30 April 2009

Girl Talk Thursday - Guilt Free $50



While I'd much rather have $1000 to spend guilt-free (why hello Anthropologie wardrobe, fancy meeting you in my closet!), I can fantasy shop with $50. I just so happen to be an expert day-dreamer.

So. There are some things I want. $50ish things.

Make-Up Brushes

Perfume or Perfume

Hot Pink Headphones

A Couple New Spatulas


I could go on and on and on. (I devote a lot of time to spending imaginary money)

But. In all seriousness. If I had $50 burning a hole in my pocket, I would march myself straight to the spa/salon flip a coin, and either get a pedicure or a bikini wax. Seriously.

28 April 2009

...sigh...

"How'd it go?"

"Well, he didn't show up."

"That's good! You won!"

"Well. I guess so."

It doesn't feel like winning. I want him to have a dad. The kind who will fight for him. The kind who will show up. The kind who cares as much as I do.

Instead I have a piece of paper.

Sad face

27 April 2009

If they could all be this long...

I told y'all I was going out of town. I was going to go visit with Julia, and go with her to get her new tattoo, but K's plans to take his son for the weekend all but evaporated, so I stayed right here.

On Thursday & Friday I was at a work retreat. I...don't really have the words. My coworker and I just kept looking at each other and whispering fiercely, "What are we doing here??" I slept with a crucifix over my bed, and....I made a cracked tile mosaic picture frame? There was also basket weaving, but that class was full.

Friday I had a lovely playdate with Gwendomama. Gabriel and Ezra are some of the most fabulous playmates. I was glad to see for myself that Gwendo is doing well. Good times were had by all. We shall be doing it again. And soon.

Saturday I hung out with my family. Then I kidnapped my 12-year-old brother for the evening and had him babysit so I could go out with my sister.

One of the top ten greatest pictures I have ever taken:

3-25-09 with Fritz

Laura's standing next to Fritz. We've known Fritz our whole lives. He lives with one of our uncles. He often does not recognize us. This is worth so much more than a paltry thousand words.

And Duncan met up with us! Dunky's my 24-year-old brother, I know it's hard to keep track of all of us.

3-25-09 with Duncan

I'm not sure why it was so important for me to show the camera my armpit, but it obviously was.

We were at Callahan's. While it's always "biker friendly," on Saturday it was extra-much so. There were lots of fancy leather Hell's Angels vests. I like to hang out with a wide variety of sketchy people.

26 April 2009

Laptop Sleeves

In preparation for my trip to BlogHer this summer, I've started to assemble my travel accessories. Next on the list? A sleeve for my 13" MacBook. Pictured below, and currently vying for a space in my home: Macbook Sleeve - white baby polka dots, MacBook Envelope, the crow, laptop sleeve - Forest. Do you have any thoughts or opinions?




Maybe don't leave me in charge?

Well. It all started out innocently enough. Gabriel wanted face paints, and please could he look like a tiger. I'm many things, but artistically capable is not one of them. I did my best.
When Simon & Elliot got to my mom's, they wanted face paints too. They were a little less specific. Elliot asked for blue, Simon told me he wanted to look really cool.


And, ehm, I'm not really sure how my 17-year-old brother fits into all of this.

But he does.

23 April 2009

Girl Talk Thursday - Romance Novels



I'm going to come clean about this, and you, Kindly Interwebs, are not going to start suspicioning that I'm addle brained. At least not for what I'm about to say.

My name is Jennifer Grace and I read trashy girl smut.

I love romance novels. No. Really.

I've finally gotten to a point where I don't feel guilty admitting my love of The Romance, because hey, sometimes I just want to read fluff, okay? It makes me happy. If you want to judge me on that, you can suck it.

