Posts Tagged ‘twoo wuv’

21st September
2011
written by Steph

Exhibit A: Why marrying an artist isn't the worst idea in the world...

Tony and I haven't been watching tons of films of late, but one movie we did watch recently that I ADORED was Tangled, Disney's retelling of Rapunzel. I LOVED it so very much, and have many times since remarked that I think it's a movie every little girl should watch (even if they happen to be 28! 😉 ) because this movie is just so kick-ass. I'm sure no one is surprised to hear that growing up one of my favorite movies was Disney's Beauty & the Beast, but I honestly think this might be better. Sure Belle will always have a place in my bookish heart, but Rapunzel was just so cool with her frying-pan-wielding ways and general "can do" attitude. It's a really great story of a girl becoming a woman and learning how to make her own way in the world, and I just thought Rapunzel was really awesome and the kind of female role model that more girls could use.

But Rapunzel wasn't a chameleon, which is obviously what is depicted in the above image. That would be Pascal, her animal sidekick. I loved him very much too, and upon watching the film, I flippantly asked Tony if he would draw me a picture of him. I pretty much forgot about my request, but the other day, Tony said he had a little gift for me, and when I opened up my email, the above picture was waiting in my inbox. I was having a super crappy day, so Pascal's little smiling face paired with Tony's sweet words really made my day. Every time I see it, I feel happy, which is why this is now my desktop background! Instant mood enhancer! I just loved Tony's drawing so much I had to share it with all of you. And if you haven't seen Tangled, you are missing out and need to get on that! 😀

12th July
2011
written by Steph
Once more I find myself in the position of needing to apologize for the lack of updates here at S&TI! It's not for lack of love, I assure, you, but as there is no rest for the wicked, Tony and I have found ourselves quite busy little bees of late. Grad students don't really get a summer break, and I've been furiously attempting to collect data for the first of three studies that will comprise my dissertation... Being deep in the data zone means that I've had little time for reading or writing apart from that which pertains to school. When Tony and I have found ourselves with a bit of spare time, I admit it hasn't been spent on the computer. Including this past Sunday when we celebrated our two year wedding anniversary! Can you believe I've been an honest woman for two whole years?!? Time has flown by oh so quickly.

This photo was taken prior to us going out for a celebratory meal. We decided to ring in two years of connubial bliss by stuffing ourselves silly at a Brazillian steakhouse... After all, I like to say that nothing says love and romance like the meat sweats! We decided that we wouldn't do anything crazy in terms of exchanging gifts, though in the spirit of the second wedding anniversary which suggests a gift of cotton, we finally got a new duvet set for the bedroom. We then proceeded to spend post-dinner lying on our new sheets groaning and trying to move as little as possible in order to let our stomachs deal with the huge amount of protein we had consumed. Like I said, it must be love!

I remember as a child thinking that summer was the time when the world slowed down and time seemed elastic and interminable. Not so these days, as this summer seems to be passing at breakneck speed. Still, I'm very grateful, even if there aren't enough hours in the day, that I get to spend the ones I do have with Tony, who is my very best friend and makes every day complete. I cannot imagine a better person to spend my life with (not even Mr. Darcy!), and I'm so very lucky to have such a wonderful and supportive partner to share my life with. All right, enough with the mushy gushy! I'll be back tomorrow with a review of Ann Patchett's newest novel, and we'll see if we can keep my book reviewing mojo going from there.
2nd July
2010
written by Steph
I imagine many bloggers will be offline this weekend, enjoying the long weekend that accompanies 4th of July celebrations. Tony and I certainly will be!  But, our break will be a little more prolonged, as we take off for Puerto Rico tomorrow morning and will be gone for nine whole glorious days, during which we'll celebrate our one-year wedding anniversary (can you believe it's already been a year?!? Also, we decided that as an update to the old-fashioned gift-giving guide in which paper is the appropriate gift to commemorate the first year of newlywed bliss that our e-readers will count as 21st century paper...)! We'll be taking plenty of pictures to document our trip, but we won't be blogging whilst we're away. I could have pre-scheduled some review posts, I suppose, but I'm going full-out lazy on this one. Just know there will be plenty of new content (and yes, that includes pictures!) when we get back, starting around July 13. We wish you all happy and safe long weekends (or regular ones to those not in the good ol' USofA), and look forward to catching up sooner than y'all can imagine. If anyone needs us, we'll be on the beach...

