Thursday, December 15, 2011

This Is My Happy Place

Monday, December 12, 2011

Music Monday: Christmas Wrapping

One of my favorite holiday songs plus a ridiculous light display? I'm sold.

K and I had a date night this past weekend that included driving around to look at Christmas lights and then stuffing our faces with cupcakes. I'm still upset we didn't see anything even close to this. C'mon, Chapel Hill!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pretty in Pink

Oh, hello there! Since we last chatted I've gotten married, taken a fantastic honeymoon in Vermont, released a major project at work, enjoyed life as newlyweds, traveled to Seattle for Thanksgiving, and done a lot of cooking, baking, and nesting.

One thing I've tried to cut back on? Shopping. At least on clothing for myself (though we're working on being more frugal overall). However, when I literally gasped in delight when I spotted these pretty little shoes at the Target (ask my friend P for corroboration), I knew I had to bring them home. I've loved this style of loafers this season, but have only seen them in leopard print. While I love me some leopard, I've maxed out my quota in the shoe department (the two pairs I already have seems a bit excessive), so pink, my favorite color, are the perfect alternative. While they aren't quite broken in just yet, they make me smile every time I put them on. I'd say they were definitely worth $20.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our Wedding Invitations

Yesterday the North Carolina Senate also voted to pass the anti-LGBT marriage amendment. That means it will now go on the ballot in May 2012 as part of the primaries. Eight months to fight like hell to prevent this amendment, y'all.

However, our wedding plans are well on their way. The fabulous Ellie posted photos of our invitations on her beautiful blog, with which we're absolutely smitten.  We love the rustic touches that are done in a way that's still totally elegant.

I've always had a thing for pretty paper goods, so I knew that I wanted our invitations to be really well-designed and special, and Ellie has definitely gone above and beyond our expectations. It also makes us really happy to be working with someone based right here in the Triangle. We're currently working with her on the day-of stationery and we can't wait to see what else she has up her (very creative) sleeves!

{Also, a special thanks to Ellie for letting me share these photos here!}

Photos: You Go, I Go, We Go
Design: Hello Tenfold

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On Overcoming

Yesterday, the GOP-led North Carolina House of Representatives quickly pushed through a vote on the proposed constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage. Conveniently, they did this the day before today's gigantic rally (which is totes still happening, btw).

As someone who works for an advocacy organization, it never ceases to amaze me how strongly I still react when my rights and the rights of others are being attacked and debated by legislators (and/or voted on by the general public). Yes, some could say that I should develop a thicker skin. That's fine. However, I'm also human. It's not as though I spend every day the General Assembly is in session curled up in a ball crying in the corner. I often get angry at the hatred, ignorance, bigotry, and privilege that exists in our world. A lot of the time, especially after debates, I feel the need to take showers to wash off all of the horrible things that were said.

Obviously, this debate hit closer to home than some others, especially since our wedding (here in NC) is just five weeks away. I love Kate so incredibly much, and the idea that people find this objectionable enough to actively work to make our lives more challenging makes me absolutely sick.

Aside from that, there are a few other things that made me particularly depressed about yesterday's events (and that kept me up way too late writing this post):

  • If I was this down about these actions, imagine how young LGBT kids who have just come out or are still in the closet must feel.
  • It's pretty sad that we have to fight to keep something we already don't have from becoming even less accessible. Since same-sex marriage is already illegal in North Carolina, it's not as if we're working to gain access to marriage, just to keep this discrimination from becoming even more codified in our state.
  • That, if the amendment passes the Senate (which could be as early as today), the fight is just beginning. This proposed amendment would then go on the ballot for a vote by the general public in May 2012. 

Yet amid all this insanity, there is still reason to be hopeful. Equality NC has increased their Facebook fans by over 17,000 (and counting) since last Friday (!) with the help of Facebook co-founder and NC native Chris Hughes. People from all over the world are sending their love and support.

This speech from Rep. Marcus Brandon (as well as many others from other legislative opponents of the amendment), who is currently the only openly-LGBT member of the General Assembly, is also really fantastic.

And here's the main thing I have to keep reminding myself: these anti-gay legislators are running scared. They're part of a dying breed, a rapidly decreasing number of people who support state-sanctioned discrimination. They are using this amendment as a desperate attempt to drum up support from a base that cares less and less about this issue. People in our state have real problems, like unemployment and budget cuts, and they want to see their legislators focus on this instead of spending upwards of $150,000 to reconvene a special hate session.

