Friday, October 30, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Terrible Tuesdays

I think I'm getting sick. Plus I just shot down an aspiring writer who cold called me, because there is nothing that annoys me more than being cold called. And now I feel bad for being curt, but I would feel worse if I had to review their terrible manuscript. Because manuscripts that come from people who don't know better than to cold call editors are inevitably terrible. But because I have the world's biggest guilt complex, I do feel bad for telling them to Google "How to find a literary agent." Even though that is, frankly, good advice. It's raining out and all I want to do is go home and eat chicken noodle soup under a flannel blanket and go back to sleep.

I'm sorry, aspiring author, okay? You sound like a nice person and I hope I didn't dash your hopes. But you shouldn't call editors and say someone gave you her name and then not be able to answer the editor's question as to who gave you her name. You shouldn't call editors, period, especially ones you don't know (that's bad manners); most of them are not phone people. Especially not on Tuesdays.

Update. I did a Google search of my own and used the handy call log feature to call back and get their email address. I then typed up tips and pasted some links and sent it.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Blue skies

I was a little bit of a pill this weekend. But I have such a sweet husband. Last night I loved sitting next to him on the couch and reading manuscripts (well, the first part, anyway) and trying to keep my drooping eyes open long enough for the Yankees to win the pennant.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Little Miss Muffin

Chris and I are super excited to have Liz visiting us this weekend. She is going to a photo convention at the Javits Center. Although, judging by the photos below, I don't know what on earth anyone's got left to teach this lady.

Of course we wish the beautiful squidgie in the pics and her big brother and their dad were visiting too, but we are also excited to get some Lizzy time.

Then Chris, Shelby, and I are having lunch with my dad on Sunday. Yay!

Happy weekend, lovelies!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"So they gave the werewolf their baby?! Dudes, what?!"

I was going to post a hilarious chain of emails consisting mostly of straight-faced quotes from the Wikipedia entries on Twilight, but I don't want to make my Twi-hard loved ones sad, so I won't. Hey, I'll admit it! I raced through Books 1 and 2! I understand the appeal!

BUT, you have got to confess that when you boil the plot of Breaking Dawn down to encyclopedic entries, it is really quite amusing. (After you get over the horror, that is.)

(The email exchange was sparked by one person sending a link to a site where people who have actually christened their child Renesmee can upload a picture, and by another person's befuddlement as to where the name Renesmee came from.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Internet ban

More coats I'm not allowed to get:

All via Fred Flare.

Plaid mad

Now that I can't buy wedding magazines anymore, I find myself returning to the shelter mag section, which is of course bereft of Domino. Elle Decor, Metropolitan Home, and Vogue Living are too schwanky...Fresh Home and House Beautiful weren't up to snuff this month...the British magazines are just too expensive. In desperation I picked up Country Living. And you know what? I think it's as close to Domino as you're going to get. With cozy recipes to boot. Reader, I bought it.

I have already been on an idle plaid-lookout since I saw this one navy-and-red coat at H&M (I am not, however, allowed to buy any coats unless they contain goose-down according to Chris, who is sick of me shivering through each and every winter). Then this Country Living photo spread made me want EVERYYYYTHING plaid. Plaid plaid plaid!

If you type plaid a lot of times it starts to look really weird.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Isn't she Louvrely

Day 3 of our honeymoon. That's all for this week--happy weekend.

After the Louvre we climbed most of the Eiffel Tower. Chris snapped this photo because I didn't like dangling my hand over the edge.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Aerial shot

I saw these cool photos on Black Eiffel and had to share. The photographer is named Cade Martin.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Grownup's hour

Read on honeymoon:

Still on reading list:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Day 2 we got up and took the subway to Montmartre. We took the funicular (sp?) up the steps to the Sacre Coeur. The view of Paris was amazing.

After walking around Montmartre, including a mercifully quick swing by the surprisingly kitschy-sleazy Moulin Rouge, we walked down the steps and took the Metro to the Marais. We shopped, ate tomato quiches standing up in a delicious street market, lounged in the park at the center of Place des Vosges, and just generally enjoyed the sights. Then we walked home along the Seine again.

