More New Items...and The Picture of the Day

I have been really bad about this "new picture a day thing."  I envisioned myself putting my camera in my purse and taking it everywhere with me in hopes of a perfect shot.  Instead, I stay home and take pictures of my dogs or myself.  (I am not sure which is worse or more fun.) 

It's ok, my dogs are a-dor-able and I have to take pictures of myself for my Etsy shop.

Here are two new items that will be up in the next few days.

I love the flapper style headbands.

This pink rosette would be great for Valentine's Day.

Red Flapper Style Headband

You can buy this tomorrow at Acute Designs on Etsy.  It can be worn "flapper or "hippie" style, or the traditional way.  This would be perfect for Valentine's Day! 




Personally, I prefer the flapper style...there's something about it I am really liking these days.

Dreaming of a bigger house....

I love where I live, the weather is perfect and the view is gorgeous.  The worst thing about it is that I am not "from" here and am always missing my friends and family on the other side of the country.  The second worst thing about Southern California is that you don't get much house for your money.  For this reason, I am often hoping to move back to Ohio and dreaming of a slightly larger home. 

While we have enough space for two people, I would love to have an office/space of my own to write and create and store all my crap.  I love when my husband cleans, but I am sick of him "picking up" and putting my things in random drawers.  There is just not enough room for all my stuff.  (I know, I guess I need to have less stuff, but I would prefer an office/workspace.) 

If we move back to Ohio, I want something like this... (Oh, and another bathroom.  No one tells you that sharing a bathroom with a man is the worst thing about marriage!)


This room is so clean and bright and there is so much storage (courtesy HGTV.com).



I love the ceilings, how big this room is, and the natural feel of the room (courtesy HGTV.com).



This is my favorite room.  I would just need a bigger desk and some more storage...(courtesy HGTV.com)


I love all the storage and the big window (courtesy Elle Decor).

I Heart These Etsy Finds...

My third favorite holiday (after Christmas and my Birthday) is right around the corner! I don’t know why I love Valentine’s Day so much, but I always have….even when I wasn’t married or dating anyone, I still loved it. I actually think going out to dinner for an occasion like Valentine’s Day is cheesy and annoying, but I love the design or look of Valentine’s Day. You know what I mean?


I have always loved the decorations, candy, cards, etc. In celebration of this much disliked (but loved by me) holiday; I put together a list of 12 fabulous items I found on Etsy. Like something? Then buy it, support handmade, vintage and unique items!

1. Mini Letterpress Cards by Sweet Harvey




These cards by Sweet Harvey are gorgeous. I had a hard time picking a favorite and would be happy with any of the designs. Send someone you love a note. Everyone likes getting mail and per the rant I heard from my Mail Lady, the industry needs some help!

2. Hearts Aflutter Pendant by Vania's Art Shop




I love the look of this pendant. The artist, Val, took an antique pendant and made it her own by adding hand painted red hearts. It’s simple enough to wear any time of the year, but would add extra Valentine’s flair to your February wardrobe.

3. Victorian Heart Ring by Nat in NYC



I love all things Victorian. I don’t know why, but whenever I see an old Victorian home or watch a movie set in that era, I get a tinge of excitement in my heart. (My favorite American Girl doll is Samantha…) Due to my love of Victorian items, I think this ring is just perfect. Also, in my opinion, when it comes to jewelry, antique is better (my engagement ring is an antique form the late 40s, early 50s). Love it.

4. Lovebirds Photograph by Alicia Bock Photography

Another thing I love? Birds! (You’re learning a lot about my obsessions today.) I especially love pairs of birds and I am totally loving this photo. It embodies my penchant for birds and Valentine’s Day all in one.

                 
                              

Birds again. The reason I picked this item is because of the birds and because it’s a postcard. Tres clever! If you have a lot of Valentine’s you want to send and want to stand apart from the rest, then buy these. They are adorable and you know whoever gets one will put it up on their fridge.

6. Love Me Ribbon Tie Mary Janes by Bella Symphony


                                 

I don’t have a baby, but if I did, I would buy her these. Mary janes are so cute, especially on baby feet. These baby mary janes are festive and they will make your baby the cutest kid at daycare.

7. Bird Valentine by Trendy Peas

                                 

When I like something, I really like it. This is another bird item, I couldn’t resist, it is such a cute card!

