Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dotcetera Sunday (for the love of all things polka dot) - Halloween Edition

Hello and Happy Halloween!

Here are some polka dot finds in honor of the holiday:

Cute Halloween 50s costume

Adorable painted pumpkin

Polka dot Halloween cupcakes

That's all for this week.  I hope the upcoming week is wonderful for everyone!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Is there really such thing as a cool librarian?

I have recently read some disturbing analyses about the character of librarians.  Sweeping generalizations, really.

It's frustrating to hear people describe librarians as dowdy, bitchy, snotty, and in need of a life.  I wish I could introduce everyone to the wonderful librarians I've had the pleasure of meeting and working with...people whose main focus in life is to provide access to information equally to everyone. If our profession has a credo, that's probably it.

It's important to realize that not all library employees are librarians.  Let's say a library branch has 10 employees.  Of those 10, perhaps three of them are librarians; the rest are library assistants or clerks.  The person you think looked at you crossly during your last library expedition most likely wasn't a librarian at all.  Am I saying there are no bitchy or difficult librarians?  Of course not.  I've met a couple, believe me.  But these people would have been cranky doctors, teachers, or cooks if that is where they had ended up careerwise.  They aren't cranky because they are librarians.  The stereotype of the dowdy, bun-wearing, dried-up librarian needs to be put to rest.

I'm sharing some blogs that hopefully will shed new light on the profession of librarian.  Make no mistake, it's a dynamic, ever-evolving profession.  There is an absolute need to keep up with technology and popular culture:

How to Be a Hip Librarian

The Lipstick Librarian

Librarian in Black

Cool Librarian Blog


The Shifted Librarian

Dispatches from a Public Librarian

Regarding the title of this blog...I'd say yes, there really is such thing as a cool librarian!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dotcetera Sunday (for the love of all things polka dot)

Hello!  Thanks for stopping by.  Let's get started with some more polka dot items that I've found to share:

Studded Ponte Pencil Skirt.  Shop here.

Dots Shower Curtain - Black.  Shop here.

Swiss Dot Sheet Set.  Shop here.

Embroidered Polka Dot Christmas Stockings.  Shop here.

Polka Dot Bubble Dress for Baby.  Shop here.

Polka Dot Stripe British Drawer Knob.  Shop here.

That's all for today.  I hope you enjoyed it!

P.S. I do not represent any of these companies and cannot guarantee their quality or reliability.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Books, Books, and More Books - Part I

Since I'm a librarian, I felt it was about time I mentioned some of my favorite books.  It's probably past time, actually.  I hope everyone who reads this can find a suggestion or two.  The synopses are from  I'm not doing book reviews in this post; these are all books I love.

I'll start with my most favorite book, which I was "forced" to read in high school.  I'll be eternally grateful for that.

  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck:
"It is a symbolic recreation of the Biblical story of Cain and Abel, woven into a history of California's Salinas Valley.  Spanning the period between the American Civil War and the end of World War I, the novel highlights the conflicts between two generations of brothers."

  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova:  
"The story opens in Amsterdam in 1972, when a teenage girl discovers a medieval book and a cache of yellowed letters in her diplomat father's library. The pages of the book are empty except for a woodcut of a dragon.  The letters are addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor".  When the girl confronts her father, he reluctantly confesses an unsettling story:  his involvement, twenty years earlier, for his graduate school mentor, who disappeared from his office only moments after confessing to Paul his certainty that Dracula--Vlad the Impaler, an inventively cruel ruler of Wallachia in the mid-15th century--was still alive.  As Paul relates this story to his teenage daughter, she secretly begins her own research."

  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett:
"Set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you. The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 children, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, who's found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams."

  • Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews:
"Reeling from a divorce, Eloise "Weezie" Foley misses her lovingly decorated historic home a bit more than she misses her cheating ex-husband. Her passion is finding and selling antiques, and she struggles to collect enough inventory to turn her hobby into a full-fledged business. When she discovers a dead body while attempting to sneak early into an estate sale, things get complicated especially because the murdered woman is her ex-husband's latest girlfriend. Andrews moves the plot along with a multitude of quirky and entertaining secondary characters Weezie's alcoholic mother, an uncle who is a gay ex-priest, and an old boyfriend who is the chef at her best friend's pricey bistro. Facts about period furniture, linens, china, vintage clothing, magazines, and paintings blend seamlessly and enrich what might have been just another ho-hum, screwball romantic story."

  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman:
"Momma always told CeeCee (short for Cecelia Rose) that “being in the North isn’t living—it’s absolute hell.” Of course, having to live with Momma—Camille Sugarbaker Honeycutt, that is, Vidalia Onion Queen, 1951—doesn’t make it any more heavenly, especially when Momma starts standing in the front yard blowing kisses to passersby. You know this is going to end badly, and so it does, when the erstwhile onion queen is run over by a speeding Happy Cow Ice Cream Truck. Before you can say “sweet magnolia blossoms,” 12-year-old CeeCee is sent off to Savannah to live with her elderly great aunt, Tallulah Caldwell, and her wise African American housekeeper and cook, Oletta. It being 1967, you know there will be one dark episode of racial hatred, but it’s quickly—and conveniently—resolved offstage, leaving all the characters free to continue being relentlessly eccentric, upbeat, sweet as molasses, and living, as CeeCee puts it with a straight face, “in a breezy, flower-scented fairy tale . . . a strange, perfumed world that . . . seemed to be run entirely by women."

  • Such A Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster:
"Such a Pretty Fat is Jen Lancaster's third memoir. In it, Lancaster takes on weight loss--through eating right and exercising. At first, it seems like your typical weight loss memoir, except for the fact that its Jen Lancaster writing it, with her trademark good humor and see-the-forest-through-the-trees approach to her subject matter. Jen's not an expert, but she definitely knows how to entertain."

I will call this Part I of my list of favorites, because there are so many and not enough time right now to list them all.  I'll get back to this list next week, hopefully.

Tip:  Most of these books can be previewed on Google Books.  This is a very useful service and a very generous portion of most books can be viewed for free, allowing you to determine whether it's worth your time to borrow or purchase books.

Tomorrow...Dotcetera Sunday returns!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ode to Z Gallerie

How much do I love Z Gallerie?  SO much!

Some of my favs:

Quadrato Vanity Set & Boutique Set

Pauline Sofa (I'm obsessed with blue, lately)

Floral 1

Silverwood 1

Delfina Dinnerware - Sky

Pintuck Bedding Collection - Platinum

Jeweled Candles - Peacock (also come in black, French blue, pearl, red, and silver)

Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my special picks!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dotcetera Sunday (for the love of all things polka dot)

I have always had a love affair with all things polka dot.  On Dotcetera Sundays I will showcase one or two or twenty things!

These curtains come in blue, purple, pink, and green.  Shop here.

Not everything has to scream polka dots.  This lovely sweater uses them at the collar, hem, and very subtly around the pockets and sleeves.  Too cute!  Also available in a neutral camel/brown.   Shop here.

Here's a cute Halloween decoration with dots.  Purchase at Pier 1 Imports (in store only) for approximately $3.95.  It's made from tin with some glitter and paint and is 4.7" high and 4.5" wide.  Adorable!

This Polka Dot Circle Flat Clutch Opera Wallet is available for purchase here.  It also comes in beige, black-blue, brown, and hot pink.

Spode Baking Day China with a dot motif comes in several different colors including black, blue, dark blue, green, red, and the white pictured above.  Purchase here.

That's all for this week.  I will feature different holidays more prominently as they get closer.  If any of my blogger friends have items they've created that involve polka dots, let me know and I can link to your shop (Etsy, etc.).

Thanks for joining me for the first Dotcetera Sunday!

