Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Box of Beauty

I really, really want to get this! Birchbox allows you to receive a box of deluxe samples every month for only $10 (and shipping is free!). They have a box designed for women, and now they also have one designed for men. All the products in the boxes are available on their website, but there is no need to purchase unless you want to. I am beauty product junkie, and when I heard about this amazing concept, I immediately signed up to be on the waiting list. I thought that I could both satisfy my beauty obsession, and I would receive all kinds of products to blog about without going broke with weekly visits to Sephora. I finally got the invite to join, but I was away, or busy, or something, and I didn't sign up right away. I did not stop for beauty and beauty did not stop for me! (Emily Dickinson, anyone?) The offers expires fast, and now I am on the waiting list again. I can't wait to get the message that this ultimate box of treats will be mine.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Getting Old

This is really depressing--you've been warned. I just needed to say it. 

Let me Die a Youngman's Death

Roger Gough

 Let me die a youngman's death
 not a clean and inbetween
 the sheets holywater death
 not a famous-last-words
 peaceful out of breath death

 When I'm 73
 and in constant good tumour
 may I be mown down at dawn
 by a bright red sports car
 on my way home
 from an allnight party

 Or when I'm 91
 with silver hair
 and sitting in a barber's chair
 may rival gangsters
 with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
 and give me a short back and insides

 Or when I'm 104
 and banned from the Cavern
 may my mistress
 catching me in bed with her daughter
 and fearing for her son
 cut me up into little pieces
 and throw away every piece but one

 Let me die a youngman's death
 not a free from sin tiptoe in
 candle wax and waning death
 not a curtains drawn by angels borne
 'what a nice way to go' death

Yesterday morning I came across this heartbreaking article by a woman who graduated from Yale this spring only to die in a car accident just a few weeks later. Her perspective in this article is so positive, so excited for her future, and it made me think about aging.

Recently, I have heard so many people bemoan aging. ("Wear a tee-shirt with these arms? I'm practically sixty!"--You know who you are.) And yes, certainly, there are things about getting old that no one looks forward to. It can be frustrating, demeaning, embarrassing, painful, sad, and even cruel. But getting old is a blessing: one of the greatest gifts we can ask for at the end of a life well lived. In the poem above, the speaker wants to "die a youngman's death," but he doesn't want to die young. All the ways he dreams of dying happen to him when he has already lived out his life. Perhaps he fears the sad demise of old age, but he wants to get to old age, to be old enough to fear it. Getting old means that you got to do life, that you were one of the lucky ones who made it all the way through, who had the chance to go to New York City (as Marina Keegan muses), to fall in love, to create life, to imagine and realize passions. Getting old means that you have had a life to live.

So, I was freaking out about turning thirty? I should be lucky enough to be thirty, and thirty, and thirty some day with millions of tiny wrinkles and body parts that barely work. I have already passed so many milestones, had so many "best days." I am blessed to be a 29 year old who is going to be thirty someday (but not today). I was so struck by the sentiments Keegan expressed in the piece mentioned above and even more in this piece she wrote (how eerie?). I have experienced so many of the emotions this young woman beautifully and articulately expresses. I am not even sure where I am going with this. But, as someone who is thinking about having a baby, a tiny little baby who will come into the world with infinite possibility, I can only hope that when and if that happens, my son or daughter will someday be very, very old with millions of wrinkles and body parts that barely work. I could imagine nothing more beautiful.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wallpaper Inspiration

The room that is intended to be my office has horrible sliding mirrored doors that open into a closet. They look tacky and cheap, but I hadn't thought of a way to dress them up without ripping them out (not an option in a rental). I came across this amazing idea on the House Beautiful website.

The design is by Melissa Miller. She flipped the doors and wallpapered the unmirrored side. I liked her aesthetic so much that I went looking for some more pictures of her work. I was impressed by all her beautiful designs, but particularly what she was able to do with wallpaper.

All images are from the Massucco Warner Miller website.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday Musings: On Nudity

This has been on my mind for a while. And now I want it to be on your mind...actually that is probably quite cruel. I am a girl who grew up without knowing what happened inside locker rooms. In middle school, I played sports, but middle school girls' locker rooms are pretty tame. No showers, minimal nudity, and minimal lady parts to be seen (both because we were self-conscious then and because we just didn't have any yet). In high school, I managed to fulfill sports requirements with intramural squash and a smattering of aerobics classes--again, I was spared the locker room experience. In college, not only did I not compete on any teams, I also did not exercise. At all. Never. (To say that those were not my most fit and fabulous years would be an understatement.) And then I moved to California. And I joined Equinox.

