Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year of Books:

via weheartit

I read 42 books this year! I'm not going to lie; I'm pretty proud of myself. But I didn't always do a great job of sharing them on here as I went. So here, are a few that never made it to this space, but that you should really look into reading if you get the time:


  1. An Assembly Such as This, Duty and Desire, & These Things Remain -- all by Pamela Aidan. This is the story of Pride and Prejudice told in three parts, all from the point of view of Mr. Darcy. If you love Pride and Prejudice as much as I do, then you simply must read these. They are written in a style similar to that of Jane Austen. And I thought they did a good job of getting in Darcy's head. 
  2. I Feel Bad About My Neck -- by Nora Ephron. I love Nora Ephron movies. Or so I thought. Turns out, after reading her memoir, I really just love Nora Ephron. She's funny in all the right places, and serious when it counts. This book actually made me sit down and right her a letter, which is my new thing, by the way: writing to authors of books I've enjoyed.
  3. Shopgirl -- by Steve Martin. Steve Martin continues to amaze me. Earlier this year I read his new book, An Object of Beauty and really enjoyed it. I loved learning about the world buying and selling fine art and was amazed to learn that Steve Martin is actually an expert in this field. So that led me to more of his work and that's how I stumbled upon this novel. It's short, it's good. I liked it. I know there's a movie but I haven't seen it yet. And he's in it, which I think it funny. How funny to star in the movie about the book you wrote.
  4. Little Women -- by Louisa May Alcott. I have read this book about 20 times in my life. Reading my favorite books over and over again it what I imagine eating comfort food must be like for some people. This is one of my very favorite books. It's absolutely wonderful. I get something different out of it each time. Like always, I loved the relationships. I longed to be one of the March sisters. And I especially loved Marmee -- how strong she was and how fiercely she loved her daughters. 
  5. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children -- by Ransom Riggs. This book has some of my very favorite elements in it: orphans, mystery, boarding schools. I wanted it to be terribly, horribly creepy. I think it was set up perfectly for that. But for me, it just never really got there. I felt it never really lived up to its potential. And yes, it's a very good story, very entertaining, it just wasn't creepy enough for me. I heard a rumor that it's being made into a movie though and that they're trying to secure Tim Burton as director. If that's the case, this may be one of those rare stories where the movie is actually better than the book. It could use Burton's touch.
  6. Beautiful Chaos --by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. This is the third installment of the Beautiful Creatures series. It's a weird combination of witches, voodoo, southern history and legend, incubi, and high school. But it's interesting and although this wasn't my favorite in the series, it was good. If this seems like your kind of thing, give it a try. It's an easy read and the story is pretty decent. I'm eager to see how it ends.
  7. Wuthering Heights -- by Emily Bronte. I think I may have been a Bronte sister in another life. I just love them so. This was the second time I've read Wuthering Heights and though it's dark (which I love), there's just something about it that doesn't sit well with me. I can appreciate the story but I can't get behind Heathcliff. I read an article the other day that said something Heathcliff being the ultimate romantic hero and I'm sorry, but I have to disagree completely. I much prefer Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre. But I prefer Charlotte Bronte to Emily in general. If you've never read this novel, I encourage you to attempt it at least. It truly is a wonderful novel, I just always find myself depressed at the end.
  8. The Invention of Hugo Cabret -- by Brian Selznick. I bought this book after reading a review about it from a children's book author. I was very curious to read it. And at the same time, I was very curious about the movie, Hugo, that I had been seeing previews for. It was only after I started flipping through the pages that I realized that Scorsese's movie is based on this book. It's 600+ pages of a really interesting story told through words and pictures. This is one of the only books I've ever seen that actually uses the illustrations to progress the story. It's almost like a graphic novel. But then, not. It's really cleverly done and I enjoyed reading it. And it only took me about 2 hours to read through the entire thing so do not be discouraged by it's size. 
  9. Jane -- by April Lindner. This a modern day telling of the story of Jane Eyre. It follows the plot line pretty closely and was a nice, easy read. It definitely had it's "yea right" moments and in no way lived up to the original (when does remake ever?) but I enjoyed reading it and if you like Jane Eyre, you probably will too.
  10. The Help -- by Kathryn Stockett. Good book. Interesting subject. I enjoyed the characters and even though I know the author has been criticized for the writing style, I think it adds to the story. Minnie is my favorite character. And after seeing the movie, I though they did a really fantastic job of sticking to the book. I think the casting was phenomenal as well. It's rare to find a movie that lives up to the book but I think this is one of the few that does. So read the book, and then definitely watch the movie because Emma Stone is in it and she is amazing. 
  11. Rebel Angels -- by Libba Bray. This is the second book of the Gemma Doyle trilogy. It's a weird story about a group of girls who stumble upon some kind of strange magic and end up being responsible for the fate of this mystical world. It's the classic battle of good vs. evil but I enjoyed it because, like many of the other stories I am drawn to, it involves orphans and boarding schools. It's just the right amount of fantasy for someone like me who is new to the genre. 
  12. Before I Go To Sleep -- by S.J. Watson. I read this for a book club that I'm in and found it to be really different than most things I would normally pick up but I'm glad I did. This is the story of a woman who wakes each day not remembering anything about her life. And then one day she realizes that her husband, the one person she is supposed to be able to trust, may be lying to her about the details of her  existence. It's kind of like that movie, 50 First Dates, but instead of everyone trying to help Drew Barrymore to remember her life, they're telling her lies to cover up a secret. It's suspenseful and thrilling and kept me up at night. 

