Thursday, February 26, 2009

To Do

I have a lot to do (like, a ludicrous, soul-crushing amount), but I'm having a hard time even keeping track of all of it.

I write on my hands, then forget to look.

I scribble on Post-It notes and then lose them.

I write Stickies on my desktop and they never stay there (could someone enlighten me on how to lock them in place? Mine always get lost as soon as I shut down!).

Does anyone have advice on how to create a to-do list that works if you don't use a planner (i used to swear by a planner but since I stopped being a reporter, it became one less thing to carry in my purse)?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm baaaack!

I'm back from sunny SoCal!
I traversed the OC, went to the LA County Museum of Art to see the Vanity Fair exhibit, ate at In-N-Out, Jack In the Box, Sammy's Woodfire Pizza and many other places, saw the Kodak Theater, went to San Diego's Balboa Park and partied it up with the gays at The Abbey. Thank you so much to Ryan and his friends for their hospitality during our visit!

It was too much fun to go into a ton of detail, but I think this video clip captures the vibe of most of the trip:

Fresh in Bel Air from Amber Lester on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

dedicated to the one i love

Above: Stopping to smell the roses on Valentine's Day 2005.

On Valentine's Day in 2005, Sean woke up early and went to buy a bouquet of white roses for the girls at the student newspaper. He wanted to get something special for someone though, hoping that person would get the hint, so he picked up a box of Sweethearts candy and scrawled:
To: Ambles
From: Seaken
(our old newspaper logins)
The girls came into the office and oohed and aahed when they found roses taped to their monitors. Being dense, I didn't notice the Sweethearts until much later. When I did, I asked Chanelle not-so-subtly if she got a box as well. Sean looked up and said, "No! Just you."

It was the first clue I ever had that Sean might have feelings for me. And the first time I ever saw how truly sweet he is, and humble, because he didn't want any fuss made over the fact he had done something so sweet for us girls. We started dating a little over two months later and we've been together ever since.

Friday, February 13, 2009


The first thing you need to know is that I am the kind of crafty person who is capable, but essentially lazy. I like to wander the aisles of Michael's, talk about all the projects I'd like to do someday, buy the supplies and let them rot in the corner until I move and give them away.

So that's part of why I put off rehabbing this desk for oh, three years. This was my mother's desk as a child, and in turn became my desk as a child. It's nothing to write home about style-wise, but it's a piece of furniture that holds things and I am a packrat, so I can't bear to get rid of it.

I'm always reading in magazines where they spray painted some piece of furniture and it was SO EASY, so I bought semi-gloss spray paint, four new drawer pulls, sandpaper and surgical masks. I learned a few lessons.

1. One drop cloth is not enough, especially if you've decided to do this on a snow day in your dining room.
2. Spray paint = dust. Clouds of it. Everywhere.
3. Spray paint can occasionally bubble, irrevocably ruining the facade of your desk no matter how much you try to sandpaper it into oblivion.
4. A mix of real paint (with paintbrushes) and spray paint seems to do the trick. Also, I realized after the second week of working on this project that if the paint starts to bubble, just wipe it away.

The desk doesn't look perfect, but I will say it looks newer. It also blends better with all the neutrals and white trim in my room and I've noticed that just because it is white, the room feels wider. And don't worry; I already mopped and cleaned the dining room.

Anyways, here is the new, improved desk:

Today I like...

Being the Francophile that I am, I find it hard to resist the pillows and pillow covers made by Mon Coussin, a design team comprised of Claire Eglizeaud and Paul Moreau.

Their pillows often feature photographs and drawings, bold graphics and — be still my heart — typography. I would love this combination in my living room — it's like a whole new answer to that joke, "What's black and white and red all over?" Um, Mon Coussin pillows? ** Side note: I was telling Sean the other day that when I was little, I once suggested that the answer to that joke was "A penguin after a fight?" hahahha.**

Find them, unfortunately priced by the British pound, at Bonjour Mon Coussin

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

oui, oui

I want my life to look and sound exactly like this. Maybe I can film an homage and have it shown at my funeral and at the end it can just say, "That was her life. That was her life every time."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Frank O´Hara LIVE

Frank O'Hara never disappoints. I had never seen him live or heard him, but how perfect is this? The accent, his effeminate voice, the casual cigarette, the NY taxicab honk at 1:30, the perfect poem...awesome.

This is one of my favorites, "Having a Coke With You," partly because it's perfect romance, rather than sentimentality, and partly because it does a lot of art history name-dropping.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Today, let's pause to remember the demise, 50 years ago today, of Buddy Holly — the hottest of nerds, the prototype for nerd chic worldwide and the inspiration behind Weezer's greatest video. Tears for Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, too.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Nothing like a well-dressed man

TOP: Man on the street in Milan, from The Sartorialist
BOTTOM (l to r): Pocket square from
Beecroft and Bull, screenprinted ties from Cyberoptix and Revue eyeglass frames from

On Friday, I went with my friend Pat to help him pick out a suit for his wedding. He and his fiance are going to have a really untraditional wedding; she's going to wear a blue dress and he wanted a three-piece gray suit. He invited me because I suppose my years of reading Vogue come in handy once in a while.

Let me say, it was awesome. I had never seen such well-dressed men in my life. We went to Banana Republic, Jos. A Bank, Men's Wearhouse and the creme de la Creme, Beecroft & Bull, a Virginia-based fine clothing store. Beecroft & Bull was like mecca for me.

I have a long-standing weakness for professorial types, and this place was lined wall-to-wall with tweed blazers and patched elbows, gorgeous silk ties and pocket squares, leather chesterfield club chairs and old-fashioned shaving kits. Now, all that said, a suit starts at like, $1,200 there. But oh man, it was awesome.

Pat ended up with a classic gray glen-plaid 3-piece from Men's Wearhouse, but let me just say, I called Sean from the store and said, "We are going suit-shopping, stat."

He was like, "um...maybe when I get rich."

We can only hope!