Monthly Archives: September 2012

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, September 25
Scotland Edition
Our first morning in Gargunnock House.
 I sleep in when I’m home, but I rise early when I’m on vacation.
Clearly, I know what’s important.
I took a glorious bath in a room the size of our apartment (no, really) as I enjoyed a cup of coffee and the lovely soft light filtering through the window.  It was amazing.
In the natural light, our kitchen walls were the color of old school house chalk boards.  In this photo, it looks more like a kelly green.  Both are lovely.
The caretakers of the property left fresh flowers around the house for us to enjoy.  These were in the Grand Dining Room.  That wasn’t the actual name of the room- the Grand Dining Room- but that’s what we called it.  In a later post, you’ll understand why. 
At noon, we decided to take an adventure to Stirling Castle.
This is the view from our front door.  Not bad, amirite?
A line of cannons at Stirling Castle.  It was rainy and windy and positively delightful! 
The castle is at the very top of a giant hill and the view was just as powerful as the wind.
I wanted to write a love poem to the wind, to the hill, to the castle.
I wanted to be a queen.
Here I am imagining what it would be like to look at all these buildings and to see the view and know that it was mine all mine.  I have a very vivid imagination…
 This is just as we were leaving the castle. It was super LOTR-esque, and I love LOTR.
This was taken as we were walking through the Old Town in Stirling, on our way back to the car after a pint and a baked potato at a nearby pub.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to live atop the hill in the shadow of a castle, but for the people in this house, living in the shadow of a castle is just a part of their boring everyday life.  CRAZY.
In the car.  Raining.  On our way to Wallace Monument
 After tiring of ordinary tourism, we decided to tour the local grocery store.
There was so much to see!
 Back in the haunted mansion, drinking wine, playing poker, and waiting on our lovely friend Skye to prepare the most delicious chicken and dumpling soup known to man.
After a day in the wind and rain, there is nothing better than a steaming bowl of chicken and dumpling soup. Except maybe red wine.
 After dinner, we retired to the small sitting room (not to be confused with the large sitting room) where we built a fire, drank Scotch, and played chess.
Full disclosure: I did not play chess.
Another full disclosure: the Scotch hit me pretty hard and I stopped taking pictures at this point.
Well, I didn’t stop taking pictures, but all the rest of them are like looking through drunk glasses and will never be shared with anyone, ever.  Alas…
And there you have it, friends, a typical Tuesday with Moi in Scotland.
If only every Tuesday were so wonderful! 

We Rise at Daybreak

We rise at daybreak, then away to Scotland we go. 

Just found out the haunted mansion we’ll be residing in this week whilst in Scotland does not have internet.  Perhaps this is true and I’ll enjoy my time off, or perhaps I’ll be able to weasel my way onto the interwebs… we shall see.  Just in case I’m forced to abandon you for technical reasons, please know that I will be instaspamming my trip.  Follow along if you’d like.  Or don’t.  Whatever.


Minnesotan in England

I woke up to mail from Minnesota yesterday- it was just like Christmas!  Behold the best coffee in the world and my new Minnesota tea towel, which I will probably never actually use but occasionally take from the drawer, unfold, and then fondly gaze at before carefully folding it and placing it back in the drawer where it belongs.  Oh Minnesota, I will always love you!

