Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Would You Ever Wear Toe Shoes?

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I've blogged about this miracle of a shoe before, and I still think they're uber-awesome. Running in these in the summer is liberating. But the best part about these shoes is they're very packable. So, if you thought that taking an extra pair of shoes that you can hike/run in for a weekend trip was totally crazy, think again. These fit into a jean back pocket. I realize that this is more of a girl problem, but these kicks are sweet whether you're male or female.

What do you think? Less or more embarrassing than Crocs? Are they really the “hideous running shoe contraptions your dad wears on vacation”?

PS. This cool cat wore hers to the Golden Globes!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Citizenship

berry flag cake

Dearest readers, I am in the process of becoming a real American. As you've probably gleaned from reading this blog, Russia is the country of my citizenship. I've been living in the US for 9.5 years, and although I feel very much American, I hadn't had a compelling reason to become a citizen.

One of the main reasons U.S. immigrants apply for citizenship is to make traveling easier. Having a U.S. passport means a lot of countries welcome you with open arms instead of requiring visas. Easy travel hadn't been a lure for me because I've travelled (and been in precarious living situations) far too much when I was younger. So, while my peers are seeking out out-of-comfort-zone experiences, I've been trying to find (or create) my comfort-zone.

Consider my mind changed. On New Year's Day, Forrest filled out my N400 (Application for Naturalization) form, I wrote a check for $680.00, a USPS employee haphazardly slapped some stamps on the manila envelope the next day, and it was off. I know it's kind of old news, but it didn't feel real until today. Today I had my biometrics appointment (where they take 30 fingerprints of my 10 fingers) and was given a packet of questions to study for my citizenship exam.

So, this is really happening! Getting nervous/excited now.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Things That Made My Week

Ready for Take-Off!
photo by Warren Bodnaruk of Rudy 

The past two weeks have been crazy exciting. I can't wait to figure everything out so I can finally share the news! Here are a few things that made me smile this week:

comfortable boots that let me walk all around the city with a satisfying click-clack
- watching my cats get really excited about being back home
- the sweets my aunt lovingly brought for me all the way from Russia
- getting back into breakfast making/eating routine
- the lovely Trader Joe's check-out girl who let me into the store at 8:59 PM
- cheese, green onion and prosciutto panini dunked in tomato soup at 9:15 PM
- this song

I'm going up to the Bay Area again this weekend to hang out with my brother, his girlfriend, and my aunt. Crossing my fingers we'll get to visit the Heath Ceramics Factory!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

To Cut or Not to Cut?

the gorgeous Karli Kloss rocking the short cut 

I had pretty short hair a few years ago (see here and here) It made for a very sad ballet bun, but I liked it otherwise. It's much longer now (see here), but it's a such a hassle.

My hair is thin, and the ends tangle like crazy. I end up having to use a ton of conditioner unless I'm going for the lion's mane look (ugh). I don't think I look any better with long hair. The only advantage, as I see it, is you can do more with it when it's long. There are a ton of hair tutorials for long-ish hair, and not too much for short hair. Also, I'd have to say (a very sad) goodbye to my good friend, the fishtail braid, if I got a cut.

What do you think? Go short or not? Also, bangs?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Silk Tee


I only found this beauty after it sold out. Le sigh. Now I'll never be that cool chick that wears a funky-fresh floral silk tee with a black mini-skirt or skinnies (like this cat over here). Why is the world so unfair??

Has this misfortune ever happen to any of you?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

One Step at a Time

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This last week was crazy busy, which was followed by a ridiculously fun weekend of good food, little sleep, breathtaking views, and awesome people. There are exciting times on the horizon, and important choices to make. Just trying to take things one step at a time and not lose my mind in the process.

 ♫  OMN - Between Us Now

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Boiling Water

coolest looking kettle I've ever laid eyes on (photos from here)

I'm a minimalist in the kitchen. I try to avoid having one-trick-pony gadgets to minimize clutter due to storage space constraints. Apple corer/slicer, garlic peeler, grapefruit knife, citrus juicer, corn shucker, toaster, microwave (gasp) begone! (I realize I probably just offended 99% of my readers, but hey, this is what works for me. If you juice 50 oranges every morning, by all means, make me jealous and juice away.) I drink a lot of tea/coffee, but when I had to decide to have a kettle or to not have a kettle, I naturally decided against it.

I love this tiny-little pot more than life itself. Unlike a kettle, it can be used to melt butter, to heat milk for hot chocolate, to reheat one serving of soup/stew, as a base to a water-bath to melt chocolate, as a makeshift humidifier when I'm sick, among a million other things. It is one of the most used items in my kitchen (second only to my knife). Color me obsessed.

One problem: the pouring action from the tiny 2-spouted pot get just OK marks in accuracy. It took some practice to be able to pour the contents into a mug without spilling boiling water on my hands. But my newly acquired Aero Press has a much smaller water-acceptance area than a mug. I don't like water on my counter as much as the next gal, so (I-never-thought-I'd-say-this) I am looking for a kettle.

