Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Fashion: Brrrrrrr

As suddenly as fall arrived, it seems to have bowed to winter just as quickly. It is cold out there.

In honor of my fingers that have turned into icicles, here are my five favorite outerwear pieces from Anthropologie. How I love their online shop, which marries contemporary and vintage-styled pieces so deliciously!Handbasket Sweatercoat, $168. First of all, I just have to say one thing: Sweatercoat. I didn't even know sweatercoats existed. It's a coat, but it's also a sweater. That means that you can get away with wearing it all day long, and no one will look at you cross-eyed because you're still wearing the coat you waddled in with. Because it's also a sweater. This is pure genius. I love the soft grey color also. I could buy seven and wear them all day long, every single day of the week.Dusk Ruffles Coat, $228. I adore the exaggerated ruffles down the front as well as the understated black-on-black pattern. It almost looks like a dress. I bet I could get away with wearing this all day long, too.Cassonade Coat, $198. I dig the pockets and the fact that this almost looks like a 2-piece ensemble. I want to wear this on a misty train station platform while clutching an embroidered handkerchief to my breast, anticipating the arrival of my handsome soldier as he returns home.Curtsey Coat, $298. I get the feeling this style might not go over so well on my unfortunately wide, child-birthin'-rough-and-ready hips, but the gathers at the waist are just so lovely, and the ivory color is to die for (though I would surely get it dirty in a New York minute. By the way, just how long is a New York minute? I'm from the Midwest, where a minute takes approximately three hours...).Cream Confection Jacket, $178. And hey, guess what, more ruffles. At least I'm consistent, right? Right? *crickets* The description of this jacket on the site includes the word "undulating." This might be my favorite, only for that reason.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


If I could have any superpower in the world, I would choose the power of invisibility. Not so I could sneak into private areas and listen in on personal conversations, or engage in illicit activities like stealing and subsequently destroying every single leaf blower in the world. No, I would be invisible so I would only have to make awkward conversation with people on my terms, when I want them to see my presence. If I was invisible, I wouldn't have to struggle with whether to make eye contact and smile at the person traipsing along the opposite side of the hallway. I wouldn't have to shake the hand of a new acquaintance and search the empty depths of my mind for topics of conversation. I could just be alone, unobserved. I could just be.

I have always been a shy person. As a toddler, when adults leaned down and asked me questions, I shut my eyes tightly until they went away. Apparently, I thought that if I couldn't see them, they weren't really there. It would probably still be a pretty effective tactic, but it might not go over so well during editorial board meetings or performance evaluations.

In general, I don't like to talk. I would prefer to write my thoughts down on paper with time and contemplation on my side, rather than come up with a response to a verbal question off the cuff, stuttering over my words and frantically pleading with the floor to reveal the phrase I would like to convey. I have always felt that there are a limited amount of words one can use in a lifetime. A ration, like a sack of beans periodically given out to refugees. I would much rather conserve mine while, for example, I am quite sure that my mother has used approximately three lifetimes worth of beans. So to speak (ha).

I don't want to appear unfriendly, because I don't believe I am an inherently unfriendly person, but I am aware that that is how I often appear. I have to take some time, oh, perhaps a year or three, before I feel truly comfortable talking for hours on end with another person, sharing anything beyond the basic "the weather's gotten quite cold lately, hasn't it?" Even then, even with those closest to me, I usually speed up the endings of my stories to cut them short, because it always appears to me that the person has lost interest about halfway through.

So I would be invisible. Able to turn the power off and on at will, encased in a protective barrier when necessary, and receiving conversational ventures from other people when I am able to reciprocate. If anyone knows how I can achieve this within the next few days, it would be most appreciated. I am leaving on Sunday to spend an entire week with strangers in a strange city.

Daily Eye Candy

The ultimate fashion accessory, or cruel and embarrassing for the aloof felines? Personally, I just can't believe they got a cat to sit still that long to have its body painted.You be the judge. More here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Daily Eye Candy

I am loving this Gray Wool Felt and Brown Leather iPhone Case by Etsy seller byrdandbelle, $26.Signed,
Primitive Neanderthal who doesn't actually own an iPhone

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Fashion: Thomas Paul

There's surely no way I haven't featured Thomas Paul in a Friday Fashion before, but I don't care, because the pieces are bright and clean and contemporary, with a dash of whimsy! Love them! These are three of my favorites...I love that this rug looks like its inspiration could come from a flower garden in one's backyard or a coral reef at the bottom of the ocean. And the chocolate color will get me every time! Blossom Wool Pile Rug, $270-$1,464.I am a sucker for tree prints in any form (have you seen my guest bathroom shower curtain?). For me, trees represent strength, nature, bonds. I love their likeness, especially in this Arboretum Chestnut Pillow, $110.And finally, I totally dig the color in this lighting fixture. The abstract bird and floral print is a knock-out, too. Pierce Wall Sconce, $298.

LOC in da house

In my day job I work with the Library of Congress quite often. Mostly from a distance. Mostly through forms filed in triplicate.

