Just Because

When I told you all about hosting my college friends for our second annual favorite things party, I mentioned my college friends are some of the most thoughtful people I know.  The goal of the party was to bring a favorite thing to share with each lady in attendance, but I saw housewarming gifts, baby gifts, and birthday gifts being exchanged, too.  It was so sweet.  A thoughtful gift is everything!

I made a mini resolution right then and there to make sure to send people little tokens of my affection whenever I darn well felt like it.  It’s too much fun to get a gift in the mail for little to no reason.  Here are some of my favorite things to send.

Jeni’s Ice Creams

Sugarfina Candy (more specifically, champagne bears!)

Little Acre Flowers (local to the DC area–and many thanks to SCL for introducing me)







I had another post scheduled to run today, but as my phone was down to half battery by 9:30 on Sunday morning, I’m guessing what you really want to know about is Lilly for Target.  I went.  It was fun.  I have no idea how to organize any of my other thoughts, so here are some random ones…

lilly for target

First of all, some people were hella pissed about Lilly for Target.  I get that.  I don’t know what Lilly would think about Lilly for Target.  No one actually does because sadly, Lilly is dead.  But here’s the thing: WASPs are some cheap people.  And it’s not like it was Lilly for Walmart.  That I couldn’t have done.  I guarantee everyone who was complaining about Lilly for Target has bought many an item there before.  Some of my favorite shoes are from Target, and don’t get me started on their fabulous melamine summer dishware.  I just don’t have time to get angry about a Lilly for Target collection.

lilly for target.

That said, I didn’t love anything from the look book too much. I remember reading a post from a blogger who has collaborated with Target, or perhaps one who hasn’t, and she wrote about the constraints of designing for a mass market retailer like the bullseye.  I feel like the kind of issues she wrote about were at play here.  These were not Lilly’s best patterns, nor was everything top quality.  However, Ali scored a tote bag for $15, and at that price, who cares?  I’m getting ahead of myself.

alsi and me.

I met up with Ali at 7:00 to go to the only Target in DC.  We got there and there was NO ONE in line (there were about 15 people).  We went to Starbucks.  When we came back we were the 25th and 26th in line.  We watched a nice group of people snake around until about ten minutes before opening, when a security guard told everyone to just rush the door.  Though people were angry no one was out of control.  So that episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte says, “We’re WASPs; WASPs don’t yell,” must be true.

the mob.

Everyone in line was from the Main Line.  Oh, Lilly.  Some things never change.  I met a girl who went to Agnes Irwin, a guy from Berwyn (who became our BFF, and was also the first person I heard refer to the mayhem as the Preppy Hunger Games), and ran into a sorority sister who is also from the area.  It’s funny that I always lament about the lack of “my people” here in DC.  Turns out they’re here, it just takes a nation-wide Lilly event to bring them together.

mayhem.Here’s a shot of girls edging each other out at the racks (CV(D), note the flamingos).  It was too cutthroat and I wasn’t awake enough to fight them.  So I wandered over to accessories and picked up a couple of items.  But I did overhear someone while I was glancing at a phone cover say, “I just don’t like that it has the Target logo on it.”  Um, hi.  You woke up early and waited in line to be here.  These prints are only available in one place.  If you’re rocking them, we know you are rocking Lilly for Target.  You’re funny.

little shift.

I didn’t agonize over the lookbook before we went, and so I didn’t have any idea of what I “needed.”  Had I made a game plan while waiting outside, I could have made a beeline for it, and picked up at least one of my “must-haves.”  As it was, we ambled around, and picked up a couple of cute things.  Which I think was the way to do it.  When I look closely at everything that’s now marked up on ebay (which I also can’t get worked up over, because it happens after the warehouse sale too), I realize I liked the idea of the lawn chairs, but the print wasn’t perfect.  And the beach towels are cute, but Lilly has made plenty of beach towels before, and I’m sure they’ll make them again.  The best purchase of the day ended up being this shift for my future niece, which I wish desperately they made in my size.  In the meantime, I’m setting my sights back on the warehouse sale, because I didn’t max out my Lilly budget all in one place on Sunday.

The List of Awesome

three-tiered birthday cake.

Year 5 is upon us dear readers, and this year, I took a different route when making the list of awesome.  There are 52 weeks in a year, and there are always 50 items on the list of awesome.  But in years past, I started thinking up the awesome-ness just a few weeks before the list went up.  And this year, I’ve been dating as I go.  A year of awesome.  Enjoy!

