15 October 2011

hello paris and tyler.

this morning i ate a caramel apple for breakfast. i had to stick my face under the faucet to get all the stickiness of my cheeks.

this was all before 9:30 in the morning.

01 April 2011



LOVES. why... hello. i'm back, but just because i was feeling straight up rude. i need to throw something out there, and it's not great.

i need to stop blogging for awhile.

here's the thing: i don't have time. at all. i am one of those people who uses time very, very well and when i say i don't got any, it means i do not have any. it's not a lack of stories on my end (i went yeast and gluten and vanilla and dairy free for the last four weeks. and i bought my wedding dress. and my world at work went crazy. all those just begs for a post.) but the problem lies in the lack of time i have to let them percolate before i throw them up here. and if the time alone wasn't enough, i don't have the energy. most importantly, i don't want to keep apologizing for things that are beyond my control. i'm working on that last one.

when i started this blog little more than a year ago, my life was a bit slower paced. it's not the wedding planning either, darlings, though that does take some time. it's the job - it simply uses much more of my brain power than it did before. i used to find myself with 10 or 20 minutes here or there to think and jot down a couple sentences. now? my spare 10 minutes don't exist anymore. i am now at a place where i have to be on. all the time. which is great and rewarding and kind of exciting. i get to use my brain! (and, like most of you all, that was not always the story). but when i get home, i need to turn it off. like all the way off. and do yoga, go grocery shopping, do laundry, say hello to Amos... those things that you can't really skip.

i will continue to write, focusing on longer stories and novels. maybe i'll be back with posts, but only when i can do it right, not this baloney i've been tossing up here.

so, with that, i bid you adieu. or, as my Irish grandmother used to say, Until we meet again.


12 March 2011

right rights.


not to get all political on you all, loves, but something has been weighting on my mind these past couple weeks, and I wanted to call it out. it seems to me there have been a couple disconcerting going-ons lately, aimed specifically at certain groups of people [sidenote: i know, i know, a political-ish post. think of it like your blog equivalent of broccoli. it's good for you. and, because i like sweets much better, it's rare.] some of these rumblings have just been talk, some have already been put into law. have any of you all noticed? like, ahem:

- take away all funding for planned parenthood. planned parenthood has never used federal funds for abortion.  (Just to be clear, agree with it or not on moral grounds, abortion is a protected act - a right of women - supported by the supreme court. it is the law of the land. you don't have to like it. you can find it morally reprehensible. but. but! even if it is against your moral code, other Americans have a undeniable right to it). planned parenthood serves many women in our community for birth control, medical check-ups, body image, men's sexual health, pregnancy and pre-natal care, STDs, and much, much more. To take this away from our community and instead have people have to rely on private, traditional doctors puts many of the younger and poorer segments at a disadvantage. Health care isn't cheap. Planned Parenthood specializes in prevention and comprehensive care and sex education. To take this away is to hurt our communities and reduce the options avaliable to our citizens for their health needs. I remember a conversation a group of girls and I had  my freshman year of college, and the question came up: where would you go if you were raped? The first answer I could come up with was Planned Parenthood. I would go there. They would help me figure out what to do next. If that doesn't highlight the importance of that organization, I don't know what will.

- the so called "pregnancy centers" that do not give information on birth control, do not offer full information, withhold pregnancy test results while reading Bible verses to women, and manipulate women to forgo abortions. i am not against these centers existing. but you must call a spade a spade. these clinics are NOT the same thing as a comprehensive pregnancy center. They are an extension of a religious organization and only offer options that fit their religious standard. Women should know that once they enter those doors. The Washington State legislative just killed a bill that would have regulated these clinics.

