Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Planting Pansy

I'm a planting pansy.

I've been bitten by the gardening bug!

Now that spring has officially sprung here in KC, there are beautiful flowers EVERYwhere... the tulips and daffodils are practically growing like weeds all over peoples yards, and even the cracks in the sidewalks have wild violets and yellow dandelions growing out from beneath the concrete. Almost all of the trees have flowered (this west-coast girl discovered that apparently that's how they grow leaves out here in the Midwest), and walking around the neighborhood is a constant flood of fragrant blooms and fresh aromas.

I can't help but want to take part in the most glorious changing of seasons I have ever experienced... but I have one problem.

I think I have a black thumb.

Growing up, I always liked to help my mom plant in her flower beds, and by spending that time with her, I have learned the names of dozens of flowers and plants. While I can appear to be a expert by naming nearly all of the blooms I see, when it comes to planting and caring for them, I turn into a big fat lame-o, plant-killing, flower-loser.

Despite my inability to keep plants alive, I have been inspired to start small (good thing I wasn't inspired to start big, because our balcony is only about 10' x 5'ish) and so G and I headed to Home Depot after work last night to get some hanging plants and a few potters.

One of the types of flowers that Mama said to go with was pansies because they are "durable and hard to kill" (thanks mom, but you might be surprised). She's probably right, so that's exactly what we did (which is quite an appropriate choice for me after reading the following on pansy - (n.) defined as someone who is pathetic and very weak - ya, that's me in the gardening world).

I plan on taking some pictures this week to document the fact that I once had beautiful flowers growing on my balcony (past tense because I have no idea how long they are going to last), and I will be sure to post them ASAP. If anyone has any other ideas for flowers or herbs that are tough-to-kill (BESIDES cacti), please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Also, if you are looking for your OWN gardening inspiration... check out this website that has great videos, how-tos, and a really cool idea for creating a space that is beautiful and sustainable out of a harsh urban area.

Happy Planting!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Clear Heels

Photo courtesy of LadyLee

G and I have a running joke about clear heels that stems from a bit by Chris Rock that can be seen here (disclaimer: clip contains adult content and I do not support nor endorse Mr. Rock's comedy, but man, he can be one funny SOB).

Any time I see someone wearing them, (if you have them on right now, STOP READING HERE) I can't help but chuckle to myself and think of my goofy (but darling) husband trying to do his best Chris Rock impersonation ("Guuurl, you disgusting!"). Then I find myself trying to figure out why in the world the Clear Heel Offender has decided on this particular option for their fashion footwear of the day.

While checking in on one of my daily reads, Scented Glossy Magazines, I discovered a post about another clear accessory that should not be worn unless expressly mandated by a store manager or prison marshall.

With this as my general stance against plastic, see-through-accessories, you can imagine my surprise/shock/confusion when I come across something like this (which has already happened a few times this Spring)...

Stuart Weitzman "Seeall" - $285

Or this...

Dolce Vita Patent Open Toe Pump - $135

Apparently clear heels are on their way up from trying to pay their way through medical school.

They are now trying to get in with the fashionably chic (think wide leg denim trousers and cashmere halter tops). Sooner or later, they will be found sipping mojitos poolside in the Hamptons. When this happens, Clear Heels, call me up and we'll go out for congratulatory drinks (your treat, I KNOW you're loaded with cash)... but until then - Gurrrrl, you disgusting.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gotta Have It: Bandolino Flats

I've gotta have these...

Corale Flats by Bandolino - ONSALE at Piperlime for $41 (free shipping/returns)

Glorious green goodness.

That's why I'm ordering them this week.


Now I am going to go back to watching TV and sulking.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Another Grey Day

Photo courtesy of Ramblings of a SoCal Mom.

The last several days here have been grey grey grey. I can tell that it is really starting to affect the moods of some of the people in my office (we've got some serious cranky-weather-syndrome going on up in here). Clearly, I love me some sunshine, but after yesterdays post and last night's trip to Home Depot, I feel the need to share about my love for the clouds as well.

For some reason, I have ALWAYS really enjoyed overcast days.

After a monsoon in Arizona.
Picture courtesy of City-Data.

