Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Quote:
"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant;
if we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome."
~ Anne Bradstreet

Random Things That Make Me Smile~Katie and Sarah. Check out their blogs.~

I love getting real mail.... so I send out real mail once in a while in the hopes that a treat will come for me someday. Last week, it DID! Here is the cheerful package sent by my lovely friend, Sarah...
{package from Sarah! Happy happy treat...}

{inside: cool stripe-y socks and some really fun blank cards in vintage-y prints. Encouraging the mail cycle to continue, right??}

Other things I love:

{a recent picture of Joe....handsome and smelling like the cologne I love... we were headed to a dance}

{Joe took one of me...I love when he is patient enough to endure my, "Close, but take it again--this time zoom in a bit more..." "That one is okay... just one more, 'k?" "Okay... one more for real this time. Promise!!"}
{Joe's baby bro Peter is home from his mission in the Dominican Republic! Crazy how time flies. Crazy how much they look alike to me now. Joe's parents are in town from Korea, too, so it's been a lot of Southerland fun!}

{A photo of two of our favorite Masons. Carl is on the left, Bill is on the right. Carl is extroverted, chatty, and makes us laugh. Bill is soft-spoken, gentle, and really sincere. We love them both!}

{Two of the 20 homemade dish towels I made for Christmas this year... My favorite part was picking out fabric and trim that would combine for a vintage feel. Sewing was alright, too. }

{In mid-December, my family went to historic St. Charles, near St. Louis, to do some fun shopping. Even the rain didn't dampen our intentions. A local news photographer liked our colorful umbrellas and put us in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the next day! Cool!}

{All the way back in September, Joe and I went to Branson, Missouri for our anniversary. The only souveneir i wanted was a historic photo...Because they always look like fun, and branson is kinda a hick town anyway.Besides, Joe and I had both just finished reading a great nonfiction Civil War book, Confederates in the Attic, so the costume choices were a natural result.}

{Did anyone else LIVE for the times Carlton did this during Fresh Prince of Bel Air? 'Cause I did. I STILL love this. It was perfectly bittersweetly wonderful when he did it one last time on their last episode ever. Enjoy!}

(It is fully due to my broheim Steven that this Carlton clip has entered my universe. Please visit his infrequently updated, but funny and intelligently written blog: )

Retro Vintage Antique Love...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I had the BEST day this past Wednesday. A day to remember:

...My sister beckie and her roommate/"bessie" Kyle came to St. Louis on Tuesday and Wednesday. Their plan? No plan at all... just no working, lots of SHOPPING, and hanging out away from home. After a LATE late night talking, laughing, psycho-analyzing, and reflecting together, we three hung out Wednesday and continued the fun.
First stop? Antiques Row on Cherokee, in downtown St. Louis. This few blocks are jam-PACKED with antique stores, vintage clothing shops, and other quirky little places. We enjoyed the 60-degree day and strolled between stores, taking photos and looking for treasures.
{the "bessies" goof off... Bessie= short for 'best friend'}

{my sis and I take a pause outside another antique shop}

The best store, by FAR, was Ruth's Vintage Clothing, 2003 Cherokee Street, (314) 865-1091. Here, we found AMAZING stuff at really reasonable prices. I got a fur-trimmed winter coat from the 50's, something i've been on the lookout for over a year.... Twenty bucks!! I also found these:
this is a real 1950's pattern... I love the look, the classy mom-thing. Funny note: This is a size 14.5 back then, but I'm a 14, and this would have never fit. Sadly, the measurements that WOULD have fit back then would put me at a 20! YIKES!!! I guess I'm glad the sizes have changed over the last 50 years. I feel chubby enough as it is!
This is a swatch of vintage fabric samples I got for $5. They were printed right in St. Louis, and each fabric style used to sell for 43 cents a yard. Wow!

Even the receipt is done the old-fashioned way. I LOVED this store. Beckie and Kyle each found cool things at Ruth's, too, so we were pleased with our jaunt.

