Thursday, May 31, 2012

I plumb forgot

You know that sick feeling you get in your stomach when you suddenly realize that you were supposed to be somewhere fifteen minutes ago and you just…plumb forgot?

Today was my last class for my last required coursework as a PhD student and…I seriously forgot to go. Which was especially bad since I HAD A PRESENTATION TO GIVE. Fortunately for me, my husband is a superhero and literally leapt across the room, car keys in hand, yelling, “I’LL DRIVE YOU, I’LL DRIVE!” I made it in time to contribute to class and to look sufficiently sheepish.

*Forehead smack.*


Alright. Time to make me feel better! What was the last thing you just totally forgot to do?

love, elizabeth

poetry found in laundry room

If you’re like me and you find laundry a deplorable chore, maybe it’s because, like me, you think the communal laundry room is kinda gross and inconvenient (#firstworldproblem). Oh, yeah. And expensive.


So when Kyle and I went down to do a few loads yesterday, imagine my delight when I saw this on one of the dryers.*


I need to find whoever wrote this and be their friend.

Anyone find any public poetry lately? It’s my favorite kind.

love, elizabeth

*I apologize for the impolite language of this poet-genius. Their laundry-induced rage is palpable.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Love Story: Chapter 8

Wow, sorry, guys. Took me some time to get back to this! Have you missed any of the love story? You can catch up here



“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”

- John Green, The Fault In Our Stars

I guess when it comes down to it, love is all about leaps. It’s not there until it is. At least, that’s the way it was for me. I had left Kyle that night, completely freaked out by his sudden declaration of love. But two days later as I again drove away, I rolled down my window and shouted at the top of my lungs across a parking lot, “I LOVE YOU, KYLE SURNAME!”

“I LOVE YOU, TOO!” he shouted back.

And that…was that.

There are two important things to know about the summer of 2005. (I mean, outside the scope of this story, there’s probably about fifty billion things to know about the summer of 2005.) But contextually…two things.

The first. From the second Kyle asked me to be his exclusive lady and from the second I said yes, there was a ticking clock on our relationship. I had accepted a summer stock job for a tiny theatre in the mountains and Kyle was going to California to see his older sister, who was pregnant at the time. I remember informing Kyle that we really couldn’t get serious because I was going to be leaving. “So this isn’t going anywhere, okay?” And those two months just FLEW by. We were spending every second we could together but the closer the summer got, the bigger the knot in my stomach. I didn’t want to say good-bye. Still, I knew how foolish it was to try to make it long-distance. It seemed like an unfair thing to ask. So I didn’t ask. And the summer crept closer.

And secondly…gulp….my relationship with Kyle was kindofatotalsecret. I was still living at home and I had gotten it into my head that my parents wouldn’t approve.So rather than risk losing him, I just didn’t tell anyone.  I was so scared that I kept Kyle a secret for almost six months before my family found out. I think there are probably lots of people who still don’t know that except… now they do! It’s crazy how fear (even misplaced fear) can so motivate you. Right now, my mother is reading this and rolling her eyes heavenward. It all worked out, Mom, but I’m sorry for putting you through that, anyway.

As May rounded the corner and this unspoken need to make a decision grew, I was also desperately trying to keep this heavy secret from my parents. So when Kyle announced somewhat abruptly one afternoon, “I don’t want to break up,” I somehow knew that this moment was a turning point; that my answer, that our answer, was going to change the course of our lives, that we were somehow inextricably tying ourselves together. I imagine one of those grafted trees in which the different branches are cut open and brought together, lashed together, and they just somehow keep growing, sharing chlorophyll and sunlight and water because their fates are tied to one another.

Tree Graft

I felt like I wasn’t just saying, “Yes, I want to make this work over the summer.” I was saying, “I want to make this work…forever.” And so I made a ridiculous demand. “Okay,” I said. “Then here’s the deal. If we don’t break up, we’re agreeing that this is going to work no matter what. That we have no doubts about the future of our relationship.” (???? Seriously??!!? I had some major GUTS back then!) It honestly didn’t occur to me at that second what exactly I was saying.

But Kyle didn’t even pause. “Yeah, okay,” he said.

“Okay, “ I said. “No doubts?”

“No doubts,” he said.

And to this day, every time one of us leaves the house or hangs up the phone, we say it.

“No doubts?”

“No doubts.”

