Friday, December 10, 2010

tis the season.

'Tis the season for lots of list making. (Fa-la-la-la-la La-la-la-la.)

To say I have a lot on my plate would be the understatement of the century. For the last month or two, my life has been consumed with planning and/or preparing for several events:
a bachelorette party (the day after Thanksgiving), a wedding - in which I am a bridesmaid (the weekend before Christmas), coordinating Christmas in Chicago for 10 out-of-town family members and 5 locals (this is the first time we've ever done Christmas outside of Ohio), and having two of my visiting cousins stay at my apartment (which still has a little bit of that just-moved-in/storage-closet feel to it).

I have grocery lists, Christmas shopping lists, house cleaning lists, packing lists, wedding lists, party planning lists, activity lists, phone number lists, task lists, lists of my lists (okay, that one was an exaggeration...)

Last night I knocked out a number of things around the house, but this weekend is bound to be a doosey. Especially because I ruined my cookie dough and have to start all over instead of just having to cut/bake/decorate. I used a new recipe this year... serves me right for cheating on Paula Deen. I mean, what was I thinking? Ms. Deen starts pretty much every recipe with two sticks of butter. How could any other recipe be better than that? (You could be making steaks and I'm pretty sure she would start off with "Okay, take y'er two sticks of butter and grease the gri'll with 'em...") I love you Paula Deen.

Paula Deen's Monogrammed Sugar Cookies
(pssst! I use two teaspoons of vanilla and NO almond extract. And I add an extra egg.)

But I digress. With all of the hullabaloo that has surrounded this holiday season, I have really had a heckuva time getting in the spirit. I have my tree up, I strung garland, the stockings are hung on the bookshelf with care... I'm hoping this weekend will be extremely productive (Todd is out of town, so I won't be distracted by him and the kittens laying around the house), and that by Monday I will be overcome with excitement for the weekend nuptuals and our first family holiday-on-the-road!

P.S. I've just made the determination that all of the pressure that I have been putting on myself lately is going to flood out of me in tears at Kate and David's wedding. I am going to be so happy/emotional/relieved that I'm going to become a puddle of salt water. (Note to self: Add waterproof mascara to Packing List.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

bluster busters.

I have a super-top-secret-insider-scoop for you. This season marks my seventh winter here in the Windiest of Cities. That makes me seven times smarter about cold weather than I was when I moved here from Columbus (via Pittsburgh). Over the past seven winters (which usually last from Nov/Dec all the way through Mar/Apr), I have tried out many different underlayers, overlayers, inderlayers, everylayers, in order to beat the heat frigid cold that bites as soon as you step outside. Last year, a miracle happened. I found the magic combo. You better believe it.

Patagonia Capilene Bottoms (Level 2 - Lightweight) and Smartwool Socks (Crew height or higher). The Level 2 bottoms are thin enough to wear everyday, even under my skinny jeans, but that Capilene hocus pocus keeps you warm all day without making you sweat like a maniac when you go indoors. (FYI - They make tops too, which I will often don for snow-play and exceptionally wintery days.) And oh, Smartwool, how I love thee. I have both the Margaritas (left - wearing them now, btw) and the Popcorn Cables (right). I love that they give me options for weight/cushioning depending on my choice of footwear.

So there you go. The solution for all your cold-weather woes. If you're still confused, here are some simple instructions:
Layer 1: underpants.*
Layer 2: Patagonia Capilenes.
Layer 3: Smartwools. (Note: Layer 2 should be tucked in to Layer 3. This is of vital importance.)

And now you know what I'm wearing under every single outfit from November through March. Over-share? Nah. Best winter advice ever? Yup.

*Underpants can be of your own individual choosing. I go for boy-shorts usually. Now there's your over-share.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

the one hundrdeth.

No, this post is not about one of my FRIENDS giving birth to her brother's triplets. (I'm totally Monica, btw.)

This is the ONE HUNDRETH post, here at comeback special!