Me not in Puerto Rico (this is Miami), but the response will be pretty much the same...

30th April
2010
written by Steph

Do any of you remember the kerfuffle a year ago when Alain de Botton left incendiary comments on a New York Times reviewer’s blog?  I remember reading about the scandal with great interest, mostly because I couldn’t get over how ridiculously over the top it was for an author to write on someone’s personal site: “I will hate you till the day I die and wish you nothing but ill will in every career move you make. I will be watching with interest and schadenfreude." Amazing. Needless to say, I thought de Botton’s behavior and handling of what he felt was an abysmal review (which by my reading was actually measured and fair, if not effusive and overwhelmingly positive) was completely out of line and extremely childish. His tantrum probably brought more attention to the “offensive” review than it might have otherwise received, and his response was so disproportionate that it just made him look kind of insane. But perhaps in the end there’s no such thing as bad publicity, because the one thing that scrap achieved was that I was suddenly aware of Alain de Botton, something that had not been true previously.  And so, when I was at McKay’s a few months back browsing the stacks, his name jumped out at me, and I admit to being curious and picked up his debut novel, On Love (also known as Essays in Love in the UK and Europe). (more…)
16th April
2010
written by Steph
Last night Tony and I celebrated our three-year anniversary!  We're both pretty on the ball when it comes to remembering dates (except when I maybe, accidentally told someone the wrong date when they asked us when we got married... but in my defense, I'd had maybe three too many drinks that night), but the anniversary of our first date is also Tax Day here in the U.S., and really, what says romance better than the IRS, am I right? 😉 But really, after a few weeks of sending emails back and forth on Match.com, and one phone conversation, Tony and I first laid eyes on one another in real life on April 15, 2007, around 5 pm.  And the rest, as they say, is history.  Sparks flew, and they only burn brighter three years later. To celebrate this year we decided to try out a new restaurant (well, new to us), and went to one of Nashville's fancier restaurants, F. Scott's (leave it to us to go to a literary-inspired eatery!). Hey, I'll take any excuse to wear a pretty dress! 🙂  After much research on my part, I settled on this place because it had the adventurous kind of menu that I love.  When we eat out, I like to try out stuff that I'd never have the stones (or the skill) to cook in my own kitchen, and F. Scott's definitely didn't disappoint! Click through the gallery below if you'd like detailed descriptions of what we ate: This meal was SO good.  Definitely our new favourite splurge restaurant, I think.  Everything we ate was divine, and even things we had eaten before at other places were finessed in really interesting and updated ways.  One of the things I love best about Tony (of course there's so much to love), is just how adventurous he is as a diner.  He never shirks away when I say things like "let's order chicken livers" (in fact, he kept most of it to himself...) or "oooh, fried marrow"! I figure there are plenty of ways to measure compatibility, but a couple that can happily dine together and guess what the other person wants to order off of the menu are bound for greatness, right? It's little wonder Match.com ranked us as 100% perfect matches! Three years in, I still marvel at how lucky I was to find Tony and how fortunate I am to spend my life with my best friend, a man who cherishes and challenges me every day. A poem by Neruda, and then one more tidbit:
‘Perhaps not to be is to be without your being.’
Perhaps not to be is to be without your being, without your going, that cuts noon light like a blue flower, without your passing later through fog and stones, without the torch you lift in your hand that others may not see as golden, that perhaps no one believed blossomed the glowing origin of the rose, without, in the end, your being, your coming suddenly, inspiringly, to know my life, blaze of the rose-tree, wheat of the breeze: and it follows that I am, because you are: it follows from ‘you are’, that I am, and we: and, because of love, you will, I will, We will, come to be.
In three months' time we celebrate our one-year wedding anniversary, which we promise to do in style!  After much discussion of possible getaways, the tickets have been bought, and from July 3 - July 12, 2010 Tony and I will find ourselves vacationing in.... PUERTO RICO! Soooo excited! Anyone who has ever been, recommendations/suggestions are greatly appreciated!
15th October
2009
written by Steph
True Love Wills Out!

