Ample modern photo frame

I’ve been obsessed with Ample furniture for a while, their Modern Floor Lamp is at the very top of my wishlist. I was just over browsing their etsy store, and spotted their new modern photo frame:

You provide the image, they take care of the rest. Awesome way to display the one, abstracted wedding photo that you’re actually going to hang in your house? I think so.

photo: Ample

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Books I’ve read lately – December, 2012

Living without a TV* = more reading happening in my house these days, despite an incredibly hectic holiday season.

  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. I had a really hard time getting into this, only to love the second half, and hate the ending. The translation is excellent – the book feels very French. I’m on the fence.
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding. If you, like me, haven’t read this book since it was assigned in middle school you need to pick it up again. It holds up and more – there’s a reason it’s a modern classic. Beautiful, and terrifying.
  • The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. Overall really lovely. She gets a few very key, very basic things wrong about both the San Francisco wedding industry and the SF Flower Mart (these drove me slightly crazy, obviously) but the characters are great, and the history and meaning of flowers woven throughout is fascinating. Fun, quick read.
  • Five Men Who Broke My Heart by Susan Shapiro. Lovely & funny, and occasionally, well, heartbreaking, Shapiro has a great, if slightly neurotic, voice.

*I am not one of those self-righteous non-TV owners. In fact, when I moved in November I decided against getting a TV this round because I love watching TV so much. And the truth is that I was watching it way more than I liked, and since I am someone historically not awesome at moderation, I decided the best solution was simply to not own one. We’ll see how long it lasts.

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This is gonna be a good year, I can feel it in my bones.

Wishing you and yours a year full of love and joy!

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Books I’ve read lately – May through November, 2012

oh hey, six month round up. Summer & fall is busy season, folks, which leaves not nearly enough time to read (which is, unfortunately, kind of the opposite of what summer should be,) so this list is not very long:

  • Lit by Mary Karr. I love a good addiction memoir, so I have no idea why I hadn’t read this until now – the genre at it’s very, very finest – Karr is a beautiful writer.
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.* My book club picked this before Oprah’s did, and as I said in discussion – any woman who can make me adore a book about backpacking, which is an activity I could not possibly find less appealing, is an incredible writer. (hint: it’s not really about backpacking. Read it.)
  • You Take It From Here by Pamela Ribon. Super fun & engaging summer read. Except for the last two chapters which I actively cried through in their entirety, so consider finishing it in private.
  • The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides. Loved this, although some parts were a little on the slow side, one of the rare books whose last quarter is the strongest.
  • I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie by Pamela Des Barres. Meh. I got about 1/3 through it before I was bored with the name dropping and (sorry to say) really poor writing and put it down. If you’re big on retro-celebrity gossip you’ll be into it.
  • I Love You and I’m Leaving You Anyway by Tracy McMillan. Smart, painful, surprisingly funny memoir. McMillan’s journey through her relationship issues is something I bet most people will be able to relate to.
  • Things I Learned About My Dad in Therapy edited by Heather B Armstrong. Some of these essays were very strong, others less so. Overall a pretty engaging & quick read.
  • Getting a Life: Stories by Helen Simpson. Lovely in a sort of melancholy way, Simpson writes women then way that only a woman can (sorry male authors, but it’s true.)
  • This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. Brilliant and gorgeous. Diaz proves again that he’s one of our best contemporary writers.

*not pictured, which means I must have lent it to somebody. Also, the photo was taken on my iPhone as I seem to have misplaced my camera in the move. sigh!

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oh hey! Things have been crazy lately – wedding season wrapped up for the year, I took my first non-working vacation in two years, friends have had babies who have needed to be adored (holding babies: one of my favorite things), and I moved (locally. pictured above). I have tons of good 2012 weddings to catch up on blogging, but in the meantime, a few things I’ve liked lately.

Hope that everyone is doing well!