Which is good because it would end up being one of the hardest summers of my life. Without a doubt.


love, elizabeth

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lessons from Date Night


My husband never stops amazing me. Just when I think he’s wooed all he can woo, he goes and woos me just a wee bit more. (See what I did there?) I learn a lot on our date nights. Here’s some stuff I thought about last night…

1. Dating isn’t a price tag; it’s an attitude. Who made up the rule that going out had to be so expensive? Pack a picnic and get outside. Check out local papers for community events like free concerts, art gallery nights, or theatre in the park. Go to a nice restaurant and split a large appetizer or dessert. See if your credit or debit card rewards can be applied towards free movie or concert tickets. Order take-out and make up your own rules to an old board game. Find out if any of the museums or zoos in your city have community appreciation days with discounted or free tickets. Hit up an arcade or roller rink.

2. There’s nothing sexier than the silence between two people who have been together long enough to hear all the stuff that cozy silence can say.

3. I don’t know everything about my husband yet and that’s awesome. Kyle and I play a game when we’re out together, cleverly called, ‘What don’t I know about you?’ in which we (surprise!) try to find out what we don’t know about each other. Last night, I found out that Kyle ran track for a year in high school. I can’t believe I didn’t know that!

4. Sometimes I try to imagine that we’re on our first or second date again. It’s like learning to flirt all over again.

Now I want to know…what are your best date night tips (for dating singles, for long-term partners, for anybody!)?

love, elizabeth

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sangria and a Summer Night


I’ve been dying for a good excuse to try to make a yummy summer drink and I finally had my chance this last weekend! I made this delicious sangria recipe on Saturday night and, if I do say so myself, it turned out pretty darn delicious. I poured it over frozen strawberries and ice and it was so cool and refreshing. The best thing about sangria, I’ve discovered, is that it keeps well in the fridge for a few days and actually tastes even better after about 24 hours (which is good because I still have half a pitcher in the fridge). The perfect drink for a summer night. For a non-alcoholic version, you can also try this recipe out.



I hope that this Memorial Day is a time of remembrance and honor for our fallen service members and their families, as well as prayer for our active-duty and veteran armed forces. A special thank-you to both my parents and little brother for their service to their country and to any members of the military or their families that might read this blog! Please know you are loved.

Happy Memorial Day!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Nice Work If You Can Get It - This Labor Day, let's go to a dinner and a movie and laugh at the waiters and cashiers who don't have the day off like us. 

Okay, serious Elizabeth time. I really don’t want to get all soap-box-y but I guess getting what you want is overrated.

What I really want is to talk about that thing we all do. Or aspire to do. Or aspire to retire from doing in a few decades. Work. I think work is really important. Work is good and hard work…is really good. So I guess what I’m struggling with is why some work is respected and some work…is not. I don’t mean work ethic or quality or even pay scale. I mean, literally, the kind of work you do and the kind of respect it receives.

The longer Kyle spends in the service industry, the more I am made aware of the prejudices surrounding jobs in this field. Not too long ago, a customer came into the coffeehouse where Kyle was working and after impatiently waiting to receive his coffee, sarcastically and loudly remarked, “Wow, it’s amazing what a room full of GEDs can accomplish.” This comment is based on six separately damaging assumptions and I’d like to consider them.

Assumption #1: That people who make lattes don’t have college degrees. Ironically, ALL the baristas working that morning had bachelor’s degrees (and one employee had her master’s). This assumption is connected to another troubling belief…

Assumption #2: That people who make lattes do it because they’re not qualified to do anything else. It might not just be an assumption about your level of education but also about your competence, your skillset, your interests, and your inherent intelligence.

Assumption #3: That people who make lattes and also happen to not have college degrees don’t deserve the same level of respect as the degree-holders. Who seriously made that rule?

Assumption #4: That people who make lattes don’t work as hard as people who are doctors or lawyers or professors or accountants or whatever it is that we think of as a “real career.” Don’t misunderstand. I believe some work is objectively “harder” than other work (I imagine brain surgery, for instance, requires more finesse than say, operating a cash register). Some work might be harder than other work but I think baristas can work just as hard as doctors at what they do.

Assumption #5: That people who make lattes don’t have a right to take pride in their work because it’s not a “grown-up job.” There are lots and lots of talented, intelligent people who work really hard just to pay rent and buy groceries and support their families. It doesn’t get more “grown-up” than that whether you’re getting paid six figures or minimum wage.

Assumption #6: That people who make lattes are not worth as much as people who work at jobs that pay more money. Again, to be clear…I’m not saying all jobs have the same economic value. There’s a reason we pay a few dollars for a latte and much more for, say, open heart surgery. But I am saying that paychecks do not determine the inherent worth of a worker. Or a worker’s work ethic.

Obviously when I say “people who make lattes,” I mean, people who make lattes, people who pump gas, people who wash dishes, people who tear ticket stubs, people who scrub toilets and make beds, people who make sandwiches, or people who do anything else related to service.

