Oh, hai.

I like to think I’ve been getting better about writing more regularly, but I just realized I haven’t been posting as consistently as I thought. I blame this in part to the fact that we are somehow barreling through March at a breakneck pace (seriously, I’m pretty sure it took twice as long for us to get through February and it’s 3 days shorter!), but it could also have something to do with the fact I’ve been busy. I am taking comfort in the fact that this is partially due to the fact I’ve been writing other things for other sites. That counts for something, right? Continue reading

I’ve come alone; I’ve come a long way to get here

With the time change signaling the unofficially start of spring, I thought I’d share a song that’s been representing the promise of the season for me for the past few weeks.

I found Crystal Fighters back in the fall (and actually thought I already posted this), and have been listening to this song pretty obsessively in random spurts. I’ve had a bit of a hiatus with it recently (mainly preoccupied with other tunes and since I’m not as in love with the rest of the album as I am this song, it tends to mainly get played on repeat for about an hour or as part of one of my playlists).

But yesterday when D and I were cruising around, running errands and enjoying the beautiful weather, he put me in charge of the music since he was driving. I pulled this one up right away and it just felt like the perfect background music for the ride.

This song has a very fun and almost dizzying tempo and it kind of reminds me a bit of Iko Iko. To me, the lyrics like the dizzying sense of relief and elation–that feeling of finally reconnecting with someone or something that you thought might have been lost forever. I guess that’s why it pairs so well with spring for me–even though this winter wasn’t as brutal as others have been in the past, there is always a point in the season where it seems like you are about to hit your limit–as if your body cannot take anymore darkness and cold and bareness. This song feels like the realization of spring, the light at the end of the tunnel, the soundtrack for the first official drive of the season.

Do you have any favorite songs to welcome in spring? Or favorite roadtrip songs?

we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies

Well, friends–we are back after some time away on adventure. It was good to see some dear friends, take in some new sights, and revisit some places (and food joints) we love. Our flight got in pretty late last night and I still have not learned the importance of taking off the day after vacation, so I am doing my best to get through this workday and catch up after being gone.

But, I’m also excited to hit the ground running. I have a lot of projects I’m excited about, a lot of things I want to blog about, and a lot of personal goals I’m still working towards. This week will be a busy one, but I’m looking forward to the next round of adventure here on home turf!


What are men to rocks and mountains?

This weekend we headed up to Bear Creek Mountain with a bunch of friends to try our hand at some night snow tubing.

This is what I thought snow tubing would be like:

This is actually what it was like the first time I went down the mountain:

This is what it was like after I worked up the courage to do it again:

All in all, it was a good time, albeit initially terrifying. But I’m glad we went, I’m glad I didn’t give up after the first go-round, and I’m grateful that the only major injuries incurred were to my boots and not my body (or Donnie’s body, being that he hit a tree after his first run down the mountain).

There’s a beautiful parable wrapped in all this about trying something even when it terrifies you, and trying again, even when the first time did not go as planned, but you all are smart people, so I won’t spell it out for you. (Beyond that, I’m too distracted looking at clips from Cool Runnings to say anything too terribly poetic…)

And here is love…

I will admit it: There are times where it’s really hard to be married. There are times when I feel like me and my husband are living in two separate worlds, speaking two very different languages, throttling towards the frustrated complacency that so many try to tell you is inevitable after you are married.

And then, on a random Tuesday while making dinner, my husband jumps away from his place by the sink and assumes the raptor position and we leave the macaroni to boil on the stove while we spend the next 10 minutes squawking around the downstairs,  awkwardly jerking our necks around and running/walking around like creatures from The Dark Crystal, half the time chasing the other, the other half being chased.

And then, without any discussion at all, we both silently agree that Raptor Time is over and walk back into the kitchen, slightly out of breath, one stirring the orecchiette, the other quietly waiting for the spinach to finish sautéing.

Moment of Zen: Video Killed the Radio Star

Today’s moment of Zen is brought to you by our recent trip to the Goodwill. I was craving some more seasonal beer so we decided to take a trip to Canal’s, and the two just so happen to be in the same complex.

“Wanna take a look around?” D asked as we parked.

“Sure–big night out. First Goodwill then the liquor store…”

“Hey, that is a big night out for some people…”

D and I made our way around the store, checking out the different strange treasures that we could find. We frequent thrift shops often and have our various go-to areas,-specifically, the VHS and record collections (Donnie likes obscure VHS and I love weird retro international records like, Viva! Songs from Spain!, or Bella Vita–the Sultry Songs of Sicily). Continue reading

So long to the holidays…

Well, the holidaze is finally over and it’s time to get back into the normal swing of things. I can’t say I’m not happy about that. Although our holidays were good, they came at a crazy time this year (what else is new?) and it felt like the celebrations were being rushed by my attempt to get settled/acclimated into my new job. Even though I tried to get my shopping out of the way early, I still found myself out until late on the 23rd and even spending most of Christmas eve day out at the stores, trying to finish up everything that needed to be done. But, despite all my worries, it all came together in the end, and ended up being a good holiday for us both (sans Donnie’s New Year’s Day stomach virus. Poor Guy :().

Apparently I was pretty good this year because Santa (by way of Donnie…) got me my very own shiny iPad, so here I am, updating from the train like a tech-savvy individual. Looks are deceiving though– I’m still getting used to how this nifty thing works (and autocorrect, which I’m sure is happily bastardizing this post…), but I’ve managed to master Facebook and Scrabble, so all is not lost. 🙂 Continue reading

The Recipe for Christmas Spirit: More lights, less milk.

