Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gratuitous Puppy Pictures

Some people are into cats.  I, however, am decidedly a dog lover.  Specifically, I like little dogs.  Consider these two examples:


Aren't they cute? 

The top photo is of Casper, a chihuahua.  He belongs to my aunt and her family.  Casper weighs 3.6lbs (1.6kg) but he doesn't let his small size slow him down a bit.  He thinks he's the biggest dog in the house.

Cole (9lbs, 4.1kg) is a papillon.  The name of the breed comes from their distinctive ears-- the size and shape of them resemble butterfly wings, and papillon is the French word for butterfly.  Cole is my sister's dog, but I've convinced him that he belongs to me.  He keeps me company throughout the day, and sleeps in my bed at night.  The only think I don't like about him is his long white hair that he sheds on everything.

There you go.  Dogs are one of my chief pleasures in life.  One of the best things about being home (as opposed to globetrotting) is being able to cuddle with the little guys.

Clemson versus Carolina-- Birthday Wishes

It has been a wonderful couple of days-- my aunt and two cousins from Charleston drove up to Delaware on Wednesday; international friends An'aam, Ahmed, and Mengdi joined us for Thanksgiving; my niece, aunt, and cousin and I woke up at 3:30am to go shopping on Black Friday; and today is my dad's birthday.

It is my dad's particular birthday wish that Clemson University beat University of South Carolina in the football game tonight.  For those of you not from South Carolina, there is a HUGE rivalry between the Clemson Tigers and the Carolina Gamecocks.  Families tend to be for one side or the other; my family falls squarely on the Clemson side.  (Dad graduated from Clemson in 1972.  We grew up with tiger-themed decor, and as a child, I even painted my dollhouse orange with purple shutters).

My mom decided to throw a Football-Birthday party.  She decorated in orange, and made a bunch of food.  We've been sitting around the television set since 7pm, and since I'm not the biggest football fan, I decided to document everything via the blog.  It's always fun to look back and see what you were doing on a particular day-- don't ya think?
The cousins: me, Cody, my brother Ryan, and Alex


I would like to say that Dad is going to get his birthday wish.  Alas, things are not going too swell :( We've got one quarter left, and Clemson is far, far behind.  Still, it's a memorable day, and my mom's party was a great idea.

Happy Birthday, Dad!!! We love you!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Playing With String

I like to think of my blog as a repository for really cool ideas that I might want to revisit later.  It makes a better folder to store things than my computer which has a tendency to crash, or at the very least, to become disorganized.

The added benefit of posting things here is that you might also see something that inspires you.  If you make anything, be sure to let me know so I can take a gander!
DIY Friendship Bracelet tutorial here

Broomstick Lace cuff here

Happy Thanksgiving and Who Was Squanto?

John and Priscilla Alden
I think as a child I learned of the Native American, Squanto, who helped rescue the settlers in Massachusetts, which is why we celebrate Thanksgiving today.  It's the amazing story of how a single Native American happened to walk into a settlement and was able to communicate in perfect English.  How did this come to be?

The back story is an interesting one, and it tells of God's provision for the colonists in Plymouth. Below, watch the incredible story of Squanto on CNN.

I love that Americans have this holiday-- it is such a wonderful day of family, and a time to remember what we are thankful for.  My aunt and two cousins are in town from Charleston, South Carolina and we've invited three international students to share this day with us.  They are a brother and sister from Saudi Arabia and a Chinese girl; I am thankful to be surrounded by family and friends on this special day!

Happy Thanksgiving to you, dear reader!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another Starbucks Wreath Tutorial

Ooooh, bloggy friend Kara from the aptly named blog, Inspired Kara, sent me a link to a tutorial she wrote on how to make a Starbucks-inspired wreath.  Her tutorial includes step-by-step instructions on how to recreate the wreath, and judging from the picture of her own creation (below), it turned out beautifully.
While you're over there at her blog, take a moment to poke around. Her blog was one of the first ones I discovered when I first ventured into the blogging world. I loved it (and her inspirations) so much that I've been following it for two years. She's currently planning a wedding (her own!), so it's fun to see all of the behind-the-scenes details that are going into it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tutorial to Make a Starbucks Wreath

It has been two years since I posted about the gorgeous yarn-ball wreath I saw at a local Starbucks.  Surprisingly, the keywords "Starbucks wreath" bring just about more traffic to this site than any other words.