I like this and this. I realize spending $140 on a kettle is borderline insane, but I'm in love with the design. Suggestions, ideas?

 PS. The epitome of ridiculous kitchen gadgets (via joanna). Is it even for real?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

French Girl's Converse


Have you ever heard of Bensimon sneakers? They look so adorable. And apparently all the stylish French girls wear them. Cropped jeans and comfy/cute shoes? I think yes! I like the look of the lace-up ones, but the slip-ons are super practical. I've never had a pair, but I think I might soon. :)

Any of you out there worn these? Do you love 'em?

PS. Can't believe I just used a smilie in a blog post. Somebody is a baaaaad influence.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cute Poem

kempt hair
quite kempt hair at the beach (August, 2010)

My Dream by Ogden Nash
This is my dream,
It is my own dream,
I dreamt it.
I dreamt that my hair was kempt.
Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.

Never mind that there is no such thing as true love, and that it doesn't really rhyme. This poem is still pretty cute. Mhmm?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Things That Made My Week

In between dreams
photo by the incredible irene suchocki

This week has been exciting and stressful at the same time. As a result, I got very little sleep and am totally exhausted. Looking forward to catching some zzz this weekend. What about you? Any exciting plans?

Here are some things that made me happy this week:
- getting a ton of new music to listen to (4 hours, to be exact - whatwhat) Thank you!
- xcode 'command-/' shortcut (a lot more here)
- acing The Godfather trivia
- dry shampoo that let me skip washing my hair the mornings I just wanted to sleep
- ballet class is back from winter break
- lovely dinner with an old friend (a welcome break from cheese and crackers)
- swiping an AeroPress from the Bees (watch this)
- computer/mobile device magic

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cards Against Humanity

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Have you guys ever played Cards Against Humanity? I was introduced to it early last year, and I've been raving about the game ever since. It's easy to explain, easy to setup, and quite educational. One of the unintentionally hilarious things is watching somebody surreptitiously whip out their phone to figure out what the card they just drew means. (How did I live not knowing what glory holes are??)

I wasn't going to blog about it, because I thought I was late to the CAH party last year. BUT I was hanging out with Olga Kay (it's OK to be jealous), and some less famous (but more a-do-ra-ble) friends, and they had never even heard of it! So, just in case any of you have been living under a rock never played it, consider yourself informed of this ridiculously awesome game.

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And if you get the card that says "the taint, the grundle, the fleshy fun-bridge", and cannot read it past "the taint" because you're laughing uncontrollably, you're doing it right.

Anyone experienced the joy of CAH yet?

PS. If you have been trying to buy the game from Amazon and it's constantly sold out, you can blame Forrest. He bought like 200 of them. (I forgive him because, after much complaining, he sent one to me.)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

May I Walk With You?

Do you ever use SoundCloud? It's hit or miss for me. But I found this song recently, and can't stop playing it.


I'm on a serious hunt (whatever that means) for new music. Anyone have recommendations?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sleepless

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Anxious, anxious, anxious, anxious, anxious, anxious, anxious, anxious, anxious. Gaaah.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Blueberry Muffin Love

Muffin in a bowl
Never mind the shitty picture. I took like 20 and none of them were good. Grrrr.

I can't believe I've never written here about the joy of a blueberry muffin. It's my Saturday morning breakfast of choice. A one bowl recipe, most of it could be (and should be) done the night before, has a lemony kick, and makes enough to share - it's a beaut!

I've tried many recipes. I loved the Cook's Illustrated one, but let's just say making blueberry jam to make a blueberry muffin before your morning coffee is not for the weak. Cue smitten kitchen, who thought the same thing, and was kind enough to simplify the recipe for us. So make it! It has the dreamiest batter (no?). You'll be licking that spatula before you take your first bite, and that's OK.

Also, if you're not eating 2 4 muffins with unsweetened milky coffee, you're doing it wrong.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Things That Made My Week

Meisjes in bevrijdingsoutfit / Girls in liberation outfit
photo via flickr commons

In an effort to be a happier person, I started writing down a list of things I felt grateful for that day (big and small). Here are the highlights from this week:

- listening to Taylor Swift at work (I will never apologize for being so lame.)
- green onions in/on eggs
- sharing a secret with my friend (hihi, JZ)
- eating dried cherries before dinner
- glancing at our office visitor sign-in book every time I walk by
- warm tights

There is a ton of evidence that the happiest people are the ones that feel and express gratitude. So you should try doing this too! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

fitbit
this was taken right before I left for work. looks like making breakfast required walking roughly 0.02 miles

Did you guys make any resolutions this year?

This year I'd like to:
- be more grateful (it's the key to happiness apparently)
- cook (at least) once a week out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking
- take more walks (if you have a fitbit account, let's be friends!)
- travel
- complain less (this one is going to be hard)

What about you? My favorite resolution so far is "spend another year talking about starting yoga". Love it.