Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanks (Or What I Would Have Posted Yesterday)

This year, more than any year prior, I am abundantly thankful. My gratitude cannot be expressed with words, for they catch in my throat. I am simply so thankful...
for thisfor themfor him
for themfor themfor herfor himand for him.

And for you.

Friday Fashion: Christmas, Part 2

Welcome to Christmas, Part 2. Now that the turkey has been devoured, the stuffing has been stuffed, and the thanks have been proclaimed, I can share these Etsy finds without premature seasonal shame! While searching for Christmas card inspiration last week, I unearthed several interesting ornament and gift wrapping ideas, so sit back and enjoy.

These aren't especially novel...I think I attempted something similar when I could still count my age on two hands, but they look quite sturdy and still very sweet and resourceful. Recycled Christmas Car Star Ornament by Lcaribou for $12.

Now that shopping season is in full swing (Husband did the four a.m. spree this morning...and I stayed in my soft warm bed like a sane person), who doesn't love investing in a few gift cards for those hard-to-buy-for loved ones? My mother calls them "non gifts," but I always personally appreciate the sentiment (*cough* Macy's *cough*). For a usual kind of gift, why not invest in an unusual bit of wrapping like these gift card pouches? Set of 3 by henryandzoestudio for $14.

For those gifts that come in prettily wrapped boxes, include an absolutely adorable penguin gift tag! This little bowtied fellow will bring a smile to even the Scrooge-iest of hearts! Set of 4 by TheTinyFig for $3.

For all of those holiday dinners and festive cocktail parties, include a bit of sophisticated cheer with these mini beaded napkin rings (or place card holders). I think the details are always the most special. By mojaziemia for $3.

Perhaps I love these precious little "Lil' Hoot Ornaments" because they look just like something my mother would crochet. She should really start her own Etsy shop...once she learns how to turn on the computer...By theitsybitsyspider (currently sold out, but check back periodically!).

Continuing with my owl theme (I had no idea I loved the little hooters so much!) are these "Upcycled Felted Wool Own Ornaments." Delicate and soft and sweet. I love her! By newgreenmama for $10.

I think next week will end with Friday Fashion: Christmas, Part 3. Stop in for some unique gift recommendations. There's sure to be something for everyone (and their brother!).

Friday, November 20, 2009


Next week, Husband and I only have to work two days. And then there will be turkey and mashed potatoes and pie the rest of the week. We even get to see Lester, all the way from the arid desert. She will need a coat.


The sun is shining today; one of the first days of sunshine in many moons. This is promising; I have tiny blue spruce trees and one lilac bush to plant before the snow flies.


This week I met one of my authors in person. He called me a "genius" in front of my co-worker. He is too kind (and misinformed), but it made me feel good, a little bit less like a professional fraud.


Yesterday my dad was given a clean bill of health from his infectious disease doctor. He won't have to return for another appointment with her for six whole months. And my mom is now walking unassisted after several weeks with a sprained knee.


Give thanks.

Friday Fashion: Christmas, Part 1

I received a Facebook message yesterday requesting my address in preparation for Christmas cards (thanks for the inspiration for today's post, Anne M.! For those of you that know me well, this is not the Anne M. you think it is. That's another Anne M. I have many Anne M.'s in my life...).

I have a beautiful, brand spankin' new craft room this year, but I have yet to begin creating my own holiday cards. I plan to put together the Christmas tidings myself, because I mix love into my glitter, add extra joy with my glue, and sprinkle gosh darn good will on the cardstock. However, I also have yet to start planning my less with the love and joy and good will and more with the panic and anxiety and maybeicanjustsendsomethingstampedhallmark.

To get myself in the mood, I scoured Etsy. I will share the inspiration I discovered with you, my loves. Proceed to SQUEE.

Cartoon Print Cards

Let's start things off with a nontraditional card. While this is definitely weird and slightly disturbing, the artwork is just so funny and unique. I love the sparse use of color and the simple graphic. From Serpenthes, set of 10 for $3.00.

I am simply in love with this lil' feller. I do not believe a more adorable cartoon drawing exists anywhere on earth (this looks like something the other Anne M. in my life would draw!). I want to put him on a leash and walk him down the road while singing "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas." (Please note, this little guy is an elephant..."Eli the Elephant," to be exact...that song just happens to be My Favorite Christmas Song Of All Time. You don't think the song will give Eli a complex, do you?) SkribblyKids, $2.00.

Crafty Cards

I love the simplicity and beautiful message of this card. The ribbon use is great...and there's even a rhinestone for the dove's eye. Right up my alley. Riricreations, 1-5 cards for $4.00 each (price reduces from there).

Again with the gorgeous simplicity! What a fun and interesting way to use buttons. I particularly like the mix of printed text and graphic with a crafty element. I wonder what kind of glue the creator used...Capturingcreativity, 6 cards for $2.00.

