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Friday, April 29, 2011

Have a great weekend :)

This week flew by! It's crazy. And I had one of my best weeks on this blog, too. So thanks for keeping up and reading!! You guys make me smile! And you know what else made me smile this week?

These perfect charts: 5 Kinds of Bloggers

These beautiful heels

This gorgeous, all-wooden bath tub:

And... the Royal Wedding!! (of course)


the kiss
The Dress
the dress
null
the second dress


{I hope you all have a great weekend!! 
I'm going to be relaxing, and making a getting a little sun.}

April reading: Angels in America

There's a good chance that you had to, or will have to, read one or both parts of Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes in school. I had to. My Theatre History teacher made the class read the first part: Millennium Approaches, and she highly recommended reading the second part Perestroika on our own time.

I want to keep my 2011 To-Do List monthly readings diverse, but have found myself in an auto-biography rut. I figured a play would break the mold. Not only does this play break my mold, but it breaks most molds. Tony Kushner wrote this two-part play which went on to win the 1993 and 1994 Tony Award for Best Play and got him a Pulitzer prize in 1993 among many, many other awards.
"There are no gods here, no ghosts and spirits in America, there are no angels in America, no spiritual past, no racial past, there's only the political, and the decoys and the ploys to maneuver around the inescapable battle of politics."
I love the entire text of this play. Kushner writes everything purposefully, with meaning, and with an edge. That's why I went back to read the second part after I graduated college. I fell in love with the urgency that he writes with... its contagious, alarming, shocking, and above all entertaining.

Although the play is categorized as a "drama," Kushner makes sure to point out the comedy he built into the manuscript. There's so much despair, hatred, betrayal, and lies in the text that a comedic element was necessary... and he did an amazing job at incorporating just the right amount of brevity.
"Imagination can't create anything new, can it? It only recycles bits and pieces from the world and reassembles them into visions. So when we think we've escaped the unbearable ordinariness and, well, untruthfulness of our lives, it's really only the same old ordinariness and falseness rearranged into the appearance of novelty and truth. Nothing unknown is knowable."
 The play's characters are incredibly diverse, and include gays, Mormons, Jews, lawyers, closeted gays, Valium-addicts, AIDS victims, ghosts, angels, and drag queens... all played by 8 characters over 7 hours of stage time. I'll probably never see the play live, but imagining it while reading the script was enough to make my imagination wander to places not yet thought of.

Can you tell I love this play?

I laughed, cried, pondered, and drifted through it... engulfed in a world I'll never know - but one that so many have been to. Heartbreak is so common to us all, I'm amazed it takes a boundary-pushing text to make us understand the pain. My favorite part of the book is near the end, when Prior is trying to explain to the Angels why humans stay alive. The Angels couldn't understand why Prior would want to go back to Earth to live, instead of staying in Heaven with them. His response made the whole book worth reading:
I want more life. I can't help myself. I do. 
I've lived through such terrible times, and there are people who live through much much worse, but ... You see them living anyway. When they're more spirit than body, more sores than skin, when they're burned and in agony, when flies lay eggs in the corners of the eyes of their children, they live. Death usually has to take life away. I don't know if that's just the animal. I don't know if it's not braver to die. But I recognize the habit. The addiction to being alive. We live past hope. If I can find hope anywhere, that's it, that's the best I can do. It's so much not enough, so inadequate but... Bless me anyway. I want more life.
The play was turned into an HBO film series in 2003, and stars so many amazing actors: Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Al Pacino, and Mary Louise-Parker. The mini series won 5 Golden Globe Awards (Best Miniseries, and Best Actor/Actress/Supporting Actor/Supporting Actress in a Miniseries), and was nominated for 21 Emmy's, 11 of which it won. So, you know it's good stuff. Here's the trailer:


If you have the time, I highly suggest reading this play. As my Theatre teach said: it's American history now... She told us it'll be revered as much as The Crucible is today. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Fill in the blank Friday....

Go on over to Lauren's blog
the little things we do
to play along!
1.   I am looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. The Royal Wedding allowed me only about 4 hours of sleep... which is going to hit me about 2 pm today.