After a relaxing foot soak in the tub, we headed out for dinner,, I believe in the Latin Quarter.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The honeymooners

Our hotel in Paris was wonderful (Chris found it--he did all the planning). It was called the Hotel du Pantheon. They gave us a lovely quiet room near the top with a fantastic view of the Pantheon because we were on our honeymoon.

We were walking distance from wonderful stuff--the Notre Dame, La Sainte-Chappelle, Shakespeare & Co, even (our first day) the Eiffel Tower. Okay, in retrospect not really the last one, but with nothing to do and hours till check in, we sure did leave our suitcases at the hotel desk and walk to the Eiffel Tower. Crazy walking NYC fools. Taking a nap on the lawn underneath it is one of my favorite memories of the trip.

This doesn't need to be so HARD.

They could NOT make changing your name any more difficult. Presumably people have been getting married for hundreds of years, yes? Does anyone have any recommendations as to how on earth you can keep both your middle name and your maiden name as middle names? Presumably children christened with two middle names get around this somehow, yes?

Update: I have to stop researching this today. I was reading this message board and getting irate at some of the commenters. How dare you tell someone to get over their wish to keep both their middle name and their maiden name? Why do we live in a society that is so rigidly built around having only three names? If I want to be Jane Anne Doe Smith, that should be an option! I have to put this problem to the side for now; it's making me heartsick.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wedding recap: invitations

I was pretty proud of our invitations. Shelby and I designed them (that is to say, Shelby did the work while I loomed over her shoulder being picky) and I had them printed at a letterpress printer called Mercurio Brothers in California. Letterpress was a splurge, but with Mercurio, it was vastly more affordable than even digitally printed invites were with some other companies. I survived a writer's conference I had been dreading and I got a hefty honorarium, so I put that check toward the invites, and I'm glad I did.

Our wedding didn't really have a color scheme (um, "bright"?) but we did wind up repeating marigold (orange-yellow) and charcoal gray in several places (gray for the men's suits; marigold for their ties, for some of the flowers--more on that later--and for the ribbon used to tie the favors and the bar tablecloths). So our invites focused on these colors. I wanted them to look both elegant and countryside-lovely. Shelby chose the two fonts, which were beautiful; we used these everywhere, including on the program and the favors (more on that later).

There were a few pieces enclosed: the invite and response card, both letterpressed; a map that Shelby drew and scanned and I printed (individually, and they were double-sided, which meant each had to be fed through twice. And then I cut them with a paper cutter, and then Shelby neatened those cuts with her exacto blade. If I could do it over again, I would pay the extra whatever to have them printed!); and a brunch invitation (the latter two not letterpressed). Originally the brunch invitation was going to be a white design printed on the marigold background, but the printer expressed reservations about being able to match the yellow, so we wound up just going with gray on white. I was worried this was too funereal but Shelby and I made a gray-and-white sign for the guest book at the wedding, which we matted on a marigold background, so in my head, everything ties together.

I tied the pieces together (erm, literally, in this case) with orange-marigold raffia that I bought at JamPaper on Fifth Ave. You can just see the response card in this photo. Its design was identical to the brunch invite.

I didn't use an inner envelope thinking that by flaunting tradition I was being eco-friendly. Some of our invites, though, arrived at their destination with the ink having bled or smudged. If I could go back in time, I would use inner envelopes after all. I worked so hard on these that it breaks my heart that some of our guests got damaged ones.

I addressed the envelopes using a thin pen nib and white calligraphy ink. This was one of my favorite things to do out of the whole wedding planning process, even when the last pen nib got scratchy and I went through ten envelopes just trying to get my grandparents' envelope to look nice. The response cards were stamped with our address, a stamp I had made by LoveToCreateStamps on Etsy. I also stamped our address on the back flap of the return envelope.

I was kind of sad to mail them, I must admit! In fact, Chris had to take them to the post office for me!

Our love is here to stay

Our first night in Paris we walked from our hotel to the Notre Dame and thence into the outskirts of the Marais, where we had dinner. Along the way we strolled by the Seine.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Peachy keen

I thought I would DIE if I couldn't buy this dress. (We are on a shopping hold at the moment in our household, so even the fact that ModCloth is comparable in cuteness to Anthropologie, but at a quarter of the price, doesn't really fly.)

