I left for Chicago for the holidays to spend a huge chunk of time with my family for very important reasons. I packed Christmas presents and tried to be as organized as possible. What I did not count on was that in opening my Etsy store three weeks before Christmas, my apartment (a studio) was turned into a workshop. I arrived home Tuesday night at one in the morning, loaded with my Christmas presents, dropped everything and went to bed. Then I woke up with the stomach flu for the next day and a half. This place…is a mess. I normally clean before I leave so when I return I don’t feel like this but guess what, I was making mugs. So. I can’t even show you a picture. It’s that bad.
my luggage was 10 pounds over the 50 pound limit.
They wanted me to pay $125 and my usual doe eyes, but it’s Christmas presents, didn’t work (and believe me, it usually does). So I said I would get rid of 10 pounds. They looked at me as if I was crazy. When they realized I was serious, they asked if I wanted a bag (I say they because a crowd gathered around the kiosk) and quite benevolently gave me one of those plastic bags they use for oversized luggage. I removed 12 pounds (that’s right, 12), knotted that plastic bag, and carried it over my shoulder like hobo.
This picture reminds me of my last night with her. She was freshly bathed and I changed her into her jammies and then she asked me to read her the Beth Moore’s My Child, My Princess. We then read through another four or five books after that. I just love her.
that, though single, I am excited for valentine’s day.
I really love making people happy. Some vday mugs are up on the sitebut there are more to come. I love when a client tells me how happy they are with the mugs. I mean, really. That’s what I love about Etsy. You find exactly what you are looking for and it’s always unique.
Linking up with these lovely ladies. I had such a wonderful experience with all of you last time! Way to welcome a girl.
Back to the books. And the writing.
While I loved the Holidays and all the special posts, I am excited to get back to posting about books and writers. I’m just finishing a 600 page Gothic, historical, satire by Joyce Carol Oates that I can’t wait to talk to you about (weirdddd but awesome). I read about a book a week and so I have other books to talk about too–like McEwan’s spy romance Sweet Tooth, Byatt’s contemporary classic Possession, and the simple but well written book I learned a lot from, The Last Picture Show (that’s off the top of my head). These reviews haven’t always garnered the most comments (comments aren’t everything) but I would love to include you guys in some way. Any ideas?
Check out the library for what I’ve always reviewed. Now, I’m reading Meg Wolitizer’s The Interestings and Pulitzer Prize Winning The Orphan Master’s Son (two very different books but I like to read more than one and different ones at that). How can I include you?
Let it Snow.
I took another one am walk…I love the stillness of it…even on NYE
For all my warm weathered friends, it’s been snowing and snowing and snowing. I really do love to take walks in the middle of the night (while in the suburbs) when it is still and calm and the light is beautiful as the moon reflects off the snow and the Christmas lights beam. But I do know a few girls who would be crying with this weather (I’m looking at you, Lissy Lou Who). Oh, it gets worse.
Then I went on brief walk where I found, say it with me, west coasters: a snow blower.
Then I tried to go outside to take pictures of the back yard.
T h r e e: 15% off
Valentine’s Day Mugs (and all mugs, including custom)Use the coupon code Cheers2014. I was recently able to get shipping orders down which is a miracle because it turns out mugs aren’t light to send and I kind of lost money for awhile. But it’s all worked out now and I just made the most beautiful new thank you notes, with another coupon code on them.
Mr. Darcy, Mustaches, Love Actually, Wuthering Heights, Song of Solomon, The Notebook…just some of the Valentine’s Day stock.
(also a ton of Downton Abbey mugs…they may be my favorites…And who is excited for Downton Abbey to start here in the states?)
Today I am getting my new computer.
That is all. That is all. Yes!!!!!!!! Guys, I am getting photoshop but then which design program should I get for blogging? Illustrator? Ah, so excited but could definitely use advice asap.
I need to get my license renewed while I’m in town. I am so afraid to forget. Don’t let me forget!
I do need your advice on a few things. Get back to me?
This is my first official Five on Friday and not only am I excited but I hope the structure gives me the blogging bug again. Christmas threw me off a bit; plus, we were all sick…including my little sister.
…Merry Christmas, I love you.
Two of my three cousins aka the twins…obvi they love taking pictures with me
On my mom’s side of the family, where I spend Christmas day, I am the only girl cousin. I get ganged up on and made fun of and mostly, love every second of it. But I mean: sorry that I just don’t love watching sports the entire day long. Is there no compromise left in the world? Granted, I purposely do things to annoy them. I need to prepare them for the world, you know.
However, this year there was a new rule & we laughed so hard. We (let me honest, they) could say anything they wanted to me as long as they added: “…Merry Christmas. I love you.”