All of this has made me reconsider my own attitudes about what it means to work and what it means to respect someone for their work. I often find myself complaining about poor customer service but I am beginning to wonder…if people who made lattes or people who flip burgers or people who wax legs were treated like their work had worth…I wonder if they might believe it, too…and I wonder how that might impact our experiences of that service…

Thanks for letting me work out that mind itch.

What about you? Do you have or have you had a job in the service industry? What are your experiences around the way we judge the value of work?

love, elizabeth

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reality Check

This is going to be a short post because I am running on zero sleep and hours and hours of studying. In light of that, I thought I’d offer you all a picture of my morning. May it boost your self-esteem and foster greater respect for graduate students everywhere. Or make you feel really sorry for me. Or something.


That would be the iced coffee from McDonald’s that I have been nursing since 10 last night. Yeah.


And this is apparently what I look like after pulling three all-nighters in a week. Good grief. If that’s not a picture of a hollow shell, I don’t know what is. In all reality, it’s not that terrible and I’m going to be okay. I’ve got my tunes blasting and the ibuprofen has kicked in.

Here’s my morning jam.


I promise more interesting posts soon like the next chapter of the love story and a DIY project Kyle has been working on…so stay tuned for less whiny blogging.

love you guys,


PS: If you’re a Spotify user, have you heard about the play button feature for bloggers? Super cool new feature…

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dictionary Definition


Growing up, if I didn’t know what a word in a book meant and I asked, Mom and Dad would make me look it up in the dictionary (I know…SERIOUSLY…Mr. and Mrs. Genghis Khan over here!).
But it’s really good that they did that. Train up a child in the way she should go…and when she is in grad school, she will not depart from it… Because now I kind of love the dictionary. What’s more…I really love stumbling on words I’ve never seen before. Here are a few I’ve encountered in the last week.


noun \ek-ˈdi-zē-ˌast, -zē-əst\

Definition: stripteaser

Origin: Greek ekdysīs

First Known Use: 1940

As in, ‘Hey, aren’t you glad I’m getting my PhD so I can learn words like ‘ecdysiast’?



adj \-ənt\

Definition: marked by or arousing an immoderate or unwholesome interest or desire; especially: marked by, arousing, or appealing to sexual desire

Origin: Latin prurient-, pruriens, present participle of prurire to itch, crave; akin to Latin pruna glowing coal, Sanskrit ploṣati he singes, and probably to Latin pruina hoarfrost — more at freeze

First Known Use: 1592

As in…actually, I’m not going to use this in a sentence. My MOM reads this blog.


noun \ˈpəl-krə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition: physical comeliness

Origin: Middle English, from Latin pulchritudin-, pulchritudo, from pulchr-, pulcher beautiful

First Known Use: 15th century


As in, Kyle’s comment regarding my pulchritude was perfectly-timed as I was feeling especially vulnerable and un-pulchritudinous today.


verb, transitive \ˈtra-və-stē\

Definition: to make a travesty of, to parody

First Known Use: 1673

As in, she made a travesty of the dictionary and Noah Webster rolled over in his grave.

Dictionary source: Merriam-Webster Online.

I’m fascinated by the idea that language is fluid, that it comes to us from so many different places and times, that it’s constantly being created and re-created. And I’m always excited when I find out there are other meanings for the same word (like travesty!)

By the way, it totally feels like cheating to look words up online. Is that cheating, Mom?

Have a favorite word you’ve learned recently?

love, elizabeth

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sponsor in June

June is a measly 9 days away and I wanted to let all of you know about sponsorship opportunities for the coming month! I will be offering three levels of sponsorship in the hopes that one of them might fit your blogging needs.



OneScoop image













I also have a limited number of 200 X 100px size spots available for button-swapping so please email me if this is something you might be interested in!

Here are a few things to know if you’re interested in sponsoring:

*All sponsors have the option of having a button designed free of charge for use in this blog space and any other.

*PassionFruit handles all ad space. This makes it super easy for you to format your button and offers the most convenient payment options (including major credit cards and PayPal).

*50% of all monthly blog revenue will go to a non-profit organization or charity voted upon by readers so you can promote your blog or business AND give to a worthy cause. June’s potential charities are RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network), Safe Horizon, and ChildHelp so if you make the decision to sponsor in June, you will also be benefitting one of these organizations.

*The focus of this blog for the last two years has not been profit-driven and that is not going to change. What I’ve learned in partnership with other blogs is that sponsoring a blog motivates my own productivity and stimulates my creativity as a blogger. My hope is that if you choose to partner with Love is the Adventure that you feel that the ad fees serve not as a deterrent to sponsoring but as a way of ensuring that you are receiving a quality advertising and social media marketing service that is encouraging and helpful to you as a blogger.

