Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Clock is Ticking

And by clock, I mean my biological clock.  For many, many years I didn't even want kids.  My fiance and I decided we didn't want kids.  My last boyfriend and I determined we didn't want kids.  But then something started to change for me.

Towards the end of our relationship I actually started feeling some slight urges of wanting children.  I actually starting liking some of my friends children, when before they had just been nuisances.  I realized that I might actually want them for myself someday.

In less than two months I turn 35.  Trying to conceive after age 35 is more challenging than when a woman is younger because there is a decline in fertility.  Women will often not ovulate during their regular cycle, and egg quality and quantity decline in your 30s and 40s.  Miscarriage is also more common in women over 35.  There is a 20-35% chance of miscarriage, and it is often caused by an increased incidence of chromosomal abnormalities.  (It is estimated that 10-25% of all pregnancies in any age woman result in miscarriage.)  It can also take a woman longer to get pregnant after age 35.  The average time it takes to conceive is 1-2 years.

So, here I am at almost 35.  No husband, no boyfriend, nobody I've even texting with who could become a boyfriend, and absolutely no prospects.  My eggs are getting older by the hour.  It will likely take me a long time to meet someone who I'd even think of marrying and having kids with and then it will probably take me a long time to get pregnant.  I could be 40 before it happens!  I don't even want to look at the statistics for conceiving after 40.

So that means I need to get busy finding someone.  What fun it will be telling any suitors that I want kids and that I want them soon!  Well, here goes nothing!

Friday, December 16, 2011

What Perfume Are You Wearing?

For some reason, people really like this perfume on me.  I'm constantly being asked, "What perfume are you wearing?"  So here it is - Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche.  I love it.  Sometimes I'll even put a spray on before I go to bed because I love it so much.  This is what Chanel has to say about it:

"CHANCE Eau FraĆ®che, a vibrant incarnation of the unexpected fragrance, now takes on a sparkling freshness. The unexpected floral bursts with a lightness and zest as notes of citrus, Water Hyacinth and Jasmine Absolute are highlighted and energized with woody notes of Amber of Patchouli and Fresh Vetiver."

I'm kind of surprised about the Patchouli because usually I hate the smell of it, but it must be good combo with the Water Hyacinth and Jasmine and Vetiver.

Check it out - it's yummy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Read Single Dad Laughing - Dan Pearce

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing Blog Writer

A few weeks ago somebody on Facebook posted a link to a blog called "I'm Christian, Unless You're Gay".  At first I thought, what the hell is this?  But I took the time to click on the link and read the blog.  I'm so glad that I did.  Dan wrote this post after finding out that a friend of his, who happens to be gay, felt like he was alone in the world - because he was gay.  He felt friendless and hated.  People in their community had turned their backs on him because he was gay; turned away from him under the premise that their religion abhorred who he was because of his sexual orientation.  Dan's post talked about how many people say they're Christian and uphold all sorts of Christian-like values, unless a person is gay.  That's not very Christ-like.  It's wrong and hurtful.  Read his post here

This blog post has received so much traffic and response.  Some of the responses have been incredible and some have been disgusting.  Dan posted many of the responses to share with his readers.  Read those here:

I wouldn't ever be able to accurately describe the reactions people had to his post, so I won't even try.  I tear up often when reading them.  And the response make me realize how wonderful the people in my life are.  My sister and one of my aunts are gay.  It doesn't change at all who they are to me or what kind of relationship I have with them.  Nobody in my family or any of my closest friends have "disowned" them because they are gay.  It makes no difference to any of us.  

We grew up Catholic.  Though some of us (my sister and I) are not really religious anymore, lots of my family members and friends are still active in the Catholic church.  And I know that the Catholic church doesn't really approve of homosexuality.  I don't know exactly what it's stance is because I chose not to be religious and don't really go to church anymore.  But those family members who do still go church don't let it's beliefs on homosexuality change how they feel about my sister or my aunt.  I'm so thankful for that.  I'm so thankful that my sister has never felt this kind of hatred from people who once said they loved her.  I'm so thankful that when she came out, she didn't lose the people she loves.  I'm so thankful that just because she is gay, it didn't change her in our eyes.  I'd bet she's thankful for all of this, too.  

A while ago I posted a review of Jodi Picoult's book "Sing Me Home".  I quoted one of my favorite lines from the book, which I've posted again here:
"Jesus didn't make exceptions, Max.  He didn't say we're supposed to love ninety-eight percent of our neighbors...but hate the ones who play their music too loud or who always drive over our lawn or who vote for Ralph Nader or who get tattooed from head to toe.  There may be days I don't really want to love the guy whose dog ate the heads off my day lilies, but Jesus says I don't have a choice.  It's not love if there are conditions."

