charmed…in every sense of the word

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so this is my very groovy co-worker, Lecia, who is a copywriter/project manager.
she has such ubiquitous charm…and yes, pun intended; because this particular day i walked past her cube, and she was wearing this charm necklace she made, (!) that jetted me right back into my childhood happy place with all of the miniature toy charms i used to have, hoard and treasure.

a happy place indeed.

not to mention how insanely cozy-quirky-quirky-cozy her cube is – replete with vintage lamps, owls, old luggage, a porch chair and a mailbox that i&#39ll have to feature in a future post. and these great vintage ads that harken back to earlier days of the retailer for whom we work (look closely, you&#39ll see). The last ad (Slack-o-Rama! who wouldn&#39t want a Slack-o-Rama?) she found when unwrapping some vintage dishes that her grandmother gave her, and she rescued & repurposed them for a clever dose of cube art.

11
Dec 2013
AUTHOR Lizz DeLera
COMMENTS 2 Comments
09
Dec 2013
AUTHOR Lizz DeLera
CATEGORY

places, stylized, things

COMMENTS No Comments

the mighty foam strength…

double breve latte

so – trapped inside from an unforeseen ice storm in the middle of Dallas, a little cabin fever set in and so i trekked out on foot into the Icepocalypse with my beloved sidekick and partner in crime (my 15 year old daughter) to Starbucks and indulged in the greatest, most scrumpdillyicious breve latte…

the foam was that strong and that fan-farking-tastic, that the straw stood up by itself.

(special thanks to barista Milan Baweja)

09
Dec 2013
AUTHOR Lizz DeLera
CATEGORY

places, things

COMMENTS No Comments

a little humor for a day of poultry…

Benny Hill tattoo

when i came across this person & this image…i kind of sat on it for a bit, not sure when to use it for a post…and then i realized how apropos it is for the day before Thanksgiving – a time when we spend large concentrated amounts of time with our families and relatives that we&#39re glad to see…but it also can be maddening. maybe you&#39re visiting in-laws, or your divorced sets of parents, or people you&#39ve &#39adopted&#39 for the holiday. and so i realized how connected this image is in the grand scheme of things.

the main thing you have to do is MAINTAIN YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR.

this guy obviously carries around Benny Hill and his sense of humor emblazoned on the circumference of his calf for some very important reason. and he&#39s absolutely right.

i must admit that slapstick comedy is really my least favorite – but my dad loves Benny Hill, and dissolves into giggles when watching the Benny Hill reruns like a little boy (unlike the 75 year old man that he actually is) and so i figured that i would encourage everyone who is visiting in-laws, or future in-laws, or the complicated dynamics of your very own family tomorrow for Thanksgiving – to just embrace the whole glorious messiness of it all, and pretend that you&#39re in one of those quirky independent films and sitting in the audience laughing at your own plight, and just enjoy the hell out of it all.

at home she…feels like a tourist

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ok, i couldn&#39t resist the nod to the post-punk band Gang of Four song from the 80&#39s when i titled this post…

because it made me think of how i feel, when as a formerly embedded NYC dweller, i see products that remind me of the place as if it was not just a city – but a former lover; i get all anthropomorphic about my emotions attached to that city as if it were a person…and when i see things that harken to the place, i get these weird pangs – kind of like brazilians describe the word and the sentiment of &#34saudade.&#34

so the other day i ran into this little genius paper (yes, paper!) clutch by Kate Spade while out shopping, and i felt like i had to have it. it looked just like a map! i didn&#39t buy it…but it conjured up a memory so strong that i have to admit, i was a little bit obsessed.

when i first moved to NYC after college, i had a very certain street map (which of course i didn&#39t DARE pull out in public!) after i began to find my way around the concrete jungle grid, i still kept that map close at hand. one summer day while in a sublet in Westbeth i had the windows open, and a big gust of wind blew my beloved map right out the window and onto the abandoned train tracks several floors below (which is now part of the High Line). i was CRUSHED. the torture! it sat there for days. i mean…i *could have just gone to any news stand on any street and bought another map; but the truth is, i was attached to it, and it represented my small-town-to-big-city struggle – not to mention progress.

it sat there on those train tracks for 2 days. i looked at it; *LE SIGH.

then on the third day, i was looking out the window, and i saw another gust of wind carry it into the air and jettison it down to the sidewalk…several more floors down. i RAN to the elevator and hauled ass to get that map; and i did. it was no easy feat before it got blown away into the skyscraper landscape.

