Friday, November 30, 2007

30 Ideas For December: Shop 'Til You Drop

Ok, so I know what you're thinking right now. Idea number 4 isn't my best idea ever. Trust me, you'll thank me for it later. The best favor you can do yourself this weekend is to get ALL your shopping done. If that seems like too much, at least get the gifts done. Stocking stuffers are easier to buy in a crunch. If you're stumped for ideas, head on over to YHO, where this week (and next, I think) are gift guide week. I've used a few of their ideas already. Which brings me to my next point. I much prefer online shopping this time of year. Every other month of year I'm drawn to the stores like a moth to the flame. But I despise it during December. I'd much rather do my shopping from the comfort of my own home.

Nothing feels better than being able to (kind of) relax and enjoy the rest of the holiday season with the stress of shopping gone. So no matter which way you go, just get it done. Really, I guess the idea here is to relax after this weekend. Or stress out about all the other things you don't have done. Pick your poison.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

30 Ideas For December: Love Actually

Ok, I'm giving you a head start on idea number 3. Cancel all weekend plans (or make some), and watch Love Actually. Watch it with friends, watch it with your lover, watch it with besties, watch it by yourself. All are acceptable options. This is my favorite Christmas movie. I like to call it a Christmas kick-off film, as it takes place 5 weeks before Christmas and builds up to the big day. Plus, I love airports just as much as they (the filmakers) do. When you work(ed) for an airline, you're bound to end up in them from time to time.

P.S. It's on sale at Target for $7.50. Hip hip...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

30 Ideas For December: Snow Angels

Idea number 2 is a no-brainer (if you live in the Great Basin area). With 12 hours of straight snowfall (hurrah!), there's really only one sensible thing to do: cover your lawn in snow angels. Bundle up, grab your kiddos (or not, if you're like me), and make your front lawn a beautiful display of snow angels. Sometimes it feels so good to just lie there in the snow, letting the snowflakes tickle your tongue.

Then run inside, grab a cup of 'cho and admire your artwork from the front window.

Reason #22 I Miss Manhattan: Cucch

In Manhattan, we have a friend named Cucch. That's not his real name, just what everyone calls him. He's a big-talking, wise-cracking, hard-working Italian from Boston with a thick accent. And one of our dear friends. He always has a good story to tell, and his most recent email was no exception.

He sent a recent news article about his uncle, The Cheeseman, who owns a cheese shop, and is also the supposed mob boss of Boston. People who know people like this are priceless. Not something you see everyday. Unless you live in New York City. Where things like this are pretty normal. Virtually everyone is a transplant from somewhere, which makes for great storytelling. Love that about the city. Take a few million people from all over, pile them on top of each other on a tiny island, shake it all up, and you'll end up with some of the most amazing life stories you've ever heard.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Want Candy

I know everyone has seen this like 1,000 times. If you haven't, shame on you! But all I want for Christmas is one day just like this. Creampuffs, 'oohs and ahhhs', flowing champagne, billows of beautiful fabric, a rainbow of fruit-flavored shoes, card games, a tailor to cater to my every clothing need, dogs with diamond necklaces frolicking about, besties who giggle, and a hairdresser who makes housecalls and tells me I'm 'ravishing'. Pretty please.

30 Ideas For December: Fantasy Tree

So what if it's not December yet? I've got ideas ready to spew forth and they don't want to be held back for a measly 3 days. Besides, these ideas are for December. And I like to have a bit of notice for most things, as I rarely read them on someones blablablablog and then immediately take action. Sometimes I like to prepare. Or let them stew.

Idea number 1 for December is (babaddahbaaa) the fantasy tree. This, of course, implies that you have already trimmed your tree and decked your halls with boughs of holly falalalala, lalalala. If not, then snap to it already! We've only got like 4 more weeks. Hurryhurryhurry fastfastfast.

