Monday, February 28, 2011

Funny Animal Voiceovers

the way to shop:

"If she can’t afford it, she won’t buy it. If it doesn’t fit (or make her feel good, or flaunt what she’s got), she won’t wear it. If she can’t find it, she won’t compromise. If she loves it, she won’t toss it. She reuses it, rethinks it, lets it age.

When a French girl shops, it isn’t a solitary act of buying something new. It’s part of a lifelong process of editing her environment, making small but meaningful additions to her home, her closet, her life.

When you shop like a French girl, you buy only one of anything – and make sure it’s the best quality you can afford."

From Wit & Delight

You look just like Buddy Holly.

Channeling Buddy Holly today.

I hear the secrets that you keep...

We're back with more of everyone's favorite subject: things Andrew says in his sleep.

  1. "I've got to memorize the samurai's magic"
  2. "You are amazing" -- I like to think this was about me, but in all reality, he was probably dreaming about a video game
  3. "You're my summer club"
  4. "You don't have any specials or anything"
  5. "I know for sure where those would go. It's irritating as hell."
That last one was this morning at about 3:30a. He woke me up with his talking. And then I almost fell out of bed laughing as I wrote it down. I feel lucky to have such hilarious night time entertainment.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Resolution 2011: Beach Vacation

Summer Vacation 2011
The weather was in the 70's today. And while out enjoying it (before the storm sets in), I realized that I am in desperate need of some kind of beachy vacation this summer. I don't think I've been to the beach since the summer before I graduated from college.
I need a little of this:
And a little of this:
Thanks, LB, for keeping those pictures around to make me smile.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Friday!

I know this week was short because of President's Day but I am so ready for the weekend!
We've got plans to do some major sleeping in, cleaning, and having a super late Korean Christmas present party with Kat and one of the best families on the planet (minus this twin and this twin).

P.S. I love bags. All kinds. And it doesn't even matter if they're for me or someone else. I love. LOVE. Check out this bag I just snagged for Andrew. French Connection for $39! Thank you RueLaLa. Click here for your own invite to join RueLaLa.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Seven Henrietta Street

How sweet is this video for Kate Spade? I'm not going to lie, I am a little obsessed. And a little jealous of all the books.

GO International collection

So, we've kind of broken up with Target. Not that I don't still enjoy wamdering aimlessly around their stores, I've just been feeling like I can't really trust the quality of their products anymore. I love that they have cute clothes for (mostly) insanely cheap prices, but recently I've just been wondering if it's really even worth it. We've had some bad experiences lately that have just kind of turned us off to them. And that makes me sad. I have always been a huge Target supporter. Now I pass by their clothes and shoes without even a second glance. We are over.

And then I was browsing their corporate site this morning and came upon a press release stating "This spring, Target® (NYSE:TGT) is celebrating the five-year anniversary of its fashion-forward, affordably-priced GO International program with a collection that features 34 dresses from 17 past GO International designers." Now this I can get behind. I love their designer collaborations. And this collection will include pieces from: Luella Bartley, Tara Jarmon, Paul & Joe (by Sophie Albou), Behnaz Sarafpour, Proenza Schouler (by Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez), Libertine (by Johnson Hartig), Alice Temperley, Erin Fetherston, Jovovich-Hawk (by Milla Jovovich and Carmen Hawk), Rogan (by Rogan Gregory), Richard Chai, Jonathan Saunders, Thakoon (by Thakoon Panichgul), Tracy Feith, Rodarte (by Laura and Kate Mulleavy), Zac Posen and Tucker (by Gaby Basora).

It all goes down March 13th. Check out the press release here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New reads: Curious events

Today at lunch, I started reading a new book (I know I'm a little out of control, but I can't stop): The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

It goes like this:

"Christopher Boone, the autistic 15-year-old narrator of this revelatory novel, relaxes by groaning and doing math problems in his head, eats red-but not yellow or brown-foods and screams when he is touched. Strange as he may seem, other people are far more of a conundrum to him, for he lacks the intuitive "theory of mind" by which most of us sense what's going on in other people's heads. When his neighbor's poodle is killed and Christopher is falsely accused of the crime, he decides that he will take a page from Sherlock Holmes (one of his favorite characters) and track down the killer. As the mystery leads him to the secrets of his parents' broken marriage and then into an odyssey to find his place in the world, he must fall back on deductive logic to navigate the emotional complexities of a social world that remains a closed book to him. In the hands of first-time novelist Haddon, Christopher is a fascinating case study and, above all, a sympathetic boy: not closed off, as the stereotype would have it, but too open-overwhelmed by sensations, bereft of the filters through which normal people screen their surroundings. Christopher can only make sense of the chaos of stimuli by imposing arbitrary patterns ("4 yellow cars in a row made it a Black Day, which is a day when I don't speak to anyone and sit on my own reading books and don't eat my lunch and Take No Risks"). His literal-minded observations make for a kind of poetic sensibility and a poignant evocation of character. Though Christopher insists, "This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them," the novel brims with touching, ironic humor. The result is an eye-opening work in a unique and compelling literary voice."

