Brandon has been participating in No-Shave-November. That means that he has looked like a felon for a month. I was really excited that it's the last day of November until I remembered that HE'd like to keep growing his "beard" until Christmas, at which time he will shave it into "shapes."

He grows it out every once in a while to help it come in more evenly and I must say it's getting better (slowly). I kind of hope it never starts growing in REALLY well or I will be married to this guy:


:type travel tuesday: {hay-on-wye, england}

rest for the tyred Ahhhhhh-propriate as I'm at home and resting. So excited about the start of this holiday season.


birthday festivities

For my birthday Brandon surprised me by taking me to Cantina Texas a new restaurant for which I recently designed a logo/identity.

We have awesome RIGHT next door neighbors, Jessica and Joel (they share our left-side walls) who  are our Project Runway buddies and we have a standing Thursday-night shindig together. Last Thursday was also my birthday so after Brandon and I went to the local coffee shop for his office hours, they drove by and picked us up off the street, revealing our surprise dinner plans!


_MG_7296b _MG_7285b IMG_6352
IMG_6358 IMG_6356 _MG_7258 IMG_7262

Jessica was super sweet and decorated our front door and made me pumpkin whoopie pies! Besides actually feeling older this year, it was a great birthday.

Brandon also took me shopping all day Saturday which was a real sacrifice for him and bliss for me!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes and gifts everyone!!!

:type travel tuesday: {le champ de mars, paris}

le champ de mars, paris
I want to sit here all day today, reading, nibbling, sipping and people watching.


a to-do about our shoes

Since we moved into our new place in Texas the collection of shoes by our front door has been growing ever deeper and chaotic. We don't have a good place to put our shoes so they're easily accessible but out-of-the-way, and it turns out we both wear lots of different pairs quite often.

Approximate representation of our front-door area:

IKEA TO THE RESCUE! They have these new shoe storage cabinets which I thought would be just perfect. We stopped and picked one up on our way to Austin, deciding it was worth the investment, and it totally is. Plus I can fit like 6 pairs of my shoes in one compartment and Brandon can only fit two. So, I feel like I have small feet for the first time ever!





remember remember

This day in 2009 we were celebrating the weirdly-popular British Guy Fawkes/Bonfire night in England.

Oddly enough we found ourselves at a huge bonfire and fireworks celebration again this year as it is Baylor's Homecoming this week. The fire was just as massive but we were tons closer this time and we had to move back quickly from the intense heat. I was shocked at how hot it was even from quite far away. I definitely have a newfound respect for firefighters.

IMG_7090 fireworks IMG_7202 IMG_7225 IMG_7197 (You can almost feel the fire on our faces).

It was (not-quite-equally-strange) to see Baylor burning painted signs like prayers to "Beat the Tigers" as it was for the Brits to burn effigies of Guy Fawkes in their fires. We decided giant fires just seem kind of pagan.

It's finally chilly here and I'm happy that autumn is finally upon us. The British brand TOAST has a Fifth of November Collection to honor the holiday and the season. I'm so excited to finally wear layers!

Happy Autumn!



apple sauce-ing

This summer in Pella included an apple-sauce-making session with G&G Bandstra. It was a fun day out on the farm helping to prepare this season's apple sauce. It think it was a good domestic skill to acquire. They are masters and ended up making about 50 quarts! 

Now that autumn is upon us, I thought I'd share (what in my eyes are) the 6 "s"es of apple sauce-ing:


It has been brought to my attention that I forgot one S! SWEETEN! We will add that as #7.

(last image source)


reporting live from...

While in Cambridge a man came up to Jill and I and asked if we were Americans. At first we were a bit off-put thinking we must have been talking loudly for him to notice our accents, but then he said he was with the BBC and was interviewing Ex Pats for a story. He wanted to know if he could ask us a few questions. I tentatively agreed and up-walked another man with a GIANT camera. He zoomed in real tight and asked me some questions about the conversion rates and economies of the US and UK. I KNOW I sounded like a complete idiot. We didn't have a tele and I never saw the interview. Try as he may Brandon couldn't find it online either (Thank you Lord).

Working from home has been making me a bit stir-crazy of late, so today I worked at the local campus coffee shop. Will I sat there minding my own business, a woman started talking to me about how there had been 4 robberies at gunpoint in the neighborhood and asking me what I knew about it. She was a reporter and asked if she could ask me a few questions. I agreed....before I realized I had gotten myself roped into ANOTHER TV INTERVIEW. She was super nice and I told her my story about being interviewed by the BBC and sounding like a blubbering idiot. She said this was my chance to redeem myself, I could have as many "takes" as I liked and that she wouldn't ask me about the economy or fish and chips. 

So do we think I succeeded? 
I only remember this vaguely but Mom tells me that I was interviewed in Israel as well. I guess I just look like I would have an opinion. ???

I guess these are the kinds of things that can happen to you when you leave the house. A TV interview...or an armed robbery...hmmmm.
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