Monthly Archives: May 2011
Today’s quick takes are devoted to some of my favorite things. Jen’s blog would certainly count as one of them, so go check it out for more quick takes!
Dove Promises and Almonds
Nail Polish, particularly in the following shades, which are “my” colors. Back when I was a single-gal, I got a lot of manis and pedis, and I always picked these colors. Now I own them, and bought all three for the price of one manicure!
OPI Lincoln Park After Dark
OPI I’m Not Really A Waitress
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s “Ella and Louis for Lovers”
Their voices are the perfect blend and balance to each other. This is one of the most romantic albums I’ve heard. It’s perfect for a date night, for sitting on the porch on a summer evening in the candle-light, or for listening to while drinking a chai on a rainy fall day. Quintessential “mood music”. Don’t believe me? Check it out.
I wear a t-shirt of some kind nearly every day. My favorite ones are from
LOFT and Banana Republic
I wait until I get coupons in the mail, and then I stock up. The tissue-weight t-shirts from J.Crew are also awesome. I get those at the outlets.
Breakfast for Dinner
Seriously. It’s awesome. Lazy woman’s perfect dinner to fix. Scramble up some eggs, throw in some veggies and cheese, or meat, or whatever. If you’re feeling fancy, make some french toast or pancakes. The sky is the limit with “Brinner” as we call it here.
My Red Coat
No need to adjust your screens; no, that is not me. But my red coat, which I adore and wear all winter long, is quite similar to this one. I wore it all last winter, when I was hugely pregnant, just buttoning the top two buttons and letting the belly stick out. I just love that coat. It’s hard to not feel glamorous in a red wool coat.
Life’s too short to drink crappy champagne. I mean, if champ-in-a-can all that’s available, I’ll take it.
But I’d prefer:
Something that comes in a bottle. Preferably not from the grocery store.
Someday, Atticus and I will share a bottle of Dom Perignon. Since it costs around $100 a bottle, we joked that we could drink a bottle on our ten year anniversary; $10 for each year of marriage! If not then, then someday. We will drink it in the champagne flutes we had engraved for our wedding toast. I will wear my diamond earrings and red lipstick. It will all be very romantic.
Like wearing a red wool coat, it’s hard to not feel glamorous when you’re drinking champagne, even out of a can. I used to feel embarrassed to order champagne when I’d be out, but no more. If it’s on the menu (by the glass) and priced similarly to wine, I’m getting it. Life’s too short to drink pinot grigio when you’d rather drink the bubbly.
There’s no “raindrops on roses” or “whiskers on kittens” but these are a few of my favorite things. What are yours?
This week, I am taking the opportunity to tell all of you a little bit more about my husband, “Atticus”.
He likes to dress well. He always prefers to wear a collared shirt unless he’s working out, in the yard, or about to go to sleep.
He loves to work in the garden. This year we have two raised beds and are planting peppers, tomatoes, basil, strawberries, and carrots. Gardening is his “unwind” activity.
Even though he went to law school and not undergrad there, he considers Notre Dame his Alma Mater. He became Catholic in the church you see above, the Bascilica of the Sacred Heart. It is the most beautiful church in the US that I have been to.
We briefly considered getting married there, but the wait to use it was 2 years! No thank you. Nine months was long enough to be engaged, for sure.
He looks like the actor who plays Eliot Stabler on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. A less beefy, jacked-up-on-‘roids version of Eliot Stabler. And he’s younger and has more hair.
There is totally a resemblance there.
He loves to read. He doesn’t read as much for pleasure any more, because reading is about 50% or more of his job, but he is such a reader.
He has a hard time following movie plots. Often, I have to explain what’s going on, particularly if it’s a complicated plot, or a lot of characters.
When we were dating for only a few months, we decided to watch one of my favorite movies The Interpreter.
I thought he was really into it, because he was quiet the whole time, and watching it. But then two hours later, when it was over, I turned and asked him, “Did you like it?” and he said, “Well, I think so. I mean, I’m not really sure what happened. The music was nice.”