Equinox is a high end gym. Most people work out in full lululemon ensembles. Everyone has shoes they clearly only wear in the gym because they are always clean. You don't have to spray down your own equipment because there are people to do that for you. They provide Kiehl's bath products in the bathroom. Classy. But, the locker room--not so classy. This is where I am not sure if what I witness each morning warrants shock and awe, or if my lack of experience with locker rooms has made me so naive as to imagine that all people are as prude as I am.

I have been trying to rock the pre-work work out, which means arriving at the gym before six. This is actually quite a popular time. The locker room is always packed, particularly at seven when spinning and ViPR classes let out. There are four or five showers with opaque curtains and four or five with glass doors. I always take the opaque curtained showers, even if it means I have to sit and wait for one to open up. I always put on my underwear in the shower stall. I always get dressed before doing my hair and make-up. Always. But, I am an anomaly. And so I get to my point. There is a woman who is always in the locker room at the same time as I am. I think she may be a yoga instructor, or a spinning instructor, or some kind of general fitness freak. Now if I were going to have to look at anyone naked, why not her, you might be thinking? Surly she must be toned and terrific. Well toned and terrific or not, the moment she gets into the locker room she strips down. Buck. Naked. Someone wants to talk to her about class? Naked. Want to see the bruises on her ass? Anyone is welcome to check 'em out. Teeth need to be brushed? Naked. Put up some flyers about a "Flat Belly Symposium." Sure, better do it naked! Someone drop a hairbrush underneath the lockers? She'll bend right down and get it for you. Naked.

Seriously? Even the most toned and terrific people should not be aloud to expose their assholes for the world to see. I am really putting it out there people, but I do not want to know what this woman's lady parts look like. And I do. Because I seem them in all their glory e-v-e-r-y morning.

She is a class-A nudity offender, but there are others. And they are not so fit and fabulous. In fact, I now fully realize why we, as a species, wear clothes. And generally like to fornicate with the lights off. Good choice, humankind.

I know that body confidence is a good thing, that we try to cultivate it in young girls, that we fight the media that tries to work against it. But, I actually think that American women have no problem with strutting their stuff if the Equinox locked room is any indication. I, on the other hand, did seriously contemplate wearing a robe while readying for my day. The only reason I haven't is because I am afraid that people like sexy, naked-bender-over yoga lady will judge me. Ain't that ironic.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fabulous Friday

Coming at you this Friday from the East Coast where things are looking fabulous. My brother is getting married in January, and we are all very excited. I was beyond thrilled and honored that I was able to help him when he bought a ring, and I was asked to provide decorating and coordination advice for the actual proposal. Now, to make the whole thing even better, his lovely bride-to-be has included me in the oh-so-special moment of trying on wedding dresses. We are headed to Manhattan tomorrow for a day of bridal bliss. There will be wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, eating, drinking, and general cavorting around the city. Seeing that my four year anniversary is coming up on the horizon, it is lots of fun to get back into the wedding spirit, especially with a couple as well-suited to one another as my brother and his fiancee. Isn't love grand (aka fabulous)?

Grammar Girl



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Say What?!

Rip off alert!

While searching for some new summer frocks, I clicked on this little number:

It was on the Anthropologie website for $168

Then I hopped over to Piperlime where I saw the same dress:

This time it was $328! Say what?!

There is one slight difference; the colors of the stripes are in a different order. what?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Desk Design

The Desk

 I love the Parson's Desk from West Elm. I would like a large one, but we have a tenant...ah my office room. So, until that room resumes its original purpose, I don't have room for a big desk anywhere else in the apartment. But, over the weekend, I whipped out my trusty measuring tape and found that I do have room for the Parson's Mini Desk. Of course, I couldn't just imagine the desk all by its lonesome. I had to imagine a little "deskscape" (a derivative of my absolute favorite word "tablescape") for it. I think it would make a very appealing nook for blogging, writing, and sorting the mail.

The Deskscape

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Musings: To Do

Well, I have. 