True Love Wills Out!

How’s that for turnaround time?  After taking about two weeks to read through the first two-thirds of the book, I positively raced through the last portion of this novel.  And what can I say: I LOVED it.  This may not have been the most important book I’ve read this year, nor perhaps even the most impressive, but it was fun to read from beginning to end and it ultimately captured my heart quite deftly.  I cannot say for certain that I did indeed read this book when I was younger, but I am definitely glad that I read it again now as in an odd way it reminded me of how I used to read when I was younger – purely for pleasure and purely to be swept away by a magnificent story.  I feel Jane Eyre definitely delivered on both those counts, as it was for me a whirlwind of emotion and a novel that really engrossed me.  The writing was lovely and evocative, the characters strong and luminescent, and as the temperature slowly begins to drop outside, I can hardly think of a better book to curl up with! (more…)
11th September
2009
written by Steph
Three things I feel compelled to post on a Friday: 1) First, a question to all of you diners out there (by which I mean restaurant patrons, rather than greasy-spoon dining establishments.  The difference is subtle, but important, I think.).  Two nights ago, Tony and I went to a newish Mexican restaurant, since our old standby switched management and we can no longer go there because the food is no longer any good (RIP El Palenque).  So we go to this new place and it's fairly busy for a Wednesday night, but keep in mind it is your run-of -the-mill Mexican place so none of the entrees require much finesse or time (read: most of it is probably pre-cooked anyway).  We wound up waiting for OVER AN HOUR for our food, and it became clear that either our waiter had neglected to turn in our order, OR the kitchen had overlooked it.  People who had been seated after us had eaten and left before we saw anything more than chips and salsa at our table.  After many apologies (and about 75 minutes after sitting down) we finally got our food.  In such a case would you expect your meal to be comped, or at the very least, for a free dessert to be sent out?  Is this not pretty much the universal way that it is understood any sit-down restaurant deals with snafus that are clearly their fault?  I wound up asking if I could speak to the manager, but he never showed... and we wound up paying for everything.  Needless to say, we won't be going back!  Sorry, Nacho's!  Your guac may be good, but your service was muy abysmal.

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22nd July
2009
written by Steph
So, Tony & I are now officially hitched and are back from our WONDERFUL honeymoon in Charleston, SC & Savannah, GA. Seriously, why don't we just vacation professionally? That's the life for me. We had a fantastic time, and although there were some stressful moments leading up to the Big Day (what bride hasn't had a meltdown 24-hours before the ceremony? 😉 ), everything went off without a hitch - er, with a hitch! Because on July 10, 2009 at approximately 5:50 pm in the Japanese Garden at Cheekwood here in Nashville, we were pronounced man and wife. And it was awesome. We're back in Nashville now, but we're easing back into things, trying to make that honeymoon glow last (in poor Tony's case, his "glow" may have something to do with a particularly itchy brand of sunburn. That one can go ahead and leave anytime now!). We're still waiting on getting our wedding pictures, so I'm afraid you'll have to wait for a picture post at a slightly later date before you can see some of our choice moments from the day (and also from our trip... it wouldn't seem right to post the honeymoon pictures before the wedding ones!). I'm sorry for the delay, but I just didn't want to keep y'all waiting any longer.  And let me tell you that even though waiting sucks, we've seen proofs of our photos and they are GORGEOUS. BUT, I do have some other content to post along the way while we all wait for the momentous nuptial post, so you can expect the regular erratic posting schedule (i.e., Steph & Tony post as often as they can!) to resume from here on out. I have one book review written, as well as another book binge buying post; I'm sure none of you are surprised. Thank you all so much for the wonderful well-wishes as well as the book recommendations for our trip. In the end, I was so scattered and spread so thin with the actual wedding planning and the hosting of family and friends (let's be honest, the family is where the stress lies!), I just dragged along the few books that were waiting for me at the library. And then of course, we spent more time napping than we did reading while we were away. But the two books that did feature on our trip were The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. I'm still finishing up the latter, but were excellent reads given our travel destinations. I'll hopefully get my review of The Graveyard Book posted in the next few days. Oh, and let's not forget the new Harry Potter movie, which needs reviewing... We've already seen it twice now, and it's only been out for a week, so that probably gives you a taste of what's to come! But anyway, please don't feel that your recs were in vain; I'm always looking for good reads, and even if they didn't make it on the honeymoon, so many of your picks sounded so good and I'll be sure to seek them out in the future! What can I say? Getting married and our honeymoon sojourn were amazing and literally a once in a lifetime experience, but it's also good to be back. Thanks for waiting for us! [P.S. My Google Reader was, as you can imagine, packed to the gills when we returned from our trip. In a bid to retain my sanity, I've decided I'm not going to be able to comment on all of your thoughtful and delightful posts that went up while I was away. I'm going to start fresh and just pick up from here. But I want you all to know that I did read what you wrote, was titillated and amused by your wonderful words, and I'm now decamping from "lurker" status.]
17th June
2009
written by Steph
I'm just gonna call it now: best movie of 2009

