Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Happiness Project

Just wanted to take the oppurtunity to turn you on to another extraordinary blog: The Happiness Project. Author Gretchen Rubin set out on a year-long quest to make herself happier. She wasn't depressed, led a full life, but thought it could somehow be more enriched. Follow her blog for inspiration, insight and fantastic quotes from famous great thinkers that only legitimize her quest to be happier.

The thing I like most about Gretchen's approach is that she quickly decided (after laborious research on the subject, the likes of which only a true book-writer could accomplish) that the only way to be happier was to be truer to herself. She doesn't try to become a different person or someone she's not; she just becomes more her.

Also, she's writing a book of the same name due for release later this year! I've had the oppurtunity to take a peak and it provides all that her blog does and more. Not to mention, she's a great writer; straight-up, self-deprecating and well-read, just like I like 'em.

So yay Gretchen Rubin! Go check it out :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The September Issue

I've blogged about Anna Wintour before, and I truly cannot wait for the documentary The September Issue. All info to be found in the trailer below:

Meanwhile, I haven't even had a chance to read the latest Vogue, as I've had my head buried in books and save my magazines for the treadmill... and I tend to gravitate toward the lighter fare of People for that kind of seriously activity (although this being the most reputable and overall most respected celebrity tabloid-type magazine out there, it's the only one I read).

Anyway, movie looks informational, dishy and slightly funny as well. Can't wait to see it this fall!

Summer Reading (so far)

I'm not a big reviewer, I prefer to discuss books in person. But I figured I'd still share with you my summer reading so far.

Firstly, I was able to get my hands on an advance copy of Jane Stanton Hitchcock's newest, Mortal Friends. I promise, it does not disappoint. A Washington native myself, I thoroughly enjoyed Mrs. Hitchcock's descriptions of politics and power in the nation's capital. Always smartly observed, her writing is humorous and clever. I agree with The Wall Street Journal's review in that the social-comedy aspects of the novel are better-developed than the mystery plot, but that's why we read Jane's books, no? It comes out on Tuesday, go pick it up, it's worth the hardcover price.

Next, Chandler Burr's You or Someone Like You. This books appeals to the English major in me, with its Hollywood intellectual book group and constant Shakespeare and Auden references. If you're not a fan of classic or serious English literature, I can see how the constant epigrams may tire you out, but this is certainly a provocative look at intellectualism in Hollywood which also deals in idenity-searching and contemporary religous issues. I didn't always see how the posturing-book club side of the novel connected to its message about the issues, but it was a delightful read, nonetheless. Anne Rosenbaum (its protagonist) reminded me of myself in the best ways and the worst ways. And, the cover art is to die for.

Finally, I just had the pleasure of speed-reading J. Courtney Sullivan's debut, Commencement. I'd call this chic-lit for the academic crowd. Much like Martha Moody's Best Friends (which I've previously blogged about) this follows a group of friends through college as they grow into adulthood. This plot is typical of many first novels by young female authors, but this managed to be sophisticated in both its characterization and plot; it becomes quite a page-turner. The characters are truly relatable, much in the way that each of the Sex in the City girls were relatable in their own way. With its Tiffany-box blue cover, and red ribbon, this novel is met with equal pleasure as the fabled and beautiful blue box itself.

I'm going to stick to my decision to not share my reads-of-choice until I'm finished. This is mostly due to my habit of reading too many books at once (I'm reading approximately four different novels right now) and sometimes I put them down in the middle not to be returned to until years later. (Such is the case with approximately five books I started last summer, sitting on my shelf this season pleading to be re-examined; we shall see). Either way, I'll certainly continue to share what I finish.

Happy Sunday, I'm off to peruse the Times,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Songs

These are my top rated songs on iTunes... I listen to music mostly to chill out. I have other songs for driving and walking around the city, but these are most often playing when I'm at home unwinding!

ADELE- Make You Feel My Love
Coldplay- Amsterdam
Coldplay- Death and All His Friends
Damien Rice- Dogs
Daphne Loves Derby- Pollen and Salt
Evan Rachel Wood- Black Bird
George Harrison- Something
The City- Joe Purdy
I Know- Jude
Neil Nathan- Do Ya
The Platters- My Prayer
Primitive Radio Gods- Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand
Primitive Radio Gods- Fading Out
R.E.M.- At My Most Beautiful
Regina Spektor- Fidelity
Regina Spektor- Samson
Righteous Brothers- Unchained Melody
Steve Tyrell- On The Sunny Side of the Street

Enjoy! All songs available on iTunes!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Revisiting Part II

Keeping with my revisiting of old favorites from yesterday, I have just redownloaded Songs from Dawson's Creek, Vol. 2. Talk about a throwback. I love Dawson's and Felicity in high school and this particular was always on rotation in my fabulously large five disk-changer stereo. Those were the days. Anyway, if you're in the mood for some Jayhawks, Evan&Jaron or Wheatus, this is your go-to. Here's a favorite song...

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I'm in a retro mood lately. I think it's because of Mr. Button. I've been listening to the Mad Men soundtrack nonstop. So romantic. And lovely.

Not nearly as retro was my visit to my old elementary school on this beautifully warm June afternoon with an old friend... we heard they added on to it so went to explore the new playgound. I was singing this cheesey song the entire time. Whatever... it was dreamy. And boy did I feel old.

While my bloggy friends are not nearly as old of friends as my
IRL ones, I have recently found myself navigating back to blogs I deleted from my reader earlier on either because I didn't have enough time to keep up with detailed posts during the busy school year, or just because I wasn't feeling the vibe. And this process in its own way has been like revisiting old friends. Mrs. Blandings is one of these.
I dream of one day assuming her effortlessly chic style and could only wish to have her immaculate taste. I've just added her to my reader again... for the summer anyway, while my workload is low(er) and I have time to revel in the perfection that is her blog. (Photo courtesy of her blog from PVE designs!)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Benjamin Button

Have you seen the masterpiece that is the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? I think it's officially a new favorite. I'll try not to give too much away other than simply advising you to pick up a copy of the relatively-recently released DVD and see it, but it is a tale all at once epic and familiar, inspiring and heartbreaking. Think part The Notebook, part Forrest Gump, part Peter Pan, part Time Traveller's Wife, with elements of everyone's favorite Holly Golightly and Mad Men mixed in. Wonderfully retro and timeless at the same time.

And the female protagonist's name is Daisy. And she's a ballerina. That just about did it for me. It is looslely based on a Fitzgerald short story, after all. (It doesn't hurt that I adore Cate Blanchett almost as much as I love Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep as actresses, or that Brad Pitt plays the title role). All in all it is a beautifully styled and fascinating film.

Clearly, I highly recommend it. I currently have this song from the soundtrack on repeat. Go see it. If you already have, are you as enamored as I am?

All images found through google image search

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Back on the Porch again...

White wine joins me this time. It was a long, hot day, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. I'll share them at a later date. I seem to have exhausted myself for the first time on this extended vacation of mine... tuning in now for RHNJ!

Oh, and this post sums up my feelings on the subject, quite precisely, actually.


I've sadly lost the source of this gorgeous photo...
The screened porch at home, lots of Tuesday morning blog post perusing, a green Pottery Barn Emma mug of coffee, sounds of pancakes being made drifting from the kitchen, a new episode of The Bachelorette to watch on abc.com, an event later this afternoon to which I get to wear my new Calypso dress, and the JCrew Dauphine sandals in Champagne en route to my doorstep...

Happy Tuesday:)