Monday, February 24, 2014

Let It Go


So I don't have kids and didn't realize until doing a little research that this song, Let It Go, is from the new Disney movie, Frozen.  The last Disney movie I saw was Aladdin, so forgive me if I am not up on animated culture.

But wow...this blew me away.  The little girl singing, Lexi Walker, is phenomenal.  Her voice is unbelievable for an 11 year old child!  Plus the African choir...I was weak in the knees.  Stunning.




But while looking a few things up, I discovered that Idina Menzel, sings the original version from the film.  {Y'all probably knew that already, though.}  Have I ever told you about my love for Idina?  Of course, I swoon for Broadway and all musical theater.  But the first time I saw RENT I just about fell over and fell in love.  Her voice is out of this world.




I'll probably never see the movie Frozen.  I mean, I don't have kids and I am just not that into animation {oddly it's a total pipe dream to do a voice over for an animated movie}.  But I am totally sold on this song.  Both versions.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Birthday Review


I survived my birthday!


I woke up early to a puppy who was suddenly uninterested in sleeping.  Yet managed to sleep the rest of the day and night.  I mean, seriously.  Like babies, it's a darn good thing puppies are so stinkin' cute!

But then a good song came on the radio.

Guess what I did next.

Seriously...guess.

I got out of bed (I am NOT a morning person...remember that) and danced!  True story.

Right there in my bedroom in my pajamas.  I danced it out.

Weird?  Perhaps.  But it started my day off right.  Not sure if it was because it turns out I am an amazing just-got-out-of-bed morning dancer or because it was so against the grain for my normal routine.  Who cares really.

Then I went to brunch with District.  At a local tea house.  Which only served to remind me of a little surprise party I was given once upon a time by my sweet girlfriends in DC.  Which then of course made District and I profess our love of DC and confusion over how we never met given our many overlapping friends and further confusion over why we live here, in the North Pole, instead of there, in the land of awesome and preppy.  We have this exact discussion at least twice a week.  It's our thing.  We like to dwell in our lust for where we once lived and bitch about where we live now.  It happens.  (For the record, we both secretly like where we live now.  But I mean, it will never be as awesome as DC.  It just won't.)

I ran errands.  I colored my roots.  Back to blonde, the way God and science intended.  I chatted with friends.

Then I met some of the sweetest friends out for dinner.  Laughed a lot.  Ate a lot.  Laughed more.  Held a baby.  And came home to my fur baby, sleeping soundly.

As expected there were a few bumps in my day.  But overall, I have to say this was one of the best I've had in a very long time.  I am ever so grateful to my wonderful friends.  I struggled for so long to make good friends up here.  And now, my cup runneth over.  I hope I never lose an ounce of gratitude.

A special thank you for all of your sweet wishes here, on Twitter and on Facebook.  I so sincerely appreciate every last one!

Cheers to more laughter than tears, more love than heartache, and more photos to remember it all!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

It's My Birthday




There.  I said it.  I'm owning it.  Not liking it.  Hoping I don't cry too much.  But I said it.  Today...is my worst day.  The hardest day of the year.  My dumb ole birthday.


Lilly Pulitzer Shift Cookies


But I have a bunch going on today so hopefully I can avoid the tears and embrace some goodness.




I can say for certainty though that my day will NOT involve Random Acts of Kindness.  Lesson learned.  The world isn't ready for that much kindness in one day.  I can also say for certainty that my day WILL involve lots of macarons.  {And no cake.  Because as I've been saying since birthday...I don't actually like cake!}


Macarons


And the best news of all is that tomorrow means I have a whole year to prepare for the next birthday.


So many macarons!


Are you a fan of your own birthday?  I used to be.  Now it's just a big ole sad day if I don't prepare and pack it so full that I am literally out of time for tears and wallowing.  


Friday, February 21, 2014

Things That Have Inspired Me This Week

Some weeks I could type up three posts a day and some weeks my focus is far, far away.  This week is the latter.  It happens.

But in the extra minutes I've spent online, I've loved watching the following over and over again.  And thought y'all might, too.

