Monday, March 31, 2008

Another of my favorite things

A couple of years ago I received a box in the mail. It was small, but strangely heavy. I saw that it was addressed from my grandparents and I was instantly excited and transported in time.

Growing up we always got boxes from my grandparents. The outside of each box would be so totally covered in tape that it was nearly impossible to get to the goods inside. After a few long, d.r.a.g.g.e.d out minutes of fighting a scotch-nightmare we held our breath and opened the box. Inside there would be treats, games, stuffed animals....pretty much the stuff of 5 year old dreams.

So, at 24 the same level of excitement filled me as I opened the heavy box in my hand. I carefully opened the top flaps of the box and saw a round wooden dowel.


I reached in, grabbed the dowel and pulled it out.

Much to my surprise, this is what came with the handle:

My very own BACON PRESS!

I called them up and found out that my grandpa was the motivator behind this gift. I think they read here on this blog that I was complaining about my bacon curling up, and in response they found me this little gem!

Not only is it totally functional (I use it at least once a week), but how cute is the pig and the type? Adorable. I have this sitting in my kitchen window sill. This little item simultaneously manages to be: sentimental, functional, adorable, unique, and fattening. What more could I ask?

Friday, March 28, 2008

What a great idea

Lately I've been feeling really THING-hungry. I see pretty THINGS everywhere and want them really badly. It makes me start thinking that I don't like the THINGS I already have, which is bad because I love what I already have.

Then, I saw this post over at ill seen, ill said. I thought, wow, I need some perspective. Thanks for the shot of reality, Jane!

So I'm going to start sharing things I have, that I love, and why. Hopefully this will curb my insatiable materialism.

The first thing, this blue/purple shirt (excuse the almost 2 year old picture):

I got it from anthropologie about 3 years ago and it is my absolute favorite shirt in my closet. When I wear it I feel confident, stylish and pretty. And kind of like a flower...scalloped edges do that to me.

(girls, if any of you don't want this picture up call, email, text or comment below and I'll crop it to not show you. No prob!)

Interesting Read

This morning Nemesis linked to a really interesting article. I read the whole thing and thought it was well put together. Also, I've heard other theories like this, but in this article the author is sussinct and clear about his point.

Kay Hymowitz: The child-man

In case you are too busy to click over there (believe me, I understand. I hardly ever click over to read people's links), the gist is that single white males these days are allowed to dwell in an immature, adolescent limbo between being a teenager and becoming an adult.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

So hot right now

The other night I was talking in a group of people about music right now. One guy started complaining about the music coming out. He said it was so boring and lame that he was turning himself back to Led Zepplin and the Beatles.

My eyes almost popped out of my head.

To be polite I just nodded and tought, wow, we must have really different taste.

Right now there is an EXPLOSION of great, soulful female artists. I could make a list of about a million different people that I just love. The ear doctor has even started coming home from work saying, "I heard another girl singer that you would really like today."

Maybe this guy is missing the boat, or he's a mysoginisit jerk who thinks girls can't sing? Doubtful.

Here is my list of women emerging to make another really interesting genre of music that REALLY appeals to me (and probably everyother 20-35 year old woman):

Sara Barellis (I have to list her first...can't get enough of Love on the Rocks)
Rilo Kiley (red head shout out)
Imogen Heap
Regina Spektor
Ingrid Michaelson
Zooey Deschanel
Yael Naim

The list goes on.

Maybe I should burn a disc for that guy to show him what he's missing out on?

UPDATE: I was just clicking around and saw that LaceyJ. at happy:blissful! has noticed this hot trend as well and has made a great mix of these talented ladies.

Green with Envy

My little sister and her husband are thinking of buying a house. They are going to get a SCREAMING deal. Here is one of the houses that they are considering. At $98,000 I wouldn't even blink befor buying this gem. It's begging for a little once over HGTV style.

It's in one of the historic, beautiful neighborhoods. Great stone and brick work. Can't you just imaging some beautiful snowball and peonie bushes out front? Plus, that porch! I'd rip out that hand rail on day one of my ownership. Yuck.

The front room has a beautiful fireplace. That brick work? yes please. I'd rip out the cabinets on either side of the fireplace and get rid of the heinous mirror/mantel. I love the little square stained glass windows. Very charming, don't you think? Also, I'm a total sucker for arched walkways between rooms. So great.

This is the view from the front room into the dining room. Not much work that you'd HAVE to do here. Personally, I'd get rid of those little table things on the arch. Love the arch sconces.

The floors throughout look to be in pretty good condition, so those could stay. I'd really try to knock out the entire wall on the right. It is between the kitchen and dining area. If it was gone the back of the house would be more open. The small door between kitchen and dining is really old school.

