Image Attribution

(Owlet header image found via a Google Image search, and came from Etsy artist Bestiary Ink)

29 July 2011

Welcome Back, Project Runway!

Welcome back to my favorite quotable lovely TOPAMERICANDESIGNER (CFDALIFETIMEACHIEVEMENTAWARDWINNER)MICHAELKORS! Welcome back to the questioner of taste level Nina Garcia! Welcome back to Heidi's gorgeous hair. Welcome back to Tim Gunn and his charming and sophisticated snark. Ahhh... sometimes when it's been so long, I forget how much I utterly and completely love love love Project Runway!

Some early favorites from last night's premier:

(challenge winner and so-far-endearing-story-winner Burt and his fab dress. the hemline, especially in the back, made me drool a little)

(I wish there was a better shot of this look vertically... those pants were freaking gorgeous. Cut and dye-job.)

(another good story - cancer survivor and color blind - and a lovely design eye)

(styling, construction, design flare - gorgeous. I wish I found a shot of the back of this top - stunning)
Happy Weekend!

(all photos via

28 July 2011

A Shout-Out to Great Girlfriends

I need my best lady friends in my life. Really need  them. They (you) are my sanity, my touch-point, my centering, my grounding. They (you) make me laugh through my gut, catch my tears when I'm crying, hold my hand in silence when it needs to be held, speak and listen intently when there are serious matters on the table, and goof it up like a cartoon character when that's just what's called for. And without them (you), I don't know what sort of state my life would be in... honestly. I've been thinking all morning that I needed to do a post today about good friendship. Lots of reasons for it, none of which need divulging. I was trying to come up with the perfect Ode to Friends, when I happened upon this on Pinterest, and it said it all for me:

This fully and completely sums up who my best best friends are. They're up for it all, and they will be in my life forever and always. I'm so lucky.

21 July 2011

Nerding Out: Great Reads of Late

At heart, I'm a nerd. Okay, also at face-value I'm a nerd. I wave my nerd flag loud and proud. Get over it. Embrace it. I love to read and always have. I developed my own library cataloging system for my bookshelves as a child. I separate my bookshelves as an adult by "read" and "to-read" (to-read fills up way faster!). I have a little "stamp" I mark in all my kept books to help me chronicle what I read, when, and where. I belong to the social network for book nerds, Goodreads. Oh yeah, and I also started and facilitate a virtual book club (which anyone and everyone is invited to join!) -- and that's not even the totality of my nerdiness, it's just the first chapter in a long, long, book (a series even)... see what I did there?

I've been reading a lot of great books lately, and thought I'd post about them. As I'm always seeking out more titles to add to my pile, I figure maybe you are, too (are you?). Now that I'm thinking about it, I might just make this little literary round-up a regular feature, so I'll try to keep it to just a few at a time. And I'd love to know what you're reading, and what you want to read... so please share!

Most recently I read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It's gotten lots of hype recently, and so I realize I'm late getting on this train, but it's worth jumping on board, I promise. This is a true story, scientifically-based, and basically documentary in nature, but it reads like a novel. Skloot beautifully tells the absolutely riveting human story of Henrietta, the involuntary donor of cells from her cancerous tumors that have been cultured to create an immortal cell line for medical research, and her family, who didn't know abou the donation in the first place and feel they have suffered in spite of her monumental contribution to science. HeLa cells have not only generated billions of dollars for the medical industry; they have helped uncover secrets of cancers, viruses, fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping, but still her family suffers a life of poverty, and without health coverage for even their most basic medical needs. This story is morally/ethically challenging, and its "characters" are entirely enchanting, charming, and quickly familiar.

