Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday Morning Musings

That big thing that I mentioned last week, it pretty much kicks in today. After the long holiday weekend, today is officially the first day of my unemployment. For the first time since high school. Like I said before, I was (still am) upset about it, I've lost sleep over it, and after a few days in shock and a crazy long weekend of dealing with crazy, loving, amazing family, I'm moving on. 
I woke up this morning in a different mood. I was raring to go. I worked out, picked up some healthy lunch stuff, ran a few errands, and now I'm home. I even got dressed. I'm working some holiday gifts, cleaning the house for Andrew's parents who arrive on Tuesday, and working on a routine that I can settle into. We'll have house guests for a week, then 2 weeks after that, we leave for 8 days in Florida with Andrew's siblings, which I'm SO looking forward to. 
I'm working on my resume, and deciding what the heck I really want to do, and figuring out how to build this blog... Since writing for free doesn't really bring home the bacon.
But all in all, I'm happy. We've got an amazing support system here, and everywhere really, with lots of opportunities to branch out. 
One of my favorite bloggers, Joanna Goddard, from Cup of Jo pinned this a few months ago. I know it's technically "winter" but it's fitting for now:

My favorite blogger quoting one of my favorite authors. Seems like a pretty good combination. 
Happy Monday, readers! Have an amazing week!

xo,
R


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Paris (Part 2)

So now that Blogger's back up and running, here's the rest of the photos from Paris!
Like I mentioned before, we kinda went without a plan. We just wanted to explore the city and see it from the locals point of view.
Side Note: I'm not sure if getting lost every single time we stepped off of the metro is conducive to trying to blend in like the locals, but we sure did that...
We didn't end up inside the Louvre... The line was insanely long, and we didn't get the tip to purchase tickets elsewhere until after the trip.

We did visit the Musee D'Orsay, which we were told was more accessible, and it did not disappoint. 
(You're not allowed to take photos in the museum, but Andrew snuck this one of the gorgeous ceilings.)

We also ate in the cafe in the museum... I had the best quiche Lorraine ever... Ever ever.

Now, in no particular order... More photos!

Arc de Triomphe 

Andrew on the Metro platform (Probably irritated that I was nagging that we were lost... Again.)

 Goyard!

Trees, Cars, and the Arc in the background.

A little blown out, but the Eiffel Tower from one of the bridges. 

Possibly my favorite part of the whole trip was when we went to the Eiffel Tower. We made it to the park next to it, and wouldn't you know... It started to rain. It was pretty gorgeous, nonetheless. 

I took this video on my phone, it's shaky and terrible, but, like they say in Midnight in Paris... Paris is definitely better in the rain. 

So, despite the lack of amazing photos, the trip really was the best ever. We ate good food, drank good wine, and just enjoyed the fact that we were in a new place together. It was the perfect last minute honeymoon, and a great start to our travels abroad. Check out #clarksinparis13 on Instagram for more photos!

xo,
R






Interlude.

Something happened on Monday. A big thing that affected a lot of aspects of our life. I'm upset about it, I've even lost sleep, but I'm not ready to talk about it yet. We're both healthy, our marriage and families are great, it's just a big thing. 
My first thought was to jump back feet first into the blog. And believe me, I'm SO happy to be back on here! I have so many great ideas and things to share with you, and I've definitely missed having this creative outlet. I just have to rethink my plan of attack. 
My brain is in a million places right now, and I have to hone in. I have a bunch of ideas and thoughts that I need to get out on here, I just want to go about it in the best, most organized way.
So, forgive me if I seem all over the place over the next little bit of time.
You'll see Paris, Part 2, but I'm sorry if it seems a little rushed.
I will post the holiday table scape, (because it's set up in my dining room as I type) just maybe not in time for Thanksgiving. 
So, please hang in there as I get my bearings and I promise it'll be worth it.
Thanks for being here!

Happy Hanukkah! 
(Ohmygosh it's already Hanukkah!)

xo,
R

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Paris (Part 1)

Guys, we went to Paris... I know, I can't believe it either! Since we had to move right after the wedding, we didn't have the chance to go on a honeymoon. So, in August, when Andrew said "Hey, let's go to Paris", I was totally on board.
We had planned on going to Florida in October to run a 5K and visit family, so we booked our tickets from there.
The travel was cray. We flew from Florida to Boston, then Boston overnight to London, then jumped on the Eurostar to Paris.
It was basically 24 hours of travel, so no wonder when we finally got to our apartment, I looked like this:

Gorgeous, I know. Thanks, Husband for this lovely memento.
The apartment, which we found on airbnb was perfect. Tiny, but perfect.
We stayed in St. Germain, in the 5th. It's a super high-end area, with amazing shops and restaurants. 
Oh, did I mention, our flat was on the 4th floor of this gorgeous building?