- in new hampshire this week, there was serious talk about limiting college voter rights, making students only able to vote where their parents' had established residency. the sponsor of the bill, Representative Gregory Sorg, was especially cutting when he said students should not be able to vote because they posses "a dearth of experience and a plethora of the easy self-confidence that only ignorance and inexperience can produce." Even though voting is both a fundamental privilege and obligation of democratic citizenship, State House Speaker William O'Brien recently claimed that college students vote, "too liberal," "with their emotions," and that they lack sufficient "life experience" to vote in the state. Really. The legislation was recently killed, but this was a discussion that i think people should hear about.

- then there is the collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin. Whether you agree with it or not - it seems inappropriate that is was done in a budget session, no? an issue this controversial seems to be best handled with a vote or, at a minimum, separate legislation. this is one of those ironic moments in american history where we get our panties in a twist about the salaries of $45,000/ year teachers and don't worry about the bonuses of bailed-out financial execs. huh.

so there's my political catch up of the day. don't mean to get all serious on you - i'll post something light-hearted tomorrow... maybe about my awful encounter with a gluten, yeast, dairy - free scone. but for today, broccoli. so go sign a petition, if you want, and participate in your democracy.

07 March 2011

in the meantime.

I have about 5 blog posts half composed in my head. Until I can get them unscrambled and down on paper (or er, computer screen), please do this:

- make quinoa
- cut up strawberries
- mix up together, with a spoonful of honey.

eat. enjoy. repeat.

and... you're welcome.

26 February 2011

there and back.

Caye Caulker
the most tan i will ever be.
loves. sorry i took off like that. did i not mention that i was going to belize for a couple weeks? oops. well, i went to belize for a couple, er, 13 days. it was heavenly.
 we saw jaguars and howler monkeys in a rehabilitation zoo, we slept in forest cabanas, and explored a sacred mayan cave where they performed blood and human sacrifice. we postponed kayaking and snorkeling to instead sit through a giant 4 day rainstorm while on the south cayes (i called it a monsoon, but i do have a penchant for the drama). we rafted down the moho river and camped in the jungle, stopping along to be introduced to our guide's mayan villiage. we had lunch there, under a thatched roof, and it was delicious. we finally hit sun when we returned to the north cayes. i snorkled with a nurse shark and manta and eagle rays and a turtle. the snarks were small. the rays and turtle were decidedly not.
Enjoying Belizian beer, Belikin

Tobacco Caye

Moho River, on an inflatable kayak.

Moho River is super clear but tinted green.

Bit Windy on Glover Reef Atoll (South Caye).

Exploring the ATM Cave.

Looking all professional and shit.

Mayan human sacrifice, the only woman to be found in the ATM cave. Mayans believed all caves were sacred, being the birthplace of humans and the closest one could get to the gods.

Belize Zoo.

ah, yes. did i mention it was lovely? it was.

but. on the 12th day of our vacation, as i was ordering a cup of coffee at the delightful amor y cafe on caye caulker, i realized that i was ready to return. belize time is wonderful, do not mistake me. however, loves, i was ready to order a cup of coffee and have it come faster than the 45 minute wait, a wait that belizians did not seem to think was a big deal. i mean, (not to be dramatic here) it's my morning cup of coffee. do you know how happy that makes me? too often - and i can't believe i'm really confessing this - telling myself i get to drink a cup of coffee is how i drag my butt out of bed. and by too often, i mean every day. coffee, or the thought of it, gets me out of bed in the morning. not to complain about belize, but i was ready to return to a place that understood this. home was calling me.

My cup of coffee at Big Falls, so don't feel too bad for me.
too bad when i returned, the place was covered in snow.

come on pnw. really?

so now i'm back. i brushed my hair for the first time in two weeks (don't judge; i did run my fingers through it on a fairly consistent basis when i showered. so. there.) i wore a regular bra instead of a sports bra or swim suit. i had a great cup of coffee. i think i might be okay with being back.

 might be.

