Tales of Things You Love: Day 2

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's a lovefest on Effortless Anthropologie this week! For the next several days we'll be celebrating that warm fuzzy feeling with guest posts, features and -- of course -- contests. I've asked a ton of people to contribute their own personal things they love tales and I hope the community will share in the comments over the course of the week. Valentine or no, EA wants to help celebrate the loves of your life.

This post, which will run each day, contains personal stories from community members and blogs. I asked each person: what is something you love? Could be serious, superficial or sublime. Here are some of their stories.

When roxy asked me to participate in this feature, I started wracking my brain to figure out what I should write about: any girl can love a dress (Secret Treasure Dress) or a band (Queen), but what do I love that's unique to me?

Husband refuses to allow me to post photos of him online so that idea was out. My next thought was my puppies, Abbie and Izzy.

But just as I started writing, Abbie had an accident in the house and Izzy got into the garbage can!

Honestly, though, I don't mind their messes. Abbie, the Boston Terrier, came to us from another family. Husband and I had just lost our beloved Pomeranian Toby and I was anxious to get a new dog. We'd decided that we wanted a Boston and then weeks later, we found out about Abbie! It was fate, I decided and she joined our home in May 2006.

Izzy was a late wedding present from Husband...a very late wedding present. He promised me a second, smaller dog in March 2007 and in February 2008, he finally agreed that the timing was right. Izzy (then called Scruffy Muffy) was the first dog listed on Petfinder. My love was instantaneous and a few weeks later, Izzy was ours.

It's funny to observe their different personalities. Husband says Izzy is like me: slightly ridiculous. That's part of why I love her though: she sleeps snuggled up against me and growls at everyone but me, but that's just what I wanted in my dog.

Abbie, on the other hand, does not like affection. She hates when anyone touches her, or even brushes up against her. She shows her true colors at night though when she whimpers to get into our bedroom so she can sleep on the bed.

I know it sounds silly, but I love my dogs as if they were my children! At Christmas,it absolutely delighted me that they both loved their gifts: Abbie snuggled right under the blanket and Izzy started whipping the rope around the room. I felt like such a good "puppy mommy'!

Taking this picture was a bit of a nightmare. I had to put Izzy's sweater on her while she was half-asleep and Abbie refused to sit next to me. This photo is the first one Husband took while adjusting the camera.

A candid photo is appropriate because it's hard to plan things with the dogs. From Abbie escaping and ending up swimming in the local reservoir to Izzy going to the emergency vet on the Fourth of July, I can definitely say these dogs make our lives interesting! But that's all the more reason to love them!

I love words.

I know what you are thinking: Words? Who love words?

I do.

Think about it. The English language is so complex, so rich, so varied, every day life can be beautifully enhanced with the words we choose to employ. Whenever I feel a swear word sliding its way off my tongue I stop and think of another word to use. Why should I settle for a mundane, boring, over-used and trite word when there are so many other glorious words to choose from?

A well-crafted, vocabulary-rich sentence is a marvelous thing to behold. It can be thought provoking, lovely in its cadence, and authoritative. Good word choice instantly adds credibility to the writer and speaker. It commands attention and engages a receptive audience.

I am constantly working on my vocabulary, adding, refining, thinking of better ways to convey my thoughts. This doesn’t mean I read the dictionary. Instead, I bring the dictionary to me. I get the Word of the Day every day from dictionary.com and try and use it in a sentence at least five times in the hope it will be committed to memory. When I’m feeling really adventurous I go to Save the Words, a fun site that lets users adopt old, unused words in the hope they will be kept alive. Check it out; I think you’ll find some fun, new words to use to amaze and confound those around you.

Last year I was at conference and the keynote speaker was Erin McKean, who grew wanting to be the editor for a dictionary. She is my kind of gal! It never even occurred to me that an actual human edits the dictionary, but once I realized that this is in fact the case, I immediately wanted this job for myself, if only to immerse myself in words all day---and get paid for it. Erin supports a really fascinating site called Wordnik, which is a place for all the words, and everything known about them. Cool! You can even follow Wordnik on Twitter and learn about new words in 140 characters or less.

