This January I got to take a weekend trip to New York City with a coworker and a friend. This was half-business, half-pleasure, although it actually was entirely pleasurable!
Because I wanted to pack light, I didn’t take a camera. I fit all my belongings for three nights in one tote bag, which I’m still pretty proud of! All photos below were taken with my iPhone. Technology has come a long way since I started this lil ole blog back in 2008, at which time I didn’t even own a cell phone.
We were very lucky to spend our nights in a beautiful home outside of the city, and I woke up every morning to a spectacular view of the Hudson River.
I’ve only been two NYC once before, on a long layover where we got out of the airport for a few hours to explore. We weren’t quite sure what our weekend was going to look like, so we didn’t make any plans and didn’t have any goals. We had a few things we needed to do and few people to visit, but we spent the rest of our days wandering around.
I normally plan all vacations to a tee, so this weekend was a good lesson in appreciating an actual relaxing vacation. No hurrying between museums and dinner reservations, no sore feet because I made the group walk miles further than they wanted, no nighttime nausea after going all out at every restaurant because I’d read too many reviews of good dishes…
An unexpected highlight of my weekend: Italian food! We have missed authentic Italian food so much here in Fort Worth. I try to replicate it myself (just this weekend I spend 4 hours making a lasagna – every piece from scratch), but it’s just not quite the same!
And French cafes on the Upper East Side. More food I’ve tried to replicate at home without total success (but not total failure, so that’s something right?)
I got to hang around some really beautiful places. The city is full of little gems!
Agenda-less with a central base in the Upper East Side, we walked into the Met our first afternoon… and subsequently returned every day. And we didn’t see nearly everything. What an incredible place!
Of course I was also like, “ohmygod this is where the Gossip Girls ate” when I saw the front steps. #millennial
This room reminded me of the tiny cathedral Joseph and I stumbled onto when hiking in Italy one day.
We’ve all got our things right? Byzantine art is one of mine. Don’t ask me the appeal. I really don’t know.
Lesson learned this trip: I really want to go back, and I especially really want to take Joseph with me! It’s weird traveling without your typical travel companion! We’ve been touristing together for over a decade now, and I want to force him to look at more Byzantine art with me.
Where I grew up in Houston, the annual rodeo was, to me, merely a vehicle for concerts. My very first concert was in 2004, and I got to see my favorite artist at the time – John Mayer. At the rodeo… a fact which seems really strange to me now.
My chaperones were brother Brent and his wife Melissa. And I was super annoyed that they made me sit through the, like, rodeo activities before the show. Excuse you, I was just there for John. What’s with all the barrel racing?? What does this have to do with finding out there’s no such thing as the real world, that it’s just a lie you have to rise above?
So I was surprised when I first went to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. It’s a big deal here (I’d argue it’s even more culturally significant to the city than Houston’s is), but it’s not a concert. It’s all about the animals and serious competition – no pretty boy singers! I’ll let you decide whether that’s a good thing or not.
I have a thing for cows and have since I was a kid. I want to be a cow.
I like walking through the exhibits when the rabbits are here. They are all so funny and beautiful!
This breed reminds me of the Heavy Boobs song in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Adult responsibilities have taken over, and this little old blog fell off my radar! A few people have mentioned they’ve missed reading it, and I have to say I’ve missed writing it and being a part of the blogging community. I also really, really miss having a reason to pull out my big beautiful camera and take photos.
So here I am. Hello, all! Before we get back into the swing of things, I’ll give you a few highlights of my past year:
Discovered pink and purple hair
The initial pink hair was a happy accident. I went to my hairdresser with the idea of a nice rose gold, but my hair really took to the pink dye. Thankfully my workplace is pretty laid-back, and my boss loved the pink. Since then I’ve gravitated more towards purple – it’s a bit more subtle and a little better with my complexion. It’s really, really fun watching the unnatural colors fade throughout the months between my salon visits.
Dove into nature
I’ve fallen in love with nature thanks both to my new job and a recent discovery of a love for rose gardening. Nature’s awesome, y’all! Our world is amazing! Although I spent a lot of time outside as a kid, and Joseph and I really enjoy hiking down, the way I see the world around me is so different now. It’s crazy that I went decades not caring about the names and uses of the plants and animals all around me.
My newfound love of nature has also had a pretty major impact on my personal style. More on that later! Hint: lots of botanicals, lots of ferns.
Went crazy for embroidery… again
Like most of my hobbies, embroidery has been cyclical. I picked it up 8 years ago and have gotten into it a few times again, with varying intensity. But lately I’ve fallen for it hard, thanks in part to the modern embroidery movement. There are so many incredible embroidery artists out there right now who are pushing the boundaries of what can be done with thread and needle. My Instagram feed has turned into a source of constant embroidery inspiration!
Built a deck
My parents came to visit and helped us build this beautiful deck!
Started collecting records
Collecting records opened up a whole new world for me. It’s forced me to expand the list of artists and albums I listen to (I realized a few months in that over the past 10 years I’ve done little to branch outside the music I listened to in high school. gross!), and it also makes listening to music a very active experience. Plus, I’m super into collecting limited releases, especially records pressed on colored vinyl.
Went to Disneyland
And, of course, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Also – kinda big news – Joseph quit his job in the fall of last year and started his own company. I’m super proud of him and of the team he’s assembled.
Let’s consider this post a jumping-off point for future blog posts. Except for the hair stuff. As much I love my unnatural colored hair, I really don’t have anything else I can write about that ;)
I’ve been actively trying to attract birds to our yard this year because the cats love watching them. But we’ve had a few struggles (we can blame it on our dog, our apparently too-clean glass, and holes in a bird nest situated above our front walk), and I now have a tiny bird cemetery in the front flower bed.
But things are looking up–there’s a nest with four baby birds under our front awning! They are so cute, and I love getting to watch the mom feed them several times a day.
Leonardo and Severus are thrilled. Joseph and I have to keep a ladder on hand so we can carry them onto the windowsill above the door to watch. Although today Sev tried (unsuccessfully) to jump up there by himself… from the floor.
I hate this tiny window by the front door, but it’s the perfect size for Sev to sit and bird-watch. Not to body-shame Leonardo, but his hips are a bit too wide to fit there.
We have birds in the backyard too, but they’re not quite as fun to watch.
I volunteered to make my friend Genevieve a baby blanket for the little girl she’s expecting (nicknamed gandersbaby), and she happened upon the perfect pattern! I’ve been searching for a pattern like this for ages, so it was fate! It’s a fun crochet, but Severus complicates things.
Severus is 10 months old and sometimes pretends to be an adult cat, but he’s not. Especially when he catches a glimpse of of the bag he knows I’ve been storing yarn in.
I’m often in the middle of a stitch when Severus leaps across my body and absconds with the skein I need.
But I can’t take it away–he loves it! (Plus, he attacks me when I do)
Once he’s done attacking the yarn, he likes to cuddle with the squares (which will eventually be crocheted together to make the blanket). Multiple times I’ve stayed up later than I intended because I didn’t have the heart to wake him up to put away the work for the night.
Gandersbaby is going to have a lot of cat hair in her blanket… unless Sev decides he doesn’t want to part with it at all. Life’s tough, baby.