Monday, January 31, 2011

Giving Thanks

Thank you for the sweet comments about my new banner. That was a project Aidan and I took on this weekend. (He wanted bright hearts and I wanted muted ones. More on who won that argument later.) And who would have thought that the "jeggings post" would generate so many comments? I think that is pretty funny. Forget the serious stuff, home inspirations and good recipes. I am going to talk about my fashion blunders from now on. (Because I think in a decade we will look back at our jeggings and say "what were we thinking????")

Now on a more serious note. I have been reading a wonderful book. Actually I read it in one evening and wept my way through it. So then I read it again with a highlighter and pen in hand (I never, ever write in books.) because I felt like she was writing it to me. There are so many circumstances in my life right now that seem out of my control and I have fallen into a pattern of self-pity and complaining, feeling fully justified in my behavior. How pathetic, eh? My friend Darlene was a great example of living every day like it was a gift and having a thankful heart. I feel embarrassed for my attitude; I need a change of heart as I have so much to be thankful for.

So...... to celebrate the gifts we have I am having a giveaway. ( I love giveaways!) If you would like to win the book please enter a comment and I will have a drawing in a week. If you link to this post in another you can have two entries into the contest..... just let me know in your comment. And even if you don't want to read it...... just look at the cover. How can you resist?

no more snow

Well, at least in our front window. Rumor has it we are getting a few more inches tomorrow.

I am going to miss the shadows the snowflakes created on our walls.

But I think the hearts look charming. More pics to come.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

So i did it

I swallowed my pride, "ate" all the comments I have made over the past year and plunked down a chunk of change for some jeggings.

Yes. Jeggings.

Super comfortable, surprisingly flattering, perfect-with-boots jeggings.

I wish I could wear them every day.

Get yours now so you can ride this wave as long as it lasts because they are awesome.

(p.s. if you live by a Hot Mama they have many options and their staff are always helpful and friendly.)

photo from Hot Mama as well.

Monday, January 24, 2011

right now

Reading this book.

Making a list from this catalogue.

Spring can't come soon enough. This year I am going to grow a garden in lieu of joining a CSA.

Wish me luck. I can grow flowers like it's my job but my veggie gardens end up untended and overgrown. But not this year!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It was just a simple jar of barbecue sauce. I reached into my cupboard and pulled it out and found her little note still taped on the top.

"Merry Christmas Nat. I hope your holiday season is filled with peace, love and some fun too. I miss you and love you. Love Darlene.

I pulled it out because we were going to make barbecued meatballs at work tomorrow in honor of our friend. She made the best barbecue sauce ever and if she gave you a jar it was like winning the lottery.

Little did we know the real prize was having Darlene as a friend.

Our friend Darlene went home this week. I didn't say good-bye to her. She emailed me that morning and asked me if she could still come for dinner in two weeks. I replied "Of course, have a great trip to Florida." She didn't make it to Florida. She actually died mid-air.

I was going to bring the barbecue sauce to work but I don't think I can. I hadn't cried yet. I thought I was glad for her. Glad that she finally left her suffering body for a better place. But when I pulled out that note I realized that was my last note ever from Darlene and all the emotions came tumbling down.

I never finished sharing the professional pictures from her party. Maybe tomorrow. In the meantime I am going to tuck my precious jar of barbecue sauce back in my cupboard with its little note taped to the side. I think I will save it for a special occasion.

chinese new year is coming

Last year I was in a little conundrum over Chinese New Year as I couldn't figure out what to wear. Not a super big deal in the grand scheme of things, but all the other parents looked so lovely in red and there was I in black. (Because honestly I only ever usually wear grey, black and brown) I wasn't planning to purposely spend time shopping for red as I tried that last year and nothing red ever looks good to me. However if something jumped off the shelf and into my basket I would be okay with that.

