Category Archives: Finds (all things consumeristic)

Now it’s official

We told our families last week and posted it on Facebook on Sunday, but it’s not official until The Blog knows:

Simon is going to be a big brother! ūüôā

We’re about 16 weeks pregnant (found out on Nov. 21), which means we’re looking at a late July-ish arrival date. ¬†So far this pregnancy is super easy like my last one, complicated only by the fact that it’s about ten times more exhausting to chase around a toddler than to sit at a desk all day. ¬†We found a great midwife who really jives with our philosophy (which is lucky; there aren’t many home birth midwives in Ohio, much less ones who actually bring medical supplies to births and have a friendly working relationship with docs at the local hospital in the event of transfer). ¬†Simon still doesn’t really get what’s going on, but that’s to be expected since he’s so young. ¬†We’re reading lots of books on the topic and I’m going to get him a baby doll at Target, but I doubt he’ll really get it until Hoopling #2 (temporarily called Garfunkel, naturally) actually shows up.

So yay babies!

Our weekend was pretty good. ¬†Friday after Simon’s ped checkup we had lunch with Jeff, then Simes and I went to Canton and got him some clothes for spring at Once Upon a Child, and a few maternity pieces for myself (most of my things from last time aren’t nursing-friendly). We went up to Cleveland on Saturday because Jeff needed some work clothes and I was out of my LUSH face wash stuff. ¬†Definitely not our most exciting adventure, but Simes got some quality Tula Time with his Daddy and I got a change of scenery from Akron for a bit, so it’s all good. ¬†I ran a few errands by myself on Sunday, which was LUXURY. ¬†I missed having someone to talk to as I pushed my cart around Target, but it was nice to browse in peace and not spend my time supervising the wee one as he pushes the shopping cart or tries to wander away. ¬†I treated myself to popcorn and a Diet Coke to make it a real escape ūüėÄ ¬†We turned on the football game Sunday night, but we’re not really a football house so it was more about the commercials and halftime show than the stupid game.

I know it’s not quite the same, but I feel compelled to insert this here:

And I suppose that I am Moss in that scenario.  Goody.

Mr. Cuteness was in rare form yesterday morning:

He was rolling grapes all over the high chair. ¬†Apparently it has juuuust a hint of a slant to it, so he was “racing” them, shooting them like pool balls, the whole nine yards. ¬†I made a video but, in true toddler fashion, he stopped as soon as the camera came out:

After breakfast we actually went BACK up to Cleveland to hunt down a couple fabrics that my local JoAnn doesn’t carry, then stopped by a quilt shop in Hudson that I’d heard good things about. ¬†I got a few half-yard lengths for my stash. ¬†Maybe to go into Garfunkel’s quilt; maybe not.

I’d love to tell you all about what I’m working on right now, but it must remain secret for a while yet. ¬†But it’s going to be awesome! ¬†HINT:

And no, I promise you on my great-great-great grandmother’s grave that it has nothing to do with Garfunkel. ¬†For serious. ¬†(Just like last time, we’re not finding out if it’s a boy or girl)

Since driving all over northeast Ohio seems to be my hobby as of late, today we went down to Canton for some lunch and shopping with Kathy. ¬†We went to this place called The Flower Factory, which is a closeout store sort of like a Michael’s-meets-HomeGoods. ¬†I can’t show you any pictures of my finds yet because they’re in the car and I’m lazy (HONESTY), but I got a couple delicious candles, some seasonal decorations for next fall and winter, and a few random craft supplies. ¬†All told, we spent about two hours wandering around just looking at everything. ¬†That place is like a dream! ¬†I can’t wait to go back ūüôā

Here’s one pic that I grabbed in the store:

Just aisle after aisle of heavily discounted seasonal stuff, decor, craft supplies, party items, and (I wish I’d gotten a picture of this) disposable “spa thongs”. ¬†Needless to say, I stocked up. ¬†I hate having to re-use my spa thongs.

