Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dreaming of 2009...what about YOU?

Little Rosie, dreaming peacefully in my lap...

What are your hopes, dreams, aspirations, and notions for 2009? What are you looking forward to? What do you want to leave behind in 2008? What is something new that you'd like to try, do, experience, feel, see? Where do you see yourself a year from now?

I'm curious to hear from you all. I've been seeing some very inspirational quotes, thoughts, insights, and images from all over the blogosphere, and I must say they've made quite an impact on me in just the past few hours.

So what about you?

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye to 2008

The Von Trapp children, singing their cute little goodbye and goodnight song...

This has been a momentous year for me, including:

  • The death of a beloved uncle, Chuck
  • The beginning of my life as a blogger
  • My wonderful marriage to a wonderful man, Pete
  • A fabulous honeymoon in Hawaii
  • The struggles with my health (especially in the last few months)
  • The birth of a beautiful niece, Jane
  • The slow deterioration of my job

And many little good, everyday things have occurred, to be sure. Despite any negativity I've experienced this year, I still feel very, very blessed to be here, alive, loved, fairly healthy, learning, hopefully teaching and inspiring (and being taught and inspired as well), and exploring who I am, where I've been, and where I'd like to be. Yes, there have been economic hardships this year, but I still have a job, Pete still has a job, we have a roof over our heads, we can pay our bills, and I'm still able to splurge every now and then on shoes.

I'm thankful for all I have and all that I've experienced. I'm especially thankful for meeting all of my fellow bloggers and learning so much from you all. So here's to a happy, healthy, wealthy, and loving 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Current obsession: Vintage boots from eBay

Some great size 8 vintage boots...

I'm currently into vintage boots, and I have found a wealth of them on the pages of eBay. Why vintage? Well, as you all know, I love shoes, and in recent weeks I've been exhausting myself looking through the racks at places like DSW, Famous Footwear, Marshall's, and the like for just the right boots. I'm particularly interested in three types of boots right now:
  • Riding boots
  • Knee-high high-heeled boots
  • Cowboy boots

Now, of course I have a ton of knee-high high-heeled boots, but as you may know, I have rather healthy calves. Most of the boots I've come across either don't fit my legs, are too cheap/plastic-y looking, or way too expensive. I especially want to find a pair of KHHHB that I can fit over my jeans, as well as riding boots and cowboy boots that fit the same bill. I've never owned cowboy boots and I'm kind of picky about how they look (I don't want too much of a "Western" look) so eBay has been a great resource in that regard. And riding boots are all different as far as fit and style and the leather used. So this has been a bit of a challenge, but I'm always up for a challenge when it comes to shoes!

So of course I turned to eBay after being disappointed at both brick-and-mortar and online shoe stores. And I figured I'd look into vintage boots, because they are generally better priced, nicely worn, and made of better materials than something I can get for the same price that's new. These photos are from a selection of boots in my size that I found while browsing this afternoon. There are tons of other boots available in a vast array of sizes, too. I already snapped up a pair of gorgeous brown leather riding boots (first image, below), and have my eye on a stunning pair of cowboy boots (second image, below) and some pretty flowered high-heeled boots (third image, below). Many other pairs have caught my eye, but I have to proceed with caution because of those previously mentioned healthy calves o' mine. The prices are awesome, and I love the worn and well-loved (but still in great condition) look that these boots have.

Aren't they lovely? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the cowboy boots might be a "Buy It Now" item (I emailed the seller requesting such a transaction). And I asked the seller of the floral boots about the calf size (again, those pesky healthy calves) and I'm waiting to hear what she has to say, since it's hard to see in the photo.

eBay can be a great source for shoes, but you need to be smart and careful about your purchases. Make sure the sizing is stated, and that the photos are clear and show the product in detail. And feel free to ask the seller about any damage, scuffs, wear, etc. You'll run across rather worn and damaged shoes that are being sold for ridiculous prices, but most of the shoes and boots are in pretty decent condition. The seller should also be willing to answer any other questions you have about the product, and they are sometimes open to a "Buy It Now" transaction (so that you don't have to bid with others and jack the price up). It can't hurt to ask, can it?

Now, back to all those lovely boots...

Happy hunting!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Time to shop

Pete and I are off to the local strip malls to see what's for sale.

Boy, that sounds bad, doesn't it?

Wardrobe change

I thought I'd change up the blog a bit to match the season. Since I'm a photography nut, the options are endless for different looks and styles. I wish I knew how to make a snowflake background to match the snow in my banner, but I'm an HTML moron. Anyone know how to edit such things, and change the background to include images/graphics, kind of like the graphic above?

