A Very Purple New Year!

Welcome to 2013, dears! It feels like a good year already. The Boy and I spent a quiet new year at home together, listening to a live stream of this year’s Furthur show (we couldn’t get tickets) and eating an obscene amount of food. I made three kinds of fritters, people. And then short ribs and risotto. The Boy had to roll me to bed.

Everybody’s talking about new years resolutions, so I guess I’ll chime in with my own. I find resolutions like “go to the gym” or “learn French” kind of silly and unrealistic. I was having trouble thinking of one until yesterday, while I was cooking. I turned the hot water tap on to wash meat off my hands, and then got distracted by something. When I turned back to the sink, The Boy had turned the cold water on so that I wouldn’t burn my hands. I was such a little thing to do, but it made me think.

This year, my resolution is to be the best partner I can be for The Boy. This is the last year in which we will not be married, and we’re both trying to figure out how to build a real life together, how to support each other, how to navigate the shared responsibility of family, and how to not kill each other every once in awhile. Obviously we’re doing pretty ok at this point since we’ve made it this far, but there’s plenty of work to do.

And hey, if I break my resolution this year, we have the rest of forever to figure it out. But then, I guess that’s true of all resolutions.

Image via.

“All these varieties of speech are beautiful, just as the varieties of butterflies are beautiful.”

I’m working on a writing deadline today, so this writing advice by Kurt Vonnegut seemed especially apt. I love #2, and this: “The most damning revelation you can make about yourself is that you do not know what is interesting and what is not.” Oh, Kurt. You strange and tender man, how we miss you. Check it out in large format here. You can read the entire series, published by International Paper, and featuring advice from such luminaries as John Irving and Bill Cosby.

Found here.

Three Things: To Live

So here it is: the finale of “Three Things”. Now, now: don’t get sentimental. For the last installment I thought I’d get back to my roots. This blog is all about that fabled, mythical, purplest house I will one day own. So today, my Three Things are all about the cozy home I’ll own one day.

THREE THINGS: TO LIVE

1) Of utmost importance: my epic library. Floor to ceiling books, complete with rolling ladders so that I can act out all of my Beauty and the Beast fantasies in the privacy of my own home. Lady in the photo is Nigella Lawson, by the by. Oh, and trick bookcase door is a must.

2) Every room will be playful, a joy to inhabit. Even the bathroom.

3) My house will be a house of the unusual, the unexpected, the strange and the wonderful. Trapdoors, and slides, and swings, taxidermied unicorn heads over the mantle, and greenhouse bathtubs. It will be a mix of quiet corners and eye-watering pops of color. It will be lived-in, loved-in. Friends and family will come to visit and they will say, “that’s a house that only Kylie could own.”

Dear Autumn: I Miss You (And Other Things I Thought I’d Never Write)

Welcome to Los Angeles. It is September 24th, and the today’s forecast is sunshine with a high in the mid-80s. In my air-conditionless apartment, the fans are never turned off. I take four showers a day. There is no end in sight.

And meanwhile, on Tumblr, Pinterest, and the so-called Blogosphere, everyone is talking about crisp days and crisp leaves, warm beverages and light layers. I was so excited to move to Sunshineland. I left the east coast at the end of a long and bitter winter. When I got to my new apartment, I was thrilled to hang my heavy coat in the back of my closet. I flipped the bird at “wintry mix”, at thick knit sweaters, at two pairs of socks. I said “see ya later, suckas” to ice skating, skiing, snow-shoeing, curling, and all those other winter games I can’t stand.

But what I forgot about was autumn. That brief, blissful moment at the end of September and the beginning of October, when all of New England gets a new paint job. That welcome reprieve from the oppressive heat of summer, so humid it hangs around your shoulders like a wet feather boa. Those fleeting weeks where the air is cool and refreshing, but not yet cruel and biting. I never thought I’d say it, but I miss driving through the rolling hills of Connecticut, past tiny white churches framed by crimson, burnt sienna, orange red, and red orange leaves, past rust red barns surrounded by rust red trees, past grazing horses just starting to grow in their shaggy winter coats, crunching through the dry brown detritus collecting in their paddocks. In the past few weeks, I’ve started to instinctively reach for tea, for cider, for soup, for Porters and Stouts, those dark, sweet, stick-to-your-ribs beers I love so well.

I miss that first day of fall. I don’t mean the autumn equinox, or any calendar date. I mean that first day when it’s still technically summer but you walk outside and even though it’s still sultry hot out, for the first time in a long time you smell just the faintest hint of musty dead leaves and burning logs. I miss pulling the covers up to my chin. I miss sweaters over dresses with boots. I miss that transition from the shouting, laughing, shorts-wearing, popsicle-eating days of summer to the quieter days of fall, that inward turn from splashing in the pool with friends to reading a book by yourself in the armchair by the window. I miss knowing that the world is changing, and therefore knowing that I am changing. I miss cider. I know I said it before, but I really miss cider.

But more than anything, fall is a time for lovers. Summer is so hot; we sleep stock still on separate sides of the bed, sweat pooling in the creases of elbows and knees. But fall–fall is a time for flushed cheeks, for holding hands, for kisses on cold noses. I think back on last fall and I remember one absolutely perfect thing: at night, in bed, I used to slide my feet between your knees, just to keep my toes warm.

Guess I’m due for a trip home, guys.

All images linked to sources.

