Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm post-crazy!

This was one of my Anthro purchases this weekend. I was pretty restrained, just two items and both were on super sale! I got a pair of amazing pants (very Audrey Hepburn, they hit right at the ankle) that were originally $148 reduced to $19.95! Have I mentioned how much I love this store? I've been pining over this calendar for a few months since I first saw it, but I'm too cheap to buy a calendar at full price. Everyone knows they eventually all go on sale. This one was done by the artist Cat Seto, and they're gocco'd cardstock inset into a wood block. Each month is different with different colors, drawings, and fonts. I love it. The pencil is a left-over from a gift I gave Brooke one year- they're imprinted with a phrase she used to say and it always cracks me up when I read it: "Literature is my passion." She said it so seriously too, with a bit of a Napoleon Dynamite breathiness.

I'm a little obsessed with paper products, and it's so hard for me to throw away a beautiful paper, be it tissue paper, a letter pressed invitation or card, used gift wrap or an old calendar. I just can't toss it into the recycling bin when it's so pretty, even if I don't have a use for it. You should see how I have hoarded all of the Anthropologie tissue paper given to me or that has come with my purchases. I even request that they don't tape up the package so the tissue won't rip. I'm pretty organized with my stacks of saved bits but it is adding up and taking up space so I'm making good on one of my New Year's resolutions. I will use it somehow. I will wrap gifts with sheets of pretty tissue paper and will make flowers out of more tissue for the bows. So what to do with all of the paper? I keep all of my cards given to me in shoeboxes, I have a ton that I treasure mailed to me from my mom, Jeff, Matthew and a few other pen pals. I will keep everything that is written, but if there are no words on a pretty card cover or if it's an invitation, it's now getting cut up into 3"x5" cards which will get punched and put in my new (vintage) address file. I found this box at a thrift shop and used it to organize all of our wedding RSVPs. Came in very handy. Now it's being repurposed into an address file. I cut out a square of vintage leopard wallpaper and glued it on to sass it up a bit. I know an excel sheet would probably be an easier address book, but I'm all about the pretty.

Chillin' on her cardboard chaise...

Happy late birthday brother!

I was out in Jan's neck of the woods today doing a little shopping for a couple house things so I called him up to see if I could finally take him out for a belated birthday lunch. Luckily the loser was just cleaning his house in his pajamas when I called so he was free to meet up! We went to the shopping mall by his house which happens to have an Anthropologie (!!) so of course I had no problem waiting for him to get down there. We had a really yummy lunch at Ra Sushi. Jan got these little tempura tofu cubes with a sauce drizzled over them and we told the waitress it was his birthday (sorta true) and she brought us a free dessert! It was tempura'd cinnamon gelato with a raspberry sauce and chocolate sauce which tasted like apple pie. It was super good but huge so Jan and I made a good dent in it but couldn't finish.


Jan and his Morrissey hair:

Jan brought me back presents from his business trip! He was in Detroit for the auto show and picked up this Volvo magazine NAMED AFTER ME! Do not just add water to Liv, she will not like it.

And this was from the Ford Museum. It's fitting for our house. Our friends always have to be reminded, so now we'll just point to the sign.

milkshakes at the arboretum

January's aren't a whole lot of fun. You just had a month of holiday parties, good food, presents, the works and then January hits. BAM! Christmas present bills come in the mail, New Year's Resolutions need to be acted upon, work has piled up, and it's cold! Boo! I'm always a little grouchy in January but come February, all is right in the world. Love is in the air, homeostasis returns. So last week was still January, and I was having a bad day at work. Jerod suggested ditching out for a half-hour and going for a walk, but all I could think of was milkshakes. I wanted one. Badly. So being the enabler that he is, we went to In-n-Out and got milkshakes. We felt a little self-indulgent and thought we should get some fresh air and beauty while we were out so we stopped at the Arboretum which is just off the UC Irvine campus. It's a part of the nature reserve they have there and it's gorgeous. A milkshake and beautiful plants surrounding me definitely improved my mood. So Nikki! That's my fourth suggestion. Milkshakes and nature. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ugh, sorry PC users!

