Thursday, July 29, 2010

In the Desert You Can Remember Your Name

Greetings from the Arizona desert!

I am here right now for work. The only time I've ever been to AZ was a layover in the Phoenix airport, so I've been having fun checking everything out.

Last night I strolled around a big-box store shopping center (not very cultural, but something to do), where I snapped the above photo. A much prettier setting for an ULTA, no?

Palm trees make everything pretty.

And then I drove around the ASU campus. Sun Devil Stadium, which is on the leftish side of the photos below, is pretty cool - constructed between two mountain buttes, so it "literally was carved from the desert". (Literally.) One of the buttes (hehe) is also in the leftish side of the photos, not that you can really tell.

Tonight, I'm going to check out some more buttes and maybe some cacti. Maybe check out downtown Phoenix. And maybe head to the outlet mall and IKEA to continue my non-cultural enrichment. (While I don't have room in my suitcase for an Expedit, I could probably fit something like these file boxes I've had my eye on.)

It's almost the weekend!  Have a good one.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Aqua & Red

 Alexandra Rowley via Little Green Notebook

I'd love to be lounging here today instead of back at work after a fun-filled weekend!

- Hanging out late into the night with friends, where a guitar was broken out and my requests for Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift were answered (I played the tambourine)
- Tailgating and singing along with friends at a Rascal Flatts concert (for as shy as I am, I did a lot of singing in front of people this weekend...)
- Attending our niece's baptism
- Looong Sunday afternoon nap before J had to go in for night call

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh Baby!

Yay, my friend just had her sweet baby girl!

I've been eagerly awaiting the news ever since she went to the hospital yesterday afternoon.  Everyone got the official word via Baby's First Phone Call, which allows you to record a message with the good news and then it automatically calls everyone on the list you set up beforehand. I gave them a gift certificate to it as part of a shower gift, and I was just joking with another friend that I will definitely do something like that right after my surrogate delivers my future baby for me. (Just joking - I sincerely hope I can have a child someday, and if I can't biologically, I would love to explore adoption - but I am a teensy weensy bit scared of childbirth. And by teensy weensy, I mean extremely.)

I love little babies. Fortunately, there are a lot of them in my world right now.

I sooo want to cuddle one right now! 

Congrats to my friends C & C! I can't wait to meet her.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Back to the Beach!

We are heading back to the beach this evening for a 4-day family reunion (J's side).  With the exception of Major Swimsuit Issues*, I'm excited to see this again:

And this:

And this:

My in-laws drove her down ahead of us so she didn't have to fly, and we've really missed her.  There was a Big Incident where she ran out the door on them that launched a Major Chase where she ran across the busy, 5-lane South Padre Island Rd. Twice. We are so, so grateful that nothing happened to her. Now we all just need to get on the same page with the commands she learned in puppy school. (Running out on them is the whole reason we took her to training in the first place. J & I have never had her do it to us, so we still have something to work on because that cannot. happen. again.)

And here is how we carry her down to the beach because:
a) burrs get stuck all over her fur, which caused J to chop part of her freshly-groomed ear (hair) off last time
b) the sand is ridiculously hot

* Since it is a family reunion, and we are the youngest of all of the adults, and we'll be chasing after tons of kids, and we'll be going to a waterpark, I wanted something a little more active than my go-to bandeau bikinis (no tan lines!), so I bought a swim skirt and after much deliberation, a few tops with better coverage.  (My problem area is my hips and thighs, so I am pretty happy with the swim skirt - it's cute but covers what I need it to!) 

Asking J last night which tops I should keep and which I should return, I got concerned again that I may need something even more conservative so I ran back to Target for the third time to pick up a one-piece.  I think it's the first time I've worn one since I was 12, and it's not half-bad, except it has absolutely no coverage in the bottom, so I will always have to wear it as a one-piece + skirt. (I can't find the link on the Target website, but from the back it looks like you're wearing a bikini, so I think it still looks pretty youthful.  If I am indeed still youthful / semi-fit enough to wear bikinis and one-piece wannabe bikinis.)

So that's how I came to have three new swimsuits with no clue what I'm actually going to wear.

What about you?  What is your go-to swim attire?

Sunday, July 11, 2010


God Bless Sunday Morning print from Dear Colleen

Check out her shop for other lovely prints. (Tea towels are coming soon! I love a good tea towel.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Crazy for the Quatrefoil!

Do you love the quatrefoil?

I do!  This lovely pattern has probably inched out the chevron for the top spot in my heart.

