Category — Randomness
Yesterday two of our friends got married in North Carolina at the Whalehead Club which was just a short drive from the house we rented.
Meet Jean and Peter
The Whalhead Club
The wedding was really incredible, especially since they took a lot of the stuffy tradition out of the ceremony process, and instead turned it into a celebration of their relationship. You would think that logically all weddings would be a celebration of the couple, but I find that most are too focused on the traditions to take the time to add in personal touches, such as having the couples pet turtles at the reception….
They also each took an article of clothing from the other person which they loathed the most and agreed to burn it at the end of the ceremony (it was both funny and touching that the groom was willing to give up his favorite ratty t-shirt for the woman he loves).
Peter and Jean also did so many cool things which were not only creative and beautiful, but budget-friendly. Here were a few of my favorite things:
Fortune Cookie Programs (you had to open up the various flaps to read about the wedding)
Homemade tissue paper decorations
Pies! (rather than traditional wedding cake…and yes, they fed each other pie).
The party favors were re-usable bags with turtles on them (they also had a note inside the bag which read: “Turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, which can lead to their deaths. By choosing to use this eco-friendly turtle tote instead of plastic bags, you’ll help save a turtle! We have also made a donation to the Network For Endangered Sea Turtles, a non profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of sea turtles.”)
The name tags were also turtle themed (on scratch-away rainbow paper)
Later on during the reception Michal and I turned our name tags into ninja turtles
They also used mason jars to serve lemonade and iced tea in
And you can’t have a North Carolina wedding without having peaches!
Since they just bought a house, they had their mail box at the reception, and people were able to write notes and put it inside.
Overall, the reception was a blast…
And of course having some friends there made the experience that much better.
Steph, Eli, and Kristin
Meredith (and some wind)
And having Michal there is always a plus, because he makes me laugh every 10 minutes.
August 23, 2010 No Comments
The adventure blog has sort of been on hiatus this past week, mostly because I’ve been in the process of moving into a new apartment in New Haven.
I also don’t have internet yet, so Michal and I have been at the mercy of neighborhood cafes with free WiFi.
Thank you Cafe Romeo.
I’m pretty excited about my new place, especially since after having lived in both Boston and New York City, it’s an odd feeling to suddenly have so much space (and so much money left over after paying rent!). It will also be nice to officially have my name on a lease with Michal, because living out of a duffel bag was beginning to get old.
Our friends Jesse and Paul will also be living with us, so I’m thrilled that the place will most likely always have people in it. Places always feel more like home when there are voices in the background.
Michal and I are tackling the apartment room by room, so on the agenda for our first weekend in the new place was the bedroom…and this meant the REAL agenda was PAINTING.
White walls sort of horrify me. I’m not sure why, but I’m beginning to think it’s genetic, because in my parents home there is not a single white wall to be found.
Luckily Michal was all for painting the bedroom whatever color I wanted, and since I already had the color picked out (Gentle Tide by Glidden), it was just a matter of dropping by Home Depot to pick it up.
If you’ve painted before, I don’t need to tell you it’s hard work. It took us three days to finish painting and touching up two rooms (we painted Michal’s office too). Because of the fumes we set up the bed in the living room, and lived there for the first few nights.
There was lots of take-out and beer consumed this weekend.
Once we finally finished painting we began moving in furniture.
If Michal looks tired in the above photo, it’s because we were both up at 6am, and in my sleepy state I was a bit indecisive, so I made him help me arrange the furniture in our room about 5 different ways until I finally decided on the set-up I liked.
Once we set the bedroom up the way we wanted, we ran to IKEA to buy some shelving. The shelving was SO cheap and made the room look much more finished.
The bedroom isn’t quite complete, but here are some before and after photos (before photos were taken when we first looked at the apartment).
Don’t colored walls make rooms look so much more inviting?
Because the windows in the front of the room are so beautiful, I didn’t want to distract from that with a clunky headboard. I toyed around with a few ideas, but finally decided on installing a simple IKEA shelf directly behind the bed. For the brackets we used the plastic white ones that only cost one dollar at IKEA. From far away you can’t tell they aren’t wood. In total, our “headboard” cost us 7 dollars. It was definitely the cheapest solution to keeping the area between the windows simple/clean, while still giving us a place to store a book, water, or cell phone at night.
