Friday, February 26, 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness.

This past week has been pretty rough for me - lots of personal things going on, and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm just treading water to get by. Student teaching has been effective at keeping my mind off things, but after two snow days (for literally NO snow - maybe 2" even though the forecast called for up to a foot and a half), I had a lot of time to just sit with only my thoughts.

Usually I try not to feel sorry for myself - I know that life isn't fair, and it never will be. Sometimes bad things happen to (pretty) good people, and that's just the way it goes. But as of late, I feel like I've been throwing myself a pity party and just letting myself sit and think of all the "what ifs" that the future holds, which is driving me crazy.

So today, as I sit in the living room of my very good family friend's house (because it is spring break on campus, but not for the school I'm student teaching at, so I'd be all alone at the apartment) I have decided that I need to focus on the positive. The lovely and tres French Morgane invited me to post about things that make me happy. To be completely honest, when I saw that comment she left inviting me to do the same, my initial thought was, "Forget it, I have absolutely nothing to be happy about right now." Instead though, I'm going to attempt to focus on the good, on the things that make me happy.

Flowers in my mother's garden.
My mom spends hours in her gardens during the summer, and the result is gorgeous. After I got my new Nikon camera this summer, I spent a lot of time in my yard, gathering inspiration from all my mom's hard work.

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Pastel handbags.
I think they're lovely. I need to start building my collection of gorgeous handbags.

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Cupcakes.
I think I say this every post I have like this. I can't help it - I just adore cupcakes. Any flavor, any size, doesn't matter - I'll take it.

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(Re)reading the classics.
I've been tearing through the classics - Pride & Prejudice, Catcher in the Rye (for the billionth time)... all these snowy days have been perfect for catching up with a good book.

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Palm trees.
I've always loved palm trees. I can't explain why. It's just one of those things.

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White linens.
I love white linens in bedrooms. I think it's so simplistic and beautiful.

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Dining alfresco.
I've never done it at this level, but a girl can dream, right? :)

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Guilty pleasures.
When I saw this picture, I couldn't stop thinking of how perfect it was. Starbucks and Gossip Girl? Yes, please.

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e.e. cummings.
This is my favorite poem of all time. It even beats my boy Pablo Neruda. I will read this poem at my wedding one day.

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Sequins and ruffles.
And when it's two in one, winner winner (chicken dinner).

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Looking at the same thing from a new perspective.
Like the seasons. This picture is beautiful. I need to photograph the same place during the seasons.

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Quirky touches in home decor.
I love the unexpected.

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Hydrangeas.
Perfection.

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Santorini.
I will be going there someday. It's on my bucket list - that I'm writing at the age of 22, I know.

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Fireplaces.
I don't think I need an explanation.

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Parler français.
Ma mère est française, et elle pleure en sachant que je ne peux pas parler correctement la langue. Je pense qu'il est beau et je souhaite que je pouvais.

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The OC.
Nothing cheers me up more than a little Ryan Atwood.

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Cooper.
And of course, my puppy. I couldn't love him more.

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I hope you're all doing well - I look forward to catching up on your blogs, darlings! Miss you so much, xox. I encourage all of you to make your list of things that make you happy - especially if things aren't going so well for you (which I hope is not the case, my dears!).

Currently listening to: Mat Kearny - All I Need.

The first three photos are mine, and obviously the one of my dog. Please don't use without my permission (I know that sounds silly and vain, like anyone would want to ;)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Birthday...and the Blizzard of 2010.

This whirlwind of a week and a half has passed me by, and I cannot believe it is almost time for Valentine's Day. In the span of a week and a half I have turned 22, started teaching almost a full-day of school (minus math, ick!), and dealt with an accumulation of 4 feet of snow (seriously!).

