Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Fashion: Dish towels

In just a few short months of living in our home my dish towels have become atrocious looking, thanks to several unfortunate tea maker leaks and general wear and tear. They were nothing too fancy to begin with, but they did the job. And now they are a little embarrassing.

So, this Friday Fashion will show you a few dish towels that I am loving, and hopefully it will spur me to invest in fresh, unstained towels I can be proud of. Dish towels in a kitchen are like earrings in an outfit - not always necessary to hang for everyone to see, but wonderful accents of beauty nonetheless.
This is the most country-looking, down-home example on the list. Hopefully it doesn't make you think of roosters and apples and barns and other such stereotypical country decor. If you could only see my mother's kitchen wallpaper...*Shudders* I love the rustic look of the cloth and the simple, graphic figure drawing. Artichoke Hemp Towel, $18.Oh, Ikea, you never disappoint. These look crisp and colorful. They make me smile. I would love to hang one or ten in my kitchen. That is, you know, if I had a towel rack. Ellakajsa, $4.99/3 pack.

The bright, cheerful color, the unique pattern, the simplicity - what's not to love? How adorable would it be to give these double duty as placemats on top of a complementary-colored tablecloth?! Jenn Dishtowel, $4.95.I just love the floral pattern mixed with the stripes! I have honestly never before seen shades of pink/mauve done in a such a wonderfully neutral fashion - they aren't completely masculine, but they aren't overtly feminine either. This set would make a great wedding gift! Pansy 5-pc. Kitchen Set, $19.99.

"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag..." I can't think of anyone else but Mary Poppins singing this sweet, soft song when I look at this dish towel. So wonderful. Please Feed the Birds Dish Towel, $9.99.


Read this. Just read it.

Utah wants to criminalize miscarriage. Seriously.

I get where they are coming from - they want to prevent some cracked out woman from intentionally trying to kill her fetus with alcohol, drugs, self-harm, etc. But how are they going to determine if an action is "intentional"? How are they going to even know that a woman has miscarried (especially, if she is too afraid to go to a hospital for medical help because she might land in jail). There is nothing but negativity and danger and a lot of falsely imprisoned women down this road.

I am so outraged by this that I honestly have no more words.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I had the opportunity to recharge my battery this past weekend during an all-too-brief visit with a dear friend. I don't get to see her often, but when we are able to communicate, we do it marathon-style - endless paragraphs in sporadic e-mails and long hours reminiscing and catching up on the phone or in person. I am fortunate to have several close friends that I cherish, and I always appreciate the opportunity to pause my life and just spend time laughing and confiding. Making time for other people is important to me, though I will readily admit that I do not always put forth enough effort. I hope I never alienate those around me, pushing them away, discarding friendships like used Kleenex, until one day they no longer have my phone number or know where I live. I have seen one friend in particular do this, and it makes me sad for her self-induced isolation.

Work continues at a frenetic pace, and I have been spending my weekends and evenings working on a large design project for my alma mater. I am grateful for the freelance work and the extra income, and I am grateful that it is work I enjoy instead of a chore, though I do look forward to the completion of this project. With such an uncertain future in this economy, I am trying to do anything that will help cushion us from a potential financial blow, even though it keeps me from lounging on the couch with Husband as much as I would like.

Mostly, I look forward to spring. It is the season of renewal, and I think we all could use some fresh circumstances and new perspective. I can't wait for the first day when I don't have to wear a heavy, down-filled coat; when I can landscape my barren property with flowers and till my garden; when I can take long, slow, comfortable walks after dinner in the evening glow.

And today, what I wish most of all, is to stand at the edge of a pond in the tall, soft grass. To feel the afternoon sun warm my cheeks. To dig into a plastic cup filled with dark, rich dirt and squirming pink worms. To flick my wrist, casting my fishing line out gracefully and far. To watch the ripples on the water settle until they appear once again, suddenly, around the red-and-white bobber. To feel the excitement of a catch and to show off my prize to my fellow fishermen, my dearest loves.

I haven't been fishing in a long, long time. I miss it so. Last summer my father, my fishing companion, was battling a silent assailant, and he could not fish from a hospital bed. I hope this summer will be different. I hope this summer will be the time to take up my beloved pastime once again, even if all I catch is a content heart and a sunburnt face.

I hope you have hope, too.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Fashion: To be continued...

I want to post often and meaningfully, but, especially today, it just isn't going to happen. I've taken on a large and important side project, and until I get my sea legs, I don't have much time. The feeling of being overwhelmed starts to tighten my chest at night while I lay thinking about all I did and all I have left to do. And then I hear a familiar, soft "honk-shoe," "honk-shoe," "honk-shoe" from the right side of the bed, and I know I am not alone. Everything will be okay.

If you need a little Friday Fashion in your life today, visit design*sponge and the ohjoyblog. These sites always give me so much inspiration and make me feel as though the world is still beautiful.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I have recently been mired in a cold and computer problems and concerns about the future, leaving me little fodder (or inspiration, at least) for blog posts. So today, to lift everyone's spirits, please enjoy the preview for the continued season of "Glee." We still have to wait until April, and this clip seems just to cruelly whet the appetite, but it still brightened my day.