But, this blog was an attempt to fix that. Many (gosh, I've lost count now) years ago, I started writing a novel. I was going full-steam ahead there for a while. I was in a writing group, I was working on it at the hair dresser, during whatever ten minutes of down time I could find, when I woke up in the morning before work. I had even cut down to part-time to pump that baby out. But, sadly, I moved to the West Coast...more on being married to an entrepreneur at another time. That move threw my creative juices for a loop. Actually it dried them up for a long time because all my energy was spent on hating the fact that I had to move: hating that I was away from my friends, my family, and a job I loved--a job that would let me work part time while working on my novel. 

So, almost nine months have passed, and I've gotten a grip. Part of getting back in touch with my writerly instincts was starting this blog. Yes, it is frivolous, and superficial, and all the things I was taught to throw over in pursuit of real art, and truth, and beauty (whatever that is), but it is a helluva lot of fun, and it gets me writing. While this is not literary by any stretch of the imagination, the act of fingers typing on a key board has reminded me that I love and adore writing in any form. Perhaps had I been writing more and grumbling less, I would have felt better all around and finished a book in the meantime.

For a long time I was in love with the idea of my book making it big, becoming a movie, and catapulting me onto an international book tour (on which I would, of course, have an entourage). I am sure that that is a kind of naivete able to be cultivated only by someone who has never actually tried to get anything published. But, it was a beautiful dream nonetheless. I'm over that now. I just want to finish it because I started it, and if no one reads it except my grandma, then who care? At least I can provide her with a little entertainment.

Some people say that writing a book is like giving birth; the finished product can be your legacy. The big difference is that once you're pregnant, you don't really have to do anything. Auto-pilot turns on, and poof!, nine months later, you put in a little work again, and you have a baby. (I suppose I am choosing to ignore the lifetime of work you put in after that glorious moment.) While a book might be a legacy, it requires work at every stage prior to its inception. Hard work. Focused work. Determined work, and disciplined work. Right now, I am running out of excuses. I am going to stop putting off being creative and I am going to get disciplined! This summer, I commit to finish this book.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fabulous Friday

 This week has been FAB-U-LOUS. In the week of Facebook itself going public, I felt inspired to do the same. I bit the bullet and posted about this blog on my Facebook page, thus revealing (to those who are my Facebook friends) my carefully guarded identity. I have been hesitant to do this because the feeling of anonymity is freeing, but at the same time, people (aka I) read blogs to get an insider glimpse into someone else's life. If you don't know who that someone else is, it feels somehow less enticing...

But, before I go really public, I am going to enjoy the page views spurred by the Facebook announcement.

Now that I have readers, I am hoping that I will start getting some comments! This blog is certainly a work in progress, and the learning curve in terms of my tech skills has been steep, but there is a long way to go before I hit the top of that peak. Content generation is also something that has been challenging (despite the HOURS I spend browsing the internet), and that is where you, my new readers, can be of great help. Comment on posts you like. Send suggestions to the blog's email ( about topics of interest to you and posts you might like to see in the future. I promise to take them into consideration and get writing!

On my end, I plan to spend time this summer finding and learning a better photo editing program so that the posts are able to be more artful and creative. I'm working with what I have right now as it is the busiest time of year at my "real" job.

In other fabulous news, the thing I was waiting on (mentioned here) has come to pass. I am moving on and moving up to a new fabulous job. Hooray. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rug Redo

I pretty much worship Jamie Meares. She is the blogger behind the blog isuwannee and the owner and visionary behind Furbish Studio.  Her recent appearance in Lonny Mag got me thinking about using her tips to solve the problem of my rug that has been irking me. Not only have I tired of my uber colorful rug, but we are dealing in wall to wall carpeting here people, so I am trying to put a rug over industrial carpets. This means that my area rug is always buckling and sliding around. Meares suggests layering a soft, high pile rug on top of a sisal. The great thing about sisals is that they wear wonderfully, and they are heavy (i.e. no sliding or wrinkling). By the way, my rug also developed a mysterious black spot on it the other day. Emerging insanity.

So, I would start with one of these from Pottery Barn. (Or, try the Ikea version for an identical look at a better price.)

And then I would add some layers...

For color I might add:

Turkish Rug 1 / Greek Key / Turkish Rug 2

For texture I might add:

Eileen Fisher Rug / Petal Rug / Bello Shag Rug

For geometric interest I might add...