For 2012, my goal is to read 56 books by the end of the year. I know it may be ambitious, but it averages out to a book a week. I think I can make that happen. And I've already got a handful of books lined up. So stay tuned.

A Year in Review:

Dear 2011,

Just wanted to drop you a quick line to say thanks for the last 365 days. I've enjoyed our time together much more than your predecessor, 2010. I appreciate the fun times you gave us, such as:

Getting crafty around the house, including this table we made for the dormer window:

Making a t shirt quilt out of my high school shirts:

Watching it snow like crazy:

Andrew running in the Little Rock Relay Marathon:

Celebrating the retirement of a good friend (and the man who officiated at our wedding):

Celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary (!):

Our new, super amazing bikes (and all the bike rides we went on):

Celebrating Andrew's 28th birthday (and my first homemade cheesecake):

Catching the last Harry Potter movie in theaters:

Our first and last trip to Las Vegas, NV:


Making Andrew's t shirt quilt:

That time I got plantar fasciitis: 


All of the brave new cooking we did:



These were all great memories but none of these are what I hope to look back and remember about 2011. What I want to stick with me are the quiet moments in between the big ones. Those moments when we're just us, together in the quiet, doing nothing and saying nothing. I want to remember how it feels to be me at this very moment in my life -- standing on the edge of my future, side-by-side with my best friend.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Goals:

via weheartit 
At the beginning of the year, I made a list of things to strive for. They were some pretty lofty goals. But I actually accomplished some of them:

  1. Get new bikes
  2. Go on a trip to somewhere new
  3. Read at least 30 books (by the time I finish my current book it will be 42 -- more on those later)
  4. Get into the CMP program at work
  5. Sew more 
  6. Buy more vinyl
  7. Grow shoe collection
  8. Wear straw hat and sunscreen to limit sun exposure
  9. Eat more raw foods

I'll be back this weekend to do a year in review. And to share some of my favorite reads of 2011.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Flash Mob:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I want to go to there:

I'd go anywhere as long as it was in this:

via the J.Crew Tumblr


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hello Little Printer:


Hello Little Printer, available 2012 from BERG on Vimeo.

Not coming out until 2012, but I kind of want it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today I realized:

I am a transcendentalist.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lauren the Artist:

My dearest friend Lauren has been living in Korea for a few years now, taking classes, meeting people, and getting into mischief. Recently, to add to her list of accomplishments, she had a gallery showing of her artwork. Because yes, now she is an artist too. Check out the video from her show:

If you look closely you can spy my portrait.



That's her singing too. Talent all over the place.

Lauren is finally stateside and currently spending quality time with her sister in Delaware. But she's Arkansas bound soon (!) and I cannot wait to see her.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

RIP Movember


Movember ended early this year. Andrew decided he looked too much like a child molester to continue on down the mustache road so he shaved it off.

I know you're disappointed. I am too a little bit. But read this article I found in The New York Times called "Why Science Majors Change Their Minds." It's about why science majors change their minds. Sounds familiar.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mustache Update:

And it's only day 4.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Movember:

Andrew is participating in Movember this year! What’s Movember, you ask?

