Wednesday, December 16, 2009

furry christmas.

It took me awhile to find my holiday mojo this year. Usually I AM Christmas, but this year I have been so busy/preoccupied that it seemed to sneak up on me. But after a successful first venture into Christmas baking, putting up my tree, and a couple days/nights of marathon Christmas shopping... I'M BACK!

I would really like to post about the excellent presents I am giving to my loved ones this year, but I will refrain since some of them read this blog. Instead, I will share the de-lovely gift I purchased for myself for being such a shining example of Christmas joy.

How cute is this???
Answer: SO cute! He looks like a fancy little hedgehog.
(Please refrain from sharing any anti-fur comments you may have. This little guy has been a pin for a very long time. And you'd be preaching to the wrong choir anyway... I eat my steak medium-rare.)

Merry Christmas to me!

Monday, December 7, 2009

iron maiden.

This is my best friend Justin. Here we are at the adorable age of seventeen:
Likes: theater, wendy's, iron-ons
Dislikes: sports, running

And here we are at age 20:
Likes: shopping, boys
Dislikes: sports, running

And here we are at the ripe old age of 26:
Likes: sports, running, and 140.6 mile triathalons... apparently.
I did not get that memo.

Jussie completed the Ironman in Tempe, AZ on November 22nd 2009 in 13 hours and 28 minutes. He swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles and ran a full 26.2 mile marathon.
What an idiot... (I'm so proud.)

Look at this skinny bitch:

have a catch.

I never understood that phrase. I don't believe you can have a catch. You can either catch something or you can't. Or you can be a catch. Or you could play catch; it is a game to see if you can or cannot catch. You can have a race, but you cannot have a catch. End of story.

Another phrase commonly misused: "all of a sudden". It is NOT "all of THE sudden", nor is it "ALL THE sudden". Look it up.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

back in the heart land.

In case you haven't noticed, my home state is shaped like a heart.

(I'll give you a moment to admire my superior MS Paint skills before moving on...) Last weekend I was back in Ohio for a childhood friend's wedding. Todd and I stayed with Lindsay and her boyfriend Brent, and I was so happy to see her face again. The night we arrived, she had a six-pack of glass bottle Cokes and a shrimp cocktail thawing in the refrigerator... we are so best friends. As excited as I was about those delicious treats, I was more excited that Todd finally got to meet Lindsay... I think he understands me even better now. Lindsay, Brent and her mini-poodle Pierre live in a very cute neighborhood in Cincinnati, near UofC. It's in the hills, on a tree-lined street, with a cozy main street not even a block away. It was wonderful to be in that kind of environment again. I think I breathed easier that weekend that I have in months. Not to mention the fact that we had two gorgeous Indian Summer days - sunny and warm all weekend.

The wedding was held not far away at a chapel on the Xavier University campus. Laura and I grew up together in Worthington Estates - a neighborhood in the Worthington suburb, just north of Columbus. There were about 10 families in Worthington Estates at that time, all with kids about the same ages, whose mothers did everything together. Our moms were part of that. (Not to say that there weren't other families with other kids and other moms; this was one group of what I'm sure was many.) So when I showed up at Laura's wedding, I was not just there as Laura's friend, I was representing my mom and our family. That fact was evident to me instantly upon our arrival. There were few other "kids" from my generation that attended the wedding, but the parents were there. And it was the joy with which they greeted me, the looks of surprise, the extra squeeze they gave when we hugged, that told me they knew why I was there and that they miss her too. At the reception, Todd and I were seated at a table with the Lori and Bill Whitley, and I felt a quiet satisfaction. Other than my own home, I surely spent the majority of my childhood at their house. It was important to me that Todd meet these women, these parents, and they freely shared stories about Mom all night... and made me dance with them to "Old Time Rock and Roll". I can't even recall how many times my mom dragged me onto a dance floor. The entire evening was uplifting. (Not to mention the fact that I looked amazing and successful in the ensemble put together by my stylish sister Stefanie - but that's beside the point.)

Next weekend is Thanksgiving and I will head back to Ohio again - this time back to my hometown. I think this will be the first time in years that I will be in Ohio twice in the same month. Stefanie and I are driving home with our cousin Josh on Thanksgiving day and heading directly for Aunt Sandy's... and by "directly" I mean "drive six hours". It's the first time we will arrive the day of, and it makes me think of every holiday movie when the family shows up from out of town. Maybe we should get matching Christmas sweaters...

Monday, November 9, 2009

don't hate. decorate.

