March 31, 2010

20x200

My friend Maggie recently introduced me to 20x200, an art website where limited edition prints are sold at reasonable prices. At least two new pieces are introduced on the site each week, and there is quite a range of beautiful art to choose from. A few of my favorites at the moment:




March 30, 2010

food revolution

Have you heard all of the hype surrounding Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? I watched it on Friday night (clearly, Nick and I lead a wild and crazy nightlife), and it did not disappoint. I've always seen Jamie Oliver as a likable guy and I get a kick out of his enthusiasm for food, but I like him even more now since watching this show. He's really trying to make a change in the way we feed our children and ourselves in this country, and while it certainly won't be an easy or immediate change, I think he is already making a positive impact.

Jamie set his sights on changing the school lunches in Huntington, West Virginia, which is apparently the most unhealthy town in our country. He was met with plenty of resistance, and it's clear that many of the people in Huntington are in denial about the future of their youth if they continue on the path of meals that are completely void of nutritional value. In last week's premiere, it was pretty eye-opening when a class of first-graders could identify French fries but not potatoes, and they knew what ketchup was but called tomatoes "potatoes." Sure, they're only 6 years old, but it's still a little scary to think that they don't know the difference between two pretty common vegetables... and don't even get me started on the "breakfast pizza" they are being served at school.

If you missed the 2-hour premiere, you can watch online at ABC.com. Don't forget to watch (or set your DVR for) this Friday night's episode!

Images via ABC.com

five years ago: a personal story

On this day five years ago, my mom was on her way to my apartment; we had dinner plans with her girlfriend, Ruth, and her daughter, Jessica. My mom was just a few blocks away, heading to the bank before she came to my place, when a drunk driver (understatement of the century... she wasn't just drunk, she was passed out at the wheel at 6:00 on a Wednesday night after polishing off a bottle of vodka) ran through (and over) a stop sign at 40 MPH, T-boning my mom's Jetta, pushing her into the axle of an oncoming 18-wheeler, and forcing the 18-wheeler to hit the car behind my mom and push it into a telephone pole.

Talk about horrifying.

My mom, who never saw the car coming, passed out immediately from the impact of the crash and doesn't remember a thing, but when she came to she immediately found her cell phone (tucked into her purse, which was still sitting on the passenger seat beside her) and called me. When she first said she had been in an accident, I thought, oh no, fender bender, but then her voice changed and I quickly became very, very fearful. She managed to tell me where the accident was, so I bolted out my door (yelling to Ruth and Jessica that there was an accident, and to please pull the door shut behind them), sprinted up the street (in heels) towards the sound of the sirens, and was terrified at what I saw before me. The 18-wheeler was blocking the road so I couldn't even see my mom's car; I had to run around the truck and through some bushes to see my mom still sitting in her crumpled Jetta. A kind gentleman who witnessed the accident had forced her door open when she came to and was feeling claustrophobic, but she was not allowed to move out of the driver's seat for fear of injuries.

Nick always says that the worst thing that happened that day was me seeing the whole thing, and I have to agree with him. While my mom's bruises and (thankfully) minor injuries eventually faded away, the image of that terrifying scene will forever be ingrained in my brain. It has been five years and it still seems like it happened yesterday; I still take extra caution when driving through the intersection where it all happened and can't help but picture the scene every time I do.

I'll never forget what happened in those following hours and days, either. I remember weird things, like riding in the front of the ambulance and feeling stunned to learn that drivers really don't move out of the way for emergency vehicles; I remember my mom being upset that they had to cut her sweater off of her (it was new). I also remember things like strangers comforting me on the side of the road when I wasn't allowed to stand near my mom, still in the driver's seat of her poor, totaled Jetta, since there were flammable substances on the road (yeah, that makes a worried daughter feel better).

I remember sitting in the waiting room of the trauma center by myself, still wearing my pink pants and heels, holding onto my mom's new yellow purse, waiting for George (my now-stepdad) to arrive; I sat waiting to be allowed to see my mom, and trying to convince myself that I'd be okay without a mom if that's what it had to come to. I remember thinking that maybe women in our family just weren't supposed to have mothers beyond our early twenties (my mom's parents both died by the time she was 24). I didn't want to believe that possible reality, but I was afraid that I may have had to, so I tried to be strong. But really, I was a mess.

