Well today's the big day...the day I officially turn 40. And in honor of that, I'd thought I share a random list of 40 facts about me. And while these will probably do nothing to enrich your existence, and will inevitably follow no particular theme, I've found that the older you get, the more people are willing to overlook your tendencies to ramble on about seemingly inconsequential and trivial things. So here goes!
1. Forty sure feels a lot like 39. Except that I haven't showered yet today, so actually I guess it feels a bit more stinky and disheveled.
2. The reason there's a photo of a birthday cake on this post, instead of a photo of me at 40? See item #1.
3. I'm determined that my 40s will be a decade of healthy living, eating, and exercise. I've kicked off that plan this morning with a breakfast of, um.....birthday cake and an eggnog latte. Maybe we'll start that plan tomorrow.
4. I just happen to love eggnog lattes.
5. And birthday cake is pretty great, too.
6. It's a damn good thing I like to run.
7. Alright, I don't really like to run. But I've found that it's easier to drag my butt out the door and hit the pavement for an hour than give up eggnog lattes. And birthday cake.
8. Speaking of running, I've registered to run my second marathon this year. I'm motivated by the fact that I'll now be the youngest in my age bracket, and I fully plan on kicking some random 47-year-old's butt. Aim high.
9. Turning 40 has done nothing to mature my sense of humor. I still giggle at fart jokes and think Will Ferrell is a comedic genius.
10. I couldn't even make it to item #10 before I mentioned farts.
11. And since we're talking about juvenile humor, my current ring tone is Cartman from South Park singing Kyle's Mom's A Bitch. Which makes me laugh everytime my phone rings.
12. I am hoping that now that I am 40, I will be able to master the difficult task of pulling car keys out of my purse without simultaneously pulling out a tampon and flinging it across the room.
13. I'm too superstitious to list anything for item #13.
14. Most of the time, I feel very, very lucky.
15. My favorite Christmas carols are the ones sung by the Muppets.
16. As a 22-year old, I thought my life had everything I could ever need. It's only now that I can see how much richer and better it has become with age.
17. Also better with age? A 2007 Cabernet I plan to crack open tonight.
18. Have I mentioned I love red wine?
19. And when drinking red wine, I will be quite likely be the clumsy girl who spills it on her dry-clean only shirt, your light-colored carpet, or the crisp white tablecloth. Or possibly all three.
20. Oh crap. I'm only halfway through this list. Who's idea was this again?
21. They say that memory loss is the first sign of old age.
22. Have I mentioned I love red wine?
23. Back in 2008 when I started this blog, it was mainly a forum for my sarcastic commentary (and fart jokes, natch!) I never imagined it would it would bring so many talented, amazing friends into my life.
24. What were talking about again? Fart jokes? Red wine?
25. Despite reaching the age of 40, I am unable to use a hot glue gun without (1) burning my fingers and (2) dropping the f-bomb.
26. To be honest, sometimes I just pull out the hot glue gun when I feel the need to curse.
27. Despite being 5'9" and having a natural proclivity towards clumsiness (see item 19), I still insist on wearing impractically high heels every chance I get. Because if you're gonna fall on your ass, you might as well have fashionably dressed feet.
28. Once of the very best decisions of my life was to marry Mike. He has spent the last 14 years making me insanely happy I did.
29. Some days I don't feel a day over 24. And then 8:30 pm rolls around, I'm ready for bed and I realize I am the lamest 24 year-old ever.
30. I hate mayonnaise. Blech.
31. I often use sarcasm to mask my insecurities. And to insult idiots without them realizing it.
32. I am in better shape physically than I was 20 years ago. This is due in large part to my running, Jillian Michaels, and the realization that the calories in bean and cheese tacos (even when consumed at 2:00 am) actually DO count.
33. Begin able to work in a creative field is something I feel so, so grateful for each and every day.
34. Except maybe those days when a client insists on using Comic Sans or throws out "Make my logo bigger!" caveat. Those days kinda suck.
35. Luckily on those days, I have this blog on which to complain and vent. And you, marvelous readers, (with your fabulous design sensibilities) make me feel better. Yay for internet!
36. I find that when I'm feeling old, it helps to spend quality time with my kids. They often inspire me to see things with a younger, fresher outlook. And they like fart jokes, too.
37. Snow is predicted for this afternoon. Which would be a fabulous birthday surprise for a girl dreaming of a White Christmas.
