Thursday, April 29, 2010

Daily Eye Candy

I don't know what it is about Fossil that I love so much. Perhaps it is the slouchy, casual feel of the bags. Or it could be the vibrant colors that don't come off as garish. Whatever it is, I'm in love with the brand (and I am not a stickler for brand names). I'm sure you will agree.

Plus? BUTTERFLIES!Fossil Icon Mini, $58.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Daily Eye Candy

One word. Polyvore. Visit and lose yourself forever - literally. You will love it. It aggregated tons of gorgeous frocks like this one from Modcloth:
Under the Seafoam Dress, $214.99. Mmm..I love that color...seafoam...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Quarter of a Century

Once upon a time, there was a slender, blue-eyed woman who had all but given up on the idea of ever getting married. She was contracted to shampoo the carpets in the home of a local farmer, a bachelor thirteen years her senior.

They found common ground. The bachelor's father had taught the woman history during high school. Their families lived in neighboring small towns, and they realized they had once even attended the same party with their parents, though he talked with the adults in one room while she sat at the kids' table in the next. She thought he was very shy, but kind. He thought she looked nice in jeans.

So they went on a date. One date. And then she left for California for a month, journeying with her sister and brother-in-law to his Army Reserve base and gazing at towering redwood trees along the way, all the while figuring that the bachelor would have completely forgotten her by the time she returned.

But he didn't.

They got married in her church with just their immediate families in attendance. And then they had a daughter. And they showed her how to love quietly and generously and completely.

And a quarter of a century later, after years of laughter and tears and pain and joy, the little family celebrated the marital accomplishment together.

Happy 25th anniversary, Mom and Dad.

Daily Eye Candy

I have never been good at watercolor painting. Perhaps because I tend toward perfectionism, and watercolor painting requires a loose stroke and easygoing feel. I'm more of a "paint by number" girl. However, I am always astounded when all of the color has been added and those paintings simply come together. You know. Like the Beatles.Perhaps I can pay tribute to those beautiful masterpieces by wearing this lovely skirt. It also comes in "Ravishing Red" and "Yellow Bliss," which are both also gorgeous takes on this pattern, but there is something calm and earthy about the colors in this "Vanilla Cream" Watercolor Floral Soft Skirt for $23.97 by New York & Company.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Daily Eye Candy

You know, I really enjoyed posting a little something each day last week. It didn't take long or require much Deep Thinking, but it forced me to just get some words down on (virtual) paper. So I think I will try to keep it up. But I guess taking my track record into consideration, no promises.


Once upon a time, before I had a driver's license and permanent teeth, there was a little restaurant named Beaulah's, the only restaurant in the tiny town outside of which my family lived. Beaulah's was the favored eatery (because there wasn't another chow wagon for a good 10+ miles) for all of the local good ol' boys and the church crowd alike.

Beaulah was the proprietress. I don't remember her vivdly, but I do remember her bathroom. The floor was rotting clear through, and one took their own life into their hands when nature called. I was always shocked that what was left of the floor could still support the weight of both a toilet and Beaulah's corpulent customers.

The place wasn't fancy, but it was food, and her patrons weren't terribly discerning. Apparently my own father would fall into this category. One day, while enjoying a hearty plate of scrambled eggs, he looked up to find he had locked eyes with a cockroach sitting on the counter top, surely filled with breakfast envy. The cockroach, realizing its cover was blown, scurried away into the dark nether-regions of Beaulah's kitchen. My father looked back at his plate, salted his scrambled eggs, and continued eating.

So was dining at Beaulah's restaurant.

The place is long since gone, as is Beaulah herself, but the memory lives on, for better or for worse.

What does this story have to do with the Daily Eye Candy, you ask? Nothing. Except the name of these beauties. Nine West Women's Beaulah Mary Janes, $64.22.

Interesting what a single reference can dredge from the far-reaches of one's mind, eh? I do hope you weren't eating scrambled eggs while reading this post.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Fashion: Earth Day

I realize yesterday was Earth Day, but Friday Fashion happens on Friday. Deal with it.

Husband and I are big recyclers. Even though our beloved Bullshit did an episode about how recycling isn't really all that helpful to the environment (especially paper recycling), I just can't bring myself to throw a newspaper into the garbage. And I am not above fishing other people's aluminum cans out of the refuse pail at work to recycle them. You might not want to shake my hand.