We enjoyed a long lunch and catch-up session at Max and Erma’s, and Simon got some quality attention that he is sooooooo desperately lacking (or so he says). ¬†We’re so lucky to have a friend in Kathy! ‚̧

My little dragon also got the awesomest present ever:  his very own castle!

Kathy, he has had SO much fun playing with it, ever since he woke up from his nap!   Thank you SO SO SO MUCH.

Apparently the king needed a kiss:

In our version, the DRAGON is the master and sits on the throne:

OK well somebody is staring at me and shaking an empty snack dish my direction, so I believe I’m being summoned. ¬†Have a great evening, everyone!



When Jeff and I were poor undergrads, living in Kirksville and tending two ill-behaved felines, I used to go to garage sales a lot. ¬†It was a great way to have a day’s worth of fun for just a few dollars.

One time, at one of those sales, in that neighborhood just behind Wal-Mart on the east side of Baltimore, I found a chalkboard. ¬†It was so cute! ¬†It was the perfect size, black slate, with a little chalk tray. ¬†I loved it. ¬†But it was also $15, and in those days that $15 could literally mean the difference between eating decently for a week, or subsisting on mac ‘n cheese.

So I was good, and I didn’t buy the perfect little chalkboard, and it’s been haunting me ever since.

I just couldn’t forget about my chalkboard. ¬†I keep a list now, on my phone – a shopping list of sorts, but just of antiques I’d like to track down: a big old wooden bowl to make a centerpiece, a perfectly-sized hall mirror, a sturdy coat rack…stuff like that. ¬†And of course, the first item on that list was “chalkboard for kitchen.”

Over the years, I’ve built up big plans for this hypothetical chalkboard: it would live on the wall in my kitchen, right above Grandmother’s kitchen stool (which I still need to restore…). ¬†We’d use it to write notes and weekly menus and stuff, and Hooplings would write on it too once they’re tall enough to reach. ¬†It was gonna be awesome.

The only obstacle was, of course, that this chalkboard only existed in my mind.

So as I’ve gone through antique shops since then, I’ve always kept an eye out. ¬†I would occasionally find a board, but it wouldn’t be quite right: too small, or massively too big, or painted with chalkboard paint instead of being real slate. ¬†I even started looking at new ones online, but just about fell over backwards at the prices. ¬†My dream wasn’t worth $200, no sirree.

That takes us to last Saturday, that fateful day.  Mom was in town with a friend (hi, Mary Ann!), and it was my job to chauffeur them around St. Louis.  They wanted to visit one of the antique shops on Big Bend, so there we went.

It was waiting for me midway down the third aisle from the right.

The chalkboard of my dreams was right in front of me!  At last!  I may have screeched joyfully.  It may not have been an exceedingly ladylike exclamation.  I may have almost fallen over (literally) in my excitement.  (No, really.  I almost fell over.  Mary Ann caught me.  Jeff is forever in her debt.)  There, right in front of me, was the chalkboard that had been haunting my every domestic daydream for years and years.  And for the low, low price of $38.50 plus tax, it could be mine.

Look! It’s even double-sided! ¬†What a value!

That’s, like… ::puts on old-timey accountant visor::… $19.25 a side! ¬†What a bargain!

My hand was shaking as I handed over my credit card to the clerk. ¬†I was fairly giddy as I danced out to the car with it (if you’ve never seen an almost-8-months-pregnant clumsy redhead in cowboy boots dance with an unwieldy chalkboard, well, you’re missing out).

My excitement was shared – to a lesser scale – by my shopping companions. ¬†Mom said “Well thank god. I was so tired of looking for one of those for you!” ¬†Mary Ann said “I’m happy that you’re happy.” ¬†And when I texted a picture of my find to Jeff, he said “So are we just going to store this until we get to DC?”


Yes. ¬†We are just going to store it – along with most of our other furniture and books and pictures and “stuff” – until we get to DC. ¬†I admit, it’s maybe a bit goofy to spend hard-earned money on a thing that will spend the next year or two in a storage unit before it’s hauled halfway across the country.