Growing up in Arizona, it was sunny nearly all the time (even sometimes when it rained), and so every time we would get a real monsoon with real clouds, it always made the day feel kind of... special. A respite from the exhausting heat and harsh rays.

San Diego Skyline - I miss you.
Photo courtesy of Sign On San Diego.

When I moved to San Diego, my friends thought I was crazy because I loved the months of May Grey and June Gloom. It is warm enough to go to the beach, but breezy and cool enough that you can wear a big comfy sweater over your bathing suit and curl up on a beach blanket - my idea of a perfect place to do homework or read. No threat of impending wrinkles and no need to flip every five minutes for fear of an uneven tan. (Confession: I am a leeeeetle OCD about laying in the sun. I have a fear of wrinks and I turn brown in about T-minus two seconds, despite layers and layers of SPF 137,000. It can make sun bathing a bit stressful - no falling asleep allowed!)

No matter which way you put it, a dark sky during the day is something that makes me feel good. Cozy and Calm.

In a previous post, I mentioned that G and I have been looking for the perfect color to paint our bedroom walls. We considered grey and teal (Ok, I considered them, he really just sort of listened) and I was having a tough time deciding between the two. After several storms in a row over the past few weeks, I began to think about how much I love to wake up in semi-darkness to see that the sun has decided to sleep in behind its thick down comforter of grey clouds.

Yesterday, I picked up the latest Crate and Barrel catalog that was delivered to our office, and after flipping a few pages, I saw this photo.

Azure Sofa - $1899

The Azure Sofa was what instantly caught my eye (cobalt blue=one of my top 3 fave colors), but it didn't take me long to realize how much I LOVED that it was in a grey room! This wall color just totally embodies relaxation and comfort to me, and I thought, "Hey, what better emotions could your potential bedroom color possibly evoke?!"

G and I went straight to HD after work and the paint specialist was SO helpful. I showed her the magazine page and she went straight to the swatch that we ended up going with (not an exact match to the color in the photo, but a little bit warmer, and much more suited for our tastes - ok, my taste). Upon her suggestion, we also used the color at 50% saturation, which I didn't think I'd be into, but once she had mixed it I knew it was right. Soft and calming, but versatile enough to bring in SO many fun colors (think gorgeous Missoni shams)! I walked out of HD a happy woman (and miraculously with only a can of paint and a bag of potting soil)!

As soon as I get home tonight, I promise to post the color name... it has completely slipped my mind (dang it), but I want to make sure I put it out there, because let me tell ya - it's a good one.

***UPDATE: G has just informed me that the color is called Creek Bend and is from Behr (see swatch below, only picture it a little lighter)

Creek Bend

Hope everyone has a fantastic, grey (or sunny) Friday wherever you are!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Treasure Hunting: Sunshine Dress

Attention Fellow Fashionistas:

Bare-Legged-Dress Season is officially here!!!! (Ok, I know it started a long time ago for anyone in San Diego where I USED to live, but in KC, it's a recent arrival.)

Toss away your tights, and lose your leggings, pea-puhl! It may not be sunny, but the temperature is on the rise and I'm ready to show some SKIIINNNNNN (bruised and bandaged as it may be).

As I looked in my closet this morning, a familiar little number was calling my name. "Wear me, wear me," it said in a weak, yet cheerful voice. When my eyes finally rested upon the owner of this voice, I knew my search for today's outfit was over.

Everyone, meet Sunshine Dress. Sunshine Dress, meet Everyone.

Please excuse the bandages, and click on the pictures
to get a better view of the darling grey and white pattern.

Sunshine became mine one dreary (below-freezing) day in January. I was trolling the aisles of my favorite thrift store for who-knows-what, and a pretty pink little dollar tag happened to catch my eye. I pulled the hanger off of the rack and held it up in scrutiny. It had been a while since I had thrifted any clothes (like, maybe freshmen year of high school when buying children's graphic shirts and wearing them way-too-tight over a tank top was cool... yikes), but as I held her hanger up to my shoulders and tilted my head to get the perfect view, I knew I had turned a new leaf.

Imagine my further excitement as I made my way up to the register, where I saw a sign that read:


That's right folks. This dress cost me a whopping 50 cents.

