Thursday, November 29, 2007

North & South

Today I was on call for work but didn't have to go in today. As it was fairly overcast outside, I thought it would be the perfect day for working on some Christmas presents while watching one of the best movies ever: North & South. If you haven't heard of North & South, you should definitely look up this BBC drama for yourself. A girl in my bookbinding class mentioned it and said that it was better than Pride and Prejudice. Facing such an outlandish statement, I felt that I had to give it a test. I loved it and still love it. Probably one of the best ending scenes ever. I could (and probably have) watch it 10 times in a row. The whole thing is about 4 hours long. A period piece set in industrial England, it captures the complete cultural differences between the north and the south, as well as the horrible conditions of the Inustrial Revolution. Anyway, I will stop talking now, but I definitely recommend you see this. Except for Sarah, because Jenny and I decided that you have to see this with one of us (she bought it after she watched it with me).

Sprinkle Me Some

If you haven't heard of Sprinkles, let me fill you in. It is a very high-end cupcake store. Cupcake store? you say. Yes, cupcake store. By high-end I mean that you can buy a giftbox of a dozen cupcakes for $46. The original location is in Beverly Hills, but they have since expanded to 5 locations, with more coming soon. One of them is right next door in Newport. I chatted with some friends who have been to the Newport store, and though they hate to admit what they were willing to spend on a cupcake (about $3.50), they will all insist that it was worth it as it was the best cupcake they have ever tasted.

The Sprinkles store offers some amazing flavors, which you can see here. Some yummy-sounding examples are cinnamon sugar, vanilla milk chocolate, and red velvet, among others. Currently, WS carries some of the mixes. I have tried the dark chocolate, which was great, but I really want to try the peppermint chocolate, which sounds amazing. The mixes go for $14 (and are packaged beautifully). I was going to add commentary here on what people are willing to spend on cupcakes, but the sad part is that the more I am at work and tasting the samples, the more sympathetic I become. Next time you are in the area, give me a call and we can splurge outrageously on a cupcake.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Status Update

I just wanted to say that I'm fine. I went to work and was able to push what I didn't want to think about into the darkest recesses of my mind. I have definitely decided that refusing to deal with something (particularly something emotionally distressing) is a great coping mechanism. Work was great, which helped a lot. I actually spend about 20 minutes talking to a customer about Swaziland and the AIDS epidemic. Way to bring your passion to work, eh? Changing the world one wealthy WS shopper at a time.


Have you ever had one of those days when you are busy getting ready for work, almost able to forget that instead of your world-changing dream job you are working for the holidays at Williams-Sonoma, and then you check your email and, voila, you get a punch in the stomach and start sinking? Yeah.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Beat That!

After Jen informed me that she, Nigel, and Kate got a 42, I went back and worked at it to get a 43 on the vocab game. And it only took me 220 grains of rice. Yay!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks


I am reminded of my junior year of college. After Halloween, we started a "thankful door" in our apartment. We set our colored origami paper and markers, and each person that came to the apartment wrote down something they were grateful for and taped it to the back of the door. It was so much fun and totally my style as most of the thanks became humorous and somewhat cynical. Here are a few examples:

"I'm thankful that Dave showers at least on Tuesdays and Thursdays because I have to sit next to him in class."

"I'm thankful for the million steps I have to take to get to campus because I now have massive calf muscles."

"I'm thankful my professors gave me the heaviest books possible so I could test out the durability of my poor college-student backpack."

You get the point. By Thanksgiving, our door was full of colorful squares that everyone loved to read when they came in. We also made everyone sign their names so that their comment could be attributed to them, which made it all the funnier. Ahhh, college memories.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WS Wisdom Tidbit #1: Turkey

Wow. Working at Williams-Sonoma has increased my cooking knowledge exponentially. It makes me want to cook all of the time. Expectedly, the topic at work today and yesterday with many customers covered most Thanksgiving foods and turkey. This year, my mom has finally agreed to brine the turkey. This technique was foreign to our family in the past. I am very excited as it is supposed to make the turkey so much more moist and flavorful. What I have really been hearing a lot about, though, are the merits of a deep fried turkey. Apparently they are amazing. I heard from more than one independent source that the families did an experiment with one deep-fried turkey and one regular turkey, and, without exception, everyone ate the deep fried turkey and loved it. I would definitely like to try a deep fried turkey sometime. As of now, though, I am very happy that we are expanding into the brined turkey sphere - we'll see how it goes.

Oh, here is a recipe for a deep fried turkey if you were curious or looking for one.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I think the title of this article is self-explanatory enough for you to understand my disgust:

Saudi: Why we punished rape victim
Do I really need to say anything more? Even though I feel like I could start on this and never stop? Needless to say, Saudi Arabia does not have the best ratings on our WomanStats scales.

