Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Puppy Love.

If you missed this contest on {urban grace interiors}, you owe it to yourself to visit her blog and ooh and aah over the entries. I was late to the party so I didn't enter my doggies. This is probably the photo I would have submitted.


Or this.

More sleepy Stella cuteness.

I am looking forward to seeing the winner (there were some non-dog entries as well).

Dogs rule.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


After having been a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, I moved to Delaware. Since Delaware doesn't have a Major League baseball team, the Phillies are our team.

Congratulations, Philadelphia!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

12 Things I Hate.

First off, I would like to say that I do not hate easily. I do not hold grudges (probably as a result of a very long college-grudge-holding incident) and I do not really hate much of anything. Even for my occasional frequent bitchiness, I am a glass-half-full kinda gal. (Gal? Aren't'cha [I have no frickin' idea how to punctuate that mess] just thinkin' about Mavericks right now? Heh.)

Anyway, in the spirit of fairness to my last post (and I am nothing if not fair), my list of things I hate (or dislike greatly):

1) Gum crackers. If you are cracking your gum standing behind me in line at the grocery store, there's a good chance I will "accidentally" back my cart into you.

2) Cars with hyper bass. I have no idea what you call that soul-invading amplification, but I keep cutlery in the car for just such an occasion. Okay, not really, but there's a good chance I will "accidentally" back my car into you.

3) The Notebook. I don't care if you loved it. I hated it. I was rolling my eyes at the end when everybody was crying. Who didn't see that ending coming in the first scene in the movie?

4) Man Jewelry. If you are a guy, I don't want to see a bracelet on you unless it's on your ankle from jail. (Wedding rings are excluded from the hate.)

5) When people say "ironically" when they mean "coincidentally." Truthfully, this should probably be much further down on the list. (It also includes people who say "Ying and Yang." Still further down the list.)

6) All kinds of people, starting with: People who don't push the grocery cart back. You just walked through a mile of aisles to get your groceries and you are so exhausted you cannot walk another 20 feet to push your cart back?

7) People who throw litter out their car windows. I once followed a handicapped car with a guy driving who threw an entire bag of McDonald's out his window. At the stoplight I harrassed him about littering and he started screaming at me, "Fuck you, asshole!" and flipped me off until I was no longer in sight. Yeah.

8) People who say Foy-ay instead of foyer. Unless you are French, I want you to repeat after me: FOY-ER. Thanks.

9) People who make a fake phone with their hand when they are recreating their phone call to someone.

10) When my dog does not own up to her farts. She never does.

11) The smell of wet peanut butter. My daughter says it smells the same as peanut butter. No. It doesn't. It smells like sick (I almost couldn't write that). I can't clean out the peanut butter jar for recycling for that reason.

12) People who are not handicapped who park in the handicapped space. You are a loser and I will narc on you like nobody's business.

Ahhh, that felt good. Your turn.

12 Things That Make Me Happy.

You know that feature in Elle Decor, "12 Things I Can't Live Without?" Well, I was flipping through a back issue the other day and Peter Som said one of the things that HE COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT was his Tiffany keychain. And I was thinking a keychain? You CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT your Tiffany keychain? You would need to be stuck on a desert island with your Tiffany keychain?

So I started thinking, what are some things I can't live without and, basically, they all are breathing or food or water, so I was thinking what are some ITEMS that I would really rather not be without, which I feel is a more fair question. So, aside from my family (which is/are not an "item" anyway), computer and photos, here are mine:

1) Levi's.

2) Williams-Sonoma All-Clad Pots and Pans.

3) Dogfish Head 60-minute IPA.

4) Freshly ironed sheets.

5) My engagement ring.

Yes, of course this is to scale. :-)

6) Seda France candles.

7) My doggies.

Stella* aka Stellabean the Dancing Machine. (*not an item; don't care)

8) Art supplies.

9) A roaring fire (I prefer good gas logs; I like to be able to turn it on for short bursts any time of day and we have one that looks real but is more environmentally friendly than wood or at least I like to think so).

10) iPod.

11) My book collection.

I had to replace Breakfast at Tiffany's because I forgot I already used it.

12) Fresh flowers (white tulips are my fave).

So, off the top of your head, what are 5 things that make you happy?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm a Terrible Mother.

I bought Fluff today. With which to make Fluffernutters. Which makes life happier.

I regularly buy Cocoa Puffs. And eat them myself.

