Sunday, December 28, 2008

leaving on a jet plane... actually in a car

so I'll be leaving for NYC either in about an hour, driving through the night. I've never been to New York and can't wait to experience it! So I'll be gone for a few days. I'm also teaching myself to knit in the car, so i hope to update on my progress for that. Have a great New Years Eve!

Friday, December 26, 2008

in remembrance: Eartha Kitt

I had heard of Eartha Kitt before yesterday but never learned much about her. Now that I have learned of her death I've done a bit more research and think she's amazing. Here is a quick tid bit:

Eartha Kitt "was an American actress, singer, and cabaret star. She was perhaps best known for her 1953 Christmas song "Santa Baby". Orson Welles once called her the "most exciting woman in the world". She took over the role of Catwoman for the 3rd season of the 1960s Batman TV seriesKitt encountered a substantial professional setback after she made anti-war statements during a White House luncheon. It was reported that she made First Lady Lady Bird Johnson cry. The public reaction to Kitt's statements was much more extreme, both for and against her statements. Professionally exiled from the U.S., she devoted her energies to overseas performances."

She has a meager background born on a cotton plantation never knowing her white father and abandoned by her mother, and yet grew into a glamourous star with international sensibilities. Her story is fascinating. Apparently she had a great cat purr from her performance as Cat Woman that I've been hearing repeatedly on the radio. Here is a fantastic performance from 1962. 

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday. I had a great Christmas but am so happy to be back home. 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

see you later

So I'm probably not going to be around as much the next few days. I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas! It is -6 today here and not very welcoming, but hopefully the weather will improve for the big day. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

snow snow snow

we've had a lot of snow recently. The city is so pretty for about a minute- but what a nice minute it is. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

brand new hair style, one that I can call my own. kinda.

So here is the new hair cut. I like the cut, but hate the bangs. too short and fringy. ug. oh well. bangs grow. 


I love finding concept blogs. The Sartorialist is one of my favorites, taking fashion pictures of people on the street, instantly changing our perceptions of people we might pass every day. I came across this one this morning and think its really cool. Its all about stairs. Different unique stairways from around the world. Here are a few, but I recommend taking a look! 

shoes, shoes, wonderful shoes

Can we talk about awesome shoes for a minute? I have been craving to get some incredibly hip shoes, but always hesitate when I think about the occasions when I would actually wear them. Besides, sometimes its more fun to dream about them than commit to just one pair. So here are some new finds: 

1) Beverly by Remix

2) Fly London Sally Pump

3) Sandal by Remix Vintage

4) Ribbon Tie Ballerina from Toast

5)Suede Brogue also from Toast

6) Candela Tassle Oxford found at Urban.

Any favorites? I actually think I would wear the last three more regularly. And the top ones are AMAZING. Shoes are fun, and it's better to covet from affar. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

morning dose of keri russell

Good morning. I have much to do today including getting my hair cut. Hope it goes well- will update later. 

I came actress some pics of Keri Russell today and decided to share my obsession with her. I spent too many hours watching Felicity in high school, and then re-watching in college. I really loved that show and feel like I know Felicity. Yes I own the seasons. So what? I like it. 

Now every once in a while I see pics of Keri Russell and remember how much I loved the show, but am also reminded of how much I love her. She seems sweet, stylish, and is such a cute mom (it seems). Any other Felicity friends out there? I kinda want to curl up right now and watch a season. Jill... I believe you have some discs to send me. 

my heart still flutters when I see Ben and Felicity together. Oh so lame. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

winter, rice pies, and finland

I had some errands to run today but they are getting farther from me. I spent too many hours in my bed with Hank and Lainey reading and eating yummy english muffins with peanut butter and honey. Once I finally got moving and showered, I looked out side and found the world was white with snow, both on the ground and falling heavily from the sky. I think I'll stay in for a while more and apply for jobs and read. Maybe I'll make flan. 

