Tuesday, April 30, 2013

and this year's fourth of july trip will be...

That's right the city that was the backdrop for While You Were Sleeping and My Best Friend's Wedding will be our fourth of July hot spot this year. We're definitely gonna try to hit up a Cubs game and do some sight seeing. If you've been to Chicago, where shall we go and what should we do?

Friday, April 26, 2013

possible coffee table for office

For the past few years I've wanted a certain coffee table for the office and then a few weeks ago I saw this image on design*sponge:
It's a blue dot rectangle coffee table and if it looks familiar it's because Jenna Lyons has the desk version of it in her offices at J. Crew. It. Is. Perfect. There's a Blu Dot Store near work and I might check it out in person and see if it's as perfect as I imagine. 
The office makeover is slowly coming together. The rug arrived on Thursday, paint is purchased, the new cover for the sofa is on it's way from Sweden. The part I'm hating on is the freaking curtain and hardware situation. I am just clueless about curtain coverage. What I need more than anything though is a weekend. This one will be full of family as Matt's cousin Bryan marries a lovely Latin lady.

Not that I'm complaining. Woohoo.

Hope your weekends are full of family. Nothing else matters.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

retro bridal shower: the beginning of the outdoor parties

The first party outdoors of course happened a day when the weather could have been a little warmer... but at least it didn't rain which it did the next day. Whew. Nothing like rain on an outdoor event, am I right Matt? 

This was the first event I've done where things were done as a "group". We had a conference call about what the shower theme would be and who would do what in terms of food, favors, and decorations. I volunteered our house thinking no one would take me up on the offer but they did which put a lot of responsibility on me since it's my house and I volunteered to make the food. One girl bought the cokes, tater tots and root beer for floats, one lived out of state so she couldn't do anything, one had to work and couldn't come help us so me and another one did all of the setting up the night before and the day of. It's weird working with a group of girls and arranging things with girls because girls try to be so f****** polite and don't just take the bull by the horns. I am type A so I just tell people what to do when I see that things have to be done. So things got done. 

The outdoor bar thing was a hit in my mind and I was very happy with how dang adorable it looked and it really is so perfectly made to be a bar I can't believe it's supposed to be a potting bench.
And here's where living 1 mile from an Ikea came in handy. In addition to furniture, Ikea sells things that are not just furniture. They sell cute trays. And juicers. And napkins. Ikea does not unfortunately sell plastic champagne flutes so I decided to bite the bullet and bought 24 non-breakable flutes from World Market since obviously I'll be throwing lots of outdoor parties and will need a set of two dozen flutes in my arsenal. You know I call my hosting supplies my arsenal right? I think I should catalog and inventory them onto a digital document so I know what stuff I have since in the kitchen right now they're in various places and I forget I have them.
Anyway... back to the party. For drinks we did a bellini bar and since our guest of honor is allergic to oranges we had everything but orange juice. I bought another drink dispenser at World Market.
And the potting tub that's supposed to catch dirt was a perfect ice bucket for the champagne flutes.
Call me a bloggy stereotype but striped straws and striped napkins, always a winner.
The retro coke bottles, gosh nothing like it. And they didn't drink all of them so we had a lot of coke left over.
Another new purchase for the arsenal were two coffee carafes at Ikea. Oh and those striped tablecloths, remember how I posted that I needed an excuse to buy them? Woo-hoo. 
I had a bunch of little skewers so I made berry skewers and caprese skewers. Also a watermelon and arugula salad.
Here's my cleverest thing I thought of. For the retro housewife theme I went with "TV dinner trays" for the plates and just wrapped empty trays with tin foil. 
I made a sign for the menu and stole that whole TV dinner template off the internet. You can do so much with retro style fonts.
If these foods look familiar it's because I've done them for other parties. If it's not broke...
The girls were all too scared to make any kind of baked desert for our bride so we did root beer floats instead. That's what the little root beers are.
One thing though about having trays instead of plates... the girls PILED the food on. Luckily there was just the right amount of food for everyone.
For favors we did those little captions and some spices. I didn't make them.
I didn't take pics of the frittata and the french toast thing. The french toast looked more like bread pudding but whatever. They ate it.
Oh here's the tray with food. Again, webstaurant store is your place, the trays were economical.
We made a photobooth backdrop but no one really used it. I even set up props.
This was also my first large sized event so I had a vendor loan me some folding tables and chairs for free. I'd love to buy a few folding tables and chairs to add to my arsenal eventually. We used Miri's bunting again and it just took the whole thing up a notch.
The tables were very understated but adorable. A striped table cloth. Mason jars with gerber daisies.
It also helped distract from the fact that the party was in our driveway. Nobody seemed to mind and when we bought the house I imagined throwing parties out here and setting tables out just like this.
We had a happy bride so I guess our job was done.
Mozel Tov Bitches.
Now to plan the bachelorette.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

