Breakfast with a Princess

Una and I arose at 4 AM central time in order for me to drop him off at work before heading to my friend Emmie's apartment to watch the royal wedding. Emmie, Sunny and I donned tiaras and ate eggs while watching the festivities. It's now 7:45 AM and my morning's spent.

The dress? Beautiful, but safe and boring. I was hoping for something more modern. I've decided Kate - excuse me, Princess Catherine (official title, Princess William of Wales, as she is not of royal descent and must take Will's name) - had her sister and maid of honor Pippa wear the dress she really wanted, and went with a traditional, Grace Kelly-esque style for the Queen's sake. Might as well throw your grandmother-in-law a bone and get in her good graces early (you know she rules the palace roost with a glove-covered iron fist; lady does not mess around). Both dress designs by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.

Pippa Middleton

Royal Breakfast, Milwaukee Styles.
Don't judge - it was early and I was having a hot flash.

My favorite part of the ceremony was the singing of "God Save the Queen." Which everyone participated in . . . except the Queen. Of course you can't sing a song about yourself. Just amazing.


Wedding Favors

In honor of the wedding of the decade (century?), manufacturers across the globe have crafted clever knick knacks to commemorate this magnificent occasion. Here, I've culled a day's worth of memorabilia for the royal-obsessed.

Breakfast: Sow your royal oats while eating your way up the social ladder.

Followed by a British must, tea (note Kate dripping in dollar bills).

One wouldn't dare attend a royal party without a manicure.

Back home late-night, hit the fridge for snacks.

What else? A Papa Johns Pizza with condiment faces.

Now you've eaten too much - thank God for your sick bags (for when you need to "throne up").

Bedtime! Class all the way.
Photos via

See more here.


Month 9 or Water Retention

I may be a bit hormonal. 

Yesterday while getting dressed in front of the mirror (horrendous idea, it should be permanently draped in a black cloth like a house in mourning until baby arrives), my maternity jeans suddenly got stuck . . . on my butt

The things would not move. By the time I got them on (having vowed I would wear the pants or-else-god-help-this-fabric-the-makers-of-these-jeans-and-the-next-person-who-starts-with-me) I was in a full body sweat and more hostile than a sleep-deprived 2 year old.

My morning activity consisted of purchasing cupcakes for my next door neighbor's birthday from the previously-mentioned bakery. This turned into 2 cupcakes for her . . . and 6 for me.

No, I don't see the connection between these two events. 

I'm blaming water retention.

Eco-Friendly Cleaners: Make at Home

Here's a post at CasaSugar detailing eco-friendly cleaners you can whip up at home. Rug deodorizer, bleach alternative, mold combatant, wood floor polish, window and surface cleaners - even silver polish!


Countdown to Baby

Baby is due May 27th and while all the major components are ready in the room, we still have a lot of finessing to do. This weekend I organized the closet that will store supplies and baby clothes. Ta da!

Yep, that is the golden retriever shag rug our landlord initially had throughout the entire house. Shocking it isn't more popular today.

John James Audubon

In Una's former life, he was the director of one of the nation's leading art galleries for Early American maps, prints and paintings. John James Audubon's works, including his masterpiece Birds of America, were among many of the gallery's offerings. 

Today marks the 226th anniversary of John James Audubon's birthday. Una and I have his "American Black Bear" and "Swift Fox" prints in our dining room (the bears are an homage to our alma mater's mascot). The details of his works are beautiful - check them out here


Una's Surprise Party

The dirty details:

The Invite, via

The Venue:
Non-descript entrance ("International Exports, Ltd.") requires you to say the password or pay the price . . . a dance shown on televisions throughout the entire bar. Una, his sister Ashley and I were forced to mimic monkeys in the jungle. Which apparently the entire party thought was a chicken dance. 

The spy-themed bar, a "safe house" for covert operatives.

James Bond and spy-related knick knacks, tricks and secret mirrors (one in the women's bathroom allows outsiders to view the lady primping), hideaways and passages abound throughout. One particularly popular sample is a naked sign of Burt Reynolds in the ladies room with a strategically placed metal heart over his goods, which has been rubbed soft. Every time someone touches the metal heart, a red light and buzzer goes off outside the door, alerting all nearby guests who the dirty-minded customer was.

The secret exit (below, top left), accessed through a 'phone booth' which requires a quarter to receive the passcode, which once typed into the phone's keypad, opens the secret basement door. 

The Disguise:
Masks and mustaches for the guests to don for Una's arrival. He was stricken speechless! Houston very kindly agreed to model both.

The Food
Amazingly delicious mini cupcakes from Milwaukee Cupcake Company. Am now trying to come up with a reason for weekly rationing of desserts. Possibly best cupcakes I have ever had.
Sample flavors: Chocolate with Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Frosting; Pink Champagne; Caramel Cupcake with Cream Cheese Walnut Frosting; Black and White Cupcake; Carrot Cake, Strawberry Shortcake . . . Yum.

