Internet Window-Shopping

I was bored. So I went internet window-shopping at 1stDibs. Again. I should choose a site like Old Navy to visit, where I might actually have a chance of purchasing something. But these are such pretties! And most importantly, few and far-between pieces whose rarity warrants their price tags. You know, for someone other than me.

1940 Mirror by Gio Ponti featuring Etched Astrological Signs - adorable, sassy (mm hmm!) piece for a teenager's room.
19th Century American General Store Counter - if I owned a home goods store, this would be the sales counter. If I owned a sandwich shop (Jeb!), this would be the ordering station. If I was a seamstress, this would be my sewing table. Even Samantha from Sex & the City could lay across this counter and drape herself in sushi and everything would be all good. You get the picture. It's awesome.
1960's Italian Aldo Tura Lacquered Parchment Desk with Brass Trim - I could procrastinate for hours at this desk. So shiny!
1940s French Iron X-Based Stools - totally versatile. Usable in any room (though I wouldn't suggest velvet for the kitchen . . . ). Cute Greek key details.
Early 20th Century Carved-Back Swedish Sofas - I even like them in their current fabric. Classics.

Whew, that was an exhausting day of shopping. I think I deserve a cookie.

All photos from

Forecast Friday: String Bikini

Well I sure as hades won't be wearing it, but no doubt I will see one when it officially hits . . . 75 degrees!

Not sure what the public indecency law is around here, but given that we had tee shirts and shorts when it hit 39 degrees one day in January, some beered-up folks could go overboard.

Just saying. I'll carry my trusty camera in case.


The Brat Stop

Just a few miles over the Wisconsin-Illinois border, in the same region as these two delights, is the Brat Stop. Though this one lacks the architectural integrity of Mars Cheese Castle and the intimate feel of Bobby's, it remains an emblem of Wisconsin gastronomy: big portions, tasty food, a side of grease, and good prices.
Prime location: 'tween a Taco Bell and Sunoco. 
Yes, capacity for 2000. The roof appeared to be a metal tent. No expense spared on decor. Menus = awesome.
Stand outs? The brat (duh) and the Reuben. Unfortunately, starved as we were (we were completely sidetracked on our way home by the "Pleasant Prairie" outlet mall), I forgot to take a picture of the food until it was almost gone.
Interesting side note? Most delicious fries ever. The smushy kind, similar to McDonald's. That coffee cup up top holds German potato salad, which tasted neither German nor potato-like.

Another notch on the belt that is our mid-west eating life! A notch looser, of course.


1st Quarter Review

As we near the end of March and 2010's first quarter, I thought I'd give myself a review on this year's resolutions:

1. Spend more time pursuing my favorite things to do: writing, reading, any and all things home design related, and less time ruining brain cells on terrible reality television, etc.
Writing workshop with five 40+ women? Check. Posting five times a week (these puppies can take up to two hours to write!)? Check. Am still reading Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, which is, for lack of a better word, boring. Plus, obsession with home design continues in a new direction, courtesy of "Milwaukee Recreation." Oh yes, the fine city of Milwaukee offers classes to the public in a plethora of genres. Come April, I will be taking a weekly course on Interior Design and Drafting. As for that last one - hmm, the "Top Chef" and "The Bachelor" seasons ended, freeing those hours up . . . for "America's Next Top Model," "Top Chef Masters" and "The Real Housewives of New York".

2. Get this traitor of a back in shape.
Well, yoga threw my back out. So I haven't been back and have hit the lame, old-person bicycle (physical therapist's suggestion) instead, with the occasional run mixed in. Also purchased a guest bed that is one step up from bare concrete for those nights when my back is bad. Our lucky guests!

3. Get more education.
Interior Design class, an Intro to French class and a Beginner's Sewing class all start in April. Practically a genius! Though I don't think this was the education I was referring to. Have not matriculated or received official student ID from local institution.

4. Do something that scares me.
Gained a few pounds courtesy of birthday bonanza and trip to Miami. Terrifying. Especially when you throw leggings in the mix. I'd say that one's a yes.

5. As always, be a better daughter and friend. I have a physical aversion to the phone and it's flat-out childish.
Still childish and allergic to phone.

6. Drink nicer wine.
Jon and I discovered Bota Box 'o wine from our local small, organic grocery store and it's actually quite good. So this one is also a no. Though we did attend one fancy-shmancy wine tasting where we were completely out of our league and both got hammered. Total novices.

7. Get at least one of these done. And not counting #6.
Got quite a few done. And shockingly, not #6.

Better step it up this next quarter on the wine front!


