I imagine this is what Prince sits in while chilling in Heaven (and can we talk, solemnly, about the all star jam band Jesus formed in 2016…). I got carried away with the cushion tufting, but hey.
That’s one of the (many?) good things about imaginary purple-rain-inspired chairs. You can get carried away with the cushion tufting and just pretend that’s how you intended it to look. And then you can blow up your own spot and tell the internet that it was actually a mistake. Because you were distracted by Bridget Jones’s Baby.
Please don’t be too intimidated by my high brow taste in movies films.
Also On Tap for Today:
I’m thrilled to share that I am on the 2017 Creative Team for the Get Messy Art Journal Community – – if you’re looking for a warm + enthusiastic crew and inspiration for regular art-making… check ’em out (all are welcome!)
For the record: the movie was cute, but generally… just okay (same goes for the chair…)
The bad news: It’s September. The good news: It’s Tuesday. I spent much of Labor Day Weekend laboring at our new condo, unpacking boxes and making poorly timed visits to Target during move-in weekend in Boston. There was still plenty of time for long walks with Nick and Clark, visits with family, baking, bubble baths and juice on the deck.
Athleta sent me a generous gift card in celebration of National Yoga Month (more on that this week), so I stopped by their Newbury Street store with my sister and found the coziest, most comfortable pullover. I live for thumbholes.
While unpacking, I came across a box of festive umbrella straws. They were in the same box as my Mexican flag toothpicks and an exploded jar of margarita salt. Who knows. The straw added a little late summer flair to Saturday’s juice.
Nick’s parents came down for lunch on Sunday. While he grilled up a bunch of vegetables, steak and chicken, I went to work on appetizers, a green salad with a lemon vinaigrette, orzo salad, and a big bowl of fruit. Clark helped by eating his body weight in watermelon. I love having more room to entertain. Almost as much as Nick loves having his own grill right off the kitchen.
I’d been itching to bake since we moved in last week and had great luck with this recipe for banana muffins. I made a few changes, swapping the flour for a mix of almond meal and gluten free baking mix, cutting the sugar in half and adding a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon. They were perfectly baked after 20 minutes… and lasted almost that long on our counter before being gobbled up.
What better way to wind down a day than a hot bath? I can’t wait to share photos of the rest of our condo soon, but this giant soaking tub in the master bath is definitely a highlight. I used a lavender and vanilla bath bomb from the Whole Body section at Whole Foods and soaked until my finger tips wrinkled.
Have you seen the Self Care for September Challenge that Kristi and Erin hosting? They’ve teamed up to create a month-long campaign filled with daily challenges to help encourage and inspire us all to develop our own self-care practices. One of the suggestions on their list, which happens to be a favorite of mine? Bring home fresh flowers for yourself. Other suggestions include journaling, meditation, and…. bubble baths.
Clark makes a lovely pillow.
Nick and I hadn’t been to the movies in the theater ages, and while I love the actual movie-viewing part, I sort of hate the movie theater part. The sticky floors, people gabbing away on their cellphones, and the risk of my elbow getting touched by a stranger’s elbow are enough to compel me to wait for a movie to hit Netflix. I really wanted to see The Butler, though, so I checked out our options and landed on the Showcase SuperLux in Chestnut Hill. The tickets were pricey, but I am glad I splashed out a little because Lord, have mercy… we may never go to a regular theater again. We sat in the “superlux” section and enjoyed fully reclining leather seats, food and beverage service throughout the movie and complimentary popcorn. The only thing that would have made the experience better: a bottomless supply of tissues. I’d like to blame the pregnancy hormones, but if you’ve ever witnessed me reading a Jonathan Kozol book for the fourteenth time, you know once I start crying I don’t stop. Awkward sobbing aside, the movie was really, really great.
While I didn’t do a whole heck of a lot this weekend (I think that’s why weekends were invented?), those two days flew by. Beautiful weather, a few good workouts, and plenty of time spent goofing around with Clark…
I overslept a bit on Sunday and made it to the first class at CrossFit Southie by the skin of my teeth. I hate that expression. I have no idea why I just used it. Sorry. (And sorry that I am too lazy to swap it out for something less creepy.) For the strength portion of the workout, we worked up to a 1 rep max of the strict press. As the weight got heavier, I wanted more and more to rely on my legs (i.e. not a strict press). I added weight in small increments (even using the 1 lb. discs towards the end) and worked up to 73 lbs. Also, I managed to ding my forehead with the barbell. Not surprising. The workout itself was challenging, but I love AMRAPs (as many rounds as possible for a set amount of time). The bear complex is a series of movements (completed in sequence, without putting the bar down): power clean, front squat, shoulders to overhead, back squat, shoulders to overhead. Each round consisted of 5 bear complexes, followed by 10 burpee lateral jumps (over the barbell). I spent the rest of the day feeling like I needed a nap.
