let’s eat!

i *think* i’m finally ready to share some pics of our new digs. it’s far from perfect and there are still several little projects i want to do, but that’s the beauty of creating a home. it’s a work in progress, continually morphing to fit the needs (that’s B) and whims (that’s me) of it’s occupants.

i’m starting with my favorite space…the dining room, of course! i love the dining room for several reasons:

  1. we eat there. i’m a big fan of that.
  2. it’s the one time during the day when B and i give each other our undivided attention. we sit down, slow down, look each other in the eye, and have meaningful conversations.
  3. my new furniture!

i have had my eye on this table for quite a while. well, ever since the whole we’re-moving-to-Kansas City-to-live-in-a-loft debacle of 2014. it just seemed perfect for loft living. turns out, it’s pretty perfect here too.

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ain’t she pretty? i’m in love.

since the table is reclaimed wood and iron, i didn’t know what kind of chair to get. upholstered? love em, but they get so dirty. and i would want them in white, of course. metal? the metal chairs were too shiny and took away from the rusted look of the iron. B could see where this was going (a.k.a. Nat buys a table and we can’t sit at it for an entire year until she combs the globe to find the perfect chairs) and so he stepped in and picked these. i was a little uncertain…until they arrived.

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i was concerned the wood would (ha!) not match being that the table was reclaimed wood, but they’re perfect. (way to go B!) we chose the ‘burnt oak’ finish so they have enough of a grayish tint to them to compliment the deep grayish wood of the table.

to soften the look (and our butts), we went ahead and ordered the linen cushions in ‘sand’. but don’t fret, i already scotchguarded the heck outta them. Lola loves them just as much as we do. seriously, she hasn’t left the dining room in two weeks.

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and how cute are these little ties?

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overall, i am very happy with our new little dining space. at some point, the blue walls gotta go. they aren’t horribly offensive, but i don’t love ‘em. the living room (which opens to the dining space) is khaki and i’ll probably carry that color throughout. the room also has great light due to the two massive windows and that makes me oh-so-happy. flowy linen curtains would look lovely and allow me to take down those darn blinds and still have some privacy…but that can wait. this stuff has a tendency to snowball, you know? give me a little creative leniency and a budget and before you know it, i’ve gutted the room. you laugh, but it wouldn’t be the first time.

well, i gotta go. all this dining room talk made me hungry!

bon appétit! 

table: Restoration Hardware
chairs: Restoration Hardware
cushions: Restoration Hardware
placemats: Pier One
napkins: Pier One (on sale! act fast!)
dishes: Target
glasses: World Market

PS. can i just say that i want to LIVE in Restoration Hardware? not just shop there, or spend a lot of time there, i want to liiiiive there. i’m certain my writing would vastly improve seated at one of their gorgeous desks. my sleep would be divine on an oversized leather sofa. and if i ever got hungry, i would only have to venture a couple of doors down for a cupcake at Sprinkles. should i ever run away from home, you know where to find me, B.

happiness is…dinnertime. 

week 3

car convos from Tuesday and Wednesday…

B: “what did you do today?”

N: “oh, you know…i spent my day binge eating and watching Law & Order SVU. you?”

B: “i learned about insert something super complicated here.”

N: “show off.”

♥♥♥

you might think i’m being silly, but it’s not that far from the truth. following the long weekend, i found myself kinda mopey on Tuesday and Wednesday.

i guess it’s fair to say that ever since B started medical school, i have been trying to find my way. you see, i left my job when we moved here. which is fine. i anticipated that i might have to, and we planned accordingly. it was the right decision and i am forever grateful for the time that B and i got to spend together before he started school. that time was a gift. i am also grateful to have been available to support him throughout the first few weeks of school. i particularly enjoyed the first two. i felt busy. i shuffled B to and fro, packed lunches, cooked dinner, washed smelly scrubs…basically everything i could think of to get us organized and in a good routine. and miracle of all miracles, i think we are! the two must unstructured people on the planet have found some structure. forced structure maybe, but structure nonetheless. but week three felt different. i looked up from the crazy and noticed it was calm. clothes were clean, no one was starving, B was in a good rhythym…what now? was it time to finally evaluate…me? *gasp* i had a vague awareness that i would have to at some point, but i think i have subconsciously (or maybe very consciously) been avoiding it. i don’t necessarily know why. it’s just that it feels a little uncomfortable. and scary. and overwhelming.

