January Sucks, February Blows

Our dog doesn't like the snow either...look at what he has to wear!

I want to start this post by first saying that I love the snow. I really do. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly even the dullest of streets can turn magical with just a small sprinkling of snow. And snow is a blast. Growing up, I have fond memories of my brothers making snow dragons with tennis ball eyes across the street from our apartment. I remember making snow men galore and once even an igloo with my oldest brother. In college, in Iowa, I bought a saucer sled my freshmen year and then made sledding a yearly tradition, until my last year, when I left the saucer sled behind. The point is, I love snow.

But around this time of year, it gets to be...annoying. We bought a car, and I predominantly drive it. This means that in the month or so that we've owned a car, I can't even count how many times I've had to brush the damn snow off the damn car! Plus, we may not be New York or Massachusetts, but we have had snow on the ground practically the whole winter this season!

Nevertheless, I thought it was over. After all, usually, with Chicago, the big winter adjustment is just that it gets cold as hell in February. December and January always seem snowy and February is just plain frigid. So I almost started crying when I heard about the blizzard everyone is buzzing about. More snow? I can't even picture it. It sounds...awful. Not magical, not fun, just awful.

And while most people will get a snow day, I will probably still have to report to work, because I swear I always work at these companies that never close their doors (same with all the schools I've ever attended...never had a snow day growing up!). Plus, I don't think driving to my job would be wise, so I'm probably back on the bus, which means until I see how this thing plays out, I hate the world. And I hate the snow.

I don't know about you, but I am always grumpy Mondays. Everything ticks me off. Especially snow. What are you all hating on this Monday?


Dance, Dance, Dance

How about a little Friday dance, peeps?

My friend is getting married at this venue in August. I wish I was more psyched about the wedding, but at least the place looks cool, no?

If this is how you dress when traveling to Portland, then I guess I best get booking that trip. Fashion that is so right up your alley if you love plaid, relaxed, badass style.

Really digging this rustic driftwood lamp.

It's a nice day for a white wedding (inspiration post).

I wish I wasn't so busy with my real job, I'd apply for this job at Ruffled. I'm good at coordinating stuff.

Valentine's baking inspiration. That's right, the dreaded V-day is coming up!

I love you guys like A.P. loves insurance! Or your own nerdy version.

Finally, even though this is totally fake, wouldn't it be so sweet to take a little camping honeymoon? Tec Petaja shot this dreamy bit of honeymoon inspiration. If you're like me, you'll use this to while away the snowy hours this weekend.

Have a great weekend, folks!

(Black and White Sock Photo via Bleue Bird, Honeymoon Getaway Photos via Tec Petaja)


Beauty Lies in Unexpected Places

I love beautiful things, and some day hope to furnish an entire home full of beautiful curiosities. I always think my favorite homes are the ones with magical things hidden in little nooks. C. Blonde, the woman who designed our invitations, had a home like this. In one corner she'd have a stereoscope, and in another a jar of old buttons. When I was a kid and would hang out at her house, I would love to just snoop around and pick up the little oddities she had lying around. If we had more space (and hopefully we will later on this year), I would so buy these lovelies and place them in the most unexpected places to capture guests' attention.

Unexpected Place: Kitchen Counter, What better way to tell how much time you've been slaving over dinner?

Unexpected Place: Office; Why not pretty up the office with a beautiful coffee table? Can't you picture this in a corner with a few magazines on it?

Unexpected Place: The powder room; Give your neutral bathroom a pop of color and a touch of vintage with this pretty peacock print on a page from a vintage dictionary

Unexpected Place: Nightstand; If you're like A.P. and use your cellphone as an alarm clock, why not give it a touch of class with this eco-friendly stand/dock

Object: Recycled Map Garland
Unexpected Place: Baby's Room; An eco-friendly decoration that can easily be swapped out for other decorations when baby gets a little older. Plus, just think about how s/he will have such great geography skills later on in life!

Object: Ruffled Side-Tie Silk Panties
Unexpected Place: Kitchen; See how much cooking you get done wearing these!

Object: Silhouette w/Antlers Necklace
Unexpected Place: Dangling from a Lamp; I'm in deep, deep love with this necklace from today's featured etsy seller, MarKhed. I aim to own it, I do.

