Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vintage Hawaiian postcards

These are some vintage Hawaiian postcards I found online at Cardcow. They have quite the selection of vintage postcards for any holiday/country/event you can think of. I love maps and I love the kitschy look of these. I'm going to use the top one as my desktop wallpaper here at work while I'm gone on our honeymoon. That way, if people stop by to look for something or drop something off, they'll see it on my monitor and be like, "Cool!"

But I wish they had more of a selection online. I had actually wanted to put a vintage Hawaiian travel poster up, maybe something that said "Aloha!" or "Greetings from Hawaii," but I never did find anything that was hi res enough. I still plan on buying a vintage print to hang up in my house, but I'd like something to display on my laptop, too. Anybody know of any sites I can find such a thing? I found many, many posters for sale, but the actual images online were very lo res and not suitable for displaying on a huge monitor. And the desktop wallpaper sights pretty much just had photos with waterfalls and such.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

There's always trouble

Our troublesome furry children...

I tell everyone that at my house, someone furry is ALWAYS in trouble. Every day. Seriously. There isn’t a day that goes by that someone doesn’t do SOMETHING wrong and gets yelled at (mainly by me) or reprimanded or sent to their cage. The only two that ever behave are our fish, and that’s mainly because they’re stuck in an aquarium. One fish, Scrappy, HAS swallowed a rock (TWICE!) and has been near death, so that wasn’t so fun. But it’s mainly the cats and dogs that like to run amok and wreak havoc.

These things (below) have all happened in the last few months:

Someone has…
  • pooped on the floor near my closet full of clean clothes
  • scooted their ass across the bedroom floor
  • run away and found a new family
  • vomited in my car, especially in the cracks of the seats
  • licked clean a Filet O’ Fish box while hiding under the desk upstairs
  • tore up our vintage bedspread and rolled around in the sheets
  • dug around in the garbage and tore up the toilet paper in it
  • ate off our plates or drank out of our glasses
  • picked fights with each other
  • chewed up my shoes or Pete’s shoes
  • stolen someone’s food, sometimes while they were eating it
  • destroyed the remote and the cordless phone
  • fake-attacked the neighborhood dogs and scared people
  • peed on the floor in the living room
  • knocked all our laundry over in the basement
  • walked all over my laptop keyboard and sent letters I was in the middle of writing
  • laid on the counters and got hair all over the place
  • rammed a water bottle in my face while I was drinking out of it
  • tried to steal/play with/eat a cherry that I was taking pictures of
  • used the dining room sub floor as a giant litter box (yuck!)
  • got into scrapes with the neighbor’s giant cat, Boris the Russian
  • knocked all sorts of boxes, paperwork, desk supplies, etc. over and onto the floor
And I can go on and on. But you know what? I love them all to death, and it just wouldn’t be a home without them. We have our own little family unit, and we get to snuggle together and go on car rides and eat ice cream and the like—yeah, the cats AND dogs like ice cream. You have to see the humor in these situations, or you’ll go mad and run screaming from your own home.

They’re our furry children :)

"Wedding Dance"

Jeanette, Rick, and Olivia got this lovely statue for Pete and me for our wedding, and Jeanette came over personally to present it to us last night. It's so beautifully raw and fluid looking, if that makes sense. And the couple looks just like us!

Thank you, guys!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Vintage-style matchbook notepads

I got these cool notepads at Vintage Faire in Barrington on Saturday. They're designed to look like vintage matchbooks, compete with striking strip, and the designs on the covers are very retro and colorful.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Road kill

Today is one of those days where I kept seeing lots of road kill, and road kill in general makes me feel incredibly sad. I mostly saw entire dead raccoon families, although I did see a cat, which made me tear up quite a bit. There's something really depressing about seeing all these little bodies along the side of the road, especially so frequently on a single day. Many of them have their mouths open in a final silent scream, or they have their heads down, forever in a somber bow to the pavement. The worst are the pets, like dogs and cats, who will never go back to the warmth and welcome of their loving homes.