The wreath really was quite beautiful!  Below are two more Starbucks-esque wreathes that are featured on the Life through the Lens blog.  Click here to find her tutorial on how to create your own this holiday season.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Alice in Wonderland Paper Dolls


LoVe ThIs!

For My Delaware Friends

I shot this a while back, and it came out this month on newsstands.  It's the fall fashion preview and is in the November issue of Delaware Today.  I've shot for Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Glamour, and now... Delaware Today!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Love these Dresses that Kate Wears

via Life in Pictures
Isn't that last blouse with the pearl beads absolutely incredible? Kate Moss by Mario Sorrenti

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Preach it, Ron Paul!

Ron Paul Introduces HR 6416: The American Traveler Dignity Act 
"Imagine if the political elites in our country were forced to endure the same conditions at the airport as business travelers, families, senior citizens, and the rest of us. Perhaps this problem could be quickly resolved if every cabinet secretary, every member of Congress, and every department head in the Obama administration were forced to submit to the same degrading screening process as the people who pay their salaries."

National opt-out day is Wednesday, November 24th.  Click here for more information.

To write your Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, please visit:
To write your U.S. Senator, please visit:
If you have experienced a problem with TSA when flying, use the Electronic Privacy Information Center's incident report to lodge your complaint:

Testimonials from travelers here:
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm a Sucker For...

I really love the whole I'm-a-nomad/I-just-arrived-from-the-steppes-of-Mongolia look.  Pile on the colorful layers of knitted items, throw in some chunky jewelry, and tie your hair in multi-fishtail braids, and you'll find me completely on board.  I'm still figuring out how to rock this look (so you won't be seeing it on me anytime soon), but I am completely smitten.  

And, yes, I *love* the red hair, too.

The pics below are from the Free People Holiday 2010 Catalog.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Help Me Decide Which Eyeglasses To Buy

This begins by way of a cautionary tale:

I began wearing glasses in the fourth grade, and graduated to contacts in the ninth grade (my kind parents were gracious enough not to make me go through my high school years labeled as "four-eyes"). Contact lens technology was not that great in those days (they did not allow my eyes "to breathe"), and I wasn't good about following the eye doctor's instructions, either. Sometimes I would sleep in my contacts, not removing them from my eyes for a month at a time (which is a definite no-no), and I would always stretch the wearing of my two-week disposables way past their expiration date.

Nowadays, I do better in following instructions; however, the damage is done. According to my eye doctor, the blood vessels in my eyes had a hard time getting oxygen, so they grew, shooting off limbs toward the surface of my eyes. This hasn't caused problems so far, but my doctor warns me that unless the condition is reversed, one day my eyes will reject contact lenses completely and then I will be forever relegated to the realm of the four-eyes (without even lasik as an option!).

The solution? By adopting better practices in regard to my eyes, I can make a difference. We've changed my contact lenses to ones that allow my eyes to breathe better. AND, I'm trying to wear my glasses more, which will definitely help. That brings me to the subject of today's blog post:

Which eyeglass frames should I buy?
Yes, the pictures do little flatter to me, and the light in the store was terrible, but I was able to narrow down my choices to just two. One pair, the red, are funky and contemporary, while the other pair, the brown, are more bookish and "librarian."

Please leave a comment, or vote in the poll. Thanks!

Theme in Pictures

I saw this picture on Ginny Branch Stelling's blog, and immediately thought how much I would love to have a home that looks like this one day:


The shot below is from a scene in season 3 of Madmen, and I must admit that the decorating in the kitchen also caught my fancy:


Here's one parting shot from the Life in Pictures Blog.  It's from an editorial by Bruce Weber, shot at Stella McCartney's country home.  How picturesque is this?


Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall 2010 Fantasy Shopping on the Internet

1. I'm still craving a fisherman sweater. This cardigan would be equally dashing thrown over a floral dress or paired with jeans.
2. A simple white blouse with a bow. Love it!
3. I'm really in the mood for a jumper. This one fits the bill nicely.
4. I saw these jeans online and immediately was smitten.
5. Way too expensive for me, but oh! a girl can dream, can't she?
6. Classic and sophisticated with a touch of retro appeal (in wool!).
7. I'm obsessed with velvet this season, and particularly like this mauve-colored blazer.
8. Ditto on lace.  I think fall's best offerings are in velvet and lace this year.
9. How pretty is this cape?!? I love the plaid.
10. The quintessential party shoes. Wouldn't they look divine with some of these dresses?
11. I want to add a tweed jacket to my closet. Elbow pads are required.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Turkish Delight-- Earrings!