So sue me.

I also look forward to BooBerry and Frankenberry at Target every Halloweentime.

I know this goes completely, diametrically against my previous post. So what?

I am a complex human being.

Hershey's Makes the Very Best...Profits.

I was reading that Hershey has increased its prices due to increases in the cost of ingredients. I am okay with that. I would rather have good ingredients in products I am consuming (and I am known to consume large quantities of Reese's cups this close to Halloween). And I'm very late to the party on this but I'm also very unhappy to read that the Hershey company has been using inferior ingredients in its chocolate for years.

"They've also changed the manufacturing process (Hershey’s no longer roasts its own beans or processes them into chocolate liquor, they’ve subcontracted that to Barry Callebaut), altered how long products are conched and have started substituting substandard ingredients. In 2006 Hershey’s began using PGPR, which is an emulsifier and extender, in some of [its] milk chocolate products, but it wasn’t until this year that it finally appeared in the formula for the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar."

In fact, I've read that some of Hershey's products aren't even allowed to be called milk chocolate anymore. Sort of like Velveeta and that individually wrapped Kraft cheese cannot actually be called cheese but "cheese product."

Do you really want to hand that out for Halloween? I'd rather have wax lips. At least you know what's in it. Guess I'm back to Godiva (hazelnut praline truffles in case you are thinking of sending me some). Sigh.

And I almost forgot the good news: Hershey's profits doubled for 3Q 2008. I'm so happy. Because in America, that's what it's all about, right?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday Afternoon Beauty Quickie.

Mmmmmm, pretty. Why does Ralph make it look so easy to select paint colors?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Just Say No To Jumpsuits.


No (although this doesn't really look like a jumpsuit) .

Definitely No.

No. Not even on Angie Harmon.

Not even on Ms. Gyllenhaal.

No jumpsuits. Nevah. Not unless you're Elvis.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Okay, This Goes With the Previous Post.

This is the entryway. That room down there is the family room. You can sort of see the heinous plaid chair. This is my new wallpaper. It looked really beautiful in a small sample and it is really beautiful. It's just much busier than I anticipated. But it's staying for awhile.

This is the family room (again):

Another view:

This is the powder room to the left in the hall, right before the family room (formerly red, currently gray primer). How on earth do you work with stained glass? I've tried 100 blues and everything seems too bright. The Phillip Jeffries raffia wallpaper seems like a good choice even though it's $500/roll (it's tiny).

Another view:

This room is to the right when you walk in the front door:

This dining room, starring my husband's unremovable mahogany furniture is attached to the living room:

Does that help? So, I'm trying to figure out what to do with the powder room walls and how to recover the plaid chair in the family room. Thanks for your help.

Williams-Sonoma Home, You Little Devil You.

Damn you and your gorgeous in-store merchandising and styling. I am powerless over it. It is exactly why I ended up with this chair.

No, not the black Chinese Chippendale-style chair, the (highly comfortable) Scottish Tartan Plaid wingback chair. I don't even like a wingback chair much less plaid. In fact, I do not like plaid so much that I gave away all of my husband's plaid shirts that he had before we met (with his approval and excepting one that is sentimental because it belonged to his grandfather). I at least like the Chinese Chippendale chair. A lot, in fact. So, how is it that I ended up with a $2,200 chair (plus shipping) that I hate, you ask?

Well, it started around Christmastime. Tartan Plaid at Christmastime made perfect sense. That, and this photo from the Williams-Sonoma Home catalog with its perfect red walls and Ralph Lauren-y art:

Speaking of Ralph Lauren, this did not help matters whatsoever; nor did having recently attended a cocktail party at an old house like ours that was completely tricked out in Ralph:

Okay, well, all that and this ad from J. Crew. This campaign actually made me think I needed a long tartan plaid skirt like this (and a house like this and drapes like that)...

So, do you see how this was a perfect storm of tartan plaid? Even this fall, they are tempting me with plaid-clad catalogs (say that three times) and tartan plaid resurrected on wingback chairs within):

I love that, though. I think it's beautiful. I know many of you have a much more modern aesthetic, but I think this is really beautiful. I have been through a lot of different styles in my lifetime - from modern (Phillip Stark-ish, Met Home Modern) to Country French to traditional with a twist which is where I think I end up.