it’s like the contents of our lives were contained in a box. a very pretty box. it was wrapped and labeled and perfectly square. then a couple of kids (masquerading as adults) spent several years shaking it, turning it upside down, and anticipating the day when they could gleefully open it up. that day came…the wrapping paper was ripped to pieces, the lid removed, and the contents of that life dumped onto the floor. a life deconstructed, but somehow shiny and new and everything they hoped it would be. now that life is no longer contained by a box. it’s big and endless and at times, terrifying. everything looks different and feels different outside of the box.

but you know what? after moping (and then feeling guilty about moping), i came to this conclusion…this time is a gift too. i must learn to view it as such. but why is it so hard to be still sometimes? i don’t think i know how. it’s unchartered territory for this gal to navigate. however, as uncomfortable as this time may be, i have decided to enjoy it. (i can hear B breathing a sigh of relief as he reads this. the boy has done nothing but encourage me to write, read, and lay by the pool every day. he’s so nice.) but seriously, this could be the only time in my life in which i have the luxury of time. the ability to slow down and think about what i want. hmmmmmmm. *pondering*

with all of this in mind, let me take you back to week three…Tuesday and Wednesday= mopey. remember? but Thursday, on the other hand, Thursday i rallied. i woke up with a new sense of determination. i ate a healthy breakfast, put on my batman shirt, and kicked my own a** in the gym. cause it’s impossible to be a sissy when you’re wearing a batman shirt, right? it’s a law of fashion or something.

gratuitous gym selfie. you didn’t believe me on the batman shirt, did you? oh, and notice i have the place all to myself…perk to working out mid-day at the student rec center. i am batman.

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then on Friday, i cleaned the condo from top to bottom. i have yet to find a more productive therapy. ahhhh, smells good in here.

week three in the books, y’all.. rocky start, but strong finish.

so for now, my days will remain quiet and filled with random adventures. you know i plan to spend many of them writing. and on most days, i will apply for jobs, hustle, and network, but on others- those glorious others- i might spend two hours at the gym and two more by the pool. and every now and then, on a (hopefully infrequent) mopey day, i’ll watch some Law & Order and eat frozen cookie dough. and that’s okay. all of it is okay. because finding yourself is hard. and it takes time. time that i happen to have right now.

i know how B will spend the next four years of his life and now it is up to me to figure out how i want to spend mine. good thing my dear B taught me that it’s never too late.

happiness is…living outside the box.

confessions and obsessions: shoe edition

confession:

Sarah Jessica Parker was in Houston last week and i did not go see her. she was doing an event at the Galleria for her new line of shoes, SJP. i told everyone that i missed it because i don’t have the means to buy a pair right now (which, let’s be real…it will be yeeeaaars before i do), but the real reason i did not attend is because i was scared to drive to the Galleria by myself. d*mn you 610. so yes, i missed an opportunity to meet Carrie freaking Bradshaw, my television soul sister (documented here), because of traffic.

my fear runs deep. and now so does my shame.

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obsession:

shoes, of course! so where do unemployed/married to a med student girls go for shoes? Target, i suppose. found these for $35. are they SJP’s? nope. will they do in a pinch? i think so.

target bootie

i’m really loving this trend right now. the open-toe bootie is the perfect way to transition from summer to fall. because we all know that in Houston, my real boots will stay in the box for a while. my UGGS might never see the light of day again. booties are where it’s at, folks.

*oh, and if you are in a position to buy a pair of SJPs, do not walk, RUN! then send me a picture! i won’t even be jealous…well maybe just a little, but i promise to squeal and fawn over them and pretend not to be. or better yet- adorn your fabulous feet with them, invite me somewhere fabulous for cosmopolitans, and i will make a toast to your fabulousness. but only if i can wear my Target shoes.

enter at your own risk:
SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker

happiness is…fabulous feet.

searching for meaning. kind of.

