Friday, September 27

Fun Finds Friday #34

I am really diggin' Elizabeth's kitchen makeover... I love all the blackboard accents!

Gotta try this 15 minute avocado pasta.

I need this Anthropologie sweater.

This origami wall hanging is so cool! I want to make one.

+ The perfect nap.
+ 13 things found on the internet.
+ Sad desk lunch is sad.
+ The real night light.

Happy Friday!

Monday, September 23

Lloyd Goes Outdoors

Well, hello there! I had every intention of posting this last week but between my bakery job and starting work at Anthropologie, well, lets just say I'm still trying to figure out how to balance everything I've made a commitment to recently. This blog was pushed to the side burner and I was only able to squeeze out one measly post about my new haircut. (Which I am still loving, by the way!) Anyways, here is a much awaited Lloyd post, since I know he's the real reason everyone comes back to read the blog! :)

When Shawn and I met up with Kaylah to meet Lloyd for the first time, she picked up a harness for him beforehand to make the whole experience a little easier for us. (Carrying a scared cat in your arms around a parking lot seemed like a possibly dangerous idea, so good thinking on her part!) We never used it after that first encounter, but with Lloyd becoming increasingly interested in the world that went on outside of our apartment, I thought it might not be a bad idea to get him back into it and take him outside for a bit. So two weeks ago Lloyd got to experience the Pennsylvania outdoors for the first time! Well, the Philadelphia suburbs, I should say.

He was a little hesitant at first, understandably so. But after a few minutes he started sniffing around and grew a little more comfortable. Once he discovered the grassy area behind our apartment he was completely relaxed. He lay down and started tasting all of the grass around him. After a few minutes I realized he had no intention of going anywhere so I sat down next to him and just watched him enjoy the outdoors. A few of our neighbors passed us while we were out there and gave us funny looks. One older woman parked her car nearby and exclaimed "Oh my! Well I've never seen that before!" We started conversing and she mentioned that she had some toys left over from when she had taken care of her daughter's cat and offered to leave them in a bag outside of her apartment door for me. She described them as 'sparkly balls that you can't find anymore'; Lloyd loves balls so I figured a few more couldn't hurt.

When I saw her later that day, this time without Lloyd, she asked me where my 'little friend' was. "Oh, he's back inside." "Ah, well someone has to watch over the house while you go out and work!" That's Lloyd for ya, charming people left and right! Poor little guy was so tired after his excursion outside, he spent the rest of the day sprawled out in his silly sleeping positions.

He was so full of love for the rest of the day, brushing up against me and cuddling every chance he could - I think he really appreciated getting to go outside for a little bit. Maybe we'll do it again today!

Tuesday, September 17

Snip Snippity Snip

I never seem to pick the right time of year to cut my hair... I always cut it short when the cold weather sets in and let it grow when the heat makes me want to keep it off of my neck. True to form, this past Sunday I went for a pretty drastic change. I had been debating letting my hair get really long again (the last time it was really long was five years ago!) but after bleaching the ends in January and then dying it turquoise, then auburn after that... well, lets just say that my hair wasn't necessarily in the best of states to grow out and the color at my tips was a little... off. So I decided to cut it all instead and start with a clean slate.

See? I wasn't kidding about cutting it all off. This is the shortest I've ever gone and I love it. I've been considering a pixie style for years and finally decided to go for it. It's just hair, right? It grows back. Especially my hair... it's like a freakin' weed, it grows so fast. I dyed it auburn maybe three weeks ago and I already have half an inch of roots showing. Ridiculous.

I never knew how Shawn would feel about me going this short so I never went for it. But a few weeks ago he was looking at me and said, "You know, you might look really good with short hair." So I took that as a thumbs up from him and now here we are. To be honest, I don't think he cares either way. All he said when I came home was, "It's just hair. You're really pretty." I'll take that as a positive response.

The biggest difference for me is how much lighter my head feels. For the first few hours afterwards, I felt as though I was missing a ponytail! I kept reaching for it only to find nothing there. It's so nice driving with the windows down and not having any hair in my face though! I'm excited to see how it looks in a week or two, after it grows in a bit and I've gotten more used to styling it. I really love running my fingers through it right now :)

Monday, September 16

Lets' Talk About Work For a Minute...

