While Feburary and March are metaphorically pink and green, for Saints Valentine and Patrick, the month of April is yellow because you actually see it everywhere. Together, month and hue are the first harbingers of spring; when I first arrived on the Isle of Man in early April so many years ago, I watched  the golden gorse bloom, so bright and cheery along the grey coastline, and it made all the difference in the world. Here, its daffodils, dandelions, yellow tulips, and those flowering yellow bushes whose names I dont know, but that I see everywhere. In every shade, its the perfect color for the season! So electric, so encouraging! And such a precious time of year it is--by May, winter is just a memory, but in April you actually see the world change from horrible to amazing. If youre wondering why I havent been blogging as much these past few weeks, its because I dont want to miss it! Once May is over, summer is summer and nothing really changes until September. But these are magical days! 

Bambi Northwood Blyth by Tim Barber


"I must have flowers, always always!"

... said my mother recently, and Claude Monet before her. Isnt springtime amazing? It always seems to me like its too good to be true. I feel one hundred percent happier on a daily basis now that theres some flora in the world. How lucky and lovely it is to see flowers, flowers everywhere, whenever you walk outside? We humans must find them so beautiful because we evolved from little furry pollinators--I feel like, Im inherently, biologically drawn to them. I really cant imagine a single thing more beautiful, can you? Its like theyre too much, sometimes, it makes me giddy!  To me, flowering trees are especially remarkable; theyre so unbelievably decadent! But with the end of April approaching, most of them already giving way to leaves, which would be sad, sort of, if it didnt mean summer was right around the corner. Here in Pittsburgh, anyway. And Ive discovered that Bloomfield is aptly named: people do a really good job of keeping their gardens beautiful in our neighborhood! For the most part, they feature lots and lots of candy-colored tulips, which are one of my faves! I only wish we had a garden, too! Though looking at other peoples gardens is free, and easy!

Have you ever seen/read Michael Pollans The Botany of Desire? In it he discusses how flowers (specifically, tulips) have exploited our love of beauty in order to prosper, referencing Hollands golden-age tulipomania as the height of the species exploitation of this human desire. Of course, its ridiculous to imagine spending the equivalent of thousands and thousands of dollars on flower bulbs... but also, looking around the neighborhood on my walks to and from work this week, I can sort of understand their obsession. I really truly cant imagine anything more beautiful! And I believe there are sillier ways to spend ones money. So obsessed with flowers am I of late, I sat Felix down to watch Disneys Alice in Wonderland the other day, specifically for this part:

which backfired horribly, as he now asks me to sing 'the flower song from the funny show' at least five times a day. But I suppose its better than his other most popular requests, the theme songs from Thomas the Tank Engine slash Bob the Builder... not quite as romantic, in my opinion. 


living language: emoji slash slash (slash hyphen)

Ive been really in to Emoji recently. Or should I say, 
I dont know why I find them so fascinating exactly, but I do have some ideas. For example, its interesting how using a picture of something can sometimes make your communication more cryptic, not because it isnt obvious what youre talking about (though, sometimes, it certainly is) but because your brain is so conditioned to expect letters arranged to represent an abstract concept in the form of a written word, that an actual picture of the thing youre talking about can sort of throw you off. Unless youre getting used to it, which I think Chase must be, I believe to his chagrin--Ive been challenging myself to communicate exclusively in emoji whenever possible. On the phone, of course. I only wish there were more of them; the alphabet doesnt always include what I need it to. For example, while perfectly suited to our largely ramen-based existence, I find that the food icons lack various western items that would be useful at times. Like, a sandwich that isnt a cheeseburger, for example. And the other night, when I was trying to text about GOT, I discovered that there isnt even an emoji for a Lion--though all the animals from Chinese astrology are represented. And speaking of east vs west, I wonder a lot about whether emoji read differently in their native Japan; that is to say, do they blend more seamlessly into an (originally) character-based written language? Because the jump from 


is visually pretty major, but I wonder if its at all different when the written expression of Rabbit is, fundamentally, a picture of a rabbit. Do you know what Im talking about? 

