30×30

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I’m pretty excited about today’s post because it’s all about my wonderful friend Supattra! I met her a few years ago through our mutual friend Mike, and ever since then, we’ve gotten chummy over dinners, happy hours, bar nights, and even a sumo wrestling competition! I love her for so many reasons: she’s always up for something fun; she seizes the everyday but isn’t afraid to admit her fears and mistakes; she’s lived abroad and went to Kenya last year (pictured throughout this blog); and it’s so easy to have hours-long conversations with her about life, relationships, ambitions, and all the complications of growing up and figuring out what on earth we’re here for. Our talks always leave me inspired.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, Supattra was being her usual inspirational self again. ;) She reached out to a bunch of her friends and asked them to join her in completing a “30×30″ list she had created. It’s a list of 30 things she wants to do by the time she’s 30—and 30 still counts, she says! (She’ll turn 30 in May 2015.) I thought the list was so fun—it’s full of big goals (hike Yosemite’s half dome), small goals (watch the full Star Wars trilogy), and playful goals (stomp on grapes like in I Love Lucy).

Supattra kindly let me share the list, plus a Q&A with her on what she’s learned from her 20′s and what she’s looking forward to about turning 30:

Supattra’s 30×30

1. Defy gravity (skydive or paraglide)
2. Hike the half dome (Summer 2014 anybody??)
3. Visit a continent I haven’t been to (planning for South America 2015! Who’s with me?)
4. Experience Coachella (planned for April 2014)
5. Go to something big somewhere else (Burning Man, Carnival, Oktoberfest, La Tomatina)
6. Go laser tagging for the first time
7. Learn to ride a motorcycle
√ 8. Hike to the hollywood sign to see the sunrise over L.A. < CHECKED 1/19/14
9. Learn to play and sing a full song on my ukelele or guitar
10. Stomp on grapes like in I Love Lucy
11. Buy my own first car
12. Host a dinner party and cook for friends
13. Take a spontaneous Jetsuite trip somewhere, anywhere
14. Go skinny dipping
15. Run a marathon
16. Learn at least 10 family recipes
17. Learn how to do an oil change, jumpstart a car, and change a car tire
18. Attempt to get over my fear of birds…
19. Go on an epic road trip with friends
20. Surf and snowboard on the same day
21. Watch the full Star Wars trilogy
22. Learn a new dance
23. Aprende Espanol (at an advanced level)
24. Get certified in something
25. Eat unprocessed foods and go gluten-free for a full month just to see how it feels
26. Clean out my storage and donate all unneeded things
27. Fall in love
28. Be a mentor
29. Quit a job I hate to follow my dreams
30. Look and feel my best at 30

And now…a Q&A with Supattra :) Continue reading

Paper Princess

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Have you guys heard about this 4-year-old fashionista? Affectionately dubbed “Mayhem” by her mother, Angie, this tot enjoys clothes so much that she was always playing with her mom’s scarves and sheets. Then one day, Angie suggested the two of them start making paper dresses instead so they could create to their heart’s content…and suddenly an incredible collection emerged! Proof below…

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…and then came celebrity-inspired concoctions!

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How adorable and imaginative is this mother-daughter duo?! And those last three photos…I think we all know who wore it better.

See more amazing designs on Angie’s Instagram. And thanks for letting me know about this story, Jess!

{via HuffPost}

I Want This Chicken

Penny the Fluffy Silky Chicken

This story about a two-legged Chihuahua-that-could and its rescue-chicken BFF was all over the interwebs last week. And as adorable as this unlikely duo is, can we stop for a moment and talk about this chicken.

Matt has now banned me from Googling “fluffy silky chicken” after I literally started crying-laughing out of pure joy at how adorable this thing is. It looks like some kind of mythical creature — perhaps an extra from “Where the Wild Things Are”?

Sloths are now facing some major competition in my mind. And coming from the person who ordered two copies of this print, that’s saying something.

