Sunday, December 21, 2008


Matthew and I are still in Arizona. It is an interesting time with the excitement of having our baby pretty soon, and the sadness of still not being able to sell our house or for Matthew to find a job to relocate us. It is a bittersweet time. The part that gets us really sick is the timing of everything. If we had just listed our house a few months earlier or started looking for jobs earlier before the entire economy officially fell apart, maybe we would have just gotten out!!

We had planned on being in Philadelphia for Autumn and Winter this year and were really looking forward to the changing of the leaves and snow and cold. When the Phillies won the World Series, though neither of us are Phillies fans (I am not even a baseball fan) we were so sad to have missed the excitment and utter chaos in the streets there. Then Obama won in November and again the energy and frenzy going on in the streets would have been so fun to be there for! Instead, we looked at pictures of it online.

With the recent storms throughout the United States, a lot of snow and ice have fallen in Philly and NYC and all over. It really makes me sad we are still here! I am so grateful for how cold and rainy it had been this winter in Arizona though, because it almost feels like we live somewhere else. I have gotten to wear my wool winter coats 4 or 5 times and even a couple scarfs! I don't feel entirely nutty busting out my warm tights this year and have worn my boots quite a few times too. I can't wait to move somewhere new, but at the same time I am so grateful for what I have and what the future holds!

Here are a few pictures that I fell in love with of beautiful snow- mainly in New York City, but a few in Seattle, California and in the Midwest. I know a lot of people who live in these areas may not be as thankful and excited about the snow storms as I am here sitting in sixty degree Arizona, but when you live in sunny Arizona your entire life, sometimes you start to crave something new.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I have been feeling very artsy crafty lately and have decided it is due to my nesting instinct. I am just about 6 and a half months pregnant, and I have been learning how to knit and been busting out my sewing machine a little more. I used to sew all of the time but have not been as much over the last year or so. I set everything up on the table, turned on the projector to a documentary about the Windsor Dynasty that Matthew recorded for me, put on my beanie (as we do not believe in turning on the heater and it was so cold yesterday for once) and started sewing away. Bug then jumped up on my lap to see what was going on. I am trying to give her some quality attention now before the OTHER baby comes! Perhaps I wil start posting some of my projects soon!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Heimstone FALL/Winter 08

Heimstone's new Fall line has come out and I love many of the pieces! I posted their last line on my blog quite awhile ago and thought I'd share these at well.

My favorites:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


My sisters Marie and Ellen and I took a cake decorating class at Michael's recently. Now, if you have had any experience cooking, baking, or decorating near me, you may know that I am a mess and I enjoy making a mess. When Matthew and I first started dating, we tried cooking together and it freaked both of us out. I couldn't believe that he thought there really was a "right way" to stir cake batter (I think it is clockwise, according to him) and he couldn't believe that I could get flour and sugar over the entire surface of the counter without even trying. I have a hard time doing things precisely or carefully. It is really strange. My mind kind of fights it. I prefer chaos, I guess.

So, me and my sisters took this royal icing decorating class. It was so fun to hang out with my sisters for three hours a week and just kind of goof off a little and learn something new. The sole reason I took the class was to hang out with Marie and Ellen; I could care less about cake decorating. It was fun, though, to learn a new skill. I don't do a lot of decorating of cakes or anything else and don't really plan to in the future, but my skills will come in handy for the annual gingerbread house making, I hope! I suppose when I have some kids I could decorate some things to amuse them.

Ellen and Marie are both very good in the kitchen and extremely crafty with decorating and the like. In the class, I was usually covered in frosting and behind. Marie and Ellen were generally the shining stars. Ellen is very generous and took care of us. She made sure we were signed up for the class and made frosting and bought me tips for my birthday. She was my little cake mom.

For the final project we had to make a cake, frost it, and then decorate it with all the frosting flowers we had been making in the class so far. We also had to pipe a basket weave design all over the cake. Yeah, basket weave. That killed me the most. It was so hideous! At least mine was! I don't know enough about cake decorating to know what decade the basket weave may have been popular in, but I suspect it was not this one (nor the last). The decorating of the cake went okay. I made my basket weave decently and the flowers and birds I created over the previous weeks looked okay. I loaded them onto the cake as I felt inspired and it turned out worse than I pictured it would- but a lot like the cake on the front of the brochure to the manual for the class. That comforted me a little.