Thankfully, as I mentioned above, aside from being extremely bruised on most of her body and sore (she passed out from the pain a few times in the hospital), my mom didn't suffer any major injuries, though she still has knee issues from her knee slamming into the steering column, pain in her ribs often from where she slammed into the driver's side door, and she had a concussion. We had both been nervous about possible internal injuries since the impact of the crash was so strong, even though on the surface she didn't look injured, and waiting for hours to hear that news seemed like weeks. (I knew we had both been thinking about poor Princess Diana, but neither of us wanted to say it.) We later heard that the 19 year-old girl who was in the car that had been pushed into the telephone pole had some pretty bad cuts on her arms from the broken glass, and the truck driver was unharmed — just very shaken up. The accident wasn't his fault, but clearly he felt very responsible. Out of everyone, the woman who caused the accident was the most injured and required the longest recovery time.

I don't know if I've ever felt quite as much anger as I did when we received the police report a week or so later and found that the 40-something woman who caused the accident had been drunk and passed out at the wheel (up until that point, we didn't know why she had been speeding and driving so recklessly). Her blood alcohol level was .309 — the legal limit in Pennsylvania is .08, and the police sergeant assigned to the case told us that .5 would have meant death. I was so angry that this woman's abandon for her own life had harmed the lives of so many others. I don't want to think about what could have happened if that tractor trailer had been a foot ahead or behind where he was when my mom's car was pushed into him (yet I think about that all the time). I had many a nightmare where I was in the passenger seat of my mom's car when the accident occurred, which was where the initial impact was.

I was in therapy for a year to overcome my driving fears after the accident; I didn't trust anyone on the road and there were many days that I arrived at work in tears after someone cut me off or startled me on the road. I accompanied my mom to the court hearing where we saw Drunk Lady (as she came to be known by me) and my mom had to testify; on our way out of the courtroom I heard Drunk Lady ask her lawyer if she should say something to us as she walked by. I gave her the stink eye and she (smartly) kept moving. As much as I had a lot I'd love to have said to her, she was not worth the breath.

I have zero tolerance for people who drive even a little drunk. And the people who then joke and "brag" about it after the fact, like it's a badge of honor — well, I'd like to smack them into next Tuesday. There is nothing admirable about doing something so incredibly stupid. Sure, the woman who caused my mom's accident clearly had a real problem, but you don't have to be an alcoholic to make a stupid decision involving alcohol.

If ever you're considering getting behind the wheel after you've had even one drink too many, don't do it. Just don't. You're putting your life and countless others at risk, and it is not worth it. Just imagine all of the moments you could be robbing your innocent victims of, and the families that could be forever affected by your choice. Please: be smart, and be safe.

My mom and me at my 2008 wedding, photo by The Wiebners

March 29, 2010

Monday music, vol. 9: All I Want Is You

Every Monday, I'll be sharing a pick-me-up song with the hopes of helping you begin your week on a positive note. Happy Monday!

Nick has had this song on repeat lately; if you saw Juno, you'll probably remember it as the cheery song that accommodates the opening credits, designed by Shadowplay Studio, which are equally as delightful as the song itself.


Buy this song here.

March 26, 2010

I want you to WANT to mail the card

Yesterday, Nick and I had a very Jennifer Aniston/Vince Vaughn moment. No, no — not in the sense that we're breaking up, silly! But we sort of lived out the "I want you to WANT to do the dishes" scene from The Breakup. Except, I was Vince Vaughn and Nick was Jennifer Aniston...

... Let me start over.

Nick had a card that he had written out for his grandmother, and it was addressed, with a stamp on it, sitting at the top of the stairs in our apartment. That's where we usually sit things that need to be remembered on our way out the door. The morning after he wrote the card out, I saw it still sitting there. Huh, I figured — Nick forgot to grab the card on his way to work. Guess he'll mail it later. I went about my day and pretty much immediately forgot about it.