One time I was walking my parents' dog Otto with my dad near their house. We were heading into the nearby forest preserve for our daily stroll, and it was dusk, so a raccoon was traipsing along the shoulder of the road, looking for food or something. A white pickup truck was coming down the street, and the raccoon saw it, so it tried to get over to the side. The driver decided it would be fun to drive over the poor raccoon, and the man in the truck slowly smoked his cigarette while he steered his truck toward the curb. I actually saw the raccoon stop, turn around, put up his hand, and scream as the truck ran him over. The raccoon tried to drag himself onto the grass, but he was barely moving and was mortally wounded. The pickup truck slowly drove away, and the driver flicked his ashes out the window as he gradually merged back onto the road. I couldn't help but burst into tears (as I'm doing now as I write this). I was outraged and my dad was speechless, but weren't able to write the pickup driver's license plates down in time, to at least report his despicable behavior. It was all so pointless and horrible and cruel, and I was ashamed to be human.

Anyhow, I have my own thing I do in order to make myself feel a little better about these departed souls. I make a tiny sign of the cross with my index finger three times while I'm driving, whenever I see any kind of road kill. I feel like it sort of helps "bless" the poor souls who lost their lives in such a quick but cold manner. What does this say about me as a person, that I get weepy seeing such animals mushed on the side of the road while cars and trucks whiz by? I don't know. No one else really seems to notice or care. I'm sure people will think I am very odd or dorky or dumb, but I don't care. It makes me feel better that at least one person (me) is thinking about these lost lives, and that these creatures' absences are noticed and felt. The whole thing just seems so heart wrenching to me.

(Photo courtesy

Ally vs. Molly

I now realize that my other blog, The Bitchy Deli, isn't so bad after all. To me, it's been a forum to blow off steam, be negative/positive/funny/pensive, and just write. I don't have to display pretty pictures, or research anything. I can just be pissed off and type away, post, and be done with it. So I don't often get over there to look at what I've written. But I'm strangely pleased with it, and would hate for it to languish on the sidelines while I devote all my energy to reverie. TBD may not be shiny and bright, but there's something very real and raw about it. In my mind, TBD would be played by Ally Sheedy's character Allison Reynolds from The Breakfast Club, and reverie would be played by Molly Ringwald's character Claire Standish.

To be honest, TBD represents the dark (if not darkly funny) side of me. It's the side I try to sweep under the rug a bit, don't really mention too often, and rarely promote. Reverie is the precocious, perfect, gorgeous, smart, funny, and popular blog, while TBD is the black sheep who wears too much eye makeup and thinks irony is pretty damn funny sometimes. There are days that I'm feeling like Ally and I yearn to be Molly, and vice versa. So to have the opportunity to be either, both, or neither (when I'm dead tired and just wanna sleep) is a wonderful thing.

Anyhow, I just happened to create today's post (which I admit, seems to be a chore some days) and I decided to read the older stuff while I was over there. And some of it is pretty funny or weird or interesting—to me, anyhow. It's a form of release for me, to be able to speak my mind, and to not have to edit my thoughts or bite my tongue. To see this side of me illustrated in words and recorded for prosperity is rather comforting in a strange way. 

I do think my neurotic and stressed personality is VERY evident in TBD. It isn't healthy for me to be like that, and that's something I should work on. I think Hawaii is a good place to begin developing my new, calmer self. But then again, I feel comfortable being able to show that side of me at TBD, and being able to save the good stuff for this blog. The reverie side of me is a pretty, happy, and well-pressed outfit that I like to wear most of the time—but not always. That's where TBD comes in, when I just want to throw on some old jeans and a faded tee, feel comfy in my own skin, and not have to be anything I'm not feeling that day.

Well, I think it's high time that I throw out a plug for Ally for once. She's my alter ego and my emotional crutch, and she should be celebrated and enjoyed sometimes. Molly is the one who wants to make sure everyone is happy, but Ally is the one who doesn't always give a crap, and that's okay.

