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

Wordless Wednesday

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.

Hey it's Monday

Baaaah. I don't know about you but Monday post-holiday is always a blue day. I loved being home and spending time with my family so to be up before the sun and back at work on this freezing grey day is not my favorite. But I’m working hard to keep a positive attitude.  Here are few things making my day better:

+ I’m wearing my favorite striped grandpa-style cardigan.

+ Over the weekend I won my very first blog giveaway! It’s a set of winter postcards from one of my favorite bloggers/illustrators: Dinara Mirtalipova. She does such lovely work, please check out her Etsy shop.

+ It’s Cyber Monday, huzzah consumerism! I’ve already scored an amazing deal at Aldo, getting a pair of boots for $41 that were originally $90 (and free shipping too!). There’s also free shipping at Anthropologie’s taking a lot to resist that right now.

+ I have a small LED Christmas tree that plugs into my computer. It is absurd how cheerful it makes me just looking at it. I'm not even a huge Christmas person but it's just so darn cute. 

Shine on, you ridiculous tiny tree

+ A breakfast/lunch place has opened up right next door to my work place. This may seem unremarkable but I work in a village so small there are no stop lights. It consists of my office, a post office, a bunch of empty old buildings, a lumber yard and now this little café. I’m so excited because it means on the days I am too lazy to make my lunch, I can walk next door for a yummy sandwich, instead of nibbling on stale graham crackers from my desk drawer.  Today there’s a cheddar and Havarti grilled cheese over there with my name on it.  Did you know that true love is made of cheese & only costs $4.28? It's true.

+ Trip planning makes me happy: Texas in January and…Switzerland next summer! I can’t wait to go back!

Hope you are finding things to smile about today :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Weekend

Happy day after Thanksgiving my dears! I enjoyed a quiet day at home with some family and friends.  So happy that my sister and her husband are visiting! We have absolutely zero plans for the rest of the weekend and I'm super excited about that. Too often the holidays are hectic and over-scheduled so it's nice to just relax and spend time with each other.

Anyway, here are some links for your weekend.

+ How I feel about Black Friday. Always.

Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers. Maybe I'm weird but I get more excited about the leftovers than I do the actual Thanksgiving meal. The turkey sandwich recipes sound delicious.

+ Dumb Ways to Die. A clever, cute, and slightly creepy train safety advert.

+ A collection of awesome shots of reflections in puddles


+ "93 Million Miles" by Jason Mraz
  Jason Mraz- 93 Million Miles by MMMusic

Enjoy your weekend! Because yesterday was a holiday and I did nothing productive, the Movember post is postponed til tomorrow. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope no matter where you are or who you're with, you enjoy today! 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Food for Thought

I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don’t know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness.
— Anaïs Nin

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Last Twinkie in South Milford

The following is a piece I wrote for the company newsletter, after finding a lone Twinkie in the break room the other day. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.


Due to the recent Hostess shut-down, supplies of America’s favorite snack cake are quickly dwindling across the nation.  Hordes of people are flocking to the nearest grocery and convenience stores to stock up on their favorite Hostess products.  “It’s a sad day for this country,” said Frank Heraldo, a stock boy at the Kendallville Kroger, “Fat cat CEOs on Wall Street are lining their pockets but there’s no bailout for my Twinkies? It’s disgusting!” 

Heraldo’s sentiments are shared by many across the tri-county area. Trisha Bates, Head Party Planner at a local unnamed contractor company, shook her head sadly when asked about the situation. “The Hostess liquidation/shutdown is basically the Vietnam of this generation.  We are struggling to reorganize our menu for the annual Christmas party.”

Francine Rogers, a local woman with a keen eye for market trends saw this crisis coming.  In anticipation of the event, she purchased a supply of Hostess products well before the entanglement came to a head.  In fact, she was seen munching a Ding Dong the moment the news of the shutdown came over the wire. Unfortunately, her stock was depleted before she could get everything into the vault.

There is one bright spot in all of this: we here at Seriously Real News, Inc. have confirmed reports of one remaining Twinkie from Rogers’ pantry existing in the town of South Milford. It is for sale to the highest bidder and is currently under armed guard at an undisclosed location. Bidding starts at $500.00, cash only. Operators are standing by to take your call at (***)***-****.

