Friday, January 30, 2009

Maurice Sendak's Nutshell Library

This little box set is one of my prized posessions. As you can tell, each of these books has been read many times. Maurice Sendak's illustrations are wonderful, and the tales are captivating. 

In 1975, Carol King put these stories to music on the Really Rosie album. As a kid, I fell in love with the musical and written versions. Yeah, I pretty much know the words by heart.

My favorite is Pierre. "Read his story, my friend, for you'll find / At the end that a suitable / Moral lies there."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Night At The Garden

Last night we went to see the Celtics at the Garden with some friends.

It was a pretty bad day, weather-wise. As we were leaving our apartment, we opened the door to a downpour. We went back in so I could get my umbrella and The Schwarz could get a rain coat. This time we made it out the door, but I took one step and almost fell because it was so icy. We started to walk, but ended up just sliding down the driveway. We eventually made it to the train (without falling!), but it took us about 25 minutes to walk, slip, and skate the 2 blocks to our stop. Oh, and since it was raining, we had to navigate through ankle-deep puddles as well. We were drenched and I felt like I had about 2 cups of water in each shoe when we finally got on the train. 

When we arrived at the Garden the Celtics were losing, but that didn't last long. They went on to win 119-100 in their 9th straight victory. Eddie House was the star of the night; he got 8 out of 9 3 pointers. It was pretty cool.

JumboTron camera guy spent a lot of time in our section, and the stupid drunk behind me spilled his beer all over my head (and my neck, shoulder, arm, and leg) trying to get on camera. After that, I was wet from head to toe. Good grief. As my hair dried, it got all stiff. And my face and neck were sticky. My scarf stinks. Yuck. Oh well, it happens. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Calendar Girl

Today I received something very special in the mail. This calendar is a gift from one of my very best friends, Kristen! She created it using snapfish, and it's completely personalized. Each month has different photos and she even put pictures of important people on the dates of their birthdays. Cool, huh? It's actually my holiday gift, but it took a long time to get to her (she's in Japan), and then it took more time to get to me. I don't care if it's late or on time, because it's wonderful and fun. I took a picture of March because: 
  1. there's a photo of The Schwarz and me at Kristen's wedding 
  2. because you can see 3 dates with photos (her wedding anniversary, her husband's birthday, and my birthday)
  3. the background is orange - my favorite color!
I think it says something about me that both of my best friends gave me calendars for Christmas/Hanukah. A few weeks ago I posted about the one Sara gave me. Truth be told, I also got one from my mom, because she gives me a Marilyn Monroe calendar every year and it's always one of my favorite gifts. 

Psst. I also have a 4th calendar that I printed using a Word template. Then there's the page-a-day calendar The Schwarz got for Christmas. And I have a one page 2008 Berkshire Books calendar still hanging in the kitchen simply because it's so beautiful. Plus I use Google calendar. So how many is that? 7? At this point, is it an obsession or a collection? 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Journal

I started keeping a personal journal at UMass, because it was a requirement for my college writing class. Once I got into the habit, it wasn't so hard to write on a daily basis. In fact, I sometimes found myself writing many times a day. My second semester freshman year wasn't easy, and my journal became a very important part of my life. 

Lately (by lately, I mean the past year and a half!), I've been really bad about updating my journal. I tend to pick a day and do a massive update, but I don't write much; I glue in business cards from restuarants, cards people send to me, stickers, news articles, and little things I've collected since the last update. It's sort of like a scrapbook I guess. 

I think I stopped writing because I was just complaining about work (ugh) all of the time, instead of documenting what was happening in my life. Maybe now I'll start up again. We'll see. Even if I don't write frequently, I still use my journal to keep track of the things I do. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Think We Can Swim Across?

Today I decided to play around with Aperture Priority mode on my camera. After explaining how to adjust the aperture to little miss spy's Dad, I thought that I should experiment with it myself. Little miss spy's Mom gave me these knights in shining armor, because I worked with arms and armor at The Wallace Collection during my semester abroad. Using my extensive knowledge of staging (I got an "A" in Theater 100 at UMass), I've created a dynamic scene of two soldiers arguing, while their comrades look on. By changing the aperture, I threw the background out of focus, isolated the arguing pair, and thus heightened the already immense tension of the scene.