We also bought two large shelves from IKEA (7 dollars each). Since this wall is more of a focal point, we splurged and bought the nicer brackets (5 dollars each). So in total, we transformed this wall for 34 dollars.
We were lucky that no major furniture or bedding had to be bought. My only real splurge were the bamboo shades (Bed Beth & Beyond) which were $40 each, and totally worth every penny, because when the sun hits them they glow this beautiful honey color.
There are still a few spaces in the room that need to be worked on such as:
This house plant needs a buddy (preferably in the form of a mirror)
Not a great view from the bed.
I already have some creative and cheap ideas though, so maybe I’ll update you with photos once I complete the projects.
Someday in the future (way in the future) I’d like to purchase something like this, this, or this, but for now I’m just going to dream about that day, and until then I will focus on decorating my new IKEA shelves with fun knickknacks from my local Marshalls, Homegoods, and TJ Max….which did I mention are all less than 10 minutes away from my new place?
I guess some dreams do come true.
July 19, 2010 No Comments
Tomorrow marks the first day of filming for NINJA ZOMBIES!
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my boyfriend (and pretty much all of my New Haven friends) are shooting a zombie flick this summer, and I’m extremely excited to see it all unfold.
This film has been an incredible labor of love so far, especially since absolutely no one is getting paid.
From the actors, to costume designers, to camera men, to crew….everyone has willingly given up their weekends this summer so they can wear ninja face masks in 80 degree heat (now that’s dedication!).
And what’s my job in all of this? Well I don’t really have an official job, but since the cast and crew are so busy, I’ve taken it upon myself to document the “behind the scenes” mayhem and blog about it. What this really means is that I’m just the “your in the way” girl, or the “don’t touch that prop” girl. Is anyone else drawn to touching breakable and expensive things?
Just look at this expensive Canon 7D camera that I can play with when no one is looking!
And what do we have here? A whole table of breakable goodies for me to get my hands on!
Everyone is working pretty tirelessly tonight to get things ready for the first day of filming tomorrow…
Eli and Meredith are heading up the art department, and they are in the process of putting the final touches on some of the ninja costumes.
Below Mike is preparing a few Korean dishes to serve the cast and crew tomorrow. He’s also an actor in the film AND the producer, so basically Mike won’t be getting any sleep tonight.
There is literally a person in every corner of the apartment doing something….
What’s great about an indie film is that you’re forced to get creative. Above Mike holds a device meant to be a foam water gun for kids in a pool, but with the help of a sharpie marker, it’s now a professional blood distribution unit for applying that extra bit of gore on the zombie actors.
The above photo is actually the last Michal sighting I had. I think he’s somewhere at Home Depot right now constructing stabilizer rigs for his camera out of bike racks and other miscellaneous parts, but the last I heard he was at Toys R’ Us trying to construct a moving dolly? If you see him, please remind him that he should construct his inventions after he pays for the raw materials, and that we miss him, and he should come home.
June 11, 2010 No Comments
Before I begin this entry, you need to know a few things about my past:
- I was a vegetarian for 10 years.
- I was a member of PETA for 7 out of those 10 years.
- In middle school I used to sit outside Shaws and sell pencil eraser caps to raise donations for an animal rescue organization.
- I once boycotted our high school science department for using animal dissection as a teaching tool (plastic replicas would be more cost-effective and humane!!!) And oh how the feelings of unjustice come flooding back…
Now to update you on the present:
- I am no longer a vegetarian, and this makes me sad.
I suppose the beginning of the end for my vegetarian ways was in high school when I first developed anemia due to an iron deficiency from not eating any meat. The reason this iron deficiency happened was because I was still too young to understand healthy nutrition, and since I did not come from a vegetarian family, this usually meant that instead of eating my mothers meal of chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans, I would just eat lots and lots of mashed potatoes. I had no concept of what it meant to be a healthy vegetarian, and my parents often joked that I was “breadetarian,” because instead of meat, I would just eat a second serving of bread.
By the time I hit my sophomore year of college, I started eating meat again. It started in drips and drabs, but pretty soon I was eating turkey sandwiches almost everyday, and to be honest, my body felt great. I was no longer fighting exhaustion, I started running and weight training, and I even started losing weight, and I attributed it all to having let meat back into my life.
