Tuesday, August 30, 2011

fall thoughts

fall is in the air in D.C. -- you can feel it in the slight chill each morning. I can't tell you how excited this makes me.

i am imagining long bike rides along the potomac, jogs around the mall, lunches in the botanical gardens, cable knit sweaters, summer dresses over tights and desert boots, cotton jackets with bright scarves, warm cider and the new yorker on saturday mornings.

here are some fall images from the blogosphere to get you inspired along with me :)

yes to it all

i can drink coffee again!

something so pretty about this

apple picking, a fall must

if i could, i'd spend half my pay on rent and the other half here

this really happens ya'll!

embrace this color palette

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Fun: Public Pools. K'Naan. Your Mint Hole.

I used to do weekly Friday links round ups at my old job -- I thought I'd keep up the tradition here.
  • Ever wonder if you'll look like your mom or dad when you get older? Here is some shocking evidence that you DEFINITELY WILL.
  • The 10 best public pools in the world.
  • Great conference call on the situation in the Horn of Africa with K'Naan, Cindy McCain, and Dikembe Mutombo.
  • Who is K'Naan, you ask?
  • My first post at my new gig.
  • An '80s cell phone case for your iPhone. (Made me smile.)
  • I'm on the hunt for the perfect leather work bag. My aesthetic is simple, clean, classic. I hate logos. I hate too much  metal hardware. any ideas? I ordered this (on ebay for way cheaper!), but am keeping my eyes open.
  • Chris and I will see a movie tonight. We're thinking of seeing either The Help, One Day, or Our Idiot Brother.
  • Should I be afraid of Irene
have a lovely weekend, stay dry, and stay safe.

thought i'd share a funny photo with you all:
the new greeting when you open your altoid tin

ukulele fest

wednesday night Chris and I went to a ukulele festival in Maryland. the goal? to beat the world record for most people playing ukulele at the same time. the previous record was around 800 folks -- and we beat it with 944! it was a really fun event. lots of people out on picnic blankets, folks of all ages with their ukes out, cookout food, a ben and jerry's ice cream truck, etc.

so i spent all last night excited that i was going to be in the guinness book of world records only to find out this morning that the SWEDES held a 3,000-person ukulele festival! BLERRRRRRGH!!!!!

it's ok. it's ok. it's ok. it's all for the experience, right? and the memories, which are captured, in part, via my camera :) enjoy

my makshift ukulele case, haha!

look at that crowd! such a beautiful evening

yes, we are dorks. but we embrace it

chris practising

i was number 844!

the shoe shot

we all held up our ukuleles before we started playing!

so we didn't make a world record. that's ok! we had fun anyway.

Monday, August 22, 2011

summer tradition

no summer in the life of jeannie is complete without a trip down the potomac on kayak! I try to do this once every year, at least. problem is it's a little tough to find people to do this with me. i remember dragging my friend gillian kayaking many years ago. i feel so bad in retrospect, considering she was wearing a nice denim skirt and cardigan twinset. she probably anticipated a classy lunch al fresco, with salmon salads and white wine or something. instead, she was sweating it out on the river.

this saturday, chris spontaneously decided that we would ride our bikes down to georgetown and get ourselves into some kayaks. i was all for it until i made the stupid decision to bring my camera with me onto the water. suddenly, the kayak didn't feel so stable anymore. the water seemed ominous and the wakes from passing motorboats became intolerable. i clutched my bag closer to my chest and started to panic, yelling at chris to "slow down for goodness' sake!" as i swayed from side to side.

and it was right there, dear friend, on a bright orange kayak in the middle of the potomac river that i was reminded of walter brueggemann. i've been reading his slim little text, Journey to the Common Good. In it he says this of Pharoah:
Pharoah is an example and an embodiment of a complex system of monopoly that, along with the wealth that it produces, produces anxiety that affects every dimension of the system.
In other words, Pharoah's crazy dreams and genocidal tendencies stem from the anxiety produced by his obscene greed and wealth -- wealth that he obtained by exploiting the Israelite slaves.

and it was anxiety produced by my devotion to my "stuff" that left me at a standstill on the water, oar lying flat across my lap, bag clutched to my chest as i scowled at the sky.

when will I ever learn?

i managed to take a photo, but as you can see on my face, this is not a real smile

*sigh* It was only after I saw chris's diminishing spirits that I realized I needed to pull it together. I tried to have fun, you guys, I really did.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

hello darkness

the one thing i've craved most during this cleanse is coffee. I am DYING for a cup of sweet, milky, delicious, dark coffee. Alas, caffeine is a big no no on the cleanse so I'm doing my best to resist -- never mind the fact that any glimpse of coffee-related paraphernalia -- the coffee tins at whole foods; photos of dark beans -- or the whiff of fresh grounds while walking past the open door of a coffee-shop sends me spiraling into despair.

since I can't enjoy my favorite summer treat, cold-brewed iced coffee, I thought I'd share this simple recipe with you. I even took photos to demonstrate, cause I'm nice like that. you're welcome.

take 1/3 cup of delicious beautiful coffee grounds.

pour grounds into 1 1/2 cups of cold water

stir slowly, just enough to incorporate
the grounds with the water. don't overstir.

like so

cover with saran wrap and let stand overnight
the next day, strain through a coffee filter. add ice, milk, and sweetener (i prefer agave nectar). ENJOY. PLEASE FOR MY SAKE ENJOY IT.

