Life Lately: Late Summer Edition

  1. Living my best life with sparkling rosé and Ollie Irene mussels on a weeknight
  2. Solo Summer Friday trip to the Birmingham Museum of Art
  3. Railroad Park views
  4. Certain proof of aliens at the George Ward disc golf course
  5. At-home happy hour
  6. Homemade kimchi getting put to work in Carolina Gold rice bowls alongside Korean BBQ-marinated ribeye and crispy roasted broccoli

True Confessions: Renter Edition

Renter Confessions

Is there an unwritten rule that says finding and living in rentals has to be one of the most frustrating experiences of adult life? Because it is. In case you haven’t made your move into the vast unknown of the rental market, let me give you a little insight into how it works.

Step 1: Realize you hate your house after saying you WEREN’T going to move for at least another year. Moving is awful. And expensive. And hard. And did I say awful?

Step 2: Commence the search for new rentals with all the optimism of a a college freshman who just moved into the dorm.

Step 3: Realize you can’t afford anything you actually want. Yet find yourself unable to stop looking at postings that exceed your price range by at least $1,000/month.

Step 4: Find a couple places you kinda think you would like to live in and find out they are available sooner than you can actually move.

Step 5: Every leasing company will continue to tell you that you’re looking too early. Call back next month.

Step 6: Panic because you would like your life (and home) to be planned out a little more than a month in advance.

Step 7: Try to regain optimism and schedule showings with a sort-of promising “leasing agent” from a local “apartment finder” company.

Step 8: Tour six apartments that you already told your “leasing agent” you are not at all interested in. Drown aggravation and visions of month-to-month with a $7 bottle of wine.

Step 9: Complain to your friends. Complain to everyone who will listen. Ask them all if they somehow own a wonderful rental property you could move into.

Step 10: Find a cool place at the top of your budget. Walk through it for five minutes and mentally place your furniture throughout. Try to ignore all the belongings of questionable taste that belong to the current tenant.

Step 11: Decide you love it and want to live there forever without remembering to ask important questions like “Does this unit have off-street parking?”

Step 12: Find out that your new sort-of dream place is no longer available because the person who saw it five minutes after you already signed a lease. Pretend you don’t care but feel physically ill when you read the email.

Step 13: Move up to $9 bottles of wine, or bourbon, while you call your mom and tell her that you’re never moving again for real after this time.

Step 14: Send another round of the same “please help me in my rental search” emails to “leasing agents” and even realtors hoping someone will take pity on your young professional soul who really can’t live without in-unit laundry.

Step 15: Find a lovely place that’s out of your budget while searching Craigslist for the 23rd time that day. Email them asking if they will lower the rent by $300/month because you have no shame at this point. Spoiler alert: They will decline.

Step 16: Receive groundbreaking email alerting you that the “five minutes later” people actually backed out of their lease, suddenly freeing up the cool place currently inhabited by the weird guy who keeps a toolbox on the kitchen counter.

Step 17: Fill out rental application at breakneck speed. Send it off with a check for a processing fee (surprise!).

Step 18: Could it be? A sixteen page PDF of a lease materializing in your inbox? Don’t believe till you see it signed, sealed, and delivered.

Step 19: Sign lease. Celebrate… how else? With wine (the good stuff this time).

Final Step: Solemnly vow to avoid moving again anytime soon. For real this time.


Blogging is hard

Well, that’s not exactly true. Blogging is logistically very easy. Anyone can create their own space on the internet (for free) to write about whatever they want for as many words as they want. However, consistent blogging to express oneself and further develop a personal and professional brand is hard. Especially when you’re already blogging for clients at work during the day (among working on other things clients like you to do for them). In the spirit of making a real effort to blog on my own terms, here are a select few of the reasons why I haven’t been blogging this whole time:

Reason #1: I got married.
I am not the first person of the opinion that planning a wedding is incredibly complicated and time-consuming, no matter how low-key you’re keeping the affair. However, it bears repeating that weddings (large or small) are essentially social experiments that amplify your most personal decisions. It’s weird. But also fun once you get past all that weirdness.

Reason #2: I’m daydreaming about Charleston.
Weeks after honeymooning (see Reason #1) in the Holy City, I still catch myself scrolling back to stare at all the photos from the trip. When we weren’t eating oysters by the dozen, we were wandering down gas lamp-lined streets marveling at window boxes so big and lush you could hide in them. Have you ever lived an entire week where breakfast was delivered to your door in a picnic basket? It’s just long enough to make you feel like that’s actually your life. Needless to say, my breakfast has been consumed sans picnic basket since we checked out.

Reason #3: People love barbecue.
In a state with more confident football fans than possibly anywhere else on the planet, Alabama Food has decided to do a little smack talking of our own. The Year of Alabama BBQ is in full-swing, spreading the hickory-smoked cheer and pissing off more than a few Memphis locals. If there’s anything I like better than sassy copywriting, it’s barbecue, so I’ve been knee-deep in Alabama white sauce and smoked meat puns these past months.


Above: The most perfect serving of shrimp and grits from Sean Brock’s Husk in Charleston. Because no one ever left a blog post angry after looking at a tiny skillet of delicious food.



Life Lately

Backyard wildflowers
Grilled figs
Birmingham Barons at Regions Field

Not pictured:
-A lightning bug hovering outside the window, trying to get in
-A questionable amount of time spent watching and commenting on “The Bachelorette”
-The world’s most finicky dishwasher
-A lot of imaginary backsplash research
-Bell’s Oberon Ale
-Molly Wizenberg’s new Delancey