Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Weekend

Hello again my dears! I know updates have been short and rather impersonal lately but the holidays are a busy time for us all aren't they? I'm hoping to get back to a regular schedule after the New Year.

Did you have a good week/Christmas? My family got home from their trip to Minnesota yesterday and unfortunately my brothers brought the stomach flu with them. I feel bad for them but will be spending the weekend pounding vitamins while wearing a hazmat suit. No touchy the healthy person, ok guys? It sounds cruel but I am a big crying baby about the stomach flu. No thank you.

In the meantime, here are some cool things from around the Internet for you.

+ Cerealism: a photographer builds mini landscapes out of breakfast cereal because this is America and yes we can.

+ Makeover a plain cardigan with sequins. So clever!

+ Van Gogh: the original Instagrammer. Hilarious.

+ I just want to take a nap in this bed. So comfy looking.

+ A crazy cool timelapse video of all the landings at the San Diego, California airport over a period of 5 hours.

+ "Your New Twin-Sized Bed" by Death Cab for Cutie
Your New Twin Sized Bed by Death Cab for Cutie on Grooveshark

Until next time!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012



Or make that Wednesday. Exactly how I feel this morning.

But like a good girl, I'll go to work, put on an appropriately melancholy soundtrack and watch the snow fall furiously outside.
Fingers crossed this blizzard doesn't leave me stranded up there tonight.

Now let's all buck up and power through this day, shall we?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

I hope your day was merry and bright. 

Now if you'll excuse me, there is a fireplace and a cup of hot chocolate that need my attention.


(1) / (2) / (3) / (4)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Weekend

Image via tumblr

Ohhh weekend, thank you for coming back again! No big plans for me, I'll probably spend it exactly as pictured above, asleep in a pile of books. I have to work the day before and after Christmas so I will be unable to join my family on their trek to Minnesota, malheureusement. But it's alright, I'm super fun to hang out with so I'm going to have a great time. I'm not being sarcastic, just really really self-confident.

Anywaaay here are some links I've enjoyed this week:

+ A 72-year old man models for his granddaughter's clothing store in China. You look fabulous, Grandpa. #thingsIneverthoughtIdsay

+ Sweet and simple gift wrapping technique. Perfect for every occasion.

+  The Fox is Black has a rad collection of free desktop wallpapers.

+ Baked Hummus and Spinach Dip. Sounds so yummy & would make a good party dish.

+ An amazing Christmas tree made out of porcelain plates and cups in Belgium

+ "Ivy & Gold" by Bombay Bicycle Club
Ivy & Gold by Bombay Bicycle Club on Grooveshark


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Oddly Specific Christmas Gift Ideas

We are less than a week away from Christmas! Are you excited? Any shopping left to do? Out of ideas?
All over the web there are gift guides organized by age, gender, price, color, personality and more. (I already posted my personal wish list here.) But everybody has that person in their life who is just impossible to shop for. Maybe they're one of those people who already has everything, or worse, the kind of person that doesn’t really want things (i.e. my dad). Or maybe they are just so unique, an ordinary gift like a sweater or a pair of headphones just won’t do.
For THOSE people, I have put together a list of the weirdest gifts on the web that just might do the trick. Just a warning, weirdness comes with a price: some of these gifts are thousands of dollars. But since this is only for pretend we don't really care what they cost in real dollars, right?

+ For your most favorite-even-though-she’s-cuckoo aunt who lives in Martha's Vineyard, is fond of wearing ponchos and is weirdly obsessed with Indian culture:
Custom-made rickshaw, $10,000 and she'll be the talk of the weekly poetry slam

+ For your 10 year old cousin with the enormous vocabulary who is too serious for his age even though he secretly wants to be a stage actor when he grows up:
Wooden catapult or trebuchet kit, $14.99-$25.99
+ For that girl in your office who laughs too loud, eats your food from the break room fridge, and you are convinced is secretly gunning for your job. You had the misfortune to end up as her Secret Santa in the company gift exchange:
Denim Sandal Boots, $140 and worth every penny to see the look on her face when she pulls these puppies out of the gift bag

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Saturday in Chicago

Daytrips are one of my most favorite things. My brother and I decided Thursday night that we would go to Chicago for the day on Saturday to meet up with our cousins Simon and Carson, and Carson's family.  Best decision ever! Such a fun day, the kind that blows the dust out of the corners of your mind and brightens your mood for a long time after.