Of course I now realize that it was not the meat…well technically it was the meat…but the bigger point I’m trying to make is that it was the iron and protein within the meat that helped my body to properly function again, and I could have gotten that same sort of nutrition from vegetarian sources such as soy, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs, and dairy products if I had just had the knowledge that I do now.
Shortly after graduating college I went back to being a vegetarian, but again fell off the band wagon about a year ago, and looking back, I’m not surprised, because although my vegetarian diet was better than what it used to be, my overall diet was still not healthy. I hardly ever cooked healthy vegetarian meals, and I had convinced myself that carbs and fats were bad.
I finally gave my diet a make-over about a year ago, and I suppose if I had to categorize how I now eat, I would describe it as “Mediterranean,” because my diet mostly consists of vegetables, nuts and seeds, olive oil on everything, A LOT of whole grains, lean cuts of chicken and turkey, and fish. Basically the biggest change I made was integrating a lot of healthy fats and carbs back into my diet (I used to be afraid that peanut butter would make me gain weight, and now I go through a jar a week!).
Now that I feel like I finally have a grip on balanced nutrition, I want to tackle being a vegetarian again, and I thought May would be the perfect time to see if I could go meatless once again. My main goal for this challenge is to learn how to cook extremely basic vegetarian recipes so that I can continue to get the protein and nutrients my body needs, without needing meat.
Even if by the end of the month I don’t go completely vegetarian again, I will at least have a new arsenal of vegetarian recipes that will hopefully replace many more meat meals in the future.
Before I end this entry, I just want to make a brief plea, that if you haven’t yet seen the documentary Food Inc, please please please watch it (if you have a Netflix account you can stream it for free on your computer). At the very least watch the trailer here!
It teaches people that eating less meat isn’t just about being more humane to animals, it’s about making our food safer and healthier, and saving our planet in the process.
May 6, 2010 No Comments
After breakfast on Sunday, I felt exhausted, so I crawled back into bed and didn’t wake up again until around 1:30 in the afternoon.
I don’t know if it was my allergies, or the fact that I was just a bit behind on sleep, but even after sleeping in, I still felt extremely groggy and a bit in a funk. Even though I was in no mood to get out of bed, I forced myself to at least take a nice long walk outside (which often is the best cure for a stale mood).
First stop along the walk was Cafe Romeo for lunch, because my stomach was already grumbling like crazy. I guess my banana bread oatmeal for breakfast wasn’t decadent enough?
Cafe Romeo is a fairly new eatery in East Rock, and although the competition for Italian food is fierce in this area, they’ve sort of carved out their own little niche by pairing good sandwiches with good aesthetic design.
With their open-air store front and large outdoor seating area, the ambiance is definitely a step above the competition, but their service still hasn’t quite reached the level of professionalism that I guess comes with time. I don’t think this has deterred anyone from going though, because the place was packed!
I ended up ordering something I’ve enjoyed at Cafe Romeo before—their tuna salad sandwich.
I had my tuna salad on their whole wheat bread, but in the past I’ve had it on their pumpernickel rye bread, and that’s definitely my favorite.
I also got to sample their foccacia bread, which Michal had an Eggplant Panini on.
Grilled balsamic marinated eggplant, roasted red peppers, and baby spinach, with a kalamata olive tapenade.
This sandwich melts in your mouth
I also ordered some freshly brewed ice tea, which tasted amazing, and really helped perk me up for the remainder of my Sunday walk.
After Cafe Romeo, I came across a store near the New Haven green that I’ve never noticed before (which is odd since I’ve walked past it at least a dozen times now).
Ten Thousand Villages is fair trade non-profit organization whose mission is to, “provide vital, fair income to Third World people by marketing their handicrafts and telling their stories in North America. Ten Thousand Villages works with artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. This income helps pay for food, education, health care and housing.” (Source: Ten Thousand Villages website).
Walking through the store felt like someone had stocked the shelves based on my personal taste in jewelry and home decor.
…And because it was for such a good cause, I had to buy a few things, right?
