Monday, March 30, 2009

pretty things


I was playing on Polyvore this morning! Here are some things that look nice together and that I would like to be wearing. Polyvore is sort of like playing with paper dolls.

Liz sent me some really neat things in the mail: a set of framed mirrors and pictures! I really like those frames, and I think they're just about perfect for a project I've been meaning to try.

Obviously my brain doesn't want to put together a coherent post today! I'm distracted because Robert's working on a key lime pie. Do you know how very good a homemade graham cracker pie crust smells as it's baking? MMM. I'm losing it over here.

Yes- we are guilty of deciding to make a pie crust with the leftover graham crackers. Is that so wrong?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

s'more stuff

I think everyone will be glad to know that we did end up buying supplies for s'mores last night: graham crackers, marshmallows, and *dark* chocolate. We got a little too eager about Earth Hour and turned the lights out early. We roasted marshmallows over candles- thrilling! Then we talked about plans for the future - and ranked our favorite drinks (milk was #1 for both of us, with water coming in #2). It was just like a slumber party! You should only marry someone you can successfully slumber-party with.

We recreated the experience today, just for a photograph.

I had an interview today at a neat place, and I'm very pleased with how it went! I'll need to do another interview with the owner before I know anything further, but I have a good feeling about it. Hope I'm right!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

lace and lights

You've probably noticed that lately all of the pictures I take are in a corner. I apologize, but really-- it has the best natural light! I would move to the right, but there's a table in the way. And if I came forward, I would trip over a bicycle. It's a tricky little space.

Outfit details:
dress: vintage from Etsy
slip: flea market
tights: Target?
boots: thrifted

Yesterday I got a cute little package full of ribbons and buttons in the mail. There was some amazing lace, and I had the idea to sew it along the hem of a boring, pink polyester skirt. Here are the color combinations I like- which do you think is best? Should I go with the classic white lace or try one of the pastel colors?

Oh, and two little side notes:

Earth Hour is tonight (March 28th)! To participate: at 8:30 p.m. (your time zone), turn the lights off for an hour. Nashville is one of the key cities participating this year, and I've read about a lot of different events we could go to. One group is doing a flashlight hike downtown, a couple of coffee shops are inviting people over (Bongo Java is having a movie night, which seems to defeat the purpose), and there's a "star party" at Adventure Science Center. I think we'll probably end up staying home and hanging out by candlelight! Can you think of anything fun to do without electricity? I wish we had marshmallows to roast (yes, over candles).

If you were looking for a good time to jump into The Bright Side Project, I think today is your day. They're offering up some amazing hats, and the question is a good one! All you have to do is leave a comment with your answer, the winner is announced a week later, and there's a place to check if you've won. Good times!

Friday, March 27, 2009

third time's a charm!

I'm feeling extremely fortunate. Last night I found out that another one of the Bright Side Project designers had chosen me as a winner!! I'd been thinking that the questions this month seemed more difficult, and that maybe it was some difference between artists and jewelry designers. But I managed to win again!

Cuff bracelet by stamp

The question posed was: Where is the most beautiful place you have visited? My answer: "I haven't ever been outside of America, so I feel like I can't compete with all these pretty descriptions! I think Middle Tennessee is beautiful. Rolling hills, flowering trees, little peeks at the Appalachian Mountains. Having grown up in [flat] Texas, I am enamored with big hills, and I can't believe houses are built on them!"

And it's very true: I still can't believe the hills around here. Driving on them scares me sometimes, but it's really exciting! Anyway, check out the Bright Side Project if you haven't already- the prizes are getting bigger! It's such a sweet idea.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

baby dinosaur

(click to enlarge)

I'm being ridiculously lazy today! I just wanted to show you this great news article that Robert found and emailed to me a while back. I saw my picture and got pretty excited until I read the article. Then I was like, "Oh. I see what you did." And yet, it's so accurate.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

official business

I'm an official Ambassador of Lovely! I received the most adorable little package from Amy Krouse Rosenthal yesterday. (If you're not sure what I'm talking about, read this blog post.)

The package contained some of Amy's favorite poems, a lollipop, and a stack of cards to hand out to strangers. There was also mention of a dog tag necklace for Ambassadors, but sadly my package had a torn corner and the necklace is MISSING! Oh well. I'm not gonna cry about it. This was nice enough!