Atticus is the type of person who is so smart that he’s thinking about Plato or the Constitution when the movie’s on, and he can’t really focus on two things at once. Now, I ask about half-way through if we need a recap. It helps.
He is the most wonderful husband and father. I could not have imagined a more perfect man for me before I met him.
So now you know a little bit more about my better half: the man, the myth, the legend — Atticus.
Happy Weekend and check out Conversion Diary for more quick takes!
Friends, this is the boat. Make sure you are on it. I have some items remaining from my time as a Mary Kay salesperson, and I would like to unload it, in an effort to make my home more simple.
Basically, anything that I have listed which sounds good, you can have. All you need to pay for is the shipping for me to mail it to you. There are some new items, and some items which were used as demos (but since I only sold MK for a few months and only had a few parties, the demo items have been used maybe two or three times). I will list next to the item whether is it new or demo.
The giveaway will start this evening and go until Sunday evening. Please leave me a comment with what you want, and then an email to let me know your address for mailing.
Here’s the goods:
1 Timewise 3 in 1 cleanser for combination to oily skin (NEW)
1 Oil-free hydrating gel (moisturizer) for combination to oily skin (NEW)
1 Even Complexion Essence (NEW) reduces appearance of dark spots, freckles, and uneven skin tone. 1 Night solution (NEW) and 1 demo — reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the night
1 Even complexion mask — for dry to oily skin. helps even out skin tone and minimize dark spots and freckles. Works well with even complexion essence.
1 Medium-coverage foundation in Ivory 200 (for normal to oily skin) (NEW) 1 Medium-coverage foundation in Beige 300 (normal to oily skin) (NEW) 1 Cellu-shape contouring system (NEW) for reducing cellulite. includes a daytime moisturizer and a night gel 1 Steel mineral eyeshadow (NEW) 1 sweet pink eyeshadow (NEW) 1 water-proof mascara in black (NEW) 1 eyeliner pencil in Bahama Blue (a teal-ish blue that looks good on brown or hazel eyes for a bold or beachy look) (NEW) 1 concealer in Ivory 2 (NEW) 1 Nourishine lip gloss in Beach Bronze (NEW)
3 Compact covers (NEW)
2 packages of cosmetic sponges (NEW)
1 set of compact brushes (eye and blush) (NEW) 1 concealer in Ivory 1 (DEMO)
1 Lip gloss in Bronze Bliss (DEMO)
1 Lipstick in
Pink Melon, RaisinBerry, Dusty Rose, Garnet Frost, Toffee, Frosted Rose, Sheer Blush, Tanned, Paradise Pink, Shell, and Sunset (DEMO)
1 Lip Nectar in Mango (like a tinted balm) (DEMO)
1 eyeliner in Taupe (DEMO)
1 lip liner in Chocolate, Plum (DEMO)
1 mineral pressed powder in Ivory 1 (DEMO)
1 Mineral blush in
Shy Blush, 2 Pink Petals, 1 Sunny Spice (a peachy-sort of beige), 1 Raspberry Cream (DEMO) 1 Mineral Bronzer in Sandstone (for lighter skin tones) (DEMO)
1 mineral eyeshadow in
Sweet Cream, Cinnabar, Sweet Pink, and Silky Caramel (all mattes — DEMO)
1 mineral eyeshadow in Blue Metal, Precious Pink, Denim Frost, Golden Olive, Moonstone (all shimmers — DEMO)
To see any of the colors, you can visit any Mary Kay website and search them. I tried to take pictures with my camera, but they did not come out right at all.
Happy “shopping” ladies! Let me know if anything strikes your fancy.
I remember a post that Jen wrote once
(I would link to it, but something odd seems to be happening over there today and I can’t get to the page), (I found it — success!) where she talked about reaching the conclusion, that “whatever you think is out there ain’t out there”.
What does this have to do with anything?
