Memorial Day

I had no plans to post anything today, but I was washing dishes in the kitchen when I noticed how pretty the roses looked in the light.  The events of this weekend thus far:

  • I wasn’t able to make it to Blog*Sugar on account of an oil tanker exploding.  [Annoying.]
  • I get to return the shirts I bought but didn’t love for Blog*Sugar.  [Satisfying.]
  • Nicholas got the stomach flu.  [Annoying.]
  • I finally went to the store and filled the refrigerator with food.  [Satisfying.]

  • I’ve included a picture of my fridge because I’m always curious about the contents of other people’s refrigerators.  I’m not alone, right? [Potentially very weird.]
  • I’ve read two books so far, and am half-way through a third.  The Billerbeck novels were a gift from Thomas Nelson publishing and if Ashley doesn’t drop Seth like a hot stone (or if he doesn’t grow a pair between pages 94 and 282) I will have to contact the author through her publisher and say: W.T.H. [Potentially very satisfying.]
  • Harvey’s wife invited me to see Eclipse with her, which reminded me that I never bought New Moon.  Shortly before the weekend started I bought the movie via iTunes and it came with some Forks documentary.  [Unsettling.]
  • The Mister asked me why I bought a movie I didn’t like. [Annoying.]
  • I told him I had no choice in the matter.  I have the first one so now I have to buy all of them. [Obvious.]
  • He said I was insane. [Annoying.]
  • I watched the movie over the weekend on principle and feigned indifference to Kristen Stewart’s incessant breathing and lip biting while The Mister stared at me, waiting for me to snap.  I didn’t.  Barely. [Satisfying.]

  • I spoke with Tiffany over the weekend, and she agreed with me and said she also bought New Moon because her hands were tied. [Very, very satisfying.]
  • We talked about our high school reunion, which is right around the corner. [Satisfying.]
  • We agreed that the black cocktail dress I have is nice, but too vanilla to wear to a 20th reunion.  Besides, I don’t look all that great in black. [Annoying.]
  • Tiffany said she didn’t think I was going to lose anymore weight without exercising. [Annoying.]
  • I wrote this post. [Satisfying.]
  • And am waiting to hear from my dad on a good time to celebrate his birthday.  He wants dinner and a movie, and the boys can’t wait! [Happy.]

[Happy Memorial Day!]

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.

Calling in a Favor

Alrighty, folks.  I’m going to ask you to help me out.  Today I am guest posting at The Bright Side Project.  They’ve been having a “Blogger’s Delight” month over there and have been giving away the favorites of a month’s worth of bloggers.  It was a harrowing experience and stressful wondering if my favorite people would contribute prizes.  (Some did, some didn’t.)  Tristan and Lindsey are ready to run into traffic after this month.  Let’s just say it was a doozy.

Still, 9 of my favorite brands agreed to donate 11 prizes for me!  That’s a lot of stuff for ONE person to win!

So you need to go over there and participate in my giveaway.  Folks, this is high school.  I need a guest post with a ton of comments or else it’s going to look like I’m a nobody giving away lame trinkets.  Now, I don’t expect to get OVER TWO THOUSAND COMMENTS like some people (Nicole, could you have maybe left a few people for me?!) but I need to at least be in line with the rest of the people in my week.  And by inline I mean blow them out of the water.

Are you ready to see and win my favorite things (and help me not look pathetic)?  Then click HERE.

p.s.  If you want, put a little :) in your comment at The Bright Side Project.  I would love to know who came from here to say hi.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.

More Thoughts on Color

So I am thinking more and more about making my living and dining room a very restful and soothing mix of creamy neutrals.  I can’t completely abandon my love of color, especially green and that golden yellow I wear so often, so those will probably show up in toss pillows or curtains.  I don’t know–I haven’t officially decided but I’m getting close.  I’ve even gathered up a few inspiration photos online, which has helped tremendously to narrow down what I like and don’t like.

I always knew I was a fan of gallery walls.

From the book Restoring a House in the City by Ingrid Abramovitch

Walls and Sofa

Living Room
Canadian House and Home

southern accents neutral room canopies_thumb
[via Centsational Girl]

And quirky groupings.

[via SF Girl by Bay]

And house plants.

Plenty of Plants
[Re Nest]

But I had no idea I had a thing for colored sofas. I don’t know why I am surprised, as my current sofa is pear colored. Well. It was at one point.

Navy Living Room

Cottage Dining Room

Yellow Sofa

[via Censational Girl]

Heaven help me with that yellow one. It would be like wearing my favorite cardigan everyday! I think when we buy new living room furniture I will reupholster our current “pear” sofa in yellow and move it into what is now the toy room. Maybe. Depends what color cardigan is my favorite at the moment.  Maybe I will create a new Mr. Rogers decorating movement with all my many cardigans.

Speaking of yellow, do you remember when I was taking Holly‘s blogging course in the winter?  Well, at the end of the session there was an opportunity to receive constructive criticism from my classmates.  Many people commented on the color of my blog and said that it was “me,” which I thought was funny since you never really know someone online, you know?  Would you agree?  Has anyone ever said that a color was “you?”