Thanks for the package, Mom!  xx

Tuesday with Moi

Tuesday, September 18
Another day.  Alas.
  This mug doesn’t come into focus until my second or third cup of coffee.
I wish I was someone who loves waking up early, but I’m not.
Big foot on the bath mat.
Isn’t that color terrible?! I’m still working on ridding this house of man-bought monstrosities.
£ it.
About to run errands. 
On said errands, I stopped in Boots where, for the third time in my life, I was exposed to the monstrosity that is Call Me Maybe.   I’m lucky to have largely escaped exposure to the disease that is that song, but it was blasting over the sound system loud and clear and is still, almost a whole day later, stuck in my head.
Is there a remedy?
Somebody, help! 
Whilst in Boots, I did something that I have never done before: I bought a box of hair dye.  Not to sound like a total snob (jk, I am a total snob), but I’ve only ever had my hair professionally colored.  This is largely due to the fact that my mother worked in a salon when I was growing up and, once I entered the work force, I too worked in hair salons.  In this country, for the first time in my adult life, I am without a stylist friend to keep me and my hair in babe-land.  As such, my roots were so long that my hair was basically ombré, which, for those of you scratching your heads, means it was not hot.  This photo does the state of my hair no justice- for the top was a chalky, light brown and the ends were a brassy red.  Terrible, just terrible. 
Now, I never thought I’d resort to coloring my hair myself.  Never.  The shame!! But a couple weeks ago I learned that Dita Von Teese colors her own hair and I thought to myself, if it’s good enough for Dita, it’s good enough for me!  Plus, I always thought it looked really fun.
I bought a box of L’Oreal Preference, crossed my fingers and went for it.
Lady Von Teese says she colors her hair whilst in the nude, but I elected to wear a black body suit instead.
Doing your hair at home is great because you can do work while processing.  Perfect!
And you know what, it actually turned out quite well.  The red tones still shine through the chestnut brown I used, giving my color dimension and depth, and from root to end my hair is a uniform color- a rich and shiney brown.  The entire process, from application to blowdry, only took about an hour (that sure beats going to a salon), and though I’m definitely not going to make a long-term habit out of coloring my own hair (I like having a scalp massage with my shampoo), I certainly enjoyed it this time.  And who knows, maybe I’ll do it again.  It really was quite fun! 
These are our two cigar cases.  They’re really great.
We’re going to fill them with Cubans and take them to Scotland with us this weekend.
This is top-secret.
It’s going to be delicious!
This was taken yesterday as I was writing my post on color.  As I chased a particular phrase in my mind, I glanced down and noticed that my basil plant was glowing on the window sill.  The sun was setting and the greens around me were popping in the most beautiful way against the grayness of the light.  I wanted to bottle that color.
Then my photo alarm went off and this picture happened.
Those glasses
Finishing some work and sniffing dried lavender.
This year, I’ve resorted to stealing my lavender from gardens around town.  Next year, I’m going to grow my own in a big pot on the window sill.
I didn’t change my last name when I got married.  
Because Kate Cox is a terrible name.
I will be a Sims, now & forever.
David and I both finished our work late in the evening and decided to go out for a glass of wine and actually talk to each other for a little while.  Our local bar/pub/whatever has excellent wallpaper and a really reasonable wine list.  If you visit me, I will take you there.
After Wine Time, we came home and watched an episode of Twin Peaks before settling into bed.
I want to be Josie Packard so bad.
Next week, dear reader, my TWM post will be awesome!  Why?  Because I’ll be in Scotland!
So look forward to that.  I know I sure am!
And as always, thanks for reading! xxx

On Color

I made a salad the other day with whatever I had in the fridge- radishes, tomatoes, pickled beet root, cheese- and as I was cutting the radishes I was arrested by their loveliness.  By their crisp, clean insides and vibrant skins that shined almost magenta in the sun.

It made me wish that I could bottle colors.  I’d display these bottles, small like spice jars, on a shelf in a sunny room and watch them change as the light moved throughout the day. What colors would I bottle?  The perfect off-white of a birch tree trunk, the deep purple of an Acer leaf, and the salmon-pink of flamingo feathers.  The inky black of a cobra’s scales, the hot red of a chili still on the vine, and the stunning green of a fiddlehead.  All the colors of a peacock, and the warm brown of a buffalo hide.  There are so many arrestingly beautiful colors in the world and fashion, art, photography and words really do them no justice, which makes them all the more precious.  Notice the colors around you, dear reader, and live colorfully.
p.s. A couple months ago there was a really great RadioLab program about color called Why Isn’t the Sky Blue. Listen to it.  It’s amazing!