38. I've never minded having a birthday so close to the holidays. It's a festive time, most people are in good spirits, and there's an abundance of treats, parties, and libations. And by libations, I mean red wine.
39. I'm eternally grateful to my family for their support and love during my past 39 years. I couldn't have gotten this far without them.
40. Whew! I made it! Shall we lift a glass and toast 40? (Yes, I know it's only 9:00 am, but it's a milestone birthday, for cryin' out loud!) Thanks for being a part of my life....cheers!
This holiday season I've more often than not found myself in a frame of mind that is anything but joyful. Maybe it's the stress of work projects, the loss of Vegas, or my impending 40th birthday (a mere 7 days away) that's causing a big black cloud to form over my head. I've spent these last few weeks feeling rushed, stressed, sad and worried. And that's not how I want to spent the holidays. This is supposed to be a time of cheer and happiness...of anticipation and magic. I know that the joy is out there - somewhere - it just hasn't made its way to my heart (yet.) So I'm taking it upon myself to go find it. Because if there's anything I need right now, it's a little Christmas.
On Friday night Mike and I attended a Christmas party for the Denver office of his company, where he has spent much of the last year working. He went through quite a transition from his previous position in the field to a more corporate atmosphere in his new job, and the elegant and over-the-top Christmas party is just one reflection of that change. But as we mingled with the more than 450 guests, all dressed in sparkly holiday attire and sipping fancy libations, I was struck by how calm, confident, and charasmatic Mike was in the midst of all these successful and powerful people. I don't get to see him "in his element" at work very often, and watching him converse with his colleagues made me realize how good he is at what he does. I am so proud of him....and so thankful for his dedication and passion for his work. In him, I can find the joy of feeling secure and provided for, and most of all loved.
And in an entirely unrelated note, I pulled off a major feat by assembling an entire outfit - hosiery and all - without the aid of an internet poll.
While we were at the party, our kids stayed home with our awesome friends Callie and Tex, who undoubtedly deserve the title Best Babysitters In the Universe. Despite the fact that Callie had a p-chem final the next day, she still showed up with a bag full of crafts, stickers, and games for the kids. I had left them supplies to make gingerbread cookies, and within minutes of arriving, Callie was pulling out her laptop to show the kids photos of the Shakesperian Cookie Characters she had made for a class (and the scenes they acted out). Needless to say, the resulting gingerbread cookies included not only men, but mutant rabbits, Mario characters, and robo-reindeer. Hearing the kids chatter excitedly the next morning about the cookie baking and crafting time reminded me that sometimes, the joy is in the simple things.
Since our snowy and icy roof is preventing any (safe) installation of lights on the house, we spent some time this weekend decorating the front porch with wreathes and mini Christmas trees, and putting glowing candles in the windows. (No, no, not real ones...ones like these.) After returning from a dinner out on Saturday night, seeing the glow and twinkle of the lights as we pulled up the driveway was just a little magical. One of my favorite parts of Christmas as a child was to sit in the living room beneath the tree lights, and the sight of these lights brought me back to that place. So yes - sometimes the joy is the twinkle lights.
Sunday morning brought a favorite tradition - brunch with Santa! We've been for three years running now, and we love our Santa dearly (and the food is pretty dang yummy, too!) Hayden was stoked to get "dessert for breakfast" and happily chowed down on a sprinkle donut, while his sister was beyond excited about the chocolate fountain (and marshmallows for dipping.) Who could forget that sometimes the joy is in the sugary sweets.
And as they visited with Santa and revealed their Christmas wishes (a sled for Hayden; a cat stuffed animal for Riely) I made my own silent wish to Santa...that I would find the joy in the season, even if it took some seeking.
And after seeing this family photo with the big man himself, I can't help but find joy in this family, our blessings, and the love we share.
Here's to hoping we all find a little Christmas joy this season (even we have to hunt a little!),
Almost 17 years ago, Mike adopted a tiny grey tabby kitten from the Denver Dumb Friends League. He took her back to his house, where he and his college roomates and proceeded to feed her bean dip (because the local 7-11 didn't have cat food?) and christened her Vegas. Two days later, on my 23rd birthday, he gave her to me. It was in that moment I realized just how much he understood me - the crazy, animal-loving, me.