(Photos courtesy of and

Pedicure and Coldstone Creamery

Today Jenny treated me to a wonderful pedicure at our favorite nail salon. I must say the owner (and my "nail artist") seemed rather bitchy and did a rushed job on my toes, but they turned out all right in the end. I had the lady put little daisies on each big toe (or something that can pass as a daisy) to tie in with our wedding theme. She seemed to be irritated that I was even asking her to do this, but she seemed very friendly with Jenny, so who knows what her problem was. The polish looked pink with flecks of gold in it in the bottle, but on my toes they definitely have a peachy hue, which I'm not crazy about. But then again they look sorta tropical and will fit right in with our surroundings while we're in Hawaii. They do look pinker in the sunlight, though.

And Pete and the dogs and I just got back from a visit to Coldstone Creamery. I had the Cookie Doughn't You Want Some and Pete had the Coffee Lover's Creation (which he claims he didn't like). He seemed somewhat moody while we were there, especially since they didn't serve any pralines and cream ice cream, but his disposition perked up once the coffee in the ice cream kicked in. I had tried to hint to him that I wanted to go to Culver's instead, casually producing a list of the Flavors of the Month, and I nonchalantly mentioned today's flavor (Bananas Foster), but he called me on that ploy. He know me too well! I just laughed. So it's his fault that we didn't go to Culver's, and that he had the crappy coffee ice cream he didn't like at Coldstone. Anyhow, the dogs got the remainder of his ice cream, and now we're all fat, happy, and feeling drowsy.

(That's Dollie posing next to Pete's empty ice cream dish.)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Friday Fish Fry at the Towne Tap

Georgia, Jenny, Jeanette, and I went to the Fish Fry at the Towne Tap yesterday. We couldn't find an open table at first, so we sat at the back of the bar, waiting for one to open. But after a while the bartender, Lynn, was kind enough to shoo some last-minute table snatchers away and graciously seated us. The fish was awesome as always, the drinks kept flowing (especially my beloved Bloody Marys), and we had a blast hanging out. It was just the right mix of low key and fun. I like this picture of the four of us, although I'm not sure what the big white spot on Jenny's neck is. It's definitely a camera glitch, and not some weird birthmark on her neck.

Afterward Georgia, Jenny, and I went back to my house (Jeanette stopped next door to see Nicole) and we hung out for a while, watching HGTV and letting the dogs lay all over us. Adora was her usual lovingly aggressive self, and she seemed to have quite the fondness for Georgia and her black outfit. By the time Georgia left an hour later, she was covered with gobs of Adora's silky white hair. Spanky, on the other hand, instantly glommed on to Jenny. He was quiet and reflective as he sat in Jenny's lap, thoroughly enjoying her company and displaying a full extension of his rather sizable ears.

Saturday shopping

Georgia and I met up in downtown Barrington and went shopping at the sidewalk sale going on there. At the first store, Vintage Faire, I found this sparkly amber beaded lamp, which I plan to hang over my bed. Georgia found a lovely necklace that was handcrafted by a local artisan. Then, at the Estate Jewelry Store, I scored some unique vintage jewelry like this pretty spiral bracelet, and Georgia found some beautiful rings and necklaces. 

We had to depart rather quickly because Georgia had to be downtown to meet her sister Angela, and I had to go to my second wedding gown fitting. Let me just say that my dress is stunningly beautiful, and I can't wait 'til next Saturday. Anyhow, then I headed to Whole Foods to grab some lunch, and I saw these cheeky pink Gerbera daisies just begging me to purchase them. Since these are the flowers I'm using in my wedding, I couldn't resist. They're sitting on my doorstep right now with my other happy flowers.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Another reason why I love him so much

This morning Pete and I had a stupid fight over a laundry issue. I won't go into it except to say that it got rather heated, and on the way to work we were both icy and pissed off with each other. We stopped to get some coffee and food, and I said an angry goodbye to him as I ran into Starbucks. He went into McDonald's to have breakfast with his work buddies like he does every Friday. Since they usually give him a ride to work, I didn't think I'd be seeing him again, and maybe I didn't want to. I got my coffee and went back outside, walking to my car. I glanced back at the McDonald's and happened to catch his eye as he sat at the table with his friends, but I looked away and kept walking, head down.

