Thursday, December 31, 2009


What should I wear tonight?!

Remember this party is at our house, not some fancy place.

Behind door #1 we have Tuf (Yet Sensibly Warm) Girl with white shirt underneath, long edgy multiple-chain necklace, and black hose and heels for stomping? (Please note that this warm, wooly dress is fairly short on long-bodied me and, also, it has cute pleats and pockets.)

Or behind door #2, we have this Party Princess, which I got a year ago and have never found an excuse to wear. I lurve this dress: fits well, funky one shoulder action, crazy wintery fabric, poufy skirt... but is it too fancy? What should I do?

Also, check out Erin's post on New Year's dressing for all ages. I die.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A cozy evening at home

Lu napped last night.

Carter played his soccer game. (Can you see Lu under the TV?)

This is what I worked on.

That's the beginning stages of an inside out slip cover for the orange chair. This orange chair, the one ravaged by Lu's fury of playfulness and love of fluff.

It's looking alright. I am by no means skilled at upholstery or sewing and you do not want to see any of this up close, but it can't get any worse than what it was. I've abandoned all other party preparation needs in order to work on this. I'm getting close. I've uttered some choice insults at the bobbin, but we're getting along much better after an informative video online yesterday.

P.S. My experience making the slipcover has been made more poignantly and literally painful because I tried to work off my holiday indulgence at the gym the last two days and am now sore. I was actually shaking as I was leaning over and squatting and what not.


I got that belt for two dollars and fifty cents.

On a side note, why does it look like I have a spare tire?

On a (second more distantly related side note regarding fatting out over the holidays), every Christmas my mom gets me one of those Terry's chocolate oranges that you have to "whack" to break all the cute segments apart before eating it. Years ago, apparently I hadn't expressed how deeply I loved the chocolate orange, and she omitted it from my stocking, and I nearly broke down. Now, fully realizing my love of the chocolate orange, she doesn't forget.

Interestingly (or maybe not), this year she got me the requisite chocolate orange, which for the curious not only looks like an orange but is also infused with orange flava, too, but this one ALSO had toffee bits in it. We can't stop eating it around here. It's the best chocolate orange ever.

MORE CHOCOLATE AND SUGAR!!! (roared in my monster/robot voice)

Monday, December 28, 2009


Brooklyn Limestone posted this kitchen remodel back in July, but I just saw it and knew you would love it, too. Quite the rebirth. I have some serious respect and applause for these choices. (Soapstone and this shiny muscular marvel? I mean, look at it. That faucet has a cute behind.)

Um, Dad...

I've grown tired of my current ghetto dining room table. Do you think I could build this with my dad? He's very handy. Call me naive, but this doesn't look too complicated. Is it crazy to want it done by Thursday?

He built a swing for my nephew. He used to regularly build Adirondack chairs. I don't think it's out of the realm of possibilities. I have some fairly exact specifications I'm looking for in a dining room table, including not paying thousands of dollars, which is what all the tables I like seem to cost.

I think I'm getting a little twitchy about everything in our house because we have people coming over for New Year's. It's all shabby and garage sale-ish and held together with staples!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

How can I compete?

I've mentioned before what a great and insightful gift giver Carter is. He always comes up with something creative and perfectly suited to my interests. This year for Christmas he adopted an olive tree in Italy for me from which I get the oil at various seasons throughout the year. Here's the grove where my tree lives and the farmer who cares for her. My gifts always looks so... ill-suited and pedestrian in comparison to his. He can console himself by sharing some of my harvest.

Time to Kill?

I'm sheepishly announcing that my cheeky sister-in-law nominated me for Apartment Therapy's The Homies 2009. If you have a spare moment, you can vote for me under the Home Design category. I'm about 3/4 of the way down on the list in the far right column. There are a ton of blogs on there. You will have to establish an account to be able to vote, but it just takes a second. Then log on and add me... or not. Whatever.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Downtown Spectacle

Yesterday, I received an email from a friend who works downtown. I'll just copy and paste the email in its entirety b/c it was a most miraculous sighting, involving a panhandler and some animals. There are pictures at the end to verify.

You will never believe what I just saw. Never.

Are you sitting down?

Get ready for lots of emphatic punctuation.

Okay, so I was driving downtown with a friend this afternoon and we see a man crossing the street with a dog AND A CAT on leashes! Fun enough already, right? I got really excited and started clapping and pointing and bouncing in my seat like a toddler. They were such a cute, eclectic little coterie!


As we got closer, the man leaned over, picked up the cat and deposited her on top of the dog, where she remained perched as they crossed the street. And that is when we saw the RAT! SITTING ON TOP OF THE CAT!!! It was an exquisite, walking pile of dog, cat and rat!!!!!

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?! A Christmas miracle!

Just in case you can't, I should have photographic evidence shortly. And yes, of course the man was panhandling, but to that I say, "Here's my wallet! Take it and leave me these cuties!!"