Regardless of what happens with this amendment, they will go down as being on the wrong side of history. Even though the road to full equality for all LGBT people (which includes marriage equality) may be long and rocky, I firmly believe that we'll make it there. I believe in my heart of hearts that Kate's and my future children will be genuinely shocked to learn that we weren't always treated the same as everyone else because of our sexual orientation.

And in the meantime? We have to keep our chins up and keep on fighting like our rights depend on it. Because they do.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Music Monday: New York State of Mind

Even though I was in Charleston and then traveling home yesterday, my thoughts and prayers were (and are) very much with everyone impacted by that day. I can't believe it's been ten years.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bonne weekend!

With the help of Labor Day, I can't help but feel like this week has completely flown by! I'm headed down to the always lovely Charleston, South Carolina for a bit of pre-wedding fun with friends. All I've requested is to visit the beach, a gay bar, and the gigantic TJ Maxx and Marshall's. Should be some pretty easy requests to fill, no?

I hope y'all have a fantastic weekend, too!

A Functional Entryway

Right now our 'entryway' is composed of a stair landing with enough room to open the front door and an adjacent closet (read: it's crowded). I'm dreaming big for a future house that allows us to have plenty of space for storage and/or cleaning off our winter boots. Because of course my dreams still include being obsessively organized...

Source: via Hillary on Pinterest

Source: via Hillary on Pinterest

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Virtual Dress Up: Zara

In case you hadn't heard the exciting news, Zara, the fantastically fashionable, moderately priced European clothing store, began offering online shopping in the US yesterday! Since the nearest physical store location is in DC, I'm much more excited to play virtual dress up with their items, knowing that I can much more readily make a purchase should I fall in lust with anything (I'm sure Kate is really excited about this development, too...).

Here are some of my favorite selections from their current offerings:

double breasted frock coat, $169

knitted blazer, $89.90

sequin jacket, $129

dress with elastic waist, $89.90

bell bottom jeans, $79.90

twisted yarn dress, $39.90

felt shopper, $159

Have y'all shopped at Zara before? If not, will you now? What are some of your favorite picks for the fall?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Weekend at Pilot Mountain

pilot mountain in the distance

pretty trees on a short little hike

the path

a quick jaunt to mount airy, birthplace and childhood home of andy griffith and inspiration of mayberry

from the top of pilot mountain

sweaty after a hike to the top

long leaf pines and a view


she's pretty cute

hooray for sweatastic self-portraits

delicious post-hike mexican food

half a tamale with black beans and plantains

fun logo from the restaurant in boone, nc {which has lots of great veggie options!}

 storm rolling into pilot mountain {also a view from the top, but this time we drove}

Here are a few of my favorite shots from our trip this past weekend. It was so nice to get away for awhile and spend time camping and hiking, as well as taking a few day trips. Western North Carolina is really lovely and I love having a chance to explore there whenever possible. I hope y'all had an equally fantastic weekend- I'm already dreaming of the next one!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Calling for Equality

As you may or may not know, Kate and I are engaged and getting married next month (!) here in North Carolina. Same-sex marriage isn't legal here, but since we've made this state home for the past six years (and counting), we feel that it's important to get married in the place we consider home, surrounded by our families and friends. 

We're so excited to be joining our lives together here, but the awareness that we can't get legally married here is particularly acute as we're planning our honeymoon to Vermont, where we'll have an entirely separate civil ceremony. Though this will obviously be exciting for us, it will have absolutely zero meaning as far as the state of North Carolina is concerned when we get back. We'll still have to file taxes separately and list ourselves as being single, even though that obviously isn't true.

While New York recently passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, in North Carolina we're currently fighting for essentially the reverse of that- to not have our constitution say that same-sex couples like us can't get married (convoluted, no?). Next week the North Carolina General Assembly is reconvening for a "special session" on constitutional amendments. One that's currently on the slate is House Bill 777/Senate Bill 106, the so-called "Defense of Marriage" act, which would create a constitutional amendment against same-sex mariage here in North Carolina. We're currently the only state in the south that doesn't have one, but, like I said earlier, same-sex couples already can't get married here.

What this amendment will do is to write hatred and bigotry into our state's founding document. It would also bar civil unions and prohibit both public and private entities from offering domestic partnership benefits like health insurance. It will even nullify the largely ceremonial domestic partnership Kate and I received through our little town.  A ridiculous slap in the face, if you ask me. For a full rundown of what this bill would (and wouldn't) do, click here.