This idea is all about tradition. When we were kids, my mom let us have our own tree (bless her heart). We always had at least 2 trees, and oftentimes more. Like the time when my sister and I begged and pleaded with our parents to let us have a Christmas tree in our bedroom and surprise! they obliged. Sadly, our clever plan to lure Santa into our room was foiled when he and his eight reindeer did not make a visit to our bedroom tree on Christmas Eve. But that is a left turn I did not mean to take. Let's get back on track. We always had at least 2 trees, and oftentimes more. There was the adult tree, laden with gilded ornaments and perfectly placed lights. Beautiful and show-stopping. Then there was the kids tree, with rainbow lights strewn haphazardly about, and more than its fair share of tuna fish tin can ornaments bowing its branches.

I like to continue that tradition today. With myself. I have no children. I have no need for 2 trees. But what I do have a need for is artistic expression (though I'm no artist to be sure). I've got a strange dichotomous relationship with myself. One part of me wants to be timeless and classic. Hence, one tree for the sensible and subdued ornaments I have. This one will last me years and years and I will always think it to be beautimous. Another part of me wants to be chic and unforgettable. Hence, one tree for pure fantasy. Whatever tickles your fancy this year. Or perhaps a few years. Something fun, unexpected, outrageous, that makes people stop and stare--not sure whether to laugh, cry, or truly appreciate. I believe Blueprint magazine hit the nail on the head with their cover this year. It is the perfect interpretation of what a fantasy tree should be. Yeah, I like pink trees, so what?

So put on your thinking caps, or fly by the seat of your pants. Go buy a crappy little tree and some oddball ornaments (think disco balls, or pink flamingos, or tons of tinsel) and decorate to your hearts delight.

Monday, November 26, 2007

30 Ideas For December: For Starters

Ok, so my wheels have been turning and churning all weekend long. Thusly, my brain is currently at max capacity for things to do/see/make until Christmas. Surely, I will share one daily-ish until my little blog runneth amuck with roughly 30 ideas for December. Some obvious (duh), some original (ah-ha). Take some, leave some. Do one a day, cram in two, or do none a day. They're just ideas. Which are meant for sharing. Let the countdown begin!

You Had Me At '300 Vibrations Per Second'

The Oprah's Favorite Things show was a while ago. But I couldn't bring myself to talk about the details of it until Thanksgiving had its moment to shine.

Now, let's talk shop. As in Christmas shopping. The most fabulouswondrouseye-catchingous thing on Oprah's list this year was the Clarisonic Skin Care System. It claims to remove 6 times more makeup/grime than soap and water alone. 6 times! The bristles vibrate 300 times per second and massage your face to squeaky clean perfection. 300 times per second! Squeaky clean perfection!

I mustmustmust have this.

What was your favorite on the list this year?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

I'll be kicking back and taking a break up at our little cottage in the mountains for the weekend. Unfortunately, it's nowhere near warm enough to get the tan lines this turkey is sporting.

Enjoy the long weekend and sooper dooper shopping.
Gobble gobble.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks: Family (Tree)

For me, this is what it all comes down to. There is nothing betterfasterstronger than the ties that bind. Parents who leave me wanting for nothing and give me everything is a gift I cherish beyond compare. Having sisters who are my best friends, and best friends who are like sisters to me is more than I ever could have hoped for. Becoming part of a loving and caring family through my new husband is true joy. Last, but certainly not least, living a rollercoaster of a life with a husband who lets me fly yet holds me close at just the right times has made all my wildest dreams come true. These dear people, above all else, are truly what I am thankful for.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Giving Thanks: True Love Is What Brings Us Together Today

One of my BFFs was wed today. Truly lovely. While the dinners, the parties, the flowers, and fancy dresses are ridiculously enjoyable amounts of fizzy fluff and heaps upon heaps of fun, my favorite part is always the actual ceremony. So tender. So true. So intimate. That's where the real moments are. Thank you, dear dear friend, for letting me share this blissful day with you.