And up these stairs... All 75 of them. 
Needless to say, I got my thigh workout while we were there.

Like I said before, I don't have a ton of photos from the trip, because, of course, I'm a terrible blogger, We mostly stayed in the 5th. We went with the mentality that we wanted to just relax and enjoy the city so we didn't do a lot of the touristy things. 
Our neighborhood was right near the river so we walked along it quite often. The buildings in Paris are amazing. You can see the history of the city everywhere you look. 

The Louvre is massive. You don't even realize you're on the campus, it's so big.
The gardens around it are so gorgeous. 

We walked through them many times, and even saw groups of dogs running around with their owners!


Of course, being October, the weather was unpredictable and although I read the weather report before we left, I didn't plan on it being as cold as it was and I didn't pack a jacket. I know. Stupid, right? I was so happy that I fit everything in a carry on, that I totally forgot it!
So, I layered sweaters and scarves and bundled up as much as possible. It worked for about 2/3 of the trip... the last day, I was an icicle.

Blogger just started acting up, so that's it for the photos in this post! I'll be back soon with Paris, Part 2, and a Thanksgiving table set up!

xo,
R







Monday, November 25, 2013

And I Come Right Back...

Yep. It's true. After SIX whole months of silence from me here, I'm back. It's funny how you can be so busy that you can't even get your thoughts out on paper (keyboard?) and then all of a sudden, bam! you have a million things to say, and suddenly, it seems like, all the time in the world. I apologize to you all for not being present since June... God.. June... It sounds so long ago! I would honestly hate me if I were a reader...
But nevertheless, I'm here now. 
I feel like loads of things have happened since then... but when I try to remember them all, all that comes out is blah blah blah... I made some pillows... blah blah blah... We went to Paris... blah blah blah...
Wow, my life is really not exciting... Except for Paris. Paris was amazingly exciting. And of course, we have a whopping 12 photos to show from the whole.entire.trip. 
Anyway, my obscure reference to Pitch Perfect (which, in all of it's aca-awkard glory has become a new favorite of mine... Remember, horrible taste in movies and television.) in the title of this post is correct. I'm back. and hopefully better than ever. 
Please keep reading, all 5 of you that are left! I promise, I've got some good stuff coming... Maybe even a full house tour!
So, thanks for being here!

xo,
R

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Favorite Things: Mint Green Edition

Lately, I've had an obsession, with mint green. I know, I'm not much of a trend setter, it's everywhere... For reals. But, here's a little minty loveliness to get you through your Wednesday...

Because it sits behind my desk at work and makes me happy every day. SO much better than the boring old ones.

Mint and patterned?! What could be better?

Which I am currently rocking right now, minus the patterns, because who has time for that?!

Do I really need to give an explanation? Gorgeous...

Happy Wednesday Everyone!
xo,
R






Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Breakfast Routine.

I mentioned yesterday that I've been taking classes at Bar Method Long Beach for about 3 months now. I seriously love it. I started on a Living Social deal for a month unlimited, and now am on my 3rd month. I go 5-7 days a week and I'm noticing crazy evident results. My arms and legs look totally different. My abs, while they're getting better, need a little boost still. I've been experimenting with different eating habits, and while "everything (within reason) in moderation" seems to work best for me, I wanted to try something new. 
My sister and a few of my coworkers have been drinking this meal replacement called Vega Energizing Smoothie. It's gluten, dairy, and soy free, and comes in a few flavors. 
It has: 
2 servings of veggies
10 g complete plant based protein
5 g fiber
1 g Omega-3

It says you can just add water and go, but they all add fruit and some kind of nut milk, so I decided that was the route I would take.
I picked it up Monday evening and tried it out yesterday for breakfast.
I added:
Hazelnut Milk
3/4 of a White Peach
and about 10 Raspberries

Threw it in my handy Magic Bullet blender (a gift from my mom that I NEVER thought I would use, and I literally use all.the.time)

 And boom. Here it is, half gone, because you know what? It's actually really good!
It actually kept me full for about 4 hours, which is a record for me... My body likes to eat. 

As I write this, I'm drinking it again, this time with mango and raspberries.
I'm going to keep it up for a few weeks, changing up the fruit and milk combos, and see how I feel.
I know it's not going to be a drastic improvement, but I'm hoping it'll help me get on track at least a little bit!
Of course, I should probably start running again to boost my abs even more, but we'll see how that goes...
And, maybe if I get enough courage, I'll even post some before and after Bar Method pics... Maybe...

xo,
R

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Favorite Things: Summer Clothes Addition

Yesterday was a fiasco of a morning... Like one of those "Shoulda stayed in bed" days. I got up late, thought I had more time than I did, and literally changed my clothes 4 times. Not kidding, FOUR outfits, until I settled on something that I wear all the time. While I know I shouldn't shop right now... (We have about 4 sets of plane tickets to purchase soon) here's a few pieces that might find their way into my wardrobe sooner rather than later...

