10.23.2008

Payday equals MAYDAY.

I really tried to resist. Really I did. My forefinger would dance over to the mouse, do a few clickity clicks, and then I would just have to look away. The beauties of Etsy always tempt me, but normally I am so good. That is, of course, until payday. I have my little miscellaneous money fund, and sometimes it burns a hole in my pocket before it even gets in my pocket.

Cue today...here I am, happily sitting at my breakfast table, when all of a sudden it hits me...PAY DAY. Wahoo! I start doing a little happy dance in my chair, and immediately log into Etsy to see what I have favorited.

Granted, there are a lot of things that I have saved that I will never buy. Oh, I would love to, but a girl has to have some restraint, right? But, there were a few lovelies that were destined to come home to live with AFS, the Knight, and Miss Betty Rascal.

The first things I snapped up were 2 of these handmade pillows.

I love the soft look of the linen and the surprising little colorful detail down the middle. The owner was incredibly sweet in her email, and you could tell that her personality is just as warm and welcoming as her pillows are. I wanted to buy all of Hettle's stuff, but I'm pretty much on pillow probation. I have a closet full of throw pillows that are just waiting to be set free...I just need about two more living rooms and an additional guest bedroom to place them in. Anywho, I actually bought these pillows for a purpose. In the next couple of weeks, we are going to make a bold move and paint our den chocolate brown. This means that we will have to use lots of light accessories and shelving to keep the room bright and beautiful. These pillows will either go on the couch or on the two wingbacks for a little shot of creamy taupe. Can't wait for them to arrive!

Next on the list was this tray from Monkeys Always Look.


I've had it saved in my favorites for a while, and finally got the courage to just get it. I think I've mentioned before that I hung a plate rack in my breakfast room. I was having a really hard time finding the "perfect" plate due for the rack, and although I'm not sure if this tray will work...it is so cute, I won't mind having it around for another serving platter. I'm hoping it will coordinate with this tray, and they can live together happily ever after.

While I was poking around in Allison's (owner of Monkeys Always Look) shop, I also noticed this cute little snap tray. Do you ever accidentally lose earrings, rings, or bobby pins down the bathroom sink drain? Cuz' I do. And this little tray will be perfect for helping me avoid doing that in the future. Also, have to say - Allison is incredibly nice. As soon as I made my purchase, she sent me a little email saying hi and thanking me for my purchase. We emailed back and forth for a while, and concluded that though she has never been to the South (she's in California), she would fit in jhu-st fiiine, sugah-pea.

That's one thing I like about Etsy so much...there are real people behind those storefronts who actually love what they are selling. There is nothing more frustrating than going into a gorgeous little store, plunking down bookoos of $$ for something you love, and then have to deal with some snobby/bored/unconcerned teenage cashier who barely acknowledges your present as they ring up your purchases.

Okay, I'm stepping off the soapbox now, and going back to the happy world of Etsy. My final purchase of the day (see, only 3, well maybe 4 thing? I was very, very good.) was from a shop that I have been literally dying to tell you about. It's called Five Dot Design, and it is so cute. The owner, Kristen, comments on my blog occassionally, and I have been waiting for the perfect time to a) introduce all of my other blog friends to her and b) greedily snatch up her goodies.

Today, I will do just that. Blogfriends, meet Five Dot. Five Dot, meet blogfriends. Okay, now on to her gorgeous stuff. I bought this little desk calendar.

I bought it for me, but foresee that in the near future, this may be the gift I buy for all of those dirty Santa parties. It is just too stinkin' cute, and the illustrations are really captivating and whimsical. Very me, methinks.

If I was moving again, I would totally get these hysterical fishbowl we've moved announcements. How clever! And completely accurate. I know the economy isn't so hot right now, but if you are one of the fortunate ones who is actually house-shopping right now, these are the moving announcements for you.

Finally, you need to check out all of Five Dot's greeting cards. I especially like all the flower ones. I know you can actually send these to people, in the actual mail, no less (who knew?), but personally, I would want to frame them all and hang them in big white wooden frames in a hallway or a bedroom. So posh. So perfect for curing the winter blues.

Okay, well that's all I got in me for now. I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend. The Knight and I are taking a much needed break and heading to the lake for the weekend. I am so excited about watching football, sleeping in, and pigging out...all while floating on the water. Our Vols haven't been doing so hot this year, but I think that we are going to make a comeback this weekend. I'm basing this prediction solely on the fact that I bought the cutest orange argyle sweater from Tar-jay last night.
I'm pretty sure it is a sign that we are destined for victory. Go VOLS!