It was unusually warm for a Saturday in December but the weather made up for it by raining on us for most of the day. We passed the time in the best way possible: eating amazing food, walking for hours, laughing and talking and taking silly photos. It was so good to see my relatives. Simon lives in Canada and we only see each other about every 2 years which is ridiculous and I haven't seen Carson since I was maybe four years old. He has such a sweet family and it was lovely to meet them. The best part was Simon hopping in the car and coming back to Indiana with us for the rest of the weekend.  Thank you Greyhound bus for making last minute travel rearrangements possible!

{Typical Midwestern weather}

It doesn't really matter though, Chicago looks gorgeous even on a dreary day.
{View from Millenium Park}

Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Weekend

Happy Weekend my dears! Have you had a good week? I don't know what it is about December but I have just been absolutely buried at work. Good for business, but bad for my stress level.  Anyway, tonight everyone is out but Spencer and I so we are going to have a little brother/sister night out. Tomorrow I'm getting up bright and early to head over to Chicago where I'll be spending the day with Sam and some of my dear Canadian cousins whom I have not seen in years. I am so excited!

Until then, here are a few things I have enjoyed this week:

+ The progression of Venus as photographed in the same spot for one year. Astronomy is so. cool. Did any of you catch the peak of the Geminid meteor shower last night? I don't live far enough away from the city to get a good view but I saw a couple of noteworthy light trails.


+ Ice Lantern tutorial. It's not cold enough here to make these yet but this would be fun to do with kids!

+ A thoughtful piece on the concept of "home". I could not have put it any better myself.

+ Nutella Pie Pops. Stop. it.

+ A luminous number by St. Vincent:
All My Stars Aligned by St. Vincent on Grooveshark


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Food for Thought

May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.
— John O’Donohue

Monday, December 10, 2012

On Parenting

Ok, mini-rant time:

There seems to be this slew of young women who write parenting advice books/blogs when their own children are still under the age of ten. And I don't understand it.


How do you know what makes a good parent? You have no idea how your kids are going to turn out. You're not even halfway there. What gives you the authority to say certain diets or teaching methods or styles of discipline are right or wrong?

I mean,

What about our mothers and grandmothers?
They have the weight of experience on their side, I'd rather hear what they have to say.

It may seem strange that I'm voicing my opinion on something that has no bearing on my personal life, but for some reason, it really sticks in my craw.

That is such a weird expression. I always picture myself with lobster claws for hands and they're full of peanut butter.

Listen, just because you dress your small ones in organic free range cotton or whatever, you've gotten them to eat eggplant surprise without complaining, and they're taking some sort of Underwater Basket Weaving Class for Baby Geniuses doesn't mean they're going to turn into Perfect and Successful Upstanding Citizens.

Obviously they're less likely to be an ax murderer if they learn to express themselves with arts and crafts at an early age.  But there's no guarantee that they won't make terrible choices when they grow up and are out on their own.

What kids really need to learn is about Love
And Faith in a power much stronger than themselves.

Also, a healthy understanding of personal finance. So helpful.

The kid who has those things under his or belt is the one with a fighting chance in this great and terrible world. 

And THAT is my educated and completely relevant opinion on parenting.

/end rant

I suppose I should clarify that I don't personally know any of these high maintenance mommies who irritate me so; I don't want you to think I'm passive-aggressively pointing fingers. All the young mothers I know are doing a fine job of raising their youngins right. 
Again, not that my opinion has any bearing on the matter...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Warby Parker

But then I went ahead and took a bunch of poorly lit Photobooth photos anyway...

What do you think?

Check it out for yourself here.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy Weekend

Happy Friday, friends. Did you have a good week? It was yet another crushingly busy week for me so am I ever so glad to see the headlights of the weekend. No big plans for me, just going to hang out at home and hopefully make more headway on my dresser renovation project. All the paint is finally off, it just needs a final sanding, a coat of primer and THEN I'll be ready to paint. Fingers crossed for a reasonably warm day so I don't have to be cooped up in the garage.  Then tomorrow evening is the company Christmas party which should be a laugh.

Until then, here are some links I've enjoyed this week:

+ A funny piece from The New Yorker on the superiority of the French woman. J'adore.

Flags made out of the food their country is famous for.

+ Time for winter holiday crafts! Cute DIY snow globes and a retro tinsel neon wreath

Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. I know, you're drooling just reading that title.

+ A jam-packed gift guide from To & From magazine  (thanks for the link Hattie!)

+ I know it's technically winter now but I love love love this song from Porgy & Bess and Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong are the bee's knees:
Summertime by Ella Fitzgerald on Grooveshark


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Wants

Ok so I know ‘tis the season for giving and all that but let’s be honest, it’s also the season for dreaming of shiny new things with our name on them, amiright? And since there are already a million gift guides in magazines and blogs, I’m not going to bother putting one together. Instead, I’m just going to share the things on my wish list and should any of my dear readers feel inclined to buy me a gift, well, I’m making it easy for you. ;)

+ Loeffler Randall Rain Boots. Seriously how cute are these. I would wear them nonstop.
+ This pretty calendar print from Rifle Paper Co.
+ A Cambridge Satchel Co. bag. 