02 February 2011

my life would be better with theme music.

not just for the obvious moments (the Indiana Jones theme song for my harrowing adventures - um, duh - or the last 10 minutes of spin class, which is pretty much the same thing).

but i think the Can't Run But by Paul Simon would be perfect for the mudane aspects of my life, like waiting for the light to turn green after hoping off the bus, when it's all drizzle and mist out. it would make my life mirror a chic independent film, which i could really dig. as long as i get to look like Zooey Deschanel.

01 February 2011

organization motivation

Er... hello.

It's been awhile. I know. I went to Chicago last week, and have been playing catch up since then. I wanted to blog - really - I just didn't have much to say. Or anything to say, really. I, sometimes, I think there is no greater crime than spouting out words for the simple sake of spouting, you hear? Or - truthfully - it could very well be that tell myself that to make me feel better.

Anyway, all last week, when I thought about writing but didn't have much to say, I felt the pressing need to do something - something that could make me feel all right about my radio silence. Remnants of Catholic Guilt, I guess. Baby dolls, I cleaned. Like really cleaned. I have my entire trunk of my car filled up with clothes for Goodwill. I was ruthless. If it hadn't been worn in a year, it was gone. Even if it was still in good shape, like my Dansko clogs. Someone else can use them, says I! I have teeny closets and a girl can only have so many pairs of shoes before her boyfriend starts complaining that there is no where for his (scant 3 pair) of shoes. Then girl feels bad and makes room. See, girl can make sacrifices for her relationship.

Yes, closets were emptied. I even dug out and organized all my photos and keepsakes from high school and college. (I know.) Amos took over my home office/closet and set to organizing and nesting in there, as I have tend to sit in our kitchen, soaking up the little natural light we can get. I dusted, I Swiffered, I cursed the Swiffer for how it's not that great and pretty wasteful. I mean, I still don't own a real mop, but I bet they work loads better. We took boxes and boxes to the recycling bin.

Now I'm back. Not sure I have much to say, except that I'm working on it. I've run out of things to clean.

Oh, and download Florence + The Machine. That shit is good.

19 January 2011

my new craft goal:

I think I am going to start making my own word banners like this one, so I can put snarky comments up to my little heart's desire. Mine would read: What the Fuck.* Because nothing says classy like the F word (made out of construction paper) hanging on your wall.

*(Not that anything has to be really wrong for me to say What the Fuck. I say it a lot. For good things. For bad. For interesting thing. For when I'm bored out of my gourd. I should probably buy a thesaurus.)

** Oohh, or I'd put one up that said I'll give you something to cry about. 

15 January 2011

mother f*cking rock star.

I am A Practical Wedding blog today. 

A couple of months ago, whilst in the throes of deciding on a caterer, I send a frantic email to Alyssa at 'Ask Team Practical,' and - while she emailed me back a very sane, very calming email - I left it at that. I never thought it would really make it onto the blog. In my head, everyone else had picking a vendor down. They didn't spend sleepless nights wondering about choosing the extremely nice caterer with the only okay chicken or the inflexible caterer with the to-die-for risotto (we ended up going with the extremely nice caterer and we switched the order from chicken to salmon and are keeping our little fingers crossed). It's calmed down a bit now, as we've moved closer to the wedding and made more and more decisions, but I am loving the wise, wise, WISE advice them ladies are giving me over there.

Oh, and did I mention how much of a rock-star I feel like to be on MY FAVORITE BLOG EVER? Seriously, I read it every morning with my first cup of coffee. Every. Damn. Day. Before I look at anything wedding-related, anything work-realted, anything even-breakfast related. I've never even written so much of a guest post on any other blog and here I am, hitting the Broadway play quality of blogs. Hells to the Yes (ug. okay, now i promise never to say that phrase again).

I am trying to stop myself from judging my blog to harshly. Makes me realize that I'm not crazy about my writing the last couple months, the post seem short, I seem a bit whiney, I swear to God that my life in not as shallow as it sometimes is portrayed... so to any new folks from A Practical Wedding - Hello. This is my blog. Some days it is good. Somedays it is less than good. But it keeps me writing, even if that writing is crappy. So please, um, don't judge too hard.