It won the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year and the 2004 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book. Its title is a quotation of a remark made by the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1894 short story "Silver Blaze".

I haven't gotten very far yet but so far, I love this:

"I like dogs. You always know what a dog is thinking. It has four moods. Happy, sad, cross, and concentrating. Also, dogs are faithful and they do not lie because they cannot talk."

The writing is genious. Very simple sentences. Very straight and to the point. It's how I imagine someone with Autism (or Aspergers) would write. It's very easy to read. And very easy to get sucked in.

Pick it up sometime. Let me know how you like it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Reads: Light and Easy

I just finished The Last Summer (of You & Me) by Ann Brashares yesterday (during my day off, thank you presidents). I wasn't expecting much from the mind that created the traveling pants and I wasn't disappointed. This book is a decent attempt at adult fiction from an author who's work, up until now, has been solely found in the young adult/teen section.

From the inside cover:

"In the town of Waterby on Fire Island, the rhythms and rituals of summer are sacrosanct: the ceremonial arrivals and departures by ferry; yacht club dinners with terrible food and breathtaking views; the virtual decree against shoes; and the generational parade of sandy, suntanned kids, running, swimming, squealing, and coming of age on the beach.

Set against this vivid backdrop, The Last Summer (of You & Me) is the enchanting, heartrending story of a beach-community friendship triangle among three young adults for whom summer and this place have meant everything. Sisters Riley and Alice, now in their twenties, have been returning to their parents' modest beach house every summer for their entire lives. Petite, tenacious Riley is a tomboy and a lifeguard, always ready for a midnight swim, a gale-force sail, or a barefoot sprint down the beach. Beautiful Alice is lithe, gentle, a reader and a thinker, and worshipful of her older sister. And every summer growing up, in the big house that overshadowed their humble one, there was Paul, a friend as important to both girls as the place itself, who has now finally returned to the island after three years away. But his return marks a season of tremendous change, and when a simmering attraction, a serious illness, and a deep secret all collide, the three friends are launched into an unfamiliar adult world, a world from which their summer haven can no longer protect them.

Ann Brashares has won millions of fans with her blockbuster series The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, in which she so powerfully captured the emotional complexities of female friendship and young love. With The Last Summer (of You & Me), she moves on to introduce a new set of characters and adult relationships just as true, endearing, and unforgettable. With warmth, humor, and wisdom, Brashares makes us feel the excruciating joys and pangs of love -- both platonic and romantic. She reminds us of the strength and sting of friendship, the great ache of loss, and the complicated weight of family loyalty. Thoughtful, lyrical, and tremendously moving, The Last Summer (of You & Me) is a deeply felt celebration of summer and nostalgia for youth."

I also read another book that was very similar: A Model Summer by Paulina Porizkova. This book was another decent attempt at fiction, this time from a former model and children's book author. 

From the Memphis Reads blog:

"A Model Summer begins in 1980 in Paris, France where everything and everyone is beautiful and glamorous. In the midst of all this opulence is young, 14 year-old Jirina (pronounced Yee-ree-na). Jirina grew up in Sweden taking care of her younger sister, with whom she formed a sisterly alliance against their cruel, abusive mother. Her life was that of an ordinary teenager, complete with her feeling too gawky and too ugly, until her photographs grab the attention of Jean-Pierre, owner of Paris’ Siren modeling agency. After Jirina has her 15th birthday, she is invited by Jean-Pierre to give modeling a try.

Her world is turned completely upside down once she arrives in Paris. Wild parties, glamorous photo shoots, and new experiences are hurled at Jirina. Although there is the undercurrent of nervous tension abuzz everywhere, at the end of the day, Jirina is still a stranger in a strange land. I felt compassion for Jirina because even though her associates think she is worldly and sophisticated, she is still that lonely, gawky teenager."

It wasn't the best thing I've ever read but I wasn't really expecting it to be. It was just a simple, easy to read story. And sometimes, you just need that, you know?

Monday, February 21, 2011

DIY: Containers

We've been trying to reuse things as much as possible. You know, reduce our footprint, keep things out of landfills, be responsible citizens of the world, all that. So we've been recycling aluminum and plastic. We re-purpose glass jars (seen here). And we've come up with a way to reuse the metal containers that some of our food comes in. We buy Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes. I like to eat them with my tea at night. And they come in these little metal canisters that seem too useful to just throw away or send off for recycling. So we decided to see if we could put them to use.

What we did was actually really simple -- sprayed it with a primer (so the paint would coat evenly without cracking), sprayed it with a few coats of paint, and taped off and painted the top with blackboard paint.