Holy cow!  I just asked The Mister which color he feels represents me most (without telling him I had just written this post) and he said, “You know, I think I have to say that yellow you’ve been wearing.  You don’t really see it anywhere, but it looks good on you.  I think you’re a yellow person.”  Well.  Would ya look at that?  I always wanted a “signature” color. 😉

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.

The Blooper Reel

Being sick over the weekend prevented me from taking pictures of myself for a future blog post.  In fact, I completely forgot about it until right before noon today.  This meant I had to shower, dry/style my hair, put on makeup, and then take pictures all before leaving to pick up Mikey from school at 2:30.

After the debacle that was Cheese-Gate, I bought a remote control for my camera.  This, I believed, would be the best $20 I ever spent.  In theory, it has been.  Theory, however, doesn’t account for things like Nicholas.  You see, today I wanted to take a picture of myself sitting in a chair by the nice light of my kitchen window.  I wanted my arms demurely folded in my lap, perhaps casually slung over the back of my chair, giving me the air of genuine, open, friendly, approachable, royalty.

The woman in the store made a great show using the remote control from awkward angles, and I could swear she used it once with one arm behind her back.  Knowing this, I figured I would pose like a queen and press the remote with the fat of my big toe.

[pauses briefly to allow readers to appreciate visual.]

It didn’t work.  Something was weak, and I still don’t know if it was my plan or my toe.  Either way, I was left sitting on a chair in a kitchen having a staring competition with an aperture.  I had no choice but to call in Nicholas and have him take my picture using the remote control.  It went exactly as you imagine.

Right out the gate we had to have a discussion about impulse control and waiting for mama’s “go word.”

Not my go word. That is, however, the same weird, twisty-thing my dad does with his eyebrows whenever he has to say something like, “Um, still not my go word!”

Praying for patience.

But received wrinkles, nostrils, and chola-chin instead.

Sure, take a few more. We’ve got nothing but time!

Wait. What? What the hell happened to my neck?  First my feet, now my neck?! Chin, meet breast plate. Breast plate, meet chin.  By the way, did I blow your hair back with the force of my sigh?  Because let me tell you–what God apparently didn’t give me in neck he gave me in lung capacity judging from this picture.  Sighing, Nicholas = NOT MY GO WORD.

I’m going to assume this means I am so awesome that, like, 35% of my body parts are just superfluous.

Out of, oooh, 145 pictures, I was able to crop, splice, and EDIT THE HELL out of five pictures. I then sent those pictures to Tristan with a request that she further crop, splice, and EDIT THE HELL out of them. You and I will both see soon enough if she can deliver.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.

Looking for Alaska

One of the books I read this weekend was Looking for Alaska by John Green.  This is a heavily lauded book, meaning this post is directed to one of the three people who haven’t already read it.  (It used to be four people, but then I read a blog post about it.  More on that in a bit.)  I wasn’t going to write about it, mainly because I linked to it in my last post and figured you could read a synopsis and decide without my help whether it sounded like something you might want to read.  However (nerd alert), I just sat down to write an email to Susannah with some favorite lines of dialogue from the book when I noticed that Amazon now has the hardcover book at bargain pricing so I figured I would point you in the direction of a $6 hardcover book.  (I don’t know how long the bargain pricing lasts, so my apologies if the special ends by the time this post hits.)

I think you will like the book–especially if you are like me and believe the two best ways to become a great writer is by (1) writing daily and (2) reading great writers.  I won’t do John Green the disservice of a review, but I will direct you to Nathan Bransford’s take on the title.  As an aside, how good is Mr. Bransford at his job?  The man could sell books in a library.  I paid full price for that hardcover book not ten minutes after reading that post.

You can read excerpts all over the web (here is one) but one of my favorite lines of dialogue is between Pudge and Takumi at the onset of a intricate school prank.  (Note that I am one for dry humor.  There is adult language, so be forewarned.)

After five minutes, we split up to go to our destinations.  I stuck with Takumi.  We were the distraction.

“We’re the fucking Marines,” he said.

“First to fight.  First to die.,” I agree nervously.

“Hell yes.”

He stopped and opened his bag.

“Not here, dude,” I said.  “We have to go the the Eagle’s.”

“I know.  I know.  Just–hold on.”  He pulled out of thick headband.  It was brown, with a plush fox head on the front.  He put it on his head.

I laughed.  “What the hell is that?”

“It’s my fox hat.”

“Your fox hat?”

“Yeah, Pudge.  My fox hat.”

“Why are you wearing your fox hat?”  I asked.

“Because no one can catch the motherfucking fox.”

It’s incredible dialogue not only because it’s funny (the fox hat adventures ultimately become sidesplitting, trust me) but also because it’s accurate. I can hear any one of the males in my life utter those same lines because, let’s face it, most men love to anthropomorphisize and speak in the third person.

Foxes aside, Looking for Alaska really is a great book, especially if used as a study on the craft of writing.  I read it in one day for pleasure but I will be reading it again–this time to learn.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.