Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions are tough S.O.B.S

I honestly think resolutions are made to be broken. We all make them at the beginning of the year and fail to keep them by the end of the year. But resolutions at least give us something to strive for each and every year - whether we fail or succeed at it is besides the point.

I've been resolute to lose the extra poundage I've put on since my first child was born 5 years ago, but got farther away from my goal when my second child was born 2 years ago. But that does not stop me from making it my resolution for the 5th straight year! Hallelujah!

But my problem  It's damn near everywhere I look.  

I can be sipping out of my morning mug and bam!  One of my favorite seafoods staring right at me. Begging me to imagine eating some surf and turf.

lobster mug

I go to look at my calendar to see what the day holds for me and what the H-E-double hockey sticks is this?! A food and beer calendar? It's hard enough to fit in those pair of jeans I had from last year without having to see that July has a delicious looking burger on it. Not fair.

Beer and Food calendar

How about fashion? Scouring the internet looking at stunning clothes by the late Alexander McQueen and you run across something that makes you want to eat. A recreation of McQueen's rainbow feather dress using 50,000 gummi bears! Who knew those delicious little candies can make stunning fashion as well.

Gummi bear Alexander McQueen dress recreation

I love looking at home design and those damn gummi bears even make chandeliers look delish.  

Ah, who am I kidding? resolutions suck.

I hope my five faithful followers and all you anonymous traffic sources have a great New Year. 

(gummi bear photos via design milk and relinquishing junk)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Balboa Park
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday from my family here in San Diego. 

(photo via Balboa Park)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

I love "A Charlie Brown Christmas" like millions of others, it teaches us the true meaning of Christmas year after year (which doesn't involve putting up big, inflatable snowmen on our lawns - although there's nothing wrong with that).  

But my favorite Christmas specials during my childhood have to be the old Rankin/Bass ones. I've always been a fan of stop-motion animation and the Rankin/Bass specials were some of the finest.

True meaning of Christmas

"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" was my tops. Although "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was very groundbreaking in it's day with it's religious lesson about Christmas. "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," teaches a more universal life lesson that kids (not to mention adults) of all races and religion should learn: Accepting others for their differences and not believing into stereotypes. Rankin/Bass accomplishes this with it's memorable characters: the reindeer whose nose glows, the elf who wants to be a dentist, and all those adorable misfit toys. Not to mention the abominable snowman who isn't as mean and scary as those want to believe, but merely cranky due to a bad toothache. 

My favorite character was so minor that if you blink you might miss her, but it turns out the mystery of Dolly the doll was on a lot of other minds as well. She did not have a visual difference nor did she have a stereotype, but she was on the Island of Misfit Toys. Turns out years later, Rankin explained that Dolly's problem was psychological - she was depressed because her original owner abandoned her. This was years before "Toy Story"s Jessie the cowgirl. So what is the lesson of Dolly? love each other unconditionally.  

As for the true meaning of Christmas? well, it's simple - "good will to" all.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

What a cubicle dweller dreams of...

You know in my geek-ified mind, I sometimes think that if a Stormtrooper is not busy trying to defeat the Rebel Alliance, he may be spending part of his time behind a desk.  What would a stormtrooper desk look like? I think I found my answer:


I can imagine them kicking back in these sleek cubicles drinking coffee out of their vanity mugs.

Star Wars Stormtrooper Mug

Possibly fawning over the poster of their boss, Mr. D Vader.

Star Wars Darth print poster

Or even just staring lovingly at a photo of them with their child. Stormtroopers have families too.

Lego Star wars

It's oh so back to destroying the rebel alliance and protecting the almighty Death Star.

(top photo via The Cool Hunter; bottom photo via Thee Blog)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I like crafts..or more like looking at crafts

I've always been a bit of a female bachelor. I got married and had kids later in life, so I had practically 34 years of perfecting the art of single hood. Crafts and cooking are still the two things that I don't do or if I did do it doesn't turn out so well. So needless to say I admire people who do it both well (like my cousin, Darlene, who showcases her fabulous cooking and craft projects regularly on her blog Wooden Spoon & Crafts - my couz can cook and make anything!).  

