Monday, February 28, 2011

New (to me) Internet Eye Candy

Just found the cutest couple--Sherry and John (and adorable baby Clara)--right here!  I just lost an hour looking at their remodeling/redecorating blog and loved every minute of it.  Bonus that they're my age and John appears to be a UVa fan.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Epic Moments by Callie

Perhaps this was deserved karma for wednesday's post about wanting an ipod jack in my car.  Getting a wee bit too want-y or something like that.  But today, when I went to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, I found my ipod.  (I'd been listening to it last night--so it wasn't like I'd noticed it was missing.)  In the washer.  With the damp laundry.  Long earbud cords knotted up and twisted around a pair of jeans legs so casually as if they were runaway panty hose.  Needless to say, my ipod won't turn on.  I'm not sure if it was the water or the spin cycle that did it in, but my beloved ipod will not turn on.

Dear ipod, we've been pretty inseparable the last four years and I'm going to miss you.  You accompany me on almost all of Mr. Mason's walks.  You sit in your dock and provide music while I cook.  Last summer, I listened to all my bar prep lectures on you over and over again.  I got all my news through you on podcasts while battling the public transportation system of Chicago.  At night, I like to listen in my bed to a chapter of whatever current audiobook you are reading to me before falling asleep. 

I wish I could blame this one elsewhere.  This is the kind of discovery that bloggers with small children write about.  But I have no small children.  And Mr. Mason certainly wasn't running laundry last night.  So it was pretty much all my fault....

Monday Morning Postscript: Thank you to my dad the engineer for suggesting I put dear ipod in a ziplock along with some of those do-not-eat-drying-packets that come in shoe boxes.  Hopefully it will draw any moisture out and one week from now my ipod will spontaneously begin to work again.  Thank you to Math Man for offering up his ipod to me--even though he uses his when he runs--just because he knows I use mine more than he uses his (and because I suspect he loves me--a lot a lot--and he's a sweetie like that).  And thank you to my sister for having an extra ipod she wasn't even using and giving it to me (I'm off to the Apple store after work today to see if I can get it to hold a charge).  Obviously, mine is a family who takes the loss-of-ipod seriously and I am so lucky to be so loved.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wants.

I try not to have too many wants.  (Really!)  But I seriously wish that my car had one of those little jacks for my ipod.  Oh, and either that the driver's side window went up and down consistently--or--that the AC worked. 

I know.  I know.  Sometimes I feel guilty because little wants flit in my head sometimes all day long.  (Like, wow, I love that girls shoes/handbag/earrings/etc., I'd love a cute pair of teal pumps/nice leather handbag/dangly gold earrings like those.)  Then later I feel a bit guilty because, really, my life is so good.  How could I possibly want more?!  And of course, also there are children starving in Africa in North Carolina right here in this city! everywhere.

So yes, I understand.  Wants versus Needs.  Give more.  Want less.  Yes, of course, yes.  But all I'm saying is that it would be really cool if I could be listening to my podcasts and audio books on my drive home from work and then just like that seemlessly unplug, pop in earphones, and keep! on! listening! while walking Mr. Mason. 

Mr. Mason wants this too because he thinks his walks would last longer. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cloudy. 41 Degrees. Feels like 36.

Wait, I was fine walking Mr. Mason last night at 9 pm in shorts and a tank top.  What happened?  Brrr. 

Ready for summer.

Things I Love: Ork

I love maps.  I love their colors--how graphical and visual they are.  I also love how informative.  No seriously, I can look at a map--any map--for a long time.  And then come back and look at it again and again.  I like to imagine where I'll go--whether that is a future adventure on the other side of the world or just "oh look--a new park I never noticed right here in town--I wonder if they have squirrels for Mr. Mason to chase." 

I also love using maps in decorating.  In our bedroom, we have two large maps--one of the world and one of the U.S. hanging up over our bed.  In the morning, sometimes I find myself standing on the bed, looking for countries that I've just heard about for the first time on NPR.  And then we have a third map--by far my favorite.  It's an Ork screen print typographical map of Chicago.  And it isn't just a map.  It's art. 
Ork Chicago Screen Print in Vermillion
I love love love it.  The typography.  The ORANGE!  The words are a light blue and I could literally stare at it all day long.  I walked by it lusted after it everyday in the window of a frame shop in Lincoln Park (see, you can find that neighborhood in the print!) and then, knowing I was moving back to NC this past May, I finally got it for the Math Man for Christmas a year ago.  We even got it framed.  (If you're familiar with our rate of home-improvment-decorating-and-general-getting-things-done, you'd be really impressed by this)

And this weekend, yes one year later, my parents are coming in town and so I am bound and determined to get this piece of beauty up on the wall.  (Not that I haven't been looking at it in the last year.  I just have had it leaning.)  Funny how houseguests are so motivating to get things done you've been meaning to do for forever, huh?

