Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas (or in other words, Feliz Navidad)

My mother Is Catholic and my father is Jewish - which means that I was one lucky kid who got to celebrate double the holidays while growing up!

So I hope those who celebrated Hanukkah earlier this month had a wonderful “eight crazy nights” (thanks Adam Sandler)!

And for those celebrating Christmas today – Feliz Navidad!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and happy holiday season surrounded by many family and friends.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Life is Precious

Why is it that we only reflect on how precious life is when we are reminded that it is fleeting?

Instead of relishing every day that we are given, too often we are instead consumed with the mundane and stresses of daily life.

This year has been all about self-discovery and pushing myself to Live Love Life Now™ but I still have a difficult time not obsessing over the things that I have no control over.

Today I was reminded that those worrisome things aren’t nearly as important as the health and love of my family and friends.

So tonight I set forth my goal to one day count my blessings more than what I wish were different in my life and to always live in the present and not in the future.

In memory of a strong and loving woman

Monday, December 20, 2010

Petition for Cats in the Workplace

For a Monday, today wasn’t so bad. In fact, I was kind of excited to get the day going.

Why you ask?

Because I remembered that I don’t have to work the next two Mondays! I start my holiday vacation on Wednesday so it’s a short two-day workweek for me and I am so excited!

And during my time off, I plan to take a cue from Wylie and Sami and get in a lot of catnaps.

I gotta rest up for 2011 after all – it’s going to be a BIG year, I can feel it!

Wylie snoozing

Sami sleeping the day away

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Dresses, Christmas Trees & Gingerbread Houses: Part 3

After tree hunting, my boyfriend and I hosted our first Annual Gingerbread House Extravaganza.

And even though I didn’t know what to expect because I’d never made a gingerbread house before, I was still psyched to get started!

And yes, I can see where some might think this is a lame way to spend a Saturday night – but I swear it was so much fun! I mean the toppings alone were enough to convince me that this needed to become an annual tradition!

And our little gingerbread village turned out awesome – even though my boyfriend turned his into a XXX shop and my sister incorporated a decapitated gingerbread man in hers.

But I’m attributing these poor decisions – and the ridiculousness that ensued afterwards – to the massive sugar high we were on from the start!

The ‘before’ shot

A few of the toppings – yummm!

My masterpiece!

Note the gummy bears riding the polar bears

My boyfriend’s gingerbread porn shop – sigh

We nicknamed this one Barbie’s Outhouse

My sister’s gingerbread house came complete with crime scene

The village!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Dresses, Christmas Trees & Gingerbread Houses: Part 2

On Saturday, I went hunting for the perfect Christmas tree.

What constitutes perfect you may ask? Well that’s actually a short list:

1) The perfect tree must be real
2) The perfect tree must be taller than me
3) The perfect tree can’t take up too much room

That last one is always hard for me to abide by though since I love nothing better than a big, rotund Christmas tree!

But this year, I tried my best to go for a skinnier tree that would allow us to move around our apartment with ease. Of course when we got it home and in the tree stand, I started bemoaning the fact that it wasn’t large enough.

But over the past week, it has grown on me and I’ve come to realize that it’s actually the perfect size for our petite home. Now we just need to finish decorating it!

Every outing turns into an impromptu photo shoot with my boyfriend

My sister stakes her claim

The winner!

Phew, it fits!

I’ve never been into bugs but this ornament has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid

Ironic ornament

This one is just freaking cute!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Dresses, Christmas Trees & Gingerbread Houses: Part 1

This past weekend was so chock full of holiday festivities that it put me right in the Christmas spirit! And it all started off with my company’s holiday party on Friday night.

As usual, I headed to the mall the day before to find something to wear. Normally this stresses me out to no end, but I remained calm this year because I knew I had a few extra things in my closet that I could pull together in a pinch.

But truly I wanted to find something festive to wear, so I decided to try my luck at the mall during lunch.

And can you believe I actually found the perfect little black dress by Rachel Roy? I know, I was pretty shocked myself when I found it!

I felt so fancy the following night when I got all dressed up with my boyfriend. Which made me wonder, why don’t we do this more often?

Oh yeah, I only have the one dress.

The dress!

I didn’t notice the animal print at first - which was a good thing!

The skirt detail is what sold me – and Sami liked it too!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Procrastinating Christmas

With only ten days until Christmas, my intentions for this evening mainly consisted of working on my gift list and doing some online shopping.

Alas, I can barely keep my eyes open after a couple short nights and a busy day at work so the shopping will have to wait yet another day.

I guess there’s always room for improvement on the procrastination front!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Petition for Cats in the Workplace

Sami seeks retaliation In the second episode of “The Sami & Wylie Show”:

The Sami & Wylie Show: episode 2 from Jenn on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It’s Not Old - It’s Vintage!

Over the past few years, my design style has slowly started to veer towards the vintage and eclectic.

