Monday, August 30, 2010

Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.
Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

For all my love of television, I just thoroughly enjoyed watching the Emmy's last night with my mom and Nick. From Temple Grandin sweeping the movie category to seeing True Blood cast members, Jimmy Fallon sing like Boyz 2 Men and another big Mad Men win it was a fun show.

Of course, the highlight of the evening were the many appearances by lovely, St. Louis-bred Jon Hamm. That made sitting through the commercials bearable!

Yes, please.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • found and bought my new bed!
  • the salty bread at Cafe Provencal.
  • having my mom walk Winnie at 6 a.m. on a Saturday.
  • baby Clydesdale horses at Grant's Farm.
  • new Sperry Topsiders.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The bed has become a place of luxury to me!
I would not exchange it for all the thrones in the world.

Napoleon Bonaparte

My mom flew in this afternoon and I'm very excited because we have a fun weekend of things planned. Nick works every weekend so I'm usually alone, it will be nice to have company and a little help in getting some things checked off my to do list. We'll be doing the standard lunch/movie/shopping but also I'm on a serious hunt for a new bed!

I've saved and saved and have a suspiciously large envelope of cash that looks like it would pay for something illegal set aside just for a bed purchase. I'll also have enough for brand new bedding. We have beautiful sheets and pillowcases from a wedding gift but we desperately need a new comforter/duvet.

I'm not keen on paying retail for a bed so we'll be scouting local consignment stores for what I want. I'm pretty open to the style and would love something old but do love beds with this kind of structure (basically Pottery Barn without the price):

For bedding, I'm on the hunt for this comforter/duvet style but again, hopefully I will snag it at TJMaxx or Stein Mart. I want neutral (monogrammed of course!) so it will last when my decor changes around it:

If you have any bed and/or linen buying advice, please share. Either way, wish us luck with the hunt!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

At the beach, life is different. Time doesn't move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun.
Sandy Gingras

Last weekend I enjoyed three days with my two college roommates in San Diego. RaeAnna is a travel nurse and is currently living in the Pacific Beach area so I flew to Las Vegas and then Ashley and I drove to San Diego together. We walked along the Pacific Ocean, visited Coronado and Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, saw Weezer in concert and watched the sunset from a rooftop restaurant in La Jolla.

How does the line go? "You never know how many friends you have until you have a beach house." Completely true! We're already planning our trip for next year.

My cute pup-pup welcome in Las Vegas. Ashley's dogs Paisley and Parker.

Gate leading to RaeAnna's beachy apartment.

Walking just a few blocks from her apartment to the Pacific Ocean.

Dipping my toes.

Beautiful sunset dinner at George's in La Jolla.

Waited in line for breakfast with all of the surfers at Kono's in Pacific Beach.

Ate aforementioned breakfast beach-side.

Went shopping and saw this cute sign - if it was smaller I would have bought it!

View of downtown San Diego from Coronado.

Visited the Hotel del Coronado or as the locals call it, "The Del."

Patio view of The Del.

Winnings at Del Mar.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The pug is living proof that God has a sense of humor.
Margo Kaufman

Sometimes you just need a little pick-me-up. Say at 2:48 p.m. on a Wednesday. Just a small distraction from work and the desire to get a Coke from the vending machine. A little "happy" I suppose.

The site that always does the trick for me is Upside Down Dogs. Because, really, how could these not make you smile?

Ahhh, that's better. Back to work.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It never rains in Southern California.
Albert Hammond

I'm very distracted this week because on Thursday night after work I'm hoping aboard a plane headed to Las Vegas. There I'll meet up with Ashley and on Friday we're driving to see RaeAnna in San Diego for a fun weekend.

This is actually the exact weekend last year (both of their birthdays fall within the next few days) they were here in St. Louis. So now that RaeAnna is working in San Diego, we're making a repeat get together trip and meeting up again.

No big tourist plans since Ashley and I have both been there before but we are planning on an afternoon at the beach and a nice dinner out in La Jolla on Friday, visiting Coronado during the morning on Saturday and then Saturday afternoon going up to Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (Nick is so jealous) to see a few races and a free Weezer concert.

I'm looking forward to catching up with old friends and enjoying some time off. The highs in San Diego this weekend are barely at 70 degrees so that alone with be a lovely respite.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:
  • hamburgers and hand-breaded onion rings at The Village Bar.
  • fresh highlights and a haircut.
  • piles of milk glass at consignment stores.
  • doggy dates for Winnie with the neighbors.
  • gathering with other St. Louis bloggers.