I also thought I'd share one more print that the talented Jenny Beorkrem created--seeing as how the theme of my blog is love and all.  (Plus, doesn't this one make you wish you had a cardiologist on your Christmas list?)
Ork Gotta Have Heart Print
P.S. Dear Jenny, please contemplate making a print of North Carolina.  Perhaps all the counties?

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Kind of Perfect Weekend

So my weekend was perfect.  No not perfect in the predictably perfect candlelit-dinners-and-new-shoes-and-sunny-beaches-and-got-engaged sort of way.  (Not that I'm against any of those things.  Because I'm not.)  Instead it was perfect in a much less fancy sort of way. 

I saw good friends and we sat around drinking wine and lingering over dinner.  Held my friend's baby and made him laugh.  Walked with Mr. Mason and my Math Man and we chatted and held hands.  Took Mr. Mason out in his bike trailer and logged six miles.  (And he only cried for about one--Progress!  We're on our way to our plan to bike/camp in Florida)  Watched Glee.  Ran one mile without stopping!  (HUGE progress!)  Enjoyed the sunshine.  Chased squirrels with Mr. Mason.  Napped.  Had Lilly's Pizza. 

Of course, also this weekend I had to do some work on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and it went slowly because it's a case I'm not really enjoying.  I had to hand wash the dishes.  I got overzealous about spring at the grocery and was rewarded with a rather sad mushy watermelon for my enthusiasm.  I might have scowled and grumbled when I stepped on the scale.  I worked on my resume and wrote coverletters and felt anxious and discouraged.  And, today, I didn't get President's Day off and so I was a bit jealous when I had to get out of bed when the alarm went off and Math Man got to stay, looking so comfortable snoozing with Mr. Mason. 

That's just how my non-romantic, non-fairytale, perfect life goes.  Five years from now I doubt I'll remember this weekend.  But I think I'm pretty lucky to have this everyday my kind of perfect.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bike Love

 I've been thinking I should/could start biking to work.  It would be good for me.  It would be good for the environment.  And afterall, it isn't like I still live in Chicago.  (Although this blog tells me that this excuse is a poor one.)  I live in North Carolina.  It's only 3.2 miles from my apartment to my office.  Last night it stayed light out until 7 pm.  Spring is coming and I've made a goal of bike commuting.  (At least on the days that I don't have anywhere to go after work.)
Heather, who went to undergrad with me (but I wasn't lucky enough to know her there) and then transfered to my law school, is way cooler than I.  She's the facebook friend who's constantly posting urgent links about important social justice issues.  You know, the issues I care about but hadn't ever stopped to think about before.  Plus, she's really nice.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Things I Love: Cole Haan Heels

I'm sad to report that my favorite heels (EVER!) are probably on their last legs.  I have gotten these sweeties resoled and buffed and rehealed for the last time.  Also sadly, I cannot find a picture online for you as I bought them several years ago.  They looked something like these (same color, height, general shape):
Cole Haan Miranda Pump
Only they interestingly have a bit more detailing.  Very subtle (somewhat "stippled" and vaguely remniscent of the leather detailing on cowboy boots).  I love it.  I wish I could find the exact same pair again.  Of course, meanwhile, I am pretty sorely tempted by these Miranda pumps.  On sale!  With Nike Air Technology!

Also, I just had to share these.  Which I found while searching for neutralish light brown pumps to replace the beloved pair.  You don't need to tell me that these are not at all a replacement pair for my brown pumps.  But, ohmygosh, aren't they gorgeous?  Don't they just remind you that spring is coming?!
Cole Haan Peeptoes
And finally, I just recently abandoned gave to my good friend who happens to have perfect size 7 feet a pair of beautiful gold sandal heals.  I'd only worn them once.  They look a lot like these:
Cole Haan Sandals
Only, sadly, they were too big on me.  And lacking the Nike Air Technology (or any comfort technology as best as I could tell), so that by the end of the pre-ceremony cocktail hour at the one and only wedding I wore them to (note, I didn't even get through the ceremony, much less the evening, without ridiculous foot circulation being cut off and my heals slip sliding left and right so that there was no way I could dance without leaving the shoes under our dinner table), my feet were KILLING me.  Lucky friend of mine was the winner of that poor purchasing decision by me (how oh how did I think that size 7s fit in the store?!) and I am left lusting after these gorgeous ones which are far prettier, certain to be more comfortable, but yes, sadly, correspondingly more expensive.  Hmmm... Math Man and I have been invited to a wedding in April, perhaps these will go on sale by then?  (fingers crossed)

