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>Wherein I turn my unborn children into nerds…

7 Feb

>Before I show you how I plan to completely nerd-ify my children when we have them, I have exciting news!

I won the Valentine’s Day flower delivery giveaway from Ali of His Birdie’s Nest!! I’ve never gotten flowers delivered to me at work before and I’m so excited!! Mys husband is also happy that he’s off the hook in the flower department for V-day this year. I told him not to worry since everything is so over-priced that day and I’ll be getting flowers from Ali anyway!

Ok, so back to my nerdiness…

Today while browsing through my google reader, I saw this photo posted by With Two Cats:

I clicked her link to find the source for the photo which led me to ohdeedoh, which led me to Elizabeth Sullivan Design. Isn’t it funny how one picture can really make the blogging rounds?

I’m so in love with this wall of books. I already knew I wanted bookshelves like this in our future nursery. I love the way they store the books so you can see the covers. Children recognize their favorite books based on the covers, not the title on the spine. When books are displayed this way, children are much more likely to take a book off of the shelf and read. Plus, it makes for a beautiful art display!

What do you think? Is this too much? Will my child have any chance at being cool with a book-covered wall in their room?

My Color Coded Books

7 Jun

I told you I wanted to try this new design trend, so on Sunday, while my husband was trying to get our wireless internet working for the PS3, I took everything off the shelves and got to organizing… by color!

It took lots of arranging and rearranging and a bit of donating to get it right. I’m sure it will continue to change and evolve as new books are bought and old ones donated. I’ve love to get another bookcase like this one and have them side-by-side to create a wall of books. Then we would have room for some colorful accessories to be displayed among the books.

The post I wrote about my reading list for our trip got so many responses I’m going to keep adding to my current list (thanks for the good suggestions) and write up another post about some more books I hope to read. Then, when I get back, I will do my own reviews and let you know what I thought!

I wish I had a kindle or nook or ipad. My suitcase is going to be pretty heavy with all these books!

Speaking of books…

4 Jun

I read quite a few design blogs daily (and quite a few mom blogs… and twenty-something blogs) and one trend I’ve been taking note of lately is bookshelves organized by color.

Isn’t it pretty? This last one made me want to try this in my own home.

The way Design Mom coordinated her accessories with the books on the shelves is simply stunning. Oh wait… one of those accessories is a baby!

This is what our bookcase looks like:

Not so glamorous, right? Well, I plan to change that very soon… stay tuned!

What inspires you when decorating or designing your spaces?

Summer Reading List

2 Jun

A few blogs on my reader have been recommending books that are great to read while lounging at the beach or on vacation. I am taking notes on those suggestions and the suggestions of my friends and family and compiling a list in my Crackberry for our upcoming trip to Australia (it is creeping up on us!). With a 15 hour flight there and back and lots of time on my own while the husband is working, I am going to need to hit the library and bookstore to load up on some good reading material.

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan
Recommended by Jessica review:

There is a curious thing that happens to nearly all of us in the haze of our post-college years, and that is this: we anticipate the prospect of becoming honest-to-God adults with both heady excitement and unfathomable dread. Dread because we know, wisely, that once we cross this threshold, we cannot go back; there is no sleeping in past eleven, no immature antics that can still be written off to childhood, no phoning our parents when the checkbook hits zero. Excitement because it is such a relief to evolve into something bigger than we were before, to embrace the world as ready, steady grown-ups. And J. Courtney Sullivan, via her debut novel, Commencement, explores these very complexities and growing pains of leaving behind our adolescences and surrendering to adulthood.

Slow Love by Dominique Browning
Recommended by several of the design blogs I read review:

Browning’s 13-year-job as editor-in-chief of House & Garden fulfillingly defined her days and her identity; when the magazine folded two years ago, she was shaken to the core of her being. Having maintained her Westchester house, family of two grown sons, extensive garden, and frequent dining out, her life and general sense of self was radically shaken over the next year, and in this enchanting, funny, deeply gracious memoir, Browning, many years divorced, recounts how she found enlightenment at the other end. Writing was one way to absorb the panic; she went on a muffin-baking binge and gained 15 pounds; lost track of days, remaining comfortingly in her pjs and yearning perilously to reconnect to a former lover she calls Stroller, who was deemed wrong for her by everyone she knew. A few small decisions had enormous impact, such as when insomnia compelled her to tackle Bach’s Goldberg Variations on the piano, and poignantly she refocused on her artistic nature. There is such feeling and care on each page of Browning’s well-honed memoir—her rediscovery of nature, her avowal to let love find her rather than seek it, tapping satisfying work at her own keyboard—that the reader is swept along in a pleasant mood of transcendence.