Vocab Amazingness

This website is great for testing and expanding your vocabulary. For every word that you get correct, they will donate 10 grains of rice to the UN. My score when I finally got sick of doing it was 41. Jen, you would love this! It is totally our kind of thing.

{Via How About Orange}

My Old Friend...

Ahhh, my old friend, California holiday weather, has finally returned. Forecast for the next couple of days is in the high 60s with the possibility of some Santa Ana winds. Just cold enough in the evenings to wear warm socks and sweatshirts. Loving it!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Adult ADD

I have decided that I have developed Adult ADD. When did this start? you ask. I suspect that it began sometime after the mission, but before my trip to Africa. What happened in that time? Nothing really, except for a semester in the Bad Place (as Jen and I call it), and a really good year with some great friends. I suspect that it is a result of the completely anti-social, depressing, dysfunctional semester in the Bad Place. No matter the reason, I feel that it is real. One example of this is the fact that I constantly have my laptop with me no matter what else I am doing. I am always looking up music, blogs, and news while watching TV with Chelsea, which bothers her to no end.
One of the major issues with this Adult ADD is my inability to finish books. Here are just a few books that I have started and have not been able to pick up to finish, as another one inevitably catches my eye. The partial list is as follows:

Beloved - by Toni Morrison

The Good Earth - by Pearl S. Buck

Daisy Miller - by Henry James

Tess of the d'Ubervilles - by Thomas Hardy

Cold Mountain - by Charles Frazier

The Secrets of a Fire King - by Kim Edwards

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - by Anne Bronte

I know there are more, but I can't think of them. I am reminded of a scene from the classic Gilmore Girls when Rory goes off for her first day at her new private school. Her mom stops her because her backpack is full of books and she is holding some in her hands. When she tries to make her leave some home, Rory's response is such that each book is for a different mood, and is there to provide an option for what she feels like reading. What if she feels like reading fiction? Nonfiction? A Biography? Poetry? She just has all of her bases covered. Sometimes I feel like I am caught in this conundrum, but it has become so that all of these books now sit on my shelf and I am unable to drum up the courage to finish any of them. Instead, I pick up my book from the Twilight series or one of the Harry Potter's. Maybe the Uglies. Is it a problem that I now only have the desire to read adolescent literature? I think part of the problem is that I have no reading buddy like Jenny or Kate to share my literary adventures with. Hmmm.... Maybe if I use my blog as a forum, I can kick off this aspect of my Adult ADD.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Maria Rita

This is one of my favorite Brazilian artist, Maria Rita, singing one of my favorite songs "Agora So Falta Voce."

My Birth at Williams-Sonoma

Well, I did it. I now am an official temporary employee at Williams-Sonoma. I figure that if I spend my time catering to those who are definitely wealthier-than-I, something might rub off on me (income-wise). I had my first day of training today. Now I am sitting here studying the catalog (which, by the way, is toture as a poor, very poor person). As it will be on my mind often, perhaps I will be posting products that I come across and covet (well, maybe not all of the ones I covet - not enough space). Here is a product that I don't covet, but brings to mind an amusing anecdote:

An employee was giving a tour of the store to us newbies, and she showed us these special edition Kitchenaid mixers in brushed nickel (shown) and satin copper. These little babies sell for about $900. One of the newbies (most of whom are foodies and cooks themselves) asked the question on all of our minds:

Newby: Is there something special about the nickel or copper that makes it a better mixer?

Employee: Not really. It's just for looks.

Newby: Then who in the world spends $900 on a mixer??

Employee: Actually you will be surprised that they will probably sell out for the holidays. And you know who buys them? Husbands who are trying to impress their wives.

If you want one of these babies for your own beautiful counter, you can find them here. Me, I'm just dreaming about all of those other items that may be purchasable after a couple of paychecks. Stupid bills.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Creative Card

A friend brought this to my attention last year. This totally makes me want to create artistic and creative Christmas Cards - except for the fact that I don't send out Christmas Cards. Hmmm...

{via Oh Happy Day}

Calendar Frenzy

It seems that there had definitely been a calendar frenzy this year. Everywhere I turn, there are more artistic and beautiful calendars. I wish I had the funds/space to buy and display them all. Here are some of my favorites (in addition to these, I also really like the Vintage Maps calendars at Anthropologie - this may be due to my map obsession, but I think they are pretty awesome).

This, this, and this are some of my favorite letterpress calendars from some great etsy shops.

