greetings from the random corners of my brain

I just got out of the bathtub, where I enjoyed my March 2010 issue of Elle Decor.  If you don’t subscribe, you should.  They outdo themselves with each new issue.  {I started this post last night.  Incase anyone is wondering if I take baths in the morning.  I don’t.}

I also must share a secret, I’ve blogged about these before, back when no one read this blog but my dad and my sister.  I love these bath salts.  If you are anti-Walmart, you can get them from Amazon.   They smell soooooooo good… even if you aren’t stressed and tensioned.  Trust me. 

In other news, a client-friend wants to know what apps I have.  I was anti-iphone for awhile.   I think there are some things worthy of not being non-conformist about.  Was that a double negative?  I fought the urge to get an iphone for a very long time.  My phone before the iphone was of the Nextel Direct-Connect species.  Don’t worry I didn’t wear it on my belt or anything.  It was handy for talking with my contractor friends (and my sister who had one), but there came a time when I decided to see what all the iphone hype was about.  Now I don’t know how I lived without it. 

As they say, your iphone gets better with every new app.  I really don’t have many apps.  For that reason, I’m probably not the person who should be conducting a post on apps.  But I will. 

Here are a few of my apps:

Facebook – fulfills all my stalking needs.

SayWhere – helps me find Target in a town I’m not familiar with.

Scrabble - never lets me win, but I’m still playing.  (I do not play on facebook.  I do not play any games on Facebook.)

Wurdle – words that don’t exist actually exist in this one. Everyone is a winner!

Dragon Dictation- because on my way home from work I can tell my phone what I did all day – then send those words to Paula so I’m sure I get paid for what I do.  Also handy for long text messages when driving (when it is too dangerous to type).  Or if you have plump fingers, this might be handy for sending emails from the iphone.

Sound Hound(previously Midomi) – for when you hear that song you love and you can’t figure out who sings it.  (Similar to Shazam.)

Pandora - music.

C25K- (Couch to 5k) -  because I was planning run a 5k next month.  Unfortunately I haven’t gotten off the couch yet.

All Recipes Dinner Spinner – dinner wheel of fortune.

Kindle - probably not healthy for the eyes.

Shake It Photo- for polaroidish photos, you shake it like a polaroid picture.

iTranslate – for all your language translation needs.

Emoji – a client turned me onto this one.  Thanks Dana :) .

Now.  Back to Elle Decor.  I’m pretty sure if Nate Berkus wasn’t gay we’d be married.  In the afore mentioned Elle Decor check out the home he designed for Oprah’s executive producer.  (page 91)  I’ve suddenly been motivated to clean off my giant bulletin board.  I have always loved binder clips (all office supplies for that matter).  I get this from my dad (you may know him as DaddyBoy).  Forget a wallet or a money clip, he has always carried his money, credit cards, and license in a binder clip.  And the bills are all folded the same direction and not folded together, but individually and stacked perfectly within the clip, small bills on the outside.  {photo below by William Waldron}

Moving right along.  When I take control of the Netflix queue it results in documentaries in the mailbox.  My husband does not like this.  I can’t help myself.  Last weekend I watched Sally Mann What Remains.  And as a result I’ve decided that I want to live on a farm in Virginia, take pictures, and raise horses and alpacas.  My house is going to look like this:

Don’t worry when I get moved in, I’ll invite y’all over.  There will be music, and food, and lots of fun.  It will 65 degrees outside, no humidity, and the leaves will look just like those above.

If you’d like to tell me about your bath salts, your apps, your movie queue, your designer boyfriend (I also got dibs on Steven Gambrel and Thomas O’Brien), or your dream house you can do so in the comment section. 

Thank you!


  1. At the risk of sounding even MORE like a stalker than I actually am, I think MY dream house is in that charming Southern Illinois town where your parents reside! Either way I am a country mouse faking it until I make it in the big city. I want a moo cow, and a vegetable garden, and to hand churn my own freaking ice cream as I wish. Is that so wrong?