I think it totally applies to this post, too.  I've linked to Dan's post because I think it is so powerful.  I want more people to read it.  I want it to affect people.  I want people to realize hate is wrong.  Especially under the guise of religion.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lulu Cracks Me Up - Part 3

I thought I posted this ages ago, but realized I didn't.  It's too funny not to share.  This is Lulu and her snow boots. :)  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving!  I often think that my life isn't all that great, but I do know that I have a lot to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my family.  We are a big group of crazy and sometimes exasperating people, but we are always there for each other.  In good times and in bad, we are there.  I get to spend every holiday with my extended family and for that I am very thankful.  There have only been a couple times when I wasn't with everybody on a holiday and those times were incredibly difficult for me.  I can remember each of them.  Once in high school, my parents and sister were gone for Kristen's soccer tournament, or something, at Thanksgiving.  I was with the rest of my family, but it was still very sad for me.  I felt like we weren't complete without them at Thanksgiving.  Another time, we spent Thanksgiving with Jeff's family instead of mine.  I was so sad - I missed them all so much.  One year, Kristen couldn't make it home in time for Christmas because of a blizzard here.  That was incredibly depressing.  And most recently, last year two of my cousins weren't here for Thanksgiving.  It was too quiet and felt incomplete.  When they called to talk to everybody during dinner, I actually cried because I missed them so much.

Dulacki Family at Kristen & Stacy's wedding

I am thankful for my friends.  Near and far.  New and old.  The support and love I receive from them is incredible and amazing and I couldn't do it without them.

Dana, Meah, me, Jeannine, and Luciana
me and Michelle

I am thankful for my job.  I know I often complain about it and frequently hope for a different job, but I know that I am lucky to even have a job in this economy.  I get to work with beautiful furniture and fabrics, and in amazing homes.  People value my opinions on their surroundings.  My designs make people happy.  Sometimes you can't ask for more.  Because of my job I can afford food and shelter.  I am warm and my belly is full.  When I am sick, I can afford to go to the doctor.  When my car is sick, I can afford to fix it.  When I want beautiful shoes, I can afford to buy them.  For all these reasons and more, I am thankful for my job.

me working hard

I am thankful for my Lulu.  She has been my constant companion for the past almost 12 years.  I adore and love her like no other.  It may seem ridiculous, but she gives my life purpose.

my precious Lulu

There is so much more to be thankful for, but these are the big ones today.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Defending the Twilight Saga

For some reason I feel the need to defend the Twilight Saga.  The first installment of the last movie, Breaking Dawn - Part 1, just came out and I've noticed quite a bit of disgust for it on Facebook.  Full disclosure - I love the books.  And I enjoy the movies.  In fact, I just got back from seeing the movie for the first time (I do plan to see it again, too!).  No, they're not the best movies ever.  They're definitely not going to win any awards for acting or cinematography.  That's not what they're about or striving for.  But the books are great.  I've read them all many, many times.

Now, I know not everybody is going to enjoy this story.  Take out the supernatural stuff and it's essentially a love story.  Yes, the characters are young and in this day and age, it's uncommon to fall in love and determine you want to spend the rest of your life with someone at eighteen years old.  And with how liberated women are now, it's also a bit uncommon for a woman to "throw her life away" for a man.  That's what I've seen going around on the internet.  That Bella is not a good role model for young women because she throws everything away for her boyfriend.  That her life revolves around her boyfriend.  I can understand how some people see it like that and of course that's not for everybody.  But hello - it's a book.  

That's what is great about our world, we don't have to agree with somebody else's life choices - because it's their choice.  The couple that is having their 20th child?  I think they're crazy.  I would never want to have twenty kids.  But it's okay, because nobody is telling me that I have to.  Celebrities that spend millions on a wedding and then divorce 72 days later?  Shallow, self-absorbed people with no respect for the sanctity of marriage - maybe.  But it's their life, not mine.

Putting aside the fact that this is a book and therefore fantasy, lets think of the other things the character does that might be more like appropriate role model behavior.  Bella and Edward wait to have sex until they're married.  Though it's not something I did, that's commendable for young people.  Right?  And when Bella finds out that she's pregnant and the child will likely kill her, she decides that she loves this child more than her own life and will therefore not terminate the pregnancy.  I would think that most mothers feel similar immeasurable love for their unborn child.  That's pretty huge.  And why is loving somebody completely and immensely a bad thing?  I think it's pretty awesome to love someone as much as these two love each other.  I strive to find even a small portion of that for myself.  All of those things are good role model behavior, I think.

Yes, these life choices are not for everybody.  And that's okay.  If you don't like them, don't see the movies or read the books.  But please respect other people's choice if they do.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

More White Jeans in Winter!

This look is from Chicos and I love it for how to wear white jeans in winter.  Gray and white is beautiful and on-trend this season.  The long sweater and the knee-high boots over the jeans are very in-style right now, too.  And I think you could change this up, too, substituting brown for the gray elements.  I don't have gray suede knee-high boots and don't plan on buying any, but I do have brown, so I'll work it that way.

Things I Love!

I love the things this artist does!  Erin Smith's art is a mixture of original painting, digital imaging, vintage family photos, and her own prose.  She cracks me up!  I first came upon her work while on my California vacation/expedition.  I stopped at a cute little shop in Cambria and they had her cards for sale.  I'd never seen anything like it and bought a bunch.  Since then, I've seen her stuff everywhere.  Check her out!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Crazy Clients

I really think some of our clients are a little bit crazy.  Seriously.