Object: Vintage Wire Basket
Unexpected Place: Bathroom; Common bathroom necessities somehow look fancier in a vintage wire basket

(Photos via: Vohann Ceramic clock via etsy, Large Circles Coffee Table via etsy, Peacock Print via etsy, iPod Dock via etsy, Recycled Map Garland via etsy, Ruffled panties via etsy, Silhouette w/Antlers Necklace via etsy, Vintage Wire Basket via etsy)



I can't remember if I told you guys that I was going out of town for work. I just got back into town tonight, and I'm EXHAUSTED. I'm promptly going to bed to finish reading my scandalously bad book (which I'm too embarrassed to even tell strangers I read) on my Christmas present...an Amazon Kindle. Got one? Do you like it? Or are you an iPad/nook person? I would sort of rather have an iPad, but I didn't buy this, and it is kind of neat. Anyway, off to bed! More tomorrow!


Me First

First off, one of my favorite bloggers, Candace Todd of Sparkle Power, along with her husband is the featured seller on etsy today. Go check out the interview. Then check out their shop, especially the super adorable scalloped bunting that Candace makes using vintage fabric!

Secondly, I made a decision yesterday. I should have worked from the time I got up until I went to bed. Instead, I putzed around the house, and then went to Old Navy and Target to return some stuff, and then did some other shopping/errands. I came home, putzed around some more, and headed to bed. I felt a little bad, but mostly it felt good.

Now I'm not going to cross that one off my list for 2011 yet...but it's a good step in the right direction. Putting me first instead of work is hard for me. It's hard because I'm a bit of a workaholic. It's not even a compulsion like it is for some people. Really, I just can't stand having unfinished tasks on my plate. You can imagine how hard working in general is for me, since there are always unfinished tasks to conquer. It sort of drives me a little batty.

I first noticed this insane part of me when I worked as a reshelver in the medical library in college. I would arrive at work and there would be carts and carts of books, and I always felt like if I didn't get them all done, I would be a failure somehow.

Now, I try not to talk about my job in specifics, so suffice it to say that my job has a nutty amount of work involved. And it never f***ing ends. EVER. My coworkers and I joke that our job has no real work hours. You just go, go, go until you have a heart attack basically. You can also, to a certain extent, create your own workload. So the real question is why do I do this to myself?

This is the year, people. This is the year I decide to put myself first, and say enough is enough. It's just work. At the end of the day, I know I won't remember most of it. What I'll remember instead is nights in bed with A.P. laughing and playing with the dog and cat, trips we took together, the kids we will have one day, my mother and the way she rocked me to sleep every day in her wicker and wood rocking chair, how my father and I took photo booth pictures together, getting into mischief with my siblings, or how I watched my nephew grow up and become a man. There are so many memories that will pop into my head during those final moments of my death and I can pretty much guarantee that few, if any, of those moments will have to do with work.

How do you feel about work? Are you a workaholic, too? Or are you more of a family/home first type of person?


Marty J and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I feel terrible for not blogging on Friday. It's been bothering me all weekend, but really, this is the first opportunity I've had to post, and sadly I didn't have a Friday dance post saved for last week. To quote the famous children's book, Friday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Last week and this coming week have been/will be very stressful for me with work. I have a major project due next Friday, and I'm going out of town Tuesday/Wednesday for work. Plus I have all these smaller projects and meetings wedged in between. I'm STRESSED. Every day is filled with a bunch of crap I have to do, and my desire to do it all is, well, nil.

The point is that Thursday night, I stayed up until 1:30am completing some work, and so when I woke up on Friday, the only thought I had was, "I just want to call into work." But I didn't! I was a trooper! I got dressed and ready for the below zero weather (I wish I was kidding), and headed out to the car. (Yes, a car. We bought a car. You are reading a post by the owner of a brand new, beautiful 1995 Toyota Corolla! We got a really good deal, and bought it from someone we know and trust.)