outdoor makeovers are only fun until the after

The hardest thing about working on the outside of the house is the lack of instant gratification. Also, writing about and blogging about backyard makeovers are SO BORING until the big reveal where you are like wow that looks incredible, can't wait to hang out there! I know because when I read other people's makeovers for their backyard it sounds SO dang boring and I just skip everything. And instead of boring you guys with thoughts on the process, how about pictures of pretty outdoor spaces instead? I won't be boring you with photos until there's major strides.
Sunset Magazine is amazing isn't it? Nothing like the west.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

the drive

I haven't spoken much about the drive to work have I? 

Since we've moved we've gone from an hour and a half drive each way to a half hour drive each way. If there's no traffic, we're talking about 20 minutes to get to work. We turn right at the Ikea, left past the 5 freeway, right where Nickelodeon overflow offices are, stay as the street curves past Warner Brothers, continue past Universal Studios, go over the hill, take the 101 south, exit by the capitol records building and the office is on the right. It's a neat little drive.
We kept talking about how our lives were gonna change once we moved up here and believe me they have. When I get home, I'm no longer extremely exhausted. I have enough energy to make a meal or do something around the house and still be able to shower, watch a TV show, and cuddle with pets. And in the mornings I often have thoughts of "hmm, I would have been in traffic for an hour by now instead of just getting up." Shoot days are great too because due to the proximity of the 5 freeway, everything is about 1/2 an hour away. Downtown LA, 30 minutes. Northridge, 30 minutes. Everything is 30 minutes.

We definitely made the right decision. We're happy up here.

my feminism hits me in odd times

Recently two things happened that caused me to think about being a lady:

1) I went to a bridal shower. Not the one at our house that one was nice.

2) I watched the pilot episode of Mad Men again (for the third time).

3) I hosted a bridal shower.

The bridal shower thing was odd because it hit me, as those sort of things always hit me, that I neither wanted to go to it because I hate bridal showers and baby showers and because if I have to go to them, I want to be as completely feminist and out of place as possible. The invitation and overall vibe called for a certain "proper lady" type of attire. It wasn't specified (actually we were specifically told we couldn't wear shoes in the house which infuriated me to no end but that's another story for another time) to wear a certain type of attire but the invitation was very specific about the type of event it was and what that would mean dress code wise. Which I just couldn't do. Under normal circumstances I could don you a proper girly dress no problem but since I had to go I wasn't gonna be proper. I was gonna look like I didn't fit in there and believe you me: I stood out. I had no intentions of saying anything shocking nor being shocking nor inciting a bra burning riot (though that would have been more fun). I had all desire to be well behaved, polite, bring a gift off the registry, RSVP'd on time, arrived fashionably late on time but I just purposefully wore an outfit that did not fit in there. Somehow, that made me feel more comfortable. Because these things make me feel so incredibly uncomfortable. And it's not that I didn't like the person whom we were celebrating, in fact it was my liking of the guest of honor that made me go to begin with, I usually just RSVP no to those things and send a gift but I wanted to physically show my support and perform my duties as a member of the family. Which I suppose means something but as domesticated and prone to shopping as I am once those hens started clucking to a deafening level about the gifts I hit my pain threshold and left.

A lot of times I feel as if I psych myself into feeling like I won't fit in somewhere. I convince myself that it's not a place friendly to people like myself. And partly, it's true. I was offered a food item and I had to ask if it had meat in it. I assumed it did but I really wanted to eat it and hoped that maybe they made a veggie option. They did not. And that's fine, I never expect anyone to have to go out of their way to make me food because it was my decision and not theirs so they really have no responsibility to feed me. I can go out and find myself something to eat afterwards, which I didn't have to because they had plenty of other things I could eat and literally the only person that knew was the woman that was serving me and I just asked if it had meat and when she said it did I said no thank you. Done. I expected nothing to be done further on the matter. Somehow it must have found its way up to the hostess (blabbermouth lady serving I suppose) that OMG THERE WAS A VEGETARIAN IN OUR MIDST AND WE DID NOT HAVE A VEGETARIAN OPTION. The hostess came by. I have already in my mind dismissed this woman as being someone I'll love to hate because she forced me to take off my shoes to go to her house and I'm assuming is known for being the consummate perfect hostess in her perfect house with perfect towels. Well little Mrs. Perfect forgot about us vegetarians and came by and gave me the most condescending comments. "Do you want some more fruit? We have plenty of fruit." "I just want to make sure our LITTLE FRIEND here is taken care of." The first one sounded genuine so I took her up on the offer and when the extra fruit never came by I figured she didn't care about me really. And then the second time when she made her "little friend" comment I knew she and I would not be friends. Believe me I was well fed but another part of me got sick pleasure out of the fact that Mrs. Perfect Hostess had done screwed the pooch on the veggie options and was beating herself up about it. Because I know about hosting and I know nothing matters more to someone who is a host than being known as the perfect host.

