Let's begin by stating the obvious: the weekend always begins after school on Fridays. This week, after making the mistake of driving to what I thought was a Marshall's only to realize that it was a TJMaxx (technically, not the same thing when one is making a return with a Marshall's receipt), I went to find what my mom calls, "That store I saw on FYI Philly it's like Terrain but it's not Terrain and it's somewhere in Wayne or maybe it's Strafford? on Eagle Road? Old Eagle School Road? Maybe it's in the Eagle Village shops?"
That store. You know it? Yeah, me neither.
But, I found it. It's called Taking the Wildest Guess Ever and applying the Mom Algorithm: "Given the things that I like + the stuff that mom likes divided by mom's geographical knowledge of the Main Line times my own geographical knowledge of the Main Line minus the places I know she can't possibly be thinking about PLUS the places I know she would recognize on TV, the answer must be: ___Insert answer here ___"
Mom wanted me to find Valley Forge Flowers. Her third guess was right: It's in the Eagle Village Shops (formerly known as "Spread Eagle Village" ... yup, somebody actually named it that). It's beautiful inside with a full service flower shop, cafe, and gift store. The cafe looked absolutely adorable ... I almost ordered a croque monsieur and a cupcake, but my waist band begged me not to so I didn't.
Grainy iPhone shots don't really capture the effect, but you get the point.
My favorite item were these "Library" candles by Paddywax: four scents designed and named for four different famous authors. I wasn't surprised when the Edgar Allen Poe fragrance turned out to be my favorite. [I love me some Poe ... did you know that the Baltimore Ravens football team is named for his most famous poem (because Poe was born in Baltimore)? HA! Who would've thought that professional football people would care about 19th century poetry? Not me.] You can also pick from Henry Thoreau, Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman, and Leo Tolstoy (my second favorite). While admiring them I thought to myself, "Would it KILL THEM to include a woman?? WOMEN WRITE BOOKS TOO!!" I was pleased to see that they have a Jane Austen fragrance if you go to the Paddywax website ... but that's it. Seriously: that's it? What about Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Bronte? What about Mary Shelley? Agatha Christie? Margaret Mitchell? Emily Dickinson? Lorraine Hansberry? George Eliot (aka, Mary Anne Evans)? LOUISA MAY ALCOTT??
HARPER FREAKIN LEE?????????
COME ON NOW! I definitely see a politely insistent email taking shape in the back of my mind right now ...
The candles are great--so far, Poe's my favorite.
They even have a greenhouse--it was gorgeous. I admit, I barely looked at price tags in this place. What's the point? It's a lot more fun to play "Guess How Much This Is?" when you have someone with you to register horror and shock at extreme pricing.
I won't lie--if I had a daughter and endless disposable income, I would have bought this:
In other news, the cats have both gained weight and I can't tell if I'm a bad momma or not. Ron downloaded this app for them that we saw on the news: A mouse runs around on the iPad screen and reacts to cat paws ... I guess I thought it could serve as a form of moderate exercise? Penny and Pearl played for about 15 seconds before giving it a big thumbs down and sulking away.
This weekend was the final weekend to finish the valentines I started a week ago. Ideally, I wanted to mail these out yesterday, but (surprise!!) I didn't finish them on time. The envelopes are addressed, dressed-up, and ready to go.
These weren't super hard to do, and they didn't cost a ton of money ... but they are really time-intensive. Basically, they're super cheap and take forever. I used fabric that I've had for years and the felt has been sitting around for two years waiting to get used for Valentine's Day. Even if you only have two or three types of fabric, you can get several different looks depending on the colors you match together. Plus, fabric (calico) has a bright front and a faded, vintage-looking back. In the above shot, you can see two fabrics used two different ways featuring the back or front of each fabric.
I hot-glued pin-backs to each one so that they're somewhat functional. I know that most people may not want to wear them around, but they can always go on a tote or purse strap. The final touch is a hand-punched tag with "Happy Valentine's Day!" on one side and "Handmade by ..." stamp on the back.
Of course, I get to keep one for me ... I had a lot of trouble picking a pink or a red heart. I almost went with red but picked pink at the last second.
Then again, maybe people won't be wearing them on winter coats at all ... it's been 50 degrees around here the whole winter and I have been LOVING IT. The only downside has been the down coat investment that Leslie and I each made.
Leslie hasn't even taken the tags off of hers because it's been too warm to wear it. She and I have both been scarred by bad winters. February 2003 is the coldest month I've ever survived in my entire life. For the extent of that entire month, my fingertips, toes, and lips were completely purple. I had (at least) a mile long walk from my car on one end of campus all the way to my COM 100 course on the complete opposite corner. Basically, I could never warm up in between those walks (back and forth, three times a week) and the experience ruined me for life. Leslie spent four years at CMU in Pittsburgh ... enough said. We take winter coats seriously, and the very mild December and January we've had makes me think that we're going to pay dearly for this treat sometime later this year.
Of course, it doesn't matter how "warm" it is: babies always need to be bundled in February. Here's our neighbors' baby, Declan:
|I love those red mittens--aren't they great?|
Babies live the life, don't they? They get all swaddled up and pushed from place to place and they can sleep the whole time if they like.
So there's my whole lot of something/nothing that I absolutely HAD to contribute to the Interwebs. Don't you feel better now? I swore that I would go for a walk before we leave for the game at Jess and Matt's. I just might be able to squeeze that in before the sun goes down in an hour. Monday will be here before you know it.