As I paid, I began to feel like a criminal! How could I rob the City Union Mission Thrift Store of this darling little ray of gold for a mere sum of fifty pennies! I nearly threw my two quarters at Regina the Register Girl (that's really what's on her name tag - "Whad up, giiiirrrl?") and ran out the door. Thankfully, I was able to control myself.

Bottom line: I have been waiting for the perfect time to wear her, and even though I was a little behind schedule today, I was able to find just the right accessories to top it all off. Don't you just love it when that happens??

That's right. It has pockets.

In my excitement over getting ready this morning, I just HAD to have G take a picture of me on our way out the door.

Here's hoping that the bright shiny goodness from this little treasure will fly right through your screen (and through the rain) and make you smile today!


La Mesa de Cafe

We have been coffee-table-less for a month or two now, because our last one left weird spots on our pretty little rug. Now it's standing in the corner of the dining room, like a little dunce, until further notice.

We have a cheap stand in right now (that I hate), and a few weeks ago, I found the one I really want here.... only to find out that it is backordered until JULY and I CANNOT wait that long.

Then, I was browsing through the furniture at Urban Outfitters and I came across THIS little number, which looks exACTLY the same.

Right now we're saving our pennies (my two fillings from yesterday set us back a few), but as soon as we get enough... the purchase will be made and I can't wait!

I think it will complement the rest of the room beautifully, and as soon as I get our new curtains made with the Alexander Henry fabric that just arrived from J. Caroline Creative, I will definitely be posting pictures.

Looks better in person... white is actually more of a cream.

Another "Our Humble Abode" segment... Comin' right up!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Inspired By...

Today, I am feeling extra inspired.

I think it's a combination of things... the great discussion I had with G last week about my budding business plans, the super-fun project I am working on at my job, some AMAZING new blogs I have stumbled across, and the prospect of shopping for fun Spring clothes and accessories!

Two weekends ago, I was able to nab two great dresses (majorly on sale + employee discounted = total steal) at J. Crew, and so I have recently been on the lookout for some stunning accessories to go with them.
Josie Dress from J. Crew

Shift Embossed Beach Dress from J. Crew (I got it in Espresso)

Both solid colors, and little to no detailing means that I can have a little fun with the accent pieces... so great when this happens! One of the things that I am the most excited about is that I can wear both of these dresses to work.

While searching for some local KC sellers on Etsy a few weeks ago, I came across one of my new FAVE jewelry designers... Lush Bella. The best part is that she is right in town (I love to shop local)!!! I think a few of her pieces would be the perfect vintage additions to both of these dresses and I can't wait to pick a few. Here are some of my faves:

I think these two pieces would look fabulous with the white shift dress...

Corrugated Brass Cuff - $45

Vintage Brass Pendant - $75

And the next two? Perfect for the espresso beach dress...

Red Lace Earrings - $98

Petals Layered Necklaces - $28 each

Now, these pretty little dresses of mine are just going to have to wait for some style supplements, because today... I am spending my hard earned money on a much more exciting kind of bling.

(Not my mouth.)

That's right... I'm getting cavities filled. I can only hope that my dentist is feeling inspired today, too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Battle Wounds

A few highlights from my weekend...

I fought the road, and the road won.

Me waving hello with a bruised hand and a bare face.

Road burn.

Behold, my long time companions, Black Peep-Toes.

May they rest in peace.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Brand New Brain Candy

One of my all-time faves... Swedish Fish!

In case you haven't noticed... I have added THREE new blogs to my Brain Candy Blogroll.

The Sartorialist - A photo journalistic documentation of fashion on the streets of Paris, Milan, NYC, and more. These pictures are unique, inspiring, and I compulsively check for new ones every day! Named one of the Top 25 Blogs on and selected as one of Time Magazine's Top 100 Design Influencers.

Josie Dress from J. Crew (I bought it in white last weekend... they're on sale people!)

The Most Awesomest Stuff Ever - A well-written (and snarky, my favorite!) guide to the world of consumerism. Jennifer's got a major shopping addiction, and great taste. She posts about everything from top fashion designers, the newest trend in beach towels, and recycled flower planters. She loves Target, J. Crew, and John Krasinski... a girl after my own heart!

