Wednesday, May 23, 2018

the list diaries. chapter 012 -- does anyone blog anymore?

the list diaries. chapter 012.
casual daylight musings

I spend a decent amount of time these days looking out my apartment window. traffic hustles by. people move from here to there. strollers and nannies and dogs and workmen and trees wave in the chilly breeze. clouds move from the direction of the bridge over the city. our windows are filthy.

- - -

our apartment is small for our family, but I love it. I love the combined efforts to make it as efficient as possible. we constantly purge and reorganize and micro-tidy every corner. right now I'm staring down our corner shelving unit, wondering how it can be better arranged. there's a possibility I watch too much Fixer Upper.

- - -

it's chilly in San Francisco and for the first time, I'm envious of summer weather in other places. I want to be out in the sunshine with baby boy and dipping our toes in the pool or stretched out lakeside. summer dresses and lightweight clothes are calling our names but jackets and sweatshirts win in the end.

- - -

I want to eat all the food: birthday cupcakes, Thai takeout, pizza pizza pizza, hotdogs with yellow mustard and chopped white onion, turkey sandwiches on toasted whole wheat, ice cream, chicken wild rice casserole, lasagna, kale caesar salad, cheeseburgers, popcorn, fried egg sandwich on an english muffin, japanese fried rice, my mom's fried chicken, salt and vinegar kettle chips, roasted potatoes, and so many others. food, please.

- - -

the truth is, I don't need all my nice sweaters and silk blouses and skirts and blazers. being a stay-at-home mom has changed my wardrobe and I like it. both wardrobes have fit my life at its current stage and that makes me happy. but it's time for some of my nicer duds to get the boot -- check out my eBay shop.

- - -

do you ever roll your eyes at people who claim they've found their calling? I do. all the time. even when I say it about myself now that I'm a #SAHM. I love this new role -- being home with my baby and taking care of him and our living space. it's more satisfying than I imagined. 

- - -

can I buy a house yet? 
can Joanna and Chip be my friends? 
can Iron Chef America return for a couple more seasons? 
can I have a farmhouse sink? 
fresh flowers, please.

- - -

baby boy is awake. 💕

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

the list diaries. chapter 011 -- on my birthday, 39 things about me.

photo courtesy of my husband

the list diaries.
chapter 011.

I love being a mom and it strengthens my love of being an aunt, too
I eat ice cream almost every day
Growing older and developing an adult-to-adult relationship with my parents is a lot of fun
I love TV
The fanciest restaurant I've eaten in is Jardiniere
Red is not my colour
I cannot resist beautiful dishes and dinnerware
One of my regrets in life was not choosing a better occupational direction, like marine biology or pathology, until it came time to start a family
I've always felt behind compared to others in my same age category regarding life accomplishments
I eat fewer salads now than I did 3 years ago
On a cold winter night, a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich with pickles always hits the spot
Only recently I've discovered a love for indoor house plants
Outside of my parents and life experience, Alice, as in the Alice in Alice in Wonderland, has taught me more about life than anyone else
One of my favourite places on earth is Hamlin Lake in Michigan
Making my own birthday cake is a tradition I look forward to every year
The Wizard of Oz and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are two movies I've seen and will never watch again
I have a penchant for the classic trench coat, and beautiful coats in general
Sometimes I can't believe I'm a mother
I wish I had spent more time listening to the stories of my maternal grandfather while he was still alive. He was a most intelligent and wise man
Someday I want enough land out my back window for a Jersey cow and an alpaca
Art confuses me
Nobody makes fried chicken like my mother
And my dad's apple pie reigns supreme
I firmly believe #midwestisbest
I don't like sushi
I love classic and colourful balloons
I make a mean plain cheesecake
I wish I could dance and swim
I miss playing the piano and wish for one
I'd like to be an ostrich in another life; they have such beautiful plumage
I'm a LeBron James fan, for always
My favourite time of year is Autumn -- football, Thanksgiving, pies, falling leaves, a smokiness in the air, the harvest moon -- it's the most perfect season
Once upon a time I had my nose pierced
I think Storm Troopers are totally sexy
Is there a better in-home fragrance than dried lavender?
In my musical days, I played the piano, oboe, flute, and piccolo
I am a very nostalgic person
Quietly observing life all around me