I have been thinking about the lovely Finnish treats my mother-in-law makes over the holiday, especially rice pies. Called karjalan pies, these savory little pastries (if you can call them that) are made of rice porridge surrounded by rye flour crust. They are so so good right out of the oven with melted butter and with a lump of butter on the top. I dream of them on this cold day. Here is an image I found, but can't wait to come back from Christmas with my own images. 
Minna has had an incredible life and I love to hear about her childhood. She used to make these with her mother when she was very young in a stone oven in northern Finland. Her country modernized while she was a child, so she has seen many changes. Her family lives in the country as dairy farmers along a river. I would love to visit in the winter. Despite the cold and the snow and the darkness. Minna says the winter is when Finland comes alive. Snowshoes and saunas are a part of everyday. Of course I'm sure its very hard, but I romanticize about living in a cabin in the woods, warm on the inside to battle the quiet cold on the outside, baking and reading. Minna is happy to be in America, and talks of unemployment and alcoholism, but in my mind I erase these things and make up my own dream, looking quite similar to this

a Finnish winter cottage where I wouldn't mind staying.

Monday, December 15, 2008

cold days and children's books

Today is the coldest day yet. I went out to grab a coffee with a friend and it hurt to breathe as I made my way across the ice to the train- and yesterday it was 45 degrees. That's Chicago for you I guess. I'm so happy to be on break. I can spend time wrapping gifts, cooking, and all that other wonderful homey stuff that falls to the wayside during school. 

I went shopping for children's books today for my niece and nephew and had such a hard time deciding. There are so many that I remember as a child that brought such magic to my imagination. I want to give that to them. I think its exciting but I'm sure we're just the boring aunt and uncle who bring books on Christmas. Oh well- thats the justice of childhood.

I settled on The Velveteen Rabbit by Margaret Williams and Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss for Isaak, and Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans for Annika's first book from us. 

Oh how I loved The Velvetten Rabbit. I felt so much for the toy who just wanted to be loved by his boy. I was always a little to empathetic towards my own toys and animals, to this book really struck a chord with me. It's definitely a favorite. One year my sister and I were given stuffed velveteen rabbits; a girl for Katie and a boy for me. I used to get mad when Katie always got the girly stuff because I was labeled early as a 'tomboy,' but was so happy with this gift because he was more like the rabbit I had know in the book. Oh Christmas! Makes me so nostalgic.

Friday, December 12, 2008

big sur meets helsinki

Lina Rennell has a new Spring 09 collection that I really love called Big Sur Meets Helsinki. What a great vintage inspired swimsuit. I would totally wear that. Already I'm missing the ease of summer and the airy dresses. I have a long way way to go. Thanks unruly things for bringing this to my attention!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


GOOP is awesome. I first learned of it through Jessica's blog (another shout-out) and think its a really cool idea. What is GOOP you may ask. It is a weekly newsletter put out by Gwyneth Paltrow on a variety of topics including cooking, traveling, exhibits, fashion and the soul. So okay, my instant reaction was not to like it because it makes me cringe thinking just because you're a celebrity its assumed you know what you're talking about, but its actually quite nice and unpretentious. I recommend checking it out.

On how to build a "uniform":

On where to go in LA:

From a recommended exhibit (Elizabeth Peyton, Jarvis. 1996. Oil on Board):

my chair

This is my chair. I have been living in this chair. These past two weeks have been "I have to get back to work" weeks, and almost any spare moment has been in my chair trying to work. Often I am doing work, but if I had been as diligent as I had hoped I would, it would have been one week in this chair - not two. But tonight I turn in my last paper and finals will be done. I have to work on my thesis over break, and will return to this chair... but at least I'll take a few day break. 

So here I'll bee until most likely late in the night, but I'm sure I'll insert some procrastination in the form of a blog post. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Snowman

Have you ever seen The Snowman? It started as a children's book by English author Raymond Briggs published in 1978. In 1982 it was turned into a 26-minute animated movie by Dianne Jackson. The film was nominated for an Oscar for best animated short in 1983.

Of course I wasn't aware of all this when it was given to my sister and I by my Uncle Bill when we were very small. We didn't get to see him much when we were little kids; he was ill and living in Chicago. We were living in South Carolina. One year he sent us this video and not long after he passed away. I remember being so enthralled by it. The whole concept of a snowman was foreign considering we lived in the South, and the magic of the story still captures me today. I always think of my Uncle Bill when I see it. Aaron gave me the DVD and am looking forward to watching it very soon. 

Though not how it appears in the original movie, I love this rendition of "Walking in the Air" by George Winston. 

george winston - walking in the air - george winston

I was looking for videos of it on youtube and came across versions introduced by David Bowie. Very cool. Take a look.


