Saturday, November 29, 2008

there can be miracles, when you believe... our gratitude for nikki

this is the thanksgiving that keeps on giving and giving and giving. i received the best voicemail of my whole life last week. nikki is cancer free. after far too long of bad news, nikki's mother finally heard the phrase she (and we all) had longed to hear.


all the medical attention. all the prayers. all the positive thoughts. all the love. all the goodwill. all the faith. every last bit counted. nikki's mother, la raine, told me they were all doing the conga, chanting "Nikki's in Remission!" around the kitchen. i wish i could have been there to grab a waist and join the line. this mother and daughter are true beams of light in this world, and my heart is so very full tonight. and it will be for a very, very long time. thank you all. this truly is a thanksgiving miracle.

and i hope this story makes you smile as much as i am right now.

Friday, November 28, 2008

gobble gobble y'all all up...thanksgiving gratitudes 2008

1. was picked up from the airport by sweet man! he was so cute and supportive about my short hair. and honestly, he was the only critic who i hoped to please.

2. laughed in the car with eddie when he said he recognized me under all my winter layers, only by my shiny shoes. i figure if the rest of me is all bundled up, i might as well keep my feet lookin' fancy!

3. went "shopping" in my mom's kitchen. she is the queen of thrifting, and she has been collecting a plethora of cooking utensils-wooden rolling pins, pyrex cookware, hotel silver, restaurant china, tea cups and saucers, tea kettles, baby spoons, silver serving platters, kitchen timers, etc. and the list goes on and on and on. every piece she showed me i wanted to keep. if only new york apartments had just a teensy bit more space! but then again, if you give a mouse a cookie...

4. caught up with a long lost, childhood friend. i have not seen laura thwaite in at least four years and it seemed just like old times. the majority of my most humorous childhood memories involve her and her family. being in their house felt like childhood. same smells. same gaggle of puppies (five dogs, and two new editions!!!!!). same naughty southern sense of humor. same trophy collection of taxidermied animals shot on their property (and a new collection of turkey beards). same family i spent 3/4 of my life with. rabbit. uncle tiger. laura. little zach. it's funny how deceptive time is. and how fortunate i am to be able to stop by their house years later and feel like it was only yesterday.

5. ate the most delicious thanksgiving meal prepared by my mother. she has been doing this for our family for over 40 years. i've only been around for 24 of it, and that seems like an eternity. i can't believe how lucky my family is to have a mother who has been doing this entirely all by herself for so long. one day that will be me...i hope i can recreate some of her magic.

6. received photos from the white house visit with the president, courtesy of lisa branch! i am so proud of my big sister. she is honored in an official book from this administration, called (or nicknamed, i'm not sure...) "the plum book". she worked so hard and with an incredibly loyalty to her party. whether or not we are on the same political page is irrelevant. i will always admire her dedication and passion to her time at the white house. and we have pictures that i will be sure to scan and post later!

7. listened as my mother, father, and sister, dug into their archives of favorite inspirational quotes after dinner. each one, pulled from a different source. my mother keeps hers collaged in a scrapbook of sorts; my father neatly prints his on the lines of a ruled notebook; lisa stores hers in a blackberry. in high school i had filled sketchbooks and notebooks with quotes upon quotes, and felt compelled to start every homeroom morning by scribbling one in the corner of the chalkboard. and how kind my classmates were to humor me! i love a powerful quote.

8. watched a river runs through it with eddie. i just love this move (and the short story). i kept swooning over the beautiful script, cinematography, costumes... and cute, young brad pitt. i first saw this film in the theater, with my father, on a school night. randomly i mentioned after dinner one night that i really wished we could go see a movie, and he obliged! i always remember this movie fondly, as one of our father/daughter bonding moments. and i really adore the way every single person dresses in it. i love me some 1920s great depression attire...

9. had the loveliest lunch with eddie, momma stelling, and my mother. we ate cute n fancy mexican food and discussed wedding details. poor talk is definitely more fun for girls! i'm so lucky to have two women who have made the planning so easy and stress free.

10. spent some quality time with the stelling clan at their house. i have adored this family since i set my sights on ed in eighth grade. i love them all. his parents. daniel and john. pop. his aunts and uncles. his cousins. laney and riley. they have made me feel so welcome since day one. just the nicest, most charming family. from all parts of the family tree. and i have happily become a u.g.a fan (much to my father's chagrin). but go dawgs.

