Once in a Blue Moon...

Happy New Year everyone!

Tonight's a blue moon! 
I'm so happy that the new year is upon us.  I've been ready for it for too long!  2009 just had to get both Badger & I one last time with sickness (and mine was certainly not pretty).  It hasn't been a good year for us with our health.  In January, we found out Badge has a heart condition after he fainted in the movie theater while we were watching The Wrestler (not serious, but it scared the bejeebus out of me).  This summer he threw his back out and found out he has scoliosis.  So now he's an old man with a bum back.  I have been sick so many times and had so many different health issues I've lost track. 

But there were some good times as well.  Like for instance, OUR ENGAGEMENT!  Some of our very best friends got married and we got to be in the wedding party!  I took a trip to New York with my stepbrother to see our friend Sarah get married!  We went to the Bahamas and California (both awesome).  We went on some cool trips to Louisville and Kansas to visit family and had some very great moments with very great people.

2010 will be an amazing year.  I'm keeping my chin up and staying positive.  My health will be better, I'll maintain good weight and get in better shape.  I'm geting married...to the most wonderful man.  In California!  Loads of other friends of ours are getting married this year too.  And I have family members who are expecting.  It will be joyous :)

I wish the same for all of you!  Have fun tonight, here's to hoping for that perfect new years kiss!  xoxo.

(photo via ffffound)

Check this out

These rings are so super amazing.  I love all the animal rings and the Life necklaces.  Seriously, take a sec to check them all out.  You'll thank me ;)

You should also take a bit to peruse this website.  Thanks for showing this to me, Jess Bohonik! (You should most definitely browse around her website, she's a mighty creative and awesome person).


Have any of you perused the products on wisteria.com?  I somehow stumbled upon this online store and immediately fell in love with so many things...and from the sale section nonetheless!

I love these botanical paintings.  I recently framed some leaves from the tree in front of our window after seeing a DIY project on Design Sponge.  I think these would mesh perfectly with the frames I have, wouldyou agree?

 These French seaside birds are so charming, I want the whole collection!

I'm starting to think that my niece, Allyson, desparately needs all of these and she needs to share with her Aunt Mimi.  Oh the cuteness!

Wouldn't it be amazing to have a log bench like this?  Maybe not so much in our tiny apartmnet, but in the big home I'm dreaming of, full of amazing rustic-chic things and a husband who walks around like a lumberjack and the goat grazing out in our woodsy backyard...seems like a perfect fit. 

Comical Comics

http://www.nataliedee.com/Wait, aren't all comics comical? Nevermind.  This morning on my way to work, I checked my Blackberry and saw an email that got me a bit down in the dumps, so what better way to remedy a heading-south-super-fast-kind-of-mood than by looking at Natalie Dee comics?!

Tee hee!

Da Bulls!

Last night, my wonderful friend Inna provided me with a free Bulls game that included some seriously rad seats.  They played the Indiana Pacers...yawn...and of course won 104 - 95 (which meant that everyone in the arena is now entitled to a free Big Mac which I promptly gave away to Alex).  The game was fun for me to watch former KU star Brandon Rush match up with Bulls star Derrick Rose.  KU beat Memphis in 2008 for the NCAA Championship game, and what a hell of a game that was!

Anyway, we had a pretty cool time last night and I've told her over and over but again, THANK YOU INNA!

Day Dreaming

Since we booked our upcoming trip yesterday, I've been doing nothing but day-dreaming of snowy cabins in the mountains and snow bunnies and my coziest sweaters and well the list goes on and on.

I love being able to do stuff like this.  I love that our wedding is actually kind of forcing us to go to California (nice job on our behalf I must say). 

I can't wait to cozy up with my honey in front of a warm fire with my snuggliest sweater in tow.


Hello everyone!  We are back from Christmas vacation!  It was a good one minus the stomach flu my mom and I both caught which prevented us from going to the Christmas party at my stepbrother's house that I have been excited about for a month now.  D'oh!  All in all though, it was a great time and it was wonderful to see all of my family.  My parents went all out on everyone's Christmas gifts and we are now totally ready to travel with our new 4-piece high-quality luggage set! 

We just booked a little mini-vacay to California in a couple of weeks.  We are SO EXCITED!  The vineyard that we are getting married at is having an open house so we'll get to meet with vendors and check the place out all dressed up for a wedding all in one day!  So convenient, and it even happens to take place over MLK weekend so it couldn't be more perfect.

