DIY Blows.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

At least today, it did.  My mom and I decided today would be the day to patch the hole in the kitchen wall where the idiots who owed the house before us cut corners and just put the old Formica countertops onto the bare studs, rather than doing it properly (on top of drywall).  They also used, if you'll pardon my French, a shit ton of caulk which got good and stuck to the walls over the last 30 years.

But we overcame.

Before
Gross, right?

During
Cut the dry wall to fit and use a dry wall rasp to sand down the edges for a perfectly flush fit.

Use 1 1/4" coarse thread dry wall screws (if you have wood studs like me) and screw the dry wall into the studs.

After
Smooth joint compound ("mud") along the edges of the old dry wall and the new dry wall, apply a strip of paper dry wall tape, apply more mud.

We have to let the mud dry for 24 hours before we'll sand it down and put on another layer, followed by more waiting and drying, followed by more sanding.  The goal is to get it smooth and level, so that when I put my subway tile backsplash up, there won't be any wonky unevenness on the wall.

Since we were DIYing, I took it into my head to change out my electrical receptacles (aka outlets) and my switches.  This is where things took a turn for the worse.  I should have just patted myself on the back for the dry walling and called it a day.  

First, I switched out the dimmer switch in my dining room.

Before

After
After uploading this photo, I realized I had cracked the faceplate.  You could really only see it with the flash of the camera, but I now knew it was cracked and simply could not leave it alone.  Eff.  I have since replaced it.  Thank God I bought a ten-pack of faceplates.

Since the dimmer switch went well, I decided to tackle the GFCI switches in my kitchen.  This is where I lost my temper, yelled the f word four times in a row, and screamed at the top of my lungs (I'm pretty sure I heard an echo).

First, I shut off the breaker for my kitchen.  But, thinking safety first, I used the little voltage meter to make sure there was no power running to the outlets.  Well, there was.  So I went back and shut off all the other breakers and checked again.  Still powered.  So I shut off all electricity to my house from the breaker box outside.  Finally no power.  Unfortunately, I also had no AC.  Gross.

I get to work and nothing goes right.  The stupid copper wires wouldn't hook around the screws like they were supposed to, and the screws kept sliding back into the receptacle, so the wires couldn't hook on even if they felt like it.  I finally got the one receptacle wired in and thought, Well, the other one can't be any worse.   

WRONG.

Whoever the idiot that did the electrical work in my house crammed the electrical box so full of capped wires that I couldn't get the receptacle back in the box.  Plus, the last one had taken so long that the sun had gone down and I couldn't see.  My back also started to hurt from bending over to work with the wires.  This is the point that I screamed and dropped the f bomb.  I also called my mom and bitched to her.

Then, because apparently, I'm a glutton for punishment, I decided to try my hand at replacing the ugly back light switch in the hall.

Yes, some idiot put BLACK switches in my beautiful house.  WTF?  I don't think they even make black light switches anymore.

Before

After

What you miss in these photos is that during my electrical work, I decided, Wait!  I'm so smart.  I'll free up my flashlight hand by lighting candles so I can see to screw in these tiny screws.  Yay me!  
Except my fire alarm is battery operated.  Yes, that's right.  I set off the fire alarm.

F.
M.
L.

After that, I called it a night, turned the lights back on, and started blogging/checking e-mail/trying not to feel so murderous.  Except now I sort of want to try to replace another light switch.

Definitely a glutton for punishment.

Highlights from the Storm

Unless you've been living under a rock (and admittedly, it sounds like a safer place than my house has been lately), you've heard about the devastation and loss of life in Dixie Alley over the last week or so.  Thankfully, I'm okay, as are my family and friends.  But it was scary, y'all.  I have spent more time in my hall bathroom than ever before.  Luckily, Lil and I were prepared:

"Ruby slippers"?  Check!

Puppy, flashlight, blanket, and computer (following weather updates on twitter)?  Check, check, check, and check!

I hope all of y'all are safe and sound and praying for those who aren't!

