Monthly Archives: December 2011

Friday Five, Best of 2011

I can’t believe tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. I figured out how I’m celebrating! My best friend and I are going to go see the Muppets movie tomorrow afternoon (Aidan: get your Rainbow Connection nail glitter ready!!). Tonight I’m going to see “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” so this will make 2 movies in 12 hours that I have been dying to finally see. I’m hoping to break out the sweatpants early tomorrow night and see how long I can stay awake. I’m definitely coming down with something (the flu? the plague? the black lung?) and last night I crashed at 8:30. You guys, that was so early even for me. I was pretty impressed with that, to be honest. I thought only toddlers and the elderly had that in them.

So since it is Friday, I’m bringing you one last Friday Five of 2011. This one is less of a list of things that interested me from the week, and more of my favorite things from the year. Narrowing this down was surprisingly easy, and I think if you’ve been following for a bit you could even figure these out. I’m not that complex, honestly. Maybe my New Year’s resolution should be to be more interesting. How does one accomplish this? Any pointers?

1. Midnight in Paris / 2. My favorite all-white bedroom / 3. Fitz! / 4. Macarons / 5. YOU

I don’t make a secret of my insane, all-consuming love of Paris. I have dreams of picking up and moving there and living like a total starving artist in a minuscule apartment with more light streaming in than I’d know what to do with. And I love  literature and art, so the entire crossover with the most beautiful city in the world chronicled in “Midnight in Paris” automatically makes it the best movie of the year. Maybe the best of the last several years. It is definitely one of my favorite movies of all time, and I’ve only seen it twice. I ended up buying myself a copy on Blu Ray after Christmas and watched it the day it arrived. All I want to do is watch it again and again. It’s quirky and sweet and the incredible of shots of Paris make my heart swell. If you haven’t seen this yet, go watch it immediately!

Of course, along with my “move-to-Paris” fantasy comes the fact that I would spend all of my money on macarons. This year was definitely the year of macarons for me, and I didn’t even have that many! Maybe somewhere around 30? Definitely not enough, but at what they cost (including getting to New York to buy them) perhaps I shouldn’t go overboard. Macarons are definitely my favorite food of 2011, and yes I said food not dessert because if given the opportunity, I would eat these for all 3 meals a day and find some way to puree them over ice and drink it as a smoothie. I got a rose scented hand lotion as a stocking stuffer for Christmas and the first thing I thought of was that it smells exactly like a rose macaron from Ladurée. I then proceeded to lick my hand. Can you imagine how obese I would be if I had the luxury of living in Paris and being near any one of the 3 Ladurée stores? My love (and slow descent into addiction) of macarons can be read here, here, and here.

And I wouldn’t want just any apartment in Paris. It must of course be entirely decked out in white. The more white, the better. If I feel like I’ve gone color blind, I’m on the right track. My love of all-white interiors made quite the appearance on this here blog over the course of 2011 (a few samples include here, here, here, here, here, and here. Oh my god). And in all of the scouring of the internet I’ve done for these amazing, bleached interiors, I think my favorite room of 2011 is that bedroom. I love literally everything about it. The multiple fluffy comforters, the gold frames on the dresser, the white orchid and lamp above the bed. This is what heaven looks like to me. A white apartment in Paris with a sheepskin throw on the floor. I can safely say there will be many, many more pictures of all-white rooms in 2012. Get excited!

Perhaps my most exciting purchase of 2011 wasn’t a macaron or a new laptop or new camera (or, ahem, two), but the adoption fee I paid to bring this insane puppy into my life. I have never met another living being in my entire life, animal or human, with as much energy as this little guy. Fitz has two speeds: asleep and running. And usually his “running” mode involves chewing something, which, if you get in his way, is usually a part of your body. But still, I’m totally supportive of shelter adoptions and think dogs are the greatest thing in the world. Fitz has been a hilarious and happy dog so far and will turn a year old on January 6th. 2012 will be a big year for him. I’m excited to fall more in love with him, my main man.

And of course, I couldn’t do a “Best of 2011” round-up without including the biggest contributor to this whole blog thing: you guys. All of you amazing readers and fellow bloggers, from all over the world (I think I have Sweden, the UK, and various parts of the US represented!), who stop by and read my drivel and pad my ego and make me genuinely excited to post new things everyday and read all the fabulous things you have to say. I love waking up to email notifications on my phone that say “A New Comment from…” and you all inspire me to be a better, more consistent blogger. I couldn’t do any of this without you, my wonderful little audience. You were one of the best things about my year. I hope I get to keep all of your for a lot longer.

