June 30, 2009

i'm back. sort of.

I returned from a great trip to Austin on Sunday night... but I'm still getting caught up with life since the combination of the conference and traveling made me feel like I didn't really have a weekend. My apologies in advance for what will probably be sparse posting this week... I'll still try to get my SYTYCD recaps up after the Wednesday and Thursday shows! Hope you're having a great week!

June 26, 2009


Still in Austin, but couldn't resist sharing this video of MJ... one of my favorite belt-it-out songs.

I feel like Michael was greatly misunderstood, and certainly made some poor choices in his life, but I have always felt like those poor choices were the result of pretty much having no childhood and being in the spotlight since age 10. I always took pity on him and remembered the impact he made on the world of music and entertainment.

To me, he'll always be an icon. He was my older brother's idol growing up, and he was a huge part of my childhood.

So long, Michael. You will be missed.

June 23, 2009


Tomorrow I am heading to Austin, TX, for the HOW Design Conference. I am super excited (although I still have to pack!!) and looking forward to getting inspired and rejuvenated to get in better touch with my designer-self. It will be a jam-packed several days and hopefully I'll have a little bit of time to enjoy this amazing city.

Apparently it's 100+ degrees in Austin... I am NOT a fan of the heat so we shall see how I hold up! See you all next week :-)

June 20, 2009

I'm pretty sure this isn't okay...

So. I was at Target today, picking up a few things. It was your average busy Saturday afternoon at the local Target — nothing out of the ordinary — but as I was walking out of the store, I noticed a little boy standing by the exit, by himself, crying. He was probably about six years old (I think... I am a terrible judge of children's ages). Anywho, I saw him crying and went up to ask him if he was lost. He shook his head, but I wasn't sure if he was just saying that or if he just didn't want to admit he was lost. So I asked him where his mom was, and he pointed outside. I looked outside and didn't see anyone... so I asked him if his mom knew he was inside. He said yes.

I didn't quite know what to do — I wasn't going to drag this kid outside in the event that his mother was actually in the store looking for him, but I also wasn't just going to leave him stranded. So I walked outside to look around for a mother who may be looking around for her son. I didn't see anyone, and I looked back into the store and saw two more women asking the little boy if he was lost. When I turned back around, a woman peeked out from behind a wall and was looking inside towards the little boy. I asked her if that was her son. She said, "yes, he wouldn't leave the store with me."

Um. Okay. So instead of making him come with you (you're his mother and all... mother's can sort of make their kids do things like this) you leave him there? For other people in a crowded store to worry about him while you "teach him a lesson"? Of course, I didn't say this to her... I just said "oh good, I was worried," as she proceeded to walk into his view and yell his name for him to go with her. I'm not sure what the other women said to her, or if they said anything at all, or what happened next, as I walked away at this point knowing that at least he was not truly lost.

Look. I get the whole "Okay, well I'm leaving, if you don't want to come with me you can stay here" threat that parents use to teach their kids a lesson. And I get that she didn't really leave and she was keeping an eye on him while she waited for him to come outside. But people see a little boy crying in a large department store and they worry. I'm not a mother and I don't have that natural maternal instinct, but I immediately felt like I should take care of this little boy and help him find his mom. The two women behind me obviously felt the need to help him, too. I don't think I'd want to be that mother who let other people worry about my kid while I watched. The whole thing just left me really unsettled.

What do you think? Do you think it was okay for the mother to do what she did — maybe she just had a weak moment — or did she cross the line by letting others get involved and concerned for the little boy?

June 18, 2009

SYTYCD | week 2 elimination

The show opened with a routine to "Higher Ground" that was certainly different from the one I know and love from Center Stage (anyone, anyone??). It was cool, but weird, in a Mia Michaels kind of way. She so crazy.

I loved Cat's white tuxedo, but I am NOT impressed with the musical performances this season. Yuck to lip syncing. Fast-forward. Let's get to the good stuff.

