Tuesday, April 29, 2008

retail therapy

Hello again. I take it you are really interested in knowing about my shopping last weekend since you've come back. Well...let's get to it!

First item to share, a new Kate Spade purse:
So perfect for spring & summer! Admittedly, it looked a little better on my arm on Saturday as I was cruising around Charlotte with my sunglasses on. Back home it looks like I'm plain out of my head, since yesterday it was raining/snowing and everyone is wearing goosedown coats again. But when the mercury climbs a bit higher, together me & the new bag will hit our stride out amongst the sandal-wearing crowd in the Midwest.

* * *

Next up, a new dress (j.crew):

ah...more white, the essence of summer! And you know how I feel about summer. I spied this dress online several weeks ago and just had to try it in person. Voila, it is mine! They say you know you are already in trouble once you step into the dressing room. It was me v. the dress in there. Once it was zipped up I looked in the mirror and saw soft breezes, warm sand, & blue ocean. Next thing I knew they were ringing me up at the counter. There was no way I could resist.

* * *

The purse and my dress are the biggest highlights. Other prizes include a hot pink Lilly polo dress, which I was lucky to find on special. I can't find a picture of that. But I did find a picture of these wild shorts:

Also from j.crew. I think they look like men's swim trunks. Cute, no? I ordered them via the red phone in store...a new experience for me....shows you what a serious shopping mood I was in...totally nuts by then. I'm hoping that their arrival later this week will coincide with the sun popping out. And staying out for good!
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Monday, April 28, 2008

absolutely fabulous

Short, sweet, and totally fabulous! How better to describe my weekend away?

Loved seeing Lisa and George and the kids, loved the shopping (the ginormous bag was packed full), loved being away, loved Charlotte.

And it was such a treat, such a huge treat, to finally meet my sweet blog friend homedaisy - in person.


She and Lisa and I had dinner together Thursday night, and Friday we saw her beautiful home. We met Jennifer! We met her Mr.! We saw the gorgeous new kitchen and remodel work. And we sat on her wonderful wrap-around porch, sipping our beverages and talking shop - blog shop - until the wee hours. It was a fantastic night, comfortable and fun. It felt as though I was with old friends. New old friends. So so strange, this blog world of ours, isn't it?

I'll be back to tell you more. Yes, more! Shopping highlights to come.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008



One entry found.


Main Entry: gi·nor·mous

Pronunciation: \jī-ˈnȯr-məs\

Function: adjective

Etymology: gigantic + enormous

Date: circa 1948

:extremely large : humongous

:a word my husband *hates*

:the only way to describe the suitcase I'm bringing on a 2 day trip

:(to Charlotte, to see my sister in-law.)

:we are going *shopping*

:I mean, SHOPPING.

:We have been planning this for a long time (months)

:and so there's no way I'm bringing the overhead bin bag

:no matter how silly it seems

:for only 2 days.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

tuesday update

I like that title. Have you visited Tommie? She keeps a nice blog.

So anyway, here we are, Tuesday already. The emails continue from our realtor, showing us new and updated listings. I think we get about 4-5 emails each day. I don't mind getting them, in fact I like the way things work. You can see a house and see the changes to its listing in real time! - or something close to it. The picture above comes from a house with an interesting listing. It may be too small for us, it's hard to tell without seeing it in person. But we still have plenty of time for house browsing, and I'm probably getting too far ahead by even thinking about it.

I've been busy since Sunday working on my assignments that came out of last week's meeting. Burning the midnight oil does not come naturally to me, I am a morning person. So sending in my work to be reviewed this morning gave me a sense of relief for two reasons. I got the work done, and I can go to bed early tonight.

My son is upstairs right now having quiet time. His afternoon nap kind of fell by the wayside over the past couple of months. But now and then he still needs it. I was inspired to call this new exercise quiet time after reading Sara's blog. Giving a new name to an old practice did the trick in terms of getting him interested. Thank goodness for that! We have about an hour before we make our way to kindergarten for afternoon pick up. Maybe I'll partake in quiet time, too.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

home again

This isn't my laundry room; it's one I found while browsing online. It is cute, though, isn't it? I do love painted floors. And those little shutters on the window there...very cute. Such a neat and tidy laundry area! Just looking at it makes me feel more inspired to tackle the growing mound of laundry waiting for me in the hamper upstairs. Then again, I think I can wait a bit longer on that.