8. Cupid Magnets by Beans Things

                                   


I love cupids. When I was about 8 years old my mom bought me a Victorian Valentine kit and it was full of cupids. I made cards and Valentine’s decorations and hung them in my bedroom (and possibly the basement). These cupids remind me of those cards and they’re magnets, so they would make a unique gift for anyone you love.

9. Personalized Dog Treats by 3 Dogs and a Chick

                                  

I am the owner (mom?) of two sweet dogs and am always looking for cute items for them. These cookies are adorable. I love buying my pups homemade cookies because 1. They are cuter, 2. They smell good (not like ground up animal bits) and 3. I feel better that they are eating something made with love. If you have a dog, he or she is probably the love of your life, so get them a special Valentine’s Day treat!

10. Tell Me You Love Me Earrings by The May Flower

                                   

I like these earrings a lot. When I saw them, they just jumped off the screen and said “buy me!” They are sparkly and super cute.   I love how tiny they are.  I might buy them, if one of you doesn’t get to them first…

11. Valentine’s Dog Collar by Bow Wow Pet

                                 

Another cute dog item.  I love to dress my dogs in holiday flair, they have collars and kerchiefs for every season. Contrary to popular belief, dogs love special items like holiday collars.

12. I Heart You Photo by Acute Designs

                             

It's my blog, so I am going to plug my shop just a little.  I have recently added a section to my shop called Acute Photography.  All of the photos in this section were taken by my good friend Norah.  Norah is an amazing photographer and she is always travelling so her pictures are from all over the world.  I wish she lived closer so that she could take the pictures for my shop!


Still Raining

Those of us living in Southern California are s-p-o-i-l-e-d by sunny weather.  When it does rain (as it has been doing since Monday) things tend to slow down and I get really lazy.

Here is the view from my front door. It was raining when I took it and I messed with the coloring a bit to make it look extra dreary.



Rainy MLK Day = A Custom Dog Bed

I was off work today because of MLK day (!) and it rained almost all day.  I actually welcomed the rain because it gave me time to finish this dog bed for my puppy....


If you look closely, you can see that Finn already stepped on it with his huge muddy paws!


If you want a custom bed for your favorite four legged friend, check out my Etsy shop, Acute Designs.  I can make one with your pet's name in the light blue pictured above or in a variety of other colors.

The beds are made from a durable canvas material, which is removable for easy washing.  The name and design are cut from a light brown and blue Celtic-esque pattern.


Finn loves his new bed....

Sunday Pictures - My Christmas Present

Today's picture is of a dresser my mom bought me for Christmas (thanks mom ♥).  We got it from an antique store and I bought the knobs at Anthropologie to make it better.


Slade Smiley Makes Me Sick

Does anyone else want to punch Slade Smiley in the face? I sure do.

I could not believe that Slade and Gretchen invited Lynne and Frank over to give them parenting advice. Srsly? Slade has a son and rumor has it he doesn't pay child support and Gretchen? Well, her degree in psychology does not make her a parenting expert.

The entire dinner was so ridiculous.  I have never been a huge Lynne fan, but I was happy to see her stand up for herself and shoot down Gretchen and deadbeat Slade.


Slade giving "advice"

The psychic was my favorite part of the night. His name was Doogal and all the non-cultured women of the OC had to giggle at his silly name! Why is he not named Alexa or Kaden like normal kids? OMG!

They were all so rude and he called them all out, which was fantastic. They all turned red in the face, got defensive and said, "I don't believe that." Alexis really didn't believe it because she's a "Christian" and therefore far superior to any craziness that a psychic might spew.

In other news, Vicki's son has made $40,000 dollars playing internet poker....how do I get that job?! I am going to research that today while doing nothing in my cubicle.

Lately, I have been loving Vicki.  Last week she said "People who say money doesn't buy happiness are poor." And I just about died. Classic Vicki. This week, the psychic told her she had a really beautiful home, and rather than saying "thank you," Vicki said, "I know, I work really hard for it." Again, how can you not love that unabashed honesty.

