Whenever I start reading a new book, especially one that grabs me from the first chapter and refuses to let me go, I know I have a conflict. I read at a desperate rate, unable to control my need to know what happens next. At the same time, I dread finishing it, because it means I have to find something just as interesting and complelling to replace it. That’s more often than not, very difficult to do. The end of a good book for me, is so bitter sweet and I’m finding myself in that place, yet again.
The last time I felt this strongly about a book was several years ago when I read “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger. Love stories are not my usual preference for reading but ask anyone who’s read it, it was not just the complexity of the story (I mean, it’s time travel for goodness sake…that’s hard to write convincingly), but it was the incredibly intelligent and descriptive style in which the pictures were painted.
Yesterday, I picked up a copy of the highly anticipated “Her Fearful Symmetry” by the same author, Audrey Niffenegger. I couldn’t wait to open it and dive into it, with the same conflicting feelings I always have when I know I’m going to love the story. Chapter one made me tear up right off the bat. It’s going to be an engrossing week, so if you need to get a hold of me, don’t bother calling in the evenings because my phone will be off, email will wait until morning and I, more than likely, wont be opening the door if you knock. Just leave a message with my husband! I’ll let you know in a few days how it goes…so far, I’m dreading the end but can’t wait to get there at the same time.
Speaking as someone who loves to cook, loves to create and more importantly, loves to eat, it’s no secret that we taste with our eyes before we taste with our mouths. That’s why I love white dishes. They allow the colors and presentation of a fabulous dinner to do all the introductory speaking. They make an ordinary meal look more gourmet and appealing and they act as perfect complimentary accessories to a chunky dark wood table, or a modernly sleek glass table. The key to keeping them from looking generic is to choose interesting shapes. Here are a few of my frugal favs from CB2.com :
Yesterday was the official first day of Fall. LOVE IT! Here in Texas, there’s nothing like knowing theres an end in sight to the 3 digit temperatures. It’s that lovely lull between the heat and the cold and all I can think about is how exciting it is to get to update my wardrobe with a new pair of boots! Being frugally minded, of course, I limited my search to boots under $100.00 and was pleasantly surprised by all of the great options I found on Shoes.com.
Here’s a taste of what’s out there for stylish girls on a budget:
(by the way, Heather, I had you in mind as I wrote this one!)
I have a confession to make. I’m tragically addicted to magazines…fashion, design, cooking, home improvement, everything but gossip magazines. I just can’t bring myself to read about John and Kate or any of the other celebrities who’ve become famous for just simply existing (although, since I’m being honest, I have to admit that I’ll sometimes peek at those salacious stories while I’m sitting under a dryer at the hair salon or sitting in the waiting room of the dr.’s office. It seems appropriate there for some reason). If however, there is a design rag available, I’ll take it over the gossip mags every time! I can’t help it! I’m completely and hopelessly hooked on the visual stimulation that they dangle in front of my eyes with each turn of the page. More often than not though, while I’m drooling shamelessly at the latest kitchen designs with their sparkeling glass back splashes or at the newest console that has been completely hand carved by Indonesian artisans from a single rare piece of hard wood, what I’m really doing is desperately trying to figure out how I can create the same look on a normal girl’s budget. Lets face it, people. Very few of us are made of money these days. We’re all pragmatic enough to realize that it could be years, if EVER that we’ll enjoy the same financial freedoms we used to. That said, it’s often hard to justify spending thousands of dollars on new furniture when our old furniture is still in good shape because we’re simply tired of something, especially when we’ve got our financial futures to consider, now more than ever!
So what does someone with an insatiable desire for cutting edge style do? Simple: RECYCLE…the buzz word of our generation doesn’t just apply to aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Look closely at the console in the photo…look at the lines, the protruding details on the doors. Does it look familiar at all? I was totally drawn to this piece when I walked through the door of this beautiful, chic boutique because of the exquisitely worn gray coloring and the richness and weight of the piece itself. Then, as I looked more closely at the details, I realized that it was very similar to the old console my aunt had in her home in the 1970′s, in dark heavy wood, brass hardware, geometric shaped details all over it…you know what I’m talking about, VERY dated if you’ve seen it today. This however, paired with the same weathered looking chair upholstered in a soft tapestry cotton along with the luxuriously rich faux fur throw, GORGEOUS! It’s inviting and sumptuous without being pretentious. I guarantee that someone reading this right now has this exact or similar sadly dated item in their home in all of it’s former 70′s glory. Its sitting there detracting from the updated value of their home and sucking the would be stylish potential from their persona because they don’t know what to do with it. Here’s the idea, people, PAINT IT! Update the hardware and give it a new life. I promise, if you don’t like it, it can’t look any worse than it already does. Paint is cheap and easy to do and it’s a whole lot cheaper than buying it new. Get adventurous! And send me pictures!!