26 June 2009

Old Town School of Folk Music

The day that we got into town, and after the family left, we rushed out and got Pete a banjo. For some reason (I don't know what started it), Pete has been listening to bluegrass music almost exclusively...and watching Kung Fu movies almost exclusively (that's a pain).

He really wanted to go to the Old Time School of Folk, which has two locations. Apparently we picked the good one, according to my friend Matt, and the one we went to has a bigger selection and all that.

He and his banjo have been almost inseparable this trip. If we're out for a few hours, when we come back, he makes a beeline to his new toy.

The Old Town that we went to also had a TON of practice/rehearsal rooms, and a big auditorium that cool bands have past performed in (The Ditty Bops, The Magnetic Fields). Then, they have this huge research center with lots of sheet music and general information about lots of different instruments and musicians and stuff. I REALLY liked it. If there was something cool like that place in St. Louis, I would spend a LOT of time there...


Whew! I have always wanted to try a macaron. When anyone posts photos of them on their blog, or says that they have made batches upon batches of them, I get really jealous.

So, I did a quick google search for "macarons chicago" and a TON of places popped up! Pete and I went on a wild goose chase the other day and found two places (in the city) that had yummy macarons. And of course, I took pictures...

Stop #1: Bittersweet Bakery

We had almond and raspberry macarons. I liked both of them, but I wanted a wild-hair picture with the pink one (duh!)

Stop #2: Vanille Patisserie

These were GOOD. Well, most of them were good. The light pink was "rose water", and I wasn't a fan of that. The red ones were delicious, but I don't know what kind they were. The almonds were good, and the raspberries, and the pistachios, too.

They were yummy, but in general, I wasn't a HUGE fan. I tried making a batch here, at my aunt's house, but I massively failed. It was sad. And doing a google search "macaron st louis"...nothing showed up. I don't know if I can make macarons on my own, so...who KNOWS when I'll have them again!

Vera Wang

She has such pretty dresses. Some I particularly enjoy:

I Want My Bridesmaids to Wear Betsey Johnson Dresses...

I can definitely see some of them wearing them, loving them, and obviously rocking them (well, they would ALL rock them). However, others...well, I just don't think that they would like the style.

Gee, I wonder why?

But Betsey is my favorite. I wish I could have all of her clothes. And just look at her! She's so stylish! I did a report on her in my entrepreneurship class, in high school...I showed pictures to the girls in my class, of her fashions...they didn't care for it.

Hmmm. Maybe these dresses ARE feasible.

16 June 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book.

And the movie is coming out this summer. August 14.

Over the weekend, they released the trailer.

I am SO excited. Even if the movie is nothing like the book.

Going to Chicago

I am so excited.

Tomorrow, Pete and I leave for Chicago. We're hanging out at my aunt's house, playing with their doggies, going to free days at museums, going to concerts, eating good food, planning the wedding, and going to IKEA.

Is it bad that I am especially excited about IKEA? If St. Louis had an IKEA I would probably be there all the time. Or ask to work there. Or maybe both.

Anyways. I hope to hook up to their wireless internet connection (I kind of have to for my silly history class) but if I cannot, I might just sit around and read the seven books I'm bringing with me and play my new computer game (I feel like a seven-year-old again...I was at Best Buy with Megan yesterday and saw the game and just had to get it)...

If anyone knows of anything awesome/exciting happening in Chicago in the next two weeks, let me know!

10 Things That Make Mina Happy

Mina just started a gorgeous blog, sending postcards, that will soon be chock full of her and her fiance's adventures AROUND THE WORLD. Seriously. I would LOVE to go around the world. I can only imagine all the good stories and pictures she'll be posting as they begin their journey.

Ten Things That Make Mina Happy:

1. My love (Alex) - nothing else on this list even comes close.
2. The sun
3. Planning trips to exotic locations
4. Lazy Sundays
5. Chai tea lattes on a rainy day
6. Being in the front row at a concert
7. Kiwis and vanilla ice cream
8. John, Paul, Ringo and George
9. Really lame jokes that make you laugh until you hurt
10. First snowfalls

Perfect! What a gorgeous list. I wish today was a lazy Sunday...

In other news, Mina also has an AMAZING tumblr account that is all ice cream images. Cute, cartoon, stuffies, dramatic lighting...everything. Now I want a cone of cookies n cream!

Thanks for the list, Mina! And as always, if you have a happy list, send them my way, to kaylen.hoffman@gmail.com !!!