With only a week until the NCGA meets back in Raleigh, there are lots of ways you can get involved. As you'll see above, Equality North Carolina (our state's truly awesome LGBT rights organization where- in the interest of full disclosure- I've had the privilege of interning and volunteering) is hosting a rally in Raleigh next week against the amendment. If you're local, please join! It's so important to show legislators that this isn't something that's wanted by the people of our state. ENC is also hosting a series of vigils across the state the night before, so be sure to check those out, too. And p.s.: did you see that Chely Wright is going to be at the rally and the vigil in Raleigh? As if you needed further incentive to attend!

They're also holding phone banks across the state every day this week from 12-9pm to encourage folks to contact their legislators to oppose this bill. Check out their website for more info or to sign up!

Don't live in NC? You can still make a contribution to Equality NC and/or follow them on Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word about what's going on here. You can find out the status of same-sex partnership recognition in your state and join the fight there to make it more inclusive, if applicable.

The take-away message here? Get informed and get involved no matter where you are so that this type of discrimination stops impacting a whole lot of folks, including Kate and yours truly.

From the Farmers' Market

Happy Tuesday! I hope y'all had a fantastic long weekend. I'll post a longer update later, but Kate and I spent it camping in lovely Pilot Mountain, NC. We didn't leave until mid-day on Saturday, but we still managed to take a bit of a rush trip to the market, since I had my wedding dress fitting (!) at 9am.

Kate came along for the trip to the market, which is always a treat in my book. Here's what we picked up:

a whole mess of lettuce, tomatoes, {even more} chocolate chip banana bread, peaches, + bacon

That last item there needs a bit more explaining, since both Kate and I identify as vegetarians. Since we're both vegetarians for mainly environmental reasons (as well as health), the occasional meat isn't really a huge deal (although the looks most folks give us when we try to explain that is pretty fun). So Kate gets locally produced bacon from time to time at the market and I'll order some seafood if we're close to the coast. Since we eat vegetarian about 98% of the time, we're still keeping the label.

in all of its frozen and packaged glory

peaches are my fave

I was particularly happy to see that peaches were still being sold since 1) it's getting a bit late in the season and 2) they are one of my favorite parts of summer in the south. I'm fairly convinced that there are few things better than a perfectly ripe in-season peach.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bonne weekend!

After a pretty excellent week, I'm still excited for this long weekend! Our plans may or may not involve exploring these beauties above. Fingers crossed that rain won't get the best of us! Either way, I'm just really looking forward to being active, spending time with Kate, and doing lots of relaxing.

What are y'all up to? Whatever it is, I hope that your weekend is a success!

In case you hadn't seen this...

{image via}

Why yes, you are indeed viewing this correctly. It seems that JC Penney thought it would be awesome to include this really awful shirt in their collection of back to school items for girls. 

I really have no earthly idea why anyone thought it was appropriate to make, sell, or purchase this shirt. Though I shouldn't be surprised, given how many other tops with horrendously awful and/or offensive slogans exist in the world, it still makes me absolutely sick to think that people still buy into stereotypes like "pretty girls can't be smart," "boys are clearly smarter than girls," and "if I like to listen to pop music I can't focus on anything else" (thanks for that last one, product description). Also, since when is not doing your homework "cute and sassy"? I hate that this is what we're teaching kids, and that this is something that some people continue to find humorous.

I could go on (and on) about this, but this piece from Salon says it far better than me:

"It would be wonderful to think we live in a world where the idea that a girl or a woman would prioritize her body over her brain is so ludicrous that it could never be taken seriously. But when the message that women ought to embrace that hierarchy of values is delivered so relentlessly and through so many channels, JCPenney should have realized that its supposedly clever slogan was too on the nose to be worn on anybody’s body as a joke."


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Clawfoot Inspiration

Right now, our bathroom is pretty darn tiny. And I'm 5'10". This makes taking a bath a bit of a logistical challenge. However, I think this two tubs would be absolutely perfect for long, relaxing baths. Nevermind that I rarely have enough time to take a shower before flying out the door.