It started when I was nine or ten. You see, I always read whatever my sister was reading, so there are quite a few genres that I started a bit young. Anyhow, it started in or around fourth grade, with the Sweeping Gothic Mystery Romance that ends with a single impassioned kiss. These still hold a special place in my heart, and I still make time to re-read the good ones.
Favorite authors from this period of romantic leanings: Victoria Holt (who is the same person as) Philippa Carr, Jill Tattersall, and Phyllis A. Whitney. My all-time favorite book from this moon-eyed period/genre obsession/whatever is The Cry of the Owl by Margaret Mayhew, found by my sister at the Aptos Junior High library, subsequently hunted down at the regular public library, and checked out repeatedly by both of us for YEARS. I'd check it out again now, except it's not there anymore.

Romance novels that I hate:
  • The poorly written kind (this should go without say).
  • 97% of those set in modern day. I loves me a good historical romance.
  • Any where the man has a mustache. Or at least, if they talk too much about the mustache. My willing suspension of disbelief does not allow me to love a man with a mustache.
  • Incest (ahem Wyndham Legacy no I cannot get beyond the fact that they are first cousins, especially since you keep pointing out how much they resemble one another)
  • Any where the man straight up rapes the woman as if that's even remotely okay (Karen Robards I AM LOOKING AT YOU).
  • Books with excessive use of terms such as "velvety folds," "man rod," etc. I can accept limited use of these terms (especially as I prefer the historical romance, and I've noticed that's a bit more prevalent), but sometimes it gets to be too much.
  • Any book where they start out in love and then it's the world keeping them apart le sigh. I like the ones where they start out hating each other and there's a proper amount of tension to be frothed up into sexual tension.
Now I'm off to REAL LIFE Girl Talk Thursday. My jobby job is sending me to a Women At Work Retreat.

22 April 2009

Branch Handmade

I met Ashley years ago in Santa Barbara. And I thought to myself, "My. She's awfully stylish."

And wow. She really is.

Branch Handmade is "a collection of hand screen printed wares inspired by sea, sand, vintage autos and antique imagery." It's all quite lovely, and reasonably priced to boot. You should take a look around; I think you'll really like it.



Earth Day MeMe

When Neil asked who would do a meme, I happily volunteered. This is because I really like Neil, and his blog is awesomesauce. On the meme issue I feel a bit more lackadaisical. I like being tagged, because it makes me feel loved, but I don't so much like passing it on, because I don't want to make anyone feel PRESSURED about what to write about on THEIR OWN BLOG.

Anyhow. Five things I can start today and do for a month for Earth Day:

1. ACTUALLY USE my reusable bags. This was a New Year's Resolution, but I'm monumentally bad at it for some reason.

2. Use the library. Checking books out instead of buying new ones is quite Earth Friendly. It's also kind to my wallet. I have a book-buying problem.

3. Turn off all the lights when I leave the house. This should be a no-brainer, but for whatever reason I always forget Gabriel's night light and the bathroom light. Also, there are some lights that I turn off at the lamp instead of at the switch. I will turn them off at the switch.

4. Unplug all of my chargers when not in use. As of this morning, my cell phone, camera, and who-knows-what-else chargers were all plugged into the wall. Also, I'll unplug my hair straightener (I know I should be doing that anyways for safety reasons, but I suffer from The Lazy).

5. Bring my own reusable coffee mug to work every single day. Instead of just a couple times a week.

How about you?

(Almost) Wordless



Words: I know he's not wearing a helmet. We're at my mom's house and there are no cars, and yeah, I KNOW. It won't happen again, I promise.

Feather Headband


How extremely fabulous is this headband? I love it. LovMely Accessories has a wide assortment of prettily adorned headbands. This one pictured is $20, but prices vary.

21 April 2009

Heatwave Brain

It is hot.

I am hot.

I lived in Chico, California for three years. A town where it might hit 117 degrees in the summer. I know about hot.

Right now it's 90ish. Which, really, when you're outside, is not that unbearable.

But SC isn't used to it, and it's not made for it.

Nobody has air conditioning. There's no A/C at work. I drive a car without it. I would never dream of driving a car without A/C if I lived in someplace where this weather was the norm.

So inside of everywhere is hot and stuffy, and you don't get that refreshing whoosh of cool air when you open a door. You open a door and walk into an oven.

So I'm hot.

It makes it hard to think.

