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Sunshine and Plenty

16 Feb

You know when you have one of those, “there is a little black rain cloud hanging over my head and it won’t go away” days? Well, today wasn’t exactly one of those days (my rain cloud was of the gray variety) but still a very picky, sticky, mouth-down-at-the-corners kind of day.

And then I stumbled upon this.

And now everything pretty much seems ok.

Just another reminder that there is sunshine and plenty out there. Sometimes you just need to know where to look for it.

nice sign



11 Feb

The unbelievable is now happening: Little Mister is taking a nap. Granted, it is not in his crib (one day…) but he is sleeping. Sleeping like a regular little baby. I do not know what to do with myself. I’ve already gone to the bathroom by myself – twice! AND I ate my lunch without cramming it in my face like a Dickensian orphan or Augustus Gloop at the chocolate river.

And now you know what I do with my (other, non-napping) days.

I will work on a nice post with pictures and witty comments but for now, for now, he is sleeping and I am going to do nothing.



A little castle for a little prince

20 Nov

Tim hanging up the artwork: blown-up pictures from a vintage Goldielocks and the Three Bears picture book.

I wanted to post some pictures of the little mister’s nursery for all those inquiring minds out there. I took most of these the day I started going into labor with him and the room is definitely way messier now. I think it’ll be spic and span right in time for him to graduate from high school. 😉

Where the magic happens.

The room was (loosely) based on a vintage-y woodland/fairytale-esque look. How’d I do? I’d love to hear your thoughts. (For some reason, the rest of the pictures are posting really small. Sorry everybody!)

I made this mushroom on a whim one afternoon out of an old linen shirt of Tim’s and a red velour hoodie that was once cool. 🙂

G-man’s dresser/closet, an old wardrobe trunk that used to serve as my dresser.

Storage for all the fun baby stuff!

This mobile hung over my brother and my cribs when we were babies.

He’s gotten more books since!

Tim and I made this cloud and hung it from the ceiling corner. Perfect for daydreaming.

Words of wisdom

28 Sep

That pretty much says it all.

(Found via Design for Mankind)

Betcha never thought about this…

18 Sep

My cousin, Michael, took this picture of the moon. I wonder what she smells like?


Whoa guys, whoa. Two posts in one day? Hold onto your socks.

I found this little quip via the blog Marvelous Kiddo (who found it on Science in a Can):

What does space smell like?

It’s strange to think that the near-vacuum of space could have a smell, and stranger still that humans—atmospheric creatures—can actually experience it. Astronauts have consistently reported the same strange odour after lengthy space walks, bringing it back in on their suits, helmets, gloves and tools. It’s bitter, smoky, metallic smell—like seared steak, hot metal and arc welding smoke all rolled into one. NASA have asked a chemist, Steve Pearce, to reproduce the smell to use during acclimatization training, mapping out the likely chemistry using natural materials to mimic the odor for accuracy. It’s believed that the smell is caused by high-energy vibrations in particles that mix with the air when brought inside. In the future, we might even recreate the smell of the moon, Mars, Mercury or any place in the universe, provided we have the right chemical information. In fact, we can even recreate the smell of the heart of the galaxy—astronomers searching for animo acids in Sagittarius B2, a vast dust cloud in the middle of the Milky Way, have reported that due to a substance called ethyl formate, it smells and tastes of raspberries and rum—much more pleasant than seared steak and metal.

The universe just got a little more interesting.

Bad blogger me

18 Sep

First, apologies to anyone who depends on this blog for mental/emotional/entertaining/”what’s-going-on-with-Julie?” sustenance. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am a very, very, very, very, very bad blogger-person. And I have no plans for being better (although I do have hopes…).

Ah, the guilt, the guilt.

To make it up to all of my loyal followers (I imagine you determinedly sitting at your computers day and night, refusing food or drink, willing your RSS feed to update with my latest bit of internets genius), I am going to share a secret with you.  A tip, really, that only an inside circle of costumers, dancers, and actors know. Are you intrigued? (I’m trying to make it sound cooler than it is so do me a favor and imagine a secret-y group of black-cloaked figures making silent gestures to each other. In the fog. Or a cave. Or a foggy cave. If you can make your heart pound with anticipation, that will be even better.)

The big secret?  – By the way, I’m about to get all Heloise* on you so I hope you didn’t get too excited – Vodka. Specifically, using vodka to remove smells.

Before you shout, “WHAT THE WHAT? What kind of stupid secret is that?” just remember that I am a very, very, very, very, very bad blogger. If I were an excellent blogger, this would be an excellent secret. So quit complaining and hear me out.