I hope to have a big ol' quatrefoil-patterned rug one day. I'm on the hunt for new bedding for our anniversary present (the second year is cotton!), and I've been searching in vain for a duvet or sheet set with a quatrefoil-esque graphic print.  Last night I spied the one above on an episode of House Hunters and hunted it down - it's from Williams Sonoma Home but is no longer available, which is probably a good thing because it was a bit over my budget!

So imagine how excited I was (and what patten I picked out!) when I found out I had won Sweet Simplicity's giveaway for a set of notecards + labels from Tickled Pink Ink!

I can't wait to write some notes with these lovelies (and use the labels as bookplates in my most treasured books)!  They are sooo pretty!

What patterns have you been loving lately? 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sailor Knot Headband

If it's nautical, I probably love it.  This sailor knot headband from marcelacamargo is no exception.

I post a lot of things on this here blog that go in my "love it but should think about it or I'd own everything" file, but I think I must buy this today in hopes I'd get it next week in time for my beachin' family reunion...the only question is, ivory, navy, ivory & navy, or ivory & black?  There are some savings when getting two, and I just can't decide!

Your thoughts, please.

Monday, July 5, 2010

2 Years!

Today we celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary!

As the words on the charm of my bouquet read: "Je t'aime plus qu'hier moins que demain", which means "I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Have a Great 4th of July Weekend!

I'm feeling a little down in the dumps at the moment, which I'm hoping is due to the combination of the rainy weather and being tired from not being able to sleep last night. These prints from ablaze's Etsy shop are starting to cheer me up.

What are your plans this holiday weekend? Hope it involves some sparklers!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Read in June

Our cable has been out for the past two weeks, and we were at the beach this past week, so I did a fair amount of reading last month.  Here is what I read (incidentally, the order I read them in is the same order I would rank them, from lowest to highest):


Best Friends Forever, by Jennifer Weiner
This is a quick read, probably best saved for the pool or beach. I did cry at some of the things the main character Addie went through in her life; however, I didn't like the character of Valerie, the ex-friend-coming-back-into-her-life-when-she-needs-help. The plot is somewhat predictable, but it has its moments. Like I said, a good one for when you're out by the pool or at the beach!

American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfield
I really enjoyed the first two-thirds of this one. It is loosely based on the life of Laura Bush, which I tried to ignore because it's not meant to actually portray here, just similar life events. I cried at the very beginning (only this time sitting on a plane in first class with only my cocktail napkin to hide the evidence - I am sure all of the businessmen around me thought I was crazy). Once Alice becomes the First Lady, I liked her character and her husband's character less. It's such a long book, that I think by the time Sittenfield got to that point, she struggled with the end and it ended up being weak. Another good one saved for the pool / beach.

Little Bee, by Chris Cleave
If you read the over-hyped book jacket, I'm not supposed to tell you anything about this "magical" story, but it is about a young refugee from Nigeria named Little Bee who experienced some horrifying things with a British couple on a Nigerian beach. She made her way to England, and after getting out of a UK immigration detention center after two years, she goes to look for them. I wish the book had been written entirely from Little Bee's perspective, whose character is a great mixture of wise and humorous, instead of trading off with the woman from the beach, Sarah, who I thought came off as selfish. (Although as a man, I don't think Cleave gets the voice of an African refugee and a modern British woman quite right.) This one is definitely worth a read for the issues it tries to address.

The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss
Another book with more than one narrator, I very much enjoyed the characters. Leo Gursky is an elderly man and writer from Poland who is separated by the love of his life, Alma, during World War II. He wrote a book called The History of Love, which he believed was lost when it was sent overseas while he remained in Poland. Alma (#2) is a young girl who was named after Leo's Alma from his book, a copy of which made it to her now-deceased father, who gave it to her mother as newlyweds. When her still-grieving mother receives a request to translate it, young Alma sets out to uncover more about this mysterious book in an effort to help her family. Things slowly come together, but not in ways I expected. Funny and sad, I'm still thinking about this one, so it has gone on my list to read again someday.

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
This is definitely one of the best books I have ever read.  The day I started I couldn't put it down, and at 2 am, I finally had to make myself go to sleep because I had work the next day. The next morning, I woke up with the voices of Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter in my head.  I was sad last night as I neared the end, because I didn't want it to be over, so I am eagerly awaiting the next book Stockett puts out. (Hard to believe this is her first novel!) That's all I'm going to say about The Help, because if you haven't already, I really want you to read it and come back here and let me know what you thought. (And if you have read it, did you just love it like I did?

What have you been reading lately?  Any good recommendations for me for July?  I think next on my list is The Art of Racing in the Rain, which I've heard is going to make me cry buckets.