On a related note, lets talk about this article I recently read on The Chronicles language blog, Lingua Franca, about how the word 'Slash' has fairly recently entered the slang vocabulary of the youth of America. The article doesnt explicitly state this as an American phenomenon, I just assume people in England arent using 'stroke' in the same way. At least I never heard them say it. But maybe Im wrong? Anyway, Im sure that you, dear-probably-american-reader, are somewhat familiar with its usage (and if not, the article includes various examples provided by the authors students). But Im bringing it up in conjunction to my emoji discussion because its kind of exactly the opposite: in one case, symbols are being used to communicate not only nouns, which would be fairly straight forward, but also actions and concepts--like the snowman, meaning 'its cool' slash 'Im cool with that'; in the other case, a punctuation mark (ie, a symbol) with a formerly narrow application is now being spelled out as a word, even in text messages, where youd expect the symbol itself would be more convenient--obviously, because the word 'slash' has gained a richer connotation, and performs more elaborate conjunctive functions, than the slash symbol is able to express.

Id also be interested to read more about the putting-hyphens-between-every-word-in-a-sentence-to-somehow-make-it-seem-like-one-word phenomenon, but Im not entirely sure it qualifies as slang? Any thoughts? Isnt it fascinating?!

ps, if youre really in to emoji, consider reading Emoji Dick, an emoji translation of Moby Dick recently acquired by the library of congress--so you know its legitimate!

the platonic jumpsuit

I usually dont go for Rompers. I think, at best, they make you look like a college freshman at a music festival who shops at Forever21, and at worst, like a slutty/disheveled adult babydoll (Im looking at you, Hannah Horvath). They tend to come with a lot of bells and whistles in the form of weird patterns and strange clasps, and overall, they strike me as cheap-looking. But this is different! And maybe I would never have felt this way, this time last year, but Ive completely fallen in love with this now-sold-out, four-hundered-and-fifty-dollar beige-and-navy colorblocked cotton jumpsuit from MakiĆ©. Can you imagine one single thing more comfortable and convenient to wear in the summertime? 

So breezy. With a pair of nude leather flats and some circular sunglasses? Maybe a denim jacket? Come on. Only, I don really understand how you get in and out of it? Which is my number-one problem with jumpsuits in the first place. So scratch what I said earlier about convenient, unless theres some trick I dont know about. Tell me if there is!!!


blah blogblock

Its sort of ironic and silly to write about how I have nothing to write about and expect anyone to want to read about it, I know. But sometimes I just dont know what Im doing... you know? Im sure youve all felt the same way about whatever it is you get up to, professionally or in your spare time. Ill go a nice stretch with plenty of ideas and things to say, and then, all of the sudden, Ive got nothing. I think its partly to do with the fact that Im adjusting to the new season, like my brain hasnt acclimated to springtime yet. Funny, because I assumed that warm weather would improve both my life and my blogging, though in reality, I think the urge to be outside playing has curtailed my blogging momentum somewhat--and then, when the weather does cool slightly, my brain completely shuts down and Im good for absolutely nothing. So its a good thing this is only a hobby. Theres nothing truly wrong with any of this, I dont think. If I dont have anything to say, I clearly shouldnt be writing. Right? So why do I feel like I ought to? Because, I feel constantly compelled to create content, for no real reason. But Ive been thinking, and Ive decided, I like that. It reminds me of being in school, in a good way: having deadlines, feeling pressure to complete projects, forcing myself to be productive. Of course, my blogging is largely irrelevant, whereas the school work once I did was for a reason--though, as a manager at a bakery, I sometimes wonder: was it?

It all comes down to this: am I wasting my life away??
And also, how much tea can one drink of an afternoon, before its officially Too Much? 

ps: how excited are you all about this happening? It premieres two days after I turn 28, and Im considering it a personal birthday present, to me--and heres a sneak peak!


Its April?!