DIY for Even the Simplest Simpleton

I reupholstered my headboard with new fabric a few years ago, but seeing how easy it would be to replicate its shape from scratch, I wouldn't buy the original piece again. In fact, I plan on making a headboard for our guest room, once the Milwaukee weather warms up and I'm allowed to use the jigsaw again. 

Never. Saw. Inside. Dust = cleaning nightmare.

CasaSugar, one of my favorite home decor resource sites, posted these simple steps to creating your own headboard. With just one stop to Home Depot, a visit to your local fabric store (such as Jo-Ann or Hancock) and the use of your own/borrowed-from-your-cute-handy-neighbor's tools, you could be showing off a new headboard in a matter of hours.

Photo via

Text from

The supplies you'll need:
  • Piece of 1/2-inch plywood cut to the width of your bed frame and desired height (54"w for full, 60"w queen, 34"h). $17
  • 1/2-inch foam to cover surface area of one side of the plywood (i.e. 54" x 34", etc). $2.50
  • 3 yards of 54" batting. A queen-size bag will do. $11
  • Staple gun and staples. Borrowed
  • 2-3 yards of fabric. (I bought 3 yds. and have some to spare, so 2 yds. will probably do.) $24
  • French Natural Nailhead Trim — available at Joann's Fabrics, eBay seller nails-to-you ($8.50), DIY Upholstery Supply ($15). $8.50
  • Hammer or rubber mallet. Owned
Total Cost: $63!

Now, onto the steps . . .
  1. Head to Home Depot and have them cut your piece of plywood to size. They'll do it for free. If you want to screw your headboard directly into your bed, rather than hang it from the wall, you may want to have them cut you legs from the scrap plywood.
  2. Lay your plywood on the floor. Lay the foam on top of the plywood and staple it down, just in the four corners. If it's not a perfect shape, you may need to cut smaller pieces from the roll of foam and arrange them to fit.
  3. Unroll your batting and stretch it out flat across the floor. If it's already folded in two layers, leave it like that, you'll want two layers. Center the plywood, foam side down, on top of the batting, making sure there's room to fold the batting onto the backside of the plywood.
  4. Begin stapling the batting to the back side of the plywood, pulling it tautly as you go. When you reach the corners, fold them nicely like you would a present. Continue all the way around.
  5. Make sure your fabric is ironed or steamed if it has wrinkles.
  6. Lay your fabric on the floor, front side down. Lay the plywood down on top of it, foam/batting side down, with at least two or three inches of fabric around the edges of the plywood all the way around. Cut off excess fabric if needed.
  7. Begin stapling your fabric to the backside of the plywood, pulling it tautly as you go. When you reach the corners, be extra careful to fold them neatly like a present.
  8. Next up: the nailhead trim! The nailhead trim is basically a strip of nailhead that you only have to nail in every fifth nail. This saves a lot of time and makes lining up the nails a cinch. Decide what pattern you're going to go with ahead of time. I chose two rows of trim, but you could easily go with one, or even get more complicated. I wrapped my hammer in a sock so it wouldn't scratch the nailhead, but a rubber mallet will also work.
  9. Start at the bottom and begin nailing in the trim, checking to make sure it's a straight line as you go. When you get the corners, you may have to snip off some of the trim, and hammer in real nailheads depending on the length and width you're going for. Repeat as necessary until you've completed the trim.
  10. Fini! If you're going to hang your headboard, I'd recommend screwing in two heavy duty D-ring picture hangers into the back of the headboard, and hanging them from a screw or hook on your wall. If you want to attach the headboard to your bed, you can screw plywood legs to the headboard and them bolt them to your bed frame.


Sale Steal!

Loving this Garrett Sofa from Jayson Home & Garden:

$1996.00 - includes the sand-colored linen slipcover, down-feather cushions and three throw pillows (not pictured). Great tailored shape.

"30 is the New Black"

- Susanna Thompson, genius

And now you will no longer hear any more mention of me being 30. Life must return as it was in my twenties.

Still Recovering

This must be what it feels like to be 30.

Photo via

P.S. Remember this?
P.P.S. Here's another.

I mean, really, people.


A PG-31 Weekend

On Friday, after being tricked into bringing Una a change of clothes for the "plane ride to Tijuana," I met Jon for lunch. And found five pairs of eyeballs staring at me behind John Hawks Pub menus (culprits: Joines, James, Em, Char and Eliza). After the initial shock (Why is Jon making us sit so close to this packed-in booth of weird people?), I cried literal tears of happiness. And so the birthday festivities began. 

