Nesting Week Roundup!

Got room for more? =)

There are SO many good décor blogs on the internets that it seems unfair to leave out a few more of my favorite places to go for inspiration, so I'm rounding up the linky goodness here for you. In no order, of course.

You can thank me later.

- Emily Clark - home stylist.

- Home In The Country - homeowner and artsy blogger.

- Cultivating Home - homeowner and DIY blogger.

- One King's Lane - deeply discounted shopping for your home.

- Martha Stewart - well, obviously. The website has HEAPS of awesome projects.

- Sunset Magazine - cute entertaining/home decoration ideas.

- Sherman Williams Kitchen Style Quiz - because I love quizzes, naturally!

- Domino Magazine Files - I LOVED this magazine, and I love the flickr collection of old photos as well.

- Apartment Therapy - small space living, which is SO APPLICABLE to me it's not even funny.


Fashion Friday..

...The one where she tries to squeeze the last bit of life out of summer's wardrobe. =)

I'm kind of a fan of the maxidress, in the way that penguins are a fan of ice slides and cats are a fan of catnip.

Come to think of it, I'm probably more like a maxidress fanatic.

They're technically for spring/summer but since I'm not feeling inclined to give them up until I need thermal insulation to withstand the cold, I pulled one out to wear today. 'Cause I'm gansta like that. =)

Ombre maxidress - Old Navy [Spring 2010] $29.99
Cropped denim jacket - American Eagle [Clearance!] $19.99
Gold gladiator sandals - Marshall's, $14.99
Olive tote - Marshall's, $49.99
Bamboo and gold bangles - JCPenney, $8.99
Bamboo and gold earrings - Hippie shop, $3.99
Owl necklace - Forever21, $5.99



Nesting, ROUND #4!

There is NO WAY I could talk about my décor obsession without mentioning Knockoffwood.


Ana White, domestic diva and blogger extraordinaire, has CHANGED MY LIFE. She started her blog sharing plans to build furniture similar to designs offered at Pottery Barn, West Elm, and other name-brand, crazy-expensive stores. For FREE.

For obvious reasons, her fan base quickly exploded into enormous proportions, and she singlehandedly started a movement of housewives with power tools. LOVE IT. I've been a fan from the start, so seeing the bragging boards brings joy to my little decor-starved soul.

In the great remodeling phase of early 2010 [how's that for a powerful title?] my dad and I adapted one of her designs to build an island for the kitchen we updated. He and my mom did most of the work on the island while D and I painted and scraped and tiled, and it turned out beautifully.

I'm not gonna lie, my Knockoffwood wish list is well into the double digits, and as soon as I have the room, I'm going to....

....stop before my husband sees this and bans me from all lumber stores.



Nesting - Round #3!

Thank goodness I'm not the only one with the nesting bug.

There's living, blogging proof at The Nester.

And she's GOOD at it, too, y'all.

I'm loving her window mistreatments, because there is nothing quite as sweet as a 10-minute project. And her use of knicknacks elevates them to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL.

It's accessorization, folks, and it is an art.



Nesting! Round #2.

The nesting thing is a problem. I don't have the space OR the budget OR the husband willing to buy buckets of paint to pack away for a future home.

I just don't understand it.

In my current state, there are few things that make me as giddy as a really good home decorating blog, which, considering the fact that I get giddy over finding loose change in the bottom of my purse, is BIG NEWS, FOLKS.

Young House Love is even bigger news, though, because I fell in love with every room in this adorable home. And immediately declared it to be one of the best decoration/home DIY blogs around, because I am just that discerning.

It's super inspiring, definitely helpful, and surprisingly achievable, which are all very nice things to have in a home blog. And you're probably going to be hopelessly hooked like me.

Don't say I didn't warn you. =)




For half of our dating relationship, D and I remodeled a house together.