What Oprah Could Learn From Nordstrom

Ladies and Gentlemen, set your Tivo's. Oprah's biggestbestbaddest show of the year airs today. Indeed, I lalalalove Oprah's Favorite Things show. I sit in anticipation, just waiting for her elves to jump thru the TV and into my living room with their happiness and holiday cheer (wouldn't that be nice?). Truly sets the grand stage for the Holiday season.

But seriously, why couldn't she learn a thing or two from Nordstrom? I mean, they get it. Why doesn't she? I realize that the biggest shopping weekend of the year is nigh upon us. But still. I thought she'd be a better example.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Like A Moth to the Flame

I woke up early this morning and made a beeline for Target. Had to check out the Erin Fetherston collection. I tried on practically everything. So if you have a question about fit or sizing, don't hesitate to ask. Seriously though. I should hardly be thinking of myself. I mean, at this time of year, shouldn't I just be thankful for the clothes I have this week? And then next week, realize that I need to buy for others, not me. I can't help myself. I have an unhealthy relationship with Target's GO Designers. Like I havehavehave to see them nownownow. The sense of urgency is beyond ridiculous. Once, in NY, I made my husband drive us out Jersey to a Target that wasn't by NYC cuz I just knew the closest ones would be picked over. Another time, I made my sister take me even though her baby wanted to go home and eat. He obviously doesn't appreciate designer clothing. At a discount, no less!

But what I'm meaning to say is that if you watched the Erin Fetherston video Ali put up on her blog, you'll realize that she hit the nail on the head. Erin, not Ali (sorry, sis). Her video captures the essence of her collection so perfectly (read the sign toward the beginning of it and you'll catch on quickly). Ethereal, playful, charming. Hearts (not just appliqued but we're talking all buttons are heart shaped buttons), bows, frills. Fantasyland...just like she says. How fun would it be to live (and design) in her world?

Giving Thanks: 95 And Still Alive

We had Grandmas 95th Birthday Party this weekend. Someone said that the older you get the truer to yourself you are. You begin to care less about pretenses, appearances, and the like, allowing your true self to shine. Grandma is as real as they come...and then some. The type of person I'd like to be when I'm older (and less concerned about pretenses, appearances, and the like). Born while her family was on the run from the Mexican Army, well-educated (has her Masters from Columbia and her PhD from Berkeley), well-traveled (over 180 countries), social (has more friends and visitors to her home than I do), adored, admired, romantically stylish, and still sharp as a tac. Never afraid to speak her mind. So thankful to have her around.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Giving Thanks: DVR

Nothing like spending a Thursday night with sister, along with our friends LC, Audrina, and Whitney from The Hills. Then reuniting with Heidi and Tim for the season opener of Project Runway. Thank you, DVR, for accomodating my schedule and letting me catch up with old friends for an hour...or two.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Giving Thanks: Melted Chocolate

Last night I went to sleep with a belly full of melted chocolate fondue. 'Nuff said.

Over The Top

I've always wanted an overcoat such as this. One so beautimous, romantical and old-timey that there's really no need for removal when indoors. Just let people oooh and ahhh over it all night long. Unless, you start sweating, of course. Or eat spaghetti. Both would be grounds for removal.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Giving Thanks: MetroMint and Perrier

I'm not a 'plain' water type. Tap water just doesn't do it for me unless it's flavored by Crystal Light. Between MetroMint and Perrier, I could guzzle water all day long. So, thank you, for helping me rediscover my love for water. Now, if only I could find a way to be a little more green and get them to come through my faucet.

Oh, You Shouldn't Have: Brit Boot

These popped into my inbox yesterday, and it was lalalalove at first sight. Am certain I will look quite smart strutting around town in them with a billowy scarf 'round my neck. Thank you, in advance, to the elf who is placing these under my Christmas tree. {Hint, hint.}

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Giving Thanks: Muscle Milk

Just drinking it makes me feel so so tuff.
Geez, Louise...I work out too.
Yeah, I'm hardcore.