The following day, yesterday, it was still sitting there. Geez, I thought to myself, when is he going to mail that card? I ended up not leaving the apartment yesterday, so I didn't grab it on my way out anywhere to drop it in the nearest mailbox, and it just didn't occur to me that I should go out of my way to mail it.

Last night, Nick said to me, "Will you remember to mail that card tomorrow, or should I just walk down to the mailbox right now?"

Um, excuse me?

I barked very nicely said, "I was never told that I was supposed to mail that card."

He immediately knew that the way he had asked his question sounded accusatory, and he backtracked a little bit to redeem himself. After a little spattering back-and-forth, he said I was right, he had never asked me to mail the card, and he apologized that it came out the wrong way; then, he walked down the street to mail the card.

But it occurred to me later in the evening — why didn't I mail that card for him? No, he had never outright asked me, but I saw it sitting there for two days in a row, and I ignored it. The mailbox is half a block from our apartment, and yes, it would have been "out of my way," but I work from home and it probably would have taken all of 90 seconds of my time to take care of it. But I didn't.

He wanted me to WANT to mail the card for him.

He does nice things for me all the time without my asking, but I did not extend the same courtesy to him. I felt like a jerk.

Hopefully I'll learn from this incident and go out of my way to be a little more courteous the next time. Next time, I'll WANT to mail the card for him.

Do you and your spouse ever have the "I want you to WANT to do the dishes" moment?

Polaroid projects

Who doesn't love stumbling upon old, weathered Polaroids, tucked inside an old book or buried under a pile of mementos and forgotten memories?

The New York City Polaroid Project began in 2003 when Andrew Faris moved to NYC after graduating from college. He explored the city with his Polaroid camera and his curiosity, and the result is a delightful collection of images. He recently revisited the photos and decided to share them, after seven years of being stowed away.

source, found via Doug Wilson

My friend Scott has been keeping a Polaroid diary of his own — these, however, are iPhone Polaroids, and Scott's subject is, most often, the city of Philadelphia.


You can buy prints of some smaller collections of Andrew Faris' images here.

March 25, 2010

sleek and charming silhouettes

In case you were wondering, I'm still madly in love with silhouettes. Brooke at Inchmark has been doing a little "silo" series this week, and it's kicking my butt into gear to finish the silhouette project on my to-do list... it's the second to last DIY project that I need to finish for our bedroom overhaul to be complete. (I swear, I'll get there someday and I'll have the pictures to prove it.)

Anyway... silhouettes! Aren't they the cutest?

March 24, 2010

sweet Liberty

I have had to maintain a very high level of restraint during recent trips to Target. Oh, how I want lots and lots and lots of things from their new Liberty of London collection... but I don't need anything, so sadly, it will all have to remain on my wish list for now.

A pretty little top - $19.99
(It pained me to see this one in my size... they NEVER have my size left in the popular stuff!)

A pretty little dress - $29.99

Cute and summery PJs - $19.99

Clearly, I need a canister that matches my bedding...

... and a 2-tier dessert tray. For good measure.

Have you scored any great items from the new Liberty line at Target? Please, let me live vicariously through you!

March 23, 2010

let's talk about MTV, shall we?

It's no secret anymore (if you follow me on Twitter or have seen some of my Formspring responses) that I am a tiny bit obsessed with MTV reality/documentary shows. I am pushing 30 and I thought maybe I'd have grown out of my love for MTV by now, but my devotion is still going strong. I wasn't allowed to watch MTV for a while when I was younger, so I'd like to think that I'm making up for lost time now. (See, Mom — it's all your fault! You should have let me watch Remote Control after all!)

Let's review my top MTV selections, shall we?