Because the valley isn't as beautiful as it is in the summer at this time, we decided to treat ourselves to an exploration around the Northern California area.  Our trip will start in San Francisco where we'll stay in the heart of it all and have a little while to explore the area.  Next we'll drive up to Calistoga and attend the open house and THEN....wait for it...we're driving to LAKE TAHOE!!  We seriously are so stoked at this.  I've never been (although my mom will probably say I've been there when I was wee) and neither has he, so we're in for a real treat.  Have any of you ever been?  If so, what would you recommend?  I'm afraid of skiing because I'm a puss, but I know that boy really wants to do it.  I'm sort of into the idea of snowshoeing and we're both really into the idea of relaxing around a fire in a cozy lodge with some delicious ales in hand, hah!


Aaaaah...heaven awaits us.

How was everyone's Christmas?

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Today, Badger & I have packed our bags and are *hopefully* headed south to good ole' Kansas.  It's snowing like crazy here in Chicago, and I have terrible luck when it comes to flights home.  So please, do me a favor and cross your fingers and your toes and your legs (but not your eyes) in hopes that we make it to KC tonight.  I can't wait to hang out with some of my favorite people, like Jess & Gracie, and if we don't make it there I won't see them - the thought of that KILLS me inside.  So, we're thinking positively and it's all going to work out.  Right, Paul?

Yes, by tonight, you will be "Simply having a wonderful Christmas time." - Paul McCartney

Difficult Day

Today is my least favorite day of the year.  Not only is it the shortest day, but it's also the day my father passed away.  Today makes it 16 years since that awful day.  16.  It's hard for me to believe that it's been that long and at the same time it's hard for me to believe it's only been 16 years because it feels more like an entire lifetime.  I miss him terribly.  I barely knew him.  10 years together was most certainly not enough.  I'm not sure what life would be like with him around but there are so many things I would/could have learned. 

My dad was diagnosed with a rare condition called Wilson Disease.  Back in 1993, not much was known about this so my dad was quite the challenge for the doctors at Wesley Hospital in Wichita, KS.  But through research over the years, a lot has been discovered and now survival rates are high. My brother and I have been checked for it many times, and while I used to worry a lot about one of us having it, I am not so concerned with it anymore.  Today I am making a donation towards fighting liver disease.  If you're interested, you can do the same here.

My dad was an amazing arhitect.  However, since he passed before his prime, much of his work wasn't translated from blueprints to buildings.  For a couple of years, we lived in one of the houses he designed.  It was huge and had secret passageways and multiple fireplaces and french doors.  It was awesome.  One of the buildings he designed, the Olive Garvey Center is located in downtown Wichita, and I try to pass by it every time I go back home:

 R.I.P. Dad, Jerry E. Pierce.  I love you and miss you so very much.

R.I.P. Tai


Gifts for Moi?

There's some lovely jewelry on etsy right now. I found a great store, Clementine, and I want this and this and this and this!

I think I was once one of these:

I heart my mum

The annual Christmas package has arrived from Blighty - thank you so much, Mum :-)

I know better than to open it until Christmas morning, but I opened the box and just checked that everything was safe (so spills, breaks, smushes). On top, I found these beautifully wrapped little parcels, which I have put under my tree. So thoughtful and pretty *sniffle* :-)

xx oo <3 xx

Any more ideas?

Since we're on the topic of giving idears, please help me!

I recently purchased a Fuji Instax Instant Camera that produces awesome little credit card-sized polaroid-esque pictures.  I love it and I love the pictures, but right now we have a giant pile of them sitting on our coffee table collecting dust which makes me sad.

So what do I do with them? 

Something like this? Or like below (I'm thinking like below)

I kind of suck with the creativity, so I can use the help!

Last, did you guys know about this?  Looks pretty neat. I think I'll fiddle around with that this weekend!

Any ideas?

I've had some good ideas for albums to give as gifts this year (see here and here for some suggestions), but I'm leaning towards buying them as mp3s because:

1. it's greener, and

2. no one listens to CDs any more. Also,

3. it's so near christmas, I don't trust they'll arrive on time

4. plus it's cheaper, so I can buy everyone more music!

So for all those great reasons, I don't think it's a faux pas to give people music this way.

But: how do you present someone with a gift like this? Can anyone think of any cool creative ways to actually "give" these albums to people on the day? Idears, please.

What a weekend!

... I'm still recovering! Friday evening was Lauren's art show (bravo lady, esp. the animation).

Saturday was the Chicago Bluegrass and Blues Festival. Our awesome and talented friends, Sexfist, played early on in the day.

Later, we returned for some Béla Fleck.

He performed some fantastic Christmas-themed music, (with the help of some Siberian throat singers) and it was fun to play "spot-the-tune".