When I was child we moved around a lot.  By the age of thirteen, I had lived in six different houses, in six different cities, and in four different states (South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Delaware).  Fortunately for me, I grew up in an era before personal computers and emails, where I got to learn the joys of a handwritten letter first hand: the rough texture of the card stock, the choice of a pretty stamp, the crooked handwriting that ambles over the page, and best of all, a dear friend's words.  I adore handwritten letters!
This lovely note came in the mail the other day from a friend I have only met once.  He had been charged by an overseas friend with the task of mailing these earrings to me.  Aren't they beautiful?

In case you want to get a pair for yourself, they are from Turkey.  I haven't seen them for sale anywhere else, but they were all over Istanbul when I was there last summer, and they're also quite inexpensive.  I had a red pair that were given to me by a shopkeeper in Ephesus (Selcuk) as a gift-- he was impressed by the few words of Turkish that I knew (Did you know that Aslan means lion in Turkish?).  I lost one of the earrings, and was delighted when my friend in Dubai offered to pick up for me a new pair while on his trip to Turkey.  That was six months ago, and now, thanks to Mack, Keren, Kirk, and the US Post Office, these beauties are finally home 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Want I Want I Want!

Via British Vogue (via
I mentioned this in a post a few weeks ago-- I REALLY want a fisherman sweater, AKA the Aran sweater.  This photo comes from a fashion spread, but I love the oversized cable-knit sweater.  I am debating whether I should attempt to make myself one.

Denim Shorts and Tights

I have spent the last six months living in a college town where the fashions leave something to be desired. All along the Main Street that is the center of our town are shops that sell cute and fashionable clothing. One wonders, though, how these stay in business, as most college students here seem to be quite happy to trudge along to class in oversized t-shirts/sweatshirts, jeans, and flip-flops or Uggs (depending upon the season). It's an eyesore!

I have been having a hard time adjusting to being here after having lived in some of the world's most fashionable cities (New York, Paris, Dubai, and Cape Town to name a few). I would like to think that I have toned things down, yet most days my outfit choices seem to elicit at least a few comments. I think of Vixen Vintage's post complaining about how everyone makes insipid comments about how she's dressed (her style, IMHO, is lovely!). She must have struck a chord as 90 people have commented so far, commiserating with her.

All that to say: this is what I wanted to wear to work today (pieced together via

What I Want to Wear
I really love the denim-with-tights-look that seems to be in right now.

This is what I wore instead :( Not nearly as fun, but safer :)


White Knit Top: H&M 
White Tank with Spaghetti Straps: ??? 
Jeans: Delia's, Taylor fit 
Boots: from a vintage shop in Brooklyn

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween 2010

I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween.  With Halloween falling on a Sunday this year, we had quite a jam-packed weekend.  On Friday afternoon, the English language school where I work hosted a Halloween party for the international students.  For most of the students it was their first Halloween ever, so it was neat to watch the students carve pumpkins, dress in costumes, and stuff scarecrows for the first time in their lives.  On Friday evening, I went to another Halloween event for English-language students, and looked on as they carved pumpkins.  On Saturday, I went to a party hosted by the culture club at the University of Delaware, and once again, I was surrounded by people hailing from China, Colombia, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Russia, and Lithuania.  The dressing-in-costume was very novel for most of them, I think.

I decided to go dressed as a mime, which was a very easy costume for me, since I had everything I needed in my closet already.  I liked my costume (I felt very French!), unfortunately, most of the international students didn't know what I was.  I used it as an opportunity to teach them a new word: mime, which is both a noun and a verb.

I was completely Halloween-ed out by Sunday.  I had to get up early Sunday morning to perform in the orchestra for church, then had lunch with some missionaries, and then headed back to church at 6:00pm to see the end of the missions conference my church was holding.  I was too exhausted to do much of anything, so just decided to relax on Sunday night.

On Saturday night, one of my Saudi students asked me, "How many more days will Halloween go for?"  I thought that was funny, as Halloween is technically one day, but this year, it seems to have been spread from Thursday night until even today (Monday).  Tomorrow everyone's attention will be turned toward the elections, so I think that will effectively put the lid (or should I say "final nail in the coffin") on Halloween festivities this year.

What did you do for Halloween?