Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dreaming of sugar plums

On a day when I could hardly bear to drag myself from bed (so much so that I slept right through my alarms), these images are doubly painful to look at. I'd love to climb back into bed right about now, but even more so, I'd love to have a cuddle with either one of these lovely gentlemen.

Dear Rufus, tucked in his bed..

..and sweetly slumbering Daniel.

Both images from Tim Hailand's 'One Day in the Life Of' project. Daniel Radcliffe's book is already available, and Rufus Wainwright's is in pre-order.

Just a little treat for your Wednesday, sweeties. I better get back to workin' (and packin')!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Round two

This post is long overdue. And it's not just because I'm blogging so little these days.

It has been well over a year since I promised to return someday with more photos of the golden girls lining the hallways of my workplace: a very old, all-girls, private high school. There are so many stories there, I can only theorize on a handful. As always, hit my Flickr to see more photos from this batch..

In the years 1910 and 1911, a bow fad seems to have overtaken the school. And a sort of "wings" fad with the hair. A predecessor to Farrah? Or Princess Leia? Either way, they rocked horizontal hairdos before such things were cool.

Speaking of cool, these girls from the class of 1911 would like you to know that they are infinitely cooler than you. See how their heads are tilted together? They were obviously fast friends. I can picture them sneaking ciggies after school when out of sight from the nuns.

I suspect poor Kenneth's mum and dad were hoping for a boy. This member of the class of 1913 didn't let it faze her though. She looks like a fun, carefree kind of gal. What do you think her nickname was? Kenny? Kay? Netty? I wish we could ask her.

Before there was Romy and Michele, there was Romie and Grace. Do you think they crashed their class of 1916 high school reunion too? That would have been quite the scene.

The girls from the class of 1923 just had a horrible time committing to bangs. And poor Gracie looks like she's channeling the bride of Frankenstein just there. Dearest girls, do put down your combs. Haven't you heard? The bob is sweeping the nation (Helen has the right idea).

I can't believe I leave for Kenya in less than two weeks. So much to do! I believe it's a fair trade, giving up my usual beloved holiday traditions of putting up decorations, watching sappy movies, and baking pies and snack mixes, to take a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa. I plan to squeeze in all the holiday cheer I can before next Saturday, though. Then I'm expecting you to make up the difference. Happy Holidays from me and Peggy Lee!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bears and boys. And yarn.

In this week's edition of When I Have Lots of Money and a House to Decorate: That's right kids, it's polar bear wallpaper.

Shut the front door. I know, right? It's so perfect for me. I die.

Fall is hitting a nice, easy pace for me. Finally. I love this season and the progression of holidays. The football on the tele. The flash of a red tree against a gray sky. The smell of my house after I've been baking or cooking. The planning of your Christmas list. Sure there's a lot to get stressed about, but that would take all the fun out of it. So why do it?

I've been trying to find more time in my schedule to look at other people's blogs (perhaps should be spending more time updating my own, but oh well). And cataloging things I like on my pinterest (you're on there, right? it's such fun). And yes, still crocheting and knitting. Thank goodness for that.

This was my first commission project (thanks E)! Made for E's brother-in-law. E's husband liked the scarf so much (it was made for his brother), that I've been asked to make another one for his brother's partner. Awesome! I really hope they like them. It's hard to make scarves for people in Houston - too toasty down there. But I used this Rowan yarn called Summer Tweed, made with silk and cotton. I think it's the perfect weight and so yummy.

Oooh, this Auburn and Georgia game is quite the entertainment. And um, does anyone else have a crush on the Allstate Mayhem guy? aka Dennis from 30 Rock? aka Dean Winters? Anyone?

Okay, less hot there. But how can you not love Liz and Dennis?

That's better, right? I know, he's been in other shows too. I should investigate.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Football Saturday

I could do without this view out my kitchen window today. What the eff!?

About to head downstairs and make some sausage balls for E & M's Halloween party. The Rachel Berry wig is making one more appearance this year before I stash its hairy, itchy, shedding self in a closet. I look so much better as a light brown/blonde. This experience has made that extremely clear to me.

Then tomorrow to the Arboretum to watch the parade of adorb kiddie costumes. Then starts the countdown to Thanksgiving at mom's new place just outside Austin. Hooray! By then, the renovations should be all done and the furniture delivered. And we'll get to enjoy our first Thanksgiving together in a loooong time.

Her patio looks out over a putting green. Which means it's nice and quiet and beautiful, but also means you get the occasional surprises. Let's hope we don't end up with a golf ball in our cranberry sauce.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Just because you're 30 doesn't mean you have to grow up

I did it! I'm 30! I gathered with friends at a bar on Friday night to drink a toast to the decade that lies ahead. I decided I wanted a Fluffernutter birthday cake.