I also recently read and fell in love with another book that's been around a while, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (aunt and niece). I know, you can tell by the title that I'd probably be all over this without even cracking the cover. But it's more than just a name. I can't say enough about this book, and I can't possibly recommend it more highly. I don't know a reader who won't fall absolutely in love with these people, and this place, and this incredible, enchanting, heart-breaking, heart-warming, and charming story. I have never read a book and felt more strongly about wanting to go to the place where it takes place. The fact that Guernsey is not fictional only made me more painfully desirous of packing a bag and hopping a flight to the Channel Islands. This little group of islanders who use reading to escape punishment and despair, and by way of it develop strong relationships and ties to each other, during the German Occupation are, in a word, wonderful. Each character and his or her own story is amazing, and that they all come together, and create such a familiar cohort is delightful. I will reread this book, I'm sure. And if anyone wants to go to Guernsey to explore island life, let me know. And if you have my copy... I can't remember where it is! Please remind me!

One more for now... The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. There is something about Indian writers that just speaks to me at my very core. I have yet to encounter an Indian author whose work I don't immediately LOVE wholly and completely. This, Adiga's first novel, earned him the Man Booker Prize, and it will not disappoint. I read it in a matter of days, but collectively, probably in a matter of hours. It is a powerful, discomforting, truly funny, and poignant story that won't relax its grip until you're done, at which point you'll be very disappointed that it's over. Balram Halwai, the `white tiger,' was born into poverty and removed from school by his parents in order to earn money for his family. Though forced into mind-numbing, thankless work, he dreams of a better, a richer life. By a series of right-place right-times and coincidences, he finds himself an ex-teashop worker who now earns his living as a chauffeur. But he also deals in scams and shady business promotions, and holds a unique perspective on life that he relates through his philosophical eye. Oh yeah, and maybe he's a murderer. But you don't quite know. This at-once despicable and completely engaging and charming protagonist sucks you into a story that is both mad-cap and unbelievable, and yet somehow completely believable. It is also the story of two Indias that exist side by side and in the exact same space with little awareness of each other... one is a bleak, soul-squelching, demeaning and impoverished India, and the other is a big-city India of the rich, filled with glitz and glamour and materialism and no want for anything. Adiga's next book, Last Man in Tower is set to come out this fall, and it's already getting great reviews. I can't wait!

So what are you reading?

You Know Who You Are...

20 July 2011

Ordered It!

Finally picked my k.slademade clutch - and I'm excited!

(blueberry hill vintage clutch)
(p.s., yay! images showing up!)

18 July 2011

Special Occasion

I first want to say that Blogger is killing me right now (again). Unable to add images. Forgive the boring presentation of this post... grr... And furthermore, Blogger's now telling that I'm approaching storage capacity limit for images, after which point I'll have to pay for additional storage annually in order to add more photos?! Not happening. Searching for a solution. If someone has one, lemme know. Now, back to the intended subject matter of this post:

I broke my wrist in May. That sucked. For the duration of my six (turned six-and-a-half) week healing period, I decided to go on a dessert hiatus. I love dessert. Normally I eat it... let's just say multiple times a day. Cookies and ice cream are hands-down my favorite foods. I knew that since I couldn't work out as-normal while my wrist mended, I had to do something drastic--my normal dessert consumption could easily have gained me 15-25 lbs. in six weeks if I wasn't careful! In those weeks, I consumed only the sugar in my coffee and one single peanut butter cup at my friends' wedding. IMPRESSED?! You should be. I am!

Once I knew I could do it (and trust me, I didn't think I'd last AT. ALL.), I was inspired. I celebrated the end of the healing period with a delightful sugary treat, but then set a new goal: dessert only on weekends and special occasions. It's going well. I'm pleased and proud. Which is silly, I know, but get over it. I have.

So far I've had only weekends and no special occasions. Until today, methinks. IT'S THE MOST SPECIAL OF SPECIAL OCCASIONS: NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY! WHEEEEEE!

(imagine a great drool-inducing image of ice cream, glorious ice cream right about here...)

Now... to celebrate!

15 July 2011

Happy Weekend!

I used to be Team Ron (well, Team Rupert Grint) all the way...

(I still am and always will be a Ron Weasley gal, if we're talking books)
...but I'm pretty sure I've switched over to Team Neville:

(photos via gofugyourself)

Harry, er, Happy Weekend to you!

14 July 2011

Carved Crayons

How rad are these carved crayons by artist Pete Goldlust?!

