As you can see, the blog got a little facelift this morning! I had been meaning to learn how to code this thing for over a year now, and I decided, finally, to just bite the bullet and get someone else to do it for me. Now the pressure to learn CSS and website coding is a little less so I can take my time and hopefully by the next time I'm ready for an update, I'll be able to do it myself! In the meantime, I'm crazy about the chalkboard and flower details, a little nod to a (hopefully) early Spring!
If you're in the market for a blog-lift, check out This Girl Design on etsy. She's a dream to work with, and goes above and beyond to make sure you're happy with your new design. The templates are pre-made, but she works with you to personalize it for you. I highly recommend checking out her shop.
Here's to a fresh new start!
I'm officially at that age where multiple friends of mine are engaged or married. I was honored to be a bridesmaid in Katie and Emily's wedding last November, and though I was technically on Emily's side, it never actually felt like separate sides. We spent the morning running between hotel rooms, borrowing bobby pins and make up, and then we all rushed downstairs for pre-ceremony photos together. I was nervous all day, practicing my speech in whispers in the bathroom with clammy hands, but once those doors opened and we were all parading down the aisle in a statement of love and support and commitment to these two, all nervousness and fear was gone. Amidst the dancing and the wine and the multiple cupcakes and the group trips to the bathroom, giggling, I whispered to Katie and Em, "I'm afraid I'll never be this happy again!"
It wasn't a real fear of course, it was just the realization that the love of others and your love for them all bunched up in one big room—well, I imagine it's similar to some kind of drug. If I'm having this much fun at friends' weddings, I can't imagine how much my cheeks will hurt at my own.
The Conjuring scared us out of our wits, so we watched Girl Most Likely instead and saved the scary one for the next morning. Girl Most Likely was really funny, as was In a World. The sister relationship in that movie is spot on, as are pretty much all of the other relationships in it. Apparently getting a cold makes me a movie critic.
I plan to get knitting on newer items, but I wanted to get the ball rolling now because, if not now, then when? And to welcome all of you to my newest endeavor, I wanted to extend a little thank you for following along with me with, what else?, a coupon code. Enter WOOHOO into the coupon code for 10% off any item through Sunday, January, 26, 2014. Not only is this my first Etsy shop, this is my first coupon code. Everything is happening at once!
If you have any custom requests (or advice for new Etsy shop owners), please reach out! Now go take a look!
This past Tuesday marked three years that Mike and I have been together. I can hardly believe it's been that long; it seems just last week he was "accidentally" dropping the buttflap on his onesie pajamas New Year's morning...
Our first year together we went a little crazy on gifts for each special occasion—birthdays, Christmas, anniversary—until we realized that we were spending way too much money on stuff neither of us really needed. We eventually started moving away from tangible gifts and started taking ourselves out to dinner and a movie or for a night of bowling and beers. Ever since we made that switch, special occasions have lost their pressure. I woke up on Tuesday feeling like it was a holiday when all we really had planned was dinner at one of our favorites, City Girl Cafe (if they have the brussel and bacon pizza, GET IT). After dinner we headed home for pajamas and Breaking Bad, and it was perfect. Mike surprised me with flowers and an adorable card before dinner, and I gave him a journal of our year together and this: the Year of Dates.
I originally heard about this idea from Cyndi, who saw it (where else?) on Pinterest. The concept is simple and leaves a lot of room for personalization and creativity. Basically, you come up with twelve dates—one for each month of the year—and enclose them in envelopes to be opened the first of each month. I had a standup calendar from 2013 that I wanted to repurpose somehow. I used some washi tape to affix the different colored envelopes to each page (I used the blank backs of each 2013 month). January had a Groupon to go ice skating in Kendall along with an anniversary card explaining the gift and some other sappy things I love about Mike. You know.
My favorite part about this gift was that I could use all of my different washi tapes, and I got to use some of the many different envelopes that are piling up in my stationery drawer. If you don't have all of these supplies at your disposal, you can use regular envelopes or just make your own out of some pretty paper. I love how many possibilities there are for this gift, and how budget-friendly it is, no matter what your budget is.
Our first month is ice skating, which cost $13, but I plan to do some free dates like cooking an extravagant meal at home or going for a long walk while sipping homemade lemonade (in the summer). For March, we're going to make corned beef in the crockpot, drinking Baileys, and watch Boondock Saints.
I have a feeling this gift will just turn into a tradition, in which case I can reuse this calendar/envelope set up many times.
What are your anniversary or special occasion traditions? Do you give big gifts or focus more on doing things together? We have reservations for a massage on Monday, followed by a hot tub soak at our local spa, and I'm looking forward to it like no Monday before.
My first memory of you as the person you became to me was Fourth of July that first year we knew each other. We were both at the bar where we worked; Meg was there and a handful of other servers, hostesses, a manager. It was one of the slowest nights I can remember; one man sat at the main bar eating a big meal. When the fireworks started, we left him there with his meatloaf and potatoes, and we all poured onto Mass Ave to watch. I've always loved the Fourth of July because Central Square becomes a ghost town, Mass Ave a sidewalk. We all put our arms around each other in camaraderie, and I remember you ever so slightly squeezing my hip. It was so slight that I assumed it was my own burgeoning feelings toward you that felt it. It wasn't until months later when you mentioned that as your first move on me that I realized I hadn't made it up. I had read the signs right.
We were friends and coworkers for a long time before we were anything else. We were both seeing other people—you more seriously than I—and so I had resigned you to being a friend. Even as I write this I feel that there is too much to write. You were my first realizations of all that I could want from a person.
We were a slow burn, sizzling under the surface of our friendship until we jumped in. We scrambled back out a few times before jumping back in and staying there. You were fresh out of something long and meaningful; I was fresh out of something short and sweet. You had just decided to pick up and move back to southern California, where you'd left some pieces of you that you needed back. At the time, it seemed like the worst possible moment to start something, but I know now that it was perfect. It was a collision of sorts; we came at each other fast and milked it for all it was worth. We said goodbye at the peak.
There were bad nights, too. The night we met at The Miracle of Science and you told me that it was too soon, that parts of you owed it to her to try again. The night you invited me over after work and all of your friends were there. We stood in your room and you said with regret, "I can't ask you to leave this late at night." There were those looks you gave me, as though I were a fragile vase you didn't want to be responsible for. I understand now those conflicting feelings—we were on different pages, learning very different lessons about ourselves in the process.
Our set expiration date was an unrecognized gift because what it boils down to is that you were not the person I could confess myself to. Sometimes when I'm singing Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift at the top of my lungs, I think of what you would say if you could see me. You would laugh jokingly because you are not cruel, but I know that it would change the way you see me, your opinion of me, how seriously you would take me. And that's it, isn't it? We all need that person we can pour ourselves out in front of without having to hold anything back or cover anything up.
The smell of industrial cleaners and old beer puddled under taps still remind me of you. Those songs that you, Meg, Taylor, and I would all sing together; the deep scent and burn of whiskey; Central Square really early in the morning on my bike in the cold.