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10.21.2008

Table for two, er, twelve!

Last week, the Knight and I had a bunch of new people from our church over for dinner. I decided to up the ante and decorate for fall. I bought two bags of mini pumpkins, one bag of multi-colored medium/small pumpkins, some Indian corn, and a crazy black cobweb runner from Big Lots. Add some candles and fresh flowers, and voila - a beautiful fall table that is dark enough for Halloween, but can easily be carried well into the end of November. I'm thinking of finding some crazy leopard print fabric and sewing that into a table runner for November. I have never really thought about it before, but so many animal prints coordinate perfectly with fall colors, and it is a tad unexpected!



Since we only had 6 chairs for our breakfast room table, I bought 6 extra wooden folding chairs from World Market (a steal at $16.99 a piece). We brought the breakfast room table into our (usually empty) dining room, put a folding banquet table next to it, and covered both with white tablecloths. I put the runner on both tables to try to create the vision of one long continuous table. I think for the most part my attempt worked...the only main issue was that the folding chairs were noticeably shorter than my West Elm chairs, so half of the guest were lower than the other half.



One of my favorite things for the table were the cylindrical vases filled with the mini pumpkins. I think the vases were from Wal-Mart (maybe 3 bucks?) and the pumpkins were $2.97 a bag. Considering they'll last a good two months, I think that is a pretty reasonable price for a focal point, don't you?


I also added some small votives, more pumpkins, corn, and mint julep flower arrangements to the mantel. You can't tell in this picture, but when the lights were low, the candles flickered just enough to give a hint of a spooky affect to the room.

Although I definitely wanted people to enjoy the table and home decorations, what mattered most is that they had a good time. I think I succeeded. What do you think?

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10.20.2008

Good morning!

First, note that I have updated my links. I took off the standard blogs that it seems everyone I read reads, and only put people on there with whom I have some sort of personal connection. Either they are regular commenters, friends in real life, or they link to me. If you want to be added, let me know, and I will try to get around to it this week.

The house is slowly but surely coming together! Plus, I finally found my camera. I took some pictures, and will post them shortly. We are finally starting to hang pictures...boy, does that make a difference!

Can't wait to show you the progress we've made.

Finally, took a little test thing. I would have never pinned myself as a "Marilyn", but oh well...I guess I can stomach being a blonde sex symbol for one day!

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Marilyn!

mm.marilyn_.jpg

You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Be direct and clear

  • * Listen to me carefully

  • * Don't judge me for my anxiety

  • * Work things through with me

  • * Reassure me that everything is OK between us

  • * Laugh and make jokes with me

  • * Gently push me toward new experiences

  • * Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a Marilyn

  • * being committed and faithful to family and friends

  • * being responsible and hardworking

  • * being compassionate toward others

  • * having intellect and wit

  • * being a nonconformist

  • * confronting danger bravely

  • * being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Marilyn

  • * the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind

  • * procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself

  • * fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of

  • * exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger

  • * wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right

  • * being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Marilyns as Children Often

  • * are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn

  • * are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger

  • * form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent

  • * look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel

  • * are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Marilyns as Parents

  • * are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty

  • * are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence

  • * worry more than most that their children will get hurt

  • * sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

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10.14.2008

Did you know about this?

Because this is all kinds of awesome.



My Volunteers may stink this year, but at least us fans can be cute losers!

Rockytop Tennessee, y'all!

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Life is pretty amazing

And I just bought the print to prove it:

It's big (16x20) and it comes from Europe! I can't wait for this arrive...it is going in the craft room.

(Shame on you, Melissa...your delicious website always tempts me to shop. And we know I have NO self control!).

I'm on cloud nine today. I think I've mentioned that I'm training for a half marathon. Right? I know - you must think I'm crazy for putting my body through such torture. Usually, around mile 3, I'd agree with you. It has been pretty difficult sticking to a regular running schedule. The weather has been great, but I've been incredibly busy, and I usually don't get home until after dark. I can't stand running on the treadmill, so I'm left with three options :1) run in the morning. 2) run in the dark and risk getting mugged/raped/run over, or 3) don't run.

I have tried running in the morning. "Tried" being the operative word, here. I am not much of a morning person, and for me to be able to run and still get to work in a timely manner, I have to get up before dawn. Me trying to run all leadfooted and half asleep in the dark is not pretty or safe. Let's just say that the last time I tried to run in the morning, I brought home more than my fair share of gravel in both of my knees and my palms. It was a miracle I still had all my teeth after that morning.

