The Rookwood & an Art Museum.

To date, we've been to a Bengals game, visited the Cincinnati zoo and enjoyed the "world famous ribs" at Montgomery Inn. Slowly, we're making our rounds in this new town. At my husband's request, we went to brunch at the Rookwood in Mt. Adams. The atmosphere was absolutely incredible. Old and rustic and full of charm. It's in an old pottery plant, full of kilns, exposed brick and wood beams. I'm only sorry that I wasn't able to take even more pictures (again, at my husband's request). We even treated ourselves to a  celebratory bottle of Italian sparkling wine (aka Champagne, just not grown in the designated area of France). Good news to follow, clearly not baby related, but good news nevertheless! More to come in a few months... hopefully :) After some eggs, hashbrowns and a more easily manipulated mind (thank you, champagne), I was able to convince hubs it was a good idea to visit the Art Museum. You see, it's practically a crime that we lived so close to those Rocky Steps in Philadelphia and never actually went inside, so I figure this is a small step (pun intended) towards redemption. Plus, after all of those books and television shows I've been engulfed in lately about the 1800's, it was even more fascinating to see all of the old stuffy portraits. Thank goodness for cameras!

Est. in 1802

"It is believed that a Parliament of Rooks is responsible for escorting
 souls to heaven & enacting laws of the natural world"
Old whiskey bottles - now used as water decanters

Aaaand now some non-Instagram photos for you...

Creepy crows, made not so scary by the amazing atmosphere

 Where will you go this weekend?!

Another version of me.

The other day, while trying to decide whether it was any semblance of a good idea to plaster a rather large photo of myself sans makeup on the internet, I realized with utter horror a huge violation of blogger code I am guilty of committing. I, amateur blogger, have failed to procure an adequate number of photos portraying my outfits, hair and/or makeup. Please forgive me as I send my most sincere apologies. Will ever you forgive me, my little beetles?

So, in an attempt to undo my rather glaring error, may I present to you...

Another version of moi.

ROSYRILLI.COM Another version of meROSYRILLI.COM Another version of me

ROSYRILLI.COM Another version of me

ROSYRILLI.COM Another version of me
Boots: Steve Madden
Leggings: Kohls
Socks: JCPenney
Sweater, which you can't see: F21

ROSYRILLI.COM Another version of me
Earrings: Macy's
Scarf: c/o my Mom
Mirror: Dirty, dirty, dirty

ROSYRILLI.COM Another version of me
My inability to take a respectable photo via mirror reflection, seen here.

ROSYRILLI.COM Another version of me

ROSYRILLI.COM Another version of me
ROSYRILLI.COM Another version of me

ROSYRILLI.COM Another version of me

Of course, you may now think my character even more questionable. But alas, judge not too harshly. A) It is none other than my husband's fault for having to work on a Saturday and leaving me to my own devices. Yep, just me, my camera and a four-legged witness. B) Dye was not used between takes. I promise my hair is the same color at all times. I think this might just be proof of my non-existent photography skills.

So there you have it. What I wore Saturday + me & my makeup.


Getting to know an (almost) makeup-less face.

Sometimes the mere thought of putting makeup on in the morning is enough to make me cringe. Cringe, yes. Avoid putting it on? Well, not quite. It's the silent signal that I'm ready to start my day. My mask. And it's become so routine that I don't feel quite like myself without it. How many times have I uttered an apology to my husband for not having applied my "face" yet? Too many; that's how many. If I'm honest, my naked face looks, I've always thought, a little sickly. Ironically, one of the only times I didn't feel this way followed a bout of sickness when I hadn't possessed the energy to apply makeup for a few days. I remember thinking, wow, my face actually looks...brighter? Ironic, huh? Not quite the thing you expect to see following an illness. The exact opposite in fact. So it got me thinking...what if I reacquaint myself with my makeup-less face? Maybe a few days "off" will do my skin some good. Can I still feel confident without it? Will I get used to going au-naturale? Will it look natural? It could become my mirror's new normal. We all know them. The ladies who don't wear much, if any, makeup and still pull it off. Could that be me one day? Ok, realistically - probably not, but who said it's not worth trying?