So I’d like to try something for 2012 (aside from learning to be more interesting and staying up past 9pm). I’ve always wanted to do the 365 Project, when you take a picture everyday and post it. There seems to be no better time to start than January 1st. I’m not sure if I have the stamina to keep it up past, say, January 8th, but I think it would be fun to try nonetheless! That way, even if I have a post about silly materialistic things, I’ll have some original creative content to contribute. Plus it gives me the opportunity to use the new 50mm lens I got for Christmas! Win-win.

What are your resolutions for 2012? What do you want out of the new year? Any fun undertakings? I can’t believe I have to say this, but I’ll see you all next year. Thank you so, so much for an incredible year. Here’s to 2012.

December 30, 2011 / eat / drink / Friday Five / home design / life / dog / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 13

Imitation Without Representation

You guys, I hate to end the year on a negative note, and far be it from me to be a bully or a meanie when I am generally so full of cheer and whimsy, but something was brought to my attention yesterday that bears mentioning. I promise this is one of the only times you’ll hear be whine and moan. This type of behavior is so incongruous with my previous thesis on George Michael’s eyebrows, I know.

The internet is a wild place. There are moments when I am staggered at the sheer volume of content out there on the web (do you know how many random google searches I conduct to find a song I heard in a tv commercial, or when I’m blanking on the name of a movie I saw a few years ago, odds are, there is someone out there with the answer) and grateful our generation has become such a plugged-in, hyper-connected one. It’s awesome, and has created a global community of people who otherwise would never have met; I’m thankful everyday for the amazing, talented bloggers (you guys) I’ve come into contact with one way or another. I love it, and I don’t know why I didn’t start blogging sooner. It wouldn’t be possible without the free-for-all that is the internet.

But the obvious downside is that blogging exists in a world without any limitations or boundaries; we basically rely on the moral un-shadiness of everyone else on the internet to be stand-up, self-policing members of the blogging community. For the most part, everyone plays by the same rules. But every time you post a picture or post a story, you’re releasing it into this wide, unregulated world and hoping no one takes your work and claims it as their own.

I’ve been blogging since February. So far, I have had something like this happen to me twice. Exhibit A: a picture of mine from my first trip to Ladurée showed up on Pinterest (which I found because thankfully I am total lame-o and was looking for more pictures of macarons) without any attribution or credit as to where it was found:

I mean, not only is that not okay, it goes against the basic premise of Pinterest altogether. What’s the point of having a virtual mood-board if you’re not going to source the images? So I left a comment on the pin with a link to the original post and asked nicely for the girl to give credit where it’s due. I even left an “xo” at the end to prove I’m not a total hard-ass. It’s the internet, I get it, I don’t mind if you use my pictures just make sure you credit me. It’s been 2 months, and she hasn’t changed it yet.

Then there is the incident that was brought to my attention yesterday. Remember this post on Pantone’s color of the year, Tangerine Tango? I posted it on the 15th. This was the collection of items I found and assembled for the post:

Imagine my reaction when I found this, on a website called StyleBust, in a post from a few days ago:

 

I’m not going to link to either the site or her specific post, because I don’t think she deserves any traffic from this, but if you google her site, this post appears on the first page of her blog. I’m not crazy, right? Those two are eerily similar, except for the fact that like, nothing she including happens to be Tangerine but whatever. The lines, the long section for one item, the shoe in the upper left corner. I tried to leave a comment on the post, but it appears her comments don’t work. I tweeted her with a link back to my original post, and have heard nothing. I know that there can be overlaps in content when you’re a blogger who writes about fashion and design, but come on. Either make it different enough that it doesn’t send off red, sorry, Tangerine, flags or give proper attribution. It’s really that simple.

I’m not going to pretend like this sort of stuff doesn’t really bum out, but I’m also not going to dwell or let it deter me from continuing to blog. Obviously I can’t control the flow of information on the internet, and I accepted these sort of things from the start. The good that has come from blogging totally outweighs and overshadows little instances like these anyway. And besides, haters gonna hate.

by Omar Noory

 Anyway. Enough of that Debby Downer/Negative Nancy nonsense. Tomorrow is my last post of 2011, and I have a year in review Friday Five planned. Can I just give you guys a special thank you for being so awesome now? Thank you. For being so awesome. I mean it, I promise.

