Snow Shmow

Update: And . . . it's not even snowing anymore. As I have stated before, the Milwaukee forecasters are the worst weather people I have ever encountered in my life.

Guess I shouldn't hold my breath for the lottery.

Snow & Fashion

I may have complained to Una last week that we had been shorted on the snow front and I was ready for a blizzard. Well . . . it looks like we're getting up to 2 feet over the next 2 days. I had no idea I was so powerful. 

P.S. Universe: I am also feeling shorted on the lottery front.

On a totally different note, the Screen Actors Guild Awards were last night, which I was only allowed to watch during Knicks' game commercials. Pretty much the same people won as did at the Golden Globes a few weeks ago, though "The King's Speech" won the SAG version of best film, which went to "The Social Network" last time. Much more important - the prettiest dresses:

First up, adorable mothers to be:

Natalie in Azzaro
(I am totally feeling for her swollen face, which remains beautiful . . . and acne free, the hooker.)

Jane Krakowski in Badgley Mischka

Nicole in Nina Ricci 
(from the neck down; someone's face is looking like a Swanson frozen dinner)

Annette Bening in Tony Ward Couture
(definition of chic and age-appropriate, something I seem to care more about every year)

January in Carolina Herrera - this dress is stunningly gorgeous. Hair, not so much.

My favorite: Mila Kunis in Alexander McQueen

Images via and



I am officially 23 weeks now and have gained almost 20 pounds (required, but ew), which coincidentally feel as if they have leased an apartment on my thighs and rear end. (I was hoping for a 'No Vacancy' situation in this region, but apparently it's taking any and all customers.) My belly, in comparison to a woman at the gym who is due 3 days after me, appears weeks behind. I am expecting to wake up one morning with a giant beach ball for a belly, having inflated overnight and forcing me to the maternity store in the only clothes that will fit (a sports bra and athletic pants), a walking abstinence ad for the local teenage male population. 

On the downside, my skin resembles the before photos of those Proactiv commercials. Never in my life have I experienced breakouts like this. Neckne? Yeah, thanks for that. At least the chacne and backne are covered up for winter. Now if only burkhas were in style, I could feel completely at ease without a pound of foundation . . . 

On the wonderful upside, Una sees only the belly and perfect mini-baby hiding inside. Bloomberry kicks virtually all day, every day, a little hamster running perpetual laps and karate chopping my uterus walls. I've had no morning sickness and my food cravings include anything 'gummy, sweet or buttery.' Mmm, I'm hungry again. The house is in various states of progress, with the baby's closet and library collections slowly growing, and our master bedroom still unfinished. Veloc's new handicapped ramp for the backyard staircase turned out swimmingly and she skips up and down its indoor-outdoor carpeted slope like a young doe. (Photo to come. Our neighbor spied the contraption going up and wondered if we had  commissioned a mini-deck out back.)

We're off to test drive strollers this weekend, hit up a Marquette basketball game and craft some Packers decor for a friend's Super Bowl party amidst some projected snow flurries. Hope your weekend is warm and relaxing!


A New Online Magazine: Matchbook

You may have already seen the posts about Matchbook, which just debuted this week! It has great photography and a quirky, romantic, modern take on interiors and lifestyle. Just like one of its founders, Katie Armour of The NeoTraditionalist fame. 

Check it out here!

Images via


Habitually Chic: Roman & Williams

Habitually Chic has a fantastic post on interior design firm/husband and wife team Roman and William's downtown NYC loft. First - this is a loft. You are going to immediately forget that because it feels like a house that has been around for decades. Second, the mix of furniture, antiques, finishes, architectural details look like they were accumulated by generations, not the focused eyes of two designers. Tremendous job well done. 

Enter and enjoy!

Chanel Spring 2011

The couture shows for Spring 2011 are showing in Paris. Here are a few beauties from Chanel:

The shoes are black flats with a clear ankle strap. 

Love, love, love. Inspired by "dewdrops on a spiderweb."

All photos via


A Balmy 25 Today

It's a muggy 25 today in Milwaukee, which is a vast improvement over last week. Una is sick with a cold, which I am starting to get, so planning on laying low today. Perhaps will fully peruse Lonny, which I am overdue in reading in full. 

And maybe catch up on last night's Gossip Girl. I freaking love that show.

