Practically Perfect: Mary Poppins Millinery

For a blog whose name is rooted in her accessory collection, we don’t talk about Mary Poppins very often. Or at all? Yeah, I don’t think she’s come up. Which is weird because she’s my favorite. She’s the best.

I don’t remember why I fell in love with Mary Poppins, in the same way, none of us remember why we thought tapered stirrup pants were a good idea in the 90s. But there was a moment where we found ourselves wearing stirrup pants, and there was a moment when I was head over heels for Mary.

I loved her songs, her clothes. Her carousel horse was easily the best one. She could fly. She could danceShe could jump into sidewalks! She had tea parties on the ceiling! That’s the best place for tea!

There were scenes I didn’t understand till I was older, but I don’t think you were meant to understand everything about Mary Poppins. She danced and sang with toys, animals, cartoons, and chimney sweeps. I loved her so much that I would prance around and talk in a “British accent,” that was mainly just me jumping octaves as I spoke, toting a pink vinyl Minnie Mouse umbrella imagining there was a parrot at the end giving me sass.

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The Almost-Travel-Blogger Goes on an Almost-Vacation

I’ve never quite come to terms with the calculus of adulthood.

Guys, why do I have to load the dishwasher, run the dishwasher, unload the dishwasher, and then repeat when I have more dirty dishes? Forever? Side note, guys, did you know cooking for yourself involves a lot of dirty dishes?

Team, I get it. 401Ks. It’s important to plan ahead for retirement, but also…what if I didn’t? What if I kept that money, and really fleshed out my colorful scarf collection? And then bought myself a burrito? Or even just a new set of tires? That seems fair. (If you are reading this, and you are my father, don’t worry. I still contribute to my 401K, and only pout a lot of the time about not having more colorful scarves and a shrimp burrito.)

And HEY! Student loan stink-nerds! I’m talking to you! Do you know how many vacations I could take if you guys would just chillax about payments for a minute??! Answer: a lot of vacations.

Obviously these are the words of someone who is either profoundly lazy, or aggressively spoiled. Or both! I can multitask! I know I have it pretty great, and I promise guys, I’m fine. But that doesn’t mean “the usual” doesn’t get old.

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But If You Fry Sometimes, You Get What You Need: Fried Okra

I wasn’t much of a gardener till recently, and even now, I think I’m better described as “woman making increasingly aggressive plant choices.” Or “woman with watering can, and everlasting hope for strawberries.”

But this year, has felt very much like gardening and less like being pleasantly surprised when it rains and things grow. Regardless of this improvement, for the four years I’ve had the space for a container garden, I’ve always felt like there was a distinct point in the summer where the plants revolt. The tomatoes get sick. The dahlias stop blooming. The strawberries start invading nearby pots because that’s a thing that strawberries do, evidently!

It’s like they know that all I’ve got going for me is my comfy pants collection and killer singing voice. Gardener schmardener.

Truth be told, It’s almost September. Which means it’s almost Fall. Which means it’s almost the season we don’t talk about. Which means my patio garden is probably starting to wind down.

Which means I was all the more surprised when I noticed my lone okra plant starting to do something.

Also note the invasive strawberry, which happens to be my street name.


I planted the okra months ago in a pot shared by my snap pea “crops.” And due to some faulty netting and some chipmunks who need a chipmunk tailor because they are too big for their chipmunk britches (this sentence was worth it), the pot was gutted. I thought nothing was coming back, so I let the marigolds take over.

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Chipmunk-Treachery: Battling Invaders in Your Garden

Some things you should know about me.

I am a person with a hat. Trust me, it’s a big deal.

Today I found a surprise stash of crazy straws when I was cleaning my apartment! My beverage game is unmatched right now.

And I have a garden that I talk about a lot.

…Oh my gosh! I’m so glad you asked! You see, my garden is going through something.

I seem to have unintentionally crafted a nature preserve on my 8 foot by 5 foot patio patch of cement.