In the hubbub of working, the spring weather that makes me blog less, apparently, and my laziness, I totally forgot to tell you my april resolutions! Remember? And now, April is almost over anyway! Oh lordy, where has the time gone? Anyway, this month, Im working on: 

Making fewer impulse purchases at the supermarket
Trying to get in some extra time at work
Living in the moment (always)
& My Arms

What are you trying to get done these days?

self portrait by Paolo Roversi



The other day, felix and I were walking and I saw an add on the back of a city bus that said:

If Hes Is Five, Its Time:
Enroll Your Child In Kindergarten 

And it really freaked me out! Im not ready for Felix to go to Kindergarten! Oh wait, hes not old enough anyway. Besides, Im already thinking about preschools, and I know hell love it when he gets there. Then again, signing Felix up for preschool is something we will choose when and whether to do, given our schedules. No one is making me take him anywhere (and leave him there!) But in three and a half years, the government will be. And I have a feeling thatll seem sooner than later.

This train of thought invariably leads into a woeful contemplation of the passage of time, and various other morbid/existential notions Ill spare you, lest I Bum You Out--weve had some bad news in the family, so its been a sad few days over here. But Im not trying to bring you down right now! Like I said before, Im really excited for Felixs early academic future! Hes so funny and curious, he needs to loosen up around other people sometimes, and I think being in a classroom is just the ticket for that. Not to mention how much more flexible Chase and I will be, professionally, once he has somewhere to be in the daytime.  But oh, how Ill miss him so! Motherhood is so bittersweet!

speaking of stripes...

... which we sort of just were, how delightful is this transatlantic collaboration between heritage brands Coach and Saint James? Not so much the products themselves (I only want about half of them) as all of the associated promotion, like the collage-y look book by artist  Kristin Eddington, and this mini editorial by Jane Keltner De Valle, starring Hanne Gaby Oidele looking as summery as you like. Or, my kind of summery anyway. 

I like the different totes for the beach, and that long cotton dress looks perfect for when it gets truly hot out (though I truly hate it with those red leather ballets--what is she, seven??) But my favorite thing in the collection by far is this boxiest, most perfect striped draw-string top.

Coach isnt usually my thing really, but Saint James sure is. And theres just something about a collaboration, you know? So exciting, somehow. But also, I dont get out much these days. 

images via here & here


the platonic sunglasses

Ive made a decision which is that Im only ever going to wear round sunglasses from now on. Chase bought me a pair of wayfarers for christmas a few years ago, and I really like them because theyre like, classic, or whatever. But I was looking at some pictures of myself wearing them, and they just dont look right on me. Its mildly heartbreaking, but Im willing to accept it. But let me show you. Here I am, making the same face (and wearing the same shirt) in two different pictures, with two different pairs of sunglasses on:

the wayfarers in question;

and my good ol roundies, I like to call them. 

The round ones just look better. But its more than that. I prefer them on aesthetic principle, regardless of the fact that I also believe them to be more flattering. Incidentally, it matters to me that they be entirely, perfectly round, not just sort of round-ish. Oddly and irregularly shaped sunglasses--aviators, cat-eyes, various trapezoids--dont sit right with me, conceptually or on my flattest face (which is maybe partly the reason why). Ive realized that I only like pure shapes--that is to say, circles, equilateral triangles, pentagons, and the rest of the regular polygons.  If I cant classify the shape of something Im wearing, its distracting to the point of discomfort. Maybe Im overstating things but also I think I just dont know how to describe this part of my brain properly. Its why I like stripes so much, and, specifically, stripes of the same width. I think, ultimately, it has to do with my affinity for symmetry. When things are off-balance, I have an overwhelming desire to set them straight. I think if someone made me wear one of those one-shoulder tops I would go mad over the course of the evening, trying to correct the imbalance. But a circle is always perfectly circular. Do you know what I mean, or do I sound like a freak right now?

Anway, another nice thing about circular glasses is that, like I said, a circle is a circle. Which means that, no matter how much they cost, if theyre shaped like circles, then theyre right. So you can buy cheap ones and it makes really no difference (unless quality is something that concerns you). Asos is a good place for cheap sunglasses, regardless of your personal style or your philosophy on symmetry--though they have plenty of pricier name-brands, too.