We had gotten approval from a client to access their home with the garage code and alarm code when they're not home.  John and our curtain maker went over there to discuss some things one day and as they're walking up the stairs to the main level, John hears the husband say "WHO'S HERE?  I'VE GOT MY RIFLE OUT!"  Seriously.  (And that's the crazy.)  He actually wasn't supposed to be home and because of that the wife had failed to mention John was stopping by.

I would've shit my pants if that happened to me - thankfully I wasn't there for that bit-o-fun.

Today, John and I were back there.  The wife had again given us permission to access the house, but she told John that her husband would probably be there for a few minutes while we were there.  At least she told her hubby we'd be stopping by this time!   John and I were there for probably 30 minutes before he yells "WHO'S HERE?"  (Thankfully he didn't mention the rifle this time!)  He then didn't come out of his room for another 15 minutes to say hello.

I've never actually met this man, though I have been in his presence in his own home before.  But I am but a peon in his world - I don't matter.  There's no real reason to bother to introduce yourself to me.  When he came out of his room, I was of course the first person he saw.  He doesn't introduce himself or say hello.  He only asks where John is.  John comes out from behind the corner, says hello, and then introduces me.  Only then does this man deem me slightly important enough to speak to and shake my hand.

He's so super excited about this MONSTER tv he just bought that is supposed to be installed later.  He has to show it to us, show us the other new tv that has 3-D capabilities, and actually make us watch part of a football game in 3-D.  Like we have time for this.  Though it actually was really cool, I'd absolutely hate to have to watch tv wearing those glasses.  (Another little bit of crazy.)

Finally he leaves and John and I can go about our business.  Crazy clients.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Best Bra in the World!

Yes, I really am going to blog about a bra.

I am constantly on the look-out for a bra that is everything I want it to be.  For some reason it's been a much harder search than I ever fathomed.  I want a bra to be comfortable with underwires.  I want my boobs to look good with and without clothes.  I want it to fit well.  And I don't want to spend an arm and a leg on it.  I know, that's a lot to ask of one bra, but I had faith that one day I'd find it.

I've tried a lot of bras that people say are great and have found them lacking.  I tried the bras that had 1/2 cup sizing, hoping for a better fit, but I haven't loved them.  I've tried non-underwire bras, hoping they'd be more comfortable, but didn't feel like I got enough support.  I tried the Spanx bra, which they advertise as "so comfortable you'll forget you have it on!"  I have it on right now, and I actually don't like it at all.  The underwires dig into me both on the outer edges of my boobs and between my boobs.  The all-hoisery band that is supposed to "banish back fat" by not being too tight tends to bunch up instead of laying flat.  And the cups are a bit stiff and they don't form well to my boobs - they're a bit pointy for my taste.  And the cups are incredibly covering - any low cut tops are out with this bra because the bra would show.

But I finally found the best bra in the world!  The Incredible Bra from Victoria's Secret.  Kristen and Stacy extolled the virtues of this bra this summer and I didn't believe them.  They said it was so comfortable and it made your boobs look great.  But both of them have pretty good boobs to begin with, so I wasn't sure that was completely accurate marketing.  But I was getting sick of constantly buying bras and then hating them and wanting to take them off by mid-day.  So I finally bought one.  It's the best $45 I've ever spent on a bra.  I intend to buy more of them.

Honestly I wanted to use a pic of the bra without a model in it,
but of course I couldn't find one.

Per VS, the attributes of this bra are:
- cushioned underwire won't dig, bind, or pinch
- wide band slims and smooths under all your tops
- self-adjusting straps fit perfectly every time
- flat back closure for a seamless look
- lightly lined

It comes in the regular variety of fits - demi, front close, push-up, strapless.

All of those things are true.  It's really amazing.  The first day I wore it, I wore it all day without having to adjust it what-so-ever.  And it was so comfortable that I didn't feel the need to take it off immediately upon arriving home after work.  In fact, when I went to get ready to go to bed, I was surprised that I still had it on!  Another thing I love about it is that it doesn't cover too much.  I can wear a slightly low-cut top and not be concerned that my bra might show.  The demi has enough up-lift without being too sexy.  The cups are comfortable and move enough to fit my boobs well.  There's enough lining so that there's no nip show through when it's cold.  I think it makes my boobs look good with and without clothes.  And apparently, the story of this bra goes - a man designed it and had his wife try it out.  She exclaimed that it was Incredible!  Hence, it's name.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Talking About Depression

I recently found the blog of a women who has written about her struggles with depression.  Though she's had some really shitty things happen in her life (her teenage parents abandoning her to be raised by a crazy grandmother and alcoholic grandfather, two terrible divorces, her home being destroyed by the floods in Nashville) that completely warrant her depression, that's not always the case with people who are affected with depression.  In an effort to take some of the stigma out of depression, I thought I'd write about my own experiences with it.  (Please excuse the liberal use of quotes in this post.)