  2. I was wondering if you bathed in the am and figured probably not. The directv app is wonderful if you have directv. You can record a show from your phone! Amazing. I need to add your apps, they sound good;) You are the one George has to thank for me being addicted to the iphone. I have no idea what I did before! Sad, huh? Love the Facebook for all of your stalker needs! So true. Love you!!

  3. I want to live in your house with you because I found it first. Love, Sister

  4. I was just about to say that my designer boyfriend is Thomas O’Brien! His Target towels are the most wonderful towels ever and as a towel freak, that’s saying something.

    What a lovely farmhouse! Looks very cozy and like the perfect place to cool your pies on a window sill while you enjoy the afternoon breeze.

  5. Missy Linaweaver says:

    After not having a cell phone of any kind for over 8 years, I too gave in to the lure of the Iphone. I, like you, do not know how I existed before it came a long. My entire being is organized, noted, dated and tracked in my Iphone, along with that of my 3 kids. One app that I have that I check DAILY is my Craigsphone. Craigslist on your Iphone. Because you never know what great treasure is sitting out there waiting for you! (Ethan Allen Farmhouse dinning table – $25…..and found on Craigsphone)

  6. my husband just stopped using a binder clip as his wallet! (and only because his parents bought him a wallet for christmas – i’m sure he’ll be back to it soon). and hilarious – my dad hangs things in his office by hanging binder clips on tacks like the above picture…dad’s are awesome. his just doesn’t look as good.

  7. Get the Sherwin Williams or Ben Moore color apps – point at the wall and poof – tells you the color.

    I’m sure you have seen emerson made (posted earlier this week but I may have been the last in the blog world). They have the dream farm and farmhouse and amazing pics, products and style. If you haven’t seen it, check it out as I think you’d love it…

  8. I love What Remains.I have seen it several times and think she is so talented.I even appreciate how she documents her dog that dies.I tried to explain it to my husband and he thought it was a little too strange.The whole setting of her farm is so beautiful.Her home,the horse running to see her,that great porch.

  9. That farmhouse is looking good to me….I would love nothing more than to live a simpler life – raise some chickens, have a garden, and take care of my family!!!

  10. those are the best bath salts! the ones for sickness are good too, when you had a cold!

  11. erika, i, too read (more like studied) my elle decor last night. and made a mental note to hang my photos, etc from binder clips on my inspiration board. i don’t know if i’ll ever get to know the genius of iphone. and i’m curious about all the hoopla. my husband works for t-mobile. iphone doesn’t use tmobile service. until it does, i’ll have to settle for other phones. but they’re free and our service cost is miniscule. so i’ll take that for now. have a good day. pam

  12. Hey, random is good! Thanks for the tip about the bath salts – I love bath salts and have been on the lookout for some. Next time I’m in the mart of wall, I’ll check it out. Oh, I just bought 3 packs of binder clips from the dollar tree – they have some cute printed ones right now. They’re not the best prints or anything, but still cute. My 8 yr old & I split them :-)

  13. E -

    I’m also an office supplies junkie. Went searching for organizer-type goodies for my sister (a teacher) over the holidays at Office Depot, and they had some REALLY CUTE goodies – very color and pattern coordinated things, including Binder Clips! Just an FYI the next time you’re near one.


  14. you should check out the app WhatTheFont.

  15. designer boyfriend is john derian. love him.

    and i too ripped out the binder clip inspiration board. love that apartment (and how fun that it’s in chicago!)

  16. Dr. Teal’s epsom salts in chamomile or eucalyptus are just a couple of bucks for a huge bag at the grocery or drug store, and I keep refilling a pretty glass jar I once bought for Bath & Body Works salts with them.

    Documentaries are the best. Did you want Man on a Wire last year? It was thrilling.

  17. Nate Berkus is about my one and only crush. I found myself watching him on QVC the other day selling his towels. I couldn’t turn the channel.