I was on the mark with two out of the three bottom couples (Caitlin and Jason, Ashley and Kupono), but I was very surprised that Kayla and Max were included in the bottom as well. And I am really shocked that Ashley was sent home. While I thought all of the girls had strong solos, I feel like the judges overlooked how the girls have performed throughout the competition. Caitlin is strong in solos, but I don't think she partners well and it brings attention to her off timing. I thought she was the weakest of the three, and I'm sad to see Ashley go :-( I really wanted her to go far.

While I never would have imagined Max would go home, when put up against incredible forces like Jason and Kupono, I can see why he left. I mean, really, they are three spectacular dancers — how does one choose? I thought he had a lot of promise, but the ballroom guys usually get cut earlier in the competition because they're not as versatile in other styles... maybe we'll see him as a pro on DWTS in the future.

And then, there were 16. I think this competition is only going to get tighter and tighter! We shall see what next week holds. What did you think of this week's elimination?

June 17, 2009

SYTYCD | top 18

Here we are again! Let's get right down to business, shall we?

Randi and Evan | Jive | "Shake a tail Feather"
Randi is stunning.... and Evan looked a little erratic at first. But they really pulled it together nicely and it was a very fun, solid number. That jump that Evan did over Randi is unbelievable! These two just look like they are genuinely having a great time and I love how their personalities shine through.

Melissa and Ade | Jazz | "24 Hours"
Oh how I adore Sonya's choreography. I am really loving these two dancers and I am starting to think they will be able to pull off any style. It was nice to see Melissa stray from that "ballerina" persona and I think she did an amazing job with this routine that is clearly very far from her comfort zone. Overall I loved all of the sharp movements and I think they pulled it off amazingly well. And Ade is definitely a force to be reckoned with!

Caitlin and Jason | Hip Hop | "Missin You"
Caitlin's timing seemed a little late once again, and I was definitely more drawn to Jason in this number. Not a fan of C's little breakdown solo (too much sex and not enough dancing) and this was just not one of my favorite Shane numbers. Overall it just didn't seem really challenging and they didn't mesh well together. Zero chemistry. I'm thinking bottom 3 couples for these two.

Janette and Brandon | Disco | "Loving is Really My Game"
These disco numbers are always so freaking fast!!! I have seen many a couple falter and slow down by the middle of the song because they can't keep up. These two really brought it, though. I was bummed when Janette seemed to fall out of that one move because otherwise she was so on top of her game, but she covered pretty well and I think the rest of the number made up for it. OMG, did Mary just say "NOT!!!!".... twice? Oy.

Asuka and Vitolio | Waltz | "Dreams are More Precious"
I was really rooting for these two to do better than last week because I think they were cheated with bad choreography (boo, Tyce!). This number was really beautiful and I actually got goosebumps while watching (but I've always been a closet Enya fan, too). Asuka has the most beautiful lines and extensions. She totally stole this number, but Vitolio did a great job supporting her. I think they definitely redeemed themselves.

Kayla and Max | Pop Jazz | "Hot Like Wow"
Brian Friedman, I am not liking the shaved head on you. Moving on... Kayla is seriously amazing. I just love watching her. Sorry Max, I really didn't pay attention to you (and can someone in wardrobe PLEASE be reprimanded for putting Max in that horrible costume?). She just commands the stage and has so much strength while making it all look effortless.

Karla and Jonathan | Contemporary | "Falling Slowly"
Yay for a new choreographer... always nice to have some fresh ideas! Even though the judges loved them last week, I did not. I was waiting to be impressed by these two, and fortunately they redeemed themselves with this number. The lifts were stunning and Karla has amazing control. Jonathan was also really impressive this week, and I'm so glad. I really wanted to like this couple! I'm glad I can now.

Jeanine and Phillip | Tango | "Violento"
It was clear that these two knew nothing about the tango when going through the choreography. I was nervous for them. I think they pulled it off okay, but Jeanine seemed to be leading and I thought Phillip looked like he was just her prop (and not in a good way). He didn't have the confidence needed for this dance, although compared to what he usually does, it was still impressive. I have to agree with Mary that the technique was not up to par. I'm afraid that Phillip isn't going to be able to master the other styles enough to stay in the competition.