So today after work I had a bag of things to return at Anthropologie and I decided to peruse the clearance racks. (after all, Tuesday is when they make their "fresh cuts.") Anyhow, a jacket that I had only ogled before just happened to be clearanced. And to make it an even better story, I have been shrinking lately and was able to fit a size 8 for the first time since I was married. And since I was returning items the jacket was almost free, right? Does it work like that in your head too?

Anyway - this year I will proudly take my place among the ranks of "Mom's in red."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

So last week Aidan and i stopped at a local to shop {Patina} to pick up a gift for a friend. One of his classmates mom's works there so soon we were talking as he wandered around and eventually he came and asked me if he could buy a book. I wasn't really paying attention as I was still chatting, and I continued to chat with her while I paid for our items, (and the book) and soon we were in the car and headed home.

When we got home he was all excited about his new book and asked to forgo supper so we could start reading. He sat on my lap and we started looking through his new magic book. The pages are full of card tricks, coin tricks........ none of them seemed to excite him. Finally the truth came out. He wanted the magic book so he could make J - his little nemesis at school - disappear. And if that didn't work, he was hoping the book would show him some other tricks he could play on J - like invisibly removing J's coat so he will be cold, removing Jason's dessert from his lunch ...... etc. The whole scenario struck me as funny. I mean, we never talk about magic or anything of the sort. He complains about J regularly and I usually advise him to "be kind to his enemies." (and yes - i have met the kid and he is rather awful.) And the thought of Aidan buying a book solely for that purpose? Also funny - but lesson learned - i should ask about the book before I buy it, right? Because when he found out that the book would only show him some sleight of hand he was lost his enthusiasm and hasn't opened the book since.

So if any of you are interested in learning some card tricks i have just the book for you!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

a new project

last week a co-worker asked me to decorate for her daughter's wedding. i am pretty excited - i love projects like this and i must admit that every time i take something like this on i have a secret hope that someday one of these "projects" will blossom into a new career.

the wedding colors i have to work with are deep turquoise and black. she has very simple, elegent taste but as of yet doesn't have a whole lot of direction. this weekend we talked about the possibility of damask table runners and a mixture of clear glass and milk-glass vases and votives on the table. i love the idea of peacock feathers as well.......

i staged a few "table-scapes" for her today. she is still debating over flowers but knows she wants lots and lots of candles. i picked up a bouquet of gerbera daisies and white roses today to play with. i don't know about you but i think i like the pictures with less flowers rather than more. and don't you think a peacock feather would look perfect on the table?

Pardon the "goodwill tags" on the tableware. We are still in the debating process so I might need to return everything. I will post some inspiration photos later........... and I would love any ideas!

a few of my thoughts after taking the pictures:

I thought I liked the white/black fabric more than the black/white fabric but i think the black will provide better contrast in her photos.

I also think that perhaps only one or two flowers are all we need at each table. I think white ranunculus would be perfect, and all my hydrangeas will be in bloom then as well............

I have lots of vintage turquoise glass. would it be too much to have a few pieces scattered throughout the room? I think if it were on every table it would be a little much.

Any thoughts?

p.s. one of the picture frames I spray-painted dried so i am updating this post with another photo. i think we are going to put the table numbers in black frames. sadly my printer isn't working so i had to draw this "1" but you get the idea, right?

(a candlelit view)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

you might enjoy this. I did.

you might want to pause the playlist before you play the video clip.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day

So the New Year has come. It arrived at my house with little fanfare.

Today I am enjoying a good book, some cooking shows on public television, and some solitude. I am also happy to report that I just picked up some antibiotics and eye drops so hopefully I will be back on my game soon! Unfortunately I was ill for most of the past few weeks which meant poor Aidan had a pretty boring winter break. There was no Holidazzle, no cookie baking, no sledding....... but lots of couch/snuggle time, not a bad trade-off in my mind, but he may not agree.

Looking back, the last year has been one of uncertainty and changes. And at this point I am very uncertain about what the next year will bring and right now I don't even have the words to articulate what my heart is feeling.

In the meantime, I like to day-dream about making my house all white. That's crazy, I know, as my house is full of color. But a girl can dream, right?

photos found here, here, here