Tag Archives: writing

Currently.

2nd February 2015

Photo on 12-8-14 at 7.28 PM #4

*taps mic*

Is this thing on? I was looking back at this space a little while ago and realized that I hadn’t posted since November! Steven keeps pointing out that I need to do something. Write something, anything, and so here I am. I’m glad that I took a break from being here. I needed to do it to preserve my own sanity, but also because it didn’t feel like a safe space anymore. The less said about that, the better, but I will say that I’ve spent the past few months contemplating life, stressing about things, being utterly excited about things, and working hard to find peace in the chaos. I think I’m getting better at it.

There are a billion little things to write about and I’m not sure where to start. I think sometimes it’s hard to find a perfect way to jump back into something. Thank goodness for “Currently” posts. ♥

Reading: I’ve been savoring Anne Lamott’s book, “Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace” for weeks now. I bought Steven a copy as part of his Christmas gift and ended up buying one for myself, because I simply couldn’t resist the thought of having a “read off” with him. I used to do that with my brother when the Harry Potter books were released–we’d each get a copy and hole up in our rooms for hours reading until one of us had finished. The first person to finish was the winner, of course. But with this book, I just couldn’t do that. I think Anne Lamott is a person who was put on this earth to do great things, I really do. She is somehow magical and startlingly real at the same time. I don’t know how she strikes the balance of providing pure wisdom and examples of our bumbling humanity, but she does it so beautifully. I approach each new chapter with a mix of anticipation and dread thinking, Are we going to laugh today, Anne, or are we going to cry? Most of the time it’s both.

Sometimes, when I read the bible, I’m struck by a moment of complete understanding and grace. I can feel it in my heart. I know that what I’ve read is right for me at the time. And then other times, I have absolutely no idea what the heck is going on. I’d like to think that God knows this about me and provides me with other sources to dispense something into my mind, and so he brought me Anne Lamott. Because she’s funny and thoughtful and flawed. So when I needed a good piece of writing/thinking/inspiration to make me consider a big problem in my life, I was given pages and pages of words in “Small Victories” to help. I’d been working (let’s be real, I’m still working) on the idea of forgiveness and letting go and how hard it is to do those things. Then I read this…

1. “A lack of forgiveness is like leprosy of the insides, and left untreated, it can take out tissue, equilibrium, soul, sense of sense. I have sometimes considered writing a book called: All the People I Still Hate: A Christian Perspective, but readers would recoil.” (For the record, I would read that book so hard!)
2. “So you sacrifice the need to be right, because you have been wronged, and you put down the abacus that has always helped you keep track of things. This jiggles you free from clutch and quiver. You can unfurl your fingers, hold out your palm, openhanded.”
3. “Forgiveness is release from me; somehow, finally I am returned to my better, dopier self, so much lighter when I don’t have to drag the toxic chatter, wrangle, and pinch around with me anymore. Not that I don’t get it out every so often, for old time’s sake. But the trapped cloud is no longer nearly so dark or dense. It was blown into wisps, of smoke, of snow, of ocean spray.”

And little by little, I started to move on. Thanks, Anne.

Watching: There are two shows that I watch consistently: The Mindy Project and Extra Virgin. I’m not sure which one makes me happier. Maybe Extra Virgin, because it’s about food (food porn) and life and few things are better than that.

Listening: Shakey Graves! Well, one of his songs. I don’t even know what this dude’s real name is, but I guess it’s not important. This duo with Esme Patterson is perfection. As is Esme’s dress/boots combo. Priorities, y’all.

Loving: My daily indulgence: Lindt’s A Touch of Sea Salt dark chocolate bar. Give me a tiny square on the drive home from work and I am a happy girl.

Thinking: About school and teaching. Always, always, always. Also trying to figure out how to personalize our wedding as much as possible, while still making sure that it’s inclusive enough of other peoples’ tastes and traditions. On the plus side, I’m not thinking about what I’m gonna wear because I bought my dress during winter break (a goal I was so happy to have accomplished) and it’s all sorts of pretty. Booyah! It was a strange moment for me when I realized that I couldn’t Instagram a shot of it for my friends. What’s a social media lovin girl to do?

Working: I’m working on feeling centered as a human being. How much of a hippie do I sound like right now? But seriously. I promised myself at the end of last year that I would work on becoming my best self in 2015. I usually use this blog to write down my goals/resolutions for the year, but I felt like I needed some time to sit with them before writing them down over here. In a few weeks, I’ll be 29 and I thought it was a good time to get my shit together. Or at least some of it. There are a lot of things that are out of my control, but my health has a lot to do with the choices I make.

