Wednesday, June 30, 2010

list 18 - things I would say to my 17 year old self

… inspired by Brad Paisley’s song “Letter to Me” and Hula Seventy's list.

1. You are not fat. It’s stupid that you lie about your weight on your driver’s license. Ten years from now, you will look back fondly on the days that you weighed this much.

2. Some stuff is going to happen in the fall of 1999 that will be life changing. Go with your gut – it is right.

3. Study a little harder for your AP European History exam. I know the teacher is awful, but it’ll be one of the last times you take a class in school that you really enjoy.

4. Don’t stop playing the piano, despite what happens at Solo and Ensemble your senior year. Ten years later, when you pick it up again, you will be frustrated at how hard it is.

5. The last day of 11th grade might have been the best day of your life up until now, but just wait... it’s going to get SO much better.

6. The guys you dated in high school were not so great. But guess what? You’ll only have to seriously date one more person before you meet the amazing guy you’re going to marry at a much younger age than you thought you would.

7. Embrace being editor of the yearbook. I know it seems stressful and a lot of work at times, but Ms Robbins will turn out to be a lifesaver and a lifelong friend.

8. Quitting marching band was the right decision.

9. Read all the books you’re supposed to for AP English. You will regret not reading some of them later in life.

10. Don’t worry about not having tons of close friends. Your small group will stick with you through high school and, ten years later, you’ll still be best friends with one of them (but not the one that you think).

11. Not getting into the University of Florida is the absolute BEST thing that has ever happened to you. Trust me.

12. Put that camera you got on the last day of 11th grade to good use. Taking photos will always bring you true joy in life. And writing. Keep writing.

13. Doing horribly chemistry will not negatively affect your life, only your GPA.

14. College is not going to be anything like you think it will be. It will be a completely unique experience that will make you a stronger, more independent adult.

15. They are going to paint your high school tan. Come to grips with this now. It will be startling in the future.

16. You’re going to have great skin when you’re older. You’ll also never wear make up, so don’t feel bad about not wearing it now. But, please, please, please, start wearing daily moisturizer with sunscreen in it!

17. Enjoy this time living in Florida. It will be more short lived than anticipated and one day you will ache for the beach.

18. Go with your gut, always. It has yet to lead you astray.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Five for Friday

1. Hot: adjective: 1. having or giving off heat; having a high temperature: a hot fire; hot coffee.

–adjective: causing or worthy of ridicule or derision; absurd; preposterous; laughable: a ridiculous plan.

It has been ridiculously hot this week in D.C. Like unbearable. Like competing with the hottest days from when I lived in Florida. And it's only mid-June. Yikes.

2. It may be hot, but it's never too hot for a bike ride. Or at least that's what Brad says. Last Sunday, he rode a metric century (that's 63 miles) in the Tour de Cure. Despite the 93 degree heat, he finished in 4.5 hours. I am so proud of him! Next up for him: a full century (yup, 100 miles) in early October in Maryland/Delaware. Let the training begin!

3. Sometime this weekend, we're going to see Toy Story 3. I have already admitted my love (and weepy tendencies) to Pixar movies, so I'm really excited to see this one. Hmmm... now I want to watch the movie "Up!" Perhaps it will be a Pixar movie marathon weekend. I mean, what the heck else can you do when it's so ridiculously hot out?!

4. Next weekend, we will be in Cleveland for the fourth of July (BTW, how the heck is it July already?!). On Friday, I will be hanging out with an old friend (and by that I mean we've been friends for a long time, not that she is old. Because she's not. Since she's the same age I am!), while Brad and his brother spend the day at Cedar Point. Since I spent time being scared out of my wits at that place last summer, I feel no need to put myself through that torture again this summer. Besides, I need a pedicure. Feels like a fair trade off to me.

5. I am ridiculously (seems to be the word of the day kids) excited about going to Cleveland. I only hope that I have not set my expectations a wee-bit too high :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

take me there: Villefranche-sur-Mer, France

Do you have a place that you daydream about?

On lousy, or hot and muggy, or tiring (or all of the above) days, I like to daydream about the little seaside french town of Villefranche-sur-Mer.

It was the first stop on our Mediterranean honeymoon cruise, which means we visited with about 3500 other cruise ship tourists. Yet, with a little exploring and a lot of walking, we still managed to find glimpses of day-to-day life on the quiet Sunday morning we visited.

You might also recognize Villefranche-sur-Mer from its role in several movies, including The Bourne Identity, To Catch a Thief, and (best of all) the home of Cary Grant's grandmother in An Affair to Remember.

