Great Expectations

or “My Life in Blog Sounds Much Cooler Than It Really Is”

Archive for January, 2010

I wish it were spring…

Posted by mandyhuckins on January 26, 2010

Two weeks ago, I was out doing some retail therapy (wrote a post about it, but I can’t finish it because I can’t find my camera – so frustrating!) and I saw these.

Honestly, how could anyone feel blue with these sunny little numbers on her feet?

Those are going on my wish list – along with this beautiful dress from J Crew:

Hurry up spring!

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If I had a million dollars….

Posted by mandyhuckins on January 20, 2010

In the immortal words of the Barenaked Ladies….I would buy myself a the cutest dress I have ever seen.  I saw it in the pages of Harper’s Bazaar.  It is by designer Jason Wu (of Michelle Obama inaugural dress fame); therefore, I cannot now nor ever conceivably afford to purchase it.  But, I scanned it a picture so I could share it here and we could all drool.

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Confessions of a bookworm…

Posted by mandyhuckins on January 12, 2010

In 2006, the first year I really and truly kept track of what I was reading, I read 38 books.  I knew I could do better, so for 2007, I pushed the total to 46.  In 2008, my goal was to read 50 books (a little less than one a week) and I did it by reading 51.  In 2009, I set an ambitious goal of 55 books, but I am sorry to report that I fell far short. I have 51 books in my book journal, but I know that some of them were unfinished.  Here is the list of what I read in 2009:

1.) Hood by Stephen Lawhead

2.) Good to Great by Jim Collins

3.) Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (one of my favorite authors and I want to work my way through his oevre)

4.) The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

5.) The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay (on my Top 50 Books of All Time list)

6.) Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke (This is one I haven’t finished….yet)

7.) Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

8.) People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

9.) My Enemy’s Cradle by Sara Young

10.) The Venetian Mask by Rosalind Laker

11.) The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

12.) Lamb, the Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

13.) Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber

14.) March by Geraldine Brooks (an excellent read and a Pulitzer Prize winner)

15.) Horseplay by Judy Reene Singer

16.) The Last Days of Dogtown by Anna Diamant

17.) Drood by Dan Simmons

18.) Saddled with Trouble by Michele Scott

19.) The White by Deborah Larsen

20.) Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster

21.) Stormy: Misty’s Foal by Marguerite Henry (disclaimer: a child’s book, but a lovely one)

22.) The Adrian Mole Diaries by Sue Townsend

23.) Thief of Souls by Ann Benson

24.) The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller

25.) The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

26.) Revenge of the Kudzu Debutantes by Cathy Holton

27.) Watership Down by Richard Adams (this used to be on my Top 50 of All Time Book list, but this time through, I didn’t love it as much.  Isn’t it funny how our tastes change at different points in our life?)

28.) Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

29.) The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

30.) Promise of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst

31.) The Gate House by Nelson DeMille

32.) Sea Glass by Anita Shreve

33.) The Highwayman & Mr. Dickens by William J. Palmer

34.) The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson

35.) Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier

36.) Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore

37.) An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon

38.) Courtesan by Diane Haeger

39.) The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer

40.) The Hounds and the Fury by Rita Mae Brown

41.) Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

42.) The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner

43.) Paris in the Twentieth Centrury by Jules Verne

44.) Maneater by Gigi Levangie Granger

45.) The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans

46.) Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carol

47.) Neuromancer by William Gibson

48.) Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig (LOVED IT!)

49.) Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen

50.) Eragon by Christopher Paolini

51.) The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

So, as you can see, I have a pretty eclectic taste in reading.  I enjoy switching from more challenging or meaty reads to frivolous “beach” reading.  I want to include a Pulitzer prize winner and a Charles Dickens each year.  All in all, I didn’t do too badly, but better luck in 2010!

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Better to give….

Posted by mandyhuckins on January 8, 2010

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season.  I know I did!  Having my family here for a Kansas Christmas was better than I even expected.  I am so glad that the uncooperative weather didn’t keep them away. 

While I know that giving and receiving presents should not really be the focus of Christmas (there are more spiritual and altruistic things upon which to focus) – it sure is fun and I love it.  I love picking things out for people I love and imagining them opening a package and being thrilled with its contents. 

When my sister and I were little, we would sometimes do a little something we called the twelve days of Christmas.  On the twelve days leading up to Christmas, we would give each other a little gift we had made.  One year, I remember my mom bought us each a tiny little Christmas tree for our room.  So, that year, she and I made little ornaments for each other and gave them during the twelve days of Christmas.  By Christmas, we had a nicely decorated little tree.  It was really fun.

This year, I did a grown up twelve days with her.  I gave her twelve gifts – each having to do with the corresponding number.  Some of them were a stretch:

1) An Infinity Scarf from the Limited in Teal (this was on her Christmas list)

2.) A pair of sea glass earrings I purchased during a business trip to Cuba in the fall

3.) Three silver chains of differing lengths

4.) Four matching makeup (0r whatever) bags that all fit inside each other

5.) A set of five little rice bowls, grey with white flowers on them, that I purchased during a business trip to Japan in the fall

6.) A makeup set with 3 pots of shimmery eyeshadow and three application brushes

7.) A set of purple earrings that had seven dangling stones each

8.)  Eight bracelets in different shades of cream and gold, made from tiny beads

9.) A pair of black ballet flats – size 9

10.) A set of 10 notecards with a very cute picture of an Italian Greyhound on the front

11.) A bag of marzipan fruit candy (our favorite) – and can you believe?  There were exactly 11 pieces inside!

12.) A purple Banana Republic wallet to replace the white one I got her last year (12 credit card slots inside!)

I think she was really excited and it was so fun to watch her open all twelve gifts.  My dad said, “Is anyone else going to open any presents?”  🙂

So, the old saying is that it is better to give than to receive.   But, I don’t know about that.  Take a look at some of my loot:

My mom and dad bought me this GORGEOUS lamp to put in my home office.  I would take a picture of it in action, but I am embarrassed at the disreputable state my office is in at the moment.  So, you just get the stock photo:

Lamps  Warrior Horse Table Lamp

I do feel terrible about how much they spent on this lamp, but it is breathtaking and is truly the most beautiful horse lamp ever made.

Equally lovely is the pair of pumps my sister got me.  Again, I would take a picture of the actual shoes, but I can’t quite stand up in them yet!  I need to practice. 

Aren’t they to die for?  So gorgeous.

And, my sweet husband bought me a Big Buddha handbag I had been wanting.  Have you heard of this brand yet?  They are great.  They are pretty inexpensive (as far as handbags go), but they look really high end.  I always get compliments whenever I carry one.  And, so far, every time I have used this new bag since Christmas, someone has stopped me to tell me how pretty it is or to ask where I got it.  It is just like the picture below, except in a deep purple.  Apparently that color was hard to find.  My husband bought the last one in our local Dillard’s and my mom and sister admitted that they had tried to get it for me at their own Dillards, but were told it never came in purple!

He also gave me this lovely grey/silver velvet blazer from Ann Taylor.  He picked this out all on his own as a surprise and it fits like a tailor made it especially for me.

Petite Stretch Velvet Jacket

I am definitely a lucky girl!

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