27 February 2009

Initial Roundup


My appologies if I am not witty today. I lack sleep. The cats I am watching like to sleep very close to my head. I sleep in fear that they will suffocate me.

Moving on, I've been looking for a good initial pendant for a while now. It's tough. I haven't committed to anything yet, but here are a few favorites that I've come across:

Clockwise:
Vintage Initial BG 60
Vintage Script Initials
Delicate Initial Necklace
Art Nouveau Initial Pendant
Key To My Heart Initial Necklace
Vintage Typewriter Black A Letter Key Charm Pendant

26 February 2009

Pandafy.com


I got some good feedback on Cornify.com. I've got another one for you: Pandafy.com Yep! Add a panda to any site with just a few clicks.

Alpha Scout before. Nice but something is missing:


Alpha Scout after. There we are:


I don't know who is spending their time coming up with things like this, but I thank them. I really do.

Not so smart.


Yesterday, I had one of those moments when you feel dumb and there is no one to blame but yourself. I'm housesitting this week out in the burbs. I've watched this places dozens of times, I have a routine when I am there. On Tuesday night, I made my list of everything I would need to take with me and I packed. I packed clothes, toiletries, books, music- everything. In rush hour traffic, the house is about an hour away from my apartment. On Wednesday, I made fantastic time getting there after work. I was proud. I pulled up to the house, got the mail and realized there was one thing I didn't pack. I didn't have the keys. It was one of those moments where I didn't know if I should start yelling, crying or just stand in front of the house and remain in denial for a for minutes. I felt so defeated. I wasn't driving to the city and back again. Not an option, no. Thankfully, my brain kicked in after a while and I made a few phone calls. I found someone who had a spare key. I eventually got the spare and took care of the animals at the place, but I really haven't felt that dumb in a while.

25 February 2009

Playlist Wednesday: Animal Attraction


I recently discovered the band Owl City (a fabulous, blissy electropop band that reminds me of the postal service). Is really like the band name. It got me thinking how many great bands have animals in their name. Forget The Beatles- beginner stuff, my friends. Here are a few other bands you might not be familiar with.


24 February 2009

Delicious Art


I went out for breakfast this morning with Becky and had some amazing pumpkin & carrot pancakes. Bongo Room did not steer us wrong. I'm in a bit of a sugar coma because of it, so this morning's post is fitting. Feast your eyes on the work of Justin Richel. Must I even explain why I was first drawn to his series entitled Sweets? Richel explains the rational behind his work:

In the midst of an entirely barren and empty "landscape", void of anything other than a multitude of sugar coated inhabitants. The many shapes and sizes, parts and pieces of a greater whole come together to construct towering mountains, pillars of sugary strength and the destructive forces of confectionery whirlwinds and tsunamis. A flawed yet functional infrastructure. A conglomerate society of multi-colored temptations, vying for the same hierarchical position at the top of the heap.

Wow. While I didn't see that coming, I love it. Check out Richel's flickr photostream for a better look at his portfolio.

23 February 2009

Coffee Fest Recap


I hope everyone had a good weekend, because mine was fabulous. Coffee Fest lived up to the hype I gave it. I had my share of espresso on Saturday. I got home that night and suddenly it hit me. I was buzzed. I could not sit still. If you received a call or an email from me on Saturday night (many did), I apologize.

There wasn't just coffee at the show. I partook in gelato, scones and sipping chocolate. Bellagio sipping chocolate is my new best friend. Sorry to the friend I just downgraded to spot number two, but it is that good.

Another highlight for me was the barista competition. I felt like I was in the middle of a Food Newtork Challenge! Competitors had a set amount of time to create an espresso, cappuccino and a signature drink for a panel of judges. They had to explain their drinks to the judges, and they even got to choose music to play while they were brewing to set the mood!

In the early rounds of competition I had flashbacks to art school.
Judge: Tell me why you chose this paring?
Barista: Because I liked it.
Judge: What was your inspiration?
Barista: I don't know.

