Macaron Me

Sorry you're settling for a two-fer today as well. This week for some reason has been really busy - or at least from what I'm accustomed to. Yesterday's something you bought gets added to today's sweet for this photograph. I brought Robin and Dave some macarons from D & D tonight as they had me over for dinner and some help staging their house to get ready for the photographer coming tomorrow. Lemon, chocolate ganache, and pistachio - very colorful and I'll say very yummy. Oh and it was quite warm today. That made me pretty happy. I think tomorrow is supposed to hit 70 before some rain later in the day. Maybe I can finally start packing up some winter clothes...



I'm back

Alright, I missed yesterday and am barely squeezing in a post today before midnight. I was doing so well, too, but I can rightly blame my disappearance on the internet being down here at the Jenkins' house since Sunday night. It's funny because I don't think of myself much as a computer person, until the minute I don't have access to the internet, and then all of a sudden I feel like I'm in the dark about everything. Like two days off the radar is going to be the end of the world... Luckily that meant that I spent almost all of yesterday in AutoCAD, finally wrapping up the drawing set that Greg and I are working on (crossing my fingers we're printing tomorrow and delivering Thursday). So, this post is pretty weak, but I didn't want to be too far behind in my daily challenges, so here are yesterday and today's:

Yesterday: Morning. The view outside the office window. To me it looks like I've captured falling snow that you can see against the tree, but in reality it is the window that's in desperate need of some windex. 

Today: Water. This was on my walk back to my car after working in Georgetown today. Every Tuesday/Thursday when I'm at Travis's office, I have a feeling of nostalgia. It's been so long since last we met...

Happy Fat Tuesday! Promise I'll be back tomorrow and not be so weak-sauce, I just need to get some sleep.


Gene Wilder's Admirers

Today's challenge was Happiness, which honestly, I had to think about a little bit. One, because the assignment entails capturing something that is not necessarily visual in a photograph. Two, I have to confess, I haven't really felt a lot of happiness the last few months. I'm going to chalk it up to post-architecture school depression (after two + years of killing myself over assignments and meeting deadlines to having virtually nothing on my plate is pretty bizarre), or what I'm calling "Lauren was out of her mind the day she decided to stay in DC for an extra semester." Whatever the case, I am here now whether it was a good or bad decision, and am starting to try to make the most of it. 

So getting back on the happiness train, today's picture represents my favorite weekly activity: volleyball. I am not going to lie, I look forward to Wednesday nights every week. Volleyball is something I truly am passionate about, and I still cannot believe I pretty much gave up playing all of grad school. Needless to say, I was beyond excited when a new league started in January, and I was able to hop back on Eddie's team and play again (hence the title of this post - it's our team name this season, which oddly with our t-shirt color's resemblance to Oompa-Loompas, kind of makes sense). It's been fun, and at the same time so weird having to "get back into it" - mostly because I was so out of shape when we started. I remember the first week there were several times when I went to do something, and then was surprised when my body could/would not do what I wanted it to. But slowly it's getting easier. And I think I'm jumping more than 2 inches off the ground now, thank goodness... We have two more weeks of the season before playoffs, and I think I'm even going to be able to squeeze in one more season before I leave DC. 


I'm off to hopefully get some work done (trying to apply for a job and work on portfolio stuff). The snow that was supposed to start hasn't yet, but it does look pretty bleak outside. Hope everyone is having a nice holiday weekend!


Book + Bag

Oops I was delinquent again yesterday - that's what happens when you actually have to work, I guess. Greg and I spent most of the day in AutoCAD land, and although I thought we'd finish our project, we still have more to do - hopefully early next week - I need my Wednesdays/Fridays back so I can portfolio it up (I have now given myself a February 29th deadline, and I'm like oh sh*t, that's soon!).

It's been a lazy Saturday morning, which I feel was much needed. Eddie and I are off to the gym later today and then I have to come up with something to make for a pot-luck tonight - should be interesting as I don't cook much, and my resources at the house I'm in are limited (was thinking of making a giant salad, but I don't even think there's a giant bowl here).