Other than that, nothing happened. I am so over this season and ready for The Real Housewives of New York City! (Starting March 4th, mark your calendars.)  Here is what we learned from the sneak peek clips Bravo showed last night:



-Ramona is still crazy. I wager that she is crazier than ever.
-The Countess is still stuck-up and boring.
-Bethenney is still her sassy New York self, just now with a ring and a fiance and lots of entitlement.
-Kelly seems to be even dumber and more dramatic. Her fur vest was hideous.
-Jill is still my favorite housewife.
-Alex is still on the show, right? I don't remember seeing her.

And I am so excited for all their dramz.

Today's Pictures

I skipped yesterday...I just didn't feel like taking any pictures. 

Today I took my dogs to Fiesta Island, a huge dog park here in San Diego.  They had a lot of fun and I took some cute pictures.  Here are my favorites.


Finn running with the ball


Finn, waiting for me to throw the ball


Gordita and Finn


Super Gordie!

Some Love for Acute Designs



Take a look at Ruthie Designs, a fantastic design blog. 

Kim at Ruthie Designs gave my shop a little shout out and I feel honored to be a part of her blog.

The style embodied on Ruthie Designs is clean and effortless.  I just love it.

My Picture of the Day!

It is late and I never had a chance to take a picture today.  Again, here is one of my designs, I took this picture yesterday.

It's a peacock feather headband that will soon be for sale in my Etsy shop, Acute Designs.



Photo of the day

Today's photo is of two new hair clips that I made yesterday.....



These will soon be for sale in my Etsy shop, Acute Designs.

Listmania! and Divorce in the O.C.

If you haven't quite gotten enough of all my lists, I have another one on AmazonAmazon has this great feature called Listmania! where attention seeking people, such as myself, can create a list for all Amazon users to see.

I created a list of all the books I want to read or use in 2010.  I say use because some of the books are craft books, cookbooks, or business books and I won't necessarily be reading them from cover to cover, but I hope to be utilizing them (or at least looking at the pictures).

Check out my Listmania!

Have you heard? Tamra "the bitch needs another A in her name" Barney is divorcing Simon!  Read about it here and here.

My thoughts?  I feel bad for her kids.  It's sad that their parents thought whoring themselves out for a reality show was a good decision.  I do not feel bad for Tamra or Simon.  They obviously do not have their priorities straight (and that is coming from yours truly, who doesn't really have her priorities straight either...).



The marriage is over....

I am not going to re-cap last Thursday's The Real Housewives of Orange County because it was a snooze fest.  All I remember is Don crying a lot and Alexis going to "church."

I always wait until the show is about 30 minutes in, and then watch it on DVR (no pesky commercials).  At one point, I was fast forwarding through a commercial break and realized I had been fast forwarding part of the show.  So, I backed it up and realized I had fast forwarded through Alexis and Jim's "church" service. 

I thought it was a muthaf*cking Pepsi commercial from 1994.  No joke.

One other rewind was when I spotted a commercial for the new season of The Real Housewives of New York City.  I am excited for relief from the tackiness that is the O.C.

Sunday's Pictures

Yesterday I discussed taking and posting a picture a day in 2010.  Today, as I was taking pictures of my dogs, I realized that I cannot just post dog pictures every day...I must be more creative than that.

So, here's a headband I made for my sister-in-law:



And a picture of the plant life in my front yard:




And just one of Gordita and Finn...playing tug-of-war:


Photography - A New Picture Every Day

During my daily blog reading, I saw that some bloggers are participating in a Flickr group called Project 365.  The idea is to post a new photo every day in hopes of improving your photography skills.

I checked out the Flickr group and thought "What a great idea!"  But I am too lazy to join and put my photos on Flickr.  Instead, I will put them here.  Hopefully each and every day of 2010.  As the days go by, I hope my photos improve and that all you lovely readers will give me any advice or constructive criticism.

Here we go - Day 1 (Seeing that it is already January 9th, I am a little behind, so here are a few I have taken thus far in 2010).....



Finn, with Gordita in the background



The only house in Ocean Beach we could afford...



My chunky monkey niece Elsie


Flamingos at the Wild Animal Park


My Favorite Books of 2009

Lately, I have been really into list making, it must be the New Year. The other day, when I was creating my Best and Worst of 2009, I considered adding some books but didn’t want the entire list to be made up of books. Instead, I made a Best of 2009 Book List.

