It’s no secret that Char and I both love ourselves some Swell Season. Chances are if you saw Once, you do too. What is it about their music that has the power to grip you right around the heart? I’m sitting at my desk, tears streaming down my face after listening to this new, mind blowing, gospel-infused song they performed at the Wiltern. The audience all singing, and especially that one, incredible woman…how phenomenal would it have been to be present, in this moment?

Via I am Fuel.

Don’t you love it when a song meets you right where you are? I have no words, but I feel I can fly.


Today I applied for two honest-to-goodness journalism jobs far far away from here and came super close to getting a new dog.

I am bored, and I can feel my brain turning to mush.

I know I should blog, but I have nothing to blog about, nothing interesting enough worthy of tea@elevensies. Without school, my brain has gotten lazy and no new ideas have really flowed. How will I ever be able to maintain the mental sharpness of academia after I’ve escaped the prison that is known as college?

This is how this process happened. It was late at night. I wasn’t tired, but I had nothing better to do, so I stumbled onto and found an editor position for Paste Magazine. I was so mad when I saw the deadline for applying had passed that I looked for other cool ones and today applied for a job at Fine Cooking and a city magazine in North Carolina.

Not long after that I found myself at I’ve been there before when we weren’t looking to buy another dog and made it back safely without another pet, but last night was rough. I found two puggles and two King Charles Cavalier spaniels, two breeds I’m dying to own and these were at shelters, so they are cheaper than normal. How can I not pass these up even though John and I had previously decided to wait until summer to get Roskoe a sister? Attempts to contact the shelter with the preferred puggle, however, yielded no answers, and later tonight she was removed from Petfinder, so I’m thinking my e-mail reminded the shelter people to update their Petfinder listings. Sad 😦 I had really gotten my hopes up.

Despite the boredom, I’m not ready for school yet. I’m not ready for 10 credit hours and TAing. I’m not ready to officially solidify my plans for my professional project. I’m not ready for the hell that will be the last semester of full classes to start. I’m ready for it to be over but not to actually go through it. *sigh* I apologize for all the noise.

P.S. Roskoe will not stop “burying” his toys and bones in corners of the house and the act of burying is scratching up is nose to the point of being raw. Any ideas how to get him to stop?

Well everybody, new years wishes are in order!! I hope your holidays were memorable and refreshing. Impromptu poll: do you call the new year two thousand-and-ten or twenty-ten?
Five years ago, back when I was blogging in the good old world of livejournals, I stumbled across a meme that provides a catalog of the last year; silly, memorable, sad, important. While everyone is dreaming of the new exciting year that’s beginning, I like to look back a little, just to remember where I’ve come from, where I’m going, and the joys and pains on the journey there. Maybe it will be helpful to you as well? Scroll down for the full list.

Also, here are some new blogs that I’m loving to read as of late. This will be a year of light and golden hues, I think.

Images from Delight by Design, Sea of Shoes, and Dress, Design, Decor

Things to Remember: 2009

Five things that 2009 taught me.
Five personally significant events of 2009.
Five things I want to do in 2010.
Five things I don’t want to do in 2010.
Five things I love beyond all reason currently.
ive things I don’t like with good reason currently.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. Travel?
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
9. What was your biggest failure?
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
14. Where did most of your money go?
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
16. What songs will always remind you of 2009?
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
ii. thinner or fatter?
iii. richer or poorer?
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How will you be spending New Years?
21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
22. What was the best book you read?
23. What was your greatest musical discovery?
24. What did you want and get?
25. What did you want and not get?
26. What was your favorite film of this year?
27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
28. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
30. What kept you sane?
31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
32. What political issue stirred you the most?
33. Who did you miss?
34. Who was the best new person you met?
35. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

You should really go out and buy She & Him’s CD Volume One. Once you’ve bought it, put it in a good old fashioned CD player (like the huge one I had in my bedroom at the beginning of the decade when I was a freshmen in high school), turn it up loud and make these. That’s how I kicked off the beginning of my New Year’s Eve celebration. I started baking the brownies for a party I’m going to later tonight and decided to throw in the CD John bought me for Christmas. Until now I had only heard it in the car, over the sound of the highway, but in your kitchen when you’re alone except the 11 ounces of chocolate, 2 sticks of butter and 5 eggs that surround you, Zooey Deschanel’s songs and voice make you feel like you’re in your very own little movie. It was a beautiful little New Year’s Eve pre-party for one. I wanted to twirl and sing along, even though I don’t know any words so lip-syncing into my chocolate covered wooden spoon had to do.

In a few hours it will be a new decade. In some places in the world, it’s already a new decade. I don’t think it’s really hit me yet. Ten years ago, I was baby-sitting, watching the ball drop while the kid I was watching was sound asleep. Again, I was in 9th grade. And now I’m 23, married, with one college degree and working on another. In 10 more years I’ll be 33, have a job, a house and maybe even kids if all goes according to my plan, which we all know how dependable plans.Even thinking back over the last year, the year seemed long. Some of the things I’ve done seem so long ago.