Yesterday's challenge was In Your Bag. When I dumped the contents of my purse out on the table, I realized two things. One, I apparently never throw away receipts and let them collect and messy up my bag, which is pretty silly. Secondly, for someone who never wears much more than Chapstick, I have a ridiculous amount of lipsticks/lipgloss/balms etc. in my bag. And yet, I'm always on the hunt for a better shade? I was actually surprised by how many I had...

And today's challenge is Something You're Reading. I confess I don't think I've read much for pleasure in the last few years outside of winter/summer breaks (full blame is on architecture school here). And I know I am probably the last person on earth who hasn't read this book, but I'm finally getting into Cutting for Stone. And it's GOOD. I'm almost pacing myself to not go too fast because I don't have another book on deck yet. Although, I am happy to report that just two blocks away I've discovered a library, so I'm thinking I'll have to get a card when I'm done with this book. Because free entertainment is about all I can afford right now.

Enjoy the weekend! I think it's supposed to snow tomorrow here in DC, so I'll probably be hibernating in Southwest...


Rainy Day in Georgetown

Since beginning the Helsinki Library competition, I've been spending Tuesdays and Thursdays in Georgetown as Travis's office is on 33rd Street, just north of the canal. It's funny being back in the area again - in some ways I feel like no time has passed (how is it that next year will be my 10-year college reunion?). At the same time, not only Georgetown's campus, but also much of M Street has changed over the years (like the permanent line outside Georgetown Cupcakes), so it does feel different from my undergraduate days. 

After we wrapped up our meeting for the day, I found myself wandering toward Dean and Deluca, which hasn't changed a bit since school. I have pretty strong connections to the place. Firstly, because most of my girlfriends and I were obsessed with Felicity when we were in college. Junior year we'd have people over every Tuesday night to watch the show (actually, the swim team - mostly the guys believe it or not - would come over to watch Dawson's and the girls would have to kick them out promptly afterwards so we could swoon over Scott Speedman and Scott Foley). I thought it would be so cool to work there at some point since Felicity herself did. But my other connection to D & D was because that's where Anna Kleinsorge and I would go on a regular basis. I don't think either of us ever drank straight coffee in college, but we did love to go there for Vanilla Frappes - basically it was the most amazing blended coffee-ish drink that I'm pretty sure predated any Frappuccino from Starbucks. When it was warm we'd sit in their cafe area for girl talk and people watching (when we weren't busy studying of course).

Tonight I grabbed a coffee to go, and just as the sun was setting walked along the canal for a bit before heading back to Southwest. It had rained most of the day, but wasn't that cold, so it was nice spending some time outdoors without freezing. I also managed to capture my challenge of the day: this close-up of a few flowers I found springing up near the canal. Maybe it's a sign that winter really is almost over? I could definitely use some more color in my days here in DC right now!


Rise and Shine

Well I have to say for being single I had a pretty eventful Valentine's Day. I spent the day at Travis's office working on the Helsinki Library competition. Chloe brought in cupcakes, and Michael, who works in the office brought all the girls orchids, which was very sweet. I even had some company in bed last night (okay, I couldn't manage to kick Ibi out of it...). But I've got to get moving as I'm off to Greg's to finish the as-builts we've been working on, and then hopefully get back to some portfolio stuff this afternoon. 

Where you sleep - today's photo challenge

One of Eric's two cats, Ibi, who basically lives on my faux fur Pottery Barn blanket - this girl has great taste!


Carousel Rides

I was struggling to think of how I'd capture today's challenge of childhood, but this morning when I went for a run on the Mall, I realized I could shoot the carousel near the Hirshorn. Of course on a school day in the dead of winter, it was abandoned, but I've walked by this carousel several times over my years in DC, and it still has quite the draw in warmer seasons. 

There is a nostalgia I feel when thinking about a carousel - which is funny, because to be honest, I can't really remember going on carousels as a kid (I'm sure my mom is going to send me an email telling me what a horrible memory I have as we went on carousel rides in X, Y, and Z places...).  Regardless, it seems like such an adventure as a kid: you get to ride a horse! It goes around in circles! Somehow each time you go around and spot someone waiting for you it's a surprise! 

Maybe it's nostalgia for a simpler time. To not have the complications of life that seem to grow exponentially as we age. To only exist in the moment on that ride. Everything else falling outside the boundary of the merry-go-round, blurred and inconsequential. 



