30 December 2009

Best Dress(es)!

My friend K sent me the link to InStyle's compilation of the 100 Best Dresses of the Decade this week. She then blogged about her favorites. Taking her cue, I painstakingly scoured the list for my own favorites and share them with you here.

Kate Hudson in Versace, from 2003 is the # 1 dress.

Eva Mendes in Dior from the Golden Globes in 2009.

Gwen Stefani in Valentino at the 2004 Golden Globes

Cate Blanchett in Prada, 2000 BAFTA Awards

Kate Beckinsale in Givenchy, 2001

Halle Berry in Diane Von Furstenberg, 2006

A couple things I noticed right off the bat in looking at my choices, seems I prefer white/off white and sparkly. I'd wear each and every one of the dresses unaltered, except for the Eva Mendes dress. I'd have to take the front pouf off. The whole silhouette would be much more streamlined without it. It reminds me of a droopy flower. The only way I'd keep it on is if you could carry small items or snacks in it somehow. Since I doubt that, it's got to go.

The jewelry in all looks is very minimal, save for the Eva Mendes dress and she's rockin' the turquoise, which I LOVE! Halle's even got a simple strand necklace with turquoise beads.

While going through the list, there were a few dresses that came to mind that were not on the list and I thought should have been.

Michelle Williams in Vera Wang, Academy Awards 2006


Isaac Mizrahi, 2008

The yellow Vera Wang dress on Michelle Williams is one that sticks out of all the dresses and all the awards shows over the last decade. How could it not? She looked lovely and it's such a striking dress! A true stand out. The Isaac dress is a fun one because my sister in law M and I often choose a dress to "wear" for the Oscars. We'll ask, "who will you be wearing?" In 2008, this was my dress! I'd love to see it in person and OMG, to actually wear it for an occasion! I wish I had a dress up occasion coming soon! I guess I'll have to create one!

24 December 2009

Christmas Eve

It's the eve of Christmas, y'all! I had to work a half day, which surprisingly was rather productive! Then ran to the grocery store to buy some fixins for dinner tonight and some things to nosh on tomorrow. The store was a little crazy, but not overwhelming. I talked to a few friends to wish them a Merry Christmas (a day early) and came home for a few last minute preparations. Tomorrow's the big day!

Here's a little of what I've been doing leading up to Christmas:

Sugar Cookie Cutouts with Royal Icing

Fresh Ginger Ginger Snaps

I hope that whatever you have planned, you have a very Merry Christmas! Honestly, with family being all out east again this year (I'll miss them and all the hubbub of Christmas morning with kiddos), it's going to be pretty quiet here. And...there's an ice/freezing rain storm predicted, which would make things really interesting, no going anywhere! Glad I stocked up on snacks and DVDs!

21 December 2009


You know when you get a shopping cart with one wheel that's just a little off and it makes pushing or steering said cart a bit of a challenge? That's kind of how my day was. My day had a wonky wheel. Don't get me wrong, overall, it was a good day, it was just a little off.

On way out of house for second day in a row visit to the gym, I got temporarily stuck on some ice in the alley. I was able to free myself in a matter of minutes using my finely-tuned back-alley Houdini skills. Trip to gym back on.

I pull into the gym parking lot, score a pretty good parking spot. I'm gathering my things and realize an almost full bottle of Vitamin Water, Orange Orange in flavor, has decided that a trip south, out of the bottle into my gym bag onto the car seat and down to the car mat below in the back seat might be a good way to escape a trip to the gym. Plans for gym abandoned, due to wet shorts, wet shoes and a soggy attitude.

My next foray out of the house started a little better, I was able to get out of the driveway without sliding around on the ice. As you may know, I'm getting braces soon. I thought my driver's license expired in 2010, so I had the great idea to renew early so I don't have braces in a photo that will legally represent me for four years. I drive all the way to the Secretary of State before actually double checking my license. It actually expires in 2011!

I also had a sharpie decide it needed to be free to roam about the bottom of my bag uncapped. Luckily that only meant trouble for the inside of my bag.

The rest of the day wasn't so bad, somewhere along the line balance returned to the four wheels on the cart carrying me through the day.

I got to visit with two of my girls briefly.

I got to visit with my mom for dinner.

Snowy roads weren't any trouble on the way home.

