Wednesday, December 31, 2008

You have spoken

Well, four of you have spoken.

And I think you are right. I cannot use that fabric to cover my chairs. So I am asking for your help again. I need to find some really amazing upholstery weight fabric. I have looked and I have a few options, but I would love to see what ideas any of you have. It doesn't have to go with my apartment. It does have to go with my brown microsuede couch ;(. Uggg. I am looking for something with a vintage modern look.

Ideas?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I need some advice

I spend a considerable amount of Ethan's nap time browsing the Internet for fabrics. I don't really sew and I am not a quilter. But some fabrics seem to try to entice me to pick up such a skill. Today, for example, the Lush line by Erin Michaels is talking me into learning how to upholster.

I have these chairs that I found at Goodwill for $10 a piece. They are old colonial wood frames with nasty fabric seats and backs and I decided that they would be amazing with a new paint job and some modern fabric. I have a girlfriend (who saw the chairs first, but selflessly let me get them) who says she will help me re-cover the cushions.

I found the above fabric and decided immediately that I would use it to cover these chairs. The only problem is this fabric is not upholstery weight. It is quilting weight. I e-mailed the gal selling it on Etsy and asked her what she thinks I should do. She said I could use it to upholster chairs if I used another, stronger fabric underneath it.

I'm still uneasy. What do you think I should do?

If I ended up going through with all of this, I would use these fabrics to cover couch pillows.

Monday, December 29, 2008

If you can laugh at yourself...

...you'll enjoy this book.

Thanks Al!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

I know what you are wondering. And the answer is "water and Coke."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Robert Ryan


The first Etsy shop that I ever tagged as a favorite was Robert Ryan's . I continually visit this London-based artist's shop just too look at his prints, because I definitely can't afford to actually purchase one. I especially love the little phrases in each piece.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Copy-cat candy

Sometimes when I'm blog surfing I notice that people tend to blog about what other people blogged about. The posts are usually about the things that just have to be shared - blogger to blogger- like this peppermint bark found here, who found it from here.

I made it last night and I think it is awesome! So thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holiday partying






Ryan's work Christmas party was held at the Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. It was really cool. There was lots of food, aircraft of every kind and drunk people dancing - my favorite part of every holiday party.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Conclusions about Twilight - you knew it was coming

I was one of the thousands of women older than 13 who attended Twilight unaccompanied by their 13-year-old daughter. I might have gone in with low expectations. And yes, I probably subconsciously hoped that I would like this movie.

But seriously, somewhere between the part when Bella cringes at Edward's touch and the moment where Edward calls Bella his "little spider monkey" (we all cringed at that), I took a breath and had two thoughts: first, that I was actually really enjoying myself; and second, that I was never going to utter or blog about that first thought for fear of being parodied on Seriously, So Blessed.

So I'm not going to... really. Other than to say this: I liked it (you can cringe again if you want).

And I may be almost 12 years past my 13th birthday but I think these guys are hotties ;).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Boots with an even better story

I have this character flaw that, unfortunately, comes to many people who work in the news. Only I had it long before I was ever even interested in working at a paper. I actually believe I was born with it.

It's sort of a hope for bad things to happen. I call it backwards pessimism. Take, for example, when Y2K didn't produce mass hysteria I was terribly disappointed. I mean, the microwave didn't even break down.

I remember, years later, carefully listening to the police scanner at work as details of a terrible accident unfolded. I wasn't even going to cover this story, but I thought of it as just that - a story, and a captivating one that everyone would read first the next day. It wasn't until I read my co-worker's article in the paper the next day that I realized how horrific my original reaction of excitement had been.

These awful feelings rose back to the surface yesterday as I drove past a house in my neighborhood. The property was swaddled with police tape and cops and I knew something bad had happened there. I gawked like the rest of the drivers creeping past the crime scene. Only I think I was more interested than the other drivers.

Earlier this year, I bought these awesome vintage boots (pictured) and patterns on that very lawn from the older couple living in that very house. I drove home yesterday, wondering what those elderly folks could possibly have done to warrant that swarm of police officers. Of course I imagined the worst and I checked the news periodically throughout the rest of the day to find out what it was.

Turns out that yard sale was likely a moving sale for the older couple now living in Florida. Their renter, however, allegedly murdered a man early yesterday morning in their home. So, of course, I can't keep this to myself. I'm not happy about a murder two blocks from my house. But am I awful to admit that I think this makes my boots even cooler?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Conclusion number two: Something about Utah hair? I know, not a conclusion. This is a rambling post.

