Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My feeble attempt at repurposing an old table...

I have never been a very creative and crafty person.  Growing up I was always so jealous of my friend Amanda because she was just sooo good at all of the crafts we did (and we did a lot).    Last year I found a small side table on Craigslist in the "free" section.  Since I watch HGTV religiously, naturally I thought I could totally repurpose a table.  I mean afterall, the girls on HGTV do it soo easily and in their nicest outfits! It couldn't be that hard, right?

Wrong. Here is the table in its "before" stage.  The lady I got it from had been storing it in her barn for many, many years. The table smelled awful and looked even worse, but I just knew I could turn it into something great.


Wrong again.  I stored it in the Thompson's garage until very recently.  I never even once thought about it through the past year.  Poor little table, it really needed some love.

Well today I was in our basement rummaging through some stuff when I thought I smelled the familiar nasty table smell. There it was in a dark corner; I didn't even know that it had made its way over to our new house.  I decided that something just had to be done with this table; afterall, I had once been really motivated to fix it up.  

I pulled out some leftover paint and got to work (after lots of sanding).  At first I painted the entire thing blue (it looks very white but is actually blue).  Then I thought, nah that's too boring.  I pulled out the yellow and got to work.  I'm not wild about the dots on the drawer but I wanted to pull the blue back into the yellow to make the two colors flow nicely, which is totes something I learned on HGTV.

I'm thinking about starting from scratch and painting it lime green.  Don't be surprised if you see a new picture of it in a few weeks...

I did one more craft today.  Except this hardly counts as a craft, it was the easiest idea ever.  

Find some cool wrapping paper and place it as the background in a picture frame.  It really added a lot of life to a rather plain frame. Go me.

Monday, June 20, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

Yes, I love Julie Andrews. And why yes, I am turning 87 this year.

 Last week I shared some of my favorite monograms.  Today I want to share some of my favorite things...that I actually own.  As we have been unpacking and arranging our new house (!) I have felt a new appreciation for some of my possessions; namely those possessions that were stored in a basement for the last 9 months.

1.  First and foremost, I LOVE my copy of Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  This particular copy belonged to my great grandmother, who by the way, was not only friends with Mitchell, but was also the inspiration for the character Ashley (BTW, Ashley is a boy in the book... hmmm...).  My mom gave me this book a few years ago and since, I have read this book cover to cover and loved every exhausting minute of it.  At  the end, I always cry. I mean REALLY, I CRY at the end of the book! w t f?!  I get so caught up in each characters' story that by the end I am just so relieved.  Something is wrong with me.

2.  This gorgeous old chest.  Some silly person left it behind at the Woodlands.  My savvy husband noticed it was a gem and kept it.  We're currently using it as a TV stand, because hey, you gotta put your daggon 500 inch TV somewhere!  

3. My freakin' old ipod.  This thing is like 6 years old.  I think its called the Nano.  It hardly even works anymore, all you can do is play music- you can't add songs or make playlists.  But I love it.  It has all the old jams I used to listen to at UREC or would play while pregaming at JMU.  It has my favorite version of power hour on there, and best of all: its tiny and pink!  

4. My collection of old pictures.  These pictures range from high school through college and contain photos of some great friends who have made a lasting impression in my life.  Unfortunately, now that I'm like grown up or whatever, its not necessarily appropriate to hang pictures of Cate and I chugging a bottle of Bowmans (gross. why were we even drinking Bowmans to begin with?! I appreciate now being able to afford the finer things in life, like liquor in a glass bottle).

(Picture coming when I get the motivation to go down to the basement)

5. The Sound of Music.  I feel the same way about TSoM as I do with GWTW.  I even take TSoM to a bit of an extreme: I have the soundtrack downloaded onto my ipod. And yes, I listen to it regularly...but only by myself, I would never subject Ryan to that kind of torture (at least not yet...hehe). And if you have never seen the flash mob from the Antwerpen train station, you have to see it, hilarious: The Sound of Music--youtube

6.  Santa/my mom gave me these adorable lamps for Christmas this past year.  The stands are glass with a very intricate design of a long flower stem on them.  Presh.  And is there anything cuter than pokadots?! Speaking of which, is it polkadots like the music or is it pokadots like someone can't really pronounce the word "poker."  Wow, did I really major in English and don't even know what word I am trying to use in my blog!?