Have questions? Comments? Are you interested in reserving a space for June? You can email me or comment below!

love, elizabeth

Sunday, May 20, 2012

This is the Internet Speaking



Image credit

There is a lot of stuff to occupy your time here on the World Wide Web. Don’t worry. The Internet told me she wants you to look at these things.

1. The first season of Smash just ended and I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on Spotify. Unfortunately, my favorite song, the show’s homage to Bollywood, didn’t make it onto the album. So imagine my delight when I found you can watch the “A Thousand and One Nights” clip here on Hulu. This is the coolest thing they did all season in my opinion.

2. If you haven’t visited Cupcake Project, yet, you are missing out. Steph does a ton of experimental cupcakes, as well as some more traditional ones. Be sure to check out her recipe index for a few of the cupcakes on my to-make list like Mimosa Cupcakes, Parmesan Sour Cream Cupcakes with Raspberry Whipped Cream Frosting, or even Cucumber Martini Cupcakes.

3. Gertrude and Charlotte over at A Spinster’s Guide to Dating are going away a beeaaaaaaautttttiifull necklace! And while you’re over there entering the giveaway, be sure to check out their tips for  movie theatre cuddling and their hilarious commentary on hipster boys.

4. You can watch some truly bizarre web cams on the internet. But my new favorites are the the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel web cam where I just watched complete strangers get married by Elvis Presley and the Leprechaun web cam on the edge of a fairy ring in Tipperay, Ireland.

5. Nicholas Cage interviews Nicholas Cage on Saturday Night Live. One of my favorite skits of all time. If the rumors are true and Andy Samberg is really leaving SNL, the show is really going to suffer.

6. This great love song by The Lumineers (a Denver band so I’m especially proud).

7. The Library of Congress’s Digital Collections. It’s mind-boggling to me how many untapped archives and learning tools we have at our fingertips! Be sure to check out some of my faves like this 1919 recording of “A pretty girl is like a melody” or old Coca-cola Television Ads.

There. The Internet says ‘you’re welcome.’

Share your favorite links below!

love, elizabeth

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I Interrupt Your Stories Because I Love You


Alright, serious relationship talk. I need to know if I am the only person who does this.

We spent last night with our young marrieds small group from church. And towards the end of the night, the youth pastor started teasing me about the way I constantly interject in Kyle’s stories.

Here’s an example:

Kyle: I grew up in Colorado.

Elizabeth: Steamboat Springs.

Kyle: Yeah, Steamboat Springs. So I like winter sports and stuff.

Elizabeth: He’s been snowboarding for ten years.

Kyle: I used to do a lot more dangerous things…probably gave my mom a heart attack.

Elizabeth: He skateboarded off a roof one time.

Kyle: Yeah, I broke some toes.

Elizabeth: All of his toes.

Kyle: All of my toes.

And while that’s like…hopefully exaggerated slightly, I know I do that.

Here’s the thing – I don’t do it because I want to talk more. I just want people to really know all the cool details of Kyle’s stories. And sometimes…well, sometimes I just think, HE’S TELLING IT WRONG!!

Part of me thinks I should just learn to shut up. Part of me thinks it’s part of our relationship dynamic. I definitely notice that I do it more in situations where I really, really want other people to like Kyle, to think he’s as great as I do (which, in all fairness, is probably impossible). That doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly annoying. And while Kyle has repeatedly said he doesn’t mind…I’m still pondering my need to control the situation.

So now I want to know…any other spouses or partners out there find it really hard not to want to ‘help’ tell a story?  Anyone have the opposite problem? Is YOUR spouse extra ‘helpful’? If you do this in your relationship, where does that motivation come from?

Ugh. Marriage.

love, elizabeth

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fight Hard

Things are getting down to the wire here at school. I am about to finish my last regular coursework as a graduate student and begin reading in earnest for my candidacy exams. I have a bajillion books still to read this term and two major papers. And just thinking about all of it makes my heart race. I'm not going to lie and say I'm not freaking out on the inside. Because I am. For sure.

But it's always amazing to me what I actually do accomplish when I simply say, "Well, this has to be done. So it will be done."

This time I've given myself a battle cry to get through the next couple of weeks. I've been saying it to myself all morning.


Because I do really, really want my PhD. So this is me, squaring my shoulders and digging deep.

Today I just want to encourage you to FIGHT HARD for what you really, really want.

Do you have a battle cry to get you through times of overload and stress?

love, elizabeth

Thursday, May 17, 2012

questions about books

I can’t resist talking about books so since Sarah tagged me in this today, I had to do it.

The rules…
1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favorite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to pass the Q&A on to: Karm at Love & Football (because I know what a bookworm she is!) and anyone else who feels like it. If you end up blogging your answers, let me know because, like Sarah, I really love book recommendations!

