Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I have a bit of an OCD problem, particularly when it comes to my closet. I have a hard time focusing on my work, knowing that the pile of black sweaters has topped over or that my shoes are jumbled together.

So I procrastinate in the closet. I sort garments by type (skirts, trousers, etc.) and by color (having once worked at JC Penney, I know how to create a pleasing rainbow on the rod). My shoes are in translucent plastic boxes and stacked in four rows, about ten boxes high. Some boxes have two pairs of shoes in them. Boots and shoes I wear frequently are stored separately. Do the math.

When I went through my closet last weekend, weeding out items for consignment and Goodwill, I rediscovered shoes I forgot I owned. Hello, pink Prada sandals. Nice to see you, blue suede ballet flats from the Barneys Warehouse. Even though I could sort of see the shoes in the boxes, it wasn't good enough. Many shoes had fallen out of rotation.

So I photographed all my sandals, boots, loafers, Mary Janes, kitten heels, mules, clogs, slingbacks, and stilettos in various settings. I printed the photos and laminated them at Kinkos. I cut them out and pasted them onto each box for easier identification.

What's next? A barcode system?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Backcountry Betty

I got back from my whirlwind trip to the East Coast to find that advances of my new book, Backcountry Betty, had arrived. To my delight, the book is adorable—I want to cuddle with Kate Quinby's illustrations of owls, bear cubs, and Nalgene bottles, and the text still makes me giggle after having spent months writing and editing the manuscript.

It's for all of you girly girl/tomboys who want to be a style maven even if you're deep in the mountains. Trick out your fleece, pack strategically, whip up smokin' hairstyles without product or hot rollers, sex up your campsite, mix up cocktails with Crystal Light, identify flora and fauna, and push beyond basic s'mores for captivating campstove cookin'.

I just need to plan a trip to the Cascades so I can practice what I preach and teach. It'll give me an excuse to rock my pigtails again.

P.S. I'm still continuing to find sand in my ears after being mauled by a wave in Rehoboth last weekend. What's up with that?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hot Dog

I love me some prairie dogs, especially when they sit up on their hind legs to investigate. My cat Mac Daddy does it sometimes when he suspects sushi is in the vicinity. You can imagine my delight when I was forwarded a YouTube video a couple of weeks ago by a lovely man who gets my affinity for all things prairie and prairie dog (and well, just doggone cute). I like the Kill Bill remix, as well as the Zoolander take on it.

I'm telling you, prairie chic is spreading like wildfire!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

P.S. The Maxx for the minimum

As a follow up to yesterday, Alison and I hit TJ Maxx this morning shortly after they opened. Within an hour, I found myself in the checkout line with a Max Studio dress, a linen pencil skirt, Vitabath lotion, and Votivo bath salts in my favorite mandarin scent.

I have a problem.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Marshalls is for me

I'm visiting friends in Philly right now and the second thing I wanted to do (after eating my way through my favorite dives) was head to Marshalls. Today my dream came true.

Alison and I had about an hour and half before dinner so we hauled ass to a giant Marshalls somewhere in New Jersey. In short order, I snatched some Votivo soap, lotion, and room spray; some madras espadrilles; shorts perfect for the beach, and at the last minute, Paper, Denim & Cloth jeans that hug me in all the right $49.99 places.

On deck for the week are a concert in the park, lunch at the Four Seasons, and a weekend at my favorite place in the world (Rehoboth Beach) with my favorite people.

Is it so wrong that what I'm really looking forward to is the TJ Maxx and the Banana outlet at the beach? Part of it is that is what my best friend Alison and I do. But mostly it's so I can score some sweet deals. I'm still on the hunt for Vitabath.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Cocktails and Confessions

Last night, as part of my contributing editor gig with, I hosted what i hope will be the first of many "cocktails and confessions" party with some of my gal pals. It's amazing what booze and a video camera will produce. I don't think anyone expected the raucous, bawdy, uninhibited evening that ensued. Nonie kept us doubled over with her stories of Juvaderm and Botox (she, we can safely say, is a Botox junkie), all blurted out in her bloody fantastic British accent. Laurel thankfully watched the grill for me while I was grilling everyone about their beauty confessions, both tragic and tragic-comic. Emily, reluctant at first, was cajoled into telling us how she doesn't wash her face yet gets completely waxed down there. Amy, a few glasses of wine in her, showed us just how she bites her toenails. Yes, toenails.

What's your beauty confession? Diss and tell! Finally, it's fun to confess.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Raising an eyebrow

It's decidedly not prairie, which means it took me longer than most to come around to it, but I had my eyebrows shaped and tinted this weekend. Usually, I pluck them when a stray appears. This has worked pretty well, except for a tragic experiment in seventh grade that resulted in me looking like Claudette Colbert for a couple of months.

But I was curious so I went to the best (and definitely the most obsessed). Stacya Silverman specializes in brows and operates a charming salon out of her Craftsman home. A collector of vintage etiquette books and Girl Scout manuals, she may be my new best friend. Check her out at

Now if I could only resist the urge to pluck the stray hair that is growing in below my left eyebrow, all will be well in my world.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Fighting the fleece

I live in Seattle, which means I'm surrounded in fleece. At the farmer's market, on the ferry, in the office, at snazzy restaurants, next to me at the theater. The place is lousy with fleece. There's no sense of occasion. Guys and gals leave their baseball caps on inside. It makes me crazy.

I understand it. It gets damp and chilly here. Fleece is warm and cuddly. It's like being surrounded in furry puppy. I get it. And if truth be told, I own a hoodie or two, a couple of fleece sweatshirts, even a fleece throw that my cat loves to knead (he probably couldn't try that with a furry puppy). But I don't wear fleece unless I'm on a bike, walking around Greenlake, or feeling sick and sorry for myself on the couch. I've been fighting the allure of fleece for a while now and I feel how easy it would be for me to slip into its warm, water-resistant embrace.

That scares the bejeezus out of me. What's next? Going without a slip? Letting my bra strap show? Well, I'll tell you. I just bought, gulp, a backpack for my laptop. A backpack! Like fleece, I believe backpacks do have a the backcountry. I never thought I'd trade in my stylish laptop messenger bag for a backpack. But I'm riding my bike to coffee shops these days and I can't believe it's good for the iBook or my body to have a bag bouncing against my thigh. And my back is a mess. So there's my confession. I have (and love) a laptop backpack. But you'd better believe that it's sleek and urban and won't be holding trail mix or water purification tablets anytime soon. That's what my butt pack is for.

A sampling of my books