Once again I find myself wishing that I had one of those magic money trees.  (and yes, if I did, I would spend my money in responsible ways, pay off those pesky student loans and donate to all sorts of good causes first, and then I'd buy myself the shoe wardrobe of my dreams)

p.s. This isn't at all the first time I've lusted after a pair of Cole Haan heels.  See here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

We had a wonderful time at the beach.  I have no photos so you'll have to just believe me when I tell you that the sun was out, the sky was clear, and the B&B where we stayed was adorable.  Paula and Steve were perfect hosts. 

We spent both days doing almost exactly the same thing.  We slept in, had a breakfast of champions (prepared by Paula who is a real pastry chef!), walked Wrightsville Beach with Mr. Mason (4.5 miles on Saturday and 5.5 miles on Sunday!), had a delicious lunch of peel-and-eat shrimp and beers at one of those cute little restaurants with a big deck on the inner coastal, chatted some more, walked around a bit more, took afternoon naps, and then on Saturday night went out for a date night.  Mr. Mason is exhausted from all that sniffing and playing.   

Perfect. 

Math Man, I love spending time with you.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today's the day. 
Dedicated to LOVING. 
To my Math Man, my family, my friends, and my Mr. Mason.  
Poster by CJ Prints
P.S. Love this print.  Only I kinda wish it said "I love you more than Mr. Mason loves squirrels."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Weekend in Wilmington


Photo courtesy of Camellia Cottage Bed & Breakfast
 We'll be spending our weekend at the Camellia Cottage B&B in Wilmington, NC.  How cute does it look?!  Math Man and I are celebrating seven years of togetherness.  I'm looking forward to walking the beach, watching Mr. Mason dig in the sand, exploring a new town I've never been to, eating seafood, and spending lots of time talking and giggling and spending time with Math Man.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

On Being a Carolina Fan

For those of you not living in in the heart of Carolina Country, (or for those of you living here but under a rock) last night the Carolina Tarheels played Duke Dook at Cameron Indoor.  At least half of my friends' facebook status's proclaimed this big event. 

(Now, I am going to let you in on something of a secret.  Math Man is flawed.  It's not his fault really.  Poor thing was raised rooting for the evil empire.  His dad went to Dook and now he's even there for grad school.  So needless to say, watching basketball together isn't exactly an activity we participate in often.)

Now, I won't pretend to be the world's best basketball fan.  Not that I'm fareweather, just that I never seem to do an adequate job keeping up with players and games.  Last night, after a fun dinner catching up with my dear friend from study abroad in Chile H (after way way too long), I went over to the home of my fellow-Carolina-fans D & L.  I'd missed the first half but was feeling optimistic.  Dook was down at the half by 14 points.  Amazing.  We were beating the number 1 ACC team in the nation--and on their own turf.

D & L however knew what was up.  They referred to the players by their names and screamed at the tv.  And their enthusiasm was catching.  If my almost 87 year old granny, can sit alone at home in VA, rooting for those Tarheel boys even when they're down, then certainly they're the team for me too.  Surely, this would be their chance.  We were going to beat those Dookies on their own turf.

But then. . . somehow in the second half Dook came from behind and scored 50 points.  Our Tarheels just couldn't keep up.  The evening ended with something of a deflated feeling.  It was like victory had been ripped from our fingertips. 

I root for Carolina because I always have.  Since I was a little girl, I'd been soaked in UVA and UNC lore.  My Dad went to UVA.  Granny grew up in Chapel Hill (and her Daddy, my great-grandfather, was a UNC professor).  (and I root for both of those teams too--But let's not even talk about how they're doing this year)  And then when it was my turn, I chose the smaller, less intimidating (or so I thought) Wake Forest, but I am not a fareweather fan, and so I remained a steadfast Carolina fan.  Somehow the love of college basketball and the sense of community associated with Carolina is contagious.  It doesn't matter that I didn't go there.  Chapel Hill is still one of my family's schools.  It's still the pride of our state.  It is the team I rooted for as a toddler and the team I'll root for when I'm old.  It's the state school of my adopted home state--where I moved when I was old enough to choose for myself--and of the state where my grandparents are from.  It's a glue that ties us all together and we root for the Tarheels because they're our team and what's not to love about that? 

