Thursday, September 30, 2010

300th post

Well here we are, 300 posts later. I started this blog in April of 2009 (so a year and a few months ago) to post my random thoughts that I didn't want to bore those around me with. I figured it would be a good way to keep in touch with my long lost bffs across the state and country. I was made fun of a bit at first (a scene in a bar comes to mind...) but honestly I find blogging fun and a good outlet for my thoughts, plus a way to stay accountable about all the fun projects floating in my head. 

It is always fun to look back on a bit of history, so here's the link to my first post:
First Post

In true writer fashion, it frames out an introduction to my blog - why I started, what I plan to write about. Most of it has come true (bargains, recipes), some has been scrapped (I don't write about school like I said because, um, that is just not good for job security), and some things I didn't even know would happen (buying a house and all that has come with that). 

I then went on to ramble about some random stuff, as I tend to do - a trip to Big Lots and some stuff about the Zoo. I still remember sitting on the couch creating my blog and writing the post - Jake was making soup and I was watching TV. 

I got my first comment in May. My most viewed post to date has been the review of Teton Trek that the Zoo tweeted about, with a tour of my neighborhood as Spring set in coming in second. I haven't been exactly constant with my posts but have been better than could have been predicted. The fact that I have stuck with this is pretty amazing, honestly. 

My first "blog" was back in about 7th grade. My friend AJ (always the one to be ahead of trends) had started a website where she had a journal where she gossiped about her friends at Snowden. I thought it was a cool idea and I started one. I wrote a few posts and ditched it - but little did I know that I'd live with AJ in college and have a blog later after college. Life is funny like that. 

Here's to 300 more!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A few projects in the works.

1) Pillow forms for covers I got for the office in the spring 
2) dusty turquoise fabric I got for the armoire doors 
3) christmas fabric for two christmas pillows
4) two types of fabric and a pattern for a fun dress project 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Finally Fall?

After a week of record breaking temps, I'm cautiously saying that my favorite month of September is finally delivering in the form of enjoyable temperatures and blue skies. I snapped a few photos as I walked over to the corner mart for a beverage break on Sunday:


Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm digging: "Trainwrecks" by Weezer

Gotta love my pandora station - it gets me sometimes. Introduced me to the new Weezer song from their new album, Hurley, yesterday. I'm totally digging "Trainwrecks". I've been a Weezer fan ever since I was into real music, I guess since the Blue Album. Glad to hear something awesome coming from them.

Check it out. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Coming to you live from the front porch.

I did a switch up of the front porch furniture. We had these awesome Adirondack chairs that were a wedding present out here, but we switched them to the back where we could soak in the rays and feel the cool breeze that late September has brought. 

I wanted to put this table I got off Overstock last year (originally meant to be a breakfast table for the kitchen reno but I bought a banquette that has its own table so I needed somewhere to put this one - it is actually a teak outdoor table. I needed some chairs, and for $20/piece, Garden Ridge had the perfect answer. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Christmas in September!

Back a few weeks ago on my Goodwill bonanza, I acquired this fun Christmas crate:
 $1.99 - I read on a blog somewhere that the best time to get Christmas stuff at Goodwill was off season, so I jumped on this deal so I could use my green spraypaint to turn it a bit cuter:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

House Tour: Back Bedroom Update

A long, long time ago, Jake and I began the process of fixing up our "master" bedroom. We blogged about it here, how we spent our anniversary weekend (so, back in Jan.) painting and updating. And I promised to give a full tour when it was "finished." And yet, I never did. Because the bedroom has never been "finished." I left with this picture, from last time, which I shall call the "before:"
 We painted the walls, painted the tables, hung roman shades, and put in our new (to us) antique four poster bed (from BoJo's - brought to the house with Heather's help and still not off the floor due to a fiasco with bed railings). While not perfect, it is surely time to share.

The bed - an antique four post that has been retrofitted for a queen mattress. Queen beds were not manufactured until recently and so finding an antique queen bed was difficult until I happened upon this beauty at BoJo's. The side tables were sprayed red and I modge-poged giraffe paper on top:

I got the dresser from my bedroom at home for this room:
 The armoire I painted is in the corner by the closet:
 And the wall by the door is adorned with my favorite Ellen photos of Memphis ginkgos in the fall:
 So after all that time, the room looks a bit different - it is amazing what a coat or two of paint and a new bed can do!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Project Armoire Finished!

