Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dessert First

Over Thanksgiving, I realized that although I have lots of entertaining pieces, I am missing dessert plates.  I have a few bucks burning a hole in my pocket in the form of an Anthro gift card, so I might just have to fix this little problem of mine.  Which ones to get though?

Do you have a favorite?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Spread

We had a fabulous little Thanksgiving at our place this year.  Just me, Chris, my parents and my brother-in-law, Bryan.  We did the traditional spread with a few variations due to some diet restrictions:  turkey, cranberry onion confit, apple sage stuffing, mashed cauliflower and a green salad.  Chris did all the cooking while my parents and I spent a good chunk of the day pulling up crabgrass from the front yard.  We're productive like that. 

We have "boundary issues" in our household.

We wanted to keep the whole afternoon as simple as possible, so we used mostly stuff we already had, save for the green tablecloth.  To start, I used our everyday plates, silverware and some pumpkin colored napkins.  Then I added some persimmons, silver-plated dessert glasses, some fake leaves and berries, and some tapers in some pretty candle stick holders.  I also used my grandmother's salt cellars and then topped the tablescape off with some crystal dishes with candy corn and the gold butter knives I purchased at Metrolina.  Very festive, but nice and simple.

Chris had everything to do with the turkey and the rest of the meal, which came out perfectly, as usual. 

The world's a crazy place these days, so it's nice to take some time out to remember that there's still a lot to be thankful for.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Earlier this week, I shared this picture of our family room with you, dear readers:

See if you can spot the difference:

Hint:  It's in the middle of the picture and Anthony Bourdain is on it. 

Yep!  We got a new tv, so it's out with the 27" tube tv and in with the 47" HDTV.  Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!  (And yes, I may have been too lazy to actually stand up and take the photo.  Shut up--it's been a long week.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Progress Report

With two months to go til my 30th birthday, I figured I was well overdue for a progress report on my 30 before 30 list.  It's...uh...not looking so great.  But much of it is still do-able.  And a few things I've kind of lost interest in, honestly.

1.Take a photography class (Not done yet and I still haven't found a good place to take one.  Any ideas?)

2.Go to Seattle with the hubby (Done in April.  LOOOOOVED it.  We spent 2 days in Seattle and 3 in Victoria.  Such a fantastic vacation!)

3.Sell the house (Done on March 26.  Totally successful and gratifying, but all in all, it's something I'd be happy not ever having to do again.)

4.Run a 5k  (Yeah...about that...probably not gonna happen.  File this under "we'll see."  I'm a terrible runner and I'm not exactly in fighting form at the moment.)

5.Visit Las Vegas for a weekend (To be honest, I've lost interest in this.  I mean, it'd be fun to go with Chris for a weekend, but if it doesn't happen, I'll be perfectly okay with that.  I don't really want to spend the money on that right now either.)
6.Learn to crochet  (Hasn't happened yet, but I'm still hopeful.)

7.Watch all the Star Wars movies (watched all 3 original movies, still deciding if I should watch the newer 3)

8.Do 5 unassisted consecutive pull ups  (See #4.)

9.Learn Photoshop  (Hasn't happened, but still hopeful.  I've started to use Picasa, so that's a start.)

10.Lose 10 pounds (Or gain 8???  UGH.)

11.Start volunteering  (YES!  Well, I haven't started yet, but I've lined something up.)

12.Start a vegetable garden  (I planted a bunch of plants in the spring, but then nothing happened.  Boo.  So, I tried and I will try again this coming spring with hopefully better results.)

13.See the North Carolina symphony (We're going to purchase tickets soon!)

14.Watch "The Sound of Music" (Hasn't happened yet.)

15.Watch "Gone with the Wind" (Hasn't happened yet.)

16.Learn to make poached eggs (Done 1/15.  That was kind of ridiculously easy, actually.)

17.Read one book per month (so far so good!)

18.Read "The Hobbit" (Oooh!  Forgot about this one!  Must get on it.)

19.Learn to make a souffle (Not yet, but that'll be a fun weekend project sometime soon.)

20.Learn to paint my nails properly.  (Yes.  Now, if I can just keep it from chipping.)

21.Learn to play chess  (Yes!  My 8 year old nephew kind of taught me.  I'm still not good by any means, but I at least know how to play.

22.Learn to play poker (Not yet.)

23.Buy a new (to us) house (Done March 26!  Wheeee!)

24.Refinish a piece of furniture (Yup!  Done two:  my red desk and turqoise nightstand.)

