Thursday, October 30, 2014

instagram: five fun feeds.

the onion - a stream of wonderfully, bitingly satirical posts as good as the website. you can follow america's finest news source @theonion. (the above photos are from their instagram feed.)

ballerina project - daily shots of beautiful dancers striking beautiful poses in beautiful places (or the occasional subway station :)). follow @ballerinaproject_. (photos above from the ballerina project instagram feed.)

the metropolitan museum of art - they post photos of the art housed in their museum (so meta), recognize artists' birthdays (the statue above was posted in celebration of auguste rodin's birthday), & photos of the met throughout history. follow @metmuseum. (the above photos are from their feed!)

oh happy day - a lifestyle blogger in san francisco, she's just always got something going on. she's incredibly crafty & creative, she has a beautiful home, a beautiful workspace, an amazing car, there are bright colors, cool knickknacks, & other general inspiration for living a pretty life. follow @ohhappyday. (&, yes, photos above are from her instagram feed.)

the dogist - a series "dedicated to capturing the beauty of dogs," the pictures are actually really lovely. anyway, it's for all dog-lovers out there...or, at the very least, dog-appreciators. kinda fun. follow @thedogist. (all photos above are from the dogist feed.)

stay tuned for a part two with five more instagram feeds - i wanted to add more *'grams* to this list, but the alliterative appeal of "five fun feeds" was too good to change. bye for now!

Monday, October 27, 2014

what we've been up to lately.

ben has been in vancouver, bc this last week (he gets home TOMORROW, & then that is the LAST of his trips for a long while: he'll be here for the holidays, he'll be here for baby's birth, it'll be good) so i've been having lots of adventures of my own. last friday night i treated myself to a night at the philharmonic. they would be playing the firebird suite & i REALLY wanted to hear it live but i knew ben wouldn't be able to i went by myself! (with baby, technically, of course) it was everything i was hoping it would be - i teared up during the grand end, which ben & i agreed is one of the best endings to any piece of music ever. you can listen to it HERE (& ben reminded me that he has actually played the firebird, or at least parts of it, when he was in, what was it called, the southern california honors orchestra, or something like that, in high school? "it was as nerdy as it sounds," he said. :)

the philharmonic plays at avery fisher hall, which is at lincoln center, which in turn is right across from the church building we meet at. so after the concert, i took a moment to snap a selfie with angel M himself:

two weekends ago i went with some friends up to the blaze in the hudson valley. the hudson valley has such amazing history, not least because they are home to sleepy hollow, the headless horseman, & lots of other fun halloween lore. 

ben & i also went to the blaze last year, which you can read about HERE. this year, my friend jamie & i took the train about 30 minutes out to croton-harmon & then it was about a 10 minute walk from the station to the blaze, where we met up with friends (i can't believe i didn't get any pictures of the group!) basically, the blaze is about a half hour (or longer, depending on how slow or fast you walk) walk on a path that takes you through various fun & spooky scenes made completely out of carved pumpkins. dark, moody music plays, they have informational signs, & the pumpkins flash with lights inside. it's so fun! i read a sign that says the blaze consists of about 10,000 pumpkins, & they carve new ones every week to replace those that have rot. it's always such a cool event to go to - also because we stop at the little tent after for hot chocolate, apple cider, & apple cider donuts. yummmm.

a spider web, a giant clock, & dinosaurs are just a few of the scenes we walked through.

towards the end we walked through a giant arch stuff with pumpkins on all sides. 

anyway, we love the blaze. it's a pretty great place to go to to help get into the halloween spirit.

two sundays ago i had lunch with friends, & i just appreciated this exceptionally cute baby staring at me for a long period of time as we sat around chatting afterward:

last saturday we took a trip with some youth from church to the cathedral of st. john the divine (which is actually less than five blocks away from our apartment!). as with any cathedral, there were so many magnificent things to see there. one of them was this beautiful exhibit in which various artists depicted how different religions pray. i didn't get an incredibly good look at it all - it was tough because i was one of the leaders & was focusing on other things - but i am 100% planning on going back, with ben this time, to wander for hours among the various statues. i'll report back on this one! i did spot a kindred spirit in one particular statue - womb twins! (plus daisy's photobomb there on the left :)

later on that same day, after the cathedral, i stopped by our ward halloween party. all week i had totally been planning on wearing a costume (& i had a funny, sly, even subversive costume in mind) & then what with work & trying to plan things for the cathedral activity, i ran out of time. but no worries! i plan on unveiling the costume (of which ben will be a part) on halloween & i can't wait. so no costume for me, unless you count "pregnant lady" as a costume of sorts...? anyway, i posed with my friend steph who, although she has no kids of her own, is seen holding the sweet babies of our church so often visitors & new people always think she's a mom. it's great:

so the next day, sunday (which was yesterday, because i'm blogging about this today, monday [& starting to feel like a rebecca black song what with all this listing of the days of the week...anyway]) i ran into some friends of mine, whom i've known forever & also haven't seen in forever! sarah (in the middle) is my age & we were part of a group of six girls in our stake that were the best of friends in high school. annie, on the left, is my little sister's age & i spent a lot of time with her as well. & we all just happened to be wearing all black, so it was like our little meet-up was meant to be. love those girls.

have a good day!