My son, Milo, had his 5th birthday party at The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre in Balboa Park. If you live or are ever in San Diego and you want to throw a special party for your child, this place is highly recommended. We arranged for a puppet making workshop before the actual puppet show (which was a performance of "A Christmas Carol"). I had picked six pre-planned puppets for the kids to make (Tinkerbell, Dora The Explorer, Girl Scout, Dragon, Monster and a Super Hero), but needless to say the majority of our kids veered away from the template and created their own puppets (so proud of our creative progeny!).  

I tried my hand at Dora the Explorer for my daughter, Stella, and needless to say - crafting 'aint' my thang'.  
If Dora's head looks a little like a deflated balloon it's because I forgot to glue her template head on her puppet body.  We all know that Dora has a huge noggin, so it's a little disappointing my Dora looks puny.  I did decide to bling her up with those flowers on her backpack straps.  Of course, what I do best is draw, so I drew Dora's friend Boots using foam paper and gluing on some googly eyes and pink boots.  

Why I really wrote this post was for the creative awesomeness of the puppet that my husband, my brother-in-law and our friend, Rodger, created for the birthday boy. Milo requested a Darth Vader puppet and after much searching using an iPhone, it took three grown men to create this:

The woman who led the workshop was so impressed she asked us to email a photo of the puppet so she can use it's template in one of her future workshops. 

I guess in the crafting blog world I should share the list of materials:
  • Black felt hand puppet base
  • Black felt paper
  • Glitter styrofoam paper
  • Red and green plastic square jewels
  • 2 Clear circle plastic jewel
  • Glue and scissors
  • Red pipe cleaner

After the materials, I'm afraid you are on your own (told you I'm not a crafty person). I would say copy our template above on how to cut the glitter paper for Darth's facial features and suit armor. You also want to make sure you cut the black felt paper into the shape of Darth's bell shaped helmet and glue onto the base hand puppet. Glue the red and green jewels on the body armor and the circle jewels for his eyes.  His red lightsaber is obviously the pipe cleaner. Voila!  A warm and fuzzy Darth without the disturbing heavy breathing. 

So I hope you enjoyed my rare craft post of a craft I didn't really do.  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Top five fashion faux pas: 1980s

Not to date myself, but I am a child of the 1980s. The 1980s were my formative years and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But the 1980s, for me, gave me the biggest embarrassments in terms of fashion. I rarely bust out the old family albums during that time period, because my clothing choices make me cringe. 

I will not show any of my photos in this blog, for fear it will be used against me when I become a world famous blogger (okay that was sarcasm, I am world famous to my five loyal followers. Okay, maybe not world famous, but just...known).  In lieu of photos, I will attempt to recreate these fashion blunders via drawings (resemblance is only coincidental). 

So without further ado, here is my top five fashion faux pas of the 1980s (in no particular order, because they each deserve the number one spot of utter embarrassment):

Fashion Crime:  Mullett

Description:  We used to call it "Business in the front and party in the back," but I like to now call it "Ugly in the front and all ugly in the back."  The hairstyle became popular in the 1980s, but actually was seen being worn by singer Tom Jones back in the 1960s.  David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust sported it in the 1970s.  The scary thing is that today some people still sport this hideous haircut and thus deserve some sort of intervention.
The Mullet's emaciated cousin:  The Rat tail
The Mullet's current mutation:  The reverse Mullet ("Party in the front and business in the back")

Fashion Crime:  Shoulder pads
Description:  Shoulder pads so wide and big that if you look closely you can see a small jet taxi off of them. Trying to figure out why 80s fashion is so bad is easy - Just Look At Them. I'm still perplexed why us women liked to wear huge pads in our jacket (and sometimes our shirts?!) - is it women's lib? Is it the desire to look like Football players? Whatever the reason, I still can't watch a rerun of "Dynasty" without cringing (although I should not admit that I would watch a rerun of "Dynasty").  
Awful Truth:  I remember becoming tired of the shoulder pads and had removed them from my jackets. Big mistake, I now resembled a person wearing flap jacks on her shoulders. 
The 1980s Shoulder Pad current mutation:  Lady Gaga's fashion has now made big shoulder pads mainstream again...although only Lady Gaga can get away with it.

