Thursday, June 30, 2011

Farewell Los Angeles

Handsome K got a job!

In San Diego!

Which means we’re moving.

While it’s exciting in some ways, I have to admit I’m bummed in others. I love our apartment. It’s on the top floor of our small building, with natural light pouring in from two sides. It has hard wood floors, a spa tub and crown molding (every visitor we’ve had to our place that’s over the age of 50 always points out the crown molding). Large palm trees filter the sun through our living room and our dining table overlooks a charming courtyard with a fire pit and barbeque.

And then there are our wonderful neighbors, who over the last two years have become our dear friends. Even our landlords rock (and how often can you say that?). I’m gonna miss the place and I’m trying to stay positive that we’ll find something even better in San Diego.

Many of my friends have moved from LA in the last year or so, which makes it easier in a way. But what happens to my dinners with my cousins, John and Michael, or trips for cheap Vietnamese food with my lover Teets? Do those stop? I suppose not completely, but it’s certainly not easy to grab pho or watch a Kepler Mission concert or see a spur of the moment boxing match if we’re two hours away.

Honestly, I’m surprising myself as I type this. I thought I unconditionally hated Los Angeles, and apparently that wasn’t the case. 

Ok. I think I’m done being a Debbie Downer… on to the good stuff!

I do love an adventure. In fact, seeking adventures are something K and I have in common. Did I mention we’re going here in October? I’ve never lived in San Diego and I know it’ll be a fun time discovering what the city has to offer its locals. Also, moving means getting the chance to decorate a new apartment. Or maybe even a cottage! The prices on housing are unbelievably great compared to LA, and the dream of being able to live in a two-bedroom something are getting closer to reality.

Adios to hideous traffic! Do you know what a raving loon I can become whilst sitting in a car on a typical LA day? Let me give you an idea: have you ever seen that old cartoon where Goofy is this simple, nice guy when he’s doing every day things… except when he gets behind the wheel of a car and turns into a maniac? I’m not this way all the time, but when it takes a person two hours to get somewhere that should normally take 20 minutes in any other city, who wouldn’t flip their lid? The answer is no one, friends. If the Dalai Lama could drive, he too would be cursing profanities and flipping the bird. Just sayin’.

Finally, there’s Handsome K’s job. He was stoked at the prospect of getting this position and he did (for the record, I thought he was going to get it from Day One). What kind of wife would I be if I wasn’t over the moon excited for him? Not a very good one.

So adios Los Angeles (and our short-lived Field Trip Mondays)… it’s been fun.

Hi there, San Diego.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Current Motto

In the search for jobs, blog inspiration, myself, I stumbled across this little ditty:

It's so incredibly true, is it not? I can't remember where I found this, but I do know it's by this creative soul.

It has been an insane and exciting week, especially for Handsome K. Be prepared for an announcement tomorrow...!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Merci En Papier

Thank you. I say it every day. You say it every day (the people who read this blog most assuredly possess manners). But friends… I have a bone to pick. 

Thank you notes… why are they going the way of the dinosaur and Kate Hudson’s credibility as a good actress? On the one hand, I get it. Email has definitely changed the uses and effectiveness of snail mail in our daily life and in many ways, I’m grateful for it. Less paper waste, online bill pay, faster communication… all progressive and positive things.

BUT (there’s always a but, isn’t there?) don’t you get excited when you come home, put your hand in the mailbox and find something other than the Albertson’s weekly specials mailer? I know I do! And isn’t it especially exciting when it turns out to be an invitation to a wedding or a baby announcement or a hand written note from a friend? Yes- yes, it is.

Let’s not forget the topic of gratitude. If someone gives me a gift or watches Moe while we’re on a weekend outing or helps me through a rough patch in my life, I like to express thanks on paper. A tangible, heart written piece of gratitude to the people I love and appreciate.

Is it that difficult to do?

Yes, it is time consuming and costs a little extra money, to which I say: so what? You can write a ‘thank you’ note while you watch TV or are waiting for your frozen pizza to be done baking in the oven. It is easy to find time if you try.

While looking at these photos, were you wondering to yourself, “Where did Elizabeth get this amazing stationery?” I have two words for you: Walnut Paperie. Brittany and Kimberly of WP fame are the only two I trust with all my paper needs, and they launched their new site last week. You should check it out. If you're gonna write a thank you note, you might as well do it in style, oui?

And for the record, Moe would write ‘thank you’ notes if he had an opposable thumb. Just sayin’ (but you know I use any excuse to post a picture of my dog, don't you?).

