19 March 2015


I haven't written in so long that I started to avoid this blog because it felt like a mountain that only grew larger each time I decided not to write. So much has happened I don't even know where to begin. Ben and I moved from Moscow. It was a little sudden, but it felt like more relief than I have ever experienced in my life. The trip was a blur (with a crazed, sleep-deprived 6 hour layover in Istanbul), but seeing my parents when we got off the plane was amazing. We were done. We were home. 

We've settled in quickly and have been enjoying American comforts (store bought bagels! Target! Driving!) ever since. We thought about moving to Boston in the summer, but a few days ago decided to stay in Chicago and save money. We've been spending our nights around our dining room table, plotting out our wedding, doing little arts and crafts and browsing etsy for deals. It's been a great source of creativity for us and I'm grateful to have something so wonderful to pour my energy into. 

I have--for the first time in my life--a job that does not leave me drained. Ben has been taking EMT classes and working at a restaurant (which isn't the greatest, but we're hoping to move on soon). We have a tiny trip planned for spring break. We bought a (used) car.

Sometimes I have these moments where I feel this deep panic that I'm not pushing myself enough--that I should be growing faster, especially in terms of a career. I compare myself to others and I feel like because I don't live abroad any longer I should be doing something else. 

But I can honestly say that I have achieved a new kind of peace that I haven't really had before. I don't stress about things as much as I used to; I don't feel like I'm falling forward from leaning in. 

This time in my life feels calm and serene, but it is plainer. We made a safer choice, something we aren't really used to, but I feel like was necessary both financially and mentally. When I have my moments of doubt I remind myself that Boston will always be there, that I still have the world available to me. I know I can pick up and go anywhere because I have picked up and gone somewhere. It just feels so good to be here right now. 

I can't wait to share more wedding details with you. Thanks as always for reading. 


10 December 2014

Buy Yourself Sh*t for Christmas x Warby Parker's New Collection

I'm a big fan of the treat yo' self camp.
It's your birthday? Treat yo' self to a Big Mac and a cashmere scarf.
It's your Christmas? Treat yourself to satin sleep mask and a box of those Whole Food sea salt dark chocolates with salt on top.
It's Valentine's Day? Eat a steak and buy yourself a bunch of jewelry from etsy.
St. patrick's Day and you're kiiiinda Irish? Well, you deserve a new OPI polish and some fancy wine (and by fancy I of course mean anything more than $10).

So Christmas is approaching and I have been finished shopping for everyone since before Thanksgiving. But. Seeing as I have been living in the cold, dark, post-office-less Russia, I haven't been internet shopping in ages. I can splurge a little, can't I? Do you guys buy yourself gifts? If so, what do you usually go for (food or things? Is it terrible that I usually do a bit of both?)

The folks at Warby Parker recently got in touch with me and asked if I would help share the news of their new Concentric Collection. On top of the collection being filled with light and delicate glasses, they donate a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair that is purchased (and Christmas is about a time of doing good deeds too!).

They sent me some pictures to take a look at and I thought I would share them and encourage you to splurge on yourself a bit.

I knew a girl in college who wore clear glasses. She had a really cool name and a punch of stick and poke tattoos that had no meaning behind them. She smoked hand rolled cigarettes (because chemicals) and worked at a farm-to-table restaurant. We went to a small school so I couldn't totally copy her style, but I really wanted to bum her glasses and read comic books in the quad.

When I first saw these I wanted to roll my eyes and give it a 'whatever' because sunglasses are kind of overdone to begin with it, am I right (and I say this with love because I literally always wear sunglasses)? But I like how these are kind of sci-fi and I feel like you could definitely convince a drunk baseball bro in his college frat shirt that you were from the future if you were just wearing these babies. 

Like Seth Cohen would know who you are in these.

These glasses are so Hollywood. You can roll out of bed with a white wine hangover, throw these on, grab your Balenciaga and buy a bagel, or slide them on when you're cruising down the highway in your vintage convertible on your way to go surfing. You'll look cool and chic either way.
*I want these babies*

So there you have it. 
What are your trademark 4-eyes? What'd you buy yourself for Christmas?

Are you freaking that the new Serial comes out tomorrow and we'll finally know if Adnan is a psychopath or not?!