I recently applied for a few part-time jobs- partly to help sustain my income from baking, and partly out of curiosity and a desire to do something new. I've been working in kitchens for the last five years and though I really do love making sweet things most of the time, I was excited at the thought of expanding my knowledge and interests in other areas. The last time I had any sort of retail experience was over seven years ago, but I went out on a limb and applied anyway... I was confident that my enthusiasm for the stores and products would be enough get my foot in the door. And I was right! I heard back from almost everywhere I applied to, went to a bunch of interviews over the course of three weeks, and got a job offer last week!

Say hello to Anthropologie's newest hire! :) (Hi! That's me!!!)

I was super excited when they called me in for an interview with the hiring manager, and slightly nervous too because it was a group interview and I wasn't sure what to expect. It was only two other girls and I and we took turns answering work and fashion related questions- it was actually pretty interesting to listen to the other girls' answers. A few days later I got called back in for a second interview, this time with the store manager. That interview was one on one and more personality based; perfect for me because I'm really good at talking about myself... and a few days after that, they called me to offer me the job!

I tried to wear some Anthropologie-inspired pieces for both interviews. I've been really into skirts and dresses this summer and since Anthropologie has a very feminine vibe, I stuck with those. That was only my second time ever wearing that black dress and I can honestly say I don't know why I don't wear it more often... it's ridiculously comfortable and I feel so dang good in it! (P.S. It's the Fifties Sundress from eShakti, custom fit.) Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to being able to dress up for work for the first time in my life. After ten years of t-shirt & jeans gigs and chef coat & baggy pants gigs, wearing some pretty clothing and getting to accessorize sounds amazing. My first day of training was today; I'm so excited to work for such an awesome company!

Saturday, September 14

Phantom Kiss

Fair warning- you're about to enter 'spooky' territory. Now, while Shawn is a big believer in the supernatural (I think he has watched The X-Files too many times...), it's fair to say that while I'm certainly not a non-believer, I'm not as in tune with supernatural occurrences as he seems to me. Though, ghosts and aliens aside, I definitely believe that strange and unexplainable things do sometimes occur. In fact, we recently had proof of this.

On Thursday I came home from work and Shawn asked me if I had hidden any Hershey's Kisses around the apartment. As you can imagine, this was quite a baffling question as it seemed to have come out of thin air. Of course I hadn't hidden any Kisses anywhere... I couldn't even remember the last time I bought Hershey's Kisses! They are just not my chocolate of choice. Why would he ask me such a preposterous question?!

Well, apparently when he opened up one of our kitchen cabinets that morning he found this:

Why yes, that is indeed a Hershey's Kiss slyly hiding behind the center bracket of the cabinet... but, how exactly did it get there? That is the part we can't even come close to explaining. I had cleaned the interiors of all of the cabinets when we first moved in, so it's not from the previous renters. We asked all of our recent visitors if they were playing a weird prank on us, but no one owned up to it. And as far as we know (and hope) no one else has been inside the apartment recently... it's as though the Kiss appeared out of thin air! The only other explanation would be that Lloyd put it there, but that sounds even more ridiculous.

And thus, we now have a Phantom Kiss in our kitchen cabinet. We don't want to move it, and we certainly don't want to eat it, so for now it's staying right where it is. I wonder if it will disappear one of these days...

Friday, September 13

Fun Finds Friday #33

Towering metallic men in Taiwan.

Winter coats made from blankets!

Friendship between a girl and her cat.

+ Lessons from an African tribe.
+ The new Miss America.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 10

Whimsey Box Projects

If you're new to the blog, you may or may not have heard of Whimsey Box; it's a subscription service that mails you a box with a different DIY project each month. My parents bought me a year subscription for Christmas last year, and I've been enjoying it ever since! I was hoping it would help spark some of my creativity outside of the kitchen... truth be told though, that hasn't really been the case. But! I've been having fun doing the different Whimsey projects each month and I always look forward to my next box. They always send you something extra too, like tools or washi tape, and you can repurpose the boxes once you've finished the crafts!

