The Time Has Come...

Monday, December 3, 2012

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things.


I've kept up this blog for four years.

It's been fun, it's been real.
But now it's time for something new.

I'm graduating from law school next semester.

And with this new chapter of my life comes a new chapter in my blog life, too.



All of my newest adventures, musings, and obsessions will be appearing there starting today.

Follow me there if you like.

But I'll understand if you don't.

All the best,

Elizabeth

Foxy Lady

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Foxes are really having a moment right now.  One of my favorite fashion bloggers, Sarah Vickers, has even gotten on board:


There's something about their pert faces and bushy tails that says autumn to me.  Now, if you want to get on this trend, you'd better do it fast.  Winter is swiftly approaching and will be upon us before you know it.  Admittedly, here in the South, there's a high of 72° for Thanksgiving Day, but before long, those bitter winds will be giving us rosy cheeks and chapped lips.  Here are a few options I've dug up for those of you who are smitten vixens for foxy fashion.





I'm wearing the third one today (from Old Navy), pairing it with dark wash jeans and a chambray shirt underneath.  It's sold out online, but check your local stores.

Are you into the animal sweaters trend?  It's not just foxes, you know; those ginger canids just happen to be my favorite.  If pheasants, hounds, or horses are more your thing, by all means, sport away!

In the Garden: Late Fall/Early Winter

Monday, November 12, 2012

I'm a terrible blogger.  I know.  But I only blog when I have something to share and lately, I've been all law school and Junior League and not so much on the home, which is really what I enjoy blogging about.  Right now though, as I sit under the covers with Lilly and wait for the dryer to buzz, I think I may have enough to put together a decent post.

Pruning
It's almost Thanksgiving, which means it's almost winter which means it's almost time to prune my plants.  As you may recall, in December 2010, I hacked my spirea down to the ground in an effort to restart their growth.

spirea thunbergii after a hard prune

I left them alone last year to let them recover, but this year, it's time to prune.  In the next couple of weeks, I'll be taking my loppers and cutting out 1/3 of the inner (and therefore older) canes.  This should encourage new growth toward the center of the plant and keep them full and healthy.

I'll also be pruning my Natchez crepe myrtle in the front yard.  It's sent up a ton of suckers that need to be removed.  I'll also be going from five primary canes to three.  I debated on the number for a while, but I've realized that every crepe myrtle I see whose form I like has three primary canes.


Blooming
My New Dawn climbing roses are still in bloom; I took the above photo mid-post.  As this is my first year to grow them, I don't know if that's typical for them or just an indication of unseasonably warm weather.  Either way, I'm pleased with my choice.  The two plants have really sent up long canes and I expect to have a gorgeous, rose-covered shed in just a few short years!

My Cotton Candy camellia sasanqua has already bloomed and faded (the photo above was taken about a month ago), though I'm hoping I'll get some additional blossoms in the coming weeks.

Preparing for Spring
Not only am I a terrible blogger, but I'm a naughty gardener.  I'm a member of HIPS, the Historic Iris Preservation Society, and as I mentioned in June, I ordered several historic varieties that compliment the era of my house.  They arrived in late July, with a few substitutions, but I forgot about them until mid-October.  By that time, they were pretty desicated from sitting in a box for 3 1/2 months, but I figured I didn't have anything to lose by going ahead and sticking them in the ground.  I checked on them a couple of days ago and wouldn't you know it?  All of them sent up new foliage!  They may not bloom this spring, but fingers crossed they'll survive and bloom in 2014!

Exterior Facelift
Even though it's not exactly in the garden, the exterior of my house should be getting a major facelift in the coming weeks.  We first got an estimate on repainting the original pine Dutch lap siding (yes, original from 1945).  We would have had to replace a few boards due to rot, and because the wood is so old, we would have to have the pieces custom milled.  What this boils down to is mucho dinero.  One contractor also gave us an estimate for vinyl siding, which turned out to be less expensive than paint, would look better, and would be less maintenance.  We'll be getting a couple of estimates on that, but it sure would be nice to have the same siding all around my house, instead of the half Dutch lap, half painted cedar shingles.  It would also be something to mark off my great big renovation.