Perhaps someday I'll have a gigantic clawfoot tub and time enough to enjoy it!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Virtual Dress Up: September Showers

While it's still way too warm for almost any of the pieces below, I think this cozy outfit would be perfect for a deliciously cool Saturday later this month (I can always dream, right?). It's perfect for a trip to the market, brunch with friends, and window shopping (and people watching) around town.

september showers

H M long top, £15
Double breasted trench coat, $198
Citizens of Humanity straight jeans, $160
Hunter rubber rain boots, $125
Deena Ozzy oversized bag, $68
Metal necklace, $48
Clear Bubble Umbrella, $18

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Currently Coveting: Boyfriend Blazer

I stopped into Kohl's while running errands this weekend and haven't been able to get this blazer out of my mind.

The short, ruched sleeves and the pale pink color are pretty fabulous. I think it would be perfect now to throw over my shoulders in air conditioned settings, and then well into the fall and winter as a great layering piece. However, even marked down on sale I haven't been able to justify the price tag quite yet.

From the Farmers' Market

Just as Irene was paying a visit to North Carolina, I headed out on my Saturday morning routine of taking an early morning yoga class and then paying a visit to the farmers' market.

I love the feeling of being up before most of the town, especially on such a rainy and dreary day. Yoga was fabulous as usual and I arrived at the market between big wind gusts and sporadic downpours.

It was definitely less crowded than usual, with both less vendors and customers, which made for a slightly more abbreviated visit.

However, I had enough time to snap this photo while there:

burgundy okra, spotted at two different stands {sadly it didn't make it into my basket}

Here are the goods that made it home:

tomatoes, an heirloom Italian eggplant, leek, red onion, banana chocolate chip bread, zucchini, and sweet potatoes

an up-close shot of the pretty little eggplant

With so much from last week's market, coupled with the goods from our weekly farm box, I tried really hard to not overdo it this weekend. So far these are turning out to be the perfect compliments to our meals this week!

What did you find at the market this week?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Music Monday: Earth, Wind, & Fire

Happy Monday! I hope y'all survived Irene and are in one piece. It was really windy here, but things were relatively calm otherwise and we used the opportunity to get lots done around the house before heading out on a tubing adventure with friends yesterday.

My family is also holding up well in CT, though Mama W and some other relatives are still without power. Fingers crossed that it's back on soon. I'm also sending lots of good thoughts to Vermont, which got slammed by Irene and is dealing with some serious flooding.

On a happier note, since September will be arriving this Thursday (seriously, when did that happen?!), I haven't been able to get this song out of my head and decided to share. Enjoy!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bonne Weekend!

Happy Friday, y'all. I'm so excited that the weekend is here, even though Irene is looking like she could make things quite a bit crazier than usual for most of the East Coast. I'm keeping everyone in her path in my thoughts, but especially eastern North Carolina, as well as my home state of Connecticut (and the rest of the tri-state area).

We're hoping to head farther west in NC to partake in some fun outdoor activities, but we'll see what these storms have in store for us. Either way, I'm planning to start tomorrow off with some early-morning yoga followed by my usual trip to the farmers' market. That coupled with lots of quality time with Kate and I'll be good to go regardless of whatever else the weekend holds!

Let's all meet back here in one piece on Monday, k?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gallery Inspiration

Earlier last year, I created a pretty great gallery wall going up our staircase. It was the perfect mix of photos of friends and family, as well as a few fun vintage ones of my dad and grandmother. However, our former roommate took everything down when he was moving (which I appreciated, since, you know, I value not having picture frames knocked down by a gigantic bed frame:) and I attempted to hastily put them back up the next day.

Sadly, it hasn't looked the same since. I wasn't very smart before taking things down and had zero labeling system. That led to there being a weird surplus of nails in the wall and awkwardly-spaced frames. Since I've been somewhat embarrassed of the state of our wall, I've decided a bit of inspiration was in order!

Gallery-style shelves- perfect for easily switching things up. Sadly, these aren't so practical in a stairway.

I love that these are arranged along a horizontal line. A diagonal up the stairs would be neat as well. Too bad I've never been that great with a level...

While I'm at it, why not create an entire gallery hallway? Sure, it might be a little bit intense, but I do love the bold statement.

Cute little gallery fashioned from an awkward little piece of wall. Me gusta.

This would be fun if we had several generations of family photos. Sadly, we do not. However, the spacing here is also great. Looks like it's time to invest in some more picture frames...

Shockingly, I love the use of a gallery wall as a place to display actual pieces of art. I'm such a traditionalist sometimes. Plus, those hot pink chairs make this image hard to hate. Perhaps it's time to incorporate some artwork into our wall, too. Decisions, decisions...

What about y'all? Do you like gallery walls or think they've become a bit too played-out?