December 29, 2011 / art / photo / fashion / vanity / LEAVE A COMMENT / 17

New Year’s Eve

With the end of the year rapidly approaching (how did this happen?? wasn’t it just summer?) people are starting to figure out their New Year’s Eve plans and organize festivities. I don’t know what I’m doing to ring in 2012, but last year I fell asleep at 11pm while watching the New Kids on the Block on the Dick Clark special, after drinking peach lambic straight out of the bottle. Clearly I know how to party! Do you have any hard and fast plans for the occasion? Given that I am a little old lady trapped in a younger, less saggy body, it’s difficult for me to stay up past 10pm on a normal night, let alone one that usually requires fancy clothing and socializing. (Wow, re-reading that makes me sound like a total tool. Maybe my New Year’s resolution should be to not succumb to the old & grumpies so soon. This might be challenging, because I’ve been afflicted with them for years.)

But if I were the type to get all fancy shmancy and go out to an exclusive, VIP party, I think I have the perfect outfit (and post celebration, hangover survival outfit) planned.

New Year’s Eve: Dress / Lipstick / Party Horns / Heels / Champagne // New Year’s Day: Hoodie / Sleep Mask / Sweatpants / Motrin / Gatorade

Okay, okay, relax. I am not drunk, and I while I think that Matthew Williamson dress is perhaps the most gorgeous dress of all time, I don’t think anyone should ever spend $6k on a dress. It’s so, so beautiful though. The gold beading, the feathers, I can’t even. Maybe I’m going crazy, but the longer I look at it, the more convinced I become that purchasing it and maxing out my credit card for it would be a legitimately good idea. I’d wear it everywhere, especially places that didn’t warrant it. Sometimes you just need a bit of flair and sparkle.

Now that I’m a red lipstick convert, I’ve been eyeing other options than the Sephora brand matte tube I own. YSL can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned, so I’m sure this lipstick, while expensive, would look fabulous when applied. I might be getting better at being a girl when it comes to things like lipstick, but the same cannot be said about heels. Heels and I do not mix, but I am still allowed to love those Ted Baker heels, right? Good, because they’re 15 different kinds of sexy. And any good New Year’s Eve party is incomplete without party horns and champagne. I may have slept through the last 10 New Year’s Eve countdowns, but even I know that.

Of course, all the late-night to early-morning partying will take its toll on you. Thankfully, I haven’t experienced too many awful hangovers in my life, but when I do wake up feeling like every inch of my hurts (including my eyelashes) and I’m forced to wear sunglasses at the diner while downing a giant plate of greasy breakfast food, I have a few trusted standbys that help make life seem worth living again. Comfortable sweatpants are a must, and the Saturday pants from J Crew are just the softest things around. Same for the Alternative Apparel hoodie. If you’re sensitive to light, sleep masks are usually a good option, but unfortunately for me, all they succeed in doing is squeezing my head so that my face gets all puffy. This “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” inspired sleep mask is adorable, and it probably would make you feel better to wake up and fancy yourself Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly rather than the nauseous demon you actually are.

I owe my lovely friend Lyndsey an enormous debt of gratitude for letting me in on the best hangover helper: Gatorade. When we lived together in our younger days, we would shuffle out to the store the morning after a crazy night of drinking and buy the biggest bottle of it we could find. Gatorade will replenish your electrolytes and Vitamin D, and the sugar in it will actually help settle your stomach. Drink a big glass, pop two motrin, and take a lot, hot shower and you’ll be good to go.

Okay, so what are you doing to ring in the New Year? Going crazy? Do you have any other helpful hangover tips in case I decide to act like a 25 year old and go out and indulge for the night? What about your New Year’s resolutions? Got any of those? I’ve never been good at sticking to the ones I make, which is why I’m still a nail biter. Maybe 2012 will change that.

December 28, 2011 / fashion / vanity / LEAVE A COMMENT / 8

Tuesday Tunes

Sorry about not posting yesterday, I was too busy recovering from all the Christmas festivities and rolling around my new presents to be bothered. You guys, I got spoiled. Fitz made out like a bandit. I had an amazing day full of great food and even better company and constant belly-laughs. And then people gave me too many generous gifts. I hope everyone got everything they wanted and then some, and got to spend some quality time relaxing with friends and family.

I’m back at work today and surprisingly happy about it. Last week, one of my coworkers, Anthony (hi, Anthony!), made the mistake of showing me the following video. I say “mistake”, but I really mean “incredible gift of giggles.” Our group of cubicles usually send funny youtube videos back and forth to each other in between all of the really serious work we do (….) but this one might be my favorite. Of all time. I’m not kidding. It is multiple levels of brilliant and hilarious. Observe:

I mean, come on, right? I fell out of my chair at work during the “Biology Class at Citrus College” sax-bomb.