When I got out to the car, it started. I opened the trunk to dump all my stuff in there, and there was all this ice in the trunk. I couldn't figure it out. Then I remembered. I left a can of diet coke back there, and the damn thing had exploded EVERYWHERE. Okay, annoying, yes, but not terrible. It was frozen, and easy to clean. There wasn't anything else back there really, so I just started scooping out Diet Coke ice chunks with my gloved hand. When I got that mostly cleaned up, I decided to put my stuff in the back seat instead. I opened the back door up, and put my bags back there. When I went to go close the back door, it wouldn't shut. The lock was frozen, and wouldn't catch. Funzies! Finally, I got the door shut by thwacking it with my hip.

I climbed into the car, and pulled away. I noticed the car was dragging a little, but I figured that was from the extreme cold. I also noticed it was making a lot of noise, but couldn't decipher if it was the extreme number of potholes I was driving over or the actual car. Finally, about two blocks away, I pulled over, and got out. I had a flat tire...and I had driven on it. I called up A.P. and explained the situation. He told me to drive the car back, park it, and we would deal with it after work. In the mean time, I had to take the bus to work. I was already running late. Miserable start to the day. It's kind of like how much could go wrong in less than an hour? Apparently, a lot.

I spent my lunch and whatever free time I had at work figuring out our different options for fixing the tire. I also realized that my Uggs, that I love and wear almost daily had a little hole in them. HEARTBREAKING!! Finally I called my brother. He agreed to pick me up from work and help me out. So we got back to the house, and in 7 degree weather, my poor brother tried three times to jack the car up and get the flat off, and the spare on. Three times, the jack gave out when we were trying to whack the tire off the axle. Lame, lame, lame. We spent forty minutes messing around with this tire, only to put the lug nuts back on, park the damn thing again, and call it a day.

Yesterday, as soon as I woke up, we called a guy who came out, and changed the tire. Then we had to go get a new tire. What a mess. It took almost two whole days to get that one thing done. After we finished that mess, we sealed all the windows in an attempt to perhaps make our apartment a bit warmer and took down all the Christmas stuff. Then we went to to Fogo de Chao to celebrate A.P.'s birthday, which is on Monday. Today I'm working all day. So needless to say, there just wasn't time for blogging. Life sucks sometimes. And I'm slowly learning that when one bad thing happens, it means five other lousy things will follow. Ugh...I can't wait for this week to be OVER.



I have a confession to make: I'm a total cheapie. But not in the bad way. I mean, I don't skimp on tips, or barter with people. Instead I'm cheap in that I would almost always rather have the cheap version of something than the really pricey version. I know that the pricey version is better, and I have an appreciation for quality products, but I'm cheap. I can't see spending an enormous amount of money on something, when you can find something just as good that will suffice and you can have more money in the bank. I used to think it was because I was broke all the time, but even now, with more money in the bank, I can't foresee spending it. The tricky part is that I have expensive taste. I almost always pick the most expensive version of something in magazines. If I'm looking for clothes or shoes online and I'm not really paying attention to the price, I will almost always desire the more expensive thing!

So when I saw this adorable Kate Spade jacket via Oh Joy!, well, I was sad. It will never be mine, because I can't bring myself to spend $450 on a jacket I probably won't wear 450 times!

So, mourn with me people and go stare at it a bit. Or go check out the super adorable back of the jacket as well as some other striped lovelies over on Oh Joy!

Do you spend a ton of money on clothes? If so, what do you like to splurge on? I always seem to make exceptions for shoes.

(Photo via This Next)

PS. This is mega late, but technically before midnight, and therefore counts as a post for today. : O )


Are You a Leader or a Follower?

One of my goals for this year is to increase my blogging to five times a week. Of course a big motivator for that is to have new people (in addition to my lovely longtime readers) to write for, and new interest in the blog, as close to daily as possible. That means working to increase readership. So my question for you, my lovely readers old and new, is: are you a leader or a follower? Click here to subscribe to this blog (if you prefer a different method, there are some other options to the right of this post, under Get Updates). And if you too are perhaps not the marrying kind, and so are not ready for a full committal, maybe just leave a comment and say hi, especially if you never have before.

