Apr 18, 2014

Weekend links 4.18.14

Friday. Finally. [Insert huge sigh of relief here].

I've been thinking about this article that I read earlier in the week about not complaining. I don't know if I'm fully on board with it (sometimes you've just got to complain and get it out of your system), but it has made me realize how often I say things that come off as complaining -- even if I don't particularly mean them that way. For example, when I was kissing Mark goodbye this morning before going to work, I said, "I wish I could spend the day with you." It was a true statement, but then I realized how whiny it sounded. Wouldn't it have been better to just smile and wish my husband a good day? Yeah, probably. So I'm trying to pay a little more attention to those phrases that just slip off my tongue and sound like complaints.

There should be no complaints this weekend, though. Mark is back in town, the weather is warming up and we're taking a weekend trip to Washington, DC. All good things, people, all good things. Here are a few things I bookmarked this week:

Watch this little baby age 14 years in 4 minutes
Love the idea of spelling out a word with rope lights
I think I need this: the tiny Instagram projector
This is the sweetest announcement video ever
Face it: English is a crazy language
You know that magic button you've been wishing for: here it is
I'm still following along with The Fresh Exchange's European adventures
Another video that you should watch. It's too good to skip. Seriously.

Apr 17, 2014

What I'm Reading, Vol. Sixteen

A look through the window: Theron Humphrey's Wild Idea to Reconnect in Real Time
In a modern time of sharing through social and hardly ever being face to face, Theron is an anomaly, a throwback to Kerouac-ian life on the road that was genuinely about finding a home everywhere and friends in everyone.

"You gotta point your camera at what you love, something that stirs you up, even when you don't have an audience and no one is lookin...that's how you grow as an image maker." For Theron, sometimes a photo can work as a timestamp, or it's simply just as a testament to the beauty of life or, "Art for art's sake."

15 Things That Introverts Would Never Tell You
Introverts get a bad rap in a world that celebrates extroversion and "people-persons". There are things introverts wish you knew about them that would help any relationship or situation. For instance, we are not anti-social or depressed, we're just different. In fact, many envy us for our self-contained, cool manner that keeps others calm, focused, and safe. People love us, in secret. As introverts, we have many "ways" that only our closest friends understand. Here are several things about introverts you may not know.
1. We don't care about your birthday.
2. We don't need you to care about our birthday.
3. We don't really like networking events.
4. We force ourselves to act like we like you.
5. We like to write things out.
6. We can do the extrovert thing, for a while.
7. We are okay alone.
8. We make a choice to be with you - appreciate it.

I cannot wipe the tears from your avatar or hear the tremble of your voice's keyboard. You cannot see past the keyhold of my filtered Instagram photos and edited words. The Internet is the business of slivers: cropped images and clickable headlines and truncated word counts. But humans? We bring baggage. And it seems there is no great place to store our suitcases, is there?

Even still, we must try. We must peer through windows, standing on our tiptoes with cupped hands and wide eyes, hoping to learn something about the souls that reside elsewhere. To find something familiar to latch onto, or perhaps to learn something so far from what we know that it sits deep within us, forcing us to tuck it into our suitcase to carry onto the next adventure.

Apr 16, 2014

A few things I'm loving lately

Spotify Premium. I've been using Spotify for years now, but I only just took the leap into Spotify Premium. Mainly because I needed music to accompany me on my evening runs (aka walk as fast as you can and pretend you're running) and Spotify Premium can stream without using my data. Right now, I'm using their free 30 day trial, because I'm a cheapskate and hate having to pay monthly subscriptions. This just makes me super motivated to get in as many "runs" as possible before my 30 days are up. Oh, they're now offering Spotify Premium 50% off for students so you might as well put that student ID to work for you while you still can. I kinda miss taking advantage of all those discounts, but that is one small price to pay for never having to go to class again.

Fresh-cut grass. Mark mowed the yard for the first time this year and the smell was heavenly. He doesn't get it (allergy plagued person that he is), but I think freshly-cut-grass-smell beats all the other good smells in the world. You know, like coffee and citrus and bacon frying.

5pm - 9pm. There's something so great about these hours during the summer. During the winter, they always seem to escape so fast. Now, I have time to check out Old Navy's sale before going home for a run and dinner. And there's still a few hours of daylight left over to lounge on the porch, read a book and watch the latest Voice episode.

Boston ferns. We just bought two of these for our porch and they're so happy looking! I'm hoping they'll be strong enough to survive my black thumb. I read that they like a lot of water, so I've been watering them every day. After having only succulents for so long, I feel like I'm drowning this plant but, so far, they seem to like it. If you have any fern tips, let me know! A bird has built a nest in one of them and we've had lots of fun watching them. It has also led to a lot of questions like, "How do birds know when to make a nest?" and "How do eggs fit inside such a tiny bird?" Yeah, things are getting pretty deep over here at the Torres residence. ;)

Apr 15, 2014

House Tour :: Our Porch

I'm so excited to finally share these pictures of our porch. If I was a "good DIY blogger" I would have some fun tutorials to share since everything was handmade. The truth, though, is that Mark made it all and I doubt I'll be getting him to blog any time soon. So, instead I'll just share photos of his awesome handy-work and pinch myself for marrying such a crafty husband.

We started searching Craigslist for some porch furniture earlier this spring and were instantly disappointed. Most of it was either ugly or way out of our price range. So Mark started sketching and within a few hours, he had a plan for building the furniture himself. One rainy Sunday later and we had a frame! I scored the seat cushions from Target's patio section during a sale and talked my sister into sewing some throw pillows for us. It's awesome having so many crafty people around. Maybe one day some of it will rub off on me.

The huge jute rug is one of my favorite things about the porch. We found it at a local thrift store and it was just what we needed to cover the poorly painted porch floor. It is tough enough to survive the weather outdoors, but not too rough to walk on. The pallet table was another one of Mark's creations. One of these days I'll get around to putting another coat of paint on it (yeah right) but in the meantime it's doing a great job holding our plants.

The ampersand marquee light is just another example of how my husband never ceases to amaze me. (I realize this is turning into a "brag about Mark" post, but that's ok...he deserves it :) I kept toying with the idea of hanging a large ampersand on the wall, but Mark took it to the next level when he turned it into a marquee light. It's so fun to turn on in the evenings.

We've literally been spending all of our mornings and evenings out here. I may have fallen asleep out there a few times. It usually gets direct sunlight in the morning while I'm eating breakfast before work and, in the evenings, it's shady enough to keep down on heat. It's becoming one of the most-used rooms in the house. Wait, is a porch considered a room? 

A few other things:
Jute rug: Class and Trash
End table: made by Mark (get a load of those rebar hairpin legs!)
Seat cushions: Target Threshold collection
Throw pillow forms and fabric: UFab
Red throw pillow: good ole Wal-Mart
Welcome mat: Target

Plants & flowers:
Boston ferns 
Creepin' Jenny (how awesome is that name!)

Apr 14, 2014

Over the weekend

Made a classic weekend breakfast of french toast and fried eggs. I went all out, you guys. There was even confectioner sugar!

Shopped for a new pencil skirt. They're my go-to uniform for summer.

Spent lots of hours on our porch. Guys, this weather....

Drove home to my parents' house. I had almost forgotten the perfection that is green wheat fields in the spring.

Ate at Buz & Ned's for the first time. Mark and I both loved it and it's not too far from our house. This could get dangerous.