11 June 2009

A Very Pretty Dress.

And yes, all of those words get capitalization because it truly is a Very Pretty Dress.

I love the back! Or, the lackthereof...

Available from Heidi Merrick. If you love it as much as I do but you actually have the means to afford it, it'll set you back $495.

Pictures of Soulard

A long time ago I started a project (surprise surprise) that still is not completed (also a surprise, I'm sure). It consisted of me running all over Soulard (my neighborhood) and taking pictures of numbers. I hope to finish it this summer so I can blog about it, but anyways...

I love Soulard. I grew up here and have lived in the same house my whole life. When I was taking pictures I realized just how beautiful some of the buildings are. Here are two of my favorites...so far. More once I can find the rest of the pictures...

A rockstar wedding.

I don't remember where I first saw this, but I promptly fell in love and had to show the pictures to all of you lovely people.

I would love to dress/look like this at our wedding, but I feel like my grandparents and extended family members would be confused and wouldn't really understand how it cool it is. However, when I told my friend Christian that we were engaged, he said, "oh cool! I've never been to an indie wedding before!"

Oh well. For now they are just nice to look at...

Before I Die...

I came across this on Smitten, and am 110% intrigued.

These people take polaroids of other people, and then those people write what they would want to accomplish before they die. Some are funny, some are sweet, and some just...made me tear up.

10 Things That Make Marisa Happy

Marisa writes ...or so i feel, a great blog all about her family, friends, and everything else from A - Z. I think we are kindred souls because she also feels that she was born in the wrong decade.

10 Things That Make Marisa Happy

1. Old bookstores
2. The color red
3. When my iPod reads my mind
4. When my husband comes up behind me and I can feel him smelling my hair
5. My daughters' love for dance
6. Scottish accents
7. Coffee table books
8. Fondue with girlfriends
9. Passionate people
10. Traveling

Thanks, Marisa! Check her and her blog out at ...or so i feel.

And of course, if you have a 10 Things list, please send them to kaylen.hoffman@gmail.com and they will be featured on happy notions!

[image from Daniels flickr]

10 Things That Make Bridgett Happy

Bridgett, my future sister-in-law (!!!) writes a couple of great blogs - south city musings, which is all about her life and all of its facets - kids, husband, other family members, religion, chores, pretty much everything. She also writes conlocutio, which is her conversational blog where she posts little snippets of everyday conversations. Then, there's south city souvenirs, which is awesome. If you live in St. Louis, you should definitely check it out. She covers things like provel cheese, gangways, free museums...all the great things that make up St. Louis.

10 Things That Make Bridgett Happy

1. A clean kitchen
2. Evenings on the back deck
3. Baby open mouth smiles
4. Well-made lattes
5. Well-sharpened real wood pencils
6. Brand new blank books
7. Herbal iced tea
8. Homegrown tomatoes
9. Milk glass
10. Paper pieced quilts

Check out Bridgett's blogs, all found via south city musings!

And, of course, if you have a 10 Things list, please send them to kaylen.hoffman@gmail.com and I will post them here!

[milk glass plates via jordan]

10 June 2009

With good news...

comes bad news.

Pete and I had planned on going to San Francisco this upcoming winter, but since we're now engaged and attempting to save money to help pay for a wedding...we decided it won't happen.

BUT...we DO have a honeymoon to plan. What are your thoughts? Where should we go? We haven't really talked a LOT about the actual wedding yet, but we're thinking it will be in mid-July of 2010. So, the honeymoon will be in the summer.

Some places I/we are thinking about (I say "I" because I'm thinking about this now and, well, I haven't really mentioned it to Pete)

1. Roadtrip to Los Angeles/San Francisco - this will pretty much be exactly what we planned for this winter, but shift it forward a couple of months and for a longer period of time.

2. Roadtrip down to Disney World and spend one week in Orlando and another week on a beach somewhere - I love Disney World and while both of us have been there, we haven't been together.

3. Fly to Europe and spend one week in Paris and one week in London - I've never been out of the country and flying scares me but I WANT TO GO TO PARIS.

4. Roadtrip down to the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area and spend some nights in hotels, some nights camping, go to a spa, and see all the pretty nature - I love the Southwest area and think it would be a lot of fun to go back.

