Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope each of you enjoy my favorite non-birthday holiday. Eat until you're stuffed, be polite to your crazy family, and root for the Cowboys. And try not to break Mom's wrist this year in the family football game! Have a happy one!

Monday, November 22, 2010

You know you're a grown-up when...

As I reported here, I am catching the Christmas bug early this year.  Can you believe I already have three trees up in my house?  Can you believe every Christmas item I own is out?  Can you believe Ryan lit the entire house???  It's November 22nd, people!  Give me a pat on the back!

I've decided the reason I did not like Christmas in the past is because I am always ill-prepared for it.  Alli's birthday is in early December, so I tend to spend the entire month scrambling (and busting our budget).  But I am hitting it early this year, and I could not be more in the holiday spirit (I still love you, Thanksgiving). 

Case in point:  This year I decided to send out Christmas cards.  This is huge.  We've been a family for nearly six years now and we've never ever sent out Christmas cards.  So don't worry, I wasn't snubbing you.  No one got them.  But I decided I HAD to send them out this year.  Alli is in kindergarten, for goodness sakes!  So we got the crew together, took a great picture, and then I started shopping cards.

I've always used Shutterfly for our picture needs.  They have great shipping, great quality, great prices, and great promotions!  I can always find free shipping or discounts on my prints.  So I decided to give them a whirl on holiday cards as well.  Let me tell you, chickens, I was BLOWN AWAY.  Their selection, varying styles, and great prices made me flip!!  Check them out here.

These are a few of my favorites:

Ornament Pop Art Card

Sunny Honey Card

Wonder Trees Noir

I mean seriously.  How much would your girl love to live in Florida and send people holiday cards with palm trees on them?  I cannot wait to order our cards and get them sent out.  I'm also ordering coordinating return address labels.  I don't think my little hand could take all of that writing.  The return address labels are just as adorable - get over to Shutterfly and check them out!

Hope everyone has safe travels and a happy Thanksgiving (still my personal favorite holiday, thankyouverymuch).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Masterful Bedroom Reveal

I am going to give the long-awaited master bedroom reveal another shot.  Blogger didn't cooperate last time.

I lamented on the master bedroom's original look here (I think the only room that still looks the same from that post is the master bathroom, WOW!), I've updated on the master bedroom here, I've lamented more about it here.  And I gave you a little peak of it in my rhino excitement here.  But now, the moment you've been waiting for - an as close to done room as I can muster - the master bedroom!

You'll remember that my goal was to soften the master bedroom and I did so by removing the masculine, dark stripe bedspread and replacing it with a muted green comforter from Target.  We repainted the dark, cave-like grey walls (what was I thinking?) a beautiful soft blue.  And the rest, my dears, is history.

So here you can see the green comforter (I promise it's more green than yellow) complete with the light blue throw and pillows.  You can also see the great, soothing blue wall.  The crystal ball lamp from Target adds just the airiness I was looking for, total opposite of our scrolly heavy silver lamps from before.  Other than an alarm clock, I've decided to keep that end table clear.  Above the bed you can see a stunning example of my homemade artwork.  I got the letters and frame from Hobby Lobby ($5 per letter and $5 per frame for a grand total of $20).  The frames were on clearance in the custom framing section - I was extremely excited.  It's so rare you find big frames for cheap.  I spray painted everything to match the room, and voila!  Now Ryan and I will never be confused about whose side is whose.

Next up is the dresser.  Notice the other pretty crystal ball lamp.  I added a key/wallet tray for Ryan that was mine in college (it may say Tridelt on it...).  The bowl and decorative balls we already had, I just spray painted the previously bronze bowl white - I have no idea why I didn't do this sooner.  It completely changed the tone of the whole setup.  What an awesome example of what a little paint can do!  Then you see my pride and joy, my rhino.  Behind him is a jug that used to be red.  Ahh spray paint.

Here you can see the shelf on one wall.  This one hasn't changed much.  This shelf was formerly dark brown and I changed it to white to keep with the light, airy theme.  I would still love to add a bench of some sort below this for storage, but as you can see in the corner, our bulldog's crate takes precendence right now.

 Here's a shot down one wall to give you an idea of the room.  That door leads to the master bathroom.  You can see sunlight shining in through the lone window in the room (part of the reason I needed to lighten it up in there!).  The pics are two of our favorites from our honeymoon in Jamaica.  And there are the shelves I was having trouble finishing last time you saw them.