I just looked at this blog on my work PC and realized the background color is an awful yellow. On my mac it's the prettiest cream color... Oh well. Back to the non-offending white.

Speaking of non-offensive colors, I bought these really pretty creamsicle colored lilies at Trader Joe's this weekend. There were over 30 unbloomed buds in the bouquet! I spread them out all over the house and gave a vase of them to Gina and Brian. That needlepoint above them by the way was a gift from my mom. She puts my cross-stitching skills to shame. It says "Une maison sans chat, c'est la vie sans soleil" which for all of you that took Spanish in high school and not French means "A house without a cat, is like life without sun". *Jeff rolling eyes*

Jeffy has been working on this Disney characters painting for the past week or two as a commission from his web designer. Snow White in the middle is his wife. Cute!

I think Jeff needs to go to yoga with me. I worry about his painting posture.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy first day of the lunar year!

While the rest of the neighborhood was celebrating the year of the ox with illegal fireworks, Jeff and I had a nice little Suzy Homemaker weekend. On Friday, Jeff was at the ASR trade show signing autographs so I was left at home alone. I sewed and watched Supernanny. I am all about that naughty step when we have our babies. Saturday we were invited over to Gina and Brian and Bill and Tom's house for dinner. Gina made an awesome couscous with roasted veggies and a butternut squash soup, and I made a chocolate raspberry torte for dessert. It was fun to make. Here's the recipe.

This morning Jeff and I got crazy with the panini press. Scrambled eggs, italian sausage tofurkey, spinach, garlic, and parmesan cheese on sourdough. Soooo good. I wish I had time every morning to make one of these. I was so proud of our paninis I took pictures.

I picked up my embroidery again this weekend after a pretty long hiatus. The sewing machine was more fun for awhile, and produces quicker results, but when I rearranged the sewing room I found all of my patterns and embroidery doodads and was re-inspired. I did these three little bags and used my machine to sew them up with cute fabrics as the backing. Don't know what I'll do with them yet, but they're good to have on hand to slip little gifts into.

And Lily Mae shots from this weekend, because I'm crazy cat lady. I couldn't help it, she kept being cute with my camera nearby.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm going to New York!

So I have these friends. They're designers. I'm insanely jealous of their jobs. They get to go on "inspiration" business trips, which pretty much just means that they're sent to awesome cities on the company's tab to walk around, explore, shop, go to museums and generally just be inspired to do creative magic when they're back in the office. Not a bad gig. So this weekend when my friend Jen called to ask me if I wanted to join her in New York City next month, I kind of spasmed. I really really really wanted to go. It might have had something to do with the long work hours I've been pulling lately, and the lack of Jen-time I've had in the past year, but it sounded like the best idea in the world. I didn't want to spend the money on the plane tickets though (pretty much the only expense- thanks Levi's!) because I'm still feeling poor from the wedding bills, but Jeff insisted I go. He's right in that I don't do stuff like this often, and haven't been on a fun friend trip in ages, and a couple hundred dollars won't kill us. So I found a good deal online, called Jen, and we booked.

So February 12th I'm off for four days of magic in arguably the coolest city in the world, with my dear friend. We're staying at the Hotel Rivington on the Lower East Side which looks like an amazing hotel (thanks Levi's!).

I'll post pictures of the trip as soon as we're back!!

A lovely Saturday in the LBC

We just hosted our annual Imaging Genetics Conference here at UCI, which I coordinate, so work has been madness for me this month. The conference ended on a successful note yesterday so now I have a little downtime which is lovely. On Saturday though the weather was too gorgeous to ignore so Jeff and I got on our bikes and met up with Jerod and toured around Long Beach. Jerod's wife Karen met up with us at the Belmont Brewery for drinks and snacks and fun.

