Happy Easter!

Happy Easter you guys! I Hope you have the day off and are relaxing. Felix was pleased to find that 'Mistah Bunny' left him lots of special treasures, including some Thomas stickers, an elephant watering can, a sweet new pair of shades, and best of all, chocolate chip teddy biscuits! Its cool to have your own house and your own family, and decide how you want your own holidays to be like. For easter, I love the idea of focusing on bunnies, eggs, and chicks; daffodils and pastel colors; smoked salmon eggs benedict and white wine spritzers (breakfast this morning)--in short, treating it like the pagan spring celebration it is, and being glad that winter is finally on its way out. Daylight savings and the official start of the season didnt really make a difference for me (or the forecast), but now that Easters here, whatever the weather, in my heart it will be spring. What a fun holiday! The light at the end of the tunnel!

Enjoy yourselves!

top image via here


take my word for it!

We had a true Pittsburgh Day the other day. Its nice when people come to visit because you can use it as an excuse to do the touristy things you havent had a chance to do yet as a recent transplant. Once a certain amount of time goes by, the momentum you have to visit things like that diminishes, in a way. Plus, I like to save the museums for when its so hot in the summer and you need to go some place with air conditioning and stay a few hours. You know what I mean?  Im not sure what the nearest approximation is of The City Museum is here in Pittsburgh, because theres no better setting for that. Anyway, the other day with Ben, after giant sandwiches at Primanti Bros (I had the pastrami) we headed across the river to the Andy Warhol Museum. It was really cool! 

It was really cool, but. Heres a little piece of advice I learned first hand just the other day: do not take a toddler to the Andy Warhol museum unless you really trust them. Especially if they skipped out on their nap earlier. I cant emphasize that last part enough. In theory, it seemed like a particularly appealing gallery for a toddler, what with all the bright colors and familiar subjects (like these cows felix remembered from one of his favorite baby books). But if you think about it, thats exactly the trouble with it; the entire museum is a living nightmare for the parent of one so sticky-fingered--literally and metaphorically. The very first thing Felix did upon walking into the museum was nearly topple an entire pyramid of Brillo Boxes. What a nightmare. After that, naturally, I couldnt relax. It didnt get any better on the seventh floor, where thre were more brillo boxes, giant cigarettes, and one installation consisting entirely of a pile of rainbow-colored sweeties spilling out of a corner of the room...

While we both (and I think Ben as well, though he would never say it) found the experience a little frustrating, it was also generally enjoyable. We liked the portraits of the Queen, and the giant stuffed dog, and the one of all the green bottles. I really liked Nine Jackies. But our favorite, by far, were the Silver Clouds! Imagine a dark room, lit only by the projection of a looped video of floating Super Mario Clouds, with a breezy circle of fans sending giant silver balloons lazily around it. It was so relaxing to be in there, and not just because it was the one place where you were actually supposed to touch things--gently, of course. We could have stayed there all afternoon! I hope Felix dreamed about it that night. I wish it was my bedroom! Maybe theyd let me sleep in there, like Tilda Swindon. 

nine jackiessilver cloudsmario clouds


the best light luggage

Now, I havent picked up any tricky tips from him yet, but our friend ben, too, is many things, and one of the things he is for sure is stylish. That boys got good taste, and he knows what he likes. I have been so coveting his carry-on travel bag, from Herschel Supply Company--apparently, its the bag to have these days. Or, the luggage to have. Or, whatever. You know what? Its a really nice bag! So sturdy, and exactly the perfect size for a week-long trip. The Strand, I believe its called, and I love it in the bright yellow shade Ben has--despite my natural inclinations, I think luggage is one of things where its better not to go with the dark, neutral tones one tends to favor. Brightly colored bags are easier to see and harder to mix up or forget. Of course, a print does the trick nicely, too; I dont play tennis, but I do so love their invitational collection. Isnt it the preppiest, cutest thing for spring? Though I think Id prefer it in a navy... 


two friendly tips!

