There is Mouse's mom, on the left, rocking an Easter hat in 1966.

(P.S.-next time she gives me crap about wearing 3/4 length sleeves, I'm not going to take it lying down!)
(P.P.S.-when we bring back hats, can gloves come too?)

Not being a person who can wear very much orange, I have been obsessing lately about these over-dyed sneakers in "pumpkin." They aren't really pumpkin. They are actually the orange color on that youngest Kennedy in the photo above. To me, these are the essence of summer, worn without socks, with a sundress or messy cutoffs or just a swimsuit. They would look equally lovely with sand-covered or clean tanned ankles. I'm totally buying some. And maybe they will come with a cottage on Cape Cod and some dogs and membership into American royalty.

(Sneakers here, Kennedys here.)

Here are the contents of the hatbox sent by Mouse's mom. The really fantastic thing about Mouse's mom's hats is that each of them actually got worn. A lot. It isn't like some of the hats bought on a whim and then stuffed in the back of Mouse's closet. Oh, no. These hats went to church, to the grocery store, shopping, on planes. And they are still in perfect condition, because Mouse's mom has that effect on things. You should see some of the others she might donate to the thrift store--a wide-brimmed white hat for Easter, a bright blue sailor hat made out of wool, a red fedora with a long feather.

I am going to wear the grey fedora everywhere and search for something little and black and sequined to go with the purple one with the veil. I'm so excited.

I'm pretty excited for the weekend. We're having a film noir party, where we are watching some combo of these movies (I hope it will include The Maltese Falcon because Mouse has a crush on Humphrey Bogart). I love bad puns and having lots of food, so I think we are serving:

1. Maltese Falcon wings (rather, hot wings, ha ha)
2. Double lemondemnity bars
3. The Third Manicotti
4. Black-and-white cookies (I might call them two-faced cookies)

Send me ideas if you're nerdy in this particular vein. I'll welcome the company.
(Posters: Double Indemnity, The Maltese Falcon, The Third Man)

Lately Mouse has been trolling around for forest stencils. I wasn't sure whether I could really have stencils, since Boyfriend and I are lowly renters. But I really wanted some trees about in my camp-out room. But these branch wall stickers are "easily removable," so I think I can finally make my forest. The people who make them also make some delicious foresty wallpaper. Which is on sale now. Sigh. One day.


I really like the idea of driving a Vespa, if I lived somewhere other than Chicago. Wouldn't it be fun to cruise around on this one, remodeled with wood veneer? (via Dwell)

Ooh, ooh. Mouse's mom (yes, the one from the boots) sent her a package in the mail today, with this old Neusteter's hatbox nestled inside. Can we all say hooray for Mouse's mom's sudden burst of basement- and sewing-room cleaning? Tomorrow, I will show you the two excellent hats I found inside the box.

It is possible that Mouse has unreasonably high expectations of products. I want them to work, and smell good, and not cost a billion dollars per ounce. I also really want them to stop having the kind of chemicals I won't specifically talk about on this blog because it is supposed to be un-serious space (ahem, parabens, ahem). I will, however, let you know that after literally two years of searching, Mouse has finally found shampoo and conditioner that meets the following conditions:

1. Does not eff up hair color (hey man, we can't all stay naturally blonde in Chicago)
2. Smells nice, but not like food, and not so strong that it overpowers perfume
3. Does not cost as much as things in the shampoo aisle at Whole Foods
4. Creates the illusion that Mouse has much more and much nicer hair than she actually does
5. Leaves hair feeling silky
6. Is formulated without narsty stuff

Hurray hurray. From Avalon Organics, available here.

Cool old perfume bottle (or, er, snuff bottle). This probably came from this giant antique store Mouse's dad likes to frequent. I like that it refuses to stand up straight, and that in fact most of its charm is in asymmetry.
Sister who spends lots of time shoveling snow off of her roof said something nice to Mouse not so long ago about doing a difficult thing: "I will wait until I can do it gracefully." Stepdad used to tell her this, too. There's getting through the difficult stuff life throws at you every once in awhile, and then there is doing it with grace. Mouse has good intentions about working on this, because the part where I worry, complain, worry, and worry has no positive results for me, the situation, or people around me. So. Grace.

Mouse grew up in a blue and yellow kitchen which was wonderful and unsubtle. The wallpaper was blue flowers with yellow centers. The counters, floors, and curtains were yellow. The blue was cerulean and the yellow was bright.

As an adult, Mouse had been subconsciously accumulating blue and yellow kitchen things, and one day looked around and decided to go with it. The trouble is that this color combination, which to me says "Home! Comfy! Safe! Yum!" to other people seems sort of dated. There are few kitchen rugs around anymore in the right shades of blue and yellow. I want bright.

So hurrah for the new floor tiles at CB2, which are bits of rug about 20 by 20 square. The new ones have stripes, and the blue is a nice bright blue. Unfortunately, although there is plenty of yellow over there at CB2, there is no nice bright yellow in floor tiles. I might have to go with gold or lime, or just use the blue and arrange the stripes in fun ways.