But to be fair, I really wasn’t going to risk losing it again. ¬†My beloved chalkboard is mine forever now. ¬†And I’m never ever ever letting it go.

THIS is why I go antiquing, y’all. ¬†Nothing beats the rush.

Photo + caption = adequate blog post

My new boots for 2011 arrived yesterday:

After much hem-ing and haw-ing about color and size, I finally bit the bullet and went for it.¬† These are the very Frye Campus 14L’s that I’ve been lusting after since I was a college freshman (so, 7 years now…); identical to the boots that my mom had when she herself was in college.¬† I heart them hard:¬† they’re gorgeous and sturdy and comfy and the leather is buttery-soft and perfect.¬† But they will need breaking in.¬† (Oh, will they need breaking in.)


On Sunday night Jeff put a blueberry muffin on a plate and set it on the coffee table and went back in the kitchen to get a glass of milk.  Sometime in the 20 seconds that the muffin was unattended, it disappeared Рwrapper and all.  And then Roxie was licking her lips, and had blueberry breath.

Does that look like the face of a muffin thief to you?


Stef and Mandi were in town this weekend: Stef was getting the color done on her tattoo and Mandi got her first-ever ink.  I got another hole in my head:

I’ll be switching that big ol’ boring CBR for something smaller and prettier (maybe a tiny little copper-colored niobium CBR) once it’s healed, but I think that’ll be a while away:¬† the piercing itself didn’t hurt too badly to get, but it’s been a pain in the ass ever since.¬† The last big piercing I got was my right helix, about six years ago, and I recall it being rather painful to heal as well, but I don’t remember if it was *this* painful.¬† Maybe I have become enfeebled in my old age.¬† At any rate, if it’s still hurting next weekend I’ll swing by the shop and have the piercer take a look at it (though I can predict what he’ll say: “Take some ibuprofen and stop being such a weenie.”)


Speaking of “enfeebled in my old age”, I turned 26 today.¬† We celebrated the occasion at work with some delicious cupcakes, which I shoved in my face so fast that the only photo is of a half-eaten morsel:

It was absolutely delicious.  Morgan rocks.  And after eating a billion cupcakes, I will roll.  Like this.


Finally, a FO:¬† the Merletto Mitts that I have owed Mandi, for about two years now.¬† They’re finally done:

Those have been living in a state of stasis in my knitting basket for way too long, but now they are liberated and living up to their full mitten-y potential.¬† The yarn is some old colorway of Lorna’s SS that I’ve long since forgotten, but it’s really quite a lovely combination of pink, orangey-pink, and purpley-pink.¬† I like to knit Merletto Mitts at a bit tighter gauge than called for so that they stand up over time (these were at about 9spi), so I added 8 stitches to either side of the back and palm to make them actually fit human-sized hands at the modified gauge.¬† I think Mandi likes them!


And so that’s what I’ve been buying/scolding/healing/nomming/making.¬† Tonight: knit night! ūüôā

I haven’t forgotten…

Tonight I’m going to start weeding through those 1,500 vacation photos, and will actually begin the blog-post-writing process.¬† It’s tough, because I really want to do the trip justice, but I also need to do it *soon* before I forget the little details that made it all so special.


One thing I won’t soon forget, though, is how wonderful English tea was.¬† Before going, I’d never gotten in the habit of putting milk or sugar in my tea.¬† The seeds of addiction were planted during the trip, though, and now…


Just a splash of milk and a little bit of sugar makes tea a millionty times more delicious than before (why didn’t anyone tell me this??? I know I’m the last person on earth to figure it out).


I love it.


(Remember that cute teapot? While I’m at it, I think I may try to hunt down a cute vintage teacup and saucer… would that whole setup look too weird on my desk here at work?¬† Perhaps a silver tray to tie it all together.¬† And a doily.¬† Always need a doily.)



I need ideas

The world rejoices, for yesterday I received a new Samsung Captivate.