Here's to a well-balanced day tomorrow!

16 December 2009

Where Everybody Knows My Name

There's a coffee shop in town, one of the first, that I used to go to all the time. I felt like I was a regular. Apparently I didn't go quite often enough to warrant regular status in the barrista's minds, because everytime I went in there, I was still faceless, nameless. They didn't even know my regular drink. It was kind of off-putting, but after a while I just chalked it up to the fact that they were not proficient in warm customer service and they had no desire to brush up on the finer points.

I had an experience with genuine customer service last night that truely warmed my heart. I've been in sort of a funk for the last week or so and this was exactly the kind of thing I needed.

I went to my favorite restaurant, Marie Catrib's, one I've been going to since they opened. Marie, the owner, and her son know me by name. I have a fondness and such gratitude for them and the food they create. I took at seat at the counter. My server, a guy named Mike greeted me with a smile and some water. As he hands me the menu, he remembers something about me that made my night.

"We've got just one serving of tomato fennel soup, I know it's your favorite. Do you want me to get it for you?"

It was such a simple thing. It meant a lot and completely characterizes the way Marie's operates. I got to have my favorite soup! And through a simple gesture, they guaranteed (again, as they have continually over the last five years) my return.

I also had a small chat with a girl that sat down a chair away from me at the counter. We talked about soups, studying and our common name. This visit to my favorite restaurant not only fed my hunger for food, it also fed my human longing to be known, to be recognized as someone who matters simply for being me. When so much of our personal interaction these days is via some electronic form of communication, I know I can be left feeling like I know all these people, but so rarely interact with them on an in-person basis. It feels lonely sometimes.

This is one local establishment where I can go when I feel adrift in a sea of technology and am in need of some true humanity and a wholesome meal. I feel grateful for this space and the people who make it feel like home. I hope everyone is lucky enough to have somewhere like this, a place that even if they don't, you still feel like everybody knows your name. (Cue the Cheers theme...)

10 December 2009

the corner of blizzard and crazy

It's still snowing here in Michigan! I haven't left the house since coming home after dinner last night. Work at home days are great! I'm trying to get into the spirit of winter, but sub-zero temperatures and blizzard-like conditions aren't really helping. I'm already feeling a little cabin fever-y already as I head into four days off of work. Not good. Egads what will I do?!

If my plans work out properly tomorrow, I'm actually thinking I'll go into work for our holiday luncheon and to secure my share of some homemade vendor Christmas cookies. Crazy, right?! If you had these cookies, you'd know what I'm talking about. Really. These cookies are ridiculously good - same vendor brought them in last year and over the past year we've periodically discussed how good they were.

I've also got big plans for cookies of my own...holla for some Christmas cookies! Can't wait to get baking. I've got an easy new recipe I want to try and I'm going to bake a couple of other favorites - frosted sugar cookies (I just bought my first set of cookie cutters!) and ginger snaps.

What's your favorite holiday treat?

08 December 2009

Wintry Day Work Outfit

This is basically what I wore to work today...comfy and warm for a wintry day in Michigan with a little color from the handbag. Mine is from Target a while back, but I thought this one was fun and reminiscent of my own!

03 December 2009

That time of year

It started snowing here in the midwest - and it's sticking. I'm not particularly fond of snow and cold. Like I just told R, everything is just better in the summer. It's warmer, obviously. More day light. Cute clothes. More shoe options. More activities. I'm going to have to make a concentrated effort not to fall into winter's cruel trap of isolation. Tonight I feel like I just might want to hibernate until April.

I sent off a box to my brother and sister in law who are expecting my baby niece any day now. I'm excited for her to arrive! Sending out packages though reminded me I've got a few more things to pick up and ship out to the East Coast in order to have my holiday ducks in a row. Ugh!

I have a few cookie recipes I want to try out for the holidays. I'm contemplating playing Santa for myself and picking up something that will make baking even MORE fun. I'll let you know if it comes together. There are some pretty good deals to be had right now.

Tomorrow night is the UICA's Holiday Artist's Market. R and I are going to check out that scene. Looking forward to going since it's been a few years since I've gone. From what I've read, it looks like there will be some cool stuff! We may even go to the tree lighting ceremony in front of the GRAM. Maybe all that will help me feel more at peace about the fact that it's actually winter again!