Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Award Season!

It's that time again - award season!! Too bad I don't have RZ to find moi the perfect gown... Ok i promise, no more RZ talk until next Monday. ;-)

I've been awarded 2 fun awards by 2 fabulous ladies, and i thought i'd better do this post before the craziness of ACL weekend begins.

First, the Seu blog e magic (your blog is magic) from Jules. What a cute award, no?? I am dying for that little mushroom house - reminds me of old school Nintendo! Merci, Jules. There are no rules as to how many people to pass it to, SO I thought I'd award a new blogger who I am just LOVING. She's been a twitter friend for awhile now, and her words always make moi smile.

Congrats to Kaileen Elise!! Your blog truly IS magic, darling. xoxoxo

Second, the Kreativ blogger award that I received from the gorgeous Crystal (or as I like to call her, Tay Tay). This award does require that I post requisite seven things about myself. The problem with these awards is that y'all already know SO much about me! So I'll try to be "kreativ" here, but forgive moi if you're already bored.

1. I sort of hate Starbucks (for various reasons, some valid, some ridiculous), BUT I still go there because it's: (1) in my building (and everywhere else) and (2) i like to get a grande misto, half soy, half nonfat.

2. I find that most people prefer either tea or coffee, but rarely both. I, on the other hand, ADORE both, but I probably drink coffee on a more regular basis (aka every morning). However, as the weather cools I find myself craving steamy mugs of tea in the afternoon and evening. My fave? La duree melange loose tea + touch of cream. Heaven!

3. I'm on my third Blackberry in less than a year. The first one I dropped whilst running to the car post-ballet (b/c it was FREEZING outside). The second was stolen right before my very eyes (practically). And the third is happily sitting on my desk, begging for some pink bejeweling...

4. I rarely write in black ink, even at work. I much prefer sparkly pinks, purples, blues and greens. (Yes, even at work...)

5. I don't drink diet drinks, and if I do crave soda, I opt for a Mexican coke or Dublin Dr. Pepper. Both are insanely delicious.

6. I don't eat meat either. However, I would probably eat it if I were in Europe (their meat standards are much higher than ours) or if I were eating it at Ma Soeur's (b/c she actually buys a cow off a local farm that she's visited). Then again the killing of animals, as you know, kind of freaks me out in general so who knows...

7. I have free cable (i know, you know), and my fave shows to watch are: Friends, Law & Order CI and SVU, The Rachel Zoe Project, Barefoot Contessa (altho I have yet to actually catch an episode -argh), CSI, Gossip Girl, The City, and Project Runway (altho i'm way behind on this one).

There you go! Oh and I'm passing this award to the following seven bloggers whom I love and adore and cannot get enough of:

1. Kylie Grethen of the ooh la la lifestyle

2. Celia of life according to celia

3. Rachel of and if it's a hero that you want...

4. Stephanie of Bonjour Madame

5. Analise Marie of Tulips and Tea

6. Michele of You and Me and Lucy

7. Lexi of ellecubed

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


If you hate all things silly and girly and reality TV-y and especially if you hate Rachel Zoe herself, then please ignore this post, and don't write me off as a crap blogger, okay??

If, on the other hand, you adore (or at least find amusing) Rachel Zoe and her fab and highly entertaining show, The Rachel Zoe Project, then please grab a seat. :)

Last night's episode, for lack of better words, pissed. me. off. Normally I could care less about the actual issues that arise (let's be honest, i watch the show for the antics and for the to-die-for fashion), but I couldn't help but get a little emotional last night. And this is why.

For those of you that watched, you saw RZ take the totally lame and passive aggressive route (for the record, i hate passive aggressiveness.) re: deciding which assistant would accompany her to Paris Fashion Week. First, she told Tay and Brad to "figure it out between them," and then she told Tay that because she was senior, she should decide who gets to go. I mean... Taylor has worked with RZ for 3+ years (and is amazing at her job), and Brad has worked for RZ one year. WHY IS THIS EVEN A QUESTION?

