Design and Travel

July 14, 2011

Last night I went to a Barnes & Noble for the first time in ages and had the opportunity to browse through several design books I’d read about online. I do a lot of online shopping, but it really helped seeing the real deal because I was able to choose a favorite (I didn’t buy it yet because of the whole being unemployed thing). I looked at:

Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design
Modern Vintage Style
Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic
Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing
Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces
The French-Inspired Home
Simply Scandinavian

…and many, many others. I would love to have them all for a wide variety of inspiration and resources but I came back to The Vintage Modern Home several times. I’m not sure what set the it apart from all the rest for me (especially very similar titles, like Modern Vintage),  but after several flips through, the pictures just spoke to me the most, and the tips looked helpful too, not that I spent much time reading.

In unrelated news, I visited my best friend in Pensacola, Florida last weekend and absolutely loved it there. We went downtown on Friday night and spent a long Saturday watching the Blue Angels and hanging out at bars on the beach. I’d have loved to have spent more time there. I was in ultimate beach town vacation mode.














So Long, Florida

June 8, 2011

…for a few days.

At the beach

At the beach

I’m at the airport. Love free wireless!

June Bug!

June 7, 2011

First of all, thank you to WordPress for featuring my previous post, “Dunder Mifflin, this is Toni” on Freshly Pressed. That was the second time WordPress has featured my blog; the first time was my “NYC! (Photo Dump).”



Summer dessert

[Insert random photos of recent food here.]

Tomorrow I leave to go visit one of my oldest friends in Louisiana for a few days! We’ve decided it will be somewhat of a Martha Stewart weekend. My friend is excellent at baking, decorating, scrapbooking, and all things arts and crafts. When we were kids I loved spending time in her bedrooms because they were so pretty (we both moved from Missouri to Florida in the early 2000s and went to school together in both states!), and her scrapbooks were like masterpieces. I attempted to scrapbook in high school because of her and it. was. ugly. The captions alone are so bad I can never share them with anyone. Anyway, on this short trip, we will probably take on some artsy projects that she will excel at and I will fail at. And I can’t wait.

I’ve had some  fun and relaxing past few days, probably a little bit too much so for my own good. But I don’t regret it. This post-graduation “vacation” was much needed, or at least, much appreciated. I’ve been browsing through design books and murder mysteries, writing in my journal (of the non-digital sort) for the first time in 10 months, eating good food, spending time with friends and family, and more.

In my journal, I came across an entry from August 2009–a “Lifelong To-Do List” apparently inspired by Real Simple magazine that month (seriously, I love that magazine). After reading this post on the blog hithatsmybike (see her recent entries on spending a month in Paris, gah, amazing), I decided to post my 2009  list here.

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I spent less than 24 hours in a certain city where a certain favorite TV show of mine is set. Luckily it was a beautiful day.












Travel Edition: Key West

April 14, 2011

In honor of all travel bloggers I’ve been raving about lately (seriously, My Beautiful Adventures puts me in a good mood first thing in the morning), I thought it was time to put up pictures from my Key West trip in July 2010 that I somehow never posted. Very unlike me, I know, but it was while I was away for an internship and only had my netbook with me–that was not a fun summer for spending time at the computer. I haven’t mentioned this because I don’t feel like dwelling on it (yet) but my desktop computer recently crashed and I don’t know if I’ll be able to get my documents off of it. I have uploaded many of my photos to Flickr, thank goodness, but I panicked thinking I’d lost my Key West pictures forever, since I was having trouble finding them. Luckily, they’re there, I just never put them in a set.

For someone who has lived in Florida for, oh, 12 years, it’s sad that I’ve only been to Key West once, but at least I finally made it. I owe it to Patrick’s amazing family and can’t thank them enough for bringing me on such a wonderful trip.

Key West 127

We stayed at the most adorable bed and breakfast, the Marquesa. I haven’t been on many official “vacations” in my life (I grew up visiting family in Michigan in the summers and that was about it) so I felt incredibly pampered here.

Key West 173

Key West 175

Key West 072

Key West 099

Key West 090

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April 12, 2011

I don’t know what the blogosphere version of a “friend of a friend” is, but I heard about Lisa Eldridge’s makeup videos through a blogger who mentioned another blogger and I don’t recall who either was at this point. Anyway, I mentioned Lisa in my last post but her newest video blew me away. Just as I was about to play one of the Youtube relaxation videos I listen to every night to fall asleep, I decided to check this one out, and it left me, yes, enchanted. I can’t wait for the other videos Lisa will be doing for Vintage Week. Perhaps something about vintage makeup (not vintage-inspired styles, although I love those too, but actual vintage makeup) speaks to the complicated overlap of my loves for feminism, beauty, and history. Especially when narrated by someone so lovely and enthusiastic and well-spoken as Lisa Eldridge. Girl crush much?

I’m also excited about my sudden realization tonight that I want to read travel memoirs. I have been so inspired by travel blogs recently that I’d like to immerse myself in some books, maybe even classic travel writing, as well. A few I’ve considered include:

Travels with Charlie in Search of America
by John Steinbeck
Blue Highways: A Journey into America and PrairyErth, both by William Least Heat-Moon
My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’Homme
Recommendations are welcome!

I like to think that if I surround myself with enough people and texts talking about travel, eventually, I’ll make it happen. It already seems much less impossible than it used to, solely because I’m suddenly encountering many, many people through the wonders of the internet who are out there doing what I’ve always dreamed of doing. I really need to get on my passport application, but tonight I’ve been thinking about how much of the United States I’ve never seen. After all, I’m only just getting my driver’s license (next month is the plan) which, soon enough, will open up an American right of passage for me, one in which I have never been able to partake: just getting in a car and going…going…going…

Busy Bee Seeks Advice!

February 15, 2011

I have had no time to take pictures or write or cook or clean or anything else non-school or work related for that matter. I am just soo busy right now (yeah, I am dying for the day all my posts DON’T talk about how busy I am), but I have been bookmarking inspirational stuff in my Tumblr, like this,

Square America

Square America

so feel free to check that out in the meantime! (Images from the greatest website of all time, Square America.)

I will say this: I’ve got the travel bug, bad, and I’m dying to get out of the country this summer. But seeing as I am a poor grad student living on a meager income and student loans–and I’m graduating this semester–I’m not sure how feasible this is. I’m also really unskilled at managing all the details involved in planning an international trip so I’m drawn to packages and tours from companies like STA Travel or EF College Break (preferably ones that cater to youngish people even though I’m older than the typical college student). Another option I’ve been looking at is using BUNAC’s services and working abroad. I dunno. ANYONE GOT ANY ADVICE/TIPS/FEEDBACK? I guess I should face the monstrous task of applying for my American passport soon, huh.

Remember these photos I took in Scotland? I want to take a whole bunch more in a whole bunch of new places.






Now excuse me while I get my butt off the computer chair and uncurl my back from hunching over the keyboard. Bout to go running for the first time in years! Take that, New Years resolutions.