/transmission

Wristwarmers & Neckwarmer

YES I REALIZE it's entirely too hot out to be thinking about these but they are Just. So. Sweet. First this lovely cashmere neckwarmer, $50:


Then these cheery wristwarmers, which are on sale for $20 (from $25):


Both items are from helen gray designs, and I think they'll be just as nice next winter as they are right now. Or maybe you're on some piece of the earth that isn't experiencing a heatwave. In which case you should get them now.

20 April 2009

Hottest Mommy Blogger

Maria nominated me for the 2009 Blogger's Choice Awards in the Hottest Mommy Blogger category. You should vote for me, because it will be good for my self esteem if I think that more than two people think I'm hot.

My site was nominated for Hottest Mommy Blogger!

Click on the button above, which takes you here.

Moment of Brilliance

This morning I grabbed a pair of pants to put on. Pants with cuffs. Cuffs that were all crinkled around and messed up and in desperate need of an iron.

I am not likely to pull out the ironing board at 6:30 on a Monday morning.

I used my hair straightener to iron the cuffs. It worked perfectly. It took less than a minute. It didn't involve getting anything out of my overcrowded closet.

19 April 2009

My sister: Genius

My sister has spent the past week talking about her hypothetical blog, and the different things she would name it, if it existed. A partial list:
  • Too Fat For Guys In Flat Hats
  • I Love People
  • Adventures In Pants Combing
  • Jesus Was A Carpenter (Who Really Liked To Talk)
  • The Dinky Bird Is Singing
  • A Little Peak Of Flame
  • Scrabble Fights
  • How Not To Make Money
  • Better Than Miss Grace's Disgrace
  • Never Ending Fancy Free
I can't remember them all, which is pretty tragic. I'm pretty sure pantscombing.com is available though.

17 April 2009

Friday on the internets

1. Gabriel, schooling me: "Mom if you're going to drink that juice, you need to hold the cup in both hands. If you just hold it in one, you might spill, and if you spill on the carpet, I will yell at you. That is a promise. I can't help it. So just make sure you don't spill Mommy okay? Both hands!" Gee I wonder where he's heard that before...

2. I'm drinking my (current) favorite cocktail: vanilla vodka and ginger ale. I'm using a pretty cup from Anthropologie, and I have heart shaped ice cubes. Happiness is in the little things.

3. The pink elephants part of Dumbo really IS creepy. And the crows are super racist black stereotypes. It's also my favorite Disney movie, whatever THAT says about me.

4. I've been inspired to throw a giant party.

5. I never understood why people loved Twitter so much. Then I started using TweetDeck. Now I get it.

6. Here's a picture of Gabriel dressed like a gay cowboy:


You should see the vest....

Talk Nerdy To Me

Don't worry, I'm only going to devote this one entry to the geekery of my blog design. Indulge me.

Yesterday I was trying to do....something that I honestly don't remember, and I (wait for it) DELETED a simple little button that I had made linking to my other site, my blogroll, contact info, etc. I had made the button myself, with my good friend Mr. Google holding my hand (so trust that it was EXTREMELY GHETTO), but I remember it being HARD and I don't wanna.

I whined on twitter that I needed some geek help. Twitterers helped me! I love the interwebs. And people. I heart people. @BradOlson actually found my deleted button on a cached version of this site, but by that time I had started lusting after tabbed browsing.

So. I set up a test blog and started fussing with this template. I had to wonk around the margins a lot to get it to fit my stuff, which, in theory, it did. Then I uploaded it here, and it did not. Reading through the template (which by no means do I fully understand, I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-learn-only-enough-CSS-to-ruin-my-blog type of girl) it looked like it should look how I wanted but it TOTALLY DID NOT. Everything was shifted just-enough-to-bug-me to the right, and my photos were all getting cut off, and GAH.

The super awesome and incredibly hawt MommyMelee pointed me in the direction of Firebug, a Firefox add-on which OMG LIFE SAVING WEB TOOL. It breaks down all of your html/CSS/etc and you can make changes to it and see what effect it has and yay! If you ever want to play around with your blog, I HIGHLY recommend using this tool.