In case you need a place to daydream about, you're welcome to borrow Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

list 17 - my favorite places in the world

quiet back streets
Villefranche, France

the 'Shoe
Columbus, Ohio
Central Park
New York, New York

Pikes Place Market
Seattle, Washington

the top of the Duomo bell tower
Florence, Italy

water front piers
Alexandria, Virginia

Park Guell
Barcelona, Spain

Millennium Park
Chicago, Illinois

a hammock, anywhere in the world
(in this case: Half Moon Cay, Bahamas)

the Carib Beach Bar
Sandy Beach, Barbados

Sunday, June 20, 2010

some blog news

After months of basically posting the same thing on both my personal and business blogs, I've decided to combine the two. My life is my photography, and my photography is my life, so it only felt natural.

A special welcome to all my faithful readers of the Christina Saull Photography blog - I think you'll like what you see here. If you don't read my blog in a blog reader, you'll notice a few changes coming up soon to this site, but I promise to continue delivering the same witty, thoughtful, mundane writing and lots of colorful photos.

Questions? Shoot me an email at christinasaull (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Happy reading!

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my amazing Dad and my wonderful grandfather, Papa, and all my uncles... and to all the Dad's out there!

my Dad on the subway in NYC... his favorite place in the world

doing a little aisle walking

a little beaching

a little swing dancing

hanging out with my bro

conspiring with my husband

dancing with Papa at my wedding

Shut. Up.

There was absolutely no way I couldn't share this with my faithful blog readers (all, you know, three of you).

Bakerella is an amazingly talented baker who posts her amazing creations pretty regularly on her blog. When I saw these today, I was literally stopped in my tracks.

Tell me: would could possibly be more cute than these Mr. Potato Head cake pops?

I'll wait for you to think of something.


Obviously. Because these are the cutest things ever. EVER.

Rock on with your bad self Bakerella. Rock on.

(photo from

Friday, June 18, 2010

Five for Friday

... or not. It has been an exhausting, busy week at work. So I'll just post some cheery, summer-like pictures instead :)

Because what says summer more than...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

list 16 - if I had $1,000,000

Remember the song "If I had a million dollars"?

"If I had a million dollars, I'd buy you a green dress. But not a real green dress, that's cruel. If I had a million dollars, I'd buy your love. blah blah blah. If I had a million dollars, I'd be rich."

Barenaked Ladies?



Oh well.

You know, if you think about it, one million isn't very much money in this day and age. Still, I'm not complaining if it landed on my doorstep tomorrow.

list 16 - if I had $1,000,000, I'd*....

1. take an unpaid leave of absence from work (a "sabbatical," if you will) throw some clothes in a backpack and hit up Europe for a few weeks.

2. wouldn't be driving a 2001 Ford Focus... but also wouldn't be driving a Mercedes.

3. make a nice donation to the Ohio State University Political Science Department... because without them, I wouldn't have met my husband.

4. buy Ohio State University football season tickets. And Cleveland Indians half-season tickets. But those are cheap these days anyway.

5. buy some good, high quality, a little more expensive, staples for my wardrobe

6. buy shoes. I'd definitely buy shoes as well.

7. and buy books. Because I love, love, love books.

8. get bi-weekly massage appointments and monthly pedicures

9. send my grandparents, and my Dad, on a fabulous vacation (although not necessarily the same one!). Because they're fabulous and they deserve it.

10. probably head to B&H and do some serious shopping as well.

11. buy a timeshare in Florence.

12. take another sabbatical and write a book about traveling. Preferably from a tropical location.

*me, personally, not sharing with Brad. He has to get his own $1,000,000. Okay, maybe I'll share a little. He can visit the timeshare in Florence with me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Five for Friday - the "obsessed edition"

As we finish out our week here in, I find myself loving/obsessing about a whole handful of things that I clearly must share with you.

1. My new "piano"
Actually not a piano, but an electronic keyboard with touch sensitive keys that when you strike them a little hammer hits an electronic sensor, just like a real piano (minus the electronic sensor).

We went to the bike store last night to get Brad some gear for his ride this weekend, and were walking to Moe's (which now serves whole grain tortillas. holla!) for dinner when we walked past a music store. You know, your run-of-the-mill shopping center music store with kids honking on clarinets in the back, racks filled with books of etudes and scales, some random accessories for all your high school musical instrument needs... and some random keyboards of varying quality.

Since I grew up playing a real piano, I have always poo-poo'd keyboards. They never felt right to me; even the ones with weighted keys always felt too plastic. But because we live on the fourth floor in an apartment, with no end to that in the near future, having a real piano is just not a reality right now. So it's a keyboard or nothing. I had sadly resigned myself to it being nothing.