My worst experience with depression happened when I was 21-22.  It requires a bit of background story.  I was in college and was living with my fiance, Zach.  I had quit my sorority in order to live with him and I was without the constant support of the women who I had come to love and depend on.  I thought that living with Zach was more important than all that.  We were having a tough time - who wouldn't be when you're 21 and playing house?  Zach felt like he needed to "live" more before ultimately settling down.  I felt like I had "lived" enough already.  We were constantly arguing, avoiding each other, not having sex, avoiding having "THE TALK".

One day Zach called me up at work and told me that he had moved out of our apartment.  Just like that.  Honestly, we hadn't ever talked about that.  (How could we?  We were avoiding each other!)  I was devastated.  I went home to our half empty apartment, stood shell-shocked in the entry hall looking at framed photos of what was our life on the wall, and finally collapsed sobbing on the floor.  I finally dragged myself to my now single bed and cried myself to sleep.  I think this happened at the beginning of November (it was a LONG time ago!), and for the rest of the year, we continued to "work" on our relationship.  I stopped wearing my engagement ring on my finger, but instead wore it on a necklace.

Zach didn't spend Thanksgiving with my family, nor Christmas.  We did exchange gifts, though.  Zach gave me what must be the most impersonal gift you could give your sort-of-not-exactly-fiance.  He got me a VCR.  Really.  I also found out that he had applied to law schools in California, without ever discussing it with me.  Shouldn't you discuss something this serious with the person you plan to spend your life with?  This is when I finally began to realize that things probably weren't going to work out.

One day we went to the mall with Zach's best friend to do some shopping.  We all had different places to go so we split up.  I was done early and went to find Zach.  And oh, how I found him.  He was talking to a girl in the Hallmark store.  Not a big deal, right?  But you know how when you REALLY know someone, you know exactly what each nuance of their body language means?  I knew that Zach was into this girl.  I KNEW it.  And not just into her, but had dated her.  I went up to them, stood by him for practically a full minute before he looked at me, and finally asked him if he was ready to go.  He looked guilty and embarrassed.  In the middle of the mall I confronted him.  Yes, he was dating her.  When we were "working" on our relationship.  I punched him.  (Yes, I really did.)

That was the real beginning of my downward spiral.  I freaked out.  I felt like a crazy person.  I couldn't concentrate.  I couldn't sleep the majority of the time and when I could finally sleep, I slept like the dead, and could barely get out of bed.  I couldn't eat.  I couldn't do anything.  I was obsessed with what Zach was doing at all times.  It didn't help that he now lived across the parking lot.  I had to get away.  I spent a week in Boulder with one of my best friends, sleeping on her floor and going to her classes and hanging out with her friends.  I couldn't face my own life.

I was interning for a company in Longmont, and on my drive back to Ft. Collins, I'd always pass this lake.  The road curved around it without any barriers and the speed limit was pretty high for such a sharp curve.  I thought that it would be so easy to drive right into that lake and have it look like an accident.  I had this thought every day.  I didn't want to be there anymore.  The life that I had planned was gone.  The person I had loved more than anybody else, more than anything else, more than myself, was gone to me.

It was then that I realized I was depressed.  Seriously, suicidal-ly, depressed.  And I needed help.  I told my friends how bad it really was.  They were so incredibly helpful.  Some of my old sorority sisters offered their support again.  I went on anti-depressants.  I decided I needed to see a therapist.

Because I was in college, I could go to on-campus therapy for a very decreased cost.  There would still be some cost, which would go on the bills that my parents paid.  Which meant I had to admit to them that I needed professional help.  My mom was very understanding.  She didn't want me to be so bad off that I needed professional help, didn't like that she couldn't help me, but she understood that it was beyond how she could help and would support my decision and pay for it.

My first session with the therapist was intense.  I was probably at my worst.  I was freaked out about discussing all the intimate details with a stranger.  I was shaking and crying and desperate.  They video taped the session because I was suicidal and they needed to cover their asses in case the worst happened after I saw them.

What's ridiculous is that I cannot for the life of me remember the therapist's name.  I do know that I saw her for a few months and I quickly grew comfortable talking to her.  I also don't remember exactly what we talked about and what kind of therapy she used.  I'm sure she wasn't the kind who constantly asks questions and she obviously didn't become like my BFF.  But I do know that she really helped me get through this horrible time.  With her help, the anti-depressants, and my wonderful friends, I got past the suicidal thoughts and the crippling depression.

Depression has never been that bad for me since.  Every so often, I feel a slight depression creeping up on me, but it's never gotten out of control.  I've grown up quite a bit and somewhere along the way I must have developed better coping skills.  And honestly, nothing in my life has gone so wrong as that experience.

I hope that people out there who are dealing with depression realize that they don't have to do it by themselves.  We are so rarely really alone in life, and there are people who can and who want to help.  Depression is actually so, so common.  There is nothing wrong with admitting to it and seeking help to overcome it.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Hmmm...Could I live in Houston?  I know nothing about the city.  I don't think I have any friends there.  I even had to look it up on a map to remember where in Texas the city actually was.

