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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Week in Women: Gender at Work and Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is both right and wrong. Her recent comments about employers asking women about getting pregnant before hiring have understandably elicited quite a backlash. Perhaps they were well-intentioned, because of course we do need a more open dialogue about gender in the workplace.

She says we need to lean in, be more ambitious, be more assertive. She fails to address the gaping fact that those who are leaning in aren't getting anywhere. Only 17% of Fortune 500 board seats are held by women, only 3% of board presidents are women, but if you're reading this, you probably know that. As we've discussed, the Ambition Gap is a myth.

Here are some good links:

Background on Sandberg and some interesting numbers on gender in the workplace.

The best response to her pregnancy comments I've seen, in which Kristof calls for structural, accommodating changes in the workplace paired with ambitious women.

Horrible suggestions from Aol about negotiating raises and fair pay. Basically, do your best to perpetuate stereotypes, and you might get a higher salary.

Pair this article with the number of dishes John washes, and we are going to have one crazy ambitious daughter. Wahoo!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Do it. For Chicago. (Sex sells)

A Chicago public radio station is taking a cheeky approach to advertising. If you're cool, have sex with another cool person, thereby providing the world with a future public radio listener. This is adorable, and as everyone knows, sex sells. I know I'd probably respond a little bit more positively to NPR's dreaded phonathons if I'd seen a few irreverent ads around town. 

Also, I feel certain they created these especially for 27 year old women. ;)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekend Projects

This weekend, there wasn't much time for rest, but our tea bags did provide us with some lofty goals. The heart shaped breakfast was Smitten Kitchen's Oat and Maple Scones, which I adapted with white whole wheat flour and almond milk. I got a little carried away selecting paint colors online and left them in the oven a minute too long, but I'd still recommend the recipe.

John painted our spare bedroom Celadon Green, part of my master color plan that is captured by this Design Sponge post. When I found it, I already had the bright blue, whites, greys, yellow and peach in my head, but this visual layout helped a lot. I've revisited it many times since this slow home design project started last summer. Our downstairs is finished, except for dining chairs and new flooring! The pops of coral amidst the white, bright blue, and grey are everything. That's the back room, and the front room is grey, white, and gold. Pretty. One of these days I hope to show you.

The spare bedroom (and one day office) is this relaxing yet invigorating green, connected by grey to our bedroom, which will be the lightest peach you've ever seen, with a darker peach bathroom. Pink and peach are supposed to foster warmth, support, and love. Apparently aggressive criminals are immediately soothed when placed into bubble gum pink rooms. Noted.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Find Momo

Women This Week: Hillary's Benghazi Testimony and Michelle's Inauguration

It was a good week for women in media - it was a bad week for women in media.

Michelle was exalted in the public eye. John and I often wonder how anyone, regardless of political persuasion, could harbor bad feelings towards Michelle Obama. She is genuine, she is gracious, fun, smart, and she is trying to make our nation healthier (crucial). She was applauded for her feminine characteristics, yes, and that's a good thing. The media doesn't just discuss her fashion choices; they discuss the symbolic nature behind them. It was lovely to see our nation's love and respect for her this week.

Hillary, on the other hand, was torn apart - not for the content of her testimony at the Benghazi hearings, but for the emotion she showed as she discussed it. Her popularity is higher than ever, yet the anger and sadness she feels about those American deaths is presented by the media as a huge weakness. Just a month ago, Barack Obama's tears about Sandy Hook were portrayed as a vulnerable strength. His anger was simply justified, and his emotions were accepted without a blink. The double standard is crippling - when will women be permitted to show human emotion? Now, they are told to suppress every thread of vulnerability to be viewed as successful. Bravo to Hillary for showing emotion when appropriate, refusing to conform.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What is Marriage: Pizza Delivery (Taking Risks)

Marriage in January hasn't changed much since last week. This week is about big decisions for us, though, which is sort of nerve-racking. What's so interesting is how much has changed in two years - when I was willing to risk everything and move across the country to take a shady job in Vermont. Now that I'm in a better position and have some of the stability I craved, risk taking is way less appealing.

John and I had a conversation about this over the weekend - how it's important to not be scared to take risks, to move far away, to find new opportunities, to see new things. But at the same time, responsibilities and stability make it hard to take those leaps. We want to experience more places and more parts of the world, eventually, but we realize how hard it is to maintain that adventurous spark as we move further into adulthood and family life. How do you balance spontaneity with obligation, and new experience with stability?

