January update

Whew. January went by in a blur of singing, drinking, and cat-petting. I can not believe the first month of 2011 is over. It feels like I've done so much already this year, and at the same time nothing at all. We took short trips to both sides of the U.S. - New York first, for snow, and then California, for rain. And you know resolutions don't apply when you are out of town, right? On to the update:

Read: I read not one but four books this month! The Fountainhead, Feisengrad, I'm With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie, and In Defense of Food. I started off with a big new stack from my wishlist, instead of the old pile of unreads, and it really helped.

(one down, one to go...)

Eat healthier: Lots of cooking this month, lots of fruits and vegetables. And the new common sense guideline Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. to keep me inspired to eat less processed food.

Cook more: We got out of the groove due to traveling and having nothing in the fridge, but are right back in it. Recent new recipes include lamb stew, beef stew, wilted baby spinach (great way to use up leftover salad, and sauteed mushrooms.

(beef stew in progress...)

Play guitar better: Against my resolutions, I quit taking guitar lessons. Honestly, I haven't even picked up my guitar in 2011! Now I have to find somewhere to go to keep me sane and from becoming a hermit. Cooking lessons? Learn to speak Italian? Join a gym? Better decide fast because I adjust to doing nothing pretty well.

Like the way I look: I've been doing a great job wearing my new pretty dresses, and shoes. And my leather mini even went out for a spin. And almost always bright red lipstick, new favorite: Revlon's Fire and Ice. (Although my hair, and nails, are in desperate need of attention.)

(this new red sweater got a lot of play in January... it has a tail!)

Exercise: Nope, not even once.

Keep keeping the house clean: Yes! I wanted to start sweeping/mopping more, and the addition of a kitty cat definitely made this a must. And thanks to hubby, the trunk full of Goodwill-destined clothes and shoes finally made it there.

Wake up early: yes, and no. Mostly yes.

Diary/Blog and photos: Only 12 blog posts for January means I haven't even done this half of the days. And although I've been wearing my nice clothes much more, they aren't usually getting photographed. I need to work on this.

Improve day-to-day apartment living: All of the apartment purchases this month have been cat-related. And we still don't have a pizza cutter, although we haven't actually eaten pizza so far this year.

(kit-cat needed an awful lot of stuff...)

it came true

The fortune cookie came first, shortly before the photograph. It still makes me smile- even then I knew it was true.

what I want to wear right now...

Let's face it, I have exactly two skirts in my wardrobe. One is a pleated mini that I bought for part of a costume, and one is a leather mini that I adore, but never wear. Right now, I'm wishing for simple little a-line skirts to wear with sweaters.

kit cat

Um, I know this may not seem like a big deal, but it is. We agreed long ago to no pets, in fact my exact words were: If I ever ask if we can have a kitten or a puppy, promise you will say no, no matter what. We keep life as simple as possible with as little responsibility as possible and as few ties. But this little (big) fellow crawled up into our laps and lives.

And I am very happy about it (so far). All he does is sleep (a lot) and chase little balls (sometimes) and he does let out a few cries in the middle of the night every night (less and less), but he is really nice to have around.

Miss Pamela

Just finished I'm With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie. I've been somewhat fascinated by old-school groupies lately. This book seemed terribly honest and she did a brilliant job of recapturing the feeling of being a teenage girl. Even with all the name-dropping going on, the story was less about celebrities and more about a young woman's quest for love and identity and purpose in life - with a healthy dose of navigating through pre-concieved moral ideas, religious guilt, and feminist confusion. I could relate so well with her journey, even without the rock stars (maybe if I'd been born in LA instead of Louisiana?).

I feel like I might be a groupie, for my husband, and that he lets me not have to deal with finding my own genius (and, let's be honest, the potential discovery that I have none) because he's got enough for both of us. I think that's what the book was about mostly, being lost and trying to find yourself though another person. And you do have to applaud her for at least being lucky/smart enough to choose people for her crushes and semi-one-night stands that she could eventually make a career writing about.

in defense of food

Started and finished this book on the plane from San Francisco. (Um, 3 books so far for January, not a bad way to start off that resolution.) I bought it because of the cover tagline: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. I think this is a pretty great philosophy towards food.