Above, my new red purse that I love. Got it at Wal-Mart, of all places, for $12! Beckie is the proud owner of the coral bag... She found it at Urban Outfitters the day before and fell in love. It reminds me of 1970's old lady lipstick.

Next stop was The Loop, near my old apartment in St. Louis. This area is a strip of restaurants, boutiques, shops, and other cool places, all with a fun, vintage, college kid, artist feel. We made our way to Rag-O-Rama, a resale shop, and browsed their clothes, shoes and accessories.

Beckie found some great stuff here.... Including the red hat, which I made her buy.

I was a good girl and only bought this scarf. I'm really liking navy and red right now. Might be a summer look for me. This will go tied in my hair. Yay!

After Rag-O-Rama, we strolled along the Walk of Fame stars on The Loop, representing famous St. Louisians (Tina was? Really??) on our way to lunch. Aren't Beckie's shoes GREAT?
We ate at Fitz's, a burger joint that bottles their own soda. It was PERFECT for our sunny, carefree day. (Try their cream soda. It is unlike any cream soda I have ever had and it has become a craving of mine since moving here.)

As we walked back to our car after lunch, Kyle saw this graffiti "poet" sign. Since he is working on applying for his Masters in Poetry, it was a perfect photo op.

I LOVE hanging out with these two. THey make me laugh, we have intelligent conversation one minute but can be complete kids the next minute.... And I feel appreciated and able to be one of my more favorite versions of myself with them. They are working on trying to move to St. Louis for real, both for their respective graduate schools. That would be AWESOME.

And for the rest of you out there... If this doesn't make you wanna come out here to the 'Lou and visit me, nothing will. Let's go shopping. I don't even care if you bring a kid or two, just come see me. I have so many favorite places here I'd love to share.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Aren't these file cards SO cool? Make one HERE, then save it and post one on YOUR blog.

Do I really Have to Go To School Tomorrow?

Monday, February 19, 2007

It's been a long, good weekend.

Friday was a half-day at school, so it felt easy. That afternoon, joe and Kate S. and I went to see Music and Lyrics (good-- made me laugh out loud) at the theater. In the evening, my sister Elise came in from Indiana to hang out for a couple of days. We stayed up talking, Joe went to work. Saturday, Elise went to the temple, met up with my parents, who came to town for the day, and they all came back to spend the afternoon.

Dad, Mom, Elise and I went to Macaroni Grill for lunch... yum... (glad i don't work there anymore!!) And then we went to ABC jewelry. It was Mom's first time. She was AWED. Amazingly, she even bought herself a few things!!

We went back home, hung out with Joe (who had been sleeping off his night shift) for a little while, then said farewell to Mom and Dad.

Joe, Elise and I watched Taledega Nights on DVD (pretty funny...), then Joe headed off to work again. Elise and I went on a midnight jaunt to Wal-Mart, then back home to watch Mission Impossible on DVD. Late, late in the night, we went to bed.

Sunday was church, Primary with the little kids, and driving the missionaries home afterwards. Joe went to sleep right after, Elise and I had lunch, rested, then she headed back to Indiana.
After Joe's nap, he and I went to visit with his mom and dad and sister, and enjoy a chili dinner at their house.

Today was all about sleeping in, breakfast at Denny's, wandering the aisles of Target for fun, and then a relaxing afternoon of lounging, watching The Guardian on DVD, and napping.
Now, Joe is BACK at work, and I am sitting, trying not to turn on the TV for company, sifting through blogs and other random websites.... feeling melancholy at the end of a relaxing weekend. Missing Joe, not wanting to go to school. Wanting Spring to be here.

Not sure what else would make me feel better.

Double-stuff oreos, maybe.

A massage?


That's all.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

100 Things.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Snow Days!!
One of the best things about being a teacher is the SNOW DAYS! Seriously.