This pocket calendar from Kate Spade ($16) looks great - having never owned one, I am very curious about the surprises that await inside.
Or, if you feel so inclined (and are on limited funds), you can make your own calendar by printing of the pages here, trimming them, and displaying them in a cd case. Cool.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Food for the...Mouth (what else?)

My mom and I are going to the new Red Robin this evening for a free meal - whoo hoo! It is "Friends and Family Night", which is basically a trial-run before the new location (in Foothill Ranch) opens. Our friend will be working there so we were invited. What does that mean for us? In exchange for possibly slower and more inexperienced service - free food! So, as we all know, Red Robin is not necessarily fine-dining, but I do love their Whiskey River Barbeque Chicken Wrap. Red Robin totally reminds me of Provo, since an obsessed roomate and I used to go there all the time. Ah, memories...

Hot in Herre

This has got to be one of the funniest/oddest covers I have seen. It's a cover of "Hot in Herre" by Nelly done by Jenny Owen Youngs. I just couldn't stop chuckling because it is so low-key when the original is so...not.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


The high today was 89 degrees (or even 90). What? Isn't this November? Especially after our slightly rainy Sunday in the 50s and 60s, today felt like this:

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wedgie Protection

Sometimes life gets too serious. Particularly as I am working voluntarily on some more scaling for WomanStats, I tend to get down about the lack of publicity or the ignorance regarding women's issues all over the world. And then I go and watch a 20/20 (I know, I got home early last night after being in Laguna Beach with Nicole and had nothing better to do) about Camden, New Jersey, the poorest city in the U.S. Talk about a downer (but in a good need-to-make-a-difference kind of way). Things like this video help remind me that there are real solutions to our real problems, and we just need to take it one step at a time. Enjoy! (sorry about the bad quality, it is definitely worth it)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Say Sondre What?

So, when I read Sarah's comments about Dan in Real Life, I got really excited because I had been waiting to see the movie. I agree that the movie was totally charming, and the music was great! This was the first time I had heard of Sondre Lerche (pronounced sahn-dray lair-kay), and I am now a devout listener. These Norwegian musician knows how to write catchy, upbeat, and totally enthralling songs (at least from my point of view). This is a video of him performing one of the songs from the soundtrack on David Letterman called To Be Surprised. It's not my favorite of his, but it was the only good video I could find of him performing. One of my favorites is Modern Nature, particularly the version from the soundtrack.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Irene Suchocki

I came across this etsy shop for Irene Suchocki, and I fell in love. Here are some of her fine art photography prints that I especially like. I really had a hard time only choosing 4 of them to showcase.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Reasons I Love Fall #1

I get to wear my super-soft comfortable purple-stripe socks (not to mention the pink and green ones just waiting in my drawer).

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." - George Eliot

In My Own Little Corner

(that's a song from the musical Cinderella, by the way)

I don't really have much of my own space now that I'm home, and I really don't have money to spend on decorating my little room. I have tried to do a few little things, though, to make it more visually appealing while still holding as much of my possession as possible. I had fun making this little bookcase more visually appealing. I have a bright blue indian cloth over the window as a curtain, and I was trying to continue that bright theme with the bookcase.

I've seen this idea elsewhere, and it was a fun, colorful way to store a bunch of blankets/scarves/material that I have gathered over the years and have no way to use here.

I went through my books and picked out the bright ones that I thought went with the general scheme. Wanting some contrast, I put the black books underneath which also connected with the black ribbon on the top shelf. Just a small thing, but it makes me feel better about my little room.


As my birthday is tomorrow, and I am not all that excited, I tried to find out who has shared the birthday of November 8 with me. Here are some of the more interesting ones that I found:

1836 - Milton Bradley (that's right, the game manufacturer)
1847 - Bram Stoker (seems the right time of year for someone who wrote Dracula)
1884 - Hermann Rorschach (so, really, I should have those tests down)
1927 - Patti Page (at least there is some kind of entertainer on the list)
1952 - Christie Hefner (apparently, she runs her dad's famous Playboy Enterprises)
1966 - Gordon Ramsay (I knew there was a reason I like Hell's Kitchen so much)
1975 - Tara Reid (unfortunately, I don't see us partying together in the future)

Passport Alert

Are you aware of the new passport design? Check it out here. It seems a little much, particularly when that space is going to be covered in stamps and papers anyway. I love my passport because I get to remember where I've been. Here are a few of my favorite pages in my passport (is it weird that I have favorite passport pages?).

Monday, November 5, 2007

AZ Recap

Some highlights of my week in Arizona:

Even though I love the sobrinhos, I think this moment takes the cake. Have you ever seen such an amazing automobile? I only wish I was able to show you the front...