First up, my boy Shaun White.  I will do a proper post on my love of Shaun and other Olympians but I wanted to share this video.  We so often see these superstar athletes as super-humans.  But they aren't.  They work their tails off for years and years and then get nervous and introspective and humbled and fall and succeed and find comfort in loved ones, just like the rest of us.




Next we have two of the many amazing videos from TedX.  Y'all know I am a BIG fan!  There is just something good for every person in these vaults of videos.






How about a little tunage from my favorite Sam Tsui.  His voice is like buttah!




And last but never least, my very favorite video that went viral one week ago.  Ellen Page, whom I adore (totally on my girl-crush list with Reese and Drew and Jennifer Garner...I'm pretty sure we could all be besties and have amazing brunches with endless mimis and bloodies), came out as gay in the most inspirational speech I've seen in a very long time.  I've seriously watched this video a dozen times.  There's so much beauty in vulnerability.  Her point that "this would would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another" has really resonated with me.  Way to be even more awesome, Ellen!




What's been inspiring you lately?  Are there any articles or videos that you think the rest of us might get a boost from viewing?  Please share!

Friday, February 14, 2014

It Snowed And My Phone Is Monogrammed.


Well...exactly two things of note happened yesterday.




First, like the rest of the east coast, we got snow.  I didn't even pay attention to how much but I think it was about 6".  It doesn't matter because around 11 pm it started sleeting.  And then closer to midnight the snow came down again, but this time it was so heavy that it was predicted to accumulate at a rate of 2-3" per hour.  Ending around 6 am.  You do the math.  It's every bit as awesome as it sounds.  Hmph!

I know it's February and we are supposed to get snow.  But winter has hit me hard this year.  Where I normally embrace it for a few months, I have failed big time this year.  I am miserable.  I need sunshine and green grass and flip flops.  Actual, physical needs.

So I'm not thrilled with more stinkin' snow.  It's annoying.




Second, my very first monogrammed iPhone case arrived.  I'm still getting used to the fancy phone.  I still completely miss buttons.  With buttons, I could type with two hands (thumbs).  With this phone, I type with one index finger.  Less efficient.  But it does a zillion more things so I am attempting to let go of a button-less life.  Pink and green monograms totally help, of course.  Hello adorable!

And that concludes yesterday's highlights.  Ha.  I watched the Olympics like it was my job and commentated (mostly on Twitter) like that was my other job.  I take the Olympic games very seriously.  But at least it distracts me from the never-ending snow outside.

Are you buried under snow, too?  Are you more enamored with it than me?


Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Most Awkward Olympic Sport: Doubles Luge





I know I'm going to catch some flack, but I'm just going to say it.

Doubles Luge.  It's like {gay} sex on a giant ice skate.

And listen, I have no problem with being gay, having sex, or ice skates {giant or otherwise}.  But the combination of the three is by far the most awkward thing I've seen in a good long time.

Who thought to themselves, "Here's a great idea- let's have two people fly down a sheet of ice while cuddling!"?  I mean, seriously.  Insane.

That said, like curling, I watched way too much of it.  It's bizarre.  But call it an Olympic sport and I am suddenly a fan who is googling like a mad woman to figure out the details and rules.

I'm weird.

But so is doubles luge.

And curling.

Man...I LOVE the Olympics!

{And I tweet about it a lot so if you are interested in my side comments, feel free to follow along.}


It seems the Canadians agree with me.  This is so funny- I can't stop giggling...




Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Breaking Up Via Text




Well...I am officially a jerk.

I've been dating (I use that term so lightly.  Truly more like friending.  And I even use that term lightly.  OK so like once a month I go out to dinner.  And that's it- it starts and ends at dinner.  So I've been dinnering?  Sometimes no dinner and just movie-ing.) a guy for many months.  But it's going nowhere slowly.  He's never even been to my house because he "hates" my city.  He's actually frequently shops three blocks from my house but he heard the rest is just terrible, so he refuses to even pick me up.  Seriously...that's not dating!  It's ridiculous!