On top of all that, she recently started a new segment called "Ask Jennifer," where readers write in with fashion woes, and she posts with help! I only found her blog last Tuesday, and I have already written her en email querying about the new shoes I need for our trip to France this summer (I have also already read all her posts of 2008). She so graciously featured my question in one of her recent posts - make sure you go check it out!!

Ms. Spinach Herself

Fashion is Spinach - A. Maze. Ing. Vintage, chic, fun... I could go on and ON! It is SO refreshing to read a blog by someone who loves fashion as much as I do (but probably more), and has a real passion for anything vintage/thrifted. This is another blog that I came across just last week, and I have already gotten so many ideas, and am totally inspired to do a SERIOUS thrifting run this weekend. We've got some good thrift stores here in KC, and I can't wait to update my Spring wardobe with some pieces in honor of one of my new favorite blogs - Fashion is Spinach!

Just writing about these great (new to me) blogs makes me want to go and read ALL the archives. Seriously, I can barely stop myself!

Also, get excited because I am working on a special post for later this week to give you a peek at what's been keeping me occupied at work!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Most Awesomest Blog Ever!

Metallic Leather Flat from Naturalizer... Shut UP!  

J. Crew Cristobal Patent Leather Flats 
(I get the employee discount... ADDED BONUS!)

Miss Jennifer at The Most Awesomest Stuff Ever, was ever so kind enough to do a post about my Shoe-Dilemma that I have been trying to figure out for months (see her blog for details).

She has a serious knack for shopping and I KNEW she'd have some ideas for me... she totally came through!

Just in case anyone else is on the hunt for some comfortable AND darling flats/sandals, I'll be sure to give an update once I have made a (some) purchase(s).  

Hooray!  Shoe shopping, here I come!  (Right after the swelling in my foot goes down... )

Look What Fell Off!!!

G and I - the day that we got The Scooter (San Diego - June 2007)

I don't know if I will ever look that happy on our scooter again.

This week in KC, the weather is still pretty overcast but is finally starting to warm up, and so Thursday I decided the conditions were good enough for me to drive The Scooter to work (approximately 4 miles).  

I texted my Dad to tell him because I was so excited (and because he is a fellow scooter-owner), but I didn't see his reply of, "BE SAFE!  XOXOXO, Dad," until it was too late.

As I turned on to Main street, I noticed that it was starting to sprinkle - great.  I was a little over half way there when the car in front of me slammed on his breaks to stop from hitting a car who turned in front of him suddenly.  I learned that slamming on your breaks when you are on a scooter (especially on a wet road) is a little bit different than when you are in a car.  (I am getting light-headed just writing about this.)  To make a long story a little shorter... I crashed The Scooter, not into the other car, but into the ground.  Ouch.  

***Family Flashback - This is not the first time I have crashed on a two wheel vehicle!  Bompa (my grandpa) and I were out for a spin on one of our dirt bike/motorcycle-thingys when I was about 4 or 5 and we laid the bike down when we hit a patch of gravel.  Bompa and I both scratched our hands up pretty well, but we were in heavy coats because it was cold, so we ended up being fine.  The fender popped off of the bike, and he had me carry it on my lap as I sat in front of him on our way back to the house.  I remember SO WELL the moment we pulled up in front of the house and the rest of the fam was standing out in the front yard, wondering what had happened... as we pulled into the driveway, I held up the piece of the bike and yelled, "Look what fell off!!!"  I was so proud of how tough I was being and I knew Bompa was pretty proud of me, too.***

The rest of Thursdays accident is pretty much a blur, but after I stopped skidding down the road (I had rolled on to my stomach during the skidding so I pretty much messed myself up from all angles) I looked up and saw two guys run out into the street to help me.  One carried me to the grass on the side of the road and called G, and the other man went and lifted all 225 lbs. of The Scooter up and pushed it to the side of the road. 

Two fire trucks, one Security Guard, two ambulances, and one policeman later....  I was still a total mess.  My leggings were pulled up around my thighs, I was bleeding from probably a dozen different road burns on my body, and as one of the EMTs proceeded to pick the gravel out and squirt saline solution all over me, the realness of the pain finally hit me and I blacked out.  

The good news:  I am alive (there were a few moments when I was laying in the street that I thought I was going to get run over), The Scooter is okay (except for some scratches in the paint, but is still totally drivable), and I am going to end up with some pretty sweet scars.

