AFS, AFS, why doesn't your garden grow?

Because Henry Bear likes to innocently munch on and sleep in my flowers. That's why.

(Says Henry "Moi? Flowers? Never")

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Mancandy Monday Vol. V

Are you Mad for this Man? Don Draper is a tortured soul who makes pretty much everything look good... even lying, smoking, cheating, and drinking. He's a tad more serious and sad than your typical Mancandy, but he knows how to wear a suit with the best of 'em. Let's just say that his bespoke speaks to me. ;)

For that, Don demands a Mancandy Mention!

(photo courtesy of here)

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A few old posts that made me laugh

First - very cute, semi-new picture of Henry Bear and Betty Rascal.
Magically, they are actually getting along. They are playing, and I believe that occasionally I detect, just for a second, a millisecond tail wag on Betty's behalf. Henry is still just as in love as ever. Poor fool.

She is really making him work for it.

Okay, in other news: Maybe no one else agrees, but sometimes, I think I'm funny. I like to make people laugh, chuckle, or snort. Usually, those types of reactions are the product of something silly or stupid I have done like here and here, but on a rare blessed occasion, it is actually the product of something that I cleverly quipped. I don't have any delusions of grandeur to make me think I should go on the road with a stand up routine or anything like that, so don't worry. I'm just saying...sometimes I think I'm funny.

The problem is...I don't think I'm funny as much as I used to be. Maybe I'm tired. Maybe I'm stressed. Maybe my creative juices haven't flowed in a while, and my brain is so over humor. Perhaps moroseness is so 3000 and 8, and humor is so 2000 and late? I dunno.

Anywho, I was clicking through some old posts (sometimes it is fun to see what I was stressing about in 2008, 2007, and 2006) and found a couple that made me laugh. Since I have several new readers, I thought I would share a few "vintage" AFS posts.

Okay, this one isn't funny, but the memory still makes me laugh...its a little scandalous, so all your uppity folks out there, you might want to disregard. :)

So, I am well aware that this post was a total cop out and regurgitation of old stuff. But I'm busy. And I got to use the word regurgitation. So, you can't count this post as a total loss.






Oh wait! You thought I was done? Just wanted to let you know that, according to Word, reiterate is a synonym for regurgitate. Interestingly, bovine bulimia is not a suggestion. I can't imagine why. Okay, now I'm done.

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Cuttin' the mustard

Fall is knocking on our door, and everywhere I'm seeing fashion mags raving about the colors of the upcoming season. I find myself especially drawn to mustard, gray, and plum. Those colors work so well together, whether they are arranged on the person or in the home.

My little "work" purse is about to have to go to purse heaven, and I have been eyeing a few replacement lovelies. Which do you like best?

#1: Baby Ruche Bag in Summer Squash Genuine Cowskin Leather ($158)

"Excuse me? Do you have any Grey Poupon?

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This little guy has nothing to do with purses, but came up when I searched for "mustard" and "leather." Isn't he the cutest little thing? It's like a little Betty Rascal, on a key chain. So cute!


Mancandy Monday Vol. IV

The Knight went with a group of his buddies to see the new gory Quentin Tarantino film, Inglorious Basterds. Shockingly, I deferred seeing such a gory film, and I chose to see Post Grad with a friend instead (total flop...don't waste the money...sorry Alexis Bledel), I couldn't shake the image of Brad Pitt as a Maynard, Tennessean out of my head.

To that end, I present you with Brad Pitt...who is like the Mary Poppins of Mancandy:

Practically Perfect In Every Way.

(image courtesy of here)

Happy Monday!

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AFS Share Time

I have a whole bunch of things I've been dying to tell you...I am getting so backed up with ideas that I think I'm going to have start making a list.

One of the things on my list is to share with you some etsy sellers who have made an extra special impression on me or really gone the extra mile.

We all know that I am quite a little shopper (ahem, hence my name), and it should come as no surprise that since I discovered Etsy, most of my gift buying (okay, really mostly gifts for myself...I am bad) have come from that glorious website. I counted this morning, and so far, since March of 2008, I have made 32 purchases, of which I purchased 48 items, from 29 different sellers. I have quite a purchase history (shhh! don't tell the Knight!).

While I have not had a single unpleasant experience, the following five sellers have really gone above and beyond in their service, communication, and packaging. It is high time that they deserve some accolades!


Diane Zueck, owner of Bebe Chic Boutique, can sew up a storm! Over the past few months, I have purchased 4 of her baby gift sets...three of which I used to make diaper cakes for friends' showers (Oh! Need to know how to make a diaper cake? Go here).

I love her stuff...it is all so cute, and I love that she makes everything by hand. Her items come wrapped in tissue, tied with a pretty grosgrain bow, and include care instructions. She is wonderful at custom orders (three of the four sets have been custom requests). During one order, she included some *extras* which were perfect additions to the gift sets. Plus, she is just a doll.