I was almost getting into my car when I heard someone running up behind me. It was Pete, out of breath but smiling and calling my name. I stopped and he caught up to me, giving me a kiss and saying a soft goodbye to me. I instantly melted and said I was sorry that I was being so crabby. He said sorry too, and stroked my hair as he kissed me again, then laughed and said I was cute. We kissed a few more times, I made sure he had his phone and wallet, and we both called out our love to each other as I got in the car and he went back to the restaurant. I sat there for a minute, watching him stroll back to his meal and his coworkers, and I almost teared up. For a man to run into the street to say one last goodbye to his bitchy fiancé (and in front of his macho friends, too), well, that says a lot about that man and his love for his woman.

(P.S. This photo has nothing to do with what happened today. I just really like how we are together in it, very happy and not posing or being fake.)

Virtual bubble wrap

A good way to unload some stress.

Your purse, your home, your mind, your body

I firmly believe that a woman’s state of mind, body, and soul can be determined by looking at the state of her purse, her home, her car—anything that is near or dear to her. I have found this to be true in my own life, and Georgia concurs. She told me all about the purse theory, which jives with my own house and car theory.

There have been many times when my house has gone to hell, or my purse has been in shambles, or my car has looked like a moving garbage can. I seem to be rather out of sorts during these phases, in all areas of my life, and I begin to lose focus and a sense of purpose, too. I start spiraling out of control and cannot stop the landslide of discontent, and meanwhile my personal items and places are reflective of this phenomenon. Too many receipts and keys are thrown in my purse. I neglect to sweep or vacuum or do the dishes once too often. Or I simply toss my empty fast food bags on the floor of my car, thinking I’ll deal with it all later, but there’s never a later during these phases. There are plenty of delays and maybes and mini bursts of intention, but nothing more.

Nothing, until I get the cleaning and organizing itch and decide to fix everything up. I have these moments of clarity where I want and need to have everything clean, tidy, and organized, and I can almost hear a click, like a lock being turned or a button being pushed as I become more organized. My mind and body are usually in sync with the emerging order of my dwellings and possessions, and I feel positive and happy as I work. Suddenly I am able to sit on my couch again and not have dog hair all over me, and I can find my sunglasses in my purse without wading through wads of paper, and my car isn’t a scary, smelly, crowded place to be. I am at peace again, internally and externally. I can sit down and breathe and be content with the lack of chaos around and within me, and be in a state of nirvana, if only for a breath of time.

(Photo courtesy of Fotosearch)

Two-fistin' Friday

Today I'm in need of double the caffeine, so I went with the green tea latte AND the plain latte, both with soy. Yum.


Check out this simple but cool site, Wordle. You just enter the words you want to use to create a “word cloud” out of, and then let the generator do its thing. Fonts, colors, and design can be customized to your liking, and an online gallery is available to display your work of art. 

This is my wedding wordle I whipped up last night. Take a look at the gallery and see what everyone else is doing.

(Link courtesy of Making It Lovely)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Orange Peel Enamel

These are some of the necklaces I got at Orange Peel Enamel, a really cool Etsy shop that I discovered last year. The pendants all have a very funky, artistic vibe to them, and they are totally bold and graphic looking. I love how unique they all are, and I get compliments on them all the time. (Today I'm wearing the horse pendant.)


I've been unceremoniously chosen to feed the corn snake that belongs to my brother Matt (who's vacationing in Wisconsin). Which I find funny, because I have trouble even killing mosquitoes or ticks (my policy is you attack me, I attack you). I'm the biggest animal freak in the family—look how upset I get when Max runs away!—yet I get to do this distasteful task. Anyhow, the photo of the snake above is an actual photo of the snake eating yesterday, taken with my cell phone. Luckily Pete helped me handle the snake, but I had to do the defrosting and dispensing of the pinkie mouse.