Ashley and Kupono | Hip Hop | "Imma Be"
I just adored these two last week, especially Ashley. Love her love her love her. I think she is stunning on the stage. I loved the whole shadow concept in this number and these two executed it ridiculously well. The way Ashley "walked" while lying sideways on the stage was really cool. To be honest I didn't watch Kupono at all (oops) because I thought Ashley was a lot stronger. The judges really didn't seem to like it, but I thought it was cool. I'm guessing they'll be in jeopardy, though.

Predictions for the bottom three couples:
Caitlin and Jason
Jeanine and Phillip
Ashley and Kupono

Who I think should go home tomorrow night:
Caitlin and Phillip

Disclaimer: these are just my opinions. Please be nice in the comments as this is all in good fun :-)

June 16, 2009

clever tote bags

Although I have gotten quite a bit better at purging clothes that I no longer wear, I still get emotionally attached to t-shirts that I just can't let go of. College t's, shirts that I designed for my college theatre group — even one that I designed for my Peer Facilitators group in high school. (I graduated from high school 11 years ago, people. ELEVEN.)

Now I might have a solution, thanks to KimberlyMichelle. Tote bags made from old t-shirts!

June 15, 2009

forgotten tune: "Goodbye to You"

Okay, I never really forget about this song because I love it, but it came on today while I was listening to Pandora and I'm always pleasantly surprised to hear it — the 80s classic "Goodbye to You" by Patty Smyth/Scandal.

Remember the show "Kate and Allie"? There was a great episode where Kate's daughter, Jennie (played by Allison Smith), sang this song, and I think my best friend still has the episode on VHS somewhere. We used to watch it over and over and over again. Hearing this song takes me back!

new look

I have been growing weary of my blog layout recently and wanted to spruce things up for summer. I'm much happier with this bright and sunshiney new layout! What do you think?

June 14, 2009


This bedroom goes to show that you don't need a ton of money or expensive artwork to make the space where you slumber a cozy one. In addition to the hand-painted mural, I'm loving the shelves above the bed.... so easy to change out whatever you're displaying. I am much better at committing to small bits of decor than a large piece of art that dictates the look of the room.

found via Design*Sponge

June 11, 2009

SYTYCD | week 1 elimination

Wow, did I call it, or what? The bottom three couples, that is. I'm actually fairly impressed with myself, if I may toot my own horn!

I was not right about both of the dancers who would be going home (although I got one right), but I still would have voted the same way after seeing the dancers' solos.

I'm sort of shocked that they let Karla get by with that obviously improvised solo... it was just weird and sloppy, and dancers in past seasons used to get reamed out for pulling that sort of thing. I thought Paris and Asuka had a better shot, but alas — au revoir, Paris. I wasn't her biggest fan or anything, but I didn't think she should get the boot so soon. I am sad to see her go and I think Karla better step up her game if she wants to stick around after next week.

I am not surprised that Tony went home, as he just isn't as strong as the other 9 guys. He is adorable, has a lot of heart and I hope he goes far in the future, but it was clear from his performance last night and his solo tonight that there are more skilled dancers who deserve a spot in the top 18.

Were you surprised by the results?

twittering. er, tweeting.

I'm now on Twitter as claremontroad. Follow me. As I try to figure out what in the world I'm supposed to do with it.

June 10, 2009

SYTYCD | top 20

The time has come! My favoritest show in the history of ever is back. "So You Think You Can Dance" has brightened my last four summers and I'm so pleased that it continues to gain the popularity that it deserves. These dancers are the REAL THING, people!

Last night was the first show since the top 20 dancers were named in Vegas, so it's time for the real competition to get underway... as promised, let the recapping begin!

Jeanine and Phillip | Hip Hop | "Mad"
It was nice to see Phillip sort of in his element with the popping and locking, but with a bit more of a story to the choreography than we usually see from him. I think Jeanine did a good job of holding her own, although her timing seemed slightly off at a few points. Not blown away by the choreography (by Napoleon and Tabitha) — it had hints of last season's "Bleeding Love," which was ridiculously amazing, but I didn't feel like this number was nearly as innovative. Overall though, nice performance and I look forward to seeing more from these two.