7.  And lastly, my dogs mean so much to me and I love everything about them.  But my favorite thing about them (and mostly really Elvis at this point) are the facial expressions.  I once read that pitbulls have the most human emotions of all dogs, and I truly believe this based off of the hundreds of expressions Elvis gives me everyday.  I walked into the room this morning to find El and Bo playing together, and by playing together I mean Elvis being really rude and bossy. I noticed he was trying to take the rope that Bo was chewing on so I was casually like "ELVIS! you are so rude!!" and he looked up and gave me this face.  How can the haters out there hate this? I think he's adorable.

Check ya later.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Our simple Father's Day lunch

Hope and JJ stopped by today on their way home from DC (no, GC is not on the way home from DC at all...but, ya know...) so we had a little Father's Day lunch for JJ.  It was so good and more importantly, so easy.

I'm not really sure what to call the sandwiches I made, so:

Gourmet Turkey Sandwiches (if you can think of something better, please give me some help)


Boar's Head Honey Smoked Turkey
Avocado, thinly sliced
Roma Tomatoes, thinly sliced
Vermont Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
Some kind of fancy bread (we used Harris Teeter's Kaiser rolls)

1. Cook the bacon
2. Arrange turkey, bacon, and cheese on the rolls (the cheese should be on top of the turkey and bacon
3. Leaving the rolls open (in other words, don't put the top half on), bake at 350 for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted
4. Add avocado, tomatoes, sprouts, mayonnaise and mustard
5. Put on a pretty platter (or even better: a monogrammed plate if you have one ;) ) and enjoy!

I bought some Parmesan, Garlic, and Olive Oil waffle chips and put them in a pretty bowl to go with the sandwiches.  I totally recommend putting some chips on your sandwich-yummmm.

Dessert was even more simple: Breyer's Extra Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream with sliced peaches on top.  BTW- do you know how expensive ice cream is?! OOC.  I guess someone is trying to tell the world that we are all too MO (how 'bout them abbrev's vanessa? pGb and lyb!)

ANYWAYS. I'm really not supposed to eat ice cream, but today I did in honor of JJ, and boy, was it good.


Alright, I'm done rambling. I want to leave you with a picture of the most presh thing in the world. 


Thursday, June 16, 2011

5 Monogrammed Things I Love!

In the South, we are big on monogrammed items.  Southerners monogram everything from car decals to towels to dishes. I love monograms; I'd monogram my dogs if I could.  Here are some of my favorite monograms, enjoy!

1. Having a summer dinner party? How about some monogrammed salad plates to impress your guests? These plates are affordable and adorable.  They will create a unique place setting while showing off your impeccable Southern style.

These plates, made in Athens, Georgia, can be found at LA Plates and come in many different designs. 

2. If you know my sister Anne, you know she loooves koozies.  Go to any drinking event in the South and you are bound to see koozies in the hands of many beer lovers.  Add a little sass to that Bud Light with a monogrammed koozie (or as some people say, "huggie"--I don't know about y'all, but to me, huggies are diapers. Diapers should be totally unassociated with beer).

This koozie (pink and green! very preppy), along with many others, is being sold on etsy for only $12 (obviously customized with your own initials).  Fab!

3.  Monogrammed shower curtains! Helloooo cuuuute bathroom! I actually had this exact same shower curtain back in my single girl days.  Had to update my style once I had to share my shower...however, I would definitely consider putting one of these in one of our guest bathrooms.  Its simplicity is understated; a monogrammed shower curtain looks elegant and can pull the look of a bathroom together.