Now, I don't have a problem with snakes (I used to have a garter snake years ago), but I DO have a problem with the poor pinkie mouse that I had to sacrifice to feed to it. I think it's totally fair if the snake and the mouse have an equal shot at getting what they want out of life (namely, the snake eating the mouse and the mouse avoiding this situation). But it's really depressing that these pinkie mice are born and killed just for this purpose. These poor things never even get the chance to live. Their entire existence is centered around the feeding of such creatures as this corn snake, who is innocent in all this and just needs to eat, like everyone else. For some reason the concept of breeding baby mice just to kill them, then freezing their little bodies, never allowing them to get a chance to live, just really depresses me.

(Pinkie mouse photo courtesy of

"Sugar Buffalo"

This was the affectionate name Pete called me this morning as we were getting ready for work. I'm not sure what it means, but he punctuated it with a kiss, so I'm guessing it's all good.

(Photo courtesy of The Grammar Vandal)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The most irritating commercial in the world

Meet the Jitterbug, an easy-to-use phone marketed toward seniors and tech phobes. Every time this commercial comes on my skin literally begins to crawl, and my ears gush little spurts of hot blood. I...hate...this...commercial. Remember my post about my chattering brain problem here and here? Well, this is the ultimate brain chattering song. Dogs begin to whimper and hide behind couches, rats run squealing en masse from the sewers, and monkeys start to shriek and scream in the jungle when this song is playing. I feel my brain spontaneously combusting whenever it comes on the tv. 

And my urgent post is due to the commercial just airing about 15 minutes ago. It instantly wormed its way into my brain like those earwigs from The Wrath of Khan, and yet the song is still ricocheting around in my skull at this very minute. Oh God help me, make the bad music end!


(Photo courtesy of

Sunny Georgia

Here is one of my favorite pictures of Georgia. It captures her with her pretty smile and sparkling eyes. And it's no coincidence that she is bathed in bright sunlight in this picture. Georgia is a very sunny person in my mind, always colorful and full of life and energy. I find myself drawn to her when I am feeling particularly bummed or pissed off or indifferent. And when I'm too tired or depressed to move, she always instinctively seeks me out. In a matter of minutes she's got me laughing about some silly thing, or off on a frenzy of creativity. I think sometimes you need someone like Georgia to reset your clock and snap you out of your funk. Everyone needs a little splash of sunshine like her.

Wish I were here

Hmm...all this escapism is making me think I may be a little stressed out from planning the wedding. D'ya think?

(Photo courtesy of

Calgon, take me away!

Ahhh...this is my idea of heaven. A nice hot bubble bath and a huge delicious chocolate bar. The only thing that lady is missing is a ice-cold Bloody Mary with a few extra olives thrown in for good measure.

(Photos courtesy of Fotosearch and Passionate Eater)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pretty bridal gown

Okay, I know I'm getting married in a week and a half (what!?!?) and I shouldn't still be reading bridal magazines. But I had one more stray magazine laying around the other day and I started flipping through it. Anyhow, I noticed that the big trend this coming season (or year?) is for very delicate, ephemeral, and romantic dresses, which is a look I totally love, and it's how I would redo my own dress. See, I'm one of those people who love something one minute, and then the next minute I'm on to something totally different (except for you, Pete honey!). This is why I have never gotten a tattoo, because I would get sick of it after a short time. So I have often thought about how I would REALLY do my wedding if I could do it over, and I think I'd go back to my original concept of getting married in a meadow in a simple white dress. But this being reality, and with Pete and me having large families, well, that wasn't realistic. But we're pretty much still doing that anyhow with the whole outdoor thing and all.

But I digress. I had wanted to post the actual picture I saw of a beautiful wedding gown in this month's Modern Bride, but apparently you can't find that image on the Internet ANYWHERE. Well, at least I couldn't, and I can usually find anything I'm looking for online. So I went to the RS Couture website (the designer of this floaty frock) and saw some of their lovely wedding gowns in their Silver and Glamour collections. The one I fell in love with in the magazine is Model # 866 bis, and it's in the Silver collection. At least you can see the entire dress at the RS Couture website, but only for a fleeting moment, as you swipe your mouse over the image. And I wish I could POST a picture here, but the site is built with Flash (argh!) and I can't even take a screen shot because of how the website is built. Anyhow, check these gorgeous gowns out. If I'm able to find the picture I saw in the magazine, I'll go ahead and post it later. It's simply lovely.