Then I saw that the lace doesn't continue onto the back, so I guess I won't die, but I WILL have to take to my bed with a hankie and smelling salts.

Moving right along, footloose and fancy free!

I changed my mind; I think I'd like to wait for the official photos to do more wedding recaps, PLUS I think everyone is tired of hearing about weddings. I'm going to make this blog a little more casual, a little more "pretty things" and "books I'm reading" and "funny things that happened to me on the subway" and "what I baked this weekend."

Also, I joined Twitter, so if you are on, follow me at lauralovesbooks.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wedding recap: site.

I might as well get the wedding recaps out of the way so I can start with the business of the rest of my life :) Since the wedding, I've cut myself off from wedding blogs cold turkey. It's 99% a massive relief, but there's a little part of myself that's kind of wistful about seeing how various other bloggers' weddings turned out. When we landed in Charlotte from Paris, I saw that the new Martha Stewart Weddings was out, so of course I had to look to see if Grace from Design*Sponge's wedding was featured (it was, and it was gorgeous, and confirmed my decision to stop reading wedding blogs: there are an infinite number of perfect weddings, and I'm just going to sit back and be happy with my own) and Chris had a minor fit when he saw that I was reading a wedding magazine.

Wow, how many more times can I type the word "wedding" in one paragraph?

So most of the photos I'm putting up are borrowed from friends' Facebook albums; I'll credit our official photographer when I use hers. We took Chris's laptop to France and our first hotel had free wireless, so of course we had to log on at the end of each day to see what people were posting :) Sometimes the Internet is fun, after all.

I'll start with choosing our location. It's a bit blurry to remember--this was summer 2008--but we decided on Virginia because to do it in New York City meant all our families would have to travel; East Hampton, where Chris's mom lives, was a bit too pricey for us; and northern Maine, where Chris's dad's family lives, is very remote and would be difficult to travel to. Still, it was a tough call because all of those places would make lovely wedding settings. (We didn't consider a destination wedding for one second--it just wasn't something we wanted to do.)

Once we decided upon Virginia, it took us a few months to stumble across Lake Ritchie. We checked out various plantations, manor homes, bed & breakfasts, and other wedding "plug-and-play" sites, as Chris termed them. They all shared whopping price tags and a certain blandness that we weren't crazy about. Then Kristen, our photographer, mentioned Lake Ritchie to my mom. She had shot a wedding there that had been gorgeous even though it had poured rain. We drove out one early fall weekend to check it out, and we were convinced fairly quickly.

All that's there is a lake and a pavilion with a kitchen and two bathrooms, so it's definitely a Bring In The Troops kind of location. It's not something with a website--it's a lady who rents out the family land now and again. But it was gorgeous. It was exactly the unpretentious, naturally beautiful setting we had hoped for, wanting to show all our guests just what we love about Virginia.

We rented a tent, tables and chairs, brought in a caterer, and had our cake delivered. Otherwise, the wedding was put together by me and Chris, our families and bridal party, and run by the amazing Cole & Jeremy, two of our best friends. We couldn't have done it without them. To anyone planning your own wedding: you DO need a Day-Of Coordinator. I resisted that idea too, thinking I could do it all myself, but without Cole there, I would have been a nervous wreck. And so many of our other friends chipped in that day, too, helping to set up and take down. Thanks, guys. I would do the same for you in a heartbeat, even though I wish you hadn't had to lift a finger.

Finally--we were so lucky (blessed, honestly) with the most beautiful weather. It was a sunny, blue-skied day in the mid-70s, not a cloud to be seen. According to the news anchors the days leading into it there was a 0% chance of rain, which would have relieved my mind considerably if I hadn't already made the decision not to worry about it. Hooray for sunny outdoor weddings!

And for ravishing sunsets!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

In the meantime...

Before I get back to steadier posting, our photographer posted a sneak peek of our wedding photos on her blog...if you are interested, of course.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


*Well, in airport purgatory in Charlotte. But back on US soil, that is to say. What an awesome trip. Details soon.