Here are a few of the projects I've done over the last few months:

The latest box showed you how to make a funky beaded cord bracelet. Lucky for me, the cord they sent me matches perfectly with some existing bracelets I had! This one was particularly fun because I could work on it while catching up on some Netflix shows... I don't usually watch tv on my own because I feel like there are so many other things I could be doing! I've also been longing to add more bracelets to my jewelry collection, so this month worked out well.

Last month's box contained a tote bag and two different color dyes, along with rubber bands and squirt bottles. This was fun, considering I can't remember the last time I dyed anything other than my hair. I went with a simple tie-dye effect, and told Shawn he can embellish it with some of his drawings if he'd like. He hasn't taken me up on it yet so maybe I'll try dying it again with the other color (orange).

I got this project right before we moved, so I waited until after the move to make it. It was supposed to be a cement air plant planter, but my air plant died :( so now it just holds rocks. I decorated it with washi tape, but I don't really like the way it looks so I may end up peeling that off and trying something else. It was really fun to work with cement though - it's definitely not something I would have thought to do on my own!

So, if you're crafty or you'd like to be, I highly recommend getting a Whimsey Box subscription. Every box is different, so there are crafts for all types. (Here's what my first one looked like.) It's also worth noting that their customer service is awesome - when we moved, one of my boxes got lost in the mail and they happily sent me a new one, after emailing back and forth about the issue. Alicia (the founder) also keeps up with whimseybox hashtags on instagram; it's nice to see that she's so involved and enthusiastic about the company. You can also check out other people's projects on their website! I have yet to upload mine, but it's really fun to see what other people are making in the craft world. It's like taking Pinterest, and stepping it up a notch.

(PS. This post was not sponsored by Whimsey Box in any way - I just really really like them! Though I wouldn't be opposed to a free subscription next year... I tell so many people about Whimsey Box! ;) ...)

Monday, September 9

Six weeks with Lloyd!

Lloyd has now been with us for just over six weeks! I thought it'd be nice to do a little update on his transition from stray to indoor cat. He has definitely gotten much more comfortable with being an indoor cat, and I'm pretty sure he loves having a family! Although he seemed to have adjusted quite well initially, I could tell that he had mixed feelings about being uprooted and thrown into his new situation. (Understandably so!) There were many times when he would loudly meow at the front door after one of us left the apartment - it's the only door he hasn't been able to go through on his own and he's clearly curious about what lies beyond it.

Now, obviously I can't speak for Lloyd but I'm sure it's been slightly difficult for him to adjust from seeing lots of different people on a regular basis to seeing just the two of us most of the time. Anytime we've had friends or family over he's made sure to make himself the center of attention. And his two-pound weight gain since we've had him makes it abundantly clear that he loves having a steady food supply. Outside of meal-time, he spent the first few weeks hiding out under our bed or in my closet for most of the day, but lately he's been spending much more time out in the open with us.

His favorite spots haven't changed much - he still loves to lay in the window sills and listen to the birds and people outside. Lately he's also been spending a lot of time laying on top of the shelving unit between our desks. I showed him that it was ok for him to lay on my desk, so he's been using it as a route to the shelving unit ever since!

Needless to say, having Lloyd here has been such an awesome change! I still can't get over how cute he is (and he makes sure we don't forget it!). Also, being woken up by a cat is one of the best things ever. He's such a mellow cat and he's been the perfect fit for us. It may sound crazy, but Shawn and I have been saying that the three of us must have been best friends in a past life and we've all finally found each other again in this one... there's no other explanation for how much happiness we've all brought each other, and how well we all 'fit' together. I'm so happy Kaylah and I were able to get together and change this little guy's life- and ours!

Previous Lloyd posts that you may have missed:
Lloyd is Here!
Lounging Lloyd
Welcome, The Dainty Squid Readers!
Lloyd-skies, Burger-buns, Lloyd-er-er
The Many Sleeping Positions of Lloyd
Lloyd Post-Surgery

Friday, September 6

Fun Finds Friday #32

Oh hey- it's Friday! This whole week has felt 'off', so I almost forgot!

