Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gaudy Gold Gone

Last weekend, we did such an easy fix that I'm almost embarrassed.  Like, I should have done this two years ago when Ryan hung the screen door.  But I didn't, and I let the gaudy gold finishes dominate our entry for far too long.

Finally, my friend Sherry (yes, I called her my friend even though she has no idea who I am) over at Young House Love inspired me to make a change in my life with this post.

So I said, "Hey, I can do that!" and I did, for about $10 at Home Depot.  And maybe Sherry should teach me about taking "before" pictures, so the "after" is more dramatic.  But picture a really worn out and extremely dated looking gold before so that this after works for you.

For deets on how, hit up YHL.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Horsing Around

I said the day Alli was born that I would never force anything on her.  I'd never make her do any extracurricular activity that she didn't enjoy, and if she ever told me she wanted to stop something, I would let her, no questions asked.

Of course, that applies to everything but horses.

I bided my time.  I waited for her to get old enough.  I focused on dance recitals, gymnastics, birthday parties, church activities, and all the things that keep little bitty kids busy.  But on the way back from Destin this year, I decided it was time.  The time I had been waiting for.  The time for Alli to start riding lessons.

Finding a hunter jumper barn in Arkansas is a challenge, as most people ride Western 'round these parts.  I finally came across a great barn in Fayetteville called Deer Creek Farm.  So I gave them a call to set up a lesson, hoping little six and a half year old Alli was old enough to ride.  I started when I was seven, so I reasoned she had to be decently close.  After a week or so or trading emails and phone calls, we set up a lesson two weeks out, and I was overjoyed.  At the recommendation of her new instructor, the week before we hit up a tack store owned by one of the riders at the barn - Everything Horse and Hound off Township.

Hello?  A tack shop in Fayetteville?  How did I not know this existed?

So we headed there and met Katy, the owner, and got Alli fitted for boots, jodphurs, and a helmet.  Oh how I wish the colors had been as fun and girly when I was a kiddo.  She got to pick between black, tan, and purple jodphurs (those are riding pants for those of you who don't know), and guess what she picked?

Duh, purple.  Did you have a doubt?

The bigger test came with the helmet selection.  Ms. Katy had one size small helmet in stock, and it was purple to match the pants.  Unfortunately, Alli spied the medium pink helmet.  We went back and forth discussing the merits of pink vs. purple, but at the end of the day, she decided she wanted to order the pink helmet in her size and wait for it.  That's my girl.

Seriously, I may order one for myself.

Tune in for a later post about how lessons are going - we just had lesson #3 yesterday!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vacay Baybay

Yeah, so I've been off this summer.  I wish I had a super great reason, like being out of the country, undergoing a major life change, or turning off my internet.  But since we're in the trust tree, I was just being lazy.

We've been up to quite a bit here around the Lowe castle this summer, including our annual pilgrimage to the beach with my family.  This year we got to go back to our favorite spot in Destin, FL (I can't remember if I mentioned last year, but we had to reroute to Myrtle Beach, SC due to the oil spill).  We hit up the same fantastic condo Breakers East and cozied up with the Holloways for 7 days of bliss.  There was a notable addition to the packing list this year that made Ryan the drink mixer a much happier individual.  I wish they were paying me to push this product, but I'm just an avid, unpaid fan.  Budget it in.  You need one.

Going back to Destin meant we were able to hit up some of our favorite spots that we missed last year, including The Back Porch, The Harborwalk, and Harry T's.  Alli especially loves Harry T's because it's right on the harbor,  and if you time it just right you can sit outside and watch the ships come in for the night.  There's always a lot of waving and yelling and greeting the ships, and they often blow their horns or hold up the day's catch.  Very fun atmosphere.  Plus their drinks are huge.  Just sayin'.  We also hit up a great new place called Fishbar.  The food was ah-mazing.  I think we spent all of our eating budget for the trip there because we just kept ordering and ordering.  So good.

As always, no one wanted to leave and we condo-shopped while we were there.  A family can dream, can't it?  Where'd you go on vacay this year?  Are you the type who loves tradition or are you always trying out somewhere new?

Oh, and yet again.  I'm back, bitches.

Waiting on our table at the Back Porch

Mama's baby loves the ocean

Shrimp and Corona for breakfast

Alli with rescued parrots on the Harborwalk

Drinks at Harry  T's - I told you they were huge

Lowe family at Harry T's