My overnight trip was great. There & back, quick as can be, just as planned. And I did return home with more work to do, so I'm pleased. The funny thing about freelance work is, it could all disappear tomorrow. The client could pull the project, the funding would disappear, I'd go back to being just me instead of the me who moonlights as a career girl. But that's Ok. The trip was good, and that's all I need to think about right now.

Tonight's post will conclude my listing of lows and highs of the day. With a new week starting, I should think about something else to do. I've liked having a theme, so I'll give it some thought over the weekend. In the meantime, these lists are lows and highs from today as well as yesterday:

-actually, I can't think of any

-yesterday's heels were a hit
-the work was interesting
-quality sleep
-traveling safe
-happy reunions at school and home
-pizza on the porch, all 4 of us together tonight

* * *
Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

trip tomorrow

I have a business trip tomorrow, and I'm really excited about it.

My freelance work doesn't get the respect it deserves. From me, that is. I never really seek it out, I always wait for it to come along and find me. And when it does, I'm delighted! So, why don't I try harder to make it a real, on-going (as in all the time) thing? I could get business cards printed up. I could stop relying on my reputation alone to elicit new jobs. I could go out and hustle up new business with phone calls and visits and follow up emails. Well...all in good time. I keep saying I'm going to do it, and who knows, one day I just might.

In the meantime, the work has been very good lately, and I have an overnight trip tomorrow to visit a client that I used to work for back when I was a full-timer. And I am traveling with people who I used to work with. One of the guys was my boss a really long time ago. So it's a reunion of sorts.

We have a big meeting in the morning and afternoon, then dinner out tomorrow night. Then back on Friday before anyone is home from school. And I will hopefully be returning with more work to do. Neat and tidy, eh? You can see why I'm excited.

Anyway, since I won't be blogging tomorrow, I'm going to do a very good list tonight of my lows and highs of the day.

-not sleeping well
-not at all, actually. hmph.
-feeling grumpy because of it
-running out of ideas for dinner (help?)
-realizing that I have a sunburn ring around my neck from yesterday's t-shirt
-feelings of anxiousness over situations beyond my control
-worst of all, remembering this later than I would have liked

-$39.99 + an additional 25% off in store
- last year's sandals made their 2008 debut
- a new blouse and heels to wear tomorrow (heels! what am I thinking)
- best of all, homedaisy is free next week when I'll be visiting Charlotte

* * *
I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday night and a great Thursday.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

cubs home opener

No, not those cubs. My cubs! My husband put up the trampoline again last week, and it's made a world of difference around here, getting the cubs outside for some serious exercise. They are laughing and playing (and tackling) without realizing how tired they're getting or how much fresh air they're taking in. I love it! And it makes me so happy to see them outside at last. Today was a real treat - even warm enough to go barefoot. happy day!

I enjoyed my lists from yesterday so much that I'm continuing it again tonight. Maybe if I'm really good I can do this all week. All day long I've been making mental checklists of what I'd include for highs and lows of the day. It's a good way to take stock of things and appreciate the small gifts.

So anyway...drumroll...here's my lists for today:


- Baby Katie is home

- my new blog design, thanks to The Shabbee Chick!

- even more sun and more warmth (see pix above)

- walking downtown with my son

- eating our packed lunch on a bench, watching construction machines

- visiting the library

- walking to kindergarten to pick up big bro

- the three of us walking home together

- stopping to watch trains in the open field

- trampoline action for the cubs (and me)

- dinner on the porch (for only the second time this year)


Getting a tad sentimental during the walk home, thinking of how nice our life is here, how we're able to walk everywhere (school, shops, library, restaurants, train), my husband works 5 minutes away, our friends are all over our neighborhood, we love our Little Cottage. We will be sad to say goodbye...

