Thursday, July 29, 2010

customer service test...

I just went to change into workout clothes, and the buckle fell off my favorite sandals. Like, completely off, sort of disintegrated. Boo! I live in these shoes. I bought them with my mom this spring, they have brought life to many tired dresses, spirit to ho-hum shorts. In short, I need them. I have had good luck with Coach customer service in the past, but I hate the idea of giving up my favorite pair of sandals smack dab in the middle of summer, possibly for weeks. I am secretly thinking it would be nice if they had to give me a new pair, and it had to be the nude ones. Sigh, guess we'll have to wait and see.

*post edit: Yes, I do realize this is quite shallow and there are many more important things in life. Noted. Gaining perspective now.


We have become 1960philes. Ever since Mad Men, we can't get enough. I am dying to get the book Take Ivy that is being rereleased in August; makes me think of nice things like Ali MacGraw's clothes in Love Story, J.D. Salinger, Harper Lee and an awesome documentary we saw recently about a 1968 football game between Harvard and Yale. I admit I am not too into modern preppy boys, but 50 years ago? Yes please.

So that's why we had to buy this last weekend while out enjoying the AC at Kudzu Antiques:

Cool, huh? I love the color, the type, 1962, and the reference to BH&G, which was probably the 1960s equivalent to Domino, Blueprint, Lonny, etc.

I was about to check out and this older lady says, "Does that say BH&G? If I had seen that I would have bought it for my friend, she works at BH&G, she's a stylist. My friend works at BH&G, I would have definitely bought that for her if I had seen it. Ida, did you see this sign? Wouldn't it be perfect for Gladys? It says BH&G! Our friend works at BH&G." Brett and I looked at each other, thinking should we give up the sign? Then Brett says in true Brett form, "I'll let you buy it from me for $1000," and the woman backs off. She is not amused.

Oh well, we got the sign. We are good at getting our own way. We also scored a huge, amazing map of the world that is giving me inspiration to makeover the bedroom in sort of a library theme. Stay tuned for details on that. I love having projects!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I have been trying to use one of the standard fonts at work in more interesting ways. It does not come with an italic version, which is a bummer. I like the very thin hairline weight and have been playing with doubling it to give it some movement. But tell me, does it make you dizzy? I would hate for people perusing the web for hair notions to suddenly feel nauseous... Unless of course they were on the Conair site, tee hee. Just a little hair accessory humor early in the morning.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ask, and you shall receive...

Our new/old tin.

I have just the perfect follow up to a post from June... I did not get one Amaretti cookie tin like the one my grandparents had, but two! Ali found the grandmother of all tins at a flea market right in our home town. This thing is seriously a monster. I joked in my thank you note to her that we would not only store our loose change in there, but our life savings. Seriously, large and in charge. This could even act as a cool little end table. Right now it is enjoying life atop an orange chair and they seem to be getting along.

thank you thank you, Ali!

cool label on the tin

When I heard that the tin was on its way, I of course told my husband, beaming. His face actually dropped a bit, and he admitted that he, too, had found a tin, on its way to Atlanta via eBay. Lucky me! Brett's came a few days ago and he surprised me with it, fully loaded with coins. How sweet.

Toasted Almond, yes please!

We celebrated with an Amaretto cocktail, the Toasted Almond. 1 part Amaretto, 1 part Kahlua, and 1 part cream. Delizioso.

It's pretty cool to think that one day I might play game with my own grandchildren and tell them the story of how I got the tins. Ask, and you shall receive.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mad Men Returns

...but we won't be watching! While this is hand's down our favorite show, Brett and I have decided to wait until season 4 comes out on Blu Ray and then we will watch them all at once some cold winter weekend. Doesn't that sound cozy? Although I'm not sure any episode will ever compare to the lawnmower debacle of 1963. Sort of goes down in my tv history books with the restaurant episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Please tell me you've seen that. Anyway, I am hoping I can get through the fall spoiler free!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

what's a girl to wear in...


We are going on a trip to the Emerald Isle this fall and I am already putting some thoughts into what to pack. All that came to mind initially were the J Crew fisherman sweaters that were all the rage in high school, and well, I just don't rock a chunky sweater. The good news is that the weather is cool then (around 45-55°) so jeans, boots and scarves will definitely make it in my bag... Fall is the best time for clothes! Here are some other ideas:

plaid - It's not Scotland, I know, but the whole Catholic school uniform thing comes to mind.

my Wellie boots - Any chance I have to wear these I take!

leather jacket - I envision Brett renting a motorcycle with a side car for me and us zipping through the lush countryside like James Bond and his flavor of the movie.

trench coat - Just because Ireland feels proper, and I want an excuse to buy one.

left trench capelet is Burberry and a little ridiculous, but so cool.
right is J Crew, and slightly more reasonable...

something cozy and flannel for nighttime - OK, but not too cozy or too flannel.

smocking, pleats, gathers, buttons, hooks, grosgrain ribbon and other haberdashery details - All old school touches that remind me of the matching dresses we wore as little girls, since I'll be there with my little sister. Katie taught me this Gaelic phrase recently that she said I should teach my husband, and I think it is fitting for this post:
PHRASE:  Iocfaidh mise don gach rud! 
PRONOUNCED: uck-igg misha dun gock rud
MEANING: I will pay for everything!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh dear!

meet my alter ego, Darla Jane Smith!