  18. I can relate to getting hold of that queue. One day, I logged in and saw three Star Trek films, Die Hard, and Transformers. Not a good day. I got the Bull back though because I happen to go out of town for a weekend when all that was in the mailbox was “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” Gotcha! Thanks for sharing that particular documentary – I’m always looking for ones to watch. We’ve been going through Ken Burns’ National Parks series. Love those for sure!

  19. Speaking of giant bulletin boards, I’d like to cover a wall in my kitchen to make it a giant bulletin board. Do you recommend cork squares or rolls of cork? I’m not sure what the best way to do it is!? LOVE YOUR BLOG!!

  20. Ha! Love it. Have been thinking about adding Elle Decor to my subscription list :)

  21. I may be changing my anti-Iphone ways after seeing your apps, I could use those. However, my husband is a master at building/remodeling whatever my heart designs. But I really admire Miles Redd (if he weren’t gay then just maybe). I keep a big binder clip in my purse with my bills in it.

  22. whatever — I called dibs on Thomas O’B like last year :)

  23. That IS my dream house :)

  24. I enjoyed your random thoughts…too funny!

  25. Heather Brady says:

    I have a dream patio – which is what I need on a day like today when we’re getting snow:

  26. I too love that magazine and read it in the bath. I just use plain ol epson salt (lavendar) and bath & body works. May have to check out the walmart salts! As for the farm – I have a massive desire to move to a farm, maybe we can be neighbors and driver our 4-wheelers to meet up!! Love your blog.

  27. My husband has a binder-clip “wallet”!

  28. I hate to say it (I don’t want to sound like a brag), but I live in my dream house. It needs some work, but I’ve got a victorian farmhouse with 20 acres and an old, old apple orchard in Upstate New York/Hudson Valley. LOVE IT!

  29. I’m with you on the office supply love! And my dad uses a binder clip for his wallet too- except I can’t say his bills are that organized. Love the simplicity of men sometimes…

  30. I cannot let you go any longer without knowing about SmackTalk. It’s an app that lets you record your voice and then it spits it back out in Hamster voice. Try it on Darby. It is HILARIOUS. Her kids would LOVE it!

  31. Love some bath salts.
    Conversation this week in Publix:
    Checkout Lady: Oh, are you pregnant?
    ME: Oh, yes. Can you tell by my growing belly?
    CL: Oh, no. I didn’t notice your belly. Just your buggy full of tums, prilosec, and epsom salts.

  32. My designer boyfriend is Darryl Carter….I want to live in his house on Embassy Row in D.C. I went to W&L so Sally Mann and Blue Ridge Mountains are both incredible to me. Thanks for some ideas on new apps.

  33. This is hilarious because I just commented to Marianne at Haven & Home that I may just have to call Nate my designer bf too. For quite some time I had a big crush on Ken Fulk but lately Nate has been inching up. So is it slutty to have more than one because I love Gambrel too. I’m so bad.

  34. HA! This post is fantastic. And is your dad’s binder clip. Pure awesome-ness. Yeah, it’s a word.

  35. I hate to burst your bubble, but Virginia has humidity. . . lots of it. But the good news is that once you’ve lived here for a while you get used to it. Farms in Virginia are beautiful!

  36. Outkast shout out. Not every day on a design blog

  37. no…steven gambrel is sooo mine.
    bath salts- i make my own, mix = parts epsom and sea salts with lavender flowers and lavender ess. oil, a bit of sweet almond oil, done. i also do a rose one with rose petals and rose attar oil. same portions.
    i have a very similar dream country house. it is probably right next door to yours.

  38. What’s wrong with stalking? Please feel free…LOL – (“Love of Laurel”) I’m working on a new web site and stumbled across your blog today… cool!