Bad news:  I am in an unbelievable amount of paint, I have big ugly bandages all over me, I had to miss two days of work which used up some sick days that I had been stockpiling, and my favorite black, peep-toe high heels are totally ruined (yes, I was riding in high heels, leggings, and a mini-dress - in retrospect, a bad idea).

Anyways, the past few days have been pretty bleak, but G has been taking SUCH good care of me and my precious friend, Joanna came by to bring us both lattes (and laughs) yesterday, and TOTally cheered me up (Thanks, Jo!).   My mother-in-law is here from California this weekend, and we have pretty much just been relaxing and spending time with her.  

My right hand/wrist are pretty messed up (not to mention my left foot, left ankle, both knees, right hip, butt, and left arm), so posting might be a bit sporadic for the next few days.  Thanks for understanding, and I am looking forward to resuming regular blogging again next week (I have some good ones planned, so stay tuned)!

Sorry to be "Debbie Downer" today, but I hope everyone has a GREAT weekend!  (And don't forget to wear your helmet!)  MWAH!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fundamental Fashions

Speaking of high waisted skirts... did anyone see the Today Show this morning?

Meredith Viera conducted an interview with some of the mothers from the FLDS Compound in Texas that was exposed this past week for child abuse and pedophilia.

I have little knowledge of that sect of Mormonism, but I couldn't stop myself from being extremely suspicious after watching the following interview. I was sitting on my bed, munching my cereal, and when Meredith launched the first question at one of the mothers (fast forward to minute 1:40), my mouth dropped open at her response.

Once the interview finished, I noticed the horrible pit in my stomach and I have not been able to stop thinking about it since this morning. Is it just me or do these women seem like they have been undeniably BRAINWASHED! So sad. And scary.

I feel all sorts of emotions after watching this video for a second time.

Anger toward the people who have clearly coaxed these women into believing that marriage for 13-year-old girls is ok. Sadness for the siblings of these families who will be placed in homes, possibly all over the country, and may never see each other again. Grief for the women who are losing their children (even if their new lives will be safer and healthier). Concern for the women who seem to be incapable of answering very straightforward questions. The list goes on.

All I can say is that these families and women will be in my prayers as this horrible tragedy continues.

Let's Get High

It's a play on words, people... calm down.

Image from

I'm all about the high waisted skirt. I own several, and they are one of my favorite things to wear. Highly versatile, they can be paired with a fitted T, a crisp white button-down, or a blousy sleeveless top (all tucked in, of course).

Image from LoveThis

I did not, however, get the memo about the high-waisted FULL LENGTH skirt coming back into style.

Someone walked into our office today in this. (Minus the hat, brooch, and jacket. Same shirt in blue, and exACT same shoes.)

All I can say is that I hope I was able to successfully hide the look on my face when I saw. I also hope to GOD that she never sees this.

Cubicle Cute

Due to the extreme disappointment I encountered after watching the brand spanking new episode of The Office on Thursday night, I could not bring myself to write a recap post about it on Friday. I probably wrote 3 or 4 drafts, but everything kept coming out sounding even more lame than the ep itself. It was good to see the old gang, but I really hope that this week's show will bring me more than just the pity laughter I had last week. I am attributing the lack of usual humor and wit to fact that the writer's were probably a little rusty from being on strike, but they should really have their stuff together after a "practice week." Honestly guys, I know you can do better, and I expect to see you bring your best game on Thursday.

In lieu of a recap, and in honor of working in such a dull, cubicle-y office space, I have decided to post a product round-up entitled Jessie's Guide to Making the Cubicle Cute. Some are more whimsical than others, but they would all make my "box" a little less square.

Let's begin with the "wall" above my computer screen (a half-wall that separates me from the industrial copier/scanner/printer). It has a large spot on it where the paint has peeled away from the cardboard drywall (lovely, eh?), and I think that a pretty little wall calendar, like this one from Etsy seller ValeryDesignWrks, would cover it nicely.

This darling Bird Magnetic Clutter Board would be great for keeping photos, newspaper clippings, and To Do Lists off of my desk and within easy reach. To go with it, I'd have to have these quirky little custom-made magnets, of course (pictured below, from Etsy seller The Laughing Place).