Things I Love: Nook/Kindle Cases

My wonderful Mama's birthday is coming up.  Shhh... don't tell her, but my Dad is getting her an e-reader.  I have been looking for a case to give her for it.  I want something obviously padded and well-made and since I just adore looking at patterns, graphics, and fabrics, I'm really enjoying looking at the many gorgeous choices that are out there. 

These are my favorites.  What do you think?  Do you have a favorite?  Which one do you think Mom would like best?  I love them all. 

photo sources and links to shops listed clockwise starting with top left
Aimee Marie Couture
SeaSideSew
Kreated by Kim
Free Moment
RKEM Designs
Rogue Theory

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Things I Love: Valentine Garlands

So I'm not usually one much for decorating with hearts.  I'm somewhat anti-cutesy.  (or at least I think I am)  But last year, I decorated for a baby shower by stringing up onesies on a clothes line.  Then each guest took one down, decorated it, and hung it back up.  Typically, I have no cute pictures.  So take my word for it.  It was cute.  And it was a huge improvement over some of the awkward shower games I've been forced to participate in in the past.

The only picture I have from the shower is a poor one.  Poorly lit.  Weird angle.  But you get the idea.
 Anyhow, ever since, I've thought more highly of garlands in decorating.  It just seems to scream "YAY!!!  We're celebrating!!!"  And, while I'm not really a fan of cheap stuffed animals or expensive chocolates or any of the other numerous tacky pink and red items sold in stores this time of year, I do love me some Valentine's Day.  After all, I think its pretty awesome that we have a whole day to get our feelings out and tell others we love them.  Who cares if it was originally prompted by the card and chocolate selling industry? 


These would go so nicely in my living room--can you imagine the pretty heart shaped shadows they'd cast?
 So today I'm loving these garlands.  To me, they're interesting in a geometric sort of way.  They don't scream to me "VALENTINE'S" and so I wouldn't object if they ended up staying up past the holiday and stretching into March.  After all, with the on again off again cold and the mud of this time of year, it doesn't hurt to have a bit of extra cheer.  Also, they look to me like they are homemade--in that good way--like by a dear friend who wanted to surprise you (as opposed to pumped out by some massive machine and sold by the thousands in RiteAid), of course, only that dear friend would obviously have to be someone far more talented and creative than I am.  And, you know, based on how excited I get about pulling out my Christmas decorations every year, perhaps I need to start a collection for other holidays.  These would be a lovely addition to pull out each February.


I love how these really seem to harken towards spring--how cheery they are!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Trial Team (or yet more evidence of my dorkdum)

How was your weekend?  What?!  You didn't get to spend it at the North Carolina regional high school mock trial team competition?  I'm sorry. 

I've been coaching a high school trial team and now that the competition is over, I'm glad to have some of my free time back, but I'm sad to not still have this group of cool high schoolers to hang out with. 

Seriously.  I mean we had our moments when I thought I might scream--"PAY ATTENTION!!!"  "THE COMPETITION IS IN ONLY ONE WEEK!"  "WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DIDN'T BRING THE DRAFT OF YOUR CROSS-EXAMINATION TO PRACTICE?" 

Of course, I didn't though.  I'm not an outloud yeller like that.  (In my head though... watch out!)

But, then, as it always does, it all came together.  And on Saturday, I was just so proud.  I don't have my own kids (yet) and Mr. Mason hasn't yet really learned to hold his own in a courtroom yet, but I have to imagine that this feeling perhaps somewhat approximated what parents must feel like when they work with their kids to teach them something--perhaps how to ride a bike for example--and then they see them take off and pedal.  Perhaps the kid wobbles a bit.  But what a cool feeling to know that that kid has discovered a new thrill and is mastering it and YOU taught them. 

We didn't win, but I couldn't care less.  We came so far.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Things I Love: Earrings on Etsy

JZ Designs Gold Papillon Earrings

Hibiscus Days' Gold Leaf Filagree Earrings

I was just so admiring these today.  Obviously, they wouldn't be for work, but wouldn't they be so fun--divine really--on a weekend date night?  I've got an old-tried-and-true black sweater which the Math Man is especially fond of.  I'd throw that on with my favorite jeans and a pair of heels and with these earrings peeking out from my hair, I don't think I'd need anything else besides eye shadow and some eye liner.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mr. Mason wants to go to the beach

Mr. Mason January 2010

Mr. Mason wishes he was in Charleston right now.  But he's not.  He's here. 