That blog title is two-fold...
One, because my quest to cute-up our apartment continues.
And two, because it is almost Thanksgiving, which means it will soon be a socially acceptable time to put up our Christmas tree! (I'm so ready.)

The decorating frenzy continues. If only my frenzy would manifest itself into something tangible, instead of just being this overwhelming feeling of living in storage... still.

At the suggestion of my sister, I have made an appointment to donate my bookshelves and Kristen's old futon to The Brown Elephant - they will make an appointment and come to the house to pick up the furniture. Moving that futon is not something Kristen or I were willing to do again. Hopefully that will open up some space in the living room. (Although I still have plenty of stuff to get rid of/put in storage/take home to my Dad's house in Ohio. I'm hoping that I will tackle some of those things over Thanksgiving.)

I'm pretty set on that rug that I found at Target, and I found some light blue curtains that I think might bring some color into the room. What we really need is art to hang on the walls. Or to paint. I'm glad our walls aren't stark white in this apartment, but it's difficult to separate the spaces of one large kitchen/living/dining room without additional paint elements. And I am finding that hanging wall art in a visually pleasing way is next to impossible.

The quest continues, and I am trying to be positive. I have ideas, and I know that one day our apartment will look grown up and put together. I'm going to make it my pre-New Year's resolution... as in, get this done before New Years. If anyone wonders what I'm going to be asking Santa for this year, it will be gift cards to Target, Ikea, Crate and Barrel, and the Container Store.
Yes, please.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

follow that bird.

I did not want to come to work today. I am fighting off a cold, don't like any clothes I own, am in desperate need of a haircut... just generally unhappy with my appearance today. We all have those days. But when I came into work and settled down into my chair with my burnt toast (yes, I burned my toast this morning too...) and resigned myself to the tasks of the day, I opened my browser and was greeted with the single greatest Google Doodle I have ever seen:

Today, Google is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Sesame Street.

Happy Anniversary Big Bird, Snuffy, Barkley, Oscar, Cookie Monster, Grover, Count, Bert and Ernie, Frank Oz, Jim Henson and the rest of the Sesame Street muppets and "muppeteers"!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Oh man.
I want this...

I very much would like my apartment to be as adorable as I am. And I think this mustard yellow pillow will help.

Handmade "throwback" pillow from an Etsy shop called "The Red Stitch". (Etsy is yet another one of those sites that I have yet to fully discover.)

I recently had my old furniture ("old" as in it was purchased by my parents when they first moved in together in the 1970s) restored and reupholstered. It was a mildly traumatic experience, and I am still not 100% completely satisfied with the results - but the moral of the story is that you get what you pay for. And over all the pieces look nice - and they have been repaired, which was the most important thing to get taken care of. I can recover these things for years and years to come to suit my every design whim, as long as the bones stay strong.

Now that I have my basics taken care of, I am lost as to where to go next. The arm chair is a chocolate brown linen and the couch is an ivory cotton weave. The walls are that "rental" cream color with white trim, and I have all black/brown bookshelves from IKEA. The kitchen opens up into the living room, so I'd like them to be able to flow from one to the other. My kitchen is... well, I'd like it to be red, but so far, all I've got is a vintage Coca-Cola cooler, my red teapot and a dish towel.

I tend to favor green in everything that I do, so I'm trying (very hard) to stay away from major green design items for the common spaces. (My bedroom will be mostly greens when I'm done with it I'm sure... and my bathroom already is.) I'm thinking that this rug may be a good starting place to bring in other accent colors, like mustard yellow and light blue. [Enter: adorable yellow pillow... which also comes in green... temptation, you are a bitch.]

Thursday, October 29, 2009

smooth investigator.

I had barely even thought about Halloween. I haven't dressed up in a couple years, and even then my costume was last minute. (I was an olympic swimmer. Blue one-piece swimsuit, sweatpants, flip flops, goggles... all I had to buy was a swim cap and a toy gold medal from the party store and I was set.)

This year, I didn't even think about dressing up until last weekend. So I thought, "Okay. I'll be a lamb. Or a cat. Something easy." Not so easy. My shopping trip was a bust. But that's what happens when you wait until 5 days before Halloween. And I am just not that crafty.

So... I have returned to an idea that my sister has been begging me to do for about five years now. It is her dream for me to dress up as the sexiest private investigator the Pacific has ever known.

Thomas Magnum, P.I.

Magnum and I share many common traits that would lead my sister to believe that I could be mistaken for the REAL Magnum. Such as our long legs - used for kicking bad guys in their faces, our hot abdominal muscles, our affinity for short shorts and boat shoes, our military backgrounds, and most importantly, our awe-inspiring hairiness... including - but not limited to - coiffure, mustache, chest and legs.

