Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cashmere Librarian quoted in New York Times!

I've reached the big time now!

Making Shabby Chic, Again

And if you haven't found Rachel's blog yet, please do visit. I used to live right behind the Shabby Chic Santa Monica store and although I don't embrace the look to any great extent, there's something so clean and pretty and comfortable about Rachel Ashwell's aesthetic that I found myself going in every weekend just to soak up all the easy gorgeousness.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Autumn Leaves

My backyard, this morning:

So many leaves already, but so many more to come. In our backyard, we have a Black Cherry, a Weeping Willow (kept pruned so it doesn't become enormous and messy), two Red Buds and two Gingkos. Typically, the Gingko leaves are always the last to fall, and they come down in one fell swoop. One day they are on the tree, and the next it rains Gingko leaves until the tree is suddenly barren. Here's a photo of my husband last fall, looking up at the trees just before the Gingkos (the golden tree, pictured below) dropped. He knows what's coming: Raking and Bagging, Raking and Bagging!

This year we are a bit surprised because the Gingkos are falling steadily, like the rest of the trees. Perhaps brought on by a cool summer and a cool, wet autumn?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Today's Jewelry

I've been really into bracelets lately and since I'm not eager to wade into the 40 Legal Research exams I have sitting here on my desk to grade, I decided to play with my iPhone camera and share my wrist with you.

Today I'm wearing on my wrist:

Hermès H bracelet with red enamel and gold
Two-headed Leopard (?) bracelet from Urban Outfitters, a gift from youngest son
2 Gold and 1 animal-spotted bangles from J.Crew
Seiko stainless-steel and gold watch (Cartier wanna-be)


Signet Ring..actually a class ring from Penn State
Wedding Ring
Black Hills gold ring purchased from Landstrom's in Deadwood, South Dakota

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekly Manicure

I've never been one to schedule regular professional manicures: I either do it myself at home or keep a coat of Sally Hansen Natural Shine Nail Finish on. It's just an indulgence that I haven't been able to bring myself to do.

But now I'm thinking that it would be really nice to have a weekly manicure. I love dark colors on my nails but when I paint them it chips so quickly, so I tend to stick with Essie Mademoiselle. (Even pale nail polish chips on my self-manicures, because I of course use my nails cleaning, gardening, et cetera.) But a regular professional manicure would help with that, wouldn't it?

The issue is not only money but timing. So my question is: who of my blog friends manages to do this weekly, how do you fit it in your schedule, and how does your professional manicure hold up against daily life? Plus it'd be fun to know what your favorite polish colors are, if your nails are long or short, anything else you'd like to share about manicures (or pedicures). C'mon, spill!

Monday, October 5, 2009

October Only

My fellow Illinoisan The Preppy Apron tagged me for some of my favorite things that occur only in October! And so:

1. My Birthday!

My birthday was last Friday so my husband and I determined to celebrate the whole weekend! We drove up to Chicago and stayed at the lovely W LakeShore. We met my son and his girlfriend for dinner at Cafe Spiaggia and then hit the Whiskey Sky for cocktails. Saturday morning, we drove out to West Town to brunch at Jam and then shopping on North Damen. We also travelled to Lincoln Park where we checked out Jayson Home and Garden. Saturday night was champagne cocktails at Pops for Champagne and an amazing dinner at a very cozy French restaurant recommended to me by The Epic: Le Petit Paris! (You must go to Epic's blog and read his description of the restaurant and its very charming and masterful proprietor, Chef Alain. And, if you're near Pops for Champagne, stop into an adorable shop two [or so] doors down called P.O.S.H.)

We were exhausted on Sunday but we managed to make it to the Art Institute to see the new Modern Wing. What a wonderful, if whirlwind, birthday weekend!

2. York Peppermint Batties.

When I was six months old, my parents went to a convention and left me in the care of my eighteen year old sister. She's a very responsible person, but apparently she received a call from a church camp about a hour away asking her to fill in as camp nurse for the week (she was a nursing student at the time). She agreed to go to camp and my three teen-aged brothers agreed to take care of their baby sister! I always had the utmost love and affection from my big brothers and although I have no memory of this particular week, I am sure I thrived under their care. In particular, I am told, my diet was expanded to candy, and I was especially fond of the large-size Peppermint Patty my brothers fed me. "We gave her a few pieces, and she kept wanting more," they proudly told my mom when she returned home. "So finally we just gave her the whole thing!"

Fast forward to present, where my equally indulgent husband buys me bags of Peppermint Patties when he goes grocery shopping. I keep them in the fridge, with the fruit, and I eat them when I get home from work with a cold glass of milk. (Interestingly, I hate the smell of mint: toothpaste, gum, et cetera! I won't let my husband kiss me after he's brushed his teeth.)
In October, York markets Peppermint patties shaped like bats. Now how awesome is that?

3. Poe Readings on Halloween.

A local mansion-cum-conference center offers candlelight Halloween Poe readings (enjoyed with a glass or two of red wine). We've also gone to Poe readings given by grad students in the English building of the University, where it's rumoured a student drowned in the basement pool.

My favorite Poe story is "The Cask of Amontillado." I love that the victim, Fortunato, is wearing motley when he meets his end, and I love that the final sound from Fortunato is "only a jingle of the bells." In pace requiescat!