12/31/10

Fashion Friday

It's time to party like it's not 1999 anymore!

In honor of the new year and my little sister's birthday, we're celebrating in style.

And what could be more stylish than a grey bodycon dress?

Don't answer that. ;)

Bodycon dresses are all the rage for emphasizing curves on skinny girls, but in the right size [and with the right foundation garments] they're actually flattering to curvy girls, too.

We picked up some bodycon dresses at Express earlier this year, but you can find them lots of places - and some will be made with less spandex for a more structured look - and therefore less clingy with all the same zing.

Yessssssssss!

Body con dress - Express, $69.99
Turquoise clutch - Dillard's, $29.99
Purple shooties - Ross', $19.99
Rose gold earrings - JCPenney [from last week's fashion friday post]
Rose gold wing ring - Rue21, $4.99
Love letter necklace - Senseofashion.com, $36

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12/30/10

The BIGGEST LOSER!

Is anyone else as fascinated by extreme weight loss as me?

I mean, it's probably borne of a soul deep knowledge that I have extreme weight to lose, myself, but to be fair, the work that goes into a weight loss campaign like this is nothing to jump into lightly.

Which is why I'm taking so much time considering it. ;)

I love watching The Biggest Loser, though, because I'm all about the underdog, and if trying to lose hundreds of pounds doesn't make a person an underdog, I just don't know what possibly could.

Check out this slide show of contestant photos to see what I mean - these people are forever changed.

Now if I could just motivate myself to do the same thing on a me-sized scale... I'm betting the quarter-million dollar prize would be a nice way to start. ;)

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12/29/10

I'd Just Like To Say...


...That the SPURS have the best record in the NBA.

Why yes, yes I AM a FANatic. =)

I'm showing love for the home team - I'm proud of these guys for stepping their game up and working hard to give the fans hope for a title this year. And in honor of that, here's a little bit of.... humor at the Lakers' expense.

Because, you know. This is WAR.

[GO SPURS GO!]


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12/28/10

Dress Code Gone Too Far.


Y'all.

I am almost speechless.

And we know that doesn't happen often!

I've posted before about my utter disdain for women who reveal their bodies in tight, inappropriate outfits and then complain when men notice them or single them out as 'easy'.

But this dress code? It's a little intense. I believe that boundaries are good, and a dress code is perfectly acceptable to me. But when a company regulates undergarments and hair dye and tie patterns, I think the line has been crossed.

Why is it that this crazy world we live in can't find a balance between the two extremes? I know in my heart of hearts it's because so many people lack an anchor in Jesus - but common sense might lead one to expect a little bit of reason among all these regulations and public movements and lawsuits and law books.

I'm just sayin'.

This is one crazy world.

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12/27/10

Game Non.


HAPPY MONDAY!

I'm not gonna lie, I'm still in a little bit of a food coma, thanks to the awesome spread at the family table this year, but I opened up my facebook to a whole list of game requests [bored much over the holidays, friends?] and it made me pause and wonder if I'm the only one with THE SICKNESS.

The SICKNESS goes like this - first, a slight twinge of discomfort at the mention of yet another game. Then, a full blown grump attack as another invitation is sent from a randomly generated list by a friend who has NEVER seen me play an internet game of ANY sort.

Yeah. It's a little bit intense.

I despise video games and internet games and facebook farms and jungles and stores and cities. They irritate me with their pointlessness and marked ability to waste enormous amounts of time. I have enough procrastination in my blood to waste time all by myself, y'all. I do NOT need a video game addiction to make matters worse.

Also, I have very little patience for levels and phases and things, so there's that, too.

Am I the only one with this sickness? Or is it normal to have such strong feelings about a user-operated apparatus?


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12/25/10

Merry Christmas!


From me to you, a heartfelt Merry Christmas!

I hope that your day is filled with love, joy, and peace, and that the light of Jesus' love for us shines bright in your life this day.

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12/24/10

Fashion Friday - It's A Warmish Christmas Eve!


