So I know I just talked about camping (and my fingers are crossed for good weather next weekend, so I can go on my first backpacking trip of the year), but camping at festivals is a whole ‘nother beast. A beast that I now feel fairly prepared to tackle, after being woefully unprepared the year before this. Some major mistakes we made:
– Buying child-sized camping chairs. (So cheap! So uncomfortable!)
– Not buying an Easy-Up; instead attempting to fashion a shelter with a tiny tarp and some duct tape.
– Bringing tons of drinking material that needed to be kept cold…and the smallest cooler possible.
Now, given the bounty of lofty Easy-Ups, adult-sized chairs, and giant frosty coolers that were in evidence on the campgrounds last year, no one else is likely to make those mistakes. But there were many other things I learned that aren’t quite so obvious! So I thought I’d share, and hope that I can save at least a couple of poor souls from the shame and indignities that I inflicted upon myself last year.
Not to lay the self-pity on too strong…we totally killed it. Just in like, the most inept way possible. If that makes sense. Anyway!
It’s funny that one of my favorite songs of all time (#20 most played on my iTunes!) is by a band that I’ve never had much of an interest in. I barely know any of their other songs, and it was only by a fluke that I got to know this one so well. It was one of four choices for our senior prom theme song, and for some reason everyone was VERY opinionated about what it should be (clearly I had a very sheltered childhood). I can’t even recall what song my friends and I wanted…although I do remember approving of Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be” the year before, so I’m guessing whatever one I wanted was about as awesome sappy.
So when “Stolen” was chosen, I chose to embark on a private act of protest by not even bothering to listen to it before the dance. (Yes, I had never even heard the song before, but to be fair I’d heard a lot of their other music and wasn’t a fan) Older me is now aware that younger me was a straight up idiot, but it all worked out in the end. Because the first time I ever heard this song I was literally spinning around in my highest heels, in a ballroom, in celebration. It was perfect.
I’m really not one to wax rhapsodic about vegetables, but I guess these are the exception, because they’re SO GOOD. If you have questions about vegetables, cooking, or your choices in life, then you will find the answers in this recipe. It tastes like bacon-covered candy, takes only the skill to dump a few things into a pan, and is healthy too. Win win win.
Honey-Roasted Parsnips With Pancetta
6 medium parsnips
1/2 cup pancetta, cubed
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Brush a baking pan with olive oil. Slice the parsnips in half, and lay inside, flat side up. Rock them from side to side a bit so that the bottoms are covered in oil. Spread the cubes of pancetta over the parsnips, then drizzle honey over. Sprinkle on paprika and sea salt, then bake for about half an hour. (As they bake, the parsnips will cook in the pancetta fat; if you want to go vegetarian, just omit the pancetta and brush oil on all sides of the vegetable–you silly person you). They’re done when they’re nicely browned around the edges. Eat immediately, most likely with your fingers standing right in front of the stove.
I made a bunch of these simple keychains for my friends for Christmas. They’re used to me making them a lil somethin’ every year, and I’m used to be showered with praise for my ingenuity and artistic skills in return. So I was surprised and saddened when I didn’t receive the usual fanfare upon the presentation of these pretties. Turns out, no one even suspected that they were handmade! That is a score in my book, albeit a slightly confusing one.
Here’s where I found my screw bolts, key rings, and leather scraps. I had all the other supplies, so it only cost me $30 to make 10 key chains, with lots of nice leather scraps left over.
1. Use the sharpie to mark your hole punches on the back of the leather.
2. Make the hole punches and cut (see above).
3. Lay the outer strip over the inner. The four holes on the left should line up, and the outer strip should be slightly longer than the inner.
4. Fold the longer side in toward the middle, and fold the shorter sides over the top (see above).
5. Stick the key ring in the loop you’ve just made.
6. Thread the screw bolt through all the now-aligned holes, and screw closed.
SO EASY. After that you can customize yours by snipping off the edges of the front bit (black one), or slivering the long bit (blue one), whatever you fancy. Just make sure to use very sharp scissors so your cuts are nice and clean.
I don’t know why I keep calling this my desk when clearly it’s actually a vanity; I mean, it’s full of jewelry and makeup and I’m certain to never do a lick of work here (I prefer the couch, or better yet, my bed). But whatever it shall henceforth go by, it’s done! Ish. I need a pretty wastepaper basket and I’m considering painting the task lamp, because I want something over there to be emerald green to tie in with my sheets. If I were brave, I would try to dye the sheepskin. Wouldn’t that look amazing? Maybe I am brave?? Must research.
But it’s come a long way from before, right? After choosing the lamp (discussed here) and the mirror, (here), the only major piece I still needed for the desktop was something to organize all my statement necklaces. For years I used this little jewelry stand, and while it was pretty, it was also laughably bad at holding more than a necklace and a bangle at a time (as, I suppose, the product image advertises). I really had my heart set on a badass marble bust (I was thinking Aristotle, Napoleon, maybe Lenin), but after being outbid on eBay a handful of times i realized that I was going to have to settle for something a little more generic. But this guy gets the job done very nicely and as an added bonus, my hat and sunglasses fit him perfectly! Although the sunglasses caused my roommate to claim that he looked like a “scary transvestite robot from the future”, so I’ve left them off for now.