There it is!  Near the coast, east of San Antonio (where I used to live!) and south-east of Austin, where I know people and where I definitely wouldn't mind living.  It's really far away from Denver, Colorado, over 1000 miles away!

A few fun facts:  Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, behind New York, LA, and Chicago.  The cost of living is 9% below the national average and the housing costs are 21% below the national average.  Houston is considered the energy capital of the world.  Houston is home to 23 Fortune 500 companies; only New York is home to more.  It has among the youngest populations in the nation.  Like the rest of Texas, it is hot and humid in Houston.  Though when I looked at the average temps for the year, it didn't look too bad.  The coldest months, of course are November - March, with lows in the 40s and 50s and highs in the 60s and low-70s.  That's positively balmy to a Denver native!  June, July, and August are the hottest months, with highs in the 90s and lows in the high-70s.  Not really all that different than Denver, though I know humidity is a serious factor there.  The highest recorded temp was 106, in August 1962 and the lowest recorded temp was 9 in December 1989.  Every month averages over 3" of precipitation, with June averaging over 7".

It looks like a pretty city.  There seems to be things to do there.  And even during this summer's crazy heat wave, Houston didn't register an all-time record high.  It seems more diverse than Denver.  There is a Junior League that I could join to meet people and get involved in the community.

You may wonder why I'm talking about Houston.  I recently ran into a rep that I used to do a lot of business with and I've known her for many years.  I first met her when I worked at Oakwood Homes and she knew that I wasn't exactly happy at that job.  She knew of another local company that designed model homes in-house that was hiring a new designer.  Because she recommended it to me and recommended me to them (and because I'm good! :)), I got the job.  That then lead to the best, most successful job I have ever had.  When I saw her at this luncheon, we got to talking and I mentioned that I wasn't the happiest at my current job.  She asked if I'd be willing to move to Houston?  She said that her sister, who has a thriving interior design firm down there, is always looking for good designers and she'd recommend me to her sister.  YAY!  I had basically given up on Texas because all the jobs I saw required that somebody be NCIDQ certified, which I'm not.  See my post about NCIDQ and its costs here.  But apparently, this company would not require it, so that's good news.

I'm probably putting the cart before the horse here, but before I sent my resume and portfolio to someone, I needed to really think seriously about moving to a new city.  I think I could do it.  My parents joked that they wouldn't want to visit me there because it's so hot and humid, but I know they wouldn't be able to stay away from their grand-puppy, Lulu.  :)  I think it could be a fun adventure.  I'll send my stuff out and keep you all updated.  Eeekkk!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Guilty Pleasure

I've become addicted to watching the drama on this new reality show, Dirty Soap.  It's on E! and follows daytime soap stars in their real lives.  All of the people are inter-connected.  There's Jenna & Galen Gering - Galen is on Days of Our Lives and Jenna is his wife of more than ten years (she's the only one not on tv).  Then Kirsten Storms, who once played Belle on DOOL, but is now on General Hospital.  Then Kelly Monaco who is Sam on General Hospital and who was the first winner of Dancing with the Stars.  Then Brandon Beemer & Nadia Bjorlin, he was once Brady on DOOL and is now on The Bold and the Beautiful and she was Chloe on DOOL, they've been together for many years.  Lastly there's John-Paul Lavoisier and Farah Fath, another couple who've been together for years, they're both from the now cancelled One Life to Live and previously Farah was Mimi on DOOL.

There's all sorts of ridiculous drama, but it's oh-so-fun to watch!  Jenna has serious issues with Galen's on-screen love life with Allison Sweeney.  Galen is un-ruffle-able, always calm, even when his 2-year old son locked himself in a room and Galen had to break into the room through the locked balcony doors.  Kirsten Storms seems like a not very nice person.  They only person in her family that she speaks to is her brother and has some serious issues with her former BFF, Farah.  Kelly Monaco is dealing with the break-up of a 18-year relationship while her character on the show actually gets married - not fun.  Brandon Beemer (who is seriously HOT) loves Nadia, but Nadia's mom doesn't approve of him.  Nadia is dealing with leaving DOOL and starting a movie career, I'm not sure if it's big screen movies or made-for-tv movies.  John-Paul and Farah are dealing with the end of their show, moving to LA from NYC, the future of their relationship (marriage?) and being back in a city where Kirsten and Farah can't seem to co-exist peacefully.

Part of the reason I like this show so much is because I used to watch Days of Our Lives faithfully.  Seriously.  For probably 15 years.  So I knew a lot of these characters.  Belle and Mimi were BFFs on the show (and in real life), so it's really interesting to watch Farah and Kristen's non-relationship now.  I particularly like watching the couple dynamics between Brandon and Nadia and Farah and John-Paul.  I'm constantly irritated with Jenna Gering.  I don't like Kirsten much.  And Kelly is interesting to get to know.

We'll see if I continue to like it.  Sometimes I get annoyed with reality shows quickly and stop watching, but this one might be different.

