Sunday, August 26, 2012

Quick Inspirations

I don't know if it was our recent Gone With the Wind marathon or the fact that the weather has cooled down a little and we're gearing up for my favorite time of year, but I am feeling especially inspired by all things southern lately.

My latest edition of This Old House magazine had cottage makeovers chock full of the shabby chic looks I love.
And then I got the latest Southern Living which was full of fall recipes, Thanksgiving table settings, and tailgate planning galore.

This little Thanksgiving fan is hosting her first major holiday in November, so I'm already stocking ideas on how to make it perfect.  Step one:  Learn how to cook a turkey.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Down South

Last night was a night of epic proportions.  It was a late late summer (or early fall...seasons around here can be so confusing) Friday night, and I got home around 6:15PM to my little family.  Alli was in the midst of Lego Harry Potter on the iPad, and her daddy can't help but play along.  My sister was off work and home for the first night in a long time, so we had a bit of a lazy night catching up on our good (bad) TV.

About 8PM, I begged Ryan to dig through the boxes that have overtaken our garage (more on that at some point...) to find my all time favorite movie in the entire world, Gone With The Wind.  Alli pretty much heads to bed between 8:30PM and 9PM most nights, but I gave her a pass to watch some of my favorite movie with me.

I was so glad Lindsey was there, but I really missed my mom while I was watching it.  We quote nearly 30 lines from this movie on a regular basis in my family, and it seems like it was always on in the background when I was growing up.  I talked Alli through it a little, telling her what was going on and who the characters were.  She was pretty glued most of the time.  In the first scene where Rhett Butler is at the bottom of the staircase at Twelve Oaks, I informed her who he was, and she replied, "Oh, he's pretty."

Yeah he is.
She enjoyed most of the first part of the movie, but when the Civil War started getting a little too real, it was time for bed.  Lindsey and I stayed up until 12:30 and actually finished the movie in one sitting.  Pretty darn impressive.  I can't ever decide what my favorite part is.  Is it when he bids on her at the benefit when she's in mourning from her first husband?

Is it when he leaves her on the road to Tara as the Yankees are taking over Atlanta and he's going to join the war?

Or is it the epic scene where he carries her up the stairs?

I guess I will just have to keep watching it over and over until I decide - which is no small feat given the 230 minute run time...

I'm so glad Alli seemed to enjoy her first pass at watching one of my favorite movies, and I do hope that one day she remembers watching it over and over with her mama like I do with mine.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Call Her the Breeze

I cannot believe that my little girl is starting second grade tomorrow!  It just does not seem possible.  Surely we should be starting kindergarten, or even first grade?  There's just no way she's pushing eight.

Five words to describe her right now are headstrong, repetitive, compassionate, demanding, and playful.  Alli's favorite foods remain steadfast - she consumes a healthy rotation of chicken nuggets, corndogs, and cottage cheese.  Her favorite show right now is Phineas and Ferb.

She is constantly malcontent with Ryan and I - always wanting more, something else for dinner, and someone to play with her.  She wants to know what's next and is never content with what's right now - I think she gets that from her mama...

She's incredibly smart and funny, almost making you double take with her quick wit.  She remembers things verbatim after the first time she hears them, and she loves to see the same movies over and over.  She is always acting out some TV show she's seen, putting her own spin on it.

She is excellent at Uno and almost cruel while playing it.  Every card she lays down in preceded by a "You look like you could draw two." or "How about we skip you?"  Ryan and I are each so thankful when reverses keep her from going before us.

She is absolutely baby crazy.  It doesn't matter if it's a baby monkey, a baby bird, or a baby baby.  She wants to see them all and she gets the silliest high pitched voice when she talks to them.  I'm eternally dragging her away from perfect strangers and their small children.  Part of this is because she's above and beyond the most compassionate person I know.  She kisses boo boos, she gets bandaids, she hugs, and she comforts.  She's definitely the person you want around when you are blue.  She will stroke your cheek and tell you it's all okay.

She's my little tomboy!  She loves all colors, but she's really drawn to orange and blue right now.  Her having bows in her hair in the above pictures is a miracle.  She doesn't mind being girly, but she really doesn't have time for it.

Seriously - this kid is the light of my and her daddy's life, and we can't imagine a time without her.  Best wishes for a wonderful second grade, Allison Bryanne!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mid-Weekend Recap

I refuse to sell my weekend short and am sure we will embark on new adventures today, but I do want to document the fun we had yesterday, hence the optimistic title.  It's quite possible that all we do today is house chores and horseback riding, but one just never knows.  It is Shark Week, after all.

Yesterday morning, in all my craziness, I scheduled an 8AM photo shoot.  This is the third year for the Tails of Love photo book put together by the Humane Society of the Ozarks - an organization near and dear to my heart (I was even co-Volunteer Coordinator for nearly a year...I don't know where I found the time!).  Our family has been in it both of the previous years, so we couldn't imagine not participating now.  This is our second year to use Chris Blake, a member of the board, as our photographer.  He is a very patient man and we are so grateful to have him to take our pictures.

I scheduled the darn thing at 8AM because we were in the middle of 105 degree heat and I knew Landry would not be long for this world in any kind of heat.  But when we woke up Saturday morning,  it was barely 60 degrees!  The dogs loved it, but Alli was freezing in her cute little dress.  The shoot was, as ever, painful with two rowdy dogs and a kid who won't look at the camera, but Chris felt like he got some good shots, so here's hoping.