(((((happiness.)))))

i still have that map to this day, 25 years later.

28
Aug 2013
AUTHOR Lizz DeLera
COMMENTS No Comments

global reach…

african dress in airport

traditional african dress, Atlanta airport

how beautiful is her national costume.

what you can&#39t see in the pic… (moving too fast!) was her adorable, impeccably dressed preppy little boy, with his stylish graphic teddy bear knapsack.

from whence…i came

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recently traveled back to where i come from and grew up – and it&#39s strange…but once you&#39ve left somewhere for a long time, you tend to notice cultural things that you once regarded as the norm, but now are fascinated with.

mostly germanic with a heavy dose of both Mennonite, Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch…i sometimes wonder if environmentally that has contributed to my mostly peaceful, laid back nature. i say that in self retrospect, since i&#39m adopted – and i&#39m actually neither germanic nor Mennonite…but rather more from excitable ethnicities, and so it makes me wonder:
nurture vs. nature?

here are a few things that i re-fell in love with while there – green for miles, red barns a-plenty, the Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs that protect and bring good luck, including the Double Distelfink (hung on the side of every barn), amazing farm fresh vegetables from the amish farmer&#39s market (yummmmm, tomatoes, my love!). also, you may notice there are no photos of the amish from the front; they feel that cameras steal their soul, and it is taboo to take pictures of them.

and a little-known culinary wonder not eaten anywhere else in the country except wherever the Pennsylvania Dutch, Amish or Mennonites reside:

shoo fly pie!

oh, and the ubiquitous pickled eggs. (again….yummmm.)

and apple butter (usually eaten in tandem with cottage cheese. very delicious.)

19
Aug 2013
AUTHOR Lizz DeLera
CATEGORY

places

COMMENTS No Comments

packing…for time travel

since happenstancing involves a lot of travel…and because i just returned from a short trip, i thought maybe i&#39d show you what my favorite packing essentials are. these can easily work for both men and women – i&#39m an equal opportunity packer.

 

packing and trip essentials

 

1. packing cubes. love them. they can separate things out so that if you have to pack, then unpack, then pack again quickly  – you only have a minimal mess and not have to re-do everything from scratch. i really like these from ebags; they come in many different colors and in sets. they squish, they mold, and you can use each for different things; one for shirts, one for pants, etc. Eagle Creek™ also makes some popular ones.

2. for all of your wayward and unruly technology components, get yourself a Cocoon from Grid-It. you&#39ll never have to dig for your swallowed up, tangled peripherals again!

3. my fav pillow for the plane, a Snoozetime. i like the shape; it&#39s filled with microbeads, it fits pretty well in a carry-on bag, (unlike the U-shaped ones) and if you can&#39t sleep on a plane, it doubles as an armrest. and if your pillow is absolutely sub-par wherever your final destination is – you can use it in the hotel to add some padding.

4. planes are so cold, so i always have something fashionable that serves as a blanket. this one happens to be a huge warm linen blend scarf from one of my go-to stores, Zara – but you can also search on ebay or Nordstrom for great lightweight pashmina or other scarf/blanket options. besides…airlines these days are so tight on money… that who wants to use a recycled, non-laundered blanket…that is, if you even get one?

5. ok, these are some necessities:

first, Evian mini facial spray (not as much on domestic flights, but they are a lifesaver on international flights – your exhausted, dried out face will thank you; and you&#39ll avoid that &#34i-feel-so-grimy-after-14-hours-in-the-air&#34 feeling.) you can get them on amazon, or at Ulta, Sephora, and sometimes just in Walgreens or CVS.

next, i never get on a plane without eyedrops. any eyedrops. Visine or Systane. you&#39ll feel better when you land when your eyes aren&#39t like scorched orbs in their sockets!

then…you won&#39t think you need this – but you do. even the guys: Origins Sensory Therapy™ Peace Of Mind™ On-The-Spot Relief. it&#39s a small little bottle that you use a tiny dab of fluid and put it under your nose..and voilá! your nose and sinuses will open up while flying, and the clean pepperminty/eucalyptus smell will make you oblivious to any bad plane smells… or unfortunate seat neighbor odors.

finally…yes, that is a mini MagLite flashlight. because you know what? if the plane goes down,
i sure as hell am not going to be the one in the dark 😉

6. the purple plastic capsule…i found in Michaels in the craft section. it pinch hits for everything and can be an eyeglasses holder; it fits a razor; it&#39s a mostly airtight container for beach trips when things don&#39t need to get wet; it fits & conceals several (*ahem) womanly things, or keeps your keys safe and dry. and… it even fits an iphone in it.