Where have four-way rubber bands been all my life? It's a darn good idea, let me tell you. I am now planning to buy several million and do the following:

1. Keep all the boxes in our closet closed even when you move them around, without being messy (I'm looking at you, garden twine which gets lost as soon as you untie a box)
2. Transport my Chicago Manual of Style without it flopping open and crimping the pages (Mouse is slightly overprotective of books and does not care for folds)
3. Decorate presents with one or more layers of neat, modern color
4. Shoot them at Boyfriend

Four-way rubber bands, $5 for a package of 10, from Hip Housewares, via MightyHaus.

So, sister who periodically lives in Tanzania has this amazing ability to locate folk art and craft stuff that still feels modern. Besides the greatest earrings of all time, she also found Mouse these cool salad utensils. Each is carved out of one piece of ebony wood, which is incredible. I love the twisted shape and its contrast with the perfectly round spoon or fork part. And the color variation keeps it interesting without going so colorful that it looks weird on my dining table.


Mouse is doing all Obama posts today, because I am just that darn excited. Here are some great inaugural links:

NYT slideshow of the parade route (click "5" for Mouse's favorite part, click "3" for details about when, exactly, the swearing-in will occur)

More neat stuff over here at Whorange.

Enjoy! Hurray!

I think we can all make a nonpartisan decision that Michelle Obama is easily the greatest thing to happen to White House style in a very long time. If you have a big crush on her wardrobe and hair the way Mouse does, I have a present for you:

Here is a slideshow of all the clothes she is wearing over the inauguration festivities, presumably to be updated with amazing ball gowns pdq.

(Also, this just in, here is a slideshow of all the inaugural ball gowns the first ladies have worn over the years. I'm excited for what happens at the Smithsonian when there is a first husband, but that's neither here nor there today. Right now is just swoon, swoon, and wait on pins and needles for the gown tonight.)

"Mrs. O" print here.

So, after much doubt, Mouse and Boyfriend decided not to make the trek to D.C. to be in the crowds of people, freezing. We were at Grant Park, we said, and that was good enough for us! We are being fiscally responsible, or whatever. We said.

That was before various friends came up with tickets for us to go to two inaugural ballsArgh. Argh and kicking myself, kick kick kick. 

(Pretty jewelry in case you want some, or need some to go with your ball gown. Right, earrings from Banaitis and Richter; left, necklace from One Life Jewelry.)

Mouse is all aflutter today, hurrah hurrah. Here are some of my favorite Obama prints, many of which are still available to take to inaugural parties with you (top left: Shawn Hazen, via urockobama.com; top right: Dumrobot via Design for Obama; bottom left: Plural Design; bottom right: Patrick Moberg via urockobama.com).

This poster makes me smile, and puts the whole thing on a nice, light note. It's a giant letterpress by YeeHaw, available here.


If you need some Obama inspiration for tomorrow, check out the great posters over at Design For Obama. They're available for free download in various sizes, and just the thing to keep momentum going with an inauguration bash.

Naturally, after the coveted mukluks emerged out of my mom's blizzard box,* the very first thing Mouse did was to run to her own blizzard box and open it for the first time ever. Treasure-hunting! (My blizzard box has been riding around in my trunk since I was sixteen, and has gotten shoved in the trunk of three different new cars without ever being opened except to see that it was my blizzard box.) Sure enough, I found this blanket, which is grey and blue and orange and perfect plaid wool. Hooray, treasure (once I can get the wrinkles out). And I even know of an ugly blanket which will be exiled to the blizzard box forthwith.

* Do most places have these? In Mouse's snowy western state, they have all the stuff you need for being stuck in the snow and you get very yelled at for not having one.

Yay! These mukluks belong to Mouse after years and years of begging my mom for them. They were always a teeny bit too small for her, but they fit me perfectly, and things from the late seventies find a loving home on my feet. So she decided to give them to me, but then lost them. This year, they reappeared in her blizzard box.* Mine at last, long coveted! I'm so excited to wear them around. 

Occasionally Boyfriend says strange things, like the donut hole comment. The other day, I got "Wow, you look so mod right when you get out of the shower." (What??) Sometimes, I will be cooking a recipe we've agreed on called, say, Cheesy Cheesy Chicken, and he will say "But it won't have too much cheese or chicken, right?" (What??) 

With these, he took one look and said: "What's on your feet?" (What?? Boots, clearly, and effing awesome ones!) It's okay, nobody else has to like the boots. I like them plenty.

*Blizzard box: a big cardboard box which you keep in your trunk if you live in a snowy western state and which has a wool blanket, boots, mittens, weird items of food which are supposed to make you warm, and kitty litter for various situations presented by large amounts snow. More about this in the next post.

P.S. - Boot update from Mouse's mom: bought in 1978/1979 for apres-ski, and worn with "orange and maroon plaid hiphuggers I made and a burnt orange turtleneck." My mom is so much cooler than I am.

Here are some perfect teensy-weensy pine cone candles given to me by my fairy blogmother. Aren't they sweet? I am putting them in my camp-out room.

(Fairy blogmother is writing a guest blog the next three Mondays over at Practical Wedding. Go see her, she is lovely.)