Get out the streamers, the party hats and the most annoying noisemakers you can find. Pop the finest bottle of bubbly and try not to spill on your keyboard, ladies and gents. March 19th marked the 2 year anniversary of the first Unpatterned post. Huzzah! After rereading my first post, I have decided that so much and so little has changed in that 2 years. Here are a few stats and facts about the blog and life.
84 posts to date (an average of 3.5 posts per month)
Top 5 posts by views:
- Pre & Post Painted Dining Table The most popular post by a LANDSLIDE. To be fair, also one of the oldest. Here’s the original photo…no major changes, but I’ve definitely beefed up that bar and some of the accessories in the room! People really love their DIY. So do I. I need more of that.
- Style Dreaming: Vintage Golf Wear More golf updates planned for spring. I hope.
- Interview: Brad Pogatetz – Photography This was one of my favorites as well…still grateful to a local artist humoring a tiny blog.
- Top 10 Reasons to Drink Coffee I’m guessing people are searching for a much more scientific article when they find this!
- The Macaron Experiment We need to have a rematch! I want successful macarons.
Top 5 posts I’ve enjoyed sharing/creating (excluding those listed above):
- Unpatterned Style: Red Hot 80′s The first in the Unpatterned Style series. I loved putting this post together and cracking up as my dear friend/model and I did our thing under the L tracks on Irving Park. I miss these posts. I hope to see a revival of them in some fashion come Spring.
- Dreamer Episode 1: Half Marathon & Dreamer Episode 2: Half Marathon Complete It was so therapeutic to share my dream and finishing the half really was a huge accomplishment for me. I have hopes to complete another.
- South Beach, FL: From Patios to Jumpsuits My first real travel post. Truth be told, the travel posts are some of my favorites to share overall. Plus I loved Miami and I REALLY love that jumpsuit. Still rockin’ it in weather/occasion appropriate situations. I mean, I really have gotten a lot of mileage out that thing. Apparently I find myself in jumpsuit-worth situations often.
- Dead Composers and Other Things I Didn’t Buy in Ohio Flea markets, antique stores, thrift stores, rummages sales…shall I go on? Well they are kind of my jam. It was fun to get something out of the trip to this gem since I wasn’t able to make a purchase. Plus I was really freaking proud of the post title. Still am.
- Top 10 Reasons I Don’t Miss Cable TV Man, rereading that post makes me want to punt the cable box out the window right now! Yes, I said PUNT. I would film it while rapping about sticking it to cable and that thing would go viral on YouTube.
Things that have changed on the blog since unpatterned’s creation:
Um, almost ZERO? Still have no header. Sidebar minimally updated. When I wrote my first post, I referred to unpatterned as being in beta. Ha, well the beta testing is 2+ years in and we still look the same. In due time, my friends, in due time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, or 2 years, right?
Things that have changed personally since unpatterned’s creation:
Jobs acquired: 2. Jobs left: 2. Current jobs held: 1. I know, seems like wonky math…life unpatterned, I tell ya.
Weddings thrown: 1
ARE Exams passed: 1
Cable status: Active (or should I say “in a relationship”)
Other countries visited: 2 (Mexico and Canada, which sorry Canada, but I was too busy catching up with an old friend to put together enough material for a travel post.)
Root canals: more than jobs
Things you can expect in 2013:
More. More posts, more topics, more frequency, more development. Mo’ money mo’ problems. I kid.
So, as I said, a lot and a little. Big life changes, small life changes, blog fluctuation as it goes. Regardless of the above and the plans I have for Unpatterned in 2013 (they are bigger than the past 2 years!), I want to thank you, dear reader. Having this little space on the interwebs is so fun, therapeutic, and inspiring for me and I am so glad that I am able to share it with you.
From the deepest roots of my molars and the bottom of my heart, I thank you for reading.
SCP Trip #2: Punta Gorda, FL – January 25-27, 2013
Oh yeah, this chronicle is the real deal! One set of B’s parents spend some winter time in Florida. We decided to take take advantage of the SWA companion pass and warm weather to visit them for a weekend in January. There’s nothing like shorts and a day by the pool in the sun to cure your Midwest winter blues, at least temporarily. Plus a little grilled meat, cocktails, and ocean views help too. While I don’t have much to report on the travel guide front as we mostly spent time relaxing/being lazy and hanging out with the parents, I did buy some handmade soap from True Lyes at the nearby farmers market and it smells heavenly.
However, we did take a couple opportunities to mess around with our new camera. (A Canon EOS Rebel T3i AKA the most romantic wedding gift to each other ever. But seriously a really great buy for us…and for the blog!) Here are some of our shots from our evening walk. Sadly no manatees were spotted.