 The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Recommended by my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Bob

I haven’t seen the movie yet and since my aunt and uncle gave it such praise, I want to read it and then rent the film. review:

This clever and inventive tale works on three levels: as an intriguing science fiction concept, a realistic character study and a touching love story. Henry De Tamble is a Chicago librarian with “Chrono Displacement” disorder; at random times, he suddenly disappears without warning and finds himself in the past or future, usually at a time or place of importance in his life. This leads to some wonderful paradoxes. From his point of view, he first met his wife, Clare, when he was 28 and she was 20. She ran up to him exclaiming that she’d known him all her life. He, however, had never seen her before. But when he reaches his 40s, already married to Clare, he suddenly finds himself time travelling to Clare’s childhood and meeting her as a 6-year-old.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Recommended by Aunt Nancy review:

Ford’s strained debut concerns Henry Lee, a Chinese-American in Seattle who, in 1986, has just lost his wife to cancer. After Henry hears that the belongings of Japanese immigrants interned during WWII have been found in the basement of the Panama Hotel, the narrative shuttles between 1986 and the 1940s in a predictable story that chronicles the losses of old age and the bewilderment of youth. Henry recalls the difficulties of life in America during WWII, when he and his Japanese-American school friend, Keiko, wandered through wartime Seattle. Keiko and her family are later interned in a camp, and Henry, horrified by America’s anti-Japanese hysteria, is further conflicted because of his Chinese father’s anti-Japanese sentiment. Henry’s adult life in 1986 is rather mechanically rendered, and Ford clumsily contrasts Henry’s difficulty in communicating with his college-age son, Marty, with Henry’s own alienation from his father, who was determined to Americanize him. The wartime persecution of Japanese immigrants is presented well, but the flatness of the narrative and Ford’s reliance on numerous cultural cliches make for a disappointing read.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Recommended by Penny review:

The publishers of Chris Cleave’s new novel “don’t want to spoil” the story by revealing too much about it, and there’s good reason not to tell too much about the plot’s pivot point. All you should know going in to Little Bee is that what happens on the beach is brutal, and that it braids the fates of a 16-year-old Nigerian orphan (who calls herself Little Bee) and a well-off British couple–journalists trying to repair their strained marriage with a free holiday–who should have stayed behind their resort’s walls. The tide of that event carries Little Bee back to their world, which she claims she couldn’t explain to the girls from her village because they’d have no context for its abundance and calm. But she shows us the infinite rifts in a globalized world, where any distance can be crossed in a day–with the right papers–and “no one likes each other, but everyone likes U2.” Where you have to give up the safety you’d assumed as your birthright if you decide to save the girl gazing at you through razor wire, left to the wolves of a failing state.

 The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman
Recommended by Sarah Silverman when I saw her on the view on Monday review:

Demonstrating that her penchant for swearing began at an early age, comedian Silverman begins her hilarious memoir by describing how, at age three, she gleefully responded to her grandmother’s offer of brownies with shove ’em up your ass. Growing up in New Hampshire (where cows are well done and Jews are rare), Silverman naturally gravitated toward performing and moved to New York, where she attended and eventually dropped out of New York University to pursue a standup comedy career. Mixing show business moments (she wrote for Saturday Night Live for one season, but none of her sketches made it past dress rehearsal) with stories of her childhood and adolescence (punctuated by a persistent bedwetting problem), Silverman never shies away from poking fun at her own expense. Though she’s best known for sexually explicit jokes, Silverman is able to address more serious subjects in the book without losing her edge, particularly her teenage struggle with depression and that her often abrasive public persona allowed her to say what I didn’t mean, even preach the opposite of what I believed…. It was a funny way of being sincere.