And what a feat. I am but still a humble little blogger, and having 100 posts under my belt is definitely a huge milestone. Hopefully this little blog o' mine (I'm gonna let it shine...) and I will keep growing towards bigger and better things. Thanks to whoever keeps reading this little guy! (WHOMever...)

And yes, my pop culture references begin and end with '90s sitcoms.

(P.S. I heart MS Paint.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

dear santa... p.s.

I know I already told you what I wanted for Christmas, but just in case you needed a couple more ideas...

These Bean Boots will keep my toes nice and toasty in the Chicago snow.

And this heather green Pendleton wool camp blanket that I spied at REI last night is very practical for winter drives in my Jeep.

Snow blindness is a very serious disease, but luckily it is fully preventable with these sensible eye savers from the good people at Ray-Ban.

You know... just in case you needed a few more ideas...

Thanks Santa! You're the best.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the giving of thanks.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving tomorrow, I thought I share a few things that I am thankful for that happened in the last year.

This year, I am thankful for...
  • the ability to travel, even on a tight budget. This past year I have taken two trips to NYC and spent a whole week in Puerto Rico.
  • old friends - the ones who never let you down and are always there for you, no matter how long it's been since you've seen each other or spoken on the phone.
  • dinners with Dianna, Leah and Todd. (Sorry, Dan and Dom - sometimes you're not at home. And Todd cooks for us.)
  • getting put on salary at work, and for getting benefits, and a fancy new title - even though I still basically do the same work, I'd rather be a Manager than an Assistant. I'll take it!
  • my buddy Kristen being the toughest and bravest girl ever, and for her making a safe and successful transition into the next stage of her life in New York City.
  • new friends - the ones who you meet and find out you have more in common with than you ever thought possible.
  • my very first apartment that is all my own. Even though it still looks like I just moved in.
  • my pretty fingernails and finally kicking a 27 year habit.
  • Todd. He's more helpful to and supportive of me on a day-to-day basis than I think he realizes. I'm very lucky to love and be loved by such a wonderful person.
  • (almost) weekly family dinners with the Chicago chapter of the Wutzler Family.
  • our newest addition, and the leader of our family's next generation, Elise Ava. She has proven to be the toughest little girl I've ever seen. This year, I am most thankful for her.
And that's just a sampler platter. If you want the whole feast, I can provide it for you on request.

Happy Thanksgiving one and all!

Friday, November 19, 2010

and again.

I told you I geek out whenever I see things with my initials! Too bad I won't be able to shell out $94 for this vintage wicker wine jug. Lucky for me, pictures are free! (And worth a thousand words, FYI.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

a letter to the man.

Dear Santa,

I need a new purse. Like a good purse. Like a really good purse. Enough of this dilly dallying with sub-par bags that only meet some of my requirements because A) they're cheap, B) they're trendy... and cheap, or C) did I say cheap? I need a purse to which I can make a full commitment. I'm not the kind of girl who needs a different bag for every outfit. I'm a creature of habit. I have one pair of sunglasses. I carry one bag. I mean, I am usually wearing a version of the same thing every day. Dark wash skinny jeans? Check. Top-siders, All-Stars, or Cowboy boots? Check. T-shirt and cardigan? Check. Scarf of varying sizes and weights? Check. The Perfect Bag? *sigh*

This is where you come in, Santa. Here are my criteria:
  • leather. Leather, leather, leather.
  • brass hardware. None of that shiny nickel crap.
  • structured bottom and sides. I usually have papers of some sort in my purse (catalogs, pay stubs, love letters, etc.) and floppy bags = big mess o' crap.
  • medium sized. Big enough to hold said "big mess 'o crap", but not so big that it encourages additional extraneous crap. The perfect travel size.
  • one strap, or the option of one strap. Double straps = one slidey-down strap. I hate that slidey-down strap.
  • zip-top. A must when you live in a city, and when traveling. Zips keep wandering hands from grabbing your valuables. They also prevent huge spills of your big mess o' crap all over your back seat when you toss your purse willy-nilly into your back seat.
  • good sized top opening. Big enough so you can see everything without having to dig around in the dark abyss.
  • no huge brandings. A small horse drawn carriage, or printed buckle here or there is okay. I just don't want someone else's initials all over my stuff.
  • if there is a longer shoulder strap, it should be detachable. Okay, now I'm just getting picky...
  • one or two exterior pockets are a plus. For easy access to keys and/or phone. But not too many... then it just looks bulky.