Because she is a wonderful Etsian, she is offering free shipping to all of you lovely readers. Once you are logged into Etsy, send her a "conversation" with the code AFSHIP, tell her what you want to buy from her store, and she will create a private listing just for you! Thank you so much, Diane!


Recently, I purchased two milk glass dessert plates from Jen's store, My Milk Glass Shop. I have always been drawn to milk glass, and have a small collection.

I'm gathering a few more pieces, and plan to hang several on the long blank wall in our breakfast room. Some people prefer clean, simple walls, but not me...you know I like my shee-shee-poo-poo in every room!

Anyway, Jen let me know as soon as they had shipped AND refunded me the difference between her shipping costs and what I had paid for shipping. Can I just say that that never has happened to me before...I'm sure it was just a few bucks, but that gesture really made an impression on me. The two darling plates arrived, wrapped in tissue paper, tied with lovely grosgrain bow, and included a thank you note and two or three business cards (fastened together with a pearl brad). Ugh. I am such a sucker for details.

She has another lovely store, Jen's Closet, which is chock full of the kind of stuff I love. I assure you that I will definitely be shopping their in the near future!

These vintage handkerchiefs would be perfect for the blushing bride looking for something old & and something blue!

Jen has kindly offered 10% off (not including shipping) in both of her shops to my blog readers! Just send her a message when you are buying stuff from her shop, and she'll adjust the price for you! So, go check her out. Undoubtedly, you will find a treasure you simply must have!


Awhile ago, I ordered this adorable vintage platter:

and this cloth tray from ~Monkeys Always Look~

I have been most pleased with my purchases, but what I remember the most is the way she packaged her items. Everything came beautifully wrapped, and she included a fabulous animorph print with buttons sewed on the card...just because. I love sellers like that.

She sells all kinds of fantastic succulents in unusual containers, and in my opinion, her prices are quite reasonable.

When you have a chance, go check out this girl! She if offering free shipping on any orders over $50 -OR- 10% off orders under $50. Just put Artsy Fartsy in the message to the seller and she will refund the difference to you via Paypal after purchase!


Awhile ago, I bought a set of these egg candles (complete with the tiny bird...i die!).

The packaging alone just did me in, but then I had a little intimate dinner party, and the eggs stole the show.

What I like about Revisions is that she doesn't stick to just one medium. I'm telling you, this lady is GOOOOD. She doesn't just limit herself to egg candles. She makes all kinds of cool jewelry with antique silverware and these adorable bobby pins.

She also sells glorious works of art like this breathtaking and sculputural light fixture. Go have a looksy at her shop. You won't leave emptyhanded!


Last (but defnintely not least) is Custom Pet Creations. Last Christmas, I'm pretty sure I told you about her. Oh wait, here it is! As you can see below, I ordered four puppy ornaments from her for Christmas presents: One for me and the Knight, one for Jess(ica), one for Daisy, and one for my mom. Her ability to capture the little idiosyncrasies of each one of our pups is amazing!

Custom Pet Creations bears mentioning because after I order the first four ornaments, Betty Rascal found them tied to presents under the tree, and had herself a big puppy ornament snack! By the time I contacted CPC and reordered, her price had gone up a smidge. The cool part was...rather than having me pay the new price (which I was planning on doing), she gave me the old price for the new ornament...voluntarily! Then...after all that, she put together this little collage for me as a way of saying thanks! Unbelievable!
She's still offering these great ornaments, but now? Oh, but now it gets so much better! Now, she is selling wine charms of your favorite pooch. Wine & Betty Rascal? I don't know how life could be any sweeter. ;) Don't you think this would be the perfect shower gift for the dog-adoring bride and groom? Or just about anybody? Go visit her right now!

So there you have it...my top 5 fave Etsians. These sellers win the "Miss Congeniality" award...hands down. Thank you so much for doing what you do, offering the items you offer, and going the extra mile to keep shoppers happy. We really appreciate it!

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Cheeky Chi-town

I realized that I never posted any pictures from our trip to Chicago. Let me just start by saying that we had SO MUCH FUN. I can't wait to go back.
Here are a few "collages" I made, thanks to Picasa. I find it so very difficult to pick just a few pictures to capture the wonderfulness of a trip, and the collage function is perfect for things like this:
"Beautiful Chicago Architecture" Collage

"AFS and the Knight Do Chicago" Collage

"We are Pigs" Collage
The "Everything" Collage
Gosh, looking over these pictures makes me want to go back RIGHT NOW! We had perfect weather, an amazing hotel room, and nary a single quibble with one another. Chicago was a fairly easy town to maneuver, so even when we thought we were lost, it was easy to get back on the right track.

Highlights from our trip included the following:

Our hotel, the Intercontinental

The Architecture Boat Cruise (my personal favorite thing that we did)

Eating dinner at Rosebud's on Rush

Dancing the afternoon away at Moe's Cantina

Sampling beer at Uberstein's

All the beautiful free sights everywhere...I mean, everywhere!

We found our own little piece of Tennessee!

Interested in more pictures from our trip? Go here.

Already dreaming of our next trip!

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