You can applaud him for measures of patience right about now, because we all know the patience, IT DIDN'T BELONG TO ME. It was an emotional time, fraught with trials [choosing paint colors and flooring options on a budget, for instance] and peril [discovering several previously-unused muscles]. Amazingly, we both enjoyed the process, although, admittedly, standing in the paint section at Orange for hours - then running over to Blue to make sure there wasn't a better shade there - wasn't D's favorite.

But he still loved me enough to marry me, bless his heart.

Plans for our future have taken interesting twists lately, and one of those twists has us living out of boxes in a borrowed bedroom, preparing to move. Again. Because we're crazy like that. And although I'm excited about our next steps, I'm a little sad for the sake of our remodeling efforts. Which is probably why I'm experiencing a completely inappropriate urge to nest.

Because decorating a space in which the only actual space is a path around the room makes total sense.


RIGHT. And since it clearly makes sense for me to have decor-related urges, I've been scouring the internets for decorating DIY blogs like the true die-hard that I am.

And since my new hobby clearly won't do me a LICK OF GOOD, as my mama used to say, I'm going to try and be all useful and share some of my favorites with you over the next few days.

Because it just MAKES GOOD SENSE.



Fashion Friday.

Even though I am SO VERY VERY THRILLED at the drop in temperatures we're experiencing thanks to the onset of autumn, I'm finding ways to wear my summer clothes a little longer, because 80 degrees doesn't quite get us into sweater territory, if you know what I mean. ;)

This is my nod to a trendy outfit, and it totally happened by accident, because I actually owned a shapeless 80s style blazer that I didn't know what to do with when the boyfriend blazer trend became popular.

Who'd have thought, right?

I bought my floral dress from Old Navy's spring collection even though it wasn't really my style - don't ask me why it caught my eye, because I'm nothing if not confident about my personal tastes - meaning I am NOT SHY about refusing to consider something different. And grandma's couch floral is definitely different. But somehow I ended up buying the dress.

I'm not gonna lie, I loved this outfit so much that I wore it even though I only had errands at the mall to take care of. Gotta love being all dressed up with no place to go!

Boyfriend blazer - Honestly cannot remember when I bought this, but I do know it was part of a suit. I have owned approximately 6,000 of those in my lifetime, so I can be SURE of that. ;)
Floral dress - Mine is from Old Navy, $29.99.
Turquoise belt - Resale shop, $2.
Red bag - JCPenney, $18.99,
Black mock booties - Ross', $19.99.
Purple flower ring - Kohl's, $14.99
Silver spike earrings - Rue21, $2.99
Silver chain necklace - Kohl's, $9.99

Happy Friday!




My mama always told me I was opinionated, but I doubt my expressions were ever so amusing as this little girl. She's DUN, DUN, DUN with her auntie and not afraid to tell the world.

Too funny! =)




There's something I feel like the world should know.

Whoever created Redbox is an EVIL GENIUS.

I mean, it HAS to be a conspiracy, right? Why else would those shiny red boxes of doom tempt us into a false sense of security by giving a purported 24 hours of movie-watching bliss for just $1 - and then snap us back into reality by charging another dollar the very minute the clock strikes 9:01 PM?


Or, for that matter, why does Redbox always offer the RANDOMEST, most unheard-of movies that we watch simply because IT'S ONLY A DOLLAR, JUST HURRY UP AND CHOOSE SOMETHING.


I'd file a formal complaint, but I'm too busy watching The Night The Moon Looked A Little Like Cheese. I've forgotten to bring it to work with me for the last three days, so I've now paid $4 to rent an unheard-of flick I'm already regretting.

My name is Rache, and REDBOX GOT ME.



Words That Hurt, Words That Heal.

My mom swears by the book [by Joseph Telushkin] because it highlights our responsibility to guard our tongues.

The concept is as old as the golden rule, and it's rooted in scripture. And my dear mom, bless her heart, lives by the tenets in her daily life, thanks to an abundance of patience that she clearly needed in HEAPS while raising crazy kids like us. She also delivers nuggets of advice when we're being particularly mouthy.

That may or may not happen a lot. *ahem* In real life, when I don't have time to edit my thoughts and arrange them in some semblance of order, I tend to get myself into trouble by speaking my mind - bluntly. I always have.