Now I feel extremely accomplished and also? Awesome. Because look! I have tabs! CLICK ON MY TABS! MIRACLES! And (while I certainly used a template, I'm not quite that awesome) I DID IT MAHSELF.

What do you think?

16 April 2009

Girl Talk Thursday - Sex Shenanigans


I don't know if you've noticed, but I don't tend to talk about sex with anyone besides myself on this site. That's because my stories are either fantastically embarrassing or genuinely personal, and I do in fact have a (paper thin!) filter on my writing.
That said, yesterday was Maria's birthday! How can I do anything less than make a fool of myself?

Compromise!

This is not technically about sex, but it's DEFINITELY shenanigans.

Right before I moved from Chico we had a "going away party" (quotes necessary). If memory serves correctly, Stella, Sheena, Darci and I went out. At some point, per usual, the grownups went home, and Stella and I continued adventuring. Some of her friends from the Bay Area were in town, and we accompanied them to an afterparty at the bachelor hovel of some mutual friends.
We were...hmm....slightly more than drunk. Pretty much all night, I was sitting on the couch wrapped up in a blanket, enjoying the heck out of drinking about ten gallons of water. At sometime closer to day than night, I wanted to go to bed, and I went with Stella and a few other people downstairs, in search of something resembling an unoccupied horizontal surface.

I found a stripper pole.

So I'm laying on the floor in this dark creepy basement space, and Stella's there, and some guys I know, including one of Stella's friends, who really, desperately wants to lie down with me.
Know this: I could not have been more clear about the fact that he was getting none. NONE. I think my exact words were, "I'm absolutely not hooking up with you." "Oh nah, that's cool, I know it's not like that."
We're lying there, and the whole time it's just me slapping his hands off my boobs and out of my pants, until it FINALLY occurs to me that I LIVE AROUND THE CORNER. Fuck. This. I tell Stella I'm out, she says she's staying, fine. Dude follows me upstairs. I'm at the front door. He's got his hands on my hips, asking me "Why you gotta be like this?" It's 730 in the morning.
"I'm leaving."
"Can't I just dry hump your leg for a little bit?"
"WHAT? No."
"But-"
"Look, I don't care if you have to rub one out real quick in the bathroom, or do whatever you need to do, but this CAN'T be a surprise. I'm leaving."

So.

That was that.

Bonus! Picture from that night! Don't Stella and I look completely sober and capable of making wise choices?

Sotally Tober

14 April 2009

Remembering Maddie

maddie,madeline spohr,operation purple balloon

Joy and merriment had by all

Now that I've captivated you with tales of my ugly feet, how about we talk about my weekend?

The plan was originally that I would have Gabriel for Easter, because every year my aunt Rebecca has a big Easter party with an elaborate garden hunt and a shockingly wide variety of Jell-O desserts and extended relations and many, many tiny Mexican girls is poofy pink Easter dresses and white patent leather shoes, all looking at our dirty raggamuffin children with a blend of shock and distaste at their bare feet and unbrushed hair.

It's a good plan, right?

On Friday evening I was baking cookies with Gabriel and we were discussing the weekend.

"But I want to spend Easter with my dad!"

"Oh. Are you sure? Because Becca's having an Easter party."

"No! I want to have Easter with my dad!"

So I told him to call his dad and see if he was available, and his dad was available, but wanted to make sure it was okay with me, and didn't I think that Gabriel might have more fun at the party? Well as a matter of fact, I did, but not if he was pissed the whole time because he wanted to "spend Easter with his dad!" Well. That's that then, isn't it?

Saturday morning I took Gabriel to San Jose to meet up with his dad, shopped around Valley Fair (new jeans! Huzzah!) and then I drove up to Oakland to have lunch with my new BFF, VDog, who I luffs. If you ignore the fact that at one point I had to pull over to make sure my bumper wasn't about to fall off in the road, and that I got lost on the way to VDog's mama's house, the afternoon went pretty much without a hitch. Next time I'm gonna bring Gabey along, so our boys can love on each other, since we're pretty sure they will.