From their site, movember.com:

“During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. Once registered at www.movember.com, men start Movember 1st clean shaven. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts. Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November. Through their actions and words they raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.”

Movember is now a worldwide movement with millions “work(ing) to change established habits and attitudes men have about their health, to educate men about the health risks they face, and to act on that knowledge, thereby increasing the chances of early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment.”

I can’t even begin to describe how excited Andrew is to be participating this year! He’s wanted to grow a moustache for years and I’ve been fighting it since day one. But I guess this is a moustache for a good cause.  So here we go. A 30 day moustache party.



I’m taking a picture every day to document this never-going-to-happen-again occasion. So check in frequently to track his progress. And since Movember will coincide with Thanksgiving, look for a moustache coming to a table near you!

P.S. It’s only day two so if you wanted to jump on board, it’s not too late!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Privacy:

I just deleted my Pinterest account. And I'm really happy about it. I tried to like it but there was just something about it that really bothered me. I hate sharing things with people. Not in a selfish way, I just find it all too personal. I like what I like. And no one else really needs to see what I like or why. No one should care. I think that's what bugs me about social media. I think it's the same reason why I hate Facebook and will never use Twitter. And why I never write about anything personal on here. Because my private life is just that: private. Everyone has gotten caught up in this whole sharing thing and I think it's gone a little too far. No one should care about what I ate for breakfast, how I'm thinking of redecorating, or what I wish my closet looked like, except for me.

So, I'm reducing my presence online and couldn't be happier about it. Right now I'm all about purging my life of anything not vital to living, and that includes many technological devices. Which explains, in part, my absence from this space (a more detailed explanation is here). But if you're desperate to keep up with our lives (and who isn't, really), check out our tumblr here. I try to keep it up-to-date but I don't know how good a job it will do on keeping you current with us because it reveals absolutely nothing. And I love it for that.

P.S. We got a Dyson vacuum cleaner. In love already. And yes, it was completely necessary for life.

Christmas sweater:

We are always in pursuit of the perfect holiday sweater. You know the one, reindeer facing each other on the front, lots of snowflakes -- very fair isle. Last year we thought we had come close as we would ever get with two different but equally awesome sweaters for Andrew. And then tonight, while browsing the internet, I came across this one from ASOS:


This is the best women's sweater I've seen. Must own it immediately.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday night dinner:

Made our favorite tacos tonight. But the onions were so insane, we had to wear our goggles while we chopped:





Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just popped in to say:


I got a haircut.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Catalyst:

I’ve been away -- sometimes busy, sometimes just avoiding.

Lately I have been struggling with my individuality. As a kid, I wanted nothing more than to fit in (as most kids do). I went with the flow; complete herd mentality. And the older that I get, the more I find myself at the other end of the spectrum. Fitting in is the worst thing imaginable. I have the irrepressible urge to run away from everything that becomes too popular. iPhone? Getting rid of it this month (more on that later). Facebook? Hardly ever use it. Twitter? No thank you. I don’t want to be one of those people. 

In a time when technology is on the rise, I find myself being pulled in the other direction; reverting to a time when my phone just placed calls and my computer was a tool I used for writing. For me, this blog has been a space for collecting: ideas, pictures, music, funny stories. At times it has been a way for me to reach out to other people and communicate while maintaining my private, very hermit-like tendencies. But always, it has been somewhere I have felt safe expressing myself. I never cared if anyone read it. It made me happy. It was a creative outlet. And it was enough. I guess it still is, however, like, me it’s going through a phase. A phase of growing, changing, and figuring out what it wants to be.

Maybe all this rebellion is about 10 years late. Or maybe it means something else. I’m still trying to figure that out.

All this is to say that my presence here may be lacking for a while. The whole look of this blog may change. The content may change. Nothing may change. I feel very up in the air right now. And I have no idea of how things will end up once everything’s settled.

For now, I feel like the easiest thing is lay low for a while and keep things going on my tumblr site. But keep checking back here too. I'll be around. Don’t give up on me.  

Saturday, October 8, 2011

This is awesome:


Check out 25 pictures taken at exactly the right time. This pictures is one of my favorites.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Our Fall TV Lineup:

We don't generally watch a lot of TV (but I'll admit I watch more of it when I'm traveling -- I ended up watching back-to-back episodes of Stage Moms on Lifetime last night). This fall however, we've found ourselves actually getting into some of the new shows. Here's how it happened.