This year I will make all of my sister's dreams come true.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

fall in love with fall.

We've had a couple of really beautiful days peek through the clouds over the past couple weeks. It feels like it has been raining for over a month. And it has. But the past couple Sundays have offered a few much needed rays of sunshine. I forget that I actually enjoy fall weather. I barely noticed this year when the leaves changed because I was too busy dodging the rain from house to car to office to car to house. I was able to catch one quick glimpse on a rare dry morning before work.

Last Sunday was a beautiful day to be picking apples. We stopped at the outlets for a quick bite on the way up (and Erica got some cute new high top Converse sneaks). Then it was on to The Holler to fill our 25 pound apple bag. It was definitely worth the trip. Erica and I dissected the minute flavorings of each variety ("It's a bit floral...") while Jonathon and Todd took pleasure in seeing which apples they could throw the farthest.

Below you will see Erica displaying a fine example of the rare, elusive mutant apple. After we scoured the orchard to find the most delicious varieties, we headed back to the farm to unload our treasures and pet the goats some more.

Then we filled our bellies with apple doughnuts, caramel apples (Erica and I built our own), and BBQ turkey legs. And then this happened:

"Oh hello farm kitty..."


It happened that fast. After he devoured it, he had barbecue sauce all over his face and chest. And so did we. It was a successful day that led to full bellies and me swearing off apples for about three days. But we will be back next year earlier in the season... those Honeycrisps will be mine.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

hills and hollers.

Looking forward to this weekend. After another failed attempt at planning a camping trip, Todd suggested a day trip of fresh, fun, fabulous fall festivities with friends. (You're welcome for the astounding alliteration.)

Apple Holler is about an hour north of Chicago, right off of I-94 in Sylvania, Wisconsin. They grow over two dozen varieties of apples, and even give you a flavor breakdown of each type and what they are good for... like "baking" "sauce" and "eating".

I'll use my favorite apple as an example:

Honey Crisp
[September 11-30]
Honey Crisp apples are larger in size with a red and green skin. Juicy, sweet and Crisp. A good dessert apple. Great for eating!

In addition to the apple picking, they also have pears and pumpkins when they are in season. Well, we missed the pears, but I have a major taste for some oven roasted pumpkin seeds! And I have an empty balcony ready for some spooky jack-o-lanterns.

To actually have a chance to enjoy the fall weather will be the best part of the trip - before Chicago slips into its "Eternal Winter" mode. Today is the most beautiful fall day we've had all season and I'm stuck in an office until dusk. Such a shame. Some hot cider and a hay ride will do me just right.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

birthday season.

Flash forward a month and a half.

Here we are, birthday time. Justin and Todd: check and check. Also in the rear view: Gramma Lois, Uncle Brian, Erica and Tam Tam. TODAY: Abby. Coming Soon: Sara, Jacob, Aunt Michelle, Jay, Colin, Emily, and Kate.

This weekend: Stefanie and Stacey

Holy Smokes. Happy Birthdays all around.

Todd and I celebrated his 23rd birthday with a weekend in New York City, which was also a great excuse for me to see Shelby!

It was amazingly warm that weekend, which led to a beautiful Sunday of strolling around SoHo. Quite a peaceful and relaxing celebration.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


a photo blog for the day.

My mom, junior year of high school - circa 1965. 

Mom and Dad, Grand Cayman - early 1980s.

Mom, baby Stefanie and Dad - 1983.

Dad, Uncle Mitch, me and Mom - circa 1985. 

Mom, rehearsals for 'On Stage' - circa 1986.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

tomato basil asparagus.

I don't always eat healthy.

Let me rephrase. I never eat healthy. At least not on purpose. I love a good medium-rare steak drenched in a buttery bearnaise sauce. I also love cheddar and sour cream Ruffles potato chips. Buffalo chicken strips with lots of blue cheese dressing. And what averages out to be about three or four Coca-Colas per day.

However. I do also love good soups and salads. And fresh crunchy vegetables like peppers and beans.

Across the street from my new job is a market called Urban Fresh. It is Jewel's answer to Whole Foods. (Jewel being Chicago's answer to Kroger.) Urban Fresh is nice. A small but edible looking selection of hot and cold deli items. A small but edible looking salad bar. A very nice selection of produce. And a good mix of organic and name brand groceries. (i.e. I can get my lunch time Coke. F you Whole Foods.)