Blue Shoe by Anne Lamott
Recommended by my overstuffed bookshelf – I’ve had this book for years and never read it review:

One of the few progressive Christian writers with a national voice, Anne Lamott’s work (Bird by Bird, Operating Instructions) ranges from the meditative to the hilarious. Blue Shoe falls somewhere in the middle of that range. A slow, thoughtful novel, rooted in the domestic routines of child-raising, Blue Shoe follows the newly separated Mattie Ryder as she moves back into her childhood home, recently vacated by her elderly mother, and undertakes the renovation of her entire life. Her best friend Angela has left the San Francisco Bay area to move in with her new lover, Julie. Mattie’s ex-husband, Nicky, has settled so quickly into a steady relationship with a young woman named Lee that it is clear they were involved during his marriage to Mattie. Nicky and Mattie’s two children are displaying signs of emotional disturbance (Lamott is at her best in describing the quietly weird behavior of young children). And to add to the mix, Mattie’s mother is falling into a senile dementia characterized by pleading phone calls and wacky assertions of independence. All Mattie wants is a little more money, a decent boyfriend, and for her philandering father to rise from his grave and solve all her problems. Is that so much to ask? Some of the action in this novel could have been compressed, and the major subplot involving Mattie’s father fails to excite, but the strengths of Blue Shoe–humor, unflinching characterization, and keen observation–more than compensate for its weaknesses.

When I come back, I’ll let you know what I thought of these – that is, if I ever actually read all of them.

Do you have any good book recommendations?

Dieting is HARD!

13 May

Ok, ok, I definitely dropped the ball with my “Fit Friday” thing I started a while ago… I’m sorry, but dieting is just so hard. I went to the doctor this week and they weighed me and I was again astounded at the number. How is this possible? I am now 18-20 lbs above my ideal weight. Again, I know I’m not at an unhealthy weight. I know the number I am at now is the goal-weight of many people, but I don’t feel good about my size at this weight. I don’t like getting dressed up or going out for dinner feeling like this – and I certainly don’t want to put on a bathing suit.

I would kill to look like Carrie Underwood in a bathing suit!

Yesterday, after a grossly unhealthy lunch and snickers bar for a snack, I decided it was TIME. I have to stop this madness. I can’t keep saying, “the diet starts tomorrow” because it never does. I ate very healthy for dinner last night (very low-cal salad) and even went to bed without dessert (well, I guess that afternoon snickers bar was my dessert, but… yeah).

Today, while talking with a friend at work, I starting mapping out my weight ups and downs. It was shocking to see how much I have yo yo-ed, gaining and then losing every 2-4 years. Then, I remembered that I had seen a commercial for an Oprah show about dieting a few days ago so I checked out her website. After taking a dumb quiz where I found I’m a restrictor AND a permitter (you’re supposed to be one or the other), I read this: “What happens is that people end up losing weight ten, 20, 30, 50 times in their lives. They just endlessly do it, because they think endless dieting is a way to get a handle on their problem. But even if they get a handle on their dieting, just losing weight is not the point,” (found here). Hmmmm…. go on… “Unless you really see what your core beliefs are, what’s making you overeat—beliefs like ‘I’m damaged; I don’t deserve this; love is not for me; this will never work out; God is a ruse; goodness is not for me; I’ll always be separated from what I love’—and until you name those beliefs, they will shape your life willy-nilly. You’ll just keep on acting them out by punishing yourself with food. But if you can finally get to understanding the beliefs underneath, you can learn how to live,” (again here). Wow. Ummm… yeah. That is me. I do feel like I don’t deserve a lot of what I have. I do feel damaged. I do believe that God is as false as a fairy tale and that goodness isn’t for me.

Is she right? Or is this just another fad-diet type book? I guess I will find out…

I think I need to buy this book.

Review in Short: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

28 Apr
I bought this book because it was on sale at Target and, well, when things are on sale at my favorite store on earth, I feel compelled to buy them. Once I read the part where the woman gives birth at home, I knew I would love this book.

Readability – Easy

Interest Level – 9, started off a bit slow, but picked up about a third of the way through.

Length – Medium, but the chapters are really short, which breaks it up and makes it fly by.

Recommend to – Women and men, teen and up

Warning – In the same vein of Marley and Me, it made me cry.

Apparently, Patrick Dempsey will star in the film version of this book. Not sure when that is set to release, but I’m sure I’ll love it.

Good-bye Mr. Salinger

28 Jan
Thanks for providing me with stuff to teach.

Review in Short: Push, a novel by Sapphire

26 Jan

This is the novel that inspired the popular movie Precious starring Garbourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I read the book this weekend and I loved it. Here is my review in short:

Readability – Easy

Interest Level – 10, couldn’t put it down

Length – Short, took me a couple of hours to read

Recommend to – Women, teen and up

Warning – Sexually graphic

I hope to see the movie this week. I think I missed the theater release, but we have a screener connection, so hopefully they will let us borrow it.