Monday, October 20, 2014

a few links from around the internet.

^ before & after shots of joggers.

the best way to respond it the comments of internet trolls? sew their words onto some muslin & make it look adorable.

delving more into the meaning of the word "basic,"  as in, "she's a basic white girl".....hoooooo boy.

a project in which a photographer literally throws herself at men (who also happen to be strangers who knowingly signed up for the project through craigslist). it's a hoot, & awkward & strangely romantic. lilly mcelroy, the artist, says, "there is obviously a strong feminist component to this project & that read is very important to me. mostly, though, i'm interested in talking about how human that desire for connection is." (the photo below is from the article)

current blog obsession: jasmine croissant has me envying something fierce. 

designing a nursery in six steps this feels both incredibly relevant to my life right now & something i see & think, "i should forward that to my mom!"

in search of a great twitter feed? (A better question: are you ever NOT in search of a great twitter feed? :) ) no no further: wtf renaissance will have everything you want in a twitter feed. truly - THIS IS A GOOD ONE.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

28 weeks: an update.

(oy, the mess in the background of these photos. tissues for the residual sniffles i have from that cold a few weeks ago, the perennially comely AC unit, the mac charger, the's like a still life, minus a dead animal or two.) 

here we are, another week gone. this pregnancy is flying by. it's reminding me a lot of my mission: the days passed as sllloooowwww as weeks, & the weeks passed as quickly as a single day. & then it was like before i knew it, i was on that long flight home from TW wondering how i had even gotten to that point. i have a feeling that's how it's going to be those first few days i'm holding the little cupcake that is currently GROWING INSIDE OF ME. it'll be all, "how did we get here??" anyway, lemme do a quick update with a template i'm shamelessly lifting from this post:

baby's size: a large eggplant, around 2 pounds. POUNDS?! i have something inside of me that has left the dinky world of ounces behind & now weighs in the POUNDS??!

i'm feeling: mostly really good! i do have to be careful, there are a lot of circumstances that trigger some intense stomach pain: after a day of work i'm pretty exhausted & have to come & sit for at least an hour & a half. if i push myself too hard physically (read: walking too fast? holding the toddler i watch for oh, more than 20 seconds?) i cramp up & have to sit. i have official orders from the doctor to stop running (at least for a few weeks, but with the pain i was experiencing the last few times i ran before doc's orders, i have a feeling i won't run again the rest of this pregnancy {a sad story for another time}) at the risk of spurring on the mini contractions i had this one night a few weeks ago. BUT. if i listen to my body on all these things, & just kick my feet up when my body gets angry with me, i do fine.

food love: see, this one is tough, because i can't tell if the food that i love stems from pregnancy cravings or just my normal love of food. let's just take a look at the food i've been loving & craving lately: pizza, hot chocolate (okay, that one's a drink), life cereal, oranges, & beef lo mein from the chinese place around the corner. pregnancy loves, or just normal life loves? tell me. also, does scandal count as a food craving? :)

food hate: get me away from most fish, immediately. nay, get me away from most fish, YESTERDAY. 

3 pros of october: 
1. strangers being incredibly nice. it's not so much a "pro" as it is a fascinating ongoing study of, i don't know, societal patterns, i guess.
2. being pregnant in the fall! a crazy/exciting thing happening during a delightful season (i'm being careful here lest i venture into this confusing territory).
3. daily, & usually hourly, karate chops from the girl of a thousand kicks.

3 cons of october:
1. waddling when i'm tired. "it's cute," the guy who calls himself "ben" "claims."
2. those CRAMPS though.
3. no more running! one of my favorite ways to exercise & recharge. oh well - it'll be fun to switch things up.

currently living in: dresses like this or this with tights or leggings underneath. i don't know if i'll ever go back to jeans, even AFTER this babe arrives (or maybe that's just the mindset i'm in right now talking!)

looking forward to: TOTALLY taking advantage of this pregnancy when it comes time to pick a halloween costume. i have a few ideas bouncing around, but let's not forget this priceless treasure trove of ideas.

dreaming about: can't quite remember these days. at the very least, i'm not really having those  super trippy, crazy-A dreams i had during the first trimester.

good night!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

art & the visually impaired.

