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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

music for landing planes by.

*...I am sure at one point, I loved to travel. loved airports, planes, hotels and adventures (I specifically remember a flight from Casper to Denver, I was maybe 13, visiting a friend who had moved - from being my backyard neighbor to my "friend who lived in Denver" - and we had a lot of fun). and I still do, I guess, in the "right" circumstances. Sara for a roomie. New York (or Chicago or Hilton Head or Beaufort).

But lately, work has had me traveling a bit too much. like this for dinner tonight (nothing interesting except the knitting - a knit-round scarf (from sally melville) in noro silk garden (colorway 264 to wear with jeans and khakis) which I've promised myself I will finish for the weekend).

need to remember the good things about this last trip. catching up this morning over coffee at starbucks with kris (who moved to raleigh over a year ago). energetic meetings last night and this morning, getting ready for the "real show" this afternoon. many new faces, but still connections with familiar ones (madeline worked with ray mckinney at wachovia; liz works with adanna on another client and told me to say hi tomorrow).

(glad josh is picking me up for the flight tomorrow...that leaves in less than 12 hours).

*a poem by eireann lorsung - in a book i purchased for both me and katie last spring to celebrate our upcoming plane trips - the poem is actually about watching planes land from the ground, but my favorite line works from the air as well:

Nothing changes except I begin to notice
bridges and high buildings, how beautiful they are
(how they shimmer like brides)--

and I especially love the torn out page from the Delta magazine I found tucked into the book there - channel 5 - classical travels...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

good stuff.

...four days worth. figure I'd better get it posted now, before I forget!

(click on the photos to see more info)

First, Dream Dinners - we finally had our group outing Thursday evening. It was fun and we're planning to return.

Then Friday - totally lovely day to work outside!

And the irises have bloomed behind the eskimo shrub (formal name "viburnum opulus", thanks to the AJC gardening column on Thursday, we now know what it is!)

Saturday, Sara and I enjoyed lunch at Blue Fire Grill (and there is no telling from the inside that it used to be Applebee's). Totally recommend. Delicious food. Wonderful service (ask for Stacy). Good wine list. Not expensive.

Today, I finally got my closet cleaned up and swapped the winter and summer wardrobes (and even sewed on seven buttons so everything is ready to wear).

Raindrops on irises (and rain three days in a row - very good for our drought!)

Then knitting. A new bag.

And noticeable progress on the twisted float shrug. Which is good since today was the last class, but we made plans to meet up again in September to show off our finished projects. Maybe by then we can wear them?!

...Sunday evening just chilling at home, getting energized for the busy week ahead.

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something new.

...paper adventure week #17. growing my hair (not trying for anything truly "long" here, just enough to have more curls and maybe get to use a few fun pins) and an awesome new orange shirt. and admitting right from the start that the "growing my hair" part in this photo is probably only noticeable to someone with r-e-a-l-l-y short hair (like me!). but 12 weeks into growing out a pixie cut is a big deal! promising another check-in 12 weeks from now (beach trip time!) to see if the reality of southern summer humidity will throw me off course!

the new orange shirt is kind of a big deal, too. because it's my first orange piece of clothing. and I love it. and it was a great confidence-builder for the presentation I gave at work on Tuesday about "building your leadership brand".

now if I could just learn to take these self-portraits! this one was something like take 34 of 36... there must be some trick to it, right?


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

a(nother) walk in the park.

I realized once I was there, with my camera - taking a photo of the fountain with the yellow irises, that I'd taken a very similar walk about a year ago. And I am very happy to say that walks in the park are now a much more frequent occurrence for me - still no "walking" shorts, but my running gear does just fine.
Spring has officially arrived. These past few days have been warm (75 degrees-ish) and folks are getting outside. The park was full of baseball, other walkers and runners, and families at the playground. The walk over was busy, too. Mowing lawns, kids outside riding bikes.
I'm still in awe of all the colors of green. I noticed different textures, too, but decided not to get too hardcore with my camera!
Love all the sounds (birds, children laughing, the crack of the baseball bat) and the smells (just mown grass, dirt, fresh air).