And now, time for cake! A 3-layer homemade vanilla funfetti with vanilla buttercream frosting.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

thursday things I love--

images courtesy of 1, 2

ramona quimby -- happy birthday beverly cleary!
glossier cloud paint -- perfect tint for my cheeks.
if I wasn't 39 weeks pregnant and into 2-piece swimwear.
tomato soup and croissant lunches.
rainy san francisco days.
a good and soft back scratch.
making my own wild friday night while husband is out.
feeling the love from my team as I close in on my final days in the office.
dreaming up all the adventures #babyboybrooks and I will share together.

things I love.
happy thursday!

Friday, April 7, 2017

two weekends left--

before #babyboybrooks is expected. I keep telling him we wouldn't mind if he was a few days early or right on time.


How I feel about the weekend ahead-- 

images courtesy of 1, 2, 3

There isn't anything particularly exciting lined up for the weekend, I'm just glad it's here. Time has been slowing down as I sit in this waiting game for the little guy to show up, #38weeks. And since we're ready to receive him at home, I'm itchin' to spend my time and energy outside. Last weekend we walked a 4-mile trail and I felt great. I'm hoping to do the same tomorrow. Springtime in the Bay Area is delightful and right now I can't get enough. I would love to add a dog to our Saturday; sometimes having a dog around makes everything better.

Topic that's been on my mind lately -- what is love? How do people show their love? It's demonstrated in different ways depending on the relationship. Some people like bold, grand gestures of love, while others like love shown in the little ways. Where do you fall? 

Hoping you have a great weekend ahead. Sending some love out there!

Friday, March 24, 2017

celebrating the resident teenager this weekend--

images courtesy of 1, 2

crossing out another week feels good on this rainy friday, and gets me closer to #babyboybrooks' birthday.


we are all things baby in this household as the days go by. things like preparing my birth plan for the office in case I go into labour there; washing all of the baby clothes and blankets and bedding that we've received (people have been so kind and generous); organizing clothes and diapers and toys; preparing to attend a day-long childbirth prep class on saturday; and all the other things that go into welcoming a newbie into the world. 

as I was folding and organizing clothes last weekend, I looked at some of the newborn onesies and couldn't help but wonder how my baby could possibly fit into them. they appeared remarkably tiny. and with my belly measuring big at each appointment, I can't help but think he's going to be a big newborn, like high seven pounds or low eight. it's exciting to think those details will be revealed very soon.

this weekend is also my stepdaughter's birthday. the big thirteen! we'll celebrate on sunday with her choice of meal and birthday cake. I love when she asks me to make her something, even if it's only once or twice a year. (she chimes in on our christmas tradition food, too.) coming from her it feels a tad more special. 

it's spring, right? 

Monday, March 13, 2017

wishing it was still the weekend.

images courtesy of 1, 2, 3

it was a great weekend. and it started with an evening walk on friday. it was warm and the moon was out and we just walked and walked -- holding hands, my arm through his, a pit stop to watch the last 5 minutes of a disappointing basketball game, and then home, where I found my joonie in the mailbox. yippee! (the warm weather and our casual walk made for a gently romantic evening, and that feeling remained in the air for the rest of the weekend.)

saturday was my baby shower, and it was wonderful. I felt so much love from the women that came -- through their thoughtful and fun gifts, advice, and pleasantries. it was nice to be spoiled and in the spotlight. the fact that the baby shower was for me was a bit of a surreal event, which this entire phase of life has been, and will probably remain until I'm holding #babyboybrooks. even then, I imagine I won't really believe it's true and that he's mine for some time thereafter. 

