Getting Crafty

10 12 2009

I’ve been recording the Martha Stewart show and watching it every night, and she is making me insane with the beautiful crafts. Not only do I want to glitter everything I own, but I’m getting the urge to cut paper, string beads, sew felt and do all sorts of crafty things. This weekend I’ve decided to give in to my urges. Some things I’m pretty sure I’ll be making in the very near future (some designed by Martha and others inspired by her genius):

  • Glitter ball garland
  • Bib necklace
  • Bejeweled mini tote bag
  • Bowties
  • Glittered pinecones

I’m also pretty sure Roger will wake up one of these days and find that his entire closet has been bedazzled. I always heart Martha, but there’s something about Martha during the holidays that makes my heart grow three sizes larger.


Urban-Suburban Nativity

9 12 2009

The birth of Jesus, Arlington-style

I lived in Baltimore for a few years, so I am familiar with and appreciate eccentricity in a locale. Arlington is not quite the stuff of a John Waters movie, but it has its share of quirkiness. The above scene greeted us as we entered the parking garage that houses the Arlington Civitans community garage sale for the last sale of 2009. Can you see why I heart Arlington?

Being Thankful: Part 2 and WTF, TV

24 11 2009

Today I have a lot of little tidbits I want to share, but I’ve already committed to being thankful this week. So, I’m going to be thankful and then move on to some other more pressing topics. Topics like, WTF is wrong with television networks. Why do they play 5 episodes of a new show and get me hooked then tell me that I have to wait 4 WHOLE MONTHS for it to start back up again. Seriously? That’s how they want to play this. If I wasn’t already hooked on V, I’d tell ABC to go suck it. But now I have to wait until March 2010 for it to start back up again, and I’m not committed enough to my anger over the whole scenario to boycott the show. I have no self-control sometimes. I need to work on that.

Anyways, speaking of work and being thankful. Today I’m feeling a little thankful that I have work. As much as I whine about having to leave Azita 5 days a week to go work in an office, I am thankful that I have an office to go to. An office that will give me a paycheck. Having been unemployed for a whole year once, I can really feel for all of the unfortunate people who are part of the statistics quoted in the news every month. It is a horrible feeling to be unemployed, and it honestly puts the fear of unemployment in you. I am constantly fearful of losing a job at a time when I can’t afford to lose one. So, I am thankful. Thankful that I have a paycheck, because right now I really need it. Thankful that while I am in a position where I have to reside in an office for much of the week, at least my work is challenging and interesting enough to make the week fly by. Usually.

You know what else is interesting? How seriously bloated Roger’s head has become thanks to yesterday’s post. I am half tempted to delete that shizz and act like it never happened. But, I’ll admit that big head Roger is kind of more fun to banter with sometimes, so maybe I’ll leave it up.

By the way, that was some segue into the previous paragraph, huh? I say this because have I mentioned how idiotic I find the talking heads of News Channel 8? (That totally made sense, because I have heard the stupidest segues in the whole wide world on that news show) I don’t know why I watch that crap every morning. Oh wait, I remember. BECAUSE I WANT TO SEE THE EFFIN WEATHER. Yes, somehow I think it will be faster to hear them tell me whether or not I should pile on the warm clothes, wear a raincoat, or otherwise make weather-inspired adjustments to my daily attire, than to just look up the weather online. Instead the one guy who looks like Malcolm from Malcolm in the Middle basically reads the entire contents of the entertainment section on Google News to the camera. And, he acts like 1) people care what he talks about and 2) he is enlightening us with something truly amazing, like proof of the Riemann hypothesis. He makes me crazy, and yet I watch this drivel every morning. Someone needs to motivate me to find the remote control and use it. STAT!

Holiday Shopping List

12 11 2009

Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas and just how excited I am for the holidays this year? Oh wait, I have.

Today I realized that Thanksgiving is really just around the corner, and as soon as we’re done giving thanks it’s time to get a tree and start decorating. The issue is that we’ve never really done a tree. We always decorate our home, but a tree hasn’t factored in. We just don’t have the space. We have decided to make the space this year, so some shopping must be done. Here are some things I have my eye on for this holiday season.

