Saturday, January 30, 2010

Recipe for the best birthday weekend ever:

1. Arrive home from possibly the greatest Karaoke night in history (when it ends with two gay men belting "Defying Gravity" you know it's good).

2. Open mailbox to discover a package from best friend.

3. Open package to discover an anthology of poems by John Donne!! (Yes, I am aware that my passion for metaphysical poetry qualifies me as a complete nerd)

4. Sit around in pajamas reading sonnets for half of the day Saturday.

5. Go out for barbecue and beer with the coolest girls in town (If I had to choose between barbecue and John Donne, I don't think I could do it. I have mildly erotic dreams about pulled pork sandwiches sometimes.)

6. Dance all night.

7. Stumble home with the girls for a sleepover!!! (Yes, I'm turning 24, not 13... but let's get real. Slumber parties never get old.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"The Foodie Five Second Rule"

Saw this on Seattlest this morning and thought it was too funny not to share...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Proof that the best things in life are still free.

Like a warm, sunny day off of work in the middle of January.

And a good friend to adventure with.

And gorgeous mountain views within miles of your apartment.

If only my camera could capture the beauty of days like these... (that's for you, Jimbo)

Things I'd buy myself if I didn't have to spend my Christmas money on rent.*

As I fast approach the ripe old age of 24, one of the grown up life lessons I'm learning is that usually you have to choose between having a job you love and having a mediocre job that pays well enough that you can do the things you love in your free time.

My job (and its 200-dollar-a-week stipend) falls under the first category. And for the most part, I'm satisfied with that.

But just so I can get it out of my system, here's a list of things I would be buying myself right now if I didn't have to be responsible and stuff.

1. A wall-mountable spice rack. My apartment's white walls are starting to drive me a little crazy.. This one could totally "spice up" the boring wall space above my stove. I suppose a kitchen table would be nice, too. But for now dinner parties around the living room coffee table are proving to be quite quaint.

And while I'm on the subject of cooking...

2. Ever since I went on food stamps (no, seriously. details to come on that one.) I've been cooking a lot. One of my favorite places to find recipes is The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I'm pretty sure Ree Drummond is next in line to inherit the throne of butter from Paula Deen (and we all know how I LOVE me some Paula). And I've been dying to get my greasy hands on a copy of The Pioneer Woman Cookbook. But I'm a girl who knows it's important to eat healthy foods, too. So to keep myself balanced, a subscription to Cooking Light wouldn't be so bad, either.

3. I love love love snail mail. And wish I had the money to send out adorable, hand printed valentines like these ones. Next year, my loves. Next year.

4. Speaking of valentines, I'm pretty sure I could score myself a hot date on V-day if I owned this dress. (Now on sale for the low, low price of a week's wages.) You know I'm a sucker for polka dots. And that cut on my hips? Even Joanie would be jealous. (I'm a size 6, by the way...)

5. Tickets to the Sasquatch Music Festival in May. Last year's lineup was amazing (Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Explosions in the Sky, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Avett Brothers to name a few.) and this year's is sure to kick booty as well (it won't be announced until mid february). But alas, the curse of the starving artist means there's no money left to spend on art.

6. Single Ladies dance lessons. Seriously, how could anyone have ever doubted that Seattle was the city for me when classes like these are happening just down the street.

7. A rain hat to keep the frizz away on nasty days. My hood doesn't quite fit over all my hair, and an umbrella is just too much for Seattle mist. This hat from bloomingdale's is outrageously expensive. BUT also kindof the most adorable thing ever. And it comes in black to match my raincoat and oh-so-adorable boots.

8. A trip to San Diego to get away from the rain and visit my friend Carrie, who, by the way, works at The Old Globe where Duncan Sheik is premiering his new indie rock musical. Oh how I'm kicking myself for not being impulsive enough to buy that president's day flight I saw for 150 bucks last month. Now tickets have jumped up to well over 200 bucks and the trip is no longer feasible. :(

9. A Canon Rebel digital camera. Oh wait. My dad has an extra camera laying around that he's not even using. (cough cough, nudge nudge, Jimbo).

10. A flight to Indiana to meet my godson. It kills me that he is this cute and I still have not even held his chubby little body in my arms.

Still, all these wants aside, life in Seattle remains pretty amazing. Sure, I'm pinching pennies. But day by day, my needs are being met. How blessed am I to have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and good friends to eat it with. All the wish lists in the world couldn't match up to that.

*Alternate title: Things Sarah wouldn't mind finding in her mailbox on January 31. Which happens to be her birthday. Just so you know...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Year's Resolution: Carpe Diem

Forgive me bloggers, for I have sinned. It has been 22 days since my last post.

Seriously. My apologies for the long absence.

As most of you know, I went home for Christmas-- a trip that ended up being way more difficult than I was expecting it to be. I don't know how I got it into my head that my first visit to the east coast in 4 months was going to be relaxing.. but that's what I was looking forward to. I even brought home some extra work.. thinking I'd actually have time to get a jump start on some projects for the new year. (HA!)

Somehow, it didn't dawn on me just how many people from back east I would want to see-- or how exhausting it would be to squeeze quality time with every dear friend I've had in the past 12 years into a two week visit. (There are still so many more friends that I wish I'd been able to see). Though time at home was much needed-- it was really tough. For the first time it hit me that I live in two different worlds now.

In Virginia, I am so blessed to have this wonderful family, and these beautiful, deep friendships, and hundreds of familiar places and foods and memories. But in Seattle everything is new. And in that, there is so much potential. So many places I haven't seen. So many people I haven't met. Every day is an adventure (albeit a soggy one, sometimes).

In the past few weeks, I've gotten a lot of questions about if/when I'm coming home. I wish I knew the answer. The truth is, I don't even know what "home" means anymore. It terrifies me to think that I could stay out here long term, but I also can't really see myself leaving for at least another year or so. There are too many west coast adventures left to be had. And though I can definitely see myself settling down back east someday, when or how that will ever happen is completely unknown to me.

But the crazy thing is. I'm starting to be ok with that.

The new year went by so fast that I didn't have time to really make any resolutions before I'd already broken them. But I've been doing a lot of self-reflection lately and I've realized that I need to start living in the present. It seems like all of my thoughts lately have either been regrets and "what ifs" about my past or worries and overly idealistic hopes for my future. The truth is, I can't control either. I can't change the choices I've made in the past, and no matter how much I plan for it, the future will always surprise me. So I might as well start living for today. Already God has blessed me with so much! A car, an apartment, an internship where I have free reign to grow and challenge myself, more food than I can actually eat (thank you, intern food drive!), a phenomenal church, girlfriends who already feel like soul sisters... And though there is plenty of uncertainty ahead of me, there's so much to be excited about too.

One last thought before the cheesiest (and possibly greatest) song of the day you will ever see on this blog. Every so often I'll revisit a scripture I know by heart and all of a sudden something new will click for me. This week it was the Lord's prayer. "Give us this day our daily bread." It's a simple supplication I've said a thousand times. But this time it hit me. Jesus never promised us tomorrow. But this day. This day there is bread enough to sustain us.

So without any further ado.. here's my personal song of the year. Try not to judge me too hard.