She was a green-eyed whirling dervish those first few days in my apartment, climbing the Christmas tree, scratching the furniture, pooping on the futon (possibly because of all that bean dip??) and terrorizing my other cat, Harley--who was one pissed kitty for several days after Vegas' arrival.
(Eventually, Harley forgave us for revoking her only-cat status, and warmed up to Vegas, as this picture clearly shows!)
Vegas was a stocky little cat who loved to eat and had the body to prove it. Maybe because of her portliness, she never had much of the typical cat "grace." Her vertical leaping ability was always a bit stunted (we had to leave a stepstool out for her to jump onto to reach her food on the counter) and she was almost comedically clumsy. She loved to sleep near your head, ready to pounce on your face when she felt it was time to wake up.
But she was oh-so-sweet, with her little ink-spotted nose, the softest fur you've ever felt. She was an affectionate cat who never met a lap she didn't want to curl up in. If there was a sunbeam streaming through a window, she'd be sprawled in it, purring like a Mustang engine. And her purr was extraordinarily loud - you could hear it from clear across the house.
As our lives progressed, these kitties became witness to all the big milestones and events: our wedding...new jobs...cross-country moves...the birth of a son and daughter. They were our first "kids" and taught us responsibility, compassion, and that all-important concept every twenty-something has to learn: it's not all about YOU.
But Vegas also taught me another lesson - that sometimes a snuggle on the couch or a warm spot in the sun is all you need to be happy. That sometimes, life is better when it's simple.
Yesterday we had to say goodbye to our sweet Vegas. After a 17-year life without a single health issue, she began to rapidly decline this week. She stopped eating and became too weak to move from a warm spot on the couch. Yet the one thing that remained normal was her louder-than-life purr, which resonated from her tiny little being even until the end.
Today we are left with hearts that are aching, and with a house that's just a bit quieter without her purring. There aren't really any words to describe how the loss of a pet - a family member - breaks your heart. But these, that I found by Riely's bedside last night, pretty much sum it up:
I hope that somewhere up in heaven, there's a loud purr resonating through the clouds.
Rest peacefully, sweet Vegas.
I'm back as promised with three of my pages from this month's Jenni Bowlin kit. (Two more pages are in progress on my table - I can't stop working with this kit! Look for them in the mid-month gallery on the 10th). The kit heavily features two of my favorite new lines - October Afternoon's Farmhouse and My Mind's Eye Kraft Papers - that work well equally for fall, winter, or holiday pages.
I mixed up some of the polka dot papers in the kit with the polka dot stencil on this page (because a girl can never use too many polka dots, right?!) using the Chicken Feed Paint Dabber to make the orange square:
This page uses only supplies from the main Papercrafting Kit, and includes a little snippet of the kit-exclusive stamp - that little ticket in the lower left (love!).
On my next page, I went with a softer palette to complement the photo of my sweet Riely. I added the stenciling above and below the design with the Chewing Gum Paint Dabber and the stencil in the Artisan Add-On. I love how feminine and girly this page is!
Finally, I went a little crazy with the polkie stencil, using it with the Cough Syrup Paint Dabber over one of the My Mind's Eye kraft papers to add a pop of color to my background. I arranged the other elements over the top in a loose grid formation, and added a strip of the 7Gypsies Papertape down the left side to balance things out.
S U P P L I E S :
And speaking of grids, did you know you can now purchase all the classes from True Scrap individually, including my Going Off the Grid class? If you missed out on this event in October, this is a great way to grab a few of the classes for a great price - only $9.99 each!
Have a wonderful Wednesday my friends!
Well with my recent preoccupation with pantyhose, I've neglected to realize that it's already December 6 and I've yet to share any of my Jenni Bowlin kit layouts for the month. But I plan to resolve that today, after posting a few photos from last Saturday evening to put the whole hosiery discussion to bed:
What's that you say? You can't actually see my pantyhose in this shot? Well, forgive me. Shooting into a hotel room mirror with crappy lighting and the wrong lens didn't make this photo shoot very easy. How about this one?
Oh right. That's a headshot. But please note the perfectly applied eyeliner that only took me 45 minutes and many, many do-overs to get right. Yes, I know this has nothing to do with pantyhose. I can talk about other things, you know!
OK, no pantyhose here either. But I'll end the suspense and tell you I went with the grey lace tights and also popped a grey cardi on before heading out for the night. See, I listen to you all!