This is a defining moment in our snack culture, folks. What this means for our other favorite producers of high-calorie, low-quality foods is uncertain.  We are hoping and praying that Little Debbie remains stable in the aftermath of the catastrophe.  In the meantime, local officials advise eating a piece of fruit in case of feeling faint. 


It goes without saying how terrible it is that 18,000 people lost their jobs but what are your thoughts, will you miss your Hostess snack cakes? 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy Weekend

Mixed media piece by Beth Hoeckel

Hello lovelies. What are you up to this weekend? My Dad turns the big 5-0 but thanks to his mostly vegan lifestyle and complete lack of gray hair (much to the disgust of my mother) he looks about 15 years younger. We'll probably have cake for that on Sunday. Here's hoping it's not made out of beans... 
But before that, I'm headed back down to my alma mater for another raucous weekend of fun & by raucous I obviously mean quiet conversation and dignified activities befitting a lady of my station.

Aaaanyway, here are some links for your viewing pleasure:

+ Crazy cool salt labryinth. But let's not lie, first thing I thought when I saw it: "...ain't nobody got time for that."

+ Making a cake with chocolate frosting? Stop what you're doing and use this recipe for chocolate buttercream. Not making a cake right this instant? Bookmark it, seriously! It is the. best. chocolate frosting I have ever tasted. Not only that, it pipes like a dream and holds its shape beautifully.

Toy Stories. These have been killing me all week. Hilarious.

+ Anyone who follows me on Pinterest knows how much I love weddings. I be pinnin that stuff left, right, up and down to Chinatown (what?). And I’m not even engaged! Listen, I’m not over here embroidering linens for my hope chest or anything, but I just love weddings. Love them (and this is key) as a thing for other people. I in no way feel any inclination to be a bride myself (let’s be real, my most serious relationship right now is with my lemon tree. That may or may not be slowing dying in the kitchen.) But (as Hattie says), for reals and for serious if I was getting married I would wear this dress that I found yesterday. I’m not even ashamed that I’m that girl right now. So you can just deal with it.

+ A simple wall art DIY

+ A new-ish song from Robert Francis. Anytime I hear his voice I am instantly brought back to that cold March evening, driving away from the perfect weekend in Aminona with Dario, Alaina, and Caro. "Junebug” was playing on Dario’s stereo and I remember laying my tired head against the window, watching the setting sun dip in and out of the mountains. I was perfectly content-- incredibly thankful for everything in life that had led me to that exact moment. 

Listen here

:) Have a good weekend! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Favorite Famous Moustaches

Happy Movember Thursday my dears! How are the beards coming along? Very good. Well, we’ve reached the halfway point! George wants to raise $5000 in the fight against prostate and testicular cancer by the end of the month. It’s outrageous--outrageously AWESOME. Have you considered pitching in? Even a dollar makes a difference! Check out his tumblr for more info and of course, his fundraising page.

This week’s mo’spiration comes in the form of my top five famous moustaches. Check it out:

Tom Selleck

Come on, you saw this one coming. What a dashing fellow.

Salvador Dali

This guy was the very definition of quirky, so it’s no surprise that his signature moustache was a little bit out of this world.

Charlie Chaplin

This funny man's facial style is recognizable the world over. Underneath the makeup and madcap attire was a rather dashing young man. I mean, turn down the smolder, man. He actually was quite an interesting figure, did you know he was exiled from the US in the early 50s? He lived out the rest of his days in Vevey, Switzerland and is buried there. I wish I'd known that when I lived there, I totally would have gone to see his grave! I just might have to read the man's biography...

Albert Einstein

Einstein, the relatable genius. He probably told the best stories...

Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman)

Yes I know, Ron Swanson is a fictional character. But who doesn't love him? He's like the modern mountain man: a no-nonsense free-thinker who just really wants to eat his bacon in peace. Check out his Pyramid of Greatness. I mean, Ron Swanson for president, amiright?

Did I leave out your favorite famous face? Let me know in the comments below!

In case you missed it: all my previous Movember posts can be found by clicking here.
Plus, a funny snippet from an old book, for wives who aren't a fan of facial hair on their husbands.

Sorry, no “beard” update photo this week…I’m posting early because I’m very busy today!

Check back next week for a Movember-inspired cake!


