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    Welcome to vmac+cheese. Here I'll share with you my love for all things food, interiors, design and style. I like to think of it as musings on a life worth living.

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Some Notes + This Weekend

My oh my what a week it’s been. To say that I was overwhelmed by all of your support after Monday’s announcement is an understatement. You guys. I can’t tell you how much your comments, emails and tweets mean to me. Truly, I am so humbled by your words of encouragement. And I feel honored too. I told Joe that the part about all of this that means the most to me is that I am inadvertently inspiring so many of you to keep chasing after your goals. I am promising you now that I will continue to do everything I can to inspire and encourage you. Let’s start with this: Don’t settle. KEEP GOING. Have faith in yourself and in your future. Okay?

Now, on to a few other notes and ramblings (including the winner of the Refinery 29 + Herringbone giveaway, and why the above photo references Friday when it’s Thursday…): Continue reading


It’s been waaaay too long since we took a proper vacation. There have been the weekend getaways, even the short road trip we did last October through California, but not a REAL vacation. I’m talking passport packed, gone for two weeks, thousands of miles away from home vacation.

We’ve decided we are going to make this type of trip happen this year, perhaps in the very late spring or early summer. But here’s where we get tripped up — every time we start trying to plan what we want to do and where we want to go, we can’t decide if we’d rather visit the gorgeous coastal cliffs of the Amalfi Coast in Italy, or if we’d rather do a tour of Southern France, hitting up the lovely countryside in Provence and ending by the sea on the Cote d’Azur.

If we did Italy, we’d likely fly into Rome, train it down to Naples, then make our way from town to town along the coast. Capri is an option too, though I hear it can be touristy. If we did France, we’d fly into Paris and spend a few days (and yeah, that gives this itinerary bonus points, because hello, it’s Paris), then train down to the south. We’d tour the countryside for a week or so, then spend several more days in Nice, Antibes, Cannes, the works.

So if you had two weeks off and had to choose between the two…where would you go? And if you’ve been to one or both, share your thoughts in the comments for sure. I have a feeling Italy might be a hit with many of you, so Francophiles, put in your two cents!!

PS — My column ‘Double Take’ is up over at Young Sophisticates! Check it out here.

{Image Credits: Amalfi Coast 1 2 3; Provence 1 2 3}


Continue reading

Some other little things

A few other little things to tell you about and loose ends to tie up:

+ With Mini-Alt Week and everything else, I never got to announce the winner of the Andalou Naturals giveaway! Congratulations are in order to #61, Tabitha. I’ll be emailing you shortly.
+ Speaking of Mini-Alt Week, I’m so, so, SO happy you guys enjoyed it so much. I won’t lie to you — about 4pm last Monday, while worrying that I hadn’t done laundry or packed or taken care of a myriad of other things, I was up to my eyeballs in Photoshop layouts and stressing, big time. But hearing how much it helped you all made it 110% worth it. Thank you.
+ Now, after getting home from the real Alt, I do have some new things I’ve learned. Are you interested in me sharing them on the blog? Or are you Alt-ed out? Please let me know in the comments! I don’t want to bore you guys with more blogging talk than is necessary. I can also email you notes too. Seriously, tell me what you prefer.
+ So YES I’m engaged. Craziness. As of right now, I do have a date in mind, but I’m keeping it a bit mum (well, I can’t keep my big mouth shut so a few people know). However, we have NO idea what kind of wedding we’re going to be doing. I’m still up in the air as to whether I’ll do any wedding related posts, but if I do, I promise to put a unique spin on them. I’m brainstorming. Is there anything you would want to hear about?

Tomorrow, I promise promise promise we’ll be back to regular posts. Though furniture and shoes aren’t NEARLY as exciting as the last week and a half has been!

{Image Credit: Siera Josephine Photography, via Bippity Boppity Boo. So cute, I couldn’t not share.}

A little love story

There’s a winery just outside the small town of Yountville in Napa called Domaine Chandon. You’ve probably heard of it, if only because you can find their sparkling wines all over the country. Unsurprisingly, their tasting room is always packed, filled with visitors seeking to enjoy a glass of bubbly while seated on a patio shaded by a beautiful oak tree that’s probably a century old. Even more surprising, however, is that this particular winery is one of Joe’s and my favorite places to visit when we’re in the area. Because if you walk just beyond that patio filled with the birthday and bachelorette parties, up a small hill, and over a crest, you’re greeted to a green lawn that’s dotted with large boulders and a gorgeous prospect: the valley’s mountains in the distance; the property’s vines just below.

Over the years, one boulder in particular has become “our rock.” We escape the hoards in the tasting room and perch ourselves on this rock, which has always seemed like it was made and placed just so to fit the two of us. With countless bottles of wine, we’d sit and talk about our dreams for the future, our goals, our fears, our hopes, but above all, how all of these things involved the other person. Two Saturdays ago, on January 14, I was pleased as punch to sit atop our rock and discuss our future as a married couple. You see, the day before, Joe had proposed.