As Norris and I made our way back to his car late Saturday night, bundled against the dropping temperatures, watching our breath expel in billowy tufts, I admired the block on Tasker where we parked: every house had been decorated differently, with strings of white, colored, and blue lights, blinking reindeer, light-up snowflakes, lights even hung clothesline-style from one side of the street to the next. Albeit hodgepodged, this spectacle transformed the small strip of street into a magical wonderland.

And in that moment, I fully embraced the Christmas spirit.

Christmas lights are always the thing that get me this time of year. I guess that’s the point: take the darkest time of the year and brighten it by adding twinkling lights to just about everything. It doesn’t just make the short days and cold temperatures prettier; it makes them bearable.

But beyond the twinkle lights, the many festivities of the past weekend helped get into that nostalgic, excited mindset, first starting with our Christmas office party Friday night. Continue reading

let the reindeer games begin.

Well, after days of prepping and hours of cooking and cleaning, Thanksgiving is over. Time for the reindeer games to officially begin…

It was a good holiday, but my dad and I agree that next year, we’re going to have to set up things so there is less time on the prepping/cleaning, and more time on the enjoying. Beyond the prep work D & I (and everyone else) did the Tuesday and Wednesday before, I was literally in the kitchen at the stove in my pajamas from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., and was back there again after taking a quick shower and dressing. Although the meal came together well, it didn’t feel like there was much time to enjoy it (at least for me), although I’m happy that everyone else seemed to enjoy the day. I think next year we’ll go with a buffet, smaller portions (ie, cooking one pan of stuffing vs. three), and maybe disposable plates (at least for dessert).

Friday was officially the first day of house hunting. And from that, I have determined I am not cut out for house hunting. Nothing bad happened– my parents were fine/everyone got along– I just realize what a arduous, frustrating process this will be. Everyone you talk to has their own “advice” about what is the best option (renting, buying), what type of home to buy (townhouse, single family, twin, condo), and various tips/thoughts/feedback on what to look for within those parameters (“don’t buy something old–it’s a money pit!” “new construction isn’t as well made as old construction!” “be sure you have off-street parking! Think of the snowstorms!”). My head was spinning after we wrapped up our first venture out. We mainly did a “drive by” of some homes for sale in Collingswood and then checked out a new construction for condos right next to the speedline. The building was beautiful, but SO expensive. We are determined to stay within an affordable price range, so we shall see…

Saturday D ended up getting called into work so I decided I’d drop him off and check out the weekend sales. I was in desperate need of winter clothes and hadn’t been shopping in forever. Well, I definitely made up for it yesterday! Donnie worked from 2 p.m. until 11 p.m. and I literally spent that entire time out at the stores! I initially wasn’t having a whole lot of luck at the mall (although I did score some cute shoes on sale at Macy’s), but then I saw they opened a Francesca’s boutique there, a little shop that is also in the Marlton Promenade that my cousin Katie turned me on to. I nabbed three dresses from the sales rack and a purse that was 40% off AND a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law before I met D for his dinner break.

After that, I headed to Target. Oh, Target, my sweet, sweet mistress. Their clothing selection can often be a bit “hit or miss,” but yesterday, it was definitely a major hit. They had a ton of new sweaters/turtlenecks for $9 and an amazing selection on the clearance rack. I walked out of there with an obscene amount of clothes for a price that was nowhere near as obscene as I was expecting. Granted, I’m going to have to carefully budget myself until next paycheck, but it was well worth it…

Sunday, D and I did a “practice run” to my new job location, since I will be taking public transit to get there. I am very grateful we did this because there are 2 different stops on 2 different lines with the same exact name. And guess which one I thought it was supposed to be? Yeah… we definitely walked around a pretty sketchy area trying to find the skybridge that would take us to my office building. Fortunately, we found someone to direct us to the next station and then found another person who informed us I will have to take another train to connect to the station we need. Blergh. I was really frustrated/freaked out because based on the prices we were seeing for this additional rail line, it looked as though the cost of my commute would be WAY more than I expected (like, $350 more), but through some investigating and a help of our friend Tim, we learned that it’s only the difference of about $30, which isn’t so bad. This will mean I’m going to have to get up even earlier than I initially thought in order to catch not one, but 2 trains, although the difference is really only 15 minutes, so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much… right?

After getting home, D and I ate some more Thanksgiving leftovers and watched the new Alice in Wonderland while I finally packed away my summer clothes to make way for my new winter digs and D wrapped the presents that we already bought. After I finished with the clothes, I finally cut up the t-shirts I’m hoping to use for the t-shirt blanket that I’ve been talking about making for about 2 years now (ever since visiting Kate & Scott in Scotland…). I still have a ways to go, but at least my closet is looking acceptable again and I finally have made some headway on a project I’ve been pushing to the top shelf of my closet for months.

And now I’m trying to bang out the blogs. I hate getting behind on this, but life keeps happening faster than I can write about. I’m hoping that soon, with the commute and the pay increase, I can buy a little laptop or maybe an ipad so I can update this more often and from the trenches, but we’ll see… right now I need to focus on paying off the things I’ve already bought and the one thing I have yet to buy that I need to: my plane ticket for my Euro trip this spring!!