Country Lady

I’m falling in  love with the English countryside.  Over the weekend, the Redcoat and I wandered down footpaths, through fields and forests, and along country roads- sometimes having to press our bodies into the hedge to let a car pass by.  We picked wild raspberries and deeply inhaled the sweet country air.  We were scratched by thrones, warmed by the sun, and awed by the beauty around us.  We stopped in quiet pubs for water and cheese sandwiches, then continued on our journey with our bellies full and our mouths smiling.  It was lovely.

Fashion & Fancy

I’ve pulled myself out of a Twin Peaks mega-binge to share some of the gifts I’ve found on these here interwebs.  Enjoy! 

  • Very soon, I will be in Scotland where I will be spending time with some of my favorite Americans at the Gargunnock House.  The place is ridiculous, but the entire Landmark Trust website is full of amazing locales- from converted pigstys to palaces- that you can rent and take fancy-dress photo shoots in (or maybe we’re the only ones who do that?).  I want to visit them all! 
  • When I moved to this country and plugged in my speakers, they fried.  Oops!/I’m an idiot.  Needless to say, I’ve been looking for new speakers and am totally jazzed about the speaker design by Hidden.  The speaker looks great, [supposedly] sounds great, syncs with all your other devices, is wireless, and is chic as shit.  Add to the cool-factor that the company got it’s funding via Kickstarter- who doesn’t love a good Kickstarter success story?!
  • Fun Fact: I’m totally one of the few people on earth who still watches Project Runway.  It’s like the Survivor of the fashion world- you’re probably like, “Oh, that show is still on?” and I’m like, OBSESSED.  That being said, I’m constantly amazed by the grotesque display of product placement, endorsements, and producer manipulation on the show, and this week I was even more appalled to learn the the network actually auctions off each of the runway looks.  Sadder still, people buy these looks, and sometimes for hundreds of dollars.  This is crazy, people!  I mean, do you really want an un-lined jacket or an unfinished jersey dress that was made in eight hours for a model who is 5’10″ and 114 pounds?  I sure hope not, so here’s my idea: if you want a garment one of the designers made on the show, stalk them on the internet, contact them, give them your measurements and pay them to make something custom-made for you in fabrics that you want/like and pay almost the same amount of money as you would have spent in the auction (in some cases).  Judging by the sound-bites, most of these designers need a little extra coin, and if they’re smart/have more than eight hours free to create a finished garment, I can only imagine they’d be pleased with a custom-order from you.  Give the money to the designer, not to Lifetime.  Okay?  Okay, great! 
    Maybe the designer won’t be interested, but
    maybe they will.  You never know…
  • While we’re on the topic of Project Runway, if you’re a total fangirl/boy and you don’t religiously read Tom & Lorenzo‘s P.R. recaps, then you need to start doing it right now.  They are the Queen and Queen of P.R. and I love them.  Brian Moylan used to write great episode reviews back in his Gawker days, too, and I’ll always love him for coining the names Queen Tangerine and Grandpa Gunn but he left the P.R. world, sadly.
  • And because you were wondering, I totally want Sonjia to win.

Over & out.  

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes*

Do you dream?  I’m one of the lucky/cursed who dreams every night, multiple times.  I’ve woken up laughing, crying, screaming, and drooling.  I’ve killed people in my dreams, I’ve been killed, I’ve fallen in love, and I’ve been betrayed.  I’ve traveled to other planets, I’ve met people I admire, and I’ve been on thousands of adventures.  Sometimes it’s lovely, but usually it’s not.

