I am thankful for...

... my family and my friends;

... the fact that Mattio found a new job, and that my friends at his old company were able to keep theirs;

... my business, which is (knock wood) doing pretty well, considering the sucky economy;

... the courage to start something new;

... pie!

... and the gym (as a result of all that pie).

This is just a small portion of the many things I'm thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there in the blogoshpere! I'll see you all in December!


Apple + shopping = happy

OK, regular readers can agree that I love to shop. And you'll also agree that I worship at the altar of Steve Jobs. So what, dare I ask, could be better than Black Friday shopping at the Apple Store?

I received an official email today: there's a 1 day sale at the Apple Store (and online, for those who won't be venturing out this Friday). Also, perusing some Black Friday ads the other day, I came across these deals at MacMall. I'm not sure if they're 100% true, but if you're in the market for a laptop, it might be worth it to check it out: the craziest deal is a 15.4" MacBook Pro for only $1399.99 (according to the site, it's a savings of over $1000).

Happy Mac shopping!


Thoughts, musings, oddities, and the like

For lack of a better post...

--Found this funny little site: Let me google that for you. Made me giggle.

--Found another traciedesigns. Except she's Tracie space Designs.

--Also found an Ann Tracie Designs, who designs cakes. Yum. (And, yes, I let me google that for you-ed traciedesigns)

--Why on earth do my children still have Halloween candy? It is a month after the fact, people! That Halloween candy should be long gone! Because next week, let's face it, it's all about how much pie can I eat. And coming off a week of how much candy can I eat; well, that's not too good.

--Looking forward to a much needed, much deserved (I think, anyway) break next week. Even more bizarre? I'm actually--gasp!--looking forward to Black Friday shopping this year! I haven't been shopping on Black Friday in probably a good 8 to 10 years. I don't know why--maybe it's the economy--but I'm kind of really looking forward to it this year.

--The more I think about it, the more I hope Mattio (hint, hint) gets me a Butternut season pass this year. The thought of just taking off and skiing for the day gets more and more appealing as time goes on.


Forget about the red cup...

The other day I noticed that Starbucks has begun using the seasonal "red cup." Everybody knows what the red cup means: it's the holiday cup; Christmas must be coming.

However, across the pond, there's something much more creative going on. At a small coffee chain called Puccino's, instead of a red cup once a year, they rotate cups on an annual basis. Designed by illustrator Jim Smith, every year the chain comes out with a new set of cups like this one:

The clever thing about it is there's a bunch of cups like this in rotation; so you never know what you're going to get. And it's not just coffee cups, it's also their bags, sugar packets, advertising, signage, etc. There's actually a Flickr set of some of the ongoing work. And if that's not enough for you, check out Jim Smith's website, or the short interview on Brand New.

Much better than the red cup.


Gift for geeks...

...or for anyone who loves their iphone (or who wants one really, really bad; but is not willing to commit to AT&T):

iphone coasters!

When Anne Taintor is a bit too girly... perhaps a set of these will do. What would be really cool, is if you could by add ons, the same way you would buy from the app store.


Oh Anne Taintor...

How I heart you.

Anne Taintor's sassy designs are nothing new--we've had her coasters for years now (Madeline's favorite? "Make your own damn dinner!" Recited with all the enthusiasm and gusto a 5 year old can have, minus the profanity). But since I was on a holiday card kick the other day, and there are some cute/funny cards here, I thought it was a nice segue...

Anywho, I think any of Anne's products would be the cat's meow as far as hostess gifts go. Nevermind monogrammed towels, give "medicated and motivated" potholders! And who wouldn't love a little nip from the "She was one cocktail away from proving her mother right" flask?


The "I don't know the title of this meme" meme

For all my pals participating in NaBloPoMo (Sorry kids, I'm not fooling anybody by participating in THAT challenge!), a meme:

favorite artist/designer: Chuck Close

I love to create using: my mind, my mouse, and Adobe Illustrator

what inspires me: my kids, music, my life, the internet

most inspirational city: NYC, hands down

ideal weekend off: one year for my birthday, Mattio surprised me and took me to the city; we started our afternoon at MoMA, did a little shopping, ate dinner at a cozy little Italian place, and ended the night with a play (It was one of the best birthdays!). My ideal weekend would be this, with a hotel to retire to, and room service the next morning, followed by a stroll through the Cloisters, and a little more shopping. And a town car to bring me home--none of this Metro North baloney.

favorite color: PMS166U*

favorite musician: (of all time): Tori Amos

favorite movie: Oh my gosh, so many... I really heart Say Anything, Anchorman, Elf, St. Elmo's Fire... I'm sure I'm leaving a ton out.

favorite song: Again, so many... and it's constantly changing. Right now my favorite, favorite song is You are the Best Thing, by Ray Lamontagne

favorite song lyric: "So please, please, please, let me, let me, let me... let me, get what I want, this time." The Smiths

If I could have any other job it would be: artist (Not graphic designer artist, silly... I'm talking about fine arts. Paint, pastels, and a blank canvas)

I wish: I had more free time. Not more work time, not more hours in the day, but more time to do the things I don't have the time to do now: draw, make cards, learn how to letterpress, learn how to knit, start another blog...

*orange, in layman's terms



OK, kids, I'm not gonna beat around the bush. I'm not gonna lie to you. I'm just going to come out and say it:

I love the holidays.

I love everything, everything! about the holidays. The decorations, the tree, the cookies, the wrapping paper, the shopping (oh, don't act all surprised), the gift-giving, the gift-receiving, the parties... the whole shabang.

But one of the things I love most about the holidays, is the cards.