Image Sources:
(1) Tom Selleck
(2) Salvador Dali
(3) Charlie Chaplin
(4) Albert Einstein
(5) Ron Swanson

My Least Favorite Foods

In a recent post, Joanna from A Cup of Jo asked, what are your least favorite foods?

I'm so glad you asked, Joanna.
“Woman, what are you feeding me right now?” 
This baby has the side eye down pat and it is cracking me up.

  • Mushrooms
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Kidney beans
  • Cooked spinach 
  • Pears
  • Fried fish
  • Cooked onions
  • Coffee
I can tolerate them all in small measures like a big girl (except for coffee and barbecue sauce, blech) but make me a meal with all of these things at once and I may never speak to you again. 

What are your least favorite foods?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Breakfast with Gossip Girl

Confession time: I still watch the show Gossip Girl. WHAT? I know, you thought I had better taste than that. 
Well you're wrong. Listen, I’m always down for a good procedural drama or mental thriller but I can’t quit this show. It’s been on since my early college days, I feel like I know these characters. They may be over-privileged rich kids from the Upper East Side, but we sort of grew up together. Except I’ve made better choices in the last five years. Not to sound judge-y, but on a scale of one to a failed marriage to a Monegasque prince, my life trajectory is not even on that scale.

Yet I keep watching. Will Chuck and Blair ever get together for good? Will Dan finally find his foothold among the posh Manhattan society? Will Serena ever get a real job? These are the questions that plague us faithful viewers. Fortunately it’s in its last season so the story arcs should all come together by the end of December. Coincidentally, that’s the last time anyone is allowed to make fun of me for it.

But there is one thing that has bothered me for six seasons, one thing I continually fail to understand. Each episode follows the same structure: the drama begins brewing in the morning and culminates in a big party at night. (Seriously, there is a huge party in every episode; the production value of the show must be insane.) But that doesn't faze me.  What really gets me are the brunches. Every other episode, Lily and Rufus (or Bart, depending on who she’s married to at the moment) have a family brunch. Amazing spread they put on: pancakes, waffles, muffins, eggs, fruit, scones, multiple kinds of juice and sometimes even champagne.

But they NEVER. EAT IT.

Seriously. They sit around these amazing feasts and don’t touch the food. The glower at each other, get into arguments, and plot nefarious schemes over the most beautiful croissants. There's food on their plates but in six seasons, I have never seen anyone take a bite. And it kills me every time. Look at this screen cap from a recent episode:

YES THAT IS A PLATE OF CREPES. And a waiter. In their apartment.

Bart. Lily. Stop ruining Chuck's life and eat a scone. For real, though.

Chuck I don't know why you're smirking, you invited this poor girl over for brunch and she’s not even eating anything. Probably lost her appetite from all the family drama.

Obviously, with multiple takes and whatnot, I can understand not cleaning your plate, it is a television show after all.  But not even once? Come on. Someone in craft services takes the time to make all that food.

If I were more of a tech wizard, I would film myself in front of a green screen stuffing my face with pastries and then superimpose it over that scene. 
*reaches rudely across the table* “excuse me Lily, I just…want..another scone…”
 *With mouth full*: “Have you guys even tried this brioche? You’d be so much happier in general if you just had some. Oh and Bart, faking your death made you a huge downer. I’m sorry but it needed to be said.”
I know it would be super hilarious, so you will just have to picture it.

So that's my story for the day. About a problem that's not really a problem. 
I just really love breakfast. And I hate seeing it go to waste.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Today's PSA Brought to You By...

How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, 1967

The more you know, am I right?

In other news, I'm in love with every musical film ever made from 1940-1970. In case you didn't know.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Smile for Your Saturday

"Gladys, enough nonsense! Put the swan in the car and let's go!"

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy Weekend

Is it Friday again? Quelle joie!  Whew, what a week. Awesome visit from one of my East Coast pals on his way through the state last Saturday. Random drop-in visits are the absolute best and they rarely happen when you live in the middle of nowhere. 

After that, I got a lovely handwritten letter in the mail (thanks Hannah!), considered and rejected the idea of getting bangs (again), and ate way too much leftover Halloween candy that was unmercifully perched right beside my desk at work. I feel like I'm missing something....ah yes, the election! ;) Though it was one of my majors in college, I make it a point never to discuss politics in social media, because I find it tiresome and fruitless to argue on the Internet. So, regardless of my (and your) feelings about the outcome, I found this to be a striking photo from the events of the night. The colors and composition; it's a great shot.

