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.]