Friday, August 27, 2010

La-Di-Da, La-Di-Da

Joanna Goddard featured this poster on her blog and it made me squeal (just a little).

Have you seen the movie, "Annie Hall"??? If you haven't, you're missing out on an iconographic piece of American cinema! So get on over to your closest movie rental store and rent "Annie Hall" for your Friday night film of choice. I promise, you won't regret it. Diane Keaton is simply wonderful. Woody Allen, for all his real-life flaws, is pretty hilarious, too.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Icelandic baby cuteness

kid-sized Snuggie...what's not to love? I'm drinking my morning joe and almost spit it out when I spotted this adorable ADORABLE picture on seesaw.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Delicious Looks

"Oh Joy Eats" posted this collage of scrumptious food pornography today- I couldn't help but share it with you all so you could join in my little drool-fest ;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

wedding video: Ellen DeGeneres

Okay. I have no idea why it took me so long to come across this video, but 2 years later I finally found it. What I love most about it is the music in the background- it's Joshua Radin's "Today" and it makes me all goose-bumpy every time I hear it. His beautiful voice, plus the image of this gorgeous couple makes me want to get married right now. I'm very seriously considering, at least, stealing Ellen's wedding song for myself...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Woodberry Kitchen Recipe

For Salman's surprise send-off dinner, I gathered a group of our friends to pop out from behind the firepit at Woodberry Kitchen. It was a delicious meal (they never let me down), out of which I particularly fell in love with the honey-glazed peach salad. I decided that I would try to make it myself last night, since I had nothing better to do and I have been lazy about cooking lately. and VOILA! It was easy schmeasy!

ingredients (for a 1-person salad...just multiply everything evenly to make more):
1 peach, sliced
1 heaping tspn of honey (I used lavender honey, but I'm sure regular honey would taste just fine, as well)
1 tspn sea salt
5-7 basil leaves

throw it all in a bowl and gently mix it until the honey is evenly dispersed amongst the peach slices. Throw onto a dish and dig in. (served cold.)

I'm also extremely excited for fall weather to arrive. Who's with me on this one?! I can remember only a few months ago when I was craving summer heat and sun, and now I'm trying to hold myself back from taking out all of my winter clothes. I guess that's the luxury of seasons- you get sick of one, and the other is not far behind.

In the meantime, I'll be staying cool and eating lots of peach salads :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Beautiful Journey

Photographer, Scott Weller, came back recently from a long 11-month journey spanning 16 countries in Africa and Asia. His photographs are full of color and inspiration, as they tell the stories of their subjects with such vivid detail.

The Do's and Don'ts

(re-blogged from BikingInLA blog)

I saw this after reading an article about LA's mayor toppling off of his bike after a run-in with city traffic. Here are some great tips to keep in mind while you're cycling around Baltimore, or any urban area, for that matter. Enjoy! (And be safe!)

Survival Tactics

Survival tactics for the urban cyclist

Let’s face it.

Biking may be fun. Okay, a lot of fun. But it’s a lot more enjoyable when you can arrive back home alive, and in one piece. In three decades of riding, mostly city streets, I’ve learned a few lessons about getting there and back safely — most of them the hard way. So allow me to share a few tips that could help keep you safe. And help you survive life on these mean streets.*

*Big Important Footnote: Bicycling, especially in an urban environment, is an inherently dangerous activity. While these techniques have worked for me, they may not be right for every rider, or in every situation. Feel free to take advice from me or any other experienced cyclist. But ultimately, you have to make your own decisions about what is safe — and legal — in any particular situation.


Never leave home without it:

Helmet According to 2001 study in American Family Physician, bicycling injuries result in approximately 580,000 trips to the emergency room and 1.2 million doctor visits each year; head injuries account for up to these 47% of injuries, as well as 60% of deaths and most long-term disabilities. But wearing a helmet every time you ride can reduce your risk of head injury by as much 85%. And on a personal note, I took a bad spill a couple years ago that put me in the hospital for a couple nights with a concussion; if I hadn’t been wearing my helmet, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be writing this today.