{joe made amazing soup and sandwiches for yesterday's snow day! I love comfort food.}

So since I have time, I'll do this:

Okay, okay... I have seen these lists for weeks now, turning up on blogs I admire. They look EXHAUSTING. But I'll give it a go. But only 'cause Kate did one, and I love hers, and I wanna be just like her in so so many ways. (Miss you too, lady.)

100 Things About Me
1. I am blessed in so many ways. Family, friends, interests, health... I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's.
2. My favorite animal is a humpback whale. Has been since I was 10. They sing!
3. I am always looking for a movie that will make me cry. And cry. And cry.
4. I don't have dimples, but my mom has really charming ones.
5. I haven't changed my toenail polish since November. That is BAD, for me. Lazy.
6. The reason I shave my legs EVERY shower is because of the three years I worked at Galaxy Diner, where the uniform was shorts. I wouldn't have been caught dead with furry legs then, and the habit has stuck. Lucky Joe.
7. I used to make-believe I was the lead singer in a pop group. I could have acted this fantasy out for HOURS as a kid.
8. I have been craving spring-colored Double-stuff Oreos for a WEEK now, but I am trying to stay away. Because I can eat 2/3rds of a package in one sitting.
9. I have five sisters and one brother. All of them are completely unique, and totally neat, intelligent, quirky people.
10. I live in a Freemason Lodge with my husband. We have the whole building to ourselves 90% of the time. Just not when the Masons come over.
11. My favorite city in the United States is San Francisco.
12. I just finished the Book of Helaman in the Book of Mormon. Good book.
13. I am teaching The Great Gatsby to my high school juniors. I love the way Fitzgerald describes things.
14. I still haven't put my wedding photos in an album. I guess I just want them to be PERFECT. So I put it off. *Sigh*
15. My favorite season is Autumn, especially in Missouri.
16. I actually have a growing savings account for the first time in my life.
17. My dad is a law librarian at Mizzou, my mom is a cello/piano/orchestra teacher.
18. My favorite cologne for Joe is Chrome.
19. I love frosting. LOVE it. especially with sugar crystals on it. But not those teeny ball sprinkles. They just annoy me.
20. The most recent CD I bought is the Carrie Underwood CD. It's really good, which kinda surprised me.
21. My iPod is one of my favorite possessions. It is like instant mood music, a pick-me-up, a motivator, a portable karaoke machine... Mine is a black nano, with a pink flexible cover.
22. I think my eyes are my best feature.
23. If I could have any new car today, I think I'd go for a VW bug convertible. I love that they have a bud vase in the dashboard. I'd want a custom color, though, and whitewall tires.
24. Joe lets me drag him to art festivals and fairs, which I never get enough of, even when I can't afford any of it. Here, some of the amazing artists I've seen and wished I could buy art from:
a. Lynn Whipple b. Chris Roberts-Antieau c. Les Slesnick
25. I love learning new things, as long as I don't have to reveal my inexperience too publicly. SO I like to practice in private. (Music, photography, art skills, anything physical like dance or exercise, etc.)
26. My favorite song as a kid, for many years, was Chicago's "You're the Inspiration".
27. When fall rolls around, I love all of the pumpkin flavored treats that come out-- pumpkin hot chocolate, pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin seeds. Yum-kin!
28. I love going to Chevy's, but only for the chips and salsa. The food is fine, but I only really crave the chips and salsa.
29. My fleece p.j. pants from Old Navy have been my favorite item of clothing since thanksgiving. So cozy!
30. Joe and I would love to own a mountain cabin someday... as a vacation home.
31. I used to love skiing, but it has been so long, I bet I'd hate it for a while until I got the hang of it again. Still, I'd LOVE to go again someday.
32. My mom used to make all of my sisters and I matching Easter dresses. We'd get new white shoes, and all dress up to match. So cute.
33. My favorite beverages are: Mountain Dew, McDonald's Orange, Cherry Limeade, Orangina.
34. I love comments on my blog posts. It actually makes me sad when there are none. Man, I'm needy.
35. I LOVE new shoes, but have never spent more than $25 on any pair. Still, I manage to find really cute ones.
38. I love giving and receiving real mail. Especially little cute cards and postcards.
39. My high school mascot is a Kewpie. Don't know what it is? You're not alone. Click here: Kewpie. Cool, huh?? :)
40. I love to go to thrift stores. I usually visit the book section to get old classics for my classroom, I visit the jewelry racks, the housewares, and sometimes go to the clothes sections, if it's a good store. I don't even have to buy much stuff... I just like the thrill of the hunt.
41. My bedroom is usually the last room I get around to cleaning in my house.
42. I like the idea of using literary names for my future children's middle names.
43. If I had $100 free dollars, I'd probably spend it on art supplies.
44. I want to live on some farmland, in a cozy farmhouse someday.
45. I have gone bungee jumping twice in my life. Terrifying.
46. I play the banjo. But I don't practice as much as I should.
47. I like my steak medium-rare.
48. If I could, I'd get a regular group of friends together to play board games a few times a month. I LOVE games.
49. I have recently become allergic to pets. SAD!