Also, check out these wonderful blogs from around the internerd:

Midge Me - crafty gal who inspires me with all that she takes on
Take Heart - another crafty gal who has the cutest little towheaded kids...and they take the cutest damn photos
Greedy Girl - fashion, fashion, fashion
A Day in the Life of the Gilded Bee - etsy shop owner's super inspirational (and colorful) blog
Musing on Beauty - good makeup tips/product reviews here!
Yolk - a hilarious, if sometimes heartbreaking, blog of a woman on a journey to get knocked the heck up...by her husband
Pop Culture Librarian - found this through The Maiden Metallurgist...and she pretty much writes about everything I love...movies, music, books, life
Zilredloh - new blog by Felix @ Avoision's wife, Liz, who is crafty and awesome

(Photo via Etsy Shop SunnyLaneBoutique)


A List for 2011, Part II

Here's the rest of my list of things to do/accomplish/experience this year. Enjoy!

22. Buy a home. This might trickle over to the beginning of 2012 (hopefully before the apocalypse), but we've been talking about it a lot lately, and think that we can start looking for a place by the end of the year.
23. Walk in A.P.'s shoes. My brother suggested that A.P. and I walk in each other's shoes for a month. He says we bicker too much about how we both contribute more than the other. I don't know if I'll truly be able to do this one, or if I'll be able to convince A.P. to do it, but it might prove interesting, that's for sure.
24. Take a photography course. I have a groupon for one, so this should be a cinch.
25. Take a guitar course. Same as above. I heart groupon.
26. Do another picture a day project.
27. Get regular about doctor appointments. Before grad school, I was super, super diligent about going to the lady doctor and to the dentist. Since grad school started, I've been not so diligent. Time to get back into old routines.
28. Journal again.
29. Go someplace new in Florida, possibly Disney World. A.P. is a Floridian, born and raised. Every year, at some point, we make the trek to Florida. And I hate it. I'm bored, and all I see are the insides of people's houses. I feel like I've been to Florida three times, but I've never really been to Florida. I told A.P. next time we go, we have to take a day trip somewhere. I voted for either Disney World, or Eatonville, the birthplace of Zora Neale Hurston.
30. Go on a hot air balloon ride. I bought A.P. a gift certificate for a ride for his groom's gift, but we still haven't used it. It's time to cash that baby in.
31. Get our finances completely in order. I think we finally found a money management software, which is going to be awesome once we figure out how to use it!
32. Call my parents more. Call my great aunt more. Part of GTD is to schedule things like phone calls. That may sound silly to some, but I'm the sort of person who at 7pm as I'm cooking thinks, "Oh crap, I have to call my mother," but don't because it's inconvenient at the time. Then, at 11:30pm, I remember again and it's too late. The cycle starts all over the next day. So scheduling a phone call wouldn't be the worst thing.
33. Blog five times a week on this blog, and 2-3 times a week on my other blog (that we write for our family only). That's a lot of blogging! But I think if I try hard enough, I can do it.
34. Prioritize. Family first. Hopes/dreams/personal goals second. Work third. I'd hate to be 40 and still wondering why I haven't done what I wanted to do.
35. See Spring Awakening. If A.P. won't buy the tickets, I will. I've wanted to see this for a long, long time.
36. Learn to sew. More on this later.
37. Eat out less. Eat fruit more. Eat candy less. Eat dairy more.
38. Play with our guinea pig, Henry, more. Yes, we have a guinea pig. It's a long story.
39. Find a good pair of gym shoes.
40. Digitize all of our photos.
41. Record my father talking about the Olympics. My father was an Olympian. He didn't win or anything, but he won a lot of awards in the Asian Olympics. It would be so cool to record him looking at photos and discussing both. How cool would that be to show to our kids one day?
42. Visit my sister and her husband in India. I wish I could have traveled to India before I met A.P., by myself. I think it would have been amazing. I've always wanted to go, see where my father was born and raised, and I'll be excited to do that. But the thought of traveling to such an exotic place with my picky eater husband, and staying with my sister kind of makes me dread the whole thing. Maybe that's a good thing, though. Maybe if we do go, the trip will be awesome because I had such low expectations.
43. Get A.P. to put his keys and wallet in the same damn place every day. This won't happen, but wouldn't it be awesome if it did? And I didn't have to hear, "Have you seen my [insert keys, wallet, glasses, headphones, bag, etc. here]?"
44. Throw at least one party. Back in the day, I threw awesome parties. I would cram up to 30 people into my one bedroom apartment throughout the night. It sounds crowded, but it never felt like it. It always felt awesome. The last party we threw was our housewarming party when I first moved in. Instead, we've been focusing on hosting holidays for our family. I'd like to throw a kickass party again. It's a lot of work, but always so much fun.
45. Clear my skin. This is the year, I've decided, that I'm done with acne. It sucks to have adult acne. And what's worse is I can never seem to find a product that clears my skin. This is the year I find a dermatologist, and start to look like a grownup, not a teenager!

