Tuesday, August 31, 2010

sickly monday

i was so very sick yesterday so no post for Monday and I still feel under the weather today so I am just going to post the answers to a survey thing I did.

(1) what website do you spend the most time on?
oh lord, right now probably the BB12 Blog. I love knowing what happens before it actually airs

(2) what's the furthest you've ever traveled?
Barbados during our cruise in 2008, by far the best cruise I've ever been on.
Malibu Beach in Barbados

(3) what's your guilty pleasure tv show?
definitely "Secret Life of American Teenager" it's such a horrible show with terrible acting, but I am completely addicted

(4) if you had to give up one favorite food, what would be the hardest?
Oh lord, definitely Shrimp Tempura sushi. I have had to cut back because apparently little fetus isn't a fan, and it has been so hard.

(5) if you could become any fictional character, who would you be?
Marissa Cooper on The OC. granted, she had some issues with drugs, alcohol and boys, but her wardrobe was AMAZING and her life was certainly never boring.

(6) what's your favorite season of the year?
fall. football, sweaters, boots, my birthday and nice weather, what isn't there to love?

(7) what's your biggest phobia?
Sharks. to the point of irrationality. i usually avoid actually getting in the ocean. if those things could roam the surface, I'd probably build a bunker and never come out.

(8) would you rather swim in a pool or the ocean?
Refer to #7.

(9) what did you eat for breakfast today?
Nothing :( still not holding down solids too well

(10) if you could only listen to one song for the next month, which song would it be?
I have horrible musical ADD, I can hardly listen to a complete song... but I guess "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. It's just my fave.

Friday, August 27, 2010

New look for fall

changed the layout and design a little since fall is quickly approaching and I couldn't be more happy about it :) it may change around a little more, still a work in progress.

Fashionable Friday: Secret Shopping

Don't tell Joshua, but I MAY have purchased something during the Lilly Pulitzer sale... on his credit card.

But how could I say no to the Cormick Dress in "Multi Juicestand Patch"? Especially when it was $69 instead of its usual $248.

I love this dress because it is flowy, comfortable and loose in the hips (a rare thing in the Lilly world).

I really, really wanted the Murfee scarf in Bright Navy Checking In. Not only because it was such a great deal at $49, but because I could wear it in both fall and the spring/summer months, whereas the other patterns are a little too spring-y for after labor day. But of course, they were already sold out.

I also put a bug in my mother's ear that RueLala was featuring Herve Chapelier last week and since Sookie managed to eat the corner of my favorite Herve bag, I have requested another for my birthday (which is exactly a month from today).

And while I was on RueLaLa yesterday during its "Afternoon Fix" sale, they put some of the Lilly Pulitzer items back up! THIS time I snagged the "Dayle" silk top in "True Navy". AND because my lovely mama purchased the Herve bag, I had a $10 credit for referring her :) So I got the top for $39 instead of its usual price of $168!

Now to find somewhere to hide the purchases...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

some times she's sweet

On days when I come home to find a tiki torch in the backyard in pieces, Sookie covered in mud with holes all around the flower beds or my favorite Herve Chapelier bag with a giant hole in the side, I just look at this picture and remember that SOME times our giant beast of a chocolate lab can be a sweetheart.

Sookie, literally laying on my feet while I wash dishes

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Worldess Wednesday: The Road Not Taken

"With all the wrong turns that I've made, I'm right where I should be"
~ Lee Ann Womack

Reading Kristen at All My Twenties post about trying to make a big decision about moving and her career made me think about the road I didn't take that I always thought I would.
Looking back, I'm glad I live in Edgecombe County where I can raise my children around my family and in a good, close-knit southern town. Not that I don't still dream of writing for Southern Living, but now I would rather do so via satellite, not by moving to their main office in Birmingham.
However, I firmly suggest taking advantage of ANY opportunity to travel and expose yourself to new cultures, great possibilities and adventure. I just know that coming home was the right decision for me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

movies make my world go round

There are some movies that make me angry, sad, feel like a kid, laugh or fall in love EVERY time I watch them, not matter how many times I have seen them.

Tons of movies make me laugh, like "Christmas Vacation", "The Hangover", "Young Frankenstein" and "Monty Python: Search for the Holy Grail" but the one that never gets old is In and Out.