I suffer from a severe case of over-organization and detail planning. I'm a sucker for lists and schedules. So one day, I checked out all the major networks' fall lineups and made a schedule of days and times of all the shows we were interested in watching. As the new season started, we watched, made decisions about what we liked and what we didn't, and I made changes to the schedule accordingly. Now that we're a few weeks in, and this list is pretty much final, here's what we're left with:

Tuesday:

7:00p -- Glee (FOX)




8:00p -- New Girl (FOX)




9:00p -- Parenthood (NBC)





Wednesday:


7:00p -- Up All Night (NBC)




7:30p -- Suburgatory (ABC) -- the jury's still out on this one, btw




8:00p -- Modern Family (ABC)





Thursday:


8:30p -- Whitney (NBC)




Saturday:


10:30p -- Saturday Night Live (SNL)




Sunday:


7:00p -- Pan Am (ABC)





There are a few shows that aren't on our schedule as of yet, because they aren't premiering until later in the season. These shows include Apartment 23, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Once Upon a Time, and of course 30 Rock (!).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Crescent Hotel:

I'm in Eureka Springs until Friday for work. We're staying at the Crescent Hotel, which is apparently, America's most haunted hotel. When I first got here, I was telling Andrew that my room might be haunted when my cell phone cut off. And coming back up to my room after dinner, I passed by the ghost tour that had stopped in my hallway. I heard the guide telling them that guests on my hall sometimes complain about getting woken up at night by what sounds like a ball bouncing. Apparently, there is the ghost of a small Victorian boy who bounces his ball in the hall at night. I was worried I would have trouble sleeping tonight, but the massive sleeping pill I just took makes me confident that I won't have any problem at all.

I had some free time after arriving this afternoon, so I took a walk around the little downtown area of Eureka Springs. Some cute shops. I got some salt water taffy from this old-fashioned candy store. I'm going to try to refrain from eating them so I can bring some back to Andrew.






Read more about the hotel, its past, and its creepy inhabitants here.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I Love about Living:

{via justbesplendid}


I have been crazy busy this past week, this week, and even more so next week. I'm not complaining; I would rather be busy than having nothing to do, but I hate being busy this time of year. I love Fall. I love absolutely everything about it: bonfires, beautiful foliage, pumpkins, wool socks, tights, crunching leaves on the sidewalk, the crispness in the air, and the season premieres of all our favorite television shows. Being busy all the time makes it fly by too quickly. And I hate missing it. So, in an attempt to hold on to this wonderful season for as long as possible, here is a list of reasons why I'm enjoying being alive right now:


  • wearing beautiful clothes and feeling beautiful in them
  • taking evening strolls with the family
  • feeling like I am a part of something and doing something good
  • cuddling in a nest of blankets with a puppy
  • exciting possibilities and potentially incredible opportunities
  • making tacos for dinner multiple times a week and not feeling guilty about it
  • being able to glimpse my future and see that it is going to be incredible

I'll try to pop back in here over the next week to share an outfit planned for a good friend's wedding, a pretty drastic haircut (fingers crossed I don't chicken out), some new music, some upcoming trips we have planned, what books we've been reading, our new TV picks, and how our holiday plans are shaping up. Because if you know me at all, you know I've been planning all this for weeks in my head.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy J.Crew Day:

J.Crew opened this morning. Finally. And we went. Andrew got a shirt, some cords, we both got new camp socks, and I got this dress:


It really is beautiful. I wanted to wear it to work tomorrow but the salesgirl left the security tag on it so I have to bring it back to the store. It will probably have to wait until Saturday, but look for a picture coming soon.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Waiting for Tomorrow:

J.Crew is opening tomorrow. I never thought this day would come. I've been dreaming about it, planning for it obsessively, and making Andrew text the manager at YaYa's for updates for months. It's finally here. I've already picked out what I'm wearing tomorrow (I'm going shopping during my lunch break): chambray shirt, cropped pink wool pants, and heels -- all J.Crew.

Andrew and I did a major closet overhaul (so, more like just me) in preparation for the crisp weather and J.Crew opening. There are about 4 shirts left on Andrew's side.