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Tracy & Jeff

I just got back last night from a quick trip to New York for my college roommate’s wedding. It was literally a whirlwind, and I’ll be writing about it in more detail once the reception photos are back, but I woke up this morning after my first full night’s sleep since Monday, thinking how damn happy I was to have been a part of it. It was small, casual (but nice), done on an artists-living-in-Brooklyn budget, and maybe the best wedding I have ever been to in my entire life, because it was just so entirely about two people in love joining their lives.

So much joy.

They got married on Friday at the Manhattan City Clerks office, the two packs of poloroids I took are the “official” ceremony photos (a photographer friend of theirs took photos at the reception the next day.) And you know, we ended up with the pre-stated goal, which was one photo worth framing (actually, there are a bunch – about 12 of the 16 are worth framing.) Congratulations again you two. I am so, so happy to have you both in my life.

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Rhodessa & Eric’s Gorgeous Pleasanton Wedding

Rhodessa and Eric got married at Castlewood Country Club, which is an amazingly beautiful venue – I mean, take a look at the tree that makes up the background of the ceremony space:

But beyond beautiful, this wedding was also a blast. Rhodessa and Eric went to a lot of effort to make sure their guests felt taken care of and were entertained. My favorite touch was the Japan-town photobooth they had – crazy fun:

And, you know, an amazing hora, and then sparklers to end the night.

Congratulations again you two!

photos: Timothy Mak Photography

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Briana & Kellen’s Country Club Dance Party Wedding

Briana and Kellen’s wedding at Oakland’s Claremont Country Club (where Kellen is a tennis pro, and Bri’s family are long time members) was a blast. Country club weddings have a reputation as being stuffy, and this wedding was anything but.

Briana had the bridesmaids pick out their own black dresses, and then bought them shoes in different colors – we had the florist wrap their bouquets to match, and the groomsmen got ties to match “their” bridesmaid. It was a pretty awesome look if you ask me. (also, Bri & Kellen’s dog Boomer served as the rather adorable ring-bearer.)

One of my favorite wedding details ever was their guest book – they asked all of their guests to submit recipes ahead of time, and then had a friend format all of them and had it bound into a cookbook – a hardcover version was used as the guest book (everyone signed their own recipe!) and paperback versions were available as favors. The rare favor that is totally a keeper.

The night ended with an epic dance party that went all the way until we had to cut the music. Bri changed into a second (super affordable off-the-rack) dress for dancing, and she and Kellen totally owned the dance floor. I’ve rarely seen a group of people have such a great time.

Congratulations again you two!

photos: the very talented Kris Holland Photography

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Beth & Rob’s Oakland Backyard Wedding

Beth & Rob got married at Beth’s parents’ house in Oakland – I’m a big fan of house weddings, there is just something so charming and intimate about them that is almost impossible to replicate anywhere else.

Their sisters served as bridesmaids, and Beth found amazing floral print dresses for under $100 each from Tulle. I’m a big fan of non-traditional bridesmaid dresses, and Beth liked these so much that she bought herself one as well! The flowers from Natalie at Clementine complimented them perfectly.

It was a really amazing day, full of lots of food, music, and love. And balloons, which make any party more festive. Roli Roti, one of my favorite companies to work with, brought it with salads and sandwiches from their truck, which we served on Wasara, which may just be the classiest compostable-ware ever. Custom flavored cupcakes from Fingersweets were devoured within minutes.

Congratulations again you two!

Photos: the always awesome Gabriel Harber

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Chris & Eric’s Russian River Vineyard Wedding

Chris & Eric’s wedding was awesome – there’s just not really a better word to describe it. I mean, any party with more than 10 people in kilts just kind of wins in my book, and two grooms in kilts? Hell yeah.

The decor was incredible – Chris & Eric and their friends and family worked at it for months, and it showed. All of those flowers? Made by hand. The thousand paper cranes were one of the best ceremony backdrops I’ve ever seen. And let’s pause for a moment and agree on how rad the custom military-style medals they had made as boutonniere alternatives are.

Their band, led by the amazingly talented and sweet Lori Carsillo, was the perfect backdrop for the reception. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some DJs, but there is something about live music that can bring an event to another level.

Congratulations again you two!

photos: the talented Ashley Batz


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