Juxtaposition is my thing. I love a little bit of the unexpected, like torn, baggy jeans with a snug sweater and fierce heels.

I also love that I can kick these babies off and jump into the Christmas dinner preparation without feeling out of place.

Since I wasn't invited to any classy, dressy Christmas affairs this year [which may or may not indicate the company I keep, but who's judging?] I'm going low-key this holiday - and since it's not exactly a white Christmas around these parts, there's no need for lot of layers.

Long-sleeved grey sweater - Banana Republic, years ago. $29.99
Pink scarf - Mine's Vera Wang - can't remember the price, either!
Leopard tote - no brand, old flea market find! $14.99
Ripped 'boyfriend' jeans - American Eagle, $49.99
Nude pumps - BCBG [Marshall's!] $39.99
Rose gold/crystal earrings - JCPenney, $79
Gold/stone ring - Kohl's, $12.99
Turquoise watch - Flea market, $20




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Where We Live - The Sources.

This is where the tour bus stops, because I haven't gotten around to taking pictures of the bedroom or the office, even though they've been through the spiffing up process, too.

It just so happens that there are stacks of packed items and not so much room for the picture taking in those particular areas, that's all.

I'm going to save those rooms for a later date - preferably one where the aforementioned stacks have been banished.

Here's a breakdown of the places we shopped to create the spaces you've seen. I'm not being paid for any advertisement [unless anyone wants to start - shoutouts to Overstock! ;)] but you'll see a lot of redundancy, 'cause when I find a good thing, I hang on. ;)

Living Room

Sofa - Overstock.com
Rug - Overstock.com
Curtains [sheer panels and raw silk panels] - JCPenney
Slipper chairs - Overstock.com
Armoire - Overstock.com
Vogue print - Hobby Lobby
Decorative pillows - Hobby Lobby
'Keep Calm Carry On' print - Target
Wall color - Taupe by Glidden
Floor stain - Black walnut by Minwax

Dining Room

Rug - Overstock.com [I bought two of the same rug for a cohesive look]
Table and chairs [we have 6 in all - 2 were purchased later as extras] - HEB [local store]
Buffet - Ikea [it's actually a dresser]
Plate wall art - Pier 1
Twig basket wall hanging - Hobby Lobby
Metal basket with flower wall hanging - Hobby Lobby
Mirror [over buffet] - Marshall's
Candle holder [over buffet] - Marshall's
Peonies in vase - Ikea
Wall color - Sage by Glidden
Floor stain - Black walnut by Minwax

Hall

35-photo frame - JCPenney
Console table - Ikea
Paintings - my own
Snowman hatboxes - Hobby Lobby
Photo frames - Hobby Lobby
Wall color - Sage by Glidden
Flooring - neutral granite laminate, Home Depot

Bathroom

Art - my own
Wall color - Spa Blue by Glidden, Whitest White by Glidden
Flooring - neutral granite laminate, Home Depot

Kitchen

Framed art - Vintage Life magazine advertisements [I bought these old magazines for $.10 each at a library book sale and have used them all over the house. I LOVE them!]
It's a wonderful life bowl - Ross'
Spoon and fork wall art - my own
Cheeky ladies canvases [on counter] - Hobby Lobby
Flower arrangements - Gifted from my aunt
Barstools - Ikea
Red cannisters - Ross'
Wall color - Canary yellow by Glidden
Flooring - neutral granite laminate, Home Depot

If I missed something, just ask! =)

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12/23/10

Where We Live - Day 4

This is the room where magic happens.

No, not the bedroom, naughty!

It's the kitchen, and it's definitely the heart of our home. There is always someone in here, whipping something up.