Friday dinner at The Pasta Tree with wine served in fish bowl-sized glasses; brother Jeb and cousin Bryce have also arrived:
Though difficult to tell, we are dressed in '80s gear for the '80s/'90s party at Kennedee's bar, our next stop. At Kennedee's, we find we are part of a select group of people who have purposefully dressed in costume. This includes the man with the Ghostbusters Proton pack. Dancing begins immediately . . . in the center of the room. By Joines and James. And no one else. Evening reaches a high point when a fellow bargoer tells Eliza, "You guys are entertaining." To which Eliza replies, "We're from out of town." And the chick says, "I know." We leave the joint at midnight to hit up Wolski's, a famous dive bar over 100 years old just blocks from our house. Their "I Closed Wolski's" bumper stickers are plastered on cars all over the city, and now our wall. As birthday woman (I am 30 now), I was able to leave with not only a collection of bumper stickers (I believe Joines procured close to 15), but a tee shirt and . . . a Wolski's thong.

Saturday: Lakefront Brewery tour at 12:30 PM. I select my favorite "Holiday Spice" beer and am back in the swing of things by the third sip. Kurtzy, aka Nitro, our fearless tour leader, begins by yelling at Emily for speaking while he is talking. Nitro's circus-style mustache, heavily-tattooed arms and hipster eyeglasses throw me for a loop, but his presentation is perfection. In the midst of our 30 minute tour I am pointed out as having the most alcoholic beer in their offerings, Bryce is called out for his East Coast attire of backwards hat and scarf tied European-style, and Eliza is tapped to play Laverne in our quick rendition of the Laverne & Shirley theme song (the show was based in Milwaukee). Tour highlight features Nitro's demonstration of how to seal the old bunghole-style of keg, complete with romantic details, such as "a drawn bath and scarf draped over a lampshade." Joines's electrified face draws his immediate attention and she is awarded the coveted bung, which he later signs "Love & Kisses on Your Bung."
Please note ecstasy on Joines's face and confusion on Nitro's as he asks, "To Joines?" Apparently not a common name out here.

Hard to top this party off, but we head to Real Chili and stuff our faces, only to return home for immediate naps and then present opening. Here Emily models the ribbons. That was most likely the beer talking.
As possibly everyone who knows me is aware, I have a Mexican food problem. Doesn't matter if it's from a taco stand in a parking lot under a highway and sold by a man with no pants, if it involves melted cheese, bread and something spicy, it will find its way to my belly. We eat dinner at Charro, a Mexican restaurant with a New York vibe. Our meal ends with Jon requesting a birthday dessert from our waiter. Ensuing conversation:

Jon: Can we get a birthday dessert for my wife?
Waiter: Sure. Would you like me to sing?
Jon: Um, no, that's okay.
Waiter: I can sing Happy Birthday if you want.
Jon: No, that's okay.
Waiter: Seriously, I'm really good.
Jon: Okay, sure.

Ice cream arrives and I am serenaded with a Whitney Houston/gospel-version of "Happy Birthday." Ice cream, Real Chili and quesadilla begin salsa-ing in my stomach. Not good. Must unbutton pants immediately to allow for growing waistline. We head across the street to Milwaukee's answer to a Manhattan nightclub, Apartment 720. Jon has gotten us a table which, for our number of people (now down to seven, with Char and Bryce home for the evening), requires two bottles of vodka. Which I won't be consuming unless food starts flying out of my belly button and opens up some room. Jon asks, given there are now only 6 people drinking, if we can take "whatever's left of the bottle home at the end of the night." Yup.

We arrive to our table to discover three heavily-intoxicated bachelorette ladies dancing with boas on the dance floor next to us. Joines and Eliza are immediately jealous. Joines uses my brother's button down shirt (wrapped around her hands and wrists) as a makeshift boa until Emily suggests they make them from toilet paper. After mere minutes in the bathroom, they proudly return with these:
Shortest bachelorette comes over to Joines:

SB: Is that toilet paper?
Joines: No.
SB rips it off of her and throws it on the ground.
SB: Yes it is.

Since we are in Milwaukee, this is followed by Joines being offered a pink and purple boa, which she happily wears for the rest of the evening. At one point, upon realizing Joines has gone missing, we find her at the center of a circle of all the bachelorettes (10?), dancing solo. When she returns, she advises James to "go over there cuz they'll give you a free drink."

High kicks, ninja moves (via James, who runs over to announce he has just karate chopped the woman next to him in the neck), the Dog Pee (leg balanced in the air, step down, rotate 15 degrees, repeat), the Poop and Lookout (one person squats while the person stands lookout behind, repeat in a circular motion) are showcased. I recline on one of our couches, pants still unbuttoned. A surprise lap dance from Joines prompts Emily to announce that "that was PG-31. Not even Abbey was old enough."