Utah hair: Purposefully voluminous and straight.



Just more than two years ago, I was wandering through my local Costco. In my quest for large items to fill up my new and empty apartment, I found a phenomenon I like to call Virginia hair. It consists basically of this: A large cowlick on either side of the part, strange kinks pulling the hair in all directions with fuzzy short hairs (with a slight resemblance to hairs that cover another part of the body) sticking straight up. In order to get this look one must roll out of bed, put her clothes on and walk out the door. Or for a more fuzzed out look, she must wash her hair in between steps one and two and then walk out the door.

It bothered me at first, that many Virginian women don't do their hair. And then summer came. I'd wake up and complete my usual regimen - shower, glaze my locks with product, blow-dry, straighten, spray, touch-up and finally, walk out the door. But in less than ten minutes I was sporting Virginia hair.

Humidity may be my skin's best friend, but it will never win over my hair. And so it is with most women in my area, who tend to leave their hair alone because it is only a waste of time to do anything with it.

This was strange at first for a girl who comes from the land of perfectly-coiffed hair. Hair is big in Utah - in both senses of that phrase. If you graduated from high school in Utah, chances are that at least 25 percent of the gals in your class went on to become hairstylists. And you can always count on getting a good hair cut while visiting Utah.

But hair is also big literally. Probably 50 percent of those female classmates manipulated their hair in some fashion to give it extreme body. Take my seventh grade self, for example, sleeping with an over-sized and incredibly uncomfortable velcro curler on the crown of my head in order to get just the right amount of volume, which, at the time, was at least two inches off my head (and ended up looking just like I was still wearing a curler in my hair throughout the day). The other night my girlfriends (the ones from Utah, of course) told me of a technique that would have really helped me in the volume department. Apparently, it's called back-combing (a nice word for ratting) and it's all the rage in Utah.

After graduating from middle school and discovering that hair just wasn't my thing, I moved on from large voluminous hair to my boring blonde locks. And now I spend less time doing my hair than ever in my life (on the days that I do it - Sundays). I'm not proud of this but I have kind of let my hair go ;(.

On our Thanksgiving trip to St. George, however, I did my hair almost every morning! That was until I went shopping with the sisters-in-law on black friday. We hit up Target and as we walked to the toy aisle, I had to stop and look around. There was not a hair out of place in the entire store and the place was packed. Perfect (albeit a bit high) hair was everywhere - on moms, on daughters, on grandmothers on granddaughters. I was both impressed and a little grossed out. Everyone looked fabulous. What's so wrong with that? Yet, I left the store wanting to mess my mid-length tresses up and never use my straightening iron again.

So I guess I'm embracing my Virginia hair now. And I'll go with Utah hair on Sundays.

Virginia hair. Voluminous and naturally wavy/frizzy. But not on purpose.


Cache Valley, Utah hair. Voluminous and permified. Entirely different blog post altogether. Maybe some other time.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Observation number one: St. George is beautiful


I can't count how many times I have been to St. George, Utah. Yet on all of those family vacations and road trips, I don't believe I ever noticed how red buttes jut out in front of large mountains like pawns in front of a king. I never once wondered why porous black stones sit out-of-place on hard red rock, like they consciously rolled there when no one was looking. Or discovered that the salmon-hued rock looks much more vivid on sunny days.

These are just a few of the wonders I beheld on this trip back after over four years away from St. George. In the midst of my awe, I decided to get a family photo in this beautiful place.Neither the picturesque background nor the cute family really turned out on film though ;(.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm back...

... and full of interesting observations made while in Utah and Las Vegas, including one lengthy thought on Utah hair (and it's not all bad!). While I adjust back to life without cousins for my kid to play with and sisters-in-law to gossip with, I need a day or two off the radar. So here is a worthy subject to blog about that won't take too much time out of my unwinding time.

I love these photographs so much that I am now longing for an old farm house to deck out in vintage modern garb and then grow old in ;).


These animal prints are on sale at Sharon Montrose's Etsy shop.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Skirt with a story


My mom found this green boiled wool fabric in a small village in the mountains of Germany. She traveled home to Utah and made me this envy-inducing skirt. My mother-in-law and Ryan (I know, right?) helped me finish it. Somehow the story of it makes it more divine.

Oh, and I'm going to be traveling for a week so I won't likely post until I get back next Tuesday.
Happy Thanksgiving!
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Binging at its worst

Warning: Do not mix large quantities of these items.