It's kind of nice to have all these people who know how to cook hanging around, you know?
We went with a bright, retro theme. In retrospect [pun intended] I probably wouldn't choose such a bright, saturated color for the walls, but for this little farm kitchen, it just works. =)


Folks, we have here an average, cheapo fridge. Nothing fancy, but it boasts an icemaker and plenty of room for pickles, so it does the job for us just fine. ;)


The biggest challenge with such an old house is the lack of cabinet space. We don't have the cash lying around to invest in a total kitchen redo, so we used furniture to supplement the cabinetry we do have - hence the small counter between the stove and 'fridge.

The two candle holders were made for my first house away from home and family - they're spoons I raided from my mom's collection and bent to hold candles. Their fork counterpart is in the laundry area, serving as an apron hook. ;)


The hood vent doubles as pot and pan storage. It works for us. 


Detail of the hood vent. It's stainless steel and matches the island top.


To the right of the sink, our food cabinet. The back of the cabinet is painted red with white circle designs freehanded onto it. Whimsical, I say!

We decided on cheap-o counter paint instead of new counters. Ultimately, this house is a long-term rental, so anything we put into it, although we have a sweet deal with the landowners, doesn't benefit us in the long run. So there are cosmetic changes we're only willing to go so far for, and the counter tops suffered in the process. I don't think they minded too much, though, with their shiny new coat of food-safe, high-temperature paint.


The left of the sink [the sink is directly under the window]. This cabinet holds our everyday dishes, which, coincidentally, are our fancy dishes, too. 

The snowman is a Christmas countdown chalkboard, and the plant is D's famous love bamboo, catching some sun. [It usually chills on the desk in the office, but happened to be in the kitchen? Someone was taking care of his love plant again, I'm just sayin'.] 


This is actually an older photo of the island [from a cupcake decorating day with the nephews, in case you're wondering about all that sugar happening] so don't mind the dishwashing accoutrements. They're supposed to be in the cabinet below the big farmhouse sink, but clearly, that doesn't happen often. ;) You can see the usual window treatment, the 'it's all good' sign, from here, too. We chose to skip curtains on this window as well as the bathroom because it's at the back of the house. We have no neighbors [except for the cows] back there, and we love that it lets the sunshine in. 

Plus, the view is awesome - it's a gently rolling hill for as far as you can see, and it looks so pretty in the mornings with the mist hanging over it.

I know. Sappy.

The lower cabinets hold baking supplies, tupperware, and cleaning supplies, and my dad installed big, deep drawers inside them for easy access.

He also built the island using a plan from Ana White's Knock Off Wood, and even though it was a little pricey for our cheapskate budget, it was still WAY cheaper than purchasing one. And we LOVE it.

IN ALL CAPS.


This is the other side of the Coleman heater in the living room. It heats on both sides, which is nice - and it does still work, which is also nice in a house with no central air or heat installed. It just looks kind of ugly. ;) 

The 'laundry area' is really just a part of the kitchen - there's no division except for half walls and an extra wide doorway just like the one in the living/dining area. So it's nice that my sewing mama made a custom ironing board cover to match the mats on all my framed vintage ads and custom towels and potholders.


This is the laundry area - to the left is the doorway to the hall. To the right is the awful flash from my camera.

It's the little things that say I'm a terrible still life photographer.

The flowers are native to Texas and they're actually in two metal containers that have been butted together. They're made to hang on the wall and used to make me really homesick when I lived out of state and missed the wildflowers back home. =)


Yep, we have messy shelves, too. This one holds all our laundry supplies [we have some sensitive skin situations, so we have multiple detergents going on here] and ironed work uniforms for dear sister and I - which we hate, I might add.

It's bright and in-your-face and a little cramped, but it's homey and happy and worlds away from the previous versions. 

Gotta love what a little paint and a lot of elbow grease can do, that's all I'm sayin'!


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12/22/10

Where We Live - Day 3.

Hey, you're here!

That means I haven't scared you away yet, a fact that makes me both happy and a little relieved. ;) But then again, you haven't seen the rest of the story.

Cue evil laugh here. ;)

No house tour would be complete without seeing the necessary rooms, right?