I bought Lily Mae a new scratcher to help her with the grooming. She does a good job but kitty has a lot of hairballs. I try to brush her myself but she's not into it. She loves rubbing up against this thing though! Money well spent.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

When Liv doesn't work...

the house gets rearranged. Bless my husband for smiling and helping me, instead of questioning. I stayed at home today for a few reasons. 1) I worked last Sunday and will work again this Sunday so I have some comp time to burn up, 2) Lily Mae caught a mouse last night just as we were going to bed, and thought she was being good by bringing it to us. Alive. Not fun. She grabbed it again and tangled with it a few more times but we were unable to snatch it away from her or even find it for that matter. We both woke up several times in the middle of the night thinking we saw the mouse on our pillows. Not the most restful sleep we've had... and 3) I was just itching to get some house projects done so I did.

First was my sewing room/guest room/Lily Mae's room. I've been waiting for something cool to come along that would go over the bed, and I found it. Sew for Victory! It's a World War II poster encouraging women to sew to help the war effort. It was one of many iconic images designed to promote the arts, public welfare, and patriotism during the war. This one is a reproduction, but they were made in 1941. I love it.

I also moved my vintage metal cabinet so it's next to the bed, and the big orange metal bookcase is now by the closet. Much better proportions I think.

Then I just moved some artwork around in our bedroom. It drives me a little crazy that the windows aren't symmetrically placed relative to the bed. I know my mom would feel the same way, so I don't feel lame saying that. Maybe on my next day off I'll move the bed to the other wall...

Next up, the pantry/laundry room...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Year's Resolution #37- Blog out!

Happy 2009 everyone! Holy moly it's been a hectic holiday season. Jeff and I went home to San Jose for a whopping 10 days (!!) this time because Christmas and New Year's Eve are so inconveniently spaced. We had lovely mellow Christmas activites (well, mellow for me. Jeff's arm was all bruised up from playing too much Wii. Seriously.) and really nice time spent with the family and a few friends. Everyone seemed scattered this year and I wish we got to see more of our friends, but we got hang-out sessions with Matthew, Erika and Max and Lauren (FINALLY I MEET LAUREN! just as wonderful as I had envisioned), the Elders/not Elders anymore because they're both married now (!), and Jake and Chris. We threw a NYE party (taco-themed) at Sue's house which was a great way to ring in the new year.

So pictures! Here we go:
This is Mandy and her final project from her flower class! Check out the level of difficulty in that one... she got extra points for it.

This is our newly acquired Natalia Fabia original! Natalia is crazy talented and I was thrilled to pieces when Jeff told me she wanted to do an artwork trade with him. He gives her his, she gives us hers. Winners all around! You can't tell from this picture, but the blood on the lion's mouth and on the zebra fur is red glitter paint. Roar.

This is my mom's new race car! We ganged up on her over the Christmas break and made her give up her old Izuzu. She loved her I-Mark, we all did, but it was time to say goodbye to the old, and hello to the new. This one is zippy so if you are in San Jose and you see a streak of silver flash in front of you but you can't tell what it was, it was my mom. In this.

Jeffy and my mom with the doggies:

And lastly, probably the best ladies luncheon there ever was. This past Saturday, Mandy and I drove up to Malibu to visit Erika who just so happens to live in a beach front mansion in Malibu. Not too shabby, let me tell you. It was a lovely 80 degrees out, but really windy (damn you Santa Ana winds!) but we still took advantage of the balcony overlooking the ocean to have a feast prepared for us by Erika. She catered to my pickiness perfectly. A delicious salad with feta and pomegranate seeds, pasta with tuna, peas, basil, tomatoes, and parmesan, and roasted aspargus, paired divinely with a crisp white wine. Now that's how you do lunch.

I lied. One more. For the cat fans...

By the way, if you're digging the polaroid layout of my pictures, check out Free application to download and convert your pics to look like polaroids! My favorite part is that it includes the sound effect to make it sound like you just took a polaroid picture, and the picture fades slowly into the frame, just like a real one! Shake it!