Afterwards because it was so incredibly cool, we decided to head up to the Farmers Market with the boys.  They were the hit of the day, and Alli had a great time too.

The world-famous "Hamdry" as my sister calls him
The PedalPops guy gave us a frequent buyer card...
Afterwards, we returned to The Natural Pet (mentioned here) to try Landy out on some new dog food.  Then, on our way home, Ryan pulled a u-turn and slid sideways into a new place on Township called In Retrospect.  I introduced him to thrifting a few weeks ago, and I think he's hooked.  In Retrospect just opened August 1st, and the tagline below the name said "Vintage.Kitsch.Flea-tastic."  Sign me up.

There was so much adorable stuff there, but I flew through it with Alli, Ryan, Cash & Landry waiting in the car, so I didn't get to ponder it like I wanted to.  But we are definitely going back - it had the feel of a place that already shopped the thrift stores and repainted and updated them for you, which is nice in that one, it saves you the time of doing it yourself and two, it gives you good ideas if you want to do it yourself.

We then headed home to all take naps - the long week and early Saturday morning took its toll on everyone.  We got back out around 5PM and did some new furniture shopping.  I think a healthy mix of old and new keeps your house from looking like a thrift store itself.  Plus, they can be pretty proud of their stuff, those antique stores.  Sometimes, it's to your advantage to get new!

Here are some inspiration pieces I snapped while we were out:
  • Hall tree - PierOne: Oh how I long to have a mudroom and a launch pad.  This hall tree would definitely help - it has good spot to hang purses, keys and backpacks, a mirror to make sure you don't have mascara clumped in the corner of your eyes, a bench begging for punchy pillows, and concealed storage below.  PierOne knows how bad I want this, because it's around $350, but oh my!  You should note that it also comes in a mahogany, but we both know I prefer the white.  Cute pose, RLowe.
  • Lamp - Furniture Row:  We got a bedroom suite and our current kitchen table at Furniture Row some years ago, and we've actually been pretty happy with both pieces.  I didn't see too much in there that grabbed me this time around except this pretty lamp.  I love the big base, and I love that the shade is almost burlap - very textured and very not white.  White fabrics don't last long at this little abode.  Oh, and sure.  I like it because it's white.
  • Jewelry Chest - Ashley's:  This gem drew me in from across the room with her slender build and weathered look.  I didn't know until further inspection that she was a jewelry chest - complete with hooks, drawers, and even those special drawers that you can put your rings in.  Top it off with that blue and white paint job and I was hooked.  Price tag scare - they knew I was coming.  This little baby is $700, so I am thinking she will just need to stay inspirational for me.
  • Buffet Table - Ashley's:  I was pretty smitten with this leggy buffet table the minute I saw it.  My most favorite piece in our house is my gorgeous buffet table (sort of spied here), so maybe I have a thing for these multi-functional go-anywhere pieces.  Entry tables, serving tables, sofa tables...these babies can do it all.  This lady was on sale for $500, which isn't terrible.  Maybe one day I will have a spot for her.

So there's a little shopping with the Lowes this weekend.  Hope you all had a wonderful Saturday, and here's to Sundays being just as fun!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend Recap

I know I usually do an amazing job of taking pictures for the blog, but for some reason, this weekend I was so excited to spend time with my family, I didn't even take any!  So bad.  But I can give you a quick recap of the wonderful weekend we Lowes had.

Friday night Alli spent the night with the neighbors, and Ryan and I went for a quick dinner at Grub's.  Are you seeing a trend?  We get so addicted to the same restaurants!  All I've been in the mood for lately is a big juicy burger, and few do it better than Grub's.  After that, my mom, dad, brother, and grandmother arrived at our house.

The next day, we watched Ryan in his summer league ultimate frisbee final (they lost both games, sadly) and then went to do a little tailgate shopping.  It's almost that time, so we have to start stocking up.  New this year:  a triple crock pot and a new fan.  More to come, I'm sure.

We ate dinner that night at another restaurant off the Square that Ryan and I have been frequenting called Cafe Fresco.  It's locally owned and almost everything is made with fresh and organic ingredients.  I absolutely love the Center Street flatbread pizza.  We also grabbed some cupcakes from Bliss.  Overwhelmingly delicious!!

We spent that night playing Uno a lot - Alli happens to be very good (and very sassy) at it, so it's pretty fun unless you're on the side of her that falls victim to her skips, draw twos, and wild draw fours.  Later Ryan went that night with John to see The Dark Knight Rises, and Alli and I snuggled into bed.

A word of advice:  if your kid never sleeps with you, don't think it's a good idea for one night.  I got terrible sleep Saturday night, and I don't think I ever recovered on Sunday.  Mom, Nini, Lindsey and I got up early and headed to Common Grounds for breakfast, then we all did a little more tailgate shopping (the boys are obsessed...).

After that, the family hit the road, and we Lowes cleaned up around the house and headed to the barn for our first riding lessons in over a month.  Alli and Sprinkles went first and had a great lesson back.  Susan (our instructor) kept commenting how big Alli had gotten and how much better she sat on Sprinkles.  Then it was my turn - I felt a little sloppy and like I was having trouble with my distances, but Susan said Freedom and I looked good.  I hope next week is a little better for me, but any time at the barn is time well spent in my book!!

I'm going to try to catch up a little more on the sleep Alli stole from me by sleeping sideways in my bed.  Good night!!