Tuesday, February 15, 2011

this is february?

here in the south, we have no need of Punxsutawney Phil. We have these guys to tell us that spring is almost here:

apparently they're called anoles. love these guys!

another love of mine gave me this beautiful orchid flower arrangement for valentine's day (i've mentioned many a time that i don't like roses. well, i like roses, but in a garden. in a vase they can be rather cliche):

and wake forest even sent me a valentine! arrived yesterday in the mail. makes the fact that i've graduated just a bit more real...

gotta love february. though i'm nonetheless impatiently waiting for mid march so i can hear from grad schools!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

let it snow

while the rest of the country has been smothered in a nasty wintry mix, it's sunny and 60s/70s in Chucktown this week. but the kiddos i work with do miss living up north sometimes, especially when they see cars covered in snow on the news (a different reaction once you turn 16). so i made them a snow mobile of sorts with the paper snowflakes we made and a ceiling fan:

and voila, when you turn the fan on "low":


but otherwise, we're enjoying the weather outside..

sorry the pictures are so small, too lazy busy to use an actual camera!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

wonderful news!

i'm now nannying for 2 families here in Charleston and have full-time employment! next week will be a bit nuts (working 60 hours!), but after that it will calm down to about 40 hours. hopefully i'll be too busy to worry too much about hearing back from grad schools in march! andy's gotten some terrific grades back from last semester, so 518 is full of joy this week.

hopefully i'll be able to post some pictures of some projects i've been working on.. have some fun things to share soon :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

oh, hello

GRE = dominated. thesis draft = submitted. now it's just 2 research papers, 2 take home finals, and editing my draft between me and graduation!!

i rewarded myself after my long week of studying after the GRE with a little shopping/ exploration trip. lately i've been doing a pretty good job of buying mostly used things (minus the occasional trip to target-- but after awhile of bargain shopping, $20 for a tshirt just isn't appealing anymore). and buying second hand doesn't just limit you to goodwills-- at least not in winston-salem or charleston (though the goodwills are above average too, in my opinion). i found a new shop today and the owner (who stayed open an extra half hour late just for me-- another wonderful thing about local businesses) mentioned that she was putting out her christmas display soon.
-- Which got me thinking about gift giving this year. I've always felt pretty grinchy about christmas-- i have trouble seeing past all the piles of discarded gift wrap trash, the pressure to buy your kids the latest video game, and representing sentiments with "stuff". don't get me wrong, i love stuff, but it does take away from more pleasant parts of the holiday.

the very very very worst thing about christmas, however:

is the invention of inflatable yard decor.

and if you're reading this and are the proud owner of one of these monstrosities, tough cookies. i will not apologize for judging you. just be happy knowing i dont keep a pair of scissors handy in the glove box. not yet, anyway.

putting aside (for a moment) my unyielding loathing of tacky brightly colored nylon heinousness, i will say that christmas isn't totally terrible. presents are fun (as long as they don't replace quality time and/or get blown out of proportion).

thus, my goal for this christmas: buy local, handmade, and/or charity-benefitting gifts. pretty much a list of things i've been eyeing lately and solemnly promise not to buy for myself (at least until after christmas). people tell me i'm hard to shop for, so i'll help y'all out here. plus, there may be some ideas on the list below that may hit a few other people on your list as well.

(side note: this list is just meant to reflect things that make me feel warm and fuzzy. if i sound a bit crazed, please forgive me.)

top of my list: water bottle awesomeness.


i also love shops like ten thousand villages, which sells fair trade items from all over the world.. i can just see the little home grown herb garden now! (my roommate has a set similar to this, it works great and keeps things nice and tidy)

i love overlooked.com! proceeds from their goods benefit different charities all over the world. and they're having a 20% off sale this week ("gift" at register). doesn't really get much better!

Ivy Vine Cuff - India

always liked passport covers; here's a great one:

World Passport Cover - India
(there's also a similarly patterned journal on there than looks wonderful. they've just added a ton of new items and they're all pretty much fantastic)

if you're so inclined, i'd encourage you to think about how important using disposable or over-the-top gift wrap really is. and perhaps recognize the fact that 99% of it will go straight to the landfill. this blog gives a nice summation of how to make gift wrapping easy, meaningful, and earth friendly:

over the years i've started getting & giving gifts wrapped in vintage/retro fabric (i collect anything with a good pattern for various projects), repurposed paper/art (skirt magazine is perfect for this), and, my personal fav, reusable bags. so much easier to tie a big bow on a bag with the present inside, and that way your gift wrap becomes part of the present. you can do this with canvas bags, totes, bags made from recycled materials, etc.. they're everywhere these days, and available at any price (roomie and i recently scored half a dozen canvas totes to wash and paint at a flea market for less than $1 altogether). the best and most practical that i've come across for everyday use: the flip n' tumble.