The soldiers, of course, would be a lot more intimidating if they were bigger than a bottle cap.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Two Gifts: One Picture

For my birthday little miss spy gave me this nice reading lamp.  I didn't have one before, but from now on I will be able to read with an appropriate level of light.  I'm currently reading Lincoln On Leadership, which is a quick read and a Christmas present from my mom.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Crate & Barrel Water Bottle

I have been coveting these water bottles since I saw them in the Crate & Barrel catalog about 3 weeks ago. They're glass, but they look like all those plastic one-time-use bottles. So, they're the perfect size, and I can use them again and again. Cute, huh?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Birthday To You

Summer 2005 (one of my favorite photos)

Winter 2007

23 January 2009

Gift for The Schwarz & the card I made for him

Today is The Schwarz's birthday! He's 26. We're going out with a few friends tonight to celebrate.  

I spent this morning making that card for him. And now I'm busy cleaning so he can come home to a super clean apartment. Since I couldn't splurge on a gift this year (unemployed, remember?), I figure a soothing atmosphere is still pretty good. So I'm dusting and sorting through the piles of paper that tend to build up during the week. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I have an awful headache, and aspirin isn't helping. Even so, I'm working on a project. I've be focusing (and snacking on and off) all afternoon. It's slow going; I have now idea what I'm doing. If it turns out well, I'll post the results. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hearts In Snow

When my dad got a new screen door at work, my mom took the old one apart. She used a piece of it to make this beautiful little fence that is now in the garden. You don't really see screen doors like that anymore. I guess they've gone out of style. 

It looks pretty in the snow, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Inauguration Of Barack Obama

Inauguration Day Schedule

Inauguration Day: January 20, 2009

Here I am watching Obama's speech

Today we have a new President, Barack Obama. He was sworn in at 12:05 PM (5 minutes late), just eight minutes after Joe Biden became our new VP. I watched CBS news coverage all morning, and I had the CNN live feed on my laptop from 10:30 - 1:00.

Barack Obama is our 44th President. In case you're living under a rock, today is special because we've just inaugurated our very first African American as the leader of the United States. Obama's campaign was one of hope. He managed to engage a younger generation in politics, and wasn't afraid to use new technologies to do so. His slogan was (still is?) "Yes We Can." He was right.

Today, President Obama's speech urged the American people to be personally responsible. He was also very clear that, while he's hopeful for the future, our country is facing many obstacles and there will be no overnight miracles:

"Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many.

They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."
Full speech at ABC News >>

Hey everybody, it's a new day!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Trying Something New

Well this is a first. I bought anchovies! Can you believe it? I wanted to try this new recipe I found in a Martha Stewart magazine, and it called for one can of these ugly little fish. It's still in the oven, so I'm hoping it's as delicious as it looked in the magazine. There were only two brands to choose from, so I grabbed these because they're flat (as opposed to rolled). 

It's funny because The Schwarz and I were just talking about anchovies yesterday. I was telling him that I'd never tried them, but that I wanted to buy some because the cans are so interesting. He's had them, because his cousin used to eat them right out of the can when she was little (I don't know if she's still a fan, I'll have to ask her). 

More importantly, happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. His birthday was the 15th, but he is honored on the third Monday in January. He would have been 80 this year. I hope you took some time today to reflect on the positive impact he had on our country. You can read a short biography of MLK on the Nobel Prize website.

"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent." 
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Driving Back To Boston

The Schwarz and I were in North Adams for the weekend, because we went to Viola's opening in Bennington, VT on Friday night. The exhibit was really very moving. You can see some of the pieces here.  

For the rest of the weekend, we lounged around, went on some errands, and spent time with my family. Usually, we leave my parents' house between noon and one o'clock for the drive back to Boston, but today we left closer to four. The sun was almost down when we got to Greenfield, so it was dark for two thirds of our drive. I love taking photos out of the car window, and the lights and snow were so pretty tonight. I wasn't able to capture the fresh powder in the dark, but I did get these cool shots. I just let the camera and the movement of the car do all of the work. 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Breast Cancer Playing Cards

These playing cards were designed by my good friend, Viola Moriarty. This evening I'm going to the opening of her new exhibit, Ex-Voto Suscepto, at the SVHC Cancer Center in Bennington, VT. With this multi media exhibit, Viola chonicles two years of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. 

The breast cancer playing cards are $10/pack. All proceeds go to direct breast cancer education, treatment and support of patients through the To Life! organization. 

