Life Lately

life lately - february

I felt like it was high time for another check in. A real check in. What’s going on with you? How’s winter where you are? Read anything good lately? Any good news? Any bad news? Mine has been a mix of both, it seems like, but we keep on trudging through. We’re holding tight and hanging in there. Some days it feels like everyone is just waiting for spring and for something to happen!

I had dinner with my friend Kimberly last night, and we were talking about how 2014 felt like such a year of upheaval not only for ourselves, but for so many people we knew. Whether you had exciting, welcome change, or…not, 2014 felt like having the rug pulled out from underneath you, then shaken outside the window. 2015 feels like the year in which we’ll all watch the rug dust float down and begin to settle (and as I said to her at dinner, maybe 2016 will finally be the year there’s peace!). Can rug dust be a good metaphor for all the variables in life?

Hope your February is off to a great start! Thanks for letting me update you. I’d love to hear any updates you have too.


Books in this post:  Astonish Me  |  Everything I Never Told You

Images: Tea/Coffee: Alessandro Guerani, Food-o-grafia  |  Pink Gloves: Max Wanger for Design Love Fest  |  Pointe Shoes: Mararie, used under CC by SA-2.0  |  Wavy Hair and Beach Images from Death to the Stock Photo



  1. 2.5.15
    Betsy said:

    I loved ASTONISH ME! It was so good and I continue to be surprised that more people aren’t talking about it.

    Housekeeping: I made getting a housekeeper a condition of marriage. Floors, bathroom, kitchen once every two weeks. We handle the surface maintenance ourselves. My husband and I agree it is a far better use of our time and money to hire this out than to do it ourselves.

    • 2.5.15

      Yep, that’s about what I want done. The daily sprucing up is no biggie, but the deep cleaning of floors and bathroom surfaces — ugh!

  2. 2.5.15

    I’m reading Everything I Never Told You currently and really liking it, though I definitely see your point about it being rather depressing. Funny too, I was looking at tea kettles yesterday, since I don’t have one currently. I came across a really gorgeous copper one at Williams Sonoma, but it had horrible reviews about the copper coating wearing off. I also noticed a beautiful clear one on Kate Arends’ Instagram a while back, and it turns out it’s from Trendglas, this company based in Germany (I think), which makes heatproof clear glass stovetop kettles. It’s seriously such a great looking piece. Anyway I’d be interested to see what you end up with!

    • 2.6.15

      Let me know what you think of it once you finish! It was good, I dunno…it just fell a little flat for me at the end. Maybe because I thought it would be different, and not as much of a sociological/psychological study?

      For tea — when I was in Texas in December, we ate at this restaurant that had Le Creuset French presses. They’re not made of clear glass. I fell in love! I want one in white:

      It kind of has less to do with tea, but seriously, I just thought these things were so cute. For the actual kettle, I keep debating between electric kettle (so damn convenient), and something really pretty/shiny for the stovetop!

  3. 2.5.15

    So funny re: 2014 – I seriously couldn’t agree more. Can I just tell you how many of my friends started seeing therapists last year (myself included!) There was definitely some shift, there’s no question.

    Also, I need more book recommendations! I need to load up my Kobo for my upcoming trip. Feel free to send all and any my way ;)

    • 2.6.15

      Welcome to the club! I started seeing one mid-2012 (wedding planning was the thing that finally sent me over the edge…kidding and not kidding). It’s the best money and hour I spend every week.

      In addition to Astonish Me, read Beautiful Ruins — a gorgeous book and story!

  4. 2.5.15
    Sonya said:

    Love your monthly check-ins like this! Definitely over winter here in Chicago, we have about 24 inches piled up in my neighborhood and it is messing with my runs. I leave for Northern California in less than a month to run a marathon and have a girls weekend (after) in Napa.
    I just finished a book and want to check out your recommendations!

    • 2.6.15

      Trying to hail a cab right now with 2-3 foot barricades of snow piled up against the curb is a hilarious, athletic endeavor. I feel you!

      Napa is pretty much the best post-marathon idea I have ever heard. Let me know if you need recs! It’ll be fab.

  5. 2.5.15
    Kodi said:

    I’m with you, cancer really does blow.

    • 2.6.15

      :( I’m really sorry to hear you know the feeling. Hang in there.

  6. 2.5.15
    Jillian said:

    Come visit us then ;)

  7. 2.5.15

    I actually feel a little bit like 2014 was life coming together for me and 2015 is throwing me for a loop (already!). This quote sums it up pretty nicely—whether you’re having a good year or not—and I think a lot of people can relate:

    • 2.6.15

      I really like that quote! And for me, I feel like 2014 and 2015 are both asking and answering years simultaneously! Thanks for sharing that.

  8. 2.5.15
    Kimberly said:

    Thank you for sharing! Love these updates and the fact that you keep it real. I am going through a similar situation regarding cancer and a family member. It honestly is so helpful to hear that others are going through similar things and surviving. Sometimes, it is hard to remember that you aren’t the only one. If you are comfortable sharing, any additional information on how you are coping thus far would be great.

    PS – I just subscribed to Kimberly’s blog…thank you for the introduction!