Evening-ending conversation:

Jeb: I think this vodka is watered down. I can't even taste it.
Emily: It probably is! Cheapskates. Let's check.
Jeb: Good idea.

Followed by all attendees pouring remaining vodka straight down each other's throats. With no vodka to take home with us, a taxi drops Jon and I off while the rest of the crew continues on for more Wolski's and darts. Eliza, our resident college student, has the drinking athleticism of an Olympian, powering into the early hours like a champ, dragged down only by her older and less-fit sibings. Everyone is impressed. The night finally winds down once Jeb receives unwanted attention from a female Wolskian, which Emily quickly diffuses by spraying a mouthful of beer "into the space between them. Not on them." Chick promptly leaves.

Sunday found us at brunch at Cafe Hollander and in various states of hangover-ness. Hangout time lasts until late afternoon, when the bunch must get driven back to the airport, much to my and Houston's continuing dismay.

Best. Weekend. Ever.


Uh oh.

It's arrived! Well, not technically, as I was born just after 7:00 AM on this miracle of days. I am holding onto 29 with a death grip until then. Clearly, peace of mind as one ages is not a given.

And nope - didn't go anywhere this weekend. Una fully tricked me and instead had 7 family and friends fly out to surprise me! It was, hands down, the best birthday I have ever had. My sisters Emily and Eliza, my brother Jeb, cousin Bryce, and friends Char, James and Joines wreaked havoc on the Milwaukee environs and unsuspecting 'Sconsinites from Friday lunch through dinnertime last night. It was amazing.

Highlights from our PG-31 weekend (as my sister Emily took to calling it) to come, which involved a Wolski's thong, 80's gear, karate chops to the neck, party sashes constructed of toilet paper, a new dance called the "Poop and Lookout," a mustachioed man named Nitro, a bung from Lakefront Brewery, and, obviously, Real Chili.


Le Mauvais Lundi

Yes, dear friends, it is almost upon us. On Monday, I turn 30. 

The horror! The shock! The disbelief! (At least mine, anyway.) Una has surprised me with the best birthday present ever - a weekend getaway to a secret location! (CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia? Post-Olympics Vancouver? Tijuana, Mexico?!) I won't know where we are going until we arrive at the airport at 5:00 PM today. Which has made it quite difficult to pack and could explain the 6 pairs of shoes that are traveling with me for a 2.5 day trip.

In light of this impending milestone, I have compiled fifteen reasons why I might possibly sleep through Monday altogether, and fifteen more that may tempt me to wake up at lunchtime and greet the day with lipstick and a glass of Chardonnay. Here we go!

Fifteen reasons I am henceforth considering March 22nd a terrorist holiday*:
  1. Midsection is beginning to lose elasticity, similar to a pair of old tights. I throw out old tights.
  2. Forehead resembles a piece of lined notebook paper, which appears to worsen when makeup is applied. *P.S. No one likes notebook paper. It reminds people of elementary school and learning cursive and a certain second grade teacher who yelled at them for not understanding “borrowing” in math. *P.P.S. Numbers don’t give you permission!
  3. No master's degree to throw around at cocktail parties in a fake English accent; no underlings to answer my emails for me and get hot - I said scalding! - coffee with skim milk foam and 1/2 packet of raw sugar; no reaping the "health benefits to having a child before 30." Hmm, what about the health benefits to not having a child by 30? Why hasn’t that article been written? New to-do item.
  1. I was supposed to be skinnier, not 5 pounds heavier. Offensive. Really.
  2. Envisioned myself greeting this unwanted milestone with an obscenely expensive pair of Chanels on my pedicured feet and ropy, muscular arms a la Kyra Sedgwick. (Perhaps scientists should study her DNA? She seems to be de-aging.) Mud-covered Adidas circa 2005 and 2 x 4 biceps not acceptable alternatives.
  3. Anyone under the age of 25 thinks I am old.
  4. Newsflash: Do not have any friends under the age of 25 who are not related to me.
  5. Old people sicknesses are one bad doctor’s appointment away: saddlebags, precancerous skin lesions, boils, hemorrhoids, light bladder leakage, replacement hip surgery, reading glasses.
  6. I can no longer attempt to pass for 25. Even verbally. Especially verbally. What the hell does “TOCOX” mean anyway? Is that sexting? No, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.
  7. My husband can now say – my wife is 30. And he is not.
  8. Shopping at HSN will henceforth be referred to as a pre-30 ‘adventure’ (“Remember when I did that? I was hilarious!”). Committed to habit, it is a slippery slope right down to owning a shag-covered pet ramp in the master bedroom and Joan Rivers costume jewelry. 
  9. Driving a Camry is horribly uncool. And parentlike. And sensible. Especially as our particular model was made in a year when most of the under-30s were just reaching double-digits.
  10. The word sensible will suddenly apply to virtually anything I do that is not idiotic.
  11. The next major stop on the birthday express is 40. Holy Christ, where is the minivan?
  12. Minivans are for those little people known as children. Holy Christ, pass me the Ortho and a powerful box o’ Franzia!

