26 February 2010

Off to the Big Smoke

Would that I could. Especially prior to June 5.
the real thing
promotional picture    the old vic logo

Directed by Anna Mackmin and starring Hattie Morahan and Toby Stephens.

If any of you attends, please let me know how much you loved it.   tIO x

25 February 2010

Sequins on Her Wristbands

Inexplicably tied a la Elliot and E.T.
Intangibly bound despite the cut cord.
Apron strings wind around my heart like the laces of her pink Chuck hi-tops.
Sing to me. Send the volley over the net.
Show me your frustration - your courage - your joy.
Inimitable style. Indomitable character.
First call. First friend. First love.
Covering a multitude of sins.
Nobody's perfect.
And I'm not getting another perm.

Happy birthday! ("KMF's gonna rock you!") By-the-way, here's how we wrapped your present:

Black Toast Jute Bag

Hope your day is wonderful!   tIO x

22 February 2010

"Like Ali in the Jungle..."

After downloading this song last week, it's gone to the top of my workout playlist. Time to start the week. Let's go.

Have at it, kids; here's to a wonderful week! (Hope your PT is going well, Ben.)   tIO x

19 February 2010

Abed and the Punchdub

Apparently it's been about the humor this week. Here's our Friday installment:

(And I want to start this with you. You know who you are.)

Have a wonderful weekend, blogfriends!   tIO x

18 February 2010


USA's gold medalist Shaun White celebrates after clinching the men's snowboard halfpipe final run.

He makes me want to cheer. 
Click through here to watch his gold medal runs from last night.

Happy, happy, joy, joy!   tIO x

PS: It was a triple-gold, triple-joy kind-of-day: Congratulations to Lindsey Vonn on her gold medal - and utter joy at the finishline, and to Shani Davis on his repeat gold in the 1000m. Happy-happy-happy, joy-joy-joy!
(image from Dennis/Getty; videos via NBCOlympics)

17 February 2010

A Starter, Main, and Dessert

If you don't at least crack a smile at these two I will be seriously disappointed. Seriously.
And a word of warning: there is some naughtiness and off-color language.

(Thanks to Omniscient and Malinky2Stoatir; via youtube)

May your day be full of laughter and amusement.   tIO x

16 February 2010

Hey Everybody it's Pancake Day!

It's Shrove Tuesday, aka 'pancake day', aka my pancake-loving mother's favorite day!
PANCAKES and SYRUP - Sterling Silver Charm with a dainty 1.5mm 16 inch Sterling Silver Cable Chain Necklace
If you are not heading out to a traditional pancake breakfast, perhaps you'll want to stay in and try this recipe, a favorite at our house:

2 cups old-fashioned oats or quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Additional melted butter (for brushing skillet)
Lingonberry preserves (optional)
Fresh blueberries (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)

Combine first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, 1/4 cup melted butter and vanilla in medium bowl. Add to dry ingredients; whisk until blended but some small lumps still remain. Let batter stand to thicken, about 2 hours. (Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover batter and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 250°F. Heat heavy large skillet over medium heat. Brush skillet with melted butter. Working in batches, ladle batter by 1/4 cupfuls into skillet. Cook pancakes until bottoms are golden brown and bubbles form on top, about 2 minutes. Turn pancakes over; cook until bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet. Keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with more butter as necessary. Serve with lingonberry preserves and fresh blueberries and whipped cream, if desired. Makes about 20.

(image via
charms4you on Etsy; recipe via BonAppetite, August, 1999)

Batter up, blogfriends!   tIO

PS: My lovely mother generally eschews the berries for cinnamon chips and maple syrup. True New Englander/Southerner that she is. xx

15 February 2010

His Excellency

In honor of his birthday, we are watching this:

and encourage you to read this and visit here.

Hope you enjoy the day!   tIO x

14 February 2010

"Is love a fancy or a feeling?"

Picture of Hartley Coleridge
This is Hartley Coleridge. And he wrote about love.

Is love a fancy, or a feeling. No.
It is immortal as immaculate Truth.

'Tis not a blossom shed as soon as youth,
Drops from the stem of life--for it will grow,
In barren regions, where no waters flow,
Nor rays of promise cheats the pensive gloom.
A darkling fire, faint hovering o'er a tomb,
That but itself and darkness nought doth show,
It is my love's being, - yet it cannot die,
Nor will it change, though all be changed beside;
Though fairest beauty be no longer fair,
Though vows be false, and faith itself deny,
Though sharp enjoyment be a suicide,
And hope a spectre in a ruin bare.

Happy Valentine's Day from tIO x

13 February 2010

In a Pursuit

"Biathletes' starts are separated by their time differences from a previous race, most commonly a sprint. The contestant crossing the finish line first is the winner. The distance is 12.5 kilometres (7.8 mi) for men and 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) for women, skied over five laps; there are four shooting bouts (two prone, two standing, in that order), and each miss means a penalty loop of 150 m. To prevent awkward and/or dangerous crowding of the skiing loops, and overcapacity at the shooting range, World Cup Pursuits are held with only the 60 top ranking biathletes after the preceding race. The biathletes shoot on a first-come, first-served basis at the lane corresponding to the position they arrived for all shooting bouts."
(image from Alaska Biathlon Anchorage)

Here's to sport. And the Olympic Games.   tIO x

Click here for over 10 minutes of biathlon frivolity from TopGear.

12 February 2010

She Wants Pinking Shears?

A friendly reminder for those of you with 'significant others'. Though it may feel like she wants this:
George Lassos the Moon Print - It's A Wonderful Life

she may simply want
Kissing On V-J Day New York City Nyc 1945 24X36 Poster

(Or possibly just a new pair of these:Just a suggestion, Keith.)

Happy weekend, lovelies.   tIO x

11 February 2010

Baby Peach

Our nightly post-dinner habit of MarioKart for Wii has turned ugly. My sons (and husband) demand to know how this:

driving this (shown here with Baby Luigi):


continuously bests them in this race:

My response: Baby Peach is an Italian (with English, Scottish, and German heritage as well) who majored in physics at university. And no one drifts like she does on the Bullet Bike.

Hang in there, Karters; Friday's coming.   tIO x

PS: As regards this post, I did not lose a bet; I simply asked my children what I should post. This was their mutual - and immediate - response.

PPS: Please consult the time before you phone us in the evenings. If it's between 6:30-7:30pm EST, I encourage you to wait a bit. Having to pause the game really messes with the Peach's mojo.

(All images via MarioWiki.)

10 February 2010

Jasper told me...

...that he wants to move in with me. This is Jasper:

He's six feet tall (and nine feet wide), is originally from New Zealand, and has great moves on the 'floor. He hangs out at Crate & Barrel, mostly with Hennessy and Simone. But, as I said, he's subtly suggested that he'd like some new digs - and some greener, mossier friends. With pillows.

Stay tuned, shoppers.   tIO x

PS: Jasper reminds me of a darker, moodier 'Swirl':

'Swirl' was my first love; he was from London, by-way-of Tibet, and was best friends with Paul Smith. Of course he was, cheeky monkey.

09 February 2010

Smooth Operator

"No need to ask." It's Sade: poetry wrapped in dulcet tones and red/hot/blue jazz. Her words carried me through humid summers and frigid winters in my youth. Listening again, I realise there was depth and truth in them that I could not have known then. But I hear it now and it's wonderful. Like a favorite book I've picked-up to read again and found that I'd skipped whole chapters.

In the interim, I have grown older (certainly) and wiser (thankfully). And I have lived. 
True, I may not have been to Somalia; but in my own way I have collected pearls by the side of the road. I have cherished the day. I have felt like the king of sorrows, experienced the sweetest taboo, and been implored to hang on to my love. And all-the-while wondering how I was going to make a living. It may sound all heart-break and loneliness, but I hear hope and courage. Optimism. With undertones of soundness of spirit. Perhaps I naturally inject a bit more humor into things, but still...  My heart warms when I hear that first song again:

Good Tuesday, blogfriends. Thanks for perusing this blog; blog you again soon.   tIO x

PS: Could I leave Sade alone without Spandau Ballet? No. My girlish memories forbid it.

07 February 2010

That's Just Super: the tale of a sofa

You may have the impression that I like sport. And I do. But I've decided that I like the inherent camaraderie, the inveterate optimism of a potential 'win', infinitely better. Therefore then, I think nearly anything can be envisioned as 'a sport'.

Like shopping for fabric, for instance. I am a fabric hound, with bins stacked in closets and swatches tucked into my wallet. I have two bolts of linen for window treatments for a house by the sea I do not yet (and may never) own. And recently I have been considering a 5-hour drive to Baltimore, Maryland simply due to the lovely
'Pigtown Design' and her amazing find there, DeBois Textiles. When it comes to searching for something I actually need - clothing, wall hooks, eyeglasses, etc, I tend to have a clear vision of what fills that need and seek it out until it's been found. I dig-in for the 'hunt' and am nothing if not tenacious. Consider the fabric in my blog banner, for example...

It was 29 December 2000. My husband and I were both first-time home-owners and first-time parents. Our 'college/apartment furniture' had weathered many moves and storms - from Ohio to Virginia to Illinois to New York and back again. One evening, after putting our son to bed, my husband noted: "We have a proper living room now. It's time for some 'grown-up' stuff." I was instructed to hit the
Toms-Price store the next day to see what I could find. I didn't have carte blanche, but our tastes being so similar, I knew it would be a productive afternoon. It was. I found this:

with a split cushion and four pillows (my husband is not a fan of the tightback). I took some snaps with my camera, and headed home - along with 14 memo samples - for the approval. The sofa was a hit, but I had made the error of providing my husband with too many fabric choices. Kindly, he asked me to narrow the field. I already had, of course; but I made another effort, and within the hour I had it down to four. We went back and forth for two days and, on New Year's Eve, finally made this choice:
Gleefully, I returned to the shop on New Year's Day, memos and checkbook in hand. Then, the other shoe fell: the fabric had been discontinued by the furniture company on 31 December 2000 - literally the day before. The sales associate and I double-checked codes and information; she phoned the manufacturer and consulted the shop owner. Nothing could be done; I would have to choose a different cover. We didn't have a firm 'second choice' so I rang my husband to get his input . Did he want to revisit the samples I brought home before? Did he want a different color direction? Fewer stripes? More pheasants? Wisely, he suggested we sleep on it. "Surely, the manufacturer will have a bolt lying around somewhere" and we could convince them - on a regular working day during normal business hours - to seek it out and cover our sofa with it. We made the request the next day. One week passed. No bolt had surfaced, nor was one likely to. My husband, who travelled every week, became distanced from the conflict and left the decision squarely in my hands. His goal was less about fabric now and more about having a sofa by Easter.

And so I took to the internet. The sales associate provided me with the discontinued sample and I phoned every contact I had remotely connected to "the trade" to no avail. Desperate, I called England and an amazing thing happened:
Sanderson, the fabric manufacturer, couldn't assist me directly but suggested I email Discount Fabric and Wallpaper for help. My email to them had a response within 24 hours: they could get my fabric (directly from the manufacturer) and it would be shipped (for surprisingly little cost) within the week. I was stunned. Our fabric arrived from England by mid-January, the local shop shipped it to North Carolina with the COM order the following day, and our little sofa was perched in our living room by St Patrick's Day.

The moral:
Don't stop believing. And if you can't find the fabric you want, there's always more fabric.
Thanks for perusing this blog; blog you again soon!   tIO x

06 February 2010

"Good Day, Sunshine"

I awoke to this:
Which was followed quickly by this:

And then this appeared:

Sincere thanks to the lovely 
Town and Country Mom for the honor; I am giddy with delight! 'The Sunshine Award' is "awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogging world." How encouraging! And as received, my instructions now are as follows: 
1. Post the award on the blog.
2. Pass the award on to 12 fellow bloggers.
3. Link to the nominees in a post.
4. Let nominees know they have won this award by commenting on their blogs.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you've received this award.

And so with delight I pass-along this award to the following engaging and inspiring bloggers:

Wellies Make the World Go Round

Have a good day, sunshines.   tIO x

From Where I Sit

Literally. Right now.

What are you looking at?

Today's conundrum: Is love a fancy or a feeling?
Future conundrum: 'Nude' stockings or bare legs?

Thanks for perusing this blog; blog you again soon!   tIO x

05 February 2010

"Baby it's cold outside!"

Truer words from one of my favorite movies:

Only six more weeks of winter!   tIO x

04 February 2010

"1 cup fresh lemon juice"

Perhaps this is a non-sequitur during the winter gastronomical season, but I love lemon bars. Here's my favorite recipe: (from Ina Garten's 'Barefoot Contessa Cookbook')

For the crust:

1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

6 extra-large eggs, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4-6 lemons)
1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
1 cup 
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack, and leave the oven on.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into bars and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Yummy! And remember this...

Made by the lovely dazeychic; click-through to find her shop oEtsy.

Off to bake! TTFN...   tIO x

03 February 2010

White Collar

I might be enamored with the show (Tuesdays at 10p on USA), but I quite like these white collars as well:

1. White Cotton Ruffles Sleeveless Round Collar Pearl Ribbon Sweet Shirt FREE SHIPPING Internatiaonal

2. Mother of Pearl Collar Necklace

3. Neckwarmer Cowl in Snow White

4. Floating Statement Necklace (clear)

5. flurries cowl


7. Bastion Top in Black / White Ruffled Collar / Limited Edition

8. White Poplin APC Shirt

All items found on
Etsy: 1. White Cotton Shirt by yystudio 2. Mother of Pearl Necklace by JulReDesigns 3. Neckwarmer Cowl by piprobins 4. Floating Statement Necklace by DolorisPetunia 5. Flurries Cowl by windowsill 6. Summer Moon Necklace by Seashaped 7. Bastion Top by desirapesta 8. White Poplin APC Shirt by joliejuliett

Following is the best quote from the most recent WC episode, courtesy of Neal Caffrey, who was drugged, but happy, handcuffed to a chair and told "don't pick this": (to the handcuff) "I could slip you off. That wouldn't be picking; that would be slipping."

Happy days, kids!   tIO x

02 February 2010

Flip a Coin

Or don't. Use this:

Yes, no, maybe so. Thanks for perusing this blog; blog you again soon!   tIO x

01 February 2010

A Verse

Oh where, oh where has the Optimist gone?
Oh where, oh where can she be?
- With her bangs cut short and her skirt so long -
Oh where, oh where can she be?

(I found her over at Betsy's house

Trading books on Nancy Lancaster.
Then she sat back down to read "Papers and Paints"
And ponder the cracks in her plaster.)

I haven't done the three things I'd hoped to do in January: 1. paint the insides of the bookcases 
this color 2. unclutter the boys' clothes closets and bins, and 3. organize my fabrics (ostensibly to make room for more). I have done these three things however: 1. read seven books, including this one 2. made this (several times), and 3. watched the boys learn this. I am also thoroughly enjoying this and our new post-supper ritual of this.

January was a toasty and fun month. Here's to a hale-and-hearty February, which is also known as 'Solmonath', 'Kale-monath', 'Hornung', and, my personal favorite, 'Helmikuu'.

Today's conundrum: Who better to portray 'Dory' than Ellen Degeneres?
Future conundrum: In July, is Boston hotter than New York?

Thanks for perusing this blog; blog you again soon!   tIO x


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