My biggest problem came when I tried to get the little masterpiece home. My sister, Ellen, took off right after class with her cute little cake. Marie and I got to talking and couldn't really talk outside because it was raining, so I put my cake in my hot, humid car, sitting on my passenger seat on a precarious slant. What could go wrong? I then got into Marie's air conditioned car where her Martha Stewart Perfect, well preserved cake was sitting quite stable in the back of the car. I thought we'd talk for a minute or two, but after an hour or so, our husbands started calling wondering where we were and we eventually said good bye and left. When I got to my car, my cake had morphed into a wrecked building. No matter. I would fix it when I got home. I got home and showed Matthew my beautiful cake. I think his reply was that cake decorating has to be the lowest art form. Then he corrected himself to say that, no, Broadway was the lowest art form- an idea he has held to for years now. Then, he thought for another minute, took another look at my cake, and deliberated that, yes, cake decorating is the lowest art form. I could tell he loved it! (thanks for the reminder, Ann)

Now, as an aside, I love food blogs. They are usually so pretty and make you want to be more creative with food. I love cooking and finding new recipes. I also love the presentation of food. It is a great way to express yourself. My absolute favorite food blogs are Tastespotting , Orangette and Not Eating Out in NY . My sisters in law, Ann and Elizabeth, have a pie blog that is fun to read. They are always sure to document every pie with pretty, pretty pictures. As soon as I got home, I pushed my cake up as upright as I could make it go and then began the show. I wanted to make sure and take some pictures to show my beautiful cake for all to see. This is for you, Marie, Ellen, Ann, and Elizabeth.

And yes, those are tri- colored pansies! Eat that Ace of Cakes!!

An artistic angle, no?

During class on the last day, I misplaced a tip so I had to go out into the store and buy one. I saw a tasty bag of peanut M&M's to eat with my sisters. Somehow the icing bird got a hold of an M&M and put it on my cake. Genius, I think.

Ah! The beautiful first couple of bites! Exquisite!

Let me know who needs the recipe.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Girly Pretty

I love these pictures from some clothing line by Heidi Merrick. The colors are so fun and I love how vintage it all looks, but entirely modern at the same time

I love all the details- like ruffles and bric-a-brac and piping!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Why, Women's tennis, why?!?

I love tennis. I played in high school and college and it was my favorite thing about each experience. I made a lot of good friends and still talk to three of them all the time- two of which are my best friends and one that is now my sister in law. I love the rules of tennis. I love the sound when you hit the ball. I love how beautiful top spin is as you see it across the court. I love everything about tennis- almost. There is one thing that has always bothered me and always will. Those freakin' skirts. Seriously? Athletes are supposed to compete in skirts? There are other activities in which one wears skirts that I am not entirely opposed to; dancers wear skirts- but it makes sense with the fluidity of their movements. Cheerleaders wear skirts to show their bodies- I can't think of any other reason. Librarians wear skirts so they can be the sexy librarians- okay now I am just trying to be funny. Back to tennis. In this day and age why in the world would an ATHLETE wear a skirt?!?!

When tennis first began, men still wore trousers and women wore dresses and long skirts exclusively, both off and on the court.

It makes sense that they would wear these inconvenient items while playing tennis at the time due to convention and decorum. Over time, the men began to wear longish shorts and the women's skirts rose scandalously to their knees. Again, this makes sense to me based on the times.

Then, in the 1930's one of my tennis idols, Alice Marble, became popular for winning titles and was noted to play "like a man" in that she had a lot of power. She also became notorious for wearing shorts while she played tennis. She was the first female player to do so in a professional match. It was very shocking at the time and she received a lot of press about it.

As a side note, Alice Marble was also responsible for the admission of African American women into the Grand Slam tournaments. In 1950, she wrote in defense of Althea Gibson, a very good African American female tennis player, and her right to participate in the tournaments. Alice said:

"Miss Gibson is over a very cunningly wrought barrel, and I can only hope to loosen a few of its staves with one lone opinion. If tennis is a game for ladies and gentlemen, it's also time we acted a little more like gentlepeople and less like sanctimonious hypocrites.... If Althea Gibson represents a challenge to the present crop of women players, it's only fair that they should meet that challenge on the courts." [Marble said that if Gibson were not given the opportunity to compete] "then there is an uneradicable mark against a game to which I have devoted most of my life, and I would be bitterly ashamed."