Ooh blooming bright colors
Texture and green
And the crazy full moon! I did refrain from howling and busting out some Teen Wolf basketball moves. The end to a lovely weekend with lovely in-laws. Next up on the SCP Chronicle: Austin, TX.
How do you cure your winter blues?
Don’t worry, not the kind you eat! We’re talking paste bling! I just realized that there was no January bling. Or February after I had reinstated the bling posts as monthly. Oops. So yeah, it’s March, which means that B and I have now been married 6 months. I was pretty anti blogging about the wedding for a lot of reasons, mostly because it’s personal and it’s annoying, in a nutshell. Seriously, don’t you want to temporarily delete some people from Facebook during wedding planning? I also felt it would take away some of the meaning for us and our guests if I blogged a whole bunch of planning details here. But I think it’s time to do a little sharing about some of the details that relate to unpatterned and that might be useful to a reader somewhere out there.
I found my wedding dress at a consignment shop with my mom about three months after we got engaged on my first shopping trip. I surprised my mom and myself by finding it that day and committing to it. There were no tears involved, just for the record. Once I had it, I knew that I wanted an amazing necklace to go with it. When B and I traveled through Michigan for New Year’s 2011-2012, I of course did some vintage/antique shopping. I dream of returning to Arcadian Antiques in Ann Arbor where I found this stunning sterling silver and paste necklace, dating from the 1920′s. B was working and I happened to search vintage/antique in my phone on yelp and wandered into the Nickels Arcade shops.
As soon as I saw it, I was immediately texting people photos of it on me as I was hemming and hawing over whether to buy it. I dragged B in there on our way out of town and after many approval conversations from him, my mom, and at least 3 friends and my brother, I bought the necklace. Yes, I called my brother, who has minimal to no interest in fashion or jewelry to discuss a necklace. That’s when I knew I should just get it (and that’s the level of crazy indecisiveness I experience weekly.) But, just like the dress, I never looked back and never saw anything else that I remotely would have wanted instead. Plus it was a way better souvenir from the trip than anything Michigan related. Yuck!
I’m happy to report that I have even worn the necklace multiple times since the wedding, in a dressy and casual fashion. So that is some practical bling and wedding babble I can get behind.
Bottom image courtesy of incredible wedding photographer, Luzco Photography
That’s Dreams That Punch The World, kids! And in case that confuses you, that’s what my dreams are gonna do, okay?
Someone once told me that accountability for your dreams is half the battle toward achieving them. I’m paraphrasing, but either way, I think it’s valid. And whether you call them dreams, goals, priorities, BHAG’s or just “stuff I really want to do,” it’s all about working toward something truly important to you, large or small. I realize it’s March now, but I’ve been working on putting my dreams on paper and getting the ball rolling since the new year. Besides my husband, I do have a partner in crime that I teamed up with to help each other manage our dreams. It is personal and fun and motivating all at once I’m going to take it one step further and publish my one-year dreams here for all to see. Ultimate internet accountability. I also have some other short and longer term dreams on my radar, but I’m not into over-sharing on the interwebs. Well to a degree. So here they are. Read ‘em and weep, 2013:
- Finish the ARE. The architecture registration exams. The 5-year rolling clock is ticking on me for 2014. I snapped out of my daze this year and realized that I didn’t spend 6 years in school, countless all-nighters, and all that blood sweat and tears (literally I am pretty sure a few models were covered in all of those) to NOT get my architectural license. Even if I never “use” it. Especially since I have been more than halfway there since 2009. Seriously.
- Look and feel more physically fit and less guilty about eating delicious things. I think this is part an age thing and part reality. The ol’ metabolism ain’t what it used to be. Plus as I get older, I just want to be healthier. Sure, I indulge, albeit too often, but I want to balance it. Practice moderation. Get back to running. Up my yoga. Use my gym membership to a point where I feel it’s worth the money. Fit into my skinny jeans again. Not hate myself after eating that cupcake. You get it.
- Take the semi-planned European honeymoon with B. (AKA HM2; see HM1 here.) This will happen. It just takes some dedicated planning and narrowing. The problem is, we are TOO open to places. We want to go everywhere, which makes narrowing hard. We are also trying to pick the perfect timing and I am distracted by dream 1 above. I’m putting it on my priority list so I don’t let the planning fall by the wayside (or too much on B, which I have been known to do when it comes to travel.)
See, pretty simple. Now it’s out there. It wasn’t hard to come up with a top 3. Some weeks it is harder than others to stick to the mini plan I created in order to execute them. Such as, studying on a Friday night sounded like a great idea on Tuesday. But after a busy week was done, all I wanted to do was chillax on the sofa with some takeout Thai and trashy TV. Having written down the week’s schedule though (and knowing I didn’t exactly nail it the rest of the week), plus an encouraging text from my dream friend, I got off my bum and took the iPad to the gym to study on the elliptical. BOOM! I doubled down on those dreams! I’m hoping that this post will provide the same motivation!