So of course it’s impossible to listen to that song and not have the original, George Michael rendition of “Careless Whisper” stuck in your head. I’ve had it on perma-loop for like a week now, and it shows no sign of letting up. Thus, today’s Tuesday Tunes:

Can I level with you for a second? I’ve watched this video a million times in the past week (my boyfriend asked me in a near whimper after the 30th time I played it, “How much more George Michael are we going to listen to?” as if there is such a thing as TOO MUCH GEORGE MICHAEL. He clearly does not know me at all), and the only thing I see is EYEBROWS, George Michael’s finely manscaped eyebrows. In fact, I’m pretty sure the working title of the song was actually “Careless Whisper (An Ode to Expressive Eyebrows)” or “Careless Whisper (Tweezers Redux).” What, you didn’t notice them? Are you serious? Here’s a screen cap. (You guys, I had SO MUCH FUN screencapping this video. I didn’t think I would finish because I was laughing so hard).

Look at them. Have you ever seen a more enormous and even pair of eyebrows on a man before? They are so acutely angled and perfectly arched they remind of an IKEA desk lamp. This sounds like a stretch, but you have to realize my brain is practically a rolodex of the IKEA catalog of products. Lots of things remind mme of IKEA furniture or accessories.

 You know what I’m going to do, right? You have to be able to see this one coming. There is no limit to how low I will sink.

…..

I am so perverse that this makes perfect sense to me.

I don’t know what I love most about this picture. Is it his gold earrings? His flesh colored lips? The light streaming through his finely coiffed hair? No, wait, figured it out. EYEBROWS.

Okay, so to be fair I was negative 2 years old when this video came out, and I know the 80s are known for how awesomely bad everyone’s sense of style was, but what type of world was I born into that a man could have geometric approximations of eyebrows and dangle from ropes while singing ballads about a gender he wasn’t attracted to? His eyebrows are bigger than any of his facial features AND his fingers.

Whew. That’s better.

And you know, my objections to the weird creative direction of this video doesn’t end at the ropes or the fabulous caterpillars that have taken residence above his soulful eyes, no no. This video is rife with amazing, unintentionally hilarious moments.

Who came up with this camera angle? What is it, George Michael? Why are you reaching to the heavens with that pained look on your face? Do you not like the desk lamp?? DON’T WORRY, GEORGE MICHAEL! It comes in silver and white, too!

$19.99, available in 3 colors.

George Michael, I’m sure the chains and ropes hanging from the ceiling are distracting, but you’re not singing into the mic. Unless the director was trying to insinuate that the power of George Michael’s vocal capabilities required no amplification. Then why even have a mic at all? You’re almost there, just lean a little to the left…

Nope, you missed it. Just move your eyebrows around, no one will notice.

This is not a bathing suit. I don’t care what year it is, she is basically wearing dental floss. And from behind, this lady and George Michael have pretty much the same hair.

See? Here I think he is really excited because she promised to let him use her good tweezers.

Can we just pause to examine the sheer implausability of this situation? George Michael is passed out in bed, slutty woman of the dental floss bathing suit fame is freshly showered after their “passionate” “lovemaking”, and there in the doorway stands George Michael’s sad and heartbroken fiancé in the dowdiest dress the 80s had to offer. I mean, the red silk sheets I totally believe, but there is no level of delusion coercive enough to make anyone buy this scenario. I’m pretty sure the director told George Michael that the only way it would work is if he pretended to be asleep. Et voila.

I think I should end Tuesday Tunes here. I’m not sure how I’m going to top this. I don’t intend to feature something this ridiculous again next week, but we’ll see.

Tell me about your Christmases! I apologize in advance if “Careless Whisper” gets stuck in your head. It’s still in mine, if it’s any consolation.

December 27, 2011 / Tuesday Tunes / LEAVE A COMMENT / 17

Friday Five, Gift Guide pt 4

You guys are very, very funny with your awful neighbor stories. I don’t feel too terrible about my living situation anymore! This was greatly aided by the fact that I didn’t hear a peep from the neighbors’ apartment all day or night. It is entirely possible they murdered each other, I don’t know. Given the vitriol they were spewing I wouldn’t put it past either of them. More than likely they are out of town for the holidays (can you imagine the gifts they got each other? What do you buy someone you hate enough to argue with over a pet rabbit in the middle of the night?) but no matter, I’ll take the quiet any way I can get it.

I’m calling this Frida Five a gift guide (the last in a series of 4), but let’s be honest: if you’ve waited this long to shop, odds are you’re going to end up buying someone gift cards from your local drugstore and a box of chocolates. Online shipping is not doable at this point, but I was undeterred in my regular scouring of the internet’s best goodies.