My favorite of the 3 poems, by William Carlos Williams

If you're still not sure what I'm talking about, you can visit The Beckoning of Lovely project and see for yourself. Also go there to check for events! Anyone in Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C., or New York still has time to get on board! I so so wish I could be in Houston for the 60 minutes of Lovely event! [Tim: If you're reading this, please go with Sarah!! It's Tuesday, March 31st at 6 p.m. at the Blue Willow Bookstore on Memorial Drive! And Sarah: please remember to go! I like you two.]

Speaking of, Diana at gave me the above award! Isn't that sweet? There were a couple more (it was like an awards ceremony over there!), but this is my favorite. Most of you who read my blog already have this award, so I'm only going to pass it onto a very small handful of people. And those people are...

Bianca at Adorntonia - a friend in Houston who makes pretty jewelry (somehow, we never met but have been online friends for a while!)
Sarah at Fistfight Analysis - my sister, who is ridiculously loyal to me (even though I once tried to kill her with a Barbie doll)
Liz at Pseudable Bliss - another online friend, who's kind of a writing mentor for my husband (and very nice to talk to!)

As a token of my appreciation to the rest of you, I've added a list of "Lovely People" to the sidebar of my blog, and you may be linked! If you're on that list, I think you're really neat and I'm glad to know you.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

thrift score!

As promised, here are the clothes I got at the Goodwill Outlet yesterday! I had a lot of fun making everything into outfits. I also made some discoveries, like missing buttons and seams that need to be repaired. That's why I like to try everything on and get to know it better.

Super patriotic! Isn't that linen pintuck blouse cute? It buttons up the back.

Sassy! I was proud of myself for tucking in this blouse, which is something I never ever do.

This dress is one of those slinky, polyester numbers. They're a bad idea in general.

Something else polyester, for a grandma. Is it just me, or is old-lady fashion great? Sometimes.

This dress is too big on me, but it's really cute.

So, what's your favorite piece? I'm really not sure, but I think the first outfit is cutest. (I love hearing all of your opinions, because you usually talk me into liking something I'm unsure about at first. Thanks, everyone!) I'll probably have all of the shoes from yesterday's post in my Etsy shop by this evening. The clothes need a little love before they're ready to go online.

Monday, March 23, 2009

best deals ever

I made the most amazing discovery today: the Goodwill Outlet store. I wasn't aware that buying shoes and clothes by the pound (at $1.39 per pound) was an option, but now I know... and I am addicted. The shoes weren't very appealing to browse through: each pair was rubber banded together and they were all thrown in big bins together, unsorted. It was actually kind of disgusting, because you have to put your hands on a lot of other dirty shoes to find the good ones, but that's why I keep hand sanitizer in my car! Here's what I got.

I couldn't pass these up, even though they're silly!

Oh yes.

These are kind of cute.

I also saw a substantial amount of cowboy boots and neat vintage heels I wished to buy, but they were all in fairly bad shape. I only bought things I knew could be cleaned up easily and that were in good condition. And clothes? Oh yes, I bought clothes. Each item cost about 30 cents (shoes averaged $1.20/pair)! I've tried them all on (and pulled a muscle in my arm with some zealous self-zippering) and am pleased with everything. I'll take pictures tomorrow when I've got more sunlight and time!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

cheekwood botanical gardens

We went to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens yesterday- admission is free this weekend! And I am all about free fun things. It was a beautiful afternoon and we just walked around looking at things. Many, many photographic opportunities there. We had a very good time except for about 10 minutes between the point where I realized I'd dropped my jacket and (we backtracked) the point where we found it hanging on a sign. Thank you, nice person somewhere!

These things were neat. I neglected to note what all the plants I photographed were!

I really, really enjoy tiny things.

Gazebo ceiling. Looks like it's spinning.

Bright flowers and pretty stones.

The Japanese Gardens were the neatest part.

I spy something!

Creepy sphinx!

Oh, that's just me.

I've been really lazy in the last couple of days, glued to the computer screen. I finally got to read my husband's second book, which he's been working on for a while now (he's in the process of querying literary agents to represent the first one). This was really exciting for me because I didn't even know what it was about. And I'm insanely proud of him for writing a book that I couldn't stop reading-- I really couldn't wait to see what was going to happen, and I wasn't disappointed. I even got so scared last night that I had to run into the other room and jump in his lap. Hahaha! It's a YA sci-fi (or speculative fiction) book. But it's thrilling!