I’m also hoping maybe it will motivate even just one of you to think about your dreams/goals and make a plan to achieve them. Write them down! I know it sounds so squishy and soft and touchy feely, but it’s way too easy to say you want to do something, but much harder to execute when life gets in the way. And it always does. That life is a pushy little mettler!
What’s on your dream/goal list for 2013? And beyond?
My love for Southwest Airlines is a widely known fact. Ask anyone on the street and they will tell you, “Oh yes, that Carly loves her some SWA.” While the love was something I learned from B and a couple crazy Rhode Islanders it continues to grow, like a true romance. At the end of 2012, I was pleased to learn that B, who travels for work quite frequently, had scored a Southwest companion pass (AKA SCP). This means that anywhere he flies on Southwest, I can fly FOR FREE. FOR A WHOLE YEAR. Do you know what this means, people? Domestic travel insanity. In case anyone is wondering, you need to fly close to 70 flights give or take on SWA in one year and/or rack up what can only be referred to as a butt ton of points. I feel it is my duty to Southwest, the travel world, and most of humanity to document the year of the companion pass. Enter series post that I am already behind on.
We christened the SCP with our new year’s trip to Charleston, SC. While I’ve already shown you the eye candy, I still owe you and the good city of Charleston some destination highlights. In short, Charleston is an amazing little place. It will charm you with its historic architecture. It will romance you with the ocean. And it will win your full love through your stomach. Here are the highlights we experienced on our 3 day trip:
SCP Trip #1: Charleston, SC – December 29, 2012-January 2, 2013
McCrady’s - The best (and priciest) dining experience we had. Gorgeous space. Phenomenal service and a deliciously filling tasting menu. So hard to choose! Don’t miss the tasting menu. It goes to show that a James Beard award is no joke.
The Macintosh – This was our first meal (brunch) in Charleston and it left an impression. The space is hip and cozy and our server was so very friendly and helpful. I, of course, ordered the richest thing on the menu or possibly ever, the “Mac Attack,”which is pork belly, bone marrow bread pudding and a poached egg. I get a delightful food coma just thinking about it. Please wash it down with their version of a Manhattan, which is ON TAP. Why don’t more places have Manhattans on tap?! Crazy good.
SNOB - We spent New Year’s Eve here with a 10:15 reservation, which included a champagne toast, hats and a lot of drinks and food. The food was good but I’d recommend the two above much more.
Lowcountry Bistro – Brunch! I figured there was no better place to try chicken and waffles for the first time than the South. What was I waiting for?! A sweet potato corn bread waffle, which would be amazing on its own, topped with perfectly fried chicken and a bloody mary really is the breakfast of champions. The prices seem a bit steep for brunch, but then again, they are located on touristy Market Street.
Gin Joint - If there were a bar that I wanted to fold up and put in my suitcase to take home, this would be it. Somewhere at the very beginning of the craft cocktail explosion, I fell in love with gin cocktails so I had to check out a place named after the spirit. “Joint” is an appropriate moniker as it is quite tiny, but we managed to score 4 of the best seats in the house: at the bar! It was like watching mad scientists create beautiful alcoholic experiments, complete with carved blocks of ice and somehow mostly without pretension. Truth be told, I like a little dose of pretension here and there. (Chicago people, think Violet Hour meets the Whistler.) We went a little crazy in this place trying all kinds of deliciousness that I would recap for you, but I think their menu has already changed. I eagerly tried a bartender creation that included my new love, rye, and some herbal flavors…maybe aperol? Please go there. And order a cheese plate too. It’s perfect (one friend declared a cheese the best he’s ever had) and you’ll undoubtedly need a snack with all those cocktails.
Vendue – When you’re strolling around and need to take a break and soak in the sunset and warm temps, this place has lots of options and is just a stone’s throw from Gin Joint. Decent cocktails. I’m a sucker for rooftops. (Top photo is sunset view from the roof.)
Henry’s on the Market – Speaking of rooftops, apparently we have a thing for them. This rooftop was a little divey, but it did the trick. Plus it gave us the opportunity to sample she crab soup for the first time. I need more of that in my life.
I am happy to report that we did not spend our 3 day trip entirely in restaurants and bars. Strangely, we really didn’t shop much at all, but we did check out a few house tours.
Nathaniel Russell House - Seeing as our country isn’t that old, a 200+ year old house is crazy old by US standards. Docent-guided tours are available for this massive restored house. I wouldn’t have wanted to be a woman living in that age, but I have to admit, I wouldn’t mind a modern version of the daily “social” hour between noon and 2 where I just drink tea and lady friends stop by.