That's it for now...I may add more things, but for now, this is what I'm doing this year. A.P. told me it's a long list, but I think it's filled with mostly things that can be done in one day, with a few longer term projects thrown in. I think it's reasonable. For good measure, I'll be keeping track of this list on the right hand side of this blog. When something gets accomplished, I will cross that bad boy off the list. I'm going to try to update once a month. I figure that will be a good opportunity to check in and see what I have accomplished, and what still needs to get done. Wish me luck, guys!


A List for 2011, Part I

A.P. and I at the stroke of midnight, 2010/2011

I think that you're supposed to have all your resolutions planned out before the beginning of the year so that you can hit the ground running on January 1st, but I've never been too good about that. Instead, I always seem to take the first couple of weeks of January to really reflect on 2010, what I was able to accomplish, and what I wasn't. Typically, then, I make about 10 resolutions for the year, and try to keep them. Usually my goals are pretty vague: lose weight, write more, etc. However the last few years, I've been writing a vague goal, and then reflecting on how I want to achieve it. For instance, with lose weight, I might've written, "I want to get into a comfortable exercise routine where I work out 3 times a week, and lose about 20-25 lbs by the end of the year."

This year, I've decided to do something completely different. I've decided to make a list of things, big and small, that I want to do this year. Some I specifically want to do before my 30th birthday, which is March 7th, and some I just want to accomplish before the end of the year. Either way, I give you my list for 2011 (Part I).

1. Lose the rest of the weight I've gained since I started dating A.P. four and a half years ago. Do it at my own pace, and without headache or self-loathing.
2. Do my knee exercises more often. I have a bum knee. It's sad and true that I have a bum knee and I'm not even 30. Supposedly if I did these exercises 3-5 times a week, it'd be less of a bum knee (but still technically a bum knee).
3. Wear this sexy green dress I bought several years ago that I, for whatever reason, have never worn.
4. Find a bra to wear with the sexy green dress.
5. Get measured for a bra. It seems like every time I gain weight, my boobs get bigger. But then when I lose weight, my boobs stay the same size. I've been guestimating for too long what size bra I am. It's time to bite the bullet and let some old lady at the department store grope me a bit.
6. Make A.P. take me out on a fancy date so that I can wear the damn green dress!
7. Take our engagement photos. Yes, that's right. We still haven't done that. Oops.
8. After we take our engagement photos, chop off my hair. I found this old picture of my grandmother and am thinking about whacking off my hair so it looks like hers (in a slightly more updated way, though I do sort of appreciate the vintage charm of this cut).
9. Travel somewhere exotic...again. We went to Belize on our honeymoon and it was my first time really visiting an exotic location. I see what the fuss is about.
10. Join a team sport of some kind. Possibly rope A.P. into joining, too. I want to be a part of a kickball team. Or maybe a good badminton foursome? I just want to exercise in a way that isn't in a gym, with my headphones on, ignoring everyone.
11. Scrapbook. That's right. I said it. Scrapbook.
12. Pay off my credit card before my 30th birthday. When I was 21 years old, I studied abroad in Italy. In order to get myself there, I had to put my airfare on a credit card. I've had credit card debt ever since. What's funny about that is how little I actually use my credit card and how totally not reckless with money I am. For almost a year, I carried an expired credit card in my wallet because I forgot to change it out. That's how little I use my credit card. I've just never been in a position to pay it off completely. This goal is almost completed. On my 30th birthday, I will make my last payment, and the balance will be $0!
13. Get my life organized and keep my apartment clean.
14. Find a way to get my life organized and keep my apartment clean.
15. Try out the GTD system. (Not GTL...that joke never gets old with me.)
16. Get new glasses. My prescription hasn't really changed much, but the last time I bought glasses was an embarrassingly long time ago. I want some new, rad glasses I can sport around town.
17. Go camping in Michigan again. For a while, I did this trip annually, but A.P. and I have taken other trips the last two summers (Smoky Mountains, where we got engaged, and our wedding present trip to Montreal), and so didn't end up going camping. I miss it, and it's always fun to take the dog on a trip.
18. Write random, lovely letters. When was the last time you wrote someone a handwritten letter? Not a birthday card or a thank you card, but a real hello, how are you letter? I want to write at least five random hello, how are you letters. Email is overrated.
19. Play badminton more. We registered for, and awesomely got a badminton set for our wedding. We only got to play once last summer, but it was so much fun! I want to make it a point to go to the park, set up the net, and bat around the shuttlecock (love that it's called a shuttlecock, btw).
20. Read more. If only you knew what I did for a living. If only you knew how little I read. You'd be as embarrassed for me as I am for me. I read magazines all the time, but I need to find some new authors/books that I can enjoy. (Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments).
21. Rotate in some new old shows. I watch a lot of TV shows. So many, in fact, that sometimes I have to stop watching shows for a while, and rotate in other ones, which means I can get a few seasons behind. Right now I'm super behind on Mad Men, Dexter, Rescue Me, and Big Love. I aim to get caught up before new seasons start up again (particularly Rescue Me and Big Love, which both end this year).

