What I Read This Month: February 2014

14. Lost and Found

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I have to make a teeny little embarrassing confession which does not cast me in the best of light, which is that I put off reading this book because as we all know, I hate everything, and I was worried I wouldn’t like it even though I really like Shalini and then we would have awkward times. You can see I have a lot of faith in my friends.  P.S. It’s just great knowing me.

The good news for all of us is that I really really liked this book.  Is it perfect? No, but I enjoyed it more than most things I have read for quite some time, and I thought it was fun and I loved Oliver and I loved Delaney and I loved her friends.  Highly entertaining.  Am a fan.

15. Knight School

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Oh, god, this was just stupid, but at the same time? I can’t lie, it was entertaining. It was probably 50-100 pages too long and it ended in a very annoying cliffhanger, but it was perfectly serviceable vacation reading.  Although I did tell Erik “This book is so stupid” about a hundred times while I was reading it. And every time I told someone the title or the plot premise, we all laughed our asses off.  Also, if you want to read a book about school wars and you haven’t read either Jellicoe Road or The Chocolate Wars, don’t be wasting your time on Knight School.

16. Midwinter Blood

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Oh god,  this won the Printz Award. All hope is lost.

17. Thank You For Your Service

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This was amazing.  Amazing. With the caveat that if reading really depressing things about people with anxiety and major life stresses makes you anxious, maybe don’t read this one.  But seriously, I generally don’t with the non fiction and I loved this. I agree with every rave review I’ve read of this so far.

18. Maggot Moon

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I kind of liked this book? I think I did. It was very odd, but I liked it. Although it reminded me of that tiger book, um, Life of Pi? Where I thought I was supposed to be getting something very obvious that certainly everyone else gets but that I so did not get.

19. The Obvious Game

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Meh. Speaking of obvious, this was obviously…not that great.

Why I have I shoddily read only 19 books so far this year? I blame my wretched children and the internet.

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What I Wore This Week But Actually It Was Two Weeks Ago This Week I Wore Yoga Pants

It’s true, sometimes I wear yoga pants.  It’s amazing how much time exercising 4-6 times a week takes up.  I’m just resigned to it now but it means giving up some other things. Less blogging, less fancy outfits.

Anyway. My new non important life goal is to re wear everything in my closet a completely different way than I’ve worn it before.  I like this goal; I feel like it’s making me more creative with layering and stretching my comfort zone a bit.

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I saw someone wearing this on the street the other day and I loved it and copied it. It was one of my favorites of the week.  I am wearing leggings as pants and you know what? It’s cool. I’m a grown woman and I get to do whatever I damn well please. And I loved this outfit and it wins big time at re wearing all these things a new way.

{Gap Herringbone blazer, Target button down, Gap ribbed tank, Ebay necklace, Spalding leggings, Frye Campus boots}

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Nothing too exciting, but I got to wear my new red shoes, and sometimes you just need to go with simple and throw some red shoes on it.

{Target cardigan, Gap ribbed tank, AE Hi Rise Super Skinnies, J. Crew Ballet Flats}

 

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I loved this. I think it was cuter in person than in this picture? I don’t know.  Anyway, it FELT cute and that’s what matters to me. And again, never worn any of this like this before, so winning, I am.

{Target button down, Gap Outlet necklace, Lands End Canvas dress, Gap tights (they have the best tights!), Hive and Honey heels}

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In my inspiration picture this was worn with leopard heels but the leopard heels weren’t high enough and they made this outfit look dumpy, so I went back to the Fryes. But this is also a new look with this dress! Gold stars! For me!

{Gap dress, T shirt scarf c/o Manda, Target belt, Gap tights, Frye Campus boots}

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I’m not wild about this outfit, I probably shouldn’t have bought this white sweater because it’s causing me difficulties and it looks oddly dumpy with everything, but I wore two things I’d never even busted out my closet (the sweater and the skirt) and I loooooved my makeup.  Whatever.

{Gap sweater, Target scarf, Loft skirt, Gap tights, Frye Campus boots}

House Tour: Living Room Corner {Desk}

A. We’ve lived in this house for almost five years and we’ve never solved the “where to put the desk/have an office” dilemma.

B. Our living room is confounding, it’s a long bowling alley style room, and there’s no obvious place to put any of the furniture.

C. In the living room, there a little alcove off the main entryway.  Technically it’s the fourth corner of the living room but mostly it’s a useless space because anything that isn’t tucked right up against it protrudes out into the pathway to the dining room and the rest of the house.

In lieu of a better situation we stuck our desk in random places that never really worked and we put the kids toys in an Expedit in the alcove in the living room.  This was not the greatest solution because kids toys were all over my living room all the time and because it felt odd to have their play area confined to a tiny corner of our house.  However, because there was a twin sized bed and a crib in the kids room, there was no room for the Expedit in the room.

The second I felt like Dubs could sleep in a big girl bed, though, I had that crib taken apart and donated, we bought a bunk bed and I moved the Expedit and all the toys into the kids room where the crib had been and LO THE ANGELS SANG.  Best day ever.

However, then we were left with this sad, sad situation of sadness in the living room. Please be aware that I am only posting this Picture of Shame because of how much better the After turned out to be.

