Thursday, November 27, 2008

let us give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!


May your day be filled with good food, pleasant company, and bountiful blessings!


image from Martha Stewart

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

on my iPod

Whenever I find a new song that I like, I end up listening to it over and over again until I'm eventually sick of it. (And then I just go seeking new songs, and the vicious cycle starts all over again).

Such is the case with these latest additions to my iPod. They have been playing on repeat for the past week:

-You Are The Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne
This was last week's featured free song download card that they give away at Starbucks. I love those things!

-A Change Is Gonna Come by Seal
His new album, Soul, is filled with the smooth, jazzy, soulful renditions of classic hits, but this one is by far the best.



-Sing: A Christmas LP by Josh Wilson
In my search for new Christmas music I found this three-song LP and each song is refreshingly divine, including an awesome acoustic instrumental of The First Noel.


-Prospekt's March by Coldplay
The just-released EP with 8 new songs that are heavenly.

-Glass of Water by Coldplay
Hands down the best song off of their new EP (in my opinion). I cannot get enough.

Monday, November 24, 2008

swooning

over these shoes...

Perfection.


found on Peonies and Polaroids

Friday, November 21, 2008

the lamb that little lee lifted


I think its the little pudgy Ugg-type boots she so confidently wears that makes this picture so endearing. You can't help but smile :)


found on ffffound

tis the season


I've tried to at least wait until the start of December, but I just can't hold off talking about Christmas anymore. The shopping centers are already decorated with garland and lights, the stores are showcasing holiday music, the Starbucks cups are red, and my mailbox is being inundated with holiday-related mail and magazines. Christmas-time is here! (albeit a little early).

It all just makes me want to sit by a crackling fireplace, enveloped in a comfy overstuffed chair, with a steaming cup of pumpkin spice latte (of the non-fat Starbucks variety....with whip!) and my knitting or latest read or my love, while jazzy holiday music plays softly in the background.

Sounds idyllic, really....


image from House Beautiful

Thursday, November 20, 2008

cozy home


"There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort."

~ Jane Austen


This little home looks so inviting and comfortable, I just want to skip right through the white picket fence into that open door and stay awhile!



image from Martha Stewart via Classic Bride

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

here i go a-Gocco-ing

In the midst of all the retirement festivities chaos last week, my Gocco arrived in the mail!!!


Wait...did I ever mention I actually bought a Gocco? Well...I did! I had been perusing ebay routinely and finally found a used larger model in great condition at a really good price and so bought it right away! So a week later, it came via airmail, straight from Japan!! (Gocco's are made in Japan, and are very popular there).


My Gocco came with about ten used ink tubes already, but my first project on this baby is going to be my homemade Christmas cards, so I ordered some new inks in Christmas colors from Paper Source, and they arrived the same day too!


I haven't had a chance to actually print anything yet, but that's my plan for Saturday. I'm anxious to create!! I unpacked everything yesterday and was going through all the booklets that were included.


Too bad they're all in Japanese...



So although I can understand the pictures, I can't read any of the instructions!

I imagine this says, "Print from Gocco in 12 easy steps!"


I'll have to find the English version of these instructions online, since although I already know how to use a Gocco, I don't want to make any mistakes by not understanding any of the small (Japanese) print in the booklet.

Monday, November 17, 2008

stop taunting me, Coach

It makes it even harder to resist the loveliness when Coach sends me 25%-off coupons in the mail.

oh James

Saw the latest 007 movie on Saturday. Entertaining and action-packed in true Bond fashion. It didn't quite live up to Casino Royale (which rocked my socks off), but Daniel Craig still brought the hotness:


yea, lets get a close up of that:



Dude is hott. I think he's the best Bond since Sean Connery.


Nobody but Bond can make dirty debonair sexy.


images from here and here

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hooah!

In the Army, you say "Hooah!" (sounds like "who-ah") as an agreement, acknowledgment, or exclamation--like saying 'yes' or 'affirmative.' It's the modern day battle cry that reflects pride and devotion in the Army.

For my dad's retirement farewell reception dinner, my mom wanted to include this special touch of military tradition. So she had me make a "Hooah" stencil for the dessert plates. The chefs would place the stencil on the plate, dust it with cocoa powder, lift up the stencil, and you'd have a chocolate "Hooah!" right next to the chocolate cake on the plate.


To make the stencil, I first printed out the word in the font and size I wanted. I then traced it onto tracing paper. I cut out a piece of cardstock that was the same size as the inner base of the plate. I then put the tracing paper over the cardstock circle.



Using an x-acto knife, I carefully cut out the letters on the card stock. Voila! A homemade stencil! To make things easier for the chefs, I taped little paper tabs on the stencil, so that they could easily lift the stencil off the plate without messing up the cocoa powder.


It turned out great and it was the perfect personal touch to the dessert! Hooah!

retired


Well, my dad is officially retired now. The past four days have been overwhelming but great. It was amazing to see the hundreds of friends, family, and colleagues who came to support my dad both at his farewell reception dinner and the official ceremony. There were people from every assignment and every place we've ever lived; people we hadn't seen in ten or fifteen years. It was one big blast from the past and it was awesome. 