I mean, after all, this series of posts is all about full disclosure. =)

This is the main bathroom:


The claw foot bathtub is one of the reasons to love old houses. We added a shower kit to ours to make it more user-friendly [we're not long on patience, so showers are more our thing] and LOVE IT. 


The throne. Nothin' to see here, just your average bathroom necessity. The only difference with ours is the stainless steel plate it sits on, but that's more for support [thin floors and a raised-block foundation necessitate extra fortification for everything heavy] than style.

And the requisite bath and body works candle, because a girl's gotta have her fragrance. ;)


My composite art above the throne.


The bathroom has a nice big linen closet - love the quirks of old houses!


We haven't decided what to do with the mirror yet - it's builder grade and hides a medicine chest behind it, which we really need for the storage. For now, it stays like it is. 


Plain, builder-grade vanity. We put this in to replace the old wall-mounted sink. We definitely needed the storage, so this vanity was a great choice. 


Laundry basket - it's small, so it fills up really quickly, trust me!


The windowsill usually holds bud vases and gerbera daisies, but right now it's sporting a snow man and silvery berry sprig. We frosted the window for privacy without sacrificing light, and I love the clean, simple look of an unadorned window, too. 

On to the hallway outside the bathroom...


This is the view from the laundry area in the kitchen. The doorway directly ahead leads to the second bedroom, the one on the left is an open doorway leading to the living room, and the bathroom is to the right.

This console table belongs in the living room under the vogue poster, but we relocated it here for the holidays. Thankfully, the hallway is really wide, so it doesn't affect our walking space.

The big frame on the wall is supposed to have our wedding pictures in it, but, um.. It doesn't. Yet. =)

Only one guest so far has asked if we 'know those people' pictured in the frames.


On the left of the bathroom doorway is a monochromatic painting I did years ago. I wanted to see if I could paint, so I tried it. Not great by any means, but it works!


This is the painting to the right of the bathroom doorway. It's the second in my 'let's try this painting thing' set. 


There you have it. Some of the most used areas in our home. ;) And trust me, with our love of sweet tea, it's a distinct possibility that you'll see these areas should you ever come to visit.

I'm just sayin'.
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12/21/10

Where We Live - Day 2.

I hope you're ready for the longest post in history.

For real. 'Cause here it goes!

Welcome to our living and dining area. Because the house is cosy [that's a really nice way of saying that it's SO small!] we use every square inch on a daily basis.

Some of us also clean every square inch on a daily basis.

Ahem.

We don't have an entryway - we're not fancy like that because the farming family that built the house from a one-room cabin back in the 19th century wasn't fancy like that - so the living room is the first stop.


 The living room as viewed from the dining room. These rooms are connected by a double doorway. Like french doors without the doors. Or hinges. Or anything except the doorway, so maybe it's just a doorway. ;)


The Christmas tree! We had to do some serious rearrangement to fit the tree in - a console table was moved into the hallway and the hallway bench was moved into the dining room. It was a holiday puzzle of sorts.

Coincidentally, we've discovered that we like having a bench at the dining room table for the expanded seating options, so there's no telling how long we'll hang onto our Christmas look now!

The vogue print behind the tree is a print of a cover from the 1940s. My decor relies heavily on vintage magazines, which I didn't plan, but kind of love, anyway.
My dad made the frame especially for the print when I moved to Florida. :)


My armoire - I love this thing, but it is massive. Seriously, the photos don't do it justice. It looks tame, right? A docile little piece that just does it's job without harming anyone.

Except that it's the heaviest piece of furniture I've ever owned. Unless you count my bed with EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY piled on top. It's that kind of heavy. Which is why I don't rearrange this room. It's impossible to move this baby at whim.

It holds our big tv [we love us some spurs games, I'm not going to lie] and a huge assortment of dvds, games, and stashed art supplies. Oh, and also my treasured boom box from 1999.