Maybe it’s just the cycle day 1 bloat talking, but man do I feel like I’m missing the boat sometimes.
Yeah. Sort of like that.
Like maybe instead of spending the 1.5 years of marriage when I wasn’t pregnant or a mom pining for a baby, we should have been doing more things together just the two of us.
Because after taking one long weekend car trip with a four month old, I learned a few things:
However long your car trip is, add 2-3 hours to that time.
The baby will poop just after you’ve gotten back on the road from a rest stop, or just when you’ve all sat down to dinner.
If you’re anal like me, and it’s spring in the midwest, you will pack just about every item of clothing your child owns “just in case”. Your child’s stuff will take up twice as much space as yours will.
We were traveling with one baby, just one child, and it was stressful. We only had a five hour (it took 7) drive.
When I sit here and think about how hard it is to travel with one baby, and how it must be 50 times harder to travel with one toddler, let alone a toddler and a baby, I think to myself, “Oh man, why didn’t we go to California, Martha’s Vineyard, Paris, Florence, and all the other places we talked about going?”
Oh yeah, that’s right, because I was a depressed fool for about a year after we lost out first baby and didn’t get pregnant again right away. I was a woman obsessed. Like always.
When I think I should have something, and I don’t have it, I fixate and obsess. It took me about a year after losing Michael to realize that there wasn’t really much I could do except keep trying and trust God. Then I started to think, “Hey, my husband is pretty awesome, and if it’s just the two of us for another year or so, that wouldn’t be too bad. We could do some more traveling.”
The next week, I found out I was pregnant. I’m not saying I wasn’t thrilled, because I was. Completely and totally over the moon.
That picture has nothing to do with this post, but come one, how stupid do you have to be to think an elephant is bigger than the moon? Apparently stupid enough to be on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”.
Anyway, the point of all this is that, usually I am too busy moving on to the next thing, or thinking I am entitled to the next thing, or thinking that happiness lay on just the other side of the next thing, that I don’t learn to love where I am until I’m not there anymore.
Now that I have a baby, I look back on the days before Maggie and realize how much I squandered them on pining for a baby, when a baby was not God’s will for me at that time. Now I wish I had let go more, and enjoyed my husband more when it was just the two of us. I wish we had traveled more.
I do this all the time.
I keep thinking, maybe when I have more children, or more time, or more of something, then my writing will take off. Then it will happen. So I pine for it. And when I feel that I’m being overlooked, I get upset and make myself into a martyr.
But the truth is, if my writing ever really does take off, I’ll look back on this time and think, “Gosh, wasn’t it nice to not have to worry so much about each post, and how it will be received. Wasn’t it nice to be able to write just for me?”
Please tell me I am not the only one like this.
So to tie it all up, there’s this:
Whatever I think, fear, expect, wish, was out there, on the other side of *right now*, it ain’t out there. Because “there” is only reached when, we hope by the grace of God, we are welcomed into the arms of Love Himself after this life is over. All there is right now are the ones entrusted to me:
Thank God for that.
Well, not really. But I am going to Tennessee, for my S-I-L’s graduation from Business School. We’ll be partying it up in Nashville like country stars for sure. Well, country stars with a four-month old!
As for me, I’m excited to eat at the Loveless Cafe, and maybe see the Grand Ol’ Oprey.
Hope you all have a great weekend!
“The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of.” – Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Today I have the Mean Reds.
It’s one of those days, where my biggest fear – that every bad thing I’ve ever though about myself is true – feels so very, very true.
It’s one of those days when I look in the mirror and think, “Ugh. I am never going to lose this baby weight and I am disgusting” because on days of the Mean Reds, the only thing that helps is chocolate, ice cream, or bacon. Preferably chocolate ice cream with a side of bacon. I’m only sort of kidding.
It’s one of those days where I wonder “what’s the point?” of this blog. Am I ever going to be a writer? Am I ever going to write anything anyone thinks is worth reading?