1. Camera pouch / 2. Scarf / 3. Root Gin / 4. iPod shuffle / 5. Tomorrow planners

CB2 only has stores in a couple of states (and one of them is not mine, boo hoo), but for the month of December leading up to Christmas, they were offering free shipping on everything gift or Christmas related. This camera carrying case is adorable and functional, because everyone has a digital camera these days. I remember when I used to get a disposable camera for school dances or big parties and then would have to wait to get the pictures developed. There was something exciting about that whole process. Getting doubles of your prints, exchanging pictures with your friends at lunch. That isn’t to say that I don’t love my (multiple) film cameras any more than I love my (multiple) digital cameras, and this case would be perfect for either. The only thing is it’s bringing back memories of my photo professor in college telling us to never ever use a camera bag because it made it so obvious you were carrying a camera and therefore more likely to be a target of a thief. That’s why I always stuffed my cameras into a black fleece hat and put it in my purse. Logic!

How cute (and admittedly summer-y) is that scarf? It’s from an online store called LemLem, which was started as a way to employ and empower women weavers in the founder’s native Ethiopia. The scarf was featured in Esquire and has been sold out forever, but I keep compulsively checking to see if it comes back in stock. At $125, it’s a bit pricey (in fact, it’s the only thing on the list that is over $50), but looks like one of those staple closet pieces that will go with everything. And it’s named Gigi. Adorable.

Root is an herbal liqueur that combines 13 herbs and spices (Anise, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, spearmint, lemon, smoked black tea, wintergreen, clove, orange, nutmeg, sugar cane, and birch bark) to re-create the alcoholic precursor to root beer (you know, before this country went insane and tried Prohibition and they took the alcohol out of it). You can drink it over ice or mixed with other stuff, and the packaging is pretty impressive. The fact that it is brewed in Philly is also pretty neat.

Everyone has an iPod by now, right? If someone doesn’t, buy them one. At $49, the shuffle is a pretty good way to go. My brother and sister-in-law bought me a mini back in 2004 when I graduated high school, and back then iPods weren’t as ubiquitous as they are now. I don’t understand how something this small actually works, but then again there are lots of things I don’t understand (fractions, face clocks, Tea Party Republicans).

But if someone doesn’t have an iPod, odds are they don’t have an iPhone or a smartphone that can keep track of all their appointments. Enter the “Tomorrow” planner. Cute, practical, and exceedingly helpful in keeping all your stuff together. Need to remember to pick up shampoo on the way home? Write it down. As much as I rely on my Blackberry calendar, nothing really sticks with me until I write it down, so I always carry a notebook full of lists. I’m weird and neurotic like that.

Merry Christmas everyone! What are your Christmas plans? Do you usually go to the same place every year or do you hop from house to house trying to see all your family members? Does anyone get really drunk? Are you officially all done your shopping? What did you get people this year? What do you hope to get? I had caffeine this morning, don’t know if you can tell.

December 23, 2011 / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / LEAVE A COMMENT / 6

Page 23

This morning I was woken up to shrieking at 3:30am. Convinced it was just me (or Fitz) experiencing night terrors and moaning in my sleep, I tried to ignore it. But it persisted. It got louder. It took over my subconscious. And then I was able to realize that the screaming wasn’t emanating from me, but from the crazy renters that have the unit across the hall from ours who were having a fight. Now, usually I’m immune to their CONSTANT, LOUD fighting over who hates the other more, but you guys. This was at 3:30 in the morning and I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but the only thing in the world I love more than macarons and all white interiors is sleeping. Sleeping is the love of my life, and if you try to come between us, be prepared for me to forcibly remove your head from your body with my bare teeth.

So as if being woken up at 3:30 in the morning was offensive enough, the piece de resistance was what they were fighting over: their pet rabbit. I have so many problems with this, but two really stick out. A) How does one get into an argument about a rabbit at 3am? and B) Get rid of the rabbit and get a real animal. Actual dialogue exchanged at full volume and heard through our bedroom wall: Crazy girl: “You’re not a man, you’re a boy! Take care of your f*^#ing rabbit!” Crazy boy: “I’m going to move out and get my own apartment!” Me: “THANK GOD.”

Ugh.

Anyway, my friend Sabina recently sent me this video without any explanation, but when I watched it I totally understood why she thought of me. It’s a short film called “Page 23” that was shot in 48 hours for a film competition in Utrecht this year. Each team was given a prop (glasses) and a line of dialogue (“Amazingly beautiful, yet hoplessly impractical”) and was given two days to write, shoot, and edit a movie. What follows is incredibly impressive and so, so up my alley.

If it were at all plausible to live in an IKEA catalog for a year, don’t think I wouldn’t be the first person in line. Especially if it meant I didn’t have to deal with the lunatics next door and their rabbit issues.