it wads up into a nice neat little bag (no folding or careful rolling or any of that junk) within seconds, and flip (and tumbles) open with even more ease. it's pretty much the best thing since sliced bread.

the following may not adhere too strictly to my criteria, but are just too cool not to put on my wish list..

set of 50 vintage stamps from anthropologie. i was shocked to see they're $6. SIX. usually anthropologie gives me the opposite kind of sticker shock...

this at least promotes handmade things.. i've never tried crewel, but i've been mulling over it for awhile now and just discovered these fantastic kits! call me a grandma, but i think i could do some really cool things with these..

and i may need this to help learn some techniques:

Embroidered Effects Image

really random... but a bias tape maker would be really super (so many projects in mind, and i'm so awful at making bias tape!):

this is just lovely..

this is too cute..

awesome idea..

grow crystals in a jar.. so cool. (i'm an air sign, btw)

and this was just too bizarre to leave out:

that's all for now! time to finally post this thing and hope all the pictures work..

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

weekend-turned-weeklong project

finally finished my dresser makeover! after sanding, cleaning, painting, and coating with polyurethane, i had to wait another 48 hours for the stench to fade to move it from the porch to the bedroom. i got a little impatient at some parts, so i'm not 100% satisfied with it, but i think i'll like it more once i add a few more elements to the room. and i like that i got it at the SC thrift and resale, which benefits womens charities here in charleston.


the dresser, right before i started painting-- almost forgot to take a before picture!

the previous drawer handles. buh bye!

i picked a teal by olympus called "french riviera"... and yowza, it turned out quite bright. the next pic is the finished project, but taken in a darkened room..

*le fin!*

now to rehang the mirror, find a headboard, get another curtain installed, an accent chair, and perhaps an antique trunk... plenty to look forward to there.

more pictures to come, once i resolve these arrangements with my ocd...

off the coast of carolina..

been in Charleston since late May, moving into a new apartment, etc... pics and lots more updates soon. I've been nannying and babysitting for several families while taking a UD biology class and preparing for the GRE. One more (part-time) semester at Wake and I'm all done! For my spring semester off I'll be working full-time (probably nannying) to pay off this bundle of joy:

As you can tell, I'm pretty much in love with my 2010 Malibu. Never thought I'd get another chevy after the death trap that was Gladys (see exhibit A:)

... but the malibu definitely won me over.

I've had a lovely summer here in SC-- more pics to come soon of the apartment, and probably a post about my porch garden as well. For now, I'll leave you with one of my favorite things about the south-- these adorable lizards! Forget their name but I get so happy when I see them.. always reminds me of trips to visit my grandparents and seeing these little brown and green lizards running around pathways and windows :)

(PS- there's no zoom on my phone's camera. I actually got this close to one!)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


really haven't updated this much, but in my defense i've kept a really great scrapbook! maybe i'll take some pictures and post them here..

and i just realized, i never posted about my barcelona adventure! at the time it was a fiasco, but in the end it was still an amazing trip. spain was definitely not to be when the airports were down and the train workers in the south of france decide to go on strike. really not cool. but, after a verrry long bus ride to frankfurt and a rather speedy train from frankfurt to vienna, i made it back and was able to make up my german final (alles gut!). very glad to know a decent amount of spanish, french, and german-- it was a very long, very eventful trip! even learned some finnish as well from some new friends i met during my extended stay in an awesome city.

i also made it to salzburg to see my friend lauren who's studying there for a year, and besides that i've been biking around vienna (really must start biking when i get back to the states.. i'm absolutely hooked!) and really getting to know the city. it's so hard to leave (i even sold back the bike today.. very hard to let go of my faithful steed) but i'm also really excited a summer in charleston! i plan on keeping the blog updated once in awhile with pictures and news, so check back from time to time!

finals are over and i've even packed (VERY thankful that we have a scale in the house-- my bags are stuffed!).. spent my last day in vienna (last final was yesterday) doing last minute errands and relaxing in a kaffeehaus by st stephen's... agh i'm really going to miss vienna!!

some pictures to make up for my bad blogging....

barcelona beach at sunset

la pedrera, barcelona

salzburg sound of music cow!