P.S. I do not represent any of these companies and cannot guarantee their quality or reliability.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Christmas Gifting

I've really been thinking about possibilities for homemade Christmas gifts that I can give this year.

The crafting gene skipped a generation in my family.  Both my mother and daughter are wonderfully crafty and I'm...not.  So anything I make has to be simple.

Some ideas I've come up with so far:

1.  Sew decorative ribbon on plain kitchen or bath towels to give them a custom look.  Even I can figure out how to do that LOL.

2.  Flavored cooking oils.  I've seen these in stores and they are so pretty.  There is still time to purchase some inexpensive glass bottles.  Use a nice quality olive oil and add garlic, ginger, or rosemary oil as well as herbs of your choosing.

3.  Magnets.  I think I'll make some of these using a zebra-print paper for my daughter.  The supplies needed are magnets and clear flat circular glass stones.  Customize the glass stones by gluing a photo or scrap of pretty paper to the flat side.  Once the glue has dried, attach the magnet to the bottom.

4.  Of course, you can't go wrong whipping up some holiday candies.  Some of my favorites include peppermint bark, fudge, candied citrus peel, Neapolitan coconut candy, and sugared walnuts.  Put a nice selection into a holiday-themed tin.

I would love to hear others' ideas for handmade gifts.  Remember, though, keep it simple for me!! LOL

I can't wait for the holiday season to begin in full force! 

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Birthday Loot!

My birthday was this past weekend, and boy am I a lucky girl!  I received some great gifts.

From my husband:

Coach sunglasses (pink!!)

Silver bead necklace and bracelet

Shake Weight

From my son and daughter:

Philosophy "Unconditional Love" Firming Body Emulsion

With birthday money from family members, I got a new Coach purse

I am blessed (and spoiled) beyond belief.  It was such a nice birthday, but not because of the material things.  This is the first year I have been able to spend my birthday with the majority of my family and both my kids. The past four years my son has been away at college.  It was amazing having both of my babies home with me, and my daughter even spent the weekend.  And my husband took me to the zoo!  I love my family!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Kitchen (someday!)

My husband and I would love to remodel our kitchen.  Lately we've been talking more seriously about it, and have been gathering ideas.  Here are a few examples of what I like:

The blueish-greenish top picture is probably my favorite, but I think it's too trendy and would get dated looking fast.  As you can see, I'm all over the place when it comes to style...modern or farmhouse...I'm more about the colors.  I'd also love some glass-fronted cabinets, but I wouldn't want all of them to have glass.

The only design Joe and I don't care for is pure white.  I don't mind cream, though.  Truth be told I could live with white cabinets and a black counter top, but again I think that's trendy and my husband really doesn't like that look. We only do a kitchen remodel every 16 years or so, so it needs to have staying power (okay...I'm making that up...we've only remodeled our kitchen once before and it was 16 years ago).  We can do some of the work ourselves and my brother-in-law is a carpenter who works for a kitchen/bathroom remodeling company, so he could offer some assistance.

If anyone knows of any blogs with great looking kitchen remodels, especially those done on a budget, please give me the links.  Thanks!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chick Flicks

Do you like chick flicks?  I love 'em.  I know they aren't usually very intellectually stimulating, but who needs that all the time?

Today I'm watching "Steel Magnolias."  I'm not sure why...the ending always makes me ball like a baby.  What is it that compels us to do or watch something we know will make us miserable? LOL

Some of my favorites in this genre include:

"Sweet Home Alabama"
"The Devil Wears Prada"
"Legally Blonde"
"How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"
"13 Going On 30"
"You've Got Mail"
"Notting Hill"
"A Cinderella Story"
"Mean Girls"

Does anyone have more suggestions for me?  I'm tucked in for a long weekend and it's getting ready to storm outside.  I can order some streaming movies from Netflix, so let's hear some ideas!

Happy Saturday!