2010 May | Somewhere in Middle America

Did you know that the traditional 2nd anniversary gift is cotton? I’ve been thinking about replacing our heavy down comforter with a new cotton quilt for the summer; perhaps I should take a page out of Jen Mankins‘s book and splurge on John Robshaw bedding. There are several bed collections that I love, like Tripoli and Pewter, but the price points are a bit high for my budget. Can anybody suggest any lower-priced alternatives to John Robshaw quilts?

(image via design*sponge)

Two years ago today I married my best friend. I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have found my perfect match. Not that we are exactly the same. Of course we share many of the same interests and values, but our differences compliment each other as well. For example, I’m more introverted whereas J is extremely extroverted, and he encourages me to come out of my shell.

Sadly, we can’t celebrate this special occasion together today because we are 1,250 miles apart! I am in NJ preparing for my sister’s wedding this weekend; J will join us later this week. However, we plan to enjoy a romantic dinner on Sunday at the location where we exchanged our vows (we actually married on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend in 2008).

If you’re wondering why I never show my husband’s handsome face on my blog, it’s not because he’s camera shy. (Quite the opposite!) It’s simply a privacy thing.

(photos by Heather Waraksa)

Happy birthday to the Brooklyn Bridge! It opened on this day in 1883 and was 50% longer than any previously built suspension bridge in the world. A year later, P.T. Barnum publicized his circus–and helped to disprove a rumor that the bridge was going to collapse–by parading 21 elephants over it.

(image source, history source)

The older I get the more I believe that money can, in fact, buy happiness. Not literally, of course, but having money provides you with the opportunity to do more of the things that make you happy (traveling) and fewer of the things that don’t (cleaning). If I had unlimited funds, I’d travel the globe and hire a cleaning lady to scour my home. I’d wouldn’t solely buy sale items, whether at the grocery store or at Anthropologie, and I’d definitely be saving more for retirement. What would you do (or not do) if you made bank?

Perhaps I feel this way towards money because I’m not making very much of it these days. My personal income is considerably less than it was just a few years ago when I had a full-time public relations job, although I suppose the appropriate question to ask is whether I’m happier now that I’m out of the rat race. The truth? I’m not sure.

Then again, maybe it’s not money or happiness that I’m seeking. Maybe it’s fulfillment…

(image source)

A couple of loyal readers recently told me how much they used to enjoy the links I would post on Fridays, so I decided to bring back my weekly “Link Up” feature. Happy reading!

A campfire treat gets even more indulgent. (via you are my fave)

From the curly hair to the studded shoes, she looks beautiful.

My 30th birthday was a bust, so I’m going to celebrate 31 like Joy.

I’m adding this movie to my Netflix list.

Did you know I have a new Twitter name?

I wish I could have gone to the Orange Beautiful grand opening in Chicago.

I can see myself comfortably wearing every single one of these outfits.

Take the 2010 Dirty Dozen list with you to Whole Foods.

(image by Lena Wolff via Design*Sponge)

In an effort to reduce the clutter in my home, I recently decided to toss every magazine I’d been saving… except for issues of the now-defunct Domino. Before they hit the recycling bin, however, I flipped through EVERY SINGLE ONE — about 50 mags — tearing out articles I wanted to re-read or save for future reference. With extra room on my bookshelf, I definitely feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, but now I need to figure out what to do with the stack of random articles I’ve accumulated! There’s got to be 150-200 pages of information there! Obviously I need to file them somewhere, either in categorized folders or binders. Ugg, this process is never-ending…

In exciting news, the cable company is coming this afternoon to install cable in my home office so I’ll be able to have the TV playing in the background while I blog and surf the web. Pretty soon this room will be 100% functional, and I predict I will be spending quite a bit of time in it in the upcoming months. I rearranged my furniture so that my desk is in front of a window, and I’m loving being able to peer into our lush backyard as I type this. I actually feel, well, a bit like a professional and extra motivated. Sometimes all you need to do is set the stage in order to get into character.

(photo by me)

After reading several reviews like this and this in February praising The Postmistress by Sarah Blake, I quickly requested it from the Omaha Public Library. It was a popular pick; a copy didn’t become available for me until early May. Eagerly I dove inside the pages expecting to fall in love with it as I did with The Help, but I was quickly–and sadly–disappointed. I couldn’t get into the story. I didn’t like the writing, the author’s overuse of commas. Feeling guilty, I returned the book to library yesterday unfinished. Now I wonder what everybody else saw in it that I didn’t.

I hate not finishing books, don’t you? Do you force yourself to get through books you’re not enjoying, or are you comfortable putting them down before reaching the end?

(image source)

Disclosure: I am extremely lazy. It only takes me 15-20 minutes to straighten my hair, but I like to prolong the life of my at home blow outs for as long as possible. I can easily get away with two days, but I’d like to be able to go three without blow drying my hair straight.

The problem is that a little section on the crown of my head starts getting greasy (the rest of my hair is pretty dry). Perhaps the solution is something like Klorane’s Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, but I’m nervous it’ll look like I dumped baby powder in my hair.

Have you ever tried dry shampoo?

(image source)

What’s better than fresh, ripe strawberries? Fresh, ripe strawberries covered in chocolate! But what do you do with the excess melted chocolate? Raid the pantry, discover a box of uneaten Nilla wafers and then cover them in chocolate too!

Best last minute dessert idea. Ever.

I take partial credit for Betty White’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend; I was a member of the Facebook group that petitioned for her to be the host. And she did not disappoint! I heard that she had a hard time reading the cue cards, so she memorized all of her lines for every sketch. Incredible, especially considering she’s 88 1/2-years-old.

It was hard to pick a favorite skit from last Saturday’s show. I really loved every time B.W. shouted “Lesbian!” during the Gingey sketch, and “Wizard of Ass!” during the Scared Straight segment was definitely memorable. But I think I laughed the most during the NPR skit above.

One of the reasons I adore Betty White so much is because she reminds me of my grandmother, who turned 95 on Sunday. Here’s a photo of my grandma and grandpa sharing a ginormous soda at her birthday lunch courtesy of my sister. Wish I could’ve been there!