Friday, October 31, 2008

Swirls of pink and green and white for Friday

These are my Diesel shoes that I bought last year on eBay. I have a gray pair that I got at DSW that I love. Then I happened to see these online, but they were almost out of stock at most stores. So I found them on eBay for a fraction of the cost, brand new, in the box. I think the official color is called Watermelon. They are a perfect Friday shoe for someone who was dragging physically and sleep deprived and crabby (yes, that was me today). Now that I'm home I'm wide awake and happier, but I think I'm on the verge of crashing here soon. I gotta get up early for work, and besides, the Dog Whisperer is on tv and he's calling my name...Shh! Shh! No, wait, that's his sound for bad dogs...

Gotta work tomorrow, but I hope to post pix of the resale shop excursion I'm going on after work with Georgia (and possibly Jen), and some pix from my new Olympus. So many pix to take, so little time...

Have a great weekend if I don't talk to you before Monday!

Photo of the Week: "It's Time"

I was at the doctor yesterday and found out that not only is my blood pressure really high, but I've gained a total of 20 pounds over the last four years. Not good, not good at all. That actually has scared me into changing my ways, especially having high blood pressure, which I don't normally have.

So I'm reuniting with these old friends of mine, my New Balance 805 running shoes. Well-loved and well-worn, they have carried me through many a run, whether outside in the forest preserve or in my basement on our old treadmill. They helped me get in shape for my wedding this summer, and now they're ready to help me do it again. They've been patiently waiting for me to wear them again, and now I'm back. Yay!

It's time to get back on the treadmill, sidewalks, paths, and get back into shape. Time to get healthy and watch what I eat, take care of myself, and rediscover my formerly healthy body. I miss it so much, too. I miss feeling healthy and good every day, I miss feeling energetic, I miss being shapely and fitting in all my clothes, and I miss the good feeling I get from taking care of myself. I just miss feeling at the top of my game and feeling good about my body, and I've let things get to this point, so it's my fault. So I'm going to be the one to make it right and make the change. And that change starts with these shoes. My first run is scheduled for Sunday morning, but I'll definitely be doing some walking before then.

And in the spirit of being healthier, I'm going to take a breather tonight (Thursday) and hit the hay early. I've been up since 3:10 a.m. because I had to drive to Pete to work early, and I'm tired and achy and just plain run down. So I'm going to abstain from blogging tonight (including reading all my favorite blogs, boo hoo!) and get some rest.

I'll see you all tomorrow!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Simply divine! A hot pink coat and cool silver peep toe heels

Yesterday I saw a lady walking by my window in our parking lot at work who caused me to become speechless for a minute or two. She had on an absolutely gorgeous pink dress coat (hot pink, mind you), black wide-legged trousers, and super cool silver peep toe heels. Eeeee! So cool! I've never met anyone else who's worn silver shoes like that besides myself! And since I work in the same building with another company full of corporate financial people who have an unfortunately bland dress code (khakis, navy, black, and brown shirts/skirts, black/brown shoes), it doesn't allow for many impromptu fashion parades. Our own company isn't too bad in the fashion department, especially since we have a lot of creative types employed, but this lady still just blew me away. And she was an older lady, too, not some young hipster or anything. She looked so elegant yet funky and cool, I just couldn't believe it. It's how I would dress if I were a corporate bigwig and I had the freedom to buck the khaki codes.

I should have taken her picture, but I'm sure she was already creeped out by me staring at her, slack jawed, through my window.

(Photos courtesy Warehouse and Target)

On a much happier note...

Guess what arrived at my local Wolf Camera on special order for me yesterday? My Olympus Stylus 1010 in an absolutely lovely blue color! It's so pretty in person, even the salesman oohed and ahhed over it when I opened the box (he hadn't seen a blue one before). I've already been going nutty tinkering with my new toy since I picked it up from the camera store. I'm one of those people that just tears open a box and starts using something, then goes back to the instructions later only if I have a question or problem. And then I usually sit down and read the instructions cover to cover a few days later anyhow, because it's so exciting to absorb everything and anything about my new gadget. Are you like that?

Anyhow, I can't wait to start using this little puppy. I have been having fun with my iPhone and all the cool effects from Camera Bag, but the camera on the iPhone itself is very limited in what it can do. When I was shooting in my parents' yard the other day, I couldn't do much more than squat in front of what I was photographing and take a picture. No zoom, no wide angle, and a minimum focusing distance of about a foot or so (I'm guessing). So I've been fighting to limit the number of blurry pictures I've been taking, but it's hard with that camera (hence the latest abstracts, ha ha). Don't get me wrong, I have thoroughly enjoyed playing with my iPhone, and I'll definitely keep using it and Camera Bag, too (I LOVE Camera Bag!). But I've been anticipating the arrival of this little blue camera since my birthday back in early September, so it's been a loooong time coming. What a nice surprise after the huge disappointment at the polling center.

