Saturday, August 28, 2010


This week I've been surprised by receiving two packages in the mail - purchases I made online long ago that I'd forgotten about and then... SURPRISE! They're there sitting at my front door waiting to just pop out of their box. In general I'm not a fan of surprises. I'm a planner. I like to not only know what's coming, but have sufficient time to prepare for it as well ( a very realistic view/outlook on life...). Surprises annoy me. Well, that is, they did. I think I'm kind of warming up to surprises now - even if I'm the one surprising myself.

So here's surprise number one:

A beautiful chiffon dress by Mara Hoffman from
But with all these surprises I realize I need to do some Spring - wait... Fall closet cleaning. Particularly purging it of dresses. This tasks inspires the wretched feeling that accompanies actual retching/purging, akin to nails scratching a chalkboard, but it must be done. I'm running out of hangers.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Food and Friends

Very near to my heart and my stomach lie two people. One is someone I've known of old, the other is someone new. Neither are borrowed and I hope neither are blue. And yet weddings they do do. Alliteration too.

Enter Jamie Casady. One of my oldest friends, I have known this lovely lady since pre-school. From Pinky's Promise Patrol (Vacation Bible School at Overlake Christian Church) to Camp Sambica on Lake Sammamish, there are very few memories of my childhood summers that don't include Jamie and her brother Zach. 
And the funny thing is, as far back as I can remember Jamie's always been a fierce-some entrepreneur with keen eye and attention to detail. I mean even our lemonade stand as kids had a well thought out business plan. This wasn't just some dinky table with a pitcher of lukewarm lemonade... No. Our "stand" was not only covered with a clean white tablecloth, but we also had elaborately decorated poster-boards advertising our refreshing, ice-cold, thirst-quenching beverage. I feel like we even made our brothers walk down to the corner and wave them around. I could be making this up, but it honestly sounds like something we would've done. And if that weren't enough, Jamie decided we needed to differentiate ourselves in order to corner the market from all the other beverage purveyors on the block. So we also sold flower bouquets.
If Jamie's going to do something she's not only going to do it right, but she's going to go all out. There's no half-way with this girl. I remember one birthday when we were really into the American Girls stuff, she had us perform the play that was part of the Felicity series. But this wasn't just "stand around and read the parts" kind of thing. Nope. We had colonial costumes her mom and grandma made and even a canvas backdrop that I'm pretty positive Jamie painted herself. We were maybe 10.
But these character traits of Jamie's are so minor when compared with her deep deep love for her friends and family and the Lord. There really is nothing Jamie wouldn't do for the ones she loves... even planting ranunculus in her yard for a friend's wedding she recently catered/planned. I mean who does that? Jamie does.
Which brings me to the present. After several years apart, J and J (Jessika and Jamie) were finally reunited, and of all places in the Big Apple. I was visiting my brother and she was attending the C.I.A. (the Culinary Institute of America, not the government agency). And over lunch we caught up on the past and dreamed about the future. She shared with me her passion for people and food, and how these two unite in one vision and venture.
Enter Jordan Cooper. Fellow C.I.A. grad, chef extraordinaire, and friend/cohort of the other J.C. - that is Jamie Casady - in this joint visionary venture they're making a reality. 
I love Jordan. I've only known him for a a couple years, but he's one of the most genuine people I know. Fully embodying the strong and silent type, he's generally a man of few words, but what he says he means, and you know it too. He tells it like it is, and is honest and kind. In other words the kind of person you want to do business with. It's called integrity. And while both Jamie and Jordan personify the best kind of business people, they are also artists of the highest caliber.
For as much as Jamie and Jordan aren't just mere friends to me, the food they create isn't merely the kind with which you fill your stomach. Nope. Much like themselves their culinary compositions are absolutely beautiful, meticulously crafted masterpieces. Every aspect is important to them, from the fresh local ingredients, to the wine pairings, to the ambiance of the table setting. Not only do they have a vision for their company, but also for every event they plan. They see the big, seamlessly cohesive picture. And yet I believe their strength lies in the intricate details and unique touches that they lovingly imprint throughout the meal, the party, the event. And in the end this is what resoundingly radiates: the love they have for their craft; the love they have for their guests; the love they have for their Maker. 

So cheers to you Jamie and Jordan! You inspire me, and I am so thankful to have such rad (as we'd say in the 80's) friends. You bless my socks off!