Because of ratings, my friends (or at least that's my theory). Because in real life (aka sans cameras), there would be no question as to who would go to Paris because obviously that'd be Taylor. But for the sake of drama and ratings and all this hubbub about Tay hating her job and wanting to leave, they had to stir up some first class drama. Me no likey. This is when "reality" shows go to pot. I understand that most things are beefed up or dramatized to some extent with all reality shows, but I guess I just hoped this one would be different. Silly moi.

This obviously doesn't mean I'm going to stop watching because HELLO, next week's episode actually takes place in Paris, only my most favorite city in the world!! Bonjour beautiful city, bonjour Chanel runway, bonjour RZ and all her couture ensembles! I. Die.

P.S. I promise I'm still smart. Promise.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Monday!

Word on the Tweet street is that a lot of people are suffering from the Monday blues. In an effort to combat those myself, I'm making a Happy Monday List mandatory! Voila what's making moi happy right now...

1. Truth - It's the next chapter in The Joy Diet, and it's already making itself known in my life in so many ways. I thought it'd be scary, and yes it is a little bit, but it's also liberating.

2. Family and besties - Despite my sister being in Australia, my besties being several hours away and one in Hawaii of all places, and my Mom being uber busy at work, they have all managed to be there for me during some difficult times in the last couple weeks. So much love for them!!

3. ACL - is this weekend, and it's my first time! This is what Austin's known for, people, amazing live music. My boy BFF from DC is heading down Thursday night, and I can't wait to see him!

4. Jennifer - The ONLY person who has managed to get me on a budget (and stick to it!), a previously impossible feat! She's also coming to visit Austin in a couple months, and I'm SO excited to show her my city. :)

5. My Night - Anusara yoga class after work (one of the most challenging classes EVER, seriously) and then indulging in fab Monday night TV - GG and my fave RZP.

What's making you happy on this moody Monday?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Joy Diet: The Art of Nothing

After months and months of plenty of time for doing "nothing," of course this past week was one in which I could barely find time for sleep, let alone nothing. Ah, c'est la vie. So maybe I wasn't able to do nothing for 15 minutes every day, but when I did, it was beyond divine.

As I suspected, my bed (and my couch which is actually a daybed) became my go-to nothing havens. Last night, after a particularly stressful day, I opened the windows, lit a candle, and then crawled into my daybed with a huge comforter (it's actually been chilly here in Austin - amazing!). I didn't sleep, I didn't turn something over in my head over and over, I simply did nothing... for like 30 minutes! Amazing, friends. Amazing. (Oh and it didn't hurt that little Lola was snuggled against moi.)

How was your week of nothing? Are you excited or scared for what's on next week's plate: truth? I'm more than un peu nervous...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Canada: Part Deux

Yes, I know this post is way delayed ("way delayed" - I'm so eloquent, eh?), but at the risk of sounding like a broken record player, work has been nuts. Yesterday I had a mini meltdown, one that involved beaucoup de tears and a rather ridiculous phone call to my mother. Let's just say I am finally experiencing some of the things most first year associates have already experienced, and they're not pleasant. Luckily I seem to have gotten past it and finally feel like I can relax tonight. Soooo what better time to update my blog, n'est ce pas?

Okay so Canada. As you know, I spent the first few days in Agassiz and Kent exploring the gorgeous scenery and celebrating my cousin's wedding. The Saturday after the wedding, Mom and I woke up to cloudy, rainy skies and enjoyed some quality time together before meeting up with the entire family for a lovely brunch (the FIRST place I found in Agassiz that served real cream with my coffee. Me no likey the little plastic tub crap.).

After brunch I said au revoir to Mom and headed back to Vancouver with my cousin John and his wife Allison. After a petite nap, we all headed downtown so that Allison could do some work. Luckily her office is in the same building as an underground MALL so I was happy to come along. My first stop was H&M (we don't have one in TX - le sad) which was, of course, packed and loud and full of annoying teens (like all H&M's). Still I managed to get some goodies, including fun Hello Kitty socks and gold Bollywood-esque earrings. After H&M, I visited the Canadian store Aritzia (which apparently is where the Bachelorette bought all her clothes?) - an uber trendy store full of loose, drapey tanks and muted neutrals. A bit pricey, but the one cardigan I bought has gone with literally everything in my work wardrobe. I cannot say the same about many items I've bought in the past that cost less.