That's mom lighting the candles. Peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff (which Super Target didn't have, so Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme subbed instead) on Mrs. Baird's bread. Cut into triangles and stacked. Topped with pink icing. It was my homage to Amy Sedaris. I feel like she would have approved.

Have you ever had a Fluffernutter? They're amazingly delicious. I had my first one at Peanut Butter and Co. in Greenwich Village in New York City and have had them lurking in a corner of my brain ever since. But when do you have an excuse to make something so indulgent and obviously lacking in nutritional value? They're right up there with cookies and ice cream. And cake. How appropriate.

So far 30 feels exactly the same as 29. Hopefully 31 will feel that way too. Also, did you know that Julie Andrews turned 75 on Friday? She looks fabulous.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Final Great Achievement of my 20s

I made socks!

I took a sock class in May at the Shabby Sheep with my friend Katie, because I'd always wanted to learn how to make socks, and we both thought this would be a great way to learn more knitting skills and gain a bit of confidence with trying more complicated projects.

I'm happy to report I didn't get "second sock syndrome," as they call it. I actually completed my pair. They're a little different because you're supposed to start them in exactly the same spot in the 'pattern' of the yarn so they'll stripe the same, but I was too lazy for that. And I think they look awesome anyway.

Gotta take a sock break but I think my goal for next year is to make another pair. One pair per year, I say. Of note, Katie has finished her class pair, a second pair, and is starting a third. Way to show me up.

Otherwise am busy getting the apartment in order for my visitors next weekend. It's nice to have friends who will travel for your birthday. XO, gals.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Missing you

Hey there, bloggy town. I've been missing you. You been missing me?

From Geninne's Art Blog, which might be the prettiest blog ever. Illustration by the super amazing Geninne. Hopefully it'll make it onto her Etsy.

I just ate two big cookies with my lunch. I should not have done that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

In season

August in Texas can be a beat down. A major b.e.a.t. d.o.w.n. Like ohmygosh can it get any hotter? Will it ever cool off again? Remember those beautiful snowy days? How can one place have such extreme seasons? (And hardly anything in between, mind you.)

(Granted, this was taken on the blacktop in the parking lot at my workplace at the hottest point of the day. The official high today was only 107. So.. yeah.)

So it seems, it's understandable that every year at about this time I start going crazy for the farmers market. Because if you can't beat the heat, you may as well enjoy the fruits of its labor.

And just like last year, I've taken to stalking the Canton peach stand at the Dallas Farmers Market. Also into my bag over the last few weeks has gone some tomatoes (okay, a lot of tomatoes), okra, blueberries, fresh corn, and cream peas - also known as lady peas (gonna cook those tomorrow). But most of all, lots and lots of peaches. I go crazy for them. Much the same way I used to go crazy for nectarines when I was younger. But you really can't find locally grown nectarines around here, and grocery store produce tastes like crap once you taste these peaches. So here we are. At the peach stand on Saturday morning. Like clockwork.

Posted my recipe for the cobbler last year. And this past weekend I made peach ice cream. I think the next batch of peaches I bring home will go into the freezer so I can relive the peach joy on a colder day.

I'll look at these pictures and remember days like these, and I'm telling you, I'll probably long for them. Days when I could hear the cicadas humming outside. When little dresses and flip flops and tank tops were the uniform of choice. You think? Hrm.. Maybe.

P.S. That's my view while I'm washing the dishes at the new place. Nice huh?

Enjoy some Sam Cooke, y'all.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hey baby

I've been meaning to do this one for a while. Just how many small tots are running around in my life these days? A LOT. Most of which, I have had a chance to visit with this summer. One even came to visit me. Aren't I lucky!

I don't have any kids, not sure if I ever will, but with all these smiling faces in my life, I get my fixes on a regular basis. And then get to come home to a nice, quiet house. Yeah, it's the best of both worlds.

Jillian. Big sister. Happy-go-lucky gal pal. Niece.

Grant. Little brother. Strong arm. Sweet giggle. Nephew.

Suzy. World traveler. Great wit and loads of charm. Niece.

James. Bearer of the name. Defier of the odds. Cousin.

Anna. Life of the party. Girly girl. Sparkly. Friend.

William. Little brother. Funny boy. Easy to please. Friend.

Allie. Big sister. Knows what she wants. And how to get it. Friend.

Dominic. First born. Loves ceiling fans. Aggie. Friend.

So, you get my drift. Many thanks to my friends and relations for taking it upon themselves to grow the population of the world. These are some very good melons.

And before I go, you are listening to the new Arcade Fire album, aren't you? Cos if not, you better get on that.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dear readers,

Ahhh! Hay you guys, what's happening? It's amazing how summer flies by you, isn't it? Despite the heat and everlasting long days, it still seems to go much too fast for my taste.

