Thursday, March 28, 2013

Confessions of a terrible reader

How do you find recommendations for new books?  For better or worse, I am a really passive seeker-outer of new books: I wait until the title of a book has caught my attention in two or three different ways: blogs, People Magazine the New York Times Book Review, recommendations of friends.  After that, I wait and wait until I have some sort of lull of time before picking up anything new.  My reading has slowed tremendously between using my free sitting-time for mindless knitting, in lieu of reading for self-betterment; the emergence of the Harry Potter series as my daily commute soundtrack (and the end is hardly nigh, as after several months, I'm presently in the middle of the fifth one); and my inability to control myself once I start a good book.

But in an effort to be a better grown-up (and a better reader), three books that I've been hearing a lot of buzz about lately:

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple.  I downloaded this last night.  It's odd: instead of narrative prose, the story is sketched out in a series of emails, bills, reports, and other forms of communications.  I thought it would be annoying, but it's fascinating.

Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter.  I downloaded the sample for this and got too caught up in Bernadette (and its weird storytelling antics) to skim it.  

The Newlyweds, by Nell Freudenberger.

What are you reading?  Any recommendations?

(Image via The Way We Live, original credit unknown.)

Sun, sand, ocean.

Can't take it anymore.  (Mentally) packing up.  (Pretend) fleeing Chicago.  Things I (would plan on) taking include, but are not limited to:
Gap printed henley tunic (in regular, petite, and tall), $54.95.
Fan fringe necklace

Gap leather flip flops (available in a bunch of colors and sizes, though I am partial to the mint), $24.95.

I got a little carried away and since this is, after all, a pretend evacuation (note that on this trip, I will apparently not be wearing a swimsuit, hurrah!), there's lots more in this bottomless suitcase that you can check out here on Pinterest.  And to override your good intentions to refrain from shopping, some sale info that you clearly need:
  • Gap is 30% off online (with code "GAPEGG") and up to 40% off some items in stores.
  • J. Crew is offering 25% off of purchases of $125 or more with the code "LOVEJCREW" and 30% off for J. Crew cardholders with code CARDHOLDER, 
  • Madewell is offering 25% off of $125 in purchases with code "4SPRING."
  • Old Navy is offering 30% off online with code "THANKYOU."
Who's coming with me?  Where are we mentally fleeing?

(Top image of the J.K. Place Capri.)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Baby "books" for busy parents

A friend of mine with two (very active) little dudes has a brilliant trick for keeping track of pictures, funny stories, and the boys' everyday moments: when each of them were born, she signed up for a Gmail account in his name.  As she takes pictures with her phone of silly things they do and small parts of their daily routines, she emails a picture and a note about what they were doing to the account.  It only takes a few seconds and she can send an email from anywhere, instead of trying to carve out a big chunk of time to sit down and put together a baby book.  
What a gift for the boys when they log in for the first time and see how they grew up and what things were like when they were small.  
Parents, do you have any tricks you use to keep your little-people-memories organized?  As someone with no kids, it seems like the kind of Herculean task I'd never start because it seems so overwhelming.

(Photos by Max Wanger.)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Have a lovely weekend!

Hope you've had a lovely and relaxing weekend (and stayed warm -- this snowstorm that hit the midwest needs to go back to February and stay there).  My parents visited, so we ate a lot and watched a lot of basketball.  It was fabulous.  My bracket is shot, but I love a good underdog story (I mean, Florida Gulf Coast University WHAT?).  Some links for reading while you're watching the last games tonight (or looking for a little pick-up come Monday): 

This is so touching: advice her mom would give her (via Cup of Jo).

I'm just going to tell you exactly what these are pictures of, and you can click at your own risk: dog owners wearing sweaters knitted from their pets' hair.  Yes, really.

For getting into the March Madness spirit: the evolution of basketball courts and how those hideous adidas uniforms might be responsible for the comeback of Zubaz pants (ZOMG IF THAT HAPPENS I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT).

Tina Fey was on Inside the Actor's Studio.  There are, of course, things we can all learn from it.

Avocados and tons of other stuff you can put in the freezer.

A book that promises all the answers.

Watch Michelle Williams become Marilyn (via The Neo-Traditionalist).