Kevin Kline is a high school drama teacher that gets called out for being gay even though he is convinced he isn't and is engaged to a woman (the hilarious Joan Cusack). There's a scene where he listens to an instructional tape on how to be a "manly man" and it is truly the funniest thing I have witnessed. I won't ruin the ending for you, but it is absolutely hilarious. With Tom Selleck, Matt Dillon and Bob Newhart rounding out the cast, it is a must see and guaranteed to make you laugh until you can't breathe.

Movies have always been a big part of my life. My Mema Kay took me to movies all the time as a kid and I was well known at our local movie rental store. The movie that reminds me of my childhood and makes me want to go back is Now & Then

A story about four childhood best friends growing up in the 1970s and facing family problems, boy issues and a scary mystery and the group coming back together again when one is about to have a baby. My three best friends and I watched this every time we had a sleepover. I was Samantha (played by Gaby Hoffmann then Demi Moore) who was a writer. Such a great movie that makes me wish I could have bottled those young, carefree moments of Friday night sleepovers and giggle-fests.

I may be getting a little overly controversial with this one, but I am going to go there any way. Only a few things make me truly angry, movies like "Crash" and "Religulous" being two of them. But the one that makes me the angriest is Milk

"Milk" is the story of Harvey Milk, California's first openly-gay elected official. The movie is wonderful telling the story of Milk and his crew and how their fight for rights, equality and respect inspired so many. It makes me so sad to see how our views toward gay people haven't changed that much in more than 30 years.
Leviticus 18:6 may say "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female. It is an abomination." but Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" AND Romans 2:1 says "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things."
Basically, yes homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible, but we are ALL sinners and all sins are equal. We have no right to judge ANYONE, because not a single of us is perfect either. I've blogged about "Milk" and my opinion on this before. And I will continue to stand up for what I believe.

Now, I could list a ton of movies here: ANYTHING by Nicholas Sparks that's been turned into a film, "An Officer & a Gentleman" and many more. But an old classic fills me with love every time I see it: Somewhere in Time

If you haven't seen this movie. Go rent it NOW.
I can't even summarize this movie in 100 words or less so here is what IMDB says "Young writer Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) is met on the opening night of his first play by an old lady who begs him to "Come back to me". Mystified, he tries to find out about her, and learns that she is a famous stage actress from the early 1900s, Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour). Becoming more and more obsessed with her, he manages, by self hypnosis, to travel back in time where he meets her. They fall in love, a matching that is not appreciated by her manager. Can their love outlast the immense problems caused by their "time" difference? And can Richard remain in a time that is not his?".
I loved this film so much that I the theme song was the song I came down the aisle to at my wedding.

Anyone will tell you that it takes nothing for me to shed a tear, but some movies just make me lose all control over my emotions. Once again anything by Nicholas Sparks causes the tears to flow, but the one that makes me cry the worst is Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

Yes, I do realize that this movie is supposed to be funny (which it is) but ever since Mema Kay's death, the movie makes me cry like an absolute baby. The books by Rebecca Wells are even better and cause even more tears.
The movie is about a woman named Siddalee (Sandra Bullock) who makes her eccentric mother, Vivianne (Ellen Burstyn) very angry in a very public way. To patch up their relationship, her mother's life-long friends the "Ya-Yas" kidnap Siddalee and take her to her hometown in Louisiana to explain to her why her mother is the way she is through a scrapbook and stories about the past.
The eccentric mother reminds me so much of Mema Kay in her ability to insult without realizing, speak without a filter and find the best way to irritate/love without even knowing it.

Now, go search your guide and DVR any of these movies if they're coming on anytime soon, request them through Netflix or visit the nearest Blockbuster. Enjoy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

what to do with my hair?!

I have only tried a few different kinds of hairstyles.

In 7th grade EVERYONE had either the big curled-under bangs or very blunt, straight across the forehead bangs.

In 8th grade I was into butterfly clips to hold back my growing-out bangs.

In high school my hair stayed the same most of the way through. Long-ish with layers and shorter pieces near my face.

But... the night before graduation I decided I needed a change and cut it up to my shoulders.