Becuase my little sister is pretty much fantastic in the kitchen, she could make it work as it is. I've put some pictures together so you get a rough 360 view of the room. The way the pictures are spliced it's a little distorted, but the room is a perfect square. Starting on the wall that adjoins the dining room (the one I would rip out):

First off, what a light fixture, eh? White tile goes all the way around the room. THrough the door we're seeing my sister play with my adorable munchkin in the dining room. Rotating around the room to the right:

This is the only counter space currently in the kitchen. and a free standing I wonder where I can get pink fluffy curtains like that. The ear doctor would love the put them in every window of our house...

Again, rolling around to the right to see the last wall in the room:

These built in cabinets are the only storage in the kitchen. I'm not sure how functional they really are, and I'd hate to rip them out becuase they kind of bring in the character of the house but they're kind of ugly as is.

What would you do to this kitchen?

Mid-morning dilemma

Which do I use to stir my hot chocolate this morning?

The standard white, plastic straws that I know and love, but also fill up landfills and use precious resources of our earth?


The new wodden stir sticks that, while probably made of recycled goods, may get soggy, fall apart, and leave dangerous splinters floating in my drink?


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My go at it

My shameless copy:

BTW, I really like the work that this etsy seller is showing, this especially:

and this:

I'm a bad guest

Last night the ear doctor and I were invited over to have dinner with a brand spanking new set of friends.

Well, they aren't really that *new* since we've known them at least 10 months or so, but we've never been over to their house. Until I've been over to someone's house I don't think that they're really friends yet.

Wait a minute, that isn't true at all. I consider a lot of my internet bloggy friends to be real...hmmm....must figure out a new definition of friend I guess. But that's beside the point.

We went over to their house along with another couple. Between the 6 of us and their 1 year old adorable little girl we had a great time. But here's the thing, my stomach has been in knots for the past couple of days, no doubt thanks to my lovely little sister and niece. As a result I really couldn't even get half way through the delicious looking lasagna that was dished up for me.


I was invited to their home, they made me lasagna from scratch and from the looks of my plate I was a picky, sensitive eater (my pet peeve). I tried to make it clear that it was just my stomach that was churning like the south sea, not her cooking, but I still felt so badly.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The search is over

For a while I've been looking for the perfect fabric to recover the pair of oversized pillows on our couch...well, really it's a broken 15 year old mission style fouton, but that's beside the point.

Finally, I've found the fabric of my dreams, the textile of mi corazon, the woven glory of my life.


I think this is just really great.

Although at $44 a yard I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to pass on it.

Dave Ramsey, you better be right....or else!

(via Design Sponge)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Slight moment of dispair

If you had been a fly on the wall of our master bedroom this Sunday morning you would have rolled your eyes in disgust.

There I was lying on my bed, staring at the ceiling channeling my inner 16 year old lamenting that I didn't have a single thing to wear and I especially didn't have a new dress to wear for Easter.

The ear doctor looked at me, shook his head in confusion and left the room.

Maybe it's time to make a few additions to the old Sunday repertoire. Thank goodness for Shabby Apple, right?

I could get this

Or this

Or even this

But I'll probably end up with this

Because of this

And him

How can you tell it's the day after Easter?

Everyone at work is nursing a post-Easter-candy-sugar-hangover headache and the cubical farm I sit in smells like leftover reheated Ham.

Is it just me...

I can't be the only person who feels a little uncomfortable around people who adamantly profess to be totally open minded. When someone is opressivley forcing me to understand that they are the most open minded person I've ever met I feel a little apprehensive about saying anything for fear I might come across judgemental.

It's like their open mindedness is a big gaint warning flag. Their waving that flag in my face saying, "I am open and you are not. I think that anything anyone does or wants or thinks is great and if you slip up and mistakenly say something not 100% tolerant of someone or something then I'm going to make you feel stupid, lame and (worst of all) CLOSED minded."

So instead of promoting tolerance, friendship, equality and general open-ness I end up being closed, quiet and hesitant to express my thoughts. Which, without a doubt, is the opposite effect an open minded person should have on anyone, right?

Freakin made my day

The ear doctor's supervisor sent this picture to me.

How lucky am I?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Lacy gloves

My sister and I. We were born 2 years and 7 months apart. We both have flaming red hair. A matched set.

For Easter my mom got us matching dresses and right now I wish I had a copy of one of the hundreds of pictures of us so I could share it. I'm always standing there with my head tilted to one side, my weight shifted in the direction of my little sister. My arm is unfailingly wrapped around her skinny shoulders or neck, a comfortable 4 inches lower than mine. My hair is straight as a stick and shiny while hers is a crown of unruly curls. She stands staring straight into the camera with a genuine smile from ear to ear, beaming with unadulterated joy. I'm in charge and she loves that fact.