Okay, now that's over. Back to squeeling with joy. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, here's the entire email exchange between Alyssa and meself. I think my second email is better than the first. You be the judge-ola.

On Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 3:28 PM, Sarah wrote:
Hi there!

I'm not sure exactly what my question is, but I need some serious advice and a healthy dose of sane. Turns out this wedding planning bit can be stressful, no?

Okay, first the good & important stuff: I am marrying a guy named Amos, I like him, he likes me, and we're totally stoked on this who get-married business. The planning-to-get-married is a little more stressful than we originally anticipted. As of last night, we have a pretty-solid potential venue, and it's even within our budget (by budget, I mean we had to SWAG* a budget, so we're kind of flying blind & making it up as we go along).

So we have a cool venue, and I do like the people who run it (local church group who rehabed it, use it as their space, and rent it out during other days. Imagine a big warehouse with a beautiful wood ceiling). But they haven't done many weddings before (3 with ceremonies), so we're forging a new trail. Which you think is exciting, until you get in the damn thing and can't see the forest for the trees.

We're going to have to rely on our caterer a lot here, and that's why I'm writing you all. How do I know what's a reasonable fee? How do I know what questions to ask? How do I know what I need and don't need (until a week ago, I never even thought or renting linens. Oooh, that's how the tables have those pretty white things draped over them!) And, perhaps most importantly, how do I know when one is good? I wish the good guys - the ones who use local and sustainable ingredients, who pay their servers and staffs fair wages, who reinvest money into the community, who don't want to rip us off, upon whom we can trust to do a great job and think of things we didn't - had halos. Because I'm on website after website and so terrified we are going to get into a situation where we will end up with a bigger bill than we thought, or we won't have things we need (wait, who was supposed to rent the microphone for the ceremony?) and be tots stressed... and broke... and I know, we should start talking to people, but how do you even find the ones to speak with?

Wait, wait, I got my question:
How do I pick a good vendor?

There, after 3 paragraphs of writing, I found what I was trying to ask. Hope you stuck around long enough to read it.


*SWAG = seriously wild ass guess. I think that what it's called when you Google 'how much does a DJ cost?' 'how much does a live band cost?'

PS - thanks for building & supporting such a wonderful community. it makes the world a more friendly place.

On Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 8:48 AM, Ask Team Practical <askteampractical@apracticalwedding.com> wrote:

Hey you!

It's Alyssa, I just wanted to let you know we got this and we'll add it to our queue and get to it as soon as we can!  Meg and APW get a lot of emails, so I can't guarantee that we'll get to it before your wedding, but we'll try as best we can.

Some questions though:

One - When is your wedding?
Two - Can we use parts of your email when we answer it, including your name and/or your partner's name?
Three - Do you have a blog we can link to?

I feel ya on this, it's a really tough thing to deal with.  You don't want to get ripped off, but you also don't want to pay way more than you have to or go with an inferior vendor...  A couple things to help in the meantime; check out your local boards on Offbeat Bride and ALWAYS check on a place's Better Business Bureau status.  Lack of a status doesn't always mean something bad, but a bad or low grade usually should throw up all kinds of red flags.

Take care, and hope to hear from you soon!

On Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 1:11 PM, Sarah wrote:

Thanks Thanks! It just felt good to send this out to the (practical) universe... this is much more difficult than I originally expected! For instance, we're interviewing photographers this week, and I really like this one. But on the website, he and his wife mention Jesus a lot. And that's cool - nothing against loving Jesus, by any means! - but I also want to support vendors who believe in the basic equality of every individual person, including marriage equality. Bringing that up can be super tricky - what do I say? "So, Benj, you friendly to the gays? Does your Jesus love focus on the inclusion aspect of Christianity or the separation/judgment aspect of Christianity?" You jive? Tricky business...