Canecroft / Houndstooth / Casablanca Dhurrie

And, my personal favorite, for animal magnetism, I would DIE to add this gold flecked hide...but I'd settle for a few little cuddlies. 

Amazeballs Animal Skin with GOLD / Sheepskin Rug (FYI: This one is small.)

Here Comes the Sun

Today I wish I were wearing these white hot shades and a stripy maxi, but summer in San Francisco is rolling in. Anyone seen the sun up in here?   

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Look for Less

At the request of Miss Gaby, I have put together some chunky summer jewelry that is affordable and chic. The pieces are arranged from most expensive to least. While the most expensive option in each row is not terribly expensive, some of the cheaper options are downright steals.

                                   $175                                                        $150                                                      $12                          

Note: As I am publishing this, the Forever 21 necklace is no longer available, but it might be available in stores. 

                                                             $80                                                    $40

                         $110                                                    $88                                                                 $58

                                               $78                                                                                         $18

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Musings

Well, again, it has been that kind of Monday. Better late than never.

While I had mused over a lot of things I thought were post-worthy over the weekend, this one has been begging to be mentioned all day. I would like to muse on saying "Thank you." The power of "thank you" is really quite exceptional. I have realized that something so simple, when offered genuinely, can create such goodwill. But, when never uttered, particularly when someone has gone out of their way to do something for you, can create hostility and resentfulness (like I am feeling right now). Let me elaborate.

I have been working with an exceptionally difficult person, and, because she wears me down, I have tried to go above and beyond, to kill her with kindness, to extend myself so much so that she can never accuse me of not doing my utmost to support her and her family (which, for the record, she has done vociferously and nastily). Given what she has said to me, her lack of gratitude should not come as a surprise. But, nonetheless, I remain (foolishly) optimistic about humankind. However, she is testing my faith. Despite (and no, I am not tooting my own horn here) my gestures of kindness, does this woman ever say "Hey, thanks!" to me? NO! I don't want flowers, or gifts, or medals, or shouts from the rooftops. All I want is one of these days for her to stop harrassing me, to realize that I have extended myself far beyond what is necessary or expected, and to thank me, Goddammit. Is that too much to ask?

It has made me much more aware of saying thank you to the people who extend themselves for me, and, in return for my simple thanks, I have seen how much joy a moment of appreciation can bring. While I know that this woman will never see this blog, I wish, for a moment, that she might take a look in the mirror and realize how unattractive and foolish she looks on top of her exceptionally high horse.

Rant finished. Thank you for reading, and good day. More positive pretties coming at you tomorrow!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fabulous Friday

In honor of Mother's Day, I would like to shout out to my fabulous (on Friday and all other days) mamma. I have mentioned her already quite a few times in these posts, and while she has made me the all-kinds-of-crazy gal that I am, most of my good qualities are the direct result of her excellent parenting. When I say that my mom was an excellent parent, I mean that she was the kind of parent who makes me scared to have children. That statement bears some explaining. While growing up, I thought that all people parented like my mom; I have since learned that that is not the case (if not from direct observation then certainly from reality television). The equal parts support and freedom, the understanding, unconditional love, and the willingness to talk through and about anything and everything are not qualities all parents have. Because she made being my mom look so effortless, I assumed it was. But, as I've gotten closer to having my own children, I think about the way that my mother has mothered me, and I wonder if (and secretly fear that) I will never be quite as good at it as she was (and is). My mother was that kind of mother hated by all the other mothers; she worked, raised four kids, provided home-baked good for all birthdays, took us on outings on the weekend, drove us to music/sport/dance/orchestra/pokemon club/fencing/playdates, let all our friends call her by her first name, managed to come out at the end of the day looking relatively unfazed, and still nurtured and maintained a healthy, happy, intact marriage to my father. Goddammit, lady. You are making it hard on the rest of us. You (or I) will probably barf if I continue to expound on all my mother's virtues, but it is true: she is one helluva human being. To be a fraction of the mother, friend, boss, person that she is would be to have a life of which I would be proud. 

Now, on the subject of fabulous mommies, my mom didn't get so fabulous by accident. She had a fabulous mom herself. My grandmother made my mother the person she is, and for both that and because of our own unique and truly special relationship, she will always be someone I admire, respect, and love deeply.

And, the newest addition to my mom-posse is my mother-in-law. For raising the kind of man any woman would be lucky to have in her life, she will always have my gratitude and love. 