(Ah, screw it. I ran out to the car, got my magazine, took a picture of the picture itself, and uploaded it to my computer. So enjoy.)

(Photo courtesy of Modern Bride)

What I do when I'm bored at work (which is every day)...

...I take pictures like this one, which is a picture of the reflection of my car in the reading glasses that hang on my cube wall. (My car is the silver CR-V on the right, which I affectionately call CuRVy.)

Chattering brain revisited

Today it's the Olson Rug jingle.

(Photo courtesy of

Monday, July 21, 2008

Chris + iPhone = Tech Nerd Heaven

Yesterday Pete and I placed our orders for the new iPhones. My current phone almost died a few weeks ago, and Pete's isn't doing much better. With communication being essential for the wedding during the next few weeks and our trip to Hawaii coming up soon, I felt we should have fully-functioning phones. I figure it's better than constantly worrying that our old ones might crap out while we're thousands of miles from home. Plus, it gives me a good excuse to go ahead and finally get the iPhone, hee hee.

(Photo courtesy of

Warrenville jam reprise

Here and here are some more jams for your listening (and viewing) pleasure.

Chattering brain

Wow, I'm actually feeling a bit uninspired today, which is unusual for me. I normally have to stop myself from adding too many posts to one day. So, I think I'll talk about my chattering brain. 

I don't know too many people who experience this, so maybe it's something unique to my physical make up. But it's really odd, and I feel like I need to share. Normally when I wake up I'm rather groggy and not thinking very clearly. At 4:15 in the morning, who is? But after about 10–15 minutes something really weird starts to happen. My brain starts playing really annoying, peppy, energetic songs that I can't seem to get out of my head. Songs like REM's "Shiny, Happy People," Tony Orlando and Dawn's "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree," or any of the songs (although my brain seems to favor the rap version, where the guys are shown driving the beater car). 

And whatever song is chosen will be played over, and over, and over, and over.... The song plays while I'm showering, it plays while I'm feeding the animals, it plays while I'm getting dressed, and it even plays while I'm driving to work. Then the song abruptly stops playing after I've been awake about an hour or so. I suppose at that point it's done its job because I'm fully alert and functioning, as well as pissed off, because I've been listening to stuff like "Safety Dance" or "Who Let the Dogs Out?" 5,000 times.

(Photos courtesy of mediocracy blog,, and

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nicole, her camera, and a bumble bee

LOVE this photo Nicole took of a huge bumble bee in her yard today. She has an excellent eye for photography, especially with children (in my opinion).

(Photo courtesy of Nicole)

Shopping with Jenny and Izzy

Yesterday Jenny, Izzy, and I went shopping for wedding jewelry at Fox Valley Mall. I found a lovely pair of simple "pearl" drop earrings and two matching pearl bracelets (thanks for finding the pink one, Jen!). I also got a pair of Eiffel Tower earrings and butterfly earrings. Jenny found a similar pair of simple pearl drop earrings, and Izzy got these cute and colorful animal earrings. We also ate at the food court, had some Starbucks, stopped at Archiver's for thank you card supplies—another cart lady spotted!—and visited the AT&T store to drool over the new iPhone. It was loads o' fun hanging out with Jenny and Izzy and getting this wedding stuff done at the same time. Thanks, guys!

Wedding favors

I'm thinking of doing something like this for our wedding favors. I'd like to do daisies—like this one, but smaller—and birds, maybe as an assortment or a single big cookie for each person. And I'd like to use the same type of bags, tied shut with ribbons in our wedding colors (pink, green, brown, cream). Then I think I'm going to thread a tag onto each ribbon, with our bird stamp on one side and our wedding date on the other. I need to recruit some cookie decorators for this project, though.