Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Date a Girl Who Reads

For a bit of filler while I'm busy unpacking and decorating our new house...and um, watching a lot of Harry Potter...I thought I'd share this beautiful piece of writing with you.  I randomly stumbled upon it on the Internet today and loved it!  It's so me :)

"You should date a girl who reads.
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.” 

- Rosemarie Urquico

The first few paragraphs are me in a nutshell.  Not gonna lie, I'm pretty sure Jared was getting pissed off at the amount of books I kept hauling out of boxes this weekend.  Every single closet in the house (and there are a LOT) is full of books.  Possibly...even the Goosebumps series, although forget I told you that.  (For nostalgic reasons, asshole!)  I also may or may not have spent the majority of a recent NBA game reading the book Shanghai Girls.  Much more interesting than squeaky shoes and Kevin Love. :) 

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this little space-waster!  I know I did!  Pretty sure I'm going to print it out and give it to Jared.  So he understands the awesomeness of nerds.  Our house is looking wonderful, by the way; you should stop by!  We have fondue and neon-colored bendy straws!  Although, you'll have to push the books off before you can be seated.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Moving Day Approaches....

I really, really, really did not want to live with Jared before we were married.  Not because I don't believe in that kind of thing, but because I was afraid that once we moved in together, then after we got married, nothing would change.  We would have a piece of paper saying that we were husband and wife, sure, but the fun decorating/painting/move-in stage?  Over and done with.  But then I thought:  Who cares?  We are still doing all of those things, just a bit out of order, if you will.  Besides, what really matters is that we'll be together.  Okay, puke.  ANYWAY.

We happened to fall into this really great deal of a house in my hometown...3 blocks away from my parents.  I KNOW.  I'm not thrilled about this part, but my gosh, I'm in love with the house.  Tons of shelving, a beautiful red kitchen, and his 'n' hers bathrooms...What more could I want? :)  And we get to move in...drum roll...this weekend!!!!!!!  I am more excited than I can express, though I'm not sure I can say the same for Jared.  My poor fiance is basically in shock of how many boxes I have already packed full of my stuff.  And we've only just begun.  Oh, the joys of moving!

So since I stopped buying Teen Vogue and started buying Martha Stewart Living and House Beautiful (I'm officially old), I've dog-eared hundreds of pages and ripped out even more pictures of pretty houses.  And over the years, I've noticed a theme of sorts, several things that kept on popping up within the shreds of paper.  And these things are as follows, the parts that make up my Dream House:

1.  A unique headboard
There are so many things you can use for different headboard options, and I think all of these are beautiful!  You can use a large piece of fabric, a pretty piece of art, an old wooden pallet, a folding screen, a fabric-covered canvas....
(from here)

A cool piece of shelving...
(from here)

An old wooden door...
(from here)

Or even a pair of old shutters!
(from here)

2.  An accent wall
I also love the idea of having one accent wall somewhere in the house, whether it's one wallpapered wall, one slightly different shade, or a bright splash of color.  I think it's so fun and attention-getting!
It can be obvious...
(from here)

Or more subtle.
(from here)

3.  A black and white bathroom OR walk-in closet
I don't know why I like this so much.  Jared and my mom both hate it and say it reminds them of a circus.  But maybe that's why I like it?
(from here)

(from here)

4.  Bright front door
You've already heard all about my obsession with this.

5.  Bright yellow paint SOMEwhere
Maybe a door...

Maybe a room...

Or maybe just a dresser.  Love!

6.  A photo wall
(from here)
Enough said.  Beautiful!

7.  A beautiful, clean, white and grey bedroom
If we could have this exact bedroom, we'd pee in our pants.  For real.

8.  Chalkboard
(from here)
I love the idea of using chalkboard paint as a kitchen backsplash!

Sigh.  If only, if only!  Well, back to packing!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fashion Inspired by Seuss

So it was just before my long, long break from blogging that the Lorax came out in the theaters, lining up nicely with Dr. Seuss' birthday.  And obviously, me being the Seuss fan that I am, I went to see it.  And during the movie, I found myself distracted.  Not by the vivid colors or the strong environmental message, no, not even by the fact that The Once-ler was so obviously voiced by Andy "The Nard-Dog" Bernard of Office fame.  Nope, I was distracted by The Once-ler's green gloves.  Need a reminder?

