Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

Confession: I really had no idea what this book was about, but the cover sucked me right in.

It's a simple but unusual picture, so I had to find out more. 

This is Tiffany Baker's story of Truly Plaice, the title character of the novel, and the events that happen during the first 40 or so years of her life.  For starters, she has a slightly older sister who is beautiful and thin, which is a stark contrast to her bulky lines and plain features.  Of course they rarely get along.  Oh, and then their mother dies while giving birth to Truly.  And then their semi-crappy dad dies.

Easy, peeps.  I'm not giving away anything that the book jacket doesn't already tell.  Truly's life takes some interesting turns as she gets older and larger.  She gets involved with a strict, semi-mysterious doctor whose family has always been involved in medicine--and possibly witchcraft.  But not involved like that.  She's more of a housekeeper.  She also tries to help townspeople with their problems in a special sort of way.   

Now, before you get all enough-is-enough with the magic stuff, I'll say that Baker doesn't harp on it or get too cutesy with it.  Think more Salem witch trials than Diagon Alley.  

Although this book probably won't win many awards or a spot on my must-read-again list, it was a fairly enjoyable story.  There are some nice plots involving friendship, sisterhood, perception, and relationships in general, and the tone is rather interesting.  It never got too schmaltzy or boring, but it wasn't life-changing, either.  If you're looking for a decent way to pass a few hours, then give Truly a try.  

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Always List: (Cheap) Timex Watch

Here's where my philosophies sort of clash.  I do believe that you get what you pay for, but I also feel that spending tons of money on a 'nice' watch would be a waste (for me).  I would be a bit paranoid to take it out of the case.

Now, you probably know that I'm about as outdoorsy as George Stephanopoulos, but there's just something about this type of watch.

Maybe it's the MacGyver quality.  It's probably the only thing I own with Velcro, too. 

I like how it will last for years.  And if it does get scratched up (hey...cubicles are dangerous), I don't feel that bad.  Timex seems to fit the bill because it does last, and it doesn't cost a fortune.  I also feel naked without it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tommy Deen?

That's my new nickname at work, I guess. 

Last week for our monthly potluck, I whipped up Paula's recipe for banana pudding.  It's called Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding, and it is stellar.  I take no credit whatsoever, though.  My pal Holly first turned me on to it a few years back.  Yum.
It's technically not baking, but I do make the rare exception for some of Paula's treats.  I wish she were my grandmother, although I would surely need a personal trainer and a sturdy supply of insulin if that were the case.

And I know what you're wondering.  Why, yes.  I do organize the potlucks at work.  Please hold your applause.  Hehe.  Have a great week, blog friends!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's For Lunch?

I guess it wouldn't really matter if it were carried in this.

Isn't it nifty?!  I saw it from one of my daily Real Simple e-mails, I do believe.  It's reusable for hundreds of times, dishwasher safe, and $7.95.  Right now I take sandwiches to work in my plastic Wonder Bread sandwich cozy, but this would be a nice change of pace. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Always List: Loafers

I feel like most of my 'always' posts should begin with You can't really go wrong with...  Hehe.  This time is the same deal. 

loafer.  More specifically, a driving moc, or moccasin.  What could be easier?  You slip it on with khakis or jeans, and you're set.  Some people try to get fancy with lacing or tassels or penny slots (what is this? Vegas?).  I say keep it simple. 

I like to show off my colorful socks in the cooler months and when the dress code at work is a little more buttoned-up.  Some of you may remember that, though.

For summer, I sometimes go "sockless" if the mood strikes.

Monday, July 19, 2010

One More?

Ok.  My last eBay win for a long time.  I hope.

Yes.  It is another trophy, but this one is different from the cow trophy.  This one is for guns. 

It reads:
JUNE 4th 1939

I've got to stop.  You don't have to say it.  :)  Have a great week! 

And welcome to the new followers/commenters.  I dig it!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

99 Kiehl's Balloons

You know I loves my Kiehl's.  And I even mentioned one of their ads last year. 

Today my inbox did not disappoint.  I like the direction they're going with the ads.  Isn't this fun?

This link will take you to their new hair products, in case you're interested.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My eBay Finds!

I have rediscovered eBay. 

Thanks to this post by my pal Lauren at Rock Paper Scissors, I developed a lust for that stamp holder.  It's a great product, but $35 is a bit steep.  So I decided to head over and check out the auctions. 

