Thursday, April 29, 2010

calla lovelies.

Moments after I published yesterday's stress-post, Todd walked into my office with these flowers. And sushi... "I know you have a lot to do tonight and I figured you would forget to eat dinner."
He loves me a lot. I am very lucky. Breathe.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

midweek meltdown.

This is how I feel today.

Except with more tears. I may have mentioned previously, that I have a lot to do this week. Well, it is also dawning on me that I have a lot to do when I get back. I want to keep a positive vibe going in this blog, but you'll have to excuse this one post. I'm an optimist, but every optimist needs an emotional release now and then. So, here's hoping I can manage to get myself to relax and enjoy the one thing I've been looking forward to... sunshine and a week away at the beach. (Yes, those count as one thing.)

Monday, April 26, 2010

island of tropical breezes.

It's getting close! This time on Saturday we will be flying over the Atlantic Ocean, getting ready to land on the island of Puerto Rico. That means I have the next 4 evenings after work (Friday will be spent celebrating my Pal's birthday) to do all of my laundry, pack, get my hair cut, get waxed, get the kittens packed up for their week at my sister's, deliver the kittens to my sister, clean out my car, and make a trip to Target for last-minute necessities (travel shampoo/toothpaste/cute new beach cover-up/etc).

I'm ready for a break and a tan. Todd keeps reminding me that this will be his first "real beach vacation". I keep reminding him to bring sunglasses and lots of books to read. He gets antsy just sitting around, but I am determined to get him to relax. We have a couple exciting things planned (snorkeling and a zip-line through the rainforest!) but my biggest plan is to lay on the beach and soak up as much sunshine and salty air as humanly possible.

See you soon palm trees.

image from here

Thursday, April 22, 2010

gonna get a clean house.

I love Clean House. Niecy Nash is a hoot and a half.

image via here

This show - guilty pleasure though it may be - has a major impact on how I look at my own living environment. So does Hoarders. I have a legitimate fear of ending up on Hoarders when I am older. I've always held onto stuff... ticket stubs, old wallets, EVERY note I ever passed in 7th and 8th grade... stuff that I'm afraid to get rid of because "it means something" and "when I get older, I'll be able to look at this scrap of paper/tiny plastic object/eggshell from the first time he made me breakfast in bed (Rachel and Ross, anyone?) and remember this exact moment in time". When Kristen and I moved to our new (soon to be old) apartment last summer, I was smacked in the face with the quantity of STUFF I had accumulated. And I told myself "It's time."

As I unpacked, I started separating out things that I had no use for anymore. I donated quite a bit of housewares and clothing to my local Goodwill and I started to feel really good. It was amazing how much lighter I felt. And honestly, unless I look at the detailed list I made of all the items I've let go of, I couldn't tell you what I'm missing from my home. And I don't feel like I've lost any of my memories either. Though I will admit that every so often, after dropping off a car load of goods, I have to call my sister and/or Todd for a little moral support.
(Find your nearest Goodwill donation center.)

So I've made some progress. But now that I'm faced with another move (to a yet unknown abode) I'm starting to take inventory. And there is still SO MUCH STUFF. I look around and all I want is for it all to be organized by Niecy and her crew. I've been reading some great design blogs lately (check out the 'design' blog list on the right), and envy their organizational prowess and execution. (It's really the execution that I have the most trouble with.) But I think the bug has bitten and I'm feeling inspired to make this next home be all it can be from Day One. Stay tuned for some design inspiration and maybe even a play-by-play of the... wait for it... EXECUTION!

For now, let's just keep our fingers crossed that I have enough boxes to pack up all of my STUFF.

Friday, April 16, 2010

bite me.

In light of the beautiful weather that we are experiencing, the fact that Todd and I will be jetting off to beautiful Puerto Rico in two weeks, and the positive attitude that both of those facts have put me in, I am taking on several life beautification projects. Starting with me - because who doesn't like to be pampered?

So, prior to our trip I will be heading back to Sparrow in Logan Square to get a summer cut. I went there for the first time in February and Susan did an excellent job fixing a botched haircut I had gotten elsewhere last November.

Although I have lived in Chicago for 6 years, these were my first haircuts in the city. When I was able to, I would wait to get my haircut at home in Ohio. Anyone that lives in the Columbus area should go see Beth at Cut, Color, Style in Old Worthington. She's THE BEST. Tell her Stacey sent you.

Sparrow is operated by two stylists, Susan and Bathsheba. My sister and I have both been to see Susan (she gave us great bangs), but both do some great cutting. (For proof, check out their blog.) These are my go-to hair inspiration photos. (Love Maggie Gyllenhaal and Ginnifer Goodwin... hmm, perhaps I'll go a little lighter, like Ms. Gyllenhaal did in the upper left photo...)

images from here, here, here, and here

Also, I'll be getting waxed. (You heard me. I went there.) I've been getting waxed for a few years now. Not regularly, but enough that I feel comfortable blogging about it apparently. I've been to Continuum Studio in Andersonville probably four times in the last two years. I've never had a preferred esthetician, but everyone I've seen has been really great and professional. Chatty enough so that you don't feel like a stranger is poking around down there, but not so chatty that you feel like you're getting waxed by your crazy cousin. It's a smaller salon, but very private and quiet. I've been to other boutique-style waxing salons in the city and have always come out feeling a little dirty. Like I just got waxed at a drive-thru. And yes, you have to grow your hair out for a few weeks in order to get the best results. Lucky for me, I hate shaving anyway. Thus the resulting smooth legs for a few weeks with no effort on my part is totally worth the 45 minutes of pain. (And yes. It hurts as bad as you think it will. But it's over pretty quickly. Trick of the trade: Soak in an oatmeal bath after wards to soothe your tender skin, help prevent redness and remove any excess wax.)