Riding glasses Look for lenses made of shatterproof polycarbonate that cover the entire eye socket to protect from falls or flying objects. Riding glasses should meet the minimum safety standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA); many models come with removable lenses, allowing you to adjust for lighting conditions. Over the years, my glasses have protected my eyes from countless flying objects, from rocks to bees. And if I hadn’t had them on during my accident last year, I could have easily lost an eye.

Gloves If you’ve ever had road rash on your hands, you know why you should never ride without biking gloves. And if you haven’t, trust me — you don’t want to.

Sunscreen It may seem silly to slather on the lather before you hit the road; I didn’t think it mattered, and rode unprotected for years. Now I know better, having learned the hard way. So get a good, sweat-proof sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more — and wear it on every bit of exposed flesh every time you ride. Because the last word you ever want to hear your doctor say is “cancer.”

Degree of difficulty: 1 out of 5 (after all, you have to buy them — and remember to wear them)


Learn to turn

Whether you like to ride fast, or you’re a charter member of the Slow Cycling Movement, you need to know how to turn before you try to ride in traffic.

And that means no handlebars.

Using your handlebars to turn your bike is a slow, unsteady process — one that doesn’t allow you to respond quickly in an emergency situation. So if you still turn the old fashioned way, take yourself someplace where you have room to practice turning, like an empty parking lot.

Then try shifting your weight slightly to the right to turn right, to the left to turn left. Notice how your bike will follow in the direction you move; to straighten out, just center your weight on your bike again.

Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be able to carve a fast turn in either direction simply by dipping a shoulder or shifting a hip — giving you the skill you need to avoid a pothole or a door that suddenly pops open in front of you.

Degree of difficulty: 3 out of 5 initially; 1 out of 5 with practice


Use your voice

Every car has a built-in warning system. And so do you.

The problem with car horns is that they may get your attention, but don’t tell you anything specific. It could a warning, an expression of anger or someone saying hi to a passing friend.

The same is true with an air horn or bell on a bike. All the tinkling of a bell tells anyone is that there’s a bike nearby. Or that an angel just got it’s wings.

So use your voice.

Instead of just announcing your presence, tell people you’re passing on the left or right. Shout a warning. (In my personal experience, a loud “Yo!” works best to get a driver’s attention, while “Look out!” works best for panic situations. For pedestrians, try the old playground favorite “Head’s up” to get attention and “Look out!” for emergencies.) Or tell people what they should do, like “Go ahead” or “Keep right.”

Just be careful which words you use. Short words work best.

And oddly, swear words don’t seem to work at all.

Degree of difficulty: 2 out of 5


Wear bright colors.

Dark and earth-tone jerseys may be fashionable right now, but they can also make you blend into the background — and dramatically increase the risk that a driver will fail to see you, and cut you off or turn into your path.

When I ride, I always wear a bright colored jersey, usually yellow, red, or white with bright insets. (You might note that these are the same colors they paint fire trucks. And for the same reason.) Experience has taught me that most drivers are more likely to see — and as a result, avoid — me in colors like that. And the same goes for helmets — I had far fewer close calls when I used to ride with a bright red helmet than I do with my current jet black one.

But hey, it matches my bike.

Degree of difficulty: 1 out of 5


Position yourself to be seen at red lights

Intersections are dangerous places. In fact, 45% of all collisions between cyclists and drivers occur at some sort of road junction. And where you position yourself at a red light can make a big difference in whether or not you join that statistic.

Once again, the key is to make yourself as visible as possible. While some respected sources suggest stopping behind the car ahead of you, in my experience, in most cases, that’s exactly the wrong place to stop. Any cars coming up from behind will be focused on the car ahead, and may not notice you waiting there behind it.

Meanwhile, if any of the vehicles ahead are trucks, SUVs or minivans — which is pretty likely these days — you will be completely hidden from any oncoming traffic, greatly increasing your risk of a left cross collision. And if you are more than one or two cars back from the corner, you’ll probably be hidden from any cross traffic, as well.