(this one's amazing - i want a print!)

Bangles (the accessory, not the girl band)

I'm a jewelry-wearer. I don't know about you, but every outfit for me can be enhanced by the right earrings, a great necklace, a simple bracelet or ring or all of the above. I inherited this from my mother (and I'm pretty sure that anyone reading this who knows my mother might be giggling right now because to say that my mom accessorizes her outfits with jewelry (among other accessories) is easily among the greatest understatements ever uttered...), who can accessorize with such unique her-only perfection, that you couldn't grow up a girl in her home without at least trying to work it a little every once in a while. That lady has style.

Anyway. I love these beautiful bangles by Frosted Willow on Etsy...

I could add images forever (well, not forever, there are only so many items for sale in the shop, but you know what I mean)... these are just wrist-perfection if you ask me. LOVE.EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.

Aren't they just so beautiful?! One alone is perfect. A whole bunch stacked together - also perfect. Delicate and chic and, well, just divine.

13 July 2011

Running Downtown

I've started running again. Slow and steady is my plan, so as to protect my knees and hamstrings and what-not, because that's what halted me abruptly last year. Short runs at a slower, more steady pace. I think I can manage it. Especially if I'm running downtown to take a break during work. Not so hard to do when the River Walk provides such a perfect path and perfectly distracting views:

(all photos my own; taken on my iPhone)

I sure do love this town...

12 July 2011

Walk This Way: My Favorite Quick-Fix Treadmill Workout

I have been meaning to document this workout for a while, mostly because my tattered page from the original magazine is quickly moving from readable paper to shredded dust and I need it! So, here it is. I've been carrying around this ripped-out page from Fitness Magazine's old feature, "This Month's 20-Minute Workout," since November 2007 (actually, probably since October 2007, since mags come out a  month early). It's fantastic.

(look how that puppy's held up!)
When I first saw it, and then tried it, I literally thought, this is *totally* new. I take it with me everywhere -- to work, since we have a fitness room, to the gym, and when I travel. It's 20 minutes of cardio/lower body strength interval magic that breezes by and then packs a punch. Just 20 minutes, people! Sure, you require a treadmill to do it, but if you have access, try this... I promise you'll see what I mean. If you can't decipher what that little image says, here's the workout:

0-2:00-->Incline 0, Speed 3.5: Start walking at a medium pace.
2:00-5:00-->Incline 5, Speed 4.5: Increase speed, walking briskly, pumping arms.
5:00-7:00-->Incline 11, Speed 3.5: Climb, using glutes and pushing off with heels.
7:00-9:00-->Incline 10, Speed 1: Carefully lunge forward with right foot, then left, repeat. (walking lunges)
9:00-11:00-->Incline 12, Speed 3.5: Climb.
11:00-13:00-->Incline 10, Speed 1: Lunge forward, alternating feet.
13:00-15:00-->Incline 12, Speed 3.5: Climb.
15:00-16:00-->Incline 1, Speed 7: Run.
16:00-17:00-->Incline 1, Speed 5.5: Jog to recover.
17:00-18:00-->Incline 1, Speed 7.5: Final sprint.
18:00-20:00-->Incline 1, Speed 5: Cool down.

This workout eventually led me to more running. My coworker who sometimes joins me in our office's fitness room upstairs calls this my "crazy" workout. But I promise it's great. It's my go-to default when I don't know what else to do, or don't have the energy to lift weights, and it's my go-to when I need a workout but don't have much time. Your heart rate will climb, you will sweat, and the next day your booty will feel it. You'll thank me for the recommendation in time.


Something about these prints by unitedthread on Etsy is It's equally the colors and the perspectives and the flora and the animals (oh, I love animals!) and specifically the owls (duh!) and the watercolor (oh, but I also love water color!) and the... well, it's all that and everything else that I can't put to words. I think I'm ordering a few... not sure which, though... What's your favorite?

(five whales stacked)

(hummingbirds and joshua tree)


(poppy pods)

(all the single ladies)

(two barn owls)

(two saw whet owls)

(water hole no. 3)