16 and Pregnant / Teen Mom
These shows are like my crack — I just can't quit them. If this isn't good birth control for the youth of our country, I don't know what is. What started as Sixteen and Pregnant, a real look into the lives of teenage girls who find themselves with child, evolved into another show, Teen Mom, which lets us follow along as four of the young girls raise their babies. It is fascinating, eye opening, and, in more than one case, it makes you want to reach through the television and shake some sense into these clueless girls (Farrah) or their idiot boyfriends (Ryan). Catelynn and Tyler were the only couple from season one of 16 and Pregnant to give their daughter up for adoption, and following their journey has made me love them more than I already did at the beginning. Of all of the kids, they come from the most screwed up backgrounds, yet they're the two who seem to have their lives together the most; I have a serious soft spot for them. If you're not watching this show, you really should be. (Mandy also wrote a great review of this show that will have you laughing hysterically if you're familiar with the moms from season one.)

The Buried Life
Sort of like The Bucket List, but with four 20-something Canadian guys setting out to live their lives to the fullest by answering one question: what do you want to do before you die? Some of their goals are silly (asking Megan Fox out on a date) and some are serious (helping a woman give birth), but each episode has a great message. And they're not just doing things for themselves — with each item the guys cross of off their list, they help someone else cross something off of theirs. For one little girl, it was going on a roller coast to conquer her fear of heights (all of the guys went along with her to support her... it made me cry, it was so sweet). For one stranger, it was meeting his birth father, and the guys made it happen. Season one is over now, but hopefully these incredibly likable guys will be back soon for a second season.

True Life
In case you thought MTV was all junk, I'll have you know that True Life is an award-winning documentary series, yessiree. Whether it's True Life: I'm Getting Married (don't lie, you all remember Charlie and Sabrina and their unfortunate limo driver) or True Life: I'm Deaf, I am always 100% captivated by this series. Some of the topics are more off-the-wall than others, like the most recent True Life: I Have Digital Drama, about people who are having trouble in their relationships because of their addiction to text messaging and cell phones, but they're all equally fascinating.

Made
Likelihood that I will cry during an episode of Made: 99.9%. What can I say, I'm a sucker for people pursuing their dreams and learning valuable lessons in the process. While I'm kind of tired of the "I want to be made into the prom queen" missions, there have been some really great episodes over the years. Remember Kristen, the prissy, popular girl who wanted to ride BMX bikes? She realized that maybe getting her nails done with her friends and getting drunk at senior week wasn't the best thing she could be doing for her future, and she came out of the experience really grounded and with an awesome new skill.

My Life as Liz
When this show first came on the air, I couldn't figure out if it was real or fake. Then I saw it again and saw the little disclaimer at the beginning saying that it is, indeed, real, so I took their word for it. I'm sure some of it is pseudo-staged, obviously, but for the most part, it's about quirky, misfit high school senior Liz Lee and her goofy friends and relationships in Burleson, Texas. I find her kind of hilarious, plus Bryson is super cute and those two kids just have to get together. I'm pathetic, I know.

America's Best Dance Crew
While I don't particularly enjoy the commentary (Does Lil' Mama ever say anything of value??), I do enjoy the dancing. It's been cool to follow along after a few seasons to see not just male hip hoppers (as it pretty much started out), but a diverse group of dancers, male and female, with different styles and backgrounds. These kids can freaking dance.

The Hills
I said I wouldn't watch after Lauren Conrad left the show, but I lied — I'm still watching. I just can't stop. I need to keep up with Audrina's latest surgeries (girlfriend was pretty before, why did she have to go and get a nose job), Heidi's latest ridiculousness, Stephanie's latest "duh" statement, and, now, Kristin's latest boy toy. I know it's all staged and done totally for the cameras, but I never claimed to be picky, people. It's entertaining, and that's all I need.

The City
Again, I know it's totally staged, just like The Hills. But I don't care. I love Whitney, I would like to have her wardrobe, her hair, and her legs, and I am highly entertained by Olivia and how highly she thinks of herself.