Favorite book cover:


What are you reading right now?

Minsky’s Burlesque.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

What 5 books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to?
1. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

2. Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

3. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig.

4. Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis

5. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?
Better Homes & Gardens, Glamour, and Mojo.

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?
Dude. There are some contenders. The thing is, if a book is terrible, I usually don’t get very far. I did read a really stupid book called…sigh…The Manny by Holly Peterson. What a waste of time and paper. But to be fair, I got what I deserved reading a book called The Manny.

What book seemed really popular but you actually hated?

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels – a love story. Weak sauce. Bad writing. Shallow rambling. And ridiculous phrases like “parched ovaries.” She’s an awesome blogger but this was really awful.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I just find Jacob Jankowski so endearing a narrator. The movie’s okay but the book is enthralling.

What are your 3 favorite poems?
”On Turning Ten” by Billy Collins“This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself, as I walk through the universe in my sneakers…”

“B” by Sarah Kay“I’m going to the paint the solar systems on the backs of her hands…”

“Love in the Asylum” by Dylan Thomas“And taken by light in her arms at long and dear last I may without fail suffer the first vision that set fire to the stars…”

Where do you usually get your books?
Half-Price Books usually because I prefer to buy second-hand. There’s a really cool local seller I like (Karen Wickliff Books) but it’s not a super convenient location to visit. I also like the used books feature on Amazon. If I’m really desperate for a new title, I go to Barnes & Noble.

Where do you usually read your books?
I love to read on the bus. I know that’s weird. I also like to read in bed and by the pool.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?
I used to BEG to go to the library. And then Mom would have to drag me out of the library after a few hours because I could have stayed there forever. Also, I used to hide books and flashlights under the covers so I could read after I was supposed to be asleep.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?

I honestly can’t remember. I do that a lot.

Have you ever “faked” reading a book?
Yes. I have.

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
Century Girl:100 Years in the Life of Doris Eaton Travis, Last Living Star of the Ziegfeld Follies.

What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Too many. The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald. Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars by Ellen MacGregor. Dana Girls Mysteries. Mr. Meddle’s Mischief by Enid Blyton. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.

What book changed your life?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I was 14.

What is your favorite passage from a book?
Toss up between this":

“I don’t even know what I was running for—I guess I just felt like it. After I got across the road, I felt like I was sort of disappearing. It was that kind of a crazy afternoon, terrifically cold, and no sun out or anything, and you felt like you were disappearing every time you crossed a road.”The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

and this:

“I cannot express it; but surely you and every body have a notion that there is, or should be, an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff’s miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning; my great thought in living is myself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the Universe would turn to a mighty stranger. I should not seem a part of it. […] my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath – a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff – he’s always, always in my mind – not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself – but as my own being…” – Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Who are your top five favorite authors?
C.S. Lewis, John Green, L.M. Montgomery, Emily Brontë, and Jessica Valenti.

What book has no one heard about but should read?

Enchantment by Orson Scott Card. Probably some people have heard of this but if you haven’t…it’s a modern day take on Sleeping Beauty that involves time travel and monster-fighting. And it also has one of the best love stories ever.

What are your favorite books by a first-time author?

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald. “I know myself but that is all…”

What 3 books are you an “evangelist” for?

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape by Jessica Valenti, and Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.

What is your favorite classic book?

Well, I read a lot of classics but I really love Our Town by Thornton Wilder.

5 other notable mentions?
1. Vixen (The Flapper Series) by Jillian Larkin 2. The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton

3. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. 4. Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery.

5. The Hunger Games trilogy.

love, elizabeth

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Blogging as a verb, noun, or state of being


Occasionally, I feel the need to write a quick business-like post about blogging as it pertains to this blog and other bloggers and blogging as a verb, a noun, or state of being.

So here are some notes to you all, my readers whom I love.

1. If you have recently started following Love is the Adventure, either through Google Friend Connect or BlogLovin' or HelloCotton, yay! I AM SO GLAD THAT YOU ARE HERE. I always make an effort to come find you and follow back BUT...if you have not received a visit from me or don't see me added to your list of followers or haven't gotten a reply to your comment, it could be one of the following reasons:

a) Your blog is not listed on your blogger profile.

This is really easy to fix! If you use Blogger, just go to the top right corner where your name appears and click "blogger profile." Then click the orange button that says "Edit Profile." Under the Privacy heading, click on the blue link that says "Select blogs to display." Then make sure the box next to your blog title is CHECKED and that you "Save Settings." This will make other bloggers finding you soooo much easier!

b) Your blog isn't allowing me to comment or doesn't have an easy way to follow or subscribe.

Make sure that your comment settings and following/subscribing mechanisms are functioning properly and easily visible to new blog visitors.

c) I can't email you back because you have not checked the box on your blogger profile that says "Show Email."