This weekend promises to be the last gasp of warmth for probably many months so I plan to skip around outside while I still can. Of course that's in between playing catch-up on sleep, photographs, and every other thing in my life that gets put aside because of work.

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite links from the past week:

+ One of my favorite bloggers, Danni from oh, hello friend, got to visit Highclere Castle where they film Downton Abbey! She shares her lovely pictures from her trip here.

+ Ombre tights. These are the coolest ever but I would definitely accidentally rip these the very first time I wear them so there is no way I'm paying $40 a pair. Fortunately, there's an awesome DIY post over at Brit + Co. Add it to my long list of projects I would like to do this fall/winter.

How to escape from zip ties.  An extremely useful article/video series to have knowledge of should you ever find yourself kidnapped by ruffians, captured by rogue agents, or just in an awkward situation in which you confused zip ties with twist ties. I may or may not read too may spy novels. Hey, safety first, people.

+ Best Ever Garlic Bread. I know I just posted a bread recipe in last week's Friday roundup but you guys. Garlic. Bread. I die. I don't know if I've ever met a person who doesn't enjoy it. Also, this particular recipe doesn't call for you to actually make the bread, you're just jazzing up a pre-made loaf. So you really have no excuse not to go make this right now.

+Violin Super Mario. Yes I went there. You love it too, don't lie.

+ a Fleet Foxes cover of an Elvis classic:
Can't Help Falling In Love by Fleet Foxes Sing on Grooveshark

Have a good one my dears. xo

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Moustaches for Everyone!

Hello my friends, how was your Thursday? Beard-tastic

Well, Movember is in full swing & my cousin George is still trying hard to raise money and awareness about prostate and testicular cancer. On his tumblr, he explains his goal for this year. As thanks for donating, he is kindly offering his own letter pressed prints as prizes, be sure to check it out!

For this week's mo-spiration, here are my five favorite moustache-themed items from around the web:

(1) Nothing's classier than a moustache embroidered on green velvet. I am totally digging these smoking loafers from Zara and may actually buy myself a pair:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

Inspired By: Frosty Fall Mornings

This morning’s commute felt unusual in that it’s the first time in over a month that I made the whole drive in the daylight. Because of the time change, the sun was already over the horizon by the time I left the driveway. Usually it’s only just risen when I’m pulling into the parking lot. Once I got over the feeling that I was somehow terribly late for work, I got lost watching the lazy dance of the Earth waking up. The now-bare trees were a black silhouette against the watercolor sky of aubergine, orange, pink and blue. The grass—finally green after a dry summer—was shrouded in frost, giving the hills a glittery gray cast in the distance. The color palette shifted quickly but subtly as the sun crept over the trees, changing the scene entirely. The harsh black trees relaxed into a chocolate brown and the fields turned gold, shining wetly in the sunlight. The orange sky faded, as the blue grew bolder. Before I knew it, I had arrived at work, amazed at how fast 50 minutes passed.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not at my most sparkling before 8 am so I’m thankful for a long quiet drive, even more so when I can actually see the landscape around me.

Friday, November 2, 2012

What Did You Do With Your Friday Night?

...oh me? I just sat in my room and pretended I was Taylor Swift at every awards show ever the Grammys.

"Did they just call my name?"

"Did that just happen, people to my left?"

"And you guys to my right, did you hear that too?"



"This is the greatest day of the month my life!"

"You guys are so sweet. SHOUTOUT TO MY FANS! EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE IF YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND HAVE AMAZING HAIR. Never stop dreaming!!!" *music swells*

Post-awards show red carpet:

"I HAVE SO MANY bottles of hairspray STATUES. THIS IS SO UNPRECEDENTED. here's one for best BREAKUP SONG. And this is the one for most characters portrayed in one music video. And they even gave me one for best attendance at every single awards show in the last five years! LIKE, IS THIS REAL LIFE YOU GUYS?"


Jk, T. Swift. You know you're my home girl. Sorry you didn't win anything at the CMAs last night. Fabu dress, though.

Ok but for reals, she wins so many awards. I mean, we get it America. And she reacts like that every time (yeah, that's four separate picture links). Seriously, why are you even surprised any more? 

Well, feel free to carry on with your evening. That's enough excitement for me for one night.


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