 My friend Brittany is lots of things, but one thing she is for sure, is canny. I picked up two quick tips from her lately, and Im going to tell them to you now!

Tip number one: use your boyfriends beard trimmer to remove pills and fluff from your sweaters. Of course! It makes so much sense! My mother in law has a little sweater-pill-robot dingy that you can use to remove them, but I think I was too aggressive, because it put a little hole in one of my sweaters! So you have to be careful. But, this is a good idea, and she says it works very well. 

Tip number two: use baking soda as exfoliant. So I tried this the other day, and its actually the best thing. I usually dont deviate from my standard skincare routine, especially to add new products. But baking soda is so pure and straightforward, its not really a product as such. You just add water and make a little paste. Its easy! And after you try it, theres no going back. At least, not for me. I used a regular, over-the-counter scrub this morning, and it was like washing my face with rocks and shards of glass. Completely horrible. Dont do it! 



Next up, 'Friend Ben' of 'Triangle-A Door.' I hope will be charmed by the magic of Pittsburgh! Did you know? He is arriving any moment now! Felix is already excited and he doesnt even know why! Ive been looking so forward to these friend visits--Ive said it before, but theyre exactly exactly what I need right now. I just wish the weather was nicer for them... but whadyagonado, amirite??

Spring Break forever!

photo by Sanford Speake, I think...


the look: nerd safari

So, I recently decided that I needed a pair of reading glasses. Along with the grey hairs Ive been noticing lately, its another sign of aging that Im pretty sure Im still too young for--Im only 27 you guys! But also, you cant argue with cold hard facts, and ever since Ive been wearing them, my tension headaches have gone away. So, I guess Im keeping them. Great. 

Anyway, guided by my past experience with sunglasses shapes, the pair I chose are slightly oversized and perfectly round. You might think, having heard that description, that theyre, like, hipster glasses, or whatever. But youd be dead wrong. Because, while Id originally had my eye on a pair of tortoise-shell frames (similar to the ones sported by the future Mrs Richard OConnell in this still from The Mummy, which I just saw for the first time over christmas and which I high-ly recommend) for some reason I wasnt able to get them and instead went with these black wire frames which, when I wore them at work, prompted the high-school-girl cashiers to ask me if Im a huge Harry Potter fan, or what. Great. 

As you can see, they were right to ask (and yes Ive read all the HP books, duh) But so what? I need them, and glasses always look nerdy anyway. But actually, not always! Lately Ive been inspired by some positive examples of bespectacalization. Thematically, most of it--namely, Rachel Weiss in the Mummy, and Erin Wasson in this sun-baked editorial by Mario Testino for the April Issue of French Vogue--is totally turn-of-the-century-common-wealth-colonial. Like, cambridge graduates doing fieldwork in India or Egypt (or wherever, as long as its warm) in 1895. Does that make sense? Like, rumpled linen, sun-bleached white button-ups, printed silk scarves, and lots of camel and khaki. Aristocrat-on-Safari, I think is the most accurate way of describing it... 

Check those mixed prints! Im not sure why I love her socks-and-sandals so much... but I do! Now, it might be my winter despair that is causing me to see even glasses as evocative of warm weather. Because, Im pretty sure theyre not. Nevertheless, the midst of all these grey skies and endless slushy snow, how amazingly attractive is the dry amber heat captured in these photographs? And dont you find, on some level, that her glasses add to the ambience? Even just a little? Ah, le sigh... I wish Id been able to get mine in tortoise shell, too! Plus, the Nazca Lines are super cool and interesting! And of course, so  mysterious, as well. Ive never been, but I studied them in school once, you know! If you want to, you can read about them! Also, I didnt know until now that, along with the Nazca Lines,  Mr. Testino is Peruvian, himself! Did you?


bee-bopping & copy-catting

Remember these jars, designed by Ben Fleiss? They were yet another item on the long list of stuff I see on the internet that, chances are, I will never own. I like how they look so so much, but I must say I never really considered the practical application of those bright rubber-bands. Until, one day, quite by happenstance, I found I had recreated approximated this exact (sort of) thing in my own kitchen, with a speckley stone cylinder (vase? canister?) that I bought at a goodwill, and the leftover rubber-bands from the lettuce and cabbage Id got at the supermarket--which, to my delight, serve a perfectly useful purpose, as you can see:

Now weve got all our spatulas, sharpies, thermometers, and whiskettes conveniently grouped, range-side. Its the perfect thing! I only wish Id bought the other, blue speckly cannister I saw at the red-white-and-blue thrift last week, so I could make another one, maybe for art supplies (though lil caddy has sort of eclipsed my need for that sort of thing for pens and such) and that My kitchen wasnt so dingy. Do you see what I was talking about? Its even worse in real life!

top image via LEIF


Soupy Twist!

Im so excited today, because tonight, Brittany, muh colleague and one of my very favorites of all time, is coming from New York to stay with us for cumulatively, almost two whole days! And shes just in time! A friendly friend visit is exactly what I need at this moment in life. Its the first time well be hosting a non-family visitor, and I hope I know how to show her around properly! I know for sure we will be eating yummy Vietnamese food, and touring the strip district. And I think theres even a trip to the Andy Warhol Museum in the works (except I wont be able to go because I work into the late afternoon on sunday and of course, its closed the day after). But whatever! I might even break one of my (secular) lenten promises and allow myself drink some coffee, in order both to celebrate and to maximize my hang-out time--I go to bed quite early for a twenty-something, these days. 

Im so excited! Because, shes only the best!



the platonic bathing suit

um, ok you guys. This could be the perfect bathing suit of all time. I cant think of a single thing I would change about it. It even has underwires, and removable straps--these things are important! I dont own it so Ive never worn it, but doesnt it look so so flattering? And of course, I love the colors! Just imagine me wearing this, poolside, with some sunglasses and a giant John Daly in hand...

Topshop, youve done it again! I want this so badly my face hurts! Also, my only other swimsuit is now ten years old and keeps its shape even when no one is wearing it so, its pretty obvious I need a new one.

Quick, someone, buy this for me please! (that means you, Chase!)

image via topshop.com


Ever since I got this guy--who is looking rather sad and dingy after weeks of living in my indigo-saturated back pocket--something about an iphone case without ears looks wrong to me. You know? I just feel like I want my phone to look like the critter-y side-kick it is in my imagination. So, while they arent quite as kawaii as the one Ive got now, Im loving these goofy, day-glow iphone cases from Marc Jacobs

Am I crazy? Are these cute? Its like I dont even know how I feel about it anymore--but I know I probably wont be spending the $48 it would take to find out in real life. Sigh. But right now, maybe because of easter, I like the katie bunny one the best!

ps: way to stay up on the times, MJ, by offering free shipping on orders over $200... I feel like, in 2013, if Asos can afford to offer free shipping both ways, maybe you could, too? (This is, of course, entirely irrelevant to me as a non-consumer)


on having cats & making friends

Did you read that article in the New York Times by Alex Williams (of A Cup of Joe proxy-fame) about making friends after 30? Im only 27, but Joanna is right, it did hit a nerve. Going to school in the same town in which I grew up, I took for granted the dozens of friends and acquaintances that surrounded me. Then, living in Ohio, I was easily and thankfully incorporated into the coterie of Chases childhood friends, many of whom were also recent parents, that had temporarily regrouped in the area. But here, in Pittsburgh, we're struggling to establish friendship on that level. We have leads at our new jobs, of course, and we've really only been her a couple of months... but sometimes I get nervous! Having a baby makes those casual and spontaneous after-work hang-out sessions trickier to accommodate; going out means calling a babysitter a few days in advance, or actually bringing the baby. Not happening. You cant rush these things, of course. Once the spring comes (oh, the spring!) Im sure we'll be out and about more, at the library and the park and the farmers markets, meeting fellow parents and maybe, if and when I go back to school, other like-minded individuals.  But for now, new in town, stuck inside our house and my own brain, our prospects can seem so bleak! What I would do without the internet, I have no idea; Im so thankful to be able to communicate daily with all of my friends and family--from California to Colorado, England to China! Its such a luxury.  