2.  Something kind of embarassing that I still love anyway is I cried during the past 4 TV shows I watched - Glee, The Office, American Idol results show, and (of course) the Royal Wedding. I cry way too much, which is embarrassing, but who I am.

3.  My favorite car is, besides my own Honda Fit, I've always wanted a red Audi TT. I'm not a sports car girl, but I've always loved those.

4.  If I could pick one type of weather to live with for the rest of my life it would be Spring in Texas in the Hill Country. Not too humid, scattered storms with perfectly sunny weather that's warm enough to go swimming but cool enough to actually be outside.

5.  My favorite thing to do after a bad/stressful day is eat some chips & salsa while watching Gilmore Girls in bed. Or sleep. One or both of those always help me de-stress.

6.  This weekend I'm resting. Since I was out of town last weekend, I haven't rested in a while. And I may finally get caught up with reading blogs! (I hope) I really am looking forward to a restful weekend.

7.  If I were a color, I'd be gray because it's subtle, but complimentary. I don't enjoy being a "pop" color - I enjoy being more in the background. So gray is perfect :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: April 28, 2011

Seriously, today was the longest day ever. My back has been popping every time I move... meaning I'm super, super stressed. So I'm going to go home, do some Pilates, watch American Idol and catch up on Glee, maybe write a blog post here or there... and then get ready for the Royal Wedding!!!!!

I'm so excited!!!!

So I'll just leave you with this today. A new portrait of the amazingly cute Royal couple:

official-program-photo-royal-wedding.jpg

See you all at 3 am CT :)

Goodbye, Michael Scott

I remember the first time I watched "The Office"... I was sitting in a school bus on the way to an away soccer game in high school, and C handed me ear buds attached to his iPod and told me to "watch this." It wasn't love at first sight, if I'm being honest. (I still don't like the first season very much.) It took me about a year to really learn to appreciate the show, but once I learned to love "The Office" I was completely hooked.

I even put together a wall of "The Office" with my college roommate Kyndal:

This is how much I love this show. I framed it.

And this year is an end to an era. Michael Scott (or, in real life, Steve Carrell) is leaving the show. Tonight will be his last night. And I'm already in tears thinking about it. So, as I'm sure many will be doing today, I wanted to honor one of my favorite TV fictional characters with a picture montage...

Here's to you, the World's Best Boss!








and don't forget the moment that Michael Scott became the happiest man in the world...


I'm crying writing this post, thinking of all his great moments.

I think he said it best himself:




Goodbye, I'll miss you. Thanks for all the laughs.


{All images via Tumblr search for "Michael Scott"}

Now trending: Nude Heels

Hailey on American Idol has been wearing nude heels for the last 3 weeks or so on the show... and I'm loving it!

(she apparently likes to sit, too)
images from American Idol.com

Seriously, have you seen all the celebs with nude heels on lately?

{via}

I love nude heels, because they go with everything (uh, duh), but also because they give your legs a Barbie look. From a distance it makes your legs look longer, as all heels do, but without the sometimes odd abrupt contrast between skin and shoes. Just a thought... wanted to share it. Hopefully one day I'll own a pair.

So pretty

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: April 27, 2011

Today's top stories, bookmarked for all eternity...

The good news:

Doesn't this just look nice?

The bad news:
And for the wedding installment today:
and




Source: None via Jeanne on Pinterest

Have a great evening!

Blogs I Love: Kissssing... a love blog

kissssing

It's so cute, and fun, and flirty, and it just makes me smile. Take a look:



"I've have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. First, let her think she's having her own way.  And second, let her have it." -- Lyndon B. Johnson


"In the game of love all women are born experts. Whereas most men remain mere novices all their lives." -- Edwin Pugh in The Westminster Gazette


Harvey 'Big Daddy' Pollitt: I'm gonna pick me a choice woman and I'm gonna smother her in minks and choke her with diamonds. Boy, I'm gonna be happy. 