We are both wearing our prized possessions.....a small perfect pair of lacey gloves. Our usually dirt filled fingernails are clean and encased in dainty, ladylike accessories. My mother kept these gloves special for Easter. She kept them in a cupboard by her bed too high for little hands to reach. We both pined after these gloves and impatiently waited for the special day we were allowed to wear them. We were only allowed to wear them to church where red licorice and pink Koolaid were not allowed. For those 3 hours we were perfect grow-up ladies, not little girls.

Now that I am a grown-up lady I wish I had some gloves to wear on Sunday so that I could feel like a little girl.

Save the ficus!

Before I met him, the ear doctor bought himself a ficus and a lucky bamboo. By the time we got married the lucky bamboo was a dried up stick in a mason jar. The ficus, however, must have been a serious trooper. It looked exactly the same every day of our 3 year courtship/engagment.

When we got married I adopted the little plant. I named him Fikey. I loved this little child like the best step-mom in the world. He was my little Fikey.

About a month ago I noticed that Fikey hadn't grown a single new leaf since we got married. He looked really cramped in his cheap plastic container. I was worried that the rocks shelacked to his roots were stifling his grown. I took it upon myself to transplant him into a cuter pot with more room for his roots to grow.

After speaking with a stranger at Home Depot I learned that this type of plant likes their roots to stay very tight, so you should very slowly increase the size of the pot. Armed with this information I performed the transplant. Everything seemed to be going well. Fikey was green and healthy. Everytime I did the dishes I would look up to him sitting on my window sill and smile. I was one proud mamma.

Last week things took a turn for the worse. Observe.
Yellow leaves? White junk accumulating around the outside of the pot!?! Droopy leaves! What has happened to my little Fikey?!?!
Anyone have any suggestions for me? How can I reverse this new developement?

so hot right now

A lot of the time, we red heads bear the stereotype of being pasty skinned and predominately unattractive. I can't tell you how many "red headed step child" jokes I've endured in my life. When youre in a demographic represented by Annie, Pipi Longstalkings and Carr0t T0p it can be pretty rough.
That's alright, we can handle it. We get "the luck of the Irish."

However, recently I'm noticing a trend. The red hair is back, baby.

Example #1: Marcia Cross

I've never really been into Desperate H0usewives, but the show has been on forever and she's never messed with her red locks.

Example #2: Rilo Kiley

Cool rocker chic works that red hair.

Example #3: Amy Adams
This beauty has done more recently for the cause of the red head than Nicole Kidman and Lindsay Lohan combined. I have to rank her right up there with Ariel who gave me my first chance at really playing a princess in true Disney fashion.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Now, that's what I'm talking about

The other day I found this fantastically cute swimsuit at Boden.

Polka-dot, vintage inspired swim suit that comes in green? Yes please.

I decided to sign up for a free account and was really hesitant about giving them my email address. I just got a new one and didn't want to fill it up with junk emails. After a few seconds of delibration, I decided to go for it.

Imagine my surprise at recieving this email in my box the next day:


I'm Johnnie Boden and I'd like to thank you for visiting our website. A lot may have changed since this business began more than 13 years ago, but our values have stayed the same.

I set out to provide competitively priced, well made, individual clothing that doesn't date. I wanted to do this with a sense of fun, style and attention to detail, backed up with an honest, efficient and friendly service - the kinds of things that couldn't be readily found elsewhere.

What all this means is that we are a little different from other companies, in that we don't just 'sell stuff'. I'm as passionate now as I was then about the quality of everything we do, from the product specification right the way through to delivery and after sales care. You may not want to take my word for it (as I can go on a bit), so just put us to the test instead. You'll get a special offer with your next catalogue to tempt you and reduce the risk even further.

I do hope you like it.

Johnnie Boden

Well, all be darned, I really liked getting this nice little email. I'm sure it's a form and I'm sure they send it out to a million people, but I still really liked getting it. The tone just seemed sincere and lovely.

If I had an online store I would do exactly the same thing for all my customers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Making me very happy

I talk to these beauties every morning

There are few things in life more simply satisfying that growing something from a seed.


If I wanted a different job


If I wanted to move across the country to Waltham, MA


If the ear doctor was finished with his dissertation


If he found the most fantastic job in the area


If they paid all of our moving costs


If they gave me a big ole raise


I'd consider working for this RADICAL company. Doesn't this job description just sound dreamy?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Really touched me

If you've got 12 minutes, watch this. I really liked it.


I just might need to get this jacket.

Was $225, now $70! The sale pages are why I love Jcrew.


Last week my sister and I were sitting together in front of Good Morning America. This, alone, is noteworthy for many reasons.