These past few weeks I've been so happy and grateful for my life. I think this past year I've been living is such a way that brings me worry, stress and dissatisfaction. For some reason recently I've been able to let it all go and just started to learn to be happy and content. I still worry about being good enough for school and finding a good job, but when I'm at home making food or cuddling with Aaron, all those concerns wash away. I've just been realizing how secondary all that other stuff is. I hate to admit these things sometimes because its sounds so housewifey, but I know I'll always work and be independent. I think I'm just allowing myself to completely enjoy those things that are separate from my intellectual life. Here are some things that have brought me joy these past few days:

-yummy tiger shrimp at salpicon

-homemade clothes... I really want a sewing machine.

-hank and lainey getting along

- these earrings that I won!

-The Lord of the Rings. I watched the final movie last night and got inspired to read the trilogy over Christmas Break

-Christmas Break!

-Aaron, Katie, and Mom and how well they get along

-Feeling at home finally

-Working for hours and feeling like I've accomplished something

-hope for the future

-Grace Chicago and the new friends we've met there

Ok so I don't usually get this personal in my blog, but I felt compelled to share. Tell me some things you're thankful for. I love Jessica's blog because knowing what makes her happy makes me happy too. You should do the same!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

photo blogs

I've recently come across some great photo blogs that totally inspire me and makes me wish I had a better camera. This first one uses only one model, and I'm told she is just thirteen. Amazing.

This one is also great. He captures such unique moments.

I've shared this one before, and the more I look at it the more intrigued I am. The pairing of decomposition and new life through is striking. All stages and uses of life are included in these country images. Animals as pets, animals as food, animals in the process of being food, animals that simply die on their own. And people involved the cycle each in their own way, seemingly unaware of the process they're a part of. 

Monday, December 8, 2008

christmas with Rudolf Koivu

Rudolf Koivu is a Finnish painter and illustrator who created wonderful images for children's books. The images below are from the 1930s and I love them. Ever since I married Aaron I've been increasingly interested in Scandinavia, especially Finland. Anyways, enjoy these Christmas images. 

She & Him

I have been loving She and Him. This two person band has Zooey Deschanel (you may remember her from Elf or Almost Famous) as its lead singer and M. Ward as its guitarist and backup vocals. The songs have such a vintage feel and so does she. I love the who thing. Her crooning voice is sometimes off but it gets me every time. 

Here is a performance of 'Change is Hard' from the Ferguson show, but there are also great performance segments on YouTube from MTV Canada

From their website: "Ward’s unique arrangements and virtuostic guitar playing paired with Deschanel’s affinity for vocal harmony give Volume One its characteristic sound . Ward and Deschanel share a mutual affection for the songs they grew up hearing on Los Angeles radio stations - and keep in their hearts the records that most DJ's aren't playing anymore: Les Paul and Mary Ford, The Ronettes, Nina Simone, Chet Atkins, Linda Ronstadt, the Carter Family and about a hundred others. Aiming to achieve the warmth and charm of pop and country records from the early and mid part of the twentieth century, Ward, who also produced the record, and Deschanel, who wrote most of the music, called upon the help of a number of extraordinary musicians including: Rachel Blumberg, Adam Selzer, Mike Coykendall, Tom Hagerman, Peter Broderick, Mike Mogis, and Paul Brainerd. Without whom this record would just be two people with no drums, bass, strings or pedal steel."

this weekend

Good morning! I woke up feeling so sick. Yesterday I was feeling something coming on and despite all the juice drinking, supplement taking and fizzy sick drinks I've become sick. Ug. Oh well. It's a beautiful morning and I have the whole day to stay at home and work on finals. 

So the weekend has come and gone, and I had such a great time with my mom. It was a short trip but we did a lot. Here are some highlights: 

Dinner at Salpicon

Aaron made Panetone

and Hank and Lainey had the run of the place

Thursday, December 4, 2008

mom is almost here!

Mom's in town tomorrow. So excited. When I think about it I'm amazed by how little I see her. She moved to Hawaii weeks after I went to college so it went from every day to a few times a year. And I missed her last visit when I was in D.C. this summer, so needless to say I need some mom time. Should have a fun filled weekend of shopping, eating, chatting, and Blue Man Group (not the support group for men). 

birthgiving pics

also, thanks jon for the new blog title image. looks great!