I set a goal for myself to lose 25 lbs by the time I get married. It’s less about a number on a scale, though, and more about helping to establish healthy habits. I’ve been working out at least 5 times a week and keeping track of what I eat. I’ve been more mindful about what I’m putting into my body and pushing it to do better every single time I exercise. I’ve lost 6 lbs so far and I plan to keep chugging along, not because I have to, but because I want to. I’m excited that my body is beginning to change in small ways. I can feel some confidence oozing in and it just makes everything better. I want to know that when I get married in October, that I feel great about my body. I want to know that I worked really hard for it, too, because then maybe it’ll help keep me on a better path as I get older. I’m doing this because I care about myself and I’m doing this because I care about the life I may have in the future. Because I want to be the kind of person who encourages healthy habits in her children.

I’m glad that right now, the wedding seems to be a huge incentive for the people in my life, too. My parents have been encouraging each other to eat better and will start incorporating more exercise into their lives soon. Steven signed up for a half marathon and I can see how happy it makes him to reach certain running goals, and so it makes me happy too. I will never ever be a skinny girl; I don’t want to be. That’s not what this is about. It’s about cherishing the life that I have, and the body that I have, and actively working to make things a little better.

I hope that you all have a wonderful week and that my fellow anal retentive folks cherish the thought that our month looks like this. Thank you, February. Thank you.

(Thank you to Dani Hampton of Sometimes Sweet for the continued inspiration behind these Currently posts. They make for a great start.)

Follow on Bloglovin

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

26th October 2014

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Fitzgerald. Last week I went on a walk with Steven in Harriman State Park. I’d driven through some of it a few weeks back and knew that I wanted to visit again to take some photos. It was absolutely frigid and the sun was in and out while we were there, but the views sure were lovely. Despite the cold, it was so nice to just explore and snap photos with each other (and sometimes of each other). New York, you gorgeous state you.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

Follow on Bloglovin

Currently.

22nd September 2014

Currently. You Are Awesome.

My summer ended in the middle of August and since then it’s been absolute madness. Work has pretty much taken up all of my time. My weekends have felt…fleeting. Now that things are starting to settle (thank goodness), it’s time to head back to this space. September is the start of something new for so many and it’s the same for me. That energy. It’s in the air. The leaves are changing and we’re finally nearing the one year mark of our wedding countdown. Suddenly things are starting to get real. I haven’t spoken about the planning too much on social media, partly because there hasn’t been a lot of it, but also because I don’t want to start posting like mad when I know that we have to keep the guest list on the small side and a lot of people will be “left out.” I’m freaking out about it actually. But the plan is still to share some of the process on the blog. Maybe it’ll help some of you who are going through the process. If not, it’ll be a record of all of the hard work we put into our day.

For now, it’s time to play catch up. Here are some things that I’m currently into…

Watching: In my teens and early 20s, September always marked the return of my favorite television shows. Nowadays, my excitement has waned, but that’s probably because I’m too tired to ever stay up to watch anything. My television schedule is as follows: local news in the morning, local news in the evening and/or some HGTV/Food Network/Cooking Channel (maybe). I have three episodes of Doctor Who to watch. It’s pathetic. One thing I have seen and am super duper excited about is The Mindy Project. I’m happy to have all of those crazies back on my screen. Though the plot sometimes goes in questionable directions, I still find Mindy Lahiri to be as charming as ever. I love how flawed she is. I love her style. I love how she reminds me of myself in a lot of ways. Also, if you caught the premiere, please watch this lovely reminder of the final scene. *fans self*

Listening to: My boys, Empires. They’re my boys even if they don’t know it, because I staked a claim on them way back when they posted their first ever demos. I fell in love with them that night and even though I don’t get to see them live very often (stop playing in Brooklyn on weeknights, you assholes), I’m so excited for the music they make and the future they are creating for themselves. Their new album, Orphan, comes out on Tuesday. Yayness!

Reading: When Anthony Bourdain talks, I listen. When he writes, I read. I can’t pinpoint when my love affair with him began, but it’s been a very satisfying relationship so far. I’ve caught up on many of his “Parts Unknown” episodes on Netflix and now I’m slowly making my way through his book, Medium Raw. It’s basically a series of essays about life, travel, and food. I’ve been purposely taking my time with it, because I don’t want it to end. If you’re in a book store and can pick it up, I’d recommend checking out the chapter called “Lust.” He makes food sound so sexy.

Thinking about: Steven (the hubs to be) and sending him good vibes as he starts his new job as the director of the theatre program at our former high school. I know the choices for the fall drama and the spring musical and I am so excited to see what he and the kids come up with throughout the rehearsal process. There was an amazing piece from This American Life about our district, East Ramapo, and the struggles it has had in recent years. The report is thorough, complex, and more than a little heartbreaking. Please give it a listen if you can.

Excited for: Boots! Apple picking! Apple cider donuts! Frizz-free weather! A weekend in Michigan! Weddings! The smell of leaves everywhere! S’mores! Sweaters! Red cups! Basically all of the things. I just realized that my Twitter profile and background have been fall-related all year. Proof that it’s my absolute favorite season.
photo

(As always, credit goes to Dani Hampton for her “Currently” inspiration.)

I hope you all have a fabulous week! I missed you. ♥
Follow on Bloglovin

A Happy Life.

