this blog baby is 10 years old!

Dec 12th 2013 04:20:40 pm

10 year blogiversary

Ten years ago, this blog was born! It seems like only yesterday that rljart was turning 5!

My early posts are unendingly embarrassing and were never exactly meant for public consumption, but it is still exciting to realize that I have been keeping this website going for a full decade. When I first started, I wanted this to be something of a lifestyle/fashion blog, but it mostly ended up being a vehicle for my Christmas list. Only my friends and family read those early posts, which is basically still true today. But now I try hard to only post things that I truly feel comfortable with being public. I also try to stay more positive.

Many of the images from the early posts were lost in a previous upgrade of the site, but a couple of them survived, like the ones from 2003 seen above. It is fun to re-visit all of the old holiday posts and to remember what it was like when Travis and I were first married. Ah, memories!

Why do I keep blogging? I still sometimes find myself visiting the dream of making money with this blog — publishing ads, writing sponsored posts, reviewing products — but the reality is that Swap-bot has always been more interesting, fun, and profitable. So I focus the bulk of my time and energy there. This blog is just for fun. I love it as my digital scrapbook and a record of my life. No one else is going to write my life’s story, so why not do it myself?!

————

Just for fun… here are some of the previous headers I’ve used on this site:

headers

1 Comment » Categories: Just for Fun, Online Life, Website

32 while 32

Feb 13th 2013 11:25:12 am

I love presents just as much as I did at my 8th birthday!

Sunday was my 32nd birthday. I had a little party because – hey – I love cake and balloons and friends! Complaining about age is lame, but 32 feels quite old. Like, I should probably be an adult by now… isn’t that one of the items on my to do list?

What now seems like a very long time ago, I made a list of 30 things that I wanted to accomplish before turning 30. I didn’t get all of the items completed, so I converted it to a 30 WHILE 30 list, then a 31 while 31 list. I still haven’t gotten all of the items checked off, so I am turning it into an ongoing project. I’ll carry the list over each year, crossing off the things I finish and adding new items to fill out the list to match my birthday number — this year, 32!

32 things to do while 32:

Visit the Museum of the City of New York.
Travel to Europe!
Eat the Moules Frites at Balthazar.
Create a new craft tutorial for Swap-bot.
Stop biting my nails. For good.
Redesign the Swap-bot homepage.
Get super-comfortable using our DSLR camera.
Be noticeably sweeter to my husband.
Run a marathon in 4:30.
Lose 15 pounds. (Isn’t this on everyone’s list?)
Make marinara sauce from scratch.
Visit the Bronx Zoo.
Make Crusher a super-cute Halloween costume.
Try to live in the moment.
Start taking a weekly yoga class. Changing this to: Cross train once a week.
Buy a brownstone! (A fantasy, but a girl can dream…)
Do all of my mending.
Make cupcakes with some sort of filling.
Reduce my internal negativity.
Call my brothers and sisters-in-law every week (or at least more frequently).
Read a novel. (Maybe this one?) Um… it is terrible that I haven’t done this…
Promote peace.
Get a unicorn face painting!
Run a sub-2-hour half marathon. (This may be impossible.)
Set up an online Swap-bot merch store.
Eat less candy.
Run a trail marathon.
Make a quilt.
Visit the New York Transit Museum.
Bake a loaf of bread from scratch.
Become an adult.
Embark on a grand adventure!

————

Completed items:
This list could get really long!

Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans! Had a great time with my brother Seth.
Learn to tell a really funny, family-friendly joke. Why did the fish get kicked out of school? ………because he was caught with sea WEED!
Figure out how to style my hair in loose waves/curls. I think this counts.
Visit The Cloisters. Went with mom & dad in June.
Run the San Diego Marathon. For the second time. Done!
Attend a taping of the Wendy Williams Show. Done and it was awesome.
Take an overnight trip with my husband that is not at a relative’s house.
Take my donation pile to the thrift store. Housing Works got a big pile!
Buy a really beautiful and practical dress. Thank you Rebecca Taylor!
Go to dinner at Al Di La.
Run the NYC marathon!
Watch every episode of Tosh.0.
Make blueberry pancakes.
Get the Florence + The Machine album on vinyl.
Watch Meet Me in St. Louis again.
Drive upstate to see the autumn foliage.
Visit all five boroughs in NYC (should happen during the marathon).
Get a new laptop. Love my Air!
Reduce the amount of time I spend on Facebook. Done, except for today.
Vote! Always.
Buy awesome, new, flattering jeans. These from J.Crew.
Force Travis to watch Star Trek: Generations with me. He loved it.