I'm getting better about my phrasing and my tone - 'what brings you to that conclusion?' sounds a lot better than 'Um, that's not even CLOSE to correct!' - but it's a process. It only occurs to me AFTER I've said something blunt that a recipient might wear his or her feelings on his or her sleeve.

Because I'm BRILLIANT like that.

It usually irritates me, though, I'm not gonna lie. As mature adults living in a very diverse world, we will ALWAYS have to deal with people who don't agree with us. Why fight a different opinion when you can take it in stride and learn from it? It's not all about YOU. Maybe it's just an opinion, not a blow to your personal, delicate feelings, for goodness sakes.

Calm your sensitive little self, SELFISH.

But that's not patience and gentleness and self control, nor is it in ANY way a practical application of Proverbs 15:1. Remember that one? It says this:

By a soft answer wrath is turned away, but a bitter word is a cause of angry feelings.
[Bible In Basic English Translation]


Bloggers have the unique advantage of an editing process. Daily, careful crafting of an image of perfection that happens over time as we dwell on the good and not the bad. For most people, it's not even a conscious effort to shape a perfect virtual persona - it's just easier to write [and read!] about the fun parts of life.

But hiding the real parts doesn't help the real people who read blogs just like this one every day. And as much as I've grown and experienced and learned, and as much as I've been blessed by rich experiences and amazing people in my life, I don't have it all down to an art just yet. Speaking before thinking can hurt more often than it heals.

I'm not perfect, and my spiritual fruit basket isn't always as full as it should be. That's life. That's humanity. But I'm growing. I'm learning. And I'm adding a little more fruit every day.

It's all a part of the journey.


Holy Fritos!

There's nothing like trying to sneak a salty snack in the middle of the night without D noticing, especially when that snack happens to be Sun Chips. The only way to keep that stinkin' bag from giving me away is an arm twisting, anatomically improbable sort of position, and it is NOT PRETTY, folks.

Let's just say much hilarity ensues.

But there's much rejoicing in the land, because frankly, they're my favorite [word to your mother, french onion sun chips]. And it was getting old, the crinkling. And now Frito Lay is scrapping the impossibly, ridiculously loud bags due to customer complaints. They announced recently that so many people had written, emailed, called, texted, telegrammed, smoke signalled, and possibly transferred through mind powers their disgust at the crinkly, raspy bags they decided to give us, that they've given up and are bringing back the old bags.

To be fair, the nerve-grating bags were completely recycleable. And that's a wonderful step for our earth. But I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that it would be preferrable to separate my trash, save a few extra cans, or possibly brush my teeth with a brillo pad if it means I can sneak my chips in peace from a partially recycleable bag.

After all, I don't want my husband to think that Sun Chips have made me CRAZY.



Fashion Friday

I might be a teensy, tiny little too addicted to dresses and leggings worn together.

I say this not because I see a problem with that statement, but because my dear husband has taken note of my recent affinity to all things legging related.

And he is not yet a fan. But I'm believing for him. ;)

This week's outfit is one of my favorites to wear. The dress skims my problem areas [covers everything, touches nothing, which is MY FAVORITE WAY TO DRESS] and the leggings keep my legs, well, covered.

Booties are great for balancing out my hips with the skinny cut of the leggings, but I also wear this outfit with flat slouchy boots. I can't pull it off with flats or flip flops well 'cause I'm curvy and it looks just.. off somehow.

I also love all the neutrals together with the pop of red, but I've been known to pair this with other colorful scarves, too, so the sky is the limit!

Dress - Mine's actually more brown/camel and it's BCBG from Marshall's, $29.99
Leggings - American Eagle Jeggings, $49.99
Booties - Chinese Laundry from Ross', $19.99
Scarf - Mine's from last year's Miley Cyrus/Walmart collaboration, a Union Jack print. Approximately $7
Feather earrings - Hippie shop, $3.99! Gotta love 'em.
Silver bangles - Mine are from Kohl's and came in a huge, bojangly set for $14.99.
Louis 'Speedy' bag - totally fake! I'm not gonna lie, I have a couple of good fakes in my handbag collection. Why? 'Cause I can't afford the real ones yet, DUH. ;) Mine was bargained for in the bowels of the Houston import stores for $40. So there's that, or the $700 version from the Louis store.