Fifteen reasons I shall embrace Monday, March 22nd as a “positive,” growing (metaphorically, of course) experience:

  1. 30 is closer to 20 than 50! To be repeated ad nauseaum.
  2. Not giving a rat’s ass what people think. And not caring that I don’t give a rat’s ass. Future teenage children mortified.
  3. School amazingly sounds appealing. Though 7 years may not be enough time to ask former professors for a recommendation. That attendance policy was a real PITA.
  4. Imagining the size of my rear end if I skip a work out is enough to terrify me into my 2005 Adidas with a frozen smile on my face and a spring in my step.
  5. I have about five more years before it gets embarrassing to say that “I’m still figuring out what I want to do.” After that it’s just creepy and lame, a la our neighbor Uncle Benny, who plays in a garage band and works at Shoprite because “he’s an artist.”
  6. SAT scores are irrelevant now! Only a fool would ask to see them.
  7. People actually ask for your advice. And sometimes it ends up being right. Who knew?
  8. No more roommates. Unless they are the smaller/easily-manipulated variety that call me Mom and do the dishes for chore money.
  9. Not going out is normal.
  10. Early bedtimes are normal and a must to retain younger-looking skin, per Vogue, the chic, mature woman’s bible.
  11. Obviously, as one gets older, taste is refined. Clearly my purchases will be more expensive, as I have outgrown anything made of polyester, rayon, gold-plating or Ikea.
  12. Big birthdays warrant big, shiny presents. I think I will mention this to husband.
  13. As one ages, one tires quite easily. Vacations are a natural and necessary antidote to the stress of adult life!
  14. Safety in numbers. Dear, once-young friends are also suffering similar fates. I comfort myself by imagining them with more wrinkles than me.
  15. I am pretty pumped about spending all my years post-30 married to Una. Especially after May 8, 2011. Which is when he turns 30. I shall graciously welcome him into a new decade with sage advice and an expensive spa vacation!

*Yup, it's out of order. Blame the Franzia. Bon weekend!


Cheap Trick

Need a console table for lamps and to display pictures behind a couch or in an entryway? A temporary bar or tailgating table? Extra dining space for additional guests or to use outdoors? But you don't want to spend money on another piece of furniture that isn't perfect. And let's be real, perfect is expensive. And time-consuming to locate.

Tablevogue has come up with a genius solution: a floor-length natural-colored slipcover with box pleats for folding tables. You know, those cheap bendable situations that everyone has hiding in their basement because they are hideous but necessary. I admit it: we have one. Check them out in their new glory:
All photos via Tablevogue

From $39.99 - $59.99 based on table size.

You could also dye the fabric a darker color, stencil a monogram on top or front, sew a ribboned border or attach a trim along the base to make it even more chic. I am in love. At least until I can get that perfect piece of furniture. And I win the lotto.
Damn you, leprechaun!

1stdibs A-Hunting

My brain is running a little slow this morning after too many Harps at our local Irish pub, the County Clare. [Highlight? A grown woman in her 50's in a full-on leprechaun costume: pants, coat, tights, shoes with buckles, cap. She also maxxed out at 4' 10 inches. Shit. I think this was the leprechaun I was meant to interrogate for the treasure crocks! I blame you, Harp! Furious right now.] 

Instead of having to actually write anything, I did some internet shopping at 1stdibs again. I love this site:

Paolo Buffa Console from 1940's Italy - The back is finished as a small bookshelf, so that this piece could be placed as a 'separater' in a large room (no need to hide an ugly back against a wall!) that has several functions (living-dining room, etc). Loving the carved inserts for the brass rings.

I take issue with most rugs. I never want my eye to immediately go to the floor when I enter a room, unless it's for a beautiful wood floor or antique tiles. But I am loving the deep charcoal color of this antique Agra rug from early 20th century India:
This 1970's bronzed-steel root cocktail table is a unique piece. I am not a fan of glass sheets simply laid upon bases to create a "table" - it always looks unfinished to me. I think I would swap this glass out for something else, perhaps an unstained piece of wood, or for a more glamorous look, white marble. Of course, I say this and it all depends on what it looks like in person. The glass may be perfect for it (it is a restored, unnamed piece, so swapping it out would not take away from the historical value). Very sculptural and open.
1970's Mazzega chandelier with two-toned Murano glass - I'd put this over an eat-in kitchen table (and not in a dining room). The hanging chain takes away from the formality of the piece, and the white color works well with the modern appliances you find in kitchens.
Original rounded-arm leather "bridge chairs" from 1930s France in perfect condition - not only do these look comfortable and completely usable, the color of the leather is so rich. Your guests won't be afraid to sit in these! The tapered legs and leather-covered backs are just beautiful.
Seriously, I love these chairs. Now back to bed. Butler, bring me my advil and an egg, sausage and cheese sandwich!