Asuka and Vitolio | Broadway | "Hot Honey Rag"
How adorable is Asuka? I just enjoy her. However, I am torn over this number... I think they did a decent job, but Tyce's choreography seemed to be more about acting than dancing. I feel like I have had the same problem with his work in past seasons, and I don't feel like the dancers had the opportunity to shine. It did not highlight their abilities, even though Mary Murphy thought they were "playing it safe" (get back on the hot tamale train and shove it, Mary). I hope they get the chance to stick around after this week because I think they both have a lot more to give.

Karla and Jonathan | Cha-cha | "Poker Face"
I don't really remember these two from auditions or Vegas week at all, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I definitely found myself watching Jonathan more than Karla... I thought her performance fell a little flat and there wasn't nearly as much booty-shaking as there should have been. The dance also seemed a little slow at a few points. Overall, it was a decent first performance, and the judges seemed to think it was perfect, but I wasn't that blown away. (PS, I can no longer hear this song without thinking of Justin Timberlake's hilarious "Mediocre Face" from SNL.) (PPS, did Mary just say "if it's not rough, it's not fun"? Eww.)

Randi and Evan | Jazz | "I Only Have Eyes For You"
I liked both of these dancers from Vegas week: she of the unitard, he of the musical theatre fabulousness. Both quirky and cute and amazing dancers. Tyce's choreography was MUCH improved this time, and it was a really sexy number. I am loving the power and passion these two dancers have with every single move, and Adam got it right when he said that they danced like they were eight feet tall. SO much strength for two fairly tiny dancers! This number was pretty much flawless in my eyes. I have high hopes for both of these dancers and can't wait to see more from them.

Paris and Tony | Hip Hop | "Let the Beat Rock"
I have to give the girl props for rocking pleather pants. I do not envy her for whomever made that wardrobe decision. Paris definitely held this number together, I thought. Tony didn't have as much precision towards the end and it looked like he was losing momentum, which is rough because hip hop is his forté. I wanted him to be this season's Ivan (from season 2) in terms of improvement, but I don't think it's going to happen. For once I agree with Mary that it's not really a memorable number, and it wasn't good enough for them to be safe this week. We shall see.

Caitlin and Jason | Bollywood | "Jai Ho"
In Vegas I thought she was too skinny and he was adorable. This dance was extremely fast, and I felt like Caitlin couldn't keep up at many points. Jason definitely ruled this number and was amazing — his dancing truly looked effortless — but I couldn't stop being distracted by Caitlin's late timing. I'm really surprised that the judges didn't say more about that aside from one little comment Adam made. The verdict is still out on her, but I'm assuming they'll be safe this week.

Janette and Brandon | Foxtrot | "Come Fly With Me"
These two both blew me away with their auditions and during Vegas week. Usually, I find the foxtrot boring and I originally wished they had gotten a more interesting dance, but they did a really great job and they were very convincing as ballroom dancers. It was one of the more exciting foxtrots that I've seen on this show. That spin/lift craziness at the end was bananas and executed beautifully. Oh, and how pretty was her flowy pink costume? Mary totally outed herself with the Botox comment, and I love Janette for her reaction. I see these two going very, very far in this competition.

Ashley and Kupono | Jazz | "Felt Mountain"
Thank goodness Wade Robson is back choreographing this season. His numbers are always so amazing and I love his conceptual choreography. This one was particularly weird, but AWESOMELY weird. I think they executed it flawlessly and it was absolutely entrancing. The audience didn't seem to "get" it by the show of their applause, but I thought it was spectacular. Sidenote: I love that Ashley finally made the top 20 after auditioning for four seasons and never making it. That shows commitment and dedication and I want her to go very far.

Melissa and Ade | Contemporary | "Right Here Waiting"
I heart Mandy Moore's choreography (remember Sabra and Neil's "Sweet Dreams" from season three?). I hate her Richard Marx song choice (eww) but this number was pretty stunning. Melissa is definitely a ballerina and I love that she was able to flaunt her technique in this number (at the "ripe old age of 29," as she says... which, sadly, is old for a dancer). Ade made the lifts and spins look completely effortless and I thought they had great chemistry together onstage and they were completely in sync. Is it me or did this routine seem to go by more quickly than the others? I think they'll definitely be safe this week.