Right now I’m in the midst of a cycle of terrible dreams.  Brutal, violent, and ugly dreams.  It’s all too familiar that I’ll awaken in the middle of the night, my hands clammy and balled in fists and my whole body stiff with fear.  Instead of simply rolling over and going back to sleep, I lie awake and watch the shadows move across the wall as dawn approaches and the sun begins to rise.  I’m tired, but not sleepy, and it’s not until the room is blushing with the pink of early morning that I can find sleep again.  It’s cruel and exhausting and I wish for just one night that I could sleep a solid eight hours of restful, dreamless slumber.

Thought I’ve been intrigued to do so after particularly bizarre dreams, I’ve never looked into the meaning and symbolism of my dreams.  To be honest, I’m sometimes afraid to learn what these dreams may reveal about me.  Instead, I just accept is as a byproduct of having an overactive imagination or a genetic disposition to channeling certain emotions and fears into my dreams.  Regardless, I’m tired- so so tired- and hope I sleep through the night soon.  I’ll settle for seven hours of really good sleep- maybe even six- but I just want really good sleep.

*If that is true, my heart is a corrupt and troubled organ that is definitely in need of a psychotherapist.

p.s. Has anyone seen Sleepwalk with Me yet?  I’m dying to see it.

Tuesday with Moi

Tuesday, September 11
A Day of Remembrance

Gladiolus petals always remind me of betta fish.
Making the Redcoat a cup of coffee.
He takes cream and sugar, I absolutely do not.
Channeling with my inner geisha.
Remember when ‘paint it black‘ was my mantra?  Well, yesterday’s mantra was paint it grey!
Let me introduce you to my grey nail polish and grey lip gloss by Diego Dalla Palma, a super fierce cosmetics brand based in Milan.  I was introduced to the line by a former client, Katrina Hess, whose studio is one of the few in the United States to carry the brand.  The pigments are rich, the pallets are silky, and the finish is perfect.  If you’re in the market for makeup, do yourself a favor and try Diego Dalla Palma, it’ll make you feel like an Italian supermodel and there is nothing more luxurious than feeling like an Italian supermodel, am I right?!
Cat food, cat water.
The Redcoat got a haircut.  He looks so handsome and dreamy!

Wrote the handsome, newly-shorn Redcoat a love note with my fancy pen.
My chalk mug.  It’s funny how some chalk colors fade in the sunlight.  Now I have ombré chalk.
It’s very high fashion!
For all of you who were wondering what grey lip gloss looks like, well, here you have it.  It’s subtle and glossy and beautiful!  Plus, it pairs perfectly with my grey nail polish, grey sweater, and grey C-3PO leggings, which you’ll get a glimpse of in a moment or two…
David made a delicious chorizo and vegetable scramble for dinner which paired beautifully with this bright red table wine.  He’s too good to me.
(Fun Fact: Sometime within the next month or so, you will be able to see and recreate some of David’s culinary creations via his very own blog… v. v. exciting!)

Checking in on Bernadette.  She keeps blossoming and growing, which is absolutely grand.
Our other plant babies, which you met last week, are also thriving.
Operation Greenhouse is well under way!
C-3PO leggings.  Basically black, ribbed leggings with grey denim patches.
They’re kind of weird, but I like them.
And if you didn’t know who C-3PO was without clicking that link, then GET OFF THIS BLOG RIGHT NOW!  I’m serious, if you don’t know C-3PO, you have no place here.
(Fun Fact: Han Solo was my first love and Star Wars makes up, like, 3/4 of my childhood.)
I don’t know why, but we’re making our Tuesday Night Drunk Dial a thing, I guess.
Last night, we talked to a handful of friends in Boston.
Brother Luke, in Montana.
And my pen-pal and real-pal, Natalie, in L.A.
She’s really awesome.
After we talked to a couple more fabulous friends, it was time for bed.
David was asleep by the time I got into the bedroom and was draped all over my side of the bed.
Alas, the life of a married lady!

As always, thank you for taking a peek at my simple little life.
I’m really flattered that you made it all the way to the bottom of this post.
It means a lot.  Really, it does.