Book Nook: The Art of Fielding

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Image source
 I suppose I should be completely forthright and tell you that I love baseball. Though I poorly played softball throughout most of my childhood, (I was always more of a reader... the Fears family athletic gene skipped me in a big way) I've always loved going to baseball games and rooting for my favorite team.  (That's the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals for those of you who don't know me... woot woot!)  I digress...

  As I'm sure many of you are all aware of now, The Art of Fielding has been THE book to read over 2012, but with a readership that is represented predominantly by females, I wasn't sure if anyone would even read the review of a 'baseball book.'  The first thing I want to do is to erase the fear that you have to be a sports fan, (or worse, a man, eek!)  to enjoy this book.  While it's true that this book will appeal to the sports fans, it's so much more.  If anything I could say is that baseball is merely the lens in which Chad Harbach, (the author,) uses to tell the age old story of growing up, of seeking perfection, of figuring out who you are and what you may become."  Are you enticed yet?  I'll continue.

The Art of Fielding begins and ends at the fictional Westish College located "in the baseball glove that is Wisconsin" on the banks of Lake Michigan.  It follows the college career of Henry Skrimshanker a social awkward and unassuming 17 year old South Dakotan who turns out to be a remarkably gifted shortstop destined for the pros.  As Skrimshanker's edges closer to ties the collegiate record for errorless games and professional scouts begin to take notice, an errant throw goes off course and injures his teammate and roommate, Owen, Henry's game and even his own concept of his self worth crumbles. We then see how the consequences of Henry's own struggle with self doubt ripple out to affect his teammates, including college president Guert Affenlight, longtime bachelor who has fallen dangerously in love with a student, Owen Dunne, Henry's gay roommate and teammate caught in an unexpected affair, Affenlight's daughter Pella, who has returned to Westish after a failed marriage, and Henry's best friend and mentor, team captain Mike Schwartz. 

I can't tell you how engrossed in this book I was, and how much I truly enjoyed it.  For the baseball fan in me, it was a wonderful look at my favorite sport, but really the story goes so much deeper.  It's about friendship, love,, about growing up and making the hard decisions beyond sport and college and youth as to what you will truly do about your life, and mostly, about the ambition to achieve greatness and it's limits.

Tattoosday: Finger tats

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

As many of you know, I'm sort of obsessed with mustaches.  So much that I have seriously been considering getting a mustache finger tat for years....but I haven't had the balls to actually get it.  I'm just about to go in for my next big tat in a couple of weeks...maybe I'll have to get a little finger addition?!  While I'm pondering that, take a look at these super fun finger tattoos, you'll be wanting one too!

*If it wasn't a mustache I'd DEFINITELY get these...
Photo via: Tattoos by Speck
*This couple's tattoo is really adorable.
Photo via: lovedart
Photo via: a lamour
Photo via: Jessica Walsh Photography
*Show me your teeth...
Photo via: f yeah girly tattoos
*Lauren, this is a pretty cute feather for you!
Photo via: We Heart it
*For the photographer...
Photo via: White Bleeding Heart

*Bobby pin... yes please
Photo via: Tattoos by Speck

What's Making Me Happy

Friday, February 24, 2012

It seems like the week has really just flown by and all of a sudden it's my favorite day of the week!  I had such a blast this past week on my little Vermont adventure but am really looking forward to having a really relaxing weekend to make up for it!  In lieu of the upcoming Oscar evening I'll be buzzing around trying to see the last few movies and do as many crafts as possible!! In the meantime, enjoy a few of the things making me happy this week!  Happy weekend!

*I love flipping through the dear photograph blog, the photos and stories are so sweet.
Image via: Dear Photograph
* I want to go into teaching purely for this stamp!  Love LOTR. (And it's available through etsy!)
Photo via: greyskieseternal

* I love this little's so true!
Photo via: Miss Teacups

*I want to do this to my work computer IMMEDIATELY.
Photo via: Buzzfeed
* Do you guys watch My Drunk Kitchen? She's so funny, and this music video is too...

*It's funny because it's true...
Image via: Light as Air
*I am pretty much obsessed with the beautiful portraits from Paule T.B. I want one of me and Monty stat!
Image via: Paule TB

* This post from Mandi on dressing with confidence is spot on!  What a wonderful perspective!

*I'm a total color lover so I'm loving this website that represents time as a hexidecimal color value.

*Speaking of fun color stuff, go to this website... hint, move your mouse around. You'll get it.

*Also too funny... Pinterest, you are drunk.  I've wondered about a few of these..

*Dottie Angel's entire flickr photostream makes me want to redecorate everything. SO pretty.

Galusha Hills Farm and Burlington, VT

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hiya friends,
Miss me?  Sorry about the delayed posting this week, but I just returned to Boston from the most wonderful little vacation!  I had the opportunity to spend a wonderful Presidents Day weekend with a dear friend in the most beautiful place... I'm gushing.  But it was just so fun!!
 I can't tell you all how excited I was when my friend Eric called a few weeks back to see if I would like to join him on a little Vermont adventure and let me tell you, it was all I expected and so much more!  On Saturday Eric and I loaded into our little Chevy Cruz (yup, ballers) for some serious driving and some more serious car dancing... (see below...)