(Image by Wit + Delight.)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day and night lips for the end of winter

Lately I've been eschewing my everyday lipstick in favor of many, many swipes per day of Fresh's Sugar Lip Treatment in Honey.  It's a pretty, warm, neutral that you can apply blindly if your lips are parched from the never-ending winter (AHEM CHICAGO).
And when I'm bored of that or going out for dinner or drinks, I've been wearing this deep red, Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon.  It's what they used for the models at the J. Crew New York Fashion Week presentation last month.  I put it over this Nars lip pencil before I went to dinner last night and my friends were amazed that it lasted through our entire pizza feast.  It's intense, but pretty fabulous.
Do you have any favorites of late?

(Top photo from J. Crew's Tumblr.)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hold on.

5.01 - “A Little Kiss”
(via amctvcaps)
4.10 - “Hands and Knees”
(via vianegativa)
She should check that out.  Meanwhile, Pete is like, yeeeeeah I did.  
“Now Peggy…”
(submitted by theomeo; thank you kindly!)
And the rest of us are thinking a) Vincent Kartheiser has really done an incredible job of making Pete Campbell one of the most universally reviled characters on television; and b) we can't wait for the April 7 two-hour season premiere!

(Images via the hilarious Pete Campbell's Bitchface.)

Zara shoes

Yesterday evening I found myself with a few extra minutes to spare and ducked into Zara for a quick look-see.  It's nigh impossible to get excited about new spring clothes right now (my StyleUp for today correctly promised that it would be "unseasonably chilly"), so the light tank tops and dresses held very little excitement.  The shoes, however . . . those were a different story.  Four favorites, below:

Studded strappy sandals, $35.90.         
For fellow large-footed friends, most of these look like they only come up to a 40 online, but I saw at least one 41 in the store.  Happy hunting.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hope you had a lovely weekend!

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit the 1st Battalion Irish Guards On St Patrick's Day
Hello there, everyone.  How was your St. Patrick's Day weekend?  (Hopefully no less festive but a little less formal than Will and Kate's.)  Sorry for leaving you in the lurch on the weekend reading front.  I hope you'll forgive me -- my dad is the basketball coach at my old high school and I was cheering for him and his team in the state tournament!  I trust you all had green beer and appropriate shenanigans for me, and in return, your aforementioned reading materials:

How the world has changed in eight years: smartphones (and iPads) abound (via swissmiss).

Bachelorette party, grown-up style.  Sort of.

I am on purse probation, but you probably need this cool black handbag (via Le Catch).

Shapewear patent throwdown.  CHOOSE YOUR SIDE.

Ten classic Friends lines (and ten more, just because). 

And I wish you all an annus mirabilis.

(Image via Go Fug Yourself.)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Speed dry

Have you ever found yourself desperate to wear jeans that are stretched out beyond recognition, or staring into your laundry hamper at a shirt you forgot to wash, but need to pack on a suitcase to take on a trip?  
For those times when you need something laundered and dry NOW, here's a little laundry tip for you, courtesy of my mom, who is a bit of a self-professed laundry nut: put the wet piece of laundry in the dryer with one or two dry towels.  (If you're concerned about lint problems, you can try sheets or other pieces of clothing, but for pure speed, bath towels are the best.)  Run your dryer as you usually do -- high heat is fastest, though not the kindest to your clothes.  The dry items will speed up your drying time immensely, sparing you from leaving your house in damp blue jeans (the worst).  

You can check out some previous Tall and Salty laundry tips here.  Do you have any laundry shortcuts?  

(Photo by CabriGirl on Flickr.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Put your feet up.

On this gray Tuesday, let's all pretend that instead of being at our desks, making long commutes, or taking care of little people, we're lying on our backs, floating in the salty Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Cinque Terre in Italy.  (Italy is the best place to float.  The water is so salty you hardly have to do anything to keep bobbing along, staring at the beautiful scenery.)
Sigh.  Much better.

PS: Do you have a habit of taking a particular vacation picture?  I always take a picture of my feet in the sand at the beach, but I've yet to actually do anything with them.

(Images by photographer Jacinta Moore, via Circulate.  You can buy prints in her Etsy shop.)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Have a lovely weekend!