Our recycling bins consist of two gray plastic tubs in our garage. Not terribly inspired or exciting, but they get the job done. We empty them about every two weeks (no luxurious curbside recycling pick-up in our little hick county), and the chore takes ten minutes, tops.

In honor of Earth Day, this Friday Fashion brings you environmentally-friendly and design-friendly recycling bins. Because even dealing with trash can be aesthetically appealing.
This looks like a great option that can be placed discreetly right in your kitchen, and the sections are removable so you can dump one without having to dump the whole thing! Plus, I love that one of the separated bins could be dedicated to organic matter useful in compost. Trio Recycling Bin, $30.00.

I love the bright, fun colors and lovely teardrop shape of these bins! Each can be used individually or connected to others to create what you see in the image. Pattumina, prices by request.
Very sleek and industrial-looking. This would match stainless steel appliances beautifully! The Smart Bin, $99.99.This is my favorite by far. Doesn't it look like it belongs in the Jetson's home? It's made from recycled polypropylene. Plus? It comes in other colors! Ovetto Recycling Bin, $139.99.

Love your earth, my babies.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Eye Candy

I don't know if I am just getting older or if this spring really is looking up. Last spring we were mired in an exhausting (and expensive) home renovation and my father's health was tenuous. But this spring we are comfortably snuggled in our feathered nest and it is my (relatively healthy) parents who are preparing to make the exciting transition to a new home, hopefully closer to us and one level with less upkeep.

I find myself taking the time to stop and gaze at the flowering trees, breathe deeply the smell of freshly mown grass, and close my eyes to enjoy the warm rays of sunlight. It is turning out to be a truly beautiful spring.

It would be all the more beautiful if I could wear this sweetly patterned dress while enjoying nature's bounty...
May Flowers Dress
, $63.99.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday Eye Candy

Last night for the second time in my life I used a push mower. Luckily this one was self-propelled (the first one was not and I stared death in the face, wheezing). However, this morning I wake to find I have pulled some vitally important muscle that connects my neck to my back. It seems I no longer have the ability to turn my head. Shame. I did so enjoy the view of my surroundings provided by my fully rotating neck.

Oh, the joys of home ownership (tip: rent).

This has nothing to do with the eye candy today. I just thought you'd like to know that today is your perfect opportunity to sneak up behind me. I'll never see you coming.

So this dress is admittedly a little bit odd, but odd in an incredibly chic way that I could never pull off. And I love the pattern. Which the site says is based on one of Yoko Ono's dot drawings. So, you know, there's that. Threeasfour, $442.00.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Eye Candy

Top Tier Skirt in lilac ash (pictured) or kiwi (sounds delicious!), $29.99.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Work has really caught up with my lately, hence my lack of posting. My apologies for my lack of time. Between my day job, my freelance work, designing for friends, and preparing for my parent's anniversary party next weekend (cleaning my house from top to bottom...), I am just a little swamped. And I've missed Friday Fashion! Shame be upon me. To make up to you, each day this week I will post a little something that catches my eye.

Do enjoy.
Sweet Lullabye Dress, $44.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

At long last...

Finally, finally, finally. "Glee" has returned. And it was a great episode. Perhaps not quite as fulfilling as I would have liked, but I blame this on the fact that we had to wait so long for the second half of the first season. But I hear the next episode, the Madonna-centric episode, Sue Sylvester does "Vogue" and all is right with the world.

This week has heralded the return of all of our favorite television shows. Since we no longer have cable (or even an antennae for the free stuff), we keep track of new episodes of our favorite few and no longer bother with the rest of the dribble (oh, how many hours I spent with glazed eyes while HGTV taught me how to renovate a kitchen or spruce up my landscaping). Here's a rundown of what's new.

"Family Guy"

"Family Guy" never fails to please. You don't want to go to the second floor of our house and see our mutual collection of posters and still-in-the-box action figures. It's kind of sad...


This isn't the new episode (I think there's a week's delay on those), but this'll do, pig.

"Big Bang Theory"

Ah, Sheldon.

"The Ricky Gervais Show"

Are you aware of "The Ricky Gervais Show"? Because if you are not, you need to familiarize yourself immediately. It is on HBO, and it is hilarious. The show is excerpts from Ricky Gervais' podcast, and the excerpts are animated. Seriously funny stuff. I want to take a vacation in Karl Pilkington's head (but I do not think I would like to live there...).