Still a little bird told him that he might be getting to go to the beach for a weekend soon!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Nici's Aspiration Challenge

Nici has challenged her readers to stop and think about what they want to learn for themselves this year.  And just because I like the idea of it and because perhaps putting it out here publically will make me more likely to follow through with it, I thought I'd share mine with you.

I have two.  The first is in process right now as we speak.  I've been a blog reader for too long. I have wanted to start a blog but never have because I thought I wasn't a good writer.  And who would want to read about me?  And I don't even have any time.  Or a camera.  Or a baby or something worthwhile to photograph (besides Mr. Mason of course).  And what about the privacy issues?  But even as I have had all these strings holding me back, I have want that supportive space to put my thoughts out there and record my smiles.

The second aspiration is also somewhat in progress.  Actually, it's been somewhat in progress but never quite attained for years.  I want to learn to ENJOY exercising.  I'm not hung up on whether its running or the gym or whatnot.  It can be whatever.  (Okay, I'd love to learn to love to run, but that seems more daunting)  I am jealous of those people who just get out there and enjoy using their bodies as they were meant to be used so much that when they don't get in their run or their workout they get grumpy.  Yes, that's right.  I'd like to learn to become addicted to exercise endorphins.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hugging Mr. Mason Close

So in the last week, two good friends of mine have both lost their dogs.  S's L.P. was young and it was unexpected.  And while C's Dakota was an older dog, that certainly doesn't take any of the ache away. 

The two pups who I grew up with, Potomac and Patapsco, passed away January of my 1L and January of my 2L year in law school.  Even not having lived at home for a few years at that point, it was heart shattering. 

I'd like to make a new rule.  Dogs should not be allowed to get old, sick, or die as long as they are loved. 

S and C, my heart is breaking for you.  Potomac and Patapsco, you've been gone three and two years, I will always miss you.  And Mr. Mason, did you see my new rule?  Yeah, don't break that rule.  I love you.


Potomac, Wolfgang, Patapsco, Mason August 2006
 Hug your pups close folks.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Things I Love: Sunshine Edition

Every morning at work I get a "Daily Appeal" newsletter in my email box.  This was the local weather report in today's: "Warm, rain showers off and on and very windy today with a high around 71 or 72."

Of course, that is a far, far cry from what all my Chicago friends' facebook status updates are telling me is going on over there.   I just spent several minutes perusing photos of their snowpocalypse.  No, I don't miss living in Chicago (although I miss many Chicago friends).  Stay warm and safe Chicago friends.

Here's a few photos of sunshine to remind everyone of pretty days to come.  (identified starting in top left, going clockwise)

CarolinaPatchwork Pastel and White Shabby Pinwheel Quilt
Anthropologie Painted Morning Skirt 
Salvatore Ferragamo Donatello Sandals
Volcom Time Lines One Piece Swimsuit
FA2u Polka Dot Clutch
Colorbee "You Make Me Happy When Skies Are Gray" Print

Emersonmade Goldie Clutch
GusandLula Alphabet Print 
Erinkeys Carrie Necklace
Frounceabout Little Girl Citrus Dress
Cole Haan Air Talia Open Toe Slingback Heels
Anthropologie Sun Shades Dress

R.E. Stowe Honeybee Dog Collar
William Dohman "Bike Love" Print 
LeCreuset 9 qt. Round French Oven
Emersonmade Yes! Horse Tee
Sofft Bermuda Flat
HomeGrown Pillow


Oh, if only money grew on trees....  I'd have one of everything and two of the throw pillows.

Mr. Mason hopes his Chicago (and Boston and Philadelphia and NYC) friends stay warm!

Mr. Mason Winter 2009 in Chicago (note his great smile even at 0 degrees)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I'm attempting to write more.  I guess I'm thinking that hopefully blogging is like exercising.  The more I do it, the easier it gets, and the better I become at it.  In fact, one of the things that has kept me from starting a blog for years now is that I thought I didn't have anything to write about.  I don't have any children (yet) like the thousands of blogs out there that I will admit captivate me with their pictures of happy cute babies and toddlers and the creative mamas who have time to do four kabillion wholesome activities with them all before getting them home for their snack of homemade organic fruit sauce and down for their mid-day nap.  I don't have a fancy-schmancy camera (despite having worked for a wedding photographer for a few years in college and taken photography courses in high school, I just haven't got a camera now and I haven't taken a non-cell-phone camera in ages), so I can't woo you with gorgeous colorful pictures of my day-to-day life.  And while I love to cook, I mostly just fly by the seat of my pants with that one, so this really won't become a foodie blog.  I don't have a job I can write about (for my favorite hilarious and insightful job-blog, see SixYearMed--just don't if you plan to do anything else for the rest of the day--that girl really can write).