I hope I have convinced you to ascribe the proper level importance of words to your every day life. Without a rich, varied vocabulary life can be mighty dull. And that, you see, if why I love words. They are a free, fun, and enlightening way to add some va-va-voom to daily life.

stfashionista.blogspot.com (Small Town Fashionista)
"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent" – Victor Hugo

When I was born, the first thing my grandfather said was “Oh no, you were suppose to be a boy.” The second thing he said was, “This girl has some really long fingers – she’s going to play the piano.” As far back as I can remember music has been an important part of my life. My grandmother had a piano, and all the grandchildren wanted to bang on it. I don’t know why, but the only grandchild she would allow to bang on her piano was me. When my grandmother died, she left me her piano. I started taking lessons in 1st grade. I picked up on it very quickly. My piano teacher called me her “little Maestro.” I took lessons until I graduated high school, and I became quite good.

Over the years, music has inspired my fashion. In elementary school, I, like so many others at the time, became obsessed with Michael Jackson. I remember wearing those silly pants with the zippers all over them. In the awkward middle school phase, hair bands were the music of choice. I won’t elaborate on that time. Let’s just say, it was not a pretty sight. In high school, I remember hearing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the first time. Grunge music really spoke to me during this teenage angst phase of my life. I spent the next several years wearing flannel shirts and combat boots. Now that I’m all grown up, Indy Rock is my music of choice. My favorite band is Death Cab for Cutie. They have the perfect blend of heart-touching lyrics and aesthetically-pleasing sound. I notice that I hear a lot of songs by my favorite bands while I’m shopping in Anthropologie. It seems that music is still inspiring my fashion.

Music has always been there to comfort me during difficult times in my life. Sometimes, just listening to a song is all I need to get me through the day. When I don’t have the words to express how I feel, there is always a song out there that describes it perfectly. Music can transport me to another time, another place, or even somewhere I’ve never been before. Live music is the ultimate high for me. Watching those talented musicians making beautiful music and doing what they love is so inspiring.

No matter how much I change or what happens in my life, music has always been there for me. I can’t imagine my life without it. It speaks to my soul. It comforts me in times of need. It never lets me down. Music is my one, true love.

Things I love...aside from the obvious: my husband, my closet, and Anthro, the newest love of my life is our three month old Cocker Spaniel, Toby. We picked him up the day after Christmas and after a 3 hour long car ride (in which he peed on my lap), our bond quickly formed. The love that I get from our pup is unique to anything I've ever experienced. He's always happy to see me, be by my side, and never afraid to show his gratitude. Toby is obedient yet spunky, loyal but independent. His ability to sense emotions around him amazes me and his friendly nature brightens up our day--everyday. Raising this rambunctious pup has been a challenge, especially since he loves shoes--probably more than I do (except that he chews on them, which is where we differ) but having him has been such a rewarding experience that I can't imagine our lives without him! What they say is true--the love you get from a dog is like no other and I'm so happy to have two valentines this year.

photo inspired by this one

Jewish Girl
It took me eleven years to grow into my Jewish nose.

Historians disagree as to the exact date the cute, Anglo button nose of my toddlerhood morphed into a larger, bumpier form, but best estimates place the transformation at around fifth grade.  I spent my sensitive teenage years with a nose that felt too big for my face.  Sometimes I wished for a "normal" (read: small) nose; I looked at my profile in the mirror with my finger over the bump, making believe it wasn't there.  Like so many of us at that age, I just wanted to look like everybody else.

It's so easy to get caught in the body image hype of our society.  You know the hype I'm talking about---it's the message that we all need to look like one ideal shape and size, and anything different is not beautiful.

I love my nose because it defies that message.  If my nose was its own person, I imagine she would wear combat boots and a tattered army jacket that she got full price at a military surplus store.  She would hate Cosmopolitan Magazine and Bethenny Frankel. 

If I was having a down day, I'd call up my nose and she would take me out for a beer and a hot dog at Rudy's.  She'd grab me by my shoulders and shake me hard but lovingly, and she'd look into my eyes when she told me that "THEY" aren't allowed to make me feel imperfect or damaged or in need of fixing.  It doesn't matter who "THEY" are, because "THEY" simply don't have a say in how I see myself.

When that pep talk is as plain as---well, as the nose on your face, it's impossible not to believe it.

As I write these words, it is 9:30am on a Sunday.  I'm sipping coffee and staring out the window while my nose casts gentle shadows on my cheeks.  Now at 26 years old, my nose has come to represent everything I love about myself.  It's unique.  It stands out.  It represents my heritage.  It's unapologetic.  It's not perfect, but it's mine.  It's beautiful.  It's ME, and I love it.