My birthday was pretty uneventful (especially when compared to my 21st birthday shenanigans)- my parents came up the Sunday before and took J and I out all over Philly. We ate at the White Dog Cafe - an all organic, sustainable restaurant that was built in an old Brownstone in Philly. It was absolutely fabulous. We wandered around the Museum of Contemporary Art, where even I was confused by some of the pieces there, and couldn't even understand or appreciate the thought behind them (what is the point or meaning behind a naked man jumping in snow for thirty minutes). After that, we headed back to my apartment, where naturally, we all ended up falling asleep until our dinner reservation at Redstone, which was absolutely lovely. Redstone is a chain, and if any of you have one nearby, I would highly recommend it! Later on, friends came over for delicious homemade birthday cake compliments of my mom, who is a fabulous baker, which wrapped up a lovely evening.

Apparently I was in a very "beige" mood that day...
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On my actual birthday, J took me out to dinner in Philly, which was a lot of fun, and a great way to unwind from a stressful day of student teaching! It's always fun getting dressed up and going out to eat =)

Officially 22! (Baby J is still 21).
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And then came the blizzard of 2010.

The forecast for last Friday night called for snow - lots of it. Enough that my school had an early dismissal (which was great trying to get 22 fourth graders to pay attention to a spelling test), and that work for that night was canceled. 6:00 passed by with no sign of snow, and I began to groan thinking of all the money that I could make (and the birthday present I was likely to receive from the family I work for). Around 8:00 though, the snow came pouring down.

When I awoke the next morning and looked out my window, I couldn't see anything - snow was absolutely everywhere and it was blinding.

Veryyy deep snow.
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So my friends and I decided to take full advantage of the beautiful, snow covered campus, so we put on our warmest (and in my case as you will see by the pictures, ugliest) clothing, and ventured out into the winter wonderland.

A, M, and J: Roomie Christmas card 2010.
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Apparently A is very dedicated to getting a good picture.
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Pretty snow covered dining commons.
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Christmas Card 2010.
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We thought the snow was behind us, but no - starting on Tuesday night, the snow came down more and more, accumulating another 20 inches! We all enjoyed it (especially moi - I have off tomorrow as well which makes a 6 day weekend!), but now it's at the point where our shoulders and backs are aching from shoveling our cars out (I know this would not have happened back when I was 21), and we're a little bored from being cooped up all the time. And now MORE snow is predicted for Monday night, ahh!

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A day when you're snowed in definitely calls for a grilled cheese sandwich with pea soup. Yummo!
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By the end of the day, these trees were COVERED in snow!
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For all of you who have braved the blizzard, I hope you're safe and doing well - and for all my west coast friends, I envy the fact that you can lay out and enjoy the sunshine (without being blinded from the snow!). Love you all - have a fabulous Valentine's Day, whether you're in a relationship, or doing your own thing. (As for J and I, we're going away for the weekend, hopefully getting yummy food somewhere and just relaxing and enjoying the company of each other! Yayyy for getaways - it's our first!). You're all so lovely and wonderful. xox


(Not that you would, but these pictures are all my own, so please don't use them without my permission. Thanks, darlings).

*I am so saddened by the death of Alexander McQueen. His designs were always so exquisite, and he had an eye like none other. The fashion world has truly lost an icon.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Just in Time for Valentine's Day...

For as much as a non-girly girl as I claim to be, I have a soft spot for a good chick flick. I love romance, I love when two people that for an hour and a half I've been convinced SHOULD end up together do...I love it all.

So, in honor of Valentine's Day coming up next weekend, I've compiled a huge list of some of my all-time FAVORITE romantic movies. You may not agree with me, but I think these are the most perfect love movies. (P.S. I know Twilight is NOT on the list, and it is for the very simple reason that I have not seen it/read the books and don't really intend to :) But I do love all of you Twilight lovers anyway!).

P.S. I Love You.
I loved this movie. I know a lot of my friends said it was the most depressing movie they had ever seen, but I thought it was so sweet, so romantic, and so fabulous. Plus, hello, Denny from Grey's AND Gerard Butler - how can you go wrong?! (Besides crying throughout the whole movie maybe).