And sourcing the perfect vintage find is akin to a treasure hunt for me and I’ve started to become a bit obsessed.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of vintage stores in my area so when the craving can’t be ignored I like to take a short road trip to Chartreuse & Co. in Frederick, MD for one of their monthly tag sales.

They have a great mix of old and new and I always go through their store twice in case I’ve missed anything on the first time through.

Below are some of the incredible finds I discovered a few weeks ago when I made the trek to their barn o’ treasures. While I didn’t have the money or space for most of these items, I couldn’t resist taking pictures to save for inspiration at a later date.

The ‘barn’

The main floor

The attic

My grandfather was a photographer so I'm always drawn to antique cameras

I adore this pendant light and would have bought it if the price had been right

This gorgeous metal console would make an amazing media cabinet. If only I’d had a grand burning a whole in my pocket…

If I could have found a spot in my apartment for this chair/stool, I would have bought it on the spot. Alas, I couldn’t...

Refinished, this would make an amazing desk for a guest room!

I love how this vintage piece has been reworked into a side table

SOLD! These vintage clipboards were mine as soon as I laid eyes on them!

SOLD! I have an obsession with vintage clocks and scales (basically anything with cool looking numbers) and this fit perfectly into my stovetop collection once I got home!

Chartreuse & Co.
4007A Buckeystown Pike
Frederick, MD 21704
(301) 874-1882

Monday, December 6, 2010

Petition for Cats in the Workplace

Do you ever wish that you could just call it a day when you’ve hit a wall at work?

Well I have and today was definitely one of those days.

It had me dreaming of telecommuting from my warm bed while wearing sweatpants and eating Cheetos.

And on these days, I like to think that Wylie and Sami are wishing I was on my way home early too…and that they are watching for me out the kitchen window.

Of course, in reality, they are simply slumbering the day away.

Just one more reason why sometimes I wish I were a cat.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I’ll Never Underestimate the Power of Heated Seats Again

This past week and a half has been bittersweet.

On one hand, I spent part of my Thanksgiving break going car shopping. On the other hand, I knew that it was because I had to get rid of my beloved car of ten years and embrace change.

Normally I would have procrastinated and drawn out the inevitable decision as long as possible, but the process was sped up by the fact that I no longer had a car to drive.

Fortunately, the process was made a lot easier by the fact that I went through it with my twin sister. Yup, somehow the universe necessitated that we needed to find new cars at the same exact time.

Sometimes it’s creepy being twins.

Long story short, we didn’t start out looking at the exact same car but that’s what we ended up with – matching 2011 VW Tiguan’s. We draw the line at matching colors though so she got black again and I got the ‘alpine’ gray.

Aside from the similarity in color, they are nothing like our old cars – I mean, technology has really changed in the last thirteen years! Two days in and I can already tell that I’m getting spoiled by:

• the seat warmers – ahhhh, how have I lived without you?!
• the hands free Bluetooth system – look mom, no hands!
• the iPod adaptor – see ya crappy iTrip!
• the remote entry – yes, no more fumbling in the dark for the keyhole!

I still can’t believe the car is mine to drive for the next three years! I almost feel unworthy to have such a cool car.

Of course, the only downside is that I have monthly payments again. But I’m not even obsessing over that anymore because the Tiguan is so fun to drive that I actually look forward to going to work in the morning…and that is priceless!

Here are a few snapshots of the new ride. It’s a good thing I like the VW logo because they put it everywhere

Twin cars!

Shout out to the dealership

Digital dash

I like shiny objects!

Their logo is even in the headlights!

The key flips out like a switchblade…bad ass

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Inanimate Objects Are My Friends: Homage to My First Car

Ever since I was a little girl, I‘ve always had a strong connection with my belongings.

Case in point: while I innately knew that my stuffed animals weren’t real, I still believed that they had feelings. Therefore I was always careful not to pile them on top of each other (because that was disrespectful…and they couldn’t breathe) and I would rotate them often so none of them felt left out.

As I grew up and slowly moved the stuffed animals from my bed, I simply transferred my bond with inanimate objects to more grown up things…like my first car.

I can still remember the day I picked it up like it was yesterday because it was such a momentous event. See up until that point I had always fought for the use of the family car with my twin sister and the ‘sharing’ went on for four long years until we each bought our first cars.

And just like us they were also identical!

The cars were 1997 Nissan Altima’s that we bought used in 2000 and the only real difference was their color. Hers was black with a light fabric interior and mine was silver with a gray faux leather interior and a kick ass spoiler.

Over the years that car became a member of my family. It was with me when I graduated college. It helped me move home and then four more times since. It drove me on my first day to my first real job and hauled me back and forth long distance to see my boyfriend when we were living two hours apart for many years.

So I felt like a traitor when I recently had to say good-bye to my car after ten years of love and loyalty. But I couldn’t justify spending any more money to keep it safe when its value didn’t warrant the expensive repairs.

If only I lived in a house with a yard. I would have put that baby up on blocks and gazed on it adoringly forever!

Always loved