Of course since I make myself dress out of place then really, I bring it upon myself to feel out of place right? By the way to specify on the dress, it was a "tea" and I went dressed in a polka dot chambray shirt, dark navy jeans, neon socks, platform shoes, neon belt, and a leather jacket, bangs and red lipstick. So I looked trendy and fashionable just completely not "tea". Even funnier is the fact that: I FREAKING LOVE TEA. I love the whole tea act. Of course if Mrs. Perfect Hostess wanted sh** done right she would have made the tea with loose leaf instead of teabags and I bet she didn't even warm the pots before she poured the tea but anyway... it was delicious! They had shortcake bread with fruit and all kinds of jams and tea and it was served in pretty tea sets I mean, this is the perfect EvY afternoon if EvY didn't feel like taking a stand about feminism as it concerns her 'cause really who gives a crap. And need I remind you, I have a full on tea cart in my room and is right behind me as I write so obviously the event didn't bother me in theory either.

So what the hell? Why make a mini statement to yourself?

Because it was a mini statement to myself.

Because I am a wife and home owner but I am still a woman. I took my husband's last name but I buy myself things from the salary I earned. I go to work. And these events just take me back because they're all about weddings and sometimes I just really loathe what weddings turn women into. I despise hearing about engagement rings. Don't get me started on engagement photos (I HATE THEM I HATE THEM I HATE THEM I HATE THEM I HATE THEM). I hate posed photos in various configurations. I don't like wedding dresses. I think women that spend tens of thousands of thousands of dollars on them are stupid. Same goes for weddings themselves.

At the same time: I love going to weddings and I always cry. I think I like weddings in the sense that they're a huge event and you get to watch the final episode of this reality show of people planning a wedding and seeing the final result. And I always cry 'cause I'm a damn romantic.

Anyway so that was that.

And the Mad Men pilot: after 5 years of watching Peggy Olson evolve, watching her from the start facing those incredible sexist butthole co-workers of hers I was even more grateful that we live in the time we do now. The things women back in the day had to work for. Yikes. Think we have it tough, those girls were expected to just get married and knock out kids without choice. Or they were made to believe that's really the choice they wanted.

And then I had to host a bridal shower where the theme was believe it or not: retro housewife. But... it was tongue in cheek. At this event I dressed up in my best late 50s, early 60s attire: polka dot A-line skirt, pearls, red lipstick, retro shoes, apron. APRON. While the theme was retro housewife it was the sort of retro housewife with those images of women in domestic advertisements with cheeky statements on them? I'm sure you've seen them around and that was the most amount of housewifery I could take where we'd spun it on it's head and reminded each other that whew, we have it good now homies. We can be those perfect hostesses and go to work too. We can be anything we want to be.

Cause we got vaginas.

But we got major balls too.

Monday, April 22, 2013

the guest bath room board

Ah yeah, the Portland hipster bathroom. Here's some goodies I think may work in there.
The dark navy to black walls: must have. It's a tiny tiny boring bathroom, it needs some fun on the walls. Nothing her is very specific, I'm just trying to make an overall vibe. The only thing I own here is the toilet brush which Matt specifically told me not to buy and I fully ignored him. Sorry honey. Loveyou!

Friday, April 19, 2013

boston love

I knew Boston was special when Ali decided to move there but visiting Boston on the 4th of July in 2010 was unbelievable.  It also started the tradition of visiting a different US city every 4th of July but Boston really set the bar. Hearing the declaration of independence read at the site where it had been read to colonists in 1776 and having lunch where George Washington had lunch, you can only imagine.

Every person I told that I was visiting Boston said "YOU WILL LOVE IT". And they were right.

Boston, we love you and we're with you as you're hurting.