So work your way up to the front of the intersection, being careful to watch for turning cars and opening doors. Then position yourself in crosswalk just ahead of the through traffic, while leaving the right lane clear for turning cars. That way, you can be seen from all four directions, without blocking any traffic capable of moving before the light changes.

If any pedestrians are in the crosswalk, just smile and politely move out of their way. Then once the light changes, move slightly to the right while you cross the intersection, allowing the first few cars behind you to pass, before you take your place back on the right side of the lane.

Degree of difficulty: 3 out of 5


Watch out for the dips (and not just the ones behind the wheel)

So there you are, cruising along in heavy traffic, when suddenly up ahead you spot a big gaping maw in the face of the road — a gigantic pothole looming right in front of your wheel. The natural inclination is to swerve out into the traffic lane to go around it. Which isn’t a bad idea, if you know there aren’t any cars coming up behind you.

If not, you’re going to have to just suck it up and ride through it.

So try this. Loosen your grip on the handlebars, so you’re holding steady, but not tightly, and bend your elbows slightly to absorb the shock. At the same time, raise up off the seat to cushion your rear, keep both knees bent, and shift back a little to place more weight over your back wheel. Pull up slightly on your handlebars as your front wheel hits the far side of the hole and let your arms and legs absorb the initial impact, then rock forward to take pressure off the back wheel, using your legs as shock absorbers.

Do it right, and you’ll sail through with nothing more than a bone-jarring shock; get it wrong, and you might pinch a tube or crack a rim, or possibly risk serious injury by sailing over your handlebars. But it beats the hell out of what could happen if you swerve in front of oncoming traffic without any warning.

Degree of difficulty: 4 out of 5 initially; 3 out of 5 with practice


Don’t let the bastards get you down

We’ve all been there. You’re having a great ride, when some jerk cuts you off or nearly runs you off the road. And that’s all you can think about for the rest of the day. So don’t let them get to you. Instead of focusing on the one or two rude drivers you encountered, focus on the hundreds, if not thousands, of others who shared the road safely and courteously.

And enjoy yourself. Seriously.

Degree of difficulty: 5 out of 5


Learn how to fall

Sooner or later, everyone hits the pavement — no matter how good you are or how carefully you ride.

For most people, the natural instinct is to use your hands to break the fall. Unfortunately, that can be exactly the wrong thing to do. But I’ve found it’s possible to use today’s clipless pedals to my advantage, and roll with the fall to minimize the risk of injury.

Falling forward If you find yourself going over the handlebars, it’s natural to let go of the handlebars and put your hands out to break the fall — which means you’re likely to break an arm, wrist or hand bone, or dislocate a shoulder, or land on your face or chest, resulting in facial or chest, injuries, or a broken collarbone.

Instead, this what has worked for me: I try to remain clipped in the pedals, grip the handlebars tightly, and tuck my elbows into my body. At the same time, I tuck my head down between my shoulders, and round my shoulders to shape my upper body into a ball. My momentum will continue to move my body forward, rolling me over the handlebars, still attached to my bike, which helps me maintain my curved position. So now, instead of flying face forward, I’m likely to land on my shoulders and can roll with the fall to release momentum.

Falling sideways I suffered three broken arms before learning this technique. If I feel myself falling to the side, again, I remain clipped in the pedals, grip the handlebars tightly, and tuck my elbows into my body. At the same time, I tuck my head down between my shoulders, and lower my shoulder in the direction of the fall. Then I try to land on my shoulder and roll with the fall to release momentum.

Of course, every accident is different, and it’s still possible to get badly hurt — as my recent hospital stay demonstrates. But since I’ve learned these techniques, I’ve also walked away from accidents that could have been serious.

Degree of difficulty: 5 out of 5

Living Room Inspiration

I've been trying to keep myself super busy ever since Salman went off to med school. One thing that has kept me occupied is looking for ideas to change around my apartment. It's a bit of a dull spot with very dark colors all over the place. I'm hoping to brighten it up! So far, I've kept the bedroom as light as possible, but the living room is a whole other story.