On a sort of same note, at the Junior League Holiday Mart this weekend, I met Kristian Alfonso - Hope Brady on Days of Our Lives!  She was so nice and didn't mind that I was a total fan-girl.  :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Coolest Bookshelf Ever!

This bookshelf is from Linteloo, a company in The Netherlands.  It is called Nureyev.  And it is fabulous!  It's over 6' tall and is 3 1/2' in diameter.  It has little cubbies of different sizes for all your books.  And it rotates!  So cool!

We recently installed this in a client's home and it is absolutely perfect for him and the location.  I had to mount a serious search to find this and then we had to wait forever for it to get here from The Netherlands.  It's not cheap either, I think it retails for $8000 or $9000, maybe even closer to $10,000.  But it's a total conversation piece as well as functional, so I think our client feels it was worth it!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Which Dishes?

I need new dishes.  I've needed new dishes for years.  I'm down to five bowls and even one of those is cracked.  I've broken a few plates throughout the years.  And for some reason, when I bought my current dishes, I didn't realized they weren't microwave safe.  They're really not anything special, just cute white ceramic with a raised linear detail on the edges, from Pier 1 Imports.  Why aren't they microwave safe?  Who makes basic dishes that aren't microwave safe?  But really, they aren't.  Thirty seconds in there and they're scalding hot.  Burn the shit out of your hands, but your food's still cold, freaking hot.

And honestly, when I was sure I was going to marry my last boyfriend, I decided that I'd wait until we registered and ask for new dishes that way.  Well, that was years ago now.  And I need new dishes more than ever.  But I can't decide which ones!  I like white, but not plain white.  I need some sort of detail.  Here are the two sets I've narrowed it down to:

These are the Neobaroque dishes from West Elm.  They are lovely and feminine, have a fun scalloped edge detail, and are not too expensive.  The bowl (which you can't see) has the same edge detail as the plates on the side of the bowl.  They're probably a bit delicate, though.

These are the Mercer dishes from Crate & Barrel.  They are much simpler, but not too simple.  They have a textured surface, a cute raised edge, seem more hand-made, and are probably a little more heavy-duty.  They're a little pricier than the Neobaroque, though not much.  And I can't buy them in a set because I don't want the mugs.

Help me decide!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Incandescent Light Bulb "Ban" Update

For some reason my old blog post about lightbulbs is getting more and more views.  Because of that, and because the "ban" hasn't been repealed, I thought I'd do some more research into the issue.  Let me also say that I still feel exactly the same about CFL bulbs.

I originally said that all incandescent lightbulbs were being banned, but that is inaccurate.  There are some exceptions - 3-way bulbs and 40 watt appliance bulbs, just to name a couple.  But any regular incandescent bulb that does not meet the efficiency improvement required by the 2007 law is going away.  There must be at least a 28% savings in energy costs.

I mentioned that LED bulbs would be an option eventually, but that they are still very expensive.  Another option I hadn't thought of (for unknown reasons - maybe I have a subconscious hatred of them that stems from those old halogen floor lamps we had in college that could fry a moth and stink up the entire building?) is the halogen bulb.  Yep, that's a halogen bulb above.  In the traditional incandescent form we're all used to.  Halogen bulbs produce light more similar to the common incandescent bulb, a bit whiter than yellow, but not the cold blue light that comes from CFLs.  They are more efficient for the same amount of light output.  For example, a 40-43 watt halogen = 60 watt incandescent, and a 60-70 watt halogen = 100 watt incandescent.  That is a 28% savings in energy costs.  You got it - exactly what the 2007 law requires!

Halogen bulbs also have a much longer life than incandescent bulbs.  The average incandescent bulb lasts between 750-100 hours.  The average halogen bulb lasts between 2250-3500 hours.  So, even though the halogen may cost a little more than the incandescent, the longer life makes it worth it.  And apparently the above bulb definitely doesn't get hotter than an incandescent bulb and maybe doesn't get hotter than a CFL. I guess frying moths isn't likely to happen.

It's a first - I'm going to recommend an article from Fox News.  I learned a lot from this article.  I also found what is probably the only thing I'm likely to agree with The Tea Party on - the 2007 bill is an example of government overreach.  Check out the article to educate yourself.

I'm going to try out the halogen bulbs and hope that they will be able to replace my old faves.  I'll let you know.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

To Move or Not To Move

I didn't actually think I'd be contemplating moving right now, but I might have to.  I am definitely not a stranger to moving.  In the past 12 years I have lived in 9 different places.  I've lived in my current apartment for almost two years.  So that means that it's about time to renew my lease and lo and behold, the notice showed up on my door this week.

I'm starting to feel a bit more at home here - sometimes it takes a while!  It took me almost a year to get a bed for my guest bedroom and it's only been a couple months since I figured out the rest of that room - courtesy of Ikea.  :)  And though I REALLY dislike not having a washer and dryer in my unit, I'm getting used to it.  The grounds of the complex are generally nice, lots of trees, grass, lots of places to walk the dog.  Though not the most up-to-date facilities and I don't use them much, we've got a pool, tennis and basketball courts, a sand volleyball pit, a couple grills for public use, and a very small gym.  I haven't made many friends but I'm okay with that.  There are quite a few young families - mostly Indian, some older people, nobody is exactly high-class, but nobody is particularly trashy, either.  It generally feels safe here.

