Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the beginning, and a sofa

Some of the first things I moved into the new place were my two Simon Pearce goblets from Hannah and my collection of wine from the basement. Kind of random, but also very sophisticated, don't you think? It's all part of the new me: homeowner, grown up, and loving it. There. Now the place feels a little more homey and elegant—we can start tackling the gritty stuff.

We started moving on Monday after a fabulous long weekend in Nantucket. (I'll have to write more on that later.) Monday was somewhat hopeless. We moved two chairs and a picture of a cucumber. We were exhausted.

Last night was better. We managed to get through and pack up almost our entire attic of sporting goods, which included 10 snowboards, 7 large boxes filled with winter jackets and gear, 2 golf bags, 2 pairs of skis, 1 bin of Christmas ornaments, a skateboard, helmet, and other various items... Now it's all sitting in our living room ready to be transported. That's the un-fun part.

Oh, and we finally agreed on a sofa, which we ordered along with a matching chair from the Burlington Furniture Company, and which will arrive—God willing—in 3 to 4 weeks. Yay!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


There once was a plane to Nantucket
With white leather seats like big buckets.
Some kids rode that plane,
Gurgling flutes of champagne,
And landed bubbly and sunny in Nantucket.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

solace at work

Right beside the EatingWell offices where I work in Charlotte, there’s a quiet pond surrounded by friendly cattails. There’s the sound of bullfrogs and birds. There are fields stretching towards the tree-lined Route 7 and rolling Mount Philo beyond. The air is speckled with the sweet smell of wildflowers—like cotton candy—warm from the sun. I walk there sometimes when I need a little solace. I go there to think and to calm down.

I went there today. I wanted to stay there all day. I wish there was a bench by the pond...

It oftentimes feels counter-intuitive that I live in downtown Burlington, yet everyday have to drive 25 minutes into the countryside to get to work. Most people have it the other way round.

But on this day, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It feels so nice to be wrapped in a furry cloak of cattails. It feels so good to have the birds whip around your head and lift the weight of the day. It feels good to just be quiet, to be simple and to observe.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

about our home

For the past few weeks, the thing that's been on my mind the most, the thing I've wanted to write about the most is: the house. The one that Colin and I are about to buy together. But I've avoided writing about it mostly because I didn't want to get my hopes up. I didn't want to get anyone else's hopes up. A lot can go wrong between now and Monday. (That's when we're supposed to close).

Still... I can't stop thinking about that house. It's beautiful. And it's almost ours. Almost.

We've been watching episode after episode of renovation shows on HGTV to get ideas. We've been dreaming about how we'll decorate it. What kind of style? Do we agree on style? (Thank God we discovered we do.) We even went furniture shopping over the tax-free weekend. Window shopping, that is—we didn't buy anything. $6000 for a sofa? Holy crap. We got lots of ideas.

But the whole idea of buying a place together can be very overwhelming. And as I sit here in our lovely little apartment overlooking the lake with our friendly landlord and our friendly neighbors, I already feel nostalgic for this place we've called home for the last two years.

This apartment will be a landmark in my memories. It was our first place together, Col and I. We moved in together after dating for a year. We were fresh with anticipation of what was in store. We realized how much we have in common. We discovered ways to deal with the differences—to enjoy them. We loved playing house. We became much, much closer. That's around when we started a tradition of stopping at Ikea on the way home from his parents' house in New York. Just to get ideas. And to fantasize. And sometimes buy things when we were feeling rich.

Of course, home is a lot more than the material things—and it's a lot more than owning property. But owning a house—our very own—will be a very significant step for me. When I was young, our family moved around a lot. We lived in some pretty cool houses and some pretty crappy ones. Sometimes we had to move, just because the landlord sold the house. Thankfully, we always had a roof over our heads, but there was a constant, uneasy feeling in the back of my mind that we would somehow be uprooted again.

We lived through those years, and I believe we're the better for it. Because now that we're about to buy, I feel especially proud. Very proud. And now that we're about to move, I don't at all feel that we're being uprooted. We're taking a big step towards being more permanent. And that is a good feeling.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

happy and healthy in burlington

Looks like Burlington, Vermont once again made the cut for Self magazine's top 5 healthiest U.S. cities for women. Why? Low violent crime rate, good air quality, and fewer reported STDs than the national average. Hmm... that's funny. I think I'll go for a run.

Yay Burlington!

(P.S. You can see how other cities measured up here.)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

stale--or fabulous?