29 November 2014

Wedding Inspo// Wedding Cake

The third installation of my wedding inspiration series. Check out my other posts on dresses and flowers

So again, I'm drawn to focuses on flower, nature, minimalism. I think the big, fondant covered wedding cake isn't for me, and I'm really drawn to the "dessert table" option I've seen on a lot of wedding blogs. I think more and more people are choosing cupcakes and multiple pies over the classic, ninety-tiered, gazzilion dollar cake, and I have to say that I like that option much more. 

Again, to each their own, but baking is a big part of mine and Ben's relationship and I'd almost prefer to bake the cakes ourselves or at least have a few different options of our favorite cakes and pies than just pick one flavor.  

Found here

I think this is the most beautiful cake in the world. The waterfall of peonies! I want to die.

Found here

This cake is so beautiful it looked like it just emerged from Neverland or something. Just came right up out of the ground.

Found here

I don't know what this is, but I know I want to eat it. 
It's like a desert, winter wedding cake all at the same time. 
Like a cake for sand-fairies.

Found here

Though the glaze on that cake makes my teeth hurt, I love the Kinfolk-ness of it all. I think I like the visual aesthetic, though if we decide to get married in the cornfield-venue, I don't know how the tree bark will fit in.
I like the lack of frosting for some reason.

Any of you already-married peeps do the multiple cake thing? Did you bake yourselves or if you didn't how'd you pick the baker? Did anyone just say screw it and do something completely different? Let me know!

25 November 2014


1. Get togethers with friends. Appreciating the time we all have left together. 
2. My friend Nick and I finished one of those impossible puzzles... with the help of YouTube (but in our defense, we have been working on that puzzle for months).
3. Ben and Sergey. Sergey was my first friend here. He's promised he's going to come to our wedding and I can't wait to show him America like he showed me Moscow. 
4. iPad-in
5. Bathroom selfie
6. Good-looking breakfast. 

Not Pictured
1. We've been going through our closets and drawers, deciding what should stay and what should go. I am in contact with a Filipino women's group and we're going to be donating a good chunk of our clothing, children's books (which we used for teaching), and odds and ends. I'm glad I'll be able to help out other expats who come to Russia looking for work.
2. L-O-T-S of excitement. Lots of nerves. I feel like we are constantly flipping between "yes, we're doing it! We're going home!" to "Oh my god, we have nothing prepared, what's going to happen?!" But it's good. A lot of good energy flowing through our house. 
3. Christmas! It's been a lot of fun to sit together on the couch, seeing what the other picked out for each other's family. I'm also super grateful that we are going to spend Christmas morning with my family and Ben is going to be able to meet some more of my relatives. I'm also looking forward to then jumping on a plane and heading out to New Hampshire. 
4. Planning a Thanksgiving dinner! We collected money from our friends and assigned duties to everyone--Ben and I are taking on the bulk of it because we love to cook, but I can't wait to see it all come together. 


5. And SERIAL. I loved reading all your comments. I knew you were my people!

Okay, but my theory has changed a lot with the latest episode. I'd say when I posted I was pretty much thinking that Adnan was a total psychopath and that SK was just being charmed by someone who couldn't admit what he had done. 
But here's my new theory: I think Jay did it and I think he did it with Jen, or maybe Jen knows, but definitely something is going on with Jen. I think he was cheating on Stephanie. I think Hae knew about it and was going to tell Stephanie (this was briefly mentioned when Adnan's lawyer was questioning Jay, but I think SK is going to delve into it a bit more later on). I think that gives Jay way more of a motive to kill Hae then Adnan being upset over a break-up weeks after they were finished. 

We know this was a two-person crime because of the car details and what not, but I think it was Jen who helped Jay and that's what she's refusing to talk about it, why her story changed in the beginning, why she came to the police station with a lawyer. She had something to hide from the beginning. He either told her, or she was there... I'm not sure about all that. 

So anyway, that's my current theory. What did you think about the latest episode? You flip-floppin too? Let me know. 

Also... I've been listening to Slate's podcast about Serial which I highly recommend. The AV Club has one too, but I don't like it as much and disagree with a lot of their theories. But here are the links if you're interested. 

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