In May, I bought this project of an armoire from Gary's Antiques on Central:
 It was painted white and had some cheap-o knobs but otherwise was pretty cool - narrow for an armoire, which is precisely what I needed. And I knew I could jazz it up. 

So, last weekend (my birthday weekend), I hit up Home Depot first thing Sunday morning and bought new knobs, paint (Chianti by Behr), and a few paint supplies (since I have been using my mom's mostly). 

One coat in, I was looking at this:
 A very curious Tyson (and almost red Tyson), but more importantly, the realization that this was not a one coat project. 

 Two coats in I left for the day to enjoy my birthday, to let this sit as is for a while..

 Four coats later, I was ALMOST done:
 Yet still, patches of white were showing through, bringing my total number of coats to five and some patchwork. 

And while I have sworn off painting furniture for some time, the final product was worth it. I still need to pick out some new fabric that goes a bit better with our bedroom than the toile (maybe giraffe) but otherwise, I am pleased:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday, At a Glance

Here's a glance at my Sunday - Facebook on the computer, leftover Pancho's cheese dip* and chips from our football viewing Saturday, a grocery list**, Youth in Government forms for my meeting later, and a huge stack of papers waiting to be marked up, all with Ty creeping on the dip in the background. Also - take note of the super cute scarf sent by Beth for the bday. Wore it last week to school with my grey skirt and a black top. Felt super stylish (which usually doesn't happen). 

*Pancho's Cheese Dip = dip cheese, amazingness sold in a tub at the local grocery here in Memphis, known as the cheese of life to our friends. Sort of a mix of queso from a Mexican Restaurant and the yellow cheese dip you get at the store, it is unlike anything else you'll ever taste in your life.

** Grocery Sunday is a must - we skipped grocery Sunday last week due to birthday festivities and test prep and it wasn't a pretty sight. We were foraging for food all week. I like to plan out my meals and make my list on Sunday, making a little menu for the week. I've found that if we go to the store after work each day, we end up buying more little crap that we don't need, or we're famished and end up eating out. 

Also, want to know what a med student who survived his first test week looks like?
And I get my husband back for a week before the next bout of information starts!

A Memphis Weekend

I love September. I love it not only because it is my birthday, but also because it is genuinely my favorite month. The change from summer (my favorite season) to fall (my next favorite season), the blue skies, the groove of a new school year, the football, and the fun events - it is perfect. 

This weekend was an ideal September weekend. Friday night we went with my parents to the Redbirds game:
 (disclaimer - all photos are from the iphone)

Memphis is so lucky to have such an awesome stadium in Autozone Park. It is right downtown, it is beautiful, the food is great, and you're pretty much guaranteed a fun time. We went for the championship and the Redbirds, although losing eventually, played very well. It was a lot of fun and I got a ridiculously awesome footlong grilled all beef hotdog.

Saturday morning came early, bringing Bryant's for breakfast with some of our great friends from church. Bryant's is a staple in our lives and their biscuits make me smile. After Bryant's, we went to the Cooper Young festival. This is an arts and crafts/music/community awareness event in one of my favorite Midtown neighborhoods. We tried going early since it is usually very crowded. We parked and met up with our friends, making a strategy that would ensure that we hit every booth. 
  We saw a lot of pretty things but ultimately chose carefully. As we went from booth to booth, it was so fun to look at the art, the crafts, the vintage stuff, the random things. The people watching was fun too.. 

We made sure to stop by our pal Kristi Bauer's booth - she did a painting for us last year that my parents gave me as a housewarming gift.  We wanted to check out what she had this year and loved two of her pieces:
 The last one is my absolute favorite - it is of Overton Park here in Memphis. The second picture is also a favorite of mine. She is very talented and it helps that she is the step mom of a close family friend - nothing like supporting one of your own. Her website is disabled but I still have an email address for her so if you like her things, I can find our how to get in touch with her!

We also ended up with a few things of our own:
The big picture is an art piece that I fell in love with that is hanging in the hall. I thought it was cute and different. The smaller piece is a mixed media of owls that I fell in love with but didn't get - well surprise, Brie bought it for me as a birthday present!:
 They were buying these super cute key pieces for their new house and (sneaky sneaky) bought it for me... I thought they were getting it for themselves and they came over and said "happy birthday!". Brie's a great friend and it was so fun to run around Cooper Young with her today, and to get to be with Justine. 

All in all, a great weekend in Memphis. Glad to be a Midtowner!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gone to the dogs.