To purchase, please call To Life! at 518-439-5975. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rainbow Maker's Gears

Here you can see the inner-workings of my solar powered rainbow maker. It's so distressingly cold outside, that I thought some bright colors might warm us up a little. 

Normally, I'm all for the winter (I can hear you groaning). I'm a skier, okay? I love snow. But this - well this is just terrible. It's very, very cold. Freezing, actually! I heard several different forecasters say that we're in for the coldest weather in years! YEARS! Holy cow. Brrrr. 

Just think about rainbows (or at least somewhere over them). And if you're in North Adams, go to Tangiers* and warm up! 

*While you're getting toasty warm, you can also pick up your very own rainbow maker.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fizzy Water

I really like seltzer (but I prefer to call it fizzy water). Is that old fashioned? I think it's good plain, but I love to put it in my orange juice and make a little spritzer-type drink. I especially like adding a lemon or lime flavored seltzer to my juice - that just gives it an extra little kick. 

I bought this particular drink because it came in this cute bottle. Packaging is everything, people. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2009 Desk Calendar By JHill Design

Sara gave me this beautiful desk calandar from JHill Design. It's part of JHill's Places I Have Never Been collection. You should definitely check out the website, because they have some really great designs. You can see my absolute favorites here and here (hint hint). JHill Design is based in Jamaica Plain, MA.

I love my little calendar, but I'm slightly shocked that we're already so far into January! Do you know what happens one week from today?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jeans That Fit

I discovered Ann Taylor Petites in 2006, and I've been hooked ever since. Many of the clothes are for more mature women, but I've often had success. Today I went shopping for a pair of replacement jeans, and I found these on clearance.   

It's a wonderful day when a girl can find clothes that fit. Seriously. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Walk In Peace

My Aunt Claire gave me this beautiful, silk pillow cover a few years ago. In the upper left, it says milagro, which is the Spanish word for miracle. There are 4 milargos (the little legs) attached to my pillow cover with red ribbon, and in the bottom right, it says walk in peace.

"Milagros are small metal religious charms found in many areas of Latin America, especially Mexico and Peru.  The word “Milagro” means “miracle”.  They are also used in Europe, where they are often referred to as Exvotos (Offerings).  These small charms, often depicting arms, legs, praying people, farm animals and a wide range of other subjects are typically nailed or pinned to crosses or wooden statues of various saints like the Virgin Mary or Christ, sacred objects, pinned on the clothing of saint statues, or hung with little red ribbons or threads from altars and shrines.  They are also carried for protection and good luck.  Ranging in size from less than 1/2 inch to several inches, they are as unique as the cultures that produce them."  
Zanzibar Trading Co. 

The pillow cover is also vibrant and has a detailed design. It's really very stunning and special; I'm flattered that Claire thought of me. 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

$$$Max Money$$$

I've been so busy that I'm still unpacking my bags from when I was home for the holidays. It's fun though, because I'm re-discovering my gifts! My brother (age 14) was trying to think of what he could give us that we would all like. He concluded that everybody wants money, so we all got $400 in $$$Max money$$$. Hahaha. Excellent present. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Adorable USB Flash Drive

Yesterday my friend, James, gave me this completely adorable USB flash drive as a holiday/good-bye gift. First of all, isn't that just the sweetest thing? He even put that cute little bow on top! Aww, I'm going to miss working with him. 

Anyway, the flash drive is by MIMOBOT, a company that apparently specializes in designer flash drives. This one is called Gigglebyte, and it's part of the core series. They also have a bunch that are Star Wars inspired, which is hilarious. 

Monday, January 5, 2009


I used to see this flag blowing in the wind every morning as I walked into work. Now that I've been laid off, I won't be seeing it anymore. My life will be different.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Magnetic Poetry

Magnets are like accessories for refrigerators. They give the appliance (and your kitchen) a little pizzazz. I like magnetic poetry sets because they invite imaginative interaction.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hand Soap

I think this hand soap is a great gift. You can pick it up at Tangiers, in North Adams. Mermaid Avenue products are homemade and completely natural. 

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Eve Day Snowstorm

The Schwarz's brother, who is home from San Francisco for the holidays, was very helpful during the New Year's Eve Day snowstorm. He took it upon himself to shovel the walkway. As you can see, the snow was up to the top of his boots, yet he still chose to do this activity in shorts.


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