Anyway, I have to recover that chair. It's currently in the family room with this (Ralph Lauren) sofa (that I got on sale at Bloomingdale's during that donation week where you get 25% off plus and extra 20%!):

Please forgive the unfortunate lighting (I'm working on it) and there is a different rug there now. White shaggy, just bigger. I am too lazy to take another picture. And that yellowish rug is actually inside the basement door. It's currently there just to toy with you. Suggestions are welcome and even encouraged. (Don't use all your suggestions, though. I have a bathroom issue or two that have me flummoxed and I will need your help.)

I Love Rich People.

And I don't mean just rich. I mean filthy, stinkin' rich. I'm happy to see there are still a few left. Their retail ringleader? Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti. Her recommendations for Depression Recession-wear include a serpent bracelet for $27,600. Seriously, though. What well-heeled hostess wouldn't like a carved lobster figurine to regift to some future well-heeled hostess?

Carved Lobster Figurine, Vivre Selection, $415

And if you're always looking for something more special than just an empty beer bottle to stuff a single red rose into, the "Beer Bottle Vase," $140. Each.

Hand-etched vase (their description, not mine) made of "recycled" beer bottles. Brown with gold leaf. 9". By Esque Studio. $140. Each.

You could just go to Michael's and get some gold leaf to slap on your empties and call it a day. Let's see. What other goodies? Who doesn't need a set of handblown sperm for their coffeetable?

Glass "Swirls," Set of 2, $95

And just in time for Halloween. Don't just go to the farmer's market and get a bunch of regular gourds for $10, order these "special, non-cliche" gourds for $195:
"Alabama Chanin takes the cliché and the predictability out of the
usual seasonal décor with these curlicued organically grown gourds,
specially selected for their fantastical shapes and painted white. Set of six, $195."

Looking for that special accessory to spice up your drab outfit? This. Is. It.

Ebony Royal Totem Brooch, Lotus Arts de Vivre Exclusive, $7000.00.

Back on the homefront, for your friend, the jokester hunter (and what better time for joking around than when you are armed?):

Cat Trophy by Nymphenberg, $979.00

For the nouveau gangsta on your list, a celebration of art and crime:

Graffiti dinnerware, in the Dutch Delft style, $100/5-pc. set.

And the piece de resistance: The Niagara Chandelier by Lladro, starting at $45,000:

Pricey, but she is tres belle, non?

I could go on all day but, alas, I don't have the time. If you'd like to visit Eva and see what her luxe world is like, go to

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Charity Begins At (Your) Home.

The fabulous, prolific! Joni from Cote de Texas turned me on to this great organization, Teachers from public schools all over the country send in requests for everything from essential items such as writing paper and pencil sharpeners to art supplies for teachers who are only allotted $50/year (see what Joni did) to supplies to create an entire library, the list is endless.

You can select a state and a school, the cost of an item or project or the type of project you'd be interested in helping to fulfill such as science or art. You can donate any amount or fulfill the entire project. The great thing is that buys the item (it has already negotiated the best price and determined related fees such as shipping) and sends the item directly to the teacher who requested it. I love it. They also send a disposable camera so the kids affected by your generosity can take pictures which are developed and sent to you along with thank you notes written by the kids. Now, I don't require that level of thanks for my gifts but it's so great to be able to see what your donation was actually used for.

Anyway, I am always looking for ways to help out locally and this organization provides the opportunity to help out kids in areas that don't receive enough governmental support (another topic in itself). Check it out. If you like, donate something. Next year, I would like to sponsor a project through my blog for Blogger's Challenge '09. I am late to the party for '08 but I did go to the site and donate a cash register so a local school could open a school store which many kids will use to create the store (through an entrepreneurship class), order, market and sell the merchandise, track inventory, audit the register and use the experience to get jobs in retail. I encourage you to go take a look at the wide variety of opportunities to give to teachers whose kids who will really benefit from your generosity.

I'm a Retard.

Will someone please explain to me what happened last night on "Mad Men?" Why did Don say he was Dick and who was that woman? Is he a twin? What's going on? Someone, please 'splain to me.

Windows to the World.

I love conservatories. My husband and I were lamenting the fact that because we live in the city on a tree-lined street we don't get enough sun to have a garden. If I can't have a garden, I'd really like is one of these:

All of the above conservatories by Amdega.

Tanglewood conservatory (pool house).

Our house is over 100 years old so these styles would complement it perfectly. Seems like a great place to curl up in winter with a book. Or write. Or draw. Or just daydream about spring.

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