The challenge today is "daily routine." For someone who right now in her life doesn't feel like she has a routine or schedule at all (and yes it is kind of freaking out this Type-A), is there much I do every day besides the mundane/necessary (brush teeth, shower, eat, etc)?

Well, I will admit one thing I like about post-school life. I have returned to my old habit of getting up, making a pot of coffee, and spending some time trolling my favorite design blogs. The first week of being back in DC this habit may have become a little excessive (11 am still in pj's...), but I've scaled back to a "normal" amount now.  And I'll admit it starts my day off on the right foot - a little inspiration and motivation to get my creative juices flowing.

Hope everyone had a good weekend and that your case of the Mondays isn't too bad!


In the Blink of an Eye

Somehow the weekend escaped me. Yesterday was pretty leisurely as I stayed inside most of the day to escape the snow and cold. Today was a marathon shopping day to help Robin and Dave get ready to stage their house after an enormous breakfast that included pancakes (finally, I've had a craving for weeks now). I barely caught my photo a day picture, as the sun was setting by the time I left IKEA. This month is flying by...

Your Sky



Today has been such a dreary day. And I thought I was just going to hibernate until the snow came, but around 11 am this morning, I realized I didn't want to let the weather dictate my mood. Several hundred layers later, I braved the cold to Utrecht to get some new art supplies. It actually felt like a typical Saturday, as I spent way too many mornings there in school. However, it was fun to wander the aisles rather aimlessly, letting the various mediums spark ideas for different projects.

I've been pinning a bunch of patterned drawings on Pinterest the last few weeks, and it has definitely inspired me to start some pattern explorations of my own. And for the first time I think ever, I basically just went around grabbing various colored pens and pencils that I liked. Bright turquoise, kelly green, yellow, magenta, some metallics and a new Micron set thrown in for good measure. Definitely the anti-gray palette to combat the outdoor gloom. Pretty excited to start exploring. So for today, my favorite is color! :-)


Happy Friday

Somehow this week flew by - I can't believe it's Friday. As the library competition starts revving up, my other "side job" is going to be coming to a close soon. Greg, Mary, and I have been creating a set of as-builts for a house in Glover Park for an architect here in DC. Today was (I think/I hope!) our last day of measuring. And of course we left the exterior for the end - now that it's nice and freezing outside (on a side note, it better snow this weekend because it is wrong for it to be THIS cold without anything pretty to come of it).

So this picture represents my photo a day challenge: makes you smile. Because somehow we always manage to have a really good time. Basically they tease me relentlessly while I think I provide some much needed entertainment. It works. I've enjoyed our Wednesday/Friday work + lunch outings we've had for the last few weeks.

Have a great weekend and stay warm!


Neck Warmer

Since there has been virtually no snow in DC this winter, I keep thinking spring is upon us and I can start purging my wardrobe of cold-weather clothes. Well, not so much. Last night and today were particularly frosty, so I thought for today's photo challenge (something you wore) I would show you one of my favorite ways to keep warm. For a girl from Southern California, my scarf collection is a bit ridiculous. But they are definitely my go-to accessory to add some fun and color to my winter wardrobe. Here's one of my favorites that's been in heavy rotation this winter.

I also realized today that taking self-portraits with an iPhone is pretty tough - and I have a pretty good reach. So as this challenge goes on, at some point I may have to outsource some photography - or start doing more yoga. 


Two things Teal

Wow, I didn't even make it through the first week without being delinquent on my photo-a-day posts. Yesterday was a long day - I am starting to work on a competition for a new library in Helsinki with a few classmates and an architect who teaches at CUA, so by the time I got home last night, the last thing I wanted to do was spend more time on my computer. But yesterday I was also stumped with showing a picture of "something you adore" - but it came to me last night.  

