J & E

The other day I arrived home to a strange package, wrapped in brown paper with airmail stickers on it. I’m fairly diligent about what I buy online, and I almost never have anything shipped to my house (I can’t fully trust it wouldn’t get swiped before I got home, and plus I just like getting presents at work in the middle of the day), so it was a mystery. No return address that I could see.


Inside was a beautiful box wrapped in purple ribbon, which opened to reveal a smaller, more delicate little bundle, with heart-shaped confetti everywhere. There was a really sweet card, and I learned the present was from the incomparable Sam, celebrating my engagement. Sam and I met a long time ago, and then met officially last summer in person. She is fantastic and beautiful and a total delight to be around. Even when she’s 3000 miles away, she knows how to make a girl smile. Because look what was inside that tissue paper:



I died. Though she would take no credit for making them, I know she put a lot of time and effort into them, and I am so touched she would even think to send a present. I didn’t even do anything besides say “Yes! Get off the ground!” to a very nervous Jamal. They are now perched on our windowsill, and I get all wiggly and excited whenever I look at them. Sam, thank you so much. I love them beyond words and count myself really lucky to have a friend like you.

Damn, guys. What did I do to deserve such awesome friends?

Mile 112

Remember last week when I posed the question, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”? How’s this for an answer: Benjamin Hall gave up his day job as an architect and moved to the middle of nowhere Washington to create furniture that “questioned our typical conventions of what these pieces should look like and answered unmet needs to possess pieces that not only inspire the user, but encourage their own reflection and exploration.” I eat rice krispie treats for dinner, this guy is challenging furniture conventions. Note to self: readjust your priorities. Hall says, “I got tired of dreaming of furniture I could afford so instead I started building and experimenting with designs I desired.” Mile112 was born.

He worked out of an isolated cabin (the nearest mile marker read “112”, hence the name) and relied on solar-powered tools to build his first pieces. Now based in Phoenix, Hall makes each piece built to order, with many of his items made with “zero waste.” I love how visually simple yet striking they are, as well as the sleek, industrial feel of all of them. My favorite might be the Bunky Day-to-Night stool. He makes desks, tables, chairs, wine holders, and even a toilet paper holder. Be still my tiny, industrial-loving heart.


mile112_2 mile112_3


This post was not sponsored in any way, I just felt like sharing.

Tuesday Tunes

This song is pretty out of left field for me, meaning it’s not on either the “Midnight in Paris” or “Amélie” soundtracks, and it’s not a Keane song. It’s a straight-up club song, complete with an Eastern European singer and the funkiest accordion (?) riff ever, and if we’re being honest I’ve listened to it probably 450 times in the past few months. I even bought it for the times I’m not plugged into a computer, listening to it on constant repeat on Youtube.

I don’t know what it is about this song in particular, but I’m addicted. I don’t really listen to a ton of music, especially when I’m writing, but I was working on one part of my novel a few months back that required me to get in the headspace of someone absolutely delirious and buzzing and sweaty, leaving a club on the French seaside in the middle of the night. Voila, ce chanson. Qu’est-ce que vous pensez?

Plumed on Fab.

My dear friend Christine is an absolute gem: kind, sweet, funny, a brilliant interior decorator, and immensely talented. So talented, in fact, that the folks at Fab.com took notice.


If you haven’t already familiarized yourself with Christine’s incredible needlepoint pillows, what are you waiting for?? The Fab.com sale runs until June 15th, and you can always buy through her new online shop. Go go go!

Lean In

Have you heard of Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, “Lean In”? Sandberg is the COO of Facebook, and she gave an inspiring TEDTalk in 2010 about the lack of women leaders and how we’re unintentionally holding ourselves back. “Lean In” continues that dialogue, “combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women.”

The release of “Lean In” spurred a social media tie-in, under the question ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ Women of all ages have answered on the movement’s Tumblr page, with answers ranging from, “Ask for more money” to “Become a professional salsa dancer.” I’ll admit I don’t entirely get how either of things will propel women to the top of their field and grasp the typical career achievements Sandberg preaches in her TEDTalk, but I get that we’re (women and men) generally afraid of going after what we want.

Needless to say my interest has been piqued and I’m planning to use one of the many coupons B&N sends me to pick up a copy of the book this weekend. I’ll report back when I finish! Have any of you read it yet?

And what would I do if I wasn’t afraid? I would quit my job, move to Paris, and write. What about you?

Feeling (Pea)Cocky

A few years ago, Jamal and I went to an animal rescue/petting zoo in the middle of nowhere New Jersey. Of course it was in New Jersey. This was before we adopted Fitz, thereby inviting more insanity into our lives than we were prepared for, and we were looking at any and all dog rescues in the area. Oh! How young and naive we were. This particular rescue had just received a large group of beagles who had been taken from a test facility in North Carolina. Let me just tell you that you shouldn’t even go near an animal rescue unless you are prepared to weep over every single animal in every single cage. It’s torture to walk in and not be like, “I’LL TAKE THEM ALL!”

