Monday, September 26, 2011

Shoe Crisis.

I must state openly and honestly that I have about 30 pairs of shoes. Yes. 30. But of those 30 pairs of shoes, not a one can I feel "hip" wearing with a specific breed of outfit. That breed of outfit I have tried to explain below...


Tory Burch ballerina flat
$195 -

TOMS flat shoes
$48 -

Madewell moccasin shoes
$40 -

See, I have plenty of "preppy" fall/winter shoes. I've got boots, I've got moccasins (the Minnetokas I have are knocked off above in the Polyvore), I've got wallabees. What I don't have is a casual flat to replace my flip flops in my daily rotation. In the Polyvore above, I've got three very typical outfits for my fall/winter self - knits, sweaters, and tunics. And I can justify wearing preppy shoes with the far right outfit, but the other two would make me just feel frumpy. So I tried to think of some other shoes I could get - my favorite option is the Tory Burch Reva because it is well made, will last, is cute, and I've heard is comfortable. With a high arch, I need something with support so the Tar-jay $15 route isn't going to work. 

Now, on a more realistic note (because $195 is our grocery budget for the month, not our shoe budget), I've been thinking about some TOMS shoes - but here I wonder 1) if I'm "trendy" enough for these and 2) if they provide enough support for my old lady feet over here. And will they make me look more frumpy instead of trendy?

So I am faced with an issue. I need to refresh my shoe collection, pitch a lot of shoes I don't wear, and update my look. Just as a reminder, I am a creature of habit.. I did wear the same pair of sandals every single day this summer (no, really...):
What I need are some shoes that meet all of the following criteria:
1) comfortable
2) flattering
3) versatile
4) don't scream "teacher!!!" like most of my flats
5) cost-efficient (aka I can afford them without eating ramen for a month)

Any ideas? Link me up!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Budget Eating: 10 for 2 is still going strong.

After a brief, birthday induced hiatus from the 10 for 2 budget eating, Jake and I are back on the train. I haven't really blogged about it because, well, our meals have been a bit boring. 

Monday was spiced chicken with rice and green beans.
Tuesday was chicken with broccoli and cheddar grits.
Wednesday was blackened chicken with green beans and fried grit cakes.

And Thursday - we got a little adventurous. One of my favorite things to make that is so easy and cheap is black beans and rice. And one of my favorite ways to make rice is to add fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro. 

So this may not look pretty, but it was delicious and almost entirely free (since we had all the ingredients):
To make, you cook your white rice, then stir in minced cilantro and squeeze about two limes worth of juice. Stir that all together, then dole out and top with black beans (we use canned and heat them up on the stove), and then get creative with the toppings. Sometimes we do tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and cheese but tonight we did salsa and sour cream mixed together and cheese. 

Like I said... ugly, but good. (insert "your momma" joke here....!)
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gary's is a go.

Y'all know I love a good antiquing trip. I've got several favorite spots, but for a quick fix in town, I hit up Gary's Antiques on Central. Gary's is a total hit-or-miss spot, but isn't that what makes it fun? 

I've blogged about Gary's a lot - here and here. And my latest trip had some good finds as well. I did show restraint and didn't actually buy anything... but had to share two fun finds:

I love these farm tables that they had - I'm wondering if they have someone that makes them because these two were different widths and lengths but seemed similar otherwise. I really want one for our dining room. 

 I also saw this red and white enamel kitchen table that I thought was fun as well - as a kitchen table or even maybe a desk? It was a good deal.
That's all I have to share this time from Gary's but I'm quite sure I'll visit again. 

In treasure hunting,
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Harley girl these days.

Our girl is growing and changing each day. She has now figured out how to climb on our den couch (Manny the sectional). She can't climb on the front couches because they are higher up (thank goodness) but so we've had to get better about leaving things on the couch now. 

Here are a few shots from life with Harley:

in loving our lady, 
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Front Bathroom Window Fabric.

Buying my new print for the front bathroom got me thinking about fabric for the window. As I blogged about here, currently I've got a sand colored silk window treatment and I want to try to make a "mistreatment" of some sort involving a tension rod, some hot glue, and maybe even my sewing machine. 

I have been looking for something that has the beeswax yellow of our house (found on the walls in the living room, dining room, and hallway and in the tile of the kitchen) that would look good with the turquoise walls of the bathroom (Drizzle by Sherwin Williams) and the classic black and white tile:
Who knew cats could be such good models? Anyway. You see what I'm saying - the black/white/turquoise combo could handle a little yellow - as long as it was more straw and less lemon. Which has been my problem. The latest contenders are ones I found on the internet:

Taza Tarika Yellow from

Heirloom Dandelion Blockade Blossom from Fat Quarter Shop

Heirloom Dandelion Opal from Fat Quarter Shop:

Garden District Pink City Grid from Fat Quarter Shop

Perhaps I'll order a sample swatch of each... decisions, decisions. But I'm really loving the last two - in particular the last one. What do you think?

In fabric and frills,
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cooper Young Festival.

We love living in Midtown Memphis for many reasons... and one is the Cooper Young Festival. Cooper-Young is a neighborhood in Memphis that is anchored by the intersection of Cooper and Young, has a slew of awesome restaurants and bars, and has historic homes, many of which have gone under renovation and are gorgeous. 