3rd Annual Christmas Card Post + a GIVEAWAY!

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's that time of year again!  For the past two years, I've sent out Christmas cards featuring my firstborn child, Lilly.  (See here and here.)


2011 - Friends

2011 - Family (it felt weird to send my friends a solo shot of myself)

2010

I've decided to do a little something different this year: assuming the photo turns out like I'm hoping, I'll be making an appearance on the cards this year!  While I would normally show you the designs I'm considering, since I'm pretty sure which card I'm going to order, I don't want to spoil the surprise of those of you who are on my Christmas card list.  

The past two years, I've always forgotten to take a photo ahead of time and end up taking one of Lilly by herself the night I order the cards.  Whoops.  This year, though, I was contacted by Shutterfly way in advance of my usual last-minute ordering.  They shared with me an opportunity for one of my lucky readers to win a $50 off coupon of her order of Christmas Cards this year!  Depending on the card you choose and how many you order, you can get about 25 cards for free!  Even if you don't win, I really encourage you to check out their special offers.  They regularly offer 20% off coupons and free shipping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Per FTC regulations, this post is sponsored by Shutterfly, but all opinions are my own.  I would never post about a company I didn't believe in.  I've been a loyal Shutterfly customer for three years now and really stand behind the company!

Not a Fashion Blogger

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm not a fashion blogger.  Some days, I don't even look like I got dressed with the lights on.  I feel like I've posted my issues with fashion in the past.  Basically, I have no style.  So when I hit on fashion gold, I feel like I have to share.  It's going to be 53° as a HIGH this Saturday.  It's the coldest day this fall so far.  So naturally, I freaked out and rejoiced at the chance to wear actual fall clothes.  I've already picked my outfit out.

It's Wednesday.

Wanna see it?  Cool, because I want to show you!


Sweater: Gap (similar), Skirt: Loft, Boots: J. Crew, Button Down: Old Navy, Headband: Target (old)

SO EXCITED!

The Kate

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I got a haircut this morning, and I'm calling it "The Kate."  No, it's not that Kate, though if y'all follow me on Pinterest, I have to admit it would be a pretty good guess.  The Kate that inspired my newest haircut is Kate Bryan of The Small Things Blog.  She's a fellow Southerner and professional hair stylist and best of all, she has tons of video tutorials on how to style your hair.  I took a photo of the back of her hair to my stylist this morning and said, "I want it shorter with lots of layers throughout.  And I mean real layers."  So Heather (my favorite hair stylist since I moved home in 2010 and starting hunting for one) gave me real layers.

 [take 1: a bug flew by | take 2: laughing at my mom laughing at me | take 3: a decent photo]

I'm completely obsessed.  I love love LOVE it!  Heather blew it out, and then I went home and teased and curled it using this tutorial from Kate.  It's exactly what I wanted!  I'm pleased as punch!

Isn't it crazy how much your hair can affect your mood?  Anyone else feel this way?  Tell me about it!

Pinspiration: Halloween Rag Wreath

Sunday, September 2, 2012

pinspiration
"Halloween Rag Wreath" by Krystal at Sassy Sanctuary

Why I Pinned It
If you know me at all, you know that I love Halloween.  It's my favorite holiday in my favorite season. I like to decorate for it as soon as possible.  This will be my third Halloween in my little house.  For the last two years, I've had a little sign I picked up at Target.  This year, I decided I wanted a wreath!

How It Turned Out
Pretty darn well, I think.  My version is almost exactly like the Pinspiration wreath!  It was so easy to create a festive wreath and relatively inexpensive!


What You'll Need
1. 2 yards of fabric.  I got 1/2 yard of 4 colors from Hancock's for about $12.
2. An 18" wire wreath form. $5 (I think)
3. Wooden letters.  I spelled BOO instead of EEK. $1.49/letter
4. Craft paint
5. Scissors
6. Hot glue
7. Picture wire
8. Wired ribbon


Start by painting your wooden letters in the color of your choice.  While they're drying, cut your fabric into 1" x 6" strips.  Tie them in a random pattern around the wreath.  That's it.  