————

You can check out my past lists here:

————

What is on your list? What should I add to mine?

8 Comments » Categories: Birthday, Feeling Happy, Just for Fun, Projects, Thinking

one little word 2013

Jan 3rd 2013 12:33:06 pm

Each year I join in on a popular blog phenomenon and chose one little word to focus on throughout the new year. This year, I choose sweetness.

Sweetness sounds so cheesy and cutesy, but it is what came to mind as I thought about what I want for 2013. To me, it encompasses the ideas of kindness, acceptance, and enjoyment. I want to be sweet to others and I want to be sweet to myself. I want to be content and happy and calm and focus on the sweet things in life… no matter what 2013 has in store for me.

My past words:

2012: explore
2011: peace
2010: wonder
2008: hope

(Two of my favorite bloggers chose open and brave this year.)

What is your one little word for 2013?

7 Comments » Categories: Feeling Happy, Just for Fun, Projects, Thinking

all about me, me, me

Apr 18th 2012 02:53:53 pm

Isn’t this blog always about me, you ask? Well, yes, but today it is even more so. I was “tagged” by the fun and adorable Mrs Whiffo, so I MUST share some fun facts about myself…

The rules of the game:

  1. Each tagged person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
  2. They must also answer the 11 questions the tagger has set for them, plus create 11 new questions for the people they tag.
  3. Then they choose 11 new people to tag (no tag backs) and link to them in the post.

———

11 things about ME!

  1. I work from home.
  2. I love historic buildings and old houses.
  3. I am very interested in religion (but I’m NOT religious) and want to know EVERYTHING about EVERY religion in the world.
  4. My favorite painter is Wayne Thiebaud.
  5. When I was a child, I wanted to be an Egyptologist when I grew up.
  6. I cannot get enough of Star Trek.
  7. I sort of have a crush on Liam Neeson.
  8. I want to learn to shoot a firearm.
  9. I really like Twitter. Follow me!
  10. I plan to travel a lot when I grow up.
  11. I wish I could serendipitously find a piece of Art Nouveau Louis Comfort Tiffany jewelry at a junk shop for 50 cents… so that I could take it on Antiques Roadshow and cause a sensation.

11 Questions from Mrs. Whiffo:

  1. What is your favourite candy bar?
  2. There are so many good ones, it is hard to choose… but Twix has been pretty good to me lately. (I eat them during marathons.)

  3. Who would play you in the movie of your life?
  4. OMG. Please say it could be Gwyneth Paltrow!

  5. … and who would write the soundtrack?
  6. Tom Petty

  7. Where is your happy place?
  8. On the couch with Crusher and Travis.

  9. Coke or Pepsi?
  10. Diet Coke! Yum.

  11. Favorite Film?
  12. Hmmmm. Terminator or Alien. I love a true female heroine who saves herself.

  13. Show me your tattoos, or your “would be” tattoos!
  14. I don’t have any… but I want one. This tattoo idea is from Travis, but I think it is a good one: get a hash mark on a foot for each marathon I complete.

  15. Favorite book?
  16. This is a difficult question. The book that most blew my mind was Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder, but I need to read it again…

  17. What item do you carry with you at all times?
  18. My iPhone.

  19. Which Simpsons character are you?
  20. I want to be Bart, but I’m probably Marge.

  21. Why do you write a blog?
  22. My blog is basically my scrapbook and I love having it as a record of what I’ve done. It is definitely just a selfish thing. No one else is going to tell my life story, so I might as well do it!