• • • • • • • • • • •

In case you think I watch them all, I promise that there are a few MTV shows that I'm not watching... in addition to the Parental Control variety of crap that they show in the afternoons (really? Does anyone watch this and think it's real?), I also can't bring myself to watch:

Jersey Shore
As a Jersey shore-goer for my whole life, I simply can't do it. I'm too embarrassed that they're representing a place I love (even though, I must add, they're in a town called Seaside Heights which is nowhere near the town I vacationed — do you hear me??) with their "Situations" and their Bumpits and their orange tans and their really, really trashy clothes. I watched like two episodes and I couldn't tell any of the guys apart (the guy with the greasy hair? No, the other guy with the greasy hair) and I just don't need to see anymore. Sorry, superfans. No Jersey Shore for this girl.

The Real World
You could argue that this was THE original reality show that started it all, and I was a devoted fan for the first several (ten or so) seasons, but now it's just sort of... I dunno... same crap, different day/cast/city. The fact that they can't have cell phones or watch television makes it anything but reality (I mean, of course there are going to be fights when all they have to do all day is stare at each other and go out drinking), and most of the people on the show are just looking to jumpstart their careers in show business anymore. I miss the days of the first season in NYC, where Julie was the innocent southern girl pursuing a dance career, Eric was trying to make it as a model, and Norm was just being hysterically awesome. They didn't have a group "job" and they didn't have groupies hanging out outside of their house (because no one knew or cared what they were doing there). I was twelve years old and I thought they were cool and funny. It's just not the same anymore.

Real World/Road Rules Challenges
These shows seriously stress me out. I used to watch because the drama was so juicy, but then I realized that they were actually making me feel anxious. Isn't that ridiculous? I guess I was getting a little too invested, hehe. And I started feeling bad for the people that continued to go on the challenges (former cast members of The Real World and Road Rules) as their actual jobs. Like, professional challenge-ers. I dunno.... if you're 38 and you're going on your seventh MTV challenge show in place of a real career, I think just mayyyybe you might be a little lost in life. Sure, winning would get you like $50,000, but after taxes, that's probably not THAT much, and it seems like a whole lot of drama considering that you'll more than likely not even win. Whether it's the Inferno or the Duel or whatever you want to call it, I am no longer watching.

SO! That's my list :) Now tell me — what are your must-see MTV shows?

March 22, 2010

Monday music, vol. 8: Right Back Where We Started From

Every Monday, I'll be sharing a pick-me-up song with the hopes of helping you begin your week on a positive note. Happy Monday!

When I hear this song, I picture Sarah Jessica Parker dancing and letting loose in The Family Stone. And doesn't everyone want to dance like that when they hear this song?


Buy this song here.

PS, did anyone see the great segment on yesterday's CBS Sunday Morning about Muzak? It was a great piece about the power of music, particularly in retail environments and restaurants/bars. That would definitely be a rad job... pretty much making music mixes all day long! Maybe in my next life....

March 19, 2010

what friends are for dress

ModCloth is such a jerk, such a tease. I mean, really: how in the world am I supposed to not buy this adorableness?

Fortunately (for my wallet), the What Friends are For Dress is currently out of stock. Nice try, ModCloth — I win! Wait, no... not really. I still want this dress. Hmph.

Found via Something Old, Something New

March 18, 2010

curly hair cocktail

Over the last few years, I've finally come to somewhat embrace not totally hate my natural curls. After about 8 years of using the flat iron every. single. day. I decided to take advantage of the length that had grown out for our wedding and go back to the curls for a little while. (A short 'do and curls never worked for me — I always got the dreaded triangle-effect if my hair wasn't long enough.)

My hair was kind of begging for a little less heat damage, and it takes me a lot less time to get ready in the mornings now, but it did take a little while to assemble the perfect combination of products to work with my hair — a curly hair cocktail, if you will. Currently, here are my products of choice:

I alternate between Aussie Moist and Iden Bee Propolis Bee Balanced for shampooing and conditioning. My scalp can get pretty dry, and my hairdresser recommended the Iden products; it's also always good to alternate your shampoos and conditioners every so often to keep hair refreshed, and I've always liked Aussie products.

After I towel dry my hair, I mix together Redken's Fresh Curls Curl Refiner with a drop of Frizz Ease Clearly Defined Style Holding Gel. My hair is pretty soft/fine so if I use the Redken Curl Refiner on its own, my curls are too soft and, in turn, can look frizzy (though I like this product for the moisture it adds). Adding a little bit of the Frizz Ease gel helps to give the curls a little more shape, sans frizz.