Following this event, Gibson, age 23, was given entry into the 1950 U.S. Championships, becoming the first African-American player, man or woman, to compete in a Grand Slam event. (Wikipedia)

Unfortunately, Alice's brazen behavior did not catch on with the other female players and they continued to wear skirts. As time passed, the men's shorts and women's skirts got shorter.

Then in the early 90's, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, and other male players started wearing the longer shorts that are worn by the men now- to every one's relief I think.

The women continued to wear the short skirts and mini dresses and still do today. As I said, there are a few players that wear shorts upon occasion.

Now to present day. Serena Williams is an amazing tennis player. I have watched her play many times and admire her confidence and power. She does have one perceptible weakness and that is fashion. Here and there she wears normal outfits, but more often than not she comes up with some crazy stuff- her own designs, I think. That jean skirt outfit is the worst tennis outfit I have ever seen.

I think she is very beautiful with an amazing body for sports. She is like a tennis machine. In her more sedated outfits like this one, I think she looks great.

As you may have heard, last week at Wimbledon 2008, she wore this white trench coat to warm up in. About the trench she said:

"I have a wonderful white coat I can wear on the court and also in New York for those rainy's ladylike and goes perfect with my personality... It's a very lightweight fabric... It's woven so it has a little give in it as well. On the inside, it's stitched with gold. It has a little give on both ways. It's very movable. It's very light. It's just delectable... You know, I absolutely love trench coats".
I like trench coats too. And boots. And purses. And skirts. But you don't see me wearing those to PLAY A SPORT!!! What the freak?!

Then, in the same tournament, Maria Sharapova chose some kind of faux tuxedo option that is supposed to be really innovative for some reason. The top picture with the tuxedo pleating I think it cool and not really that unusual looking. I also like the shorts. What puzzles me is the old man blazer. I get that Serena and Maria are trying to make a fashion statement for themselves, but both seem more than a little contrived- Serena's being FAR worse.

To add to the fun this year, Bethanie Mattek wore a leopard print onesie with a neck so open she could have kept a few extra tennis balls in there. A few years ago she wore shorts and high knee socks that I thought were pretty funny and kind of liked her for it because I thought she was stickin' it to the man a little at Wimbledon, but apparently that did not get her enough attention and is now going the Brittney Spears look-a-like route. Very disappointing.

So, why do women athletes do this stuff?!?! Take a look at these skirts. They are typical tennis skirts that you will see women wear on high school teams, on city leagues, and in the pros. Why?!?!? Picture yourself bending, stretching, and running in those things. The whole time people are just looking at your underwear- oh excuse me, your bloomers. Yes, they are called bloomers and they are the same underwears to go over your underwears that cheerleaders wear. So, we are basically in the cheerleader outfit playing tennis. I know, I was there. My freshman year of high school our coach required us to wear a skirt. I wore men's boxers under my skirt. That wasn't getting me anywhere with coach, so then I started wearing longish Adidas soccer shorts under the skirt that were sometimes longer than the actual skirt. It took me a couple of years to demand that I could wear shorts and pants at the competitive level, but in time I refused to ever wear a skirt. So, what is the possible explanation for wearing one? I have been around tennis girls for the last 15 years and I still don't get it.

So, for a lot of girls I think it is the Anna Kournikova thing- they want to look cute and sexy. That is great for the 22 or 23 other hours in the day when you are not on the court, but can't you throw on some shorts while you play a SPORT?!?!?! At this point it is not men telling women that they have to continue wearing the skirts. It is women deciding that they look cute in them! Some will think it is the money thing. You make more money, get more sponsors, and become more popular if you are attractive. That is true, but it does not account for the 70 year old club player that is going to show up in a skirt to play a match with no prize money or recognition. It does not account for the group of women who get together for fun to play- and they all show up in skirts!! Is it the coaches? Are they older people who are clinging to tradition? That does not account for the many, many young coaches out there. I guess there are probably many reasons, none of which I will ever understand. When will women get rid of the skirts all together, I ask?!?! When will women want to play sports without everyone looking at their underwear **shoot** bloomers the whole time?!?! When??! Why do women have to try and make some fashion statements or express their sexuality when playing a sport?! Just pick up the ball and serve it. Though to be fair, if I was a professional tennis player, I would try and make a statement as well. I'd wear SHORTS.