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meaningLESS things i did this week:

  • gave myself an at-home mani/pedi. because unemployed.
  • started writing (but never finished) a poem dedicated to my iPhone. autocorrect and i are on the outs. i know what you’re thinking…gosh Nat, you really need to get impaled. EMPLOYED! i meant employed! one full week together and my iPhone feels all stabby. impaled, employed…what’s the diff, eh? autocorrect don’t care.
  • started writing (but never finished) four different blog posts. are you noticing a pattern here?
  • watched Law and Order SVU for the first time ever. is it just me or is that Ice T kinda cute in a…i don’t know, a gritty sort of way?

meaningFUL things i did this week:

  • kept my med student fed and in clean underwear.
  • used my crockpot twice. see above.
  • went to lunch in Rice Village with the cousin of a friend that hooked us up on facebook. follow? more importantly, i think i have a friend y’all.
  • snuggled with my cat what i thought was an appropriate amount. she deemed it excessive.
  • bought The Gaslight Anthem’s new album and tickets to their show in October. oh Houston, you and your many fun things to do…i love ya.
  • sent out some thank you notes. they were on pretty stationary and required a stamp and everything. you know, for the mail.
  • went shopping. maybe not so meaningful to some, but ask any girl and she will insist that it is indeed very, very meaningful. so there.

i figure when the meaningful list is longer than the meaningless list, that means i’m doing alright.

happy friday, friends!

happiness is…a full week and a full heart. 

hope

 “Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.”

-Hope Floats

♥♥♥

gosh, i love that movie. is there any on-screen couple cuter than Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr? i think not. well, except for maybe Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal. whew, now that’s a tough call. gonna need to ponder that one a while.

but the point is…yes, beginnings are scary. my B started medical school this week. it’s exactly the beginning that we hoped for when we started this journey several years ago and here we are! it’s hard to explain, but sometimes this doesn’t feel like my life. we purposefully planned every miniscule detail required to bring us to this point, and yet sometimes i still look up and wonder how we got here. i’m like that kid on you tube, David after dentist, every day asking, “is this real life?” and i haven’t even been drugged, mind you.

but beginnings are also so exciting. this one in particular has been a whirlwind. so much has happened since we moved to Houston less than a month ago. it took us about a week to settle in, but ever since then we have played non-stop. we have eaten a lot of food. seafood? check. sushi? check. brunch? check. we also visited the museum of fine arts and the zoo, but the events of last week were by far my favorite. we spent the week celebrating B. our family flew in for his white coat ceremony and it was a very special occasion. i keep saying it over and over, but i’m just so proud. so proud that the word ‘proud’ is starting to feel inadequate. then i accompanied him on his med school retreat. it was wonderful and fun and we met lots of great people. it shouldn’t surprise me that the people are so nice here (this is Texas after all), but for a city this big it kinda does. the medical community in particular has made us feel so welcome and there seems to be a true sense of community and camaraderie.

so, this whole thing has officially begun. i guess the middle comes next. i know we will make it count. we will enjoy this journey no matter how hard it may be at times. i have so many hopes for us. i will give that hope a chance to float up….and i know that it will.

happiness is…the middle.

now comes the part in which i inundate you with photos from the last few weeks. enjoy!

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i bought a year membership and everything. so happy.

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his name is Miles. he loves me.

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such a fun date!

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my favorite little corner of the condo. more on this later.

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Lola approves of the new dining chairs. more on these later too.

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my hair loves Houston. Houston does not love my hair. it was fluffy like this for all of 5 minutes.

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my attempt at a skyline photo. better luck next time.

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best. brunch. ever.

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if you ever can’t find me, look here.

 

12 days in

well friends, we made it to Houston safe and sound…and barely sane. the kitty xanax proved ineffective and lola cried 11 out of the 12 hours of the trip. but thank goodness for that last hour of silence because that’s exactly when we encountered our first real traffic jam. an hour (!) to go 8 (!) miles. guess that means we are officially city folk. christened on 288. after that, momma needed some kitty xanax.

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this is how good mommas feed their babies on the road…take the lid off and say ‘dig in’!