Hope you all had a lovely w.end too!

A Badger Birthday Redux

We spent last Sunday celebrating the birth of Badger. Mo and yours truly found a carrot cake recipe (so good, even though there's not a grain of sugar in it), and Lauren helped us turn it into a work of cake-art!

It looks like we melted a Simpson...

Fire! Singing! Hope you had a good one, DB :-)

Baby Beluga

Oh my goonnnnnesss gracious bourbon pie!  There's a new edition to the Shedd Aquarium!  Puiji, the beluga whale, gave birth to a gigantic boy (seriously, it weighs 162 lbs and is longer than I am tall).

And just look how frickin' happy he is!


(photos via sheddaquarium.org)

I <3 my friends

On Sunday, all of our friends convened at Diversey Rock N' Bowl for an entire Sunday of awesomeness.  It was "sort of" a surprise to Badge who "may or may not" have suspected such an event.  We bowled, we laughed, we drank (lots, too much perhaps), we ate pizza, we ate cake (hopefully a picture will appear soon enough) and we celebrated well.  Thank you to everyone who made the day awesome, including you, birthday boy. 

SUPER BIG thank you to Bort & Anner for their generous hospitality (letting us trash their place)

Julie & Julia love

Have you all seen this movie?  If not, please do.  Right now. 

Amy Adams gives a warming performance and quite frankly, encourages me to continue with this blogging and then some.  After all, I did go to school to become a writer!

I can't even begin to describe how amazing Meryl Streep's performance was.  In nearly every scene, Badge and I were laughing and smiling and enjoying every bit of it. 

Not just anyone can take a scene this strange/gruesome/unappetizing and make it charming/appealing/cute.

To be quite frank, I loved this movie.  It was a little long, yes, but it made me feel so warm and fuzzy.  It made me feel inspired.  It made me love my soon-to-be husband (yes, I've taken to calling him that over my "fiancé" now that the time is nearer) even more for cooking me delicious meals all the time.  It made me want to continue blogging and it especially made me thankful for everyone who reads this blog of ours.  Last, it made me want to don an apron while baking sweets.  I think this one shall do:

I don't even LIKE mushrooms!  These seem to be the only kind of mushrooms I can get into.  (Photo via Cup of Jo via New House Textiles).  I smell a lovely Christmas gift... :)

(Julie & Julia stills via aceshowbiz.com)

A Very Special Badger Birthday

Today is my favorite guy's 28th birthday.  He doesn't know it yet, but we're about to go bowling with all of our closest friends.  I'm really excited about this day!

 Ok, so he's not 50 and his name isn't Kevin, but let's admit it: this cake is epic.

Happy birthday, baby!  I love you so much!!!

Lar Lar

We really do have an amazing group of friends who are creative and talented, not to mention good-looking! 

I really wanted to showcase some of Lauren's work on here and to let you all in on her talent.  Head on over to her website and admire those awesome paintings and animations. 

Tonight we are heading up to the Swimming Pool Project Space to check out some of her new work.  You should pay a visit too.  The exhibit runs through January 17th, 2010. 

A Castle, Architecture and lust

So for anniversary # 4, Badger & I are contemplating a journey to Southern Illinois to stay in this awesome castle bed and breakfast in the Shawnee National Forest. 

Pretty amazing, eh?

The architect, Bruce Goff, (shown "having an amazing shirt day"), was born in my home state - Kansas. He designed loads of buildings throughout the Midwest, all in his own organic architecture style.  

So, is it February yet?! Because I don't want to have to wait 2 months to go!

New music

When I was listening to NPR yesterday, there was a story on a new band, The xx.

It's lovely mellow music. I'm a sucker for a boy and a girl singing together.

And when I checked out who they were online, I discovered they came from my neighborhood in London! OK, so they're from the high school that used to beat up my high school on the bus, but when you're this far from home, you'll take what you can get. Now I like them even more!

P.S. They have quite the cover version on their MySpace page, see if you can spot it...

So many reasons to love etsy!

In the midst of my blog voyaging throughout the day, I stumbled upon this lovely etsy store called HELICOPTERstudios.  All of the stuff for sale in this store is all so darn cute

It's all handmade, and it folds up into a cute little tote.  What lucky kids to have such a creative, crafty mother.

The gift ideas continue...

Can somebody please send me this holiday card? I will display it all year round, I promise. 

Or how about these canvas bags.  So adorably awesome. So useful.  Yes, please.

So I don't have much use for notebooks these days, but why does that matter?  I would find a use for these!

Via Darling Clementine, one of the most adorable stores ever.


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