I said maybe. Serena. 


Go Pack Go!

Watching the game at a friend's house yesterday, we decided that 90% of the Wisconsin population was likely doing the same. I've never been around such a football community. Loving the Packers is like being proud of your state's most important historic landmark or cultural icon. You're from Wisconsin? How about those Packers? Yep, they're awesome (just don't bring up Favre). It was icing on the cake that it was the Bears that went down. A 'Sconsin dream.

Friday I made a brief stop at the supermarket. Check out the dessert department - only in Wisconsin:

Today is the first day of my fiction workshop class at UWM. We only get to submit twice each, but each submission needs to be 12 - 15 pages. A bit of a different approach but definitely helpful for applications . . . I'm nervous! 

Wonder what my fellow students will think of my belly?



Currently -2 degrees by my house. 

And down to -10 with the wind chill.

So we have that going for us today. 


Meet James Gulliver Hancock

Meet James Gulliver Hancock, Australian illustrator and current Brooklyn resident who draws his surroundings. Check out some of his adorable prints:

All the Buildings in New York

How New York Works

Desiring Typewriter

The Moon

All the Bicycles in Berlin

Starting at $50 each. Learn more about this adorable artist and purchase them here.

P.S. Great name!


Lake Michigan on Ice

Fab Chicago Condo on Apartment Therapy

Check out this great condo in Chicago decorated by owner and interior designer Summer Thornton as seen on Apartment Therapy:

Living Room:
The storage on the right was built by her husband and father-in-law and covers an unsightly AC unit at the top. The fabric on the ottoman is secured by velcro and allows her to swap it out seasonally!

Summer added the molding and inserted wallpaper for interest. She measured the width of the wallpaper roll to determine the size of the boxes. 

Window Seat:
A gorgeous way to fill an awkward spot.

Hear more about Summer's choices here!


Golden Globes 2011

My fave dresses:

Scarlett Johansson in Elie Saab

Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace

Anne Hathaway in Armani

Leighton Meister in Burberry (pretty, different and youthful)

Favorite Hot Mess (note the shoes): 
Bonham Carter in her grandmother's apron, daughter's tutu and Mrs. Claus's shoes. 
Photos from

5 Pounds & a Boo Hiss

Pretty sure I am now 5 pounds heavier than I was Friday morning. 

We stayed at Hotel Allegro in Chicago on Friday (a total steal with adorable details - great decor, a free cocktail hour for all guests, and a much better gym than the W) and ate at MK. Where we ordered gnocchi and truffle fries for appetizers (as well as a complimentary pumpkin soup the waitress gave each of us), I had the lamb chops and we-slash-me ended with a fresh donut dessert plate. (Don't forget the bread and butter and the cold salmon amuse bouche that all patrons get.) This was after eating pita chips and artichoke dip at the hotel bar mere hours before. Saturday we hit Hot Chocolate in Wicker Park for more pastries and donuts (Baby has a sweets problem), brunch and then a speed drive to Lakefront Brewery for an early afternoon tour. [If you are visiting Milwaukee, this is a Must Do.] Followed by Saturday night dinner at Roots Cellar, a trip to the world famous dive bar Wolski's and bedtime at . . . 1. 

Yeah, we are officially no longer young.

Friday at the hotel my dear friends surprised me with a baby shower! Baby books, swaddling blankets, adorable clothes, the all-important breast milk booze testing strips, and a pair of miniature cowboy boots. Just awesome.

Now it's Monday, snowing, cold and we have an empty house. 

Boo hiss.


Signing Off

I have 5 of my dearest college friends in town to have a last hurrah before You Know Who arrives in May. We're off to Chicago for the night and then back in Milwaukee for rest of the weekend. Hope you have a wonderful Friday!


P.S. Dining room color was a success. Baby's room color was a smashing failure. Normally I have time to paint patches (which I had done months ago in the dining room) but with mere hours to decide I went off the paint chip. Tremendously bad idea.  Too pale - looks like primer next to our landlord's 'builder's cream' that he has painted the entire house/molding/ceilings. Boo.



My brother is in town for a late stage interview with a company based out of Milwaukee and with offices in San Francisco (where he lives). Lucky us! In the meantime, we hit up trivia last night (second place win) and are heading to the Buck - Spurs game tonight, a late addition to the itinerary. Since . . .  