Pop-Up Cards

I definitely don't have the scissor dexterity to create these cards...but I so admore the workmanship! I am in love with the tiny, delicate bows on the packages! A very sweet scene. Shesbattydesigns, 1 card for $6.00.

This is a very interesting a snowglobe! And what a jolly snowman! PetrinaCase Studio, 1 card for $3.99.

Just Plain Beautiful Cards

This card gets the seasonal point across very simply and in a lovely way. Christmas is one time of the year when I can stand gold everywhere...normally I am a silver gal, but during December, gold is just right. Kingpopcorn, 1 card for $6.00.

This card definitely deserves a click on the link to view the whole piece. I used this picture to highlight the hand-embossed snowflakes - so utterly beautiful and so incredibly, accurately evocative of a real snowflake! This looks like velvet! LetterpressLight, 1 card for $9.50.

Stay tuned for Christmas, Part 2 in next week's Friday Fashion!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

*Girlish Sigh*

This is a good one, as usual. A pregnancy is revealed, crushes are voiced, and Finn utters a line that will make milk shoot out of your nose: "I have to go. They'll think I'm pooping."

It's so nice to know I'm not the only one that worries about these things.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I have been remiss in posting lately. My apologies. As penance for my absence, I beg you to read this, How To Use An Apostrophe. It's graphically illustrated and an extremely interesting way to teach these simple (but, admittedly, sometimes opaque) concepts!

After you read that, check out the rest of the comics. I particularly enjoyed How Everything Goes to Hell During a Zombie Apocalypse, 8 Ways to Tell if your Loved Ones Plan to Eat You, and 6 Reasons Bacon is Better than True Love.

It will be good for your soul.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gleeking Out

I don't believe my intense love affair with Glee is much of a secret. Ever since Philboy introduced me to the pilot, I have become a devoted follower. A "Gleek," if you will. And some of the best people I know love the show too. BlindIrishPirate wrote a great post about Glee, expressing some plot concerns and character development wishes. But I do believe her desire for the character of Artie was fulfilled this week! For you to enjoy:

P.S. also had a great article on Glee yesterday! Read, enjoy, love!

Acceptance, Tolerance, Unconditional Love

Another hypocritical Christian, another controversy that highlights the gray area that is free speech. What happens when your personal views potentially interfere with the welfare of your employer? When your championing of a cause appears detrimental to your ability to make a living? When your personal and professional life clash?

I don't have any good answers. I don't think there are any good answers. And, though I may despise this man's views, I am compelled to agree with his right to make his views known. His actions are no different from mine on this personal blog (though I have to admit that my posts are filled less with preaching of exclusion and hatred than with pretty shoes and stylish handbags).

This man's views are incomprehensibly ignorant (he seems to be stuck living in the 1980s when the popular notion was that AIDS was a gay man's disease. Please, tell the men, women, and children who live (and die) with the disease every day that funding should be cut for research because a portion of their group lives a lifestyle with which you do not agree. I did not realize that these homosexual deviants don't get cancer or heart disease like us heteros! I don't want either of those diseases...perhaps I should look into becoming gay.)

People like this make me ashamed to have once claimed the Christian faith as my own. The one consistent Sunday school lesson that I received every week was about God's unconditional love. It's terribly unfortunate that some people prefer to interpret this tenet of Christianity as "He loves you unconditionally...unless you're one of those people..."

But write on, my friend (because if we all were to subscribe to the Christian idealism, you would still be my friend). You have the right to do so and still keep your job. Just as I do. Because we live in the United States and have the luxury of self-expression without reproach.

But I hope you aren't too terribly attached to your views, my dear, for the times they are a-changin'.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I want to see this movie...FORTHWITH!

This movie has the greatest cast possibly ever...Philip Seymour Hoffman...Bill Nighy...Rhys Darby...Katherine Parkinson...Chris O'Dowd...AND NICK FROST!!!

If you don't know who every single one of those actors is, we cannot be friends anymore. EDUCATE YOURSELF.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Movin' on up

We are now homeowners.

I mean, we have been for ten months.

But now, we're homeowners that actually live in their home.

So far we have slept in our house for two nights. And I love it. I can't wait to get off of work and run home to continue decorating. Once I learn how to hang a picture, I will be unstoppable.

I want to write a glowing post about our journey to homeownership, make sweeping generalizations about renovations and grand poetic gestures about our former nomadic lifestyle. But I'm just a little bit tired.

Stay tuned. I'll get my second wind someday soon.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Fashion: Belly Up to the Bar

Since we now have an official breakfast bar in our new home, we're going to need a few bar stools. This past weekend we actually bought two - they were on sale, buy one get one for $1, which was a pretty sweet deal. And they matched our couch and our wood color and seemed pretty sturdy. But, true to the frustration of home renovation, the padding on the seat cushions was just a little too thick, making squeezing one's legs under the bar impossible. Of course we realized this after the first piece was half assembled. So we howled in pain, rent our clothing, and returned the stools. We're still on the lookout. Perhaps this "Friday Fashion" will serve as a bit of inspiration for our bar seating woes.

