Friday, March 30, 2012

top 5 books, & then some.

a few weeks ago ben & i were finishing up
 dinner (a really crucial detail, i know)
when we had the idea to create our  
personal top 5 favorite books list.

i mainly wanted to do this because ben & i talk about
books all the time, & books we each like, etc., but i wasn't
sure i actually knew what his favorite books were. like,
his TOP FIVE. we're talkin' in LIST FORM.
i just wanted to know once & for all.


the little spin we put on it was that we would create our
lists in secret, without telling the other person, & then
we would reveal our lists to each other & see if we
had any matching. totally sneaky.
& believe it or not, our lists had some
of the same books! it was all almost
   borderline maudlin in its husband & wife cuteness. 


ben's top 5 favorite books,
in no particular order:


 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Goethe's Faust
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner


&, because he had such a hard time
 choosing just five, there was a sixth:


Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card
(husband told me what this one was about
& at first i wasn't sold. but i'm intrigued
enough that i want to read it,
when i have the chance.)


not bad husband, not bad, am i right, fellow readers?


& then there was my list.


shayla's top 5 favorite books,
in no particular order:


The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
(i don't know what it is about this book,
but it just gets me every time)


&, because i had such a hard time
choosing just five, there was a sixth...
& seventh, eighth, & ninth:


My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien


so a couple of the same books on our
lists, right? apparently we both love us
some heavy russian
literature & that book based on
the movie with james dean...or was
it the other way around...? :)


buuut seriously, folks, i would heartily,
nay, zealously recommend any of
 the books on either one of these lists.
you'll find it is completely worth
the time you put into it.


 speaking of books, though,
if you have the time,
scroll through this website
(just watch your footing with the
language, sometimes, unfortunately). 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

magic in the kitchen.

i suddenly realized i haven't shared my latest little piece
of writing with you three! okay, so, i work for a charity
called harboring hearts (yay for working in the nonprofit
world! such an eye-opener) & on their website they
feature, among other things, a food blog. & i just so 
happened to write the latest one! it's fun & 
oh so official. check it out.

clothes: top 10.

as the weather is slowly (ever so slowly!) turning
from cold to warm-ish, i've been thinking about
that transition we face every year: the one in our
closets. winter clothes get boxed away & suddenly,
if you're like me, you turn around & realize you're
so used to bundling up in down coats & boots
you've forgotten how to dress for warm weather!

here i've gathered 10 wardrobe staples that
stay in style pretty much ALL THE TIME, no
matter what the weather or year. seriously! these
clothes are all absolute basics in my closet.
classics. & i'm 98% sure you can wear any of
them no matter how old you are!

1. the chambray/denim shirt.





so many ways to style this one it's not even funny.
the chambray/denim shirt not only transcends age
but gender too: i mean, fathers wear this kind of
shirt, am i right?

2. the colored jeans.



of course, denim colored jeans are always a staple. 
but i promise you, if you treat your colored denim as a staple, 
it will treat you well right back. feel the love all around.
& they don't always have to be as bright as the
ones above (i'm looking at you, dark green or maroon!)

3. the black blazer.


via.



dress it up for work or roll the sleeves up a bit
for the weekend. i swear the cost per wear of my
black blazers is probably in the negatives now.

4. the plaid shirt.



just another one of those great essentials that everybody can wear.
i wear ben's plaid shirts all the time & i'm not stopping anytime soon.

5. the brown loafer.



these look so snappy with basically anything you could ever wear, ever.

6. the colored belt.





step 1: agree that belts are a basic. 
step 2: now go switch it up with fun colors.
the skinnier the belt, the better, i say.

7. the pleated skirt.


couldn't find the link. frown.



here's the long & short of it: pleated skirts look great at
any length & in any color--especially black. 
plus they add such wonderful texture.

8. the chunky scarf.


via



this one miiiiight not be as applicable now that
it's getting warmer, but let me just say that whenever
i pulled out a chunky knit scarf & wrapped it several
times around my neck, it was like winter wasn't scary anymore.
the 2nd picture is a bit of a scaled-down, warm-weather one.

9. the keds/the boat shoes.





i mean, just LOOK at these girls' outfits.
i mean, that's audrey hepburn! like RIGHT THERE!
need i say any more?

10. anything polka dot.






via. (don't smoke! don't smoke, fleur delacour).

polka dots are showing up all OVER the place these days--
on shirts, skirts, tights, shoes...they just add such a pop of
personality & fun while remaining just subtle enough at the same time.

aaaaaaand, because i felt like this needed to be added,
11. the sailor stripe top.





i mean, classic, people. classic. i'm starting to
notice a trend: if it's REALLY classic, pretty
much BOTH guys & girls of ANY age can
wear it. take the sailor stripe top. dress it up
with a blazer, down with a summer skirt, etc.
etc. we all know these things. but isn't it nice
to be reminded with such wonderful pictures?


well folks, that comes to the end of our tour.
hope you enjoyed a little peek into what i
consider the staples of my wardrobe. don't
be afraid to stock up on the clothing items you
wear & love the most!...i'm kind of afraid of
it & maybe i shouldn't be. anyways. good night!

