Monday, January 31, 2011

Warning: Winter Weather Coming

I am going through withdrawals: sunshine, green things, warm skin, feeling in my toes. I thought this disgusting thing called winter in January was over. It was 70 degrees this weekend (which we took full advantage of). But then the weather man tells me this morning that more winter weather is heading our way. And that tomorrow, and especially Wednesday, the temperature will have a hard time getting above freezing. Great.

I am going to have to work overtime this week imagining my own little world where it is 86 degrees and so sunny it almost hurts to open your eyes. And there will be plenty of black-out sunglasses, floppy straw hats, soft green grass, and popsicles that stain your lips red.

I think owning this swimsuit will make this imaginary world seem more real. At least that's how I justify this purchase. And then I can put it on, lay in bed under a mountain of blankets, and imagine my glamorious self right in the middle of the dog days of summer.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Obsession: Portlandia

Oh man, so I was cruising Apartment Therapy today (which I'm completely in love with, btw), and I came across this post about a new show on IFC called Portlandia. It looks absolutely hilarious.

From AT:

"In our office, we have a phrase we like to toss around... if a product's trying a little too hard to cash in on a trend, we call it a "bird on a stick." Fred Armisen (SNL) and Carrie Brownstein (formerly in Sleater-Kinney) know what we're sayin'. Their new show, Portlandia, mocks a range of hipster stereotypes, from locavores to indie designers to — we can't escape the embarrassing truth — distracted multi-tasking bloggers obsessed with top 10 lists.

The duo's skits all take place in Portland, the city "where young people go to retire." For anyone who remembers the nineties fondly, belongs to an adult hide-and-seek league, or fact-checks the chicken's dossier when they're ordering from a local restaurant, this is a comedy that will hit close to home."

Here are three clips so you can become just as obsessed as I am:

Hilarious, isn't it? I love love love Fred Armisen -- the glasses, the humor. And I love the clip about putting birds on everything. So true. So over. Because didn't you hear? It's the year of the rabbit.

Check out the full AT post here. And watch Portlandia on IFC Fridays @9:30p.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Winter blahs, most definitely.

Having a kind of blah day. Ever have one of those? I have a snag in my tights and my feet are cold. The time is passing so slowly and where I really want to be is curled up under massive blankets, napping, and watching really sappy movies.

The view outside my window is depressing. I am so ready for spring, warmer weather, and anything green. And I would kill to be here right now:

[found here]

Huge Piperlime Sale!

I love winter sales. All the clothes I've had my eye on are finally going on sale to make room for all the spring stuff. And I am definitely taking advantage.

Today only, over @, they are having a 30% off sale on some of their winter stock (sweaters, coats, boots, etc. -- most of which is already on sale for up to 60% off). That's a total of 90% off! It's only today though. And you have to enter the code WARMUP at checkout.

I got this Central Park West Sycamore Sweater Cardigan. Originally $141, I got it for only $39.18. Over $100 in savings. Oh yes. Now I already have a navy sweater cardigan but I've had it since college and I think it might have stretched out a little because I'm just not as crazy about the fit as I used to be. Plus, I'm starting to notice a little pilling action going on. Anyway, it's time for it to go.So I will be putting it in the donate pile to make room in my closet. One new thing in, one old thing out is my motto (I try my best, at least).

Hurry over to Piperlime and see what else they've got before everyone gets all the good stuff. Because at these prices, it won't last long. (And no, they didn't pay me to say that although I wish they would).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

J.Crew Spring 2011

I just got these pants on super sale @ J.Crew!

Originally $108, reduced to $79.99, and with the additional 40% off all sale items (still going on, btw), this gorgeous pair of pants was a whopping $47.99. Amazing. And while I wait for them to arrive, I am fantasizing about all the soft grey and lovely brown things I will pair with them.

Speaking of J.Crew (obsessed, yes), their Spring 2011 lookbook is full of beautiful clothes. Like these:

Come on Spring, hurry up and get here! I am dying for some bare legs!

New reads

Currently reading: Joy in the Morning

"In Brooklyn, New York, in 1927, Carl Brown and Annie McGairy meet and fall in love. Though only eighteen, Annie travels alone to the Midwestern university where Carl is studying law to marry him. Little did they know how difficult their first year of marriage would be, in a faraway place with little money and few friends. But Carl and Annie come to realize that the struggles and uncertainty of poverty and hardship can be overcome by the strength of a loving, loyal relationship. An unsentimental yet uplifting story, Joy in the Morning is a timeless and radiant novel of marriage and young love."