I wanted to end it in early December but I had agreed to go to something specific with him mid month.  So then I wanted to end it after that but he was busy that next week.  Then he was home for three weeks.  Then we didn't see each other for more than a month.  Close to six weeks.  Then he asked me out and I thought I had built it all up in my head and went to the movie.  Which if you remember, did not end well.  And I wanted to end it right then and there.  The words were on the tip of my tongue for 15 minutes.  But when I opened my mouth, nothing came out.

I wimped out is what happened.

He then asked me out super last minute last weekend but I was equal parts busy and annoyed at the last minute ask that was phrased as "my plans changed so I can do something."  So I said no, sorry, I had plans.  Which I did (I could have changed them but that's not the point.).

We then had a super awkward text convo that left me knowing I needed to rip off this damn band-aid immediately.

I'm not trying to make him out to be a bad person.  He isn't.  It's not me vs. him.  It's just that the us is all wrong.  And I haven't done anything about it because I was letting myself just sort of float along and exist instead of pulling up my big girl britches and being a little bit brave.  I deserve better and so does he.

But he is going to be out of town over the next few weekends.  When I ask him to get coffee during the week, he tells me he's busy and can let me know the day of.  Which is again, equal parts annoying and rude as I don't sit around waiting for some guy to suddenly have time for an hour visit with me.

So I asked District to give me...I don't know...permission...her blessing...confirmation...that I could justify the dreaded break up text.  She said go for it and that was good enough for me.

I don't even consider us breaking up to be honest though.  I mean, you have to consider yourself a couple to break up.  I am not even sure we are friends.  We're like acquaintances who text deep things like "how was your day" a few times a week.

Anyway, I am not sure if I should anticipate an angry text back, no text at all, or something along the lines of "it's all cool, I am totally on the same page."  But I am nervous as all get out.

And for the record, I feel like a slug.  It was a rude move on my part.  It should have been said properly and in person.  But we've never spoken on the phone, we've not emailed since before our first date, and he's busy until the foreseeable future.

We are looking for different things out of a relationship (friendship or otherwise).  Well...actually I have no idea what he's looking for, but I promise it isn't me.  Nor is he what I need/want.

Still...I can't believe I just did that.  Total jerk move on my end.  I fully admit it and I am not at all proud!  But I just cannot have this lingering any longer.  You can judge me...it's fine...I'm judging me, too.

**UPDATE**
He replied with a nice text.  I have no idea if he meant it or was saving face but as he can often be confrontational over silly issues, I am so relieved and just going with it.  Whew!!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Best Weekend For No Big Reason




I had one of the best weekends I've had in a long time.  But if you ask me why, I am not sure I can give you a sufficient answer.  There wasn't a specific reason.  Weird, right?

Friday I found out a very close friend had a very awesome thing happening in her family.  It's not my story to tell, so I can't explain more.  But suffice to say that this story restored my faith in God.  And on Saturday I was able to see their story in action.

I volunteered Sunday morning with a group of JL friends.  Which was a totally fun way to start my day.  Had brunch with a few friends after that.  Then went to visit Super Nice, who just had surgery.  She's doing so well and healing nicely.  It was fun to visit with her and another friend for a few hours.  I also made a great dinner Sunday night.

But really...nothing major happened to me.  It was more that I had a series of lovely events and all were absent of drama.

And every morning and evening, I got snuggles from that cute fur baby!  The perfect way to start and end a day!




On top of everything else, the Olympics started.  I live for the Olympics.  I suddenly become an expert on sports I know nothing about (yesterday I searched and searched until I became a self-proclaimed expert on Curling...which I am now convinced is my ticket to the next Winter Olympics).

I know it must sound so boring but it really was such a perfectly wonderful weekend.  Just lots of good energy floating around my little world.  I feel so refreshed and renewed!

How was your weekend?  Did you do anything fun or exciting?  Are you an Olympic watching fanatic too?  What's your favorite sport to watch?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Black And White Stripes In Every Price Range


Over the last few years, I've fallen head over heels in love with the Kate Spade clothing line.  Specifically, the dresses!  The clean lines and bold colors really just speak to me from season to season.  With the addition of cute touches like Peter Pan collars or belted waists, the designs are kicked up a notch.