Monday, March 26, 2012

cloisters photo shoot.

a few weeks ago we headed up to the cloisters, which is nestled uptown in a quiet forest that feels wonderfully far away from new york city (which, i have to admit, is REALLY nice sometimes). the cloisters is are is an extension of the met & houses all medieval european art & architecture. the cloisters is are is a dream come true. we went up there to have a little photoshoot with our friend kathryn & her husband....& she takes amazing photos! she & her husband ryan are both really talented & friends of ours. it was all so splendid. here is a batch of pictures from le shoot: 





this one might be one of my favorites:


or this one, of course. fixin' the hair. ba ha:




thank you kathryn!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

sunday sunday. so good to me.

happy sunday, everyone!
aren't weekends a dream?
we've been having some goings-on around 
here lately that i cannot help but take 
pictures of. & here are those pictures. 

so at shake shack they have these things
called concretes, which are essentially
milkshakes but REALLY really thick.
like concrete. see what they did there?
anyways, we went with friends a few
weeks ago & i ordered the peanut butter 
chocolate caramel concrete. & here's
what it looked like:


leeeettttt's just say husband kept doing the whole
"take a bite of mine & i'll take a bite of yours" 
THE. ENTIRE. TIME.


so husband's fellow PhD students are a really international
bunch. there's russians, italians, south americans, asians...
& south californians. a bunch of them got together to form
an intramural soccer league for columbia. anyways, a few days
before their first game husband happened to receive this 
priceless email from his russian teammate, bless his 
heart. just read the whole email. you'll never, ever regret it.


i, personally, am totally sad i missed out on the russian creeps.
(but HEY. i lived in taiwan for a year & a half & 
learned mandarin chinese, so i would never ever make 
fun of anybody trying to learn a new & difficult language.
i don't do that...at least not often. oh. & please don't
call him. that would be a hassle.)

we were at our friend's apartment the other night,
& one time we looked over & their teenser
dog batman was sitting like this, silently, just all 
proper with his front legs crossed. i mean, how 
could you NOT take a picture of batman?!


church today. yay for mint green!:



& i love when husband wears this brown suit. he 
bought it in germany so you KNOW it's got that 
dreamy european cut to it, & every time 
he wears it it's like i just go back in time to those first 
few months we were dating. i'm 99% sure he was 
wearing this suit the very first time i ever saw him. 
you heard that right. it's STILL that vivid in my mind.


i tried taking a photo of him when he 
was looking all authoritative on the phone 
to get an "action shot," but of
course he started hanging up in the 1.5 
seconds it took for me to snap a picture.

have a glorious day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

downtown disney.

our little half-day of day three found us at downtown
disney, which, if i remember correctly, was recommended
to us by her and i'm SO glad we listened. i mean, WHAT
a fun little boardwalk. the day was beautiful, i finally got
to wear a skirt without having to worry about the world
seeing my skivvies when we went upside-down on that
cray-cray hulk ride...i mean, it was just win-win, you guys.

so these pictures are in an exceptionally random order,
so just bear with me. (bear! from a disney movie! oh ho!)

so when we were at disneyworld we kept seeing all
these people with these huge legs of meat & we
kept cracking up because it looked so viking-ish!
we didn't know where all these meat legs were
coming from! but at downtown disney we found
out it's like a real thing, i guess:


amazing sculptures all over the place, made out of legos!


& this is the sweet little sight that greeted me three days 
in a row when i would go pick up benjamin from his
physics conference around noon. mr. physicist in orlando
scoring some sweet swag like lanyard necklaces & water
bottles! {in all seriousness, though, his presentation went
amazingly well. sigh of relief from both of us!}


in a random side note, we went to see the lorax to
fill up the dead space (dead space! oh ho!...oh,
wait, we're not talking about the haunted mansion
anymore) before our flight, & i mean WOWZA,
am i just getting old or is this little image indicating
the women's bathroom REALLY voluptuous?


it's like someone ripped off the docile 
little triangle that was her skirt!

p.s. the lorax. i hate to say it, but it was kinda disappointing.
not at all full of that subtle humor & lovable characters
that make any disney/pixar movie great. sorry, guys.

at downtown disney's candy shop:


with delightful little mickey & minnie chocolate-covered apples:


to infinity & beyond with legos:



wearing a little irish mickey hat jump attempt #1:


wearing a little irish mickey hat jump attempt #2:
the shoes off diaries:


& then just giving up on a good jumping 
picture & becoming a blushing bride instead:


ben & i agreed that while buying mouse ears seems like a
complete waste of money {because, honestly, when will you
EVER wear those things outside of disneyworld, & how
often do you go to disneyworld? like, once every 3-5 years?}
we miiiiiiight consider buying a snowglobe for the kiddies
back home. because you can use a snowglobe every day!


...or these hilarious mickey oven mitts.


{husband's consternation at having two right hands}:


but even with two right hands you can still eat a hot dog. probably.


&, in closing, the countdown is ON! it's ON!


& this, my friends, concludes our wonderful little
trip down to orlando. disney on day one, universal
on day two, & downtown disney on day three. i'll
skip the parts about how our flight was delayed &
we didn't get home until 2:30 am, & i'll also skip the
parts about how we weren't in bed until 3 only
to have to wake back up at 8 am a few hours
later. because it was all worth it, my friends! all worth it.

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