I'm going to stop there, otherwise this turns into a wicked, long post. Stay tuned until tomorrow...I'll reveal the rest of my list for 2011.


Remember the Dance?

A long, long time ago, I used to do Friday dances. It was basically a roundup (sometimes with photos) of posts I'd happened onto that week that were interesting/funny/cute/insert a word here. The reason I called them Friday dances is because before the wedding, Fridays meant wedding dance practice for A.P. and I. We don't dance anymore, and the Friday dance posts tapered off. Lately, though, I've been thinking about bringing them back. Call it nostalgia, a desire to dance again (instead of coming home and passing out on the couch on a Friday night) or, heck, just an easier way to fill my five days. Either way, I'm bringing back the Friday dance! So, let's bust a move, shall we?

First up, a wedding. I'd like to think this wedding is what Liz Lemon's wedding would look like, if A. Liz Lemon got married young, and B. Liz Lemon were less awkward and more crafty. Of course, they would probably have cupcakes instead of cookies for the dessert buffet.

Speaking of Liz Lemon...check out this insane Liz Lemon blog. Blerg! That's awesome!

I don't know if I've ever mentioned A.P.'s intense love for barbecue, but I'm pretty sure that he would love it if I made this for dinner one night...

...And I would love him if he made these for me.

Here's to pop culture loving mothers! I hope my future bébés talk about me this way one day.

Speaking of future bébés...I also hope they dress like this. How freaking adorable!

These adorable vintage adapted dresses make me want to pack them all up, and head to Italy to ride on the back of a Vespa (à la Roman Holiday).

Almost wish I'd have thought of this for my own wedding! Would've fit in perfectly!

That's it, folks! Have a wonderful weekend! I'm going to try to be back on Monday, though it may be tough (three day weekend and all).

(Photos via Green Wedding Shoes)


My Egg Cup Runneth Over

I can think of only one time in my entire life that I've eaten a soft-boiled egg. One time in nearly 30 years. Yet, I own 4 egg cups. And, when I'm in stores, I'm often drawn to these delicate, little gems. So when I saw this project on Craft Magazine's blog, I about died. How easy! How adorable! How perfect for all those precious soft-boiled eggs that I never, ever eat!

(Photo via Craft Magazine Blog)


Cry Baby

The older I get, the more I realize I'm a huge wuss. When I was younger, I used to think I was so strong. I never cried at anything, or at least not the right things. Sad movies, terrible events... these things stirred my heart, but never seemed to move me to tears. Instead, it seems, tears always formed for the wrong reasons: when I yawned, when I was nervous. I honestly always figured that it was because of this tear duct surgery I'd had as an infant. I just figured I was wired wrong. Boy was I wrong! Now it takes just a fleeting thought of something terrible to send me into waterworks! Or, you know, a sports movie of some kind (Rudy, anyone?).