Lilly Pulitzer Summer 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

LOVE LOVE LOVE.  There are so many fun, elegant, and plain must-haveable pieces out now, and I hear even more will be arriving in the coming weeks.  For now, some of my favorite looks from Lilly:

 Josie tunic with mystery shorts
While the tunic is lovely, I'm much more interested in the pink, scalloped seersucker shorts.  They weren't on the website yet, so I'm guessing they'll be part of the next release for the season.  So excited!

Added 5/4: My mystery shorts are the "Buttercup Short."  I want some so badly!

Shayna dress
I know this is similar to the navy lace dress I got from Target, but I love the long sleeves on this.  I'm very into short dresses with long sleeves right now.  I feel like they're sexy without being in your face about it.

Callahan short with Wynne top
I'm all about ruffles (as if that comes as a shock to anyone) and I'm loving the asymmetrical, almost one-shouldered style of the Wynne top.

Sandra dress in Punch Pink
Ruffles + one-shouldered = Biz in love.  Of course, pink is my signature color, but part of me thinks I should diversify.  The Worth Blue (shown below) has been out since Spring, and I'm wondering if I should opt for that one instead of my fun, flirty pink.  Hmm.  Decisions, decisions.


So what are your favorite looks from Lilly's Summer collection?  You know I love to talk about Lilly, so get commenting!

Cat's Out of the Bag: England, Ho!

Monday, April 25, 2011

I've been waiting to announce this until I've told certain people in my life, but the Band-aid's been pulled off and those who need to know do, so now it's time to share with you!  I hinted at it earlier, and I was slightly disappointed nobody guessed my very clever hint - all those shoes were oxfords!  That's right...

I'm going to Oxford, England!



I've been accepted for a study abroad program at the University of Oxford, where I will be taking Evidence and Family Law (yes, both bar courses) in five weeks (yikes!).  But at least I'll be coming home with six hours of credit and (hopefully) four more stamps in my passport.  We're taking weekend trips to:

 
Paris

 Amsterdam

 Brussels

 Dublin

 Bath

 And, of course, London.

I'm so excited but the pleasure is a touch tempered by the fact that certain important people in my life aren't keen on me going.  But I've mulled it over, have discussed it with many, and eventually have come to the conclusion that if I don't go, I'll regret it forever.

So here's to Oxford!
I can't wait to meet you!

Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Happy Easter!

Hippity Hoppity - Pink & Green Thursdays

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail!

Easter's on its way.  I have fond memories of Easter.  As a kid, it was like a second Christmas, and I don't mean with the presents.  I mean with the chance to visit with my family and take lots of photos.  I'm the only granddaughter on one side of my family and the youngest grandchild by like 20 years.  So they would always put on these fantastic Easter egg hunts for me, and when I'd found them all, they'd rehide them so I could hunt again.  I always had a gorgeous new Easter dress, and like any proper Southern girl, I wore little white socks with lace on the cuffs.  I'm too old for lace socks these days (and I'm confident in saying that's okay), but I still love finding grown up ways to capture the spirit of those Easters from back then.
















credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

I Need More TiVos!

Monday, April 18, 2011


I need more TiVos to record all of the royal wedding specials I want, plus my normal TV shows (WHY are they bringing Gossip Girl back during royal wedding week?!  It's like, I've missed it and I'm thrilled, but it's conflicting with my Lifetime TV movie William & Kate!).  I've canceled all my nonessential Season Passes (Family Guy, Rehab Addict, Passport to Europe, Family Under Construction) to minimize conflicts, but it's still going to be tough.

Key
Recorded
Watched

My Royal Wedding Schedule (all times CDT)
Monday, April 18
8pm - William & Kate the Movie on Lifetime
9pm - 20/20 Special: William & Catherine on ABC
10pm - The Wedding of a Lifetime, Part 1 on Lifetime

Tuesday, April 19*
9pm - Royally Mad, Part 2 on BBC America
9pm - What the Sell?! on TLC
9:30pm - What the Sell?! on TLC 
*Power outage = No Tuesday Specials for Me! :( 