Obviously, I can't exercise option number three (i.e., not running at all). I am not in tip top shape, and I assure that I could not even begin to run 13 miles if I hadn't trained at all.

So, that leaves me with option number 2, running in the dark at night. Although I feel that my neighborhood is fairly safe, I do live in Memphis, and am well aware that crime could happen anywhere. Before I go on my run, I make sure the Knight knows my route, my estimated run time, and (if he's home) ask him to drive by about 1/2 way through my run just to make sure I'm still alive and kicking.

Anywho, I ran 5 miles last night! For all you runners out there, that may not seem like much, but for me...that was huge! I haven't run that much since I ran cross country in high school, and I felt really good after I got through the first couple of miles (for some reason, those are always the worst).

5 miles was the distance I was supposed to run on Saturday morning, but instead I ran the Le Bonheur Pumpkin Run (5K). I was planning on running the additional two miles after the fact, but after the first 3 miles, I was DONE. The other two new associates at my firm found out that they passed the bar on Friday, and so all the associates took them out for an afternoon of, ahem, celebrating. The Knight joined our group, and we continued our celebration for the rest of the evening. Suffice it to say, a Saturday morning run fueled only with the previous night's coffee and alcohol isn't really a great idea.

SO...getting back to my story, I had to make up my long run on Monday night. I was afraid that I would be exhausted from working, but actually I think work created enough stressful energy that I was actually looking forward to using my tennis shoes to pound away the day's cares.

I am just proud of myself. I'm not real fast, and I'm not even running 1/2 of the distance of the half marathon, but I am proving to myself with each run that I am not a quitter, and that, if I set my mind to it, I can achieve what at first seemed impossible.

It just feels good.

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10.11.2008

Face Time

One of the things I hear a lot about as a young lawyer in a mid-sized firm is "face time." For you non-lawyers out there, "face time" is basically the idea of making sure you are available in the office so that the partners (i.e., your employers) can see you and see that you are working. In this day and age, so much of what I do could be done completely at home in my comfy jammies, but it is this "face time" thing that keeps me coming to office.

Face time is also what has brought me into the office this Saturday afternoon. A lot of the most senior partners come in on Saturdays to "catch up" while watching their favorite teams play football. Its never a bad thing for them to walk by my office and see me fervently typing away on a Saturday afternoon (and I actually do have some work I need to catch up on), so here I am...making my "face" available.

I haven't done a Currently Coveting post in a while, and I thought one was long overdue. None of these things are related, but they are just things I've been oohing and aahing (and sometimes buying) over.

First on the list are these shoes.

I bought a pair, and if you buy anything in Lissa Ayers' store right now, everything is FIFTY percent off (just use the code ANNIVERSARY08). I know, you must be so impressed that I just stopped with one pair of shoes (on clearance already, no less)... but really, so much of her stuff is just gorgeous. I love red, and these are just "smart" enough to be office appropriate. I have a gorgeous Calvin Klein dove gray suit that I think will look perfect with the shoes. I mean, it is ALL about the shoes, right?

Second, check out this little beauty.
Really, it is quite hard to pick just one thing from this Etsy seller. Everything is just sophisticated and whimsical at the same time. And quite reasonable, if I do say so. I've been totally digging everything gold lately. Perhaps its because so many leaves turn that color this time of year, but gold screams FALL! to me.

The holidays are right around the corner, and I am always searching for that justright/hardtofind/butperfectforeveryone Dirty Santa party. This little calendar is just the right price ($20) and is super cute.

Plus your purchase will support an indie designer, and not one of the big box stores that start to get crazy this time of year. Ugh... I loathe Christmas traffic, which is probably why I buy everything I possibly can online.

Next up is this incredibly beautiful vintage plate.

I have been all about the plates lately. I have an iron plate rack that holds space for two plates, and have the perfect weird sized wall to hang the rack. I have been going insane trying to find the perfect two plates for this rack, and still haven't found just the right combo. I want the two plates to go with the color scheme/decor theme in my breakfast room, coordinate with one another but not be too matchy-matchy, and just be so incredibly cool that everyone notices them. Oh yeah, and I don't want to spend more than $50 for the both of them. See why I'm going insane?

Anywho, this plate is $45, so unless I find the other plate for $5 it is probably out of my price range. But man, is it marvelous. The color, the little birds, the raised detail. Who knows, I might just get it anyway.