The festival happens once a year, in September, and is a mix of art, civic engagement, fun, music, and randomness. You're probably going to see at least 50 people you know, you're going to get drawn in by the intoxicating smell of bratwurst, you're probably going to spend some money on crafty goodness, and you'll have fun. 

We managed to get out only $55 the poorer, with two pieces of art, which I consider a victory. We met up with our friend Justine, who got some great things for her sweetie Brie. Here are some of the things I eyed as we walked around the festival....

Saw some cute girl stuff for my friends with kids at this booth, Groovy Gurlz. They are on etsy at They had cute VOLS stuff!
 I remembered this booth from last year. Andrea Manard makes her art using mixed media, including maps (my favorite!). I spied these small narrow guitar pieces and thought they were too cute. Andrea has an etsy and a website too - and

 The next booth I fell in love with was Painted By Holly. Holly Johnson is a young artist that uses watercolors to paint "Southern" things like Memphis scenes, SEC football, cotton, and more. I fell in love with a watercolor of Beale Street and ultimately ended up coming back and making it mine. Holly has a website -
 The next booth we went to had some different painted pieces. Some were funky, some were more classic. The artist was Cindy Aune. Her website is I loved this bicycle painting:
 After that we stopped by our favorite artist's booth, Kristi Bauer. She painted the art that is above our fireplace. I blogged about it way back when. Her paintings are mostly landscapes and still life. I love the ones she does where she uses Overton Park as inspiration. Her card says she has a website but I couldn't get it to work, but she does have an email - 

Next up was a stop by Billy Moore's tent. Billy Moore has become a local favorite. We first found his art in Trolley Stop Market and thought it was just very unique and fun. We've got one piece by him already and decided to add to the collection. He has an etsy ( but the best way to find him in town is either at Trolley Stop Market or Fino's on Madison. Here are some of his pieces - all painted on wood:
 I really wanted the chicken (rooster??) in the picture above. In the one below, there is a church in the bottom left corner that has a yellow backdrop. The bottom that you can't see is a cotton field. I wanted that one really bad too. But ultimately we chose a different one that I love the most!

 Our last stop of the day was to say hi to a friend from high school. We had run into some of Jake's buddies earlier in the day and they mentioned that their friend, Spencer McLean, had started using reclaimed wood and found items to create art. We stopped by to say hi to him and wound up checking out his pieces. We were very impressed. He has a facebook page with more pictures of his stuff - he does anything from art type pieces to building furniture. I was definitely lusting after more than a few things. 

 We walked around a little more before walking back to our car. We parked at Brie and Justine's house, which was perfect since it was only a block from the festival. And isn't their house precious?
 Once we got home I inspected our spoils... First, here's the Billy Moore one we got:
 I think it is going to go above the one we already have. I really like the one we got for a lot of reasons, one being that it has the same green/yellow background going on with the red trees. Ties it all in. I think we'll have to hang the first one a little closer to the leash holders (dog butts) so it doesn't look too crowded. 
 And here is the watercolor I got from Painted by Holly. I am going to frame it and put it in the front bathroom (which I hear is a place of honor, as most guests will visit it). I'm excited to have a piece of Memphis in the house. 
All in all, it was a successful trip. We lucked out with great weather and great find. 

In loving Midtown,
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lusting after "the Help" sets.

This weekend I went to see "The Help." I have since read that the theatre that I went to (Paradiso in East Memphis) sold the most tickets to the movie of any theatre nationwide. I don't doubt it one bit. It was the third weekend since it was released and the movie was still packed!

I loved the book, so of course the story was amazing but what I really loved were the sets. I mean I was oohing and aahing over everything. Here are some pics to show you what I mean... 

(I got these off Google Image Search - they are from the web and not mine!)

OK first off, Skeeter's parents house. The whole house was a WOW (Southern plantation style mansion, beautiful woodwork) but this kitchen just was a love. The floor (did I mention I have checkered linoleum?) was fab, the table and chairs are fab, the hoosier cabinet in the back is a definite WANT - no NEED. 

 Celia Foote's house was also gorgeous in a less lively way. Here is her kitchen - 
Again with the checkered linoleum. Also in this kitchen, the cabinet on the left wall is something I definitely want in a house someday, especially one that is built in. Also, I can't find a picture of it, but most houses had an enamel top table like the one I just got at the antique mall:
Hilly's kitchen was turquoise and the table in the center was almost exactly this table. How funny! I got this back in July before I had seen the movie. 

Then there was Elizabeth's house. I mean everything in that house reminded me of our current home, the granny house we're fixing up. This kitchen just screams our kitchen:

For reference:
OK ours was WAY worse but the floor, the cabinets, the counters, the paneling. The light in the other room of that picture (the one that is off because it was broken, you can see it peeking down from behind the header to the first room) was actually in Elizabeth's breakfast room. 

What this tells me? 1) The set designers did an amazing job and 2) I probably was born in the wrong decorating era. No wonder I love antique stores. 

In saving my pennies for a Hoosier cabinet,
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Growing like a weed.

Harley has been ours for almost two months now. She's still got a long way to go to get out of the "joys" of puppyhood, but she sure is a sweet gal. She's had her share of medical issues but somehow her puppy eyes and puppy kisses make us forgive her for those. And she sure won't stop growing. Here she is on July 30th:
 And here she is today, September 6th:
She is a week shy of 4 months old and weighs about 19 lbs. Her brown is coming in more and more, which you can tell in her face in these pictures.

In puppy breath and chew toys,

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