Monday, September 3, 2012

I've moved!

Hello, dear readers! In case you don't follow me on Twitter, I just wanted to let you all know that I'm now blogging over at Go Team Brinn! I will be closing this blog soon, so I would love it if you'd come check out my new digs and change your feeds. Hope to see you all there soon!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What happens on blog break

...gets shared with the whole entire world when you come back from blog break.

Yes, I took a week or two to unplug from the blogosphere and just experience things. But I have not forgotten about my New Years' promise to document life!  Here's what's been happening around my neck of the woods:

At work, I made a felt hamburger tree and got REALLY excited about it.

I ate tater tots for the first time since high school. I was wondering if they would stand the test of time and the sharpening of my palette, but let me tell you... tater tots are magical. I wish I had some right now.

 I devoured some AMAZING British television: Sherlock and Spaced and Downton Abbey, oh my! Seriously, watch these shows. Then flail. Then e-mail me. We need to talk about how Benedict Cumberbatch sounds exactly like Alan Rickman, and how Tim just needs a hug, and how OMFG MARY MARY MARY.

I made this casserole -- it's like Hamburger Helper, but better because you use actual cheese instead of Mysterious Cheese Dust. It was perfect for a  cold and windy Sunday night!

I finally saw Titan AE thanks to the magic of Netflix -- WHO has seen this movie? Can we talk about how it's basically Joss Whedon's animated test run of Firefly??

Matt and I picked out and ordered our wedding invitations from a local stationery shop! I'm so glad we ended up going to a local business instead of ordering online -- but more about that another time. Disclaimer: our invitations look nothing like these, though these are really cute. They're just an example of the kind of products that were in the shop. I'll show off our actual invites when I know they've all been sent out/received by our guests.

I had a pizza night with my best girls (minus one). I would highly, highly recommend making your own pizza rather than ordering out. Every time I do it I'm reminded how much cheaper, healthier, and yummier it is than chain pizza. If you want to take it to the next level, make your own pizza dough. I bought some pre-made from Wegmans because the idea of making dough from scratch makes me quiver with fear. But maybe one day. Maybe.

What have you all been tasting/touching/hearing/seeing lately? 

Friday, January 20, 2012

You live, you learn

The first lesson we learned in the new apartment:

Flowers need water AND sunlight to live.

Happy weekend, dear readers. Stay hydrated.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

9 things I'm wishing for

Why 9? ...Because that's how many things I thought of and I didn't feel like coming up with one more to make it an even 10. Honesty!

I'm pretty sensible when it comes to shoes -- it sort of comes with the territory when you work in a library -- but I have been ogling these pretties since they debuted on BHLDN's original line. They would be the perfect bridal shower shoes, you know, if they weren't 340 freaking dollars.
Seriously, Matt and I need one of these STAT. We've just been using the top rack of the dishwasher, which we promptly close, forgetting about the dishes inside forever.

Do I even need to explain why I need this thing? EVERY GIRL NEEDS THIS THING. 

I'd love this on the side of our fridge. I'm particularly keen on that mustard one!

I'm a little bit obsessed with Parsons desks in funky colors right now, but I cannot understand WHY 5 planks of lacquered wood are so expensive. This is $350. $350!!!!!!!

I'm quivering with desire at the sight of these. OMG. I don't know what I would do with all 8 of them, but I WANT THEM. 

This weekend I did a Back to the Future I and II marathon with Matt, my BFF Lindsay and her new boy -- blog moniker in the works -- and at some point I was like "I wonder if there's a flux capacitor that you can like, put IN your car." We laughed about it and moved on with our lives, but guess what guys? IT EXISTS!

I'm so flipping excited that Ree has come out with another cookbook. Her recipes are foolproof and I can tell you with utmost certainty that her Marlboro Man steak sandwich, mini orange muffins, and whiskey bread pudding are the reasons that Matt fell in love with me. Right, Matt?

I'm always looking for ways to bring color into our white box apartment since we can't paint, and ever since I found this rug on West Elm I've been pining over it. ::sigh:: Rug love.

In conclusion, this post has made me realize that I'm starting to develop scarily expensive tastes. Whats happening to me??

{sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}

Monday, January 16, 2012

our apartment: a (super mega awesome) work in progress

Welcome to my crib. 

Technically, it's Matt's crib until I move in after the wedding this summer. But we've been doing quite a bit of nesting to get the place ready before then. There's still a lot more we want to do in terms of decorating and maximizing our storage, but here's where we've gotten so far.

Quite a transformation, if I do say so myself! The couch is a hand-me-down from my parents and the desk is from Matt's old bedroom -- oh, and that desk lamp is from my college years. The pendant lamp, curtains, and TV stand are all from Ikea. Can I *tell* you how happy I am to have a reason to buy things from Ikea now? If you love our end table as much as I do (that is, with the flames of a hundred fires), you might be interested to know that it came from Target, of all places!

The kitchen is teeny tiny, but it's fully loaded with updated appliances including A DISHWASHER ::triumphant fist pumping:: No hand-washing dishes for THIS domestic goddess, THANKS. Since Matt moved in we tried to soften the overwhelming whiteness of the kitchen with some of our tchotchkes -- but we have grand plans for this room, my friends. Grand plans indeed.

Not too big of a change here except the obvious addition of actual furniture. The dining set is another hand-me-down from my parents; in fact, this is the very table where I ate dinner as a child. My parents have seriously been amazing in the past few months -- they not only gave us a couch and a dining set, they bought a ridiculous amount of kitchen essentials off of our registry and just GAVE it to us, like "no biggie, just fully stocking your kitchen for you!" Oh, and Matt's parents bought us a TV and a Blu-Ray player for Christmas this year. Seriously, how do you even begin to say "thank you" for gestures like these? By giving them grandbabies, I guess. Eek.