My apartment itself had been recently updated when I moved in.  New cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom, new countertops, too.  Newer carpet (though it is still the gross basic apartment carpet) and recently painted.  The lighting had been updated in the bedrooms, bathroom, and hall.  I've got a wood burning fireplace, a large balcony, A/C and a dishwasher, and GREAT closet space.  The square footage is fabulous for the price so I can fit all of my furniture easily.  I mean, really, how many cheap apartments can fit a king size bed in one bedroom and a queen in the other?

So, when that renewal notice came, I was thinking - yah, I'll stay here.  I'll try to get them to replace my windows (they're doing that to some units), or at the least, the window in the master bedroom.  I look totally ghetto because that window won't stay open and I've got a pink rolling pin poked in there to do the job.  :)  I originally thought that I'd renew for another year because that is usually the best rental rate, but for some reason, they're promoting a 10 month lease for less money.  Okay, I can do that.  It would actually end my next lease at a much better time - I mean, who wants to move between Christmas and New Years???

Then last night I heard my downstairs neighbor (the pot head with Kitty) arguing with somebody.  I admit it, I muted the TV so I could hear what they were saying.  In my defense, it's not like they were being quiet and they were arguing on the patio, which is right below my balcony - I couldn't help overhearing them.  I just facilitated the ease of my comprehension by muting the TV.  :)   The friend was staging some kind of intervention with my neighbor, telling him that his drug use was out of control.  I honestly just thought he was a pot head.  But then I heard him say that using that meth shit was going to kill him.  Meth?  Seriously?  Great.  Just what I want living beneath me.

My first thought is, I need to get out of here.  I need to find a new place to live, which won't be all that easy.  Then my next thought was, this is so completely unsafe - there are children and animals living here!  Is there anything I can do about getting him out of here?  Can I tell the police?  Can they do anything?  Is there anything the apartment complex will do?  What does the lease say?  If they can kick him out, it would make everything easier for me.  I wouldn't have to move and I wouldn't have to deal with all the cigarette smoke that wafts into my apartment.

I think I'll try that route first and see what I can do.  I really don't want to move right now.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Last Bit O' Emmy Fashion

I watched Joan Rivers' Fashion Police yesterday and decided to include some of her best and worst dressed of the Emmy's.


Nina Dobrev - Why yes, I have to agree.  She looks absolutely stunning in this dress.  Her tan looks natural, the jewelry is appropriate, red was THE color to wear, and this is a really flattering silhouette for her body.  The details on the dress are really fabulous, too.

Lena Headley - I have no idea who this woman is, except that I think she looks like Lara Flynn Boyle.  And I don't agree with them about this dress.  At all.  I think it's too covering and a little boring.  I don't like her pink shoes (imagine that!) because there isn't another bit of pink to answer them.  

The Fashion Police also liked Kristen Wiig's dress, which I had a mixed reaction to.

Now, their Worst:

Dianna Agron - Not the most flattering dress she has ever worn.  It's a lovely color on her, but it's a bit frumpy for someone so young.  And the wrinkles are a bit tacky.  I didn't see wrinkles on anybody else's dress.  The Glee girls really didn't do well this year.

Paula Abdul - She got reamed up and down for this dress.  And not really because it's not attractive, but because it didn't fit her correctly.  Or really because it had shifted on her body, putting the neckline off-center.  She never realized it, walked down the red carpet all off kilter, and NOBODY told her.  Sad.

Zooey Deschanel was the the last "worst".  They said this was too "little girl".  I don't think it's that bad, but it seems a little bridesmaid-y.  And I actually like the red ribbon on the pink dress.  In fact, I am looking for a pink tweed skirt to wear with a red patent leather belt and peep-toe heels.

The last dress I wanted to show is one I really like:

Sarah Hyland - I think she might be on Modern Family, or something.  I'm not real sure.  But I really like this dress.  I like the coral color, the silhouette, the pleating, and the fabric are beautiful.  The detail on the belt is great.  It's also not too sexy or too young - great for someone her age.  Her hair is pretty, too.  What I don't like are her shoes.  I wish they weren't such a bright silver.  I wish they were darker, more like the tone of the belt.

That's all I'm going to say about the Emmy's fashionistas.  Hoped you enjoyed my commentary.  :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

More Emmy Fashion

More good and bad from the 2011 Emmy's!

Everything about Anna Paquin is fabulous here.  Her hair is perfect for the outfit, her makeup is good, the accessories are minimal and appropriate, the dress is awesome and looks great on her, and the best accessory of all is behind her - her husband and True Blood costar, Stephen Moyer. :)

This is somebody named Jurnee Smollet.  I have no idea who she is, but I love the dress.  It's a beautiful purple - not too royal, which is a color I hate, but dark enough for fall. It is very flattering and looks incredibly comfortable.  I do wish she had earrings that made more of a statement, but the shoes and clutch are good.