Watch for lots and lots of pictures to start popping up on vivid during the next few days as I play with my new toy!

(P.S. I gave you a link to B & H for the camera because they have better prices and super fast shipping compared to Wolf. I just happened to order my camera at Wolf since I was there last week checking out other stuff.)

Very, very bummed

Yesterday I went to the early voter polling center in Bloomingdale Township and was turned away, told I am unable to vote in this election. Yes, unable to make my voice heard along with millions of others.

Why, you ask? Well, apparently if you move you need to update your voter registration info, including your address. This probably seems obvious to most people, but I never even thought about it, even though I updated all my other stuff when we moved last summer (driver's license, mailing address for various things, etc.). With the wedding planning consuming my life over the last year, I had too much on my mind, and this sort of thing didn't even register, so to speak. I guess you CAN change your registration info 28 days before an election, but obviously I'm too late.

And I ALWAYS vote, always have, in every presidential election (and others) since I registered right before I turned 18. And with this being such a monumental election, I was especially excited to cast my vote. When the lady at the polling center told me the bad news, I seriously almost cried right in front of her. I feel so bad right now that I can't even put it into words. I'm going to call the DuPage County elections committee tomorrow during business hours, just to make sure I'm not missing some opportunity to fix my registration and vote (you never know). But I'm not holding my breath.

Let my story of stupidity be a reminder to any of you who plan to move or have just moved. I sure hope you've thought of this and are cleared for voting if you moved over 30 days ago. It sounds like you can squeak by if it's been less than 30 days, but I certainly don't make that cut off, since I moved last summer. And if you neglected to change your voter registration like I did, I definitely can sympathize with you. For everyone else, get out there and make yourself heard.

(Photo courtesy CNN)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Feelin' frisky in leopard print?

Hardly. I wore them today cuz they're comfy and cute, and that's about it. I wasn't feeling super wonderful today, but I sure did enjoy looking at my feet from time to time. Got these at Target last summer but they're long gone now. Just a furry memory.

Boo! I've been tagged, and now it's YOUR turn!

I've been Boo-ed by Mrs. B! And now it's my turn to do the Boo-ing! If you're here because you've been boo-ed, just follow the directions below.

The Blogging Boo works like this... Go to as many friends as you want and tell them they've been "Boo-ed". Have them link back to your blog to pick up their Halloween Treat (the cute picture) and tell them to "Boo" their friends. Then, put the picture in your side bar so everyone knows that you've already been "Boo-ed" and to send the pic to someone else.

Ready, set, BOO!

Sweater shoes and a last hurrah for a chilly Tuesday

Here I am standing in my sweater shoes next to some little late bloomers in my parents' backyard. These dandelions seem to be nature's last summery hurrah before the frosts come. But I'm ready for the cold with my snugly footwear from Michelle K.

Today I feel...

Stressed? Indifferent? Bored? Fabulous, perhaps?

I love this vintage-looking mood-o-meter magnet I got from Target a few months ago. Every time I see it I have to laugh, unless of course I'm in one of the darker moods depicted. I have one magnet at home and one at work, so I'm always conveying to people what mood I'm in. And they're fun and super easy to use. Just slide the little "Today I feel..." frame over the photo of the woman that best resembles your mood for the day. I find that mine is often over the "Stressed" woman, especially while I'm at work, although it has also been over "Chatty", "Indifferent", "Bitchy" (that one seems to occur monthly), and, rarely, "Ecstatic" (while we were on our honeymoon). I wish I could offer you a link for purchase, but it no longer seems to be available for sale at Target. How does that make me feel? Hmmm...

Tuesday sunset in the garden

Took this while at my parents' house for a spaghetti family dinner. Definitely chilly work!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Toasty warm coats from Target

I think I'm loving these bold and colorful coats from Target this season. Swingy shapes and mod detailing like big buttons and upturned collars give the collection a young and playful look. Now that we have officially had snow flurries in the Chicago area (say it ain't so!), my thoughts turn to something warm and functional, yet stylish and fun. I like the vivid colors and flattering cuts, and the prices are pretty reasonable, too. Now I just have to work up the nerve to dash outside in the cold to go coat shopping at Target!

Sleek Guess mini-lettos for Monday

Yesterday I wore these shiny Guess mini-lettos from DSW. Mini-lettos, you ask? Of course! They give the sleek and powerful impression that normal stilettos do, yet the heel is petite and delicate. This interesting mix gives allows the shoes to give a strong yet comfortable feel (and look) on the foot. I like 'em, and so does Georgia—she owns a pair too! I got them on clearance last year, so they're long gone and I have no links to give, but I figured I'd share anyhow.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Eclectic Cottage—The Kitchen, Part One

No, this isn't my house, but it would be awesome if it were!