However, I live in the North Pole.  Where shopping is limited.  I'm not aware of any store in the area that carries the dress (or jewelry) line.

But that doesn't mean I can't get the look locally.  And at a bargain price, too!

First up we have a set of really cute black and white Kate Spade dresses.  I am swooning over the Hana!  But honestly, both are a bit pricey if not on sale.


Shira Dress


Hana Dress


But then we have this great dress that's on sale for $45!  It's my favorite of the post!


Elle Dress


And this sweet navy and white stripe dress is a total bargain too!


Printed Fit and Flare


I will one day again live in an area that has all the good stores at my fingertips.  But until then, online shopping and seeking out similar looks are just going to have to hold me over.

What's your favorite dress above?  Have you found any cute spring pieces lately?  With snow, snow and more snow, I am daydreaming of spring.  Or breaking 30.  My standards are low.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

iPhone Question

Well ladies, I did it.  I was brave and took the next step in life.

I bought an iPhone.


Just ordered this cute monogrammed case!


My Blackberry started dying months ago.  It got to the point that I couldn't use the phone unless it was plugged in or it would die after 90 seconds.  And I haven't really been able to use things like Facebook in years.  Forget about internet.  The only thing it was good for was texting.

But it had buttons.  And I LOVE the buttons.  I still miss my beloved buttons!!

Y'all will be glad to know that I didn't die, as I long predicted, from the lack of buttons, though.  Whew!

I don't love it but I don't hate it either.  So all hope is not lost.

BUT...

I can't get it to sync with my yahoo email account.

My aol, hotmail and gmail accounts all work fine.  But they are not my primary email accounts.  Yahoo is what I use 90% of the time.  I much prefer it.

Do y'all have any advice?  Any help would be so appreciated!  Are there any must have apps that you think I might like?


Treats From Tradesy


Have y'all tried buying or selling at Tradesy yet?  I describe it as a combo between ebay and Ruelala.  It's re-sale, like ebay.  But you need an "invite" like Rue.  And it primarily sells designer clothing, shoes and accessories.

Because I am often weary of newer websites, I wanted to follow up with some personal experiences.  Both were really great!  I've also had two conversations with their customer service (not about the following items) and they were really positive too.  (For the record, I also think Rue has rock star customer service.)


Tory Burch Reese Flats


First I picked up this fantastic pair of Tory Burch ballet flats.  They are the Reese, not Reva, and I love them!  I think they are more comfortable than Revas actually.  They were described as "like new" and that was very accurate as they have no signs of wear.  Perfect!  And because I would want to know, I'll share that I paid $100 for them.  I call that a steal!


Land's End Tote


And second, how cute is this Land's End tote bag?!  I'm a big fan of LL Bean and Land's End totes.  This green bag is patent leather though.  I've never seen it in stores but it still had the original tag on it.  Never worn.  I paid $17.50.

Oh and those prices included shipping!  Unlike most places where shipping is an additional fee, the price you see already has shipping built into it.

My only criticism of the site is that when you do a search for an item, it shows you both the items available and those that were previously sold.  I wish there was a way to filter out items that have been sold.  But if you are selling something, I'm sure seeing those prices is helpful.

Anyway, if you are searching for new-to-you items like Lilly Pulitzer dresses or Kate Spade bags, give Tradesy a glance.  So far, I've really been pleased with the website.

Have you tried Tradesy?  How was your experience?  Did you buy or sell items?  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dear Dylan Farrow


image


Dear Dylan Farrow,

I think you are brave and beautiful!

I can absolutely relate to adults knowing your childhood truth and telling you to just get over it.  It breaks you.  It was so wrong that so many adults treated you that way, instead of helping you!

It must be so painful to have your abuser fawned over by the public, media and Hollywood elite when so many know {but ignore} the truth.  Abuse is not an art form!

But it seems like you were able to find love and support in a few loved ones over the years to help you rise and heal, as much as possible.  I have no doubt you worked hard to get to the place you are at right now.  I'm so impressed with your candid letter.  You were graceful and honest.

