Monday, January 31, 2011

Happy Birthday to Shug!

Yesterday was Shug's birthday.  

We had a nice restful day hanging out with Ruby and watching movies.  It was so fun!  I think Shug was still recovering from his surprise party on Friday evening!  THAT was so much fun, too!  I feel so lucky that I get to spend another year with this amazing man!  Happy Birthday, Shug!

I'll have a whole post on the birthday shenanigans later this week...!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Goldteef's Best Songs of 2010

I know we're already almost a month into 2011, 
but I wanted to share a mixtape of what I thought to be 
the most lovely and interesting songs of 2010!  

You can download it for free here.

Here's the tracklist:

1~All Eyes - Gauntlet Hair
2~Locust Valley - Women
3~Mickey Mouse - Wavves
4~Born Free - M.I.A.
5~The Overachievers - Liars
6~Expectations - Tame Impala
7~In the Trees - Moon Duo
8~Slow Motion - Panda Bear
9~Tall Grass -Toro y Moi
10~Set Your Arms Down - Warpaint
11~Amsterdam - White Hinterland
12~Pleasure Sighs - Morning Benders
13~Harmonix - Surfer Blood
14~California Shakedown - Pearl Harbor
15~Round and Round - Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti
16~Blood Dries Darker - Woods
17~Gay Human Bones - Harlem
18~Crazy for You - Best Coast
19~Lost in the World - Kanye West featuring Bon Iver
20~Sir Greendown - Janelle Monae
21~Hocus Pocus - Woodsman
22~Untitled - Atlas Sound
23~Oliver Twist - Avey Tare
24~Helicopter - Deerhunter
25~Screens - Animal Collective
26~It's a Trap - Power Animal
27~Lady Daydream - Twin Sister
28~Silver Soul - Beach House

Here's Goldteef's favorites of 2009, if you're interested!

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Blog to Follow: Bangable Dudes in History

I stumbled across one of the funniest blogs I've seen in a while yesterday: Bangable Dudes in History.  It is a collection of men, be they historically "bad guys" or "good," but they all have their "hotness" broken down in pie chart form. 
You also get some interesting info about these dudes: like, Tesla was a total heartthrob!  He believed women would become the dominant sex in the future!  He also was a vegetarian, believed in E.T. before Spielberg was even an itch in his daddy's pants, and celibate...Like I said, TOTAL heartthrob!

You'll be surprised at some of the inclusions!  Look at this young kid, Stalin!  He was just a lil' puddin'!  Take a few seconds out of your day to visit these hotties in history!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What the French Girls Are Wearing Right Now

1) Shorts over tights.  Add heels for extra points.
(Yes these lovely ladies aren't French, but their style is!)
2) ANY boot by Isabel Marant.
3) Always use an iPod on the Metro.  
If you don't have an iPod, 
a good book you can easily stash in your purse is a great alternative.
4) A scarf.  Always.
 5) Perfume.  
French women not only look amazing, 
but smell amazing, too!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sniffle Central

Well, I've finally succumbed to the many hours of hospital time 
I've logged this last week and came down with the flu. 

I'm not a very good sick person.
I whine.
I cry.
I sniffle.
And I ask for very expensive vitamins.
(Have you tried Oscillo?  It's magic.  Pinky-swear!)

Shug has been taking good care of me,
even if I'm a nightmare to be around!

I'll have an awesome post up tomorrow, promise.
I am determined to feel better by then!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

In which we find we are not only joined by our hearts...

...but our stomachs!

Shug and I have always enjoyed eating the local cuisine when we travel.  Our heads just about exploded over Irish Breakfasts.  And all we lived on in Costa Rica was gallo pinto, avocados, and cacique.  So you can imagine our excitement when we knew we were headed to Paris!
Since the dollar was so weak against the euro while we were in Europe, Shug and I decided to have one "real" meal a day, bolstered with some cafĂ© au lait and inexpensive snacks.  Our first sit-down dinner in Paris remains Shug's favorite: steak, pomme frites, and haricots verts with an amazing mustard cream sauce.  We shared a lovely bottle of red wine and I ordered the escargots and cheese plate for my gluten-free fare.
Have you tried escargot?  It sounds like the most vile thing a human could ever want to eat: snails.  That green slimy-looking stuff is actually an amazing mixture of pureed garlic, butter, and herbs that have been slathered all over the little slugs!  They taste like a nutty, chewy mushroom dipped in butter and heavensauce!  Shug was a little skeptical at first, but decided to ignore his reservations about consuming an invertebrate and dove right in!  He was more than pleased with the cuisine risk he took, and escargot were ordered at almost every meal we had thereafter! 

On the walk back to our hotel we passed a sign that made the 11-year-old in us giggle:
I suppose that was lost in translation on us!  I am guessing it means served platter-style as opposed to sandwich or wrap-style, but it didn't stop us from laughing...!  I couldn't find the translation in my French phrasebook, either, so maybe the restaurant owners were playing a big joke on everyone who passes that sign!  Who knows?  If any of you speak French, please explain!