Er, take your rat, too.

You can see his spare rats in the bag in this shot. Maybe he has a high turnover rate for the rats because they realize the danger involved in this little arrangement and leap down the sewer in kamikaze escape efforts. It must be difficult to put a leash on a rat.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Power of Tarragon

This is my favorite chicken salad recipe. It's the love child of Central Market's chicken salad and Ina's recipe. Ina's Chicken Salad Veronique has green grapes which I find nice but not necessary.

1. Defrost and rub olive oil, salt and pepper on both sides of chicken breasts. Roast them in the oven on 350 for around 35 minutes.
2. Let the chicken cool at least 10 minutes to reabsorb juices. Then cut into bite size pieces and refrigerate.
3. Mix a minimum of spoonfuls of mayo, some chopped pecans, sliced celery, finely diced red onion, and lots of tarragon with chilled chicken pieces. Salt to taste.
4. Eat it for every meal for a week.

Ideally, I like mine on wheat bread, but today I forked it straight out of the ziploc.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Check it. Sketchy Santas.

O, Christmas Tree

My family used to do this... minus the snow, naturally.

On Thanksgiving weekend, we'd go out, stomp around, argue the benefits of each of our coniferous choices, finally decide on one, and watch as Dad (or in later years the trusty farm hand) would lay on his side and awkwardly saw down our beautiful and perfect tree... perfect except for that one bare spot that would have to be turned to the wall. Then we'd hop on the trailer with our prize and bounce back to the house or barn or whatever. They'd shake out all the dead needles, bag it up in one of those nets, and we'd throw it in the back of the truck or Suburban and head home again home again.

I loved it. You absolutely can't beat the smell of a live tree. It cannot be accurately replicated in candle or spray. Do I have a live tree in my house? Um, no. You must be out of your mind. I pull it out of the box, stand it up, and plug that brother in.

We've had our tree for four Christmases now, which I guess is why this year 3/4 of the lights have gone out. I'm choosing to be okay with it, and so we have the most beautiful white trash tree on the block... Very "Merry Christmas from the Family" a la Robert Earl Keen.

P.S. I looked up the You Tube video for "Merry Christmas from the Family," and it is pretty hilarious, but I hesitate to put the link here for fear of offending some. Saturday night, Carter did indeed make homemade eggnog and turn the ball game on.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Three Ls Take Times Square

Don't be shocked. It's just the Naked Cowboy. Four interesting facts about Robert John Burke: 1) he has a bachelor's degree in political science; 2) he's an ordained minister; 3) he challenged Bloomberg in the 2009 NYC mayoral election; 4) he owns registered trademarks to his name and image.

(Also, note how Leah's head is snuggled in his armpit. Narsty.)


Have you browsed Forever21's website lately? Do.

Waffle knit. Word.

Peacock blue bolero

Am I too old to do these with tights?

This fills the empty orange-y red niche in my scarf collection.

Maybe a little too sexy, but if it wasn't too tight, I think it could be nice.

By the way, this is classified as a "dress" online. I think we can agree it is not a dress, but it would be cute with jeans.



Kinda pretty, right? But I have a feeling this doesn't fit anyone well.

Too much? What do you think? It looks a little like something from the maternity department... from which I have no problem culling a morsel or two.

This is a party skirt.

I love them. I don't care what you think. I just love them, and in a closet full of black shoes, they'd provide some nice variation.

I don't do leggings per se, but I could under this. Those tights are too sheer. I'm embarrassed for her.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Should I change my plan?

I have received multiple emails from people planning on making the cinnamon honey butter for Christmas gifts. Darby apparently has her finger on the pulse of young female America. We love it! Cinnamon? Good. Honey? Good. Butter? GOOD.

So my question is this: am I going to be giving a repeat gift to friends and family? Should I do a different kind of spread? a rosemary cream chesse or citrus thyme butter or something? I need some advice.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I just want to note that there are 20 (scratch that--18) items on my To Do List. I'm so intimidated that I don't even want to look at it.

1. make menu and groc list
2. get groceries
3. pick up desk in Euless

4. get X gift card for Mom (I'm trying to be discreet b/c you never know--she might read this. She told me she couldn't sleep the other night, so she got online and was reading the blog.)
5. Clay's X of X (Again with the mystery.)
6. check Container Store for cute contact paper
7. email S., L., J., and prayer group girls
8. make cinnamon honey butter

9. pedi with Kitty next week?
10. Craigslist dining table

11. check on auction items
12. call State Farm about new car!
13. to UNT ENGL dept: personal stmt, writing samples, rec. letters
14. plant rye grass
15. Marge's shower groceries
16. refinish pew
17. paint my desk (not happening any time soon)
18. NY Eve menu: olives, spicy parm popcorn, cheese plate, salted caramels, choc bark with pistachios (gray and white tissue paper pom poms?)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My space. My rules.