Gee, maybe I should flip the highs and lows list? What a bummer to end on a low note! Wait, I know. I'll add a P.S.

P.S. Last night we all slept great, and I'm thinking tonight we all will again. Fresh air and all...
have a great night! xo

Monday, April 14, 2008

highs and lows

Doing well over here in the Little Cottage today, despite it being Monday and blah blah start of the week. Actually, I never really have a problem with Monday itself, it's just the responsibility that comes with it. Anyway, in my attempt to be a more consistent blogger, I'm gathering together a list of good and bad for today. So let's review...

today's highs
- Baby Mimi is home
- sunny skies and warm temps: spring is here!
- a quick jog outside
- clean car: vaccum inside, wash outside
- (even better?) car wash costs a mere $3 and vaccum is free
- somehow avoiding eating my new favorite cereal, Cookie Crisp, for breakfast
- playing play dough with my son and making him laugh
- paying the bills (job done)
- changing the sheets, cleaning the sheets & putting the sheets away
- a call from a potential new employer for freelance work
- 2 calls from 2 special friends

today's lows
- garage door repairman visit (don't ask)
- forgetting that last little thing on my grocery list so I gotta go back out later
- eating too much candy from last night's gift bag at work
- one of my sons flushed his sock down the toilet
- it's 6:30 and I am just about to take a shower

I hope you had a great start to your week!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

what I learned

Logical thinking aside, I'm still on the lookout for a new house when we move to our new city. My realtor there is fueling the fire, because she has me on an automatic update alert so I can view new properties as they come on the market. That's what I've asked her to do...and it really is fun being in the buyer position (or at least, the fantasy buyer position.)

I've given some thought to how things went when we were touring around last week, looking at neighborhoods, considering suburbs, looking at houses. And what I've learned is that I am who I am, there is no changing me. Better to realize that now than to keep going on a wild goose chase.

What I like in a house: old, charming, character. Mature trees. Pretty streets with houses that are just as pretty as the one I'm in. Newer homes on newer streets just don't hold the same appeal to me, much as I love the space in the new kitchens & baths, and especially new closets and mud rooms.

When I think about it, it makes perfect sense that I like what I do. When I was growing up, my parents kept us in the same city but moved us around a bit. Every house was old, or older. One was downright ancient (built in 1817.)

My grandparents lived in the same city and both sets lived in older homes. My dad's parents lived in a home that was a cavernous maze of bedrooms upstairs. The downstairs was just as unique, as was the property it sat on.

When my husband and I got married, we looked for an apartment in Chicago that we could call our own. We found the perfect one in the middle of Lakeview. It was old: transom windows above the doors, a little wood-burning stove, magnificent old windows, 12-foot ceilings. It was drafty and the wood floors were slightly slanted, but I loved it. After we moved out it was razed for new construction, and though we've been down the street since, I couldn't even tell you what the new place looks like, except to say that it looks just like the new one next to it.

Something else I've learned about myself when it comes to finding our next home is that I can't compromise. It's just not enough for me to like it. I must love it. My house is too much of a source of pride for me, too integral a part of myself. It's an expression of me. I have be in love with that expression. It was the same for the city apartment and the Little Cottage here. Both I have loved. Both I will remember and cherish the time I spent in them for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

how was your day, dear?

I don't know about you, but I spent a lot of money yesterday. Is that tacky to say? Sorry, but there's no other way to describe it. Fortunately, I didn't buy anything of the frivolous variety. No sirree. No UPS truck deliveries to feel guilty about, or stuffed shopping bags to tote upstairs. Nope. I was thinking in a much more, ahem, practical way (this is just how I felt when we bought our new furnace, air conditioner, and water heater in December '06.)

First thing yesterday morning we had a visit from U.S. Waterproofing. Time for a sump pump to be installed in the basement of the Little Cottage! This is about the best picture I could manage of that exercise. I will say this much: the crew was quick, clean, and courteous. They were here about 4 hours.

Next up, dishwasher repair. This is actually visit #2 of the same dishwasher repair project. It seems that our heater/dryer inside died last month. So we had a new part ordered during visit #1, and yesterday was installation day (visit #2.)