Brother was supposed to fly home today, but since the East Coast is getting sloshed with another blizzard in less than a month (my parents have already lost electricity and are due for over one foot again), it doesn't look like he's going anywhere. Yes! 

Add to this that we have 6 college friends flying in to visit us this weekend, and I'm thinking next week is going to feel really, really boring. I've never been so excited to get so little sleep!


Lonny on 1.11.11

The January/February issue is out!

Check it out here.


10% Chance

Have I mentioned I hate phones? Particularly cell phones, as they allow you to be reached anywhere, anytime, by anyone. (I get the itchies just thinking about it - being hemmed in makes me nervous. Perhaps this is why my various stays in corporate America never lasted longer than 2 years a pop.)

The universe threw me a bone this morning when my phone fell in the (clean) toilet. It's drying out in a giant bowl 'o brown rice, but my prognosis is 10% chance of survival. In the meantime, I will relish the fact that our painter is here.

Our painter is here!
Our painter is here!

Seeing as I have been advised not to paint by my doctors, and Una has a full-blown aversion to it, we sucked it up last week and found a great painter on Craigslist (winter is their slow, slow season). The dining and baby's rooms are finally getting done! Sweet baby Jesus hallelujah!

Living room will be a custom pale (pale) pink/coral color and baby is getting Benjamin Moore "Misty Gray." 


Sale on Sale: Ann Taylor Loft

All of their sale items are an additional 40% off (no coupon code needed - it's taken off once you check out). I mean, as if I need a reason to shop.

PLUS, they have an online maternity section. 

It's Friday, get going!

Holy Halfway

Today I hit the 20 week mark and it officially smacked me in the face that I am halfway to D-Day (delivery, as I've reimagined it) or over halfway, should said child arrive early, as I did. (I am fully open to this scenario, baby.)

Baby is now the length of a banana and I've realized it's time to get started on you know, those classes I'm supposed to take, painting the baby's room and sourcing furniture (I do already know which crib I want), stocking up on necessities. Oh yeah, and reading up on parenting basics. Part of me just wants to wing it. What? That's what they did back in the day. You just figure it out. It's not like the dang thing comes with instructions (other than 'don't break' and 'I will embarrass you'). 

Anywho, the race is on! Can't wait to meet you, little one! We just can't wait!


Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

Remember Una's holiday party, the one that required him to perform a song before his entire company + all significant others with his one fellow newbie employee? (Okay, it was for 50 people - not 350 - but still.)

It happened. We all sat at our dinner tables and watched as they performed "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree." And as Una said, he "blacked out" from stage fright. Which meant we heard every 5th word of the song, while his colleague tap danced and soloed her way through the ditty. Luckily, they came up with a little something extra to bring the performance over the edge. And had many proclaiming it was the "best performance of all time."

Which promptly saved Una's reputation. Judge, please accept photos 1 - 5 showing the defendant's attire the evening of December 15th:

 Multi-piece costume (note the two-toned shirt and gloves).

 My personal favorite item, the brown cotton stirrup pants, perfectly coordinated with present shoes.

Full ensemble.

 Mid-dance. A tap-style for Una's colleague. What looks to be an early 90's Cris Cross move from Una.

 Success and profuse facial sweating. Please observe multi-colored, blinking Christmas lights added to tree costume by yours truly.

A truly memorable evening. If only my camera actually had a video component. 
Live and learn, people. 

Great Find

By Copycat Chic:

Serena and Lily Curvee Table for $369

Pottery Barn Teen Pop-Up Storage Bedside Table for $199

Tuesday, not so tiny business. Over half of the holiday cards and baby announcements we received this year were designed on this website. 

So I did what any normal, enamored person would do, and decided I also needed some personalized cards (big shmeal, the holidays are over) and ordered 'new year' cards from there, as well. 

Here are a few "Save the Date" options that were darling. Wedding invites, parties, babies, moving announcements, holidays - you name it, they've got it. And they're adorable. Of course, the site specializes in custom designed photo cards. (Side note: not one of the many cards we received was a duplicate; everyone had their own style.) 

All images via

You've been warned! You will be sucked into a vortex of cuteness.