And did you notice that Mike totally foiled my plan to have semi-matching outfits by switching up his sweater color on me? He's never been big on coordinating clothing ever since I made him dress like this:
Holy big bow. And ruffled sleeves! Mike looks like he's in pink taffeta shock. So you see, pantyhose really is the least of my fashion emergencies.
And since the abundance of embarrasing photos here today would surely overshadow any layouts I'd planned to feature, I'll be back tomorrow with those, I promise!
Enjoy your Tuesday!
After reading your comments yesterday (thank you, thank you, thank you!) I did a little experimenting on my own with hosiery. And of course, I feel compelled to share it here with you, my fashion consultant panel. (Realizing, that yet another post about pantyhose could possibly forever doom me to the infamous title of Girl Who Blogs Incessantly About Pantyhose. But hey, whatever. I've been called way worse.)
I know that nude hose was a favorite suggestion among you, however, I've been unable to find a pair that doesn't my legs look incredibly plastic and shiny. Is this the effect they are supposed to have? Wearing them, I kind of feel like I should draw a Sharpie joint line on my ankles where my feet can be detached, because I look like a mannequin. So I'm thinking that if nude is the winning vote, I'll just go bare legged. Pasty white winter skin be damned.
Beyond nude, I took the suggestions for cranberry and grey tights to heart and have these examples to share. This is me modeling three options:
And this is a close-up of the two grey patterns:
And this is me doing the Elaine dance from Seinfeld:
My thoughts? I think the red tight is a bit too Mrs. Claus looking, though I love Mindy's suggestion to pair them with boots (so less red is evident) and a cardigan, and I plan to keep them for that very reason. Plus they will pair nicely with my chicken costume. (What?!?)
I'm leaning toward the lacy patterned grey tights because they look more festive and are also a bit more sheer than the dotted. And I happened to spot a grey embellished cardi at Target yesterday that might be the perfect topper in case I get chilly. Though with an open bar and plenty of vodka + sodas in my blood, it's a safe bet I will be feeling no pain. (Cue the music for the Elaine dance here!)
So offer up your opinions now, my friends. And a big 'ol smooch for putting up with my neurotic ramblings about hosiery. MWAH!
Looking back over my past three years-o-blogging, the most popular posts have been the ones when I've complained about my client's questionable design sensibilities, or vented about bad drivers, or solicited fashion advice (more specifically, when it relates directly to the hot topic of pantyhose - woo hoo!)
Today I'm going to indulge you with the latter because (a) I respect your opinion, dear readers, and know you will steer me in the right direction, and (b) my real-life friends are too busy to deal with crap like this. I KID!! I have no real-life friends.
So anyway, Saturday night we are attending one of two Christmas parties for Mike's company, and this one is the more casual of the two. If history serves, the night will be host to a whole span of dress attires, ranging from classy LBDs and suits to hot pink latex minis and brushpopper shirts. Yes, really. I'm shooting for somewhere in the middle.
My proposed outfit is a simple dark denim a-line dress to which I'm adding a silk sash cummerbund that's black/red/grey/navy paisley print. For my entrance, I'll be topping it off with my Oma's vintage cream suede trenchcoat. Because I only get so many chances to dress like an extra in a Dick Tracy movie. Would a fedora and cigarette holder be too much??
For shoes, I've got two options (one that I'm already leaning more heavily towards): a taupe suede Mary Jane with red patent sole & heel, or a taller, deep cranberry heel. Which do you like better? And probably more importantly, what would you wear on your legs?? Were the forecast for Saturday not a high of 32º, my choice would be to go bare-legged (and yes, I will shave the winter woolies off my legs before then!). But since bare is probably not a viable option, I'm thinking grey or black tights....or do I need something sheer? I tend to avoid sheer black hosiery, as my legs look like sausages in them. What about fishnets? Knee socks? Legwarmers? (Have I made it painfully obvious I NEED HELP?!)
And just in case you need to know, Mike is wearing jeans, a cranberry-colored sweater over a white button-down and plaid green/pink/black tie. He will look effortlessly elegant and casually cool. That's why I married him, ladies.
So enlighten me! Pick a shoe and tell me how to dress the gams! I need specifics here, people! Or you can tell me to flag the whole thing and go with the hot pink mini...though it could be awkward when someone else shows up in the exact.same.outfit.
Thanks my darlings! And enjoy your Thursday!