In fact, my job (and the how I got here) is part of why I want to blog.  My job is a great one.  I'm really lucky to have it, especially after spending the last three years in law school during the worst economic crisis that anyone my age has ever lived through.  It's interesting.  And my small office is made up of four of the nicest co-workers I could ask for.  But it's quiet.  I research and write all day long.  And while I personally find the law to be very interesting, it is, uhm, well, occasionally dry.  I don't get to put in my drafts, "uhm."  I don't get to use contractions.  Or slang.  Or made up words.  I don't get to ramble or have fifteen different side comments put in parenthesis.  I don't get to be sarcastic--even if I think that a plaintiff or defendant deserves it.  And so... the blog.  The blog and a goal to do some non-legal musing and to share a bit of my life and those things that make me smile.

And so, now to blog about the other part of my life.  The non-legal side.  The what-I-do-when-I'm-not-at-the-office-for-45-hours-a-week-side.  (Yes, I know, I am a lucky duck.  Most lawyers work way way longer hours but that is the benefit of working for the government.)

And one thing I love to do during that non-working time is read.  (If you haven't picked up on this already, I'm fully comfortable embracing my inner nerdom).  One of the things that I would moan about throughout law school was how much I missed reading for fun

And so, since I finished studying for the bar this summer, I've dived right in.  I'm generally "reading" three books at any one time.  An audio book on cd in my car, an audio book on my ipod which I listen to when I walk my Mr. Mason every night, and a good ol' fashioned book written on paper, which sits by my bed.  In this way, since August, I've gotten through about 3 or 4 books a month.  Heaven. 

Now, I'm making no promises to review all of the books I read.  In fact, I generally drop myself a few notes on my goodreads account and give a book a star rating--mostly just so I can remember later whether it was a good one or not.  (I love goodreads.  Such a big improvement over the spiral bound notebook of books I've attempted to keep off and on in the past.)

But Kathryn Stockett's The Help certainly bears mentioning.  It was frankly, a-mah-zing.  Wonderfully written, thought-provoking, entertaining, suspenseful (without being a traditional "mystery"), and I didn't want it to end.  Literally, it was everything that I could ever want in a novel.

Kathryn Stockett's characters were so "real."  They were imperfect and human and lovable (well, except for Hilly who the reader will frankly delight in hating).  I found myself holding my breath for them, reading late into the night because I wanted to find out what happened.

The book has three main characters who alternate telling the story from their point of view by chapter.  Abileen and Minnie, who are two black maids working in white homes, and Skeeter, a young, white, idealistic aspiring writer who is making her way in the world. 

p.s. I'm brand new at this, so help me out here bloggyland.  I see all sorts of disclosures all the time on all of yall's blogs.  I assume I don't have to tell you that no one bought this book for me or paid me for this review--or do I?  Well, just in case, they didn't.  I checked it out from my local library.  After ordering it online and then waiting for only six weeks for it to become available.  (Pretty quick for such a new release if you ask me)  And what about posting the picture of the cover?  I want to because I want you to recognize it in the bookstore.  Is this allowed?  I am assuming it is because I see others doing it all the time and perhaps it will be doubly okay if I just tell you that I (obviously) didn't take the picture of the cover.  But, bloggyland, can you guide me?  

p.s.2. I just had to go research Kathryn Stockett to see if she had anything else out there and if so get my hands on it immediately.  I learned that The Help was her first novel.  I'm now doubly impressed.

February!

I am happy this morning that it is FEBRUARY!!! 
Some people think of this month as a time to feel lonely (what with all the hearts decorating everything) and mopey that winter is still hanging on.  (I admit, I've certainly felt that way before.)
But I think of February as the month that I found my otra mitad naranja.  (Wasn't that smart of me?)  Which reminds me that spring will come.  And also I love that right smack dab halfway through this month we get a whole HOLIDAY dedicated just to reminding people just how much they mean to us and that we love them.