LOVE this dress!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I am in love with this dress, just got it at BR and wore it today. It is so soft and comfortable and I don't feel like an enormous cow who's been drinking sugary beverages and eating too many Baked Cheetos. This post may be dullsville, but I'll show you what I put with it.

with this cardigan (in a plum(ish)-colored purple)

and these shoes:

Maybe one day I'll get the whole fix-my-hair-and-wear-makeup part down. Until then, I'll just try to put together nice ensembles and get away without really doing it?

What part of an ensemble do you try to get away with not doing?

Things Come in Threes: Red-Letter Day

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sheesh yesterday was nuts, and I know everyone's talking about it everywhere.

First thing: Michael Jackson's sad death almost shut down the internet. article here.

After reflecting today while I am so blue about his death, I have come up with two main conclusions:

1. Michael Jackson never really had a chance. Lifelong fame and a weird family can really do it to a person. My friend Leanne said she heard on NPR this morning that maybe people subconsciously never just wrote MJ off after those child abuse allegations because the media and the public had a feeling like "we did this to him" -- forty years of constant barraging made him this way.

2. He was obviously immense talent. Like crazy-talented, and the world actually knew it. It is this point that makes me mourn the fact that my children will never be alive at the same time as Michael Jackson. Kind of like how I'm sad I wasn't alive while Elvis was.

Second thing: the mayor of the great city of Memphis "resigned" yesterday.

While this is a cause for great rejoicing for myriad reasons, I absolutely loved Wendi Thomas' article here, titled "Herenton resigning? Don't Plan the Party Yet." After reading the article, please view the comments section below. (Reading the comments posted after Commercial Appeal articles is always entertaining, but this article really brought out the killers.)

My favorite of the comments:

Posted by uofm2alumni on June 26, 2009 at 2:14 a.m.
"Wendi I am shocked that you would write such an article about our great mayor. However, it's your opinion and I respect it.
Today I was disappointed when I saw his news conference. I don't want Willie to go anywhere!
You people can go ahead and rejoice but remember the same thing that will make you laugh will make you cry."

Now, as a rule, I have never posted (to my knowledge) anything that could be construed as politically controversial. But that last line is just too good. What does it even MEAN?

Third thing: Hasheem Thabeet was drafted by the Grizzlies. While I sincerely hope this helps the franchise, I dislike it was "known" that he didn't want to come here. Maybe he will become thankful when he realizes that we have no income tax?

Where We've Been: Lake McQueeney, Texas

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I am a little too worn out to write much but we've been on family vacation with my mom's family at Lake McQueeney, which is outside New Braunfels, Texas (in between San Antonio and Austin).

We stayed at an awesome lake house, got to waterski, tube, Scottie and Martha wakeboarded, and ride some jetskis. It was a great time, complete with t-shirts.

Yep, there were 22 people there.

the "water cup"

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Indulge me here, please.

JUST BECAUSE I choose to drink water at a restaurant, does that mean I should get a smaller, crappier cup in which to drink it? Does it mean I'm any less thirsty than the person who chooses to drink dehydrating sodas or the person who feels compelled to pay almost $2 for an iced tea? NO it does not. In fact, if I want to drink water, does that perhaps mean that I may be--gasp--thirstier than the person drinking Dr. Pepper?

A Remedy: I have started asking for a "regular" cup when ordering water. Today, for example, Jesse and I were at Lenny's. Upon checking out, she reached for a cup much like the one pictured above.

I made kind of an get-in-on-my-secret type expression, and said, "oooh, do you mind if I have one of these regular cups? I promise I'll only get water..."

she hesitated: "ooh, do you promise? you know, we have police who eat lunch here..." (funny, eh?)

me: "ooh, I promise. I just want to take the cup with me." (thinking: those clear cups are so junky how can anyone use it more than once!)