after my baby shower I met another friend and she continued the stream of great advice. we sat outside a coffee shop and talked and talked. I cannot recall the last time I wanted to be outside and enjoy the warm air as much as I did on saturday. is spring here? my pretty, pedicured feet hope so.

after dropping my step daughter off at a friend's house, husband and I relaxed at home until the sun went down on saturday, basking in the delight that enjoying quiet and simple time together brings us.

sunday was also quiet -- some hustle and bustle in the morning to get to church, catching up with friends and acquaintances before and after services, reading, and then naps in the afternoon. my favourite kind of sunday.

now it's monday and I'm feeling the affects of the daylight savings time adjustment. what I would give for an extra day to prolong the glorious weekend.

what was your weekend like? 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

the list diaries. chapter 010 -- who's in my earbuds.

images courtesy of 1, 2

the list diaries.
chapter 010.

I love a good playlist, and for me, music is as seasonal as my clothes. I prefer my old rock and classics, like America and the Carpenters, Gordon Lightfoot, Fleetwood Mac, in the summer when windows are open and daytrips to state and national parks are the usual. spring is upon us in the bay area and soon it will be time to put my winter playlist to rest -- although some will likely overlap. for now, here's who's in my earbuds.

  • Say Lou Lou
  • Bat for Lashes
  • Rationale
  • Leisure Cruise
  • Laura Mvula
  • Wet
  • Katy Perry
  • Sia
  • Cat Power & Coldplay
  • Color of Clouds
  • Kina Grannis
  • Karen O & Ezra Koenig
  • Feist
  • Natasha Khan & Jon Hopkins
  • The Bird and the Bee
  • Susanne Sundfor
  • The Radio Dept
  • Amason
  • The Secret Sisters
  • Beck
  • Florence + The Machine
  • A Man Called Adam
  • Poe
  • Rachael Yamagata
  • Ray LaMontagne
  • The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger
  • Glass Animals
  • Lorde
  • Angus & Julia Stone
  • Cat Power
  • St. Vincent
  • Koop
  • Zee Avi
  • Flight Facilities
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Keren Ann

I need music for nearly everything. I listen on my commute to and from work -- sometimes I rest my music and turn on NPR. I'm plugged in when I'm writing -- this usually requires something classical, like Mozart's Requiem. I'm plugged in when I'm walking about the neighbourhood and when I'm running errands. I'm not often listening to music when I'm at the office, however. is that surprising?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

thursday things I love--

image courtesy of the madewell blog

asscher: my husband chose well -- understated and elegant.
observing my husband wield the drill to fix our rocking chair.
when my husband endearingly calls me "mama."
hints of spring.
cake for breakfast.
amason: california dreamin'.

things I love.
happy thursday!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

the list diaries. chapter 009 -- things I can't live without.

image courtesy of tkow

the list diaries.
chapter 009.

we all have those things that we cannot live without, like water or a hot shower, salt and pepper, our collection of hot sauces. below is my random, incomplete list. what's on yours? 

  • my suzy cat
  • my dreams of someday
  • sundae spoons and ice cream
  • my glossier products
  • black tights
  • eggs and toast
  • my family. my whole family
  • my phone
  • butter
  • a cast iron skillet
  • the morning kiss goodbye
  • opportunities to write
  • a good dictionary and thesaurus
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • sunday afternoons
  • lip balm
  • a hair tie
  • nivea body lotion
  • my faith
  • classical music
  • my husband

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

her outfit alone is worth a post: whitney pozgay

there's the fact that she's a fashion designer, a favourite of anthropologie. no surprise considering her incredible style. now, the joyful designs she's used in her clothes can be seen upholstering beautiful furniture, exclusive to anthro.

images courtesy of the anthro blog

you can get a snapshot of her life from the anthro blog post. I enjoyed the questions they posed to her so much that I included them below and chimed in with my own answers, too, just for kicks. (hers are in italics; mine are in normal text.)