Anyhow, Pete and I are off to do some more Christmas shopping (yes, Christmas). We have another party to go to tomorrow, so I have some more gifts to get. Pete wants to tag along and help me pick stuff out. And I'm sure we'll somehow end up swinging by DSW during our travels...

Littleput Books: a little bit of magic, squared

I simply adore the pretty little necklaces from Ryan's Littleput Books shop. Her soft and dreamy photographs are perfect "jewels," each set into a tiny little silver frame.

I just purchased this beautiful little necklace called "Plume in gold."

Ryan also makes gorgeous little handbound books featuring sweet songbirds and colorful flowers.

A closeup of one of her pretty necklaces called "Branches in Blue."

These accordion books are not only colorful and unique, but functional too. A great gift idea!

Another great photography creation are these photo blocks featuring themes, like sky, forest, and ocean.

And aren't these cute little tins so lovely?

A closeup of a necklace called "Unexpected Orange."

Gorgeous cherry blossoms on a handbound book.

"Moss," another dreamy photo necklace.

Ryan used to make these really cool Scrabble tile pendants (a few which I had purchased), but no longer carries them. However, she does show you how to make your own, which would be a fun craft project to do.

Her prices are very reasonable, and her photography is amazing. I have always been impressed by her work, and she has been a favorite Etsy seller of mine for ages.

I mean, how lovely is this pendant called "Cielo"? So pretty!

Be sure to check out her blog, All Things Littleput, where she is currently featuring a free giveaway to her Etsy shoppers. Hurry, the giveaway ends January 3rd!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! We're off to Savanna in a few hours, then Algonquin tomorrow, so I won't be around for a few days.

Now back to wrapping gifts...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snowy sick day

I'm starting to sound like a broken record, aren't I?

Today I felt horrible, with chills, fever, bad headache, swollen lymph glands, nausea, etc. So I called in and went back to bed for another five hours. That didn't seem to do too much, because right now I feel worse than I did when I got up. I'm hoping I'll feel better tomorrow and Thursday, because I hate being sick on holidays! I also missed Jen and Georgia, and strangely enough, I miss driving to and from work with Pete.

Anyhow, here are some pix from today, taken when I had a few bits of energy here and there (which wasn't often).

Snow, snow, and more snow! Our backyard

Max being goofy in the dining room (under construction)

Max peering outside

Max pleading with me—to go outside?

A view out front

Bored out of my skull watching VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s

Spanky looking solemn

Adora looking bored, just like me

Hot cider and tea with crackers is all I've managed to keep down so far

Watching exciting daytime television

Dollie frolicking in the dining room

Max thinking his private cat thoughts and looking outside

Max and Dollie were fascinated by the snow that snuck in the front door when Pete left for work this morning. I think they know it's too cold to play outside, but they're still restless and bored and curious about all that white stuff.

Well, it's back to the couch for me. I've got yet another episode of 100 Greatest waiting for me, and then it's on to the news and such. Dare I say I was so bored today I would have preferred to work? But I hear we ran out of work and people were sent home early, so I guess this is the better of the two options, with the 4-8 inches of snow we're getting today too.

Time to eat more saltines...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fun at the movies

As promised, here are some pix from our trip to Hollywood Blvd.

Shannon looking at all the "It's a Wonderful Life" memorabilia

Pete and Matt waiting in line to see Karolyn Grimes

A closeup of some "IAWL" memorabilia

Pete, Karolyn Grimes, and me

Karolyn Grimes and her assistant laughing at Pete's Jimmy Stewart impressions while she signs Matt's copy of "IAWL"

Matt kissing Shannon at the lobby's bar

My chocolate raspberry martini—yum!

A goofy Shannon and scary Matt at the bar

Matt's spiked vanilla coffee drink

Matt, Shannon, and Pete waiting in the lobby for the "IAWL" crowd to be seated

A warning sign for...

...this supposedly expensive horse statue

Me and Pete, all grins

Matt seated in the theatre, waiting for Ms. Grimes to speak

A happy Pete in his seat

Ms. Grimes heading up front to speak to the crowd about the movie

Pete running through the parking lot after the movie, reenacting Jimmy Stewart's "Merry Christmas!" scene in "IAWL"

Pete, as Jimmy Stewart, accosting Matt; Matt calling for police help

Pete (Jimmy Stewart) accosting me

Pete (Jimmy Stewart) running through the lot, yelling "Merry Christmas Bedford Falls!" as we all laugh our butts off