4/6/14 – Soaking up Vitamin D

4/13/14 – Perfect beach weather

4/22/14 – Kids who play games outside from dusk till dark

4/30/14 – The sound of rain when you have nowhere else to be

5/6/14 – Pulling off a great homemade dinner when you didn’t feel like cooking

5/11/14 – Getting your daily dose of Vitamin D first thing in the (beautiful) morning

5/19/14 – YA novels that suck you right in even though you’re inching closer to 30.

5/25/14 – Spending the entire day at home, with both the windows and doors wide open.

5/27/14 – Seeing children use manners without being prompted by adults.

5/30/14 – Crawling in bed a little earlier than you planned (this on a Friday night, dear readers).

6/13/14 – Thank you notes with real love in them.

6/19/14 – Challenging yourself to read a book a day.

6/24/14 – Sipping drinks on a back porch.

6/30/14 – Having someone cook you a meal from start to finish, and not letting you lift a finger to help at all.

7/1/14 – Reuniting with friends.

7/3/14 – Iced coffee.

7/4/14 – Holiday traditions.

7/5/14 – Friends who stay later than everyone else for one more margarita.

7/16/14 – Getting good news when you didn’t expect to (#AndThenWeBoughtAHouse).

7/26/14 – Surprise birthday wishes.

7/27/14 – Three-tier birthday cakes (pictured)

8/7/14 – Walks on the beach.

8/18/14 – Starting fresh.

9/1/14 – Spending a long weekend with favorites.

9/20/15 – 90s dance parties.

9/23/14 – Songs that give you goosebumps.

10/16/14 – Spending a beautiful day outside.

10/18/14 – Tailgates.

10/25/14 – Hugs.  Hugs are so awesome.

11/16/14 – Thanksgiving.  And Fakesgiving.

11/21/14 – Unexpected froyo stops.

11/22/14 – Buying handmade.

12/13/14 – Watching old movies

12/27/14 – Friends who send you snaps when you’re not together.

1/17/15 – Podcasts.

1/19/15 – Hearing the sound of demolition on the house you have been waiting five months to renovate.

2/14/15 – Surprise cupcakes waiting for you after a workout.

2/21/15 – Movies that act as love letters to New York.

2/22/15 – The sun coming out after a week of frigid temperatures.

2/22/15 – Feeding others a meal

2/27/14 – Getting a compliment.

2/28/15 – Acquaintances who become friends.

3/1/15 – Cheap pizza.

3/7/15 – People you’ve known forever.

3/12/15 – Cookbooks

3/19/15 – Good news

3/21/15 – Cured meat

3/25/15 – A killer playlist

3/28/15 – Getting so lost in a book that you forget you even have a cell phone.

4/2/15 – Group texts that start at 4:30 a.m. each day and don’t end till 11:00 p.m.

Celebrate, Day 22

Today’s is simple dear readers, and nothing you haven’t seen or heard before.  But if you had a friend who you couldn’t get through a day without emailing and texting at least five times, you’d celebrate her again and again too.

we're so fancy.

Last night, I broke it to my husband that if he didn’t love SCL as much as I did, the two of us probably wouldn’t be married.  SCL and I are a package deal.

cracker barrel porch.


What I’m Reading

It’s time to focus on food, dear readers.  While I told myself I would not turn this summer into a giant to-do list of nagging projects I wanted to finish, I had a hard time not amassing millions more recipes I want to make RIGHT.  NOW.  Here’s the latest batch.

steak night.

“Truly, boozy milkshakes are seriously under utilized.”  Truer words have never been spoken.  Bourbon salted caramel milkshakes, hi.

I never cared about Funfetti from the box at all, but now I can’t stop thinking about it.  That’s weird, no?
My husband has flank steak on lockdown (and it’s pictured above), so I hope he doesn’t get too mad when I inevitably make this.  Because butter!
It’s no secret that I totally fear the pie crust, but I am all about trying this galette with RICOTTA IN THE DOUGH!
Can we go old school and make a Pioneer Woman recipe?  Ree’s Oven BBQ Chicken seems just right.
Gaby made this bruschetta bar that you must have seen by now because I think it was a rule that you had to Pin it as soon as you saw it.  About once a summer we have a dinner in which I purchase a baguette, slice it, and pile on the detritus from my refrigerator.  This is much more intentional way to create that dinner.
I’m all about everything Caprese in the summer, but this tomato and baked polenta salad looks like a twist I’ll have to try.
Joy’s One Pot French Onion Pasta is going on the table for dinner this week, because it will use up lingering ingredients, and also, because caramelized onions.