Reading the book felt a lot like a validation of our lifestyle, and made me feel like we're doing ok. I have been trying to eat more veggies, cut back on meat, and cook more; this book advocates all. I think the best real-world tip that I got from it was to look at ingredients when choosing food and pick the ones with the fewest, most recognizable, ingredients. This actually resulted in a few different choices in the grocery store yesterday, particularly my choice of crackers and yogurt. It also opened my eyes a little to the importance of organic food, and eating locally, which before I assumed was always a gimmick.

I would probably not have purchased this book except that I was at the airport, but I thought it was a great read - interesting and informative although mostly common sense. I would recommend it, but only if you can borrow it from a friend or the library. It's not complicated enough information to need to keep around as a reference.

San Francisco

There were little dogs everywhere acting like humans and no one minded, like this one sitting at a stool of a coffee shop...


I love the different skies you get to see out of the window. So close you could touch it.

It's nice to be home.

magazine inspiration

There's no hiding my love for photographic prints on clothing, and this galaxy print on is my favorite right now (on Kristen Dunst - who I also happen to love - in BlackBook):

It's by Christopher Kane, who is pretty much the king of photo prints, remember the gorilla collection?

And when I saw this spread:

of Gwyneth Paltrow in InStyle magazine, I decided that she has the perfect bangle look:

Just a perfect mix, and reminded me of my studded bangle from Crangi Family Project.

Pretty perfect fixed/messy hair too. And can I just say that this woman is 38, and is totally pulling off not dressing her age. She may be a new style icon...

yay for resolution progress

On the book a month front at least, thanks to one left in our hotel room. It was a strange, Orwellian type of fiction, but very quick to read. Also got a start on The Fountainhead, although only through part of the introduction. I think I love Ayn Rand.

New York

It's finally snowing- huge, fluffy, perfect drops! Snow is one of my favorite things and I can't wait to get out in it!


This year my resolutions are sort of a continuation of last year's. I kicked ass at my new years' resolutions for the first half of 2010, but then slowly quit every one. Nothing earth-shattering here, just a few little things that make me better when I do them:

  • Read. I love to curl up with a good book, and want to remember to choose that instead of the internet sometimes. I plan to keep with last year's goal of at least one book a month, but this year I'm forgetting about reading the unread ones, just giving them away since I obviously don't want to read them. For this year's classics, I've got Les Miserables and The Fountainhead to start on. And maybe a few off this list.
  • Eat healthier. Which means fruits (1.5 cups) and vegetables (2.5 cups) every day. I enjoy eating veggies, so this should be easy. The way my body feels is totally linked with how I eat, and this year I want to feel as good as possible all the time. Also, I want to drink more water, eat more fish, and eat meat no more than once a day...
  • Cook more. I love finding and trying new recipes.
  • Like the way I look. Meaning, get dressed in clothes I like every day instead of wearing too big sweatpants and hubby's t-shirts around the house. This means investing in some nice lounge wear? Also, want to start wearing the things I love that just sit in my closet waiting for the right occasion, like jewelry and purses.) The other part of this will be going to the salon often enough that I don't ever have gray roots, I hate seeing them in the mirror. And a little makeup never hurt anyone. Neither would some exercise:
  • Exercise! 30 minutes, more days than not. I like walk/jogging, and this translates to at least 3 miles, at least 4 days a week.
  • Play guitar better. I've taken lessons once a week for a year now, and still suck. I think I've learned so much over this year, but to get better I need to actually practice. Often. My guitar instructor just suddenly quit, and I've just started with a new one. I think this is a good opportunity to try a different style and maybe be able to reset my habits.
  • Keep keeping the house clean. This year, I vow to sweep and mop more. It's so nice for people to drop by and not feel embarrassed that your house is messy. Keep keeping the clutter out, which means not buying things we don't need and won't use and keep on tossing things to Goodwill (thank goodness hubby and I are both so good at letting go). And on the flip side:
  • Not hesitate to buy the little things that would improve daily life (ie. a pizza cutter) and fix all the broken/leaking things around the house.
  • Keep a diary/blog consistently and take more pictures all the time, especially on trips. (I mean, hey, we won't be young and good-looking forever...)
  • And lastly, the goal I've made every year since high school: Wake up at early. This year this means at 9:30 am every single weekday. Which means I need to start going to bed at a decent time every night.