it all started with the new york times piece "the art of slowing down in a museum." 

the article itself is wonderful ("what if we slowed down?" it asks. "what if we spent time with the painting that draws us in instead of the painting we think we're supposed to see?") & addresses something that nags at me whenever i visit a museum: do i zoom through to the heavy hitters & quickly glance at the pieces along the way, in order to check off some kind of "famous paintings i've seen in person" bucket list? or do i slow down & pause for longer periods of time at more paintings - including the lesser-known ones? 

while there's no one correct way to experience a museum, james o. pawelski (a directer of education for the positive psychology center at the university of pennsylvania) says, "when you go to the library, you don't walk along the shelves looking at the spines of the books & on your way out tweet to your friends, 'i read 100 books today!' yet that's essentially how many people experience a museum." that kind of humbled me.

ANYWAY, this is a very tl;dr intro to a part of the article that i really loved. the piece points out that many museums are actually encouraging museumgoers to mimic the pose of a statue & take pictures of it, because it helps them form a new appreciation for the piece. the author then adds, "in fact, taking on the pose of a sculpture, for example, is something the Met does with visitors who are blind or partially sighted because 'feeling the pose' can allow them to better understand the work."

i loved this idea of enhanced accessibility for visually impaired museumgoers so much, i kind of got caught in an internet rabbit hole of reading as much as i could about it. there are so many programs & methods out there for helping blind, visually impaired, & in other ways disabled people appreciate art & museums. anyway, it was kind of fun to learn more about it. 

art beyond sight is doing great things to help blind people learn about, appreciate, & create art. here is their twitter account, & there's also new york beyond sight where new york city residents describe their favorite landmarks. cool!

programs at the met for the blind or partially sighted. 

an article in disability studies quarterly entitled, "from the mind's eye: museum & art gallery appreciation for the blind - canadian perspectives," with this line, "enjoying art is less about seeing, and more about thinking." it's a little long, but worth a scroll-through, at least.

a nyt article titled "welcoming art lovers with disabilities" lists several ways museums are creating new & innovative programs all the time to further enhance the museum experience for disabled people. i would highly recommend reading this piece - it's a fun one.

one writer shadows a married couple for a day as they visit the Met. she is blind; he is not. the writer notes details from him firmly placing his hand on her back as they navigate the crowded lobby and her clutching tight to a list of works she wanted to see, to a step-by-step outline of the way he methodically & lovingly describes each work to her.

happy reading! that is, if you decide to read any of these :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

dressing the bump: attempt #68 (27 weeks).

awkwardly, i'm trying out some serious poses in these first few photos instead of my usual more happy looking ways. i now realize i can't quite pull it off, & i apologize :)

as i'm sitting here typing, my belly is sprawled out before me, ben, & god himself (God Himself, 'scuse me) & baby is kicking away so hard i see the movement all the way from out here (it's after 11 pm, which is usually the time she goes **nu-uuuts** [said in a high-pitched voice with strong vibrato]). seriously, she's such a kicker. i was comparing notes with a friend of mine who is due about a month before me, expecting a boy, & she was saying that her little guy is more of a roller. when she feels him move, he's mostly rolling, turning, & readjusting. which is funny because this little one in me is a kicker. man she's a kicker. sometimes her kicks come in strong, long segments, like how it would feel if someone were dipping their legs into a pool & kicking the water to make giant splashes. even at this stage in the pregnancy, her kicks are sometimes so forceful i arch a little in pain. 

another story: the other week during an ultrasound, she was putting on such a dancy, wiggly, kicky show on the screen for ben, the resident, & me that he (the resident) exclaimed out of the blue, "wow, she's a party animal!" haha.

this dress is a thrifted little guy (not a maternity dress), & i've found that a lot of the vintage dresses i love & gravitate towards are working really well with my growing bell (that's a purposeful typo, because RHYME). weirdly, i actually like how this dress looks on me with a pregnant belly more than how it looks on me, well, not with a pregnant belly. it just kind of hung a little shapeless, i think? you can see what that looked like HERE, back when i had bangs & long hair! weirrrrdddd.

i love the white detail on this dress - the scalloped strip crosses the front & the sleeves & continues on all the way around to the back & up the neck. it's just a really great thing.

remember in an earlier post (in which i am wearing the same heels i am in this post!......nah, not embarrassed) i told you about how ben snaps photos for a crazy long amount of time after our little "photoshoot" has stopped & i'm packing up & getting ready to leave? needless to say, he struck again:

me saying, "okay, STOP!!"

& lookee what we have here, the snaphappy snickerdoodle himself:

good night! baby just gave two swift kicks in succession, which we interpret as meaning "goodbye!" either that or "give me another bite of those reeses pumpkins NOW."


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