Not sure if this means I really get into following a theme and savoring details, or that I am a redneck at heart (please oh please be the former) but I have won quite the contest. Or contests.

I'm sure some of you saw my distasteful facebook post about how to create a fake baby bump in a jiff? Tried a basketball, tried blankets, tried different mixing bowls, but nothing was as maternally authentic as my bike helmet. Strapped to my torso with duct tape. Add a retro-capped-sleeve-3-sizes-too-big-bought-on-a-whim-housedress, bright pink lipstick, blue eyeliner, big hair, faux bling, some fake moles and you have an instant, John Waters inspired pregnant lady. Now just add a husband in a mullet wig and some PBR and you have the winner of a White Trash Luau costume contest.

Then, add Road Kill Dip (aka Buffalo chicken dip), served in an aluminum throw away dish and a box of Chicken in a Biskit crackers and you also have the winner of the White Trash Luau Rare Delicacy competition.

Like I said, oh dear! Wish I had more pics but this is it. That's probably a good thing. You can hire me for your next party. People were convinced I was actually a pregnant alcoholic.

Dear Readers,

Dear Readers,

If I ever complain about my life, do please kindly tell me to stuff it. I am so lucky/blessed/grateful in so many ways, and good things continue to happen. That's all, updates to come! And no, I am not pregnant.


Liz + Scott : save the date

I am meeting with bride Liz this week to review her save the date design. Here is a shot of the materials I gathered to give her for inspiration at our last chat and a shot of the in-progess save the date. Hope she's pleased! And yes, I think I would plan to cut out the notches on the side of the "tickets" with a hole punch. Should make a fun project for a Saturday night with the girls :) But no drinks! These need to be straight. I'd love any and all feedback on this! xo

I have saved that postcard of the Ferris Wheel in the foreground since I was applying to colleges in 1996! I think it is an ad for Dartmouth. Sometimes is pays to be a packrat, er, I mean future-predicting amateur archivist.

Friday, July 16, 2010

all kinds of awesome

This has been a good week. (But of course I am glad it's over and I am home drinking margs) I completed a painting to give to baby Kinsley that I think is the cutest one yet, and got three new orders! So now I am working on a P, a D and a yet to be named baby :) The P is for Presley and the D is for Davis, such adorable names. I love thinking about baby names. Mommies, was that a fun experience for you? Too much cuteness. I also have a new idea for some custom paintings that will be adorable and meaningful, but not nearly as time consuming as the alphabet monograms. I hope. I want to work on a prototype this weekend and I might ask ya'll for some feedback!

Tuesday I sat down to plan some travel and ohmygod we have seven sets of plane tickets to buy between now and Christmas : Brett's gramma turns 80, camping with my dad, girls weekend, wedding, trip to Ireland with K and K, Christmas in Philly, and we really want to go somewhere warm alone right after Christmas... Atlanta, I love you but this is getting crazy. I sort of hope no one gets married in 2011. Sorry, guys.

And what do you think of me as a blonde? I was waiting to get my hair done today and tried on this random wig, which I sort of love. I went through a phase where I wanted really platinum blonde hair, but never did it. Hmmm...

Happy Friday! xoxo

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

food fight

okay, not that kind... but I couldn't resist.

I read a sort of cute, semi-entertaining, better-than-working article today. It was about families competing over who orders the best, etc.

Sort of appropriate for my family, we always have order envy and then of course, there is the Shelley Bite. My brother-in-law aptly named this phenomenon after my mom because if she asks for a bite, she will do everything but stick her fingers in it to ensure that she gets a little bit of everything, and generally bites right in the middle, unless of course there is a delicious crust involved, then she'll nibble the edges :) We also like the phrase, "First one done helps the others!" and "You're saving some for later" if there is a crumb or a smear on someone's face. I could probably write a book on my food life with my family. Entire chapters could be devoted to topics like Katie's Thumb Must Taste Like Chocolate or Tera and Gramma Duke It Out Over the End Piece (of Italian bread) or Uncle Tom Ate All The Crinkles. Dad's Flip Flop Flap Jacks would also be a clutch chapter and I could have him guest author the chapter about Creamed Doody on Toast and other Depression Era foods. Don't ask.

So the article was a fun quick read, but then I made the mistake of casting my eyes downward and seeing the ENORMOUS COMMENTS SECTION. People were fighting back and forth about what a ridiculous waste of time this was, or that families who do this must be so cold and competitive that they had nothing else to talk about. Crazy. What is it with this era of zinger commenting? Talk about waste of time...

Monday, July 12, 2010


I just saw a post on little green notebook that is far too good not to share. Check out this very cheap room makeover! I need to check out Craigslist more often. So cute!