Aiken-Rhett House – As opposed to the Russell house, this house has been preserved, rather than restored. I’m not sure if it was the house itself, but I found this to be the preferred tour. Also, the tours are audio-guided, but still as engaging, if not more, than if we had a guide. There’s something thrilling about seeing the rug, the furniture, the bathtub and the remnants of the wallpaper that existed in this luxurious previous lifestyle. Bonus: you can visit both house museums for $16 if you bring your receipt from one to the other. Well worth it. Plus I want to live on their porch.
Highest recommendation: Walk. Just walk! Walk south on Meeting Street until you hit South Battery Street (pictured above thanks to the iPhone) which runs along White Point Garden. Then gawk at the mansions on Battery, soak in the ocean, and walk up East Battery to do more mansion gawking.
City Centre – By the time we booked this trip (with FREE FLIGHTS), most of the decent, but not crazy expensive hotels were booked. Fortunately, we decided to test the VRBO waters for the first time and see Charleston like a true local by renting a house. However, this was not just any house, this was an adorable carriage house complete with a front courtyard and two+ bedrooms and baths each separated by floor. So basically each couple had their own floor and we had the convenience of the living areas to hang out on our down times. This home is HIGHLY recommended, with a super responsive owner and is in an excellent location; we walked everywhere! Plus it ended up costing about the same as it was going to cost us to stay in the non-descript Hampton Inn.
All in all Charleston was perfect for a whirlwind, Holiday trip, with plenty to eat, drink, and then walk it all off while soaking in the scenery. What’s your favorite thing about Charleston? Any recommendations for another southern SWA trip? Or other favorite foodie cities? Anyone else out there living it up with their SCP or any other kind of companion pass?
To ring in the New Year (weeks ago; hence the wreaths!) and to kick off the use of my Southwest Companion Pass, B and I traveled with a couple of friends to Charleston, South Carolina. I am putting together a post of the fabulous places we ate, drank, and looked at, but in the meantime I wanted to share some of the details we captured. This was our first trip with our brand-spanking-new camera so B and I took advantage of the gorgeous historic architecture throughout the city to experiment. Nothing like coming home with hundreds of photos! Here are some of my favorites:
That’s 3 of the 4 of us soaking in the sites in the photo above, thanks to B. Looking back through these photos seriously makes me swoon a little bit and long for some ocean side sun! More to come on what we did in Charleston, but as a preview, I will tell you it is a highly recommended, delicious destination!
Scene: Saturday morning. Approximately 10 am. Day after my birthday. Text message buzz:
Bank fraud alert: did you charge $78.11 on 2/2 at a restaurant? Reply 1 for yes 2 for no
Me: What?! I haven’t even gotten out of bed! 2! 2!
Phone rings. It’s my bank. I know this is legit because this happened to me once before. That time it was Forever 21 and DSW, which I still haven’t figured out how they knew that was fake! Hm, wonder what this one will be.
Bank: We’re calling to confirm fraudulent charges on your credit card. Ma’am did you attempt to charge $78.11 at a Domino’s pizza today?
Me: No! (Head pounding. Thinks, man I could go for a slice though.)
Bank: We didn’t think so because that Domino’s is in Europe.
Me: (Giggling) No I’m not trying to order $78 worth of Domino’s in Europe!
Bank: Spiel about closing my account, not responsible for the pizzas, issuing a new card, yada, yada.
We hang up. Uncontrollable laughter ensues. If I’m in Europe, Domino’s is the last place I would eat! Heck I don’t eat it in the US. I’d eat Pizza Hut and probably even Little Caesar’s (for the crazy bread!) before Domino’s. Are there really Domino’s Pizza in Europe? Damn I wish I had asked what country specifically the culprit was partying in.
I have visions of some stoned Frenchmen getting ahold of my credit card number and not going on a shopping spree at Louis Vuitton, but instead calling up Domino’s and ordering 5 or 6 pizzas on a Saturday night. “We are so sick of this dreaded duck confit and these fresh baguettes and macarons! Give me cardboard pizza! Meat lovers! Ooh la la!”
Or maybe it was Italy. Naples. “Ugh this thin crust bubbly pizza is so overrated! Played out! Hey, Mario, forget about those handmade leather boots you were going to buy on this chick’s card. Let’s order that Domino’s! 2 for each of us! And then 2 bottles of the finest vino, Boone’s Farm.”
Or maybe it was Poland, my own ancestors. “This crazy American changed her last name from a ‘ski’ to take a German name. So ridiculous! Let’s quit making these pierogis for the party tonight and order up some Domino’s on her dime! Get the one with the kielbasa on it!”
I mean, seriously?! If you must try to steal from me, at least don’t embarrass me.