*Addition:* this should really be a thanks to G and C, without whom, weekly trips to Costco and Muscle Milk may never have entered my life*


Once upon a Christmas season, we had a gingerbread decorating/hot cho sipping/donut eating party at our place. We'd made loads of walls, roofs, doors, etc. with which each attendee was to construct the winningest gingerbread house they could using our ready-made supplies of frosting, cookies, candies, and the like, for fun and valuable prizes.

As most things do at our house, things got a bit out of control. People started taking increasing doses of artistic freedom and coming up with out of this world designs. Literally.

Robby, who is to infinity and beyond smart and probably the nicest person on the planet, began making his Spacetivity gingerbread house. Actually, I'm pretty sure it all started when a rogue attendee covered his wee gumdrop snowmen in frosting, making them look like aliens. Then some other rebels grafitti'd his house in frosting with "Space is Cewl". Lo and behold, Robby, being the creative genius he is, ran with it. Many marshmallow moons and some drippy droopy space-like frosting swirls all over the tin foil base later, the Spacetivity was born. A true work of art. Naturally, Spacetivity was the mothership and swept the competition with flying colors.

But that isn't even what this post is about. What it's really about is the Holiday CB2 catalog I just got in the mail. There, on the cover, what did my wondrous eyes behold? A miniature space scene with 4 tiny astronauts. Unbelieveable, I said. It truly cannot be. An updated Spacetivity. I raced thru the catalog as fast as my fingers could fly, wanting to snatch everything up and send it to Robby straight away. Unfortunately, I can't find those little astronauts anywhere. Boo!

Nonetheless, I lalalalove this catalog cover. I proclaim it to be Best Holiday Catalog Cover 2007 (at least so far). Should you want to create a Spacetivity of your own (which I strongly suggest you do), icy xtreme xmas trees can be found here and here, disco ball moons here, and space age snowmen here. As far as over the moon (fake) snow and mini mercurial astronauts, you're on your own. But do let me know if you come across any.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Giving Thanks: Friends Who Order Dessert

Went lunching today with a lovely group of girls. As things were (sort of) wrapping up and the waiter asked if we'd like our check, my friend Liz said "Wait...aren't you guys getting dessert?"
Wa-wa-wa-what? Can I please get an Amen and a Hallelujah!?! Nothing delights me more than fellow foodies who aren't afraid to indulge and have some dessert every now and then. In all honesty, I'd resigned myself to never ordering dessert, because I despise being the lone dessert eater. Eating dessert alone = not fun at all. So thank you, Liz, for eating chocolate covered chocolate mousse cake and a scoop of ice cream with me. It was delightful (and so was the company).

Guilty As Charged: Excessive Use of Lipgloss

Fun tag from Alyson. Here are the contents of my bag. Some of which require explanation:

  • I have a strange habit of always placing/carrying a smaller purse inside of a larger purse. Reasons for doing so include: 1) smaller purse is packed with the essentials for a night out so I can ditch the larger one if needed, 2) allows for maximum organizable capacity inside the larger purse, 3) I'm loco in the coco.

  • I always carry a make-up bag inside the larger purse as well. Reasons for doing so include: 1) maximum organizable capacity, 2) no makeup stains inside larger purse (a harsh lesson learned from past experience), 3) I'm shallow, vain, and lalalove makeup, plus the occasional touch-up.

  • 3 pair of sunglasses. Which pair I choose to wear totally depends on what I'm wearing. One brown, one black, one for a good time. A lady can never be too prepared.

  • Copious/borderline ridiculous amounts of lipgloss. If you count correctly, you will find 9 tubes of lipgloss, 1 tube of lipstick, 1 chapstick, a cute green compact containing 4 additional lipglosses and a lipstick brush, and a blue pouch containing lipstick brushes and additional gloss. I didn't even realize the sheer volume of it all until I dumped out my bag for this photo. I have absolutely no explanation for it other than it is a natural progression from bullet point above: It all depends on what I'm wearing and preparedness. I'm a little embarassed. But not really.