New Year's "Resolutions"

Shut the front door, another year's over? Oh, hell. 

And it's resolution time. Again. Frankly, I think mine were actually fairly successful because I was more embarassed to have completed none (and to have to publicly own up to it) than to attempt each and achieve medium success. 

So here we are, 2011. You are likely to kick my butt in many ways, but I will try and weasel some goodies out of you yet. And though I'd love to jump on my friend Joines's train (who vowed to maximize the dancing in public and wear more costumes in 2011), I'm afraid that might terrify the baby. And innocent bystanders.

A 2010 resolution recap:

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. Success: Numerous writing workshops, started a book club with 3 local friends, took Milwaukee Rec courses in flowers, cake decorating, sewing, French, gardening, etc., finally painted the master bedroom and purchased drape fabrics. Reality television intake definitely down a notch. Fail: Still watched every episode of America's Next Top Model and The Real Housewives of New York, New Jersey, Atlanta and DC. Fabrics currently residing in guest bedroom closet.

2. Get this traitor of a back in shape. Success: No chiropractor visits of late, last back injury almost 1 year ago . . . and counting. Belly has yet to cause major irritation. Fingers and toes crossed.

3. Get more education, whether that's a class or full-fledged school once we land Down South (hah!). Success: Modern Literary Theory at UWM - totally stretched my brain and forced me to read Marx, Freud, Heidegger, Levi-Strauss, Lacan and more. January brings a Fiction Workshop at UWM with a terrifyingly strict teacher and two mandatory 15-page submissions. Yikes.

4. Do something that scares me. Not 'swim with sharks' kind of action, more along the lines of trying something different and new that forces moi to grow. Success: The class at UWM, seeing as it was 80% PhD students and my first foray into "theory." Require much more education in this department before I begin to understand it.

5. As always, be a better daughter and friend. I have a physical aversion to the phone and it's flat-out childish. Medium success on the phone. And that's being generous.

6. Drink nicer wine. Success: in Napa! Fail: at home ($15 is our bottle limit, boo). Double Fail: Wineless since September. Major success: Baby-to-be's fault!


1. Get ready for this baby! As ready as possible, keeping perspective and knowing that a happy pregnant lady is much better than a hostile, tired, stressed-but-fully-organic-slash-read-every-parenting-book-in-Borders pregnant lady.

2. Cherish these last few months of just me and Una. Hopefully take a small trip before our little Bloomberry arrives in May.

3. Apply to low-res MFA programs. That's an order, self.

4. Spurred by interior designer Sara Gilbane's goal (as seen on!), I am also planning to edit, edit, edit. If I know anything about babies, it's that they come with a lot of accessories. And not the Chanel kind. The house is already overflowing with things that find little use. Time to say goodbye. (So I can say hello to new ones! No. Abbey, no.)

5. Submit writing samples for publication. Anywhere.

6. Hire a trainer or self-motivate to lose the baby weight within 3 (okay, 6?) months. For my mental sanity, I need to at least attempt this.

7. Do more volunteer work. I started volunteering at a local special-needs school in December. It isn't enough, but it's a start.

8. Enjoy that first glass of post-baby wine. 'Cuz time will fly and (wineless) adventures abound with a little one. A new kind of party awaits!

Tell me your most important resolution! Own it and I'll hold you to it (and you can hold me to mine - especially number 6).


For the Beerlover

Never search for your key ring again. 

A magnetic bottle opener for your fridge (seriously strong - my friend James has one; there's no worry you'll pull it off). Love the clean, modern look.


MMXI = 2011
The Chinese calendar begins anew February 3rd and marks the start of the Year of the RabbitThe Rabbit is a lucky sign.  "Rabbits are private individuals and a bit introverted.  People born in the Year of the Rabbit are reasonably friendly individuals who enjoy the company of a group of good friends. They are good teachers, counselors and communicators, but also need their own space." According to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves. It is a time for negotiation. Don't try to force issues, because if you do, you will ultimately fail. To gain the greatest benefits from this time, focus on home, family, security, diplomacy, and your relationships with women and children. Make it a goal to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle, so you will be able to calmly deal with any problem that may arise. 

Hmm, introverted, stubborn child who is reasonably friendly and requires their own space. 

Sounds alarmingly familiar.