NWM Day 4: When is the last time you did something new?

Last spring, I studied abroad in Italy. As a food scientist, I got to study food! I visited Milan, Florence, and Venice as well as many smaller towns. San Gimignano, Volterra, Abbey of Sant’Antimo, Montalcino, Monterrigioni, Greve in Chianti, Siena, and Lastra a Signa. I learned about how olive oil, parmigiano reggiano, balsamic vinegar, bistecca alla fiorentina, gnocchi, ravioli, ragu, and a LOT of wine! It was an incredible experience, and I can’t wait to go back :)
(Apologies for switching back and forth between English and Italian terms)

On the last day of Ashley’s visit to Hidden Springs, Viola decided that it was time to bring up what they were going to do after Ashley had finished her degree. She was incredibly nervous. It would be a huge step in their relationship, and Viola hoped she wasn’t being too forward. She decided to begin with an open ended inquiry.

Viola: “What do you think you’re going to do once you’ve got your degree?”

Viola and Ashley were holding each other close, in an attempt of warming each other up against the bitter cold winds, sweeping through their embrace.

Ashley: “Well, I think i’m going to go for a job in Science. My mother wants me to come back to live with her, and get a job in Appaloosa Plains, but i’m not so sure.”

Viola’s heart lifted a little.

Viola: “You’re not so sure?”

Ashley: “Actually, I was thinking about getting a little flat here in Hidden Springs…”

Ashley said this hesitantly. It seemed to Viola that Ashley wanted to be with her, as much as Viola did, and was feeling just as apprehensive about bringing it up as her.

Ashley: “The Science facilities here are really good, plus it’s such a pretty town. And I don’t want to be too far away from you.” 

Viola: “If you wanted to, you didn’t have to be away from me at all. I’ve got a big house, and you’re always welcome to come and live with me.”

Ashley tugged Viola toward her, and smiled into her shoulder. 

Ashley: “I would love to.”

It has been 40 years since the spring day when the last U.S. helicopters lifted up and, shortly after, the North Vietnamese army entered Saigon, deciding a conflict that had raged for years.

News photographs from the time showed the world what was going on, from a country full of death in all its gruesome forms to peaceful protests across the ocean. Despite their age, those images have not lost their impact. And that’s the case for this photograph, shot by Henri Huet of Associated Press, showing the body of an American paratrooper killed in action in the jungle near the Cambodian border raised up to an evacuation helicopter in War Zone C in Vietnam on May 14, 1966.

For more iconic images of the Vietnam War, visit

Also advice to all dissertators out there:

My therapist told me on DAY ONE of therapy last Spring that I needed to stop thinking of the dissertation as some delicate, perfect thing I needed to linger over every detail of. Instead, she said to think of it like running through a forest on fire: no time to stop and ponder over details, just get through it.

Best advice ever.


Our last full-day of spring break vacation in Florida. Let’s make it count! My baby girl wasn’t impressed. (at Diagon Alley)

April Showers! It just so happened to have rained here in New York on Monday. While I do enjoy sunshine & fresh air, sometimes a rainy day is a nice way to break up the monotony of what happens around here day in, day out. 

Since R works outside & in construction, when it rains pretty heavy, he most likely ends up with the day off or comes home early. Which is nice for not only the kids, but for me as well. Sometimes we use that extra family time to just be lazy about the house, other times we use it to go get some much needed chores or errands done. 

Monday was definitely a lazy day. There were Legos & wooden blocks strewn all over the apartment. Laundry & dishes got done, but that was as productive as we got. Felt good!

-Jes (sugarsnailsandacurlytail)

What do your rainy days look like? Do you save special activities for rainy days? Tell us about it by submitting a post or tagging with #gulspringtime.


Chalk it up along with “Shallow Hal” and the Elie Saab pantsuit — Gwyneth Paltrow has another bomb on her hands. As she admitted late this week, the Academy Award winnerlasted just four days on the SNAP Challenge — a hunger awareness initiative to get people to see what it’s like to live one week on a food stamps budget. That’s right — a woman who encourages her fans to spend $425 to do a 21-day “detox cleanse,” a woman who says, “I like to do fasts and detoxes a couple of times during the year, the most hardcore one being the Master Cleanse I did last spring,” couldn’t hack it five days on what she believes low income people buy at the supermarket in a week.

The actress admits she caved – of course she did

Day 118: Angsty Showtunes

Today was not a good day.

My solution while walking home:

Create a playlist of angsty/ angry showtunes to listen to as I walked.

Ended up with over 70 songs…

Some of my favourites:

Dead Girl Walking, Meant to Be Yours, Seventeen from Heathers: the Musical

All Grown Up, Are You There?, Cross from Bare: A Pop Opera

Raise a Little Hell, Too Late to Turn Back Now from Bonnie & Clyde

Just Another Day, Who’s Crazy/ My Psychopharmacologist and I, You Don’t Know, I Am the One, Didn’t I See This Movie, The Break, Superboy and the Invisible Girl, You Don’t Know (Reprise) from Next to Normal

All That’s Known, The Bitch of Living, The Dark I Know Well, And Then There Were None, Don’t Do Sadness/ Blue Wind, Totally Fucked (BEST ONE) from Spring Awakening.

See I’m Smiling, If I Didn’t Believe in You from the Last 5 Years

Somebody Kill Me, Casualty of Love from the Wedding Singer

No Good Deed, No One Mourns the Wicked from Wicked

And people say showtunes and musicals are all rainbows and jazz hands

  • I made this bento for the last day of spring break when I had to go back to work but classes hadn’t started yet (and thus there was no school lunch).
  • This bento includes
  • Rice with furikake and a pickled plum
  • Spiced chickpeas
  • Hardboiled egg soaked in soy sauce
  • Cucumbers with dressing

The chickpeas were so good! I had never made them before, but they turned out really well.

Thank you all for the orders during this spring sale!! Today is the last day to receive 20% off your order using the code VERDURE at checkout. Pictured here are our two Horned God pendants with raw Quartz horns #burialground

I find it hilarious* that I always manage to get sick in the weeks leading up to spring exams and deadlines. 

*absolutely infuriating 


Last Day of Spring:

Dad calls me from the other room, and tells me to go outside. I honestly have no idea why, but I listen anyway. I head out the front door, and let out a short squeal of excitement when I see the sight before me. An adorable, fluffy little cat is waiting outside. I rush up to it, and lean down to say hi.

“You’re reeaally cute,” I say.

The cat gives me a long, slow blink.

“You probably need a name though,” I say, more to myself than my new companion. “Hmm… What should I name you?”

I think for a minute. I want to name him something cute, something that matches his adorable little face. After standing there for a while, I finally come up with something.

“How do you like Pabu?” I ask.

The cat gives me another long, slow blink. I take this as a yes from him. “Okay then, Pabu it is.”

I lean down, and let him sniff my hand. When he doesn’t run away, I slowly attempt to pet him. He lets me, and I smile yet again. “I can tell we’re going to be good friends.”