When that's done, cut pieces of the picture frame wire.  These are how you're going to attach your letters to the frame.  I think mine were about 4 inches long.  Hot glue the strips onto the back of the painted letters.  I put a gob of hot glue on the letter and pressed the wire in.  Then I added another glob of hot glue on top of the wire, encasing it to keep it from pulling free.  

Once the hot glue cools, arrange them on your wreath.  You might need to dab a little bit of glue between the letters and the fabric strips and press down to keep them in the position you choose.

Use your wired ribbon to make a big bow and use some more picture frame wire to secure it to the top of your wreath.  Wham, bam, thank you ma'am!


Happy Halloween, y'all!  Only 58 days!

Bowheads

Saturday, August 11, 2012

One of my bosses is having a little girl at the end of November (okay, both of my bosses are, since it's a husband-and-wife team) and part of my job duties for next spring include being their nanny/law clerk (best. job. ever.).  While I am nowhere near ready for a tater tot of my own, I'm super ready to shower this sweet baby girl with love, affection, and most of all, hair bows.

When I was little, my mom made sure I was a bona fide "bowhead."  I had plaid bows to match my school jumpers, I had satin bows to wear to church, I had bows for every holiday imaginable.

[Easter 1989]

I don't remember how or where my mother stored my bows, but I've seen super cute personalized options online.  While I don't know for sure what the color scheme for Baby Girl's nursery is, I'm pretty sure pink is always a safe bet.  So I headed down to my local Michael's and picked up the supplies to make this:


Want to make one?  It's pretty easy!

Start with the following:
1. A wooden craft letter.  I got mine at Michael's for $3.99 and it was already painted white.
2. A piece of scrapbook paper.  (16¢ at Michael's)
3. Modge Podge (I used Matte finish)
4. Ribbon (Length depends on how long you want the bow holders to be.  Mine are 18 inches, excluding the decorative bows at the bottom).
5. Hot glue
6. X-acto knife
7. Scissors
8. Sandpaper
9. Paint (optional)

That's it.

If you want to paint the edges of your letter (if, for example, white doesn't work with your paper or your letter is unfinished), do that first and let the paint dry.  Otherwise, start by turning your scrapbook paper face-down and your wooden letter on the back of the paper, also face-down.  Carefully trace around the letter with your X-acto knife.  I put down my self-healing quilting mat to cut so I wouldn't scratch my table.  If you have a self-healing mat, I'd use it.


Turn the paper and letter back over and carefully punch out the letter.  If there are places you missed with the knife, you can try to freehand the cuts (which is what I did) or turn the letter and paper back over and go back over the spots with the letter as your guide.

Take your Modge Podge and coat your letter.  Carefully position your paper on the letter and smooth out any bubbles.


Wait 15-20 minutes (or 5 if you're impatient like me).  Gently rub the edges of the letter with sandpaper to smooth off any spots where your paper didn't line up perfectly with your letter.

Swipe another coat of Modge Podge over the paper to seal the letter.  Let it dry.


While the Modge Podge is drying, go ahead and measure and cut your ribbons and plug in your hot glue gun.  Be sure to add about three extra inches to the length of your ribbons so you can glue them to the letter.


Once the Modge Podge has dried, hot glue your ribbon to the back of the letter.  Don't be stingy with the hot glue, since you don't want the ribbons to fall off.  I had about 4 inches of ribbon glue to the back.

For a nice, polished finish, add some "faux bows" to the bottom of the ribbon.


I call them "faux bows" because they aren't actually ribbons tied into bows but four pieces glued together.  I made a loop with the ribbon and glued it together, then glued a band around the middle and two little tails to the bottom.  It makes for a much neater finish.  Glue that bow to the end of the ribbons and there you go!  A custom bow-holder, perfect for your nursery...or your bosses'!

Have you made a bow holder of your own?  Were you a bowhead as a kid?  Tell me about it!

Long Live Summer

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Does anyone else hit the end of July/beginning of August and instead of dreading the end of summer, begin longing for autumn?  I find myself doing that almost every year, and I've just noticed the first twinges.  I'm trying to rally, though, because summer really is a magical time of year.


From ripe veggies, ready for pickling...


To fresh flowers to poke into an old Coke bottle...