Be sure to check the box so we can communicate!

d) I am a stupid poop head and somehow missed your visit.

This is entirely possible and I would really, really like to know if this is the case, so please comment below or email me and let me know you'd like me to visit your blog.


2. I am considering adding some new ways to sponsor the blog beginning in June or July. I would like to offer some paid sponsorship spots at a very low cost (I'm a poor married graduate student and I know many of us live without disposable income). I am considering offering montly ads for $4, $6, or $10, respectively. These will include some feature posts, mentions or shout-outs, and giveaway options. I am also available to help design a button free of charge if you're interested in any of these. Let me know if this is something you want to know more about either in the comments or by email. I also want to hear if you honestly feel these rates are affordable or worth it to you. I only want to offer this option if it's something that you as a reader feel you could genuinely benefit from.

3. Lastly, is there something going on over at your blog that I should know about? Are you hosting a super awesome giveaway? Is there a recent post you're really excited about or want to share? Are you just wishing I'd come over and say hello? PLEASE tell me! You all know it can be tough to keep up with all the amazing blogs out there and I want to keep up with YOU. So give me the skinny. What am I missing out on??

love, elizabeth

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Girl Confessions

 1. I am crushing so hard on The Salty Caramels. And lucky for me, they just happen to be a Columbus band so I get to see them play downtown in a couple weeks. They have the sort of vintage-y harmonies of The Ditty Bops and She & Him (or credit where credit’s due, The Andrews Sisters), the melancholy folk grit of First Aid Kit and the old school rock n’ roll attitude of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (they also remind me of The Pipettes and Lucky Soul, in case you were wondering…but you weren’t).

2. If books were boyfriends, I would have quite a reputation. Check out this 1921 novel I uncovered at the thrift store for 90¢. If I used words like ‘steal’ (and I don’t), I would that this was…one of those.


3. Current blog obsessions: the Weavefreezone, A Spinster’s Guide to Dating, and Adventures in Mediocrity. These women are super funny, super smart, and super awesome – which you know…is my favorite combination.

4. If anyone has taught me the definition of unconditional love, it’s Madigan.


5. Now that season finales are in full swing, I’m reeaaaaaaaallllllllyyy looking forward to the return of Rookie Blue for the summer. Yay for Canadian police dramas!

6. The pool at our apartment complex just opened for the season and I plan to do as much of my summer research as I can with my toes dipped in the cool, cool water.

7. Our set of giant coffee cups makes me feel like I’m at Central Perk. And if you don’t get that reference, maybe we aren’t really friends. …

Alright, your turn. Confessions this week?

love, elizabeth

Monday, May 14, 2012

Thrifty Outfit Post

I had so much fun doing the last thrifted outfit post I thought I’d try another one today. Mostly because it feels like every time I open a magazine, I see something like this or this. And I don’t know about you but for me, a $78 tank top is not a “steal.” Not only is thrifting a great way of reducing our carbon footprint by reusing instead of throwing away, but it allows you so much creativity and freedom. And this has fueled my long-time love affair with the second-hand store.

In addition to my super-trendy clothes, I would like to point out the picturesque photo-shoot location complete with the breathtaking view of the dumpster. Super sexy. Thanks for noticing. Also…anyone else think there are a LOT of hyphens in this post?




Dress: Volunteers of America Thrift Store, $3.99

Cardigan: Charlotte Russe, clearance, $6.99

Vintage Boots: Flea market, $10

Bracelets: Funky Jewelry, $1 each

Knit flower: gift


Thrifting tip of the week: Second-hand sizing can be tricky for a couple reasons a) a variety of brands and b) after a few washes, our clothes tend to shrink up or stretch out. Many of the bigger thrift stores have dressing rooms so take advantage and be open to a broader range of sizes than normal. Wear leggings and tank tops for non-dressing room try-on’s.

Share your thrift store tips below!

love, elizabeth

Saturday, May 12, 2012

10 Things I Got from My Mother

It’s Mother Day weekend and I wanted to talk about inheritance. I feel like as an adult woman I’m starting to come into my inheritance. And it’s not a material one. But the older I get, the more I see my mother in the mirror. My mom would say that’s a scary thought but I am so grateful for it. So in honor of her, I’ve made a list of ten things I’ve inherited that I just love. Thanks, Mama.


1. The way her eyes crinkle when she laughs so hard she cries. Bonus: When she and her twin sister Joanne are laughing at the same time. It’s kind of the best sound ever.

2. Her coffee spoon left on top of the sweet n’ lo packet. I do it now just to feel like I’m having coffee with Mom.


3. Her sense of adventure. Mom taught me that every little thing we do is just another thing to put in our “pocketful of experiences.” Every museum, every historical marker, every photo opportunity. I think she was preparing me to be a blogger before blogging was invented.