Little Lepes

Fine. I promise to never use the words "Samaritan milk explosion" ever again. Instead, I will write about things much less creepy, such as leprechauns.

Commonly-known facts about leprechauns, little lepes, or leipreachans (in Old Irish):
  • He is a fairy creature, similar to the clurichaun but without the drinking problem.
  • He is very old, wrinkly and in dire need of botox.
  • A bit of a dandy, clad in a red or green coat with rows and rows of shiny buttons and an old-timer (16th century) hat. The hat is key.
  • No taller than a small child. And occasionally only 2-3 inches tall. Wee.
  • Very solitary and often quite cranky, ill-natured, cunning and fond of mischievous practical jokes. A bit of a recluse.
  • Prone to pinching people. 
  • Though solitary, reportedly very well-spoken and a good conversationalist, should you get over the pinching.
  • When particularly excited, will leap onto his pointed cap and spin in circles, his dainty feet poised in the air. Quite agile and sprite.
  • If he didn't have that hat, "ye might pass a leprechaun in the road and never know it's himself." His hat was not cool in the 17th century and is downright ridiculous in the 21st. Could use a TLC makeover.
  • Occasionally carries a sword, which he will use as a magic wand to your detriment.
  • Occupation: Cobbler (old-school shoemaker).
  • A very rich cobbler, known to possess treasure crocks which are often secretly buried.
  • He likes to count the money in these treasure crocks, which contain one coin for each year of his life. And can sometimes be found at the end of a rainbow.
  • A human can obtain these riches only by interrogating, outwitting or frightening a leprechaun with bodily force. 
  • Which you can probably do by following the sound of his shoemaker's hammer to his secret den. Most likely located inside the trunk of an old tree, a la Leprechaun, the cinematic gem that remains the highlight of Jennifer Aniston's movie career.   
  • If you fix your eye upon a leprechaun you are rooted to the spot, unable to move. God help ye. 
  • If you look away, he will vanish instantly. Along with those pots o' gold.
  • Wearing green makes you invisible to the leprechaun. Your call if you'd like to avoid the pinching or become a millionaire.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In reality, the true St. Patrick was born in 385 A.D. and traveled across Ireland establishing monasteries. He was celebrated with great feasts on this day pre-17th century. Today we're more likely to throw on something bright green, draw a shamrock on our faces, stick a 'Kiss Me, I'm Irish' pin on a tee shirt and get hardcore drunk via Irish Carbombs while eating corned beef. I plan to drink enough beer to spy a leprechaun and interrogate him into giving me all of his gold, which I will then spend on expensive shoes that will force said leprechaun's blood to boil over the irony of it all!


A Blog-Reading Hussy with Beer Goggles

A comment from "book" added to Thursday's blog post (in Chinese, translated by moi . . . and Google):
情慾情色做愛限制級波霸口交18禁貼圖寫真視訊援交露點爆乳潮吹裸體裸照裸女愛愛無碼尋夢視訊聊天a漫a片a圖一夜情一葉情人妻激情情色寫真美女自拍辣妹自拍正妹自拍美女走光辣妹走光   En Englais: Erotic oral sex erotic sex restricted Boba 18 dew point cut map graphic video Samaritan milk explosion wave naked nude nudes blow Ai-ai-free touring video chat with a diffuse yards a piece a figure one-night stand leaf passionate lover wife erotic photo beautiful babes self-timer self-timer 
"Graphic video Samaritan milk explosion?" I could not have said this better myself. A literary genius.

This also leads me to believe book has never read any of my posts. What a tramp! He-she's just going around left and right, leaving comments like a blog-reading hussy with beer goggles on. I feel so used.

I shall not return your future calls, book. 


Forecast: Foggy . . . and Still in Milwaukee

So foggy, in fact, my 6:00 AM plane couldn't arrive last night. And was further delayed this morning (where it sat in Chicago until 8:00 AM - couldn't they walk over it here with a leash? That's like a twenty second jog mile-wise for an airplane). Causing me to miss my connection in Cleveland for Miami. So I'm up for round two tomorrow at 5:45 AM.