To road trips with family and friends.

I feel like so many of us spend our lives rushing from one stage to the next, without taking time to stop and notice what's going on around us.  I know I do!  Since I got into iPhotography (taking artsy-fartsy photos with your iPhone), I've started seeing my world in a whole new light.


Whether it's the house I drove past for years...


Or the sky from the grocery store parking lot, just before a storm breaks.

Whether you take photos with a big fancy camera (and earn yourself the nickname 'Party Pics' at your pal's wedding) or with the cellphone you keep in your pocket, it's pretty hard to deny that summer is a pretty awesome time to be snapping, even if it's just around your neighborhood.  

I wish I had more of an opportunity to travel this summer.  I still love looking through my photos from last summer's adventure to England.  Alas, work and school have kept me stateside.  I'm thinking about entering this contest from Shutterfly, though.  (Remember them?  They're the place where I ordered my super cute Christmas cards with my baby Lilly's face on them.)  They're running a nifty photo contest right now and the grand prize is a trip to the Bahamas for four, complete with a professional photo shoot to commemorate the trip.  It sounds pretty simple - each week has a theme and you get prizes just for entering.  Week 2 is winding down, but there are still three more weeks.  Next week is "Water Fun," and I did go to a water park last week when my college roommate came by for a visit.

Definitely something to ponder, if I can get up the courage to post my pictures to a wide audience than my blog readers and Instagram friends.  

What about y'all?  Do you feel like summer is passing by too quickly or are you ready for falling leaves and pumpkin pie?  Am I the only one who had ditched her everyday pocket camera for her iPhone?  Will you be entering Shutterfly's contest?  As always, I'd love to hear about it!

Christmas in July

Monday, July 16, 2012


I have posted a couple of times about my Barbie ornament tree, but here's a quick and dirty rundown:  Every year, my mom buys me a Barbie ornament from the Hallmark store and it goes on my special white, 4-foot tall "Barbie tree."  I have over 100 and love them all.

Imagine my distress, therefore, when I read that Mattel was discontinuing its partnership with Hallmark after this year.  Meaning, that after 20-something years of getting my Barbie ornaments, they are no more!  At least they'll be going out with a bang, as some of this year's ornaments are really pretty.

This weekend was the Hallmark ornament premiere.  In July and October, Hallmark releases its ornaments.  The best Barbies come out in October, but there were some good ones out.  I'm really looking forward to October, though.

Tweed Indeed

Matinee Fashion

I picked up these two, and I'm still thinking about this one:

Student Teacher

Like I said, though, the best ones come out in October.  These three will DEFINITELY be coming with me!

2012 Celebration Barbie

 Proven├žale Barbie

Stunning in the Spotlight

I'm honestly a little embarrassed about how bummed I am that I won't be able to get any new Barbie ornaments after this year.  I guess I'll just have to turn to eBay to collect the ones I don't have from previous years.  (That's the consumer spirit!)

Am I crazy for being this sad?  Do y'all collect any special ornaments each year?  Is July way too early to even be talking about this?  Let me know!

Bamboozled

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My mom and I were at a local estate sale shop on Sunday, just moseying around, when I spotted this very nifty faux bamboo side table, complete with caned bottom.


It was marked $65, but it was half off since it was Sunday, bringing it to $32.50.  I got it for $20.  Bargain!  Except I don't have a place to put it.  

My bad.

But look at it!  It's so nifty and combines two of my favorite motifs: bamboo and caning.  There were also some STUNNING caned chairs.  But if I don't need another side table, I certainly don't need 8 more chairs.  See?  I'm not a total slave to my impulses.

 Now I just have to figure out what to do with it.  I'm not loving the scuffed up wood finish, so I did what any good DIYer does these days when needing inspiration:  PINTEREST.

[via]
Pale blue lacquer?

[via]
Glossy red?

[via]
Classic white?

[via]
Black?

What do y'all think?  Help a sister out!

In a "Pickle"

Sunday, July 1, 2012


I'm about to let you in on a secret: I'm really in to pickling right now.  Okay, if you follow me on Instagram, it's not much of a secret.  But seriously, I have discovered The Joy of Pickling, which, incidentally, is the name of my newly purchased book on the subject.  You know, in case I get bored with the recipe I've been using.