Thank you for sharing your story.  While you might never know it, I have no doubt it will help others in a variety of ways.

Best,
KK


Below is what I feel is the most powerful quote from Dylan Farrow's letter as published in the NY Times.  Dylan is the daughter of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen.


"Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse."



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Oh Right Wing, Is This Really Another Reason To Get Mad?


Did y'all watch the Super Bowl?  I didn't.  And I certainly didn't watch any commercials.  I'm sorry to be in the huge minority when I tell you that I still, at this age, have no idea what the appeal is.  I mute commercials of any show I am watching.  Why would I get excited to see them on a random Sunday?

All that is really just to set the foundation that I do not understand getting excited in any way for a commercial.

But apparently Coca-Cola {a conservative company} had the nerve to make a commercial that was all-inclusive.  And oooh doggie did it make the right wingers mad!  It included a... gay couple.  {gasp!} And they had a kid!!  {gasp, gasp!}

Naturally I had to break my rule to see what the fuss was all about.

Um...I had to watch it twice to even find the couple in question.  And that's going into it knowing what to look for.  I don't think I would have ever noticed if not for reading two articles first that described the "incident" in detail.

But don't take my word for it.  Watch for yourself.  The song is quite beautiful, so it's not a total waste of your time, I promise.




Oh but it gets better {or better if you are on my side of the aisle shaking your head at the ridiculousness of the situation anyway}.  Read this article about the person who wrote the song.

Funny, right?!

I don't know much about much, but this seems like an incredibly dumb reason to be all hot and bothered.  It's a commercial.  For soda.  Paid for by a private company trying to sell their soda to anyone with money.  Gay people love Diet Coke just as much as straight people {because what's not to love....mmm!}.  I highly doubt this was some sort of conspiracy to convert you to be gay or like gays.  It was however hoping to convert you into a Coke drinker.  And given the publicity it's received, I'd say the big winner here is Coca-Cola, the conservative supporting company.

Well played, Coke.  Well played!

Exciting Beginnings: Wine, Gardens, Dates And The Olympics

I was home doing not much of anything last Friday night.  The last night of January.  And I wanted a glass of wine.  So I had one.  A really, really great glass of my favorite wine.

You see, December and January sucked.  Big time.  My volunteer world fell apart.  I'll never disclose details here, but the short of it is that I am no longer PE.  If I didn't qualify to sustain in a few months, I would quit.  I am that disgusted by things that have gone on this year.  Ethics, morals and bylaws have apparently become optional.  It's not just me, masses feel this way.  But the powers that be seem to care less.  So I'm done.  I have no confidence in the leadership or decisions being made.  Time to walk away.

I have wanted to be in the JL since I was four years old.  It was a life goal, not just something I happened upon randomly.  I have known for as long as I can remember that it was part of my adult path.  It's such a significant part of who I am and more than that, who I want to be.  I recently read a quote that said "Love is not blind.  It sees more, not less."  I think that perfectly describes my life-long heart for the organization.

This series of situations has crushed me.  Every time I dare to say out loud that I have never before felt so deflated, life shows up and proves me wrong.  I feel lost and so incredibly hurt.  I fully admit that because I love so hard, I fall extra hard too.  I am to blame for my broken little heart.

But I am also making a very concerted effort to focus on all the good things that have come out of my tenure.  Working in the community and amazingly sweet friendships.  I am reaching out and ensuring that my friendships remain, even when we go our separate ways.  And guess what?  I am finding myself so happy when I focus on those relationships.

So on the last night of what I am determined will be the last crappy month for a good long while, I opened up a very good bottle of wine that I've been saving for years for a special occasion.  Sitting home alone in my unmatched pajamas and toasting to new beginnings suddenly seemed like the most appropriate special occasion ever.

And let me tell you bob, I enjoyed ever last sip.  Of both glasses.

Then on Saturday morning, I woke up to see that the Elsa Top for the month is in one of my very favorite prints: Hotty Pink First Impression.  I need to make that top happen as it just brings such a giant smile to my face.