Now what about those shelves?  I've tried several items on them, but this is where we are right now.  I added an empty flower pot on the top shelf (another college item that may or may not say "Delta Delta Delta" on it).  At the recommendation of my friend Meredith in the comments section of this post, I added some aloe vera plants that only need watering every few weeks.  I got the cute little green vases at the new Jo Ann store here in Fayetteville.  Also, please note the light and sheer window treatments.  I didn't want any light blocked at all.

Well that's it.  Now you've seen our pretty, serene, airy master bedroom in all its glory.  Oh.  Wait.  I forgot something.  The final corner of the room that keeps me up at night.  How do you ever successfully decorate around a MAN???  Please, Mr. Lowe, let me get a pretty little corner cabinet or something!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Yes, your girl is humming Christmas carols on November 18th.  And she's halfway done with her Christmas shopping.  And her tree is going up this weekend.  Can you believe it?  Remember this post 355 days ago?  I guess I actually am a Scrooge no more.

One of our most fabulous Christmas traditions is the Salvation Army Angel Tree.  Since Alli was a little baby, we have gotten a little girl from the tree who was her age.  Then we go shopping as a family for the child.  I think it's a great tradition that I hope to continue for a long time.  Awesomely enough, our work has an Angel tree so I don't have to lug it all up to the mall during this crazy holiday season. 

As soon as the tree came out at work, Ryan went to go pick a little girl off of it (it's closer to his building than mine).  This year we got a little girl who is 5 and wants Barbies, a Barbie house, and Barbie accessories.  How perfect is that? 

Tonight was the night we went shopping for her.  I think Alli had almost as much fun as Ryan and I did.  She was extremely thoughtful about which Barbies and clothes we were getting.  She wanted to make sure there was one with every hair color, just in case our little girl wasn't a blonde.  We also got a Ken doll "so they could kiss."  What do they teach them in kindergarten? 

Here's a shot of the loot:

Oh yes.  Let's break it down, shall we? 
  • 3 Barbies - a blonde cheerleader, a reddish-brunette fashionista, and a hippie-chic dark headed one 
  • One Ken doll 
  • One set of clothes for the Barbies and one change of clothes for Ken
  • A Disney Princesses blanket
  • A vacation home for the Barbies
  • A huge pink carrying case for the Barbies that came free with our purchase
How awesome is this?  And how bad is it that I secretly wanted to go buy duplicates for Alli (and me)?  There's nothing I love more than dressing Barbies.  Alli can't stand playing with me when we are playing Barbies because all I do is dress and re-dress them.

When we shop for the Angel tree kiddo, I always get them a few warm clothes as well. 

You know I had to throw the horse in there!  I hope this little girl has a really special Christmas, and I am so happy that my family is able to help hers out.  Please remember the reason for this season!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dear Blogspot, I am so mad at you.

I just finished typing a fantastic post revealing our master bedroom, and blogger didn't save it.  Mad.  Furious.  Going to bed.

No Hogs in Town = Weekend Warriors

Because the Razorbacks were in South Carolina playing the ol' ball coach this weekend (and our awesome Hogs won by a landslide, FYI), we had no guests and nowhere to be.  This is one of the 4 weekends I have off from the Piggies between Labor Day and Thanksgiving weekend.  You'll remember what happened on one of those weekend here.  And no, I never did get off the couch.  I decided to make this one count, so here's the rundown so far:

  1. Got my hair did.  Went a little darker for the fall and cut a few inches off.  Don't panic, I'm still blonde.  Just a "it's fall" blonde instead of "I just got off the beach" blonde.  I'll be back, beach blonde.
  2. Apologies for the fuzziness, pjs, and rabid dogs.  This is my life.
  3. Painted the hallway - a project that has been waiting for several months.  It's the final repainting I plan on doing for a while...although the kitchen is screaming for a new color.  Ryan might kill me though.  We decided to paint the hallway the same color as the new living room, Behr Surfer.
  4. Behr Surfer down the hallway.  Do not try to peek into the updated living room!!
  5. Had a few super exciting shopping trips/deliveries for the new living room.  It's really coming together!!  I can't wait to reveal it, but it still needs a few finishing touches.  So until I can, I'll let Lola give you a sneak peak (yes, she really is that gorgeous, no need to adjust your monitor):
  6. Gorgeous Lola lounging on her new nap spot - apple green Target ottomans for just $16 a piece!
  7. Updated a few pieces already in the living room that needed some tweaking, like painting this cute little (formerly black) table I scored at Hob Lob like, 2 years ago for $20.  It's now a punchy watermelon color, tying in with some other living room accents.
  8. Hot pink side table - get excited for the living room reveal in a few weeks!!
  9. Bought buckets of new ornaments and swag for our "done" Christmas tree.  Hostessing a Christmas bridal shower at my house in a few weeks has me rethinking all things Christmas around Lowe Land, and I've decided to have a decorated, non-childhood ornaments tree.  Here are the bags of goodies on my closet floor (Don't worry, they've already been moved.  I hate clutter.):
  10. YAYYY for Christmas swag!!
  11. Put away Halloween decorations and made the proper adjustments for my personal favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.  Check out the decor on our side table in the "dining room" ("dining room" = breakfast nook off the kitchen since we don't have a formal dining room):