I knew I wanted to grow my own cucumbers and make pickles last year.  So I did.  Except...I'm not very good at growing cucumbers.  As in, I've grown a grand total of six.  And only four were pickle-worthy.

Whoops.


Luckily, I live in a town that has a Farmer's Market.  And guess what they sell at farmer's markets?  (Besides the sunflowers pictured above - I was super hipster that day).  CUCUMBERS!  And OKRA!

So I bought enough cucumbers to make six pints of pickles and enough okra to make one pint.  I'll let you know how they taste in mid-August.  My granny says you have to leave them alone for six weeks to really get them good and flavorful.  And I don't argue with my granny when it comes to good eats.

In case you want to give pickling a go yourself, here's my grandmother's recipe:

Alma's Dill Pickled Cucumbers
Ingredients
Fresh picked cucumbers
White vinegar
Salt
Dill
Hot peppers (I used serrano)
Garlic
Mixed pickling spices

1. 24 hours ahead: Mix up a bowl of brine (1 cup salt to 8 cups water) and place your cucumbers in the bowl.  Use a plate to weigh them down and keep them covered.  Soak for 24 hours.
2. Remove cucumbers and pat dry.
3. Fill your clean mason jars with hot water and set them aside.  This is to keep the abrupt temperature change in step 11 from shattering the glass.
3. Make a vinegar solution of 2 cups vinegar to 3 cups water and pour into a large pot.
4. Add 2 tablespoons of mixed pickling spices.  You can find these in a grocery store in a little tin.
5. Add several bunches of fresh dill (in the refrigerated section with the veggies).
6. Bring the concoction to a boil.
7. Add your cucumbers and remove from heat.
8. In a clean quart-sized mason jar, place 2 cloves of garlic, 2 small hot peppers (I only used one pepper per pint-sized jar), and a bunch of dill.
9. Cram the cucumbers into the jar.
10. Bring the vinegar solution back to a boil.
11. Pour the solution into the jars so that the cucumbers are covered.
12. Screw the lids onto the jar "fingertip tight," meaning don't use the palm of your hand, just your fingertips.  The air has to be able to escape the jar during the sealing process and if the lid is too tight, it can't.
13. In a large pot of water, bring enough water to cover your jars to a simmer.
14. Carefully place the jars in the simmering water for 5 minutes.  Don't leave them too long, or your pickles will be mushy.
15. Remove from pot using tongs or a tool made especially for this purpose (the Ball company makes the one I use) and set aside to cool.

Your pickles will be at optimum flavor in about 6 weeks, though you can eat them after about one.  The longer you leave them, the more like pickles they will be and the less like tangy cucumbers.

I used a modified version of this recipe for the okra.  I modified it mostly because I ran out of peppers and didn't brine the okra so I added salt to them.  We'll see how it goes.  

My super cute labels came from Limeshot Design and were totally free.  I just printed them on 67 lb. card stock and hot glued them onto my cooled jars.


Hope everyone else is enjoying summer's bounty as much as I am!

bourbon balls and derbies

Monday, June 25, 2012

I scampered up to Kentucky this weekend for a sorority sister's wedding.  Also in attendance were my dear friends and fellow bloggers, Faye and Rachel.  We had such a wonderful time sending our KD sister into married life.  I also visited Keeneland, Old Friends (a retirement rescue for ex-racers), and wandered around downtown Lexington.  So much fun!

The bride's charming hometown! 
Rehearsal dinner at the country club

The groom's cake 

A candy bar in the wedding colors.  OBSESSED with this idea.

Monogrammed cookies on every plate. 

They met me at the door with pink champagne - my kind of party.

She looked like a princess.

Are they not a beautiful couple?

So sweet.

Cutting the cake

Adorable pals (both with pretty blue eyes that redeye hates)

My sweet friends!

Best friends

Sometimes, uneeda biscuit.

Baby!

Miniature horse at the retired racehorse rescue

This guy would show his lip tattoo for a peppermint.

Keeneland

On the track

I had an amazing time in Kentucky and hope to go back to visit very soon!