50. I love order and organization, but am not always so good at maintaining it.
51. I love the students I teach-- teenagers are so HILARIOUS. and deeper than they let on.
52. I love adolescent fiction books. They are usually so satisfying.
53. I used to read the Sweet Valley High books, Fear Street, Sunfire Historical Romances, Christopher Pike, Cheerleaders, Girls of Canby Hall, etc. etc. series as a teenager. Not the highest quality fiction, but I'd devour them like candy... fast and fun.
54. I LOVE going to movies in the theater. I can enjoy almost ANY movie.
55. I learned how to bind books at BYU. Making books is very precise, but satisfying.
56. I wish I had my own art studio workspace. Joe wants one for me, too, so odds are good that there is one in my future.
57. Singing Beethoven's 9th, Ode to Joy, with the St. Louis Symphony, has been one of the highlights of my life. (clip is only part, not my symphony, but still SO GOOD. Love the 1977 hairstyles.) Imagine, ME. Up there, singing with an orchestra that good. Words cannot describe.
58. Okay. I can't stop with the Ode to Joy. Here's the most famous part: Freude! And yes, the men look hilarious, the clip is almost 8 minutes long, and no one else reading this cares, but I LOVE THIS. So I'm putting it on here.
59. When people give me books as gifts, I really like it when they write a little note on the inside... Or at least "To:___, From:____"
60. My favorite pasta is linguine with red clam sauce. Weird, I know, but SO good.
61. I love marker sets. The more colors, the better.
62. My journal comes with me on trips, to church, to meetings... so I can draw, doodle, write and plan things during the down times.
63. My favorite candy is chocolate, by far. I love M&Ms, kit-kats, snickers, whatchamacallits...
64. My favorite colors are orange, red, green and turquoise. Wait! Those match my drink colors!
65. I LOVE naps. A study just came out saying they are proven to reduce risk of heart problems. I knew there was a good excuse!
66. The TV shows I love are: The Office, Scrubs, Deal or No Deal, American Idol, and Extreme Home Makeover. I don't however, watch all of them every week. It's just not a priority.
67. One of the worst dreams I ever had was when I got shot in a back alley behind our lodge. Joe was there and as I was dying, I knew he would be so so devastated. It was AWFUL.
68. I wish I was a gypsy, a bohemian, or something else exotic.
69. I love how I look in high heels, but hate how they feel. Teaching all day has taught me this.
70. I don't really like to mingle at large parties.
71. I wish I could pierce my nose and get one of those teeny tiny silver dots put in.
72. I love playing dress-up, and wish playing "make-believe" was still acceptable in adult society.
73. I want to spend a week or two staying at a cabin near Niagra Falls. Sounds really classic and romantic.
74. My triggers for being irritable are: being too hot, getting too hungry, being in any kind of annoying or stressful traffic, getting too many questions thrown at me at one time.
75. I love cute little kitchen aprons. Vintage is best.
76. I love to belt out show tunes. If I could, I'd be in plays and musicals again.
77. I use my sewing machine primarily for paper art and home decor projects.
78. I LOVE sweet breakfasts-- french toast, pancakes, belgian waffles. I could do without breakfast meats.
79. I probably have a warrant out for my arrest in Chicago. Unpaid parking ticket from 2003. It actually scares me a bit.
80.I used to be desperately afraid of home fires and tornadoes when I was in elementary school. I blame all those drills we used to do.
81. when I have kids, I really want a girl first, for the dress-up part of things. But I kinda want a boy first so all the other kids have a big brother.
82. I'd love to design kids' bedrooms for a living.
83. I still struggle with calling myself an artist. I guess I still feel I don't deserve such a full-time title.
84. The last book I read that made me cry was "Hattie Big Sky", a really really good adolescent fiction book about a girl homesteading in the early 1900's.
85. I never dust.
86. My favorite gift of all time is still the banjo my Macaroni Grill friends gave me as a surprise one year.
87. My favorite spots in St. Louis are: The City Museum, Historic St. Charles, the Soulard Farmers Market, and Forest Park. Love them! If you ever want to go with me, just let me know.
88. I love that my new last name is Scottish.
89. My favorite Simpson's character is Groundskeeper Willie.
90. Love to browse at Anthropologie. But only can afford the sale stuff. *sniff*
91. Always used to wish I could be a pairs skater in the olympics. But only during the olympics. After that, I'd forget for another 4 years.
92. Have NEVER been good at sports. But I still LOVE sports movies.
93. I hate my current weight. Heaviest ever. No excuse.
94. I love costume jewelry. Funky, vintage, sparkly, delicate, whatever.
95. I secretly want to get a beautiful diamond something like in those Kay Jeweler's commercials.
96. I yearn to find balance and authenticity. I think about it a lot. Sometimes I get close.
97. I think my 30's will be even better than my 20's.
98. I deeply wish my faraway friends lived near me. Deeply wish this. Sometimes ache for it.
99. Hate the idea of trying to get pregnant again. Exhausting. Frustrating. Disheartening. Useless?
100. I look forward to what God has up his sleeve for the rest of this crazy life of mine. I'll try to love (or at least learn from) every bit of it.