But the internet is like the universe: infinitely stimulating, but also, cold and impersonal. To combat the loneliness Ive been describing on a more subliminal, physical level, Ive got another ace up my sleeve. I guess its partly that we always had cats when I was growing up, but having these two sweeties come to stay with us has made our 'new house' (as Felix is still calling it, months after the move) feel so much homier. Afternoon naps are indescribably cozier with a kitty at your feet, and though they dont exactly make up for our current (hopefully temporary) lack of friends in the area, it does make me feel less lonely in the evenings after Felix has gone to bed. Really, everythings better when you have a cat--or two!


Happy Spring You Guys!

I have this surely false and immature belief that all my problems will be solved when the sun comes out. Thats dumb, I know, but at least maybe Ill start feeling jollier? For now, were just cozied up over here, drinking tea, eating too many pastries, watching episode after episode (after episode after episode...) of Thomas the Tank Engine, and waiting for the sun to come out, like a couple of gumps. Tell me Im not alone in feeling like Im wating my life away!!! Hope its more seasonal wherever you are!

images styled by Amy Merrick & photographed by Parker Fitzgerald, for Kinfolk Magazine, Vol. 7



 Funny (and boring) how the faded, hazy palette seen here, which until fairly recently would have seemed sort of seventies or polaroid-y, now just makes me think of instagram. You know what I mean? But I would give anything for sunny, app-induced haze over the solidly grey skies that are apparently never breaking. Weather is The Worst. Can you even imagine standing, anywhere, in shorts, on the grass, and feeling comfortable? Its hard for me, but I want it so badly. More than the sporty, summery clothing, what I like about this editorial, photographed by Toshinao Kumakura for Nylon Mexico, is the leafy, grassy park setting. Its exactly where I want to be. Plus I like those shades. And that sunhat. I just dont know when I would ever need either ever again! On a sort-of related note, despite the fact that this story is inspired, obviously, by Sofia Coppolas 2010 film, Somewhere, this is exactly the sort of lazy, late-summer-afternoon atmosphere that comes to mind when I listen to Todd Rundgrens Something/Anything? which is the first thing that came to mind when I read the title (Ive yet to see the film, you see) And, Oh! What a nostalgic album that is for me!

Oh, summertime! 

images via FGR


speaking of heavenly...

Still (still!) in the throes of growing out my bangs, Ive been wearing a headband fairly often of late. Its a little, ribbon-wrapped, blair-waldorf-y number with some tiny bright pink flowers on one side, and Ive been pretty in to its jaunty combination of form and function. But, lately, Im considering wearing it backwards, or throwing it away entirely; despite its actually serving a purpose on my head, its utilitarian cuteness cant compare to the unnecessary brilliance of these Balenciaga halos.

Aesthetic references abound; theyre so medieval and mythological and magical, and remind me of so many things! Firstly, of this exhibit I saw at the British Museum of gold and silver jewelry, trinkets and accessories, dating back to ancient egyptian times. Especially the one with the little branches.

Also of the childlike empress in film version of The Never Ending Story, though the association is somewhat looser; Pretty much anything vaguely diadem-y reminds me of her. Did you ever wear a necklace on your head to ape this look as a child? I know my sisters and I did. She was the thing!

Plus the Auryn would be so in this year...

And of course, most obviously, these headbands conjure up medieval images of angels and saints with their gold-leaf halos, which I think is what Nicolas Ghesquière was going for, anyway. I like how they look good on a range of hair colors, alternately blending and contrasting with different shades. Gold really does go with everything! I wonder how much they cost. And, how well they stay in place. Do you think theyre heavy? They look like they might be pretty heavy, but I have no idea what it would feel like, or really what theyre made of (though in my mind, its sold gold)--I dont think Ive ever carried weight, so specifically concentrated, on that part of my person. But I guess I could just wear my blairwaldorf backwards, to see what its like!

images via here, here, here and here