The weekend wouldn’t be complete without a polish change. My hands and nails tend to be dry, so I started using cuticle oil (almost daily) and love it. Essie makes an inexpensive tube (I found mine at Target) with a genius applicator.
Highlight of the weekend: FaceTime with my niece. She loves dogs (and birds), so I made sure Clark got in on the action. She spent most of our call walking around, grabbing books, and showing Clark pictures of other dogs. And then my heart turned to complete mush.
We spent Saturday night in, surrounded by boxes and packing supplies, watching documentaries on Netflix. Nerd power! A few that I’ve enjoyed lately: Urbanized and The Interrupters. Oh, I also watched one about animals making friends with other species… like a goat and a blind horse. And an orphaned deer and an old dog. I am hoping I can somehow arrange for Clark to befriend a small hippo. Or a turtle. Or maybe a parrot. Definitely not a cat, though.
Our neighborhood association has done an incredible job cleaning up our end of Southie, planning and growing gardens and adding unexpected bright spots, like these morning glories climbing a chain link fence. Especially as we’re getting ready to move, I can’t help but notice how much has changed in just the four short years we’ve been here.
I ended the weekend the way it started, with a tall glass of fresh juice. As many people ask for the ingredient list as they do for photo app recommendations, so I will happily give you both. My usual juice consists of a bunch of kale (6-7 stems, trimmed), 1 English cucumber, 2 celery stalks, 2 lemons, 2 green apples, and a small piece of fresh ginger. I use a number of different photo apps on my iPhone (and usually upload photos to Instagram, rather than using the camera feature within the app). For collages, I recommend PicFrame – it’s simple and easy to use. For adding text to images, I use TypicPro and Over most often. While I like the camera on the iPhone 5, I sometimes use Camera+ or VSCOcam instead, and recommend Self Timer for… welp… self timed photos.
Also On Tap for Today:
A little Monday motivation: Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.
[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false] ..any of these movies, because they’re old. Some older than others. But they’re my favorites, nevertheless. I’ve watched, and re-watched, and re-re-watched each so many times, I could perform a one-woman show on Broadway (in Southie, not the actual Broadway) featuring various sub-plots, characters and quotations. If I had enough bronze and award-making machinery to create my own Oscars, they’d go to the following films.
Featuring Peter Gallagher and his eyebrows before he/they became Sandy Cohen and his eyebrows, While You Were Sleeping taught me about the perils of falling in front of public transportation, falling in love, memory loss, and lying. In other words, this movie gave me a full life’s education. Parents, don’t bother sending your kids to Boston College. I bet if I skipped my years on The Heights and simply stuck to the $3.99 Blockbuster rental fee on movies like this, I would still be getting by. Then again, I wouldn’t know how to say “small house” in Arabic, or be able to abbreviate For the greater glory of God in Latin. I wouldn’t be able to read North African literature in French. I wouldn’t have a scar on my left hand from a Spring Break-in-Montreal (no tan!) surfing-on-an-ironing-board incident. And I would have no friends.
Even more so than the actual book, this film reminds me that sisters are fun to have around. And sometimes they’re useful. Like when you have a fever that you need “drawn down from your head.” Or when you need help doing you hair, which has been singed off by a Revolutionary War era curling iron, resulting in your curls smelling like “burnt feathers.” Needless to say, I know this script by heart. My own little woman sister and I watched this movie so many times that when she was having a stressful day in law school recently, my immediate instinct was to ask if teacher had struck her, or perhaps put the limes out into the snow. One more reason why this movie is genius: Christian Bale. Also, I am glad we don’t call our mother “Marmee.”
My family, well part of it, took our first legitimate road trip in 2008 or whatever year my older brother graduated from law school. Technically, only 2/3rds of the family participated– my sister was at Zach’s graduation and my brother was (obviously) waiting for us in Virgina. My parents, younger brother and I tooted down 95 to Charlottesville armed with a trivia book, the 50 cds I burned for the sole purpose of terrorizing my traveling mates, GPS and snacks. Fortunately, no one died en route, and therefore no one had to be hidden in the trunk. I love Little Miss Sunshine for so perfectly illustrating that families are weird, and that this is not necessarily a bad thing. And the soundtrack is spot on. My favorite scene is when the grief counselor at the hospital fumes, “You are not the only person to have someone die today!” Just brilliant.