Wednesday, April 20
10pm - Royally Mad, Part 2 on BBC America

Friday, April 22
12pm - Royally Mad, Part 1 on BBC America

Sunday, April 24
10am - Diana's Dresses on BBC America
11am - Princess Diana: Her Life in Jewels on BBC America
12pm - William & Kate: Modern Monarchy on BBC America
12:30pm - Modern Monarchy Dos & Don'ts on BBC America
1pm - Prince William's Africa on BBC America
2pm - Prince William & Prince Harry: Into the Future on BBC America
3:30pm - William & Kate: A Fairytale Romance on BBC America
4pm - William & Kate: A Royal Love Story Updated on TLC
 5pm - William, Kate & 8 Royal Weddings on TLC
6pm - Charles & Di: Once Upon a Time on TLC
6pm -  Dateline: Kate Middleton on NBC
8pm - Untold Stories of a Royal Bridesmaid on TLC
9pm - Royally Astounding: 30 Defining Days of Monarchs on TLC

Tuesday, April 26
12am - Wild About Prince Harry on TLC
1am - William & Kate: Inside the Royal Wedding on TLC
7am - Royal London on BBC America
7am - All the Queen's Horses on BBC America
8am - Modern Monarchy: Here and There on BBC America
1pm - The Art of Diana on BBC America
3:30pm - William & Harry: The Brother Princes on BBC America
9pm - What the Sell?!: "Princess in the Windy City" on TLC
9:30pm - What the Sell?!: "God Save the Queen" on TLC

Wednesday, April 27
10am - How to Be a Prince, Part 1 on BBC America
11am - How to Be a Prince, Part 2 on BBC America
9pm - Extreme Royal Collections on TLC
9pm - Kate Middleton: Uncommon Bride on Biography

Thursday, April 28
7pm - The Making of a Royal Wedding on TLC
8pm - Countdown to the Royal Wedding on TLC

Friday, April 29
2:30am to 4am - Royal Wedding Pre-Show on TLC
3am - The Royal Wedding with Barbara Walters & Diane Sawyer on ABC [ends at 9am]
4am to am- The Royal Wedding on TLC 
8am to 12pm - The Royal Wedding on TLC 
8am to 1pm - The Royal Wedding with Guiliana Rancic on E! [rebroadcast]
5pm - Inside the Royal Wedding on E!
8pm - Will and Kate: Road to the Altar on E!
8pm - 20/20: The Royal Wedding, A Look Back with Diane Sawyer on ABC
8pm - Dateline: Instant Documentary on NBC
9pm - Fashion Police: Royal Wedding on E!

I can't decide who to pick for the wedding itself.  Right now I've got TLC booked, but I want to find out who is hosting.  Part of me wants to watch the BBC America broadcast, for the real British experience.  Considering I will be fast asleep in my little bed at 4am, I won't be able to flip back and forth.  Clearly, I need more TiVos.

Do any of y'all have Royal Wedding plans?  Any great specials I can't miss?  Can you help me pick who to watch for the wedding itself?  I'd love to hear about it and I'd love any help you could give me!

From Granny's Garden

Saturday, April 16, 2011







Thanks to my sweet granny sharing her iris rhizomes with me last spring, I have these beautiful bearded irises sitting on my dining table (I moved them after I took the photos).  I also have a handful of buds in my backyard, so I'll have some of those pretties, too!  Love me some hand-me-down flowers!

Oh, p.s., the Rue La La stuff shipped back today since no one called dibs!

P.P.S. (4/17) - The last photo is of one of the irises that bloomed last night.  Love that deep purple color!

Rue-turn La La

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My goodies from Rue La La arrived today and unfortunately, I needed a size 7 in the shoes to fit my big foot (anyone else have a big foot and a small foot?) and while the dress fit on the bottom, it was a little big on top and I wasn't in love with it enough to go to the trouble of having it altered.

But, before sending it back to Rue La La, where it will be returned to Lilly, I wanted to offer them to my bloggie buddies, in case any of y'all were interested but didn't get a chance to grab them during the sale.  So we have...



The Kendall - Sizes 8 and 10 - $99.90 each
I'm a six on top and an 8/10 below (seriously, the Lilly top I wore today was a 6)  The 10 is roomy and could easily fit someone between a 10 and 12.


Size 6.5 Lilly wedge - $99.90.

I'm keeping the clutch.  ;)  If anyone wants any of the three pieces, let me know by Friday, April 15th.  Otherwise, they're heading back to Rue La La that afternoon!