Usually I do not meet with this much resistance when asking for a "regular" cup. I actually consume so much water (really non-alcoholic liquid in general) that the refill ratio of clear "water" cup vs. "regular" cup is probably 4:1. I know this sounds extreme.

And yes, it's understandable why a restaurant would want to give clear cups to supposed water drinkers (or Sprite drinkers too, let's be honest)... but this does not mean the cups themselves should be smaller. And that much smaller, at that!

Those who choose to properly hydrate should not be penalized.

The Sewing Experiment

Monday, June 15, 2009

I am finally tackling a longtime goal of mine: learning to sew.

This has been something I've wanted to be able to just pick up and do for years. Under my mom's supervision, I've sewed some skirts for Belize and maybe several easy costumes of some sort, but I've never been able to just sit down and sew some drapes or pillow covers. My mom so graciously gave me a sewing machine for my birthday several years ago (i think it's the one pictured above). I sat down with the directions one Saturday but didn't really ever "get it" (to my credit, I think it's currently missing a piece).

Now it's time.

I keep telling myself it's in our genes: my granny is a career seamstress. She grew up sewing her own clothes, made beaucoup clothes for her children (including my dad) and grandchildren (us, obviously), and worked in a cleaners for seventeen years after our grandaddy died, doing alterations and projects. She made my senior prom dress and is about to tackle this dress for me:

So it can't be that hard, right?

Famous last words.

Here's the plan: Martha and I are going to Sewing 101 at Jo-Ann tomorrow night for 2.5 hours. I figured if we paid someone to teach us something, we'd pay attention better.

Project one: pillow covers for that new couch I never posted a picture of...was too embarrassed by the pillows on it. All of this is about to change! I will {HOPEFULLY} be opening myself to a whole new world of projects!

Do you sew? How did you learn? What's the extent of your sewing?

Pride and Joy: the courtyard

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

If ever something existed that would prompt me to say, "This here--this is my pride and joy," it would be my little courtyard. I can really lose myself out there, plucking, planting, pruning, rooting, watering, scheming... there seems to be no end of distraction contained in this small little bit of earth. In fact, the other night I got accused of perhaps liking my plants more than I like my husband (which is obviously absurd, but they run a close third).

I tried to put together some little before-and-after collages, so you can see how things have really grown. J's mommy gave me the two plant stands which are spray painted apple green. I also spray painted two patio chairs bright yellow (you can see in the top picture) but i'm working on some new seat cushions, so won't do a close-up for now.

Before (as in these were just planted):

Clockwise from left: geraniums; two-tone lantana with a little bitty tomato plant and a jade; climatis vine with marigolds and caladiums; (my coup) two colors of coleus with caladiums, creeping jenny, and marigolds.

After (taken last week):

Clockwise from left: lantana; tomato plant with marigolds/salvia; caladiums, more marigolds, creeping jenny, and climatis vine (hasn't bloomed yet); The "Coleus Coup" coleus/caladium/creeping jenny pot.


From left to right: aloe + 2 succulents on plant stand with small planter below containing "Polka Dot" hypoestes and marigold/salvia; jasmine vine with blooming chocolate chip ajuga; trailing petunia in hanging planter; crepe myrtle with sweet potato vine, marigolds/salvia, and some rosemary (bottom right hand corner).

Rooting some coleus and sweet potato vine for Marthie:

Hydrangea blooms are coming!

Thank you for indulging my nerdy green thumb aspirations. If you are my friend and are interested in getting cuttings of anything, just let me know! This will be the end of my plant-posts for a while...


Monday, June 08, 2009

Several weeks ago, this intriguing project popped up in the blogosphere via Design*Sponge , and then Stacey commented on it too. After carrying around these horse templates in my purse for several days, I sat down and starting tracing and cutting for myself.

I used old file folders, bic pen boxes, and paper clips:

Here's my little renegade stampede (this photo's colors are off):

I didn't get to do any painting or embellishing, just cutting. I drilled holes to attach the legs with one end of a pair of scissors, and unwound some paper clips in the place of brads.

