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Monthly Archives: December 2013

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i’ve talked a lot on this blog about my homebody nature – how i’d rather stay in than go out, how i crave and thrive on routine, how i prefer things to be planned out, so i know what to expect and when. i’m not, most would say, the most adventurous of ladies. in fact, that last sentence was the understatement of the century. adventure isn’t really my jam. routine, i get. routine, i know. but spontaneity scares the shit out of me. i’d love to be one of those chill, go with the flow girls. god, i wish i was. but i know i am not, and likely, will never be.

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my friend martha, though? she’s one of those girls through and through. she is one of the most open, adventurous, down ass chicks (really, that’s the only way to describe her) i have ever met in my entire life. she is spontaneity at its best, always up for a new challenge, a new place, a new food or person. she’s a free spirit, and i mean that as the ultimate compliment: she goes where her heart takes her, and for this, i admire her greatly.

most recently, her heart took her to san juan del sur, a beautiful little beach down on the southwest coast of nicaragua. see, martha got burnt out at her job as a nurse in boston. and unlike most of us, who would suck that unhappiness up until it ate us alive, she got out. and then she said to herself, what should i do next? what will make me happy? what will make me feel full? and a chance to do some health research in nicaragua came up. so she took it. and she leapt, eyes open, into the unknown.

pretty incredible, right? when she told me her plans, i too was feeling a bit burnt out at my job. i hadn’t had a real vacation in years, and i thought to myself, i should go to nicaragua and visit her. except her plans were up in the air, and i couldn’t book dates until the semi last minute, and i wouldn’t be able to stay with her, which would mean booking a hotel on my own, and traveling alone, and all of a sudden, it didn’t seem like such a great idea.

because it was scary, and new, and different. and adventurous.

and then i did it anyway. because it was all those things, and i needed to push myself out of my comfort zone. so i booked my ticket on the blind faith that even if i was traveling alone, and even if i was staying alone, martha would be there – and during the times that she wasn’t, i would be alone, and that would be a good thing. i would explore. i would practice my spanish. i would volunteer. i would just be.

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as it turned out, while i did stay alone for 2 nights, i spent another two in a beautiful house (see below) with martha and her dear friend sara, who is one of the most fabulous ladies i’ve ever had the pleasure of spending time with.

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and then we spent another two nights in a fancy schmancy resort that was uber lux, but also uber filled with insects. but hey, i can’t balk at that view. who could?

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it was a week filled with some serious girl talk, some crazy dancing times, a lot of rum and cokes, and enough beach and pool time for me to a) come back looking “seriously relaxed” and “very tan” – two phrases that are never, ever, associated with me.

i have a good deal of stories to tell about my week in nica, but i’ll do you the favor of spreading those out a bit, so you’re not reading 9 million words at once. in the meantime, though, here are a few other pictures. i tell you, the sunsets there…i’ve never seen anything like them.

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sometimes, when i’m having a really rough time at work, i daydream about quitting my day job, and doing my own thing. you know, writing for this here blog (which currently has under 200 readers, let’s be real), writing copy for companies that actually matter, and baking up a storm in my spare time. and on those days, i dream of an office that looks pretty darn close to this one – 95 yesler, which belongs to a group of inspiring seattle creatives, including brian paquette and cassandra lavalle (who pens one of my favorite blogs, coco+kelley).

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for starters, let’s talk about that insane coffered ceiling. the architectural detail in the space is positively stunning. i mean, hi, those windows are INSANE. the all white palate really lets the historical beauty of the building shine, and the abundance of natural light helps to hammer those details home.

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how cute is their holiday tree? i think if i were to celebrate christmas, i’d get really into tree decorating. and christmas cookie baking, of course. ain’t nothing like the holiday spirit to get a girl in the groove. also, let’s talk about that chair peeking out of the side of the frame. you can see the set more clearly in the image below. they’re a vintage find scored in seattle, and i am positively in LOVE. they make the space. brass and velvet beauties, be still my heart.