4. The way she welcomes people into her home. My mom always taught us to put others first, and guests in particular. There is no doubt in your mind when you walk into my parents’ home that you are loved and cared about.

5. Her love for Jesus. This should have been first on my list because it’s always the first on my mom’s. My mother is my personal spiritual giant (and my prayer warrior!)

6. Dancing in the kitchen. And the grocery store. And anywhere else public and embarrassing.

7. Her crushes on Paul McCartney and MacGyver.

8. The color red.

9. Her loyalty to her husband (with good reason because my dad is extra awesome).


10. Making stuffed animals talk. Like…a lot.

What about you? What inheritances have you received from your mother?

Happy Mother’s Day!

love, elizabeth

Friday, May 11, 2012

Summers at North Market

I’ve seen lots about farmers’ markets making the rounds on my favorite blogs and well, I’m a band-wagoner at heart. No fiction here.

Here in Columbus we have one of my favorite year-round markets, the famed North Market in the heart of downtown. It’s full of restaurant and specialty food stalls, fresh flowers and gifts, and just generally creative, innovative people. But North Market is most awesome in the summer. The vegetables get brighter, the flowers get bloom-ier, and the market extends into an amazing outdoor farmer’s market for the warmer months.





Don’t you just love that smell of fresh bread and really good cheese and freshly cut flowers? Those smells are like summer to me.

So who else has been hitting the farmers’ markets? And has anyone ever had a BAD experienced at a farmer’s market? I’m super curious.

love, elizabeth

Topiary–it’s just a fancy hedge

One of my goals this year has been to seek out some of the more hidden treasures here in Columbus. I’m always so interested in the odd little museums and parks in a city that escape notice. I guess I like feeling like I’m rediscovering something that was made by someone else. And the more time I spend exploring, the more at home I feel. The Topiary Park is one of those places.


The park is modeled after this very famous painting by Georges Seurat. Can you see the resemblance?



Fortunately for me, Kyle puts up with my shenanigans. And if he doesn’t think these places are as romantic and poetic as I do…at least he pretends he does.


The Topiary Park has got me in the mood to have some more urban adventures. I’m looking forward to visiting some other things like the Wonder Bread sign or Hartman’s Rock Garden or The Wall of Gum. Who knew Ohio had so many weird attractions?

Are you looking for off-the-beaten-path stuff to see in YOUR town? Check out my new favorite site here.

love, elizabeth

PS: Have a burning question about pet health? Be sure to check out the Ask-an-Expert post from yesterday to submit your questions for our veterinarian Melissa! She’ll be answering them here on the blog next week. Also, I have now typed the word ‘veterinarian’ so many times that I actually remember how to spell it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ask a Veterinarian


Have you ever wondered why your dog licks your face or why your cat likes string? Are you worried about something your pet is doing or wondering if you can do more to keep them healthy? Have an important pet health question? Want to ask a vet a question? Always wondered about something related to your pet but were too afraid to ask? Here’s your chance!

My awesome neighbor Melissa is a practicing veterinarian in the Columbus area and she has kindly agreed to answer YOUR pet questions here!

This is the first in a new series of posts I’m hosting called Ask-an-Expert.

So now it’s your turn. Share your pet questions below. Melissa’s answers will be up next week!

So…what have you always wanted to ask a vet?

love, elizabeth

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Burlesque archives

Allow me to get a little nerdy on you this afternoon. I've just made a research appointment to spend tomorrow morning digging in the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute here in the special collections library at The Ohio State University. My dissertation is probably going to address popular entertainment including burlesque and sideshows and I am especially tickled by all the amazing photographs housed in the Charles H. McCaghy Collection of Exotic Dance from Burlesque to Clubs.   As a graduate student, I worked in special collections a few years ago and I got to do some archival work on burlesque performers. I get a little giddy every time I see stuff like this. Thought I'd show you a couple of the cigarette cards from the archive. You can see all of them online here.

Eva Bartholdi, 1890. Charles H. McCaghy Collection of Exotic Dance from Burlesque to Clubs. Ohio State University. Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute. PHOTO CREDIT

Minnie Marshall, Photo by Marc Cambier, 1890. Charles H. McCaghy Collection of Exotic Dance from Burlesque to Clubs. Ohio State University. Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute. PHOTO CREDIT.

If you're interested in archival materials, I encourage you to check out your nearest university library. Many of them have special collection libraries and archives. Tons and tons of untouched knowledge just waiting for someone to come along and find it!