So there you go. For your convenience, I have done a little pre-holiday scouting. Here are two options I'm drooling over.

The Kristin Pleated Satchel from Coach. Either in Emerald or Coral. (They call it "Tearose"... The teal is sold out. But, oh the teal!) Obviously green is my fav color (obviously), but it may be more condusive to all four seasons. The coral is a bit spring/summer.

OMG, the kate spade Darien Gloss "Joyce". In Oyster. Yum x1000. I'm pretty sure I almost bought this exact bag at the outlet. And it's ON SALE! Hurry Santa!!

Thanks in advance for at least considering it. I promise to take care of it and be totally devoted to my one true bag. You're the best. (I can't believe I didn't pick a brown one either!)


here kitty, kitty.

I just came across this image for J.Crew weddings...

Oh jeeze. I'm dying. Add to cart.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

nerd alert.

This adorable stocking on the Lands End website has my initials on it! (And my sister's, and my mom's...) That means I get to keep it, right?

I admit it - I get really excited when I'm browsing catalogs or websites and see something with my name on it... or the name of someone that I know... first name, last name, initials... whatever. It all fills me with glee. And in this case, Christmas cheer!

Thus concludes my nerdiness for the day. (Well, that's probably not true...)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

matte or patent.

Ah, yes. The age-old question...

I picked up my bridesmaid dress last night, and now I'm on the quest for shoes! Kate requested that we wear black shoes in the style of our choice. Do I already own several pairs of black shoes? Yes. Am I going to let that stop me from looking for a cute new pair? Definitely no.

So I was perusing some options online, and here's what I've been looking for:
For the dress that we're wearing (emerald green, floor-length chiffon, sweetheart neckline, strapless) I decided to go for something sleek and classic. But still fun. Along my search, again and again I found myself wondering "These are so cute, but should I get them in matte or patent?"

I love a good pair of black patent leather high heels. There's something about them; when you put them on, you automatically feel sexy. But are they always appropriate? I feel like patent leather high heels have a history... a "stigma", if you will. Like a red dress. Or fishnets. Combo the three together, and you've got yourself the classic "bad girl" ensemble. But worn separately, they could add just the right amount of "edge" to any look. Right? I think so too... (P.S. I would totally rock the red dress/patent leather heels look, if I had the chance... Maybe minus the fishnets, though.)

But I digress... bridesmaid shoes! Black, sleek, classic, fun. Versatile, re-wearable. I found these on endless first, but went over to Zappos, because they had my size in stock.

Love the cutouts on the sides. I have another pair of pumps from Guess, and was surprised by how comfortable they are. (Although the ones that I own don't have a 1" platform and a 4 1/2" heel...)

So? What do you think? Matte or Patent?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

little black dress. (or gray. or red!)

As I may have mentioned several times before, my beary vest friend Kate is getting married in December. Being the over-enthusiastic bridesmaid that I am (I love weddings! I've even dabbled with the idea of wedding planning as a future career... anybody know anybody who needs an assistant??), I'm already looking for the perfect dress to wear for the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and welcome cocktails the night before The Big Day. I don't often get dressed up in the winter months (here in Chicago, we usually hibernate between November and April), although I love the look of a pretty dress with tights, a wool coat and cute scarf.

I am in need of a little black dress for just these types of occasions, but apparently my tastes gravitate more towards the little gray dress, a la this number from J.Crew (where else?)?