But that's not all.

Saturday night I had the best date ever.


Baby H in action.  Someone never sits still.


With Baby H.  He held my hand, laughed at my jokes, played fun games, danced with me, gave hugs and kisses, and never once told me I was weird.  There was a glitch when I had to use the restroom and put him in the pack-and-play for 90 seconds, but he's since forgiven me.  We worked it out, as the best couples do.  Baby H knows his Auntie KK loves him big and wide!


Auntie KK hogging Baby H on his first birthday.


Sunday night, I went back for a second date with Baby H and his momma, District {our chaperon}, for a we-don't-care-about-the-Super-Bowl watching {but not really} party.  We ate yummy treats, took time to watch the halftime show {which only proved to disappoint big time}, chatted up a storm and played with Baby H. Then Mr.District came home to watch Downton with me and I got a few more cuddles in with Baby H before heading home to snuggle my pup.  A great Sunday by any measure.

Want more proof that this month is going to be great, come hell or high water?




Guess what I get to do tonight while I miss my first League board meeting in three years?  Sign up for my garden again!  I thought I might be able to get a larger plot this year but it seems that's not going to happen.  But that's OK.  I did a lot with my teeny tiny space last year and I will do a lot more this year.  I worked that soil and it is going to be so much better this year because of all the love, amendments and care that I put in last year.  I can't wait to secure my spot, pick up free seeds and get my plan in place.  Joy, joy, joy!  Growing food and touching soil and being in the sunshine keeps me sane and gives me a happiness that no pill can provide.




And...it gets better.

The Olympics start this weekend!!

I live for the Olympics.  It is hands down my favorite athletic event.  Winter and summer, alike.  I suddenly become a crazy expert on sports normal people have never heard of.  I stay up until 1 AM to watch events on TV and avoid news bits at all costs, to the point of being obnoxious.

So you see...February is already proving to be far better than December and January!  I'm putting the bad juju to bed and purposefully embracing all of the great things that are happening in my little world.

I can't do a thing to control others but I absolutely can CHOOSE JOY for myself.  And that deserves a toast!  Chin chin!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Jack Rogers Sale...Because Eventually Winter Will End


Despite the fact that the dumbass rodent Groundhog predicts a never-ending winter this year, I just bought the cute gold Jack Rogers flip flops below.  I think they are so sweet and am going to stare at them until the iceberg I'm living on melts away.


Cute and Casual


There are lots of really fun options on sale today, too.  Almost everything is still in stock, which is rare for Ruelala.  Maybe you too need a to treat yourself to a little daydreaming of spring sandal today!  Or is that just me?  Because seriously...this weekend when we broke 30 it felt like an actual heat-wave.  My bar has reached new lows, y'all!


Tiffany Blue with a Cap Toe

Pink and Gold

Love the rope detail!

Black and White...A Classic!

Gold Quilted.

I wear a similar pair most often in the summer.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Lilly Pulitzer Elsa Top Love


I have loved Lilly Pulitzer since I was a tiny tot growing up in South Florida.  I mean, Lilly Pulitzer prints, Jimmy Buffet tunes, sunshine and Cuban food are in your blood when you are a native (or nearly) Floridian.  It's not negotiable, really!

But I don't insist on buying every last piece of Lilly.  Especially years when I am less than in love with the prints and cuts (and let's be honest...there have been too many of those years recently).  I pick and chose the pieces I love the most.

The good thing about Lilly Pulitzer is that it's timeless.  Vintage looks just as great as brand new.  It's always in style in a preppy wardrobe.

I've not been on the Elsa Top bandwagon though.  They're cute but none of the prints have ever really screamed drop what you're doing and bring me home right this minute because you can't go on living one more day without me!  

Until now.

Enter one of my favorite prints ever.  Ever ever ever.  Top three for sure.  Maybe tie for #1, to be honest.

Welcome to the world, and hopefully my closet this month, sweet Elsa Top in Hotty Pink First Impression.  It really is love at first sight.  I love you, I love you, I love you!


Lilly Pulitzer Elsa: Hotty Pink First Impression


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