Ugh. Fail! That is why you didn't make it to the finals! I kid you not, one guy had an Elvis themed latte with a pickle on the side. When asked about the pickle he said he didn't even like them. Critique rule number one: Never talked negatively about your work. Final competitors actually had a rational and really knew their stuff. I was impressed by the following some of the baristas had. The crowd went crazy for a few of them.

Things I learned:
- I am facinated by the barista culture. I may be swayed by the sheer number of argyle sweater vests that come along with it, but it really is a culture of its own.
- In one afternoon, do not have drip coffee, sugar and three espressos, one of those being a double. Don't do it.
-If you want to sound like a superstar to your favorite barista whip this out: I have to say, I see a big trend right now in single origin Colombians.

20 February 2009

Dairy Overload


I took this picture at the grocery store. I have never seen so much yogurt in my life! The entire cooler was nothing but yogurt as far as the eye could see. Made me want to dive in.

Game On!

For those of you who aren't designers, you may not have heard of layer tennis. Essentially, two competitors swap a file back and forth, adding to and embellishing the work. Each designer gets a set amount of time for their turn, then the image is posted live to the site. A third participant, a writer, provides play-by-play commentary. The match lasts for ten turns and a winner is declared at the end. I think it's fabulous and it certainly makes Fridays a lot more fun.

Last Friday, I was challenged to my own match of layer tennis by my coworker Brice. Check out our play-by-play from last week. Sometimes there is a strong correlation between each turn, other times...not so much.

B:

A:

B:

A:

B:

A:

B:

A:

B:

A:

19 February 2009

Coffee Fest this weekend


I could not be more excited for this weekend. I am going with Jackie & Co. to Coffee Fest at Navy Pier. I love coffee, but I'm no connoisseur. That's why I'm going with people who are. They know their coffee. I've been told to have a healthy, low in sugar diet leading up to the weekend. It's going to get extremely caffeinated. I should also mention that there's going to be gelato at coffee fest. Gelato! There's even going to be a latte art competition. What? I'll bring my trusty camera with and try to capture all the madness. It's going to be great. If you don't hear from me on Monday, I've completely over dosed on the brew and I'm running laps somewhere to burn it all off.

18 February 2009

Playlist Wednesday: Wake Up!


It's rainy, dark and gloomy outside. For the life of me I couldn't get up. I've also been reading a lot at night. I'm on an Austen kick. I just finished Persuasion and am starting Emma. The books are fantastic, but I've been staying up too late reading them. Couple the lack of sleep with this morning's gloom and I was late for work. How fitting this week's playlist is all about sleep.



But now because I have been reading way too much Austen, and because I'm slightly nuts I will retell my morning Austen style:

Reader, I was spent. For a woman of only four-and-twenty I should have had more energy. Nay, I did not. The tragic gloom of the morning and the steady rain seemed to glue me to my bed. Only true love could stir morning's course any sooner. And upon finding that sweet felicity itself was not waiting to greet me, I moved quite slow. I made coffee and ate breakfast in the most unpleasant of manners. I searched through my attire for a pleasing ensemble, but nothing seemed to please me. I only saw faults in the garments I own. With every glimpse of my bed I felt the strongest inclination to return to it. Alas, that would not be my fate today. Grieved, I brushed my teeth, combed my hair and was finally ready to exit the house. I glanced at the clock. It was 8:57. Work starts at nine o'clock. Sigh, I am late.

Yeah. That's what you get when I stay up late reading books.

17 February 2009

Cornify.com

Ever wish something were more corny? Have you ever seen a website and just wished it had more glitter or rainbows? Do you often find yourself saying, that picture would be great if it only had six more unicorns. Have I got a website for you! Cornify.com is the number one unicorn and rainbow service worldwide. Observe my apartment before and after.

before:

after:

The choice is clear my friends, what you need is more glitter in your life.

13 February 2009

Remember Google Cats?