a great day begins with the snooze button.
the fog horn sounding off in the distance and a few clouds keeping the sun at bay, at least for a little while.
the last song I listened to on repeat was Devo’s cover of “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”

amason's cover of "California Dreamin'."
I never leave home without red lipstick and something to write on.

my phone, lip balm, a snack, and my sunglasses.
I’m proud of my partnership with my husband, Parker. We’ve managed to live and work together happily. 

how well my husband and I have partnered to edit our one-bedroom apartment to fit our growing family -- 2 adults, a teenager, a baby on the way, and a kitty cat. while looking for a larger space is on the horizon, the idea of moving saddens me because of the beautiful effort and the way we've come together in maximizing the space of our san francisco apartment.
I’ve always wanted to go to Kenya.

ride in a cattle drive.

my dream dinner party guests include Tina Fey, Wes Anderson, David Bowie, David Hockney, Maya Angelou, Jon Stewart and Grace Coddington.
lebron james, mr. and mrs. obama, princess kate, ellen degeneres, and tom brokaw, with ella fitzgerald and louis armstrong providing the music.

my most prized possession is a box of old letters and photographs.
my self-designed lace wedding dress. 
if I wasn’t an artist I’d be a candy maker.
if I wasn’t a startup recruiting operations professional I’d be on a marine research boat, focusing on orcas, sharks, or narwhals. 
or I'd be in my old farmhouse in the midwest proofreading and editing manuscripts and other writings, breaking to collect eggs from the hens in the barn.
the next place I want to travel is Mexico City.
paris. I've been once and I want to return and go deeper into exploring neighbourhoods, the countryside, and historical sites.

weekends are for trying new things.
rest, errands, baking, and making out with my husband.
happiness is the beach.
eating grilled cheese sandwiches in the kitchen with my husband and laughing well beyond bedtime. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

a normal weekend ahead.

a weekend to sleep, watch a show, and bake a cake.

images courtesy of 1, 2


there's a new monet exhibit opening on saturday at the legion of honor and we might attend. or we might just stay home and tackle the growing pile of laundry and take naps. I love having a weekend with no set plans.

what are you up to? 

Friday, February 17, 2017

weekend: I'm jet-planing back home


image courtesy of vogue

my brother and sister-in-law are back from their vacation in hawaii which means it's time for me to hug and kiss my nieces and nephews and return to san francisco -- but first, one more movie and pizza night. 

the parent-child reunion is quite sweet to witness and I'm looking forward to a reunion of my own, with mr. brooks. I've missed him terribly. while I've been away (11 days total) and we've had to rely on phone calls and text for keeping in touch, I've been reminded how funny he is, and that I can fall in love with him again -- anytime, and almost without realizing it. (isn't that delightful?) 

monday is a holiday for me -- mr. brooks has to work -- and I figure I'll spend my time washing baby clothes and picking up stuff from the office that shipped while I was away, like my fawn design backpack. baby still has 2 months before he's due but I figure that time will fly by and I should make the most of my time while I have the time. there still remains much to do, and I'm growing a tad anxious. albeit, if baby showed up tomorrow, we'd be fine to make it work with what we've got. 

happy long weekend to you, lovies,
kcb + baby

Thursday, February 16, 2017

thursday things I love--

images courtesy 1, 2

it's still winter here in moses lake.
the smell of banana bread baking.
hilarious. and slightly creepy.
watching my nieces and nephews dance it out to kidz bop.
putting together my baby registries -- 1 and 2. totally surreal.
peeking at my baby nephew as he sleeps.

things I love.
happy thursday!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

the list diaries. chapter 008 -- things I like to eat.

images courtesy of ohhappyday and gthegent

the list diaries.
chapter 008.

I love food and I love to eat. as my appetite has fluctuated during this pregnancy, I've come to learn there are staples to my diet -- foods I love more than others and, simply, can't live without.