Love that color-blocked tortoise shell! And the nude pair would look great on you blondies and gingies out there. Maybe your life is different than mine, but for me, cheap sunglasses are usually a good idea because I lose them, and Felix sometimes breaks things (though now that he has his own sunglasses hes less interested in mine). I cant honestly believe Ive had my wayfarers as long as I have, and that nothing bad has happened to them in all this time. Its truly shocking! 

p.s. Isnt baby felix the sweetest? I cant believe these pics were taken a year ago! He looks exactly the same to me.


to market, to market

One of the tricky things about having a pre-pre-school-aged child is that currently, Chase and I are working opposite schedules, so that someone is always home with the BB. I see Chase when he gets off work of course, but thats well after Felix has gone to bed. So its always jolly when we have a little time to spend together, the three of us, as a real family! Now that its so beautiful outside, during that together-time we often take a trip to Donatellis, our preferred local Italian market. Its a nice little walk thats just long enough to feel like an outing, but short enough that Felix can walk the whole way there and back. He likes the fresh air of course, but Im pretty sure his favorite part of these excursions is that I always buy him a babys carton of chocolate milk for 60¢, and let him drink it right  there in the store. Sometimes, his girlfriend--this spunky, probably 17 year old girl who works the register, talks like a sailor, and is completely enamored of Felix--even lets him have it for free! I like it because it keeps his hands off the packages of biscotti and sweets that they place (on purpose, Im sure) right at his littlest eye level, throughout the store. 

But my favorite part is the walk through Friendship Park! Its a nice little park, long and narrow with plenty of little hills to walk up and down and lots benches for sitting. During the winter, I didnt get what was so amazing about it. But now that all the little trees have started to flower, I see it in a new light. Its so springy and sweet now, and once the leaves are all properly out, it will feel more private (its right by the hospital and theres a lot of foot traffic). As its right around the corner from us, I imagine it substituting nicely for our non-existent back yard during the summer. I cant wait to take felix there for leisurely afternoon picnics, once the ground isnt so muddy!

 Felix wanted us to let him carry the gallon of milk home, but it was too heavy, so he took one of the lighter bags. Its so sweet and precious to me how much he likes to help out during these and other little errands. He doesnt like to see people doing work and not help them do it: sweeping, vacuuming, tidying, shopping, doing the laundry--you name it. Its so sweet (and occasionally helpful!) Cynically, I expect it wont last forever... but what if it does!? 


i hate talking about iphone accessories!

Truly I do. Its so tacky! But! I do so love, in equal measure (because theyre essentially the same thing) these Purl Soho cross-stitch iphone kits, also, these from Connect Design. What a good idea! And Im pretty sure theyd make a good white elephant/secret santa gift, or something. You know? This is so not the season for that kind of event, but also, in my mind, this isnt really the season for cross-stitch, either? Do you think these would get dirty very quickly? I still want one! Pretty sure Id do a monogram...


"cheap glamour is irresistible"

This is the current color mix of jimmies on offer at my bakery. It changes, subtly, all the time, and I love that about it, because you can never pinpoint exactly how its different, you just know by looking that somehow, the mixture has changed. I never used to call them jimmies, you know. I called them sprinkles, and I thought of jimmies as just one of those weird colloquialisms, like calling soda pop, until I found myself saying it at work all the time. Now I almost think I like it better because its cuter and more familiar. In England they call them hundreds-and-thousands, which is impressive, if a little cumbersome. 

You know that thing of when youre shopping at Uniqlo or American Apparel or J. Crew, somewhere that has one of everything in every color? And it looks so good all together like that, but you know it wont be the same when you choose just the navy one and take it home. Even if you did buy one in every color, you could never wear them all at once. Theres something about all the colors together that is so special and appealing. Like rainbow jimmies, for example. They make everything look so much tastier somehow, but its more than that. Theyre compelling, like I want them for more than just to eat, like I wish there was something more to do with them than just eat them. Though obviously, I also want to eat them. But spending my days downing jimmie-encrusted confection isnt exactly conducive to swimsuitseason. Better instead to seek out their inedible, sartorial equivalent, in the form of rainbow-colored plastic beading. If I had one of these peices from Maia Bergmans 2012 graduate collection for Central St Martins, for example, would I be less inclined to eat an entire iced cut-out jimmy cookie in five minutes?