7. the ultimate clear 1 quart TSA bag for your liquids & toiletries. to me, it has just the right width, you can pack it chock full, and it is more substantial than a ziplock baggie. and, i just love the plane graphic. also, if you didn&#39t already know about this amazing travel size website – bookmark it: http://www.3floz.com/

8. a little homemade trick of mine: rubber grip shelf liner. yup, straight out of the kitchen aisle in Target. (or Walmart, or Lowe&#39s, etc). cut a piece that&#39s approx. 9″ high x 12″ wide… and that will fit your tray table on the plane. so those pesky wandering drinks, or your laptop, pens, your glasses and all the things on your tray table will stay put…and not slip & slide. then just roll it up and toss it in your bag when the flight&#39s over.

9. large micro mesh pouches from The Container Store. semi-see through and aerated, they are great for packing your underwear, socks & tights, scarves, or anything thin & that otherwise gets jammed and lost in the nether-region pockets of your suitcase. easy to access, easy to grab & go.

p.s. ALWAYS, always throw a clean pair of underwear in your carry-on bag. if your baggage goes missing, you can carry on your trip without missing a beat. my mom taught me that!

when it rains…do a rain dance

rain in spain

ok – so i did something that i said i would not do since starting this blog…and that is…that i fell off the wagon a little.

i&#39m actually pretty disappointed; because it&#39s the one thing that i look forward to, and even though i&#39m still &#39happenstancing&#39 daily, i let the grinding gears of daily life and a bunch of things i needed to handle get in the way of my blogging. so… let&#39s not do that anymore!

thought this photo summed up exactly how i felt; a little puddle of rain in a deluge, that was a relief.

ok, so i&#39m not really in Spain. (but i wish that i was.)

in fact it actually rains very seldom where i live…therefore fortuitous that the skies opened up and let my creative juices downpour, as they normally would. and not get stuck in some billowing rain clouds that are hovering… and needing to let loose with their mammoth, cleansing droplets.

most of you may already know that negative ions produced by rain (and water in general) actually have positive effects (increasing seratonin) on humans.

ergo…negative can sometimes = positive.

my grandmother used to do a cool thing when i was little; whenever she heard the forecast predict rain…she sent me & my sister out to do a little &#39Native American&#39 rain dance (and by the way, we are not Native American.)

and we danced; and it did.

so 9 times out of 10…we thought we actually had the power to make it rain.

clever woman.

22
Jul 2013
AUTHOR Lizz DeLera
CATEGORY

places, thoughts

COMMENTS 2 Comments

the Tao of…Tableness

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i bought a cool little midcentury modern side table that matches all of my other &#39table family&#39 on ebay. the seller happened to also live in Dallas; so we agree to meet to exchange the table.

here&#39s how the Tao of Tableness went:

we meet near the Infomart parking lot, which i marvel over again up close; and find a curious feline pharoah gargoyle guarding the building…at which point the guy, (a total stranger) who works in IT, senses that we both like design-y things… and points me down the street to the galleries, and that i should check out Dragon St. a little further.

i do; and as i park, i spot and am entranced by a little rainbow anodized flat wrench that i find laying on the ground… which fits in perfectly with the notorious &#34dropped and found&#34 photo series that i&#39ve been doing for a few years; and it points in the direction of a very hip looking café that i decide right then and there…i must go try. (at this point, i&#39m famished)

it is Ascension Coffee & Wine Bar…right next to The Meddlesome Moth (the vine window). i almost passed out with joy after one bite of the bacon frittata with tomato jam, (ohhhhh, tomato jam, i love you!) and the gorgeous latte rosetta that swirls itself into my cup and nests seductively within the rim, as i fawn over it.

refreshed & inspired, i hit the galleries – and see some great photographs that include artful arrangements of old fashioned criminal mugshots, tilt-shift photographs of a bullfight, and even some anthropomorphic, posturing red mailboxes.

so, to recap:

>buy a vintage table on ebay> bond with stranger over art & design> find found object on the ground that points to amazing food> see amazing art> blog about it.

20
Jun 2013
AUTHOR Lizz DeLera
COMMENTS 2 Comments