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Side Gig

I don't talk about my work in detail much in this space, partially because I try to keep a small modicum of anonymity for the random crazies that might stumble upon KittyMarie, and partially because I have read too many horror stories about folks getting sacked over their personal writing. So, I will continue to avoid the topic of my day job and what happens there, for better or worse. But you can't fire someone who is self-employed.

In my free time I like to play with design. I might even call myself a "graphic designer," very quietly, lest the Real Professional Designers hear me and smite me for daring to place myself in their midst. I have taken all of one real design class in my life, in which my biggest project of the semester was plagiarized (as in, someone else plagiarized my work). I'm still a little bitter.

For the most part, I am self-taught. I got my start on old PageMaker software as a junior and senior in high school while helping design our yearbook. That's when I fell in love.

Though I went to college for writing, I was able to incorporate design often; I re-designed my college's newspaper (in addition to acting as co-editor) and served as the designer of the College's literary magazine my final year.

My work is certainly not as exciting or innovative as the premiere, full time designers out there, but I look at every project as a challenge to learn a new program skill, a new technique, to create something more interesting, eye-catching, communicative, and to please my customer. The majority of my paid freelance work is through my alma mater, and I am so grateful for their business, which has given me the opportunity to grow my skill set and portfolio.

Recently, I began designing their alumni magazine, a design template that I hope will continue to evolve as issues progress. Here is the electronic version of my first issue:

I also recently created a blog header for my dear friend, Philboy. He asked for something comic book-esque, and I hope he is happy with the result:

My design work brings a few extra dollars into my household, but mostly it supports my creative spirit. I am so lucky to have found something I love. I hope you have something you love, too.

Spring is in the air...

I can feel it. It has arrived. Spring is everywhere. Renewal floods my spirit. Things don't look quite so cold, quite so dark, quite so bleak anymore. Good things are happening. Below are a few pictures that signify "spring" to me.

The flowers are everywhere! I am reminded of one of my favorite poems: "Nature's first green is gold, it's hardest hue to hold" ("Nothing Gold Can Stay"). The poem is rather melancholic, but I prefer to focus on the beauty of those first few lines.

Our house looks much more inviting with a few flowers to spruce things up. Even better, birds love to land on the support strings of the hanging baskets. I can't wait to put out my hummingbird feeder (courtesy of BlindIrishPirate). I hope to start landscaping if the ground ever dries out!

My mother found this old crock in one of our sheds and cleaned it up for me. I love the fragrance and soft color of these blooms.

We just learned that one of these men will become a father for the second time in November (hint: not Husband, thankthelordwhomayormaynotexist). Congratulations to the little family!

Back in the saddle again. He has resurrected his daily treks down the lane to retrieve the mail. He plans to mow the yard this summer with a little help from a pillow and back brace. He has been having dreams of walking unassisted. This photo fills me with more joy than I thought possible.

I hope your spring brings you happiness and peace.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Fashion: Bookworm

Husband inspired this Friday Fashion when he sent me these Exclusive Illuminated Lightsaber Bookends, $49.99, featured on Gizmodo.
Ihave never been a big bookend person. My course of action always leaned more toward stuffing my bookshelf with as many books that would fit, rather than artistically placing the books on the shelves by color and using lovely bookends to hold them upright. After seeing these finds from, however, perhaps I should rethink my strategy.

So cute, almost rustic looking. The color is just wonderful. And very crafty (I bet you could create these yourselves, eh? Maybe even make a spare pair for me? Hint, hint. Nudge, nudge.) Pear pair green, $22.

This first reminded me of the Michaelangelo painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Only adorable. Stubborn foot bookend, $32.

How cool is this? For the middle-aged, nostalgic music lover, I suppose. But us young'uns can dig these too, you crazy cats. I expect someday they will make bookends out of other obsolete items. Like VHS tapes. Record bookend, $10.

As a former dachshund owner, I am obligated to love this bookend set. But even if I hadn't known two of the cuddly-wuddly-est wiener doggies in the whole wide world, I would still love this set because it is so simple and crafty. Hey! Dachshunds themselves are both simple and crafty too...hmmm...coincidence? Doxie bookends, $28.

Very cool. Very mod. Love the rough-hewn look and the architectural yet artistic arrangement. For the bookend lover with cash to burn, these would be an great choice. Forged Iron Book-Ends, $300.