It all look so tasty!  Not as literally appetizing as they would if there was more pink and red mixed in, but for clothing I much prefer these candy mermaid shades. And they look so sheer and light, too! I wonder if they really are? Ive had a few beaded dresses before, and I loved them, but they were so heavy! According to this interview with Bergman, when she sat down to plan her collection, she didnt know what she wanted exactly, knew for sure what she didnt want: "no black, no tomboy, no linings, no screen printing." Because, really, who isnt over screen printing already?? 

images via 1granary


Larry David Smile

When I was watching Curb Your Enthusiasm the other night, I noticed something I never had before, which is that Larry David has maybe the whitest teeth Ive ever seen. Can you tell from this picture? Maybe not... but, in the episode I watched recently, I swear they were so white they looked almost blue. In a good way. It makes sense that he would care about having white teeth, dont you think?

Inspired to capture that smile, Ive been using a mix of baking soda and peroxide to brush my teeth. You can add some mint toothpaste so it doesnt taste so horrible, if you want to. Im pretty enamored of baking soda right now. You can do anything with it! Truly! Its so much more than just tooth whitener, de-oderant, and exfoliant. For example, you can add baking soda to eggs for a fluffier omelette; to your babys bathwater to soothe diaper rash; to cut flowers container to keep them fresher longer; to the ground around growing tomatoes to make them sweeter, or to keep rabbits away (poor rabbits!) You can also wipe it on your cars windshield to repel rain, or use it to wash the gross guck off of the produce you buy at the supermarket. Obviously, an all-around winner if youre at all concerned about having harmful chemicals in the house... which everyone should be, of course, but especially if you have little ones.

And dont forget--you can use it for baking! And its cheap! I only wish it came in a bigger package!

dreamy image via here


two people, together forever...

 Happy Anniversary, Chase!

Can you believe its been one whole year already? And can you believe its only been one year?



I dont get it, but also, I do!

 Take a look at these ridiculous dresses from Tom Fords 2013 fall ready-to-wear line. 
Do they remind you of anything?

Were you going to say, Harry Nilssons 1971 animated film The Point!?
Um, yeah, of course, its the exact same thing:

Incredible. Honestly, I just saw this movie for the first time. Our friends Matt and Heather lent it to me last I was in Ohio, and we watched it with Felix just the other day. I loved it--it reminded me of The Phantom Tollbooth, and also School House Rock, and Charlie Brown a little, too. Have you ever seen it? Obviously, all the music is by Harry Nilsson, animation by Fred Wolf--and in the version we watched,  Ringo Starr, of Thomas the Tank Engine fame, is the narrator! And hes funny, too. It was really good! 

It was really good, but. I wouldnt want to look like any of the people in it! For some reason, the count reminds me of the villain from this My Little Ponies video I used to watch at my mothers house--whose cast, I just found out , includes Danny DeVito as Grundle King, which after having only seen him as Frank on IASIP (and as an over-the-hill male stripper who sort of ruins Pheobes bachelorette party in this one episode of Friends I saw a few times in England over the summer) is sort of disturbing.

My Little Pony, as it turns out (the original, eighties version, not the weird action/bratz-y looking revamp I just found out about on youtube a few moments ago) still sings a song to my heart, deep down. Their crazy silly names (locket, north star, twilight), the flowing pink and purple hair, the wings, their apparently serious quests to places like Cloud Castle, everything.

And look at the crystal eyes on this one. Enchanting. I think I really had one like that, you know!

But what I mean really is that whole look: fanciful beasts and creatures in easter pastels floating around a hyper-idyllic landscape--and beyond, into the clouds! Like Beethovens Pastoral Symphony in the 1940 Disney film Fantasia, which was always my very favorite part:

Anyway, back to the Point! I first saw those dresses (remember??) before I saw the film, and I thought, omg theyre ugly. Or at least, I didnt understand them. But at least, now, I get the reference. The only question is, does he?? Tom Ford, that is. Did he see it when he was a kid? The Point! I mean. Is he referencing it subconsciously? Or is that secretly exactly what he meant for it to look like? I wonder if hes ever even seen the movie! How will we ever know? And what do you think about the dresses themselves? Obviously, I hate them. Do You? 

images via herehere, screenshots via youtube