I love natural, homey looking ornaments and decorations. I think our tree this year will be trimmed with felt, wood, ribbons, and cranberry and popcorn garlands. I love these adorable wooden mice from Crate and Barrel:


Photo copyright owned by Crate and Barrel.

A set of three is $14.85, but a recent window-shopping expedition on turned up similar ornaments at the great price of $9.99 for 6. So, I think I’ll be going the  Target route with these. I did already buy a few baubles from Crate and Barrel, like these:


Photo copyright owned by Crate and Barrel

and these:


Photo copyright owned by Crate and Barrel.

Now, let’s talk tree toppers. Tree toppers are the type of thing that can become part of family traditions and get passed down to your children. I’m really torn about our tree topper. What I really want is this:


Photo copyright owned by Anthropologie.

And, if I had $398 to spare, this work of art would be passed down to Azita one day. The times, though. They are not conducive to a pricey tree topper, so I’m still looking. If anyone knows of any beautiful and unique tree toppers that won’t break the bank, please let me know. Meanwhile I’m scouring Etsy.

Finally, there’s Azita’s presents. Luckily Santa has that under control, and I wouldn’t want to ruin his surprise. So, pictures of Azita’s Christmas bounty will come after Christmas.

Christmas in November

9 11 2009

I know we haven’t hit Thanksgiving yet, and normally I would be the loudest complainer in the room should someone jump the gun on Christmas around me. But have I mentioned how excited I am for Christmas this year? I love Christmas. We never celebrated in my youth due to the whole us not being Christian thing. I always felt like I was missing out though.

During the winter break from school I used to scrounge up whatever I could find around the house that my classmates had never seen, so I could return to school like everyone else triumphantly displaying my loot. I made up stories of the Safavian household’s Christmas traditions. The glorious meals. The music. The family bonding. My imaginary Christmas was more spectacular than anything Clark Griswold could come up with.

When I finally got my own place as an adult, I began my own Christmas traditions. I’m still not Christian, but let’s be honest, the Christmas of today is a lot more secular than religious anyways. It’s not even on the real day of Jesus’ birth, and it’s pretty well-established that the early church basically marketed an existing pagan holiday as a Christian one in order to make it easier for their converts to be ok with the whole conversion thing. But, this isn’t a post about religion.

It’s about Christmas, specifically Azita’s first Christmas. I’ve already mentioned that I love Christmas, but I haven’t really established just how much I do. I love Christmas movies. I know all of the songs from every Christmas movie, and I regularly try to convince Roger that we need to pull out the Christmas movies when we’re still sweltering in the D.C. heat and humidity. I love Christmas music. I love the decorations. I love the baked goods, the warm drinks, the sweet and spicy smells of candles and pine trees and poinsettias. I love it all.

But I also love Thanksgiving, and I really believe in it. Being thankful is important. At the very least it makes us all a little more tolerable to ourselves and each other to be grateful for what we have no matter how little it may seem at times. So there is absolutely no Christmas celebrating or mention of it in our household until after Thanksgiving dinner. Roger is pretty firm on this rule also. Believe me when I tell you, however, that Ralphie has already shot his eye out while we’re still digesting tofurkey and pie.

This year is different obviously. This year we have Azita, and I am way too excited to wait until after Thanksgiving. Last week we bought some unfragile Christmas ornaments, and last night we — gasp! — watched White Christmas. It gets worse. Today I found out that Santa Claus is at the mall already, and Roger and I promptly decided we were taking Azita to get her first Santa pic next weekend.

I’ve broken all my holiday rules, and Roger has joined me in my crimes without even blinking an eye. I guess now that we’ve broken the seal, we may as we may as well admit that Christmas now starts in November in our household.

The Visitors

3 11 2009

It’s not often that I appreciate it when the entertainment industry re-envisions a classic tv series or movie. I thought V would fall under the unappreciated category, but after watching the first episode I think it will be sticking around in my queue of recorded shows for a while. It’s hardly a classic in the, well, classic sense of the word. But, the original series does hold a special place in that pretty big section of my heart devoted to science fiction and other forms of geekery. I can still remember watching the original series in the 80s, as I was becoming a teenager. It instilled terror and distrust in me after every episode, in a good and imaginative sort of way. Surely many people I knew were really lizard people in human clothing. That would explain everything, like why my PE teacher was such a douche and why the jocks in my geometry class were even bigger d-bags. I’ll admit that during my c-section I had a very fleeting thought that maybe, just maybe my doctor would pull Azita out of uterus and we’d discover she was an alien baby. And then what would I do? WHAT WOULD I DO?  We’re doomed I tell you.