Since we last chatted, I packed up and moved into a new apartment. Also packed up my office, moved for a two week spell, then moved back, but into a different office. So. That sucked. Like, that's a lot of packing, no? Naturally I haven't finished unpacking my house or my office cos it's like, who wants to deal with that, after all that packing?

Also have been traveling here and there. To Houston a couple times to see friends and family, and all the way to Los Angeles to see my friend Susan. W00t.

Next will be the other LA, Louisiana, to see family. Then hopefully I'll settle down for a bit. And maybe blog with a tad more regularity. Send me gifts and I will consider.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A swap

First off, I wanted to thank everyone for their kind comments, on the blog, on Flickr, via email, etc. I expected it would be difficult, and the whole thing has lived up to those expectations. Time heals I suppose. But gosh, it ain't happening in a hurry.

So what do I do when times are tough? Craft. Craft away, kids. I just packed up my friendship bracelet for Amy's bracelet swap. She read my mind, she did. I'd just picked out some thread colors at my local craft store because I was itching to make one. I was planning to blog about my love affair with these signs of those summer camp days of yore. (You know how I love camp.)

Next thing I knew, friendship bracelets were everywhere, and Amy had this splendid idea to swap them with new friends. I can't wait to see the one my secret friend made for me!

Also on the crafting front, check out my couch, in my soon-to-be-no-longer living room. There's a new addition there! Long ago (perhaps you remember), I was going on about how I wanted to take this awesome horse sweater I bought in Estonia and turn it into a pillow. I also recognized my skills in this area were pretty darn lacking, and I really didn't want to ruin it in a failed pillow-making attempt.

Meanwhile I'd started reading Alli's lovely blog One Pearl Button and was oohing and aahing over her astounding transformational skills when it came to old thrifted sweaters. So we worked out a deal, so-to-speak. A crafty blog swap. Except that I was making a specific request of her (turn my sweater into a pillow!) and she suggested I just surprise her in return( ... !).

I'd been admiring the Granny Square Slippers pattern on the Purl Bee for some time (oh I just love the Bee), and since I'd made myself a different pair of crocheted slippers just last fall, I decided this would be a great opportunity to try out this pattern and create a fun swap present for Alli. Ta daa!

Don't worry Alli, I washed 'em before I sent them! You can't help but try them on. I gathered up some other goodies for her and put them all in the mail. (Of note, it's so easy to shop for someone when they have a blog!) And in return I got a super-spiffy pillow to add to my sofa.

Wow, thanks Alli! I love love love it.

Alright, who's next?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My boy

Ah, what do I say. My cat passed away June 3, 2010. I've had him for 17 and a half years. More than half my own life. I'm devastated but muddling through. It was time.

I was 12 when we brought CJ home. A tiny furry kitten from the Humane Society in Fort Worth. One of our earlier memories of him was that we were out in the backyard and decided to let him roam around out there. He was still quite small. He found a hole in the fence and immediately went into the neighbor's yard and came face to face with Acey, our neighbor's giant chow. It was a trip. I was screaming, Acey was barking, and my mom was attempting to scale the fence. The neighbors (very nice people) came out and handed the little kitten back over to us. He was shaken, but alright. Scared the pee right out of him. He was always a brave boy.

I left for college and he stayed with mom for those four years, then as soon as I got my first place in Austin after college, I brought him down to stay with me. He then journeyed with me to Brooklyn, Queens, back to Austin, and then to Dallas. He was huge and awesome. But as he got older, he got smaller and smaller. And sicker. And sweeter, I dare say. A total baby. We did a lot of snuggling this last year or so. I knew my days with him were numbered, and perhaps, so did he.

I did have to make the decision to put him to sleep, but it was time. I hated making that call. But when you know, you know. And he knew. Thankfully my mom was already planning to come visit, so she's been here with me.

I'm moving too. Wow. I'm moving! All this change is throwing me for a loop. I'm not moving far - just down the street - but it's a much better setup for me. It'll be weird settling into a new place without him. It'll be hard, but I'll manage. I think by the end of the summer, things will be much better all around, but these days, I feel quite heavy, quite sad. But I'll get by.

And now, some of his greatest hits..

In 1998, seeing me off to prom.

In 2004, Brooklyn.

In 2007, Astoria. Yay teeth!!

In 2008, looking fabulous. Still in Astoria (but not for long).

In 2009, Dallas. Miss you boy, xoxo.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Krewe

So as a perpetual apartment/rental dweller, and a wannabe green thumb, I've come to love my little cadre of potted plants, and my annual trip to the garden store to supplement them. I love gardening, but not so much that I bite off more than I can chew (hence the small gathering here). I'm realistic about what I can handle on my own, and then get the rest of my fix hanging out at the Arboretum.

Here is the 2010 Krewe of Potted Plants:

From left to right, starting with the back row..

-Oh my gosh, YES, that's my hydrangea! It's a beast! I'm so beyond pleased. Especially considering a few months ago I wasn't sure if it was dead or not.