So there you go...a peek into my life as a PhD student. Anything you're passionately nerdy about?

love, elizabeth

PS: I normally encouraging pinning or photo-sharing but please don't pin these two photos since they are not my property and I don't want to infringe on copyright.

love story (chapter 7)

I’ve gotten so many requests for the next chapter and you know me…I cave to peer pressure. I love, love, love hearing from you guys. Thanks for reading…if you’ve missed any of the story, you can read it all here.


By this time, the reality of our budding relationship had been pretty widely circulated through the cast and crew. But what exactly that reality was we hadn’t discussed. I hesitate to use this metaphor but it’s all I’ve got….because magnets don’t ever really sit down and talk about why they’re attracted. They just move until they can’t get any closer. Being around Kyle felt like breathing. I didn’t have a profound reason to keep breathing, except that it hurt when I stopped.

But the show was about to close and that meant that our relationship was going to have to be defined, regardless. There were not going to be any more excuses to brush past one another in the dark behind the stage, no more reasons to show up early for call. Curtain call came. Curtain call went. The set went down. The costumes were hung and put away. The stage door was locked. And the cast went out to celebrate and to say good-bye.

We all ended up at Old Chicago which is why, to this day, everyone who drives past an Old Chicago with me must endure the story of why Old Chicago is the best mediocre pizza and brew pub chain in the entire history of mediocre pizza and brew pub chains. We all ate and talked and laughed and it felt like no one wanted to leave. Kyle and I ended up crammed in a large booth with about six other people. I couldn’t tell you what we talked about or how long we had sat there before this sixteen-year-old kid in the cast (the one who had tried to kiss me when I drove him home from rehearsal one night) began tapping Kyle repeatedly on the shoulder and talking loudly in his ear.

What, dude?” Kyle snapped finally.

“DID YOU ASK HER OUT YET?” he asked, in what I can only assume he thought was a covert whisper.

Kyle smiled. It was a smile I have seen hundreds of times now. The tight, zen-like smile of a man who wants to strangle you but has decided it’s better to smile instead. The entire table had grown quiet. "Thank you,” Kyle said. I don’t think it was an entirely sincere response.


He turned his head to look at me, next to him. “Will you go out with me?” he said, somewhere between sarcasm, exasperation, and deep anxiety.

And with all eyes on me, I tried my very best Sandy-in-the-black-leather-pants-from-the-end-of-Grease impression. “Sure,” I said, shrugging, not really looking at him, not really looking at anyone.

The rest of that meal is a mystery to me. I have no idea what I did or said, what I ate or didn’t eat.

And then I drove Kyle back to his campus dorm. I remember pulling into the parking lot and it was dark, late. And raining. We talked about his brother. He’d only been gone a few weeks at that point.

“I can’t sleep,” Kyle said into the silence. “I haven’t been sleeping.”

“When’s the last time you slept?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Five, six days…”

It was so quiet in the car with just the rain hitting the windshield. What I didn’t know until much, much later was that Kyle was living in a nightmare. That he was living with post-traumatic stress from childhood abuse and from being jumped and beaten up in an alley the previous year. That after his brother had died a month earlier, he had spiraled into a confusing, jumbled mess of drugs and alcohol. That only two weeks earlier, he had found his friend in a bathroom, unconscious and overdosed on crack cocaine. That he had driven his friend to the hospital where he never regained consciousness and later died. I didn’t know that he was so depressed he had stopped going to all of his classes at the film school. That he had no money for food and was essentially living off saltines and toaster strudel. All I knew was that he hadn’t been sleeping.

“I miss him. So much,” he said and his voice broke. I crawled across the seats and into his lap. We sat there in the dark car and we cried and I thought, I’m not brave enough to handle this. So we just sat there, two magnets, and he talked about Orion and how much he missed him. I thought about how I didn’t know anything about this nineteen year-old boy who was pouring his heart out to me and how had I gotten here and what was going to happen next. We kissed and we cried and we stayed there in the car for hours. I could tell he was dreading going inside alone, back to not sleeping, back to staring at the ceiling of his dorm room while the blue light of his stereo blinked into the darkness.


When we finally said ‘good night,’ he put up the hood of his sweatshirt and stepped out in the rain. And then he turned around and looked at me with the most honest, clear green eyes and said, like he’d been saying it for a hundred thousand years, “I love you.” Then there was a flash of surprise in his eyes. Like he hadn’t meant to say it out loud. Like it had slipped out. But it was too late.

I felt my heart squeeze. I stared back and all I could think was, Crap. Crap, crap, crap. What had I gotten myself into? He’s already telling me he loves me? Well, THIS is going nowhere good!

I smiled and told him ‘good night’ as politely as I could. Because telling someone you love them on the first date is foolish but loving them on the first date, that’s impossible…right?


love, elizabeth

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