Friday, August 13, 2010

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
Willa Sibert Cather

For those of us that were in Southwest Florida six years ago today, August 13, it was not a just a warm, sunny summer day for the beach or the pool.

Hurricane Charley made landfall as a category four storm and ripped through Charlotte Harbor and up into the mainland. It was the strongest storm that had hit Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and caused over $13 billion in damages.

I spent Hurricane Charley in the bathroom of Casey's parent's home with my childhood dog, Emma. My mom and I headed there as the storm changed approached. Their home was newer, one story and pretty much our conclusion was if the roof was going to come off my mom's house we didn't want to be there to watch it happen.

Casey's dad was stationed at the kitchen table with a map and a radio wearing his hiking head lamp (no power, of course) tracking the coordinates of the storm as they were reported. Slowing drawing a red line, ticking closer and closer to us in a straight line.

As it approached, we became more and more worried. This nasty storm was going to go right over us. It's amazing all of the things you think of and all of the things you don't.

We thought of family photos, rain soaked albums and ruined memories. We did not think of cars, televisions or money. We thought of how to keep safe if the roof came off and the windows were blown in (mattress over us in the bathtub).

All of a sudden, very rapidly the storm shifted ever so slightly east and literally brushed past us. We were so fortunate. But so many other people in the storm's path were not.

So many people lost everything six years ago today. I have the I was there story and thankfully with the we're alright ending. The landscape in Southwest Florida has been forever changed. Driving over Charlotte Harbor you used to see miles of lush mangroves and tall pines. Even today, it looks barren to me. Stripped down to roots that are still growing back.

One of the most striking images I always remember seeing of the massive scale of destruction that Hurricane Charley left was a photo collage Captiva Island, where the storm first made land fall.

Amazing, isn't it? Thankfully I wasn't right there. But six years later, we're alright.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I love the fall. I love it because of the smells that you speak of; and also because things are dying, things that you don't have to take care of anymore,
and the grass stops growing.

Mark Van Doren

As the paint in our hallway literally melts off the wall from this disgusting summer heat (oh yes, it's true and completely gross looking) , my mind drifts and fantasizes of all things fall:
  • Yankee Candle Spiced Pumpkin tarts.
  • hot apple cider in a big mug.
  • hearing the Nebraska Huskers fight song.
  • the smell of wood-burning fireplaces in the air.
  • driving with the windows down.
  • skinny jeans and my black riding boots.
  • picking pumpkins at Rombach Farms.
  • the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot.
What are you visualizing as you stick to your car seat and your hair frizzes?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The best way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once.
E. Joseph Cossman

On Saturday, Nick and I took part in the scheming of a surprise 30th birthday party for our friend Melanie. Her sweet husband, Luke, planned it all out - I was so proud of how cute he made it! Our duty was to pick up the cake, balloons and flowers but he did all of the rest (from the menu to the custom centerpieces).

She knew something was up but was pleasantly surprised at what it was and we all enjoyed a fun evening together. Luke and Nick were college roommates and there was a big group of alums from their college that live in St. Louis. Kind of random for a small Iowa college to have this many alums in the St. Louis area. It's nice to have such fun people to know and celebrate with here.

The birthday girl with her cute "30" stuff.

College alums.

With my handsome guy.

Some of the ladies.

Mel and Luke.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Men seldom make passes. At girls who wear glasses.
Dorothy Parker

You know how some people hate feet? I really don't like anything to do with eyes. I don't like seeing other people pull contacts out or heaven forbid I actually get something in my own eye. Ew.

But I knew my vision was going about two years ago when I started to have a hard time reading the narrative text from my couch on episodes of Intervention. (See :58 into this video.)

Hey, what can I say - it was my guidepost.

Then I couldn't see street signs clearly or the score on the big screen at the Cardinals games. It wasn't terrible vision, just fuzzy when looking at things far away.

So I finally went to the eye doctor (my first time ever, which completely terrified me) and got a prescription for glasses that would be best used for driving, especially at night. The doctor was nothing but nice and explained everything as she went along. The dialation was weird but other than that it really wasn't as horrible as I imagined.

I shopped around for some nice frames in a style I liked that weren't $300. Sam's Club did the trick and I picked up my new glasses on Saturday.

It's like they're my magic eyes. I didn't realized how blurry my sight was, even with things as close as the computer screen at work. WOW! It's amazing but St. Louis isn't nearly as hazy as I once thought. So I've been wearing them for more than just driving and really appreciate being able to, um, see things.