 

Three Things: To Go

Alright people, three more things! Today: To Go. I’ve had the travel itch real bad for a while now. Not sure if Pinterest makes that better or worse, all those lush photos of beautiful, strange places I’d like to know. So, with that in mind…

THREE THINGS: TO GO

1) Rainforest Canyon, Oneonta Gorge, Oregon. The Boy and I are making plans for our next trip, and we’re hoping to do a Pacific coast road trip next fall. Drive down twisting, winding roads atop terrifying bluffs overlooking that blue, blue vastness. Camp along the way to appreciate all that lovely, verdant wilderness. Oh, and eat at this restaurant. Look at all that fresh ricotta!

2) Val D’Orcia, Tuscany, Italy. Wine, wine, wine all day. Drink wine and play with goats on a small Italian farm… bliss.

3) Alaska. Tundra. Aurora Borealis. I recently wrote a short book on life in the Arctic and you might say I’m fascinated by the alien landscape, and the absolute wildness of that world.

So there you have it folks. The three places I’d go if I could close my eyes and wish myself away right this very instant. Check out the rest of my travel fantasies here, or follow all my boards on Pinterest.

Three Things: To Wear

Back again with three more things! Today it’s all about style. I feel like (among other things) my style is going through a fundamental change right now. On the one hand I’m still into all my staples: high drama, bright colors, big bows. But I’m starting to edge towards more classic, timeless looks as well. Am I getting older? Looks like it. Can I stop it? Guess not. But I think that I can find a happy marriage between those two looks. One of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received came from one of my favorite acting teachers. She told me I reminded her of old school Diane Keaton. She said, “Diane knew what she wanted to look like way before the rest of us had a clue. Kylie knows exactly what her style is.” Well if not, Pinterest is certainly helping me figure that out.

 THREE THINGS: TO WEAR

1) Flannel + Leather!

2) There are parrots and chili peppers on her dress, people. PARROTS. AND CHILIS.

 3) There’s something some classic and Parisian about this look. And it looks so comfortable! Like wearing your robe out to a party. Not that I haven’t done that…

So I’ll be back tomorrow friends, with three more things! Enjoy yourselves, and check out the rest of my Pinterest style here.

Three Things: To Eat

Hi friends! Back again with three more Pinterest finds. Today we’re looking at three things I’d love to eat. I keep two Pinterest boards for food: one for simple, easy recipes that use household staples, and one for fantasy food, all the recipes I will make when I have endless time and money. As you can see I have a rich fantasy life that involves… bone marrow. Gosh, I get shivers just thinking about bone marrow.

THREE THINGS: TO EAT

1) Apple Hand Pies with Cheddar Crust. WITH. CHEDDAR. CRUST.

1) Brisket and Brie Tacos with Mango Salsa. ‘Cuz we all know I’m a TACO MONSTER.

3) Braised quail tarts with pear and thyme relish. Just so… so many things. Quail. Pear relish. Quail. PEAR RELISH.

When I was an office worker desperate for lunch time, I used to wile away the hours looking at recipes online. If only I’d had pinterest, so much food porn in one place! Check out quick, simple everyday recipes here, and some more elaborate, drool-worthy recipes here. Also be sure to check out the rest of my Pinterest for more daily inspiration!

Three Things: To Own

So I’m trying to get back to writing every day. But sometimes this is difficult. Last winter I was living the housewife life. I had nothing to do all day but write posts, and read books, and make sure dinner was on the table when The Boy came home from class. This was nice, this was pleasant. I was hibernating. But now, with all the other things to see and do in my life, writing feels overwhelming. So this week, just to dip my feet in the water, I’m doing a series called “Three Things”. Each day, I’ll post three Pinterest finds all relating to a certain theme. I’m going back to basics, to remind myself of what this blog is all about: sharing daily inspirations with you kind folks.

So today I’ve got three objects I would like to own, from useful to useless. Because I’m me, they’re mostly useless… in the most useful sort of way. Please enjoy, and I’ll be back tomorrow with three more!

THREE THINGS TO OWN

 1) Paris in a Box block set. As a child (and adult) I loved my blocks. Look at these beauties in all their Parisian glory! And I never say nonsense like this but: wouldn’t these make a lovely and original baby shower gift?

2) Persian kitty birthday candle. And I do have a birthday coming up!

3) Brass toy pill bugs (or rolly polies, as I used to call them). What for? Who cares, I love them!

So those are my three things for today, friends. Stop by tomorrow for three more pins! And check out more inspiration on my Pinterest boards!

Where I’ve Been

Hey folks, so obviously I haven’t been around a lot lately. Quite frankly, my life has been a bit of a whirlwind these last few weeks… actually, let’s be honest, my life has been a non-stop whirlwind since I moved west. At times, that’s wonderful and exciting and I wake up giddy each day, wanting to know what will happen next. At other times… well, it’s a bit like one of those awful carnival rides that spin you around really fast. Seriously, what is the point of those things? Who are you people that pay good money to be spun around so fast you want to barf? Why is this a socially acceptable form of entertainment?? But I digress.

The point is, I’ve been busy. About two weeks ago, I got for my first tutoring job. Since then, I’ve been hired by two more companies. There’s a potential fourth on the way, *fingers crossed*. Right now, I’m on this crazy schedule of training for these new jobs, finishing up at my old job, and then all the freelance work I do on top of that. And I keep wanting to stop and share all that with you, because it’s really exciting, and it means that I’m really starting to get my feet under me here. But there just hasn’t been the time. The next few weeks are going to be a little nutso because I technically have 5 jobs at the moment. But it seems like after that I’ll have a lot more free time on my hands, which will mean more time to write here. So until then, I’ve got a few things to share with you. I watched some of these videos in my tutor training and they are AWESOME.

Wow, lots to think about right? You can check out more on RSA’s youtube channel. I’ve watched them all and every single one is fantastic.

All videos courtesy of the RSA. Top image is “Legs over High Tor” by Paul Hill, 1975, found here.