I hope you have a lovely weekend.  Are you ready for spring yet?  I know I am!  xo.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pendleton Love

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Native American-inspired prints, but Pendleton Woolen Mills has consistently produced some of the most beautiful patterns!  NATIVEX is an Etsy seller that takes Pendleton blankets and creates cute skirts with them.

Levi's has collaborated with Pendleton to remaster some classic pieces.  This jean jacket is a great example of Pendleton improving on perfection!
In an almost too-cool collab, Opening Ceremony and Pendleton created eye-catching pieces for a hefty chunk of change.  The good news: all of last season's items are being offered at amazing prices right now.  The bad news: those amazing prices are still a hefty chunk of change...!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Giving Ourselves a Break

I love this clip because it explains how inherent it is in all of us 
to not be perfect.

While I feel I am ususally forgiving of other people's mistakes and 
shortcomings, I am not so kind with my own faults.
I expect that I operate mistake-free and that is impossible!

For example, I had a rough day where I had erroneously
stated a client's birthplace to be in one state as opposed to the 
correct state in some important documentation.

It caused a real kink in the works, to say the least, and while
everyone was very quick to point out my error (and even get a
little angry with me), I was the one who beat myself up the most.

After a day of knots in my stomach and kicking myself, I realized
that I'm ALLOWED to make mistakes because I'm HUMAN.
It just happens sometimes.

So here's to a week of not being so hard on ourselves!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Exploring Notre Dame Cathedral

The day we decided to walk around Paris and see the Notre Dame Cathedral it was raining cats and dogs.  It was a perfect backdrop to the huge cathedral.  I kept expecting Quasimodo to peek out from behind a pillar or doorway!
It wasn't very crowded due to the weather and the scary terrorist threats that had started to leak into the news just two days before Shug and I flew into France.  It was apparent the French were taking these threats seriously, because there were extra armed soldiers and surrounding military vehicles at every entrance to the cathedral.  It was a weird juxtaposition going from this armed exterior to the quiet darkness of a mass in progress.
Once we were inside, we decided to light some candles just to be on the safe side!  Shug and I actually made a point of lighting a candle in every cathedral we visited!
The smell of incense was really overpowering, but it looked so beautiful illuminated by the setting sun shining through the stained glass windows.
Once we were back outside we took some shots of the amazing sculptures and architecture.  The intricacy of just the doorway probably took someone's entire life to complete.
The innovations in physics and architecture it took to complete the Notre Dame Cathedral are truly amazing when you think about how long it took to complete this building: 1163-1345.  I need to remember this when I get frustrated with my inability to finish some challenging projects...!  I hope you all have a nice long weekend!  See you Tuesday! xo.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nostaligia Junkie

Where do I find these to hang in my bedroom?

Sebastiaan Bremer is a Dutch artist that manages to 
capture lightness in the most beautiful way.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I may or may not have a boot problem.

I never really have a problem finding great boots.

These have the essence of the Isabel Marant booties 
I'll never have on my feet in a million years!
Why can't I find a perfect basic top though?

Seriously...?  Why is it so difficult to find a great top?
If you've found one please give me your suggestions in the comments!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Breakdown of French Style

I was so very lucky to get to people-watch while strolling the streets of Paris.  I was so enamored with the recurring chic style of the Parisian women.  I was able to distill a few common factors these lovely women all seemed to possess:
1) Slightly messy or imperfect hair.  French women seemed to have lovely hairstyles, but every style I saw also looked touchable and soft.  There wasn't a tight curl or a lacquered 'do in sight.  The "I-couldn't-care-less" hair just added to the overall beauty these women conveyed.
 2) Glowing skin free of foundation or obvious makeup.  Every French women that caught my eye had amazing skin.  It didn't matter what age they were, their skin all was (what appeared to be) make-up and foundation-free.  There wasn't a garish eyeshadow color or severe "contouring" on  a single, lovely Parisian face.  Parisian women's obsession with great skin is apparent in all of the potions for sale in every pharmacy we passed!
3) Aging isn't a beauty-killer.  It's actually a beauty enhancer!  I could not get over how many wrinkles and faces with expression I passed in the streets!  Coming from Utah where everyone is trying to "keep up with the Jones'" when it comes to Botox and cosmetic procedures, it was refreshing to see, well, expression in women's faces!  If Parisian women are getting cosmetic procedures, they seem to be erring on the side of natural-looking, not younger-looking.
4) Hair-tucking!  Fall was just hitting Paris when we were there and letting locks stay warm in scarves was the look to be imitating.
 5) Confidence.  You really didn't get the idea that any of these chic women were wallflowers.  The way these women carried themselves not only conveyed how they thought of themselves, but how the people around them should think of them, as well!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Music Monday: Lykke Li

This acoustic version of "Little Bit"
was filmed by the ocean in Bermuda.