Once my product is in, I try not to really mess with my hair much. The curls look their best when they do their own thing and I haven't gone crazy trying to scrunch them. I dry my hair with a diffuser (key for containing the frizz), and I spray Aussie Sprunch spray when it's still a little damp, then dry some more. The Sprunch spray is great for keeping things contained without being too wet or giving me crispy curls (eww). Once I'm done drying, I go over everything with a few more sprays of the Sprunch spray, and voila — somewhat contained curls.

It may sound like a process, but it saves me about 15 minutes compared to when I was using the flat iron every day, and my hair feels healthier, to boot. I have to admit that I still like the way I look better with straight hair, but I save that long and drawn out process for special occasions now :)

Any other curly-haired ladies out there? What are your favorite products?

March 16, 2010

Romi

I love the clean lines and interesting shapes of these pieces from Romi Ceramics. I particularly love the "spinners" vessels; the pleasing color palette would mesh perfectly with our apartment.

found via happy cavalier

March 15, 2010

Monday music, vol. 7: You Make My Dreams

Every Monday, I'll be sharing a pick-me-up song with the hopes of helping you begin your week on a positive note. Happy Monday!

As if this Hall & Oates song weren't already peppy enough, 500 Days of Summer made me love it even more. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you'll see what I mean in the clip below... and see the movie already, mm'kay?). By the way, Hall & Oates are Philadelphians. Holler.


Buy this song here.

March 14, 2010

spreading the wisdom: "DIY is not 'Duplicate it Yourself'"

I have seen this article linked on a few other blogs in the last few days, and I usually don't like rehashing what I know is already out there... but I think this article is important enough to continue spreading around in case you haven't already seen it. It's a great article from Decor8 entitled Real Talk: DIY is not Duplicate it Yourself!

I see a lot of personal interpretations of DIY ideas, especially in the wedding world, but for every unique interpretation I'd bet there are ten more blatant rip-offs. As a designer, I have most definitely been asked to replicate something another designer has created, and my answer has always been a resounding "no"; after all, I hope that other designers would do me the same courtesy if someone asked them to replicate one of my original designs. When it comes to individuals replicating something for themselves, though (meaning they do not intend to resell it), it is still a slippery slope — particularly when those projects are blogged about. Even if "inspiration" credit is still given, that doesn't necessarily make it okay to have stolen someone's design.

Inspiration and copying are two very different things, and I've seen a lot of copies in blogland that have made me really uncomfortable.

Here's an excerpt from the post on Decor8 that I find particularly notable:
“Perhaps some people feel like their homemade invitation (or cake or dress or bouquet or centerpiece or curtains or pillow…) that looks exactly like the original couldn’t possibly change anything in the world or hurt someone else. While I think that the vast majority of bloggers understand the difference between inspiration and copying, and act professionally and ethically, I’m not sure that many are doing an excellent job of pointing out the difference—and the real effect that copying has on the people behind the businesses that supply creative content and products—to readers. The simple fact is that when somebody decides to “duplicate it yourself” (instead of getting inspired to “do it yourself”) it hurts a real person."
Check out the original post on Decor8 to read more.

What is your stance on "Do It Yourself" versus "Duplicate It Yourself"? Do you think anything is fair game, or do you make sure to put your personal spin on any ideas you use as inspiration?

March 12, 2010

the little things (in the kitchen)

It's no secret that I am certainly not a master chef. It's rare that I make a whole meal from start-to-finish, and I am extremely lucky to have a husband who actually enjoys cooking so he doesn't see it as a chore to make up for my shortcomings in the kitchen. (He doesn't call them shortcomings, I do :)

The one thing that I have always enjoyed in the kitchen is baking. I don't know why I see this as being so different from regular cooking, but I enjoy it so much more. Maybe it's because the result tends to be a bit more sweet and a bit less healthy? I do love sweet and unhealthy things....