December 22, 2011 / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 11

Inspiration

I wish I could follow the day after my birthday with as much excitement as I mustered yesterday, but it’s just not happening. In fact, I’m pretty sure that without the aid of illicit substances, one should never be as amped as I was yesterday. Even the freezing rain couldn’t put a damper on my day! But apparently everyone in my life was really concerned over the state of my wrists and made it their mission to fatten me up: my mom had a dozen chocolate covered strawberries delivered to my office, my boss took me out to lunch, my lovely friend and coworker-with-the-best-wardrobe, Anna, made me Irish soda bread, Fitz bought me a dozen salted caramels with the help of some friends, my boyfriend snuck out of work early to buy me a pound of ricotta cookies from my favorite bakery in the city, and my mom took me out for pizza for dinner and ended the meal with gourmet cupcakes. So, to reiterate, I ate pretty well yesterday, and now I just feel like this:

from here, my favorite post on the entire internet

Actually, right now I feel about as deflated and empty as a parade balloon that didn’t get to make it into the New Years Day parade even though just the day before had everyone telling him happy, positive things and showering him with attention and presents. I am a sad balloon and today is just a Wednesday and there isn’t anything special about it. Wah wah wah.

Maybe a video of adorable puppies frolicking amongst Christmas gifts would cheer me up. Worth a shot.

Yep, that worked! Oh. My. Word. The cuteness factor is so out of control. Can you even deal with how tiny their little legs are? I am officially not a sad balloon anymore (but it might also be due to the large piece of birthday cake I consumed for breakfast just now).

While we’re at it, let’s look at the one thing that always and without fail will make me happy and buzzy: gorgeous home interiors. The majority of them are white.

from here

from here

from here

from here

from here

from here

from here

White house, black dog, this is pretty much perfect.

from here

Last night I also successfully wrapped all of the Christmas presents I had on-hand. I’m still waiting on about 3 or 4 more packages with a bunch of gifts for people, and on top of that I still have to go out and buy more presents. It’s one of those things where I can’t really complain about it (despite my best efforts!) because I’ve been really lucky to have amazing people in my life who deserve wonderful presents for the holidays. Fitz was the easiest to shop for. All I had to do was wrap a bag of trash and give him free reign. (Kidding. Fitz is totally getting real presents.)

December 21, 2011 / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 12

Tuesday Tunes

Oh hey. It’s Tuesday. That’s cool. Tuesdays are good days, right? Better than Mondays. Wasn’t something exciting happening today? How silly of me, of course! “Midnight in Paris” came out on DVD today. What a momentous occasion!

Okay. Okay, I can’t do it anymore. I was trying to be cute, but screw it. IT’S MY BIRTHDAY IT’S MY BIRTHDAY IT’S MY BIRTHDAY. If I had to create a visual representation of my excitement, it would look something like this:

Please excuse the fact that the gif makes it look like I have acne. I don’t have acne. I do, however, have a really awesome Gangsta chain.

You know, I wish I could pretend to be totally non-plussed, completely unimpressed with my birthday, but I can’t. I’m not cool enough to not care about it like my very existence depends on it. As if permission to live to see the next birthday depends entirely on my rabid enthusiasm for this day. When I lived at home, I used to set my alarm for precisely 4:36am (the glorious moment of my entry to this world…in an emergency C-section) and would yell down the hall “IT’S OFFICIALLY MY BIRTHDAY!…What, you were trying to sleep? Do you not realize what day it is? Guess what, you do now!” It was really appreciated, I think.

Do you know what else happened on December 20th in history? Thanks to Wikipedia, I do! Allow me to school you in some 12/20 factoids:

In 1803 the Louisiana Purchase was completed in New Orleans. If any of my history teachers in school had mentioned that, I might have shown more of an aptitude for the subject. Some ex-general of Nero claimed the title of emperor of Rome in the year 69. Hitler was released from prison in 1924 (dude served almost a year for treasonously trying to take over Germany with the newly formed Nazi party. oh my god, and they let him do it againand he got away with it??). The great nations of Djibouti (they speak French!) and Vietnam (we’re still really, reallysorry!) joined the UN in 1977. In 1992 I received both a television and a Super Nintendo and had to be dragged away from both to go to school in the mornings. I share a birthday with actor Jonah Hill, model Lara Stone, Law & Order creator Dick Wolf (this one especially resonates), as well as British footballers Ashley Cole and Fitz Hall (one member of my household was REALLY excited about that last one). And in 1592, King John III of Sweden (!!) was born on December 20th.

