Monday, November 30, 2015

Many Thanks and Knife Tosses.


A late-ish invite, not quite last minute, but only even last minute-ish because she didn't know I hadn't had any plans to begin with. What? No plans?! Ingrid texted me when I told her I wasn't going to do anything for Thanksgiving. That wasn't unusual for me; my family (for the most part) is back East, and I haven't ever really cared about making big holiday plans, being out West. It is weird since I love event planning, but when it comes to big familial/holiday things, I don't know...I almost steer clear from them. Ingrid left me no choice though, and informed me she was picking me up at four thirty to take me to her future mother-in-law's.

By the way, I realized how off-putting the whole holiday-hating thing could sound when most recently, Aurelia shot me a text saying I know you hate holidays but you're welcome to spend Christmas with my family! I re-read that a few times and thought, fuck, that sounds terrible.

 I don't hate holidays! I texted back. I just don't "do" the whole holiday thing, so instead of placing any "holiday" expectations on a particular day, it's just any other day to me! She got it. She's known me long enough to get it. It did make me think twice about any lack of holiday perception I give off though (being a downer is never cute), but I digress.

Back to Thanksgiving: I was offering to help clean the dishes after a fantastic dinner when Andrew's mom happened to knock a knife off a plate, which landed on the kitchen floor.

"A man is coming!" she exclaimed.

"What?" I asked, wondering if the red wine had gotten to my head (I usually go for white).

"A knife dropped! That means a man will be coming soon," she explained a bit further.

I couldn't help but to laugh. "A Thanksgiving miracle!" I rejoiced, and threw my arms above my head. "Excuse me while I go back to the dining room and throw everyone's knives off their place settings," I joked. But in all seriousness, I went back to the table and told Ingrid and Andrew what had just transpired in the kitchen. They're pretty big supporters of my (future) love life - great friends, I know - so whether or not they believed in the knife-dropping theory, they at least did the courteous friend thing and played along.

"His name will be Robert Sean!" Andrew's mom proclaimed while exiting the kitchen. "Seriously, imagine if you met a Bob!"

"If I do, I will forever give thanks to you - and this Thanksgiving," I replied.

We continued the remainder of our Thanksgiving evening laughing, eating more, and toasting to "Bob."

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thirty.



I treated my birthday as if it was a mini wedding. That may sound obnoxious, and maybe it was (hello, hashtag #KrittaBTurnsThirty), but I really enjoyed it - and I think (hope?) most attendees did, too!

You know the episode of Sex and the City where Carrie says she's getting married to herself? That was kind of what sparked it. I love celebrating my friends and their milestones (engagements/weddings/babies), but I wanted to take a moment and celebrate...myself, which when typing it, sounds ridiculous. But after a tough year last year (I spent my birthday crying on my bathroom floor before pulling myself together and heading to my favorite restaurant- just keeping it real), I thought to make it a "thing" and do something really fun. And wear an almost wedding dress, black tulle and all.

I asked my friend Travis if he'd kindly host, since he's not too far from me and I could shuttle things back and forth, and because he has a killer apartment with a killer view. I envisioned fun thirtieth decor, a nice dessert spread, a makeshift photo booth, and I decided to hire a bartender so everyone could enjoy themselves. (It's also easy to get everyone to show up when you text FREE BOOZE.) I kept pretty busy two weeks beforehand making my decorations and planning my schmancy dessert table (complete with last minute flower arrangements), and I was really, really happy with the turnout. Aesthetically, it was everything I wanted - and then some. Emotionally, it was the same. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better launch into my thirties.

I feel really good about this upcoming decade.

I look scared here, ha, but it was just a bit of embarrassment - and delight. (You can catch a glimpse of my adorable striped straws, too! S'all about details.)
*Thank you again and again, Trav & Linda!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bruges, Belgium.



From Ghent to Bruges I went! (It came out and rhymed; I went with it. Thanks, Aurelia, for the Dr. Seuss birthday book.)

Bruges was much different than I expected. I'm not exactly sure what I expected, but it was almost dream-like, with horse-drawn carriages, medieval architecture and cobblestone streets. It felt very foreign, I guess you could say, but in a fairy tale kind of way.

I read a really accurate description of Bruges when I got back to LA, which sums it right up: rather than simply find a heritage site surrounded by a city, it feels like the entire city is a heritage site.  

Nailed it.

Travel tips, photos, and the usual bla bla bla's, below!