It’s one of those days when I take a look across my kitchen floor at the mud-spots, dog-hair, and dirt that never seems to come off, and want to simultaneously scrub my life until it shines, and take off in the car and never return (not that I would ever do it).
It’s one of those days where I secretly fear that I am a horrible mother, and I am, as we speak, ruining my daughter’s life by any number of choices I make daily.
It’s one of those days when I wonder if all my pants will either have elastic waistbands or make me look like a muffin for the rest of my life.
It’s one of those days where the thought of another baby makes me want to, literally, run screaming down the street.
It’s one of those days where even the sweetest of my sweet girl’s grins can’t penetrate my hard heart.
It’s one of those days where it’s either going to be takeout or bloodshed.
Today I have the Mean Reds. They really are horrible.
“Fashion changes, but style endures.” -Coco Chanel
I’ve always been a clothes horse. When I was a toddler, my favorite things to do, according to my family, was to pull all of my clothing off the changing table, put on as much as I could at once, then put on a “fashion show” for my parents. They should have known then they were in for a treat!
Fast forward a few years, and I still love my clothes as much as I did then, though thankfully I have grown out of wearing everything I own at once. I’ve never really had a distinct style though. I have flitted from punk, to preppy, to hippie chic over the years. That’s probably normal for women in their teens and early twenties, to try on different styles and see what fits.
Now, however, I am a wife and mom. I have limited funds for shopping, and even more limited time. I can’t just spend hours going from store to store aimlessly trying on random pieces. Even more so since having Maggie, I feel a very real need to define my style. I want, no need, to have a harmonious and cohesive wardrobe of things that fit well, and work together to create polished outfits that I don’t have to think too hard about in the morning. That’s the goal, anyway.
I’ve only really been thinking about (read: obsessively reading everything I can) how to find my style for about a month or so, but I have a few suggestions which are helping me to hone in on just what kind of wardrobe I want to have, and what I want my style to say about me.
In case you’re wondering like I am, how to be a mom in something other than yoga pants (which I love and do wear often!), I thought I’d share a few things I picked up that have worked for me. (Major h/t to the book Just Try it On: A Month-By-Month Guide to Shopping and Style by Susan Redstone)
1. Be Consistent!
What personifies you? Is it your perfume? Your kohl rimmed eyes? Do you always wear heels or always wear flats? Are you a hat girl? Over-sized handbags or sunglasses? A certain shade of lipstick?
Find one thing (or two, max) that you love to wear, or something that you love to do with hair or makeup, and make it yours. Own it.
For me, it’s my purple glasses. And flats. I love to wear flats.
My glasses are have a slight cat-eye frame, and they are purple. They even have two tiny purple rhinestones on the corners. They basically rock. And they’re my signature item. I wear them all the time. They are part of my style.
What is yours?
2. Accessories, Accessories, Accessories. This is related to number 1, though they need not be the same thing. Claim a signature accessory you love and can always wear or carry.
For Jackie O, it was her enormous sunglasses, for Liz Taylor, those huge honking jewels.
For me, it’s two pieces. My engagement and wedding rings, and a pair of diamond studs that Atticus bought me for our anniversary. Diamonds will never go out of style, and they go with everything, even if they’re small.
It’s better to have a very small jewelery box filled with things you love, and which are timeless, than to have a hundred pairs of earrings from Forever 21 that don’t go with anything.
It could be a collection of scarves you wear with everything, or a certain color or style of handbag you always carry. If you love a certain color, but think it’s too bright to wear in a clothing item, there are always bags and shoes.
3. What year is it?
This is one of the best tips I read about. Basically, pick a decade and time of day that fits what you want your style to be. It sounds weird at first, but here’s what it means:
Close your eyes and imagine Audrey Hepburn. Doesn’t just about everything you see her in scream middle of the day 1960’s? Or Marylin Monroe: 1950’s dinnertime, and beyond.
So the concept is to pick a decade and time of day (morning, mid-day, evening) that appeals to you, and most importantly, will flatter your body shape (aka, don’t pick Twiggy in the afternoon if you aren’t in fact, twig-like — is anyone?).