My First Maternity Shoot....(Constructive Criticism Welcome)

Monday, February 12, 2007

This Saturday, I had the cutest girl over to take her pregnancy pictures. She works with Joe at the hospital and is such a neat person. She is about two weeks away from delivering this little girl, and she is READY!
She brought her boyfriend along for the photos, and he was so willing to be a part of this. The pictures with him in them turned out SO great.
For this shoot, since it is FREEZING outside and pregnancy is more of an intimate thing, I set up a great makeshift studio in the Masonic Lodge. We took pictures with west-facing windows at 3:30 in the afternoon, with a black fleece backdrop. Check out the crazy set-up! It worked, tho.

So. I am pretty happy with the results. I'd have liked a faster lens, so I could have used a lower ISO, but for the first time, I think I'll rest easy with the results.

The next fun thing is when this little baby comes... Then we get to take more pictures!

I'd LOVE any critiques-- especially since i am still not sure if i trust my own computer for an accurate reading. Do things look normal? Do they need more light? Less light? Just curious.
(Katie-- i intentionally upped the contrast in the last photo. Do you like the result? or not?)

Anyhoo--- Hope you all survive this week. We are supposed to get ice and snow tonight. But I'll believe it when I see it.


Joe is Sick. :(

Thursday, February 8, 2007

He is sniffling, a bit nauseous, dizzy every time he stands up... Blah. I feel bad for the kid.

But he is really self-sufficient, so every time I ask if I can do something, he really has nothing to suggest.