Papa e-mailed Hannah and me tonight to tell us that our blogs are stale. Poop. I know. The irony being that the state of my blog is inversely proportional to the state of my life: Stale blog = Pretty freakin' great life (who has the time to write?). So now that things have settled down, here's a little color from the past coupla weeks. It was tough to choose just a few highlights:

Colin and I went to the market, packed a picnic and spent a sunny Sunday afternoon down on the waterfront with each other—and a bottle of wine. We discovered some great new cheeses and we took the time to breath and remind ourselves why we love this town so much. It was the first time I had been to the waterfront in over a year.

Then, I went to Florida.

I went with my parents to visit Mama Sonia (my grandmother) in Winterpark. I was so glad to be able to see her for a few days. The first day we got there, she wasn't feeling very well at all and I was discouraged. But towards the end of our visit, she was almost her old self again and quite chipper. I couldn't stop crying when I said goodbye. But I don't think she saw.

Mama Sonia gets tired a lot these days. While we were there, she napped a lot, so Mummy, Papa and I would go to Park Avenue and blow off some steam. Here's a chocolate mousse that Mummy and I had one day at 310 (yes, the same place of the infamous doggy doo incident last year). It was 90 degrees out, but we still sat outside—we were so fed up with freezing air conditioning at that point.

We got back to Burlington the night of July 4th and Colin picked us up from the airport. All of a sudden I was home and it was as though the whole week hadn't happened. July 4th hadn't happened—I missed the entire celebration. Florida was only in memories. And yet, Burlington seemed kind of distant too. I was a little messy in my head. Colin and I walked into town so I could ground myself. It was 10 at night, but good old Leunig's was still serving dinner, so I got a salad (they have the best grilled tofu in the world there). Colin got his favorite cheese plate. And we both ordered some sauvignon blanc to take the edge off a hot night. I was feeling myself again.

Then, we woke up and it was Emi's birthday weekend and all a blur. On Saturday, we went to their pool—it turned into a pool party. We all got some color and relaxation. Then we went home and got ready for a surprise birthday dinner!

Emi and Kev came to our house beforehand, so we could give her gifts and have yummy raspberry fizzy drinks on the porch. She got moulah and Chanel lip gloss from mummy & papa. A Tiffany charm bracelet from her two favorite sisters (we started her off with a "Sister" charm!). A summer full of musical fun from Col (he gave her a bunch of CDs). And tickets to the Feist concert at Shelburne Museum the next day with the whole gang, sans Poopy :-(

After gifts, we went to Trattoria Delia for a very special dinner with friends. I think Emi had a really good time.

The next day, I spent about 5 hours in the kitchen making potato salad, three-bean salad, lemon cream and other goodies for a picnic. We headed to Shelburne Museum around 6 and enjoyed one of the best summer evenings so far, a delicious picnic with friends and an awesome concert with Juana Molina and Feist.

In between all of this, we've been diligently tying up all the loose ends with the new place. Our closing is happening in less than two weeks. I'm still crossing my fingers; I think it's really going to happen!

Papa, since you were wondering—we were hoping you could help us with this crack in the plaster:



Tuesday, July 01, 2008

i heart halloumi

I always dread the drive down to NYC. Mostly because I know we'll be spending just about as much time in the car as we do on the actual streets of the city. But you know what? In the end, it's always SO worth it. We drove down to stay with our friends Courtney and Spencer last Friday night and got in around 12:30. I went straight to bed and didn't wake up till after 10 the next morning. The boys had already gone surfing and were on their way back to the city by time we gals got out of bed.

Courtney and I decided that their absence was a perfect excuse to hit up Cafe Mogador next door for a Moroccan brunch. I ordered my favorite dish: poached eggs with tomatoes and halloumi cheese. Mmm, it's so good! You just can't get that kind of meal in Burlington, Vermont.

After brunch, Courtney and I decided to go get our nails done. For $10, I just couldn't refuse. And I was so inspired by my nail color, I bought a skirt to match it from American American and wore it that very night. Here's me, waiting outside Lil Frankies for dinner in my new purple skirt and my new purple nails:

Dinner was so yummy. I had handmade beet and ricotta ravioli and a delicious Italian white wine (I don't remember the name; it was in Italian). After dinner, it was time to celebrate Courtney and Colin's birthdays. We went to a karaoke place in Little Korea. It was... a little sketchy.

The walls were covered in silver mirrors and there were white fake flowers hanging from the ceiling:

And the song list was mostly in Korean...

Still, we had a blast with tambourines and all. We finished the night on all cylinders with a late-night dance party in the basement of Lit:

Next morning, Col and I stopped in for another Middle Eastern breakfast at Cafe Orlin, before heading out of town. Short trip, but so good. Thanks Court & Spence! Hope we see you soon (and that it's for a house-warming party). xoxo

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