Because it's great with flats, and just as gorgeous with a wedge or heel.

Because you can NEVER have too many Chambray shirts... Duh.

Because I WILL find them in kids sizes in the US... I WILL.
Because 3 months of Bar Method Long Beach is paying off. (More on that soon)

So, since none of these actually exist in my closet yet, I'd better go find something that I actually own to wear today.
Have a lovely Tuesday!
xo,
R



Friday, June 7, 2013

Home Sick Soup

On Monday, I came home sick from work around lunch time: fever, headache, nauseous... the worst. And to top it all off, I was hungry... It kinda sucks, being hungry on top of feeling so lousy. I knew there was only one thing I wanted. Egg Drop Soup. But, not the one from Chinese restaurants, this weird, and completely UNauthentic soup that an old friends older sister used to make, back when I was like 10 years old.
Yes, I know... SO weird... but it's literally the only thing I ever want when I'm sick and it's perfect every time. 
Here's what it usually consists of:
Chicken broth
Canned corn
Lettuce
Mushrooms
Eggs (Scrambled into the boiling broth)
I know, I REALLY know... It sounds SO weird... I've adapted it over the years, adding miso paste, tofu, noodles, basically anything that I had in the kitchen at that point in time.
On Monday, I was missing the corn, and out of miso paste... But here's what I did have:

Mushrooms
Edamame
Fish Sauce
Sesame Oil
Green Onions
Chicken Broth
Eggs
(And lettuce which I forgot to put in the photo)

So I rolled with it.
I threw all the veggies in the broth and waited for it to boil.

 Once it boiled, I added the green onions and the egg.

Then the fish sauce and sesame oil (I added more later to taste also.)

After the egg had been added, I let it boil for another minute.

 That's it! SUCH a random combination, but it's the only thing that ever sounds good when I'm sick, and it definitely hit the spot this time too, even adapted as I did. 

It's SO unauthentic but so easy, and basically a "kitchen sink" meal. Don't knock it til you try it... and you should really.. try it!
xo,
R



Thursday, June 6, 2013

Jacarandas in Bloom!

It's the time of year in Long Beach where everything goes purple. And by purple, I mean the Jacarandas are blooming. In full.force.
Everywhere you drive in the city, the purple trees are there, at the skyline, edging the roads. It's a gorgeous site.
We are lucky enough that our neighbor has one. It shades our driveway, and unfortunately covers the ground in purple mush, but it's a sight to see nonetheless.
 This is the view from our front yard.

Nevilles squirrel friends love to tempt him by running up and down its trunk, and I'm pretty sure the slightly odd woman across the street brings it "gifts" when it's in bloom.

The only bad part about these lovely trees is that the blooms turn to purple mush on the ground. Avoiding them makes walking between the raindrops seem easy.

We have two baby Jacarandas in the front yard. Hopefully someday they'll have the majestic blossoms that their older neighbors have!

For now, though, we'll just enjoy the one next door. Maybe the odd lady across the street has gotten it right... Their gorgeousness seem pretty deserving of gifts, doesn't it?

Have a beautiful day!

xo,
R




Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Making our Terrarium

Terrariums are so.cool. I know, I'm such a follower... They're popping up everywhere... And I mean everywhere.
We were lucky enough to receive an empty one as a wedding gift from some dear friends, and I know I posted a photo of the finished product a few weeks ago, but I wanted to show the (insanely easy) steps of how we got there... I mean seriously, so easy, I don't even need to post them, but I'm going to anyway...
You need a few things:

A glass vessel

Sand (preferably of the Horticultural variety)

And (Sorry, the last photo gave it away)
Plants.
You can use air plants or succulents... I chose succulents

First step is to pour the sand into the vessel. You can decide how much sand to use, but make sure you have enough to cover any roots you may plant.

I really like how the sand looks, so I used a fair amount.

Then, I carefully poked small holes in the sand for the plants to sit in. Succulents usually take pretty quickly so you don't have to worry a ton about the hole size.

I used 3 different plants, that all looked similar to make sure it was cohesive.

A few smooth river rocks finished her off, with a nice polished look.

Finished! (Andrew said it needs a hermit crab.)

Seriously, one of the easiest projects I've done around the house and let me tell you, totally worth it. I think we spent about $12 combined on everything, excluding the gifted vessel.
Such a simple detail, and  you get a finished product that adds SO much to this corner of our house.

Thanks so much K & R for the lovely gift. We really appreciate it so much!

xo,
R