Okay, onto your questions:

#1 - I think it's going to be August 13th. Could be August 20th. Or September 10th. All 2011. Should know by tomorrow.
#2 - Sure thing! My name is Sarah, and can you use fiance's last name - Amos - as that's how I call him in my blog.
#3 - yes, I do! I haven't been writing as much as i would like, but I do try to update is once to three times a week. My blog's name is Jackson Riley and the address is http://thisisjacksonriley.blogspot.com

13 January 2011

To My Future Husband.

Dearest Amos,

I know you just started a blog, and I quite like it, though - as you are painfully aware - zombie movies just ain't my thang. I realize this is a big disappointment to you, and I appreciate the fact that you got over it enough to offer marriage to me. At least now I eat pepperoni pizza, unlike the first 5 years we were together. See? I can grow. But don't hold your breath for the zombie movies. That's not looking promising.

Anyway, if you wanted to start another blog, I think you could fashion it like this one? It's one guy's notes to his future wife, and it's pretty much crazy romantic. It's just an idea because - sigh, this probably isn't a surprise - your zombie blog is not making me weak at the knees. It makes me laugh, which is great. Appreciated. But weak in the knees ain't bad either, know what I mean?

All right, that's all I gots for now. When you get home today, let's make fajitas because that sounds delicious.


11 January 2011

my monday morning party trick.

it's Monday morning. For some reason, on Mondays, I really love to get out of bed an hour or two earlier than I need to begin work. Okay, I don't really love the getting out of bed, part, but I do enjoy the hour putzing around my house, doing the dishes and making coffee and packing lunches and making the bed, all while the sun is coming up and filling our little apartment with a smidgen of light. It makes me feel productive and ahead of schedule. It's a wonderful way to begin a week, as within hours, I'm usually miles behind on my to-do list. But for an hour or two on Mondays, man, am I ahead of the game.

{west elm travel mugs, which they unfortunately do not seem to have anymore}

Christmas this year was simple at our house, with an average of one gift per person. Mine was a lovely ceramic travel coffee mug that looks much more West Elm than it's Target origins. I really enjoy it, but I've found a way to maximize the potential. I'm dubbing it my Monday morning party trick. While you are making your coffee, put a put of water on the stove. Doesn't need to be a lot of water, about 8oz - depending on the size of your mug. Once it's almost boiling, pour it into your travel mug. Let it sit for a couple or five minutes. Once your coffee is done brewing, dump out the water and fill up your mug. Now you're coffee will stay warmer longer, as it doesn't have to heat up the mug itself.

I know. Amazing. You're welcome.

05 January 2011

like... woah.

browsing the blogs this morning, eating my usual banana bread, drinking my coffee, and i saw this. Now, folks: I am not a crier. Not at all. Ask anyone, ask my mom. But this? This made tears come to my eyes. Watch it. Cheer for her. Apparently, she didn't win this competition, but my money is betting this Rebecca Ferguson will go big. Love Her, Love the song, Love her story. AND love her darling Liverpool accent.

04 January 2011

merry merry. happy happy. where were we?

Hello all. 
I'm back. 
Didn't mention that I was taking the Holidays off from blogging? 
My bad. 

I needed some serious R&R, so I took from Christmas to New Years off. It was awesome, and I'm - surprisingly, actually - ready to jump back in to normal life. I know, right?

I have to confess, as much as I do love Christmas decorations, there is something very clean about a newly not-decorated house. It's all white and open and almost matches the January weather. I rather like it. It makes me want a house in shades of white, inspired by those sophisticated Scandinavian folks. I don't find them depressing, by any means, but rather energizing. It's like the entire house got in on the New Year / Fresh Start vibe.

I'm not a big one for New Years' Resolutions, but I can't help but feel like this year my goal is to simplify. First thing that's up? My house. Guess that means I'll be taking off the dead wreath on my door. That's how you start of 2011 right.
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