So, I'm getting my hair cut next Thursday (yay Kat!). I'm overdue. My hair is beginning to become unruly. I am starting to look like a wild woman. During the summer, I feel like this is more acceptable. But when the weather gets cold, I become a more polished version of myself and I feel like my hair needs to be a reflection of that. So, I've been debating about what I want for a while now: part of me wants to cut it quite a bit and then part of me wants to leave it long. And then there's this little nagging voice in my head telling me, and it has been since the beginning of the summer, to get bangs. Like these:

via keikolynn
My mom always told me I couldn't have bangs, that I wouldn't look good with bangs because my forehead is too short/small. But I'm starting to think maybe she's been wrong all these years. I think these might work. But I'm afraid of commiting to this haircut, hating it, and being stuck dealing with it for months until it grows out. Anyone have any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fashion Week:

It's Fashion Week. And this year, I'm really feeling it. So to celebrate, check out this fun video documenting the past 100 years of fashion:



I'm kind of having a moment with the 1940s. That includes loafers, shirt dresses, and socks with pumps.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Summer:

Now that the summer is officially drawing to a close, check out this video of our Summer 2011 highlights.

Didn't get to spend much time with us this summer? Now you can feel like you did:


Summer 2011 from Meghan Sever on Vimeo.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sick Day:

This week, I am sick. I took Monday off to have a mini adventure with 3/4 of the Order and woke up that morning with a sore throat. It got progressively worse, so Wednesday I stayed home from work, laying in bed, drinking juice, and watching my go-to movie for when I don't feel well, Meet Me in St. Louis.

It's finally Friday and I'm looking forward to a weekend of re-cooperating. Tonight's plans: take medicine, eat ice cream, watch movies, and go to bed early.

One of the movies I've watched during my confinement is Clueless. I fell in love with that movie when I was 10 and it has yet to lose its charm. And then I found this video:



A modern day version of Jane Austen's Emma + over 50 examples of awesome 90's fashion = pure happiness. If you haven't seen that movie, we are not friends. I mean, you've had plenty of time to see it. It only came out in 1995.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Good Hair Day:

Thursday, I was having a good hair day and I snapped these pictures to remind myself of how happy my hair can make me when it behaves:







Sunday, August 21, 2011

Summer Bike Ride:

We went on a bike ride yesterday:


Summer Bike Ride from Meghan Sever on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back-to-school:

I think I've said this before: I love back-to-school time. I love school supplies. I love getting new clothes. I miss it all. Luckily, I've got Andrew to live vicariously through.

I fell in love with this picture the minute I saw it:

J.Crew

The look is so simple. So classic. I am basing Andrew's entire fall/winter wardrobe off this picture. Today I bought him these Calvin Klein penny loafers:
And I am digging this watch to go with them:


With his new glasses and his white lab coat, he'll be the best looking nerd on campus.

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day of School:


It's officially the first day of school at North Little Rock. Nice job, seniors. I can see at least three examples of your fine work from my door.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New glasses:

About a week ago, Andrew got a new prescription and ordered new glasses. This weekend, they came in the mail.




Hope everyone had a great weekend. We did a little cleaning, a little shopping, and are spending this evening trying out a new cookie recipe.

Happy first day of school tomorrow! I saw all the crowd at Target getting last minute back-to-school supplies and I was jealous. I love school supplies. And I miss back-to-school shopping.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wanderlust:

These 3 super cool guys traveled the world and created these three videos. Warning: watching these videos will give you the urge to empty out your savings account and go globetrotting.

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.


LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.


EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Andrew's quilt:

Finally. It's done. This project turned out to be a test of my patience. And since it was so ridiculous, let's celebrate its completion by taking a trip down memory lane to look back on its different phases.

It went from this:

To this:



To this:



It is truly an accomplishment that this quilt ever got made. Its making was a huge feat considering that everything that could possibly go wrong, actually did. My sewing machine broke in the middle of it. I had to finish it on my mom's ancient Singer, the machine I learned on at the age of 4. The blocks didn't adhere to the stabilizer and stretched, causing everything to bunch together. I had to rip out the entire thing and meticulously re-sew it with the assistance of my mother. The front turned out larger than I had planned for and I didn't have enough of the fabric I had picked out for the backing. And when I went to get some more, they had stopped carrying it. So I had to go in search of 6 additional yards of a different fabric. I had to re-applique many of the squares because before my machine messed up, it was sewing really weird and some of the seams started coming apart by the time I started to assemble the final product. It was a real mess. But I think it turned out well. It's really nice, has a great weight, and is huge, which makes it perfect for sharing. And curling up in for long naps. Plus, check out this face:


Totally worth it.