  39. PS: I wept when I saw your dream home.

  40. Dibs all over Robert Stilin. I would ask you not to tell my husband but I fear he already knows, probably because I wept with joy when RS’s design of Ina Garten’s barn was published in House Beautiful. (Take a gander at RS’s picture on his website and you too will weep…)


  41. I’ve found since having my baby that my once articulate and coherent thoughts have given way to scattered musings, bouts of forgetfulness, and general rambling. Pregnancy brain lasts well after pregnancy, I tell you!

    I don’t know how I lived without the iPhone either. My fave apps are Shopper (for making grocery lists), Epicurious, and okay, the Baby Flash Cards are good too when I need a distraction for the kiddo.

  42. Please, please do some more posts on your parent’s farm. That is a dream.

  43. Oh how I love Elle Decor and a bath and apps! :-) Thanks for visit to the random corners.

  44. i love this post. and i love that i now know about dragon dictation.

  45. Just want to send congratulations your way on the press in Southern Living. Loved seeing all of your work in one of my favorite magazines.

  46. That bulletin board is amazing. I’ll never forget the day my sister gave me her old bulletin board. It was a like gold. I also heart binder clips and all things officey.

  47. Sorry…..but Nate and I would be married. Unless I got David Bromstad first…then I would let you borrow Nate.

  48. oh yes, while you go after Nate I might pursue that house…right down to the temperature and foliage shade! Quick Q: how did NB use the clips? I can’t tell from the photo

  49. Stephanie Lee says:

    Love your blog! Been stalking for too long without saying hello! Congratulations on your sweet girl! I am so excited to tell my hubby about the binder clip idea. He hates the feel of a wallet and has lost 2 (really nice) money clips! I’m off to Staples tomorrow!! Happy Valentine’s Day, Hubby… ha ha!

  50. I so love that you just watched “What Remains” – Sally Mann is a favorite of mine. She and Emmet Gowin’s work were very inspiring for me when I studied photography in college – and still are! I saw her speak at a lecture a few years ago and she was amazing! Would love to have my own farmhouse in Virginia in between you and Sally! We could have some great dinner parties! My dream house location is always changing – but I have always wanted to live in Massachusetts! Have you seen “Unfolding Florence” – a documentary/dramatization about the wallpaper designer Florence Broadhurst? Really entertaining and the wallpaper is fantastic!

  51. Laurin Maddux says:

    Hey E! I too ressited the iPhone until last month–now I don’t know how I survived without it!! I have been playing scrabble too–especially an app called “words with friends”. It is free and you challenge friends to play against you instead of playing against a computer. It is addicting…I have four games going with people now. Download it and I will challenge you to a game! Laurin

  52. Binder Clips, now I want to do that too! And, your Dad sounds so cool. I will take Jonathan Adler, and finally, I just read on another blog (natch) about the app. called camera bag; makes your pictures look old timey.

  53. yay! I am from Virginia and grew up out in the country :-) VA is famously humid though! I really like the organized bulletin board too.

  54. haha, I’m laughing because I’m anti-walmart and because if we went to high school together with nate b., steven g., and thomas o., we’d probably be ‘frenemies’ due to always fighting over the same boys. but in the end, thomas is the one i’d want as my high school sweetheart.

  55. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. ‘Uplifting’ and ‘delightful’ are the words that come to my mind…Well done!

  56. Ok…so I have “lurked” on your blog and never commented before…however I must now that I see so many people trying to creep on my man Nate Burkus (even my husband makes fun of me for loving him so much!!) Anyway, love your blog (and your sissy’s too).

  57. I love random posts! I’m still anti-iPhone…I do advertising for Sprint (sometimes for the nextel phones, haha) so right now I’m pro HTC Hero! Love that farmhouse, when I was little I really wanted to live in a farmhouse and have pigs. My Dad even used to say we better hurry up and buy some land for a farm before it was all developed! Now I live pretty much on top of my neighbors in Chicago, funny how that worked out.