Okay, last Etsy item for the day, but not the last thing on the list, so keep reading. I don't know about you, but as for me? Well, Artsy Fartsy can't get enough purses. I love little purses, big purses, and everything in between. I also like little bags to keep tucked inside big purses...keeps everything somewhat organized, you know? If you are in the mood for a new little bag, might I suggest one? Or twenty? This little bag is hysterically cute, and has surprisingly sophisticated lining.

At $30, it seems a little pricey, but you have to consider that it is completely hand sewn. That's gotta count for something, right? So, if you are tired of hunting for your lipstick, or looking for something to discreetly tuck those tampons in, this is the purse for you. Enjoy!

I have blogged about my fabric love for Anna Maria Horner. Well, now she has just put us all to shame with her talented sassiness by coming out with this lovely book, Seams To Me, 24 new reasons to love sewing.

Who doesn't more reasons to love to sew? It's fun, satisfying, and provides a creative outlet for even the most button-upped/type A people. It is complete with tons of easy peasy patterns (for you beginner sewers, too), and rich, luscious color photos. I preordered my copy, and you should do the same. Anna Maria would want you to.

Last but not least, I want to give you a bit of thrifty Halloween inspiration. I am a big fan of reusing bits and pieces of my own wardrobe to supplement my Halloween costume, and a couple of times I have used bits and pieces of my Halloween costume to supplement my own wardrobe. Now, take this cute dress from Forever 21.

Clean, practical, but very cute. I bought this a couple of weeks ago, and although it is a tad short, the fabric has enough weight to carry me through the fall (can we see tights and boots in my future?). Upon first glance, this dress might seem a little bland, but it has incredible details. Cuffed and buttoned up sleeves, fabric covered buttons, and just a cute little shape.

Can't you see this being the foundation of a naughty stewardess or policewoman costume? A hat, a badge, and a gun, and you are ready to enforce the law in style. Or maybe a little wings pin and white go go boots (hello Southwest!). Or go to the other end of the spectrum - throw on an vintage half apron, put on an oven mitt, wear some high heels, false eyelashes, and bouffant your hair...this dress has got June Cleaver written all over it. And when Halloween's done, you've still got a nice, normal dress that could work for summer and fall for years.

Okay, that's all for now. I still haven't found my camera, but my cousin was nice enough to let me borrow hers so that I could snap a few of my newly painted bathroom. I'll try to share those in the next couple of days! Hope you all have a lovely Saturday and get lots of rest this weekend.

Crunchy leaves and candy corn kisses,

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10.07.2008

Boo-tique

Do you know what I've kind of forgotten? That real brick and mortar stores exist. With real people that you can face to face; with real paper coupons that you actually have to print; with real products that you can actually touch.With Etsy, Amazon, Forever 21, and Jeffers Pet (just to name a few of my serial haunts) available online, I rarely go into "real stores" anymore. There are just so many annoyances involved in shopping "in the flesh." You have to drive there, find a parking space, walk all over the store to find the one thing you are looking for, occasionally deal with an unpleasant or incompetent cashier, and then fight that overwhelming desire to immediately rush home and pull out the hand sanitizer (what? the real world is dirty!).

Although I have mostly stopped shopping in stores, I still crave that personal interaction and tactile shopping experience. Perhaps that's why I like thrift stores and yard sales so much - not only do you see time-loved things in person, but you can usually get an interesting story regarding the item as well.

Although it seems I've kind of banned big stores (and malls) from my life, I may have to rethink that decision. Enter Macy's Department Store. I know I haven't talked about it, ahem, much, but the Knight and I have been working on our house nonstop.

Right now, he is building me the master closet of my dreams (well, okay, it doesn't have a computerized, rotating outfit picker outer, but that's about the only thing its missing). There is sawdust everywhere...and tools, and wood, and all the junk that goes with building wood-type things. Then, we have hired one of our awesome and talented friends to paint the interior of our house. So, there's paint, and brushes, and drop cloths, and all the accouterments that go with that project. Then, there's me - I've been a furniture refinishing fool - this past weekend, I painted one bookshelf, one little bathroom cabinet type-thingie, a filing cabinet, and the $2 desk (it looks ah-mazing, btw...can't wait to show it to you!). Also, I have been a framing maniac, and our office currently looks like some sort of avant-garde art installation with all of our pictures lining the floors. Plus, there are still a good ten boxes of books and paper mess strewn about the house.