This year I started graduate school, moved into a townhouse, started going to  a church, made new friends, got closer to my in-laws, expanded my family by adding a dog (who is currently snoozing soundly beside me), started a blog with my BFF and wrote a novel in a month. I have no New Year’s Resolutions for next year. My only true goal is to finish my Master’s. If I stick to the two-year plan I’m supposed to be graduating next December. With half of it done, I know that the rest is going to be a full time commitment that will consume the entire next year. Of course, I want to continue to try to be the best wife I can, pet owner, daughter, sister, person. I want to save money and start going to the gym more and eat healthier, but the only official goal is that by this time next year I will be able to say I have a Master’s degree in Magazine Editing from the University of Missouri–Columbia.

Hope your New Year’s celebrations are fun and safe, and we at tea@elevensies will see you in the next decade!

As I’m sure is true for you, there’s been lots of going-ons in life. Sometimes, I feel like this is the first real holiday season I’ve ever been really present for.

Over the past few years, I’ve reached the end of November with a bit of surprise, as each time I feel like my capacity for gratitude has grown exponentially. This year, I really feel that I’ve been able to savor and breathe in the December air, and remember what life really is all about, in a way that I have never done before. Perhaps my appreciation of life directly correlates to the expansion of my relationship with and concept of its creator. I think it’s very possible.

Tonight, give the greatest gifts to those around you: love, humility, forgiveness. Take the time to repair breaks in your community. Give love, and allow yourself to be loved. Be stronger today than you were yesterday. Run, and don’t give up. Know that a light is coming. Allow it to define every action you take in the next few days — and for the new coming decade.

Merry Christmas. And most of all, one of the many things he came to bring,



I promise, we are still here at tea@elevensies. End of the semester and Christmas prep have got us a little preoccupied lately, but we are still here. And to prove it, here’s a Something New Sunday post.

As I am learning how to cook and put together well-rounded meal, the most difficult thing for me to figure out is sides. I can’t come up with good side dishes with both enjoy that go with the right main dish. If I do happen to figure our the perfect sides, I’m always so preoccupied with the main dish that I lose track of time and don’t have time to do the side dishes if I have any hope to have them ready by dinner time. These roasted red potatoes are perfect though. We both love them, and they take 45 minutes tops. All you really have to do is chop them up and stick them in the oven for 25-30 minutes so they are very low maintainence! That’s my kind of side dish. And they are so good, I could eat all of them myself. I would be sick, but I would be happy, so enjoy!

Crispy potatoes from Real Simple


  • 1 1/2 lbs small red potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 Tblsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes, oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast until golden, 25-30 mintues

TA DA!!!!!!

Um…yeah. Are you as excited as I am? I think not. This news is everywhere: New York Times, Variety, New York Post, CNN,,, and more. According to the, David O. Russell is slated to direct and possibly write the movie, but my favorite thing: Natalie Portman is producing and starring as Elizabeth Bennett! She is going to be phenomenal! Super stoked! Who wants to go see it with me?

You can read my review of the book here.

Did you notice what time of year it is? I’m really excited about what time of year it is. I love love love December and Christmas!!!! I love the weather (but only as long as I have Christmas to look forward to. Jan/Feb/March can go jump off a bridge), the warm clothes, the hot beverages, the immediate jump in coziness my house has endured, the food we eat, and buying people presents. I love making a person’s Christmas, finding them the perfect gift that let’s them know they are important to me. So in the holiday spirit of the blogosphere, here’s a gift guide specific to lovers of tea.

fern teapot via on sale for $15.95

Love it because it’s green and pretty, and you make tea in it!

cafe cup via $20

It’s pretty and keeps your tea warm!

Twining's tea box with or without various Twining's teas via $39.99-$49.99

Twinings is my favorite!

cookies via $21-$37.50

These are straight from the bakery that is behind the cookbook I love, Baked. They ship anywhere in the country, and you can order 6 or 12 chocolate chip, oatmeal, monster or assorted. I’d go with assorted or chocolate chip, but that’s just me.

today I…


made this:

and laughed myself silly over this:

via Paste Magazine

Happy Thursday…and back to work for Ash.

My responsibility this Thanksgiving was providing pies, something I was a bit nervous about because pie crust and I don’t get a long and I was trying a new pumpkin pie recipe. For the first time, I took my time with these pies and took my time instead of trying to rush through to the delicious conclusion to the baking process. My patience paid off, and by the time dessert was served I had two magnificent and beautiful pies: Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie from Baked and Maple Pumpkin Pie from Real Simple. Although the pies are gone, you can still feast your eyes on the tastiness.


a sea of pumpkin

pretty pie in a pretty pie plate

gooey chocolatey goodness

Continue reading ‘Thanksgiving Pies’