Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Fashion: About that time...

I cannot believe July is almost over. To me, July is the last true month of summer. Even though the following month feels the most sweltering, by mid-August the "Dreaded Yellow School bus" (as my dad always called it) suddenly appears and soon pools begin to close, combines begin to kick up dust, and jackets come out of their closet hiding places.

In the spirit of incredulity - disbelief with how time slithers by, so stealthily - I bring you calendars. 2011 will be upon us before we realize. *Sob*How bloody cute? SO BLOODY CUTE. $6.I love the vintage look of this calendar. So sweet and carefree. $12.95.Gorgeous, simple, sophisticated silhouettes. $14.Something for your desk instead of your wall. This is a calendar you need purchase only once (though I suppose the lack of year would not be helpful when you need to write checks after the New Year). $19.And finally, a calendar not for your wall or desk, but WALLpaper for your DESKtop. Each month Design*Sponge offers up a gorgeous (free!) calendar contributed by an artist or designer (above is by Mike Perry). Innovative!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Daily Eye Candy

My deep-seated, eternal love of office supplies is no secret. The only reason I never minded going back to school each fall was because I knew that the return required a trip to the office supplies aisle. I could spend hours looking at all of the pens, deciding upon the color of my notebooks and design of my folders, picking out new scissors and staplers and paperclips and erasers and glue and...oh, heaven truly lies in that aisle. So imagine my excitement when Husband shares this divine creation: A STAINLESS STEEP SHARPIE.Life does not get any better than this, my friends. Uncrate, $8.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Daily Eye Candy

Husband provided the Daily Eye Candy for this wonderful Wednesday (made not so wonderful by the fact that I woke up convinced it was Thursday). He has recently been intensely coveting an iPhone, but because I am not yet ready to fork over my firstborn child to Apple, he's going to have to wait until the contract on his current phone expires (oh, the agony).

In the meantime, he will have to comfort himself with images of iPhone accoutrements. Like this sleek Moleskin notebook-cum-phone cover, $40 from Pad and Quill (via Gizmodo):And for all you sickos whose eyes zeroed in on the word "cum," it's Latin. Look it up, you pervs.

Monday, July 26, 2010

How I know my Husband loves me...

I know my Husband loves me. I am sure of it. How can I be so sure of this other being's utter devotion, you might ask? Well, he spent the better part of yesterday with me tackling my parents' Attic, with a capital "A." We toiled. And we sweated. And we hauled. And we sorted. And we hauled again. And we burned. And we sweated some more.

My parents' old house has more nooks and crannies than you could shake a stick at. It's old. It's cobbled together. It's cavernous. But there are only a few spaces that I have truly dreaded during their Move to End All Moves. The Attic was Enemy No. 1 on my list. And it was quite obvious that unless I grabbed the project by the scruff of its neck, it would be next summer before it was cleared out. My parents are currently planning to officially list the house August 2. The new owners (dear God, please let there be new owners) would certainly not appreciate me in their attic next July. So we toiled. And did I mention the sweating?

My paternal grandmother was a prolific saver. I use the term "pack rat" in the most endearing of terms. It seemed she saved every letter, postcard, envelope, address label, Christmas card, birthday gift tag, travel ticket, and scrap of paper she ever received. My personal favorites are boxes stuffed with paperwork, with a clear handwritten note adorning the top: "To be sorted later." Both the receiver and writers are long gone, forgotten by time. My grandmother has been dead since the mid-1990s, but her presence was felt yesterday. I feel it still today. In my lower back and my calves and my upper arms.

And it was hard for me, because if I take honest stock of myself, I know that I have the same tendencies. I can't throw away old birthday cards, notes my parents left for me while I was growing up, drawings I scribbled at unfortunate emotional junctures of my childhood, scrawled secrets on college-ruled paper from friends in the middle of classes, and let's not even get into my old scrapbooks that contain sheaves of coursework marked with large, red "A+'s" (because who keeps the "B's"?). If I preserve these remembrances, surely the gesture will keep my loved ones static, safe from the whims of fate and circumstance. Right?