Kayla and Max | Samba | "Jum Bah Day"
Oh this song reminds me of Dmitri from season two :-) I LOVED Kayla throughout auditions and Vegas (her tearily proud grandfather made me cry like a baby); didn't know who Max was until he made the top 20. Max is a ballroom dancer so he was obviously in his element, but Kayla totally brought it! She seemed like such a natural. This whole number was seriously stunning and flawless (and unfortunately that warranted a Mary screech... blech). I can't wait to see more from these two! They're obviously making it through to next week.

Predictions for the bottom three couples:
Asuka and Vitolio
Karla and Jonathan
Paris and Tony

Who I think should go home tomorrow night:
Karla and Tony

Additional thoughts:
• Only Cat Deeley could pull off that dress. It's ugly, yet everything looks fabulous on her. I love her.
• Mary Murphy is more annoying than ever.
• The Shankman is more loveable as ever.

Disclaimer: these are just my opinions. Please be nice in the comments as this is all in good fun :-)

June 9, 2009

but it's the principle... (a.k.a., I have become a tightwad)

Last weekend, I returned a pair of shoes to DSW. I bought them several weeks ago but haven't found the opportunity to wear them, and after trying them on again at home after seeing them sit in their box for weeks, I realized they weren't really comfortable nor worth my money. (I have gotten much better at evaluating my purchases lately and figuring out if I will really wear something enough to justify the purchase.) While said shoes (sandals) were only $34.95, it was still $34.95 that I didn't need to be without.

Let me just say, I love DSW, and I buy most of my shoes there. They always have what I'm looking for, great prices, and I like that all of their stock is out on the floor for the customers to see — I loathe shoe stores where I have to ask for my size and wait for someone to bring them for me and then proceed to watch me like a hawk as I make my decision. I also wear a very common size (7.5 or 8) that is often sold out, but DSW always has a plethora of shoes in my size.

So anywho... I ventured to my local DSW to return my shoes. I presented my receipt like a good little customer and told the sales clerk that I would like to return the shoes — one of three pairs on the receipt. I am a DSW Premier Rewards member, and I had used a $10 off rewards certificate for my purchase. The clerk proceeded to tell me that since the rewards certificate amount had been split up amongst the three pairs of shoes ($3.27 was deducted from the cost of the pair I was returning), I would be getting back $31.68, instead of $34.95, the full amount that the shoes cost. I said okay, but then had a second to think about it and realized something was off.

I said to her, "Wait — I would have received $10 off my total purchase whether I got one pair of shoes or three pairs of shoes. Why wouldn't I get the full amount of those shoes back when it wasn't a percentage discount, but a dollar discount off of my full purchase?"

She took a second and then said, "Well, I could do that, but I'd just have to adjust the pricing of the other shoes." I don't really know what she meant, but I figured if it was possible, then yes, I'd like that option. I didn't really understand why she didn't do this in the first place, seeing as it is sort of her job... but whatevs. It probably took an extra 10 seconds of her time but I left there with the full refund for $34.95 credited to my debit card. It felt like a small victory.

The old me would not have cared about a $3.27 difference, but I've gotten a lot stingier smarter with my cash these days and I really value every dollar. I've also gotten a lot pickier with how retail stores run their businesses; although I love DSW, I was a little annoyed that it wasn't clear to the sales clerk right away that I should receive the full amount of those shoes back. (And no, she wasn't new — I recognized her and she has probably worked there for at least a year or so.) The old me would have felt like I was inconveniencing the clerk and I would have just let her do whatever she wanted to do, but now I don't let little things like that slip by me.

Mostly, it was the principle of it that made me adamant about receiving the full refund. Because if they pull one over on me, how many other people are they doing the same thing to? How much money are retailers making off of the ignorance of their customers? And if customers are, indeed, ignorant, does that give reason for them to be cheated out of money that is rightfully theirs?