I caught Beamer blogging the other day - must have worn him out, as he was mid-nap.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Make This: Folded Pizza

I've been wanting to make this creation for some time but didn't have the guts to try it out, as it was just a concept in my head. I finally went for it and wanted to share the results:

Folded Pizza (which turned out similar to a calzone without the nasty ricotta-ness to it):
To make this concoction, I ...

1) took pizza dough and spread it on a cookie sheet
2) created a pizza sauce with 1 small can of tomato sauce and my tubed basil and garlic
3) spread that out on half of the pizza dough, arranging mozzarella pearls across the sauce
4) folded the dough over and tucked it in
5) brushed olive oil on the top, sprinkled italian seasoning, s/p, garlic powder, and cheese on the top and placed sliced tomatoes on it
6) cooked on 350 in the oven for a bit

And there you have it - turned out pretty well. Next time I might add spinach leaves to the inside and maybe some shredded chicken. Overall, definitely a keeper. My favorite part were the tomato slices on the top.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Birthday Fun

Sunday marked the entry into the 25th year of my life. I like to call this my quarter life crisis because it implies I will live 100 years. I hope to have a long, healthy, happy life. 

I celebrated my birthday weekend, as any person should do, elongating the fun. Friday night we kicked off birthday weekend with a family dinner at Interim. If you haven't been there - oh my gosh. It is just divine. The food. Amazing. It now rivals Paulette's and Cafe Society for my favorite fancy restaurant in Memphis. We had delicious food, awesome wine, and enjoyed each others company. By the way - the mac and cheese appetizer? Freaking amazing.

Saturday was spent mostly cleaning (which was very needed) but Saturday night Jake and I had our birthday celebration - pizza. I happen to love pizza so this was my choice of place to go. Jake also gifted me a lovely handmade apron from Trolley Stop Market (that he bought way in advance - I chided him on spending too much at lunch at Trolley Stop earlier that month as I checked our bank account... oops). 

Sunday morning was spent with this beast of furniture:
  I bought this armoire at Gary's Antiques back in May and it has been sitting, white and primed, in our house for too long. So I painted it red in anticipation of a move to our bedroom.

After painting and painting (final product to be shown soon), I went to the Central Gardens Home Tour with my mom and dad. Jake has test week this week so his entire weekend (and week prior and this week) was spent studying. I really didn't see him much outside of meals. But that is to be expected. 

The Home Tour was fabulous. On the way we saw an estate sale and went inside, where I found this side board that my parents got me for my birthday:
It is an antique, sort of farmhouse style, and other than some clean up on the top and knobs, is totally awesome. It will go in the kitchen (when that ever happens...). 

To finish the night off, my parents had Jake and me over for my favorite stew, Beef Daube. AND what is super fun is I've been getting fun birthday presents in the mail. I got a super cute light floral scarf from Beth that I wore to school today and I got these cute guys from my Yale girls, Elise and Gracie:
So you know, over all, not a bad birthday at all. In fact, turned out to be one of the better ones in my recent memory - which I didn't expect at all.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Picaboo Photo Albums - FREE!

One of my daily reads, a coupon blog, posted a coupon code for the site Picaboo, which is software that creates and prints glossy picture albums from your digi prints. I didn't believe it - you can get a classic album (usually $29, includes 20 pages - not 20 pictures... 20 PAGES) for free + shipping if you are a first time user who signs up for a (FREE) account. So, of course, I did so with this coupon code (apply at checkout):


I made a book to celebrate next month's 1 yr anniversary of our house closing - so it chronicles our life for the past year. I can't wait to see how it turns out. The software was easy to use and I got to do some really cool layouts. Go check it out for yourself!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

House Tour: Dining Room

It is finally time for new pictures of the dining room, since the carpet was taken out months ago. For my birthday (isn't that a fun excuse?) I got these fun madras plaid napkins that coordinate with our every day china (the cornflower blue), as well as the beeswax yellow of the room, plus add in some other fun colors. Anytime I can sneak hot pink into the room, I will...

 I just noticed you can see our seriously awesome vintage fondue pot on top of the china cabinet. That is where it is living until we find a better place for it... Oh well. 

Another view:
Of course, Beamer had to make an appearance.