If I wanted something closer to black, it also comes in a darker charcoal color. But me and heather gray are like peas in a pod. And with a flashy belt or necklace, and dark gray tights... and oh! Gray shoes! Sign me up.

Of course, as anyone who has ever had a wedding, been in a wedding, or attended a wedding could tell you, they are quite a shock to the old pocketbook. And though my love for J. Crew knows no bounds, my bank account certainly does. So I scouted out these less expensive, but equally lovely options from LOFT:

And a red dress to honor the Christmas wedding? DUH! Love it. (It also comes in black, should I choose to go the more demure route.)

The bridesmaid dresses come in this week (fingers crossed), and we're about 5 weeks out from The Big Day. Let the frenzy begin!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

it's the most wonderful time of the year.

That's right. I'm one of those people. The people who love the Christmas season so much that they start listening to holiday music on November 1st.

And this season is extra special because my family is celebrating here in Chicago this year! We're gathering at a hotel downtown, and I want to make sure that it still feels warm and filled with the holiday spirit. So I'm scouting out ideas for simple (Read: inexpensive) decorations to make/gather/bring to deck our rented halls. Here are a few ideas from Martha that started my imagination gears turning.

This favor tree was one of the first to catch my eye, if for no other reason than it's simplicity. Since everyone (else) is traveling this year, we won't be exchanging gifts. But as soon as I saw this tree I envisioned cookies hanging from ribbons in lieu of the gift boxes! Last year was my first adventure into from-scratch cookie baking and it went pretty well. I'm really excited to re-work the recipe this year, and would love to be able to share my efforts with my family and create a make-shift Christmas tree at the same time.

Martha never ceases to amaze. This cotton ball tree is simple, cute and easy. I definitely had grandiose dreams of bringing my 5 foot Christmas tree to the hotel to decorate, but decided that may be a bit much for our first go-round. I'm definitely tucking this idea away for the future though.

These mini felt stockings are the perfect travel size. I had been thinking stockings would be a great way to add a cheerful sense of family, especially if some members are unable to make it. (We'd still have stockings for them of course.) I don't know if I'm up to crafting 20 stockings, but there's a dollar store down the street that just started stocking their holiday goodies.

How adorable is this baby sock advent calendar? I'm dying over here. And what a great way to get your kids socks for Christmas without the usual "Greaaat... Just what I wanted..." response! Though, with 25 days on an advent calendar, I would hope that the treat in the 25th sock would be the 26th sock to complete the pair. Perhaps an adaptation of this will appear for our family holiday this year. And perhaps everyone's matching sock will appear on Christmas morning!

The gears are turning folks! Happy Holiday Season!

images via martha

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

the big city of brotherly beantown apple love

What? Almost two weeks and no post! I know all of my one reader is going bonkers. But I am back to share some visual delights from my recent trip to NYC.

A couple weekends ago, Todd, Dominic, and I all went to New York to visit ALL OF OUR FRIENDS. It seems that there has been (in Dom's words) a mass exodus these last few months to Brooklyn in particular. Okay, so really just like 4 of our favorite ladies. Plus my long-time favorite lady - but comparatively speaking, she's an old-timer, having lived in Manhattan for 3+ years already. (Sheesh! I can't believe it's been that long.)

The trip was wonderful, but admittedly stressful. It's hard to get to see everyone when you're only in town for a few days. We were all over the place - Brooklyn, Soho, Midtown, Downtown, China Town, Central Park, Staten Island, Upper East Side. In just about 72 hours. I did get the jeans I wanted at Uniqlo (two pairs), but that was not even close to my favorite part of the weekend.

This was:

That's my long-time love, Shelby (we've known each other since 1st grade? 3rd grade?) hangin' on my main man, Todd. They're, like, bffs. And that makes me more happy than all the candy at Dylan's Candy Bar. And that's a lot of candy.