Those damn green gloves (pic from here) even enthralled me when I was little and obsessed with the picture book.  But this time, it wasn't because of the mysteriousness of the elusive Once-ler.  This time, my eyes were drawn to the gloves because, for some reason, they reminded me of Blair Waldorf.

Gorgeous, right?!  (from here)  So I thought to myself, If Dr. Seuss can create such fashion, then why can't I?  Well, here goes, I'll give it a try!  Except not in rhyme.  So using this amazing website called Polyvore, I created the following looks:  Dr. Seuss-inspired fashion.

The Once-ler and his Green Gloves (The Lorax):

Burberry London trench coat
Spirit by Luchesse Ali riding boot
Fossil handbag
Aspinal of London gloves
I would wear this on a slightly rainy fall day...I can't say the ensemble necessarily "speaks for the trees," so I don't think the Lorax would approve.  However, the villainous but absolutely classy Once-ler?  Totally.

The Star-Bellied Sneetches (The Sneetches and Other Stories):

I would love to lounge around the house in my star-bellied sweater! 

Gertrude McFuzz (Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories):

Gertrude McFuzz would be SUCH a stunna with all these feathers that Lolla Lee Lou, with her meager two feathers, wouldn't even know what to think.  This is an outfit only to be worn by the daring.

The Cat in the Hat:

I LOVE this outfit (duh, I created it!) and would wear it out on a sunny picnic date!  Much more sophisticated than the Cat's giant, ridiculous hat.  (I have always been kind of leery of that Cat anyway.  He comes into these kids' house as a total stranger, says "Let's have some fun," and messes up their house?  What the hell?!  As Stephanie Tanner would say...How rude!)

The Pale Green Pants (from What Was I Scared of? - The Sneetches and Other Stories):

You should know that I was terrified of this story when I was a child.  See, it's about this pair of pale green pants that walk around...WITHOUT AN OWNER.  An empty pair of pants!!!!  How freaking scary is that?!  And the narrator is initially terrified as well, but then becomes friends with the pants later on.  And when I was younger, I was like, "Narrator, you crazy!  You don't just go around being friendly with a floating pair of pants.  You run from those pants."  But I have to say...I would be friends with these pants.  They're so pretty.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hey, thanks, Mom.

Thanks, Mom, for helping me with homework, with skinned knees, and with unrequited puppy love when my middle school crushes didn't return my phone calls.  Thank you for cleaning up after me, financially supporting me, and holding my hair back when I have the flu.  Thank you for always having good advice and always voicing your opinion, even when I might not want to hear it - somehow, annoyingly, you're always right anyway. :)

Thank you for being the only person there for me during the roughest times in my life:  whether it was my junior year of high school when I felt so distanced from all my friends, or throughout the (embarrassingly numerous) unhealthy relationships I beat myself up over, or just this year, when I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life by withdrawing from school.  Thanks for putting up with constant tears, yelling, and PMS when I was a teenager...and yeah, okay, maybe just last week.  Thank you for worrying about me and for supporting my every decision and for telling me that it's okay not to invite certain people to my wedding.

Thank you for staying with Dad and setting such a good example for me.  You two have showed me what relationships should be like.  Because of this, I have learned that relationships are NOT supposed to involve screaming, putdowns, or bruises.  On the other hand, they don't have to be the passionate, torrid love affairs you see in the movies.  A happy relationship to me is this:  sharing the biggest bucket of popcorn at the weekly movie, laughing about each other's imperfections instead of rolling your eyes, traveling together to places you've never been, and being able to have spaces/separation in your togetherness.  Thank you for showing me all of this.  I have found my future husband because of it.