———-

11 Questions for YOU:

  1. What is your favorite restaurant?
  2. What is your lucky number?
  3. Who is your favorite CNN anchor? (Mine is Wolf Blitzer.)
  4. Would you ever get plastic surgery?
  5. Do the Freemasons secretly rule the world/control the global economy? Also, is JayZ one of them?
  6. What is your all-time favorite video game?
  7. If you could leave on a vacation right now, where would you go?
  8. Gelato, ice cream, or sorbet?
  9. If you could travel back in time (without disturbing the space-time continuum) which era would you visit first?
  10. What is your favorite song?
  11. What is the best way to get rid of mice in an old apartment building? (Really, I must know.)

The 11+ bloggers I am tagging:

Crissy | Lauren | Jessica | Joel | Casey | Bunny Log Lisa |
Libby | Paul | Seth | Adam/Nina | Aaron | Amber | Travis

* Tag-ees: You don’t really have to do the whole process, but 11 facts about you would be fun! You can even put them in the comments!

5 Comments » Categories: Favorites, Just for Fun

best dressed 2012

Mar 5th 2012 11:14:32 am

This is over a week late — which makes it totally lame — but I already did all of the exhausting research, so without further ado…

My top fashion picks from the 2012 Academy Awards!

Full confession: I did NOT watch the Awards last Sunday. (Instead Travis and I watched six episodes of White Collar.) Also, I did NOT see a single one of the movies nominated for Best Picture. Not one. The only movies I saw last year were Fast Five, Cowboys Vs. Aliens, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Mission Impossible. Surprisingly, none of those fine films were nominated for Best Picture.

Thankfully, we have E! News to catch up on all the movie gossip and fashion! Overall, I think I liked the gowns from the Golden Globes more, but the unique red and white dresses at the Oscars were quite striking. My favorites:

  1. Emma Stone was adorable in Giambattista Valli.
  2. Rooney Mara looked cool in Givenchy.
  3. Michelle Williams rocked her coral Louis Vuitton.
  4. Shailene Woodley was lovely in long-sleeved Valentino Couture.

Many (including The New Yorker) picked Angelina Jolie as the best dressed, but i am bored of her. Or, maybe I’m just not a fan… what do you think?

1 Comment » Categories: Clothes, Fashion, Just for Fun

happy 14th day of february…

Feb 14th 2012 02:16:23 pm


[pinit]

I like Valentine’s Day, but I think mostly because it is close to my birthday… and I LOVE my birthday. I don’t have any big plans for today. I need to finish up a lot of work, go for a run, and then maybe meet some fun friends for a casual dinner. My usual Tuesday routine. I might treat myself to a special Starbucks drink this afternoon…

Travis and I don’t do much for Valentine’s Day. I don’t need any silly gifts (or expensive ones, for that matter) and Travis said he would have a heart attack if I sent a singing telgram to his work… so that spoils my one good idea. ha!

I don’t think today needs to be a day for romantic gestures. It is too much pressure. I’m happy just acknowledging all of the big and small loves in my life…

1 Comment » Categories: holidays, Just for Fun, love, Travis

31 while 31

Feb 10th 2012 10:23:55 am

I’ve loved cake ever since my first birthday.

What now seems like a very long time ago, I made a list of 30 things that I wanted to accomplish before turning 30. I didn’t get all of the items completed, so I converted it to a 30 WHILE 30 list. I still haven’t gotten all of the items checked off, so I am turning it into an ongoing project. I’ll carry the list over each year, crossing off the things I finish and adding new items to fill out the list to match my birthday number — this year, 31!

It may get a bit unmanageable when I turn 100, but until then, I’ll keep it up…

31 things to do while 31:

Visit the Museum of the City of New York.
Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans!
Eat the Moules Frites at Balthazar.
Learn to tell a really funny, family-friendly joke.
Stop biting my nails. For good.
Redesign the Swap-bot homepage.
Get super-comfortable using our DSLR camera.
Be noticeably sweeter to my husband.
Visit The Cloisters.
Lose 15 pounds. (Isn’t this on everyone’s list?)
Make marinara sauce from scratch.
Visit the Bronx Zoo.
Make Crusher a super-cute Halloween costume.
Try to live in the moment.
Start taking a weekly yoga class. Changing this to: Cross train once a week.
Figure out how to style my hair in loose waves/curls.
Do all of my mending!
Make cupcakes with some sort of filling.
Reduce my internal negativity.
Call my brothers and sister-in-law every week (or at least more frequently).
Read a novel. (Maybe this one?)
Promote peace.
Get a unicorn face painting!
Run a sub-2-hour half marathon. (This may be impossible.)
Set up an online Swap-bot merch store.
Eat less candy.
Run the San Diego Marathon. For the second time.
Attend a taping of the Wendy Williams Show.
Visit the New York Transit Museum.
Bake a loaf of bread from scratch.
Become an adult.