I suppose this plan did not work out so well for my grandmother.

But to destroy these mementos was thankfully not my decision to make. It fell to my blessedly unsentimental father to point to the boxes that we plopped at his feet and pronounce, "Burn." And so I cringed and retreated to the Attic to drag more down, and Husband burned. Had it fallen to me to sort through the letters, I would have become mired in the mawkishness of it all and lost my own life to sorting through that of another's.

So perhaps the lesson is twofold: remember to simply and sweetly enjoy my time with my devoted Husband, who will help me with the most terrifying of tasks, however begrudgingly, simply because he loves me that much. And don't spend too much time categorizing my own life's past. Someday my granddaughter might simply burn it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Daily Eye Candy

I am concerned. I keep noticing items and thinking, "oh, wouldn't that look darling in a baby's room?" Just the other day, as my parents sorted through more antique items pulled from their dusty closet homes, which certainly haven't seen the light of day this decade, I snagged a soft-pink colored tile emblazoned with an image of Bambi. Because it was effing adorable.

For example, look at this soft Square Oak Table Lamp from Papa Stour, 175 pounds. What a sweet, whimsical nightlight this would make! "Wouldn't that look darling in a baby's room?"Someone come to my house and beat my uterus into submission, please.

Friday, July 16, 2010

On becoming my mother

During vacation last week, after spending every waking (and unconscious) minute together, Husband brought some jarring news to my attention: I am becoming my mother.

This news would have terrified teenage KittyMarie. She would have recoiled in horror, stiffened her spine, and denied, denied, denied.

However, adult KittyMarie can only look at the situation and begrudgingly agree. I am starting to display some of her wacky tendencies. Heaven help me.

The things my mother did while I was growing up never failed to humiliate my delicate little idealistic sensibilities. Like many children and teenagers I suspect, I just wanted my life to appear normal, to blend in with the rest of the crowd, noticed only for my achievements and not for my kook of a mother. Appearing "different" or "weird" led only to certain social castigation.

So when she did unthinkable things like offer an obviously homeless woman a $20 bill while standing in line at McDonald's, young KittyMarie could only furrow her brow and furtively glance around to make sure no one thought I was actually with this complete nut who reached out to strangers and made other people's problems her own.

Of course, older KittyMarie sees things a bit differently now. And she realizes something else. For all of my mother's apparent insanity, I have never met a kinder, more generous person in my life. We have had our share of tussles (and will surely have many more) and disagree on many things in life, but I know that everything my mother does, whether it seems kooky or not, comes from the bottom of her heart.

Maybe I shouldn't worry so much about becoming my mother after all.

Just so long as I don't start wearing matching pantsuits.

Friday Fashion: A Tisket, A Tasket...

I am a basket lover. It is my one "country decor" weakness. But they aren't just pretty! They are functional too! All the baskets displayed in my home are my own creations (except for one beautiful small basket given as a housewarming gift by a wonderful friend; it now houses our candy!). I learned to weave through participation in 4-H, and always did well (could that be because there were always less than five other baskets entered against me? Hmmm...). Basket weaving is pretty time consuming and detail-intensive, and the classes and supplies can also get to be quite expensive, but the end product is just so lovely. I know that my baskets will last many, many years.

If weaving for yourself isn't of interest, there are many merchants that offer quality baskets in every conceivable shape and size. Here are just a few.Round linen basket.Tralee cart.And my old favorite, the expensive (but worth the investment) Longaberger. Medium market basket.

Daily Eye Candy

I cam across some adorable bags and totes by Saltbox today. I love the vivid color and eye-catching geometrical designs. Lovely!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Third Anniversary

Three years today, Husband and I wed. Surely the honeymoon phase must be over by now, but it still feels like we joined hands and bowed heads and made our promises only yesterday.

Because you still make me laugh until I cry; Because you always surprise me with your talents and intelligence and kindness; Because I think you're still just about the cutest thing on two legs...

I love you, my One and Only. Happy anniversary.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Not Dead, Cont.