The point is that it wasn’t the best show, but it did kind of stick with me. Not in the same way as Star Trek — all of the series — and the Star Wars movies. But in its own special way. So yes, I was a little excited to see that there was a remake, but I also anticipated hating the crap out of it since “the original was so much better.”

Like I said, I think I’ll see where this remake takes me. The visitors are much more creepy than in the original and as my friend Cara pointed out the special effects are much better. Roger did point out that the whole fascist undertone that really amped up the fear factor of the show was much stronger in the original. I’d have to agree, but I think that’s more a result of different times and that’s a good thing I guess. Anyways, it was just the first episode, and there’s more creepiness to come, I hope.

My October Shopping List

5 10 2009

The beginning of Fall always gets me in a buying mood. For one thing I see all the little kids out in their new clothes with their new backpacks and notebooks, and it makes me want some new stuff also. At the same time the weather starts to change, and I realize that I simply MUST have some new cool weather clothes and other Fall accessories. Here are some things I’ve been eyeing lately, and I feel pretty certain that some of this stuff will make a dent in my bank account this October.

An Ironic Coat
I’m a sucker for irony, and my personal style has always been to mix hard and soft, tough and feminine. This coat from Anthropologie fits the bill. It’s masculine, lumberjack-inspired fabric could not be in more contrast with the ultra-feminine cut and ruffles down the front. The cut is flattering also, and should work with my body type which is I think pretty similar to a lot of normal women out there.Anthropologie has a few other coats along the same vein. If you’re in love with this look but looking for cheaper alternatives, I’ve definitely seen some similarly inspired pieces at more budget-friendly stores, like Target. You may see me there perusing the lumberjack-chic, as I like to call it.


Birling Ruffle Coat from Anthropologie. Photo copyright owned by Anthropologie.

A Sweater Skirt and Opaque, Patterned Tights

There’s nothing like a sweater skirt to make me feel pretty and cozy on a brisk and blustery day, and this skirt is just the antidote I need for those days when I need a little pretty and cozy to get me through it all. This skirt is ultra-feminine with its flowery print, appliques and lace insert and best worn with some opaque, patterned tights and black platform shoes or chunky heels to give the outfit some edge. When it comes to tights, you can’t go wrong with Hue tights. I’ve been wearing them since high school, and they never fail to make a statement whether I’m using them to add a dose of color or a contrasting pattern. Of special interest this  Fall are the colorful, geometric-patterned, Hue tights designed by Trina Turk. They may seem to be for the bold, but I think even the less daring of us can get away with these designs when paired with a basic black outfit.

Always a Lady Skirt by Bo by Beaux Design. Photo copyright owned by Anthropologie.

Always a Lady Skirt by Bo by Beaux Design. Photo copyright owned by Anthropologie.

New School Supplies

Seeing all the school supplies lined up in the aisles at all the stores every September makes me itch for new stuff for my desk at work. I may not be in school anymore, but I’m still a sucker for school supplies.  I love a smooth-writing pen and a pretty, sturdy notebook. I’ll admit an obsessive penchant for the Precise V5 pen — I use nothing else — but I am a little more open to change when it comes to notebooks. The new Ecosystem notebooks sold exclusively at Barnes & Nobles are currently striking my fancy. They are very similar to Moleskin notebooks, but with an interesting twist. They’re made with completely recycled materials, and when you fill up the notebook they will recycle the notebook for you. It’s no Trapper Keeper, but I think these notebooks will do a fine job to inspire some interesting thoughts.

Finally, it’s officially the season. All I want to eat is soup, and my shopping list will definitely include some interesting ingredients to make some new and interesting soups to spice up my usual repertoire. Stay tuned for some soup recipes as I stumble across them. Right now I’m in search of something spicy in the vein of a curry laksa. If anyone has any good suggestions, please share.

P.S. A recipe for a vegetarian Khoresht-e Fesenjan using butternut squash is in the works and coming soon.