I'm all for trying. I don't work, after all, so I'm afforded the luxury of a M-F test without having to face an office full of co-workers. I am requesting one exception, however. Mascara. I simply cannot do without. Long black eyelashes are too feminine to give up and my barely-there light brown ones just aren't making the cut. If I sacrifice my concealer, foundation, powder, blush, eyeshadow and eyeliner... well, phew, I still think that's quite the accomplishment.

Could a cold splash of water and a wand of mascara be enough in the morning to take on the day? Let's give this a go, shall we?

Mascara - only.

Christmas comes but once a year...

All of the usual Christmas happenings are... well, happening. There's been a surplus of red and green cupcakes, holiday music and gingerbread lattes. All of the usual trimmings for this time of year. We also managed to snag a Christmas tree for $25 less than originally marked. 'Tis the season for negotiation! And what to do when you find your wallets empty of any cash to tip the nice gentleman who helped wrap your green-limbed selection? Well, a scratch off lottery ticket will just have to do!

We've also been partaking in those small traditions that are more personal to the two of us. Ornaments won't be hung until the popcorn and cranberries have been strung. And plastic, store-bought houses to decorate underneath the Christmas tree? Well I dare say not! Hubs and I have created a tradition of painting ceramic houses every year to create a more sentimental memory, an idea I stole from my own parents whose hand painted town was always a hit with my sisters and I growing up. And lastly, the pinky swear I made with my husband that every other year he gets to decorate the tree however his little heart desires. What does that mean exactly? For "my" years, it means vintage-like ornaments in gold and silver, small twinkling white lights and bows. My husband, however, has an affinity towards extra large multi-colored lights, candy colored canes, (hideous) strings of tinsel and a gaudy star to top the tree. Oh, lucky tree. But hey, a promise is a promise!

Life in the 1880's.

If you love Jane Austen, you'll simply adore Daisy Goodwin's The American Heiress. I was skeptical at first but, as a true testament to any good book, once finished I was left instantly craving more. There's something so enchanting about the long gowns and way of life during the 1880's. Perhaps it's because the mannerisms and politeness seen during that time period are so utterly foreign in today's society. Imagine ladies strolling the streets with their parasols to prevent a tan. Oh, but how silly of a notion!

Update: If you enjoy this book, may I highly recommend Downton Abbey, a television series on PBS. The book referenced the show in its reviews, and until now, it was unknown to me. Let it be said that I consumed two seasons within two days. A++!

Available for sale here.

These are a few of my favorite things.

I fully agree it may be just a pinch too early for Christmas music and brightly lit trees, but I say it's never too early for peppermint ice cream. A few years ago I discovered this little gem in our local convenience store and was distraught when I couldn't locate it but for the season at hand. To my absolute delight, I was reconnected with my love years later, this time in Ohio. A different brand but even more delicious than my memory serves me. It's sheer magic which melts in your mouth.

Now, if only I could locate that infamous cinnamon ice cream which continues to elude me, all would be right in the world!

A new backyard.

One of the most exciting and intimidating aspects about moving to a new city is the landscape. That area surrounding you, left unknown until now. A multitude of new attractions, places and people to meet. In an attempt to take advantage of a beautiful brisk Sunday in the early days of November, hubbie and I decided on breakfast and the zoo. Not an entirely creative idea, mind you, but it sufficed just the same. I had been eyeing up Waffle House around the corner and Cincinnati's zoo is one of the city's larger attractions. Oh hell, why not? And what an adorable abundance of baby animals! Baby zebras, monkeys, camels, giraffes... I was pleasantly surprised.

Say hello sloth.

love monkeys.

little cat.

Big Cat.

And behold, my newest, most favorite creature on the planet: the Red Panda. My poor husband had to endure multiple attempts by me to drag him back to their little den, just to watch these adorable furballs munch away on their bamboo.

One word: adorable.

Red bull and purple skies.