Ever the cliched human, I saved the best for last. If you haven’t seen this movie, please slap your laptop closed with a flourish and get thee to a… wherever you get movies nowadays. You will laugh, you might cry, and you’ll certainly wish you were Irish. And riding half naked on a motor bike. This film has inspired me to pretend to win the lotto on many occasions, in an effort to trick people into bringing me my dinner faster.
It hasn’t worked. Yet.
Also On Tap for Today:
I’m sort of excited to peep Paula Deen/Top Chef on my DVR
I still haven’t finished reading Julie & Julia. I find myself skimming and skipping entire paragraphs, and in the meantime have finished two other books. Not a good sign. I loved Julia, but I just can’t seem to fall in love with Julie. I hate to admit this, but I might throw in the towel and just see the movie.
I am dying to see if Meryl Streep can hold a candle to my older brother’s rendition of Julia. I don’t think he’s done this impression since he was a child. A child pretending to be a Child. We were enthralled by her on PBS. She used some sort of mallet to pound chicken cutlets into submission. And she was really, really tall.
At 5’4″, my recipes and stature fall short of JC’s (Julia Child, not Jesus Christ… although I surely fall short of him, too), but I’ve been cooking up a storm of my own. This weekend, I discovered that corn off the cob comes from corn on the cob. Who knew?
For dinner Friday night, I whipped up some grilled chicken (for my non-vegetarian boyfriend… and for the record, it was grilled before I bought it) with cilantro and lime rice, black beans and sauteed vegetables. Sound good? Read on.
I prepared the brown rice as directed, stirring in juice from 1/2 a lime and a few tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro. I then intended to stir in a few dashes of Cajun spice, but inadvertently grabbed the cinnamon. Whoops. I then tried to mask the cinnamon with a whole heck of a lot of Cajun. It didn’t work. We ate it anyway.
While all of that was happening, I cooked five small ears of corn and chopped an additional bunch of cilantro. Once the corn was ready, I cut the kernels from each ear and divided them into two bowls, drizzling the corn with a touch of olive oil and a generous amount of chopped cilantro and fresh lime juice. I think the corn was the best part. Mostly because I didn’t ruin it with cinnamon.
Once a homeless man told me I was so beautiful, I could be on the cover of Us Weekly. Not Vogue, mind you, but Us Weekly. I guess that could be a springboard to something… less trashy.
I had just bought the man a bagel, so technically we can’t take his opinion as completely objective, but he did give me hope. That’s the closest I’ve ever come to being famous.
The tabloid hasn’t called (yet), but these days they have their hands full with Jon and Kate + 8 – a healthy relationship + a few new girlfriends + an Ed Hardy wardrobe – their dignity. When that mess blows over, I bet they will call. I’m sure of it.
In the meantime, I will study the ways of the rich, famous and beautiful by going to the movies. A lot. Nick and I went twice last week. They have air conditioning and popcorn.
I was thinking about my (very) old friend George this week and wondered what he was up to these days. During the three years I worked in Rhode Island, George’s frequent visits to the office stood out as definite highlights. We’d talk (or more accurately, he’d talk and I’d listen) for a while and then he’d be off to accomplish any great number of things. And all before noon.
A pioneer in the cable television industry, George hosted a weekly show on a very formal set (think studded leather chairs and giant floor plants) where he would interview community members about local events and programs. Toward the end of my tenure in RI, George asked if I would be a guest on the show.
I think we were supposed to be talking business, but I found myself talking about my “studies” at BC and what I liked most about working in the historic statehouse that George had been instrumental in restoring. I think, though surely this was not my on-camera answer, what I liked most was spending time with him. And then he asked when I was going to go ahead and get married already.
I remember taking a group of school children for a walking tour (they were learning about historic architecture) and when we bumped into George outside the bagel shop, he stayed with the group until every last fourth grader had his autograph. Well into his eighties at the time, his energy rivaled that of the children. A few nights later I would see him, dressed in a tux, holding court at a fund raiser for our building. No one could captivate an audience quite like George. As I approached, he took a step back and bowed deeply. He was an old school gentleman.
My last trip down there was to celebrate the courthouse being renamed in George’s honor. I finally wrote that note I’d been meaning to write about how much I appreciated him. He congratulated me and Nick on being engaged. We weren’t (and had only been dating a few months), but he’s not the kind of person you correct. Like Mr. Frederickson in his floating house, George had lived a life. He had wisdom to impart and I was intent on soaking it all in.
George passed away this Sunday at the age of eighty-nine, and after such a full, accomplished eighty-nine years, I’m sure he left with few regrets. I only wish I checked up on him sooner.
Also On Tap for Today:
Convince anyone and everyone to go see Pixar’s Up.
How do you toast your friends who have gone ahead? Have you ever been on local television? Do tell!