{Photo via Duluth Animal Hospital}

A Favorite Weeknight Pasta

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The cooking adventures continue! I made this tuna pasta dish a few weeks ago in an effort to use up some parsley and half and half that were about to go bad…and luckily because I always have canned tuna on hand, too…and also because I was feeling lazy and impatient as usual and wanted food in less than 30 minutes…but I actually first made it in 2009. I still remember it well; after my first successful attempt at it, I fell in love with the recipe and made it for five days straight and pretty much ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s such an easy recipe and it’s all thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, NieNie, and her spin-off cooking blog, CuisineNie (which, sadly, hasn’t been updated since 2011 but there’s still a solid 40+ recipes on there if you want to check it out).

Anyway, this makes for a really quick, satisfying dinner, so just wanted to share. It has a creamy sauce that’s not too rich, so it’s still on the light side, and the parsley makes it so refreshing. It’s kind of like a warm pasta salad. In the yummiest way possible. The original recipe calls for penne but I’m not a penne lover, so I’ve made it with farfalle in the past and rigatoni (above) and they both tasted great and were an awesome texture (raise your hand if pasta texture is also kind of a big deal to you!). Next time I’d like to try adding some diced tomato and avocado to top things off.

p.s. I’ll try to share a few more snippets of what recipes I’m cooking up down the line…and then, who knows, maybe some original dishes in the future once I get a hang of things?! One can hope…

Lessons in Love

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I read a fascinating article in The Atlantic recently about a particular class Northwestern University offers: Marriage 101. The school has a course entirely dedicated to helping students have successful marriages and fulfilling romantic relationships in life. How cool is that? Students attend weekly lectures and then break into discussion groups focused on a range of topics such as child-rearing, infidelity, and addiction. Some of the class’s broader teachings include Dating and Selecting the Right Partner, Managing Conflict and Fighting Fair, Common Problems of Marriage, and—one that I thought was particularly great—Getting To Know Yourself.

“The foundation of our course is based on correcting a misconception: that to make a marriage work, you have to find the right person. The fact is, you have to be the right person,” says Alexandra Solomon [one of the four professors teaching the course]. “Our message is countercultural: Our focus is on whether you are the right person. Given that we’re dealing with 19-, 20-, 21-year olds, we think the best thing to do at this stage in the game, rather than look for the right partner, is do the work they need to understand who they are, where they are, where they came from, so they can then invite in a compatible suitable partner.”

To that end, students keep a journal, interview friends about their own weaknesses, and discuss what triggers their own reactions and behaviors in order to understand their own issues, hot buttons, and values. “Being blind to these causes people to experience problems as due to someone else—not to themselves,” Solomon explains. “We all have triggers, blind spots, growing edges, vulnerabilities. The best thing we can do is be aware of them, take responsibility for them, and learn how to work with them effectively.”

What an incredible class to take, don’t you think? Northwestern has offered this course for 14 years and it’s so popular that teachers are forced to turn students away every year! If you’re married, what are some of the challenges you face in your relationship that you didn’t expect to? Is marriage easier or harder than you imagined? Do you think a course like this one would have properly prepared you? If you’re not married, would you take a course like this?

p.s. I’ll always remember the time my 11th-grade English teacher told us: “You know that movie Jerry Maguire, where they say ‘you complete me’? That’s bullshit. Nobody completes you. You complete yourself.” I don’t remember the majority of the things I learned in high school, but I’ll always remember learning that. ;)

{photo via}

S’mores + Waffles

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How am I just discovering this right now?! The powers of s’mores and waffles combined? Genius! And, I would suspect, crazy delicious. There’s a full recipe for this beauty, but I’m betting one could also work wonders with some Eggo waffles, chocolate bars, and marshmallows—which is how my lazy self will probably go about this. ;)

Who’s making it for the long weekend?

{via babble}

Retro Love

ModCloth invited us to come up with our own unique look inspired by just one of its adorably retro dresses. With its pretty lace accents and pop of color, we’re thinking this would make one pretty lovely Valentine’s Day look.

What do you think? Since I’m all about retro looks but like something a little funky and incongruous to bring an outfit out of the box, I love these shoes to give this look a bit of humor. And the more feminine touches like the knotted gold earrings, bow-adorned purse and red lip stain pay homage to the more classic side of this retro-modern look.

What’s your Valentine’s Day look inspiration?