I searched 'vintage stamp' and got lots of cool hits.  This was the best one.  And I won it!

It's a stamp carousel that came with 9 retro-cool-hilarious stamps.  My favorite is this block-y stamp that has a picture of a boy on one side and a girl on the other, and it says: One of the best investments in your child's future is regular dental care. American Society of Dentistry for Children

And the last two words are italicized like that.  Isn't that the slightest bit creepy/awesome?!

Then I decided that I couldn't live without a vintage trophy.  Here's what I found.

It looks all dignified and stuff, right?  But then when you get closer, you can see that it says: Missouri Reserve Champion Female Aberdeen-Angus, Sedalia Chamber of Commerce Trophy, 1947. Dr. & Mrs. W. R. Dierks.

It's for a cow!  I had to have it.  (The trophy, not the cow.)  Thankfully, I was the only one with sense enough to bid on it.  I can't wait to display these treasures in my apartment. 

(Please note that these pictures are from the auction listers, as my lighting situation is still not conducive to non-wonky pictures.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Always List: Dark Jeans

In case you couldn't tell by now, I'm rather simple in my style.  So goes the fragrance.  So goes the style.

I don't pay much attention to trends usually, unless I need a good laugh.  (See also at various times: "jeggings", ponchos, and hyper-colored throwback tennis shoes.) 

I won't willingly wear pleated pants again in my life (eighth grade was hard enough) unless they are: a) court-ordered b) part of a tacky costume or c) placed on me by a kindly nurse in the home, much further down the road.  Oh, and I'll be senile.

Another style I probably won't revisit is the light and/or faded jean.  These days, it's all dark for me.  I'm not a denim snob.  Selvedge.  Japanese.  Organic.  I don't really care.  They just need to be dark.

Right now I'm into this style from Gap.  They're Authentic fit in resin rinse.  I wouldn't turn up my cuff, though.  That's too showy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sock It To Me!

I volunteered to make cupcakes for a friend at work.  His son recently turned 1, and they were doing this really snazzy sock monkey theme that his wife first saw on this blog.  That doesn't really play into the cupcake bit, but I thought it was cute.

So on Friday evening before the long weekend, I broke out my trusty cookbooks (Magnolia, Buttercup Bake Shop, Martha) and a recipe or two from this awesome blog called Smitten Kitchen.  I had already set out my butter and eggs before I left for work that morning, mind you.

I made three flavors of cake (yellow, devil's food, and red velvet) and three different frostings (vanilla buttercream, cream cheese, and chocolate buttercream). 

I had to drive the cupcakes a few towns over on Saturday, so I didn't frost them until I got to the party destination.  Multiple colors and flavors plus I-40 plus scorching hot heat did not paint a pretty travel picture. 

Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera along.  Here is a little peek at some of the finished yellow cupcakes.  (Some were destined for sock-monkey-mouth-red tinted frosting.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Why'd Ju-ly?

Get it?  Why'd you lie? 

Ok.  These titles are not easy, people. 

Here's what is easy.  Buy and eat popsicles.  Over the last few weeks I have rediscovered my love of popsicles.  And I never say this, but here is one instance where 'the cheaper the better' is invariably true.  To celebrate our delicious country, I ate five Bomb Pops in rapid succession on Sunday night.

How was your 4th of July?  I went to Knoxville with my non-blog-reading friend Emily and hung out with a couple of her rowdy friends.  Jk.  Sort of.  :) 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

One Year Aleady?

It's true.  I started Specs Appeal on June 30th of last year with the view from my post as a drive "thru" teller with an MBA.  (I'm a day late with this post.  Whoops.)  Look at me now.  Hehe.

This is a picture of me next to a crazy sign for a taxidermy shop on a mini-road trip with Ann Marie.  It's random and funny as hell.

I really can't believe it's been 366 days.  So much has changed since then.  I moved to Nashville and started a new job.  That was the major thing.  I discovered new TV shows and obsessions.  The rowdy upstairs neighbor got a little more friendly with the Metro PD, thanks to a late-night tip from me.  I've met tons of new blog friends in the process, and overall I am trying to enjoy life.  It's not always easy, but it's worth it.  And I'm glad you're along for the ride.

I just wanted to thank you for reading and commenting.  If anyone is "lurking," as they say, don't be shy!  Feel free to comment and/or follow if you feel so inclined.  I read every comment and appreciate all of the feedback.