25.Go to a concert (Saw Lyle Lovett in August.  LOVE.)

26.Blog at least once a week (HA!)

27.Build a chicken coop (Lost interest.  I mean, I'd love to do it, but this wasn't the right year for it.  We've been busy getting the rest of the house in order and we've both been gone too much.  Maybe next year.)

28.Stop biting my nails once and for all.  (Guardedly optimistic.  I haven't bitten them in maybe two months, but the temptation is there every single day.  Ugh.)

29.Pay off my car (Done in May!  28 months early!  Go me!!!)

30.Learn my credit score (Still need to do this, but this is easy.)

So, there you have it!  As of right now, I've gotten 13 done (ugh!) with a realistic 10 left to go, leaving 7 that probably won't get done.  All in all, I'm okay with that.  My 29th year isn't over yet, so who knows? 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where Men Win Glory Review

Several weeks ago I started and quickly finished Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman:  I read most of it en route from Raleigh to San Francisco.  Most of Krakauer's books have been completely captivating to me:  his subjects are always engrossing and his research is beyond thorough.  I LOVED Into Thin Air and also really enjoyed Into the Wild.  Haven't read Under the Banner of Heaven yet, but I hope to soon.

This particular book chronicles the life of Pat Tillman, an Arizona Cardinals player who walked away from a lucrative NFL career to serve in the Army post-9/11.  There are a number of chapters devoted to Afghanistan's history, the 2000 presidential election, and 9/11, which some of the reviews online criticized as filler material, but I thought it was imperative to understanding the war and Pat Tillman's reasons for serving. 

Krakauer's political views aren't well-disguised and I could see how that would be an issue for some readers, but ultimately I thought the book was a worthwhile read regardless of political ideology.  Pat Tillman was a fascinating guy with incredibly strong values.  The last 1/3 or so of the book is devoted to the circumstances of and fallout from his death and I would think it would be easy for most writers to let that narrative be the main story, but Krakauer doesn't let that happen.  Instead, he lets Pat Tillman shine all the way through, making this an incredibly compelling book.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We have art!

Ever since we moved in to the new house in March, I've been looking for some art to hang above the couch in the family room.  The family room is sunken by about a foot, meaning that there's more wall space than there is in the rest of the house, resulting in a big blank wall.

I wanted something that worked with our existing color scheme (below) and I wanted it to be large (no gallery wall--too much visual clutter for this room) and I wanted it cheap.

So, off to Home Goods for me!  I got these two pieces for $100.  Admittedly, they're mass produced and not the most original things on the planet, but that's fine with me.  Better than staring at a blank wall.

This is what I'm talking about when referring to visual clutter.  I like the way the bookcases look up close, but when taking a step back, there's a lot going on here.  I also think painting the brick fireplace could help considerably, but I have yet to convince the husband.  Hmpf.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend Recap

As I mentioned on Friday, I headed to Charlotte this weekend to hang out with my parents and shop the Metrolina Expo with Eddie Ross.  We kind of had a ridiculously good time.  Eddie was fantastic and totally inspiring--he's a wealth of knowledge and has an amazing ability to take old things and make them look fresh and modern. 

Here's Eddie showing us some spectacular silverware.

Jaithan, me, my mom, and Eddie.  We're all totes bff's now:

So, what did we buy?  My mom bought this needlepoint picture.  I initially did not think much of it, but I actually think it kinda works well in their lakeside condo:

I bought this sweet little set of 24k gold plated butter knives (at least I think they're butter knives, but correct me if I'm wrong).  I just loved the feather handles.  I don't care if I never use them, I just think they're really pretty displayed in a vintage teacup.

My mom bought this set of silver plated champagne/dessert glasses for me.  I love the shape.

A pair of very glam crystal candlestick holders for only $10.

A beautiful set of 6 silveplate water goblets.

Two silver trays.  I have a feeling these will get used a lot over the years.  Everything looks better on a tray.

In other news, I have several bushes of these blooming in the backyard right now.  They have literally HUNDREDS of blooms on them.  So, so pretty.  I think they're camelias?  Again, could be wrong.

This coming weekend, my mom is coming into town to help me paint the living room.  It's currently a very wrong shade of green and we're hoping to make it correct with cream paint.  I'm very excited about this.  Pictures to come.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Weekend Plans

This weekend I'm headed to Charlotte to hang out with my parents and one Mr. Eddie Ross, wherein we will go flea marketing here and I will learn how to make my tablescapes sing.

Like this:

Or this:

Or this:

I can't wait!  Hopefully pictures will follow soon.
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