+ A new watch

+ A couple of Kari Herer prints for my walls

Aaand that's enough materialism for one day.
What do YOU have your eye on?

December images: (1) / (2)
(1) rain boots / (2) calendar / (3) Cambridge satchel / (4) watch / (5) Kari Herer

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Office Christmas Elf

Last week before inventory, my boss showed me a closet full of bins & boxes and told me to use whatever I wanted in them to decorate the office for Christmas.


That’s a little like giving a small child keys to a candy store and saying, “Go nuts, kid.”
Because if there’s anything I love more than decorating, I don’t know what that is.

Yes I do, it’s chocolate.

Not everything was usable. The company has been around since 1892 (seriously) and some of the decorations have probably been in that closet just as long. Fortunately, my boss also gave me the go ahead to throw stuff away so I had no qualms about weeding through the pile and pitching the truly atrocious bits and baubles. I mean, what is with these wreaths on Christmas crack. I found one in the closet with a life-size white dove covered in glitter and glued to a nest of spray-painted feathers and small branches. It was a mess.  Like, the jury is out on whether or not the dove was actually alive at one point. 

Anyway, aside from an evergreen wreath on the door, my family doesn't decorate for the holidays so it was really exciting to put together a Christmas tree for the first time.

Until I was knee deep in mislabeled fake branches, making it a really complicated 3D puzzle. It took me longer than I’d like to admit to figure out that not all the branches were the same length. Awkward.
I think I'd prefer a real tree.

But after I got it together, I went a little nuts.

 Like tinsel and lights and ornaments on every available surface.

Including a Santa hat on a portrait of the company founder.

And here's my little USB tree next to my computer, constantly making my day better. 


Friday, November 30, 2012

End of Movember


Happy Last Day of Movember! 

First, I want to apologize for my lack of posts (not just the Movember ones). Apparently I missed the actual memo that after Thanksgiving is inventory week at my company. So my blog silence is due to having been buried under a hefty stack of spreadsheets cataloging every hammer, nut, and bolt in our possession. I want to cry a little.

Ok, I want to cry a lot. I am so. tired.

But enough of that. In lieu of the usual weekend links post, I wanted to give you a final update on George and his Movember campaign. As of this evening, he has raised over $1,000. I'm so proud of him! We are the generation of apathy and occasional armchair activism so it's refreshing to see someone actually get out there and DO something.

Even though I pulled a classic "Ellie" and didn't finish what I started (last week's moustache cupcakes never made it to the blog, though I did actually make them), I'm happy to have been a small part of the campaign. I would like to thank any of you who took the time to check out his page and consider the issue. A huge thanks to Sam, Eva, Bradly, and Mom who all donated.  You guys ROCK! And hey...there's still time to donate. It's not officially December for another couple of hours!

Here's a picture of George at work that his company posted on their Facebook page encouraging their followers to support him.

And here's the shot you've all been waiting for, my Movember beard in its full glory:

Whew. I think perhaps I was an old Jewish man in my past life.

It was a bit too mountain man for my tastes, so I trimmed it up, added some shoe polish moustache wax and got a nice "evil villian" 'stache going. 

Nice, eh?  I'm thinking of keeping it for my J Date profile, you know ALL the guys want a chick with facial hair. Gentlemen, please form an orderly line, no pushing. 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Scenes from Thanksgiving

Family gatherings in my household always include:

 + A pile of vegetables

+ (but also a roasting bird for the non-vegans)

+ Grandparents who don't like being photographed

+ A dramatic 9 year old who LOVES being photographed

+ Menfolk doing productive things in the garage (in matching coveralls no less)

+ Plenty of discussion about said productivity with new members to the clan

+ A brother participating in Movember

+ A sister who is way more of a morning person than me

+ Culturally insensitive headwear

+ A gratuitous picture around the table

 + iPhones 

+ A mini photo shoot with sister and her husband 
(like, really mini. It was 30°, way too cold for a pair of Texans)

+ A few self-taken pictures that I always find on my camera later

+ Stylish Pinterest-inspired outfits 

It also includes nonstop board games, four kinds of pie, gospel meeting, family stories, 800 cups of coffee, someone disappearing for 3 hours because of an accidental nap (sorry I'm not sorry), pancakes, ultimate frisbee, and lots of laughter.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Or cold on a bed of lettuce, depending on your cholesterol level.

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