Fashion Crime:  Pegged pants

Description:  The best way to describe this style is by giving you instructions on how to recreate it: (1) Buy some mom jeans (preferably acid washed mom jeans); (2) fold over the bottom portion of your mom jeans (closest to the ankles); (3) and then cuff them over the folded part.  The point being is to make the bottom part of your mom jeans as skinny as possible.  I like to think those of us in the 1980s as being prescient and knowing that in the future skinny jeans would be in, but I know better - we just had bad taste.  
Pegged pants current mutation:  No current mutations, just cuff your pants the normal way and all will be well.  

Fashion Crime:  Stirrup pants
Description:  It's basically like treating your pants like a horse saddle.  These pants were just unflattering all around.  Why I thought wearing pants with a strap hooked onto the bottom of my feet looked 'cool' is beyond me.  There is no excuse for this monstrosity.  Your pants were not going to ride up on you-there is no need to hold it down with a strap on your foot! You are not a male figure skater!
Worst way to wear stirrup pants:  With those tacky 80s pumps with the strap exposed
The Stirrup pants current mutation:  A horse saddle

Fashion Crime:  Neon 

Description:  One word "WHAM."  George Michael dancing around in that "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" video in a flurry of neon made a lot of people in the 1980s go practically cuckoo for coco puffs.  I don't care if you are white, black or asian - head to toe neon is not flattering. Humans were not made to look like they took a big swig of radioactive juice.  
Double violation:  Wearing your flashdance styled, neon sweatshirt.
Triple violation:  Wearing your flashdance styled, neon sweatshirt with fingerless gloves.
Neon's current mutation:  Neon.  It's making a comeback.  But try to remember that less is more and it's okay to now accessorize with a smidge of bright color. 

Remember, admitting you made a mistake is the first step to recovery.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What a cubicle dweller dreams of...

For this episode of "What a cubicle dweller dreams of..."

I am a worker bee, not the Queen bee, but simply a worker bee. What better place to put us worker bees but in a hive. If you're going to put us in a hive, than why not a happy and bright hive with fake trees around us (...and is that a stripper pole on the left hand side?!!).  

Cool cubicle

This colorful office spells F-U-N and F-U-N-K-Y.  Plus, I'm digging the privacy of these enclosed "hives."

Tetris lamp

Want to continue with the fun? I'd put these Tetris desk lamps inside my hive and trip the light fantastic every day. 

colorful fasteners - office supplies

Do you have to put together your TPS reports? Use these candy-colored fasteners and you'll have everyone talking.  

Shazam power strip
Who says your power strip has to be bland?  I wouldn't mind plugging my electronics into this strip and saying "Shazam!" (yes, I'm a nerd). 

Origami post-in notes

Why waste those post-it notes after you jot down reminders to yourself, turn your jots into art. Those phone numbers I wrote down would look much better being on the side of a squirrel. So irreverent!

(cubicle photo via The Chive)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Fave celebrity home tour: Round up

I love looking at celebrity homes and not because I'm a stalker, but because since I was a kid I've been a big fan of movies and once in a while I like to see their life behind the cameras. I shamelessly admit I enjoy reading (or just plain looking at) US Magazine and partake of the inexplicable fascination some of us have with seeing a celebrity carrying a Starbucks cup of coffee. But mostly, I like looking at the style they have off-camera and whether that style reflects itself in their home decor. 