It's been forever, but I am resurrecting Google Cats. For those of you not familiar with the rules of Google Cats, they are as follows:
1. Type a word into Google Image Search
2. Search through images until you find a cat
3. You always find a cat

Today's search words:
Mustache, page 28

Glasses, page 34

Scout, page 15


More cat fun, this girl is great. If you can't see the video below click here:

12 February 2009

Mustache Roundup


The Octopi didn't go over so well. But here's another mini-trend for you- the mustache! It's a fun trend, certainly less scary than the octopus. Who didn't want to be a spy when they were little? Mild mannered office worker by day. You put on a mustache and voila! You are now fully incognito and equipped to save the world! At least that's my theory. Thoughts on the mustache?

Clockwise:
Mr. Moustache tote bag
Self-adhesive mustaches
Pencils
Pint Glasses
Ring
Accordion Scarf with Removable Moustaches

11 February 2009

Grammy Typographic Ads





How incredible are these? The Recording Academy hired TBWA\Chiat\Day to produce a series of typographic ads to promote the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. Each Grammy-nominated artist was asked to provide 15 inspirational song titles for the typography portrait. I am a big fan of the Thom Yorke one.

Wednesday Playlist: Get Me Outta Town!


Yesterday's fantastic weather is in the past. Today, it's gloomy and raining. I am going stir crazy waiting around for spring. I am almost at the point of carrying my passport around just in case I hear about some great flight deal. To tide me over until this summer's vacation, this week's playlist is travel themed.

Just an FYI, the application that lets me add song clips doesn't always have a full version of the song I want, sometimes it's just snippets. Ah, technology!

10 February 2009

Check It: Plasticland


Hello, Plasticland! I found a new online shop full of retro inspired clothing, shoes, accessories and home goods. The San Diego based company was founded in 2002, by two artists who, "craved a much more unique selection of products that would allow us to express our own individual style." I can get behind that.

Look what I found (clockwise):
Oversized 2-Tone Sunglasses
Mustard Lattice Cut MaryJane Pumps
Nautical Dress
Georgia Peach Peep Toe Pumps
Mini Mushroom Earrings

Russian Doll Candles
Houndstooth Plaid Dress

09 February 2009

Check It: In the Library


I love the smell of bookstores and libraries. I'm just not so sure I want to smell like them. A company called CB I Hate Perfume dreamed up a bunch of nontraditional perfume scents, including In the Library. Huh. According to the perfume description In the Library smells like an, "English Novel taken from a Signed First Edition of one of my very favorite novels, Russian & Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth and a hint of wood polish." The hint of wood polish throws me off. Pledge isn't on my list of things I want to smell like. I give the concept an A+. However, I don't think many of the book lovers out there are going to cross the line and start dousing themselves in this perfume. Can you imagine it though, you're walking down the street and someone suddenly remarks, "It smells like a library out here." Ha. Fantastic.

04 February 2009

Get Well Wishes


No blogs from me tomorrow. I'm playing the role of nurse for my mother. She underwent surgery on her rotator cuff yesterday. Everything went really well, and she is at home recovering. During the first week she can't do much for herself, so the family is taking turns helping her out. I'll let you know if the patient behaves. That's her high school Senior portrait above, mom is stylin'!

Dress Obsessed Roundup


I am aching for Spring to come. I'm not normally this bad, but winter is killing me. Lately, I am consumed with thoughts of picnics, bike riding and the outdoors. Stores have started to put out their Spring lines, and they've got me hooked. I am dress obsessed. Here are a few I wouldn't mind sporting with a cardigan for Spring.

Clockwise:
Suddenly Spring Dress
Kimchi Blue Embroidered Scallop Dress
Ruffled Scoop-Neck Dress
Kimchi Blue Tea Floral Mix Print Dress
Chiffon Plaid Dress

Crisp cotton plissé-strap dress

02 February 2009

Chicago Children's Museum


Last weekend, I took a trip to the Chicago Childrens' Museum. I'm sad this place didn't exist when I was a kid. I would have wanted to go all the time. The exhibits are fantastic. A particular favorite was the Skyline exhibit. Kids are encouraged to build their own skyscrapers with tools sized just for them. Hannah, Sarah & I took a six-year old Gracie with us. Instead of making a skyscaper, we made a cat. Check it out! That's Gracie inside of the cat. I don't care how old I am. I am proud of our cat.

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