Happy Friday!


Soda To The People.

I recently read this article from the New York Times about NYC's mayor supporting a move to ban sales of sugary drinks to people using food stamps.

I, like most Americans not from the Big Apple, am often amused and sometimes confused by the things that happen in New York City. Like, for instance, a sudden decision by someone with check-signing power in the city's administration spending big money on street signs.

But this one? I can get behind this one. Not only in the fight against obesity, which is where the mayor intends the cuts to lead, but because the future of our greedy, entitled welfare nation terrifies me. Because there are hordes of people doing absolutely nothing and being paid by the government to do it, and there are other people who are straining with the effort of supporting their own families and the welfare populus, too. And, not the least of all these things, because I recently discovered that Sonic Drive-In accepts food stamp cards in my area.

I know, I know. I'm totally running the risk of getting CUT up in here just by saying it. It is in NO ONE'S best interest to withhold chili cheese tots from the people.

But that, my friends? That is a problem.

Call it jealousy or pettiness if you will, but when I'm living off of the dollar menu 'cause I can't afford the combo menu because of a lethal combination of low wages and high taxes, it makes me far less charitable towards our government and our welfare nation when I see homeslice to the left whipping out a Lone Star card to pay for his extra-long coney.

WITH the Sonic sized fries.

Y'all, I try HARD not to get political. I'm conservative by birth, blood, and choice, but I can get behind well thought out plans to make the world a better place. Equality, responsibility, kindness, and generosity shouldn't be synonymous with leftist politics, and I am firmly in support of those qualities in leadership.

However, I'm NOT A FAN of the state of our country.

Why are we making it easy for generations of lazy, overfed, overindulged, irresponsible citizens to stay lazy and indulgent? Why is it 'not their fault' that they can't find a job? Why is it 'our responsibility to our neighbor' to pay our own bills and our neighbor's, too?

It's not a matter of refusing to lend a hand. I absolutely believe that many people who have benefitted from the system genuinely needed and deserved the help. But someone has to draw a line and stop the madness that is our burgeoning welfare class.

The burden is far too heavy on the shoulders of the working class that pays for the system. Stipulations, work programs, reduced packages, and more responsibility to self-sustain need to be worked into our welfare programs.

And maybe, just maybe, we need to start requiring EVERYONE to work for their own sodas.




My dad has a special little word for heartache, whining, or any other attitude dangerously bordering either of those territories. It's somewhat famous among those who know him well, too, because he doesn't hesitate to cry moania when someone's lodging a particularly heartrending plea for attention. When I was growing up, he would pull it out when I were TRULY GRIEVED at something he'd done, like, say, ask me to do the dishes when it wasn't even my turn.


My father. So linguistically creative. It totally runs in the family. ;)

Moania has totally resurfaced, though, 'cause my husband of two months is working a whole state away from me. Because of some delays in our immediate plans, we made a mutual decision to take side jobs here and there to save money and reduce debt and be all responsible and grownup about this whole married life thing.

I know. We're, like, SO MATURE.

Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to have ANY income in this crazy, economically depressed area we call home, because job hunting? It's beyond ridiculous in these parts.

I might have mentioned that a time or two around here.

But I cannot wait for the day when we have stable incomes being generated in the same place. 'Cause MY side job and HIS side job are 9 hours apart. Not only because I miss having a warm hubby to put my freezing feet on in the middle of the night or a hero to ice my bad knee when I get home from work, but because being apart for the majority of the week is turning me into Mrs. Moania, and that, my friends, is NOT A PRETTY PERSON.