Then I let it grow back out when I got to UNC-W...

And in 2007 I cut it again (and dyed it a SUPER red), as seen in this precious pic of me & the Mac Daddy

And since the bob-incident of 2007, I have been letting it grow with only a few changes (like the cool-bangs incidents of 2008 & 2010).

My hair is very fine, dry and thin, and therefore being super long isn't a good look. I need to get the dead-ends cut off since it is growing SO fast. But I don't know what I want to do.

Every time I cut it short I hate it, because when you have really short hair you have no choice but to style it, whereas long hair allows for just throwing it up into a polished messy bun or a semi-professional looking ponytail.

Maybe cutting it JUST long enough for a little pony tail?
Like it was here:

Or a little shorter like this:


Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday 'Fessions! (a double post today, aren't you lucky?)


Going to join Miss Pink Lou Lou in her college confessions today. If you are a church family member, my little sister or an adult that respects me, I apologize in advance. They were wild times and a LOT has changed since then...

1. I went to maybe two classes a week my first semester, freshman year at UNC-W. I mainly slept, went shopping or laid on the beach. This is probably why I had a 1.56 GPA that year...oops.

2. Also in Wilmington, my group of friends, that we called "Troop 69" (we even had a fbook group), went to the beach for a camp-out with a bunch of other people and THOUGHT my Rodeo was 4WD and could therefore take us out on the beach and we could sleep in it. We were SO wrong. It took four strangers to get it un-stuck. We also discovered the joys of sand-fleas and that the beach is VERY cold at night in late September on that night.

"Troop 69"

3. My junior year at ECU, I got over $200 in parking tickets at the meters because I was WAY too lazy to walk from my apartment (which was only 3 blocks away) and too impatient to wait for the bus. Luckily, my daddy gave me his employee parking pass (since MedDirect is owned by ECU) and I got to park in the "B" lot, aka. the Flood lot my senior semester.

4. My first Halloween in Greenville was ALSO my freshman year at UNC-W. I left Wilmington late Sunday evening since Halloween was Monday. Well... we never even made it downtown because my wonderful husband (boyfriend at the time) got VERY VERY "sick" and puked EVERYWHERE in his shower (where I pushed him so he wouldn't get any on me). I spent the evening in my precious Strawberry Shortcake outfit cleaning up his bathroom and him. In fact, I had planned on going back to Wilmington Tuesday but ended up staying until Thursday (remember what I said about the whole going to class thing?).

5. Once, at Cabanas in Greenville, I punched a girl in the boob for stepping on my foot then ran. Yes, seriously.

6. I recycled several Basic Reporting papers for my Investigative Reporting class. A lot of the time I just re-used a topic, but re-worked the paper. One of those papers got me a giant "A" in that class.

7. If the "Hot" light was on at Krispy Kreme I would whip the Rodeo in there and get the "Pirate Pack" which was three doughnuts of your choice and a drink for $3.

8. Freshman year, we made up a drinking game to Grey's Anatomy. Every time someone said "Seriously", put a "Mc" in front of anything, Meredith got angry, Alex said something mean or Izzy put her hair up in a pony tail we drank. It was bad.

9. The people at Hibachi Express on Stantonsburg Rd. knew my name and order whenever I called in. As soon as I started with "I'd like a Hibachi Chicken and Shrimp with zucchini but NO onions..." they said "Okay, lauren we have ready for you in 10 minute". Gotta love it.

10. I wore my favorite blue Lacoste polo and my 7FAM jeans with the orange, blue & white A pockets EVERY first day of fall semester at ECU. It was my favorite outfit.

Fashionable Friday: the room that broke my knee

I should have actually titled this post "the room that drove me to do something stupid enough to break my knee", but I don't like to blame myself for things. And I think the fashionable outcome of the room was completely worth the knee pain.

Our master bedroom was Mammy's bedroom. Which she had kept the same way for all the years I can remember.

Between the day Mammy died and the day we closed on the house, we had taken all of her furniture that we wanted to my parents' attic until we could replace the carpet and get the walls painted.