Way too early this morning, I woke up convinced that a baseball - composed of ground up Fritos and sugar from Haagen-Dazs sorbet - was sitting in the depths of my stomach. It just felt painful at first. Then warm saliva pooling onto my tongue prompted me to run - not walk - to the bathroom. I landed at the foot of my toilet and barked out several coughs, each time tasting the Fritos more and more. Then it all came out.

I spent the rest of my early morning laying in bed, thinking about why I chose those particular snacks to binge on the night before. I didn't have a large dinner because I haven't gone to the grocery store in over a week. Ryan was writing a paper, so I was relegated ;) to the television, watching old and new episodes of Top Chef. Before I knew it, I had the raspberry sorbet container in my hands and I was slowly enjoying all of its fat-free goodness. I enjoyed a little too much of it (half the container) and decided that I needed something salty to counteract all of that sugar. That's when the Fritos came in. And boy, did they come in. The food on Top Chef must have distracted me from all of the greasy nastiness (Another run to the bathroom in 3, 2, 1...).

I went to bed feeling far too full. I woke up and completely emptied out a couple of times. Only I still feel awful - especially since I can't even look at the Haagen-Dazs in my freezer without feeling warm saliva pooling onto my tongue...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wishing

Every day I check Thomas Paul pillow-selling Web sites to see if his pillows will magically drop from $100 each to $30 or below. It hasn't happened yet, so I just like to stare at them here online. They would look fantastic on my couch.

Design*sponge recently held an ugly pillow contest. The winners received Thomas Paul pillows - and they deserved them. Check it out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Optical delusion

They're jeans...
No, they're skirts...
Wait. They're just some more heinous Etsy finds and they are all yours for just $42 each.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quirk number two: I am compelled to expose all of my flaws to the world


I am disorganized and messy. I ruin most of the food I attempt to make. The television is my most trusted babysitter. I am a hairy monster. Liquids frequently spill out around my mouth when I try to drink them. My wingspan is longer than my height. I feel completely content with sitting on my butt and surfing the web during my child's naps. I eat more than my husband. I have never completed anything to the best of my ability...

These are a just a few of the embarrassing truths I often admit to the people around me. I know divulging this personal information may damage my reputation a bit, but I can't help myself. My girlfriend calls me a chronic "oversharer."

I have thought about why I do this and have come up with a few answers. My first, and easiest to explain, is that I tell people about all my frailties early so they don't find out about them for themselves later on. I know, weird. I guess it's my way of controlling the situation. Like if I invite people over for dinner and I add a little, "Well, I'm not the best cook," in the pre-dinner conversation somewhere, then my guests' expectations will be low and they won't feel terribly awful later on when they spit the food out in their napkins as I turn my back. If I warn a camping partner that I tend to unconsciously blow my bad breath in the faces of those sleeping around me, then they are pleasantly surprised in the morning if I didn't wake them up with my stink-blow (that's what Ryan calls it) during the night.

My second reason for constantly spilling my guts is that, for me, there is something so therapeutic about letting people know me inside and out. It's almost like an emotional release. I wasn't always so honest and (to be honest) I have spent most of my life trying to make myself appear perfect. Don't get me wrong, I still frantically clean before people come over to my apartment; I just don't expect those guests to believe that my house is always like that. I still read Martha Stewart in hopes that I will rise up in domestic perfection one day; I just want you all to know that no craft I have ever completed has turned out like I thought it would.

I probably overdo it on the full disclosure thing, but you all know me better now because of it.
I finally realized that I can admit that I cry about everything or that I only make my bed 50 percent of the time, and people will still like me despite these things. And I like myself now, too.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Quantum Declaration

Daniel Craig is officially the hottest ugly person alive.
Junior Mints Minis are officially my new favorite movie snack. Regular Junior Mints used to hold the top spot.
I will now officially go by "M."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hate and leggings

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My mom always told the child version of me that I shouldn't ever hate anyone.

"You don't hate her, you just dislike what she is doing," she said one time after I screamed those three lovely words at my sister. That made me angry at the time but if you really think about it, her little lecture makes perfect sense.

So I try to apply this to my everyday life. I don't hate DMV employees; I just dislike when they make me cry. I don't hate cab drivers; I just dislike it when I almost crash into the back of them after they stop. Completely. On the freeway.

I believe there is at least a tiny bit of good in everyone, even if you will never actually behold it. So you shouldn't hate them.