General Petraeus was a pleasure to meet again and it was really special to see the camaraderie and friendship between him and my dad from when they served together years ago. The ceremony was supposed to be outside, with canons and flags and the whole shebang, but unfortunately the rain moved it inside. It was a little disappointing at first, but being inside ended up making the ceremony much more intimate and personal. There were still canons and flags, we just watched them on the screen from inside. 

Because it had to be moved inside, the auditorium could only hold 350 people, so all the other people went to "satellite" screens elsewhere in the headquarters and watched it on screen. Little did we know, that the ceremony was being broadcast throughout the globe at various military locations. And apparently it was on the Pentagon Channel on Thursday night, being broadcast all over the world, including the part in the ceremony when my dad asked my sisters and I to stand up in front of everybody to receive flowers. (!)

It was a bittersweet ocassion. It's rather sad to think that my dad is no longer an active duty General in the Army. But it's exciting to see my parents enter the next phase in life and start their next adventure. They are starting off right by heading to Australia and the Pacific for a month of travel! Retirement is good!

Monday, November 10, 2008

this week

...will be rather hectic. My dad is retiring from the Army after 33 years of service and it's a HUGE deal being celebrated over multiple days this week.

Wednesday night is the farewell dinner reception, and somewhere between 270-300 people are attending!! Family, friends, colleagues, and other military officials will all be there. It should be quite the party. My mom has added a lot of fun personal details and surprises that will make it extra special. She commissioned me to help her out with a few of the creative projects, so I will post about them after I can get pictures!

Thursday morning/afternoon is the actual retirement ceremonies. There's a private pre-ceremony for the family, then the actual retirement ceremony with General Petraeus doing the honors (I told you this was huge!). The ceremony is outdoors with hundreds of people in attendance. Needless to say, I've had a hard time finding something perfect to wear! It should be a grand affair though, and I'm really excited about it. After the ceremony is another reception. Lots of celebrating!

So I may have to neglect my little blog for the next few days as we will be quite busy. This is a momentous occasion for my dad and our family. I am so proud of him for all he has accomplished in his military career!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

timeless


I love this photo. Love the European feel, the elegance, the grace, the gorgeous back of that gown.


From Martha Stewart Weddings found via Perfect Bound

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

what I'm reading

My current read is one that's been on my reading list for a while now. Thunderstruck, by Erik Larson, is a historical non-fiction, but Larson's unique writing style is so intriguing and wonderful, that you feel like you're reading fiction!



His most popular book, The Devil in the White City, was truly fantastic. I read it several years ago and its one of the best books I've read. Larson takes real historical fact and narrates it in such a way that you are drawn into the story as if reading a compelling novel.

So far, Thunderstruck has proved just as interesting as The Devil in the White City. I'm still at the beginning, but I'm already at that point where when I'm not reading, I'm looking forward to the next chance I get to read more.

seriously?

I'm all politic-ed out, so I'm not gonna comment on the election outcome...

I just have one thing to say:



What the HELL was this woman wearing!?!? THIS is what she chose to wear in front of America as her husband gives his presidential-elect acceptance speech? She couldn't find anything better?? No classy designer suit or fierce dress that didn't require a flimsy cardigan?

The second she walked out in that ensemble, this is what I thought of:


And who wants to conjure up images of that? Seriously... not flattering and not attractive. A world of no!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

time for an intervention?




Case in point:


I think its time I actually start using some of this yarn...

Granted, my pile of finished projects is sufficiently larger than this.


cartoon from Natalie Dee

doing my civic duty


I woke up at 5:30 this morning to be at the polls by 6 so that I could vote before commuting into work. I got to the polling center at 5:50 and the line was already several hundred long, wrapping all the way around the church and through its parking lot. Cars were pouring in; people coming from all directions to get in line. It was encouraging that so many people were at the polls...just not too fun to wait in line for an hour.

I realized that waiting in line at the polling center is the perfect place to people watch. Especially when it's 6 in the morning, still dark outside, and people have just rolled out of bed to come vote. You see some pretty interesting characters (and fashion choices). You also notice some pretty annoying personalities. Like the couple ahead of me in line who kept making the most stupid, smart-alek, petty remarks just for the sake of talking. And the lady behind me who kept snorting like a pig (yea...I don't know what that was about).

I found it funny that there were obvious Obama supporters handing out "sample ballots" to people waiting in line. Of course, when you look at the ballot, all the democratic nominees are checked off--like a way of subliminally telling people to vote Democrat. Then you finally make it inside the polling place, and the rules/laws of voting are plastered all over the walls on big posters. And one of the very first rules is, "it is unlawful to hand out sample ballots or endorse candidates outside polling centers, etc." or something to that effect. Then underneath that it says, "offense punishable by maximum $1500 fine or up to one year in jail." Love how those people are breaking the law right outside.

I had the option of casting my vote electronically or on paper. I chose electronically. It's faster, easier, and I didn't want to be filling out bubbles on a scantron sheet. It took me twenty seconds to vote, I got my "I Voted" sticker and proudly walked out feeling content with fulfilling my civic duty.

Then I went to Starbucks and tried to upgrade my free tall cup of coffee to a pumpkin spice latte, but alas it didn't work...

Make sure you take the time to vote today!!