Real things the neighbors get to hear:

  • “I only want the best for both of us!”- I yelled at a bee. To my credit, the bee was getting all up in my business.
  • “BIRDS! THERE ARE OTHER PATIOS!”- I yelled at a pair of birds who were either getting amorous or discussing the new Game of Thrones trailer on my patio as I was trying to eat breakfast.
  • “Nobody wants you here, cat!” – I yelled at a cat who was trying to climb on my patio.

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Milwaukee Chronicles Part 1: How to Exhibition Review

This weekend I went on my very first completely self-funded vacation.

I had really grand plans for this trip. At one point in the planning, I was just going to go for it. I was going to spend my entire tax refund on a plane ticket to Scotland, a dream of mine for years now.

And then I remembered my student loans.

And then I was going to spend a little bit less, and buy a train ticket to California! Stopping in cities along the way, seeing the best of America’s national parks.

And then I remembered my student loans.

And then I decided to spend the night in Milwaukee, a little over an hour away. And when I get back sit very very still as to not spend any money.

Yeah, that sounds about right. I could even listen to a whole episode of Fresh Air with Terry Gross on the drive, and not have to spread it over three commutes like I usually do! That’s the dream right there!

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Justice Pesto: When Pesto-Hipsters get too Big for their Skinny-Britches

When I moved to Wisconsin, it was still Winter and this thing called the Polar Vortex was still very much a concern.

For those unfamiliar with the Polar Vortex, all you need to know is it was crazy cold, and some meteorologists gave it a cool name so people wouldn’t be so sad about how crazy cold it was.

For years later, Wisconsinites could say to newcomers, “you think this is bad? In 2014 we survived a Polar Vortex.

It was not what I would call the finest chapter of my life. It hurt to go outside, and one doesn’t realize how much a person needs fresh air until you are robbed of it.

I, of course, thought it was my civic duty to tell everyone how much it hurt to go outside- a foolproof way to make friends in a new state is definitely complain a lot!- but because Wisconsin people are pretty much the nicest people, they tried to make me feel better about the seasons that were coming, instead of roll their eyes and walk away. Which I couldn’t blame them for doing if they had.

One of the main arguments people made for enduring Winter and staying for Spring was the Farmer’s Market.

Now I’d been to Farmer’s Markets before, both in my home state of North Carolina and during my two years living in New York. So what was so special about this one, guys? If we’re judging by the markets of my past, they’re mostly crowded and expensive and it’s cheaper and easier to go to the grocery store.

What’s so special about this Market that I would forgive Wisconsin for this wintry torment? 


My three-year report: The produce is reasonably priced. If you get there early enough the crowds are kind of fine. The flower vendors don’t judge me too harshly for Instagramming their merchandise (I buy stuff. It’s fine). And there’s cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. Personally, I think it’s worth the hype.


Mostly.

For you see, I was wronged this week. Farmers’ Market betrayal!

And I think if we’re ranking betrayal, Farmers’ Market betrayal is pretty high up there. After drug store betrayal, but before pizza delivery betrayal.

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Life’s Plan B

So Life’s Plan A is fine, right? Job and bills and hobbies and celebrity biographies on the weekends. But on days like today, one has to ask…what about Plan B?

“Floating Luncheon,” Hamilton Wright, 1939.

I have some ideas. Only one of which is eating pasta on a floaty.

Step 1: Pack up everything that will fit in my car.

Not everything will fit, so we have to prioritize. Bring the entire comfy pants collection and all the bottles of expired vitamin gummies, and then once that half of the car is full, fill the rest up with kitchen magnets and canvas tote bags.

Step 2: Set up mysterious circumstances under which to disappear.

Any self-respecting student-loan-haver needs to figure out how to escape her situation, especially these days when the Secretary of Education is taking away the onus of accountability from those poor persecuted debt collectors! Because she’s never had a student loans or also any idea what she’s doing! Great!

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