So that's the rundown of the weekend so far!  The house is also clean, no thanks to us - love you house cleaner!!  Left to do today: 
  • Take Alli to see MegaMind - we are so excited to see this animated movie with Will Ferrell
  • Pick up my niece and neph-dogs from Dog Party (awwww)
  • Drop by my FAVORITE craft store (and client) Jo-Ann's for a living room project
  • Swing to Home Depot for an awesome quick fix that is going to look amazing - deets later, if it works
  • Watch the Cowboys, if I can stomach it
Watch the ol' blogosphere for a master bedroom reveal tonight, assuming the Cowboys start getting tromped.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Something awful has happened.

I don't want to alarm you too much.  But some really traumatic happened to me about a week and a half ago.

My gold Coach purse broke.

I haven't posted about it because it's just been too hard.  How do you tell your loyal, loving blog followers that one of the items that make you YOU is potentially lost forever?  So I've labored for 10 days on how to tell you, and it's time to do what I do best and tell you a story.

If you don't know, and you should, I absolutely adore Coach purses.  I've been carrying them for about five years now (ie - long before I could afford them).  I sell the old one when it's worn out and use it as a small downpayment on the next one, so that helps.  A little.  Therefore, at any given time, I have ONE Coach bag in my possession that I carry until it goes to Lauren Coach Purse Heaven.  Which is basically eBay.

So, go back to 10 days ago.  It's 9AM, I'm at work.  Happy, unsuspecting.  I pull out my gorgeous gold shiny fabulous Coach bag that Ryan got me for Christmas last year.  (I love it even more because he upped the ante and added the matching gold wallet.  He's awesome.)  I reach in to grab some lip gloss and I notice something amiss.

The flip latch is gone.  It's gone.  After I quietly scream and search frantically around my desk and in the purse, I realize it's gone forever.  Panic sets it.  At that time it was late October.  No gift-giving occasions.  Ryan's put us on a budget.  I now own a bootleg Coach purse.  What the hell am I going to do?

So I text Ryan the pic - "911!!  SOS!!! OMG!! HELP!"  He seems unimpressed.  Asked me something horrifying like "Why can't you just carry it like that?"  Then he came around.  Sort of.  "Can they fix it?"  Ick.  Fix it.  Yes, it would seem like they could fix it, wouldn't it?  Afterall, it's just a hunk of metal.  It's not like I ripped the thing.  So why in the back of my head was I already planning to send this big guy to Lauren Coach Purse Heaven and welcome a new bag?  Damn Ryan and his reason.

Several days later, I brought myself to enter my happy place - Coach at the Pinnacle Hills Promenade.  I have never gone into this store so dejected.  I took my beautiful bootleg bag to the counter to be consoled by Wanda, the nice middle-aged woman working the store that day.  Wanda walks me through the process.  Apparently I can send my damaged bag away and 4-6 weeks later one of three things will happen:

  1. They fix the purse and mail it back.
  2. They can't fix the purse.  They mail it back broken with a giftcard for $100-200.
  3. They can't fix the purse.  They mail it back broken with a giftcard for the original retail price of the purse.
Wow.  I didn't even consider getting store credit.  Options 2 and 3 are better than I ever could have hoped!  Broken purse back to sell and then credit at Coach?  Maybe this whole broken latch thing is a blessing in disguise.  After all, it's been a year.  It's time for a change.  I grab the chic little Coach pen to sign the papers Wanda has prepared for me, feeling happier than I have in several days.  Then Wanda says "I've added some notes here - 'Customer loves bag, please repair if possible.'"  Like she did me a favor.

Come on, Wanda.  Do you not want to make a sale?  Do you even work on commission?  Help a sister out.  How's this for a note:  "Customer is just doing this to appease her husband.  Please return broken bag with note stating you can't fix it.  Store credit for any amount will be fine."

So I am anxiously awaiting the decision from Coach.  Fingers crossed for me, dears.  And don't worry - your girl isn't to be caught without a Coach bag on her shoulder.  I borrowed my girl Lindsey's bag she got a few months ago and doesn't carry right now.  Thanks, Linds!