Friday, March 20, 2009

five senses friday

I've decided to play along with abby try again's Five Senses Friday! It's a neat idea. I'll just list a few items that sum up the last couple of days. And I have some pictures from today to show you!

The Parthenon
Inside of a giant old house having an estate sale (never seen so many rooms in a basement, or so many vintage clothes in BAD TASTE)
Justin and Diane, my brother-in-law and mother-in-law

Ceiling around the outside of the Parthenon

The door of the Parthenon.

On top of the Parthenon

Baking cherry pie
Thrift shops (and a creepy Army Surplus store)

Tons of laughter (I almost choked at dinner because of a Phil Collins singing incident)
Quiet conversations
Outbursts of, "Look at THIS!" - and inevitably, Robert and Justin would follow up with mocking: "I KNOW! IT'S SO ADORABLE!"

Sunshine and a breeze

las paletas!

Russian Rock cookies from my mom (raisins + walnuts + cinnamon + a little sugar)
Homemade cherry pie
Girl Scout Thin Mint popsicle from Las Paletas (it had the actual cookies in it!)

Overall, we had a really fun visit with Justin and Diane. They were only here for about 26 hours, but we packed in a lot of good stuff. Diane is so sweet and she loves vintage things (especially purses), so she really liked the idea of my Etsy shop and then she got into the thrifting mood... we dragged the boys along, and of course they ended up waiting for us in the car. Same thing for estate sales this morning. We went so many places and ate way too much food, and it's going to take a while to fully recover!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

tagged and awarded

Ana B. of on dressing up has tagged me to do this survey of sorts. I've got some extra time this morning, so here it is! I'm also going to show a couple of pictures of accomplishments around the apartment, just so you don't lose interest entirely.

What is your current obsession?
Thrifting, Etsy, blogging. Those all sort of go together.

What are you wearing today?
Jeans, navy blue top, pink sweater.

What important issue in the world today would you solve if you could?
That's a big question with a lot of answers. Maybe working on the world's food problem... helping establish sustainable, local food sources everywhere.

Why is today special?
The in-laws are coming to visit! And I like them.

What would you like to learn to do?
Make dresses from patterns! The only thing I've ever made from a pattern was pajama pants in my high school sewing class. They came apart that same day. I would like to blame the teacher- she never really taught us anything. Haha.

What's for dinner today?
I believe there's going to be a homemade pizza!

What's the last thing you bought?

What are you listening to right now?
Just normal apartment sounds: the clock above my desk buzzing, the people upstairs squeaking around, Robert cooking something and playing video games at the same time. [I am also choking to death because he's roasting chipotle peppers.]

Finally finished hanging things up over my desk! Not as crooked as it looks.

What is your favorite weather?
Sunny and breezy. I like Spring and Autumn best as seasons, so that sort of weather.

What is on your bedside table?
I don't have a table on my side of the bed! I do, however, have a stack of books on the floor. That's where Robert tosses things he wants me to read, and I inevitably pick them up.

What's your style?
It's currently evolving. Every day when I get dressed I have to tell myself not to overdo it, to keep things simple. Also, whenever I put something on and I don't like it anymore, I'm banishing from my closet. Working on adding more vintage pieces and not buying anything cheaply made.

What is your most challenging goal right now?
Looking for a worthwhile job that won't make me want to claw my eyes out.

What are some of the things you like about where you live?
I love how small Nashville is, even though it's a city. I also love the hills, since I come from a very flat part of Texas. And I love all the flowering trees! Plus the mild weather, all the neat coffee shops, and the fact that they have a farmer's market open 7 days a week. Oh, and Trader Joe's.

Say something about the person who tagged you:
Ana - You're a pretty neat girl! I think it's really cool that the first time you visited my blog, you commented and linked me from yours. Super sweet!

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
Since I haven't been to many places in the world, I really don't know. But a paid-for, fully-furnished house HERE would be nice! Especially one of the adorable houses in the 12th South neighborhood.

Favorite vacation spot?
Here. But now that I live here, I suppose I should find another favorite place to visit.