Friday, July 9, 2010

let's talk shop

...or shopping. More specifically, my lack thereof as of late. I've mentioned it many times on the blog in the last year or so, but I'm on a bit of a spending diet when it comes to personal items. We have definitely been doing it up with the household purchases and have not been wanting for plane tickets, but clothes, makeup, etc. have not been a priority, or even on my mind, really. I read somewhere the other day that very few people have equally cool homes and wardrobes, and I believe it. It's exhausting to think about both and I really cherish my home. That said, a few new pieces here and there are nice. Just the other day, I went to the Container Store to pick up a basket to match one I use for paper recycling, figured I would use it for plastic. They are on backorder, but I still felt compelled to linger on my lunch break, and I came away with the cutest makeup bag. It sort of warmed my heart and gave me a little boost on a recent, rather stressful trip home. Isn't it amazing what an $8 splurge can do for you? So, in the spirit of paying it forward, I'm giving one away. Comment if you want it! And really, who wouldn't?
Oooh, it would also be cool at the pool, a peach at the beach or a groovy gift.

Also, I found a new blog that I think is going to ramp up my clothing enthusiasm, sorellina. She's in Atlanta, so unfortunately, everything is right within reach. One of her first posts featured my very favorite antique store here, so I fear I will be wanting what she wants. Maybe $50 cash in my pocket would be a good diet friendly plan for a Sunday shopping trip?

We are also doing much better thank you on the food spending. Thanks for all of your awesome tips! We went to Charleston a few weekends ago and on the long car ride home, I was looking at and found a cool section of the food site called grocery bag. They basically plan a week's worth of meals for you and supply a handy dandy shopping list! The meals are beautiful and creative and we are cooking things we've never done at home before. Swiss chard, polenta, etc. I love having a menu in my mind during the day and knowing exactly what I'm making that night. And it's nice to have a pretty dinner with the husband each night and leftovers for lunch. Did I mention that the week's worth of groceries is usually no more than $60??? And I still need to pare down the recipes a bit more, they make way more than enough for two. Do it. It's fab. That's all! Happy Friday Night.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

it's a kitchen!

At long last I am happy to present pics of our kitchen makeover! Is it possible to be actually in love with a room? I am at the very least quite smitten. The whole process took about 6 months, from tearing out wallpaper on a whim (and some tequila) one night in March, to saving for and buying new appliances one by one (and doing lots of homework). Then painting little by little, finding a company to do the work, looking through countless blogs and magazines, and finally pulling the trigger! We still have a few things to finish (installing cabinet hardware, painting baseboards) but it is pretty much done and I can't believe how much it has changed the way our whole place feels. I mean, when you live in 850 square feet, something like that has a big impact :) Enjoy the pics!

reminder Before shot

tada! After

I swoon for this sink! Cute white bowl from World Market.

Vintage basket for our linens and towels, scored for free when our office moved. Napkins are Dwell Studio for Target, I love that line!

Vintage timer that works! I use it all the time.
Trivet on sale from Urban Outfitters.

salt, pepper, etc. Katie treated me to that aqua pepper mill
one day at Anthropologie.

another sink/backsplash shot

We're going with the drawer pulls on the right.
Anybody need 9 of the rounded sort? I'll sell 'em or swap 'em real cheap!

vintage hands... white ones from ATL, green one from Dekalb Junction flea market!

Yet another vintage clock! Did you know I collect these? This one is plugged in and works,not to mention, matches. There is an identical one on the office set of Mad Men. The marbled notebook next to it was a souvenir from my mom's trip to Italy. Love the colors.

Did you notice that we trashed the microwave to make extra space above the stove? We might get a tiny one for the countertop, but I think it was a good decision. I love how airy that space feels and the extra light from the new range hood is really pretty. The granite we chose is called Kashmir White. Don't even talk to me about how insane I acted when making that decision. No really, don't. And maybe don't mention it to Brett either. Yep.

Also, that little button next to the sink is for the garbage disposal! They granite guys messed up and drilled three holes instead of two so they threw in that cool little detail for free.

I love it but I feel like these pics don't do it justice. Oh well, guess you'll just have to come visit!

*Special thanks to brother-in-law extraordinaire Kyle for advice throughout this daunting project! And to my sweet husband who sort of just went with it. You rock, babe.

*Even more special thanks to Dream Home Renovations! If you're in Atlanta, these are your guys.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

no comment

Meaning, no comment from my Gram on the cookie tin post. As in, she woke up in the middle of the night, decided to check the blog to pass some insomnia twilight moments, and wanted to leave a comment but couldn't make it work just then. We've all been there, I have slammed my laptop shut in frustration after getting the word identification wrong three times in a row! Anyway, I guess I wanted to document for myself that we had a lovely chat about the tin and the memory and all the house details. She said she cried, but I think in a happy, I've been a great grandmother and shared so much with my granddaughter sort of way.

Yes, Gram, you have. xoxo!