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Big Huge Monster Changes

29 Jun

MIA is an understatement.

Ally and I have been taking the last month to do two things; get our heads around the Big Huge Monster Changes in our lives, and get a tangible, visable jump start on First Shot Gift Shop.

1. Big Huge Monster Changes
As Ally has mentioned before, she and I must live our lives on these parallel tightropes that have knots in the same places. This month, she packed up her adorable New York City apartment, where she has been living with James for the last year, sold as much as she could on Craigslist, and has been sleeping on a blow up mattress in the living room, eating out and drinking a lot of cocktails. Next week, she and James move to the home where she grew up to save a month’s rent before heading out to Los Angeles to hang out with me ALL THE TIME (and so James can go get his MBA, whatever). She’ll write more later, but I can tell you from this side of those g-chats, it’s a scary, exciting time for them, full of lots of “Crap! I’m poor!” but also full of lots of “!!!!!!!!!!” because in a month and a half she is going to LIVE HERE. Like. Not a plane ride. Just a quick jump up the 10.

As for me, I moved into a little bitty bungalow in eastern Santa Monica with my BOYFRIEND. Here is what people don’t tell you until right before you move in with your lover.. Moving sucks. Big time. I would work all day, meet him at one of our many estates (my apartment, his house, Our House) where he would force me to eat so that I didn’t turn evil-cranky on him, and then we’d do about two hours of moving and collapse in bed. You know who wasn’t very sweet and patient the whole time? This girl. You want to know who felt like she was doing it all by herself even though her boyfriend was right there, doing it with her, THE WHOLE TIME? This girl. You know who did this for like twenty days straight and cried about so many things including public storage? Me, right here. I’ll say this, and he knows it; this whole experience was not fun. But sitting here on the other side (with now just one house full of boxes and crap and not three?), I’m SO happy it happened. Because now we get to live together for reals. In a little house.

I’ve also made an insane decision to leave my job. I’m currently working two jobs single mama style; my regular day job and then cocktail waitressing at night, but I’m saving up this month to transition over to just cocktailing. Because you know what? I’m not happy, not doing what I do. And my boss deserves better than that. So I’m going to take some time to rest, regroup, and pay better attention to myself. I have one pretty rad opportunity that I meet about tomorrow, and otherwise, we will see! But I’m ready to listen to my gut and move on.

I’m really excited.

2. First Shot Gift Shop
Ok so it’s been in the works for about two months now, and we officially have the MOST PATIENT graphic design group in the world (The Message Studios in Toronto are fab), but here it is. Our first First Shot Gift Shop logo. Holy crap!!

So thanks for being patient, bearing with us. We’re going to make a slow comeback and be back in full force in August, with a plan to launch our first line in November.

Lots of love xo


on blog lovin’

12 Apr

found via accordionsandlace

We’re really loving this whole blog community, which is endless and full of love and appreciation and encouragement. I just signed up for Accordions and Lace’s mix swap* – I’m so excited to make mine for a chick named Meghan, who has a badass cat, and to see what ends up on everyone else’s playlist.

This weekend was particularly special. The weather was cool, so it felt more like early autumn in NY than early spring in LA, and there was dodgeball, the farmer’s market, and an old-timey downtown loft party where I saw the dough rollers (the two on the right) hold it down. There were chicks in petticoats and a serious dance party, the likes of which I’d never seen before. It was amazing.

This morning, the handsome man and I woke up at 6:30am and went hiking at the beautiful runyon canyon. It rained last night, so the air was clear (there was a rainbow!), everything was extra green and extra quiet, and we saw little birds and cool dogs. I don’t think I’ve ever loved Los Angeles as much as I do today.

*Here’s a little secret for the Canadians in the bunch – I was features on much music’s mixed-tape masterpiece as a young teen. Awkward!

feeling blessed

8 Apr

(c) NASA, of course

Eight days in, April has already been kind to us. We have some tentatively exciting news to share – Ally’s brilliant boyfriend James has been accepted to UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. That means, disaster or alternate life decision pending, Ally will be moving out to my humble Los Angeles this summer.

!!! Holy crap!

Ally and James were out here this weekend and we celebrated his acceptance (and Ally’s birthday) with delicious food, massages at Bliss Spa, a smoky bbq and a dozen cupcakes. It was amazing.

Appropriately enough, the talented Risti (whose impeccable taste we so admire) was sweet enough to interview us for Just A Dollop on Tuesday! Read more about us and First Shot Gift Shop here.