Monday, April 21, 2008


...not at all the entry I first imagined for week 16 (which included a front with all sorts of "inspired" paper and embellishment scraps - no photo - and some journaling on the back) because I've been inspired by so many things lately that I couldn't imagine a single photo - or even a collage - capturing all of it.

Photos and two cupcake scrapshop kits to create my nyc album. Vogue to see the world in a new way (and maybe to pare down my wardrobe to a very few pieces that make me feel fabulous). 1st leafling sock from the latest socks that rock kit to make me feel superhuman in my knitting ... and maybe to try new techniques, or maybe just to knit more? Bon Appetit/Orangette to attempt a cheese souffle or homemade mayonnaise for Saturday lunch [note - later inspirations decided these might be better for later!] Daily read blogs like Ali and Kal and Elise to pay attention to the details and embrace life as it happens. And I was very busy on Saturday and Sunday knitting the twisted float shrug (and no, I still don't have a photo to share but I will soon, promise)...

but then I stepped outside Sunday evening.

and was totally captivated by the spring sunshine. evening light. and decided that might be the best representation of all this inspiration. a new season. longer days. warmer. brighter. more colorful.

so this week's entry - my first real photoshop'd one - and note to self - next time need to note which effects I actually use on the photo (or maybe I can figure out how to tell after I've applied them?) I think it's a combination of pastel and watercolor, but who knows!

p.s. the lentil and bulgur salad was delicious for lunch on Saturday; we used Harry's salad bar mix-ins (capers, artichokes, cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic, roasted red peppers and feta cheese) in place of the recipe's red peppers, feta and kalamata olives. and two viewings of juno - still love!

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Friday, April 18, 2008

making me smile.

...of course smiling's my favorite and work has (just at times, not always) challenged me this past week, but when I look back, I can't help but be really thankful...and smile! (click photos for more info - or just enjoy the view!)

no photos of this yet...
this for lunch tomorrow, while watching this, and hopefully making much progress on this.

happy weekend!


peony in love.

click image to see who's who

...bookclub at lise's and dawn's pick from march. another great evening. I didn't get a picture of lise in her oriental garb - even the food had a chinese flair (and it was all very good).

the discussion was interesting - we were pretty much all in agreement that living here now is much better than china in the 1700's. bound feet are kind of creepy. there are similarities between the chinese religion (you break into three parts when you die) and christianity (father, son and holy ghost). we loved the idea of meeting up with our mothers in the afterlife and getting to know them as adults.

and we had a lot of fun with the fortune cookies!

::smile and rejoice, fortune is smiling on you (mine)::you will be lucky in love (dawn)::be prepared to accept a wondrous opportunity in the days ahead (aileen)::you will have many friends when you need them (donna)::you will reach the highest possible point in your business or profession (shari)::luck is coming your way (alice)::any rough times are behind you (kay)::you will soon discover your hidden talent (patty)::you will meet an important person who will help you advance professionally (dawn - yes she really did take two!)::opportunities surround you if you know where to look (lise)::


Monday, April 14, 2008

what's for dinner?

...yeah, like we needed a reason to take pictures of the food :-) but I did feel just a little bit guilty when I picked up elise's prompt on friday afternoon, knowing the great opportunities we had to capture snapshots of such good food! we didn't obsess about it though - as evidenced by the fact we only have six food photos. there are many more of us after the meal and one of us during, but these six are the only ones we took of the food (stretching just a bit, I know with the caffe pepe rosso one, but...) and I love the polka dot paper for the journaling from my stash - and I only partly picked it for the name.
the nyc posts below include links to all the places we ate. I'd highly recommend every one of them!

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

nyc done.