I LOVE this dress that Christine Baranski is wearing.  GREAT color, very flattering silhouette, age appropriate.  I like that she doesn't have hella cleavage, so the deep v is classy, not sexy.  The little sleeves are nice for an older woman who may not want to bare all of her arms.  Her hair is stunning and her makeup is flawless.  Good job, Christine!

I really like Emily Blunt's navy dress, too.  Again, completely age appropriate.  It's fun and flirty, like Emily.  Her hair looks a little blah in this picture, but it might have been okay from the back.  Beautiful.

Julia Stiles dress didn't get rave reviews, but I mostly like it.  I think the color isn't fantastic for this time of year, but I like it in general.  I like the lace and the gathering details, and it shows us her fab bod.  I also like her hair - very glam and sexy.  Kind of a nice counterpoint to the innocent lace.

I don't particularly like the style of Kristen Wiig's dress, but I LOVE the color.  I love that she wore brown because not many people do.  And I love the ombre effect.  Awesome.

Though I think Nancy O'Dell looks way too tan, and this dress didn't get rave reviews, I don't mind it.  What I really like that she paired bold turquoise jewelry with the red dress.  Love the combo.

And speaking of too tan, what the hell happened to Jane Krakowski?  Did she fall in a vat of spray tan?  YUCK!  And her silver lame dress isn't helping any.

I previously mentioned how Katie Holmes looked too simple, and here it is.  Pretty boring, huh?  Nothing interesting to her dress, no interesting jewelry.  Her hair is really not good.  I expect more from her.

Now one of the Glee girls, Amber Riley.  This dress would be better on her grandma.  I actually like the beaded cap sleeves, but the cut, the color, the fabric - it's all wrong for this amazing young talent.

The other Glee girl, Heather Morris.  What is this?  WAAAAY  TOO MUCH.  I like ruffles as much as the next girl, but this is too busy.  The v down to her belly button is a bit much, too.  Though I like the main color, I don't like the darker color in the background.  There would have been enough of a shadow effect from all the ruffles without emphasizing them with a contrasting color.  And I don't like her hair either.

Still no favorite dress yet, though.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fashion at the Emmy's

I forgot to watch the Emmy's, even the red carpet coverage.  So I didn't get to see all of the dresses, but I have seen the recaps.  I don't have a favorite, but there are a few dresses I think are quite beautiful and some I think are awful.

Connie Britton, from Friday Night Lights, was wearing red like so many other people.  But I absolutely LOVE the layers of flowing chiffon, the sky-high slit, the long bow at the waist, and the strapless top.  This would make a beautiful wedding dress, I think.  Not a huge fan of the shoes, but that's okay.

Heidi Klum was pushing the line here, but I like it, and if anybody can pull something like this off, it's her.  I've heard both good and bad reviews of this dress.  Some people think it looks like a brillo pad and that the color is boring.  I think it's a beautiful neutral taupe with a hint of color - almost lavender maybe.  I like the asymmetrical hem, I think that's actually the only way the the design would work.  What I don't like is Heidi's choice of jewelry.  I don't like the big flowers.  I think her jewelry should have been more simple with the busy skirt.

I love Martha Plimpton in this dress.  And I love this dress.  And I love what she did with her hair.  Love it all.  The cut of the dress is so flattering to Martha, it shows us that she has a fab figure, which I definitely didn't know.  The color is great for her skin tone and is wonderfully appropriate for early fall.  The sparkles give it just enough umph so that she doesn't need lots of jewelry.  Her hair is classic and lovely, not overly styled or too simple (like Katie Holmes),

I usually really like Christina Hendricks.  I like that she's got hella curves and shows them off.  But this dress is not good on her.  Her boobs are too smushed together and the circular design of the beading that centers on her belly just emphasizes it, and not in a good way.  Also, I think her hair is boring.

Really?  Gwyneth Paltrow is usually effortlessly beautiful, but this just seems like she is trying too hard.  I might have been able to get on board if she didn't have a bare midriff, but the lace or embroidery is really busy.  If it was a little more simple of a pattern, I would be more okay with the black over nude.

Again, I usually really like Julianna Margulies, but this is not good.  It is too sculptural and too stiff.  The shoes are too clunky.  I feel like she must've been dropping crumbs down the top because it stuck out so far from her body.  And the skirt looks like it is really thick, like it's a drapery that is lined in bump cloth (a thick layer of cotton that gives the drapery body and insulates the room).  No.  Just no.

I not only like Melissa McCarthy, I love her.  But this dress does not do anything good for her.  Frump-a-licious.  I guess it's a good color for her.  And at least it has a v-neck, which is flattering for larger women.  But it's just too shapeless and covering.  The stitching detail makes the dress look sloppy and wrinkled.  She should take some fashion cues from Queen Latifah.  She know how to dress for a larger woman, and dressed fabulously when she was even larger than she is now.

That's all I know for now, if I find my favorite dress, I'll post about it.