After my mini shopping spree, I met up with J & A and we grabbed some delicious Korean "fast food" (a delicacy I so wish we had in Austin). After my tummy was happy and full, we got back in the car and took a drive through Stanley Park. It wasn't sunny and sparkly, but the cloudy grey skies made the park eerily beautiful.

After the drive, we headed back home where I did some more napping before going to a nearby South Indian restaurant where I ordered... the most giant dosa on the planet. Don't believe me? Voila!

After a long, delicious evening of sleep (Canada is good for sleeping, i've decided), I had a leisurely morning and made a game plan for the day. First stop? Granville Island (my favorite Vancouver spot!).

Granville Island is essentially a collection of warehouse type buildings, each with a cute name and full of adorable shops.

Example of one of the adorable shops - one full of postcards!!

One of my fave buildings was the market, FULL of gorgeous food stalls and delicious, delicious DELICIOUS food. I think I had a yummy spinach feta scone (savory scones - yum!) a mini almond berry pie. :)

After Granville Island, I walked all over the city. Fourth Avenue, Robson Street, etc. All in all I had a great time, and Vancouver is a beautiful city. But... it's not a city in which I aspire to live. My heart still belongs to Austin. (And Paris and London and maybe NYC and DC...)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

Bonjour, mes amies! This is going to be a scattered and likely nonsensical (is that a word?) post, but I feel the need to write it. Mostly because I need a break from my project, and I'm pretty confident that I'll make my Tuesday deadline (got pushed back - woot).

Le Weekend - So my weekend was... uneventful. My life consisted of the picture below, although sometimes I shook things up and moved everything into the living room. For the record, the black laptop is my work comp., and I was using my mac to watch, um, episodes of The Rachel Zoe Project... which leads me to my next topic.

RZ - I love Rachel Zoe. Admittedly I didn't know much about her before her reality show except that she was super thin and had some falling out with Nicole Richie. I also knew that the "boho-glam" style for which she became famous was right up my alley. I think the show has humanized her a bit, and people are surprised that she's not the anorexic uber-b*tch she was rumored to be. That being said, I'm sure there are oodles of you who think her show is a joke and can't stand her. I get that. But if you hear me gasp, "I. DIE." or "omg her hair is BANANAS," then please don't shoot me. I can't help myself!

Fall Fashion - While we're on the topic of clothes (and shoes and bangles and handbags and all that good stuff!!), a petite word on fall fashion. Fall is undoubtedly the BEST season for fashion, as evidenced by NY Fashion Week and the ridiculously thick September issues of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Elle. (Btw you should definitely see The September Issue. LOVES.) There is nothing I adore more than boots and scarves and darling coats and crazy-colored tights. Normally I go nuts as soon as the fall clothes hit the stores (which is now), which is STUPID considering it's still 90 degrees in TX (shoot me in the face, y'all). This year I told myself I could NOT go crazy for obvious reasons. First, I'm on a budget. And second, what is the point of buying items I can't wear for at LEAST another 2 months? It's been... hard. The key for moi is to avoid temptation as much as possible, so I have stayed away from GILT sales, all my fave Austin boutiques, and even Tarjay as much as possible. Le sad.

Another thing I've done is to create a "Fall Wish List" of items that I think are investment pieces and that I actually "need." (I use that term loosely b/c let's be honest, none of NEEDS anything.) Anyway here's a peek at my Fall Fashion Wish List:

1. Black riding-style boots (loving the Frye Paige boots - hear they are good for muscular calves, which i def. have)

2. Classic trench (I haven't had one in years, and let's face it, it's a must-have.)

3. Sequined jacket (this is probably a little less need-y than the others, but it just adds a certain je ne said quo to a basic jeans and t-shirt outfit. j'adore!)

4. Nude ballerina flats (they go with everything, are tres helpful to have at work, and are not terribly trendy. i love the Tory Burch Reva.)

So the thing is, I can't buy any of these items for myself. I'm going to ask for some as Christmas gifts and just hope that others magically appear on my doorstep! ;-)

Things that make me happy today - I love the concept of happy lists. They're just so cheery, n'est ce pas? Here's a petit list of what's making moi happy today...