Also highlighting my whole weekend was this sassy lady, pictured center:

That is my buddy-love Kristen, flanked by two of our bests, Dominic and Erica. Kristen and I used to live together, until she deserted me and my two cattens to live in a box in Brooklyn. No big deal. (Her sass can also be seen pictured here.) I am very excited that she is loving her NY life, but I do miss her face around the house. That's for sure.

We had a hilariously random trip. Here are my top five moments/events:

1. Eating the biggest pulled pork sandwich ever at South Houston in SoHo, to which Kristen said "I'm so glad you ordered that." Apparently messy foods are my trademark.
2. Shake Shack. Seriously. Best thing ever. Especially on a beautiful night, sitting with some of your favorite people, eating, drinking, and laughing. Lots and lots of laughing.
3. Sunny Sunday stroll through Central Park, and sitting for a while by the Reservoir.
4. Seeing Promises, Promises on Friday with Todd and Shelby - even though Todd hated it. He knew he would hate it, but he knew I really wanted to see Sean Hayes, Kristen Chenoweth, and Molly Shannon. Way to take one for the team Bub. :)
5. Staten Island Ferry. Totally random. But ended up being the best time of day for it. Staten bound trip was still daylight. Manhattan bound trip was right at dusk, so we got to see sky change and the lights of the city turn on. (See below for photographic evidence.) I love any activity that makes you stop and enjoy your surroundings and the people you are with.


Thursday, October 21, 2010


A month or so ago I found the perfect bedside table. I have so much dark, black-brown Ikea furniture that I wanted something to contrast that. Originally, my thought was something mirrored, like this:

Of course, Todd knew me better than that and simply said "You'll hate it in a few months." And although I whined "But it's so girlie! I don't have any girlie things!" all the way down the aisle of our local Target, he was totally right. So I waited patiently for the perfect table to present itself. And then one day, I came across this lovely table. Simple, natural, wood. I pictured a few hardcover books, a simple lamp and perhaps a basket underneath to catch the wayward catalogs that pile up on the floor on my side of the bed.

So I bought one. But just one. And ever since, Todd has complained, "Where's MY nightstand?" Well he finally got his, and we picked up two of these seagrass milk crates on sale last weekend for underneath. Mine is already full of catalogs, sharpies and my slippers. Todd's is currently housing a few stray pages of scripts and a cat.

Now we're I'm just waiting for the right moment to strike on this lamp base/shade combo:

I love the way nothing is matchy-matchy (technical term), but it still feels put together. And with the duvet I got from Crate and Barrel?! Oh, jeeze. Big girl bedroom to-the-max.

all items pictured are from Target, and are available in-store

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

speaking of good jeans...

How appropriate, after my last post, that I should receive this very exciting email in my inbox...

Granted, I don't live in Columbus anymore. But it is where I hail from, and this means during my trips home (which are much more common than my trips to NYC), I'll be able to peruse the Madewell selection in person, instead of drooling over it online. *sigh* It's the little things...

Friday, October 15, 2010

she's got good jeans.

Everyone knows - men and women alike - that a well fitting pair of jeans is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. And riding there on a unicorn.

Jeans just don't fit regular bodies the way that they fit the models in the advertisements. The best looking jeans on a model can make you feel like an elephant when you try them on. Likewise, that weirdo pair that you grab from the clearance rack on a whim could be your diamond in the rough. The thing is that you just don't know until they're on your body. Shopping for jeans is not something that should be taken lightly. I like to make sure to go on a day when I am feeling particularly pretty, and have actually made the effort to put make-up on. Nothing makes you feel more disgusting than the unflattering lighting in a fitting room, so I like to spruce myself up a little more than usual to counter balance that. My other trick is that I always wear shoes that I can kick off easily, because I know I am going to be trying on A LOT of jeans which means taking my shoes on and off about a million times.