  9. 2.5.15
    Alexandra said:

    Not being one to (ever, really) post a comment on a blog, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your site. I think nowadays blogs with a great design aesthetic are becoming a dime a dozen, so I appreciate not only the quality of your content but your honesty, particularly about your move to NYC and how life isn’t always sunshine and roses. It’s become tiresome to me to see those who move to NYC and all of a sudden all over their social media it’s how NYC is the best in the world and they can’t imagine living anywhere else because all other cities just pale in comparison. Now I just think people who have to post this are overcompensating for the fact that deep down, they know their life ain’t all that grand. I think there’s a pressure to live in a big city like NYC when you’re young because that’s just what you’re “supposed to do.”

    Also, I FEEL you on the winter. I moved to Boston one and a half years ago (from DC), and while I try and “bloom where I’m planted” as my mother advises (and admittedly, the snow can be pretty), it just grosses me out after awhile to see the dirty slush everywhere and have to wear my snow boots My 10 minute walk to work has been nothing short of an obstacle course these past two weeks, to say the least.

    Anyway, I’ll end this novel now, but thank you again for your refreshing and quality posts, and I’ll be sending good thoughts your way to you and your family.

    • 2.6.15

      Alexandra, thank you so much for your kind comment — I can’t tell you how much it means to me and how much I appreciate it. I still enjoy posting and sharing here after all these years, and I’m glad you enjoy reading :)

      Oh, NYC. I definitely do not fall into that camp! NY has been an interesting…experiment (let’s call it that!) for my husband and I, but definitely not a long term solution. Having lived in four different places around the US now, I don’t think NY is the end all, be all, for sure. It has wonderful things about it, and annoying things about it, just like any other place. But I often tell NY friends that I think my experience here would’ve been really different had I moved here as an early to mid 20 something (and single, too). Context and timing is everything, you know?

      Agreed on the winter thing. You put on the same damn pair of dirty, salt covered boots and the same huge jacket that makes you feel like a meatball. Winter feels so confining! Positives: I like the excuse to stay in and take cover under blankets, and I admittedly like all the snow/bare tree pics on Instagram. All the pretty, none of the slush.

  10. 2.5.15

    When life gets you down… hire a cleaning service. :) I started using Handybook and so far it’s been great. You can try out different cleaners, but the first one was a match for me. I was able to input notes on what I really warranted attention (inside the oven – extra $ but worth it, the bathroom tub and floors, and the hardwood). This was my first time using a service, and it was so helpful. :)

    AND I really love the layout of this post, btw. *hugs* Looking forward to our next dinner date!

    • 2.6.15

      I always forget about Handybook!! Good idea. And ugh, how I want to spend the money on this!

      So good to see you this week! xoxo <3

  11. 2.5.15

    Oh man, I’m one of those people experiencing the nicest California summer … but would it make you feel better if I said that we have a whole weekend of rain about to pour down on us??

    • 2.6.15

      Only slightly ;) I would’ve said yes, except I was checking the weather app on my phone tonight, and in addition to the 6 degree overnight low tonight, next Friday, the low is forecasted to be 3. Give me the rain!

  12. 2.6.15
    Jenn said:

    I’ve been trying to convince the hubby that weekends should be spent living vs. cleaning and that we need to hire someone. I guess I shouldn’t complain much since he does most of the cleaning! But it still takes up precious, weekend time. And we’re too dead tired to do it after work during the week; we’ve tried. Once a glass of wine gets in my hand after work, it’s all over! So I am in full support!

    So very sorry to hear about your family illness. There’s a chance one of our pups could be dealing with this, so back to the vet we go tomorrow for more test! Boo cancer. I’m with you.

    Have a nice weekend!

  13. 2.6.15
    Grace said:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your family struggle. I can relate and understand how challenging grappling with a family illness can be. I’m sending you tons of positive thoughts. On a lighter note, my roommate and I have been using to book cleaners for the past few months and have had nothing but wonderful experiences. They are always offering amazing deals on Gilt City for their services too.

  14. 2.7.15

    So glad to say goodbye to 2014-very tough year!

  15. 2.11.15
    Rose said:

    Ahh, so glad you loved Astonish Me! I read it last summer and finished it pretty quickly as well—while not the best book I read last year (that goes to All The Light We Cannot See, I think), it’s really high up there, and she’s definitely talented. The author did a Q&A on Goodreads a few weeks ago, which was pretty cool to read (and also because she answered my question!). I’ve been meaning to pick up her other novel, Seating Arrangements, but I’ve got about 10 books at home I haven’t read yet that I need to get through first. Next on my list is Station Eleven which I’m starting tonight!

  16. 5.31.15
    Donna said:

    Hi Victoria!

    I’ve been following your blog for a while and I just want to say I absolutely love love love the design. It’s so beautiful.

    I am so sorry to hear about your family’s with cancer. I am a cancer survivor and I can vouch for how difficult and draining it can be. I went through a situation with a family member having metastatic cancer so I totally understand. I’ll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Feel free to send me an email if you need a listening ear.

    I’ve been raving about Astonish Me as well. I spent a few nights up way past my bedtime with that one. I am still in awe! I also read Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line by Michael Gibney. He gives us a no-holds-barred account of 24 hours in a New York City restaurant. It sucks you right in and the writing is beyond incredible. I also recommend you check out:

    The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman (one of the most amazing books I’ve read in a long. long time!)
    Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile (currently reading and falling in love with this one!)
    Four Seasons in Rome: a memoir by Anthony Doerr (fell in love with his beautiful prose after reading All the Light You Cannot See!)

    Look out for my summer reading list in a couple of weeks!

    Happy reading and hello summer!



  17. 5.31.15
    Donna said:

    Oops just correcting my blog url:)

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