Sounds familiar. And it's good so far. The author, Betty Smith, wrote another great book (which I love), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. If you get a chance (and if you haven't already), read that book. And then watch the movie. And then read the rest of her books. Because she is a great writer.

P.S. Apparently, in 1965, Joy in the Morning was made into a movie. As soon as I finish the book, I'll watch it. I never watch the movie before reading the book. And you shouldn't either. It completely ruins it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hanging 'round the house.

Finally got a picture of the new bags. Aren't they cute?

Gave Tillie a bath. Then we watched Easy A. Twice. We are majorly obsessed with that movie lately. Okay, so maybe it's more me than Andrew but it is so funny.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Just got a text message from Andrew with this image attached:

My bags are here! More than usual, I can't wait to get home this afternoon!


I think I'm one of those people that finds something they like and then becomes addicted to it. Single minded. I started noticing this about myself this December when I became completely obsessed with the Amazon Cyber Monday week-long deals. I watched them all day long, counting down the hours and minutes until the next one was revealed. Because now I have become obsessed with members-only shopping websites. Like Rue La La. New boutiques open every day @ 10a and I absolutely have to check them out. Doesn't matter if I buy anything or even like any of it, I have to check. And with the discovery of The Foundary, I am even more obsessed. The Foundary is like Rue La La, only instead of fashion it's mostly home goods (furniture, kitchen gadgets, decor, etc).

Also, I got a new hair dryer the other day. My old one was from college, had been slightly melted by an incident with my roommate's flat iron, and had lately been getting so hot, I could hardly hold it long enough to get my hair dry. So it had to go. I had been researching hair dryers for months now, determined to find the perfect one and have had my eye on a certain one for a while now. I found it on Amazon for under $20 but I had put off buying it because since it was under $25, it didn't qualify for free supersaver shipping. And I guess I've been spoiled by that free shipping because the idea of actually having to pay to ship it is what has kept me from buying it for this long. But then Wednesday night, while Andrew and I were checking Wal-Mart for fluoride-free toothpaste (per my dermatologist's order), I stumbled across this exact hair dryer. The Revlon RV544, blow dryer of my dreams. It was priced @ $23 which is probably about how much the other would have cost with shipping included, but I justified it to myself by saying this one was right here and I could take it home and use it tonight while if I had ordered it from Amazon, it would have taken another week to get here. So we bought it right up.

Now I know this is a whole lot of talk about a hair dryer and most of you could care less, but for those of you who can't live without a good blow dryer (especially those with long hair -- ahem, LB), I cannot tell you how amazing this one is. It doesn't get extremely hot but it somehow dries my super thick long hair in about 5 minutes. And not that my hair is curly or frizzy or anything, but it makes it so silky and soft. I have not used my flat iron in two days. So if you're in the market for a new hair dryer, I highly recommend this one. And so do 280 other Amazon reviewers. Just saying.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shy Ronnie

Oh man, do we love SNL. Especially digital shorts. Especially especially this one:

Shy Ronnie gets me every time. It gets stuck in my head for days. It's that good.

You should check out the first one too. Hilarious.

Snow day crafts

It started snowing this morning so I had a half day at work. I spent the afternoon under an electric blanket, eating good food, and watching Andrew play video games.

And of course I had time to work on my latest project:

The t shirt quilt. Somehow over the years, I have accumulated an amazing number of t shirts. And I haven't worn about 95% of them in years. I didn't want to get rid of them so they just sat in boxes and took up space. So I got out all my high school t shirts (there were so many that I have to make separate quilts for high school and college) and cut them up. I started by cutting them down the sides so I just saved the fronts (or whatever part was most important).

And then I made a template to create each square, trimmed them down, and ironed them onto stabilizer so they wouldn't stretch.

I ran out of stabilizer and I'm not going to brave the weather today to go get any. It'll just have to wait until this weekend. Until then I'm cutting up strips of fabric to place randomly between the squares to break it up a little.

Oh and don't forget, an all new episode of 30 Rock tonight @ 8p on NBC!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spotted Moth

A little peek at what I'm loving over at Spotted Moth:

Spotted Moth

P.S. My bags are on their way!