Anyway, back to the room. We're planning on installing some vertical blinds that my dad has lying around (don't ask), and eventually I want to get some hanging plants to flank that big window. I'll keep you posted.

These two photos are from the kitchen. Every single thing pictured (except those awesome red gerbera daisies) is a gift from a friend. The Yoda lollipop and mug are from Matt's co-worker, the brain salt-and-pepper shakers are from our friend Dru, the bud vase is from Scotty and Jewel, and the R2D2 cross-stitch? A Christmas present from my BFF Lindsay. Proof that we have the best friends ever.

It's really the little things that make a place feel like home. Clockwise from top left:
  1. a stack of beloved books, watched over by a mini librarian (Matt got me a "librarian action figure" for Christmas one year)
  2. our brand new, dirt cheap entertainment stand from Ikea (ok, not "little" in size, but this thing makes us feel like Proper Adults and it cost us less than $100)
  3. the Pac Man chair! Which is actually an old butterfly chair (I got it from Delia's back in junior high) that I threw a Pac Man Snuggie over. Look how happy Matt looks sitting in it! 
  4. the key rack that we installed right when you walk in. Jayne Cobb (from Firefly, in case you live a tragic life and do not know what/who that is) guards the door for us. 
I planned to take pictures of the bathroom and bedroom too, but the daylight started fading and everything came out weirdly blue-tinted, like an episode of CSI. So you will just have to wait for part 2! I know you will be on the EDGE OF YOUR SEAT until then, readers.

Of course I'm omitting a lot of the less appealing qualities of the new place; for instance, how the outside stairwell always smells faintly of cigarettes and garbage, or how it's so small that when you pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees you're basically preheating THE APARTMENT to 400 degrees (not a problem in this sucky arctic NJ winter, but probably not gonna be awesome in August).... but overall? This is pretty freaking sweet, guys. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

let's play a game!

First of all, thanks to those of you who graced my return-to-blogging post with your super-nice comments! It makes me so happy to know that you are out there listening. And I certainly hope you meant that, because I need a bit of a favor from you, my dear readers.

Today we're going to play a game called You Decide What I Write About Next.

I've heard that interactivity is a Good Thing on blogs (am I breaking the blogging fourth wall here? OH GOD), plus I have a few ideas floating around in my head but I don't know what you, dear readers, would most like to hear about. Here are some of my ideas:

- an update post about wedding planning 
- a tour of the awesome little apartment where Matt and I will be living after the wedding
- a post wherein I reveal and explain a very difficult decision I had to make in regards to grad school
- a review of some of the best books I read in 2011 and/or the stand-out books that I'm currently reading
- a tour of the library where I work, and my general take/feelings on the significance of libraries in the current climate

All of these posts will probably be written at some point, but my question to you all is: what should I write about next? Go ahead and leave your thoughts in the comments -- just imagine the Jeopardy theme song is playing while you write your answer... actually, I'll do you one better:

And I'll just sit here waiting for your comments, staring at my computer with lemur eyes, refreshing the browser window every 15 seconds. No biggie! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

::taps the mic:: hello?

According to my blogger account, there are theoretically 27 of you out there who are subscribed to these posts. I hope you're really out there, because guess what?

I'm alive!


(Just go with it...)

For those of you who are new to my blog, let me take a moment to re-introduce myself.

The subject in her natural state

Name: Melissa
Age: 24
Relationship status: Engaged to be married to one of the coolest and funniest people I know, my awesome partner-in-crime Matt
Place of residence: New Jersey, but not the New Jersey you're thinking of. I live in South Jersey, which is a state in and of itself. We're the reason NJ is called "the Garden State." OK, I live closer to Philly than to any farms, but drive 30 minutes south and you'll find yourself in Hammonton, the blueberry capital OF THE WORLD (and my fiance's hometown!)
Career: Librarian-in-training -- I staff the Youth Services desk at my local public library and I run the teen creative writing club AND our teen services blog.
Education: I have a fancy piece of paper that says I completed a Bachelor's degree in English. Woo! I'm also currently in graduate school for my Master's degree in Library and Information Science. FUN.
Favorite movies: I love movies so much; it's hard to pick. But LOTR: The Two Towers tops the list, along with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Memento, and Carrie. You could say I have eclectic tastes.
Favorite books: See above. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass is a lifetime favorite; Paper Towns by John Green changed me; Transformations by Anne Sexton inspires me; and Coraline by Neil Gaiman terrifies and delights me.
Favorite food: All. My motto is EAT ALL THE FOOD. So, not the healthiest of mottos, but I think honesty is important in a blog.
Favorite cocktail: Malibu bay breeze (the girliest drink ever, I know, but hey -- life's too short to be self-conscious about beverage preferences!)
How long have I been blogging? Too long. Ten years now. I started up my "online journal" at Diaryland when I was fourteen and I've been blogging in some capacity, on and off, since then. Recently I've been "off." But one of my New Year's resolutions was to document life, so here I am.
What's up with the blog title? It's from this poem I love. But maybe one day I will change the name of this thing -- who knows?

To my old readers: I'm excited to be back. I appreciate all of you who have read in the past and hope you'll follow along this time around, too.

To any newbies stopping by: Welcome to my humble speck of the internet! Have a seat and enjoy the show :D