So, allow me to reiterate: I am not dead.

Husband and I took last week off to go on vacation (our first in three years, since our honeymoon!). Nine glorious days all to ourselves. I didn't tell you this because I didn't think it wise to post "Hey, having a great time four hundred miles away. Just a reminder that my house is sitting empty. Truck is in the driveway. Keys are in the top kitchen drawer. Xbox is under the TV and expensive china is in the left-hand cabinet. Help yourself."

It makes me chuckle when friends Twitter their exact whereabouts. Just goes to show that my friends are simply not as paranoid as I am. To me, it just seems like an open invitation for breaking and entering, but I commend your faith in humanity.

Anyway. I digress. I am not dead. We ended up spending the first half of our vacation in Traverse City, Michigan, at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa.The hotel was lovely (picture is of the hotel tower) and way too posh for the likes of us. It had a small shopping area on the main floor, several restaurants/bars located throughout, indoor and outdoor pools/hot tubs on the premises, and even offered free shuttle rides at the guest's request to a nearby casino and private, hotel-owned beach on Lake Michigan. We contemplated a paddle boat ride, got our feet all sandy, and waded into the Lake to our waists, then decided we'd had enough and went to the casino to win big (does $60 count as "winning big"?). But by far, the best thing about the hotel was the size of its salt shakers.Husband was suitably impressed. You would never need to refill those things. Jeepers!During our stay the National Cherry Festival was being held downtown, but we avoided the carnival and opted to investigate the cute shops instead. And we found a hat store.What more does one need in life?We ended that portion of our vacation with a wonderful meal at Aerie, a restaurant on the sixteenth floor of the hotel (see the Daily Eye Candy light from this place that I posted yesterday!). The view from this vantage point was striking - I got both the outdoor hotel pool and Lake Michigan in the same shot! After spa treatments and eating and frolicking and more eating, we took our leave of Grand Traverse and ventured off to Holland, Michigan, where we had honeymooned three years ago. While I would no longer recommend the hotel in which we spent the night, I would really recommend you visit downtown Holland. We landed there on a Thursday evening, which just happens to be the night of the week during the entire summer that street entertainers venture out and set up shop along the sidewalk as you browse the stores and cafes. We had dinner at our favorite New Holland Brewing Company (the pizza is life-changing, you must try it someday). And of course Husband reunited with his old friend Ben.(FROM JULY 2007)(CURRENT DAY) Their relationship has obviously evolved as Husband now feels comfortable enough to ride the Franklin Lap of Pleasure.

Our last night of vacation found us in Merrillville, Indiana. I know, I know, you're asking what the heck is in Merrillville, right? WEIRD AL, THAT'S WHAT.
He put on an exceptionally terrific show, and we learned that Husband and I might just be the most NORMAL "Weird" fans that exist.The band and Weird Al, center stage.Amish paradise, baby!This might have been my favorite part. I appreciate the trouble he went to to put on the fat suit during the show!Al might also be Jesus.Husband and I didn't get the chance to meet Al, but Husband did get a picture with his drummer, Bermuda. It's the next best thing!If you would be so kind as to ignore the width of my hips, I would be most appreciative. I need to take posing lessons so I don't look like I'm wearing Al's fat suit. Aside from that, it was a great, much-needed vacation, and I am so happy I got to spend every moment of it with my best friend.*

*You have been forewarned: Our third wedding anniversary is tomorrow. Obligatory, sappy, reminiscent post will follow.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Not dead

I didn't die, I promise. The week before last I was lost under a giant mound of work that has yet to subside, particularly in preparation for last week, because Husband and I took the entire week off to go on vacation. I promise an actual post with actual words and cohesive thoughts soon, but for now, here is some Daily Eye Candy.I took this photo of a supercool ceiling light from the Aerie Restaurant lobby on the sixteenth floor of our hotel in Traverse City, Michigan. It even turned out looking back and white, which it is not! I love the sleek modern-ness of this light...and it looks just a little bit dangerous too!