These books were not all new in 2009, but they are the best books I read (or listened to…I listen to a lot of audio books while at work) in 2009.

-Something Borrowed and Something Blue, both by Emily Giffin


I loved these two books. The first, Something Borrowed, is about two best friends, Rachel and Darcy, and a crazy love affair between Rachel and Darcy's fiancé.   Naturally, you expect yourself to hate Rachel, but Emily Giffin makes you feel her anguish and you end up pulling for her.


Something Blue is about the same events and the months following, but it is told from the perspective of Darcy.  I thought this was an extremely creative way to do a follow-up book.  The entire time I was reading Something Blue, I found myself putting together the pieces from the other story.  I love how two people, involved in the same event, can remember the details so differently.

I enjoyed these two books so much, I proceeded to read all of Emily Giffin’s books. They are all good and entertaining, but Something Borrowed and Something Blue are my favorites.




-The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

This book has gotten a lot of press because it was made into a movie this year starring Rachel McAdams. I am not typically interested in books with fantasy elements like time travel, but I received such rave reviews of this book that I decided to try it.

I was shocked by how much I got sucked in and by how much I loved this book.  I could not put it down and read within a few days. Audrey Niffenegger does an excellent job of telling a beautiful love story with unrealistic elements. I was always kept on my toes because the author flips from one date to another in the future, to another in the past, and back again.  I loved putting all the pieces together as I read.

-The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver

I tried reading this book years ago because I am a big Barbara Kingsolver fan (and it was an Oprah Book club book...I am a sucker for all things Oprah!), but I couldn’t get into it. I tried again this year by listening to the audio book version and I loved it. The family dynamic entwined with their strange living circumstances (the father is a minister who moves the family to the Congo) was fascinating. 


-A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini

Everyone I know that has read this book loves it. I always find it interesting to read about how someone else lives, especially when that person lives in a completely different way than I live. The life of the main character was certainly different than mine, but despite the differences, the story of love is always a common one.  I found this book to be eye-opening, heart wrenching, and ultimately a timeless story of true love.






-Such a Pretty Fat, by Jen Lancaster

A friend of mine recommended Jen Lancaster’s first book, Bitter is the New Black, and I loved it. I laughed and understood where she was coming from in so many ways. I continued with all of her books - Bright Lights, Big Ass, Such a Pretty Fat, and Pretty in Plaid – and loved them all, but my favorite was Such a Pretty Fat. I laughed and laughed at his book and read it within a few days.

Jen Lancaster has a new book coming out in May called My Fair Lazy.  It's partially about her addiction to reality TV(that was so my idea!) and I am so excited for it. She also has a high-larious blog, check it out.




You cannot go wrong with anything by David Sedaris.  He makes me laugh until I cry and I wish he was my best friend.  Enough said.


- Lush Life, by Richard Price

I don't usually read crime books, but I heard an interview with Richard Price on NPR and was intrigued enough to find this book at the library. 

The book is about a mugging gone wrong and a young man is shot.  Even though the reader knows exactly what went down during the murder, Richard Price still keeps it interesting.  Rather than focus on a who-done-it like most crime novels, Price focuses on the personal stories behind everyone involved.  He goes in depth in the life of everyone from the young man that pulled the trigger, to the father of the 20 something kid that dies, to the head detective's sons.

The main premise of the story is how one death can cause a ripple effect through the lives of so many and it was all so interesting.


- The Hour I First Believed, by Wally Lamb


I could spend an entire blog post writing about this book and this author.  I worship Wally Lamb.  Even though he has written only a few books, each one is remarkable.  He has the ability to tug at my soul and make me love, hate, and sympathize with his characters simultaneously.

The Hour I First Believed is about a husband and wife (Caelum and Maureen Quirk) who taught at Columbine during the time of the infamous shootings.  Caelum was not at work the day the shooting occurred, but his wife was and she deals with her recovery through the novel.

In my opinion, this book was an unforgettable journey through the lives of two very traumatized individuals and how war or violence is never the answer. 


There you have it, my favorite books of 2009. What did I leave out?  Give me your recommendations and they might end up on a Best of 2010 list!

The Best and The Worst of 2009

As I hope you have all noticed, it's a new year!  I love the new beginning slash fresh start feel of a new year.  I also love to look back ove the past year and reflect on how far I've come (or regressed...) and all that has come into my life.   