Here is an example: “Nina, I want to punch you in the face…Merry Christmas. I love you.” (Disclaimer, we are not an abusive family but get four boys together and there is rough housing. They don’t touch me because I’m a girl. They just use their words.)
The bigger picture is that I laughed so hard with both sides of the family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I mean so hard that I thought I was going to lose it. I collapsed to the floor several times in spastic giggles. It felt so good. Laughter is the best medicine, according to, you know–me.
Go West, Young Man. Go West, Young Woman.
Do you feel my pain?
This morning my brother started the drive to Portland. My dad decided that this was an ideal time to take a picture of the three of us kids. It couldn’t have been when I had makeup on? Or at least no bed head? And maybe a Hogwarts sweatshirt wasn’t the most chic outfit option? Even Ava needed to be bribed with chocolate. (All I know is, no one offered me chocolate to smile).
So I hugged him tightly even though we will both be on the west coast. It is insane to me that our parents produced two kids who are both ending up out west (at least for awhile). You have to understand. I grew up 15 minutes from both side of my grandparents. As we drove up to my aunt’s we talked about how crazy it is that as different as we are, as different as we view the world, we refuse to settle (not that staying in Illinois is settling, but opportunities presented themselves or we created opportunities.) We both want adventure and boy, are we getting it. I never thought I would end up in San Francisco. Manhattan? Sure. Philly? Yeah. I don’t think San Francisco would have even come to mind but here we are. You can fall in love with a city.
It’s not about the gifts. But…
And it’s not; it’s about Jesus. But my mom found a Hogwarts Alumni sweatshirt. How cool am I? So, so, cool. I also got a lot of elephant things, these pillows I’ve been coveting, the Naked 3 pallet (woot, woot) and even more exciting–money towards a new computer. Hip, hip, hooray! Currently I am typing on a computer from my sophomore year of college. This past quarter, when it came to hitting my number and bonus, my motivation was: computer, computer, computer. So needless to say, I’m excited!
via//I won’t be getting a decal but I do love this clever one
Like Cher said, if I could turn back time.
These two crack me up
It’s been a huge blessing for many reasons that I’ve been able to spend a huge chunk of time with my family during this season. But it’s going by so quickly. We joke that we need to go on Shark Tank for something and I guess mugsaren’t going to cut it long term (although there is a sale right now; 15% off with the coupon code comfortandjoy). Well, I nominate the idea of investing in bottling time so that when I laugh around the table with my aunt and nonna, I can just stop time. So when my cousins make faces at me and I fall to the ground laughing, I can just call time out.
One night I just could not sleep and went out in the middle of the night just to take pictures in the snow.
My brother is only two years younger than me and my sister is three years old. I love that I get to talk about adult things with my brother. I love watching my sister enjoy the magic of the season with such childlike wonder. You know, she is just happy whenever anyone gets a present. “Oh my gosh, Dad! That’s amazing! I love it.” It was a shaving kit. Ha.
Furthermore, I love my mom. She is so great. Watching my mom come over and give my little sister, who she chooses to love because she loves me, her present, was lovely. Miss Sandi (mia mama) gave Ava books. Which is perfect because on her Thanksgiving placemat, Ava said she is most thankful for books. Yeah, Girl! That’s my sissy! Watching Ava “read” these books to my mom side by side on the couch, made my heart just squeeze and squeeze and squeeze. Let me be clear: the fact that we can all be in a room (Mom, Dad, Stepmom, Ava, and Me) with minimum to no awkwardness is a complete God thing. A complete God thing. None of us can take any credit it for it. But we can all be thankful for it.
**Wanted to let everyone know that there is a HUGE sale going on at StraightMugging, my Etsy Shop, today. Use the Coupon Code COMFORTANDJOY for 15% off everything, including the custom orders. There are also a ton of new styles I’m excited about. Anyway**
Well, I am just verklempt–totally choked with emotion. Christmas was the most I’ve laughed and the hardest I’ve laughed in such a long time with people who have known me…since birth. There is something so down-in-the-gut-good about that!
But I definitely wanted to participate in this link up with The Birdie Bowland The Ledford Life and forgot about it last time. I didn’t want to miss out this time, especially because I have been obsessed with the Kate Spade “Pop, Fizz, Clink” collection. And, it’s been all gold all the time lately, when it comes to what I like, and New Year’s Eve is the ultimate when it comes to that, right?
So, how will I decorate? How would I? What am I actually doing?
Here’s the fantasy:
It all starts with a Studio Mucci banner to take pictures around.
All I really want to do is laugh until my belly aches. And drink champagne. And maybe watch this movie sometime that day or the next:
Pop, Fizz, Clink,
P.S. I forgot an important note. I need to hear Auld Lang Syne. It might be one of my favorite songs all of all time. It makes me feel sad and happy and nostalgic and I just…like to feel a lump in my throat.