I’m sleepy (I went to a great show last night at Spaceland – if you’re ready for summer’s next big thing, check out Foster the People and listen to “Pumped Up Kicks”), which I think explains the groggy post, but I really just wanted to say Thank You. To Risti, to the kind admissions department at UCLA, to the world, for helping us feel so kick ass lately.

on being outstanding

19 Mar

Hiking Runyon last weekend, a friend and I had a long talk about what it takes to make it in the workplace these days. It seems for our generation (and the entertainment industry, especially), the only sure bet for job stability and growth is to be a true innovator. It’s about establishing worth to your company; finding a niche and becoming that niche’s expert. Constantly thinking ahead – not just as a problem solver but as a ground breaker.

Which is hard, terrifying, especially at this entry-level adjacent point we’re at right now. I’m two years into my career, which comes with this true sink or swim moment – move too slowly and you’ll fall behind your peers. But the only way to really break ahead and be meaningful is to create, create, create. Don’t get me wrong – this is an exciting new perspective and it’s opened my mind even just in this past week. It’s also sent me on a search for innovators and tastemakers in other industries, in an effort to learn more about focus and change. And that’s how I happened upon Jim Denevan, a slow artist and founder of Outstanding in the Field. My mind? Blown.

Outstanding in the Field “sets the long table” at farms, in gardens, on mountaintops or in sea caves; on islands and on ranches. Sometimes indoors (a barn, a greenhouse, even a museum), but mostly outside, Outstanding in the Field’s mission is to re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food, and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it.

Founder Jim Denevan started in 1999 with the vision of putting the spotlight on the organic food in his hometown of Santa Cruz. Word quickly spread throughout Northern California, and by 2004 his tour was reaching coast to coast.

In 2009, Jim, his crew (led by field manager Katy Oursler) and an army of servers, farmers/producers and chefs – each team different from place to place – held 54 dinner parties throughout the US and Canada. The 2010 tour schedule goes live tomorrow (March 20) and will likely sell out within the day.

To support Outstanding in the Field and your local chefs and producers, check for your area’s dates here:

nan lawson and sausage

6 Mar

i did an awesome job this morning of embracing my “poor kid” status and making a tasty breakfast out of what was already in the house (instead of heading down to my favorite, larchmont bungalow and dropping $20). potatoes, snausages and eggs in a basket. yum!

my Nan Lawson original came in the mail on Thursday and I could not be happier with the portrait. and it seems this has been a big month for Nan – she’s becoming a full-time artist. recently featured her drawings and included ours! it’s so awesome to support someone so talented going after her dreams. without further ado..

gifts & giving

1 Mar

In a delightful coincidence (that’s been helpful for our sanity), Ally and I started dating our fabulous men right around the same time. It’s been great because we’ve gone through a lot of the same challenges that new relationships bring together, and we’ve been able to act as a sounding board for each other through all the crazy.

My dude and I celebrate the anniversary of our first date (well, really, our first date was 9 years ago, but that’s another story), which was two years ago next Monday. We’re not usually the gift-giving type, but I found two absolutely perfect gifts and I just can’t help myself.

Nan Lawson has been all over the blogosphere lately, and I found her via Melanie at you are my fave. She has an adorable etsy shop full of original drawings, and she also creates custom portraits based on a few photos and your interests.  We’re building a wall of prints and posters, so I plan on just hanging it and not saying a thing until he notices. (The image above isn’t ours – it should be done by the weekend.. I’ll post it soon!)

The second gift is from my new company-crush, Warby Parker. They’re like Tom’s shoes for your eyes – for every (completely affordable and incredibly cool) pair of glasses you order, the Warby Parker team donates a pair to someone who really needs them. My handsome man has been putting off replacing his long-lost pair (they’re somewhere in the middle of the country or on the floor of a touring van), and for his safety and mine, I’ve decided it’s time.

on habits

20 Feb

Apologies – we’ve been a little few and far between.

We’re both in love with this blog; with creating a safe place for our thoughts and freakish emotions, with collaborating, with First Shot Gift Shop. Personally, I’m in love with writing; nothing feels better than stringing words together in a way that sounds pretty or hokey or fun. I secretly re-read particularly witty emails that I send and giggle (if nobody else is going to laugh out loud for me, might as well, right?).

But I am awful at creating habits. I love doing things I don’t have to do and loathe doing things I do have to do. And this, I know, is what must change. If I’m going to be a big girl with a real life (even if it’s a silly one), I have to pay my bills on time, return my blockbuster movies before I auto-own them.. and go after my dream of running this blog and growing with First Shot Gift Shop.

So I promise to you, Ally, and to all the proverbial-yous that don’t exist yet (“Dear Readers”, we may call you later on) – that I will write. I will write and write, and share interesting articles and awkward stories and pretty, pretty pictures. Every day.

Other habits I’m working on: Waking up early (this was the first week of 8am alarms – even though I usually lounge in bed until 8:20, my eyes are open so it counts!), hiking (next week is the week of one weekday hike), keeping a clean house (my mom will be pumped for this one).

What habits are the hardest for you to stick to?