Salman sent me this design page by The Selby- here are some of the images. I love how the white color doesn't take over the apartment- it's still a very eclectic space, but also looks clean and refreshing.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ode to Julia (Roberts)

I just got back from my date with my Nonna seeing "Eat, Pray, Love." I have to admit, the beginning was a bit odd. I was slightly taken aback by the voice of the character, Liz Gilbert, analyzing her life in the background while she went through the end of a rocky marriage (it's complexities not fully understood in the short span of time portrayed), and a rebound relationship with a spiritually-renewed boyfriend. However, once her journey began, I felt my breath taken away. Her entrance into Rome, Italy was raw and beautiful. As she creates relationships along her journey through each country, you see her develop as a person who is more aware of herself, and therefore, making it easier to be more aware of those around her.

Again, I haven't had the opportunity read the book, and it's mostly due to the fact that I've heard bad things about it- that Liz Gilbert, as someone writing about herself, is rather selfish. However, throughout the entire film, I could not think anything but the opposite. This woman was leaving her marriage not just for her sake, but for the sake of her husband who also seemed extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with the life he was living, always trying something new but never fully committing. As she traveled from place to place, she discovered herself as she made more meaningful relationships with those she met along the way. Javier Bardem, in particular, is a helpful character during times of hardship...and his fiiine looks don't hurt.

So here it is, my "Ode to Julia":

Oooh Julia. When will the day arrive that we finally meet? Your brilliance, kind face and jovial laugh get me every time. I can only count the days until that moment arrives, when we cross paths on the streets of some lonely road, and you and I are the only people around. You are my secret female desire- my "woman crush," so to speak. Until then, I will watch your films with devotion. I will smile when you smile, cry when you cry, and laugh (although, not quite as loudly) when you laugh. Thank you for being a true lady of Hollywood, and not some Lindsay Lohan, spotlight hogging, LA narcissist. You are one in a million.


p.s. The soundtrack is also fabulous. I couldn't help but think to myself during the entire film, "God, I love that song" during every scene!

images via here, here

Friday, August 13, 2010

weekend casual

How beautiful does Audrey Hepburn look in this photograph?! It makes me want to have a nice, relaxing weekend in loose clothing...and maybe get a super-short haircut...
Okay, maybe not that short. Maybe just a haircut in general would be nice.

{image via here}

What are you up to this weekend?

Tomorrow I'm spending the day with my Nonna and probably seeing the film, "Eat, Pray, Love." I am not a particular fan of the book itself- based on others' interpretations, not mine, though. However, I L-O-V-E Julia Roberts! "Pretty Woman" has been my favorite movie since I was 10 years old (it was also the first rated R movie I watched without my mother's permission!) Then, tomorrow night, my Mommy is coming to visit and sleep over and play with her granddaughter (No, I didn't have a baby in the past few days. Oregon is her grand baby :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

dog lovin'

I just thought this was hilariously cute. Happy (early morning) Friday!

{image via here}

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gwyneth much?

How does she do it?

{image via here}

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

That Someone Silly

Random post, but I just felt like tacking up a silly picture of the two of us...I hope everybody makes a point to have a silly moment each day this week :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

best friend.

Salman is leaving for medical school tomorrow night in his home state of Texas. I am beyond thrilled for him. He is absolutely brilliant, while also being the most humble and beautiful man I have ever known. However, it is going to be hard living without him for so many months at a time.

When you begin a relationship with someone it is new, exciting and unfamiliar. Your lives, which have been separate for so long, are now together. It can be frustrating and difficult at times to understand this concept of "together." Your former life as a single person is suddenly hit by an earthquake of new emotions and events. However, after the earthquake tremors cease and the land comes back to its normal pace of life, you begin to feel the joy and comfort that comes with being in love. You know that all your worries aren't being carried by you alone- there's someone sharing the load with you. There's someone helping to bring excitement and ease to your life, all at the same time.

Now, it's time to get used to a new life- together, but apart. The way of living I spent countless hours getting used to a year ago is now my safety blanket, and I'm again forced to part with something all-too-familiar in order to face another lifestyle. However, I know that the love we share is strong and steady, so I'll hold onto that and keep remembering that 4 years can go by in a heartbeat if we try hard enough ;)

{image via here}

Kitchen inspiration

I wish I were handy enough to construct this open shelving for my dishes...and the spice rack above...