A mother/daughter art collaboration.

The most beautiful garden house!

An artist is making a map of NYC entirely out of hand-written directions.

+ The beautifully written story of a 7-year marriage.
+ A mid-century modern hoarder house, transformed.

Tuesday, September 3

Summer Saturday in Philadelphia

Last Saturday my friend Amy came over to see our new apartment, meet Lloyd, and spend a much anticipated day in center city with me. Despite having lived in the area for two years prior, and currently living within short walking distance to the train station, Shawn and I haven't made it into center city very often. It's something I'd like to do on a more regular basis, since we have no excuse not to! I have a long list of restaurants I've been wanting to eat at and I knew Amy would be the perfect companion for a 'foodie/boozy' Philly day-trip. So I made a list and mapped out a bunch of potential stops and we took the twenty minute train ride to Suburban Station.

Our first stop was Tria; we had both been there at least once before, but it's one of those places I just have to stop at if I'm nearby. Tria is a beer-wine-cheese cafe... yes, they specialize in all three of those things, along with having an amazing light-fare menu. We each ordered a beer and had three plates to share - blue cheese stuffed figs with prosciutto, pesto and goat cheese bruschetta, and a serving of Langres cheese. (Hey, mom! I finally found some Langres here!!) The food was awesome, as always, but my beer was the real star of the show. I'm not usually a fan of super dark beers so when it was poured in front of me I thought I may have made a bad choice... then I tasted it. It was, for lack of a more eloquent description, champagne in a beer bottle. I absolutely loved it, and if you're a beer drinker you should seriously consider trying it.

After Tria we walked over to the Mutter Museum. No photos allowed, but it's pretty much a museum containing all sorts of natural oddities and various bones and things. It was certainly interesting (the fetuses and deformities especially, but I'm weird), but it was too crowded for my taste. I much preferred the Bodies Exhibition I went to in NYC with my sister a few years ago. Still, it was neat to see a collection that was started many many years ago and continues to grow to this day.

After the museum we walked down to Monk's Cafe; it had been recommended to me by several different people because there's nothing I love more than a Belgian cafe. (Ok, I can think of lots of things I love more than that, but for the sake of the story...) We were definitely not disappointed! I didn't get a photo but I finally got to try the Delirium Tremens; I've been wanting to try that beer for years but it's usually hard to find or way over-priced. We also shared an order of mussels and french fries with a side of bourbon mayonaise. Whenever I go out to eat without Shawn I try to eat things that I know he would never eat, so mussels it was! I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record here, but it was all delicious, of course.

Of course, after two beers and lots of savory food, we were ready for something sweet. Federal Donuts was a short walk away so we headed there. Their fresh donut flavors that day were cinnamon-brown sugar, vanilla spice, and strawberry-lavender, so of course we tried one of each! Vanilla spice was our favorite so I got another one to-go to bring home to Shawn. There is nothing quite like a fresh hot donut! I'm not a fan of Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Donuts, and I have yet to make my own donuts, so this was a rare treat. Federal Donuts may have to be added to my list of every-time stops in center city...

We got a little overzealous and decided to trek further east for some empanadas at The Twisted Tail, only to get there and decide that we were not, in fact, hungry or thirsty for anything else. So we checked out a small outdoor craft fair that was in the square nearby and looked at jewelry instead, before heading back towards Suburban Station and stopping for a touristy photo in front of the LOVE statue.

We finished out our day at the local brewery, Tired Hands, with more beer and food, of course! It is both a blessing and a curse having a small brewery within walking distance... especially one that focuses on locally sourced ingredients and a creative food menu to boot.

All in all, it was a beautiful day exploring the popular eateries of Philadelphia, and I can't wait to do it again!

Sunday, September 1

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

We should all take a cue from Lloyd this weekend; settle down, relax, and if you're lucky enough, enjoy a little time off.

I know that's what I'll be doing! (Just, not in the laundry basket...)
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