Thank you for the little things.  Thank you for the time you helped me wash my hair 19 times in a row after a poor decision involving black hair dye.  Thanks for making me into the book-obsessed nerd I am today, for putting books into my hands when I was young instead of a remote control.  Thank you for waiting on me hand and foot, because I know that when it comes right down to it, I am the most spoiled girl in existence, and I don't tell you enough that I appreciate the things you do.  Thanks for sending me a card in the mail after I got published in a sub-par online writing magazine, thank you for treating my fiance like part of the family, and thanks for covering me up with a towel when I faint getting out of the shower.  Thank you for my love of antiques, shopping, and silence.  Thank you for helping me with a ridiculous amount of wedding planning, and thanks for just stepping around the piles of clothes in my room like you don't even notice they're there. 

Thank you for being my mom.  God knows, I couldn't do it.

"Here is the deepest secret nobody knows / here is the root of the root and the bud of the budMy fear is that I will change my mind. My fear is that it will change my life. My fear is that I will never sleep again and I like to sleep, oh god, I really like to sleep. My fear is that I am selfish. My fear is that I might not be as good at this as my mother. My fear is that I might not be good at it at all."

These are not my words.  These are another blogger's words from here.  But it sums up my feelings about being a mother as best as words can.  My fear is that I am selfish.  I am selfish.  And I wouldn't be good at it.  That is what scares me most about having children.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Books I Never Thought I'd Like


So I'm reading this book that I never thought I'd enjoy called Drop Dead Healthy by A. J. Jacobs.  At first glance, it looks like a lame fitness/diet book.  However, I am LOVING IT and don't want it to end!  A. J. has made it his goal to become his healthiest self over the course of a year.  Trying out every health or diet tip he stumbles across to weigh its true benefits, from fad diets to constant exercise to medical treatments, this is a both hilarious and very informative book.  Jacobs mixes his own humorous experiences with little interesting pieces of history and medical facts from real life - apparently, it is not an UNcommon practice in larger cities for people to get plastic surgery in order to alter the sound of their...farts.  Yeah, I said it.  I am amazed at the lengths this author is going to in order to get healthy, write this book, and learn more about which health tips work and which don't:  so far he has had acupuncture, a colonic, taken barefoot jogs, and attended crazy exercise classes like "laughter yoga."  Just to name a few.  I am loving this book and you will too!

The fact that I almost didn't pick up this book at all made me think about all the books I've read in the recent past that I thought I would hate...but ended up loving!  There are tons!  It just goes to show you that you can't pass by a book just because you think you don't like a certain genre - you might end up missing something fantastic.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and Delirium by Lauren Oliver are two very similar books:  they are both young adult novels, and they're both what you would consider a "dystopian," science-fiction-esque story.  And I loved both of them.  But you should know that I stopped reading young adult novels when I was around 13, and I was hesitant to start reading them again only about a month or two ago.  I'm not sure why; it just seemed like the entire genre had become full of vampires and werewolves, and yes, science fiction.  Which is somewhat true.  But if you look hard enough, you can find some good ones.  First of all, "Uglies" is the first in a 3-part series of books by Westerfeld.  The series is set in a future society where everyone has an operation at the age of 16 to make them stereotypically beautiful.  Being "pretty" is the main focus, rather than being smart or successful.  When the main character and her best friend rebel and go outside of the closed society, things become pretty chaotic.  I loved this book and all its true-to-life themes.

Secondly, "Delirium" is also set in a future society where teenagers are medically "cured" at a certain age.  But in this case, they are being cured of love.  Love is considered a disease in this novel, and at age 18, everyone is cured, making them immune to it.  All of society's ills are blamed on love.  Before she turns 18 though, our main character, you guessed it, falls in love, and tries to escape the tight hold society has on her.  So good!  And people, I am FAR from being a science-fiction reader, trust me.  I am not one to stray outside of my comfort zone, so if I liked these books, chances are, you might too.

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay was a really thick, intimidating historical novel, but I zoomed right through it and didn't want to put it down!  Nina was a famous Russian ballerina, but is now old and confined to a wheelchair.  She decides to sell all of her jewelry at auction, and we get to see the story behind each piece.  The story jumps from past to present, slowly revealing Nina's many secrets.  I loved this book and was drawn in from the very start.  The writing was absolutely beautiful, and surprisingly, I very much enjoyed the setting in Russia.