What are you doing on this chilly Sunday?  I'm putting off going to the gym (one of my specialties.  Thank you, infinite number of How I Met Your Mother reruns available on my DVR).  I hope you've had better success than I have.   Have a great rest of your weekend, and if you're looking for some procrastination material, some links for you:

I'm dreaming about the days of bare legs.

This Missed Connections map should motivate you to take public transportation more often (via Girls of a Certain Age).

From the unsurprising news department: Taye Diggs' milk ad, co-starring his son, is freaking adorable.

NYC's sugary drinks fatwa is causing some real issues with coffee orders.

"152 insights into my soul!" for your walls.

(Photo of Paul Newman via Circulate; original photo credit unknown.)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Don't miss this.

You simply must read this article remembering Nora Ephron written by her son.  It's long, and it's a weeper, but in the best way.  One of my favorite passages (among many), about a view shared by Nora and her mother, the writer who imbued her with the "everything is copy" ethic:
What both of them believed was that writing has the power to turn the bad things that happen to you into art (although “art” was a word she hated). “When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you; but when you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it’s your laugh,” she wrote in her anthology “I Feel Bad About My Neck.” “So you become the hero rather than the victim of the joke.”
It's a funny, sad, and touching tribute that makes you want to live better, without making you feel bad that you don't quite know what that means or how to do it.  Much like Nora herself's essays.  
(Images via here and here.)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Now that's a shiny table.

I wish I could say I was kidding when I told you that going into it, most of what I knew about law school was gleaned from Legally Blonde.  But sadly, I am not (that is, quite honestly, the only reason that I knew to bring a laptop to class).  But at the ripe age of 23, the one thing I did know was that I would need a gigantic desk for all the studying in my future.  

Enter a white farmhouse-style table that I bought for a whopping $40 from the dearly-departed White Elephant Resale Shop in Chicago.  My then-boyfriend, now-husband, helped me lug it a mile down the street to his apartment, where I promptly painted it a truly hideous shade of bright yellow.  After many hours at that wretched yellow desk, I made it through my 1L year. Since then, it's lived in three subsequent apartments, gone red (in a paint job that made it look like I killed someone in the backyard), and then back to white (in a paint job that almost resulted in me and my brother-in-law killing my husband).

This photo, from Racked's behind-the-scenes look at clothing company Haute Hippie, has me thinking about going a little Golden Girls on my old friend.
Isn't this table kind of awesome?  I like the traditional shape in such a crazy finish.  Spray paint magician Jenny of Little Green Notebook recommends Rustoleum's metallic spray paint in brass.  I've used it once before and loved the way it looked -- it's definitely a bit more gold than the name "brass" implies, but I think it would be a great fit for this project.  

But this is a lot of look for a tiny home office, as opposed to a big clothing showroom.  What do you think?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mila Kunis, you are awesome.

And this guy interviewing you is hilarious.
And yes, a "lad bomb" (Jaegermeister and a double vodka Red Bull) sounds truly disgusting.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Monday puppy-pick-up.

Oh my goodness, this guy is just the best.
the daily musethe daily muse
Champ is a ten-year-old golden retriever who belongs to Candice Sedhigan, a photographer and student.  She's taking a picture of him a week in 2013 and posting them to her Flickr stream, which has more really fantastic shots.  She's obviously really talented, and he's clearly adorable.  Everyone should have a snuggly dog to cheer them up, shouldn't they?  (And I wish my photography skills were up to this level!)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Have a lovely weekend!

Well hello there.  Hope you're savoring what's left of your weekend.  Mine was full of cute babies and good friends, and I finally saw Silver Linings Playbook.  I really enjoyed it, but did anyone else feel so tense while you were watching it?  I was so worried about everyone, which wasn't what I was expecting.  Some Sunday night (or Monday morning) reading for you:

Tremendously moving story about a couple who adopted a baby they found in the subway.  (Read with caution: I was sobbing at my desk when I read this.)

So this seems like my nightmare.

Take a tour of Mindy Kaling's closet.

The deliciously lowbrow pizza of my childhood.

Hearty white bean pasta for the last days of winter.

Interesting article about being a working mom (it doesn't make you want to give up and cry, yay!).

(Image of Michael Caine via The Impossible Cool.)
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