Anyway, in addition to having a delicious home-cooked meal at my mom’s on Sunday, I got to go to my favorite French bistro outside of France, Parc, on Saturday night. Sure, it’s contrived and expensive, and they charged us for the plate of dessert cookies they brought out with a sparkler (for what? MY BIRTHDAY) at the end of the meal. But I love everything about it. It really feels authentic, the design elements are spot-on. Oh! I ate escargots for the first time! They were yummy. I also had a crock of French Onion Soup (is it redundant to say “French”?), a salad with a poached egg on top, and moules frites. And a carafe of white wine. I was in heaven. Birthday heaven.

So while it wasn’t technically my birthday, I got to celebrate early, because no one wants to go out to a fancy dinner on a Tuesday.

Anyway, this is supposed to be a Tuesday Tunes post. But the only way to celebrate the day musically is to hand things over to the showmen of our time, masters of the vocal craft: The New Kids on the Block. (Look, it was them or 50 Cent “In Da Club, and we all know how I feel about NKOTB).

So yes! I’m 25 now. I don’t feel any differently than I did at 24. And I still think of myself as being 17, which throws me for a loop every year I get older. 24 brought me this blog. I’m really, genuinely excited to see what 25 gives me.

December 20, 2011 / art / photo / Tuesday Tunes / LEAVE A COMMENT / 15

Ork Posters

This weekend was so jam-packed full of goodness that I am literally dragging my feet this morning and the bags under my eyes are so big I should name them. But I can’t complain considering how lovely and fun everything was; work holiday party, crazy after party, dinner at a gorgeous French bistro, homemade dinner at my mom’s house with all of my favorite people, my middle niece announcing what my present was before I even opened it (so cute). It was one of those weekends that just fills your heart until it feels like it’s going to burst open, only it can’t because that requires energy and I didn’t get to sleep past 8am once. The only energy I can muster was spent wrestling a soapy puppy in the bathtub (he won, but he smells clean again, so I’ll consider it a victory for me as well).

We are currently in Day 4 of birthday celebrations. One, two, three, FOUR. As in 3 more than I should be getting, and it ISN’T EVEN MY ACTUAL BIRTHDAY YET. This always happens though, because December is the most hectic month of the year and trying to coordinate plans with everyone that obviously reveres the day of the my birth as it so deserves always ends with having to have multiple get-togethers to accomodate everyone’s schedules. I, however, am always free and available for people to lavish me unnecessary amounts of attention and material sacrifices; my birthday just provides a legitimate excuse.

The Birthday Gods have thus far bestowed upon me the Marc Jacobs watch I have been drooling over for months & months OH MY GOSH. You guys, it’s even prettier in person but I can’t wear it until I take it to a jeweler or watch shop to get at least 3 links taken out. I have the wrists of a 10 year old anorexic. Observe:

Also, don’t know if you can see in that picture, but my nails have some serious sparkle going on thanks to my mom. I got a manicure on Friday afternoon for my office holiday party (which was amazing, but the after party was even better. I have some of the best coworkers in the world and I’m not required to say that just because a few of them read this blog), but put a coat of glitter on top of it over the weekend. The color is part of the OPI Muppets collection (!!), and is called “Rainbow Connection.” I am distracted by it every time I move my hands (yes, really). Interestingly, I read an article last night that discussed how nail polish sales can give predict how the economy is fairing. “A rise in nail-polish sales indicates that we’re searching for bargain luxuries as the economy craters — and sales of nail polish are way up right now.”  Hey, economists: I have seen the future, and it is sparkly.

You know what the best part of all of this is? That tomorrow is my actual birthday, and that means I get an additional day of celebrations and merriment and cake. CAKE, the delicious gift that keeps on giving, if my ever-growing stomach is any indication.

It might be too late (or too inappropriate) to ask for more presents, but I know what I’m asking for next year: an Ork Poster! Have you seen them before? They are wonderful typographic maps of cities, naming each neighborhood in wonderfully varying-size font. They’re pretty neat, and a great way to rep your hometown, or the city you wish you could have been born in:

Philly has so many neighborhoods that the majority of them become all garbled in the middle. A friend of mine has this poster hanging in her house and it looks really great in person (ie, legible). They just added the Paris one, and though I love it solely because it is about Paris, by comparison the neighborhoods/arrondissements are kind of boring. In the typographical sense only! That is the only time you will ever hear me speak ill of that city.

They have a ton of different cities:

like this one for Holly

and this one for Annie and Süsk:

and this one for Lyndsey (and yes, I know you live in the other Portland, but this is all they had, so we’ll just pretend you live in Oregon not Maine, and besides, sometimes you feel that far away)

and this one for Theresa:

and this one for my friend Amber, or me, when I complete my dream of living in a Brooklyn loft:

Aren’t they charming? So simple and yet really brilliantly done. And not too expensive, either! Framing is usually the most costly part about having custom art in your home, but everything I own gets framed in an IKEA Ribba frame and costs under $15. I’ve only had to make a few slight adjustments with some prints to get them to fit the matting evenly, but those occasions have been rare. They have a ton of different sizes and wood colors, too.