The 'be happy' sign has graced all of my houses, and it currently hangs out on top of the armoire. The carolers and greenery are for holiday flair, though. ;)



These are the chairs that hang out to the left and right of the armoire. They're 'slipper chairs' because they're low and long. They're easy for the kiddos to climb into and really, really comfy thanks to the long seats and extra padding. I ordered them sight-unseen online and couldn't be happier that the swirls in the print match the sofa.

The toy box is for the nephews, hence the soldier hats and megaphones.

What I don't love? The vintage coleman wall heater. I'd love to refurbish it but we haven't had the time, plus, it's kind of a big deal to properly refurbish a gas heater. 

Oh, and those bags of Christmas lights are actually lighted garland that was meant to be hung above the arch and on the porch, but in the interest of full disclosure, that SO hasn't happened.

Oops.


The sofa is a butter yellow microsuede, and as much as I love it [because OH MY WORD, the comfort is unparalleled!], it doesn't really photograph well, thanks to little hands and feet constantly running over it in every direction. In defense of the poor guy, it looks a lot better in real life because you can't see all the ways the grain has been rubbed without a camera flash.

Oops again.

 These pillows are for Christmas - I'm a big fan of the throw pillow as an institution, and besides, who doesn't love singing snowmen?


Another view of the armoire and slipper chairs.

If you keep walking a few steps [just a few, I promise!] you'll be in the middle of the dining room. This room used to be known as 'the school room' and held multiple desks and computers and bookshelves. The kitchen is roomy enough to fit a table and chairs, so it wasn't a problem - until I convinced my handy dandy dad to build a custom island for the kitchen. It's been the key factor in reconfiguring how we use the rooms - and it relegated the major eating back to the dining room where it belongs. ;)

I know. NOW we're getting classy, right?

Here's the dining room:


My 'plate collection' - it's metal wall art that I had originally planned to replicate with garage sale plates and painstaking arrangement - until my mom and I found this piece on sale. SCORE one for easy decor!


The buffet all ready for Christmas. This was taken before the cards started pouring in - the top of the buffet is full of holiday well wishes now. It makes us happy to see all of the notes from our friends and family! The vase and peonies stay all year long, but the ornament filler is strictly holiday, as are the stockings.


Buffet detail - right side. The stockings are made from vintage quilts and the snowmen are actually floral picks. Talk about using what you have on hand! The ornaments are dollar store and the nostalgic french horn wreath was made by my mom years ago. It's a look I like to call 'eclectic'. I should probably call it 'storage shed special', because that's a little more accurate. ;) 


Buffet detail - left side. My mom's violin from middle school stays displayed in it's case against the buffet. It's sentimental AND a conversation piece! =)


The reason these photos didn't turn out very well - bad lighting thanks to these lovely floor-length raw silk drapes.


Table detail. It's survived a lot, this little table. We've discovered that we can seat 8 around it - it's meant for 4! The candle and bowl are always there, with a little flair depending on the time of year [It just had pumpkins in it for Thanksgiving]. I'm kind of a fan of bath and body works' candles, you'll notice.


This is a peek at the bench that we temporarily relocated here. It's usually in the hallway, and it's where we perch when there's a line for the bathroom, usually to holler at the person holding up the line. ;) But the seating options with a bench in the dining room are pretty nice, so a bench that fits into the dining room decor may be in our future.

Just so everyone knows where I stand.


Corner detail - this is the right side of the extra-wide doorway that opens into the living room. 


Left corner! I found these extra chairs years later than my original purchase of the dining set. For $35 each. Why yes, yes I DID jump on that like a hot fried potato. They're a slightly different color than the originals, but not enough to convince me to strip and re-stain them. ;)

Just bein' honest here.

With the 6 chairs and bench, we have a pretty full table. But we like it that way.


Room with a view - this was taken near the buffet, looking toward the living room. You can see how small the place is in this shot, although, to be fair, the angle of the photographer [no names here, people, don't incriminate me!] makes it look a little smaller.

But it works well for us. =)
Thanks for stopping by - come back tomorrow for a little more tour!

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