But the LOC provides wonderful services, and they are even cool enough to rate a YouTube channel. Check out their helpful and informative video below about archiving your digital photographs.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blow me.

Fall has arrived. It's crisp. It's colorful. Leaves float gently to the sun-dappled ground, piling gaily around tree trunks and along sidewalks. They crunch merrily (yes, merrily, dammit) underfoot as one prances along (What? I prance. Everyday. What kind of person doesn't prance?).

And then some jerk wanders by with a leaf blower that sounds like a jet engine, kicking up dirt and dust and temporarily shuffling the leaves, which the wind will blow back just moments later if left unscooped. And if one scoops? What then? Our trash collector won't even accept bags filled with leaves and lawn clippings. (Good man.)

Leaf blowing must be the ultimate act in futility. And wasteful energy, both human and machine. And really freaking annoying, you guys.

Husband and I usually take walks around campus during our lunch break, and it seems not a day has gone by recently that we haven't been accosted by the roar and dust of leaf blowers. Beautifying.

Well, I charge each of you to ignore the leaves that fall upon your lawn. Even, enjoy them. Left intact, the leaves will naturally break down and nourish the ground upon which they fall. And you will have expended no more energy than making a hot cup of cocoa and gazing out your window, looking at the colors that paint your lawn and smirking at your neighbors wasting their time.

Hooray for babies and adorableness!

On Saturday Husband and I hosted a baby shower for a set of friends expecting their second little boy in November. We wanted the opportunity to gather friends and family to celebrate the impending introduction that will complete their family. So we did!

It was a co-ed shower, so I shied away from diapers filled with melted candy bars and baby-diapering races, hoping instead for everyone to simply mingle and talk and enjoy the time together.

And I made these:

I thought they were really darn cute. From the genius that is Bakerella: Cupcake bites. I had actually intended to make Cupcake pops, but my balls got too fat and heavy for the skewers, so bites it was!Our friends' son seemed to improvise his own baby shower game: Diaper Jenga.Hopefully these will help to get them started with their newest bundle of joy!Our sincerest congratulations, dear friends. We simply cannot wait to meet Owen!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Fashion: Whimsy

Today I happened across Stray Dog Designs, which marries handy pieces with a whole lot of whimsy and sweetness and light. In addition, like many of my favorite sites that I feature, each purchase leads to a charitable donation: "Every time you buy a Stray Dog Designs product, a portion of the purchase price is donated to organizations that do things like feed hungry children, shelter homeless families, or create loving homes for stray dogs and cats. "

Here are a few of my favorites from just three of their categories:Clay Crouch Ceiling Fixture, $415.Little Mitchell Wastebasket, $145.White Flower Magnet, $30.

Go forth and be fashionable,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's inevitable

I absolutely believe this is what the children that Husband and I produce will look like someday:
I love Awkward Family Photos. Don't you?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Fam

On Friday my cousin and his fiancee came into town from New York. They bunked at our house and were able to visit The Entire Family over the long weekend. (But never long enough, right?)We share the most adorable grandma in the whole entire world. I would challenge anyone on that fact!

My local sistercousin and I met his fiancee several years ago at his brother's wedding, and we loved her instantly. Now, with her own wedding looming just over half a year away, she is giving me the opportunity to create their wedding invitations, and I am so excited for both of them!
We loved getting to know her better, catching up with him, and making new memories (okay, and forgetting some of those memories) together!Family resemblance? Oui? Non?It is going to be a friggin' sweet wedding, y'alls. Congratulations, you two!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Losing my religion

So, Glee. They just had to go and tackle the God question, eh? I totally get it. High school is when awkward, pimply-faced teens usually start to wrestle with the religion issue...wondering why a loving God would make them so awkward and pimply-faced to begin with. Everyone wrestles with that issue. It's everyone's personal internal debate with no correct answers and no bell to let you know when the debate is over (um...except I guess when you keel over and find out for sure).

In spite of how contrived I felt the episode was (if only Burt had eaten Kurt's grapefruit offering!), and how annoyed I was by the ending (isn't the "waking up from a coma right at the emotional climax" just a tad overdone by now?), Kurt's performance was emotional and heartfelt. He didn't mince words, and it felt honest. And the Jesus freaks were pretty annoying, which is generally true to life. (When my dad was in the hospital, I really appreciated an amazing friend of mine who visited him out of the blue. She, however, brought him snacks and treats rather than lighting a candle [how does that not violate some kind of hospital fire code] and creepily putting her hands all up in his business. So, I digress, WTF Rachel?)

The main feeling that I took away from this episode was unique in my experiences watching Glee: I don't want to see it again. Usually I will watch and re-watch the episodes during my lunch hour, on the laptop while I'm cooking, or on our tv downloads while Husband plays a video game on his computer. But this episode? It was uncomfortable (yes, yes, I know, that was probably the point). It didn't leave me giggling like a Glee groupie. It left me to my own thoughts, thoughts that I don't want to have to confront just because of some television show.