Completed items:
This list could get really long!

Take an overnight trip with my husband that is not at a relative’s house.
Take my donation pile to the thrift store. Housing Works got a big pile!
Buy a really beautiful and practical dress. Thank you Rebecca Taylor!
Go to dinner at Al Di La.
Run the NYC marathon!
Watch every episode of Tosh.0.
Make blueberry pancakes.
Get the Florence + The Machine album on vinyl.
Watch Meet Me in St. Louis again.
Drive upstate to see the autumn foliage.
Visit all five boroughs in NYC (should happen during the marathon).
Get a new laptop. Love my Air!
Reduce the amount of time I spend on Facebook. Done, except for today.
Vote! Always.
Buy awesome, new, flattering jeans. These from J.Crew.
Force Travis to watch Star Trek: Generations with me. He loved it.

What do you think? What else should I add to my list?

14 Comments » Categories: Birthday, Feeling Happy, Just for Fun

golden gowns

Jan 16th 2012 12:22:43 pm

Picking my favorite Golden Globe fashions is something of an annual tradition of mine. (My picks from last year.) I didn’t even watch the full ceremony this year, but I managed to catch up on the fashion online. It is amazing how fast they get the photos up after the red carpet!

My very favorite was Claire Danes’ J. Mendel gown. It was a little weird and futuristic, but I thought it was a perfect, sophisticated choice for her third award win. I also liked the dresses worn by Heidi Klum, Helen Mirren, Amy Pohler, and Laura Dern.

The fact that I am choosing older women as my faves must say something about me… hmmmm… I really appreciate it when the women look fantastic without going the overtly sexy route. I think it is more difficult to pull off an elegant and unique look than it is to just show cleavage. (Michelle Williams also did it adorably.)

I usually love courageous and weird dress picks, but I didn’t love Angelina Jolie’s asymmetrical Atelier Versace dress. I think I may just not like red.

Who wore your favorite Golden Globes look?

2 Comments » Categories: Clothes, Fashion, Just for Fun

Happy New Year!

Dec 31st 2011 06:46:27 pm

2011 was fun. 2012 will be epic, I think.

Have a wonderful night of celebrating!

6 Comments » Categories: Brooklyn, holidays, Just for Fun

weekly photo booth tradtition

Sep 8th 2011 01:20:11 pm

On Thursdays, I take a photo of myself with my morning beverage of choice and upload it to the Mugshot Thursdays Flickr group. Above are my photos from today. Crusher did not want to cooperate. (Also, please don’t report me to the authorities as a hoarder because of all the junk in the background. I swear the rest of the apartment isn’t that bad!)

I realized today that I have been doing Mugshot Thursdays for over two years! My first one was in June of 2009. It is a little kooky, but Mugshot Thursday was just something that my internet friend, Jennifer, and I started doing on a whim. Then we invited others to join us. It is still a small group, but YOU are welcome to join us – just add yourself to the group and then upload a photo each week with your mug. Or cup. Or water bottle. Or, really, anything. There are no rules, just weird, silly fun.

Two years ago, when I first got Photo Booth on my Mac, I had grand plans of taking a photo of myself every day. Just for fun. Well, and also so that I could make one of those time lapse videos that would show me aging over time. Anyway, every day is too much… but once a week is perfect! Mugshot Thursdays forever!

3 Comments » Categories: Just for Fun, Photos

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Hello.

I'm Rachel. I run websites and run marathons. I live in Brooklyn and write about art, crafts, design, food, fitness, fashion, my daily life, and New York City.

Enjoy!





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