3rd August 2014

IMG_9478

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future lately. I’m always baffled by how my life has turned out so far. Sometimes it makes me sad to know that my “life plan” that I made in high school didn’t quite pan out, but really, I shouldn’t complain. I’ve got my family, even though we’ve lost a few people along the way. I have my pup. I have a job. I have a partner. When I was seventeen, I dreamed of being a writer. Maybe I would write for a newspaper or a magazine. Hard news. Investigative pieces. Maybe it would be the lovely lifestyle fluff. Maybe I would be a film critic. I would definitely be married. I would definitely have a kid by now.

I’m mostly okay with who I’ve become. Mostly. But I do find that it’s always fun to dream about other things, too. One of the things that I love about Steven, is that he’s a secret dreamer just like I am. We dream of our future together and I’m realizing that I’m with someone who can help make those dreams tangible. We went on a day trip recently to a town called Cold Spring and we had such an amazing time just walking around and enjoying the sights. We met some nice people, ate delicious food, and admired cozy homes. We plotted our future–the one where we will live in a town like Cold Spring, be a part of a community, source from local farmers, and build with local materials. I know it all sounds so silly, but it made me feel good. Because even if things don’t go as planned (read: when they don’t go as planned), I have someone who I’ll still be able to dream with.

In my seventeen year old head, I thought the ultimate thing would be to live in New York City. Now I can never see that happening. Give me small town life with a dose of the city and I’m good. I want to live in a house that we can grow with. I want enough property to build some kick ass gardens and a studio space where Steven and I can make beautiful things. I want to cook wonderful food. I want to know the people who are growing that food. I want to have some chickens. I’ll draw the line at having a cow, because those majestic creatures are incredibly smelly. I want to have a family. I want my kids to play outside and not ever be afraid to get dirty. I want to know my neighbors. I want to be happy.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in dreams and not take the steps to actually help those dreams come to life. It’s easy to read my blog feed be inspired and frustrated by the projects, recipes, and materials that other people are making. But it’s better to tuck those bits of inspiration away and then sit down to figure out how to make the future happen. I can’t say that Steven and I are in control of our destiny, because I certainly don’t believe that we are, but we can make choices to help lead us in a specific direction. I appreciate the little moments we have now, before everything sets in. Before the wedding. Before we live together. Before kids. I love sketching out our future in my mind and thinking and how we’ll get there.

Those little scraps of ideas pile up as we craft our happy life. I can’t wait.

Follow on Bloglovin

Life right now.

28th July 2014

IMG_0153

July is almost over which, in my head, means that summer is almost over. I’ve always had not-so-great feelings about August, because August signaled the start of the school year. August is like the Sunday of months. Basically, it’s the worst. The dread of the start of something new. Now that I’m a teacher, I have that same feeling, because my work is school.

This month I went back to college to get some credits towards my Early Childhood certification. New York City was approved for universal pre-k; our school was one of the few charters approved, too. So in September, I’ll be the lead teacher (finally) of a pre-k/kindergarten class. It’s exciting and really, really scary. I wish I had been able to do a lot more this summer, but it’s been nice so far. Class was pretty fun. I’ve always loved learning, so it was nice to get some more information and learn some new tricks to take with me into the coming school year.

A big thing that I’ve been doing this summer is cooking. Well, baking mostly. And taking pictures. A lot of both. I purchased an older DSLR from Megan (Freckled Italian) and have been learning to shoot with it. I have a PDF of the manual saved in a tab, but mostly I’ve been tinkering with it on my own. It’s been a little frustrating not being able to immediately snap the shots that I see in my mind, but with more and more practice I’ve really been getting the hang of it. It’s so exciting to finally have a “real” camera, though I still use my trusty iPhone, Eames, as much as possible. It’s dope.

(Photo by Steven)
IMG_9333

So the things that I’ve been photographing have been food items. Steven has been working on setting up a new blog, thanks to some inspiration from my bestie and her husband, so I’ve been shooting photos for him to use. Then I’ve been trying out new recipes for my Adventures in Cooking series. I probably have about ten different things that I’ve made and photographed over the past few months that I’ve just been holding onto, but a lot of things were holding me back. But if Steven can get his stuff together, then so can I. I can’t wait to share some of the new things that I’ve tried! It’s funny because I really like to cook and I do, in fact, make things other than dessert/baked goods. But I realized that whenever I cook, I use different amounts of everything. I have a standard idea of how I make my chicken parmesan, but I would never be able to share a specific recipe, since it’s always “a little of this and a little of that.” My goal is to start photographing some actual meals, but I’ll have to start with what I have.

I hope you all are enjoying your summer so far! Unless you live in Australia, in which case I hope you’ve been enjoying your winter. ♥

(P.S.-I have a new blog design! It’s from The Blog Boat on Etsy. The original design is super clean, but I’ve been adding some extra bits of color here and there. I’m not sure that it’s done yet, but I’m happy with it so far.)

Follow on Bloglovin