  58. My dream house would be the house you designed featured in February’s issue of Southern Living. I don’t just say that because I’m a big fan of your blog – it is exactly how I picture my “dream” home! Great job!

  59. I usually don’t comment but when I read about your Dad and his money clip I had to laugh. My Husband also uses a binder clip that we call his “money clip” and he folds and organizes the money the exact same way. We have looked at money clip thousands of times yet that is what he uses…..Glad to know he is not the only one.

  60. Been calling Nate my boyfriend since the first time I saw him on Oprah. Love him and Thom Filicia (JLo’s NY house is one of my favorites). I was one of the first ones to run out and buy an iphone–I’m a mac girl. Since you like netflix, you should try Phoneflix app. You could move your documentaries up to the top of your queue without your husband’s knowledge–I just did that with The September Issue.

  61. Hmmmm …. does Barbara Barry count as a “designer boyfriend”? Then we’d both need to be gay. Oh well. I’ll just settle for hero worship! :-)

  62. Thanks for sharing your apps! I just got my Elle Decor in the mail and I cannotcannotcannotcannot wait for an hour or two of “me time” to go through it.

    Thank you for sharing your blog. I read it and am inspired all the time!

  63. I thoroughly enjoyed this random post and all the great comments. My husband uses a binder clip and I give him a hard time about it….so “white trash”, but I guess I’ll have to change my tune if your classy DaddyBoy uses one!
    His no designer, but my crush would have to be Anderson Cooper and my gay nephew would fight me for him!

  64. This post may push me to get an iphone! Thank you for telling me about Dragon Dictation. I am a social worker of sorts. It sounds like this would help me dictate my notes and cut some time off of my day. Anything to spend more time with my son!

  65. kelly rainer says:

    Great post! LOVE the bulletin board!! I guess you’d know that my imaginary boyfriend is not of the designing world, but the save the world with his heroic reporting skills-Anderson Cooper :)

  66. Hmmm – don’t need to share my dream house – I’ll just live in that one with you.

    I would marry John Derian – really so I could steal his business and call it my own.

    I am an Iphone savant: finally this week got all of my e-mail accounts set up and working. It’s a miracle. If I could get my contacts to sync it would be dream . . . once all is accomplished I will move on to Apps. . . stealing from you list of course!

  67. I picked up the new Elle Decor this week and it IS fantastic…it has been riding with me in the car so I can drool over it at all the stop lights. Also love Nate & Thomas too. I received Bath & Body Works Stress Relief Bath Salts for Christmas and they are pretty good, but Wal-Mart’s are probably a better price. I will have to check them out…plain ole epsom salts are good to me too. Oh, on my last trip to Wal-Mart, they had really cute binder clips in the office supply section. That farm house..pretty close to my dream house. It is beautiful!

  68. i feel so cool now — that’s how i have my bulletin board crap tacked on =)

  69. Erika-
    You have to pick, you only get one…Steven or Thomas.

  70. Susan Gordon says:

    I just discovered your blog and read the entry where you mention your DaddyBoy. I am teary as I write this. That is what I called my wonderful Dad. He died in March at the age of 88 from pneumonia – brought on by his advanced Alzheimer’s. I hope that your DaddyBoy is the kind of man who welcomes hugs and kisses from his daughter. Right up to the end, we made sure he felt our love.

    I like knowing that there is another DaddyBoy out there with a daughter who obviously appreciates him.

    Susan Gordon

  71. My infant grand daughter loves the app. Mood Pad. The heat of your finger tip lets you draw on the screen.

  72. This is my first visit to your blog and I am so inspired by the first post I read! Off to spend my snowy Saturday re-organizing my office’s inspiration boards!