I still wake up irritable. This completely boggles my mind. I mean, really?  I expected every morning to smell like roses. And why shouldn't I? I have no boss, no co-workers, no commute. Even the weather doesn't hamper my daily agenda. This is my own personal happy project. Somehow, phantom forces must be working against me. Sometimes, the bedside is just simply the wrong side. There's really no one to blame but myself. This morning, when I realized the wrong side of the bed was unsuccessfully averted, I did the only thing I know to do when I'm throwing a mood for no known reason at all. Red Bull. It's like my magic happy maker. Some people have their coffee. I have my red bull.

Later... much later, once my husband returned home and both our bellies were full, I decided to turn to more natural stimulants. Following our feast, we decided to take a walk around our community lake. This weather! I knew Nati (as I learned today some use to reference this city) is south of where we came from, but 81 degrees in October!? I thought my flip flops would have been long gone this late in the season. The warm breeze made for a perfect pairing during our post-dinner walk. It aint no red bull, but it'll certainly do :)

ROSYRILLI.COM Red bull and purple skies
The view, a stones throw away from our sliding glass door.

Apple Butter + Pumpkin.

Now that I'm playing 50's housewife, I thought it only proper to visit my hometown bearing pies in hand. Naturally, given the season, I wanted to utilize the once-a-year orange deliciousness that is pumpkin. But from there, I was at a loss. Of course there's the obvious winner - pumpkin pie, but it just seemed, dare I say, boring? So I did a little research and found a recipe for Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie. Because really, who knows sugary sweetness better than Paula Deen herself? I've never used apple butter when baking before and thought it could add just the dash of variety I was craving. If you like the robust spiciness of gingersnaps (and I do!), than you'll certainly enjoy this last course. Add a little whipped cream and caramel praline crunch frozen yogurt and... mmm, you've got yourselves a winner!


Yes, I'd venture to say that's a success!


Teacup's model behavior.

Typically my Teacup gets a treat after we've finished our walk around the lake but recently I started noticing some rather obvious adverse behavior. After one measly lap, she started tugging on her leash, in the opposite direction, no doubt in an attempt to reward herself early. Being the nice mommy I am, I decided to take a different approach and treat her occasionally while we walked. Oh my goodness, the cuteness! I noticed that treat no. 1 wasn't consumed, but rather, she held it firmly in her mouth while we strolled. Somehow, she managed to fit the second treat in there too. So now, this tiny little puppy was gallivanting around with, not one but, two treats stuffed in her mouth. I couldn't help but chuckle at her obvious pride. In a moment of sheer amusement, I gave her a third treat. Clearly, there was no more room in that mouth of hers to hold all three. Adorable doesn't even begin to describe her idiocy. She refused to open her little mouth, which inevitably would have led to the loss of treats 1 & 2 from her grasp, and instead bumped her tiny head into my treat holding hand in frustration until I finally forced her to drop her two precious treats. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, but clearly the cutest!

Okay, okay... maybe you had to be there. Regardless, I decided to take an impromptu photo shoot yesterday to capture this adorable face. She did such a brilliant job, don't you think? Clearly, a natural :)

ROSYRILLI.COM Teacup's model behavior.
ROSYRILLI.COM Teacup's model behavior.
ROSYRILLI.COM Teacup's model behavior.
ROSYRILLI.COM Teacup's model behavior.
ROSYRILLI.COM Teacup's model behavior.
ROSYRILLI.COM Teacup's model behavior.
Teacup, modeling our new sofa oh so stylishly.

For those of you curious, Teacup is a 4 year old Poodle and King Charles Cavalier mix. No barking but some very entertaining howling occasionally occurs. Complete lap dog too. In other words, my perfect fur ball!

Ring-ting-tingling too.

It's too early, already, to be thinking about Christmas lights and sleigh bells... right?  I  mean, I just sprinkled our apartment with a small smattering of Fall decorations yesterday, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a Pottery Barn magazine and ten tiny... percentages off! I can already hear the hum hum humm-along of the holiday music now. And in all seriousness (because this is a VERY serious matter), my husband asked me last night where, in our new place, did I think our Christmas tree should be positioned.

