Ladies in Navy

Monday, September 29, 2014

Black and White and Read All Over

Coat: c/o Sheinside; Dress: H&M, old; Heels: c/o Lulu*s; Necklace: One Necklace

When Ben and I went out to Hops Fest (photos to come soon), we ran into some former classmates of ours that we recognized by face, but not name. They ended up sitting next to us while we chomped down on messy BBQ and listened to a live band. After awkward introductions, one of them remembered me (by name, not by face) for my contributions to our college's literary and arts magazine. I spent a lot of time working on the magazine as staff and as contributor and had a few poems published over the course of two or three years. 

I majored in creative writing (poetry) in college after a lifelong passion with the written word, and I dedicated many many hours to writing on my own, publishing my work on an art/writing website, and then in creating portfolios for class. And though poetry had occupied such a large part of my life, once I graduated and stopped studying and feeling inspired daily, I stopped writing. It has long been a regret of mine that I let it slip away from me - let those books fall by the wayside, let my interest in reading new poems hide behind new hobbies, let my moleskines dry up.

And so at Hops Fest, when one of those former classmates said "I remember your poems and I always looked forward to reading them," I first felt a bit embarrassed, then flattered, and then I felt sad. And when I feel sad (and probably also embarrassed), I immediately look to how I can change that sadness into a solution. In this case, it's pretty easy - make writing a priority again. I think that we often lament not having time to do things without looking at the simple solution. 

It is to make time. If you're not writing, like I'm not writing, set a book by your bedside and write in the 5 minutes before bed when you are normally looking at your phone's screen in the dark. If you are not painting, take one hour that you'd spend watching the latest episode of Scandal, and paint in front of an open window or on a park bench. If you are not sleeping, stop staying up late. If you are not cooking, stop ordering take-out. If you are not exercising, cut out that thirty minutes of couch time right after you get home from work. If you do not have enough time to do what you want to do, then your priorities are askew and only you can set them right again. To avoid making a giant and rude generalization, it is important to note that most parents (new or old) often truly lack the time to do some of the things they want to do (like sleep or eat or watch TV for 5 minutes). But that's because their number one priority has rightfully shifted. 

In summation, my moleskine has been unearthed. My micron pen set to a new use. And we're on day two of my committed one poem a day exercise for the forseeable future. If I don't make time for something that I want to be a priority, it never will be. Here's to writing again.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Splish Splash

I am not entirely sure that you can call the fall and winter here in Portland anything other than an eight month drizzle, peppered with momentary breaks in the cloud cover. When it started pouring earlier this week I was faced with the unfortunate dilemma of either being late to work due to trying to unearth my Sperry rain boots (just like the boots in the second row, far right) or having wet shoes and wet toes. I went with the wet toes and early arrival but literally had to prop up a sad pair of flats on a colleague's heater for a good half-day before they dried out into stiff mud-caked sorry-excuses for D'orsay flats. Ick.

The 8-10 months of rain here, especially for a walk-commuter like me is made 100 times better by a good pair of rain boots that aren't just hideous, shiny, and foot-sweat-producers. I finally invested in some good waterproof footwear last year when I was commuting by foot and under an umbrella. As I suspected, a plain pair of unlined boots is entirely irrelevant as the weather gets colder. You can't rely on rubber and a pair of athletic socks to protect your toes in bad temps. Lining is everything!


 Sloosh Rain Boots (tall rain boots, top left)
Lace-up, lined Sorels (top right boots/first boot in the second row)
Loeffler Randal stylish rain boots

I am obsessed with the options above and really want to update my rain wardrobe, especially with those Hunter ballet flats and Loeffler Randal stylish boots. Now that I have a nice rain coat and a cute patterned umbrella, my feet are an eye-sore on most occasions. I seriously go through my walk-to-work shoes like they're cardboard. Putting almost three miles in on a daily basis on a sidewalk in the pouring rain is never good for any shoe, and most shoes that are built to withstand that abuse are really hideous. Time for a stylish update.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

You Had Me At Hello

This post was sponsored by Lindt HELLO. All opinions expressed are my own. #sponsored

Ben is a serious chocolate fanatic and has been since the day we met. I don't know how many dark chocolate bars have been shared over our five and a half years together, but I can tell you that the number is no laughing matter (think bars from different continents to bars with ingredients like bacon and chilis) and that the number of chocolate stained t-shirts isn't either. Our first ice cream shared together was chocolate-laden. I remember sharing those bowls of "Udderly Chocolate" on the bean-bag chair in his sophomore-year college house, watching the Olympics on TV. There was always something so homey and intimate about sharing food together in the early stages of our relationships. Going out on dates has an aura of formality - the exchange of payment, the chairs across from each other, the atmosphere of a restaurant that doesn't encourage even the simplest of gestures: holding hands. Curled up on that massive (and probably pretty gross) bean-bag chair, I think that we forged connections over pieces of chocolate and bowls of chocolate ice cream that couldn't have been made sitting at a restaurant table. 

Lately, and as the weather chills, our dessert moments at home together have been around experimenting with new chocolate bars. We've forayed into different countries, different percentages of cacao, milks versus darks, truffles and big chunks of toffee. We've paired chocolates with Ruby Port, with french red wine, with champagne, and with fresh picked fruits. Chocolate lives as a connection point, at home date night, and conversation piece for us. So what better to do this weekend than break into an entirely new chocolate - Lindt Hello! Though we started slow, nibbling some minis last night while watching Ink Master (we're weirdly addicted to it) and Project Runway (another house favorite), we've launched into the chocolate with a vengeance. It took a trip with us today to Hood River for a brew fest, and it rode home with us in the front seat - chocolate for a long drive holding hands through the Columbia Gorge. 

Lindt Hello (kind of like our chocolate-sharing date-nights) is all about sparking connection and conversation with others (what better way to than over smooth chocolate? Find me someone to turn up their nose at a smooth chocolate bar). If you're interested in learning more about Lindt and their new chocolate that has not only an awesome new flavor profile, check out their web-series on this new line of chocolate. Lindt is also running a 5-week sweepstakes right now and you can enter to win different prizes each week. This week, snag some Lindt Hello chocolates and a shopping spree here!

What food, activities, experiences spark conversation in your life and relationships?