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how insane is the light in this photo? those windows are just incredible. i can’t imagine it would be possible to feel frustrated in a space this gorgeous.

95-Yesler-offices-_-6 95-Yesler-offices-_-4all the desks in the space are ikea (!!) and are mobile and convertible, giving the team the flexibility to push them to the side when they do photoshoots and styling projects. smart, right? i’m also liking that expedit shelf; placed vertically, it makes for a whole lot of storage, and also fits perfectly into that little nook.

gosh, i am in love. what i would give for an office like this (god bless corporate america). hey, at least i have open seating, right?

4taylor-500x666did you see this beautiful first apartment in brooklyn, featured on design*sponge the other week? i fell head over heels for the space, mostly because it’s got everything i dreamed i’d have in my first new york apartment. i moved to the city having very little understanding of what it meant to find (and secure) an apartment in the concrete jungle. i thought crown moldings and hardwood floors (not parquet, yuck) came standard. i thought i’d have lots of light and maybe a little balcony on which to stand and smoke cigarettes in the evenings (i don’t even smoke cigarettes, mind you, but the image is romantic and seems fitting to a new new yorker). i thought i’d have slightly chipping paint in the kitchen, and exposed brick in the living room, and the sort of quaint, early 1900s light fixtures that are so ugly they’ve become cool again.2taylor-500x666

in my first apartment, i got one of these things: a little bit of exposed brick walls. but i also paid way too much for a shoebox of a room with little to no natural light. i awoke each morning to the sound of pigeons cooing. i could not tell what the weather was come daylight; my window abutted another building. it was less romantic than i envisioned, and so when i moved a year later, i looked for two things and two things only: light, and space. i got them both, but with them, i sacrificed character. now, i live in a much larger shoebox, but it’s all angular lines and 1950s finishes (parquet floors, yuck!). it’s modern, yes, and updated, yes, and for that i am thankful. but it has none of the charm, none of the character, that i associate with a new york apartment. i’ve come to believe such apartments are hard to find – a place where you can get space to entertain your friends and family, while still getting original hardwood floors and gorgeous crown moldings and quirky light fixtures to boot.10taylor-500x750

apparently, i was wrong. they might be hard to find, but they are not impossible. case in point: this beautiful crown heights apartment, which belongs to a 25 year old girl named taylor. taylor found and designed the space all by herself, and it’s a beautiful, layered home comprised of flea market finds, hipster furniture pieces, and cozy antique tchotckes. i want it for my own! all of it! this home gives me hope that someday, i can get a one bedroom apartment just for me (and penny, of course), with all the charm and character i want. and maybe the paint will be peeling just a little bit, but it won’t matter, because i’ll have tin ceilings and herringbone hardwoods and all will be right with the world.11taylor-500x333 3taylor-500x666 1taylor-500x750 9taylor-500x750 12taylor-500x750 5taylor-500x333 6taylor-500x333 7taylor-500x333 13taylor-500x750 bathroomhall 14taylor 8taylor-500x375

a girl can dream!

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i haven’t had a ton of opportunities to shop for men over the holidays, mostly because my family is comprised of all women, and my guy friends have never been of the gift-exchanging sort. and of course, i’m single, and have been for quite a while. which means i basically only buy gifts for women. that being said, i had a fabulous time putting together this gift guide for gents. let’s just say i am doing some imaginary shopping for my imaginary boyfriend (who of course is the type to make fancy cocktails and use fancy beard oil). hey, if this is imaginary, he can be whoever i want him to be, right?

for those of you with actual men in your lives, godspeed. and here’s hoping you like this handy dandy gentleman’s gift guide.

happy shopping!

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ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE | TEN | ELEVEN | TWELVE

shop other installments of the 2013 gift guide:

stocking stuffers

bits and bobs for besties

paper snob

beauty junkie

office space

gemstones

all that glitters

imageI’m currently blogging live from the tiny little screen of my iPhone out of the beautiful San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. It is pretty, the people have stories to tell, and I’m getting such a refreshing perspective on life. Be back next week with lots of rum and photos.

Hasta luego!