how to change your life in 15 days

1. hit a wall. "a wall" is generally exhibited through depression; unhealthy explosions of frustration; seething anger at people you used to call friends; overeating; watching endless hours of tv due to your inability to cope with the rest of your life; retail therapy at every hard bump in the road while telling yourself, 'this-and-this is so bad, i deserve this!' Nay, dear friend. You deserve MORE than a new sweater!
2. identify your unhappiness (in my case, not doing what I loved, overworking, not feeling good about my health, feeling confused about my future, etc.)
3. ask for help. Call everyone you trust, tell them about your unhappiness, ask for advice. LISTEN and learn.
4. believe you deserve more! better! and go after it, whatever IT might be. go after the health. go after the new job. go after the renewed relationships. go after it with all you've got.
5. go through the painful process of change. this might be the worst, most laborious step. change is the pits. change means discomfort, which means vulnerability, which means potential humiliation. but if you come out of the other side of change, you'll start to reap the benefits -- the benefits of adventure. excitement. challenge. inspiration. growth. and so much more.
6. enjoy the process. life is a weird, funky, absurd, blessed, happy road. I am thankful to be walking it.

recent signs of change (and life!) these past 15 days:

the cleanse diet continues to challenge me, but I have
certainly had some wonderful meals these past few weeks. Here
is a photo of a delicious spring salad with a simple
olive oil, lemon juice, agave nectar dressing. I added some
roasted cashews for crunch.
A complete cleanse-friendly meal: quinoa pasta with
pesto, broiled mahi mahi,  and the spring salad.

the biggest change of all: I left my job. It
was a tough decision, but ultimately I think it was
a good move for me. I was sad to leave
my dear friends and colleagues (and my beautiful office!), but
I am ready for the next challenge :)

my new office this week! I have the week off
and it has been glorious. I've gone to a water
park, sleept in, and read at coffee shops.
praise the lord for vacation!

I'd been eyeing a watch like this for a while,
and was so excited to find it for super cheap!

chris and I traded in my old bike (too heavy!)
for this one. Isn't she a beaut? I love it and feel liberated to ride
anywhere I want. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

oh delicious vacation

braid. swimsuit. hoody.
happy monday!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

family circus

Here are some notes from my family that I wanted to share with you.

From my dad:
Congratulations , Jeannie!
I pray that your new job bring you good changes toward Jesus Christ.
I pray that you meet people of God there.
Please raise the flag of J.C. right on.
From my sister:
Hi Unny,
This is Uno, appah is forcing me to write to you. he says we are having a good time, we are not fighting anymore. he is not as obnoxious as before, he's pretty cool now. he's memorizing Numbers 6:24-26 in Hebrew. mom and dad are very happy that you are coming thanksgiving, I'll do my best to be home for thanksgiving, we'll see. CONGRATS!
Aren't they great? I love my fam bam. And I guess this is a good time to tell you all that I'm starting a new job soon! I have this next week off and then it's day one as an associate editor. here's to new adventures!

Monday, August 8, 2011


maybe it's because i'm on this cleanse, maybe it's because this video is just so beautiful ... whatever it is, i cannot stop watching this. it's on loop!

EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

p.s. definitely watch the other two videos in this series too: Move. Learn.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

simple, clean

you get older and life gets more complicated. I have had to make some big life-change decisions lately and it's been tough, I'm not gonna lie! Sometimes I wake up and wonder, did I make a mistake? Am I making bad decisions? Am I ruining my life, one bad choice after another?

i've been longing for more simple pleasures these days. maybe it's a coping mechanism, but i've found solace in limiting my options, taking time for myself, taking time to have conversations with people, and seeing beyond the complex decisions of the day/week/month, and living in the present. 

i've also been challenged to start a detox called "the Clean diet" with a friend of mine. this month-long challenge basically eliminates all complex/processed foods and limits you to eating simple, fresh meals every single day. i'm on day 4 and it's been pretty fun so far! I still have a long way to go, so i'll keep you updated on my progress. i feel really good, and i don't feel bloated or weighed down. i've also been battling some eczema lately so i'm hoping that this helps my skin clear up too. finger's crossed!

today's outfit, simple enough!

my snacks a few days ago: raw cashews, crispy kale, nectarine, green tea.

the simplest, truest joy: baby grant!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


"and your laughs, your jokes - all the myriad and wonderful details of you - are like those small birds we saw, startling and lovely as they played in the new morning light."

Monday, August 1, 2011


these days I'm realizing the importance of community. recently, chris coaxed me into giving the harry potter movies/books another try. I haven't been able to get into the books yet, but the movies were really great fun, and also very moving. My favorite movie in the series is harry potter 5: order of the phoenix. In it, Harry learns that his greatest weapon against evil is the power of love -- love he receives from his family and friends.

I need to put more effort into maintaining relationships because I need them. I need my friends and family to keep me strong, and i'm blessed to have such good people in my life. Cheers to friends and family and everyone in between!

my cousin helen with her nephew grant. so cute!

helen and me before "the incident" (there be the infamous glass!)

my coworkers: rachel, kierra, leslie. they are so stylish!

it's all in the details: tribal chic!

sweet ruching, and look at that ring!

so much awesomeness going on here. loves it