This is his "you should be writing instead of taking photos of me" face.

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Napa: What to Wear

We’ve been back from our jaunt to the Napa Valley for two days. It was a fabulous time, but now we are entrenched in our job search like no other. I’ve been putting on paper my feelings about the valley – my history there, my experiences, how it is a part of and ingrained in me – and thought I’d offer up some prime fashion recommendations as eye candy while I get it all down.

Handsome K and I managed to do quite a bit (including a good old-fashioned trespassing picnic… you know, kids’ stuff!), and here is what I like to don (or what I dream of donning) when I spend time in Calistoga.

Ensemble 1: Napa Valley Poolside

Wide-brimmed Straw Trilby, Diane Von Furstenberg Pattern Bikini,
Helmut Lang Open-back Jersey T-shirt, Sweet Beach Shopper, Tory Burch PVC flip-flops 

Granted, this outfit is the one I spent the most time in, but how can you resist when you’re staying at Indian Springs and can take full advantage of the mineral pool?

Ensemble 2: Calistoga Daytrippin’

Alexander Wang Donna Leather Hobo, Fedora-ble Hat, Steven Alan Betty Tank, Barton Perreira Spellbound, Citizens of Humanity Avedon Slick Jeans, Anna Beck Timor Bangles, Forever 21Braided T-Straps Sandals 

I love the way these pieces look together and if I had to sum up my current style, this would be it in a nutshell. K sees this as an improvement from the clothing I wore when we first met, which included a rainbow of Converse sneakers and a Steve Urkel shirt with a zipper across the front.

Ensemble 3:  French Laundry Excess

Before I quit (thus, before our cash flow came to a grinding halt), I tried to get us reservations to The French Laundry. Let me tell you, it takes gumption and the luck of a leprechaun to secure them.

A quick breakdown of the process: Two months to the day, at 10am precisely, The French Laundry’s reservation phone lines open. If you’re like me, you ask a friend (thank you, Eda!) to help swarm the line. I placed 137 calls and never got through which, in retrospect, was a good thing. I’m pretty sure Eda placed a total of eight, but she’s Jamaican and likes to take her time.

If, however, I had gotten through and had a limitless clothing budget, here is the outfit I would have worn.

Lanvin Silk Bustier Gown, Ippolita Rock Candy Lollipop Rose Bangle, Philip Lim 3.1 Rosey Thorned ClutchOPI Limited Edition Britannia Collection, Alexander McQueen Patent Leather Flats

What cracks me up most about these suggestions is that the majority of my childhood in the valley was spent in a Target neon bathing suit and cotton bike shorts.

And truly, they were the best times of my life.

Friday, June 17, 2011

On Monday

Handsome K and I will be celebrating our two year anniversary where it all started... Calistoga.

Cheers to love and happiness, always.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Field Trip Mondays

With all the extra time on our hands currently, we’ve decided to make a cultural go of it and have christened the worst day of the week as “Field Trip Mondays.”

Banksy, I Hate Mondays

Lucky for us, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is currently featuring Art in the Streets, an amazing exhibition tracing street art and graffiti from the 1970’s to present day. 

AND (as if that description wasn’t enough to sway you), every Monday, until the exhibit leaves in August, Banksy is paying for everyone’s admission, due to his belief that no one should have to pay to look at graffiti. Bless you, Banksy!

So of course we went on Monday. Honestly though, it is more than worth the cost, and I am sure we will head back before it rolls out of town.

Some faves from the day:

After essentially raping our eyes in the best way, we tra-la-la-ed through Downtown Los Angeles. I should really make an effort to leave the Westside now and again because there is quite a bit to do, and quite a bit to eat!

Walking through downtown made me hungry for American-style German cuisine, naturally. We walked from the museum and had lunch with our friend Josh at Wurstkuche. It never ceases to amaze me how delicious their Belgian-style fries and bleu cheese walnut dipping sauce are... en serio.

I think Field Trip Mondays are here to stay. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

If you live in southern California...

I'm sure you can agree. This is AWESOME:

Thank you Kristina, over at Lovely Morning, for the introduction.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Goodbye to the Extras.

And here I am… unemployed. After the intensity of my last job, it’s welcome in some ways, but the day I quit I had to say goodbye to certain things.

Nicely groomed eyebrows… Sorry, Benefit. I won’t be seeing you for a while. I do own a pair of tweezers and based on the chagrin of my friends and family, assume I do a horrible job maintaining them on my own.