That's all I've got so far. What are your thoughts? Generally, we like cities more than rural areas, and we like to keep busy. I would rather not spend time in a really, really hot area, or a really, really cold area. I like to be adventurous, but I'm not the biggest "outdoors" girl.

Any advice is greatly appreciated! :)

images: san francisco, disney world, paris, grand canyon

10 Things That Make Micaela Happy

Micaela emailed me after seeing this post, with her own list of happy things. Here they are!!

1. Puppy kisses

2. Movie previews

3. Childhood stories

4. Wearing high heels

5. Elton John on the radio

6. Thunderstorms

7. Kindness (and being kind) to strangers

8. Big hugs
9. My twin sister, who I call my twinkie

10. Van Gogh paintings

Adorable! I've also been so jealous of people who have twins. AND, Van Gogh is my favorite artist :)
Check out Micaela and her blog over at dolcevita!

And also, if any of you have your own personal 10 Happy Things list, please send them to kaylen.hoffman@gmail.com and I will post them!

[image from khara]

09 June 2009

Things That Are Awesome

[Stolen from Bridgett]

1. Um, I'm engaged. Doesn't get much better than that.
2. I am two days away from being finished with this silly biology class!
3. Pete and I are leaving for Chicago in a little over a week. I'm excited to see friends, play downtown, take awesome public transportation, and use my gigantic IKEA giftcard (why does St. Louis not have an IKEA yet?)
4. Pete is moving out of his icky apartment soon!
5. Emme is leaving for Chicago today via Megabus. It's not that I'm happy she won't be around; I'm happy I will be able to use the car whenever and wherever for five days without having to check with her first (sharing a car sucks).
6. I get to plan a wedding! I've been doing this for awhile...but now it's for real.
7. I found a bike from Dick's that is cheap and pink. Did I tell you that I need a new one? I need a new one.
8. My dearest friend Megan is in town, and I am so excited. We're hanging out tonight and it will be wonderful.
9. Circus Flora is in town and I MUST get tickets ASAP so I can go before I leave for Chicago.
10. I'll soon be able to sell back my biology books to make a little bit of extra cash :)

I'm Smitten.

The lovely Joanna featured our engagement on Smitten today. Check it out!

07 June 2009

How he did it.

Okay, it's cute. Story first, then pictures.

Pete mentioned that we should head the City Museum soon. I thought that sounded dandy. So he sent out a message on facebook to a bunch of other friends, saying "Who wants to play at the city museum on Friday!?" Some people responded and an event was formed.

This past Friday, we all met there around 7 PM. As soon as we got into the museum I had to use the facilities REALLY badly and ran into the bathroom. I came out and the gang was all, "Let's go upstairs first." I thought that was weird. If you've been to the City Museum, you would understand. The first floor/second floor is where all the fun stuff is, where you climb and jump and go down slides and crawl. Usually, you start there and then go inside/upstairs to cool off and lay around in the air-conditioning.

So, I thought it was weird that we were STARTING the evening on the third floor. We trek up the three flights of stairs and head to the Museum of Mirth, Mystery, and Mayhem. As soon as we set foot inside, I was rooting through my pockets to find the quarters I had bought to play pinball when Pete said, "let's get our photobooth pictures taken first before we get all hot and sweaty". That made sense, so we headed over to the photobooth and got inside.

I was sitting on his lap as I fed the bills inside the machine. The first picture is cute. The second picture is awkward because he's shifting his weight to get into his pocket and I have to move. The third picture? Well...

Also, here's a picture of my ring:

Sorry the photobooth picture is teeny tiny and the ring picture is gigantic. I'm trying to figure out how to resize it...bear with me!

06 June 2009


That's right. Pete popped the question last night!

I'm not going to tell you HOW just yet, because I need to scan it (it's cute) so you can see it for yourself. That should happen later today.

But for now, know that I'm engaged and it's awesome and I am so super happy and I don't even know what else to say!

[Tim, I, and Pete at my house after the fact. Mom had champagne for us]

03 June 2009

More Etsy Purchases


I'm moving. SOON! 15 days left here in St. Louis, then off to Chicago for two weeks, then moving into the new apartment when I get home! Now...that new apartment has yet to be found. But it will be. Soon, I hope...

Anyways. I bought myself some house-warming gifts.

I've been lusting after these love posters, by Made By Girl. I bought them from her etsy shop, but she also has her own shop, found here. The shop shop has a ton of cute posters, cards, and other adorable things. I would like one of everything, please! (But I'm trying to pace myself.)