WHAT TO EAT
Belgian chocolate!
This isn't specific to Bruges; rather, it's where I had way too much Belgian chocolate. Truffles on truffles on truffles. On truffles. I wasn't even sure what I was buying, but I figured I couldn't go wrong. And I was right. (Most places have a buying minimum, so you can't go in and cherry pick one chocolate - if you would even consider doing that.)

More Belgian fries!
Because, why not? No reason is ever needed for eating fries in my book. (Reasons against eating them are the bigger problem.) Go for the sauce, any sauce! I asked for the most boring basic option, which was quite similar to the lemon-y mayo I had in Ghent, but there are seriously dozens to choose from.



WHAT TO DRINK
Cava!
For the non-beer drinkers, go for the cava. It's been one of my personal favorites since traveling to Barcelona, so anytime I see it, that's my go-to drank. I didn't take photos, but I'm sure you can imagine a picture of a curated champagne glass atop a fancy tabletop.

More beer!
Because, Belgium, that's why! (Previously documented beer photo here.)



WHAT TO DO
Walk around the city center!
I love a walkable town/city, and Bruges' historic city "centre" is certainly one of 'em. Kill a bunch of birds with one stone here: eat, shop, sightsee, repeat - all on foot. And then do it again by means of horse-drawn carriage. (No, really.) Walk past the Belfry, Market Halls, and the Church of Our Lady, and if you can, go visit Michelangelo's marble Madonna With Child (inside the church). I didn't have time, unfortunately, but I'm passing the tip along!

Take a horse-drawn carriage around the city center! 
Not a bad option if you don't feel like walking, right? I did inquire about the well-being of the horses (I can't help it), and I was informed that these guys are pretty happy, which was nice to hear. But back to the simple fact of taking a horse-drawn carriage around Bruges: you can do that. It's a routed, thirty minute tour of the city center, for up to five people. (I had actually walked around for a few hours before I learned about it.)

Walk around the canals!
This is as serene as it gets, really. Calm and quiet waters with weeping willows draped along canals, you can't get much more peaceful than this. I'll reiterate what I said earlier: it's really a fairy tale/storybook kind of setting.

Take another canal tour!
I didn't get the chance to take a canal tour here, and maybe one canal tour is the same as the next, but c'mon. Can you really get sick of that view? This is known as the "Venice of the North" for good reason, so I say go!
Climb Belfort!
The belfry of Bruges, AKA Belfort, is a medieval bell tower in the city center. It has a narrow staircase of three hundred and sixty-six steps - and you can climb them (for a fee) during the hours of 9:30AM to 5PM - which I totally missed. Womp. I was able to poke around the interior courtyard and climb maybe twenty stairs though, if that counts?
(Loved this.)


Anddd some more photos of my short time in Bruges, below:
I caught an early morning set up for a big race - not a bad backdrop, huh? 

Friday, November 6, 2015

(Birthday) Love.


I feel loved.

It feels really weird typing that to be honest, because I don't mean it like, ohmygod it's my birthday week and I'm so special! I'm just acknowledging my feelings as of late, particularly since I've returned from Europe.

The day I came home I had an early birthday present waiting for me. It was a beautiful gold necklace with a charm of Los Angeles, from one of my best friends, Kelly. You never gift jewelry, I texted her. Only for special occasions, she replied. She didn't know I had been wanting that same necklace for quite some time, which was the best part. It totally reminded me of you, she said.

The next day, I was on the phone with my mom and heard a knock at the door. UPS Delivery for Krista! I was in receipt of a massive package, which, if I'm being completely honest, made me nervous. It was so big! (SO big! Where can I put whatever this is?! Will I like it?)  My nerves quickly disappeared as I tore off the packaging and discovered the best birthday present I have ever received.

My mother and sister had apparently been stalking my friends for the last handful of months - both East and West Coast friends - to contribute to this ridiculously thoughtful gift. (If you look closely, there are significant details crafted into each letter: photos, postcards, colors, materials used for the letters, all with special meaning behind them. It's unbelievable.)

Every day since then I've gotten an early birthday gift, which has been...almost overwhelming. My mother joked that it was like Hanukkah; eight nights and days of Krista's birthday. From the gentleman who owns the print shop on my block (wine), to work clients (flowers), to Capital One (yes, the credit card company - flowers), to my close friends and family (jewelry, luxury skincare products, champagne, dinner dates, you name it), the people in my life have simply blown me away with their thought and generosity. It is most certainly not about presents; it's about presence. I've never been so grateful for all of the wonderful people in my life as I have this past year. I'm not sure what I did to deserve them, but they're the best gifts of all.