Closet Tips | Transitioning to Fall.

Kyle and I just got back from Los Angeles last week, where we played one of our new favorite games called "complaining about the weather". Being from Chicago, we are used to things like - rain and snow and stay-inside-because-its-too-cold-to-go-outside temperatures. When Chicagoans complain about the weather, we are complaining because the air hurts our faces and our cars are stuck in a pile of snow somewhere.

When people in LA complain about the weather, they are complaining because it's, like, kind of cold. And is it... raining? Is that rain? Oh, no. "Geez! What is with this weather?"

That's what the bartender at our hotel asked us while we sat downstairs one night for a drink. "What is with this weather?" He asked, referencing the light drizzle outside.

Okay, so it was a little more than a light drizzle. It was raining. Maybe not "build an ark" rain - but full-on "it's gross outside", "get your umbrella" rain. There was also some lightening.

"But at least it isn't snow!" <--- That's what people in the midwest say. Because people in the midwest are familiar with snow and all of the delightful, messy problems it can bring to the party. But you can't say that when you're in LA, because it literally never snows in LA. So if Los Angeles-ians want to talk about the weather, a rare rainy day is their golden opportunity. Unless they want to say, "Can you believe how sunny it is today?", "I know. It is SO sunny." 

Ponchos, Plaid & Pumpkin Spice.

Alternative title: That Time in High School When I Wore a Poncho and Everyone Was Like: "Why Are You Wearing A Poncho?"  

It was a pink poncho. I should clarify that it was a regular, Fashion-y, "Fall wardrobe-y" type of poncho, and not one of these plastic rain-proof things that you'd wear at Niagara Falls. (I don't know if that really needed to be clarified, but I didn't want you to get the wrong idea. I wasn't walking around school wearing a giant plastic bag all day.)   

I went back-to-school shopping with my parents every year. And every year they'd make me buy a new pair of tennis shoes (or "gym shoes" as they called it, which also doubled as "everywhere-shoes"), and like, four pairs of jeans. And some sweaters. And if I tried buying anything that was a little too "out there", my mom would usually speak up by asking, "Don't you think that's a little too... out there?" 

She did not say anything about the poncho. She could have. She had her chance. I'd picked up the poncho, I had it in my hand - and even at the time, I was still looking for validation. While part of me wanted to look like the model on the poster - wearing said poncho with a matching pink headband and frolicking through the desert - the other part of me was like... dude. It's still a poncho.

How to Reduce the Stress of Traveling.

Overheard at the terminal bar last week in the Kansas City airport-- guy asks the bartender if he can have a "mock tail" (similar to a cocktail, but with less alcohol - and by "less", I mean zero). The bartender says, "Sure. What would you like?" 

The guy doesn't know. He just stands there for a minute, like he's never been asked that question before. Finally he says, "Like, a wine?" 

First of all - the fact that he just called it "a wine" made my entire day. 

Now the bartender looks confused. I don't blame him. "Wine?" He asks. "So... juice." 

The guy shrugs. "Well, I don't know how you do it." 

I should also point out that this guy is well into his twenties - more likely early thirties. He is old enough to know what "a wine" is.  

My flight was boarding shortly after, so I don't know what happened next. I'm assuming he got his juice, asked the bartender to pour it into a wine glass, and then sent a Snapchat to all of his friends with the caption "Thirsty Thursday". 

A Simple Style | Shopping For Home Decor.

I dragged Kyle into the bookstore the other day to "get books for our bookshelf". 

We have a bookshelf in our living room that I've recently gained the opportunity to re-decorate. And when I say "recently gained the opportunity", I mean "one of my plants died and it's thrown the entire shelf out of whack and now I have all of this space to fill where my dead plant used to be." 

I guess if you gain nothing else from this post - there's a lesson in what happens when you don't water your plants. 

24 Hours in Phoenix, AZ.

We made a pit-stop in Phoenix last year on our way from The Grand Canyon to San Francisco (which is not at all between "The Grand Canyon and San Francisco", for those of you familiar with geography, but it was one of the places that had an airport relatively nearby - and also because, during the planning process, I said, "Ooh! We should go to Phoenix! It's so cool! I was there a few years ago with some friends, we loved it.")

We LOVED IT. In hindsight, I'm trying to remember why we loved it - maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was -2 degrees back home and in Phoenix we got to wear bikinis and drink margaritas all day. That might have had something to do with it.  

But I managed to forget about all of that when I said "We should to go to Phoenix!", "It's going to be so fun!", "They have cactuses there!".... so we went to Phoenix. They have cactuses there. 

How to Shop Your Own Closet.

I was inspired to write this post because I *didn't* buy a jacket. 

Back story - I have fifteen thousand jackets at home. Probably. I haven't counted, but I know that when I open up our "coat closet" (also doubles as our laundry/shoe/vacuum/Swiffer closet) most of the coats that I see in there are mine. Maybe three of them are Kyle's. And one of those I bought for him. 

This post could have just as easily been titled "Confessions of a Shopaholic" or "How to be a Crazy Coat Lady" - but honestly, that's a little embarrassing and - based solely on my experience today - I am clearly turning a corner outside of my consumerism mindset. 

Exhibit A: I did not buy a jacket. I *almost* did. But then, I didn't! Yay! (Isn't this a great story so far?) 

Study Abroad Series | 3 Days in Paris.

There are plenty of great reasons to spend a semester abroad: to study the culture, to further your education, to meet new people and try new things and heck, who knows, maybe you'll even learn another language. Wouldn't that be neat?

That's why I was "supposed" to be going. All of those reasons. Specifically the language one, since I minored in Spanish.

But also, I reaaaaally wanted to go to Paris. I didn't know what I wanted to do there exactly, other than "see the Eiffel Tower", "wear a beret" and "eat a pastry" - but I had always wanted to go. It was a bucket list thing. All of my childhood tv-obsessions went to Paris at some point: Mary Kate and Ashley, the Rugrats, Rachel from Friends -- well, technically she turned down Paris to stay with Ross, but still. She made it seem like it was a pretty big deal! 

I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower. In person. I'd had a poster of it up on the wall of my college dorm room for two years, right next to Audrey Hepburn. It was a cliche - the equivalent of walking into a frat boy's dorm room and seeing a poster of Pamela Anderson (is she still "the hot girl" on posters? I don't even know). It was something I occasionally daydreamed about: walking down a Parisian sidewalk, wearing a polka-dot dress, sitting in a French cafe, eating a scone while reading a book and listening to everyone around me talking about art and culture and fancy-French-stuff (in my wild daydreams, I can speak fluent French, apparently). 

So when the opportunity presented itself - to hit up Paris for a weekend while studying abroad in Madrid - I was like, "YEP! Let's GO!" ... because how often does the "opportunity present itself" to go to Paris?