As Nick says, this is my smarty-pants wife.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Jewelry takes people's minds off your wrinkles.
Sonja Henie

A few weeks ago my boss handed me a stack of coupons and gift certificates that were in his goody bag at a local golf tournament. There were the usual buy-one-get-one coupons for restaurants, discounted services at a salon and a coupon for sneakers. All great and I'll probably use plenty of them.

The one thing that caught my eye was a gift card for a local boutique. It was for $25 which seems like a decent amount but I knew that at this place that would be you, um, a button.

So I popped into the store on Friday night just to see if they had anything in my price range to use up my gift card. They were having a summer sale, Oh, the white capri pants are now only $250, not $425 - great. But they did have a lovely selection of jewelry and after scanning to prices there were some nice options at about $30 - $35 so I only would need to pay less than $10 out of pocket for a piece that was originally four or five times that price.

I selected this bracelet because 1.) it was in my price range 2.) it was silver, black and white which would go with just about everything I wear and 3.) the pansy and the pearl are Tri Delta symbols!

So for $8 and my boss' generosity I can now enjoy my new bracelet.

Friday, August 6, 2010

No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough.
Roger Ebert

We never go to the movies.

It's not that I don't appreciate a bag of warm, buttered popcorn and a fountain Coke with lots of ice (much to Nick's chagrin). Or giving the thumbs up or thumbs down to each preview.

Honestly, it's because our cable package is so obscene.

It feels silly to spend the time and money out when we can watch all of our DVR'd shows, movies from HBO and Showtime and if we get "desperate" pay-per-view options right in our own living room.

To illustrate our infrequently we go to the movies, the last movie I saw in a theater was Hot Tub Time Machine.


Moving on...

So although there are plenty of movies in the theaters I'd like to see, I will never be able to talk about them because we're watching movies that came out last year. Of course, all the movies we watch have to be both Nick and Randall friendly.

No Dear John or Valentine's Day for Nick. No The Wolfman or The Book of Eli for Randall.

But here are two good movies that we've recently watched that I wanted to pass along. Even though you can't even see them in the theater... they'd be good to add to your Netflix que.

The Invention of Lying

Nick loves Ricky Gervais and I enjoy watching a movie with Jennifer Garner because it is like spending an hour and a half with Casey. The film is clever about a world where no one ever lies until one man figures out he can. You don't realize it but a society with no lying is both cruel and weirdly innocent. Imagine that if everything you said, people believed and everything you thought, you said.

It is full of many familiar faces like Rob Lowe, Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Jonah Hill. It wasn't has good as a I thought it would be and I found myself getting distracted in parts but it's worth a watch!

Funny People

Nick has broadened by appreciation of stand-up comedy. I now know many of non-mainstream comics who are so talented and so funny. This film was chock full of comedians whose names I recognized and Nick knew immediately. The whole film was one big comedic cameo. That's what made it most enjoyable. The length was a bit much and it sort of dragged along when it could have wrapped up earlier.

It's a Judd Apatow film so all of those great actors and the writing are in it again ala The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. You'd enjoy it if you liked those films and good stand-up comedy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of.
Ogden Nash

Sunday morning I was woken up my a whiny dog got up early. The weather that morning wasn't as hot as it has been this week so I sat out on the back porch while Winnie sniffed around on her "tether."

The sun was rising and casting a beautiful light. Filtering through the big oaks and maples it hit just right to send streams of light onto the yard.

Doesn't Winnie look all sweet and woodland-creature-like out there?

I enjoyed my coffee, laptop and cool breeze on the back porch.

Within minutes, Winnie was inside because she wouldn't stop the gosh darn digging in the woodland paradise. Ruined my perfectly good, picture perfect dog-owner moment.

Aw, ma - no fair!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Perhaps because it reminds me of Winnie or that it is just too cute anyway...

Some Wednesday happy:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hi. I'm Elle Woods and this is Bruiser Woods. We're both Gemini vegetarians.
Elle Woods, Legally Blonde

The other night we were heading out to meet some friends and Nick looked at me, looked at Winnie and then back at me.

"You match."

"Excuse me?" I replied not understanding how exactly I would match a Beagle.

"You match the dog. Both of you in your red headbands."

I looked down at Winnie, her tail wagging and sporting her snazzy new red leather color.

What can I say, I like red and she has good style. We matched!


The uh-stop-it-mom look from Winnie.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:

  • morning air cool enough to be able to sit outside with my coffee.
  • corn on the cob roasted in tin foil on the girl.
  • my next door neighbor's chickens - cluck, cluck, cluck.
  • shopping for birthday gifts for friends.
  • Beagles that don't dig holes in the backyard (as in, I would be grateful if I had one of those).

Rabbit! Rabbit!
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