You probably noticed that I don't talk much about interior design in my own home, even though I'm a devoted reader of design blogs, but there's a very good reason for that. I live in a rental home that is falling apart, and is pretty much a big storage unit, with stuff in boxes, and most rooms unassembled. We are house hunting, and we plan to stay (hopefully!) in our current neighborhood, whether it's in this house or not. But until then, we're in a holding pattern as far as personalizing our space is concerned. It's difficult to live this way, so I tend to use reverie to focus on photography, fashion, shoes, pets, and my goofy (but lovable) husband Pete.

But I wanted to start sharing a glimpse into my inner interior designer with my readers, because I'm always bursting at the seams with ideas, must haves, and inspirations, which can be very frustrating. I have a style which my sister has dubbed "Eclectic Cottage", meaning I adhere to many principles of most cottage decor (simple and efficient spaces, cozy furniture and accessories, lots of color, texture, and pattern, some retro furnishings, etc.), yet I put my own spin on things. I like to include a touch of different styles in my surroundings, from Victorian to modern, and I love mixing and matching colors and textures, too.

Don't be misled by the term "cottage". If you think this means overly cute with lots of doilies and country decor, it doesn't. Cottage interior design can range from English countryside to urban sleek. Cottages aren't required to be painted bright colors or to have an overabundance of knick knacks. Some of the best cottages I've seen are rather modern, simple dwellings that make efficient use of space and light, and the frills are kept to a minimum. But the whimsical and quaint cottage is the other end of the spectrum, and its aesthetic is no less valid. And many people choose to outfit their homes with a blend of styles to suit their tastes, which is exactly what I prefer. I tend to buy what catches my eye and what makes me happy, and if this falls into a particular style or category, so be it.

Anyhow, I will begin featuring posts about my favorite things for each room, some of which I already own (and are in storage) and others which I just dream about at the moment. And I thought I'd start with the kitchen, because it really is the center of the home, and because we already have so much for this room just waiting to be used in our future home. The centerpiece of our kitchen is our beloved Magic Chef 1000 stove, affectionately nicknamed "Millicent" by the man who sold her to us. She's currently resting in our living room on a platform dolly, waiting for the day she will be installed. Here's a picture of her in her former home, still looking lovely after 83 years (she's a 1935 model):

Millicent is a formidable presence in our home, but in a good way. I think when people see her, they think of warmth, family, history, good food, and that which is to come. She certainly has a lot of history, having spent most of her life in a gorgeous mansion in Alton, Illinois, faithfully serving the families that lived there. And while Millicent is indeed a lovely stove, the beauty of the mansion she came from makes her pale in comparison. I had forgotten to take my camera when I toured the home, but I can tell you it was full of floor to ceiling windows (and we're talking 20 ft. plus ceilings), gorgeous moldings, chandeliers, winding staircases, marble tubs...I can go on and on. Needless to say, I cannot WAIT to begin decorating my future kitchen, but until then, I must continue to collect little treasures (and cool appliances) like Millicent for that future time.

Besides Millicent, here are some more things I have either purchased or would like to purchase for my kitchen. And many of these were bridal shower gifts, so we were fortunate to get a good dose of great things this way. Most of this stuff is from Target, Anthropologie (I adore Anthro's home goods!), Crate and Barrel, etc.

One way I am organizing the decor of my kitchen is via my china, "Chirp", by Lenox. There are so many more pieces of this line that I need to add to my collection that it isn't funny. But I do have a few place settings, so that's a start. Anyhow, I absolutely love the bold colors, hand-drawn quality of the design, and of course, the birds! The teal, brown, black, yellow, red, and other colors in this gorgeous (and fun) china, as well as the styling, inspires my decor. It's contemporary yet traditional, with lots of detailing on a very simple china design. It's a mix I love, and which very accurately describes my taste and style.

Next: kitchen basics (plates, mugs, bowls, decor)

(Cottage photo courtesy of Cottage Living)

Adorable flats in charcoal knit with buttons

I decided to continue my love affair with Sam & Libby when I bought these flats last weekend at DSW. They are super cozy and have adorable button detailing. I have yet to meet a pair of Sam & Libby flats that don't fit or strike my fancy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Make your own Polaroids!

Check out this fun software that turns your pictures into Polaroids! Comes complete with a camera that whirrs and clicks when you make your Polaroids. The best part is the picture slowly develops on your desktop just like the real thing. LOTS of fun to play with!

(Thanks to A CUP OF JO for this awesome link!)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, 4:47 p.m.

He thinks I don't watch him, but I secretly delight in peeking at him peeking at cars...

Proud mama

Guess what? I entered a pet photo contest over at Urban Grace Interiors, and my two furry children were included in the finalists slide show! There are a ton of good photographs and of course super cute pets, so the competition is fierce. Check out all the finalists here. (Adora and Dollie are in the first sixth or so of the slide show, only one photo away from each other.)