Bring it on, Miami!


Forecast: Foggy

It's been so foggy the past two days here in Milwaukee, we can barely see the end of our block. While the warmth has been a welcome change from the chill we usually have, and the snow is finally - finally! - melting, we've now traded in the massive four-foot piles of "white sh*t" (popular term for snow once February rolls around) for massive piles of mud. 

Which Houston likes to trek across the kitchen floor and over the living room rugs. I feel like a permanent paw shiner. She's gotten to the point where she enters the house, sits down on the towel by the door, and lifts her front paw for me to clean, while looking away at the ceiling. You know the old rule - never look a servant in the eye! She's a fast learner, that one. Am now expecting her to refuse future meals unless served in silver bowls over a French lace placemat.

I'm off to South Beach at 6 AM tomorrow for a bachelorette weekend - woo hoo! Guaranteed I will return a few shades whiter than I already am, on Monday. 

Tanning was never a strong suit for me. As my mother managed to retain a permanent tan through the winter months (how?), I blame my father. Though he is still under the impression that baby oil, connecting freckles and red skin constitute a "tan."


The Couchscapade Continues

If you haven't noticed, I like to mix the word 'escapade' with other ones. There's just so much mystery in that word! What happened, what went wrong?! The drama of it all! The excitement!

Anywho, late last week the company we ordered our couch from left a lovely little message on Una's phone that our fabric was no longer available. All used up. Our new option was to review the choices left on the website. You know, the ones that people really didn't want.

Thank gad (midwestern accent for ya) there was a normal one left - "Natural Twill." Of course, when I asked if they could send me a free sample ahead of the couch (now arriving at the end of April), that wouldn't do either. They were all out of those, too.

Oh boy, do we like a little adventure! Color of the couch? Why, I have no idea! Is it soft? Who knows! Will it work with the paint on the living room walls? It'll have to!

Good thing this company has a respectable reputation or I'd unleash Big Lots Jon unto them.

They would fear for their little lives, if they only knew.



For all you Project Runway lovers - 

Meryl Streep wore a Chris March dress to the Oscars!

Photo via

He was my sister's favorite because he was so funny. And also an amazing drag queen.

Photo via


It only took 82 years?!

For the first time in the Oscars's 82-year history, a woman won the award for Directing - Kathryn Bigelow for "The Hurt Locker."

Image from

This is awesome, but also kind of lame it took this long. 

I hope she puts a dress on that damn statue.

P.S. No, I haven't seen it yet, but I will now immediately do so on principle alone. It just looks so sad!


Thank God Our Lawmakers Have Their Priorities Straight

Courtesy of Huffington Post:

In Wisconsin, it is illegal to serve butter substitutes in State Prisons.

Phew. I think I'll celebrate such justice with a delightful ice cream sandwich.



[That was circus voice for you.]

Forgot to mention - this past Monday Jon started a new job at a great value-investment firm here in Milwaukee! We are here to stay!

This means no more procrastinating for me (popular thought process in the previous months: Well, we really don't even know if we'll be here in January. No point in making a change now that might become obsolete next week! Better to sit on this couch, wait and see what this month brings. This is very sensible of me! I think I deserve some crackers and cheese.)

Time to take things seriously now! Uh oh . . .

1stDibs is like couture eBay for serious antique and modern furniture, clothing and jewelry collectors and interior designers. Founded by Michael Bruno, a former realtor from San Francisco, the site allows only the very best dealers to list their items. In fact, there are 500 dealers allowed to post their wares - with a waiting list of 800 more. Each dealer must have a brick and mortar store location - in Paris, London, New York, the Hamptons, Palm Beach, or even Madison, Wisconsin. 

It is the best of the very best and to be honest, can be completely overwhelming. My friend Sara, who I've posted about before, recently began her own blog based on her inspirations for designing. Each week she lists her favorite new items from 1stdibs. This jumpstarted me to take a crack at it myself. Here goes . . . 

After my wedding, a nautical obsession began that continues unabated. Must be from having grown up in Rhode Island, the Ocean State. Loving these 1940s French Rope Table Lamps!
German designer Karl Springer's Crocodile Embossed Coffee Table (though if I had my dream item, I'd like one of his lacquered parchment pieces). The lines are gorgeous.
Line Vautrin Enameled Gilt Bronze "Porcupine" Bracelet from 1950's France
Black Ebonized Campagn Desk from 1940's England with Nickel-Plated Fittings and a Leather Insert with Embossed Greek Key Border


Mid-Century Italian Designer Gaetano Sciolari's Crystal Chandelier. 
Has to be used in a space with restraint, since it drips with glamour - maybe as a glittering surprise in a modern kitchen, or over a simple dining table, or even in a dressing room? It reminds me of a ring I've had for many years. I love it.