New read:

Currently reading "How to Breathe Underwater" by Julie Orringer.

From the inside flap:

"Nine fiercely beautiful, impossible-to-put-down stories from a young writer who has already received immediate worldwide attention. Julie Orringer's characters -- all of them submerged by loss, whether of parents or lovers or a viable relationship to the world in general -- struggle mightily against the wildly engulfing forces that threaten to overtake us all. All of them learn, gloriously if at great cost, how to breathe underwater.

In "Pilgrims", a band of motherless children torment each other on Thanksgiving day. In "The Isabel Fish", the sole survivor of a drowning accident takes up scuba diving. In "When She is Old and I am Famous", a young woman confronts the inscrutable power of her cousin's beauty ("Aida. That's her terrible name. Ai-ee-duh: two cries of pain and one of stupidity"). In "The Smoothest Way is Full of Stones", the failure of religious and moral codes -- to protect, to comfort, to offer solace -- is seen through the eyes of a group of Orthodox Jewish adolescents discovering the irresistible power of their burgeoning sexuality.

In story after story, Orringer captures moments when the dark contours of the adult world come sharply into focus: Here are young people abandoned to their own devices, thrust too soon into predicaments of insoluble difficulty, and left to fend for themselves against the wide variety of human trouble. Buoyed by the exquisite tenderness of remembered love, they learn to take up residence in this strange new territory, if not to transcend it, and to fashion from their grief new selves, new lives. Orringer's debut collection blazes with emotion, with human appetite, with fortitude, with despair; these nine uncommonly wise and assured stories introduce an astonishing new talent."

I haven't finished it yet; I'm only about 4 stories in. But so far my favorites are "The Isabel Fish" and "Note to Sixth-Grade Self". Both of these because of how familiar the main characters seem. Like versions of myself. In the first, I am able to relate to the main character so completely that it frightened me when I finished it. I am her. We are the same. In the second, the perspective of the narration is one I don't think I've ever read before. It's fresh. And it is exactly how I would talk to my sixth-grade self if I could (and I often wish I was able to). And I'm a little sad that I didn't think to write in this way before.

Read this book. Read these stories. Even if you find them boring -- even if you get nothing out of them -- you can't deny that they are beautifully written. And you have to respect that.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A conversation with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs

[via greenlantan]

I heart Rue La La

Rue La La (a member's only shopping site -- but don't worry, here's your invite from me) is one of my favorite things. They have awesome designer items on sale for crazy prices.

For example, remember this Jane Marvel bag that I have been pinning away for? Well Rue La La is having a Jane Marvel boutique sale right now and I snagged that bag and one other (matching, of course) for less than the price that the first bag usually costs. Score!

Not the same print that I wanted before, but I kind of like this better. More subdoed but still fun. Definitely more appropriate for work-related travel. Because black just makes me depressed.

P.S. I love going to the dermatologist. From now on I will only use the products he recommends.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pure awesomeness.

Tonight I discovered one of my new favorite things:

Taking screenshots of friends' faces freezing during video chats. Haah.

If you're chatting with me, watch out, you could be next.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Days

My new lamp came last night and is now sitting proudly on my desk at work. The sun shines through the glass base making it beautifully teal and bright.

And yes, you did see snow outside! We've had snow on the ground in LR for three days and counting.

It started coming down Sunday night. We got about five inches which is considerable for AR -- enough to shut everything down for two days. So we stayed home Monday and spent the day playing outside, drinking cocoa, and laying in bed eating nachos and watching Avatar. I got to come in to work late on Tuesday and was very thankful for the extra time in the morning. But here I am today, back to normal. There is one thing different though and it is the magic that is still outside my window. We won't get above freezing for a few days so it looks like it's going to stick around -- atleast til Friday!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Codes and Keys:

[via Stereogum]

Death Cab For Cutie (which we love) is coming out with a new album this spring. And I have been reading tons of articles and interviews about it.