Have you ever had a similar experience? Did you feel like it was a small victory even though it was only a few bucks saved?

on the town

The other night, Nick and I came across "On the Town" on TCM. I have actually never seen this film (I have no idea how this one slipped past me), but aside from the charming Gene Kelly in a sailor suit (they just don't make movie stars like that anymore... sigh), the thing that stood out to me the most was the fabulous green dress that Ann Miller is wearing during "Prehistoric Man." The style... the fit... the adorable black-and-white plaid collar with matching lining that you can see when she dances! I wish I had an excuse to wear such a spectacular getup.

If you want to watch the whole number, be my guest!

June 8, 2009

something fresh

My lovely friend Catherine just launched a wonderful new blog called Fresh. As Cat puts it, "Fresh is a place to seek news and start conversations; in most cases on issues of sustainability in our food systems, as well as our related communities and culture." While this is the focus, you can also expect plenty of lighthearted fodder interspersed throughout the content, and perhaps links to some tasty and unique recipes. I'm already enjoying her witty writing (she's truly a wordsmith) and her clean and (sorry for the pun) fresh layout.

Check out the About page to learn more and then explore your way around the blog; don't forget to show Cat some love as she steps into this lovely little Bloggy world!


I missed my 100th post. Oops.

Here's to 101 posts. Maybe when 200 comes around I'll actually notice.

June 4, 2009

eating healthy when you're a picky eater

I'm having a rough time lately. I'm trying to lose a few pounds (er, eight) that I've put on since our wedding (four of which I gained in ONE WEEK on our honeymoon... which, even though it's gross, I'm hilariously kind of proud of... is that weird?) — I just want to feel cute in my summer clothes and proud of my shape again, but I'm not doing such a good job of that. I'm pretty short — 5'3" — so eight pounds makes a world of difference on me.

You may remember that I have been loosely following Weight Watchers for a little while, but it's just not clicking this time like it did before the wedding. I constantly feel hungry when I'm working on 18 points a day, so then I go nuts and cheat WAY too much on the weekends and start from zero again on Monday. This week I have been forcing myself to exercise, which is definitely helping already, but I know that I still need to adopt some better eating habits to lose some weight and keep it off.

One of my biggest problems is that I'm a complete carboholic. I LOVE carbs. If it has "potato" in the name, chances are I'll inhale it. If it has pasta in it, I want it. I also love cheese, and anything greasy. I don't eat vegetables because I want to — I eat them because I know I have to (and I don't eat them as much as I should).

My other problem, and definitely THE biggest one, is that I'm terribly picky. I don't like tomatoes, cucumbers, raw onions, peppers, or mushrooms. I don't experiment often with new foods (although I'm still much better than I used to be) and I tend to eat a lot of the same thing, so I get bored with my food really easily. This is what usually leads me to go a little nuts when I splurge.

I need to make a more concerted effort to add more variety to my meals while remaining healthy. I eat too many processed foods and then when I try to make up for that by eating a healthy salad, I just feel unsatisfied. This recipe that Lynn posted the other day looks appetizing to me, and she modified it from a Weight Watchers recipe, so it has to be somewhat healthy. I just have a hard time understanding what is healthy and what isn't (I just think "carbs are bad" and "vegetables are good" but have never really grasped the in-between). I'm never quite sure of what's "good" fat and what's "bad" fat. I have never really fully understood what good sources of protein are and what foods are just loaded with bad stuff.

Help me out! What are your favorite somewhat healthy (and easy) recipes that a picky eater like myself might enjoy? What are your go-to snacks when you're craving something hearty and filling that won't ruin my diet?

June 2, 2009

on the turntable: Eric Hutchinson

I just bought Eric Hutchinson's album "Sounds Like This" on iTunes... and I have a feeling it's going to be on constant rotation in my car/office/iPod throughout the summer. It's quite catchy! His song "Rock and Roll" is the song that first caught my attention. Have you heard it?
Eric Hutchinson "Rock & Roll" - Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

June 1, 2009

see it.

That is all.