#BookADay – The Books

Thoughts to follow

the one and only.

i don't care if we never get back.

save the date.

the one.

three times lucky.


minnie mcclary.



lizzie bright.

nantucket red.

then came you.

rebel belle.

meaning of maggie.

year of no sugar.

wawa way.

i kill the mockingbird.

sag harbor.


mr. lemoncello.

the opposite of loneliness.

Not pictured:  Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson; It’s Not Summer Without You, by Jenny Han, We’ll Always Have Summer, by Jenny Han; Room 214, A Year in Poems, by Helen Frost; Love Aubrey, by Suzanne LaFleur; A Tangle of Knots, by Lisa Graff; Nantucket Blue, by Leila Howland; Girl at the End of the World, by Elizabeth Esther; Delancey, by Molly Wizenberg; Marcelo in the Real World, by Francisco Stork; Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins; To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han; Growing Up Duggar, by 4 of the Duggar 19; The Uncoupling, by Meg Wolitzer; I Forgot to Remember, by Su Meck; Chestnut Street, by Maeve Binchy; West of the Moon, by Margi Preus; Save the Date, by Mary Kay Andrews; Revolution, by Deborah Wiles; Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan


What I’m Reading

peach green tea lemonade.

Are you all drinking Peach Green Tea Lemonade?  Because I can’t get enough (collective gasp, I know).

In which Jolie-Pitting is a verb.  (This is another good one.)

New York Mag’s infographic on sleep is fascinating.

Sous Chef Lauren and I send each other Internet every single day, and I wrote the subject line: THIS IS THE BEST INTERNET EVER for this video.  Enjoy!


If we’re friends over on Instagram, you may have already seen this hashtag.  If I’m lucky, it’s on the witty side, and if not, at least it’s truthful.  And then we bought a house.  We didn’t really look for a house.  I mean, sure, we had to have looked because clearly, we found one, but we sort of stumbled into this one.  You know, the way you can stumble into a purchase that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Please enjoy a (slightly edited) version of an email I shared with Cari Faye that tells the story of this charming (or, soon-to-be-charming) pile of bricks.

wednesday white perfection

We were sort of not looking but looking (ohhhhh that’s like when people say they’re not trying to have a kid but not NOT trying, which drives me crazy), which I think you know.  Basically, we like where we are, but a couple of townhouses in our development have sold in one weekend, so we figured it would be worth looking into what’s on the market, assuming that we could unload our place fairly quickly.


We looked at one place in mid-June and ended up not putting in an offer because we didn’t want to go very far over asking, and we knew it already had offers with escalating clauses (Hi, we just found out it went for $60,000 over asking!!!!!).  We also learned that when you’re trying to buy a house in this neighborhood, you have to bring in your inspector when you first look at it because everyone does that and then waives the inspection contingency in their offer, because everyone here is even more Type-A crazy than me, which is a lot.  So we backed off that, didn’t end up putting in an offer, but learned stuff and started getting mortgage approval/paperwork together kind of thing.  We had “the talk” to end all talks after seeing the house for a second time, in which I told my husband that if he got his promotion, I would work harder at learning to like DC.  Spoiler alert:  He got it.


Then he’s looking on his phone the other night and we see this place come up for like no money in the neighborhood where I work (no money; yeah right).  There are only pictures of the front, but sometimes that happens with brand new listings, and then they do the interior pictures in the next day or two, so I didn’t think much of it.  But my husband starts reading the description and it’s like, “owner is having trouble getting belongings moved out so no inside pictures…..when you see the house, owner may not be able to leave…..please keep the cat inside….”  And I’m like, “OMG, IT’S A HOARDER HOUSE.”

So we emailed our realtor and we were like ummmmmmmm. But really we were like, if we got this, we could renovate right away and probably (knock wood) end up paying less than if we bought a more “finished” house in the same neighborhood.  So she took us to see it yesterday.  I was terrified, but my husband was up for anything.

It was exactly what I thought it would be.