So for today's post, I am doing a celebrity round-up of some of my favorite celebrity rooms. 

Cat Deeley

"So You Think You Can Dance" host, Cat Deely, has a marvelous boho-chic home. Her living/family room area is to die for. That sofa is to die for. Coming from a large family, I can only dream of having that kind of sofa where all my family members can hang out on. 

Sofia Coppola

I'm a big fan of Sofia Coppola's fashion sense, which is simple and elegant, so it is no surprise her home decor is the same. Again, her sofa is to die for. That soothing, baby blue color on top of that plush white area rug makes this space so inviting. Not to mention the whole feminity of this space is appealing.

Keri Russell

Actress Keri Russell's Brooklyn brownstone home is a gem. Where do I start with this dining room? The whole vibe I'm digging. I am a fan of the natural mixed with industrial look and the wooden table with the wired chairs exemplifies this. The topper in this room is that brick fireplace. How comforting is it to eat your meals next to a fireplace.

Ellen Degeneres Porta di Rossi

Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi's living room is fabulous to me for one simple reason: that awesome Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat painting collaboration right smack dab in the middle. Everything else is muted around it, so the painting is definitely the focal point in this room. 

Jordana Brewster

Actress Jordana Brewster's loft is super soft and feminine. That pink settee is dreamy. Give me some tea and a good book and I'm good to go. 

What celebrity spaces do you adore? I would love to check them out. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Custom portraits make me smile

Something about drawn custom portraits that make me smile. Just like my obsession with cute maps and city prints, I love when someone is able to draw a custom portrait of you in a creative way. I know I'm not a fan of my picture being taken, but I certainly do not mind when someone draws me. It's interesting to see how people may interpret the way you look.

Once my husband and I had kids, we worked together creating our first "family portrait," in a different way. My husband is a big monster movie fan and I'm a big fan of Tim Burton's ghoulish creations, put them both together and it looks like this:
my original art
There's meaning behind each of our looks: my husband's ears stick out, my eyes are big and my hair is uncontrollable in the morning. If you look closely our 'kids' eyes have tiny white hearts, which has it's own special and private meaning.

I'm still perfecting 'human' portraits.  My first attempt was for my sister's wedding 10 years ago:

original art

My most recent ones were my kids. Of course I wouldn't mind getting our family portraits done by others. I've found some adorable works that I'm dying to one day be able to purchase from.  
Rifle Paper Co.
I'm a big fan of the Rifle Paper Co. The simplicity of their drawings is what I'm liking, not to mention the cute factor ups the quota.  

Nan Lawson

How about Nan Lawson's drawings? Her Etsy shop with her prints are hip and adorable. She also does custom portraits like the ones above. I love the look of her drawings: the bashfulness and that mid-blink make her caricatures unique to her style. 

JordanGraceOwens Etsy

There's a similar hipness vibe to these custom portraits by Jordan Grace Owens. These portraits even come with the handcut oval framed vignette gold frames - an added bonus.

How's this for a different twist - custom portraits of your home!  L-O-V-E it. Talented artist, Rebekka Seale, creates these beautiful drawings of people's homes. I'm even sure she can draw my uninspiring tract home exterior to look unique to all the other PUD tract homes around me...umm maybe...hey, it's worth a shot. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Zombies are not cute...or are they?

I make it a point to watch "The Walking Dead" every Sunday night. It's probably the only show I watch with any regularity right now. It's the combination of good acting, writing and production and of course for those decaying, slow-moving, creatures called ZOMBIES, that keep me coming back for more. 

I know I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love things that are creepy and cute and Zombies are not creepy and cute...I'll repeat Zombies are not creepy and cute.  Zombies are rotting pieces of flesh, zombies are gross, zombies are disgusting, zombies are not CUTE!...

...Okay maybe these are a little cute...
...and these...

...Definitely this one...

...Ah look at this lil guy's sad face...alright, maybe Zombies are somewhat cute
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