I'm just gonna call it now: best movie of 2009

How’s this for a short review: if you haven’t seen this movie, go and see it.  Now!  The end. Ok, did you do as I said?  No?  You need a little bit more incentive?  But it’s a PIXAR movie.  Those things are pretty much guaranteed to be cinematic gold (with the exception of Cars… what was up with that one?  I never saw it and quite honestly have no interest to ever do so.  Oh, also, I’ve never seen A Bug’s Life, but I consider that an oversight on my part and I’m going to go put on my Netflix queue right now…).  I didn’t even really know what Up was about for the most part going into it (my synopsis pre-watching Up: it’s about a crotchety old man who makes his house fly using balloons), and yet based on the fact that it was Pixar, I knew we had to go see it.  The 98% fresh rating over at Rotten Tomatoes didn’t hurt either. [By the way, my post-watching synopsis?  It’s about a crotchety old man who makes his house fly using balloons and is AWESOME.] (more…)
17th April
2009
written by Steph
Sorry all for the dearth of updates lately, but real life has been quite the beast lately.  Well, I shouldn't suggest that everything recently has been a burden or a hassle, as we've been kept busy with plenty of fun stuff outside of the toil of our jobs (yes, graduate school counts as a job!).  A quick run-down of the good stuff that's been happening lately:
  • April 10 - Saw Flight of the Conchords live at the Ryman.  It was a great concert, filled with lots of laughs and sexy Kiwi accents (Jemaine, call me!).  Although, it seems that increased practice has actually led to poorer guitar playing on both boys' parts?  Best songs of the night: Carol Brown, Jenny, Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor, Angels, & a special song they did (maybe called Stana?)... Oh and don't forget Business Time!  Really, how can I choose?
  • April 14 - Went out for sushi dinner at our favorite joint (despite being a land-locked state, Nashville has the best sushi I've ever had), Samurai, to belatedly celebrate our engagement with friends (is it ever too late to celebrate)? Yum!
  • April 15 - Celebrated our two year anniversary!
  • April 16 - Saw Demetri Martin perform at TPAC.  He was great live, and we were very impressed with his improv skills.  Also, I liked when he did a short Q&A at the end and talked about the Flight of the Conchords guys for a bit! 😉
  • April 18 - 19 (yes, I'm projecting into the future, now) - taking a road trip south to Chattanooga, where we'll celebrate our anniversary (again?) by visiting the Tennessee aquarium (possible wedding venue?  Hmmmm...), and eating at our favorite riverside restaurant.  Also, we're staying at our first B&B!
Hopefully things will be less hectic when we return... We have a bunch of lovely photos we've taken over the past few weekends around Nashville that we need to get around posting, and Tony has a book review to post.  I have been in a bit of a reading rut lately, but I feel like that's about to change.  To all of you doing Dewey's read-a-thon, good luck and have fun!  Also, if your neck of the woods is experiencing nice weather (as we are here), try to do some of that reading outside!
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