Take tonight for instance, I awwww-ed at an episode of The Middle, and I fought the urge to cry something like five times during the Obama speech at the memorial for the Tuscon shooting victims. Then I was talking to A.P. about the shooting, and he hadn't even heard about it (we've both had our head in the clouds a bit lately with the overwhelming amount of work we've had to do). Anyway, I was reading him articles detailing what had happened, and I must have teared up at least twice!

When did I become such a huge wuss? While I wish I didn't tear up or cry so much (a few months back, I teared up at a commercial on TV...A COMMERCIAL!), I'd like to think that the reason I cry so much now versus when I was younger is that I understand now how much more precious life is, and how truly lucky I am that I am healthy, and have a loving family, and that my bad shit is mostly manageable. Still...I'd prefer less tears.

What makes you guys cry?


Bedtime for Baby

I promise I'm not pregnant. It seems like so many are, and I love looking at all the pictures and reading the funny stories, but I am not ready for A.P. to put a baby in my belly at all. Still, I couldn't help but fall in love with this nursery when I saw it on A Cup of Jo:

It screamed my style (rustic, vintage, deer-related), and as you know, my decor obsession is growing. Would you decorate your nursery this way? Or are you more into classic baby design?

(Photo via A Cup of Jo)


Changing Tastes

Now that we've married, my "porn" of choice has changed from weddings to homes. I downloaded an app on my phone where I search for homes in different areas in which we might live. I use it all the time. When we got cable in September, we quickly found our go to station to be HGTV, specifically House Hunters, Bang for Your Buck, and My First Place. We are obsessed with these shows, people! We watch them all the time. I like to picture what our future home will be like, and how we might decorate it.

Considering my love for anything vintage, and anything brightly colored, this is totally going on my home inspiration board:

As well as this:

And maybe we'll put them in this house (which we went and looked at yesterday...I loved it, A.P. hated it, either way, it needs way too much work for the asking price. Bummer. Would've been a cute fixer-upper):

(Top two photos via Design*Sponge, 3rd photo via Trulia)


Getting Things Done

During my quest to get organized, my brother recommended a book called Getting Things Done by David Allen. I started to read the book, but after a while, it became kind of tedious, and the system is really rather simple when broken down. The idea is that if you have good systems for corralling all the things you have to do, your mind can be more productive and creative because it's not worried about all the things you have to do. This sounded like the perfect plan for me. I always have a million projects I'm working on, and many of them sit untouched for long, long periods of time (e.g. the many, many, many photos which never get developed, put in albums, etc.).

Allen lays out a great system for corralling/sorting through all that you need to do, as well as making it so that you don't forget anything. The first big step in getting the system going is also the most daunting: you have to figure out every, single thing you have to do. This can include day to day stuff, like making certain phone calls, returning emails, as well as really long term projects like make a will, or plan a vacation. After reading a ton of reviews online, it seems like this whole process actually takes a couple of hours, so, in an effort to be "Clutter Free by Thirty" (my motto for the first quarter of the year), I'm going to spend tomorrow afternoon corralling all my projects, tasks, and appointments into Mr. Allen's system. I'll keep you posted on the results.

In addition to my boring Saturday afternoon, I have work to do, a barbecue joint to check out that A.P. has been bugging me about ALL week (if I hear the words "pork" or "shop" one more damn time...), and we are going to an open house for fun on Sunday. Only a grownup would find that fun, no? What are you guys up to this weekend?

PS. Interested in David Allen's GTD system, but don't have the time (or desire) to read a whole book about it? Check out this quick and dirty rundown of the system.


Bad TV

I can't remember if I've mentioned that we got cable. It was a really big deal for us. I haven't had cable since college (when my rent was so cheap, I could afford a $100 cable bill), and A.P. hadn't had a basic cable channel on his TV since he lived with his parents! So after I got hired for this most recent job, we decided we'd get cable. Both of us were making more money, and even though we probably could have always afforded cable, we finally felt comfortable enough to get it. We don't have a DVR (much to my chagrin), but we do have all we really need: Bad TV.