Any Ork Poster in particular you like? Is it different than the city you live in? How was your weekend? Less than a week until Christmas!!

December 19, 2011 / art / photo / fashion / vanity / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 22

Friday Five, Gift Guide pt 3

Tonight is my office holiday party (here), and I’m stepping out in a bright red pair of red suede pumps (over-under on how long it takes me to break an ankle?) with matching red lips. True story: I bought my first tube of red lipstick two weeks ago specifically for the party, and I finally feel like A Real Girl. Superficial, but true. In addition, I’m also having an early birthday dinner here (as close to dining in a Parisian bistro as I can get), and doing a second early birthday-slash-Hanukkah celebration at my mom’s house on Sunday with family. I fully expect to come out of the weekend exhausted and totally spoiled. Somewhere in there I have to do more Christmas shopping (it feels like it will never end) and maybe re-watch “Summer Heights High.” Have you guys seen it? It’s a few years old, but hilarious.

Continuing on with the Friday Gift Guides, today’s collection are things you could give anyone: your mom, your best friend, your Secret Santa, the lady down the hall who left an unsigned hate letter under your door (long story!). I’ll be doing one more gift guide next Friday for all you last minute Christmas-Eve-eve shoppers, and then going back to stuff I just want to buy for myself rather than other people. Again, superficial but true.

1. Plant / 2. Guide de la Ville Paris poster / 3. Carpet Bocce / 4. Mittens / 5. Fortune Cookie necklace

I can’t decide which I love more: the plant, or the translated description of it: “A small Organic Farming in the kitchen garden classy version (beets, red cabbage) or trend Aromatic (Basil)” and “the most fashion of all plots!” You guys, I didn’t know beets were classy. I feel like someone should have told me sooner. Under “Contents” this is listed: “A rectangle and a bag of lawn preparation ready to push.” A rectangle! Lawn preparation! I want to meet the person that installed the language translator on that site and have then write my wedding vows. Pure poetry. All joking aside, that plant is absolutely lovely and I think it would look amazing as a centerpiece on a white dining table or on a coffee table. Maybe not a coffee table, maybe something higher off the ground because this morning, I found the puppy with a long strand of used dental floss he had picked out of the bathroom trashcan.

The 2012 Guide de la Ville Paris is a map by Swedish designer David Ehrenstråhle, highlighting places and shops of note in Paris. Did you catch that? The poster combines two of my favorite things in the entire world: Sweden and Paris. Clearly I must procure a copy. But I’d have to email the webshop to see if they would even ship internationally, and I’m sure I’d end up paying an arm and a leg for it, but! Do you see it? Do you see how gorgeous it is? Paris kind of looks like a human heart here (if you squint a bit), which makes perfect sense to me. This would look awesome hanging in the entry hallway of my well-traveled sister-in-law and brother’s house.

Bocce is one of my favorite games, and also a favorite among old Italian men. Interesting fact: Like many other things in life (like sleeping and judging people silently), I am awesome at it. Have you ever played it? I used to play lawn Bocce with my dad at his friend’s lake cabin in the summer, and recently I played in a for-fun tournament at an Italian festival down the shore. This mini version is meant to be played on your carpet, but again, anything with pieces this small is just like a Fitz choking hazard/delicious snack waiting to happen. Any friends without animals who like to play board games? This would make a perfect stocking stuffer (it’s under $15!).

I had a debate with a coworker about the practicality of the mitten; he was anti, and I am historically all about them. I love mittens. I love the childlike feeling you get from them as well as how warm and toasty they make your hand because all of your fingers are bunched together. Sure, if you need to use your hands for anything they’re pretty useless, but I think these adorable Kate Spade air quote mittens could sway even the staunchest of non-believers. Bonus: you could endlessly reenact this scene from “Friends” (one of my all-time favorites).

At $35, the Bronze Fortune Cookie necklace is an absolute steal (You don’t know how badly I want to make some terrible “it stole my heart” joke right now!). Plus it’s adorable and a perfect gift for a girlfriend or sister. It’s whimsical and hand-crafted, which means it’s one of a kind. Just like the person you’re giving it to. Okay, enough cheesiness.

What are your weekends looking like? Have you finished all your Christmas shopping? Have you started wrapping everything yet? I always forget about the wrapping part. Have a great weekend, kiddos!

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December 16, 2011 / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 15