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The last few weeks have been a little intense around here. I got crazy sick, missed my trip to Seattle, left my job of eight years, and started a brand new job. Heavy stuff, right? We could talk about all that for a while, but I am consciously trying to not dwell so we’re going to talk about some of the other things going on in my life Currently.
Reading: I am currently between books, which is a bit odd for me. I’m more of an “always something on deck” type of reader, but I’ve not found anything really inspiring as of late. I would really love to find a new series to dive into, with the new job I predict there will be a fair amount of “stress reading” happening in the evenings until I get through training and get my feet under me again.
Planning: My fall trip to Seattle. I was supposed to go at the end of June, but I found myself curled up on the bathroom floor sick the night before my flight. It was incredibly disappointing, and I am still mad at myself, but my friends have been great about helping me refocus and reschedule. Now we’re looking at me visiting maybe in late October or early November. That’s around the time that the leaves start turning, and let me tell you, this Florida girl is over the moon at the prospect of actually experiencing the traditional changing of seasons.
Eating: All of the fresh fruit. Pineapple, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kiwi, watermelon… so much fruit in our fridge! Andy has only a passing interest, but this time of year I LIVE for the produce section. I think this might also be in part because I keep my fruit in the fridge and it’s nice and cool when I sit down to enjoy it for a snack or after dinner sweet. A perfect, and relatively guilt free, way to beat the heat.
Loving: My new quilt. Andy and I were raised not to throw anything away, so when it comes to blankets/comforters and stuff, we still have things from as far back as high school. Recently I decided to go out and buy my self a new quilt, a nice colorful summer-weight quilt. I found exactly what I wanted at Home Goods, and I LOVE it. The cats love it too; of all the pillows/blankets/throws on our beds, 8 out of 10 times I come into the room they are sleeping on the new quilt. Now I just have to convince myself that it’s time to get rid of some of those older blankets…
Creating: My new work space. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a cube instead of an office, but I have to say it is a pretty spacious cube. It’s also nice that the walls go almost all the way to the ceiling so it still feels like I have my own space. I’ve only been in there a couple of days, so it’s definitely a work in progress, but I have a list of things that I want and have been filling my tiny back pack with things as I find them and taking them into the office a little at a time. It probably doesn’t seem like a big thing, but it’s helping me feel a tiny bit more comfortable with this new phase.
Image from here.
I am a bit of a flower fiend. Floral prints, flower-centric artwork, fresh flowers in the house, faux flowers that look like real flower around the house. I absolutely love the color and visual interest flowers bring to almost everything. The other day I was wasting time on Instagram and I discovered artist Olga Prinku. Her Instagram is absolutely incredible. She creates gorgeous works of art with real flowers incorporated into embroidery.
These delicate pieces are created by carefully stitching dried flowers on to tulle stretched over wooden frames. Aside from the collar above of course which was probably stitched on a frame and then trimmed it down and fitted it over the fabric.
Crazy beautiful, right? I would love to curate an entire gallery wall of these intricate pieces.
Chocolate cake. Chocolate. Cake. CHOCOLATE CAKE. I had a chocolate cake that I loved; it was my favorite chocolate cake in all the world. It was made by a waitress at a restaurant a mere 7 minutes from my front door. It wasn’t available every day, but I could wrangle a piece a week if I really wanted. Sadly, the restaurant expanded to two additional locations, and they decided to go with desserts that were easy to mass produce and my beloved chocolate cake was no more. We even tried to special order one for my birthday, but they weren’t interested. Ever since, I’ve been sampling cakes around town, hoping that I might find something better or at the very least comparable, but alas my search has yielded nothing so far. I have decided that I must take matters into my own hands and find a recipe.
My first try was the “Ultimate Chocolate Cake” by Buzzfeed Tasty
Ratings out of a possible 10
Chocolate Flavor: 8 – it was really good, but not quite perfect.
Texture: 10 – spot on.
Frosting: 6.5 – a little better than “okay”, but I’ve had and made better.
The “M” word: 8.5 – perfect moisture day of and after, but dried out easily.
Effort: 7 – a little more than a simple rip and bake, but I think anyone who has made a cake from scratch before would be able to execute the recipe.
Overall: 7.5 – my taste testers literally RAVED about this cake, but for me, it wasn’t quite up to snuff. I do think it is important to note that I don’t care for stout and I could definitely taste it in the final product.
So the search continues…..
As you guys well know when it comes to fashion, I am usually of the “more is more” philosophy. Embroidery, sparkle, pattern – bring it on, but recently I discovered the brand ORTTU and I’ve found myself really admiring the simplicity of their designs. Now I will acknowledge what they lack in bells and whistles, they make up for in drape and additional fabric, but this more minimalist approach to dressing has really pulled me in.
I was showing Andy some of my favorite pieces, and he has dubbed the aesthetic “Star Wars Chic” – as in the garments look like something a really put together fashionable Jedi would wear. I think that’s probably the highest form of praise in the realm of the geekboy, right?
What do you think? I’m thinking of trying to integrate a piece or two into my normal rotation.
I don’t usually get political in this space, but today has had me doing a lot of reflecting on our country and the problems we are facing. The last year has been rough, it seems like there isn’t a day that goes by without something in the headlines that makes me want to hang my head and cry or scream and throw something across the room. It’s hard to get out of bed and fight everyday when the outlook seems so bleak, but that’s what this country was founded on, people fighting for a better life. So instead of closing your browser, curling up in a depressed ball and saying “fuck it”. Do something, register to vote, educate yourself, and get ready for November. Fight for what you believe in, stand up for those who can’t protect themselves, and fight ignorance and intolerance by rising above petty squabbles and being a living example of what this country needs more of. The only way we really lose is if we stop trying.
Image from here.