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My step father was coming to town and he’s really good at building things, so I asked if he would help me with a shelf desk project for this corner.  We had a lot of fun emails back and forth before he arrived about how all the things I had pinned on Pinterest were either impractical or shoddily constructed.  Basically I wanted a long floating shelf/desk along this wall that Eli and I could both sit at together, and I didn’t want legs on it, and I wanted to be able to put my orange filing cabinet underneath it so that everything was together and I didn’t have to cross the room to the filing cabinet every time I needed a paper clip.

I know I already posted these pictures on Instagram but J Town requested a source list so I shall attempt to put that together although pretty much you can just assume “on clearance at Target” for practically everything.

Anyway, here is the after, isn’t it beautimous, I love it soooooo much, and we all use it all the time now and it’s just so very great.  Although it could some more lighting so I am still thinking of having a chandelier installed. But it’s just so perfect for the space, I can’t get over it.  This corner is so useful now! And so pretty. It’s my favorite thing in my house now.

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The shelves are actually four stair treads from Home Depot that my step father cut down to fit inside the stainless brackets, which are from IKEA.  I sanded and stained them and then poly-ed them with a rub on satin polyurethane.  The stain I chose is called “New Gray” from Minwax. (They do sell shelves at IKEA that fit these brackets but I did not care for them.)

We painted the wall back to white, it’s Behr “Moon Glow” in flat enamel.

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The orange filing cabinet is from Pottery Barn, but it’s one of the first things I bought when we moved here, so it’s not available now. Erik thought I was TOUCHED when I insisted we go buy a $200 file cabinet before we did anything else to the house, but it’s one of my favorite things. Everyone who comes here to buy the crap I put on Craigslist always tries to buy it from me.

The giant ampersand was a random serendipitous find, it was the last one on super clearance at Target, and I thought “Hmmmm. Maybe” and threw it in the cart, and it’s just the thing. I love that it’s sort a graphic represention of “Eli & Elizabeth” since we each sit on either side of it. And I think if it wasn’t there I would have cluttered up that wall with all sorts of hoo ha and now it’s just simple and a little industrial and perfect. Also Eli suggested we could put a hamster in it so now we call it The Hamstersand.

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The notepad and notebook are from Home Goods, the little jar is from Anthropologie and holds my Vitamin D, and the glass cups were candleholders on clearance at Target.  The pencils are Mirado Black Warriors, the pens are my beloved Pilot Precise.  The notecards are from Target and I love having them out where they can remind me to send thank you notes more often.

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The chairs are vintage Herman Miller Eames chairs, I bought them on Ebay a few years ago.

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I was originally going to fill both shelves with STUFF because we lost some storage when we got rid of the old desk, but at IKEA they had a desk display set up with pictures on the top shelf of a set of floating shelves and as soon as I saw it I knew that’s what I wanted to do.  So the top shelf holds pictures and the lower shelf holds all the storage boxes and things.

The vase is from Jennie, the Eli photograph I took, the little orange card is a tarot card I found on the ground the day we took Eli home from the hospital that says “When I am patient, I am able to sustain an intention until it is realized.” The piece of wood is my test stain board for this project.

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The white Snap and Store box came from Target, the Bigso box is from Amazon, and all the other boxes (except the magazine files) are from Home Goods.  You can use the internet so I assume you know where to buy washi tape.

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I bought the turquoise Snap and Store magazine files from Target, and now you can’t find them in turquoise ANYWHERE. It’s very annoying.  You can buy them in white or black a lot of places, but no more turquoise.  BOO.

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I think the Anne Shirley print is from Fab? You can get it on Etsy too though. It’s my favorite thing in the whole world. The lightning sign is from Etsy also. (We called KW Lightning before she was born.)

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I was not allowed to have a desk with NO legs because apparently that’s fundamentally nonsense if you don’t have two supporting walls on either side of your desk, so we have ONE stainless steel leg, also from IKEA. I really barely notice it, in fact now I think it would look weird with NO legs. And the file cabinet scoots right under there!

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You can see in this picture how nicely the desk fits right into this little corner.

The desk lamp is from Target as well, but also on super clearance.

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Look how it barely sticks out into the room. Perfection!

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I saw the galvanized magazine holder on a blog years ago and searched desperately from one. I looked everywhere.  (It was originally sold at Pottery Barn and IKEA, I think.) I tried to have one shipped from Cleveland. I tried to have my brother buy me one from Chicago Craigslist.  I YEARNED for this magazine holder.  Then one day I walked to a garage sale around the corner from my house and there it was, leaned up against a tree, ON SALE FOR FIVE DOLLARS. I had to bite my lip from convincing the owner not to sell it, that’s how much I couldn’t believe anyone would part with such a treasure.  But it became mine and I love it so.

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The desk top is made from a solid birch door that I stained the same gray as the shelves and that that my step father cut down to the correct dimensions.  You can see here how it’s attached to the wall – there’s a little lip made of pine boards screwed into the wall and then the desk top sits on that.

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We drilled two holes in the desk top with a hole saw for cords, you can see one of them to the left of the pencils.

Let me just say that very rarely do I have projects in this house turn out so magnificently and I am just so pleased with this. It is a perfect use of the space and it is just what I have been dreaming of for so long. I could not love it more.  Questions? Holler.