But the best thing about this setup is what’s inside the drawers. For the first time ever ever I have all my makeup and jewelry ORGANIZED and IN VIEW. Hallelujah!! See??
For the outer drawers, I used two of the tiers of this “crafting box” that I got for super cheap at West Elm because the lid was pretty banged up. The fabric on the bottom stops all my bracelets and charm necklaces from shifting as the drawers open and close. The inner drawers have inserts that I found on an expedition to Home Goods. They’re covered in fabric with a pretty metallic trellis pattern you can’t really see…which is good in a way as my blush has already stained the crap out of one of those cubicles. Whatever.
All in all, I’m pleased with how my room is ever-so-slowly turning out! Stay tuned for sprucing up my bed, which at this rate will probably happen the month before I move out. But it’s going to happen!
For the most part, I am that very girly girl who likes manicures, champagne, Jane Austen; dislikes beer, sporting events, sweatpants. But I make a rabidly enthusiastic exception for camping. It doesn’t really matter to me whether it’s a miles-long backpacking trek through the wilderness, or day drinking at a campsite ten miles out of the city. I love it all!
And, as with pretty much everything else in life, it’s even MORE fun when there’s cute stuff to bring along. Every year I like to add a few things to my camping arsenal (which I keep in my trunk at all times, because you never know). So here are some things that I either have and love, or that I’m considering getting soon.
PS I had a hard time narrowing down all the things I wanted to include from Izola; even their stuff that clearly isn’t for camping is just as clearly perfect for camping (case in point) Also their flasks are amazing. I want ALL of them.
Everyone loves an Oscar Wilde quote! And this one is especially great because the Dowager Countess of Grantham said it too. Don’t you think Dame Maggie’s job must be the best ever? All she does is swan around in lacy gowns and deliver pithy one-liners. It’s funny because I kind of imagine that’s exactly what Oscar Wilde did too…except he wasn’t acting. Such a genius.
For the past few weeks I’ve been toying around with the idea of buying some dedicated sleepwear. This is partially because I have a terrible habit of just passing out in whatever I’ve worn during the day…but also because I have this fantasy of myself sashaying around in something cute before bed, probably with a face mask and a sophisticated novel.
But when I actually started shopping around, I found myself caught up in an existential crisis. I couldn’t make up my mind about basic questions of comfort and practicality (How warm did I want to be? Was I really willing to put on two whole pieces of clothing just to go to bed in?) But the important question, and what my confusion really boiled down to was, what was my sleepwear style? Did I fancy myself a no-nonsense button-down kind of gal? Maybe I was best suited to a fluttery nightgown sort of situation (accompanied of course by an undone fishtail braid). Or was I more of a lace trimmings and booty shorts lady of the night??
I soon realized how ridiculous this train of thought had gotten, so I tabled the motion and went with my gut. So now instead of wearing real clothes to bed, I just wear this guy at all times. Progress!
I love my apartment so much, and for the most part I appreciate its pocket size; less to furnish, less to clean. But it must be said that our living room is a challenge; it’s tiny–and I mean TINY–(In a normal house, it would be charitable to call it an atrium). And all four walls have giant windows/archways/french doors, so there’s basically no empty space to back furniture up against. It immediately became clear that we’d have to float a loveseat (an actual couch wouldn’t fit) in the middle of the room, and that would be it for the seating.
The only way this was going to work was by turning the loveseat towards the window, stove, and tv, which meant that it had to face away from the entry. And because the back of a couch is one of the least lovely sights to encounter upon entering your apartment, I knew I needed a console table STAT. Problem was—again, sooo tiny–any and all console tables I could find were too wide; they blocked up too much of the space between the edge of the archway and the back of the couch.
So that was one tragic circumstance. The other was that I’d always admired these tables, and had even bought them once before to use on either side of my old couch. But they had to be returned because they’re just bizarrely tall. I bought them again for the same purpose, thinking they’d work because our loveseat is also quite tall. But alas, no. And the most frustrating thing was that the nice leg design meant that they could expand and lower, or contract and raise. But the table tops needed to be screwed in at a certain point, which meant that this adjustable feature was totally useless.
I think you see where this is going. While sitting in a heap of styrofoam, boxes, and broken dreams, I realized that the abnormal height of the legs, while weird for side tables, was absolutely perfect for a console table. And I could get a piece of wood cut down to the perfect width! All was well.
And here we have a delicious pink drink that I really should have shared with you for Valentine’s Day. But seeing as how my roommate and I invented it on Halloween last year, I’m just going to claim that it transcends the seasons. It’s a classy-looking drink, but let me tell you, it does not necessarily lead to classy behavior. In fact, after our invention and subsequent serious overindulgence in this concoction, I had to put it on the back burner for a few months so that I could gather the remaining shreds of my dignity.
But I had a random craving for it the other day, and making it confirmed my suspicions that (if you have, say, one or two instead of six or seven) this is the perfect girly cocktail to quickly whip up at home; it’s simple and refreshing, and it’s fun to fish out the boozy raspberries as you go. (Although you can also muddle the raspberries if that’s your thing)
Very Important Sidenote
The name of the drink is only to be said in a Japanese gameshow announcer’s cadence and accent. It’s hard to reproduce in writing, but it should go something like, “rah-zoo-berry fun-tie-meh!!!” Dont ask why.