So I am just vegg-ing out with him.

Tomorrow is friday. Jeans day. But my favorite jeans have a tear I need to fix first, so i don't know WHAT to wear. None of my clothes have been fitting right lately and that TERRIFIES me. I don't like the feeling that i might be going UP a size. And NO, I'm not preggo, so no excuses.


But I DO like my life. Just not my pants.

I Am Tired of Cold.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

{where are the warm, sunny days?}

Music I have been loving lately:

1. Chris Botti- Jazz trumpet... so sexy.

2. My students' mix CDs they made for a project:
i get blends of music i would NEVER think of making myself.

3. The Cold Mountain Soundtrack:
love the folk, with it's raw sound, love the instrumental orchestra stuff for its passion.

Things I am Looking Forward To:

1. My Blurb book about our trip to Europe- I just ordered it online, and we should get it in a WEEK! YAY!! A coffee table book all by me me me!(ask me to see it. I will GLADLY do so.)

2. The new (and last) Harry Potter book. July 21!!!!!

3. Our road trip to Utah and Vegas in July. We'll be camping in the state parks in between the two weeks, so feel free to join us in Zion's or Bryce's.

4. My sophomores' research papers to be DONE and graded. Anyone wanna help? I'll pay you.

5. Spring. The little tulip and daffodil blooms poking their heads up.

Things I Don't Like Right Now:

1. Mornings. When it is still dark.

2. My friends all living in places other than St. Louis.

3. Joe's car window being smashed by vandals Sunday night. Luckily, nothing was taken. Unluckily, it cost $200 to fix.

4. It being too cold to really spend any time outside. Cabin Fever.

Anyways.... That's all for now.
I can't WAIT for my BLURB book!!!

Update: Remember Those Piles?

Saturday, February 3, 2007

So, today is FREEZING cold outside, but cheerfully sunny. So I got my butt in gear and organized/cleaned/purged/wrapped gifts...
I pretty much did some of the harder tasks, and did them 100% right the first time, so that they won't come back to haunt me in the next few months.
It's kinda like when you actually clean out your closet, instead of using it to shove all the stuff in so the room looks clean.
Feels good. So if you really want, you can scroll back down to the mess photos, then compare them to the clean photos...'cause i went back around to the worst spots and retook their picture. Sort of a Before/After thing.
After this, i promise not to bore you with pictures of my house for the next long while. PROMISE.

{remember the painting supplies? They were on top of this cabinet. all gone now!}

{The dining room floor.... no more tub/sewing machine/piles of presents to be mailed to friends.}
{the kitchen table-- still has some stuff, but is getting SO much better. Joe even worked on HIS side!!}

{Remember the laundry basket of papers needing to be filed? All filed! And THAT was a monumental task. Took a whole DVD movie to get through it.}
{Plaid couch- almost perfect! Just have to hang the pictures I got for Christmas and I'll be done here.}{Bedroom couch- Pile of clothes GONE.I'm LOVING the lighting in here today.}

{shoe pile... Well. It's ever-present. So I didn;t bother making it all perfect. One week from now and it'll be in a pile again. What can I say? I like having choices with my footwear.}
{Dresser Top-- jewelry all sorted, put away, little cute containers dusted and rearranged...}And in addition to organizing and cleaning, I also finally got packages ready to mail to loved ones and friends. This has been a HUGE To-Do on my list since Dec. 15. I LOVE taking piles of packages to the post office to send a little cheer to people I love.

{Pictured here is part of my motivation. Joe, my beloved hubby, has even been cleaning this week. I love that he has been trying to do his part. This morning, he came home from his overnight shift and went to bed, so i had a peaceful, uninterupted afternoon to make our home feel like a home again. This photo is from 30 minutes ago, as he was waking up. I love going into the room to see him after he has been asleep all day.}
So, there. Forced myself outta the slump. I can face February now. And I feel ready to keep going. the Catch-22 is broken.

Happy Saturday!
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