 and arrived at the lovely Galusha Farm in Topsham, VT approximately 325 sing-alongs, 2 diet pepsis, and one creepy truck stop later.  If you have a second make sure to check out John's wonderful blog about the farm, it's honestly one of the coolest places I've ever been!  We spent the next couple of days snowshoeing (yes, I fell down numerous times,) exploring the property, playing with the pups and baby lambs, (YES! LAMBS!)  and sharing great food and even better conversation.  I made some wonderful new friends that I can't wait to visit again!
Stone Walls dating back to the Revoloutionary cool!
I'm somewhere behind them face down in the snow...
My nemesis...
Oh my lord, precious right?
Literally the only picture of me I took...drat

We spent the last two days of our mini vaca in Burlington, VT for Eric's med school interviews, where we did a little shopping, (I got the cutest little vintage dress and accidentally bought two left boots...thanks UO for letting me exchange them for the right ones,) and a lot of wandering.  I won't lie it was FREEZING, but there were some really beautiful views of the mountains and some truly lovely people.  Perhaps another trip in the summer will be necessary? 
Such a beautiful view! (Yes Eric, you too :)
Shopping along Church St

Old Gold, such a fun vintage shop!
I love how the ice looks like broken glass...and it made the loveliest tinkling noise!

Chalkboard Cake Stand DIY

Saturday, February 18, 2012

So I know that I've been promising a DIY tutorial for months now, and I've finally done it!  In honor of my dear friend Emilie's blog's very first birthday, we decided to do a little double teaming post to celebrate.  If you've never checked it out before, Emilie blogs about all things food and makes some of the yummiest things I've ever put in my mouth.  I'm serious. Do yourself a favor and head on over to Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme, (best name ever?!) and check it out!  Happy 1st Birthday Emilie! 
To celebrate this momentous occasion Emilie will be making a lemon raspberry cake with lemon buttercream frosting.  (Sounds like the best thing ever right?  I love that she's my neighbor, more cake for me!!!)  Anyhoo, I decided to contribute with a little cake stand DIY.  It was almost embarrassingly easy, (which really is the best kind of afternoon project, right?) and creates such a pretty little addition to the table.  

What you're going to need...
Emilie and I visited our local goodwill for the plate and candlestick holder, which I got for a whopping $1.90!  I wanted to choose a plate with a wider 'brim' so that it would be easier to write on, but really any plate will do!  Also make sure that your chalkboard paint will adhere to glass, (most do,) and same goes for the epoxy.  

Step 1: Wash and dry the plate and candlestick thoroughly. 
Step 2: Spread the epoxy on the BASE of the candlestick holder, (I chose the base b/c it provides a larger surface area to stick to and a sturdier base for the stand.)  I'm notorious for gluing my fingers together during this step so be careful!

Step 3: Step 3: Center the candlestick holder on the plate, (No one wants a wobbly cake stand!) and place some heavy books on top to seal.  Let dry for 2-3 hours.

Step 4: not pictured: Fun with spray paint.  As I didn't want to asphyxiate everyone in the house I did my spray painting outside with terrible lighting. i.e. not great pictures. Just be sure to spray from about a foot away and use short strokes off the object your painting to avoid running.  My plate ended up taking 3 or four coats for a really good finish. 
Step 5:In order to avoid indention on your paint be sure to slate all writing surfaces with a thin layer of chalk and wipe off before first use.  When using on glass I've learned that you should be sure that your chalk's edges aren't sharp as it can scratch off some of the paint, but otherwise I've not had this problem.  I also would use a piece of waxed paper under your food as I'm not sure the rules of chalkboard paint and food mixing...

Voila! A lovely little at home cake stand to pretty up any party!
As well as making a cake...Emilie is doing a cookbook giveaway to celebrate!  The cookbook is called Flour and is from a local bakery here in Boston.  You should definitely go to her blog and enter to win!  You won't regret it!

What's Making Me Happy

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday is here and you know what that means... a post full of happiness!!  I'm super excited about this upcoming long weekend, my good friend Eric is coming down from New York for a little visit and a much needed road trip to Vermont... just think of all of that maple syrup.  Yum!  I promise to take lots of pictures.  In the meantime, check out these little gems that are making me oh so happy...

*This Etsy interview with illustrator Sophie Blackall has me totally mesmerized and inspired.

Handmade Portraits: Sophie Blackall from Etsy on Vimeo.

*I love these dancing posters!
Images of Rocky Horror, Arrested Development, and Singing in the Rain

*I'm always loaning out books, how cute would these be to keep track?
Image via: Fred Flare
*I can't tell you how much I love this how to be classy post....

*Okay, sad and hilarious. Adele makes me feel the same way...

*I'm dying...this is so funny and true!  I can't believe that I just heard about it.  (Thanks Jen!)
Images via:Catalog Living

*This movie preview looks so good!

*Just stumbled upon the lovely Kelsie McNair's blog and let me tell you, homegirl is talented!  This song is so pretty.
*Okay, this is amazing... this website shows you a new kitten photo every time you write 100 words... to all of my friends still writing papers for school...think of the motivation!

*This summation of the 10 things 90's kids will have to explain to their children is hilarious. Must read.

*Lastly, while reading through my favorite blogs I came across Kaelyah's post and I really couldn't help but share the content with you. (She links to this blog as well, which is where the photos are all credited from.)  I'm generally not a fan of briging politics or religion into this blog, but I was so moved by this group's actions during the Chicago Gay Pride Parade. The caption read "I hugged a man in his underwear. I think Jesus would have too." Regardless of your faith, (or lack thereof,) it's pretty amazing to see this kind of humanity existing amidst the ignorance and hate that many people deal with on a daily basis.  Pretty amazing.