{via here}

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Working Woman's Dilemma: expensive handbags

Dear Worldly, High-End Designers,

This is a letter of controlled frustrations. I consider myself a financially responsible woman. I save up a fraction of my paycheck every other week so that I may afford a small portion of my nursing school tuition two years down the line. I tend to splurge on occasion when it comes to great food or a beautiful dress. However, I constantly find myself torn on the issue of expensive handbags. Year after year, I convince myself that I will go the extra mile and save up for a worthwhile, pricey leather bag with enough room for all of my essentials (plus not-so-essentials) and it will be the best splurge purchase I will make for a long time. I tell myself, "This bag will be worth it. It will last a lifetime and you will never have the need to buy another one again."

Then I go online and scout out the competition. My heart sinks- I look at the prices and suddenly realize, yet again, that I cannot afford this. $395 for a timeless, yet simple piece of luggage, which will probably meet the harrows of my possessions- pens that I throw inside without their caps, pastries wrapped in their wax paper that unfailingly slip out and scatter their crumbs to the bottom of the bag. I cannot do such a thing to such an expensive item!!! Furthermore, my conscious simply will not justify the action. $395 could buy a sofa from Ikea, 8 reasonably-priced outfits, 3-4 pairs of Jeffrey Campbell shoes; it could push my savings into the next "thousands," or pay for my groceries for the next4 weeks.

After adding 3 or 4 bags to my "shopping cart," I rip off the band aid and exit out of the window, never to see those hand sewn leather goods again until next year when this fever hits me once more.

This annual trial and tribulation brings me to my request: PLEASE make more reasonably-priced, affordable handbags! There are countless women out there who would adore a beautiful Marc Jacobs bag that would assure them a lifetime of reliable utility storage. It is not that we don't have the style or beautiful taste that other women who own these bags do. Rather, we just cannot afford them!

On behalf of all women out there paying off their loans, saving up for grad school, paying off a mortgage, paying the rent, buying slightly-more-expensive organic groceries because they know it's better for them...please, do us a favor and treat us for all of our hard earned dollars; treat us for the 8-hour days spent sitting at our desks wishing our paycheck would include a refund for the gym membership we must maintain in order to keep our bum from permanently forming to the desk chair we practically reside in! Please, tack off $300 from that gorgeous piece of iconography and allow us the opportunity to make the image of the working woman a little more beautiful without going broke with our only possession, in the end, being a purse with nothing in it.

Yours truly,

Post script:
I understand there are many retailers out there who provide discounts on these fabulous bags, and to those retailers, I thank you for your efforts.


{via here}

A slightly cloudy day here in Baltimore. This song makes it a bit more romantic...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"Never Let Me Go"

Ohhh, goodness. Time to go to the movies, again?

{images via here}

my landlord, Andy Warhol

I was doing my daily peruse of blogs, particularly Mandy's blog, 16 House (a true favorite of mine!) and I had to stop dead in my tracks when I came upon this photobooth collage of Andy Warhol making various cooky faces...and realized that he looks just like my LANDLORD! Most people hate their landlords- they are the ones who come to collect your astronomical rent at the beginning of each month and walk around with a grumpy face as if their lives are simply the worst. However, Peter is the exact opposite. He is a quiet soul. My apartment building has a very old, classy feel to it, as do most of the people living there. Peter keeps it that way- he somehow allows people to bring in their huge doggies (myself included), accepts the college students despite the office manager's seeming opposition to it, and still manages to keep a wonderfully home-y environment. Furthermore, he's just an overall sweet guy. However, I cannot imagine him making these faces...which is why I must stare and laugh at these and enjoy the fact that they have made my morning :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Self-Portrait (sigh)

I feel as if there are millions of images that could constitute my self-portrait. However, I came across these particular ones this morning and would have to say that they give a pretty accurate portrayal of where my mind is right now...

Wishing it were Friday...

{images via here and here}