11. noticed a new buckhead tradition of parents displaying wetminster helmet posts in their yards. the stellings have their #24 helmet proudly showcased on the front lawn. i will always love that number. ed was the first to pick that number, and his brothers followed suit, keeping it a stelling boy tradition. i always fondly think of the posters i used to brandish wildly at games on friday nights.

" #24 on the field, # 1 in my heart" "rock steady eddie" "knock 'em dead ed" ... i have always loved that boy.

and i love my mom and dad and sister(s) and cat and my big fat dog(s).

to kristie and rankin, my favorite atlanta girls, i will see you in december...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

worth a thousand words... 23 november 2008 gratitudes

1. fell head over heels for this "new" application poladroid. i have wanted photoshop to have a feature like this for.ever. i discovered it in another late night bout of insomnia. i have been feeling un-inspired with the quality of my photos lately, but now this adds a veneer of romance that the photos needed. until i can figure out how to work my polaroid sx-70, this will have to suffice.

2. attempted to cook for pete. and by cook, i mean sort of add flavor to pre-packaged pasta and soup. so far i'm a pitiful excuse for a wife, but sweet pete is a much obliging guinea pig to my cooking endeavors.

3. stocked the pantry with dry goods and cooking essentials. i am reading alice water's the art of simple food and i'm determined. i may not be the most skilled chef, but by gosh, i have a whole lot of heart! shouldn't that count for something? i think i just need a set of le creuset cookware to inspire me...

4. collected my stack of farewell marc jacobs letters from friends and co-workers to tuck somewhere special. last week my former assistant manager visited me at my new store and gave me a letter that left me in tears. it was so simple and thoughtful, but something that i will forever remember fondly. i was literally crying on the salesfloor after he left.

5. chatted with the nicest couple at my new store. one half of the couple is a creator of children's television shows for nickelodeon. i wanted to hug him for that alone. i think he was sort of taken aback at my enthusiasm for his work. i just love anyone who wants to make magic for kids.

6. admired the bonpoint window on bleeker. a glittery display with a giant cheshire cat smile of a moon. i could see the reflection of ginko leaves in the window. my favorite leaves in the whole wide world. as a child i would climb this one special, yellow tree on glen devon drive and its leaves made the best jumping piles. i loved that tree and every time i see ginko leaves it pulls on my heartstrings.

7. saw the cutest paper garland hanging in the top corner of a very naughty video store on christopher street. such a sweet little trim, for such a lascivious merchant!

8. practiced my type a (or lack there of) skills, such as list making and scheduling. i very much want to be a time management master, but without the neuroses associated with it. how does my chelsea cook do it? she is a type a, free-spirited, artistic soul. who loves to cook. and sew. and scrapbook. have i mentioned how much i admire her?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

there is no excuse for ugly...22 november 2008

i stumbled upon this cute girl's blog and it made my heart fill up like a hot air balloon. how darling is her mission statement

"There's no excuse for being ugly" Growing up in the South, I often heard these words, around here "ugly" means acting bratty or being unkind. As I grew older (and hopefully better behaved!) I adapted it as a catchphrase for searching for all things lovely, rather than mass produced. The world is full of beauty, there is no excuse for ugly!

i love a sweet southern thang.

everything has its place...22 november 2008

1. cleaned my apartment after a whirlwind project for a very special lady. beads and bobbles and feathers and sequins and shells were smattered all over the floor. normally i would find this quite charming, but my newfound "organizing kick" left me in a frenetic quest to sort out my possessions. it's getting there...

2. had a marvelous night with pete, lauren, john, katie, kristen, and will at a wine bar. i love my sweet friends. best part of my life. they are so funny and kind and charming.

3. started reading again. right now, its a time management self-help book. lord knows, i need it. i have no concept of time. i think i should sign up for a course on it.

4. went grocery shopping. there is such a satisfying feeling to open a refrigerator and see stocked shelves. and i really do think i buy some cute lookin' groceries.

5. received a lovely surprise visit from both amy and lauren (separately). they brightened my day.

6. found the yummiest, softest paper thin grey t shirt from american apparel. it was a "test sample" to see if it would be successful enough to manufacture. i'm in love. i want to buy stock in it and give one to all of my friends (ahem...coco).