So now we've got this totally cool little canister taking up space on a shelf. Right now it's holding our tea bags but it won't be hard to change that up later on down the road. And we've got a few more waiting in the wings.

Not ground breaking or anything, we know. But any way to take something old and make it new again gets a thumbs up in our book.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Celebrate: no work tomorrow!

Spent the evening watching SNL specials on NBC. Hilarious. And now I'm celebrating not having to go to work tomorrow (Happy President's Day!) by watching some of my favorite digital shorts online.

I cannot get enough of Shy Ronnie. I go to sleep singing it and I wake up singing it.
P.S. Thurm, I hope you caught the cameo of your favorite silver fox. That was just for you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Adventures in Fayetteville

I'm not a huge fan of Fayetteville, AR. Let me just say that right now. Something about being the home of the Razorbacks just doesn't sit right with me. But nevertheless, here I am. We are having a District Court Probation Officers' meeting today and tomorrow.

Tonight we went to dinner at Qdoba (love it), hit up the Smoke and Barrel whiskey bar (I didn't have anything), and then swung by the association's hospitality suite where I enjoyed a nice cold Coca Cola. Yum.

The only things I have left on my agenda are to finish watching 30 Rock, eat the cookie on my nightstand, and pass out in this sleep number bed (my sleep number is 25, apparently).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spring 2011 picks

I realize I may have been pretty harsh about Valentine's Day. My feelings haven't changed, but I do apologize for expressing them so vehemently.

Now that this, the last major landmark of winter has passed, I feel like I can finally move on to more important (read: warmer) things. Spring is on its way. I can feel it on my arms and legs. I'm wearing a dress today, something I haven't been brave enough to do since the temperature got too chilly for my taste.

And with spring comes the end of winter sales. Oh yes, one of my favorite times to shop. Just yesterday I scored a pair of boots for me and a pair of CK chukkas for Andrew for seriously cheap on Piperlime.
As you may know, I am completely in love with Piperlime. You don't want to know how many hours a week I spend on their site. Before you judge, you should know that most of the time, I am just browsing for something that almost always eludes me. When there is an amazing sale (like right now), I will make a purchase like the shoes above. But mostly it's just me secretly wishing I had $500 to spend on a coat. Like the coat in this outfit, which I am in love with (the entire thing):

That's right. That Milly coat is $540. Le sigh.

And because I have been browsing this site for the last hour, here is what I'm wishing for to round out my Spring wardrobe:

Spring 2011

I desperately need a pair of nude pumps. And everything else.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dear Valentine:

Around our house, Valentine's Day isn't a big deal. We actually refuse to celebrate a day that is based completely on consumerism. Forget St. Valentine, February 14th is a day to buy flowers, chocolates, balloons, cards, and presents. Well, we aren't falling for it Hallmark. Take that crap somewhere else. We only acknowledge it as my parents' anniversary. And I think this is a much better thing to celebrate because without the union of these two lovely people, I would not be here today. So thanks, Mom and Dad. I owe you one.

I stopped at the store on the way home from work (Andrew's sick so he needed juice) and was actually extremely grossed out by all the roses and balloons everywhere. And by all the guys who were lurking around them, feeling pressured to buy something for the ladies in their lives. Since when do you need material things to express your feelings?

We didn't do anything special. Because around here, every day is Valentine's Day. So we made some soup and bread for dinner and hung out. I watched a movie while Andrew studied. And I made this for dessert:

So, if you celebrated, I hope your V-Day was great. And if not, well then you're like us -- saving up your energy to celebrate a real holiday, like President's Day (at lease you get off of work for that one).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Creative Corner

Remember that empty space that I talked about filling a little while ago? Well, it's filled. Done. Check. We were DIY rock stars this weekend and got started early on the spring cleaning/projects. We knocked out so many items that have been sitting on our To-Do list for months now. Including taking this once bare dormer space from this:

To this:

Pretty, right? Not that much of a transformation, I know, but we didn't want to change a space that wasn't really ours (paint, etc). So this is perfect for our needs: doing homework, reading, and scrapbooking. It even transitions nicely into a sewing table:

We are still in search of a cool chair. Preferably something old(ish). And cheap. We found one this afternoon that we loved but still haven't made up our minds. And I know exactly what kind of lamp/lighting I want but can't seem to find it anywhere. Well, anywhere in my price range. I refuse to pay over $300 for a lamp (yes, I'm talking to you, Anthropologie). Here is what I'm after:

But we're in no real rush for any of that so we will take our time hunting it all down.

Stay tuned this week -- we've got a few more fun projects to share with you.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My high school self in quilt form

We're digging out today. I was supposed to leave this afternoon for a conference in Hot Springs but I couldn't even get up our street so I am staying here. I'm sort of glad -- I can sleep in my own bed and watch 30 Rock with Andrew.