Soho Bar Stool from Bee Mod for $190. Very masculine and elegant. I love the rung for your feet! Just don't overimbibe your chocolate milk - you might get tipsy and fall off.

PU Bar Stool from Alibaba. Nothing sends my heart a-flutter like striking red. And red plush is even better. I think this stool would require a rather dainty bottom, however.

Rattan Bar Stool from Evinco Design for $334.99. Rattan isn't for everyone. I'm not entirely sure it would fly up here in the Medieval Midwest; it seems much more suited for a retirement community in Florida (think "Golden Girls"), but for a beachy, easygoing look, rattan is a great choice. Just avoid flowy clothing. You might get caught.

Oh, this is my favorite. Dancing Circles Barstool from Horchow for $599. I will covet this until the day I die, or until the day my wallet expands enough to afford more than $1,200 in barstools (because I need at least two! One might get lonely!). Hmm...according to my financial calculations of a copyeditor's projected salary...I guess you will remain only in my dreams, my love.

Okay, so maybe I lied. Maybe these are my favorites so far. Maybe I just need to own another house with another breakfast bar so I don't have to make these hard life decisions. Twist Bar Stool by Effezeta from Furnit at 326 pounds (I ain't got no idea how much that be in American money). Come on, baby, let's do the twist...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

On Babies and Teh Future

So, about two months ago we had a pregnancy scare. I don't even know why I would label it a "scare" - we've been married for over two years now and both have stable jobs as well as relatively normal mental states - except that I was filled with utter terror. It was only a day-long period (ha) of uncertainty, but that was The Longest Night Day of Andy's KittyMarie's Life (name that movie). Just that one day sent me into a wide-eyed, hyperventilating tailspin. You see, I demand my body run like a well-oiled Timex. And I will admit I squealed a little bit with delight when I found I had once again "fallen to the Communists" (name that TV show). I'm sure that's more than you ever wanted to know about me. Awkward. Moving on.

This incident led to asking Big, Serious Questions during a Big, Serious, Impromptu Marital Discussion over dinner one evening. What do we want to accomplish as a couple before a human being springs from my loins? What do we want to accomplish individually before our lives are no longer ours alone? What is our time line? How many miniature clones do we ultimately want to create? How would we make it work logistically, physically, emotionally? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

Providentially, Amalah posted a Pre-Baby Bucket List on her Advice Smackdown. Amalah is one of my favorite mommybloggers (on second thought...maybe I am ready for a baby...I religiously follow several mommyblogs for Pete's sake).

The Bucket List was a great post, and it reflected a number of things we want to do/enjoy before procreating. Additionally, we want to spend time together, enjoying one another's company. We want to visit a foreign country. We want to get another four-door, baby-friendly car. We want to figure out what we plan to do professionally. We want to move into our own damn house already (so, some of our goals are a little more attainable than others...).

And in a very small voice, in a very closeted portion of my heart that doesn't want to acknowledge the facts of life right now, I just want to give my father a grandchild to enjoy. The rest will remain unwritten.

I would wear this if...

...I was an evil temptress trying to take over the world from the security of my secret lair carved into the base of a volcano. I would also accessorize with a great number of minions.Rock Star Rebel necklace by Elva Fields. I love anything that includes the word "gunmetal" in the description. (Sorry, sold out at the moment!)

So inappropriate...

...and so very, very funny.

"Pants" by the Here Come the Mummies on the Bob & Tom show.

You don't think less of me because I belly laughed at this, do you?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Today I love...

...this Coventry Hand Tufted Wool Rug from Layla Grace.

The nearly 8 x 11 rug is almost worth $1,358...

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...

Superman!Thank goodness he flew in just in time on Halloween to save my unwitting party goers from the Black Pasty White Scourge of the Seven Seas Wabash River!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Friday Fashion: Shop It To Me

I know it isn't Friday. But I held off on the Friday Fashion post for a fashionably late Monday post. You see, every Monday I get an e-mail from Shop It To Me that highlights a number of items on sale from some of my favorite stores (or, they would be my favorite stores if most of them weren't more than 50 miles away...). It's a nice 9:00 a.m. respite. I ooh. I aah. I ogle. I covet. I percolate. Yes, percolate. It's better than straight black coffee.

The e-mails highlight everything from darling dresses...

Floral Swirl Dress from Nicole Miller for $185.50.

To sweet sweaters...

Cowl Neck Jacquard Tank from Nine West for $45.90.

To adorable accessories like sharp shoes...Nuncio 13 from Nine West for $49.99.

And perfect purses...
Metallic Derby Clutch from J. Crew for $39.99.

And even hellacious hats...Wool Herringbone Bucket Hat from J. Crew for $19.99.

Can hats be hellacious? Today I'm going to say yes.