Sam Abell

Sam Abell is a photographer who believes in using the light around him and minimal equipment, so that his images are captured unencumbered and with a sense of purity. Abell's work has appeared in National Geographic, and he is well known for his more artistic view of the world than his fellow photographers at the magazine. There is a definite artistry to his images. Horses aren't just horses, but a powerful focal point in an almost abstract photograph of fog. Lemons on a windowsill are rendered in a magical light, and even a line of trees along a path becomes surreal.

Read more about Sam Abell here, here, and here.

(Photos copyright Sam Abell)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy weekend!

Hope you're laughing wherever you are and whatever you're doing (unless it's inappropriate, that is).

(Photo courtesy of Georgia)

Creativity loves company

Georgia and I had fun splashing in puddles today...

When Georgia and I get together, we tend to feed off each other's creative energy. It gets to the point where we're almost giddy with possibilities. Today was one of those days. We ran outside at break time to photograph Georgia's lovely new rainboots, which I am so in love with! She wanted me to shoot some pictures of her standing and jumping in the water, so we headed outside to seek out some big, fat puddles in the parking lot. It was difficult at times because the puddles were few and far between, and we needed just the right one. We also had a captive audience following our every move, since several of our coworkers were watching us frolic outside our office's windows.

Here we are hard at work, totally oblivious to the watchful eyes inside.

Ah, that was a good puddle, as I recall.

We only wished we had more time to play outside, but pretty soon work called us back inside to our not-so-fun cubicles. I later told her I wished we could have stayed outside for an hour taking pictures and running about while we were at work, but then it wouldn't be work, would it? After a second we both agreed that no, it isn't our work now, but it COULD be our work for us someday. Once again, talk of possibilities was on our lips.

And so we went back inside with our heads held high, laughing and rosy-cheeked from the cold and the excitement, to continue our charade of mundane tasks while we secretly continued to play in our minds.

Photo of the Week: "A Chill In the Air"

I can sympathize with this lone bird sitting in a barren tree. Winter is coming, and even though fall is nature's way of easing the world into the dark and cold, it is sometimes like a sudden dip into icy waters. The gray and wind and silence is coming, and I must say I don't completely wish it wouldn't arrive. I find winter to be a somewhat cleansing season in a way. Smells disappear, color fades, and even the light dims, until all that remains is the wind and the endless sky. One is then left to scurry inside, where life and laughter and warmth resides, and burrow and hibernate and hide under blankets until March rolls around. Winter makes one feel grateful for the blush of spring flowers and the thrill of thunderstorms that are yet to be. If one does not experience suffering or being without, then one cannot truly appreciate when life is golden and good and blessed.

So I sympathize with this lone bird, yet I know that in its own way, it is thinking and feeling much the way I am right now. It's now time to rest, recoup, reflect, and wait for that warmer spring weather that's teasing us just around the corner. To wait for those wonderful endless summer days and warm star-kissed nights. To dream about puffy clouds in blue skies and grass tickling your bare feet. To experience life and love and excitement and fun.

Thanksgiving Tree

I love the concept of this Thanksgiving Tree from Room Service Home. You can fill out the little tags with such things as what you are thankful for, blessings, pictures, and quotes, and hang each one on a branch of the tree. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, the tree will be full of happy thoughts and images. I think this is a great idea, especially since people tend to lose focus on what the holidays are all about. And during such stressful times as these, it's nice to look at the positive aspects of our lives, don't you think?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I've been busy tonight putting together my photography blog called vivid, which is where these abstracts have been recently been posted. I created vivid so that I could have a forum to share my photos with everyone, and to challenge myself to become more creative and prolific with my photography (besides the usual family snapshots). Vivid will feature everything from abstracts (like the ones above), to people and pets, to landscapes and nature in general. Information on the photos themselves, like technical and place/time details, will be included with each post, so you can see what I was doing with my camera(s).

I suppose whatever strikes my fancy, I'll photograph, right? So stop by and check it out if you like. I plan to post new photos regularly, and as always, I invite comments and questions. I'm still tinkering with it a bit, but I'm pretty pleased with how it's looking right now. Vivid is a fun venture for me, and is just one more avenue for my creative urges, which are usually stifled at my day job...

As for my nightly guilty pleasure of blog reading, I'll have to pick up where I left off yesterday. It's been a hectic night and I only just finished posting pictures to vivid. And thanks to everyone who has been leaving such kind comments on this blog. I love sharing my life and interests with people, so I hope you've enjoyed the ride so far. And thanks for checking out ShoeLove, too! I'll be back tomorrow night on my usual blog reading schedule. See you then!

(P.S. Yes, I did change my profile pic again... I guess I just have all these new ideas and can't settle on one thing I like. Right now, it's the camera!)