Lately, I am obsessed with their creamy tomato basil soup. I also get fresh grilled asparagus from the deli counter, cut it into little pieces, and mix it in. Delicious. Today I noticed they also have fresh-baked, individual servings of cornbread. How could I have missed that before? Incredible. Perfect little lunch. I must not overdo it before winter, though. I have a feeling this will be my cold-weather survival meal.

If grocery stores in Chicago ever sold decent lump crab meat, it would be the perfect addition to my concoction. Mmmm...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

flip and tumble.

I love The Container Store. I wish my whole life was as organized as that store makes you believe that it can be.

Last weekend, while on a day long shopping adventure with my sister, we ended up in the checkout line at The Container Store. They have the best impulse shopping items in their check out line. Including giant pill-shaped pill boxes, a-la Dr. Mario. (Holy moly, you can play Dr. Mario online! This is the greatest moment of my life.) But I digress...

We were perusing the reusable shopping bags, knowing full well that reusable shopping bags can be kind of a waste because they're bulky and you don't always have them with you. And only end up using them on maybe 25% of your shopping trips.

But then we found these:
flip & tumble 24/7 bag

They sell them at The Container Store, but they have such a cute website. And also have a wider selection of colors, patterns and products that you can buy online. The 24/7 bags are made out of a super-light, super soft material and roll up into little stretchy Popple-like pods. The pods are attached and act as an inside mini-pocket when the bag is revealed.

I got the green one - big surprise. Stef got green and brown. The pod is so small I keep it in my purse all the time. And I actually use it.

Moral of the story: buy these bags.
They're the greatest. You won't be disappointed.

Second moral of the story: play Dr. Mario.
It is also the greatest.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

arabian nights, like arabian days.

Oh I come from a land, from a faraway place, where the caravan camels roam. Where they cut off your ear if they don't like your face. It's barbaric, but hey, it's home!

I've just gotten the official word that Todd will being going on for the final seven performances of The Arabian Nights at Lookingglass Theatre this weekend! He's been understudying several roles for the show since it previewed back in May. Now all of his hard work and beard-growing is paying off, and I am so proud.

And now for some photographic evidence:

Look at this baby-faced boy back in April at Wrigley. I think he had gotten his hair cut earlier that day, which would be the last hair cut he has had to date. This was around the time he was cast, so it could also very well be the last time he shaved.

And here we see Todd about a month ago, mid-July, at Six Flags with me and Paul. Beard had been growing for about 3 months and had evened out considerably. (Believe it. He is not so blessed in the facial-hair-growing area.) It has filled out a little more since then, and doesn't look half bad. ¡QuĂ© preciosa!

Come on down. Stop on by. Hop a carpet and fly to another Arabian Night!

Monday, August 24, 2009

new-age blog.

I recently rediscovered my old livejournal account. I hadn't updated it, let alone looked at it, in one year - almost to the day. I guess I stopped being any good at it. My entries were hardly interesting and really just a way for me to document my own life. Which, thinking about it now, is really all I'm looking for in a blog. Just a place to gather my thoughts and keep them for posterity.

I'd really like to be great at blogging - know all of the cool gadgets, link all of my sites, post photos in cool ways... There are so many interesting people with cute, well put together blogs that I get very intimidated. But then again there are also some very un-interesting people that just happen to have excellent blog-keeping skills, which is almost equally as intimidating. I can think "I have so much more to say than this guy, but my blog is still going to look so much more boring than his."

I guess I'm falling behind in my generation as far as Web2.0 is concerned. (Don't be impressed that I know that term either - I hardly know what it means. But blogger is making me look smarter already by supplying this simple hyperlink button.) I just don't know how to be web-cool. HTML? Forget it. All I can manage is facebook. Which is getting lamer by the day, but has become almost as necessary as email in some ways. I don't have a twitter account, and can hardly understand "tweets" with all of the @ signs and secret codes. I don't even have internet capabilities on my phone.

I think I'm going to give it another go though. Perhaps now is the time to retire the old "lj" and fully inhabit my Google account with my sweet new Blogger blog. Maybe I'll even rediscover my Flikr account. But lets crawl before we walk.

comeback special

stacey erin

photography - planning events and vacations - decorating hypothetical homes and apartments - my cats (Batman and Lester) - shopping - arts and crafts - giving presents - thrift/second hand/vintage stores - old records - making myself sound cool on the internet

favorite color:

what is comeback special?
It's a place for me to share what I'm doing - whether that be traveling, spending time with family and friends, tackling a new project, jumping a new hurdle... it could be anything. comeback special is about making the transition into 21st century adulthood with 20th century know-how.

what does comeback special mean?
Is it an "emo" band name? A football play? Find out here.