Years earlier, before we were even able to legally purchase a bottle of Domaine Chandon wine, Joe and I met while walking to a college football game. It was Labor Day weekend, 2002, and we had both started college just a few weeks prior. I won’t lie: it was not immediately apparent that this would be my future husband. But after seeing each other around the dorm which we both lived in, sitting next to each other in business classes, and eventually, going on our first date in November of that year (lunch, and it was at a Subway), we were smitten.

Nine years, two months, and nine days later, he asked me to marry him, at home, in our sun-filled living room, with no one else around. It was private, and perfect. Simple. Heartfelt. He’d spent the last month working with a Manhattan-based jeweler to personally design my engagement ring. I don’t think I can really describe how much this means to me.

Immediately after he proposed and I dried my eyes and we made a few phone calls, he whisked me off to Yountville, to beautiful dinners and champagne breakfasts, to lots of wine and walks down memory lane, and to our rock.

Which is perfect, because he is mine.

On letting go

Anyone who knows me and knows me well will probably tell you that one of my biggest character flaws is that I can be a bit of a control freak. It manifests itself in little ways, both positive and negative, but never so much as when something unpleasant and unexpected happens. Typically, I can take these types of surprises in stride, even if my insides are flipping out, but this past week, through a series of unfortunate, maddening, confusing, and anxiety inducing events, I was pushed to the limit.

Let’s back up a bit. If you follow me on Twitter, you know a little bit of what has been going on with my apartment, but the broader back story is this: I arrived home on Tuesday night, exhausted, thinking about what I needed to get done that evening, to find a letter taped to our front door. It turns out it was an eviction letter from our landlord. I was shocked — we always pay our rent on time — why would we be evicted? After I read through a bunch of confusing legal jargon and citations of different legal code in the letter, I hopped online and figured out that we were being evicted because she wanted to move in to our place. Obviously, I completely freaked out. In that moment, with everything else on my plate, the thought of trying to find a new apartment in 60 days in what is NOT a renter’s market was just too much. All those little what if questions flooded into my brain. You can imagine what it was like.

I didn’t sleep a wink Tuesday night and had knots in my stomach all Wednesday morning. Joe and I quickly started trying to arrange showings of different apartments, but were not excited to learn that to get something comparable to what we currently have, our rent would be increasing by almost 70%. Yikes. Then, in a really strange, confusing twist of events, the landlady called Joe during the middle of the day and said SURPRISE, JUST KIDDING. I actually don’t feel like moving into your place anymore! Instead, I’m just gonna sell the whole building! And I’m also not going to apologize for the ordeal I’ve put you through for the last 18 hours!

You are obviously starting to get a clearer picture of the kind of person we’re dealing with.

So now we’re in the interesting situation of, well, not knowing what the hell is going on. We’re inclined to just wait it out in our current apartment, see if she gets a buyer for our three unit building (she’s already planning to show it in the next few days), and then, feel out the new landlord, who hopefully will be slightly more, um, rational.

For a person like me who thrives on understanding a situation and then making a clear, organized plan around it, it’s a little tough for me to not feel anxious about the whole thing. But, it was also a great lesson that I really can’t control everything, and if I continue to let that get the best of me in times like this…well, it’s not good. I felt like my entire day yesterday was shot. I was so sapped of any kind of focus or creativity, just worrying, worrying, worrying. And how is that productive? It’s not. I kept thinking to myself, “I really don’t have time to be this anxious about this whole situation.” Because I don’t! So I have to learn to let go. LET GO. It’s going to be okay. Really. Seriously. It’s all going to be okay. Do you ever have to remind yourself of this?

I’m feeling a bit better today, with the help of lots of deep breaths, some stretching, great support from friends and family, and lots of wine last night. Somehow, the combination of those four things will allow anyone to just let it all go.

The Color of 2012

Pantone’s 2012 Color of the Year is none other than the punchy, fun, uplifting Tangerine Tango. I personally adore this color and think it perfectly represents the vibrancy I’m hoping for out of 2012. What about you? Plus, there’s something about the warmth of the color that makes me excited for the spring and summer months ahead. Yes, it’s only January 2, and I’m already daydreaming about warmer temps!

How was everyone’s New Year’s? I’ve determined I’m getting old. What would’ve flown a year or two ago I apparently can no longer handle. I stuck to Champagne the whole night, but even then, I think I over indulged with one glass too many.  Thank goodness I have today off, because yesterday, I was not feeling so hot. However, the night was a TON of fun, so in the end it was worth it! I hope your New Year’s celebrations were similarly as festive. :)

A bit of news: My monthly column ‘Double Take’ on Young Sophisticates is up today! Mosey on over here to check out this month’s splurge/save look. It was inspired by this pin that I found on A Piece of Toast’s Pinterest. So thanks, gals!

Happy Monday, all! I’m so happy the blog world is BACK this week. I missed everyone.

{Image Credits: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10}

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