Did this episode seriously follow the one about Britney Spears...?

Husband sent me a really great Skepchick article that says some things I wish I could articulate. It's worth a read.

Daily Eye Candy (Your Friday Fashion)

This is all you're getting for Friday Fashion this week. I'm stingy, I know. Also, swamped.

I am in lurve with this Time Fades wall decal from Threadless, $38. Threadless by itself is awesome. But Threadless wall decals? Twice the awesome. If you don't know what Threadless is, go find out immediately.

I am seriously thinking of purchasing this decal to put above our bed. But what do you think? Is it too sad? To me, it speaks such a true message. Enjoy every moment with those that are most important in your life, because soon it fades. Melancholy, but in a really sweet, wistful way.
You like?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Daily Eye Candy

I've never been a big watch person. I don't care much for bracelets. For some reason, they feel constraining to me, and never fit snugly around my bony little protuberance. But that all changed when I saw these colorful watches from O'Clock, $36 each. The only problem is I don't know which color is my favorite!Many more colors located on the site.

Rules to live by

In the kitchen, I adhere to a few very simple rules. You can never use too much sugar. You can never incorporate too many sticks of butter. And never forget to share.

Because a pair of wonderful, beloved house guests will bestow us with their presence this weekend, I wanted to be sure and have some goodies on hand for snacks and breakfasts. The domestic goddess, The Pioneer Woman, had recently re-posted her incredible cinnamon roll recipe, which I had never attempted, so I thought I would give it a try. And I am sure glad that I did. It is a giant recipe that makes five pans of rolls. I put the mixed dough into my fridge late Monday night expecting to finish crafting the rolls the next day. However, when I checked on the dough right before jumping into bed that night, I found it overflowing all over my newly cleaned fridge. So Husband and I stayed up until midnight rolling and cutting and putting them into pans and then the freezer. True love.

I baked the rolls last night, and after disseminating the treats to both sets of parents and a set of hip, fabulous neighbors, I still have two pans (about 14 rolls) left to shower upon my guests, launching them into certain diabetic comas.

It's called hospitality.

You should make these cinnamon rolls today.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Daily Eye Candy

I am in love with this Black Rice Pearl Necklace, $85. Not just because I love pearls (which I do), but because 100% of the profits from the One Pearl jewelry goes toward "non-profit organizations that benefit children's health and education." I wish I had known about this during my wedding, because these would have made absolutely perfect bridesmaid gifts! (Since that ship has sailed, these might be on my list for potential Christmas gifts for family and friends!)

I love how each piece has a single, contrasting pearl incorporated into the design (see the single white pearl below). Gorgeous!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sprucing up

This weekend I got to know my house intimately. I cleaned from top to bottom, scrubbing floors on my hands and knees, wiping dusty baseboards, vacuuming, and organizing (here is where I give helpful Husband a shout-out for pitching in and finally tackling a big project of his own. We gots Internetz upstairs now, y'alls!). Except for windows. I don't do windows.
Mrs. Dupree: I don't do laundry, I don't do windows, I don't do carpets, I don't do bathtubs, I don't do toilets, I don't do diapers...
Miranda: Um, my children have been potty-trained for quite some time.
Mrs. Dupree: Well, I don't do washing, I don't do basements, I don't do dinners, and I don't do reading!
[Shows Mrs. Dupree to the door and gives Lydie the "slitting your throat" gesture as she walks away]
Mrs. Dupree: [Lydie checks Mrs. Dupree's name off the list]

(Name that movie).
Getting back to my point, we have a pair of beloved house guests coming for the weekend, and I wanted to at least pretend to be respectable, clean Midwesterners. I don't think I will show them the meth lab in our basement or the still in our toolshed...

Sprucing up must be the theme of the week, because as I hope you noticed, I have spruced up this blog with some slight text color adjustments and a new header. I fell in love with the black cat the minute I saw her. She sums up how I feel quite frequently: just a little off kilter, in a silly, crazy, hazy kind of way.

She makes me giggle. I hope she tickles your insides as well.


Daily Eye Candy: In heat

Can I just point out something that has become obvious and increasingly ridiculous lately? Everyone in the whole entire world is pregnant. I'm serious. Thanks to the daily Facebook news feed, it seems the number of "special announcements" (because nothing is real until you announce it on Facebook, right?) has grown exponentially over the past several months. The number certainly exceeds the amount of fingers on both my hands. I think there's something in the water.

I don't know if rampant pregnancies have always been the case or if I am simply noticing the rash of gestation more lately because I am at the age where my personal friends and acquaintances start getting knocked up. Or maybe we can blame this, too, on global warming. Everyone must be in heat or something.

Anyway. I have a point. LOOK! Adorable *wooden* *organic *handmade* baby rattles and toys. That might be the yuppiest sentence I have ever written. They are made from locally sourced hardwood and designed never to splinter (some are intended for use as teethers).

But darn if these aren't sweet.I would be lying if I said that these didn't make my ovaries squeal a little.

Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?

All from Little Alouette on Etsy.