Cannot wait.

Pottery Barn owns my heart.

Foray into the life of a fifties housewife.

I wear aprons and wake up early to cook my husband breakfast before he leaves in the morning. My wardrobe, for once, isn't being held against business casual standards. I take long, leisurely walks around the lake in our community mid-morning and I look forward to tomorrow, no matter what day of the week it is.

It's odd, being unemployed.

When my husband and I decided to make the move to Ohio and, in doing so, part with our previously known lives, we also made an agreement. I had a job at an organization I enjoyed and he was asking me to walk away. That reality was one I'd come to terms with, under one condition: we re-make our lives the way I'd always wanted to live. I've often pondered how it would be preferential to live life based on one income instead of two. Sure, there would be two incomes, but only budget based on one. I'd always longed to live life in that manner before but had found it profoundly difficult to accomplish.

You hear it all of the time nowadays - this is a two income society. And it's absolutely true. When my parent's were young and getting started, there were no internet bills. There were no cable bills. There were no cell phone bills. All of those costs were non-existent. Oh, and lest we not forget that housing was much more affordable. So, yes, I agree, life is simply more expensive nowadays than it once was.  I think it's worth asking, at what expense? What am I really working for? Is it the manicures, the designer handbag, the dinners out with friends at swanky bars? Is it the extravagant vacations, the gourmet meals I cook and the highlights in my hair? And well, the answer to that, too, is yes. You work to afford luxuries and many luxuries are most certainly worth working towards.

Women have fought long and hard to be able to join the workforce and be treated equally.  What saddens me, however, is that it seems somehow along this journey we've lost out on choice. During the fight, did we disintegrate the integrity and option of a mother staying at home to raise her children? It kind of feels that way to me. From my very limited vantage point, it also now seems like women are carrying a heftier burden. Not only are we putting in full time hours at the office, but often seem to still be managing the home and doing most of the child rearing.  Of course, there are always the exceptions.  To me, it just seems like either we both work and split all responsibilities perfectly down the middle, which seems absolutely reasonable, or else there needs to be a trade off.  And here's my proposed trade off. No more fancy hair appointments. No more gas money spent on commuting or money spent on lunches, happy hours or nights out with co-workers. No more shopping endlessly for new work wardrobes. Instead, replace that all with sacrifice. Being home with my children is worth the sacrifice to me. It's a choice. A decision. Or at least, it should be.

And enter my test run. I don't have children, so it honestly feels...wrong? Out of place. Not quite right. But hey, why not see how this feels before I hit the pavement in an attempt to find that new job. Is there resentment? Is there too much boredom? Does socializing with only one person, my husband, drive me up a wall after two weeks? What will this look like? Can I do this? And even more importantly, do I want to? Is it worth all of the sacrifices I will undoubtedly have to make? Do I even enjoy endlessly cleaning and cooking?

This is my test run: Me, as a fifties housewife.

ROSYRILLI.COM Foray into the life of a fifties housewife
Apron inspiration: Anthropologie's Tea-and-Crumpets

I even went so far as to mimic this inspired hairstyle, in the grand spirit of things.  As a disclaimer, I'd like to emphasize the fact that everyone, and every relationship, is different. This is the beauty of people. My husband doesn't take enjoyment out of tinkering with mechanics, fixing cars, and certainly could do without having to take out the trash. If he were busy doing those traditionally "manly" tasks while I busied myself with the cooking, cleaning, and laundry, I think it may have tipped the equality scale. Instead, my husband prefers football and beer. This is how I met him and this is how I love him. He also has a strong preference for me handling all of the traditional wifey duties, so our relationship has always worked a certain way. And clearly, I'm not an entirely selfless person. I will be the first to admit that I have my limits. Our relationship, created between him and I, is entirely unique to us. I've observed other people's relationships which have included, but are not limited to, boyfriends who wake up at 4am to shovel off the snow from their girlfriend's cars. Those relationships work a little differently than mine. I am certainly not suggesting a one size fits all. I am purely requesting a choice in the matter of stay-at-home mommyhood. A choice, judgement free.