As a note, some dealers will sell 'to the trade' only (professionals in the industry - interior designers, architects; AKA - not moi, the adoring public). A simple call to an interior designer can hook you up if you find something you love . . .

See anything you like?


We Did This Over The Weekend

Tripoli Shrine Circus.

Discounted ticket price: 10.50 an adult. We took our friends Emmie (a fellow transplant from NYC who worked in the photo department at People magazine) and Brian (a sports business entrepreneur).

Obviously this began with wine and perhaps a miniature shot of Jagermeister, which immediately gave me a stomach ache that lasted through the THREE HOUR CIRCUS. Hell no, we weren't going to this thing sober! Check out the arena with its screaming children (all high on sugar and soda and awake until 10 PM with their dang flourescent Darth Vader swords). This arena was soon packed to the brim:
Those would be the Shriners driving around on motorcycles and introducing the event. See the enormous shriner hat mascot, a few feet to the right of Sponge Bob Squarepants? Good times.
Here's our tranny ringmistress Michelle Audrey, who introduced every event with a horrendous circus voice (HEERE we GOOO with OUR fabUUUlous ti-GERS!) and outfits about 4 sizes too small. Maybe 8 sizes. Thongs, people. That's why this photo from the circus website is from the belly up. Thank God we were in the nosebleed section.
Onto the tiger act - yes, animals! Only you soon feel sorry for these poor things, traveling from city to city in cages.
Their master was amazing, with flowing platinum (possibly grey) locks, intensely tight white pants, an exposed, hairless chest with leather fringe vest, boots, arm shields and wielding a whip. His act consisted of swinging his whip in the air 10 feet away from any tiger and bending into a semi-warrior-one yoga position to flex his leg muscles:
This man clearly moonlights as a lead singer for a White Snake cover band on the weekends. Had to make that photo black and white. Instant classic. Please note how far he is from the animals. The tiger in the back is straight up embarassed for this fool and probably wouldn't even deign to eat him. Check out that look of tiger disgust. 

The best was when the tigers would hiss at him:
"La la la, stop looking at me! They can't eat me, it's in my contract! Tee hee, tee hee, I am frightened but still manly. My pants are sick!"
One of the tigers went on a tightrope, which was impressive. Look at those paws!
Next up: trapeze artists. With absolutely no net below them, nor harness:
Love the heels at the bottom of the photo.
Followed by the My Little Pony parade, arranged in rainbow order by mane and tail color:
And then the man-hamster who ran inside and on top of a rotating wheel that went about 40 feet in the air. The only photo I care to show is when he geniusly blindfolded himself and nearly fell off the dang thing:
Don't worry, he caught himself in the next second or so. This was followed by "Lloyd's Old English Sheepdogs," which entailed puppies being driven around on a clown car and then climbing some bleachers and running down a slide. They were so cute. Until one got overexcited, jumped off the moving car and WENT UNDER THE WHEEL. The puppy was okay. Luckily. 
I hate Lloyd.
This photo was just before the "accident." Seriously, attending the circus makes you want to join PETA. Even if you just had steak tartare with a side of blood sauce for dinner.

And onto the elephants, who were first used for rides at the intermission. At 8:30 PM. (The original time we had assumed, so foolishly, the circus would have been over.) This intermission was 45 MINUTES LONG. More beers were consumed.
I am fairly certain there is no regulation regarding the number of children or adults placed on a wild animal's back. If you are wondering if this is the dollar store version of the circus of our childhoods, you would be correct.
After an intermission long enough for Jon to grow a mustache, the elephants came back out with some showgirls:

The poor friend at the end can only get his leg so high. Needs to work on some inner thigh muscles. Their butts are so cute!
Not so cute? Basketball-sized poops that littered the ring. Note the similarity between the size of the man's head and the dropping.
We're almost done! The tightrope motorcyclists! Not cool at all.
And aerialists, who dangled and twisted high up over the rings. Again, with no net. This chick was quite impressive:
And last but definitely not least, an act which the boys missed in entirety while getting yet more beers - the contortionist. This was, by far, the best part of the show. She basically rested her chin on a small stand and then twisted her body up over and around her head in a variety of illegal positions. She ended by aiming a bow with her legs and shooting an arrow across the ring, directly into a balloon.
Yeah, that man's job is obviously integral to this act. She was resting her chin on one of those handrests for the majority of the show. I mean, insane. She is not getting paid enough for this.I hope she has her own RV dressing room.
I'm exhausted just reliving this experience via photos. Quite the weekend.