Stitches by David Small  was a compelling memoir written for adults - in the form of a graphic novel.  My God.  Graphic novel!  I tell you what, I felt so dorky checking this one out at the library.  I felt like I may as well have scooped up some manga too.  But ohhhhhh I was impressed!  This is the first graphic novel I have ever read, and I kind of want to buy it for myself.  David Small had a VERY dark childhood; a scarring incident/surgery leaves the relationship between him and his parents in ruins when he was young.  His was a depressing and very moving story, and I'll be honest, it touched me - as much as a...comic book...can touch one, I suppose.  I had some preconceived notions about graphic novels, I'll admit, but my goodness, this one blew all of 'em out of the water!

Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman:  of course the French do it better.  Okay, I don't have kids.  Nor do I plan on doing so.  But dammit, I still loved this book!  The author, living in Paris, noticed that French children seemed generally much more well-behaved and healthy than American kids.  But why?  Answer:  French parenting.  Laid-back but not permissive, free of parental guilt, and freedom to make plans without the kids?  Sounds good to me!  Soooo unexpectedly fascinating!  Check this one out even if you're NOT a mom!

The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald  was honestly one of the best books I've read so far this year.  Inspired by the old (real life!) practice of using a "practice baby" in home ec classes, Henry House was one such (fictional) baby.  The effects that this had on him, though, were nearly disastrous.  Both a coming of age story and a look back to the 40s through the 70s, this was a GREAT read.  Henry becomes terrified of making decisions and forming attachments of any sort, even as an adult.  I had never heard of this practice before reading this book, and I find the premise to be extremely fascinating.  I loved this novel.

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka was another historical novel, this time about Japanese women.  This coming from someone who thought she hated historical fiction.  This beautiful, tiny little novel was very lyrical and literary.  With little to no dialogue, it was about young Japanese brides meeting/being with their American husbands for the very first time.  Each have different reactions to their new husbands who are basically strangers to them, and it is written from the perspective of the Japanese community as a whole.  WWII shatters everyone's world, of course.  Beautiful, I would read this again and again.

OH EM GEE.  If I could only read one book again for the rest of my life, I think it would be this one (sorry Harry Potter and Elizabeth Berg).  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern definitely wins my favorite book of the year vote.  This novel was like nothing I have ever read before in my entire life.  It is focused on two young "magicians" that are set up to be rivals and "duel" at this circus, which is unlike any traditional circus you've ever seen before.  Every character is fascinating; every scene is magical and breathtaking.  It was written SO WELL - I could almost smell the cotton freakin' candy.  It was awesome.  That's all I can even say.  And I don't even like magical realism in novels AT ALL.  But this book?  Blew me away.

And okay, I won't lie.
I jumped on the bandwagon.  Don't read this if you're looking for good writing or plot points, however.  It's purely written for the...erotic value?  Sigh.

In other news, Jared and I have engagement pictures tomorrow, and I am at a loss for what to wear.  I don't understand how one can have a closet full of clothes and still have nothing to wear.  I'm about ready to pull out a pair of Jared's UnderArmour shorts, a high school sweatshirt, and a ratty pair of fake Uggs and call it a night.  Those would be some Klassy engagement photos.

Happy reading!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Just Died.

Okay.  SERIOUSLY?!   Pretty sure I need a paper bag to hyperventilate into, or I just might pass out. 

As of April 30th, Etsy (AKA the most amazing site in the world and the second love of my life) now has its own wedding registry.  I can't even begin to think of where to start.

Tackiness be damned:  We are now registered at Target, Kohl's, and Etsy....so bring on them gifts! ;)

Here's what I have found so far that I love on the FIRST FRIGGIN' PAGE:


  1.  These peacock-printed dishtowels will make drying off our plastic dishes seem extra-fancy and special!

2.  Ahhhhh, the Moroccan wedding blanket.  If only you weren't always soooo expensive, I would snatch you up in an instant.  And use you as a schnazzy rug under my dining room table with a chandelier like I saw in a magazine one time.

3.  I'm not sure why I've always wanted a vintage dictionary illustration poster, but I have.  And...I want this bird one in my bathroom.  Is this weird?

4.  This mint-green desk lamp makes me think of the eighties...in the best way possible!

5.  Jared would love this iPhone dock made to look like the Steve Jobs book!  So fun!  Plus, this shop has this product in all different books.

6.  This pillow + yellow chair = love!

7.  This space-age alarm clock looks both old-fashioned and modern; it'd be a fun pop of color on a white nightstand!

8.  These drinking glasses are hilarious, and even though neither Jared nor I are drinkers, they'd be great for a party of some sort! 

9.  We all know how I feel about chevron.  And this wall hook is no exception. 

10.  This table is fantastic.  I would have no use for it and absolutely no room for it in my home, but isn't it a pretty color?

11.  I am obsessed with the bright colors of vintage Catherine Holm enamelware and would love to have a whole crapload of it on display in my kitchen!!


And bonus:  here are a few of my favorite things that Jared and I have already registered for at Target!  (By the way, he won't let me go in there anymore.  Everytime we go in there looking for something specific, we come out with over $100 worth of the most random things:  wall hangings, cosmetics...sometimes shoes.  Target is the best.)

Amazing owl lamp
Cute apple-print apron

Miniature chandelier 

And you may say, "Hey, Chelsea, what's in here for Jared?  All of these objects you've registered for look super girly and, honestly, kind of lame.  What's there for him?"  And to that I say:  Trust me.  We registered for many modern, black/white/grey things as well.  All of the electronics/appliances we registered for are very sleek and shiny looking (even a self-opening trash can, for goodness sake), which he apparently enjoys quite a bit.  He also, oddly, insisted upon registering for a fancy-looking strawberry huller.  Which, why?  First of all, I have never personally witnessed him eating a strawberry.  Secondly, what IS a huller and is it a necessity when eating strawberries?

Also on the list, matching yoga mats (hee!), a couples' cookbook, and various games including BADMINTON!! (Please?) :)

Ever so flattering photo captioned by Jared - who else?


Monday, May 7, 2012

I Heart This Book

I figured this would be an appropriate way to follow up my amazing discussion of Titanic's merits and downfalls yesterday.

(picture from here)
The Dressmaker - Kate Alcott
The fact that I loved this book is unusual, because generally, when I hear the words "historical fiction," I want to vomit.  I assumed that meant I hated the entire genre.  But this book completely proved that theory wrong. 

Tess Collins is a lowly maid with a secret passion for sewing fancy dresses.  Randomly running into the famous dressmaker Lucy Duff Gordon (who was, in fact, a REAL passenger on the ship), Tess becomes her assistant and is invited to join her aboard the great Titanic.  Well, you all know what happens then.  "Iceberg, right ahead!"  "I believe you may get your headline, Mr. Ismay."  Et cetera.  BUT that is not the whole story.  No, Lucy Duff Gordon, her husband, and Tess all escape on lifeboats (Tess on a separate one), and the whole ship-sinking thing is nicely summed up in about 5 chapters, at most.  This story is about the aftermath.

What exactly happened on Lifeboat One, the boat on which Lucy Duff Gordon was saved?  And why was there only 12 people on it, when it could have held 30 or more?  Those are the questions at the core of the novel's plot, which follows Lucy and Tess as reporters clamor for a juicy story.  There is also a subplot concerning Tess and two men who are fond of her (one rich, one poor - Cal Hockley/Jack Dawson?  Hmm...).  I don't know if I'm quite getting my point across, but it was SO GOOD.  Alcott did such a wonderful job intertwining the real with the imagined, sprinkling in true facts and characters among her novel.  I loved spotting the individuals I recognized from real life/the movie (Molly Brown...and I SAW you get on that lifeboat, Mr. Ismay!) throughout the novel.  It was just amazing, and I really appreciated the afterword, in which Alcott discusses why she felt so compelled to write this particular story about Lifeboat One.  She talks about how although about 30 lifeboats went out, only one came back to retrieve others - why is this?  These are the premises behind The Dressmaker.  Read it!  You won't regret it.

PS:  I'm still not over it.