And if you're in need of a caterer/event planner be it for a wedding or a small dinner soirée, I can't recommend these two amazing chefs more! But don't take my word for it... see for yourself. Below are some photos of a surprise birthday party these two threw for their friend. You can contact them here. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


So do you remember that outfit I told you about in Childhood Grown Up? The one Mary Lennox wore in The Secret Garden that I was swooning over... the jumper, black tights and oxfords?

Well I found it! The grown up version that is...
The only thing I wish is that the jumper were that great yellowish green. This one's more yellowy cream. Oh well... it's still cute.

The Jumper.

See by Chloé. Found at but I'm sorry to say it's sold out. Bummer.

The Blouse.

This one I found at the inspiration. It's an oh so sweet vintage version that's much more cost effective. Buy it here.

This one I found at the addiction. It too could work, although with the jumper straps, the neck line might pose a problem. Regardless, it's very cute and on sale too! Buy it here.
Otherwise you could really just go with the blouse the jumper's already paired with. Although that one is definitely not sale priced... But I guess if it's on it technically is...

The Shoes

I found both pairs at Urban Outfitters. Option A with a heel, Option B with a flat. Let your legs decide.

And of course this outfit would not be complete without a thick pair of black tights/leggings. But I think you can manage to find those on your own.

And I am happy. Inspiration come to life. I love it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Love is a Pink Carnation

Firstly, there are two things you need to know about me:
1. I hate carnations.
I think this dislike stems from seeing them in the grocery store dyed that disgusting snow-cone colored blue or leprechaun green, looking 100% artificial; they're like the antithesis of what flowers represent. In my opinion carnations are just a step up from Baby's Breath - a sad, sad substitute for a rose. It's what you give when you feel obligated to give flowers but really don't want to, or worse, when you should give flowers but completely forget.

2. I really don't like pink.
Yes, I'm a ballerina. Yes, I love to wear dresses. But to be completely honest the color pink often inspires my gag reflex. Yuck. There are many things I do and many things I like that by all outward appearances would make me sound like a girly-girl, but honestly I'm not. Well at least I don't see myself as one. Victoria's Secret's ad campaign of "Pink" is completely lost on me. The color looks wretched on my yellow-olive skin tone and something deep within me just rejects it. I feel like Kay Thompson's character Maggie Prescott in the movie "Funny Face" where at the end of her "Think Pink" number she refuses to be caught dead in it - although the number is quite fabulous.

However recently, my mind has slightly changed toward these two things I've railed against for so long. I have Lars to thank for that. And by Lars, I mean "Lars and the Real Girl."

If you haven't seen this movie, you absolutely must. Everything about it is brilliant. Everything. From the script to the set design there isn't one detail that was overlooked. And this is definitely my kind of movie. It's quirky, its awkward, it's endearingly odd. It's a lot like me.
Ryan Gosling proves my point that mustaches are hot. And I absolutely love the charming little farmhouse Lars, his brother Gus and sister-in-law Karen live in. In particular, the "Pink room" where Lars' "girlfriend" Bianca stays has inspired my design eye. Pink? I know... I was surprised too. But the vintage wall paper and curtains, the sweet chenille bedspread and the amazing wood dresser are absolutely perfect.
In fact this movie redeems pink. It's like a tread that's woven throughout this entire film binding it all together. It first shows up in a pink carnation Mrs. Gruner gives to Lars at the beginning of the film. This scene is amazing. Ryan Gosling plays it to perfection. She gives Lars the carnation and tells him to give it to someone he likes, when just at that moment he turns around to see his very cute co-worker Margot saying "hello." With one thrust of his arm he chucks the carnation into oblivion, and then after saying nothing proceeds to actually run to his car. It's clear he likes her, but is afraid - afraid of love. During the rest of the movie pink shows up throughout - in apparel and decor - as Lars gradually learns how to love and be loved. And by the end we see another pink carnation, not thrown away, but kept close to his heart (worn on his left lapel).
Love is a pink carnation. And love is not cheap. Rather, it is the most important, most precious and utterly priceless gift we can give and receive. So I guess Lars makes me love both pink and carnations.

Here are two clips I found on YouTube of the beginning and the end of this awesome film. But if you've never seen it, DON'T watch the latter clip. Better just watch the whole thing.

You can find the first clip here and the second one here.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Vail "Vacation" Part II in photos

Sorry, sorry, sorry...

It's been so long since I updated this. Yikes. My bad.
We'll I'm actually on vacation now - 2 weeks off, and I can't tell you how necessary this time is, mainly for the preservation of my sanity. I was chatting with my pastor's wife last Sunday and she so sweetly said to me, "Your life is never lacking drama" - or something to that effect. And as much as I would like to say otherwise, I've resigned myself to the fact that this is the truth. This week has not been an exception to this truth. In fact this has been a Struggles the Cat week. 