...we're home. with huge piles of laundry and nice stack of ephemera to accompany the photos for the album I have planned.

we started yesterday at sarabeth's for brunch. a good table in the front where we could see central park south. then to the apple store which is probably the coolest apple store anywhere (except that there are three locations in manhattan and it's certainly possible that the one in soho might be cooler!) we played with the macbook and the iphone and the ipods. and I promised sara that my next phone/ipod might definitely be an iphone. then a walk up park ave looking for a starbucks (and a restroom). and discovered that the ten+ blocks of park from 61st to 72nd is probably the only ten block stretch of manhattan without a starbucks. go figure. so we headed into the park and found one (a restroom, no starbucks there either). and then some good people watching at the boat pond (near alice in wonderland) and again by the great lawn (looking over to the castle). we walked out on the west side - shocked to see we were at 81st (meaning we wandered about 10 blocks up while we did all that people watching). then over to broadway and zabar's to get raisin pumpernickel bread for marc (and me!). loved seeing sara with the zabars bag. and she sounded so new york when she talked about getting the 5 or the 7 (bus to take us back to columbus circle). we found the pinkberry and enjoyed our "original's" with berries (sara) and mango (me). and one last photo. back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and then a cab to the airport. the flight to atlanta was easy. and marc met us at marta. it was weird being in a car. without horns honking. and it seems very quiet here in our kitchen this morning.

I'm hoping to get photos uploaded to flickr today, and also need to figure out which ones to print.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

nyc 5. last morning at starbucks. and one more quick post from nyc. dinner last night at becco's was delicious. we had the pasta dinner that included caesar salad or a vegetable misto plate to start and then the three pastas of the day (farfella with tomato and basil, linguine with garlic clam sauce and our favorite swiss chard ravioli with marjoram) served tableside (and as much as you can eat - we both had seconds). and a dessert sampler. plus a picture.

and one from the MoMA (now that my camera's recuperated!)

(also, I added links to places from yesterday's post - sorry I forgot to do that when I wrote it)


Friday, April 11, 2008

nyc 4-1/2. in no internet this morning (thanks to a new york-wide t-mobile outage that lasted all morning) and a dead camera battery that's back in the room getting recharged (just like sara!) so the news itinerary covers yesterday and today, but photos are just from yesterday.

I can't believe it's friday evening already. the days have flown by! we started yesterday with a bus ride downtown. fish's eddy, union square and le pain quotidien at abc carpet & home for yummy muffins and cafe au lait. then another bus to city hall and the wtc site. very moving, especially the memorial chapel. after that we walked to brooklyn, across the bridge, and had the very best pizza at grimaldi's (under the bridge). we tried to take the water taxi back, but weekday service has been suspended til may. fortunately, the walk back over the bridge seemed shorter. but it was very warm. and we enjoyed the air on the bus back up town. we stopped by the room to clean up and change. then a bus ride up town to the upper east side. we walked through the park and enjoyed all the activity on what was surely the prettiest day here so far this year. then to the west side for a quick snack at isabella's and back to the east side for supper at fig & olive. where we enjoyed a vegetable sampler and very tasty crostadas with fig paste and manchego cheese (one of my favorite things about traveling with sara is how much she enjoys trying new things!). another bus ride back to the hotel and to bed. i'm sure we were both sound asleep by 10.
on the bridge
across the east river (from brooklyn)

for marc :-)

today was our uptown day. started with a bus to the upper west side for bagels at h&h (as good as the reviews said they'd be), then knitty city and zabar's for a picnic we enjoyed at strawberry fields. another very good spot for people watching in the park! then a bus to MoMA where we spent three hours seeing some things we loved and some we just didn't understand.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

nyc 3.

...starbucks (yes, it's a good routine). the today show (celebrity sightings #1 - the today show crew + keanu reeves). grand central station to meet pat. for gypsy. walking...anthropologie at rockefeller plaza. carmines for lunch. gypsy at the st james theatre. walking...6th ave to bryant park to 42 street, the hyatt, back to grand central. coffee. said goodbye to pat. the bus to 57th street. rizzolis (celebrity sighting #2 - michael nouri). more walking. supper at sarabeths. a carriage ride in central park (this might be the first and last tourist thing we do in the city, but it was a good way to see the park at night and to escape the drizzle). another bus ride back to the hotel. to bed.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

nyc 2.