  • Missing items: point and shoot camera (duh...I had to take this picture somehow), cellie (it never leaves my person), candy (peanut m&ms, hot tamales, cinnamin discs, junior mints, and skittles).

  • Oh yea, and those 2 little black blobs on the far right have saved my life on more than one occassion. They're back of shoe gel inserts. I keep them on hand in my purse at all times. During a long day of walking, these can turn me into an Energizer bunny. I slip these in and keep going, and going, and going, and going...

Join in if you'd like!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Giving Thanks: Coupons

Yes, coupons. I rarely, if ever, use them. But yesterday, one saved me in a fashion pinch. G and I were attending a black tie event. What is a girl to wear? Something old? Well, that's no fun. Something New? Yes, please. I'd been eyeing a little black number for a week or so, but couldn't justify buying it due to the price tag.

Yesterday, in the mail, came a discount certificate. Apparently I've done copious amounts of shopping in the department store, and they were inviting me back for more and rewarding me for it. Hot dog! According to my calculations, the coupon reduced the price just enough that it entered into my willingness to pay window. Hurrah! So off I went, ooooh'd and aaaaah'd and told that black dress we'd be lifelong friends. I wore it to the black tie charity event last night with much success, and now I'm a believer in the discount/coupon in the mail. So, let me thank you coupons, for not only helping me to look good, but for also letting me wear (and buy) what I want.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Giving Thanks: Hot Water

I say....Brrrrr! It's cold in here! After a very early morning spent entirely outside (fun fun photo shoot), I just couldn't shake the chill. It went straight to the core of me. My body temp was permanently lowered to somewhere around 42 degrees fahrenheit. That didn't sit well with me.

So I sat in the shower. Enter the steaming hot 55 minute shower. With a bench and body sprayers no less. Ahhhh! Nothing like going thru 2 tanks of hot water on a weekday afternoon when noone else is home to scold me. Thank you hot water tanks. I now owe my 100 degree fahrenheit body temperature to you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Bunches of Blonde

Love the earthiness these wheat sheafs bring to home decor. Why is PB's online picture so crappy? I promise, they're much better in person. I like the way wheat catches rays of sunlight and turns them into a gentle shade of amber. It would be cool to display three in a row along a buffet table. Something a bit more modern, but still maintaining that organic feel. Perfect timing for harvest season too.

Swiggity Swap

Head on over to evlove to sign up for a fabulous Holiday Swap. You get to give what you want to get! Does that make sense, or did I totally wordify, and therefore flub it up? Whatever, you get the idea. Just go sign up (deadline is Nov. 18) and get yer shopping done early!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Giving Thanks: BFF's

Giggles. Gossip. General goofiness.

Smiles. Laughter. Tears.
Just Like Old Times.

Is there Anything Better?

Razzle Dazzle 'Em

All that glitters is gold. These love dovies are just begging (practically pleading) to go to a party this holiday season. Totally party-worthy. Not necessarily budget-worthy.

These, are fantastic and much more wallet-friendly. Seriously, a walking disco ball. How could you leave the party without transforming into a dance dance dance dance dancin' machine? Lalalalove at first sight.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Giving Thanks: Easy Reading

Sometimes it feels so good to read, just for the sake of reading. Thank you, Twilight series, for allowing me this simple pleasure. Not my favorite books of all time, but definitely loads of fun and true page-turners. Sister is reading it too. Double the pleasure. Double the fun.

P.S. I'm totally on team Edward (along with everyone else). Is team Jacob a team of one?