- big Texas hair (oh yeah... I have it)

- these gorgeous stackable stella & dot rings i got in the mail today, courtesy of Ma Soeur

- the forecast for this week: thunderstorms and lows in the 60's. Unheard of!

- iced coffee & breakfast tacos

- TV tonight! Gossip Girl & The Rachel Zoe Project = my top 2 faves!!

- FREE CABLE (please don't hit me)

- my skin. i am BLESSED with good skin, courtesy of Momma Park, and i often take it for granted. i am so lucky that i can leave the house sans foundation/powder/concealer and look just fine. when i'm hating on my face, belly, legs, arms, aka EVERYTHING else, i try to remind myself of how lucky i am to have pretty skin.

That's all for now, my loves. Must get back 2 work!!

Bienvenue: The Joy Diet!

Dear friends, I am SO excited to join all of you on this journey through The Joy Diet, the next selection for Jamie Ridler's online book club: The Next Chapter. I missed out on the Wreck This Journal fun (and honestly, it looked REALLY hard!), but am eager to get started on this new journey.

The first chapter is about Nothing, and the exercise is to "do nothing" for at least 15 minutes a day. I've seen other bloggers discuss how hard this will be to do. At first I thought, wow that's easy! I'll just curl up under the duvet and do nothing for 15 minutes to... 3 hours? Haha, unfortunately I don't think naps count. Still I can lay in bed doing Nothing (no, not even sleeping), and I think it will be divine. :)

You should watch Jamie's video. She introduces the concept of "vision cards" in which she creates mini-collages on big index cards. Um, GENIUS!! I love the idea and can't wait to get started (okay, how many times have I said that in this post??).

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I'm totally bleary-eyed and my right hand is cramping like crazy. But I'm working my butt off and confident about making my deadline, and that is what matters.

Just wanted to pop by and say hi and that I love and miss you guys. I also wanted to let you in on a little something I've been working on - being obsessed with - wait for it - ME.

I love obsessions, and I have oodles of them. But I've never been obsessed with moi. It's really fun. I highly recommend it. ;-)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

5 Days

Ok, Canada part deux is going to have to wait 5 days, at least. Because for the next five days, I will be doing this, except (1) not on a beach, (2) not in that bikini body and (3) not smiling. Although if #1 and #2 were present, perhaps I wouldn't be so grumpy?

In all seriousness, I have a Monday deadline that I thought would be doable and is proving to be... not. Like... something around 60 hours of work to do before then? Oui. Oh and that's on top of the projects I already have going on at work. Needless to say, I have canceled LIFE and all the obligations that come with it for the next 5 days (which, sadly, included a lot of fun stuff) in order to fully devote myself to making this deadline AND getting sleep (tres important for moi).

Luckily, I can do the work from the comfort of my home, which is the beauty of the internet. Now that i have free (yes FREE) cable (are u sick of me talking about it yet??), I envision a weekend of moi on the couch in my PJ's, avec laptop, Lola, coffee (homemade b/c i can't spend any money this week... yeah more on that later), and in front of the telly.

5 days and counting...

P.S. I am actually tres grateful for this work, as you know I've been terribly slow this summer, and although un peu life-disrupting, it's SO nice to be busy!

P.P.S. OBVI i will still be all over Twitter. In fact, I'll prob be overly tweetastic in an effort to distract myself. Apologies in advance!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Canada: Part Un

As promised, voila part 1 of my Canada trip! A petite bit of background - The reason I went to Canada to begin with was for my cousin Susan's wedding. Susan is the daughter of my Mom's oldest sister. My Mom is the youngest of 4, and she is closest to the oldest - isn't that nuts? My Aunt Jennifer (after whom ma soeur is named) is AWESOME. She's just like my Mom! And her husband, my Uncle Mel, is equally as wonderful. They are my fave aunt & uncle, and I feel as comfortable around them as I do my own parents.