I honestly didn't know it felt like this after marriage. We're used to being apart for long stints  thanks to my travel with the marketing and media job throughout most of our relationship, but now that we're married? It's a totally different thing. It's CRUCIAL.

Granted, our conversation is sweeter, our thoughts toward each other more consistently kind ['cause who wants to argue when he's actually getting cell phone reception and I can almost understand what he's saying over the background noise?] and we're generally savoring every sliver of time we have together these days, but I'm not gonna lie, I feel like the old adage is true.

Absence makes the heart grow moania.



And Now, The Truth About Fat.

Never one to be mistaken for a twig, I have had MORE THAN MY FAIR SHARE of diet woes.

Not that I'm bitter, you understand.

But I feel vindicated in my fight with fat because, frankly, I'm going to to dance circles around my skinny counterparts when we're all in the nursing home recreational room.

How do I know? Well, it's SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN, y'all. Having a big bottom and thighs may prevent metabolic disorders like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

So basically, curvy women might just live longer.

If anyone needs me, I'll be in the kitchen whipping up a celebratory pumpkin cheesecake.


Ho, Ho, *Choke*!

So apparently I've been shopping all the wrong ways for Christmas gifts.

I wasn't aware that there was a problem with my methods, because I happen to consider myself pretty much a shopping NINJA - after all, I've had LOTS of time to perfect my art.

But I seem to have missed the guide for gifting the person who has EVERYTHING. You know. The Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog. I mean, to be fair, it's only been around since 1925, so it's easy to have missed.

But now I have the opportunity to order a custom glass art installation for my loved ones' pool at a tidy little sum of something like $950,000. Or maybe a vintage Leica M9 Neiman Marcus edition camera for about $12,000.

Clearly, I have a lot of work to do before Christmas, 'cause in this family's economy, we'll be lucky to afford glass shards and disposable cameras. ;)



Fashion Friday!

I'm LOVING peacock colors lately, and even though fall colors tend to be earthy, I have this sneaky feeling I'm going to stick with the saturated jewel tones of peacock feathers for awhile yet.

'Cause there's nothing that says I CAN DO SEASONS like a truly glorious turquoise.

Navy sheath dress - Merona [Target], $39.99 [It's oh-so-flattering stretch sateen, THANK YOU, JESUS!]
Aqua blue pumps - Nine West [purchased awhile back for $69.99]
Peacock statement necklace - Hippie shop [my go-to for funky jewelry!] for $19.99
Stone-studded bracelet - Forever 21, $4.99
Stone and chain earrings - Claire's, $8.99
Gold clutch - Resale shop, $1


Full Neilsen.

I am an opinion ninja.

No, seriously, ask me something. Googles and I will be HAPPY TO ENLIGHTEN YOU, my friend.

[btw, this is not to be confused with uninvited opinions at large. I draw the line at unsolicited dissertations on others' bidnizz. Just so we're clear. ;)]

That's why I was THRILLED to get the Neilsen ratings questionnaire. Who else should be choosing television formatting than a girl who has actually had television a whopping 3 months of her life?

No one, right?

I'm doing it anyway, because they pay $30 and it's FREE MONEY, y'all.

Please don't blame me for the future of television programming, though. It's not like I had a choice in the matter - I HAD to do it.

After all, I was ASKED! ;)



Fashion Friday Again!

I've been leaning towards peplum waists in my dress-up choices lately, possibly because it gives the illusion of having an actual waist, and heaven knows this girl NEEDS A FIGURE. But also because it's so retro.

And what could be funner than THAT?

This is my polyvore rendition [henceforth to be known as PR on this blog, I just decided. lol] of my church outfit for Sunday.

Peplum shirt - [mine is fully lined, unlike this version - no immodesty here!] from Forever 21 - $15
Skirt - from a Kaspar suit. The jacket is too big but the skirt works. Story of my misporportioned life. ;)
Shoes - Target, $29.99
All jewelry except wedding set - Forever 21, totalling $12.
Clutch - mine is from Dillard's. Very old, not sure how much it was. But fun, just the same!

Have a fashionable weekend! ;)

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