The When I Grow Up blog posted recently about a woman who runs a business as a Re-Stylist.  I LOVE this idea.  I don’t want to be a re-stylist, but I desperately would love to have an appointment with one.  She goes through your closet with you, piece by piece, and helps you decide what pieces to toss, what pieces to keep, and best yet: HOW TO BEST USE THOSE PIECES.  The best part is that she puts together a look book for you, using the clothes you already have, and suggests additional necessary pieces!

When I buy an article of clothing, I usually have a specific idea of how I’m going to use that piece in an outfit.  Then I wear that same outfit over and over and over.  I have a lot of difficulty mix-and-matching things, and putting together new or different outfits using those pieces.  Some help with assembling what I have into new outfits would be invaluable for me!

If anyone knows of Re-styling services offered in Pittsburgh, please let me know…or if you’re just fashionable and creative and want to go through my closet with me, feel free to give a shout 🙂

Completely gratuitous picture of Presley Skye “Lindsay” dress, because I like it. (And because my husband reads this blog and he will be shopping for Hanukkah soon…)


The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern (2011)

The hype around The Night Circus has been crazy…I rarely pay enough attention to new books to know about them until they’ve been bestsellers for a long while.  Erin Morgenstern managed to get hooked up with Starbucks, giving away a download of the first 100 pages of the book, and news of this novel spread like wildfire.

The Night Circus shares a competition between two magicians, for which they have trained their whole lives, and the circus provides a mysterious forum for them to display their talents.

The Night Circus is full of imaginative fun…I’ve heard it compared to Harry Potter a number of times, but Harry Potter is the go-to comparison for any kind of fantasy/magical novel now.  It’s an awful comparison for The Night Circus, because besides magic, this book isn’t anything like Harry Potter.  It’s an awkward comparison.

The Night Circus’ magic, and Morgenstern’s skill, lie in description.  The circus is there for exploring.  All the major points in the story could be covered in about 20 pages, the remainder of the book is lavish descriptions of magical performances, beautiful clothing, and all sorts of fantastical sights.  It’s escapism, and it’s wonderful.

Laura Miller at Salon.com did a thoughtful review in which she described The Night Circus as an “etsy novel”– it’s clever, hand made with lots of effort and care, and even has a few lumpy spots and frayed edges.  I couldn’t agree more.  Morgenstern has obvious mastery of imagination and description, but the plot is simplistic and left me wanting.  I spent most of the novel wanting to learn more about the rules and logistics of the game between the two young magicians, but when she finally comes around to providing an explanation, it’s a mere recitation of basic rules I had figured out well before on my own.

Morgenstern, showing off her festive side.

The Night Circus is not well-suited for a sequel, but I do hope that Morgenstern comes out with a sophomore novel.  She has talent, and even if she does not develop more complicated plots over time, her imaginative descriptions and mastery of wonder will make for more fun works.  I don’t know if the book necessarily was worth the immense hype, but it was worth my time and attention, so that’s an all-around win.



Today is November 1, which means it’s the first day of National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo for short.

NaBloPoMo is an offshoot of National Novel Writing Month (also in November) (more information about its background here).  Starting this year, the online event is coordinated by BlogHer, complete with a blogroll, daily writing prompts, and prizes.

Completing a whole month of NaBloPoMo is one of the things on my 30 before 30 list…although with the frequency I post already, I doubt it will be any problem.

I do have to confess that although I post nearly every day, I do not write every day.  I rarely post immediately after writing. I tend to write either at night or on the weekends, and I write in clusters.  I may have a flurry of 3 or 4 ideas, each of which makes up a post, and I write them all up and post them in due time.  With the way my life and schedule works, I’m not going to change that practice.