Monogrammed  Waffle Weave Shower Curtain

A monogrammed shower curtain is quite pricey as compared to going to your local BB&B to buy one, but, boy are they fantastic!  This particular one comes from Lilly Pad Embroidery for $119.  

4. Every southern girl I know has a closet full of pashminas.  We love to wear pashminas; we wear them as scarfs, we wear them as shawls (ew, what a grandmother word, but I couldn't think of a better one), and we wear them as shrugs.  Pashminas are great!  If you don't own a pashmina, gurrrrl, you better go get one! They are a timeless piece that compliment many outfits (need something to cover your shoulders at a wedding? pashmina! Need a beautiful scarf to wear both inside and out? pashmina! Just want a closet full of beautiful colors? pashmina!). 

Pashminas!  Gorgeous Colors!-monogrammed pashminas, personalized pashminas, pashminas

At The Monogram Store you can buy a gorgeous monogrammed pashmina for under $30! I think that may be my next purchase (of course, ever since my Lilly Pulitzer disaster I may need to wait for my July paycheck ;) ).

5. I know some friends who have a dreadful commute to work; in other words, they have to like, walk to a train or subway or something equally as terrible sounding.  And then, once they're off of the train/subway they still have to walk several blocks.  Meg Kelly, I'm thinking of you when you work in NYC. So how about those rainy days? vom. Need a little pep in yo' step on your way to work? Monogrammed umbrella!! duhhh.

What if you are planning an April wedding? There's a pretty good chance you're going to have rainy day! gah! What if you gave your bridesmaids each a monogrammed umbrella?! Photo op!

Mulberry Moon has a variety of colors, fonts, and price ranges to choose from. Rainy days aren't looking so bad now.

Do you have a favorite monogrammed item? 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lilly Pulitzer

I can't let a Spring pass by without going to The Pink Palm and ogling over all of the dresses I want.  Of course, realistically I can only buy one each year.  But this year was different.  This year I went a little crazy.  This year I bought TWO Lilly's... and a belt.  Bye bye hard earned Fun Club money.

I went into the store thinking I'd buy a dress for an upcoming engagement party we are going to. I found 8 dresses, to be exact, that matched my want.  Problem.  And as usual, the lady working was no help- if she had it her way, I would have bought all 8.

As I tried on my chosen 8 and the Lilly Lady oooh'd and aaahh'd over each one, I found one that I really liked and that fit me well.  In comes the belt:  Lilly Lady raved over how great the dress looked...but how it would look just sooo much better with the Lilly Woven Belt.  Thanks a lot, Lilly Lady, as if I really needed another belt to add to my collection (of which I only regularly wear ONE!). 


(This belt is not the one I bought.  The next picture is of the woven belt I was coerced into buying :))


(super cute, right?)

I decided on the above, beautiful yellow Sully dress and was ready to hand over my (not always so trusty) blue Wachovia card (you know the one, you probably have it too), when suddenly! Wah-lah! Lily Lady appears again with yet ANOTHER dress! And just my luck...it was the same Sully cut, and was immediately the object of my desire. What's a girl to do?!


Unnecessarily-long story short: I bought both dresses. Problem solved.  Now, let's just hope I get good use out of each one :)

Homemade Father's Day Gift: Grill Rub

This easy and inexpensive to make Father's Day gift will be a hit with dads who love to grill. What would go great with this rub? A 6-pack of beer, obvi.


1/2 cup brown sugar, very loosely packed
2 tbsp garlic powder (I actually used garlic salt)
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp salt (omit if you use garlic salt)
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp thyme
1tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder 
1/2 tsp crushed and dried bay leaves

The instructions are easy enough- its so simple that even a caveman can do it (holler, Geico):

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly.  Yep, thats it.  It doesn't even matter which ingredient goes in first!  

If you plan on giving the rub as a gift, you can find small jars at Michael's or use an old spice jar that you have.  Complete with a handwritten label and a sassy bow and you've got a gift that dad is sure to actually use!