Until I randomly sat down at this piano last night (I refuse to call it a keyboard. A keyboard sounds like I should be standing in the back of an 80's hair band, rocking my graphic t-shirt and long stringy hair). I grabbed a book of sonata's (the same 17-minute long ones I used to play in high school) and sat down. And played. Played as if not a single day had passed. As if it hasn't been almost ten years since I seriously sat down at a piano. I was instantly transported back to that empty auditorium in 11th grade solo and ensemble where I kicked the butt of that ridiculously long Beethoven sonata, scored myself a superior and a spot in the state competition.

Anyway, back to last night... I'm sitting there, playing away, hardly listening to Brad and the sales guy talking, vaguely hearing words like "last one," "older model" and "clearance price." Before I know it, the piano I'm playing is mine. I may or may not have actually hugged it in the store (okay, I did) and squealed like a school girl.

It has pedals and a beautiful casing and a built in metronome and, best of all for my neighbor's sake, an outlet to plug headphones into. We go back to pick it up on Saturday afternoon, once they box it up all pretty. Hopefully Brad wasn't planning on anything productive happening Saturday night (or Sunday. Or any night next week). Because I have a whole book of sonata's to relearn.
2. these awesome city prints

I stumbled upon these this morning and have the urge to buy one for every city I have been to, frame them in simple black frames and line them up across my living room wall.

Heads of State, you guys are awesome. My only hope is that they continue to churn out all the awesome places in this country (world?).

Oh, and right now, they have a print for sale with benefits going to clean up efforts in the Gulf. If that's not a worthy cause right now, I'm not sure what is.

3. Cleveland
Long before I lived in our nation's capital, and before I became a beach bum Floridian, I was born in Cleveland.

The "Mistake by the Lake" seems to always get an unfair bad rap. I think it's actually a grand place, filled with amazing ethnic food, hard working people, some amazing cultural sites (hello? Cleveland Orchestra? Cleveland Museum of Art? Severance Hall? awesomeness.) and one of the best small breweries in the country, Great Lakes Brewing Company (Burning River used to be my happy hour staple). Perhaps now best known for the misery that their professional sports teams bring to fans (please don't leave, Lebron! And Tom Izzo, seriously?), one scoop of Mally's ice cream will bring a smile to any downtrodden Indians fan (62 year drought since the last World Series win? only the Cubs can claim a record worst than that!).

Over Independence Day weekend, we're headed to see my brother-in-law in Rocky River, catch a few Tribe games (I suppose going to more than one gives me a better chance of them not losing by 10+ runs) and check out all my old haunts. It is going to be a grand old time.

4. my husband

Duh, he's awesome. Just read the list above and this should be obvious: he bought me a piano. He lets me decorate our house with crazy travel-themed stuff. He's taking me to Cleveland. HE BOUGHT ME A PIANO (okay, still a little excited about that one).

He's the most selfless, loving, forgiving, sweetest, nicest person I've ever met. He mingles with my large Italian family with the same ease he mingles with politicians. And he mans the bbq grill like no one's business. He's riding in the Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure next week - 63 miles on Sunday morning (I'll be camped out at Panera with my coffee and wifi).

Oh, he also organized a big volunteer day for his office today. They're doing a mock disaster drill where they learn how to set up and run a mass shelter (you know, with the Red Cross and PB&J and cots and everything). I volunteered to be a victim; he said my services were not necessary. I volunteered to fill the roll of "aggressive member of the local media." While I would have been perfect, my services were again turned down. Probably better for them... there is a lot of pent up frustration you can harbor after doing media relations for over four years...

Anyway, Brad = awesome. That's all there is too it.

5. Cary Grant

Because it has been a few weeks :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

list 15 - a summer fun "to do" list

1. Wolf Trap
2. water park
3. Tour de Cure (shameless promotion of the 63 mile bike ride Brad is doing in two weeks to raise money for diabetes!)
4. picnic on the National Mall
5. Tidal Basin paddle boats
6. the National Building Museum
7. Cedar Point
8. baseball - Nationals. Indians.
9. walk in the rain
10. county fair... with farm animals!
11. jazz in the Sculpture Garden
12. cruise
13. day trippin'
14. mini golf
15. brats and corn on the cob on the grill

(15 lists down, 37 to go!)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Five for Friday

1. I was going to start this post with an apology for not doing a "Five for Friday" last week by saying "Sorry I didn't post last week, we were in ______." But then I momentarily forgot where we were (answer: Ohio for Brad's ten year high school reunion). Do you think that's bad? Perhaps it's a sign we've been traveling a lot lately. Or that life is insane. Or that I'm getting old.