  • ice cream, particularly breyer's strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla
  • a juicy cheeseburger on a hearty bun, topped with lettuce and mustard, pickles and onion; salty fries on the side
  • fried eggs from the cast iron skillet on my own stovetop and toast -- one of my favourite dinners; I like my eggs for dinner, not breakfast
  • a toasted turkey sandwich with mustard, pepperoncinis, crispy romaine, tomatoes, and havarti cheese with applesauce or cottage cheese on the side
  • green curry with beef from our favourite local thai restaurant -- for takeout, please
  • one of my husband's signature grilled cheese sandwiches
  • steamed broccoli with salt, pepper, and some butter
  • a bowl of homemade granola or kashi's heart to heart honey toasted oat cereal and the milk that's leftover
  • steamed milk with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon sprinkled on top
  • oven-roasted yukon gold potatoes with salt, pepper, and olive oil

unlike other women, I haven't experienced any weird or odd food cravings (mr. brooks hasn't had to make any middle-of-the-night-runs to in-n-out or 7-eleven) or aversions. my diet has remained mostly the same as it was before becoming pregnant, the only difference is sometimes I can eat a little more than I could (or should) before. occasionally I'll crave more salt or a super sweet treat, like a cupcake with a mound of frosting on top, or I'll give in to that tiny bag of cheetos and eat a handful, tossing the rest in the garbage. 

eating is as fun as it was before I was pregnant -- the major difference being that I like eating at home with mr. brooks rather than go out. home food tastes the best, lately, and it's more comfortable for this growing belly. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

love day. heart day.

it's valentine's day. love day. heart day. find someone to love. anyone. a girl friend. a boy friend. a pet. a sibling. your barista. your bus driver. the dog walker. share some love. we all need it -- for ourselves and for each other. 

my love to you, dear lovely readers,

images courtesy of 1, 2, 3

postscript to baby brooks -- I love you more and more everyday and imagine that love will continue to grow as you do. let's snuggle. let's hold hands. let's dance and let's hug, all the time. truly, I cannot wait to meet you in two months and start our life together -- as mother and son. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

valentine's day -- don't be a hater.

as a new couple celebrating valentine's day, I had expectations of grand love displays and a romantic dinner and a card with bold proclamations of love. that's not what I got. at my apartment, I set up a display of chocolates and candles on heart-shaped plates, and a photo of me in a heart-shaped frame for my valentine. my efforts fell flat. 

it took about a year for me and mr. brooks to find our common love language. and while it kinda stung that my initial effort fell flat, I love where we are now. we do valentine's day our own way -- there's no jewelry involved and no fancy dinner by candlelight, and sometimes I buy my own flowers. we celebrate the holiday by spending time loving each other, eating something tasty, and reminiscing about our early days. for us, that's the perfect valentine's night.

images courtesy of 1, 2

of all the holidays celebrated in the united states, valentine's day gets hit the hardest. people love to bash it, hate on it, and toss it aside as if it's worse than tax day -- really guys, how can it be worse than tax day? (tax day's saving grace is celebrating one of my brother's; it's his birthday.) that makes me sad. 

sure, perhaps companies and retailers have preyed on the holiday and taken advantage of the believers and the love-sayers turning it into a drawn out ooey gooey love mess. and maybe the aisles decked out in red and the jewelry commercials on tv are annoying and seem to show up earlier every year, but if you're not into valentine's day, pay no mind and ignore it. carry on your way. don't make it miserable for the people who enjoy a day dedicated to love and find happiness in the chocolates and flowers and lingerie and dinners by candlelight. 

many folks say that love should be celebrated all year long, and not just one day of the year. I agree. but is there really so much harm in there being an additional day each year that is dedicated to love? why trash talk another opportunity to tell the ones you love how much they mean to you? maybe chocolates and flowers and lingerie aren't your love language. maybe candlelight dinners and jewelry don't mean love to you. that's fine. love comes in many languages and styles. when you find yours, latch on and don't let go. and if your love language is celebrating valentine's day and you love flirting with the chocolates and flowers and cards and jewelry, then enjoy it, and nevermind those that bash the beautiful love holiday.

yours truly,

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