But I didn’t come here to brag about my new phone.¬† I came here to share in my joy.¬† Because not only am I getting a nifty new toy,¬† I’m (quite logically) also getting rid of my old phone – a Motorola Q9c, which is arguably the worst phone ever made.

Behold the craptacularness*:

For just over two years, this phone has been the bane of my existence.¬† With a ringer that doesn’t ring, a vibrate feature that goes randomly, a battery with a 6-hour lifespan, a worthless mini-SD slot, proprietary headphone jack, a horrible iteration of Windows Mobile, 5 non-functioning keys, a proclivity for randomly freezing and restarting, completely worthless Internet (not even 3G), and the ability to drop a call while standing 50ft from a tower, I have no qualms about saying – if I had sweaty balls, this phone could suck them.

However, I am lacking in balls just as much as my phone is lacking in a mouth with which to suck.¬† So, I must come up with another way to punish this beast for its mere existence.¬† Its lack of a SIM card has rendered it well and truly worthless now that my new phone is activated, and it’s unreliable enough that I couldn’t even keep it on hand for its 911 usefulness.¬† Plus, I want revenge.

So here’s where you come in – once I take out its battery for proper disposal, how should I exact my revenge?

So far I’ve thought to:

РDrop it from the Eads bridge.  Or maybe Chain of Rocks, and then have a nice bike ride after.

– Run it over with my car.¬† Or Jeff’s (it’s heavier).

-Buy a $15 blender for my own version of “Will it Blend?

But I know there have gotta be better ideas out there!  I want this inanimate object to suffer.  At least, as best as inanimate objects can suffer.

My challenge to you is this:

Suggest to me a super-awesome way (the more violent the better) to help my phone meet its demise.¬† This weekend (oh yeah – it’s gotta be something I can do here in St. Louis, for little to no cost) I will take my favorite idea(s), and go put this thing out of its misery, once and for all.¬† And I will make a video on my new phone**, and share it with you.

Be creative (more creative than me)!  And THANK YOU.


*I love that Firefox spellecheck is OK with that.

**gotta rub the salt into the old phone’s wounds, y’know?

Color Explosion of Awesomeness

A couple months ago, we switched to using hankies.


I quickly grew bored of blowing my nose on plain white cotton squares, though.  (And, I was having to do laundry twice a week because I only had four).  Enter Tama and her mad tie-dye skills.


Just a few days, several emails, and a chunk out of my PayPal account later…

Hence, “Color Explosion of Awesomeness”


That stack of grogeousness consists of several 100% silk hankies, and over a dozen sturdy (larger) cotton ones.


Let me break here and say, that I REALLY REALLY REALLY wish I had a cool and gorgeous way to present these beauties to you.¬† I want to hang them all in rows on a clothesline, and take their picture against a brilliant blue sky.¬† I want to catch them waving in the wind, the silk becoming nearly translucent in the sunlight.¬† I want to capture them against slightly-dewy green grass, knowing full well that now I’ll just have to re-wash them, but realizing that getting that picture was worth it.


Alas.  All I can offer you is my ottoman (which is really sage green, and not a dingy, dirty grey) and the last bits of sunlight on a Tuesday late afternoon.


Maybe in a few years I’ll have that clothesline…


So anyway.  This one is my favorite:


And so is this:


Oh! And this!


That silk is so soft.¬† So smooth.¬† Lustrous.¬† Seriously – way too nice to blow my nose on.¬† (But ya know I’m doing it anyway!)


Then, the cotton!



These are the real workhorses (so to speak).¬† Generously sized and sturdy, they’re perfect for keeping in my pocket or purse – one at all times.



And did I mention that they’re gorgeous, too?








(that one reminds me of My Little Ponies)





Who needs Kleenex, when you have these?

Mine. All mine.

At long last



Click on over to Two Closets to see more!


And many thanks to my parents for the lovely belated birthday gift.  I will love them forever.  The boots and the parents.


‚̧ Fluevog.