2. So yes, we were in good ol' Marion, Ohio (small town, about 90 minutes north of Columbus) last weekend for Brad's ten year high school reunion. It was a fun time had by all, filled with extremely cheap drinks (Hello $2 Blue Moon!), reenacting where Brad fell and broke his ankle his senior year, and extremely bad dancing to old songs (the "Thong Song" and Justin Timberlake. Hello 1998). But it also made me glad that I am boycotting my ten year reunion, which is at the end of July. Since I have a desire to really only be good friend's with one person in my class of 680 (or 630. or 640. something like that).

3. Summer has officially arrived in D.C. Too bad spring decided to skip out on us this year, as a sunny, 65° day is really the best...

4. I forgot the highlight of our trip to Ohio: strawberry chip ice cream at Graeter's. Mega yum. Really, summer isn't complete without a scoop of strawberry chip. I even splurged and got the waffle cone. I justified it by having a salad for lunch the day before. One day I will open a Graeter's franchise in D.C. There are so many Ohio people here, I wouldn't even have to change the flavor name from "Buckeye Blitz" to "Peanut butter chocolate."

I ♥ you Graeter's - you make my summer complete.

5. This weekend we are headed out of town, up to the Big Apple. We'll be meeting a bunch of my family there to celebrate the life of my great-grandmother. She always enjoyed the finer things in life, like awesome Italian food and a good glass of red wine, so I know we will be toasting her in style!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

list 14 - 114 things I love

some previously mentioned... some not :)

1. my husband - clearly
2. cute new shoes that are actually comfy
3. warm beach breezes
4. bold primary colors
5. contrast-y black and white photos
6. Veterans and their families
7. maxi dresses... even though I've only found one in two years that works for me
8. hand-written letters
9. brownie sundaes
10. s'mores
11. long walks on sunny days
12. autumn
13. turtleneck sweaters
14. OSU hoodies at football games
15. fro-ZEN-yo
16. walking the Long Walk hand-in-hand with Brad
17. my family... they're the best
18. malbec
19. chianti
20. pinot noir
21. Facebook
22. laying in soft grass, looking up at a cloudless sky
23. the last line of The Great Gatsby
24. music that makes you want to dance
25. my black pashmina
26. college football
27. Cleveland Indians baseball
28. glass skyscrapers reflecting other buildings
29. Chicago
30. walking on the beach in a long sleeved tee-shirt and shorts
31. jeans and flip flops
32. trains as a mode of transportation
33. reading on the balcony of a cruise ship
34. hot coffee
35. fingerless gloves
36. NYC
37. show tunes
38. playing the piano
39. spontaneous memories from childhood
40. the first few hours after you get a new hair cut
41. finishing a really good book
42. bicep curls
43. pretending that I'm more Southern than I really am
44. pretending that I'm more Italian than I really am
45. big bear hugs
46. calling my grandmother every Sunday afternoon
47. decisions that come from the heart, not the brain
48. ultra-modern hotels
49. random roadside attractions
50. Seattle
51. neon signs
52. a hot pretzel in Times Square from a street cart at midnight
53. my wedding ring
54. blogging
55. unedited photographs
56. backyard kiddie pools
57. Washington Post on-line chats
58. text messages from my BFF's
59. old friends and new friends
60. the idea of Girl Scouts
61. awesome accomplishments at work
62. beach umbrellas
63. my new sandals from Target
64. Target
65. my iPod commuting mix
66. songs you haven't thought of since high school
67. the band Oasis
68. my ever growing list of "must read" blogs
69. talented photographer friends
70. bacon cheese fries
71. a cold Blue Moon
72. driving with the sunroof open (preferably to the beach)
73. key lime martini's in the backyard
74. Plank's thin crust pizza
75. giant neighborhood bookstores (I'm talking to you Book Loft and Elliott Bay Book Company!)
76. nostalgia
77. photos of returning soldiers, sailors and airmen
78. early morning in Old Town
79. the Sunday paper
80. learning new things
81. vodka martini's with a twist
82. the Gap Outlet
83. the Nine West Outlet
84. Bob Evans' biscuits
85. the Pioneer Woman
86. laughter
87. DVR
88. "Modern Family"
89. Monday Night Football
90. Sunday Night Baseball
92. sending flowers to people
93. planning trips
94. massages and pedicures
95. I'm Not Really a Waitress
96. a really good biography
97. when a book makes me cry
98. when a book makes me laugh
99. planning big surprises for Brad's birthday
100. making lists and checking things off
101. typing fast... but not hard
102. Cary Grant
103. "An Affair to Remember"
104. "Sleepless in Seattle"
105. "When Harry Met Sally"
106. Carrie and the gang
107. movie theater popcorn with extra butter
108. the idea of running
109. Conde Nast Traveler magazine
110. Five Guys little cheeseburger and fries
111. hugs and kisses from old friends
112. my first car
113. Pandora
114. sun