They come in a push-pin version, too! That might mean I need this...

If I wanted to go the corkboard route, I could always get this bright, retro fabric-covered bulletin board from Etsy seller Simple Song Designs. Both of these magnet/bulletin boards are so cute, I would almost have to get them both!

With the arrival of spring time, comes my desires to start seeing things grow! This little Eggling, from Urban Outfitters, would be such a great way to bring a little greenery to the desk top. According to the directions, you simply crack the top of the egg open, water it, and watch it grow! Added bonus: you can choose between petunia, chrysanthemum, and basil.

I'd like to jazz up my meeting notes and supply lists with an array of colors! I got hooked on Le Pens at my current job, but our office only supplies the black ones. This little set of eight pens comes in three different color combos (I'd pick "bright"), and they would brighten up the look of ANY pencil cup.

I prefer ink, but if you're more a of a Pencil Gal, you might like these Gummy Bear Erasers. Added surprise... they are pencil sharpeners, too! Just looking at them makes me want some actual gummy bears, real bad. Maybe not such a good idea for me to have them at my desk.... heh...

I'll admit that I can be somewhat fanatical about the compartmentalization of my purses contents (you'd think that trait would translate into my closet, hm), and that is why I am always thrilled to find small pouches that will hold things within my handbags. These Jane Marvel zip cases are made of water resistant vinyl-coated twill, and have windows for labeling! Bring on the organization!

This last item is probably the one I covet most... finally a portable home for my MacBook and other work materials! From Acme Made, I present to you, the Slim Cargo Bag! I have been looking for something like this for a long time - ever since I started working in an office full time, I have needed something to safely carry my computer and my paperwork. This preppy, sweet bag would eliminate the current problem I have of trying to jam too many things right into my purse - EEK, I just checked and there's only one left!

Happy shopping, and I hope this guide inspires you to make your cubicle cute!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Gotta Have It: What a Sham!!!

This bedding is to. die. for.

I'd like a pair of standard sized shams, pleaseandthankyou!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Our Humble Abode: Blah Bedroom

Ever since we moved into our flat last August, I have had so much fun decorating and making it feel like our home. We started right in on the "front rooms" (family and dining) and then did the kitchen. We lost our momentum as we got to the guest/craft room (my fave), so that took us significantly longer, but we just recently finished that one too.

There is really just ONE last room in our little pad that we haven't even put a dent in as far as decorating goes, and that, I say shamefully, is the bedroom. I don't know if it's because we've gotten lazy or what, but let me just come clean and tell you right now that this is the biggest mistake we've made so far! The next time we move, mark my words, our bedroom is going to be the most beautiful and well-put-together room in the whole darn house... and by golly (did I really just say that?) we are going to do it FIRST!

With so many fabulously talented design minds out there in blog world, I wonder if I might share my plight and get some feedback on where we should go with our bedroom decor. Here goes...

Our Bedroom - Now (yuck.)

So far, we pretty much have a blank slate with ugly renter's-white walls and golden oak wood floors. The room is TINY and has a huge window and two doors, so there is really only one possible spot for the bed, and that is under the window.

We have a dark wood armoire and two dark wood night stands (I am sick of the night stands, but for now, they stay), and my mom got us a beautiful pale green duvet from Anthro for Christmas (see right) that I want to use.

We need some shams and some throw pillows, some curtains, and a color for wall paint. I have been thinking that I wanted to go with a fun bluish-turquoise color...

Not Our Bedroom

but I don't want it to look juvenile (or obnoxious in such a small space), so I have more recently been wanting to do a warm gray... like so:

Not Our Room Either

And the lamps? Oh, you sad little lamps... the bases can be painted (which means I need a color) and new shades are definitely in order.

Sad Little Lamps

Top it all off with some art on the walls, maybe some type of mountable shelving, and a pretty throw for the foot of the bed and we should be all set!

I can't wait to read everyone's ideas... just post your thoughts in the comments, have fun, and don't hold back!!!

***Disclaimer: The two pictures that are "not our bedroom" were accidentally ripped off, and are from other blogs. If you know of their original posters, please let me know so that I can give them credit. In my blogging-newness, I haven't been as careful as I should to keep track of the photos that I save to my computer. I'm sorry to the owners, and thanks for understanding!