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welcome to Houston! (i was at a complete stop when i took this. promise.)

 
we have spent the last week or so cleaning and settling in. it has taken longer than expected and many more trips to Target than expected. like, we have gone to Target every other day. and maybe made a couple of trips to IKEA as well. darn. but alas, the condo is looking great and we are starting to feel somewhat organized.

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i am a nerd. a very happy nerd.

 
i have a million things to tell you about life in our new city, but haven’t had time to sit down and write. for now, here’s a quick list of things i have learned in the last 12 days:

1. rush hour is a lie.

more like rush hourS. plural. one should not get on 610 between the hours of 3pm and 7pm. we are quickly learning the back roads and discovering some gorgeous neighborhoods along the way. bonus! (i actually have an entire list of things i have learned about driving here, but it’s so long that i think it deserves its own post. BUT i promise not to be that cliché city person that complains about the traffic all the time. deal? deal.)

2. lizards live here too.

B says it will be a momentous occasion, worthy of documentation, on the day that i do not squeal when i see one. eeeeeek! i love animals, you know i do, but if it doesn’t have fur or feathers i. cannot. deal. i just cannot. i have given lola the honorary title of ‘official lizard hunter’ should one get in the house (the horror!), but it would probably be the highlight of her life. sheesh.

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lizaaaaard! squuueeee!

3. i might get very, very fat.

there’s soooo much to eat here. i feel a sense of urgency to try it all! it was super convenient to blame my horrible eating habits on the move…we were busy, eating on the road, no groceries, etc. but now that we’re settled a bit, i have yet to rein it in. i did, however, get a membership to the rec center today. baby steps, people. baby steps.

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fat.

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and fatter.

4. i am so grateful that my husband is also my best friend.

sappy, i know, but true nonetheless. other than one meet and greet type event hosted for new medical students, we haven’t really spoken to anyone other than each other for 12 days. i’m often struck at how strange it is to be out shopping or running errands and not run into a single person that i know. i’m not used to that. it makes me feel very small. but B…that fella has been fun to hang with. he has chauffeured me all over this city and pushed the shopping cart on each outing. i am soaking up every minute i can get before i lose him to medical school. hope i have some friends by then. ;)

happiness is…city livin’. lizards and all.

PS. please leave restaurant recommendations in the comments. i’m hungry. *ahem*

moving week

if you follow @thehappyredhead on Twitter or Instagram (and you totally should!), you have probably figured out what’s going on around here this week… #movingweek #goodbyesarehard #movingsucks

yep, it’s here folks. the dreaded moving week. all this sounds a little negative so allow me to clarify…i am super excited about living in Houston, but i am much less excited about the actual process of moving to Houston. because moving is a beating. am i right or am i right? our apartment currently looks likes this…

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packing has been relatively easy this time around…compared to last year’s move anyways. but still, why so many boxes for so little stuff? where did it all come from? i think we just made our fourth (!) trip to uhaul to purchase more boxes and tape.

speaking of uhaul, i get nauseous every time i walk in there. i spoke to my mother about this phenomenon and she said the exact same thing happens to her. that the mere sight of a uhaul truck is enough to induce nausea. too many traumatic moves for the both of us, i suppose.

it has been difficult to say ‘goodbye’ to friends and family over the last week. maybe i should change it to ‘see ya later’. that just feels better. i am also in the process of wrapping up the last few things at work and trying my best not to freak out over the fact that as of tomorrow, i am officially unemployed. gasp! more nausea. i haven’t been unemployed since i was fourteen. literally.

but in between the bouts of anxiety and nausea, i also have butterflies. new beginnings are exciting. especially this one. it is the culmination of several years worth of hopes, dreams, and hard work. i know this move signifies a new chapter to the life we are already living, but it feels like a new life altogether. not one thing will be the same. i can’t wait to get started. i can’t wait to tell you all about it. and since i don’t have a job lined up yet, i will have plenty of time to do so. ha! you will be begging me to go back to work in no time.

well, i am signing off and going to pack another box. and maybe work on some new hashtags.

#uhaulsmakemevomit #heyBthatboxistooheavy #Houstonbound #seeyalater

happiness is…#movingon.