This list is a little random.  Just a fun top 10 Best and Worst  list of things I discovered or things that came into my life this past year.  Obviously many of the things below were not "new" in 2009, but they were new to me.

The Best of 2009 (in no particular order)........

1. Finn - My new puppy.  My husband gave me Finny for our one year wedding anniversary.  He is sweet, very smart, and very, very nervous.  He is afraid of almost everyone and everything and is a ball of anxiety (I think he takes after my husband).



Baby Finn - Ohhhhh, so ca-ute!

2. Netbooks - I think these were invented before 2009, but I got mine in 2009 and oh, I love it so!  It's an HP and so mini and perfect. 

3. BBM - (that's BlackBerry Messenger, for you non-BlackBerry users)  Again, probably was invented before 2009, but it came into my life last year.  It is genius.  I can BBM any other BlackBerry user for free and I tend to BBM for a large portion of my work day.  My BlackBerry is one of my favorite gadgets ever.  It completes me.  Seriously, they should use me in a commercial.

4. Elsie -My sweet little baby niece was born in 2009.  She has the fattest thighs I have ever seen and is the best little baby ever! Love, love, love her.



Sweet Little Munchkin!

5. My Freelance Writing Business and Etsy Shop (Acute Designs) - I am happy to say both of these things motivate me and interest me so much that I would like to do them on a full time basis. Just need to generate some more profit.....




6. Wii Fit - I know, I know, it's amazing.  Fuel the economy and go get one.  Love it.

7. Lady GaGa - I am certain she existed before 2009, but I didn't know about her.  She has been a fantastic addition to my eardrums.



GaGa, ooh la la

8. Paul Galvin - I have known about him for a while, but I realized in 2009 just how good-looking he is.  My husband is jealous of my love for him, and he should be.


The best reason to watch Gaelic football....


9. My Blogs -  I love them both so much.  Taste was my first and then came Useless Endeavor.  Both blogs were a cure to my work boredom but have ended up exposing me to a world I never knew existed and that I love.

10. Richard Lawson - He was the inspiration behind the title of this blog and one of the funniest ever.  His ridiculous TV show recaps and reviews have made me laugh on a weekly basis.

The Worst of 2009 (again, in no particular order)

1. Gout - Who knew this was still a disease/ailment?  My poor husband has been diagnosed with The Gout.  He has had some terrible pain and worst of all...in order to minimize the pain, he has nearly cut meat and alcohol  from his diet.  Not an easy task for an Irishman. 

2.  Nail Biting - I have always been a nail biter, but this year was worse than ever.  I blame the horridness that is my nails to my extremely boring job.  Any quitting suggestions? 

3. The Sarah Palin Nation - I. Am. So. Sick. Of. Her.  Please American media, please stop discussing the awfulness that is Sarah Palin.

4. Weight Gain - Apparently, when you reach a certain age, you cannot take six months off from working out and eat whatever you want without gaining ten pounds.  I learned this the hard way.  Anyone who says that phrase, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels" is anorexic.

5. The end of Lipstick Jungle - Laugh if you want, but this was a good show and I really miss it.  Bring it back NBC!

6. Oprah is leaving me us - Deep down I am happy for her, but damn am I going to miss her show.

7. Skunks - My older dog, Gordita, was sprayed by a skunk last January and it was the worst.  I can still smell it on my couch if I lay just so and every time I smell a skunk's spray, I can taste it in the back of my throat.  Warning - If your dog ever gets sprayed, do not let her inside the house!


Gordita smelled for about 6 months...she's lucky she's so cute.

8. Kim Zolciak’s Song - Yep, it's that bad.



My ears are bleeding

9. Birthers - Really?  I mean, really? If you don't agree with someone's politics, that's fine.  Stop attacking the person, attack the ideas.  Both sides of the political coin need to get better at this.  Ahhh, if only I could rule the world...

10. SNL - I hate to put this on the worst list because I love it.  Correction, I want to love it.  The hosts ad musical guests are usually good and the cast are funny...but I never laugh.  Is it me? Or is it the writing? I am a loyal fan, that's why it is on my worst list.  Come on SNL, you can do better in 2010!


There you have it, my best and worst of 2009.  What's on your list?



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