Lastly - and this one is all on me - I'm going to attempt the impossible. I'm going to try to stop biting my fingernails (again). I know, it's a gross habit that I should have outgrown years ago, but I didn't. And in the grand scheme of bad habit, I'd say this one is pretty mild. It's not like I smoke or do drugs or drink excessively. And I have tried quitting since I was a teenager. I've tried all the tricks. But there has been only ONE that has been successful: Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle. Yes, that little gold bottle at the drug store.

I'm telling you. Nothing else works. It says to apply every other day, but I put a nice thin layer on my nails everyday. I'll be totally glam in no time. Then I'm going to rock it like this:

image from here

How '80s Fab are those?? Let the summer beautification commence!

Monday, April 12, 2010

turn and face the strain.

There have been some unexpected ch-ch-changes happening lately. My roommate Kristen has made the decision to move to New York City. Around the same time, our other girl friend, Erica, announced that she was offered a new job and will also be making the move to NY. These events threw me into a whirlwind of emotions for about a week. I had to be supportive and helpful, all the while my heart was breaking at the thought of losing them and having to move all over again.

Kristen and I have lived together for three years. (And I lived with my sister for the three before that.) We had been planning to renew our lease at the end of May, but now instead I will be on the search for that perfect one bedroom apartment that will make me feel like the grown-up I always wanted to/thought I would be by now. It's going to be a big adjustment. And it's hard to find a nice one bedroom in the city... that I can afford... that isn't in a high-rise or complex... in the neighborhood I want... that has everything I'm looking for. Okay, so maybe I'm being picky. But I've lived in some really nice places with huge potential, and I was never able to get them past cluttered-living stage. This is my moment. I'm going for something along the lines of this:

image from pottery barn april 2010 catalog

I think I might be in the wrong part of the country...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

copy kitten.

image via here

As an itty-bitty-baby blogger, I am very cautious when it comes to my posts. I worry about unintentionally copying another blogger's style. I am still relatively new to this outlet and do not want to step on any creative toes. I am not sure where this little blog will go in the future, but I am enjoying getting its cyber paws on the ground. Since day one I have been admittedly intimidated by the blogosphere, but have made HUGE strides thanks to some really great blogs I have happened across.

This world is much like any other - you have your crazy bloggers, your mean bloggers, your preachy bloggers, your fake bloggers, your TMI bloggers, your wanna-be bloggers and your honestly great bloggers. The key, as in life, is to associate yourself with people you can connect with and learn from, and leave the rest to their own devices. (I would put myself in the "wanna-be" category, with the hopes of growing up to that last one there.) I am learning all kinds of "web stuff" as I go and will continue to figure out how to translate my life aesthetic into my blog aesthetic.

So thanks to anybody reading this for humoring me and/or inspiring me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

the perfect shade of whorange.

I admit it. I'm obsessed.

While browsing some super inspiring design blogs, I stumbled across a little beauty called WHORANGE. With a name like that, how could I refuse?

Miss Tula Jeng - the brains behind the blog - manages to create the perfect blend of retro-vintage-mod inspired fashion, design and art with just the right amount of humor, kittens and truly great hair.

image via whorange

I'm loving everything about it, especially the Monthly Pad specials where Miss Tula takes you on a photo tour of notably fabulous homes - most recently, Jayne Mansfield's Pink Palace in Beverly Hills. Oh-la-la!

You had me at Whorange.

VIVA le femme.

This will perk up anyone's Wednesday:

image via here

It's true. Women ARE into Total Feminism, Male Nudes, Pubic Hairstyles, Hash Smuggling and Great New Fall Fashions.
How did they know??

P.S. My undying love goes to anyone who can get their hands on a copy of this gem.

Friday, April 2, 2010

bunny tales.

As far back as I can remember, my family has never celebrated Easter in a religious way. I mean, I knew the general story - Jesus was crucified, entombed in a cave and then rose from the dead. Got it.

But Easter, to my childhood (okay, and adulthood) self, is about bunnies.
And baskets, and candy, and egg hunts, and dinner at Grandma's house.

Our baskets were pretty classic... and now that I think about it, pretty self serving for my mom. (She was no dummy.) We had the usual plastic eggs filled with jelly beans or spare change (these made the greatest sounds), PEEPS (chick and bunny, taken OUT of their packages and arranged in the "grass" so they were at the perfect stage of stale by the time morning arrived), Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs (however many were left after Mom likely "snacked" on these while putting the baskets together), chocolate bunnies (I would only eat the ears, so Mom got the rest) and Cadbury Creme Eggs (which I'm pretty sure neither my sister or I liked, but Mom loved).

I may have out grown the egg hunts early on, but Easter baskets continued well into adulthood for my sister and me. I remember my senior year of high school, I was in New York over Spring Break with my dad and my best friend Justin. It happened to fall over Easter, and sure enough that Sunday morning when Justin and I got up there were baskets of candy hidden (always hidden) in our hotel rooms. (Mine was behind the curtains and I think Justin's was in the bathtub. Stefanie's was in the mail en route to her college dorm.) It is still a mystery to me whether Dad... I mean, the Easter Bunny... brought his supplies all the way to NYC from Ohio, or if he hopped on down to the Duane Reed on the corner.

Even after I moved to Chicago, Stefanie and I would still receive Easter packages. And this was no "box full of candy" - there was always a basket inside. I can just imagine my dad standing at the kitchen counter with two pastel baskets, that messy "easter grass", bags of candy, and packing supplies. We may have groaned and teased Dad about it, but I loved it.

So basically, for me, Easter was this perfect day that combined Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas stockings (in basket form).

Look at this cute little guy. He looks like he's saying "Please don't take my egg..."