And the famed napkins:
 A Pier One purchase. Love that place.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Spraypaint Saturday

We have this little "curio cabinet" or something - I dont know what to call it. We use it as a mini-bar area because it has a wine rack and we can keep our glasses in it. Anyway. We bought it from target online for our old dining room because we needed extra storage. It ended up being (surprise) not exactly easy to build and now has a lean to it. Regardless, it has bothered me in our new house because it is dark cherry and all the other wood we have in our house is a honey oak. 

Here is the offending cabinet:
You can see it in action in our *lovely* kitchen, with the cabinet squeezed in the left there by the yellow bookshelf that holds our dog food and recycling. It wasn't doing much for me there and I have big plans for that area when the kitchen redo comes. 
 So on a sunny Saturday, this cabinet met its maker (and Beamer while it was at it) in the spray can. Here it is getting prepped:
 I learned from my last spray experience to tape the newspaper very firmly or else paint gets through (no fun). 
A little primer action...

And three coats of green later:
 It has a new lease on life. This color is the same as two of the dining chairs and fits well in this corner (there is a door there but we don't use it, as it seems odd to have a guest room lead into a dining room, especially when said guest room has three doors). I did scuff the edges a bit, making it look a little distressed.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Quarter Life Crisis

Well, they say its my birthday. I feel like the theme for this year has been "the world spins madly on", in reference to the Weepies song (although the particulars of the lyrics don't align). 

This year has been an exciting, odd, and changing one. Friends moving away, friends moving here, friends getting married, friends breaking up, career boosts, career lows, making new friendships... 

In honor of my own annual observance of birth, and in light of the fact that I'm feeling nostalgic for all things camp, UT, friends, and such, I give you a picture story produced by digging into the archives of my old trusty iMac, where my old pictures reside:

Starting with all things UT - 

 Ah I miss this campus so much. Especially in September. Something about the prospect of new classes, football, warm but crisp air, sunny days, and fun events just makes me pine for UT. This is a picture of our library, where I spent my fair share of time (though not as much as Jake). 
 Oh, Humes Hall. This is a picture of JB, my roommate, fellow camper and Episcopalian. We lived one semester together in Humes Hall - that is my side in the background, maybe one of the only pictures I have of it. That room was typically quite messy on my part....

My Phi Mu pledge class - these girls were wonderful and I made some great friends through Phi Mu. I also learned a lot about leadership, cooperation, and how organizations run.
Student Alumni Associates exec board, the year I served as Publicity Chair, at our regional conference - this is the year my newsletter won best newsletter. SAA was one of my favorite organizations on campus and I met so many wonderful people through it. It instilled the value of service in me. 
 My best campus memory - Orientation 2005. OL2k5 is the biggest and best thing I participated in my entire time at UT. To this day, I use the skills I learned as an Orientation Leader. Two of my best friends came from OL2k5. I learned about teamwork, about leadership, about selfless service. I emerged from that summer with a passion for our university and the knowledge that I could do anything I put my mind to. I have some great memories from that semester/summer of my life...
 Orientation retreat, where Eric and I started our life-long friendship. 
 Hanging out with Beth on the floor of the orientation office in the UC, taking a break during our 18 hour work day. Beth and I started our life-long friendship that summer as well. Throughout the rest of our days at UT, you could find Eric, Beth, and me together.
 Awesome beach trip for 4th of July to Tybee Island outside of Savannah, GA. 
 Orientation Leaders selected for Mortar Board, an honor society for seniors at UT. 
 And one last UT memory - one of many late nights/early mornings spent painting the Rock - in this picture I am sticking my hand on my stomach to warm myself as it was frigid outside. 

Camp Friends...
My small group for Winterfest my first year on staff - these girls are all still in my life and important to me! We had probably the best small group I've ever had at a retreat. 
 My camp posse minus Ellen - Claire, Chan, Elise, and Caroline on the Stone Door Hike at Winterfest. Even though I call them my camp posse, this girls are much more than that. These are my best friends (Ellen included) and people I can guarantee I will be friends with for my whole life.
 Oh there's Ellen! Ellen, Claire, and Chan at Vocare in Alabama. 
 And here's a dear friend, a mentor and role model who is now a Memphian again! Christy and I were doing staff things at Winterfest. 

And another fun thing about Winterfest/Camp was having my brothers there with me:
 A younger Ez at Winterfest. Jacob was there too, but I don't have a photo to document.

Also, found a picture of a younger kitty and Sebastian:
and a picture of Jake and me from dinner at Pete and Sam's last year.. just for kicks:

Hope you're enjoying September 12th. What a great day!


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