  73. This is my dream house:

    (full disclosure… I am the listing agent who has it for sale too… but I am pining away to live there all the same. The 2nd floor master would be my preferred bedroom vs. the 3rd floor master with panoramic city view… I think the 2nd floor master is cozier and has better closet space)


  74. Hmm, I’ve only had time for showers for the past, um, 4ish years so no goods on the bath salts, and I have no iphone. Just can’t bring myself to pay that much for a phone (but if it weren’t for that, I’d have had one the day they first came out). And if Nate is off-limits, I’ll take Sasha Adler. I realize we’d both have to be gay, but she’s awesome. I’m totally obsessed with her yellow/gray/navy vibe (I’m doing a post on that in the next week or so). Love!

  75. {Bath salts – uhm no, I live in a rental so uhm no. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve soaked that tub in Clorox, the house was built in ’45 which means entirely too many people have bathed in it before me so uhm no. However, I got a plethora of fabulous soaps for Xmas including one bar that has been felted to provide a loofah like quality which I just have to tell you is divine!
    {My apps – blogger, etsy, and facebook, thats just about all I can handle!
    {Movie Queue – 439=RIDICULOUS! Watched “Shades of Ray” last night, precious little indie romantic comedy. LOVED it!
    {Designer Boyfriend – I call dibs on Thom Felicia – ooooo and David Hicks back in the day!
    {Dream House – a massive Elizabethan English Country House. . .Hardwick Hall maybe mmmmmmm yummers!
    {oh and my binder clips – always white. always
    LOVE this post!!! =)

  76. Jennifer knight says:

    Thanks for the app ideas! I love running 5ks but I’m out of shape now so I got the c25k app. I love it so far!

  77. Did I see correctly that one of your homes is in Southern Living this month? Congratulations!

  78. i saw nate on the front of some magazine recently and my daughter, ella was sitting beside me. she started saying, “daddy…there’s daddy.” it cracked me up because the only resemblance is they are both male:)

    i’ve done couch to 5K before and i’m working on it again. it’s a great program!

  79. I love Fresh Sugar- Lemon bath cubes, I don’t have an IPhone, I would marry Eddie Ross in a second and I would purchase him a bazillion bow-ties in fabulous prints. I would love to live in a farm-style house but it would need to be really really close to a big city because I hate driving long distances to get everyday items.

  80. p.s. is it just me, or is Elle Decor starting to take the place in your heart that Domino once had? It’s starting to do that for me!

  81. Chance’s cousin here! You know I’m no designer, I look at your site to see all the pretty pictures and wish I had 1/2 of your talent! Anyway, the comment about FB’ing satisfying your stalking needs made me laugh, because it has satisfied my stalking needs also! I don’t even have to buy a National Enquirer anymore to satisfy my need for gossip, I just go to FB and it takes care of that for me! Anyway, thanks for all the recipes and beautiful designs and making me laugh with your wit and humor!

  82. And I also HATE WALMART!!!!!

  83. I just have to throw out this question about the Oprah producer’s apartment to the universe at large, because this has been bothering me since I saw it. Who puts a BASKETBALL court in an APARTMENT when you have neighbors living BELOW you?! As someone who has horrible upstairs neighbors, I just cannot imagine how anyone can stand to live under them. No amount of soundproofing could mask it completely. Could it? I mean, maybe I’m a buzzkill but if you feel the need to have a basketball court I think you should just buy yourself a whole house. There are lots of cute houses in Lincoln Park. Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. Someone else might have mentioned it but the comments are hard to read, my cursor slides them up and down like crazy. Love your blog though.

  84. I with you. I don’t know how I ever lived without it. I don’t have a lot of apps either. Mostly the same as yours! Helpful. Useful :)

  85. I love the binder clips..and Elle Decor! I use the binder clips to hang Christmas cards onto ribbon for display :)

  86. Interesting….we have two things in common: ordering documentaries from Netflix (Ganja Queen and Paper Clips are good.) and reading decorating magazines in the bath!

  87. Just found you and your sister. You all are precious and I’m already a huge fan of you both. Found you from @spiceandsass on Twitter.

    All the best,

  88. Hello to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this web page,
    and your views are good designed for new people.

Leave a Comment