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Cruel Intentions.
The plot is simple. Hottie (who turns into a d-bag in real life later on) needs to steal a virgin's V-card in order to win a bet with his stepsister. The bet? If he wins, he gets to sleep with her. Lesbian kisses, manipulation and cocaine all work together into an unlikely perfect film. The sincerity of Sebastian's feelings for his love, the twist ending... it is so perfect. Vulgar, but perfect.

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This part of the movie makes me so, so happy. And he looks delicious.
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Sex and the City: The Movie.
This movie breaks my heart, makes me happy, makes me cry every single time...but ultimately makes me smile after I watch it. That Vivienne Westwood wedding gown? I die every time. And what happens after makes my heart break absolutely every time. And while obviously Carrie's relationship with Big is the forefront of the show and movie, it always makes me want to curl up with my girlfriends and drink a massive Cosmo. (And I usually do).

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Across the Universe.
The ultimate movie that proves all you need is love (too cheesy?). When I watched this movie for the first time with my parents, I believe their response was that it brought them back to their college days in the '70's, which I took as a reference to them doing drugs. It is trippy, but it's beautiful. Plus, TV Carpio singing "I Want to Hold Your Hand" is beautiful. (In case you don't know, it's a musical where all the songs are Beatles songs). Plus, it has yummy Jim Sturgess.

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Titanic.
Obviously. This movie came out when I was in fourth grade I think... and after convincing my mom to take me to see it, we both looked like we lost a relative when we left the theater. It is such a perfect love story... though with my own love story I hope it doesn't involve freezing to death. I think any movie with Kate Winslet and Leo in it is a guaranteed winner.

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Dirty Dancing.
I just saw this movie for the first time over the summer, and I LOVED it. Patrick Swayze is so sexy, and while movie does scream "80's!" it always screams "Perfect love story!". I've always been a sucker for the "rich girl falls in love with the boy from the wrong side of the tracks." Especially when there's a little family drama involved. And dancing.

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When Harry Met Sally.
The sweetest movie that made all single females hold out hope that they and their best (straight) male friend would end up together. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are perfect.
And of course the quote, "I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."

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Bridget Jones' Diary.
I might love this movie so much because it is my fantasy - I could eat whatever I wanted, drink as much as I pleased, and still have two British hotties fighting over me. And one of them has the last name "Darcy."

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Pretty Woman.
Yet another movie that gave us all hope that we'd wind up like Julia Roberts. (Except minus the venereal diseases she likely contracted as a hooker...or being a hooker to begin with). I adore this movie, I adore all the old Julia Roberts movies where she played the same type of character... another feel good movie that I can't help but smile at when I watch it.

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The Notebook.
I don't even think I need a reason to put this on here.

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Love Actually.
My most favorite movie of all time. I can watch this at Christmastime, and it works. It works at Valentine's Day. It works when I'm happy, sad, lonely, upset, ecstatic...it just works. If you haven't seen it, you have to. It is the best movie of all time.

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Runners Up...

You've Got Mail.

The Wedding Planner.

He's Just Not That Into You.

Slumdog Millionaire.

Ghost.

Breakfast at Tiffany's. (obviously).

Beauty and the Beast.

Romeo and Juliet (with Leo and Claire Danes, obviously).

What am I missing? Any that I should check out? Agrees/disagrees?

I miss you guys so much...since getting back from the hospital, I have been unbelievably overwhelmed. Everything in my life just feels really hard and complicated right now - student teaching is draining me of ALL my energy, there are problems in just about every aspect of my life... it's emotionally and physically exhausting, and blogging has been the last thing I've thought about. While I haven't thought about blogging, I've thought about all of you constantly, and I do miss you! I'll catch up so soon. Miss and love you all, even when I'm delayed with the blogging.

Currently: Catching up on Gossip Girl. I miss it too much - and even got my roomie R into it!