That night, Gabey-less, I made plans to go out with my sister and Julia. My friend Mira was having a party. Actually, her old roommate was having a party, but whatevs. Mira's old apartment is not quite walking distance to downtown, so we were a little iffy on the whole thing, but then Mira called me to tell me that Kevin might be there!

Julia and I went to elementary school with Kevin. Mira and I went to high school with him. When I was six, Kevin explained to me the principles of the democratic party, and why no one in their right mind should vote for George Bush. We learned how to read together! And I haven't seen him in at least 5 (but probably more like 7) years. And I saw Kevin! So that was nice. I like seeing people from my childhood.
At some point Julia left because she was going to church in the morning. Then my sister and I went to some divebar in Seabright, where we ran into one of the old bartenders from The Catalyst. Then we walked home through the beach flats. I can't really think of a good way to describe that choice if you're not from here. It's not as stupid as walking home through Compton at 1am, but it's a whole lot stupider than, say, walking down State Street in Santa Barbara at 1am. We stopped at 7-11 for Doritos, and made it back to my sister's with nary a rape or pillage.

Sunday I slept until 10:30 and then mosied around the house with no pants on for a good hour after that. I went to the Easter party sans Gabriel, ate many delicious foods, and took many adorable pictures of children not my own. Mike used some sheet metal screws to reattach my bumper, so I fear my imminent death just a little bit less when I'm driving my car.
I picked up Gabey at around 3 and brought him back up to my parents' house. He had a great time with his dad, and then had a great time playing with his cousins, so I think he would tell you he had a fabulous Easter, which is good.

13 April 2009

This truly has nothing to do with anything.

IMG_3514

Have I mentioned lately that I hate my feet?


They're weirdly big yet narrow, plus I have a crazy high instep that makes it impossible to find regular sneakers that don't make it feel like my feet are going to collapse in on themselves when I run. Or else I physically cannot get my foot to fit inside of the shoe, because of the odd tallness of my arch.

I don't work out much.

And I have eczema of one foot??

What is that?

I mean couldn't it at least be both, for the sake of symmetry?

No.

I just have a single hurty, ugly, peely foot.

Plus a big jagged scar up one ankle from my car accident last year.

The good news is I have really good luck shopping for heels and dress shoes, which usually fit me well.

Sweet as Spring Opal Clutch

I can't think of any better accessory for springtime. $68.50 at Delight.com.

10 April 2009

Cookies!

Domestically Challenged

I didn't forget my promise to make cookies with Gabriel, so today was the day. Check out that beautiful mixer, just waiting for us. (And don't clown my apron, I happen to be very fond of it)

We were low on ingredients, so we went with the poor man's cookie: Snickerdoodles. I used 1/3 whole wheat flour, 2/3 all-purpose, to be healthy-like.

I don't have a cookie sheet, so I flipped a cake pan and baked 6 cookies at a time.

I don't have a cooling rack, so I flipped my colander, and used that.

There was a lot of not having, and flipping to compensate.

Ghetto cooling rack

I froze half the dough, all rolled and sugared in ziplocks, so the next time Gabey asks for domesticity on my part I won't have quite so many dishes to do.

We've had a very pleasant evening.

A day late, a dollar short

This little bit of vandalism cut me off from the phone and internet yesterday.

Sorry about that.

Anyhow, my brother James turned 17 yesterday.

17-year-olds, much like 16-year-olds, are rather obnoxious. And dorky.

But I guess I like him okay anyways.

Oi teenage fashion

Happy Birthday James.

08 April 2009

Love and thanks and loss and tears

I realized today that I take my son for granted.
I hardly pause to consider how he's gone from Rolly Polie to Rather Pointy.
He picks out his own clothes and he helps me make dinner and he waxes poetic about the snails outside of his school.
He goes to school.
He loves apple sauce.
He knows how to spell his name and call his grandma.
He can't quite figure out peddling his bike.
His outfit of choice is jamma pants under shorts.
When he's trying to remember something he says, "I'm trying to know it."
I have to keep the heat turned up because he insists on sleeping on top of the covers.
He has four different tea sets.
Yesterday he was tiny.
Tomorrow he will continue to grow.