Plus, if I were on my way to Hot Springs today, I wouldn't have had the chance to finish my quilt, finally.

Two sides of t shirt goodness -- concerts, musicals, yearbook, television, mission trips, speech tournaments, trips, lifeguarding, volunteering -- and a few special scraps of fabric (those patches of red and blue polka dots are for you, K & L).

If my high school self were trapped in a quilt, this is what it would look like.

Looks like someone likes it already.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snow: My Winter Friend

Working for the government is like being back in school: when the weather gets bad, there's no work. And you find yourself watching the closings scrolling along the bottom of your TV screen, growing more and more anxious as it gets further along in the alphabet that you will see what you have been waiting for. And when you finally confirm what you have been not so secretly hoping for all this time, you run around the house screaming, singing, and celebrating the fact that you can sleep in tomorrow and spend the entire next day doing nothing. And you stay up late that night and probably eat junk food and it sort of feels like Christmas. Snow does that to people. It's magic.

We've had around 6 inches here and it's still coming down. Andrew and I spent our free day hanging out, sleeping in, eating too much, and trying to stay warm. I got a chance to work on my quilt and I am so close to finishing. Tomorrow maybe. Because yes, we're out tomorrow too.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl weekend

I had a half day Friday because of snow (technically less than a half day because I left @ 9:00a) so I spent the afternoon in warm pajamas, watching musicals, and working on my tshirt quilt. It's taken so long because I can only really work on it on the weekends. But I'm almost done -- pictures coming soon.

Saturday Andrew and I finally took down our Christmas tree (don't judge) and after clearing it all away, we realized we had absolutely nothing to fill the now bare space. So we decided to make a built in desk and after a trip to Lowe's, we were rolling. Just a few cuts, some sanding, and painting was all it took. It was still technically "drying" all day yesterday (it took more than one coat of paint) so we haven't had a chance to install it yet. But maybe when I get home, Andrew will have surprised me by setting it up. I have major plans for this space so stay tuned.

Yesterday we hung out at our friend Schuck's house for some Super Bowl partying and general fun. We played Kinect, ate way too much, enjoyed a good game of football, and watched the new episode of Glee. I love to watch the winning team's victory but for some reason, I always get really sad for the losing team.

Which ads were your favorites? This was one of mine:

P.S. I found some cookies at the grocery store that taste exactly like Girl Scout Samoas. And I am in trouble because I cannot stop eating them.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ground hogs are my fave today.

Confession: Sometimes when I get bored, I like to Goggle myself. And I find information about all the flag football championships I've been in, things I've done at ASU, work with the AR Supreme Court, and conventions I've presented my ideas at and suddenly I don't feel as small and insignificant.

I found this video of myself on youtube from this summer for Repower America:

P.S. Bill Nye also supports clean energy.

Also, Happy Groundhog Day! Good ol' Phil didn't see his shadow. So spring is on its way! And thank God. I don't think I can stand this bleakness any longer.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

We need:

Okay, maybe not we but I most definitely need this:

We are looking to buy a house by this summer (fingers crossed). We're kind of in love with this one.
And with three bedrooms, there is plenty of room for a craft room. One bedroom for us, one for guests, and one for doing fun things. I'm thinking this craft room can probably double as a computer room. Like this:

[all images from here]

Oh Martha Stewart, I think that we are sisters from another mother.

New read: The Mercy of Thin Air

Started a new book yesterday, The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue, one of my thriftbooks pruchases. Pretty good so far.

Brief summary:

"In 1920s New Orleans, smart and fearless Raziela Nolan is in the throes of a magnificent love affair when she suddenly dies in a tragic accident. Immediately after her death, she chooses to stay between -- a realm that exists after life and before whatever lies beyond it. From this remarkable vantage point, Razi narrates the story of her lost love, as well as the relationship between Amy and Scott, a young couple whose house she haunts seventy years later. Their trials finally compel Razi to slowly unravel the mystery of what happened to her first and only love, Andrew, and to confront a long-hidden secret.

The Mercy of Thin Air entwines two tragic and redemptive love stories that echo across three generations and culminates in a startling finish that will leave readers breathless. From plucky, forward-thinking Razi, who illegally slips birth control guides into library books, to hip Web designer Amy, who begins to fall off the edge of grief, to Eugenia, caught between since the Civil War, the characters in this ambitious and original debut sing with life, as well as Southern flair.

"With lucid supple prose, Ronlyn Domingue weaves a gossamer tale suspended between two worlds", lauds acclaimed author James Wilcox. The Mercy of Thin Air is a wondrous, incredibly wrought novel that evokes the transformative power of love, memory, and time."

It's a little hard to read sometimes -- the way the narrator travels back and forth between memories and real life. But I am enjoying the interesting perspective. And it definitely has some unexpected twists that keep it fresh.