Last night I made some chocolate chip cookies from scratch, using the recipe on the back of the Nestle Toll House chocolate chip bag. I feel like that recipe never fails me, and I love the excuse to break out the KitchenAid mixer in all her Ice Blue glory. We have a pretty petite kitchen with limited counter space, so one of the keys to baking cookies without losing my mind (and all of my counter space) has been this:


We registered for this baby when we got married, and for a measley $9.99, dare I say, it has made baking in a small kitchen so much more pleasant. I kind of want another set so I can bake double-batches of yumminess and just keep stacking up :) (And by the way, my cookies look way better than those pictured above.)

While not handy for baking, my two other favorite inexpensive kitchen items are:


I have the worst time opening jars (small hands, overall wimpiness) and this little gadget is amazing. It's great for jars of any size, and it has not failed me yet!


Our oven doesn't have the sort of handle where we could hang towels, so we have two of these and they're awesome at making our kitchen look somewhat organized (or at least like not-a-complete-mess).

What are your favorite little things that make your experience in the kitchen more pleasant?

March 9, 2010

recovery

I'm still recovering from:
  1. a really annoying head cold (I should buy stock in DayQuill)
  2. a fabulously awesome trip to Las Vegas
  3. jetlag
I might be a little quiet on the blog front this week, but I'll be back soon! xoxo

Bees in Vegas. Can't you feel the love?

March 8, 2010

Monday music, vol. 6: 9 to 5

Every Monday, I'll be sharing a pick-me-up song with the hopes of helping you begin your week on a positive note. Happy Monday!

In honor of my husband's first day at a new job (yay!!), I thought a little Dolly Parton was in order. I love me some Dolly.


Buy this song here.

March 2, 2010

swagger wagon

Have you all seen the new commercials for the Toyota Sienna? I find them absolutely hilarious, because they totally make fun of the minivan, yet are relatable for those couples who are trying to be responsible parents while still remaining young and hip. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds the term "swagger wagon" hysterical.



You can see the whole series of commercials here. Advertising at its finest!

March 1, 2010

traveling in style

I'm taking a trip in a few days to a little place in Nevada; I'm very much looking forward to spending some time with a few cool ladies and enjoying some warmer weather. While it may not be warm enough to camp out poolside, being able to leave my snow boots at home in Pennsylvania will be a refreshing change.

There are a few outings planned and I want to look and feel stylish; considering I spent the majority of the month of February working from home in my pajamas, this will actually be quite a departure for me. I started planning my outfits in my head a few weeks ago, and I had a little fashion show for myself last week to see what would work and what I still needed to buy. Yes, this is very serious business.

In the past week I have picked up a few new things to supplement my current wardrobe so I'm stylin' on the strip:

printed Kelsey ruffle top from J.Crew (mine is the same print, but in purple), on sale for $43.55

tunnel belt shirtdress from The Limited, on sale for $47.70
(it looks extremely shiny in these photos, but it is really not shiny at all)

Blooms print dress from Ann Taylor Loft, on sale for $41.99

Hush Puppies Rosemore heels in Silver Metallic leather from DSW, on clearance for $27.96,
paid $17.96 because I had a $10 rewards coupon

(I didn't even know that Hush Puppies made heels, but these are cute, comfortable, and versatile enough that hopefully I will get a lot of wear out of them in the future)


long black trench coat from Target, $39.99

I'll also be breaking out my favorite LBD (little black dress) from my girl Betsey. I have worn this to my mom's 2008 wedding, my bridal shower (with a twist), and a wedding since I bought it. It truly is the perfect LBD!

Cute husband not included

What are your wardrobe staples when traveling?

Monday music, vol. 5: Got My Mind Set On You

Every Monday, I'll be sharing a pick-me-up song with the hopes of helping you to begin your week on a positive note. Happy Monday!

I think George Harrison was one of the greatest songwriters who has ever lived. On the surface, he was the quiet Beatle, but behind that shy facade was a truly gifted musician. While this song is one of his fluffier, peppier tunes, I still think it's great and it puts me in a good mood.


Buy this song here.