These are surprisingly therapeutic to make. I've got most of them up on my bulletin board running in a little group across the bottom. Templates here.

By the way, I wonder how many all-time blog posts have been titled "A Horse of a Different Color" or "That's a Horse of a Different Color" ??? Maybe a million?


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Suc-cu-lent noun: a plant adapted to arid conditions and characterized by fleshy water-storing tissues that act as water reservoirs.

I love these freaking plants. Their leaves, myriad varieties, and squishy weirdness never cease to fascinate me. With names like "string of pearls" and "jet beads" how could I not be completely drawn to them? And there seems to be no such thing as too many. Without further ado:

This little guy was a gift from Dudley's sweet mommy and found his home in this owl vessel I purchased at an estate sale.

The container also found at an estate sale, this small succulent is currently in Greenhouse Rehab at my parents'. Red decided when I first brought this one home that it looked like a tasty snack. (The plant has been recovering nicely.)

You just never know what this one will do... sprout roots out of nowhere, swoop down into the soil and then come back up with another new shoot. It's kind of ugly but in an awesome way. I got this plant from "the succulent guy" at the downtown Farmer's Market. I gave a cutting to my friend Kate, a fellow succulent fan, so I am interested to see what hers will do.

This was the first succulent I bought: the trusty jade plant. It has been repotted into this shell container after sitting in my kitchen window for about two years. Red decided (after I took the other one to rehab) that this new pot was going to be his digging spot. Outside it went. You can see behind it in the green pot is another succulent (got this one at Scarbrough's on Covington Pike), but I don't know its name.

Aforementioned "jet beads" found in the back right square green-ish pot. He may be headed to Rehab here pretty soon, truth be told. (Non-succulent strawberry begonia in the pot on the left.)

The challenges I've found with these guys (and succulents have a reputation for not having many at all, they are so hardy):

1. The entire garden industry does not seem to feel the need to produce any pots or containers for these plants whatsoever. They really need fairly shallow and wide areas in which to grow. I have really never come across such shapes, at least in ceramic form. This caused me to recently purchase a glass and tile drill bit for creating drainage in pots I find and want to use. Another way to ensure good drainage is to cover the bottom of the pot with rocks before putting in soil and planting. This helps with drainage too.

2. My townhouse presents both extremes in the lighting department. Indoors, you have very little light and a prowling kitty who is trying to eat you for his snack or dig you out of your home. Outdoors, especially in the summer, you have complete scorching sun with absolutely no shade or filtered light.

3. I will not tell a lie: I have killed at least 3 of these plants. It's not the end of the world (although it may feel close to it when they're on their last leg).

(Below: a very sweet plant stand J's mom gave me, which I spray-painted green and in which placed an aloe plant, another jade, and this other little guy whose name I don't know.)

For more interesting succulents and/or planters, go to Etsy and search "succulent plants." If you want a low-maintenance and/or interesting plant, this variety is for you!
Stay tuned for a non-succulent garden/courtyard post with some before-and-afters. Are there any particular breeds of plants you're a sucker for?

Free Desktop Wallpaper: kitsune noir

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Just found this free desktop wallpaper project via Cucumbersome (love this blog): free wallpaper project for your desktop background. Surprise, surprise, I chose the one by Gemma Correll entitled "J'Adore l'Hiver" (I love winter). according to the artist, she created this to force positive thinking, because she hates winter. Turns out that this happens to apply to me because I DO LOVE WINTER! Look how adorable!

Go to kitsune noir to peruse them yourself.

Back in the day of 7th grade, some of my old friends may remember that I was given detention for messing with a desktop background in the computer lab. I set one of the computers in the lab to say (over and over and over)

"Leslie loves Zack Morris"

Detention-worthy? What do you think?


Monday, June 01, 2009

me (from the kitchen): "what are you watching?"

J: "i'm not sure but it's in HD."
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