I've been sort of needlessly stressed out, which makes poor John stressed out, and finally last night, I realized the best thing to do was order late night pizza, eat it straight of the box, and go to bed. :)

image via 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Red Balloons and Michelle Obama's Style

Going back to work after a holiday weekend makes me daydream about being this guy, what about you?

In other news, I'm struck by our graceful and beautiful first lady. Yesterday's symbolic choices in attire were sophisticated and reflected the mood of this entry into Obama's second term, demonstrating that style has a depth that is ignored by many. Behind the scenes, she took iPhone photos with her daughters and supported her husband and her country, as lovely and genuine as always.

And if you haven't heard the President's introduction of her at the Commander-in-Chief's Ball, you should listen. So sweet.

Still from the Red Balloon (1956, Albert Lamorisse)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Three Day Weekend

Three day weekends are, truly, a gift. You have one point five days to do errands and exercising and one point five days to do absolutely nothing. What a dream!

I've continued on my Smitten Kitchen binge and this weekend and made the Maple Walnut Granola, Spiced Turkey Meatballs over Smashed Chickpea Salad, and Potato Latkes (all in the book). It's amazing what one great new find can do for kitchen inspiration. Though I usually enjoy it, I had gotten sort of bored with cooking in the fall - but now I'm a machine.

We're going to the movies today and (maybe) to yoga. I hope you all enjoy your holiday!


photo via

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What is Marriage: Cold Winter Blues

Marriage in January is weird. For the first time in three years, John got sick. And it lasted forever. Then I got a different virus that was going around. Also lasted forever. Somehow, between work, friends, and orchestra gigs, we never got the time to watch movies and recover that we needed. We're doing that this weekend.

So, I learned a few things. Marriage is sleeping further away when John has a cough. Much to Herbie's delight, this leaves a big down-filled crater that's the perfect size for his little body, and being between us is what he lives for. Marriage is sending John upstairs the second he walks in after a long day of work and even longer night of rehearsal to check the spare bedroom for intruders. For John, it's checking for the bad guy without even telling me to stop reading scary books. Marriage is sharing prescription cough medicine. Marriage is walking the dog in the rain so the other doesn't have to, and sometimes, marriage is forcing your partner to drink large amounts of orange juice against his will.

Somehow, despite our lack of energy, John still manages to be my cheerleader. I've been considering some big decisions, and he's been my voice of reason, as usual. I'm thankful for that.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Minimalist Jewelry

Paired with my love for minimalism in fashion is my love for minimalist jewelry. Tiny, subtle pieces with clean lines that never come off are my favorite. John recently fed this addiction with these Kathleen Whitaker tiny staple earrings, a Christmas gift, and this tiny L necklace. It's a sweet story - I've been a fan of Maya Brenner for a long time, but we saw the L in person on our honeymoon and loved it. Eight months later, and the week of our 3-year anniversary, John pulled the tiny box out of his pocket after I got some good news at work. 

Both of these artists are based in LA. If you're particularly proud of your home state, Maya gives you a chance to wear it around your neck, and she also recently did a Stella and Dot collaboration that fans of that brand might notice. Enjoy!

Photos via | viavia 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


In December, as I felt myself mentally slowing down in anticipation of the holidays, I imagined a very productive and energetic January. I had plans to buy and learn Elements, and I envisioned endless yoga classes and a lot of reading. As it turns out, this month is just the opposite of what I planned. The only things on that list I've touched are a couple of books.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Minimalist Fashion and Everlane

Minimalist fashion has become so appealing to me as of late. Androgynous styles for women are so sexy, and the clean lines leave me feeling put together and professional. I love the way minimalism highlights the face and simply lets it be the focus. I find myself wearing the same pieces constantly, and Everlane has played a big role in this, both in inspiration and execution.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy Weekend! And links for you.

Since we were with family last weekend, John and I are celebrating our January 4th anniversary tonight. Last year we had a great time at American Grocery, so we're going back - can't wait. We are also excited to do yoga, see friends, and relax this weekend after a crazy few weeks of travel.

Links for the weekend:

Sarah Tolzmann's brand new Note to Self print shop got me extra excited about my trips to Charleston in February! Always a good idea.