Also, any future trips to the aesthetician will be put on hold, which, based on this photo and the zit between my brows, is a shame.

Pedicures, another bummer as my tootsies are some of the ugliest you’ll ever lay eyes on. Also, I refuse to buy nail polish unless I really, really love it, which means my toes will be messily donning OPI’s Hopelessly in Love for the next few months.

Yes, I realize they are hobbit feet.

Shopping for clothes at Madewell. Thank goodness I stocked up on a few excellent dresses in April (this and this being my faves), and thank goodness my sister is constantly adding to her closet from Aris (she let’s me borrow things sometimes, if I’m nice and promise not to eat Mexican food in them).

Buying books. Many trips to the Santa Monica Public Library are sure to fill my summer!

Gourmet cheese. It’s a bit of a problem, actually, my love and constant purchasing of this dairy delight, so maybe this would be a good time to wean myself? I know. Wean myself from cheese? Now I’ve resorted to crazy talk.

Eating out. There are a few restaurants I’ll make the occasional exception for (like The Curious Palate and China Beach Bistro and Gjelina and sometimes Don Antonio's (but only on dollar taco night)), though for the most part, it’s homemade meals from my kitchen of love. Which brings me to the list of things I can say ‘hello’ to now that I’ve got WAY more time on my hands (like an additional 60 hours a week extra)…



Cooking (and documenting it on Knife and Fork Adventures, naturally)!

Walking my dog, Moe (I’ve missed him quite a bit with all the working and such)!

Seeing my friends! Catching up with my friends! Laughing with my friends (I should mention how lucky I am to have such fabulous amigos)!

And most importantly, spending time with my love, Handsome K. Being simultaneously unemployed over the last couple weeks has taken me back to how easy-peasy things used to be before we graduated from college and were suddenly real adults. I didn’t realize how much I missed it, hanging out all the time with him. I’m grateful to have woken up to that fact and to be given this (hopefully) short grace period of what once was.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I quit my job last week.

It wasn’t the most opportune time to do it, either. My husband graduated from a prestigious university with his Masters less than a month ago and while I happen to find him to be incredibly gorgeous, talented, smart and funny, the working world has yet to capitalize on his prowess (World, you are going to wonder how you lived without this guy…  c’mon!).

Honestly, I was miserable and that’s saying a lot because I am a naturally HAPPY person. I’m the girl you see on the street who is walking by herself, humming a song through a Cheshire grin for no apparent reason.

I’m sure I look funny to some and I’m sure some people point and laugh. 

The truth is I don’t care.

But back to the job I quit last week. I don’t want you to think I can’t handle stress, because I have had my personal fill of it in this lifetime, and I try to deal with that little monster in the most optimistic and embracing way possible. My job was not furthering any career goals or bringing some added joy to my life; it was a vampire in every sense of the word. I took it and stayed in it to feed and house me, my love and my other love (Moe, our favorite dog in the world, naturally).

Yes, there was a catalyst for my sudden departure.

No, I am not going to (and actually, cannot) discuss it.

What I will say is the last week has been spent decompressing from this toxic job as if I am coming off of a drug. While I did feel about a million pounds lighter once I actually quit, the aftermath of the anxiety wreaked by my old work environment lingers. Like the faint smell in your fridge you were positive you scrubbed out. Physical panic washes over me at the oddest of times, and I have come to the realization that not only was it definitely the right time to leave; staying longer might have destroyed me. The smiley, humming me.

So now I’m unemployed and, honestly, kind of stuck. What is next?

I’ve focused my energy in the last three years on simply making money to further my husband’s career. I should have thought more about what “after” entailed, but this realization is a bit late.

My honey keeps hounding me with the question, “What is it you want to do with the rest of your life?” WHOA. I’m twenty-seven years old. Slow down, man! But every time I try to skirt the issue, my (maddeningly) relentless husband says, “Elizabeth! You’re skirting the issue! What is it you want to do with the rest of your life?!”

Here in lies the problem, friends, my problem: I don’t know. I have never been one of those people who have always known that they wanted to be a doctor or a teacher or a wizard or a zookeeper. I’ve kinda always been one of those people who wanted to try all four and then some. And I’m coming to the realization that while you can try it all, you certainly can’t do it all well. At the end of the day, you have to work at what satiates you as a person and makes you feel like you’re contributing to society. I envy the people who have always known; I’m just not one of them. And that’s ok, too.

So I’m getting serious. I’m making lists and talking to people and myself (and my dog!) and figuring it out… one step at a time.

Care to join me?
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