  1. I live in Colorado and she's in St. Louis
  2. I don't really like to watch TV in the morning
  3. My adorable niece was there and she usually gets my undivided attention

Anyway, one of the "hard-hitting" exposes was about the cost of groceries. They had an expert nutritionalist come in and show how she is combating the rising prices of food and still cooking well. She boasted that she was able to get a week's worth of groceries for $75 for two people.

My sister and I looked and each other and in the exact same moment we rolled our eyes and said together, "puh-leese". I could EASILY get a week's worth of groceries for 2 people for $50. Easily.

Here are my top 5 tips to combating the rising prices of groceries and still eating well:

  1. Plan before you go. This is crucial. Before I go to the store I make a list of absolutely everything we'll need for the week. I don't buy any excess (unless its on killer sale). I hate throwing things away. Plus, if you have a concrete list it is easier to avoid "splurge" item because you know there is no need to even walk down the ice cream or cookie aisle.
  2. Stay on the outside of the grocery store. In my local store the produce, meat locker, dairy case and bakery are all around the perimeter of the store. The one exception to this rule is generally the canned goods, baking and Mexican food aisle (we love Mexican food in our family). Boxed and processed foods are WAY more expensive.
  3. Eat produce that is in season. In my experience, protein is not the most expensive purchased category, produce is. The way to get more bang for your buck is to plan meals around vegetables that are in season. My subscription to Bon Appetit has REALLY helped me learn what veggies to use when.
  4. Buy the cheap meat and learn how to cook it well. Save the ribeye steaks and beef tenderloin for a special occasion. I read a book written about French Laundry's Thomas Keller. The book said his specialty was making the typically gross parts of an animal (the offal) taste dreamy. I am nowhere near to his level, but that gives me courage that I can make those cheap country-style pork ribs taste great.
  5. Eat your leftovers for lunch. Ok, I have to be honest, I really hate leftovers. But, the ear doctor loves having them for lunch. Turns out that he's started to get a reputation at work for having something fancy in his lunch every day. They sit around a big table and peer over into his sack to see what he's got. Two meals for the price of one? Yes please.

Feel free to add any tips of your own in the comments section.

Monday, March 17, 2008

It got me thinking

The other day I was sitting around and I was wondering if I was weird.

...well, to be perfectly honest, I'm pretty sure I know the answer to that general question...

I was specifically wondering if it was weird that I attend religious services almost every Sunday.

So, I turned to the ear doctor and asked his opinion. He's always got one, so I figured I'd find out what it was. I asked, "Sweets, what do you think the percentage of Americans who go to some church at least 3 out of 4 Sundays a month?"

He thought and said, "probably a lot."

Hmmmm. Not quite satisfied I added, "I wonder what the difference in percentage is if you break it down to Americans under 35 years old and over 35."

Again, quite contemplation followed by, "Probably more in the older bracket than the younger."

I thought it was interesting, so I thought I'd see what you guys thought. Any ideas out there?

How we spent our Saturday

Have I mentioned lately that I love living in the Denver area? Well, I do. And here is just another reason why.....the St. Paddy's Day parade. A 4 hour parade featuring pretty much anyone who wants to be in a parade.

We arrived bright and early Saturday morning to get a good spot and wait.

As you can see, there are hardly any people here yet. Also, please note the crazy/fantastic two-toned green ensamble I'm sporting. Rad.

While we waited we saw this little girl giving the crowd a pre-show, dancing around in circles and blowing her horn.

The ear doctor read the "explicit" parade program that they handed out for free to everyone who wanted one.

There was lots of this:

And I've only ever seen this in Colorado:

By the end of the parade there were lots more people

And the ear doctor and I were very happy.

The end.


Sometimes the ear doctor and I will be sitting around out house late at night and decide that we absolutely NEED something from the grocery store. This happens to us about once every other week and is always followed by a serious internal debate wherein I try to tell myself it is alright to leave the house in the bright green sweatpants with an iron burn on the hem. Inevitably I flash back on the memory of my mom's face of disgust when my dad RETURNED from a store wearing his slippers, pajama pants and his camo duck hunting coat (yikes!). I just can't do it.

Friday night that irrepressible need was popsicles. Not the kind of cheep-o popsicles whose taste is better described by a color than a fruit flavor; the kind with fruit chunks suspended in the body of the treat. We knew exactly what we wanted, where it was in the store and what it would cost.

Then I had a genius idea. Wouldn't it be great if you could call up the grocery store in the middle of the night and have someone deliver something to your house? Million dollar idea, eh?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Some pics from my trip

Since its friday and I'm tired and can't think of a single thing to write that might be interesting to someone else, I've decided to share some photos of my recent trip to Orange County, CA. These were all taken with my little phone camera, so excuse the quality.

Oh, and my beautiful neice is the star of the show.