That's our new little cupboard!

Name the things you cannot live without:
Thrift stores, estate sales, sugar, sleeping, and making up songs.

Name a memory from childhood that sticks out in your mind:
Playing hide and seek with my whole family. We would turn out all the lights in the house (but the seeker was allowed to carry around a candle). It was really spooky and fun. I always hid in my closet, because I could get behind my clothes and I was sure no one would see me. One time my dad went out into the car (we didn't think to check the garage!) and fell asleep. It took us an hour to find him.

What person would you like to have in your hands right now?
In my hands? That sounds like it'd have to be a tiny person. I will wish for a pet raccoon.

What would you like to get rid of?
All of the desserts we have. I forgot that my mom was going to mail us cookies, and we bought some yesterday... plus we're about to make a cherry pie. Unfortunately, I think we will end up eating everything.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
I'm fine right here, but like Ana said: H&M anywhere in the Netherlands. Early morning. With coffee in my hand and a limitless credit card. [Sounds pretty good to me! Though someone else better be paying the credit card bill.]

Which language do you want to learn?
I've really given up on languages other than English (though I'm glad I can at least speak that). I took 4 years of French, and all I remember now are a few random words and part of The Stranger (L'Etranger) by Albert Camus that I memorized for a competition. It's the part about killing the Arab on the beach. I'm sure that will come in handy one day.

Which countries have you visited?
I've never been outside of America!! However, I have been all over the middle of America (never even made it to the East or West coast). I like roadtrips.

You have your pick of superpowers. What is it?
When I was in middle school I would watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch after school every day, and my favorite thing was how she could instantly change into any clothes she wanted. I would like to do that, please.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Happy. I think that's a very good answer. I don't have definite plans besides that. Oh, except I may want to open a Bed & Breakfast at some point.

Ana also gave this Lemonade Award to me! (Thank you so much!) I'm really not entirely sure what it's all about, but I've seen it going around. Lemonade for everyone! Family's here now... I'll be back!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

spring florals

I think spring is here (again?). I hope it's for real this time. Look, spring, this is no time to joke around: it's actually Spring Break! At least, it's Spring Break for my brother-in-law. He and my mother-in-law are coming to visit tomorrow! That's why I've been scurrying around making the apartment pretty. It's also my excuse for any possible absence from the blog in the next couple of days.

Can you tell I got a haircut?

Above and below: a couple of recently thrifted items. The word on the street (and by street I mean a few fashion blogs) is that floral dresses are in for spring. I didn't really know how to pull this look off, but I had to take pictures for my Etsy shop, so I did the best I could! I don't think I could actually wear a mini dress in public. Well, if I did I'm sure the outfit would involve a sweater and either pants or another skirt underneath. Is this look 90s enough for you?

Check out these pixie boots!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

the beckoning of lovely

I normally don't post more than once a day here, but I'm going to get over my baby-sloth self and go for it! I don't even know how to begin to explain, but there's an amazing project going on that I would like everyone to be a part of!

I suppose this began a couple of weeks back when someone recommended that I read the book Encylopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I borrowed it from the library, and I would encourage everyone to read it as well. But that's not the point of this post! No!

The point is that upon further reading about Amy (who, I have to admit, I really want to be friends with after reading this book), I found out about her new project: The Beckoning of Lovely. It's difficult to explain with words, but she has invited the universe to make a movie with her. The following video sort of sums it up, but to fully understand the concept, you may want to watch the videos that came before and started all of this.

The exciting thing is that you can actually be a part of this. They are having events throughout the United States and everyone is invited. Of course, they're doing "60 Minutes of Lovely" in Houston in a couple of weeks... and I just left there. No events close to me, so I won't be able to make it. However, I've signed up to be an Ambassador of Lovely, and I'm going to do what I can to promote the events! I think it's the most adorable thing I've seen in a long time.

There is a full list of cities and dates on The Beckoning of Lovely blog. The Portland event already occured, but if you're near Miami, Houston, L.A., San Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Boston or New York (and a few other choice locations), check the list for upcoming events! I think they will definitely be worth attending at the very least (and getting involved with, if you're so inclined). They're still looking for people to perform/film/help. Check it out!

buttons and projects

Yesterday turned out to be pretty productive: I have a new license plate on my car and a different haircut! Today's goal is to buy some shelves to put in the kitchen because we don't have a pantry or much cabinet space. We're having company in a couple of days, and I need to make everything look a little less crazy. I'm very slow about projects, and very easily distracted... so you can imagine what it looks like around here. Half-unpacked boxes, too many shoes, little stacks of "I want to do something with these" things.