Anyway, my trip began with a short flight from Austin to Dallas (which, of course, was delayed) where I met my Mom for our 4-hour flight to Vancouver. Mom was adorable (as always) and practically bouncing up and down in her seat with excitement (which made her even more adorable, bien sur). We spent the first 1.5 hours of the flight chatting nonstop about everything and anything under the sun. It was the BEST. I think the guy sitting next to us wanted to kill us, even though we weren't being that loud. It seemed he wanted to sleep... Well, put on your headphones, buddy! SHEESH.

Our flight, naturally, was delayed, and so we didn't get into Vancouver until much later than expected. And because we had to drive to Agassiz, a small town about 1 1/2 hours from Vancouver, we didn't end up getting into the hotel and into bed until something like 1:30 a.m.. I promptly passed OUT and snored my little heart out. :)

The next morning I heard my Mom get up at some ungodly hour and attempt to make coffee. After yelling, "MOoooOOOMmmmm I'm trying to SLEEP!! It's SO early!" and going back to sleep for another hour or so, I finally got up (at Mom's insistence) and looked outside. GORGEOUS! The sun was shining, the air was crisp, and it was the perfect day for a wedding. Voila the view from our hotel balcony -

Mom and I immediately got dressed and headed out with coffees in hand to explore. Our hotel faced a gorgeous lake (I think Lake Harrison?), and it was beyond stunning. Mom and I walked around and snapped loads of pics!

Here's Mom with Aunt Jennifer:

And finally, it was time to get ready and head to the wedding site (which was actually in Kent, not Agassiz!). The site was tres naturelle, beautiful, and un peu different (there were buffalo right next door, and i prayed they weren't on the dinner menu...). Anyway, here are some lovely pics from the ceremony and reception. My cousin Susan was STUNNING (as always), and her hubby's French family were SO cute! Enjoy!!

And stay tuned for part 2 which will cover my time in Vancouver. :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

23 ?'s

I know I've been a terrible blogger. I PROMISE to do a Vancouver post (complete avec pictures!) this weekend when I have more time. :)

In the meantime, I stumbled across this meme on Pink Heels, and after dying of laughter (read her answer to #8!), decided it would be a fun post. Et voila!

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4.

"...Board of Health to advise state governments and to regulate quarantines." (um yeah, it's a "Land Use Planning and Control Law" hornbook)

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can & catch _____.

baby pink sharpie

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?

Secret Diary of a Call Girl (a la Netflix)

4. Without looking, guess what time it is?

3:15 p.m.?

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?

3:17 p.m. (damn! was hoping it'd magically be 5:30 p.m.)

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?

My ipod playing Death Cab for Cutie, my office fan, and some attorney talking and walking down the hall.

7. When did you last step outside?

During my lunch break when I went to Whole Foods and Anthropologie to buy a birthday gift.

8. Before you started this Q&As, what did you look at?

This amaaazing collection of Domino mag pics.

9. What are you wearing?

Does this question sound dirty to anyone else but moi? Anyway, I'm wearing a white & silver striped skirt, a fuschia ruffly tank, and a grey cardigan. Sounds weird, but it works, I promise.

10. When did you last laugh?

About 10 minutes ago when Ma Soeur called and begged me to move in with her.

11. What is on the walls of the room you are in?

A vintage map of France I found at a Paris flea market and a giant bulletin board with a bunch of magazine images that serves as my inspiration board at work.

12. Seen anything weird lately?

Yes, rain! It's been rare in Austin this summer.

13. What do you think of this quiz?

It's fun!

14. What is the last film you saw?

In the theatre - Julie & Julia. On TV - I think it was HSM3... don't judge.

15. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what’s the first thing you would do?

Pay my parents' mortgage and make them sell their store so they could RETIRE!

16. Tell me something about you that I dunno!

God, is there anything about moi y'all don't know? Hmm... Oh here's something. I fell off my detox diet about 10 hours in. With what? Korean ramen!

17. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?

End poverty.

18. Do you like to Dance?

HECK YEAH!! The Park ladies know how to grooooove. ;-)

19. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?

Either Chloe or Isabelle

20. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?

I'm not having a boy.

21. Would you ever consider living abroad?

Bien sur! I miss living in London actually and would love to try Paris. ;-)

22. What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?

Can I get you something to eat?