I’m still thinking about this, but I’m leaning toward early 1960’s, mid-afternoon as my time.
In addition to a decade and time of day, you can create a “style alter-ego”, who will help you hone in on, and create the style you want.
4. Style Alter-Ego
This is where you get to have a lot of fun! You can create a persona who will be the very epitome of the style you want. Once you create her, she can come with you into the dressing room, and every purchase should be made with her approval.
So how do you do it? Be very specific.
One of the “personas” in the book I read through (see above) that was so detailed it made me giggle was “aloof upper-class art historian”. That’s what I mean by specific.
“Classy society-lady meets Saturday afternoon in the park” is the working persona I’ve made for myself.
Who do you think yours would be?
I’m thinking of devoting a post to pictures of the wardrobe I am trying to create, and to the overall style I am going for. If nothing else, it’ll help me have something to look back on when I’m tempted to buy something that isn’t actually me, and maybe I can get some input from you lovely ladies!
I’ve been thinking a lot about style lately, and I wanted to share some things which have been really helpful for me. I hope it has been for you, and if you have any ideas to share about how you’ve found your style, please do share!
It’s Mother’s Day this weekend, which is extra-exciting this year, since it will be my first one as a mother with a baby, as opposed to the Mother’s Day after I miscarried, and last year, when I was newly pregnant with Maggie.
I wasn’t really sure what I wanted, and then it came to me:
to go for brunch at my favorite restaurant.ever.
TPC was the first 100% organic, grass-fed dairy farm in the US to have a restaurant, which is actually a converted loft in their original barn! It is so cool . Their yogurt, milk, and cheese is delicious. Their dark chocolate ice cream is like being in love.
I looked at Atticus and said, “I know what I want for Mother’s Day! I want to go to brunch at Traders Point Creamery!”
He said, “Good, because I already made reservations.”
This is why I love my husband.
The farm pictured in my post from yesterday is Traders Point Creamery. If you’re ever in Indiana and you love (a) farms or (b) ice cream, you should go there! And visit me, of course.
Speaking of coming to visit, my dear, dear friend Elizabeth is coming this weekend!
She is Maggie’s godmother and she decided to take a jaunt down for part of the weekend. We’re going to have a girl date on Saturday night, including going to see this ridiculous movie Something Borrowed.
I know, I know.
But since it’s National Chick Lit month, it’s time I reveal the truth,
My name is Sarah, and I like chick lit.
And, how could I forget, the great-grandmother of modern chick-lit, Jane Austen.
I’ve been whining lately about how my blog is not as popular as some of the other blogs, wondering what I’m doing wrong, why I haven’t been invited to “sit at the cool girls’ table” as it were. Lame, right?
Then it occurred to me, that even though I sometimes feel shut out of the “blogging big time”, and that I wish some of the more well-known blogs would link to me, or something of that kind, I spend almost no time talking up other blogs that I love. Lame, right?
So the rest of my quick takes today are devoted to some new (to me) blogs that I love, and which you should immediately go check out and love too!
This mom is hilarious. I found her blog via these quick takes a few weeks ago and I have basically gone though and read (and commented on!) every post in her archive. I wish she lived in Indiana so she could be my bff. For real.
The author of this blog is a beautiful Italian-American Catholic mom of three boys who writes about many things, most exciting of which is her awesome Italian heritage, and her travels to Italy. She also has a lot to share about family life, and faith. I enjoy her blog so much!
This is the blog of a wonderful priest in my Archdiocese. He is a relatively new priest (I think he has been ordained about three years), and he is so holy and so on fire! Our dear friends were married by Fr. John this past February.
His blog is great because he posts most of his homilies in video form, as well as the classes he teaches at Cardinal Ritter High School here in town. Go leave him some love!
Happy weekend and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, and all those who desire to be moms. For more quick takes, visit Conversion Diary.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
— Wendell Berry