Jobs (in no particular order):

1. One Part of a 4-man Cleaning Crew Extraordinaire

2. Executive Assistant

3. Airline Sales/Loyalty Retention (fancy way of saying "How Can We Keep the Dollars Rolling In?")

4. Economics Department Tutor (nerd alert!)

5. Conference Coordinator

Jobs I'd Like:

1. NASCAR team owner, or NASCAR pit reporter

2. Lingerie Designer (tasteful...NOT trashy)

3. Food Network Personality

4. Travel Book Writer

5. Event Planner

6. Food Critic

7. Real Estate Developer

Movies on PeteandRepeat:

1. Romeo & Juliet (Baz Luhrmann)

2. Pride & Prejudice

3. The Usual Suspects

4. Raising Arizona

5. Big Fish

6. Count of Monte Cristo

7. Marie Antoinette (just dripping with beauty)
8. Any Audrey Hepburn (I kind of feel like Audrey has the "I scream, you scream, we all scream..." syndrome, but decided to include her anyway)


1. I read loads and loads of cookbooks

2. Romeo & Juliet (I guess it's more of a play)

3. Pride & Prejudice

4. The Great Gatsby

5. The Age of Turbulence

6. Good to Great

7. How to Win Friends and Influence People

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things To Do:

1. Travel: anyplace, anytime, with anyone

2. Look at houses, cars, and jewelry

3. Cook & Bake. Especially with a friend or sister or Pam

4. Entertain: dream up, plan, host parties and other fun reasons to get people together

5. Think about the future

6. Work Out

7. Find really great gifts

I've Lived:

1. Royal Oak, Michigan

2. Salt Lake City, Utah

3. Palo Alto, California (does it count if your only permanent residence there was your sisters couch because you visited every weekend for 6 months straight?)

4. New York, New York

Favorite Foods:

1. Fresh Basil

2. Limes

3. Vinegar

4. Honey

5. Sushi

6. Dessert

7. Bing

Places I'd Rather Be:

1. On a tropical/exotic vacation

2. On a Girls Trip

3. China with G./Brazil or Austin with A./NYC Penthouse (China too!) with L./Costa Rica (or Mexico) with M./England (preferably London and Cotswolds) with other A./In a Cottage by the Sea with P.

4. Having a Day at the Spa

5. A NASCAR Race, a Tennis match, or lounging by the pool

6. A sample sale

Words I Quite Like:

1. peripatetic

2. galligaskins (aka, trousers)

3. acid

4. mitochondria

5. effervescent

6. boogie

7. jeepers

8. rigmarole

9. luxuriating

Tag! You're It:

1. Jen

2. Ash

3. Jacqueline

4. Laura

5. Anyone else who wants to join the fray!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Giving Thanks: No Snow

No snow on Halloween. Hallelujah! Halloween has passed and the weather is clinging to moderate with some serious staying power (though sill much too cold for my liking). Here's to a warm-ish weekend with blue-ish skies and falling-ish leaves.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Holly Sleeplightly

This Holly Golightly sleep mask is practically a dead ringer for the real deal. I've wanted one just like this practically since the day I was born (which is roughly the first time I saw Breakfast at Tiffany's). It's been TLA ever since.

I can find but one flaw in the execution of this getup. The earplugs (see picture below). I've had a love affair with those teal tassels since birth too (it may have even started in the womb). BRAVO! and three cheers for one amazing sleep mask, two thumbs down and a big BOO! for lack of earplugs. Better luck next time, eh, Fred Flare.

Giving Thanks: Retro Heater Fan

It is November, after all.

Today, I'm thankful for my heater fan. Not only does it have a cute retro design, it keeps me warm and is portable too. For example: I take it up to the cabin and lay on the floor next to it for roughly 3 hours until the place heats up. I also set it next to the shower door so when I step out, the tile isn't cold and then I flip it around and keep even warmer while I get ready. I did that today. It made me (and Miss Famous---who hogs it) so so happy.

Halloween Hangover

For breakfast today I had 2 of these: Plus a few other candies totally loaded with sugar sweet goodness. To balance out the sugar overload (as if that could really happen---sugar overload---sheesh), I had one of these sugar free drinks:

Obviously, I'm deviating from my normal Breakfast of Champions. It's good to mix things up a bit every now and then. Keeps me unpredictable.