Ka-ching, Ka-ching, Ka-ching!

Now, let's look at the silver lining:

April showers bring May flowers.

How very true. Good thing we'll be prepared for this year's April activity with our new sump pump to pump out any extra showers that are tempted to fill up our window wells. Why, just looking at the forecast for later tonight/tomorrow - we could be drenched. But our basement will be dry.

A dry plate saves time. Another truism! I will enjoy emptying the dishwasher again and not having to pause to wipe off water droplets on our plates, dishes, and silverware. That will surely save us extra minutes in the morning, when we're all playing Beat the Clock.

All in all, these are good things to have happen. Especially on a Monday, wouldn't you say?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

major development

We are home again. And wow, what a week! Based on the posts I was writing last week, you may have expected to drop by today and see something written about a contingency offer, or moving dates, or some other silly nonsense like that (maybe not so silly, but still.)

Well, I'll tell you. All last week we thought and we thought and we thought some more. About our move, and where to live, and selling our house, and buying another one (maybe even buying that one.) And somewhere toward the end of the week something just wasn't clicking with us. No, not about the house, more about the overall situation of moving, and what is required for us to move successfully. We had to back up a bit and take a closer look at the facts we had in front of us.

The thing is, right now there is no certainty in this whole plan, except that our son will be starting school in the fall ('08). As I mentioned before, the job situation is up in the air. Our house (present location) situation is up in the air (not on market.) So, why try to put the cart before the horse?

The conclusion we've made is, let's get the horse back before the cart. Yes, school begins in 5 months. That gives us 5 months to firm up everything (job) first. The house(s) will follow. Until the job is set, we can't sell ours and we can't buy another. And yes, this may seem a bit obvious now, but there are a lot of details about a potential job change that I'm not sharing. So it's fair to say that we could have pursued what we were thinking about last week in terms of selling right away.

In the meantime, that house I like so much has been on the market for about 5 months already. What are the chances that it will stick around another 5 months (or longer) for me? Hmmm. Don't answer that.

Well, I may have to let this one go, and that's ok. I will remember it, and all the pictures we took of it fondly. For instance, the picture above is a shot of the doorbell, located above one of the doorways in the kitchen. A-door-able. Of course, in my mind I had already moved in before we actually heard it, and when my husband rang it for me I just about fell over. Talk about old fashioned! Just icing on the cake.

Friday, April 04, 2008

SoBo Style

A new friend that I've met through my blog directed me towards this store. It was such a great recommendation that I'm passing it on. There are all sorts of cottagey treasures to be found here.

By the way, are you familiar with Amy Butler fabric, used on the bench pictured above? I wasn't before seeing it. I love it!

Cottage lovers, check it out! You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

guilty pleasure

Here watching Center Stage. Have you seen this movie? I always seem to catch it when I turn on Oxygen. It is, oh let's see - sappy, a little goofy, cheesy, not great acting - but I admit it, I am a sucker every time. I saw this years ago in the theater - yes, the theater. It was the $1 theater, but still. It's fascinating to watch professional dancers, and kind of fun to think you're getting the back story on what it would be like to live in their world. If you have a little girl - maybe a young preteen, I think she would love it. It's innocent.

And, how about the last dance, the performance by Jody & co. - dancing to the Michael Jackson song? That's entertainment, baby!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Hi, still looking over here in the new city. This house is one I've seen online only but am hoping to get my feet into within the next few days. Intriguing, no?

What a web of choices we are facing over here, in terms of this suburb over that suburb, & this community over that community, & commuting, & jobs, & access to amenities. Oh, and we can't even buy a house until we sell ours, so why are we going through the torture now? Everything on the market here could change by then. Still, asking a lot of questions this week - given the homes that are available right now - is helping us sort through what's important and what's not.

I still love option #1 from Sunday (if you were sitting here with me I'd tell you about potential furniture placement.) And I will keep you posted on what happens with that one, as well as all the others as we journey along in our decision. I sure hope you've got a comfortable chair to settle into. This is going to be a long show!