Although this isn't exactly our problem in the kitchen, I thought Hannah Rosin's article was an interesting take on the phenomena of men in the kitchen. I'm not sure if all this is news. The idea of men defining themselves as chefs and women defining themselves as cooks doesn't seem to be all that groundbreaking. Nevertheless, she alluded to a few Wooten heroes... although perhaps not as heroes.

(I must confess I'm the one who hovers and checks his work in our house. I'm the kitchen diva. I got seriously annoyed last night when he wasn't folding a paper towel right. There was dramatic sighing and toe tapping involved.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Paris Pictures and Prosciutto

I stumbled across the blog Ms. Adventures in Italy this morning and this really wonderful post. Check out her pictures. I loved every single one, each for a different reason.

Also, if you like pig from Parma, you might find her post on this interesting. I did.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lonny Images to Love

Wallpaper to spite Carter ;)

Fun metallic-etched journal

The prettiest bra ever?

Mason Gray beauty to be tucked away for inspiration later

Too cool T

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I was mildly obsessed with the musical Newsies when I was in... high school. I knew the characters. I knew the songs. I might have known the dances. Shut up.

It came to mind again a few weeks ago when Carter used some turn of phrase. It must have been when we were going to NYC or just back or something b/c I began to shout the line (spoken by Vinny of Doogie Howser) when he says "That's what so great about New York!" and then promptly slaps the table. (I could be wrong, but I think it's just before the famous number "I'm the King of New York.") Naturally, I revived this phrase and accompanying gesture and began applying it as often as possible. I do it in my New York accent, and as everyone knows, I have a real talent for accents and imitation. I am regularly asked to do my remarkable Harry Potter rendition.

Anyway, all this to come around to the point that I'm hawking a publication of great esteem in this post. The December Lonny is available now, so get the lead out, don't be a scabber, and don't forget Santa Fe. That doesn't even make sense. I know. I just wanted to indulge in a little Newsies nostalgia.

Get your fix:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


What should I get for my 6 year old second cousin for Christmas? He likes sports, and I like spending less than $15 for children's gifts.

As someone who doesn't have kids and who is not yet acclimated to the cacophony that surrounds kids, I also have an issue with toys that require batteries. I don't like loud, persistent noises. Why do they (the toys not the kids) all make noises? What if I go visit them, and he's playing with my toy? I don't want to have to listen to it squalling. I like to give blocks and baseballs and books as gifts. That way it's a gift to everyone.

Should I just go to Academy and be done with it? I need to go anyway for other fatherly gifts. Oh, the dread of driving on Bryant Irvin and parking in the cold and shuffling around under florescent lights in my work shoes and searching everywhere for something and finally asking a clerk for help and gettting distracted by all their cute coordinating workout clothes and realizing I go to the gym in stretched out yoga pants and a paint-splattered "Everman Cheerleading" sweatshirt and then feeling like a fat slob and then seriously considering buying a basketball goal to put on the garage and then laughing at that ridiculous idea and then wondering why I'm still in Academy and why don't I just go home because I hate that place. Who doesn't dread going to Academy?

Well, I guess my dad loves it. Of course. It's like going to Forever 21 for my dad. (I'm assuming.) Cabella's would be like going to Anthropologie for him, but Academy, that's more comparable to Forever 21 or Target's clothes department. The first is probably more exciting for us in that we can actually walk out with some loot, but the second, we're probably just looking and finding inspiration. Or spending a gift card. I just had this vision of a split screen with me dancing through Anthropologie and then wrapping up in pink velvet curtains on one side and my dad running through Cabella's and wrapping up in a smelly camo tarp on the other side. I feel like that idea is the stuff of commercials, but it is hilarious to me right now.

I actually feel like I've only gotten my dad three types of gifts my entire life: ties, Cabella's gift cards, and donations to charitable organizations. I had about a decade of ties when I was young. Then about a decade of Cabella's, and now we're moving into charitable donations.

I find man gifts to be impossible.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bar Carts

We're turning our vintage tea trolley into what I've been lovingly calling a bar cart because bar carts seem to be everywhere lately. They do seem to be the most portable and versatile pieces of furniture ever. Check out the post by Habitually Chic who has collected bar cart images from Lonny, Veranda, Domino and apparently everywhere else in the world. The one above is my favorite, but I'm a sucker for bamboo.

In the Garage

We have been getting busy with a few of our auction pieces. We have a chair that we're trying to reinvent as something like this. Don't you love white caning?

and a dresser that was recently reborn in something similar to Lost Oasis by Pratt & Lambert.

Images borrowed from my hero, Little Green Notebook.

We've spoken to Chiffonier on Camp Bowie about placing some of our pieces and rumor has it we're in talks with Stella's on Bluebonnet Circle as well. Nothing's decided yet, but hopefully, I'll post soon where we end up settling.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Love on this Anthro jewelry that I love.