Anyway, I wanted to share a couple of pictures. I have a lot to blog about, but I'm going to save some things for future posts throughout the week!

Some new favorite buttons.

I received the cutest package from someone on swap-bot yesterday. Two aprons, two cookbooks, a neat necklace, and a bag of vintage buttons! It was exciting. While I was finishing dinner last night [I'm a slow eater and must give my husband activities to keep him at the table], Robert sorted through them and rated each button on a scale from 1 to 10. The fish was his definite favorite. That red round one above? It was very poorly rated. "This is a clown nose," he told me. I later agreed and removed it from my favorites pile. But I also added another button (unpictured) because I realized it had a unicorn on it.

Yes, this again.

Last night I also finished a sewing project. I wasn't sure what it was going to be, and then I realized it needed to be a purse. Too lazy to actually make a purse, I sewed it onto one that I've had for a while. I am somewhat pleased with the results and I'm going to send it to a friend. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 16, 2009

a couple of things

I'm going to try to stay offline as much as possible today, so I can get "real life" things done, but here are some things I wanted to share with you!

Okay... first of all: If I had $10 to spare right now, I would be ordering the Disapproving Narwhal shirt from Woot today. IS IT NOT THE BEST? I love narwhals so much.

I would also like to point out that Diana at is having a contest where you can win a vintage Kodak Tourist Camera! I'm highly impressed, and I just wanted to give her a high five for that! I would enter the contest, but I don't need another camera that I won't use as much as I should. I hope someone worthy wins it!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

belmont mansion

We went on an adventure this afternoon to Belmont Mansion. It's one of those big Southern antebellum homes a few miles from where we live. They were having a birthday party for Adelicia Acklen (the woman who lived there in the 1800s), so admission was free and there was cake! Count us in, please. I was not entirely impressed with the decorations, because most of them were just an approximation of the originals (gathered from information in letters, etc.). But some of the stuff was neat. I only got a few good pictures because the lighting was different in each room and we were in a big crowd. Here were some of the neat parts.

This tiny staircase leading to the "cupola" (astronomical observatory) that we weren't allowed to go up.

This horse that wasn't entirely explained. Our guide only told us that it was made from real horse parts. I want to know more about THAT.

I really enjoyed all of the Victorian wallpapers.

Also generally enjoyed everything that was going on with the ceilings in each room.

The history behind the house/family is a little grim, but our tour guide was really excited about everything. ("And then all of her children died!!!" "...and they had 750 slaves!!" "And then SHE died of pneumonia!") Here's my outfit for today:

I keep talking about getting a haircut, and I just may do it this week.

Outfit details:
jacket: Target
dress: vintage hand-me-down from an old neighbor
tights: Target
shoes: Payless

The weather was actually kind of nice today (though still a little grey and wet), and I wore too many layers. I have a tendency to overlayer at all times; it's been a problem for a while now. This dress is an amazing little summer thing, and I was wearing 2 shirts under it (plus a skirt) and a jacket over it. After the tour we stopped at home for a bit and I had to remove a whole layer of clothes (our friend couldn't even tell. HA!). Anyway, I can't wait to wear this dress in the spring/summer.

And I like these shoes.

Even though they are shiny.
[Bonus points for anyone who can identify the record in the background of this picture]

Friday, March 13, 2009

box of goodies

Fridays are officially Estate Sale days for me. We had a late start this morning, but did make it over to one sale. I only bought one thing! And it's all mine.

A big tin full of sewing supplies!

I seriously can't resist vintage buttons and sewing things. There were other sewing bits for sale (including a plastic orange thread kit EXACTLY like the one I have), but I thought this would be a good catch-all. I love looking through other people's sewing boxes.

Here are some of my favorite buttons.

Cute old seam rippers.

Lots of ways to measure things (check out that super old tape!)

I'm especially excited because last night (while not sleeping, again) I thought of some neat ways to make jewelry out of old fabric and buttons. I may give that a try this weekend.