...starbucks. the subway. the lower east side (oops, mary wrote down confusing directions and we got a bit "too low"). clinton street bakery for brunch (yum!). the bus. soho. h&m (ummm. not so much). dean and deluca (yes!). washington square park. nyu. greenwich village. yarn. magnolia bakery. another bus. the hudson river. strand bookstore. another bus. dinner with nicole at blue ribbon bakery. the subway. and bed.


Monday, April 7, 2008


We are here. Two hours in the city and we see a really, really, really famous person. Guess who?

(P.S. Know the picture is blurry, but I (Sara) took it and then a swarm of angry New Yorkers came buzzing toward me and I was engulfed. Still, you might be able to tell. And I came THIS close to actually touching her (and, actually, according to my mom, the man in the picture is also pretty famous, though I've never heard of him). And, also, she looks extremely old. Imagine what Joan Rivers would look like up close! Television does wonders!)

Also, we had a totally incredible apple crumb pie that was so delicious I might have to write Bon Apetit in that special travel/restaurant section of the magazine and ask for the recipe (from Joe Allen).


Sunday, April 6, 2008

looking forward. Spring Break (which "officially" started for me at about 4:30 p.m. on Friday) and a trip to New York with Sara. I kept thinking I really wanted a photo of us on our trip for this week's paper adventure. But that really wouldn't be so much about "looking forward" since we'd be there, right? And then I remembered I had these vintage map postcards and (lucky me?!) there's a great one of New York. I even thought about using the actual postcard, but it was a bit too small. So now I've kept true to format - another 4X6 from photoshop!

We've made lots of plans. A long email from Lydia about their trip in February and this post and this one from Marta (found via Elise's blog) really helped. We have two pages of notes about places to go and places to eat. And I've looked up locations for every single one on-line. Appears we'll be across and up and down the island a few times, and hopefully we'll make it over to Brooklyn, too.

I'm taking my laptop and the hotel says we'll have free wireless. So stay tuned for reports from the trip. Our flight leaves at 10 o'clock in the morning and we'll be back Saturday evening.

Oh, and please hope for good weather!

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

feedback is a gift.

...I totally ♥ Starbucks. Pretty much everything about it. And I totally don't want to have to get my coffee fix at Dunkin Donuts (puh-lease!!) But Starbucks has been taking a beating lately. Watch out when McDonalds decides they're your competition!

So I was really glad to read the press release from their annual meeting. Getting back to their roots. And I love their new campaign to solicit feedback from customers and employees. I picked up the reminder card this afternoon, mainly as a journaling prompt while I sat at Sky (getting all this yucky pollen off my car!). And I was surprised how many ideas I came up with. And how many of my good ideas had already been entered. Very cool!

Here are the new ones I added:
♥ designate some (if not all) of the outdoor seating to be non-smoking
♥ improve the biscotti offerings (add gingerbread all year? nothing broken, maybe something locally made)
♥ mind the condiment bar (I hate having to ask for skim milk and I really hate cleaning up after other customers)
♥ never offer columbian coffee as the bold coffee of the day. seriously. it messes me up

So it took me a while to enter all those ideas. And by the time I was done, the first two already had votes for them. :-)


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

me (today).

...I finished my 3rd journal yesterday. At the end of the first one (last June), I listed things about me - what was going on my life, what I was thinking, planning, even wearing. And when the second one ended (last October), I did the same thing. So I guess now it's a tradition. The collage of flower images from the latest Pottery Barn catalog is something new. I didn't do anything on the pocket of my last journal - missed opportunity?!

So now I have the last 15 months of my life (somewhat) documented. And I love that.