Since we were using my cream-colored wrought iron bed from my parents' house, I decided that the giant dresser and mirror of and chest from Mammy's bedroom needed to be painted to match. Josh, daddy and all the other able-bodied men were working so I took it upon myself to move all the solid mahogany furniture from their attic, down the steps, down the garage steps, up into my car then out of my car at my house where I could paint them. I noticed how bad my knee hurt, but I was WAY too determined to get the pieces painted. 

The painting was a disaster. I had to sand the furniture until my fingers wanted to bleed AND bugs kept flying into the white paint making little tracks or getting stuck, making me repaint over again. 
But, I finally got them completed and moved (once again, by myself because I'm stubborn and impatient) into our bedroom. 

I found a silver lamp at TJ Maxx and added a white shade for the nightstand and spray painted my old hot pink lamps with a much softer pale yellow to match the duvet and a pink ribbon around the top of the old white lampshade to put on the chest with the TV.
Then I used my Mema Kay's old mirrored tray to put jewelry and an earring tree on to keep the top of the other dresser looking junky. 

With so much empty space on the walls, I wanted to find silver frames for pictures to put in a collage over the bed, but the ones I found were SO expensive. Instead, I bought un-finished wooden frames from Michaels and once again used the Rustoleum spray paint to make them the color I needed.

The room looked great. With our paisley Ralph Lauren duvet that coordinated with our blue walls, I was very pleased with the outcome. 

Ralph Lauren "Jamaica" Paisley

However, the next few days I noticed the knee pain even more. And it hurt. Bad.

Turns out, I put entirely too much stress on my knee moving all the dressers, heavy mirror and drawers all that way and I'd chipped a piece off my femur right where it met knee cap. Which then tore all the cartledge between my patella and femur. Hence the surgery last August.

comparing my post-surgery knee (left) to my "normal" knee (right)

So, that's how my great-grandma's house became my and Josh's house. It is still weird to think about owning a home that once belonged to the matriarch of the Harrell family, and I love that I was able to keep the house in the family while still making it feel like our home.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

formal parlor to dining room

When Mammy lived in our house in her younger days, she was forever having people over to dinner and ALWAYS hosted what we called a "Nog Party" at Christmas, complete with adult eggnog and kid eggnog.
I have no idea where all of these people sat, because Mammy did not have a dining room. (note yesterday's "Before" picture of the dark living room crowded with people)
We decided to turn the front living room into a dining room.
I wish I had a "before" picture of this room. It was SO dark even with the big giant double window. The hideous carpet covered the floor and the walls were a creamy white. The furniture was various shades of puke-green and there was a weird smell.
We knew the first thing that needed to be done was adding another doorway closer to the kitchen since I'd be taking food in and out of it.
One of Josh's church members, Mr. DJ, is a handy man and good at construction so we asked him to come help us with that project along with a few others.
Mr. DJ knocked a giant hole through the wall in the kitchen and made a new doorway for us, complete with nice molding and a new electrical outlet, closer to the middle of the room.

the wall in the 80s, we put the new entrance right where the three pictures are in this picture (between the sconces), that is my great-granddaddy Thad & great-aunt somebody

the two entrances to the new dining room

We had the room painted "Faded Denim" (a pale blue) and put down snap-in-place laminate floors that look like hardwood (which Josh and our friend ChrisMitchell put down all by themselves).
Then came time to furnish said room.
We were blessed that Josh's parents had just bought a new dining room set for their house, so we got their old one, which I painted white.

Then I got an old desk from Papa's house and made it into a kind of buffet-like piece. I also got an old green pie-safe from Papa's that had glass front doors. So I decided to paint it white too and use it as a china cabinet.

All I needed was ONE more piece of furniture. Mammy had an old book shelf in her bedroom that was full of little odds and ends and it was a beautiful piece. It was built in the late 1800s by my great-great-granddaddy and was made out of solid oak.
My dad and papa jumped all over me for wanting to paint it, but I knew that the wood wouldn't match the room. I spray painted it a pale lime green to match the table runner I bought and added pink & white baskets to hold little odds and ends. I know books don't really "belong" in the dining room, but I have a BILLION and have nowhere else to put them right now.

We also replaced the chandelier, added a silver curtain rod and put up white sheer panels that I added a pale green swag to.
With a pink, blue & green color scheme, it is VERY "Lauren" and is such a bright room.