Basically our house is chaos.

So, what does this have to do with Macy's? Well, I'm going to go ahead and diagnose myself as a compulsive collector and shopper. I don't shop all the time, but I have noticed that when my house is chaos, rather than rationally and logically dealing with the mess...I just go and escape into retail land. And acquire more stuff. Which, I then bring home and add to the existing mess. I told you that it isn't logical.

(I recognize that the above paragraph appears to be in direct contradiction to the first two paragraphs where I discussed my ban on brick and mortar stores. What can I say? I am a complicated woman...I have many layers.)

Okay, Macy's...focus. Basically, I have been on Macy's website lately like white on rice. I completely forgot that they carry furniture, and have fallen in love with two different dining sets...both are to die for, but very different.

Then, I found these dishes that are just so completely "me" on a plate...why were these not around when I was registering for our wedding?

And, don't even get me started on all the Martha Stewart beauties.

Sigh...why am I not a very, very rich woman? My house would be so so pretty.

Do you want to know the best part of department stores? Deals. All kinds of deals. They usually have incredible clearance sections. And good sales. Especially if you get their coupons out of the newspaper.

I can't stand it anymore...I'm think I'm going tonight.

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10.05.2008

Don't make promises you can't keep...

I'm shaking my finger at myself. There I go all promises and butterflies and ditties about good intentions, and then guess who can't find her camera? I have turned our house upside down looking for it, and it is nowhere to be found.

So, the pictures of the yard sale are going to have to wait. So sorry. So so very sorry. Especially because today I repainted 4 of the "finds" and now I won't have before and after pictures. :(

I am so mad that I can't find it. I just have no idea where my camera could be. So, I'm just going to have to tell you about them, and you are just going to have to put your thinking cap on and try to picture them.

1. Waist height narrow bookshelf - $5. Goes perfectly in our bathroom to hold tissue paper, candles, and air freshener. It was natural wood, and I painted it a crisp white.

2. Dark wood "pub" mirror from Pottery Barn with hooks - $5. Still had the tags on the back for $99. So excited about this one.

3. Two matching brass lamps (they appear to have been dipped in silver at one point, but most of the silver has been rubbed out) - $3.

4. Cotton voile white cotton striped curtains - $2

5. AND, drum roll please....

Thomasville writing desk - $2. I know...thrift store heaven has arrived, and I am first in line!

Okay, I am going to keep hunting...maybe I'll find that camera!

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10.02.2008

Showing those pearly whites!

Sheesh - I really hope I can keep this blog going. I had NO idea how busy and exhausted my new job would make me feel. I'm always thinking "that would be good for the blog" or "I need to remember that, its funny!" By the time I sit down to write, I've completely forgotten what I was going to say. So then, I just whine about how tired I am, and you are all snoring by the end of the post. So, get out your pillow, cuz a'here comes the gripes.

Seriously, I feel like I'm in a haze. Granted, that might be a side effect of my allergy medicine, but maybe its more than that. I love my new job, but I hate how it has eaten into my time to be crafty and silly. Plus, the Knight and I have gotten serious about getting the house purtied up, and so that is the thing I fixate on as soon as I get home. Do you think I have issues, or is this normal?

Okay, enough negativeness. With the economy and all the bad things being said by both political parties, the last thing this world needs is one more grumpy blogger.

I have to say how touched I am to have been given a Smile award by sweet and lovely Lavender Lily. No one has ever given me a blog award before, and I am so touched that she thought of me. Thank you, Lily, thank you! Now it is my turn to pass it on.

Characteristics for the Smile Award:

1. Must display a cheerful attitude.
2. Must love one another.
3. Must make mistakes.
4. Must learn from others.
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.
6. Must love life.
7. Must love kids.

I don't know if Melissa at Melissahead Yabberings/Operation Nice loves kids, but I do know that she more than qualifies for this award. Her warmth and desire to spread good in our jaded critical world is very much appreciated by me and so many others. Thank you Melissa - I'm pretty sure the Smile Award was inspired by you!

Okay, so that is all for now. But I am making a vow. In fact, I'm going to hold up my right hand and vow this in front of the Knight so I HAVE to do it. Okay - I vowed. The Knight can vouch for me. I hit the yardsale jackpot last weekend, and we have been working hard on the house. I am going to take pictures of everything and post them NO LATER than this Sunday. I think you will be pleased to see our progress.

Okay, back to Ugly Betty!

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