But I digress...

So here is the second installment of Vail "vacation" in photos. I write "vacation" because it wasn't a true vacation - we most certainly did work, and the work we did wasn't easy - but when we did have some time off, we definitely enjoyed ourselves in this affluent little resort town. So here are little snapshots (literally) of our tour to Vail, CO. Enjoy!

Waiting at Sea-Tac. I'm hanging out on the carpet with the babies - Shmelsea (Chelsea Adomaitis) and Shmanda (Amanda Clark).

Buckle up! It's up, up and away - off to Denver, CO. Can't you tell we're excited?

My view for the majority of the flight... well not quite. But I guess there are worse things to look at than Andrew's underwear.

"Would you like to sit next to a ballerina?" said the flight attendant to a little 6 year-old girl who sat next to Liora.

Dancers congregating in the aisles. The flight attendants sure loved us. Thank goodness we had Ezra with us to smooth things over. 
After waiting for James to go all the way back through the Denver airport security to claim a bag he left on the plane we finally board the bus that will take us to our final destination: Vail. 

Carli Samuelson and Will Lin-Yee. They make such a cute couple.

Abby Relic and Barry Kerollis. They're a couple too - just not the romantic type.

A third couple? Nope that's just Bartells (Andrew Bartee) and Lovey-Dovey (Emma Love).

Jerry rocking out on the keys.

Looks like BK needed a nap.

Potty break! Enter Georgetown. No, this is not a mistake - we're still in CO not D.C. 

Abby what are you doing there on the ground?

Ohhh... gotcha. Girlfriend get that gas out. That's no bueno holdin' it in. Just not on the bus.
Finally we arrive! Our home for the next 6 days and 5 nights would be Manor Vail. It was lovely, although the décor left something to be desired. Oh yeah, and air-conditioning would have been nice too. But I have to say Abby and Barry won the prize for the "best" room. And by best I mean so bad it's good.

Ahhh! I don't know what's scarier... the fact that there's a Christmas tree with a huge bear in their room or Barry's face.

I take it back. Hands down, the most frightening thing in their room were the Granny panties that Barry found under the humidifier. Why would you pick those up? Why?

In Vail, we have this tradition of going to this amazing restaurant. You could almost call it a pilgrimage the food is that good. It's called Kelly Liken. Go there. We did. And it was yummy. But I think you can tell that from our faces. Oh and Barry needed some Chapstick.

High School Musical? Nope. Just class and rehearsals in the Vail Mountain School Gymnasium. However the floor resembled more an ice-skating rink than a ballet studio.

Chillin' on the bleachers. We're all a little tired.

And begin Square Dance finale. I'm so not envious.

Sarah and Chal waiting for 3 Movements rehearsal to start.

There were two other photos of these three but this one was the only one that wasn't blurry. Boo busted camera.

After rehearsal I decided to go to soak in some Vitamin D while working on a paper. The "teenage ghetto" decided to join me. As you can imagine I got a lot of work done.

Work those sickled feet!

It looks like Andrew's baptizing Amanda...

Either that or drowning her. (In reality I believe they're playing some sort of game called "categories" made up by Mandy - I'm too old for these things...)
Saturday. The big day. And this is where we took class, rehearsed and performed. It's pretty amazing. Absolutely loved dancing outside. It was glorious!

Not-so-dressed Dress rehearsal. This is the male solo of Balanchine's Square Dance. That-a-boy Ben!

Get that attitude Carli! With the slow shutter speed of my camera it truly is a miracle I captured this moment.

And fast-forward to Sunday. Program 2. Barry and I getting ready for some "Cool." We're giving you some fierce face here. My hair on the other hand is not so hot, much like the temperature... but I'll save that little tidbit story for next time...

Juvenile delinquents. But Leah definitely has on my favorite dress. But no complaints about my attire. It's definitely the Anthro outfit of the West Side Story Suite lot. 

And we're done! Time for the after-party. Abby's doing Barry's crazy hair while he drinks a Bud Light and eats Carrots. Interesting combo... Don't think I'd go for it, but more power to you BK.

And didn't Abby do a great job? He wanted it crazy and that's what he got. We are such the odd couple in this photo. Crazy windswept slightly emo man with conservative polished Anthro girl. I love it! And I hope you loved these photos too. 
The End.