And so it is with clothes, I decided last night. I thought I hated Crocs until I had a child. The truth is, those holy shoes made of mystery material are just perfect for a toddler running around on a hot summer day. Now my kid doesn't own a pair of traditional Crocs and I throw up in my mouth a little bit every time I see an adult wearing them, but I have recently found hidden value in Crocs.

This brings me to leggings. Leggings and me got off to a bad start. When they first came out all I saw were little tweens with mid-calf black spandex under denim mini-skirts. I decided that leggings were a serious fashion blunder and hoped they would soon disappear off the skinny legs of adolescents. But they didn't. And they started showing up on mommies who realized they could now wear short dresses and skirts if they just put leggings underneath them. A few of them sort of pulled it off.

But the other day I saw a cute girl who had some leggings with substance on. They had a chunkier knit, more like stretchy pants and less like cropped tights. She paired them with slouchy boots and a tunic sweater. I saw her and saw the good in leggings. I became a tardy fan of leggings ... I think. Your thoughts on leggings?

Pictured above: Marc Jacobs boots, Forever21 leggings and Target sweater dress

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

lovesome


Swooning for these and other dresses by liza rietz.
Pretty awesome photos too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Starting to dream in purple



I am having the hardest time finding some sassy ;) red pumps. I've seen some cute cheap ones and some fabulous, but very pricey ones. But I can't seem to find any that I absolutely love and can afford. I'm beginning to suspect the culprit is actually the color purple, which has taken over not only all of fall's really hot shoes, but also my own wardrobe! I look inside the foxhole that I like to call my closet and all I see is that darned color - and that's not because of my violet-tinted contact lenses (gag).

I think I'm getting a little purpled out. Anyone else feel that way?
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Friday, November 7, 2008

Free finds from friends

Unfortunately I don't have a "before" photo but...

... I was driving with my girlfriend one day when we saw this (but black) on the side of the road. She saw it first, of course, so she got to take it home. She recently moved :( and called me to say that she had no room for it :) and if I wanted it, it was all mine! I brought it home and painted it green. I told her I'd return it to her when she moves back and while I will be sad to see it go, I'd much rather have her back!Thanks Bec!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Quirk number one: I find comfort in strange things


A while ago my girlfriend tagged me to describe six of my quirks. Because I am so stinking long-winded ( guess that could be one of my quirks), I decided each quirk gets its own post. So I will begin today, with quirk number one: I find weird ways to calm the intense flavors or my emotions.

It all began with a rectangular pink eraser on which my mother drew a heart. "Take this to school with you and squeeze it when you start to miss me," she said when she first presented it to me. I went to my first day of second grade and stuck the eraser front and center in my desk. I knew I would need it, judging by my first grade experience.

It must have been a combination of both my love of my mom and my fear of quite possibly the scariest first grade teacher alive that brought tears to my eyes EVERY SINGLE DAY of my first grade school year. I don't think my teacher knew what to do with me when she sent me to the naughty chair in the corner of the room every time I started to cry. This, of course, only brought on more sobs. I imagine I just didn't know how to survive an entire school day without my mommy yet.

So, armed with the pink eraser, I was able to get through my second grade (despite being the only kid in the class to never pass off her number three times table). The only time I remember crying in school that year was when I peed my pants while sitting at my desk.

I have no idea what happened to that eraser, but I moved on to other forms of comfort. During intense situations (exams in school, expired deadlines at work) throughout the years I have caught myself wrapping my right hand over my clenched left hand, placing the insides of my right fingers over the spaces between my left fingers. Then I switch hands. Try it. My fingers mold together perfectly and the soft undersides of my hands warms the outsides of my fingers. Recently I have pondered why I do this and I have come to the conclusion that this soothes me in some strange way. It's almost like giving my hands this cozy break calms my distressed mind.

As a stay-at-home mom of one harmless kid, I feel less stress right now than I have ever felt in my life. I am happy a lot, but I often also feel exhausted, burnt out and emotionally and mentally drained. Let's just say that as the world watched in shock, I wasn't surprised at all that Britney Spears, mother of TWO harmless kids, buzzed her own hair off. I'm trying to grow my locks out so instead of resorting to that solution, I turn to graham crackers, whole milk and America's Funniest Home Videos at 5 p.m. every day. The treat reminds me of my days in kindergarten at Wellsville Elementary and the show makes me laugh so hard I start to cry. And though I miss her dearly, at least those tears are not for my mommy.