7. talked to corrie pellerin on the phone. i miss my sweet baby. she is about to be an aunt! i'm so excited for her.

8. am counting down the days til i go home for thanksgiving. i will be with my sweet fiance, my family, and his family. could i be any happier?

"and i think to myself, what a wonderful world..."

so long, long hair...22 november 2008

i miss you already.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

more gratitudes to come, soon...

so i feel very neglectful of posting all my happy moments. i'm just getting used to my new routine, but next week it will be gratitudes galore! i apologize for "filler posts", i feel like such a cop-out. anywho, i am genuinely obsessed with russian vogue's 10th anniversary matrioshka dolls. i'm trying to visualize the marc jacobs and martin margiela dolls on my windowsill in my bedroom. can i use the secret for such selfish reasons? i'm certainly trying...

keep good company...16 november 2008

thank you christine dychiao for your very, very generous interview. christine writes for the manila fashion observer, an editorial column for the philippine star.

i love the people in my life. a lot. i would rather talk about how incredible they are.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

50 people, one question: new york...8 november 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

time for a change...7 november 2008 gratitudes

1. the secret worked. obama is going to lead our country into a new era of hope and change. he brings hope to a generation that never had it. and that makes me proud to be an american. i watched the election at susie lopez's house where she had a smorgasbord of delicious vegan dishes- chili, mac n' cheese, cornbread, cobbler... and champagne. i was so touched that she invited me over and shared her home with me on the greatest day of our nation's history (since i've been alive).

2. i am venturing into a new chapter in my career. i left my life at marc jacobs and am beginning a new start at maison martin margiela. this was a very, very bittersweet goodbye. i love my marc jacobs babies and i am sure going to miss them.

3. chopped off my hair. my long, silver strands were getting to be a burden, sadly. no amount of fancy conditioner or product would revive the ends and it felt like synthetic doll hair. i have not had short hair since i was 17, and it is going to take some getting used to, that is for certain. i just want to start over so i can grow my hair to my waist-length fantasy. without looking like a crazy banshee. thankfully amy merrick gave me enough courage to go for a chop. i felt like when rayanne graff convinces angela to dye her hair...

"so when rayanne graff told me my hair was holding me back, i had to listen. 'cause she wasn't just talking about my hair. she was talking about my life. "

4. received the sweetest goodbye present from susie lopez, and the lopez clan. inside a collaged bag was tucked an early printing of alice in wonderland/through the looking glass and an obama t shirt. how did i get to be so lucky? i am in love with this book and have it on the windowsill by my bed next to my le petit prince educational edition. and now i finally have a shirt with my president on it.

5. had a goodbye cocktail hour with andrew and keetin on wednesday; had a goodbye dinner with amy at freeman's yesterday; and a goodbye dinner with john gardner tonight at inoteca. life is good.

6. came home to find a postcard from amy. she has been one of my biggest inspirations. she has shown me there can be life after marc jacobs, a concept i never believed could be true.

i loved working for marc jacobs. it will always be my favorite brand. it was the brand that inspired me to go to design school and the brand that moved me from savannah to new york. i met some of the most incredible people, who i love with all of my heart. of all the parties, the clothing, the fashion shows... the people were the best part, hands-down. i feel like dorothy saying farewell to oz. and it makes my heart hurt. but in a good way. i met so many lions, tinmans, and glendas.

and scarecrows.. i will miss you most of all. you know who you are.

Monday, November 3, 2008

branch love...sisterly gratitude

(photo credit barry munn)

i love lisa and amy. they share so many things with their baby sister. family visits to meet the president. photos of a tree heart found on a hike with a boy. i am very proud of my big sisters every day. both so smart. so thoughtful. so talented. so generous. so supportive.

thank you for taking care of me.

boo... halloween gratitudes

oh how i love any excuse to play dress up! and i love that my cute girlfriends always will be something crafty and adorable. i have yet to see any naughty nurses or naughty cops or naughty french maid costumes surface from this talented gaggle of gal pals. i love these sweet girls and i am so glad they are in my life. unfortunately my camera died as soon as i arrived to christine cho's apartment in brooklyn (thank you for being such a lovely hostess). i wasn't able to capture all of my favorite costumes of the night, but this is a pretty good compilation (thank you chelsea cook and amy merrick). happy(belated) halloween darlings.
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