But that’s not the point of the story, the point is that before we even got into the actual building, we realized that the grounds of the park were packed with peacocks. They were everywhere! Heaven for me, since I love peacocks the way I love all other animals, in a full-on Elmyra Duff kind of way: “I’m gonna hug you and squeeze you and love you forever and ever!” I even took a picture with one, so enthused was I:


Apparently, it wasn’t so heavenly for Jamal. After he snapped this shot, I said, “Okay! Your turn!” and he just stood there, looking at me as though I’d just cuddled a giant hobo. “Your…turn?” I tried again, walking over and taking the camera from him. Once I got closer to him I realized he was staring past me….at the peacock. With a look that could only be described as hate-fear.

“Is something wrong?”

“I don’t like peacocks.”

“WHAT?! How could you not like peacocks?! They’re so beautiful and majestic and colorful!”

“….I got chased by one as a kid.”


“Stop laughing, it was really scary. I don’t like them.”

I mean, okay. I’m marrying someone who is terrified of one of the least violent and evolutionary harmless birds ever, a bird whose only defense is to open a giant fan tail of royal blue feathers and be like “BACK IT UP I AM TOO PRETTY FOR THIS NONSENSE.” It could be worse. I’m just not sure how we’re going to handle taking a future kiddo to the zoo and not instilling in him/her a lifelong fear of peacocks. “GET AWAY FROM THE KILLER BIRD!” is not really a scenario I want to inflict on my child.

Anyway, he’s clearly in the minority, because peacock themed goodies are everywhere. While it’s unlikely I’ll be able to bring any of these things into my house without potentially triggering a flashback to his traumatizing peacock experience, I couldn’t resist making a round-up.


1. Candle / 2. Tray / 3. Pillow / 4. Earrings / 5. Scarf / 6. Phone Case
7. Figurine / 8. Painting / 9. Tea set / 10. Rug

Like It’s 1999

See this bag?


It’s an Alexander Wang Prisma Tote. It’s a normal, everyday tote, right? WRONG. Turn off the lights, and:


IT GLOWS IN THE DARK. Gone are the days of using your cell phone as a flashlight to see in a dark bar, or using candles in a blackout. Just pop out your Prisma Tote and voila, instant light!


I just cannot. It’s on sale from $825 to $578, which is a total steal to be able to walk around like you’re living in a rave. If it dropped another $500 I might consider it, just for the fun I would have turning off the lights everywhere I went and becoming a human glow worm. Would you buy it? Yea or nay.

Tuesday Tunes

French classes started again last night. I’m in level 105 now, and we have a few new people in class. Rachel is still our teacher, and have I mentioned that I sort of love her? Because I do. Did I mention her name is pronounced “Rashelle” and not “Ray-chul”? Of course it is. She’s French! We had our last 104 class two weeks ago, and she encouraged us to bring wine and snacks, and by the end of class we were just watching French videos on Youtube, including this song, by Mc Solaar.

True story, my dad went to Paris when I was 8 and I requested three things from him: a beret, an Eiffel Tower, and a pop culture magazine. I still have the first two (the Eiffel Tower stays on my writing desk, you know, for inspiration), but the magazine disappeared years ago. This was in 1994, and MC Solaar was on the cover. Ten years later, MC Solaar’s song “Le Belle et Le Bad Boy” played in the background of the final episode of “Sex and the City,” when Carrie is running around Paris. Almost 10 years after that, and we’re listening to his music in French class. Everything comes full circle.

The fun thing about this song is the word play I never would have caught on to had Rachel not pointed it out. The line in the chorus is “Je suis l’as de trèfle qui pique ton coeur, Caro” which translates to “I’m the ace of clubs that trumps your heart,” and Caro, which is short for “Caroline” sounds like the French word for diamond. Trèfle =  ♣, pique = ♠, coeur = ♥, Caro = ♦. How neato is that?

Also, my friend Jeff (not to be confused with JAMAL!) sent this to me last night and I haven’t stopped laughing since. I don’t even care if it’s photoshopped. So apropos!







Friday was a good day. We had stinky bleu cheese and baguette for dinner, I bought and blazed through Maria Semple’s “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” (finishing it after a mere 8 hours combined over the weekend. I highly recommend it!), and I finally found peonies. I found them! And I spent the majority of the weekend photographing them and staring at them lovingly. The light in our all-white guest room (slash my writing room) is unbelievable in the mid-afternoon, so I snuck down there yesterday and had a mini photoshoot with these beauties. Yes, they smell as gorgeous as they look. I actually had a hard time leaving the house (this morning included) because I really don’t want to miss them opening and becoming even more beautiful. That’s not weird.