Ok. For those of you who might not know, I am an actor/actress (whatever you want to call it) and, as such, have worn many a crazy costume in my day. And because most theatre companies do not have gobs and gobs of money, the time between dry cleanings (if the garments can even BE dry cleaned) can be few and far between. Did I mention that stage lighting is very hot? This makes for an unpleasant friendship. I learned years ago from a delightful costumer that a little bit of vodka in a spray bottle will totally and completely remove the unpleasant smell from the garment without leaving a boozy after smell. (Um, to totally connect the dots for those of you who are exhausted from months of staring at your un-updated RSS feeds, you have to spray the vodka onto the offending area of the fabric. It won’t work if you just leave it in the bottle. Ok. We’re all pretty.)

AAAAAAAND, this little tip also works wonders for otherwise hard to clean things like old wallpaper or books or fabric-lined musty trunks. (Yes, I actually did use this technique on a fabric-lined musty trunk after numerous other methods failed. Because I’m fancy, I put a few drops of lavender oil in with my vodka so it came out smelling extra good.)

There. Now I feel better. And maybe, just maybe, you all smell better, too.


*Heloise is another Martha Stewart type figure but her hair is more fun, like fluffy cotton candy. Here’s a picture of the glamour puss:


hair fail – and a giveaway

19 Mar

I only wished my hair looked this good. I'm pretty sure I could have molded it into this pretty easily, though...

In my imaginary world, I am a wonderful hippie who grows her own food on my (also imaginary) roof-top garden next to my (fictional) solar panels and (nonexistent) menagerie of animals. I also live in a commune with all of my best friends and all day long we laugh and play and create organic something-or-anothers from the wonderful, natural materials we have grown together with love and friendship. I’m also a mermaid, but that’s another story.

In reality, my hippiedom has merely translated into sometimes buying some organic stuff and using non-toxic cleaners in my house (at least I can always eat whatever falls on the floor…). But the desire to improve is there and I am constantly looking for little (aka: easy) ways in which I can feel better about my lifestyle.

Enter shampoo bars.

More specifically, shampoo bars made (with love!!) by a mom-and-pop outfit in Ohio – OHIO! – with happy, natural, planet-pleasing ingredients like snuggles and lollipops. AND none other than my beautiful opera-singer friend,* owner of miles and miles of shiny, shampoo-commercial-worthy hair, swore by the stuff. I figured the proof was in the pudding, right?

I bought the shampoo bars. I used the shampoo bars. My hair felt funny and a little dull. I kept using the shampoo bars (the website said it can take a week or two for your hair to adjust). My hair started to feel as if I were coating it with wax or plastic. I switched flavors of shampoo bars (did I tell you that I bought six different samples? I was going to find the BEST shampoo bar for my hair!). My hair continued to feel plastic-y and was starting to look dirty. I rinsed my hair with baking soda and vinegar. I kept at it. I was determined. Pretty soon I could barely get a brush through my hair, let alone a comb, and putting my hair into a pony tail felt less like a simple act of daily life and more like an epic struggle against unnatural forces. Yet I still continued to use the shampoo bars. I was going to have beautiful, shiny, earth friendly hair! I just had to wait until my hair “adjusted” to the new soap. Oh, and people, I still have bangs so you can imagine what sort of looks I was getting out on the streets of Chicago.

Finally, I gave up. I saw on their website that the soap doesn’t work so good for people with hard water (apparently, the Great Lakes region has very hard water.) But I did not yet hang up the towel. *insert laugh* Oh no, if mom-and-pop shampoo bars weren’t going to work, at least I could use the all-organic amazing shampoo and conditioner touted by beauty insiders around the world as the most wonderful shampoo in the world. *insert sparkles* All I had to do was sell a kidney to buy it. And I’d like to say it didn’t work or that I realized the folly of spending five brazillion dollars on a small bottle of shampoo so I never ordered it. But I did order it; and it probably would have worked, too, if it didn’t smell like death eating a grilled cheese. I never used it.

So dear friends, the moral of the story is that being a green machine doesn’t always work. I’m sending back the expensive stuff and have gone back to my drug store “evil” shampoo.

But my hair looks good…

* For those of you that don’t have any opera-singer friends, the ladies are notorious for knowing how to look good. There’s a reason they’re called “divas.”

Oh yeah, I mentioned a give-away! I still have three sample sizes of the shampoo bars that I am never going to use. If you’d like to try ’em out, I’ll send them to you. First responder gets them. Just make sure you don’t have hard water!