So, happy Mother's Day to all the fabulous moms, but particularly to mine--I'm biased, but I think they're the most fabulous of all.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Maxi Mania

So, as I've said, my legs cause me great agitation. I love maxi dresses for that reason. I would like to wear these to the engagement parties and weddings I have coming up as they are beautiful, sophisticated, and covering of the legs. I would feel glamorous and comfortable. Now if I had just shy of $1,000 to spend...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday Beauty

Each of these perfumes is one that I have worn in recent years and loved. The Viktor and Rolf "Flowerbomb" is the perfume I wore on my wedding day. The Balenciaga "Paris" was a gift this Christmas, and it is light and fresh. The Chanel "Mademoiselle" is a classic I always go back to, and the Narcisco Rodriguez "for her" was a birthday gift from my brothers. I have paired each perfume with a piece of jewelery that reminds me of the vibe of the scent.

M. Flynn Pink Earrings / Alexis Bittar Necklace / White Druzy Earrings / Crystal Swirl Earrings

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Musings

That pretty much sums it up. Me in a nut shell. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fabulous Friday

Wozah. I am late today. But, it was a pretty fabulous Friday. Beautiful weather, good vibes at work and in personal life, and getting ready for a trip, which is where the fabulous comes in.

This picture reminded me of my sister the second I saw it. I am off on a trip to DC, and I am going to get to see her. She and I are ten years apart in age. When I went off to college and she was in the third grade, my mom said that she worried that we would never be close because of the huge age gap; I have spent the last 11 years proving that statement wrong.

Despite her age, my sister (yes, the same one who loves her skinny jeans) is and has been my best friend for as long as I can remember. Though we never went trick-or-treating together, never dressed up in funny costumes together, the second I saw this, I thought of all the other kinds of fun we've gotten up to together.

Basically, she has grown up to be the person I wish I could have been at her age. I admire her, love her, and enjoy her company more than almost anyone else. DC and fabulous times, here I come!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Making Changes

This is what I am thinking about today...

That is all.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ladylike Loveliness

This is the absolutely breathtaking display of the Louis Vuitton spring line at Paris Fashion week. 
The clothes were designed by Marc Jacobs, and while I do not typically covet runway looks because I cannot imagine being the kind of person who would ever have occasion to wear any of them, I am deeply in love with these dresses.

Kate Moss with Marc Jacobs

Why do you look so sad in your pretty dress? Turn that frown upside down!

Images: Carousel, Marc and Kate, White Bodice, Pouty Princess, Frowning Female, Feathered Frock

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday Beauty

It is getting to that time of year when the weather dictates shorter hem lines. For people of my pasty complexion, this time of year is met with dread. I am a big proponent of sunscreen, sitting in the shade, wearing a hat, and all the very healthy choices one should make regarding one's skin--until I have to wear a dress somewhere, and then I bemoan my desire not to die of skin cancer as I look down at my translucent legs.

On the way to Palm Springs a few weeks ago, I completely panicked after deciding not to get a spray tan (the only place that does them in the neighborhood requires you to strip naked while they "paint" the tan on--I prefer the booth if I am going to be sprayed. I am also the kind of person who has contemplated on many occasion wearing a robe around the gym locker room), and insisted that we go to the mall on the way to the airport so that I could buy some bronzing cream. Well, the mall was closed until noon (seriously!), and we had to find a Sephora in a local JCPenney that opened earlier because there was no way in hell I was wearing shorts without some backup. Crisis averted. It is moments like this that test the true depth of the love your spouse has for you--mine passed with flying colors as he swiftly found an alternative to the closed mall and paid for my idiotic purchase without so much as a lip curl.

I purchased some "Tantalizer" by Lorac.  It is an interesting product as it does make you look tanner, but it is also VERY sparkly. If you are sitting in the sun, it is quite intense. That being said, it did provide a quick fix for my insane whiteness. Blend thoroughly.

My all-time favorite and "go to" for self-tanning is definitely Jergen's Natural Glow. I always purchase the darkest shade, and it looks natural and subtle.

On the topic of sun-care, I did try the Estee Lauder Beauty Balm mentioned in an earlier post. While I prefer a little more coverage for the average work day (and BB can be layered under make-up), for days out in the sun, this is terrific. I spent the last two days outside and didn't get even the slightest redness on my face. I am not sure it is is transforming my skin, but it is warding off wrinkles in the long term!