The Second Surprise:
"Hail to the Chief" - a faux interrogation wherein employees dressed in all black drag Una down to the basement to an interrogation chair, the manager screams ridiculous questions at him through an intercom upstairs while party guests watch on another television screen, and then covert operative is raised through the bar's central floor in said chair, given a 20 ounce drink and shown a special video of his/her "White House Cabinet and Staff" . . . which consists of scantily-clad women filmed from the 70s and 80s for a guy, and the reverse for a  woman.

Clearly someone is comfortable being the center of attention. He seemed genuinely surprised and told me over and over what a great time he had and how touched he was so many people came out. Success!

Final Outcome: The stress of planning a surprise party (the only one I've ever organized) may have resulted in this being my one and only attempt. Happy 30th, favorite! 

Pregnant Bond, signing off.


Happy Holiday Weekend

Whether you're celebrating a Passover Seder or the holiest of Christian holidays, Easter (or Earth Day is your religion of choice), I hope your weekend is filled with delicious food and family.

Since our families reside back East, Una and I will be partaking in the food festivities, which shall include a glass of red wine for moi (I allow myself one glass a week, now that I've hit the 3rd trimester - only 5 weeks left as of today!), stale peeps, chocolate and movie theater butter popcorn whilst viewing Water for Elephants with my friend Emmie on Sunday evening.

In the meantime, please enjoy some peeps in action:

I love these little buggers.


Tomorrow: Earth Day 2011

And this year's theme is "A Billion Acts of Green!"

Want to pledge your own 'green' act? (Some sample pledges - swap out your light bulbs, eat more local food, get an energy audit.) Check out this link.

How about participate in a local event? Stop by here

As of 3:40 PM Central Time today: 102, 005, 419 Acts of Green and counting. 

Get in there!


Royal Wedding Countdown

So my two friends and I will be meeting at 4:45 AM next Friday to watch the royal wedding festivities as they occur. In preparation, I watched the Lifetime movie "William & Kate," a tremendous achievement of cinematic . . . mediocrity. 

I still cried. I blame the pregnancy hormones.

(Takeaway? Will and Kate are both so boring there is no story; hence the 3-minute mini-scenes throughout the 2 hour 'film.' For their sake, I consider this a good thing. Maybe interest will die down once they're married and Naughty Harry is the lone single royal wolf. Now his story would have been interesting.)

Lifetime is really getting after this royal wedding. Project Runway alums from all 8 seasons have designed wedding gowns for Kate (or Katherine, as the Palace likes to call her now). Here's a sampling :

By Nick Verreos, Season 2

By Vincent Libretti, Season 3

By Sweet P, Season 4

By Rami Kashou, Season 4

By Leanne Marshall, Season 5 Winner

By Louise Black, Season 6

By Shirin Askari, Season 6

By Ben Chmura, Season 7

By Mondo Guerra, Season 8

By Michael Costello, Season 8

Check out the full collection here!


Baby Room Scheme

Here are my fabrics for the baby's room - grays and flaxes with shots of cream (since it's all over the house courtesy of the landlord) and white . . . 

Wall color and trim swatches in the back. The paisley linen will be the headboard cover, the grey a bit of trim for the skirt of our glider, the grey-brown fretwork a new bedskirt, the oval print two large pillows on the bed, and the sea gull print by Thom Filicia (my favorite fabric in the room, hands down - would make adorable curtains, but we're on a budget here) is the baby's crib skirt and a bolster pillow on the bed. 

And then I am done. I promise, Jo Nathan!


The Birds Are Chirping . . .

And the snow is falling. 

Just. Rude.

This weekend was awesome - I surprised Una by flying his sister out as an "early birthday present" (since his real birthday is right before the baby and the CFA test and I've been informed we're "doing nothing") . . . and then threw in a surprise party at a local spy bar on Saturday night! Pictures to come. 

In the meantime, enjoy the April winter wonderland that is Milwaukee today. Ew.

P.S. This is my 500th post! Woah!


A Headboard, At Last!

Ah, the headboard!

I had plans to finish it in September. Here we are at last, dear friend, almost 9 months later. You took nearly as long to grow as our dear babe. How it all went down . . . 

Step 1: Inspiration photo: Hamish Bowles's headboard from his Paris apartment, featured in Elle Decor.

Next stop: DIY Central. 

 Tracing a similar shape

 Using one side's cut template to trace the other side's guidelines. Would not do this again. Find an exact template online (so you can be sure your sides are even) or fold a large piece of paper in half at the start, draw away, and then cut symmetrical sides. 

 Finished plywood template (post jigsaw - boy, has that thing paid for itself).

 Cover with foam and batting. I used 2-inch foam, but would likely try and find something thicker next time, based on the height of the headboard (four feet tall, so we can sit up against it to read!).

 Ready for fabric!

 This time I took care, since the fabric bolt was obviously not as wide as a bed, to center the pattern and align the additional pieces before sewing. Unlike the bed skirt. 

Hell yeah! Check out that seam attaching two of the three pieces together - right down the center of the blue ikat pattern. Very proud of myself.

And the final product, complete with matching bed skirt. I'm exhausted.

Total cost? Around $150.00, including fabric (majority of cost), batting and materials.