Over my two week vacation, I watched the following all day marathons: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Jersey Shore, The Next Food Network Star. In addition, I watched a ton of TLC's A Baby Story (best birth control EVER), Law & Order (of course), and so much more. A.P. didn't mind the Real Housewives, but he drew the line at Jersey Shore. I can relate. I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm an educated woman; I have a Master's degree. I read, I consider myself knowledgeable about the world, and I feel as if I'm fairly cultured. So what the hell is wrong with me that I watched something like six hours of Jersey Shore??? Call me crazy, call me low class, call me whatever you want, but The Situation cracks me up.

And now, I'm going to call it a day, say that this fulfills my post a day resolution, and go watch Real Housewives Camille and Kyle act awkward around one another. What bad TV can't you get enough of?



Before Christmas, I'd written a ton of posts that I drafted and saved. I decided a while back to increase the amount I blog, and I think that since that declaration, I've done a decent job of keeping that promise. The goal I set for myself was 3 times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For the most part, I blogged those three days every week, and it has a lot to do with the fact that I would sit down and write a bunch of posts, publish one, and save the rest to post later.

Lately though, I've noticed the number of drafted posts dwindling. Some time before Christmas, I got so busy and ended up putting writing off. Then the holidays came and went, and now it's writing time again, and I realized...I have so little to write about. A.P. and I are just so damn boring. And everyone is writing about or doing something interesting (to me at least): year end reflections, the cutest freaking kitten ever, publishing yummy recipes, or even posting about their awesome vintage wardrobe. It seems like A.P. and I are the lamest of the lames, and it's not like I'm comparing us to people who are jumping from airplanes and taking exotic vacations. I'm not knocking the above mentioned posts (I wouldn't have mentioned them if I didn't like them), but I am knocking how boring we've become.

That being said, I gotta get on this problem, like ASAP, because one of my resolutions this year is to blog 5 days a week (M-F). What's keeping your interests these days? Got any new blogs you're obsessed with? Did you watch this week's How I Met Your Mother (which I cried at, btw, and loved, countdown and all)? Seriously...I need SOMETHING!


Magritte, Redux

One of my favorite painters of all time is Rene Magritte. I was fortunate enough to see his exhibit at the Art Institute as a child, and the images stayed with me my whole life. I love certain things immensely simply because they reference this oft-forgotten surrealist painter (all the credit usually seems to go to Dali). The remake of the Thomas Crowne Affair was mostly awesome, in my mind, only because of the Magritte-fueled identity switcheroo at the end.

The other day, I happened to find this awesome etsy shop that specializes in decals for your laptop. I'm not big on things to decorate your laptop at all. I've never owned a laptop case or decorated my computer with stickers, even grownup ones like these decals. But I found myself wanting to buy this for my own Mac laptop, simply because of it's cleverness and awesome take on the classic Magritte painting, Le Fils de L'Homme. Check it out:

They have a few other great ones, including a Dharma Initiative logo (for all you Losties out there), and a great take on Snow White. Plus, these decals are so cheap! Less than 5 bucks! Can't beat that. Swing by Decal Max and have a look around. They also carry some great decals for your walls, which I've always wanted to try, but feel I'd mess up royally. Go on, spend some of that Christmas cash!

(Photo via Decal Max's Etsy Shop)


NYC Engagement Shoot

Let's kick off the year with an engagement! It makes sense, right? The new year is filled with such possibility and excitement, and so are those months when you are engaged. Before you settle in to married life, when all you can do is picture this momentous day that is looming in front of you. A new year is so similar in that you start off with all these images in your head of all that you will accomplish this year, and then the year goes by, and things happen you could not anticipate. Both are magical, but only one happens once in a lifetime. Here's to a kicking off the year with a little rare magic!

Check out this awesome engagement shoot from Jillian Bisinger via Brooklyn Bride. Rachel and Mario shot these super adorable photos in New York City's Little Italy. This shoot not only makes me hungry, but it also makes me wish I could exude such breezy style.

Happy New Year, peeps!

(Photos by Jillian Bisinger via Brooklyn Bride)
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