I love to send holiday cards; I am very anal about the whole thing and insist on hand writing all 8 billion of them out. What can I say? For someone who makes a living sitting in front of a computer most of the day, there's something very soothing about sitting down with pen and paper.

But even more, I love receiving holiday cards. It seriously impacts me in a negative way if a day goes by in December with no holiday card in sight. I don't know, maybe in this age of email and IM and facebook and blogs, there's something quaint about receiving some good ol' fashioned snail mail--that isn't bill-related (because no matter what time of year, I don't love bills).

So when I came across this post of pretty holiday cards over on poppytalk, I just had to share. Getting holiday cards rocks; but oh, dear blog readers, getting adorable cards like these would just make my season (hint, hint).



In my haste to get my super-duper-blog-love post up yesterday, I completely (and foolishly) forgot to mention another blog that I absolutely love, love, love:

Logo Design Love

Logo designer David Airey's blog is right to the point, it's for those who love logo design (or just logos in general). From reader favorites, to logo redesigns, his is the site I consult first when I have a logo design project.

It's updated about once a week (the selfish graphic designer in me wishes it was updated daily, the graphic-designer-turned-blogger in me knows exactly how much time that would consume). One of the best things about the site, aside from the interesting logo designs, is the commenters. Some design blogs I read, the commenters can be downright mean; for whatever reason, the commenters on LDL are much more civilized. And, as an added bonus, David responds to just about every one.

So, Logo Design Love, I love your blog!


Blog love

There are some days, when I check out Analytics, and I think, man, who are all these people reading my blog? Do they really care about shoes, and pretty plates, and Crate and Barrel furniture? Then I check out the particulars and realize that they are all visiting the Shamwow post from ages ago.

But I know that I have a small handful of regular readers; and I give the love right back to the faithful by reading and commenting on their blogs, as well. Yesterday, I was playing blog catch up, and over at Becky's I was given an award! For loving my blog! And then Marcy followed suit! Awwww... you guys... Thanks!!

So, as the rules go, I am passing it on. The envelopes, please:

Becky: I wish I could be so eloquent and British (OK, I'll never be British. But eloquent! I can strive for eloquent!). Her posts are fiercely funny and god, just so well written. And the shoes. I can't forget about the shoes...

Marcy: Another shoe lover (and shopping pal). And mom of Zoƫ, who is only a year older than Madeline, so I feel at times we lead parallel lives. Hysterical, parallel lives.

Elements: I heart my friends at Elements. They have a keen eye for design, and at times, their blog is my daily dose of inspiration (as the description says).

Sara: I'm a little new to Sara's blog, but she's been reading and commenting on mine, so I went and gave her blog a look see. And I'm so glad that I did, because her thoughts on parenting and working and trying to get it all done are very funny (and very true)!

Michelle: I don't live anywhere close to Louisville, KY; but after reading Michelle's blog, I often wish I did. She's always talking about some great restaurant, or bar, or really cool happening. Sometimes I wish she would move up to CT and write Consuming Fairfield (because then I might have a clue about where it's at here in town, and as an added bonus I would get to see her more often).

Justin and Mary: Justin and Mary were one of my first clients; and I am so impressed with how their business has grown over the years! Although, it's really not a surprise, take a look at their photography yourself--it's mind-blowing awesome.

Trent: I have a little secret: I love me some celebrity gossip. I love it even more the way Trent pieces it all together: it's not malicious at all, and he sprinkles tidbits about what's going on in his life, coupled with updates on his favorite TV shows. A lot of times I feel like he's a pal, just updating me on what's going on... in the fabulous life of celebrities.

OK, bloggers, now you do your part (with the exception of Marcy and Becky, without their love this post would not be possible):

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3) Nominate at least seven other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog.

And thanks, too, to all the anonymous readers out there. I hope you're loving the blog, too!



I hung out at Elements today (well, not really hung out so much as work... but they're a fun bunch, so it's like hanging out while working), which meant that I had a tricky morning: shower, do hair, look somewhat presentable (read: no child slobber on sweater), load wee ones in car, vote, drop wee ones off at sitter's, and get thee up to New Haven. Fortunately, the time gods were way on my side, because I was able to get out of the house at 7:45 this morning--Mattio and I actually left together.

We vote at our kid's elementary school, which is right up the street, and just beat the crowd. We had to wait about 5 minutes, but on our way out, the line was beginning to snake around corners and down hallways. Also on the way out, I was able to pick up some delish chocolate covered pretzels and pumpkin bread, courtesy of the 5th grade bake sale. Yum, yum.

So... slobber-free sweater, check. Delicious snacks for 3pm munchies, check. Vote, check. And now...

We wait.


Your vote won't just get you a new president this year...

Got one of these?

When you vote on Tuesday, be sure to grab an "I voted!" sticker. Then head on down to Starbucks, and grab a free cup of coffee. After Starbucks, get yourself over to Krispy Kreme, where your sticker will get you a free star-shaped doughnut. And you don't need the sticker (but it's still a cool accessory) to get a free scoop over at Ben and Jerry's Tuesday night.

There are some regional specials, as well: a bar in Pensacola, FL is accepting "I voted" stickers as payment for a beer. Voters in Tulsa, OK who wear their sticker to a participating Chick-Fil-A in the area can use it as payment for their new Chick-n-Strips. I think the most bang for your vote can be found in Dallas, TX: your vote will get you the first session of tattoo removal free (and you don't even need the sticker as proof--they'll take your word).

I'm not sure of any CT area promotions like this, but I certainly don't need a free cup of coffee to motivate me to get to the voting booth this Tuesday. Actually, we vote at our kids' elementary school, where the 5th grade sponsors a bake sale each year to help fund their many activities. So my Tuesday sweets and treats will be purchased from there.

And please, don't forget to vote this Tuesday!