I love how the sound of the waves cut through the song here and there.

I'm excited because she has a new album coming out this year!

Friday, January 7, 2011


The whole Salt Lake Valley in filled to the brim with pollution.  This used to happen only one or twice a winter when I was a kid, but now it happens whenever we don't have a storm system constantly blowing fresh air into the valley.

I really do love Utah and Salt Lake, but the inversions we get in the wintertime are enough to make me want to move!  We consistently have some of the worst air in the nation in the winter months!  I feel pretty guilty about my driving habits lately, as well.  I drive about 75 miles a day with my job...while I am driving clients around to appointments and the like, I still can't help but cringe when I'm heading into work on the freeway and I can't even see our beautiful mountains because of the smog.

Luckily, we have a storm system moving in on Saturday to sweep the air clean, but I can't help but think about where all that pollution goes.  Everyone has been freaking out over these mass amounts of animals dying around the world, but why can't we stop and look at how much crap we're pumping into the environment daily?  Let's not mention the ripple effects from a huge offshore oil leak that occurred last year, either.

I think the poor Earth is finally speaking more loudly and clearly: what we are doing is not sustainable and it is damaging.  So, in this New Year, let's try our bests to make the small changes that lead to a healthier and happier planet.  I've mentioned a few things we can start doing, but I'll give a few more here to think about:
  • Recycle.  It's easy and its impact is huge.
  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth.
  • Use dishtowels instead of paper towels to dry your hands.
  • Walk or ride public transportation when you can.
  • Don't let your car idle at drive-thru windows. Turn it off!
  • Run your dishwasher only with a full load!
  • Wash your hair every 2nd or 3rd day, it saves water and my hair looks better a day or two after a shampoo anyway;)!
  • On that same note, invest in some dry shampoo or shampoo powder to freshen up your hair on the non-wash days.
  • Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower in the winter.  Just put a sweater on of you're cold instead of heating up the whole house!
  • Use eco-friendly laundry detergent, it's an easy switch and you won't notice the difference!
  • Get a reusable coffee mug and swear off disposable cups for good!
  • When your old light bulbs burn out, switch to the new compact fluorescent bulbs.
There!  If you choose to try just one or two of these over the weekend, you will be making a difference!  If you have any other great conservation ideas, please leave them in the comments so we all can give them a try!  I hope you have a lovely, smog-free weekend! xo.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Coming Down from the Holidays

It always takes me a few days to get myself back together after the insanity of the holidays.  I love that time of year, but I'm also so ready for the New Year to happen and be over with, so we can all try to get back to our already overbooked routine.

I don't make New Year's resolutions, but I do try to orient myself so I can start working in a direction of a goal.  I feel I need to start spending less time being surrounded by chatter, noise, and music and more time just being.  I realize one of my most favorite times of the day is when I get up earlier than Shug to write my blog post for the day.  While I truly enjoy the blogging part of my early mornings, I have discovered I love the silence, too.

When I let Ruby out into the dark morning after we've been all snuggled up in bed, the cold and the heavy quiet have the most calming and invigorating effect on me.  These opposite feelings are also coupled with a clarity I usually lose once the noise of the day gets into full swing.

Do you have a favorite time of day?  I want to try to recreate this time I enjoy so much throughout the course of my crazy days, even if it's just for a minute or two...!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Book Club: The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Remember how I was sooooooooo excited for book club?  Well, our first official book club was a success!  I really don't need to mention the fact that we only spent 20 minutes of the 4-5 hours we all were together actually discussing The Hunger Games, do I?  I think the book, being youth fiction, was probably not "meaty" enough to really get some good conversations going. 

The main points that were brought up revolved around the simplicity of the book's main character, Katniss.  She's really portrayed as a product of her surroundings: a killer, unidirectional in her goals, and a heartless survivor.  Most of the book club agreed that they found Peeta, Katniss' "love" interest in the reality killing games, more interesting and much easier to care about.  I did enjoy the commentary on reality television and the rampant voyeurism that is a part of our current pop culture; this theme is central to the "importance" of the Hunger Games.

Some of our book club attendees couldn't help but read the next two books in the trilogy, just to find out the resolution between the characters.  I was tempted to do the same, since the first book was such a page-turner!  But again, as much as we tried to dig deeper into the subtext of The Hunger Games, we realized there wasn't much else to discuss.

In light of that, the next book selected is The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery, and having finished it last night I have no doubts that this text will spark some interesting banter!  Have any of you read this or heard anything about it?  I'd love to hear what you think!  If you haven't read it yet, get reading!  Book club will be in a couple weeks, so you have time!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Music Monday: Two Bicycles

 This band can produce the loveliest, dreamiest songs.
Plus, these shots of Norway are amazing!

After you're finished listening to this, 
check out KRCL today, a favorite SLC independent radio station.

They are having a countdown of the best albums of 2010!
It'll be a good way to get back into the week and a non-holiday season;)!

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