Colonial-Style Homes

We didn’t see any mice or mouse poop, but I also didn’t look that hard.  Like, it was cluttered, but aside from the kitchen I wouldn’t say it was filthy, you know?  My husband got totally overwhelmed, but he is actually super into the idea of this house….probably more than me.  The inspector (GREAT guy–love him) said that the bones have been well-maintained.  AC and water heater aren’t ancient, roof in good shape, etc.

And now here we are, submitting an offer tonight.  If we do get it, it could really work out.  We’d get our house on the market hopefully before school starts, and then move in with the in-laws, who have a full bedroom and bathroom to spare.  They also might travel for a couple months again, so we could take care of things while they’re away.  We’d do a HUGE renovation on the new place, the benefits being that we can finish things the way we want, and also since we’re coming into the neighborhood at a lower price point, our mortgage actually wouldn’t change too much from what it is now.

I’ll keep you posted.

So you already know how this ends.  13 offers later, ours was accepted.  Which I remind my husband simply means we’re the only idiots who wanted this bad enough to get them to sell it to us.  We are headed to my in-laws while our current house is on the market, and then we’ll both be working full time by day, and dreaming of tiles and paint colors, and where to put walls by night.  When we can sleep at all.  Wish us luck, dear readers.

Images:  1//2//3//4


Dear readers, life right now is absolutely, completely, and totally crazy.  It’s full of ups and downs and SO MANY FEELINGS.  The best way I can think to update you is to jump in with one of Pip’s comprehensive lists.

on the beach.

Making : plans for the beach next year!
Cooking : but not really.  More like assembling summer sides that go with meat from the grill.
Drinking : Tom Collins!  New to me and the drink of my summer vacation.
Reading: a book a day, though not really loving any of them yet.
Wanting : for the fall to proceed with as few bumps in the road as possible.
Looking : for a new book I’ll love.  Suggestions?
Playing : podcast after podcast after podcast on my road trips to and from the beach.
Deciding : that taking this summer completely off was the best decision I could have made.
Wishing : that manicures never chipped.
Enjoying : daily walks with new playlists.
Waiting : for a whole bunch of paperwork to clear, only to start in on the next round of paperwork.
Liking : the new (drugstore!) makeup I bought in a pinch one morning this summer.
Wondering : just how much butt my team can kick at work this year.
Loving : friends I’ve known forever.
Pondering : the (school) year ahead.
Considering : putting together a bunch more photobooks of some recent adventures.
Watching : Scandal.
Hoping : I don’t miss anything I’ve put away in storage, so I can donate it all in the end.
Marveling : at a 30th birthday cake to remember from two of the most wonderful friends.
Needing : to get back to my sugar detox.  It took an unexpected hiatus when we started dining with friends each night.
Smelling : clothes dried outside on the line.  Heavenly.
Wearing : stretchy pants, because I’ve been on vacation for quite some time.
Following : actually unfollowing a whole bunch of people on Instagram, Twitter, and Feedly.
Noticing : that things tend to happen a lot faster when you’re under a strict deadline.
Knowing : I cannot be the flight attendant for the planet (thank you again, Shauna)
Thinking : that days spent watching Netflix more than you thought possible aren’t bad days.
Feeling : not very much at all about having turned 30, which surprises me.
Admiring : people who keep a positive attitude going more often than not.
Sorting : through years and years of accumulated junk. (#AndThenWeBoughtAHouse)
Buying : (see above)
Getting : a couple pillows custom made from Wooden Nickels’ Etsy shop.
Bookmarking : (Pinning?) interiors I love.
Disliking : that when life comes with a bunch of ups, there will always be some downs mixed in too.
Opening : suitcases, again and again.
Giggling : over the littlest member of our beach crew and his antics.
Feeling : ready to get back to work.  Shocking even myself with this one.
Snacking : on Cheez-It Double Cheese Snack Mix.  My new neon orange food of choice.
Coveting : The Penguin Classics designed by Coralie Bickford Smith, forever and always.
Wishing : I could be in more than one place at once.
Helping : make dessert for a couple upcoming fetes.
Hearing : the waves outside my window as I fall asleep.

What I’m Reading

frittata and salad.

KP is spending her summer in Paris, and she is never afraid to take a road trip.  I’m loving following along with her Sur la Route series.

Tsh went to Tuscany, and I am insanely jealous.

In other, travel related news, Raluca posted a (well-organized) local’s guide to NYC.

And since this post is now on a full-fledged travel bender, here is DALS’ recap of their trip to Alaska.  Dreamy.