It's now two years old - like many of these pictured, I brought it up from Austin. Someday I have dreams to plant it in the ground, but for now, its home is its pot. I plan to give it a good trim this next winter to keep it from getting too big. It has grown more this spring than it has in all the time I've had it. And the most blooms ever! Oh my gosh, so exciting.

-Next door to the hydrangea, my rosemary. Along with the hydrangea, the only plant that stayed out all winter (except for those 2 or 3 days when the temperature range was 13 to 18 degrees). I brought it up from Austin and am just letting it do its thing. It smells good but I don't use the herb often enough I think. I need to work on that.

-Another Austin hanger-oner, my old kalanchoe. Like rosemary, I feel like kalanchoes are sorta impossible to kill. I've seen some seriously neglected ones around school that people have gotten as gifts, and myself or Rose, the 80-year-old receptionist, will tend to them for a week or so and they're thriving once again. I need to trim mine down and get it into a new pot. When it blooms, it's orangey-yellow.

-Front row left, another one from my Austin patio. I moved into that apartment and found this heart-leaf philodendron (aka 'the ivy') in the world's tiniest pot, root-bound something awful. I'm never one to toss a plant that is still showing signs of life so I put it in a new pot and let it be. And like any ivy, it sprung to life. When it got cold enough this past December, I brought it upstairs and found I had to pull its tendrils out of the earth when I picked it up. They'd traveled to the edge of the patio and started digging down. This one's a fighter.

-I didn't get a petunia last year and I sorta regretted it. They're so easy to care for and bright and cheery. A nice little burst of color. I love the stripes on this one!

-I picked up the two basil plants on the right from Redenta's recently. I usually only have one basil and it's never enough to make a good-sized batch of pesto at any point during the summer. Also I eat basil on/with/mixed into just about everything during the summer months. So I'm sure I'll put them to good use.

So that's the Krewe! And here's the Krewe from two years ago in Austin (minus the hydrangea). The rosemary and kalanchoe are there. I miss that balcony. I'm looking for a new place and have high hopes for a better outdoor space setup than I have now. Currently, when I'm in my apartment, I can't even see my plants. Which is sad.

CJ loves warm weather. Just waits on it so patiently. And then the windows are open and.. hooray! Soak it up, honey. Soon we'll be in A/C hibernation. (Who am I kidding, we're already there.)

Friday, April 30, 2010

My sartorial muse has a blog

This story in today's New York Times led me to discover Mrs.O, my new favorite blog. Finally, a place for me to obsess freely over Michelle Obama's wardrobe. I might be behind the curve on this one--apparently the blog has been around for a while. But who cares, I loves it!

AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo

In a Tracy Reese dress in Mexico. Note the red flats. Love.

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Visiting the Pentagon recently. No idea of the designer on this dress but I WANT TO STEAL IT.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

In a L'Wren Scott dress. Holy geeze, I want to steal that one too.


Going more formal in a Peter Soronen dress. Gasp.

This is making me want to go shopping! I got a little bit of the urge out in Target the other day, but I only left with a couple of knit tops. Of note, I now own three Mossimo V-neck pocket tees. Lots of colors, good fit, and only 6 bucks--sign me up. These will be integral players in the summer 2010 wardrobe.

And one last thing. You still aren't watching Chuck? Dang people, why not? Us poor, desperate fans are now resorting to flash mob tactics.

How can you not love those two? No verdict about next year from NBC just yet, which is straight-up poop. That should have been a no-brainer. But NBC doesn't have a good track record with those.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spring is for nerds

I've been having a bit of a fling. With spring. While fall is my favorite season, I must admit that spring does have its fine qualities. And though this particular spring has been busier than most, I won't hold that against it.

Up at school, the girls are all abuzz about graduation...

And at home, I've been all abuzz about new furniture. That's right, the Hoosier is here!

Isn't it lovely?

Sigh. I'm such a sucker for hardware. I bought it from a woman on Craigslist who owned it for years and years and loved it dearly. I can't wait to give it an equally long run in my home!

I've also been all abuzz over MI-5 (aka Spooks for any Brits reading). Can I take a moment to geek out over that? I've been watching the 6th season on KERA. I must admit, I initially started watching just for Rupert Penry-Jones, but now I'm just straight hooked. Every episode, I'm on the edge of my seat. Here's a clippy-clip from an earlier season. Featuring Mr. Penry-Jones of course.

I'll probably end up renting them all eventually. Maybe over the summer..

So yeah, spring. It has a few things going for it. Flowers and such. Babies and sunshine. Patio drinking. Enjoy it while you can. It'll be 100 degrees before we know it.

And one more quick plug for another sign of spring. The Etsy Dallas Spring Bash! It's next Saturday, May 1. Be there or be square, nerds!