That being said, I have found my pot-o-gold jeans. It's true. Last January, I was in New York City with some of my favorite ladies and they took me into a store I had never even heard of before called Uniqlo. Against all better judgment, (I was not on a denim mission that day, and was still hesitant towards the skinniest of jeans. Also, I was there with two of my girlfriends, whose cuteness I will never be able to compete with.) I tried on three pairs of skinny jeans. To my extreme shock, I tried on the skinniest jeans I had worn since the early 90s, and - if I do say so myself - DAMN my ass looked good! Success! And for only $30! Double success!

I have an excursion to NYC planned for the near future and already have my $30 set aside for another pair of these. With a possible stop at Madewell to pick up these high-waisted beauties on the right.

UJ - 3D Denim Tapered Skinny
Alexa Chung for Madewell - Christian Skinny Jeans

Friday, October 8, 2010

hippo, hurray!

Holy. Moly. The next time I have 400 extra dollars laying around, I am buying this little guy. I mean, look at him... he's smiling at just the thought of my feet propped up on him end of the day, or a fatso catso curled up on his back!

handcrafted leather hippo footstool

yes, capiz.

I'm not usually crazy about capiz chandeliers. That was, until I saw this beauty:

via house of turquoise

Friday, October 1, 2010

i've got a feeling.

There's nothing like a couple new pieces to make you want to look a little cuter on a Friday. Paired my new skirt and necklace (which i shared with you guys last night!) with some old stand-bys and WHAMO! I'm all dolled up to celebrate the first day of Fall. Sure. Sure. Fall technically started a week ago, but I refuse to give up Summer until October. Now it can be Fall.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

sparkle and shine.

Picked up some pretty at J.Crew after work today! You may recognize this gem [pun intended] from the J.Crew jewelry 4x4 I did last month! Thanks to their awesome sales and a 25% off coupon, I scooped it up and brought it home!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

4x4: LOFT is tops... for under $60

This week's 4x4 goes out to a little lady named Leah, of Bitemarks. She loves her some LOFT.

the "tee" in beauty
Clockwise from Top Left:
Woven Front Tee in iron grey - $44.50; Pearl and Chain Necklace Tee in salt&pepper melange - $49.50; Watercolor Portrait Graphic Tee - $29.50; Sequin Bib Tee in fresh navy - $44.50

button up your button down
Clockwise from Top Left:
Self-Tie Button Down in frosted purple - $44.50; Painter's Smock in mint whisper - $49.50; Button Down with Pleats - $44.50; Mixed Yarn Dye Shirt - $34.99

not-so-baby pinks and blues
Clockwise from Top Left:
Chiffon Overlay Top in mint whisper - $44.50; All Over Sparkle Tank in cement grey - $59.50; Ruffle Front Top in opal grey - $49.50; Pleated Bow Blouse in ribbon pink - $49.50

sweater weather
Clockwise from Top Left:
Woven Bow Cardigan in oak brown melange - $59.50; Knife Pleat Cowl Neck in opal grey - $34.99; Sequin Cascade Cardigan in dove heather- $49.99; Dolman Sleeve Scoop Neck in vintage blue - $44.50

I am in no way affiliated with LOFT - I just love their simple and modern styling. (And great sales!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

on-the-go-blogging test.

As I mentioned last week, I recently upgraded to a phone worthy of this decade... century, even. This is my first test-post using my blogging app to see what this puppy can do. Featuring, the two and only, Lester and Batman!

Update: The app I have is pretty easy to use [Blogaway], but it won't let me select text size, enter html, or position the photos center. I had to go back in through the web to make this entry match the format of the rest of my posts. Does anyone out there know of a better blogging app for Android phones?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

herman miller giveaway

I just HAD to let you all know about this giveaway from Herman Miller (that I found out about via atomic indy)!! All you have to do is enter your email address, and you could win any of the fab mod prizes up for grabs each week. The final drawing is on November 2nd, when you could win one of five hand-painted Eames Rockers.

I'm drooling over this peacock, by artist Andrew Holder...

Like it. Love it. Gotta have it. A peacock was a very prominent part of my dream last night. I'm taking that as a premonition. I promise if I win, I will give you a good home.