I immediately grabbed a bar of extra dark chocolate, because it’s really hard for me to find authentic chocolate at the local grocery store, and once you acquire a taste for real chocolate, everything else just tastes processed and fake.
My next purchase was the most beautiful card ever, but I can’t show it here, because it’s for mother’s day, and my mother sort of stalks me through this blog, so I don’t want to ruin it for her (sorry mom–you’ll have to wait until Sunday).
My last (and favorite) purchase was a necklace and pair of earrings made from recycled brass.
I’m a bit obsessed with the craftsmanship and beauty of this necklace (this photo doesn’t do it justice), and the coolest part is that they can provide you with a print-out with background information on any item in the store…
My particular necklace came from the non-profit, Jacaranada Workshop, in Kenya, which provides employment, training, and other assistance to artisans with mental or physical abilities.
The sad thing is that I never really realized the impact one can have by simply choosing to buy their jewelry or home decor from developing countries.
I’m definitely going to make more of an effort from here on out to buy jewelry and other decorative items from non-profits such as Ten Thousand Villages, rather than Anthropologie other stores.
On my walk home I passed this advertisement:
I thought the tag-line would be a great motto for this blog, even though my motto for today was sort of “get out more, spend a little!”
Although there was nothing particularly adventurous about this Sunday, by the end of my long walk I felt so much more energized (and happier) than when I had begun, so I stand strong in my belief that it’s always better to just force yourself to get outside if you’re in a funk.
I know it’s hard sometimes, but a long walk in the sunshine can cure even the most stubborn of mental states.
May 4, 2010 1 Comment
At the Kent Film Festival, there was a short film, “Sebastian’s Voodoo,” which really moved me, so I wanted to share it with you here.
Watching this film also helped me to remember two other animated pieces that moved me in the past–”Doll Face” and “Kiwi.” Please take a few minutes to watch them below. They’re worth it!
To me these three shorts are more than just animated films. They are silent commentaries on humanity. From compassion to desire to self-sacrifice, there is a lesson to be learned from each, and what you take away from these films really depends on who you see when you look in the mirror. And I suppose that’s what makes them great films–that no matter who you are, you realize something about yourself when you watch them.
April 26, 2010 5 Comments
When I first started this blog, I had one rule:
“I promise to never write about nothing, like my 16 year old self would.”
But after rejoining the blogosphere, it’s the same old mind games. You become acutely aware of ordinary things, and suddenly your leftovers seem sort of interesting…
I think I’ll call this dish…
“Happiness–even on a Monday”
March 29, 2010 3 Comments
Welcome to my second office.
I definitely have no free time now that I’ve taken on this website, but with all the support and outreach I’ve gotten since it’s launch on Sunday, I’m extremely motivated to turn this into something special.
Tonight was busy. I got home from work at around 6pm, and decided to tackle an hour long strength training session with my girl Jillian (her exercise video was on sale at Target). I’ve pretty much destroyed my body with running these past five years, so in an attempt to transform the way my joints work (and to get my knees ready for all the upcoming adventures), I’ve taken up strength training. The good news is that it’s working. I’ve cut down my runs to once a week, and this past Saturday’s 5k was the first race I’ve done in quite some time where my knees didn’t feel like they were going to explode at the finish line.
And here’s an interesting side note: I have not paid for a gym membership since April of 2008, and I’m stronger than ever. Sometimes investing $50 in some weights, mats, and a few fun videos is all it takes. You’re also forced to utilize the outdoors more, which I think tends to be a bit more challenging than zoning out on an elliptical machine. This isn’t to say I won’t join a gym again. It’s just not something I need right now.
After working out, I ate dinner, took a shower, packed my lunch for work tomorrow, and then sat down and began brainstorming some adventure ideas for the upcoming weekend. Since Saturday night I have a friends birthday at a restaurant in Brooklyn, I want to balance out those costs with an adventure that is free. This makes for a tricky brainstorming session, because free things are very difficult to come by in this world. I have a few ideas though…but you’ll have to wait and see…
How is it already 11pm?
I have to go charge the battery in my camera, because tomorrow morning I’m going to attempt to document something very exciting….my breakfast routine. Trust me folks, you don’t want to miss how freakishly obsessed I am with this meal.
March 24, 2010 No Comments