23. What time is it now?

3:26 p.m. And I'm off to get a hot chai avec a coworker! Au revoir!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


As I opened my journal tonight to write my gratitude list (yeah SWIM goals!), one of the things on my list was abundance. Abundance of food is what I initially wrote, but then I started thinking about how much we have of everything. We are a society of too much, although that is quickly changing thanks to the recession. I have always been someone with waaaayyy too much stuff. My happiness used to be measured in how many shopping bags I carried through the mall (see photo above from Clueless), and although I'm glad those days are behind me, I can't help but think that "too muchness" has since transferred to my love of paper products, apartment decor, and even books.

At the beginning of this year, I claimed "Simplicity" as my theme for the year. As Fall nears and students pack up their bags and head back 2 school, I find myself remembering that theme and spending some time with it. Abundance is a blessing, but too much can get complicated and weigh you down. I want to free myself of too much and learn how to live with less. In short, I want a simpler life.

Remind me of that next time I "ooh" and "aah" over a must-have, okay?? ;-)

Le Fin

Ah yes, this is that bittersweet feeling of "oh no, my lovely long holiday weekend is coming to an end." Luckily I'm not feeling terribly depressed about having to go back 2 work tomorrow. I had a wonderful time in Canada, but am quite happy to be back in my comfy bed avec Lola. I will write more of my trip later, but in the meantime, I want to leave you with this gorgeous picture. This was on Friday morning before the wedding. The weather was so perfect in Agassiz that I insisted we steal one of the hotel blankets and spread it out on the lawn in front of the water. The weather was absolute perfection, and I even got my mom journaling a bit. ;-)

P.S. Merci BEAUCOUP to the uber-fabulous guest bloggers: City Girl, Nina and Kiki!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Yogademia: Bittersweet Inspiration

Bonjour, mes amies, and Happy Labor Day! Voila Hang On Little Tomato's final guest blogger: Kiki of the wonderful Yogademia. Kiki always presents relevant and thought-provoking material, and I just knew you guys would love having her here. Enjoy and see you soon!!

as autumn draws near
our hearts feel closer
to this small tearoom
-Basho, Japanese poet (1644-1694)

Because autumn is a time of reflection and drawing inwards, tea on an autumn day reminds me of my past autumns spent in different cities and countries. These are sometimes wonderful memories, and sometimes very difficult to think about. Perhaps the memories and ideas autumn evokes for you are nostalgic, perhaps they are bittersweet, or perhaps they are more bitter than sweet.

When we talk of inspiration, often it is a powerfully joyful and positive feeling. Given how bittersweet autumn can be, this might not be a feeling you use for creative inspiration. Because of its vaguely negative tone, "bittersweet" might not be the inspiration you expected, or are used to. But rather than running away from it, stay with it, and savor it for a change.

Instead of turning your ideas and memories conjured up by autumn into personal drama, use them to fuel your creativity. "Bittersweet" is a powerful feeling to express in your writing, collaging, jewelry-making, painting, cooking, blogging, or whatever you do. There is nothing wrong with bittersweet inspiration; we're just not used to how strange it feels at the start.

Sipping tea outside on a crisp autumn day can help you see the sweet in the bitter, and the poetry in your difficult memories. Take the time for a single cup of tea outside to see what thoughts and feelings come up. The bittersweetness of autumn might just be the inspiration you need to expand your creativity in a completely new direction.

All it takes is a single cup of tea.

[Image credit: here}

Friday, September 4, 2009

Naturally Nina: You've Got Mail

Another fabulous guest blogger, dear readers. Check out Nina's beautiful, sweet blog here. And if you haven't already, please congratulate her as she is recently engaged!

Confession: One of my all-time favorite movies is You've Got Mail. Not only because I met my own love online (yes, that's right!) but also because of that little scene when Meg Ryan is walking to work (a bookstore) in Manhattan on a perfect fall day. I just adore the fall, and I always want to jump up and down when that first perfect autumn morning arrives. And who doesn't love the idea of "bouquets of sharpened pencils." Ahhh, I need to go turn on my DVD player...

So, now I'm curious, what's your favorite fall movie?