Click HERE to give Herman your email address and check out all the other goodies you could win!

4x4: endless possibilities... under $100

On The Road
Shoes: Women's Trouser Flat by Steve Madden - $70
Shades: Picchu Navigators by Carrera - $95
Watch: Men's Dress Watch by Armitron - $53
Bag: Artist Circle Weekender by The SAK - $99

Night and Day
Shoes: Mirren Pump by Nine West - $89
Shades: Rectangular Sunglasses by RALPH by Ralph Lauren - $48
Watch: Mesh Strap Watch by Peugeot - $60
Bag: S9-72 Shoulder Bag by Melie Bianco - $51

Saturday Night Flavor
Shoes: Watching the Clock Peep-Toe by Seychelles - $90
Shades: Venetian Vibe by Tommy Bahama - $72
Watch: Round Brown Strap Watch by Nine West - $39
Bag: Kaylee Flat Tote by Melie Bianco - $98

Little House in the City
Shoes: Mamie Bootie by Seychelles - $78
Shades: MMJ 143/S by MARC by Marc Jacobs - $85
Watch: Gold-Tone Black Leather Watch by Armitron - $26
Bag: Paisley Convertible Clutch by Sydney Love - $48

I am in no way affiliated with endless - I just love their great deals and steals. And what better way to spice up your wardrobe for fall than with some choice shoes and accessories?!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

give my creation... LIFE!

image via google

Whew! Almost two weeks away from this little guy. I have been pretty busy completely overwhelmed at work, leaving very little time to think about blogging. But I'm happy to say I have made another LEAP into the 21st century by finally caving in and getting a smart phone. I bought the Samsung Epic 4G [Sprint] when it came out a week or so ago - upgrading from a slider phone that resembled a Star Trek communicator. So far I like it a lot. I'm addicted to this Swype feature it has on the touch-screen keyboard. Maybe it's old news at this point, but it's pretty much the craziest thing I have ever seen. I feel like I have a tiny robot in my pocket. My old phone didn't even have a keyboard - I was still entering texts with the number buttons. I also downloaded a blogger app (for blogging on-the-go), but I haven't quite figured out how to use it yet. All in good time. I still can't believe how far I've come since I started this blog... (she types, as she closes the html coding for this post!)

Friday, September 3, 2010

factory girl.

I went to school in Pittsburgh for a couple years after high school. There were only a handful of good things that came out of the time I spend there. First, a few wonderful friends. (#1@PPCshh!) Second, hot pretzels and my insane DDR skills. And third, The Andy Warhol Museum. (Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, and The Warhol is the nation's largest single-artist museum.)

Anytime I felt lonely, or bored, or lost, I walked across the bridge to The Warhol. I would spend a few hours pouring over the rotating exhibits and films, and the permanent collection (that I had seen dozens of times before). It is so much more than self-portraits and Campbell's Soup cans.

I love the "Silver Clouds" installation, and think about it often. I always tried to go on a slow day, mid-week, so I could stand quietly alone in the room and think about where I wanted to go next. Ultimately, these clouds led me to Chicago.

On the weekends, the basement of the museum turns into a Warhol workshop, where you can create your own silk screen pop-art. And now you can click here to create your own online version.

If you ever find yourself at the confluence of the Allegheny and the Monongahela rivers, I wholeheartedly suggest a visit. (I also learned the words "confluence", "Allegheny" and "Monongahela".)

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I'm in love with hardcover books. Especially the classics. They look beautiful and smell like old libraries. And I love the noise the fabric covers make when you rub your fingernails across them. New-age hardcover books are just not as pretty - glossy photos of the author? No thanks. Someday I would like to have a hardcover copy of all my favorite books (aka the books I've actually read cover to cover). These would start my collection nicely. (Nevermind the fact that these first editions can sell for upwards of $1,500 each!)

all images via google

And although I have never read the vintage cookbooks pictured below, I have GOT to have the one on the left.

The Complete Round the World MEAT Cookbook