Cat on Hot Tin Roof


"The heart is the only broken instrument that works." -- T.E. Kalem


I just wanted to share a smile with you today ♥

{All images & quotes from Kissssing blog}

What I'm Loving Today...

Today, I'm loving....

  • Pictures of my nephew Danzig from Easter this weekend...
create avatar
It's very similar in meaning to my tattoo
Discovered through A Cup of Jo
  • This cute sketch of Audrey
{via}

To see what other people are loving,
go over to This Kind of Love


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

5 o'clock happy hour: April 26, 2011

Today's top stories, bookmarked for all eternity...


THE WEDDING DAY IS SO CLOSE!
Are you going to watch it?!?
I am... getting up at 3 am CT
I can't wait ♥

Little DIY Solutions for Big Problems

So when C and I got married, combined all of our stuff into our little 900 square foot apartment, and began to learn to live together there were a few things we had to get used to. Most notably:

1) C leaves all the kitchen and bathroom cabinets open
2) I leave stuff all over the bathroom counter
3) C leaves his clothes in the bathroom after a shower
4) I always forget to hang up my towel after I shower

And so on, and so forth.

So, we compromised. He would close cabinets and keep his clothes out of the bathroom if I kept the bathroom counters clutter free and hung our towels up. It was a perfect solution to an amusing problem. However, as I'm sure most of you girls would agree, it's really hard to keep the bathroom counter organized. There's headbands, and brushes, and make up, and face wash, and blow dryers, and straighteners, and cotton balls, and make up remover, and deodorant, and perfume... etc. etc. etc.

C has deodorant, a razor, and toothbrush.

So I've tried everything. The 2 drawers, 3 cabinets and an entire shelf in the linen closet hold all of my girl stuff. But, it still creeps out. So, I moved onto "open storage" - a wooden tray that would hold all the daily necessities, so I didn't have to get them out and put them up every day. That was fine, but it still was cluttered, and my make up bag didn't fit in the tray, so it just sat there on the counter mocking me.

So, I've been looking into alternative options (besides lessening my daily primping, of course)... and this weekend at a garage sale I came across the perfect hutch:


It's a cute color, has drawers and shelves, and easily closes - so all the clutter is hidden away!


My only problem was what to do with my make up brushes. I didn't like them just sitting on the shelf. So I got some elastic, a few push pins, and made myself some vertical brush holders...



See? They're organized and perfect!

So here's to hoping this solution works. If I can't keep this organized, I think all hope will be lost for me!

April Baking: Orange Cupcakes

I had planned something completely different to bake for April... but it didn't work out. I'm going to try it again next month... but first I want to share with you what I successfully baked in April for my 2011 To-Do List....



I made these for Easter Sunday... because they looked pretty, and were really Spring-y, and I thought they'd go over well at a family party.  The kick, as I'm sure you can see, is that the orange cupcake batter is baked inside of orange peels! It was really fun to make - and opens up endless possibilities for baking (Lemonade Lavender cakes, anyone?)

I found the original recipe through Pinterest... and it's actually from a French website. So have your Google translator handy if you want to check out the original post.

So, here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
Cupcakes
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon orange essence (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 6 oranges, halved cored (12 skins)
Icing
  • 1 package cream cheese (Philadelphia type)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups powdered sugar (or more to taste)
  • Orange peel, flake colored sugar, etc..(Optional)


For the cupcakes: In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and orange zest until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, orange essence and eggs if used one at a time, beating one minute after each addition. Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients in three stages, alternating with milk and orange juice and taking care of starting and ending with dry ingredients. Divide everything equally in the 12 orange peels and put in recessed cavities of a muffin pan. Bake on center rack at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.




For icing: Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add orange juice concentrate and vanilla and beat well again. Add the sugar a little at a time until desired consistency. Frost the cupcakes with a spatula or pastry bag and decorate with orange peel, flake colored sugar, candy or other, to taste.


This is what our plate ended up looking like. We died the icing a little
orange, and added some yellow sprinkles on top for smiles :)

Here's what the "professional" cupcakes looked like: