Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 10 of '12

No, not clothes...books. I thought I'd share my favorites that I've read (i.e. listened to) this past year. Please note, just because they appear on this list doesn't mean they were released in 2012 - it just means that's when I got around to them. Soooo, wivout further adoooo, from 10 to 1, with one being my favey crockett, I give you my favorite reads of 2012.

10. Bossypants - Tina Fey


What's not to love about Tina Fey? Smart, funny, self-deprecating, funny, gorgeous and funny? Loved this book, especially the part about her dad, a Clint Eastwood look-alike. Plus it's just nice to see the "end of the movie" when the (fellow) nerd-girl grows up and makes good. Hooray for Tina!!


9. Charlotte au Chocolate - Charlotte Silver


I have a peeping Tom affinity, if you will, for those behind-the-scenes stories of restaurants and chefs and the like, and this was no exception. Written by Charlotte Silver, it chronicles the life of Upstairs At the Pudding, her mother's restaurant, located in Harvard Square. I kept having to go back and check to see how old the author was because it was written like she grew up in the 50s or 60s. In actuality, she is 30, so the story took place much more recently. It was a very quick read, and just a lovely story.

8. Beautiful Ruins - Jess Walter
Speaking of lovely, this story, set in present day California and Italy in 1962, Beautiful Ruins is the story of the cinema, the war, love and redemption.

7. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

What can I say? I got sucked into the hype just like everyone else did, and loved this book. I really liked the second one too, but felt like the third wrapped everything up too neatly, and too quickly. But The Hunger Games (or The Hungry Games, as my husband called it), was a spin on the Lord of the Flies for the modern day.

6. Stories I Only Tell My Friends - Rob Lowe

Look, I have had a love affair with Rob Lowe that has endured from his turn as Sodapop Curtis in The Outsiders in 1983, to today, in his role as Chris Traeger on Parks & Rec (one of the most underrated comedies on TV today, in my humble opinion, but that's for another post). Still, I went into this book somewhat skeptically - I mean - LOOK at him, for the love of Ron Swanson. He can't look like that and write TOO, can he? Apparently, he can. I loved this book so much. It told about his not-too-happy childhood in Ohio, his parents' divorce, the move his mother made with Rob and his siblings to California. It talked about his mother's battle with mental health and ultimately, her death from cancer. It talks about his friends and co-workers such as the Sheens, Sean Penn, Robert Downey, Jr., etc. etc., in a completely non-National-Enquirer kind of way (and I find his descriptions of Tom Cruise to be fascinating). The book was glamorous and dark too - I imagine just like Hollywood is. Highly recommend this read.

5. Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn

The first of Gillian Flynn's three books, it was my personal favorite. Like the rest of the world, I was completely sucked into Gone Girl when it came out, but HATED the ending. Both Sharp Objects and the follow-up, Dark Places, were much more satisfying to me. If you like darkly-written, slightly macabre, but KICK ASS suspense and haven't read Gillian Flynn yet, what the HELL are you waiting for??!!!

4. Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Steig Larsson


Like Gone Girl, everyone has read Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by now. I loved all of the books in this trilogy, but the first was my favorite. I don't think I need to go into any further description, because if you haven't read it by now, you're probably living on an island without internet connectivity, so you can't read this post anyway. Savage.

3. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal - Christoper Moore


I wasn't sure I was going to like this one, having grown up in a Southern Baptist home. Thought it might be too sacrilegious for my taste, even now, as a non-church-goer (those fire and brimstone sermons stick with you for life). Still, I LOVED Lamb. It was laugh-out-loud hilarious, somewhat historically accurate, smart, and even poignant. Told from the point of view of Christ's slightly irreverent best friend Biff (and by "slightly irreverent" I mean COMPLETELY irreverent), I loved the twist on this story of Christ. If you haven't read it, DO IT. And while you're at it, Christopher Moore has a bunch of other hilarious books you should check out too.

2. Just Kids - Patti Smith


I didn't know a lot about Patti Smith before I read this, other than that I loved her song Gloria, but read great reviews on her book and picked it up. I loved it. Telling about her childhood and young-adulthood in Brooklyn and then New York, I loved hearing about the art and music scene during the summer of love, and her friendship, love affair, and subsequent end of that affair with artist Robert Mapplethorpe as he comes out. Through the book she maintains the thread of intense love, friendship and respect that she and Mapplethorpe had for one another, which was at times tumultuous and ultimately, tragic. I read recently that the book is being made into a movie and that K Stew and R Patz were in talks to play Smith and Mapplethorpe, and I cringed. Come ON. Discover someone for these parts - that's what needs to happen.

1. Mapplethorpe - Patricia Morrisroe


My reading of Just Kids led me to Mapplethorpe, A Biography. I'll say up front this book ain't for everyone. It's pretty sexually graphic, but if you know anything about Robert Mapplethorpe, that's part of who he was. It was also fascinating, again, talking a lot about the 60s, 70s, and 80s art scene in a vibrant city like New York, and what drove Mapplethorpe to be/become the person/artist he was. Sadly, because AIDS burgeoned during that same time, it was heart-breaking at the same time. If you are at all interested in biographies, art, New York, the 70s/80s, I sincerely recommend this book. I hope you won't regret it.

Okay, enough of my suggestions - what were YOUR favorite books of the year? I need to add some new ones to my list for 2013!! With that, my final post of the  year is finito. Have a great, safe, happy New Year's Eve. All my love!!

Merci,
Shan


Friday, December 28, 2012

Top 10 of '12

I did this last year (wow, what a difference a year makes - it's kind of cringe-worthy to go back and look at oneself, which is a little nutso to say for someone who does OOTD shots on their blog 90% of the time). ANYHOOZLE....thought I'd give you my top ten favey faves for 2012 to wrap things up here on ye olde blogge, from oldest to most recent. If anything, this little exercise just shows me that I need to go back through my damn blog every time I think I don't have anything to wear (rather than, you know, going shopping). Durrrr.... You can click each date below to go to the original post if you so desire.

March 7:



Wow - I was much more colorful at the beginning of last year. Was all that neon from 2012, or did we time travel back to 1983?

From April 4:



Hmmmm...I need to pull this one back out and wear it again.

April 18:



And look how adventurous I was with my hurr - TWO ponytails in one month's time????

June 5:




Easy, Breezy, Wear to Worky on a Friday.

August 20:



ANOTHER pony???!!! What has happened to me towards the end of this year? Where is my adventurous hair spirit?

October 2:



This one is so easy I can't believe it's one of my faves, but it is.

October 9:



I give you The Most Comfortable Sweater In the World.

November 26:



Take THAT, Axl Rose.

October 30:


I really wish I had a pair of faux leather skinnies that did not stretch out when I wore them, but alas, I do not. I guess that's what buying a cheap pair gets you. 

December 3:



I cannot believe this ended up being my favorite outfit of all the year, but it really did. The other thing I learned from doing this post is that the simpler my outfit it, the more I ended up liking it. And that I also could have included about eleventy five photos of me in a graphic tee, jacket, and skinnies - I think that's my official uniform. But I tried to find more of a variety to share. Do you have a uniform? Share. This is a safe place. And speaking of safe - have a safe and HAPPY New Year, kids. I'm so glad you share part of your time on the interwebs with little old me.

Mwah!
Merci,
Shannan

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Purple Rain


Things I have forgotten how to do as of late:


1. Write this blog on a daily basis, apparently. 


2. Get my ass to the gym more than twice a week. Seriously - what happened to the days of going on my lunch hour at work to lift? They have become extinct, that's what.


3. Hold my liquor. Or champagne. Cuz on Christmas day, someone had two thumbs, three mimosas for breakfast, and was sick for the rest of the day, and it was this guy. LIGHTWEIGHT.


4. Control myself around food. This item and number two are going to be SERIOUSLY resolved in about a week. I'm debating giving up sugar. Gulp. That's a heeeee-youge thing for me, since I am an admitted sugar addict. Anyone else love sugar like a fat kid loves cake who has successfully given it up? Wanna give me a pep talk? THEN DO.  

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday.


Blazer: NY&Co
Shirt: Stolen from the hubby
Pants: Love Culture
Boots: Libby Edelman,TJ Maxx
Scarf: Gift

Merci!
Shan

Friday, December 21, 2012

Metallica



I'm in the midst of a small(ish) obsession. 


I'm not talking about Korma Sutra - the new-to-me Indian restaurant that I ate lunch at the other day - though I AM obsessed with that too. No, I'm talkin bout metallic foiled sweaters, Willis. I Scored this Gap sweater at the Goodwill the other day, along with a grey cable knit sweater that I'm going to attempt to spray paint copper. I hope it works. 


I have also debated taping off this sweater and painting the tan stripes in metallic gold. Thoughts?


I am also dying to find another suitable sweater and dip the bottom in gold, a la the photo at the top.


I have been searching online for a good metallic foil tutorial, and so far have only come across one. It looks like she used a combination of regular metallic spray paint and a pot of metallic fabric paint as well. I have my copper Krylon ready to go, so I may try to give it a coat this weekend.


Has anyone else tried spray-painting clothing? I'm afeared of the smell once it's finished, cuz I plan to give it a good thick coating. According to Krylon's website, you CAN use their regular spray paint on clothing. We'll see how it works out, and of course, I'll share it here if it does.


Aaaaiiight homies, it's late, and I'm off to beddy bye. 

Sweater: Gap, thrifted
Pants: Target
Boots: Libby Edelman, TJ Maxx

Merci!
Shan

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Eye of the Harrumpher


These cheap ass liquid leggings are my new favey faves. It's like I'm not wearing any pants at all, so SCORE! I got them at Love Culture, which I thought was related to Forever 21 somehow, but when I asked the girl behind the counter, she was somewhat indignant.


"We have a lot of stuff similar to theirs," she said, "but our store is WAY better organized..." she harrumphed.


I'm serious. She actually harrumphed. I had never seen it in person until that lucky day I wandered into Love Culture.


As she was harrumphing, I was just thinking, "Um, I don't know why you're so high and mighty - you're CHEAPER than Forever 21. Doesn't that make you just a shade different than a gas-station gift shop?"


Still, I got out of there with a $9 pair of liquid leggings and a $14 tiger print tee, so I considered it a success. PLUS I got to witness a real-life harrumph. That was definitely worth the price of admission.

Sweater: Ollllld as the hills, from Kohl's
Tiger shirt and liquid leggings: Love Culture
Shoes: Kohl's
Tank: Old Navy
Necklace: Jennifer Zeuner

Merci!
Shannan

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Comic Relief


This is going to be a quick post, because I am exhausted. I STILL feel shredded from the events of last week, as I'm sure many of you do. Because of this, I am looking for comic relief anywhere I can find it. 


Lucky for me, my kids are always good for a laugh at least 37 times a day. Let me regale you, then, with a quick snippet that I can use to bribe Gavin when he is dating, and hopefully, on a prom night years from now.


I was on the computer the other night in our office, and the kids were with Tom in the living room watching TV (or TELLY, if you're British). Out of the blue (or OOOOT of the blue, if you're Canadian), I hear Tom say, "Gavin - what are you doing?! That pretzel doesn't go on your weiner!!"


This was followed by hysterical giggling. And just in case you're wondering, yes - he DID eat it after removing said pretzel.


See - I TOLD you it was a good bribe story.


One more thing that I want to leave you with? The funniest video I have seen in many a moon on the interwebs - I believe this one is thanks to Amy Bo Bamy. Enjoy.



Jacket: Costa Blanca, Macy's
Tee: hand me down
Jeans: F21
Shoes: Rock & Republic for Kohl's
Necklace and Earrings: Standard Style Boutique

Merci!
Shan

Monday, December 17, 2012


I don't know how many times I have cried since last Friday. Too many times. It is amazing to me the capacity we have to grieve for people we don't know. It happened for me when Princess Diana died, and during 9/11, and again now. Since my children were born, there were times when I felt like there was a part of me that was missing or damaged. I heard people talk about how they immediately bonded with their babies as soon as they were born. Maybe it is because, with three at once, there was too much going on to have the luxury to just spend time with one baby, so I didn't feel like I had that bond with each one. I am not saying at all that I didn't feel a bond - but I feel as they have gotten older, my bond with them has grown exponentially.

On Friday, though, when I heard about Sandy Hook Elementary School, I realized that part of me that I often wondered about WAS there, and it was in pain. I have realized since Friday that for me personally, I experienced a grief that I could not have felt before I had children. Please don't misunderstand. I am not saying AT ALL that those without children are not experiencing grief - I am merely applying what I feel to my own self.

I have realized since Friday how precious my time with my children are, and how many times I have let trivial things get in the way of that time. How many times I have gotten upset over things that just aren't worth it. How many times I have yelled at my kids needlessly, for just being kids. I feel ashamed. Ashamed and guilty.

My heart breaks for the parents and loved ones of the victims, especially at this time of year, when those children were so excited to celebrate their upcoming holidays. My heart breaks for the town of Newtown, whose residents have taken down their Christmas decorations. My heart breaks for Adam Lanza, who, according to one article I read, would slink down the hallway at his high school with his back to the wall, not speaking to anyone. I know what he did was horrific, but he was a person tortured with his own demons.

I don't know what the answer is. I don't know what I can do to help those in pain. I only know that I can revel in Christmas lights and Charlie Brown Christmas music. I only know that I can hold my three little birds a little tighter, and say thank you, God, for what I have.

 

Merci, 
Shannan

Friday, December 14, 2012

Heart of Glass


Blondie has been on my mind lately. Since I picked up the Blondie tee at Forever 21 (and wore it below), I have just been thinking about her. About the good old days when I would spend the night with my best friend Jacquie Long in the sixth grade, and for some reason we always ended up hanging out in her older brother's room - who was never home - looking at his dirty magazines and listening to Blondie.



(Of course, his dirty magazines consisted of National Lampoon's, which might show a nekkid boob now and then, and we didn't understand the jokes, so in the scheme of things, they weren't TOO bad. Not like my friend Kim, whose dad had REALLY dirty magazines - like Penthouse and Hustler and mail order bride kind of magazines, and for some reason always kept them near boxes and boxes of candy in the garage, so of COURSE we had to look at them.)



But I digress. Jacquie and I (who went to K Mart together to buy my FIRST rock record - Do Ya Think I'm Sexy for me, and I Will Survive for Jacquie) used to listen to Heart of Glass overandoverandover.


 And I'm pretty sure we made up all kinds of dances to go along with it, cuz that's how we rolled in the sixth grade. I was always making up dances to something, and then forcing my parents to sit through the show (complete with costumes).



So in honor of Blondie - Mz. Harry if you're nasty - I thought I'd leave you with a lil music for your Friday. Take a trip in the way back machine with me. You're welcome. 


Merci! Shan