on the way to work.

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Day 17: Water. Ok, so this is obviously a throwback. I did not take this on January 17, 2015. Not here, anyway. This is the pool in July, and those are the fabulous old ladies that paddle around and don’t get their hair wet, and chatter and gossip all day. So, me and my friends in the future. We look gooooood!

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Day 18: Something You Bought. This is the remains of my delicious papri chaat at an Indian restaurant, and the Patriots/Colts game in the background. The problem is, Steve technically bought dinner that night. It’s a reach.

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Day 19: Something Sweet. Talk about order envy! This was my friend’s Café Vietnamese at Le Diplomate on Monday. It’s coffee with sweetened condensed milk, a la Vietnamese iced tea/coffee, and it was gorgeous. Made my coffee/Grand Marnier combo look pathetic in comparison.

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Day 20: Someone You Love. This is on the nose, but I don’t care. These are the three someones I love the most.

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Day 21: Reflection. I could have gone more artsy with this, composing some contemplative shot. But this just presented itself, so there it was. My new bag from Stella and Dot, reflected in the window of the bus, with the yellow line of the street perfectly cutting through the frame.

Week Four is the last one, and then what?

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#JanPhotoADay Project, Week Two

This week of the #JanPhotoADay Project has seen me getting obvious, getting creative, and getting looked at funny (that’s normal, though). Still posting to Instagram (follow me at @knobleg529), and there should be a feed at the bottom of the blog with my most recent IG posts.

I was crazy busy on Monday and my weekly To Do post slipped my mind–I’ll skip this week (mini-update: still doing ok!) and come back next Monday with more. Thanks for being patient!

Without further ado, le photos from Week Two.

image1Day 8: Your Sky. So, I work on the “ground level” of a building, backed into the side of a hill. So, underground. No sky. No sun. It’s where I spend eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, and this, friends, is my “sky” at work. A bank of fluorescent lights and drop ceiling tiles. Bucolic.

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Day 9: Your Routine. My built in closets have afforded me the luxury to have a non-bathroom staging area for a minimal hair and make up routine. That’s it.

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Day 10: Your Childhood. The tenth day saw me having dinner and drinks (…and more drinks) with two friends from my youth. One, from when we were two, the other from middle school onward. It was a blast.

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Day 11: Where You Sleep. Meet Agnes, Snuffleupagus, and Harry the Hippo. Did I mention that I’m a grown up? So hard to get outta bed (Edith sleeps with us too, but as soon as we’re up for the day, she does her sleeping in her bed or on the couch).

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Day 12: Close Up. On Monday, we had a two-hour delay (for….? I have no idea. It was cold-ish?) so I was able to stay home and make myself breakfast. One perfectly runny sunnyside egg, a slice of cheddar, and some leftover hoisin pork belly from the night before, served over some sautéed tortilla. It was just so gorgeous I had to share.

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Day 13: In My Bag. Ha! This is my Stella and Dot How Does She Do It bag, comfortably containing the following: one pair of Cole Haan pumps, one umbrella, three reusable shopping bags (grocery shopped after work), two pairs of gloves, an Ann Taintor coin purse, my Ray Ban Clubmasters, my keys/Wmata pass, and another bag, the Stella and Dot Tia Crossbody. I love this big bag so much I have two–this one in black and white, and one in a canvas/metallic ikat pattern. Both are sold out, but they have a few other great patterns in this style, as well as a larger expandable bag called The Getaway (true story: a friend was able to pack for a two week trip to London, Scotland, and the rest of the UK, solely in The Getaway). The Tia is sold out, too (it is amazing!), but they just debuted a new crossbody style that I’m eyeing, the Waverly in navy stripe linen.

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Day 14: What I’m Reading. So, I read for pleasure when I can or when I remember. And I usually read on my Kindle App for the iPad, or on my iPhone. Right now, my Library in the app has many options, mostly food writing, food/travel memoirs, a bestselling thriller I haven’t gotten around to, and yes, the Five Love Languages. I’m presently reading the Lonely Planet food essays book in the top left corner.

On to Week Three!

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