I hope it does yours, too.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Valentine

I didn't post yesterday, on Valentine's Day, because I was too busy spending a lazy day with my love. We didn't go for a romantic candlelight dinner, we didn't exchange gifts, and we didn't even write each other love notes. We didn't have to. Every single day I marvel at my partner and thank whatever force brought our lives together. Without him, I am not whole.

I love you deeply and infinitely, your little Mrs.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Fashion: Be Mine

In honor of Valentine's Day, in honor of a crappy week, in honor of winter being over someday soon, and in honor of flowers once again bursting through soft earth, I bring you a post about vases. Because you've got to have something in which to display those dozen roses, right?

First up, my newest love. This might be more of a planter than a vase, but it is so unique and lovely that it gets included. There are a number of other equally beautiful shapes and styles, so check them out here.Test tube Zen? Whatever it is, it is super modern, sleek, and earthy. I bet replicating this arrangement would even make a great do-it-yourself project! $44.95 from here.

My heart skipped a beat when I saw this. Entitled "Love is Blind," this vase highlights "love letters transcribed into braille." So sentimental, yet so simple and elegant. $87 from here.

How cool are these? Called "Dancing Vases," these are the most unique by far. You might want to go easy on the water though. From here.

No, it isn't black magic. These are magnetic vases. How do they work? I'll let the Web site explain: "The magnet secretly hides under any tablecloth to hold up modern rectangle vases allowing you to create your own unique flower arrangements." Neat-o, huh? I wonder if these could double as candle holders! Either way, they would look so lovely gracing your table! $49.95 from here.

So remember on this Valentine's Day, my pets: the flowers may wither and die, but a vase will last forever (*sappy music* just like your love). Oh, and so will diamonds. Just in case you were wondering. Because then "she'll pretty much have to."

All my love,

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Fashion: Ottoman Empire

I wore the wrong shoes today.

The slushy ground created by the current snowstorm left my [adorable but impractical] canvas shoes dripping and my socks drenched. I can't feel anything below mid-calf, and I'm pretty sure my toes have turned into raisin look-alikes.

So I'm putting up my feet in front of an imaginary fire on top of an imaginary ottoman. If I had an ottoman, it might look like one of these.

First, let's pretend we're in a lovely tropical locale, sitting on a verandah, the salty sea air creating the effortless tousled look for our hair. Are you there with me? Can you feel the warm breeze and taste the sunshine? Good. Now put your feet up on this Rasunda Rattan Ottoman, $326.99.Now we're in a sophisticated Big City loft, completely decorated in black and white and chrome. We are preparing hors d'oeuvres and pouring champagne into tall flutes in preparation of some stylish guests. Before they arrive, take a moment to relax, propping your feet on the single accent color in the entire room, the stunning red Oval Ottoman, $199.95.We move to a cozy West Coast bohemian neighborhood, close to the art scene and boutique cheese and wine shops. Before we go shopping for artichokes and sandals, take a load off on this groovy Angled Stool, $615.
We transfer to an eclectic couple's condo. They have traveled the world and can't wait to break out the scrapbooks and show you their most recently purchased souvenirs. Put your feet on this funky Turtle Foot Stool, $999, because there might be several hours of home movies after the pictures.

Finally, we end up at my house, in front of the couch with a bowl of buttered popcorn, watching Husband play his most recent video game on the Xbox. I settle my freezing tootsies on this highly coveted Frank Pouf, $650, and invite you to stoke my imaginary fireplace.Ah, life is good.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Lately it feels as though the economic boa constrictor is squeezing each person ever tighter, even those who once felt invincible.

Rarely a day goes by now that I don't overhear a hair stylist gossip with her customer about what neighbor just lost their home to the bank; an acquaintance mention the latest person to lose a job; a friend speak of cost-cutting solutions, like five-minute maximum, lukewarm showers.

Even Husband and I no longer feel the security that once came with a university job. The next fiscal year often looms large and foreboding, a black hole, empty and cold, ready to swallow anyone who crosses its path, sending them into oblivion.

It is the uncertainty that is perhaps the most frightening; the loss of control. Losing control is difficult for me to endure; this one of my greatest character flaws. I feel the intense need to have an iron grip on the elements of my life, though often this is merely superficial.

What next will this situation take away from good, honest, hard-working people? Their happiness; their futures; their very lives? So far, it has taken away any thoughts we might have entertained about imminent parenthood. We would like to take an international trip together before we become parents, but how can we even think of planning a trip when we should be focusing on building enough reserves to pay our mortgage and living expenses, should the worst case scenario occur?

I vacillate between optimism and wide-eyed dread. There's no point in worrying about something out of our control, but how can one not worry, not try to prepare for a difficult potential situation, not look with concern upon loved ones whose current situations are vastly different from our own?

Things will improve. Really, they will. Just as the Great Depression is a distant memory for our grandparents, so, soon, will be the Great Recession, though it will certainly profoundly impact those who make it out the other side.

Life is cyclical, though it is often difficult to see the next peak from the valley we are crawling out of.

The dark will recede. Until then, I am here.