Here it is - and while the ring is my favorite color, super cute, and I do wear it all the time, it actually is something I adore because of when/where I got it. Years ago when I was working at D360, I had to go up to San Francisco for a meeting - I think it was the Tuesday after President's Day weekend or something, because my mom decided to fly up there early with me, and we spent a few days exploring the city and having a great girls' trip - shopping, eating, museum-ing ;-). It was on that trip that we saw Olafur Eliasson's Take Your Time exhibit at the SFMoma, which ended up being really influential on my thesis research (and he is just a rad artist regardless). This ring we found at the Saturday morning Farmer's Market that takes place at the Ferry Building. The stone has actually fallen out several times (I think my last fix of a new cardboard backing + super glue has done the trick though). Definitely a memory I adore.

And today's picture theme said "letterbox." Which, to be honest, I had no clue what it meant. Immediately I thought of the screen pixel-aspect ratio - or whatever it's called - when you rent DVDs. Then I googled it, and a few things came up, but it was still unclear to me, so I decided to interpret it as a box of letters. And guess what?! I have that. My dear friend Robin designed stationary for me for graduation/my birthday. And since she knows me oh so well, the paper is teal with my initial - so perfect! Unfortunately you can't really tell from this picture, but the lining of the envelopes are gold. They are so lovely. And it feels pretty nice to have some "grown up" stationary now...



I'm still trying to hammer out my morning breakfast/workout routine. My mornings are now like this: cats wake me up by 7-7:30, I zombie-like walk downstairs, give them breakfast, and stand with my eyes half-closed until the coffee's finished. Then with my first giant cup, I head upstairs to browse the world of the internet. And probably go back downstairs and get a refill (or two). Hmm, may need teeth-whitening soon. Anyways, I'm definitely a breakfast eater but I'm also not an able-to-work-out-anytime-close-to-after-I-ate-something type of person. Which is a tricky thing for this gal since I pretty much have to exercise in the morning if it's going to happen at all. So my daily dilemma: work out before or after breakfast? Basically 10 minutes after my first cup of coffee, I'm so ravenous the idea of working out on an empty stomach seems impossible. So instead I have some coffee, then breakfast, then sit around waiting to be "ready" to work out. It seems like I waste a lot of my morning. Oh well, I guess if this is my biggest problem, it's not the end of the world. Anyone else master the breakfast/workout situation?

This wandering of course is because of the daily challenge. And, I'm proud to acknowledge that this really is my usual breakfast - so not trying to just put up a pretty/healthy picture. Anyways, the timing of today's challenge was also perfect for me - as I actually feel like I have a lot to get done and can't be lollygagging (don't you just love that word?) on my computer all day - well at least not on the internet, I have a portfolio to work on.

So with breakfast down, hopefully I'm off to work out in the next half hour or so. Have a great day!


Photo Challenge

To be honest, I go back and forth between continuing to write here and stopping. I guess really I post on this blog for myself (and so my family knows I'm still alive if we haven't spoken in a while), but sometimes when I'm absent for a while it's because I'm thinking, what's going on in my life that warrants writing about? I'm back in DC now for the next few months, with the most low-key schedule I've had in years. And while I am sure I should relish in it, or at least do the personal projects I've basically had on hold all through grad school, often I find myself sitting around, and twiddling my thumbs, so to speak.  But my month of leisure is over (well, officially almost a week ago now), so I thought I'd not only start making a dent in my portfolio and thesis paper, but really try to have a consistent presence here as well, and see how it goes. So yesterday I found this challenge online:

Challenge created/found here.

So January is over, and technically there's a new photo challenge for February that I'm 5 days behind on, but I thought, hey, why not? Let's see how 31 days of pictures and posting go. So without further ado, here's number 1:

Last Monday I went over to my amazing hair dresser Ramon's house for some hair lessons. Because let's face it, I basically wear my hair in a ponytail or if I'm feeling motivated (or it's really cold outside and I want to warm up), I'll take the time to blow it out (and then put it up in a ponytail later in the day ;-)). Anyways, we did a bunch of stuff together - and here is one of my favorites - a bun made from a fishtail braid. I also learned that after probably 20+ years of doing my own hair, I've used bobby pins wrong my whole life - which is crazy considering I danced for so long and a bun was a staple in my hair repertoire.

The best part was that I was inspired all week to try new things - or at least a new thing - I've been sporting a messy fishtail a few times this week - and guess what - it's kind of fun trying something different and new. Day one down, thirty more to go!