What ever happened to downtime and sacred space? An important read for all of us, especially if you're obsessed with working like I am.

Just ordered this and can't wait to start it this weekend. Caitlin Moran always says that feminism is too important of an issue to only be discussed by academics. Couldn't have said it better.

Have a good one!


photo via our bach party in Charleston last year :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What is Marriage: When the first year is over

When John and I called his aunt and uncle for Christmas (Uncle Mason, sweetest man alive), his aunt said something that made my heart melt. They've been married 52 years, and as she marveled that we are well on our way to our first anniversary, she said "wow, that first year is such a wonderful one." I felt a fleeting sadness at the thought that this blissful time could end, until I heard her say, "but the next 49, they were even better."

That was reassuring, because there's sadness in the passage of time, especially when it's joyful.  I was happy to hear, from one who knows, that the best is yet to come.

Maybe marriage is about extending the honeymoon, as long as possible.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Baby Fever is Real

There's truth behind baby fever. I never really believed it until this past year, but the biological clock is no joke. I always knew I would have a child someday, but I never actively wanted one. At some point after turning 27, the way I viewed babies changed. Suddenly, they were much cuter and so irresistible. I found myself thinking about them and how wonderful it will be to have our own. (Not anytime soon :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Gift from John: Smitten Kitchen

This year for Christmas, John gave me the sweetest, most personal collection of gifts I've ever received. One of them was the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, with a sweet note inside about our first married Christmas. To say I'm hooked would be an understatement. It's the first cookbook I've ever been unable to put down, and the only one I've actually wanted to read front to back. Deb's description of her endless attempts to formulate perfect recipes are fascinating. We made the Apple Cider Caramels, above, to give as holiday gifts, and I made her Baked Potato Soup, below, last night - the perfect January cure. (PS, you don't have to bake the potatoes!) 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Boobs 101

Guys, you know that thing Oprah says about 80% of women wearing the wrong bra size? I've heard about it for years - up a cup size, down a band size, dimpling, overflowing, whatever. I thought I was above reproach in the department of self undergarment fitting, rolling my eyes at these silly women who apparently can't figure out the right size. One day in 2012, this changed. I found out I was indeed part of the 80%. I asked a lady at Nordstrom if they had this Josie bra in my size in the back, and looking appalled, she gave me a new size just by looking at me. She said she spends her breaks sitting in the mall guessing sizes of women who walk by and lamenting their poor choices. A true professional. I let her lead me into the dressing room where I got measured and put into my new brassiere. Next, she asked very politely with her hands outstretched if she could feel me up. I said sure, no problem, and she liked the new size. This was life-changing. No more squirming around all day to adjust. No more discomfort. Thank you, Nordstrom (and you, Oprah).

You all should try it!

(The bra above is from Eberjey, and while I don't own it, I do wear their chemises, which I love. They're the softest, prettiest, and most flattering I've ever had.)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wedding Photobooks from Pinhole Press

After a wedding, it's hard to know what to do with all your beautiful photos without having an obnoxious overload in your home. This year for Christmas, John and I wanted to give my parents a photobook with our wedding's important family moments, both to help them remember and to say thank you for giving us such an amazing day.

We used Pinhole Press, and I couldn't be more pleased. The finished product was sophisticated and beautiful, and I think Mom and Dad loved it. We created a calendar for John's mom, too, which also turned out very well. I've always loved their design, so it was great to find out that the final product and customer service are excellent.

John and I plan to create our own wedding album with Pinhole Press sometime this year, and if you need personalized gifts or stationery, I couldn't recommend them more.

Magnificent, that "surely"

My grandfather passed away this week. While it wasn't entirely unexpected, there's a certain depth to the sadness that surrounds a family member's death. Despite his strong 84 years with us, it's still shaking in a fundamental way to lose a lifelong fixture. He felt like a pillar, always there, and always the same.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Goodbye 2012 and Happy New Year

Everyone, Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe that two years have passed since I wrote this 2011 New Year's post. A lot has changed since then. Things have settled. John and I left the transitional period and have been in Greenville longer than anywhere else. For now, we're here to stay.

Each time I've thought about what one word might describe 2012, joy has jumped into my head with relentless certainty. 2012 was joyful. Marriage is a joy, John is a joy, the little pieces of our everyday life are a joy.

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