Attached

Restful

Squeeze your babies.
Give thanks.

$13,000 has been donated in Maddie's name.

It's not enough.

Rest in peace Madeline Alice Spohr

I don't have the words

I'm so very sorry.

I've read a lot of really beautiful remembrances of this perfect little girl.

But I can't think of anything to say.

Except that I'm sorry.


No parent should ever have to bury a child.

07 April 2009

The AristoCats


The premise of this fine Disney classic is that Duchess and her three kittens are cat-napped by the butler, who wishes to cheat them out of their large inheritance.

Fact: If I was the butler, and four cats stood to inherit billions in my place (mind that he inherits second, and is indeed in the will), trust that those cats would be GONE. I can't guarantee that I would stop at simply abandoning them in the countryside. GONE.

06 April 2009

I'm not used to writing from Euphoria

I had a wonderful weekend meeting a bevy of thinkers and doers who are creating and making and inspiring. I left Grace's house with a list of new authors to read, a new rum to buy, and (most importantly) new friendships to develop.
I'm experiencing fabulous post-WoolfCamp contentedness. I admit I'm not used to writing when I'm happy. Everything looks not-quite-right. Too much shiny-happy-rainbow?

No more overtime this week. I know there are folks out there who love the money, but I could not be more thrilled. I'm looking forward to seeing my son for a whole three hours a day again; last week I was lucky if I got to spend half an hour with him. And let's be honest, when you only see your toddler for a half hour, every one of those excruciating 30 minutes is devoted to The Whine.

So.
I'm thrilled to be back to normal levels of I-hardly-see-my-kid-and-no-one's-the-better-for-it.

Gabriel's been begging me to bake cookies with him. He sees his aunt and grandma all crafty in the kitchen, and he wonders how come I never pull the fancy red KitchenAid down from on top of the fridge. Because I'm always tired, that's why. And besides, Laura and Grandma are more accomplished cookie-makers. They've had lots more practice.
He asked me again this morning as we were bundling out the door.
How much more time do I have before baking with his mom is LAME or EMBARRASSING? Cherish the small moments, right?
I've decided I'm going to make my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies some time before the week's out. Maybe I'll even take pictures! Who knows?

Sincerely hoping that everyone has a beautiful week full of glitter and unicorns, or whatever it is that makes you smile.

05 April 2009

Travel Luxuries: Delight.com

I love having shiny happy things to take with me on trips, especially when they make my life easier. I'll admit that I probably didn't need my Kate Spade toiletry bags, but they make packing up so much more pleasant!
Newest acquisitions!

These fab bubble bottles are TSA size approved, have some fancy no-drip technology, and are SO fun to use. $21.50.

And this wonderful and adorable travel jewelry case is perfect for bringing pretties along, and comes in a variety of wonderful colors (I chose the parsley, which should come as no surprise).

What is WoolfCamp?

What is WoolfCamp?

WoolfCamp Blog

Flickr

Twitter

Thanks to all for an amazing and inspirational weekend. I made some wonderful connections, and (even though I'm a hopeless flake) I plan on maintaining them!

03 April 2009

Picture of my boobies for Jenny, the Bloggess


This is totally not from today because I'm already at work and I didn't bring my camera. Also I think my boss might look at me funny if I was trying to take pictures of my breasts at my desk. It's just not that kind of office.

You CAN see my boobs today, because that's how I roll. If you couldn't see my cleavage, you might notice the jiggly parts.

My boobs are jiggly too, but in a good way.

I think.

ANGeLRoX

I stumbled upon ANGelRoX today, and I am captivated by this clothing line. I'm particularly fascinated by/enamored of the wrap, which for all intents and purposes is a $158 swath of fabric. But look at what they do with it!





I'm quite certain I need one.
On the more practical end of my fashion desires, these shirts ($68)! I love.

The shop also features a variety of tops, dresses, jeans, and even kid wear. I like it. I really, really like it.