From Stereogum:

"For those of us who were fans of Death Cab For Cutie back in the prehistoric days of the early 2000’s, the band’s startling rise to indie-fame has been bittersweet. While it’s always sweet to see a band you love — particularly an earnest band of genuinely nice dudes who write beautiful, melodic pop songs — become successful, there is (at least for some of us) a certain sense of loss involved. It’s a sad trait belonging to those for whom musical nerdery is a lifelong defining characteristic — a sense of ownership over the little bands that you love. It’s like seeing a Smith’s t-shirt for sale at Hot Topic or hearing an old Cure song played in an Old Navy commercial — you realize that the things you love no longer belong to just you (not that they ever really did), but that they now belong to the world. At this point — six albums and over a decade deep into their career — Death Cab For Cutie officially belong to the world."

My sentiments exactly. But I'm worried because with their move to a bigger label, using a big name producer, and with Benjamin Gibbard married to a celebrity actress, I wonder if it will change their sound. Will they continue to krank out songs full of "sublime, intimate melancholy" or will they sell out like so many other bands (Green Day, U2, Jimmy Eat World, etc)? Will I not like them after this? Am I better off choosing not to listen to the new album? Can I even do that?

Bassist Nick Harmer, in his interview with Stereogum, assures us that they are staying true to their roots:
"Of course, Ben will always gravitate towards certain bittersweet material in his songs, but this record has a lot of expansive, soundscapey kinds of things. Thematically and musically, it’s just much more varied. We also have string sections on this record, which is very exciting for all of us. We’ve always wanted to hear that texture in our music, but it never really worked out before.”

Here's hoping.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Love it.

I love Ruche. Cute clothes. Reasonable prices. And even though my clothing allowance is spent (already!) for the month of January, these are the things I am loving right now:

Oh and I bought this lamp for my office today (half off @ Crate & Barrel!)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A good start to 2011:

[via here]

I sent my love letter to Thriftbooks and they sent me a $15 gift card just for loving them. So this morning I used it to purchase the following books:
  1. The Mercy of Thin Air: A Novel
  2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  3. Cold Sassy Tree
  4. How to Breathe Underwater: Stories
  5. Joy in the Morning
And the order I placed for my birthday should be arriving any day now. I am keeping our postman very busy.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A mini office makeover

Got crafty last night (after a day of shopping with Kat and dinner with the fam). I finally got around to doing some things to transform the barren wasteland that is my office into something that is warm and personal. My first (and super easy) step was to put up something functional and pretty on the back of the hutch sitting on my desk that would brighten up the dark cherry wood and allow me to utilize that space. I looked around but couldn't find anything that met that criteria and made me happy at the same time. So I made my own.

I just picked up four cork tiles and some pretty fabric. Since the tiles were pretty thin (and I envisioned something a little more substantial) I just glued two tiles together, measured and cut the fabric, stretched it tight around the tiles, and glued it into place (and burned my thumb in the process).

I had a few Command strips lying around in a drawer that I used to hang the tiles. And I now have a monthly calendar courtesy of Katherine that looks cute and helps me stay on top of things (I decided to ditch the stand it originally sat on to free up desk space, but don't worry, I have plans to repurpose it at a later date).

This is so easy to do, literally took 10 minutes, and cost way less than any other option I considered. And it can be used anywhere -- kitchens, mudrooms, offices, laundry roofs, craft rooms, etc. -- that needs a little organization and a pop of color.

I have a lot of fabric leftover. And the more I stare at it, the more in love with it I am. I'm thinking I will incorporate it into quilt sewn on the new sewing machine I got for my birthday!

P.S. I think I'm getting sick. Again. What a way to start a new year. I have been taking Airborne and Zicam every 3 hours. And I think we're going shopping for a new humidifier this week. If my plan works, I might have found a way to successfully combat the common cold.

P.P.S. Today is my nephew's 9th birthday! Happy Birthday Tyler! I hope you get all the Mega Block Halo men you can carry.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year:

[via weheartit]

Dear 2011,

I want you to know that I'm not one for resolutions. And I will not demand anything from you. I have learned from past mistakes not to make magnificent declarations  -- that when you do, the exact opposite tends to happen. So, you can relax. I have no expectations whatsoever. That being said, I feel it's only fair that you should know that I have plans for my life and many of those plans will probably come to fruition during your reign. And just so you're informed, here is a look at what you can expect:
  • Andrew's graduation
  • purchasing our first home
  • international adventures
  • general happiness
Again, no pressure. All I ask is that you keep these plans from falling spectacularly to pieces. Just let me fly under the radar this year. No trouble. I think that will be best for everyone involved.

Thanks so much. I look forward to working with you over the course of the next 12 months.

Your friend,