Curtain Craft Fail

In an effort to finish decorating our bedroom, I finally decided on a pair of curtains (the originals looked like this) from Anthropologie. Nobody is surprised that I bought a pair of Anthro curtains, are you? (Note-the colors are off in this picture. I am terrible with figuring out light and ISO settings. You'll see better at the end of the post how everything looks. Just bear with me.) Our windows are extremely long, so we needed more panels. I didn’t want to and couldn't order more of the Anthro curtains because they were out of stock and I thought that it would be too much pattern. Which, is exactly why I decided to get rid of the original curtains…Anyhow. I wanted to pick up the deep plum in the curtains. "Self," I thought, "I have these linen drop cloths that I was going to use for curtains anyway. Why not just dye those purple?" "That is an excellent idea," I congratulated myself. "If it fails, I’ll only be out $6 for the dye." (I think I bought the drop cloths for $6 months ago) As it turns out, my inner monologue was spot on.
Here I am, blissfully unaware of what was about to happen. Adding hot water -la la la.
Stirring, Stirring. It looks purple. (Those flecks are boiling bubbles, I'm pretty sure.) Oh, drop cloth, you will be so pretty and so cheap. Mwah ha ha!
Man, that’s a lot of Barney colored fabric.
Um, yeah. That does not look good. At all. Crafting FAIL. I then spend the next day canvassing the stores to find suitable (and suitably priced) purple curtains.
Success! Ikea to the rescue. Deep plum and only $19.99 for two panels!
That’s how a major Crafting Fail led to my perfect curtains. Amen. Ok, I still need to take off the grommets at the top of the curtains and turn them into rod panels, but that will be MUCH easier than dyeing yards of heavy fabric. Oh well. I guess I have yards of purple tie dye fabric for um…I don’t know…something!

The SAG Awards Red Carpet Review

I can't stop. I love awards season. The gorgeous dresses and jewels make me want to get all dolled up and attend a fabulous party. Since I'm not heading to a red carpet anytime soon, here are my picks for the best dressed.
Jason Merritt/Getty
Lea Michele
Once again she's shining in Oscar de La Renta. Like I said, you can't go wrong in Oscar. Some people commented that her chest is a little bit too much on display. And, it is a bit. However, it's not vulgar (like January Jones at the Golden Globes). The dress is youthful but not trendy. It's very Greek Goddess with a fun twist of the belt. (I love belted looks.) Her hair and make-up are more casual than what she usually favors. Which is fine. Her look fits the occasion. It seems like the SAG Awards are a little more casual than the Golden Globes and far less casual than the Oscars. It's perfect and she looks hot. Love this dress. I would wear it all over the place because I think it's one of those pieces that would make me feel fabulous!
Jeff Vespa/Wire Image
Dianna Agron
The GLEE women are red carpet gold. They are almost always on the Best Dressed list. Dianna always looks gorgeous. She's definitely angling to prove she's more than just part of an ensemble cast, this look sets her apart. She's wearing Chanel Haute Couture like nobody's business. I like that the length is not quite full length. It gives the dress added interest. I think she nailed this look. She (or her stylist) has been hitting it out of the park lately. I could have done with a little less eye make-up. She could have gone a little more Grace Kelly with her hair and make-up and it would have been spectacular. I would also LOVE to have this dress. Pretty, sparkly, vintage feel-oh yes.
Jason Merritt/Getty
Julianna Margulies
Gorgeous. THIS is what everyone wanted to see at the Golden Globes. She should always dress like this; she looks ah-mazing. She looks fabulous in red.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Wire Image
Kyra Sedgwick
Kyra Sedgwick has such a great sense of what looks good on her. She always looks gorgeous. She usually goes for color, but this time is in vintage black. Come on. You can't go wrong. She also went for a more relaxed hair & make-up look and it really works. I love the look; I love the vintage, vintage black is even better.
Jeff Vespa/Wire Image
Natalie Portman
Even though I liked her Golden Globe dress, this dress (Azarro) is much nicer and much more flattering. The beading and twisted fabric at the top give the dress interest on top. A smart selection for a petite pregnant woman, that way you don't immediately see Bellybellybabybump. Very smart. I loved her hair. She did that low chignon thing that I can NOT get my hair to do. Classic, gorgeous and purposefully selected. It's almost like she's saying "I got this and I'm ready to assume my place as part of the elite actors now."
January Jones
Thank God for Carolina Herrera. OMG. SO MUCH BETTER. She listened to the collective groans from the internet after her terrible skanky Globes outfit. This is how you show the world that you are gorgeous, without having to show everything. I love the vintage feel. Carolina Herrera's designs are so feminine. She looks very Grace Kelly but with an extra va-va-voom. Well done.
Julia Stiles
Gorgeous. I love this look. I want her hair. I want this dress. I have nowhere to wear it, of course...I love how the colors melt into each other like a watercolor painting. I love that her hair and make-up is relaxed but beautiful. Perfect.
Nicole Kidman
There has to be a worst dressed at every event. I didn't see every dress, but Nicole Kidman stood out. It's so disappointing because you know she gets the pick of whatever she wants to wear and she picks this?! Blech. It's so Morticia Adams. Why? Why not choose a color? Why not lighten up a little bit. Also, that lace cut out looks itchy. Ew.

Did I pick your best dressed? I was a little disappointed that Helena Bonham Carter seemed so restrained last night. I guess Winona Ryder made up for it-what a weird dress.

Friday Favorite- Cutest Penguin Chucks

I just realized that I haven't posted any of my favorite gifts or things for kids. Well, let's rectify that, shall we? My parents got these adorable shoes for my nephew's birthday. There are no words. Adorable, cute, unbelievably adorable don;t do the shoes justice...they are the cutest shoes ever. The shoes have wings on the side! And little webbed feet on the back! Too-- much cuteness--on overload. Lucky for you (or for some lucky little one), they are also on super sale and under $20. Hurry.

Penguin Converse for Kids, a Friday Favorite

My Fabulous Five Bloggers

Five Bloggers who make my life Fabulous

Thanks to Trop 50 for sponsoring my writing about fabulous bloggers. This year Trop50 is granting 50 fabulous wishes. Click here to enter for a chance to win $1,000 to help grant a friend's wish!

Almost every day I discover something fabulous on the internet/blog world. I am constantly bookmarking ideas, recipes, tutorials, or even paint colors. The blog world is just so amazingly vast and diverse. I really do learn something new every day and that’s a big reason I will continue to be a part of this community. I don’t expect or aspire to a full-time blogging job, sponsorship, or book deal. So far, I have gotten exactly what I want- a community where I feel comfortable sharing my ideas. These five women are big reasons I love this community so much. Each woman is incredibly smart, talented, creative, inventive, enterprising, and kind. They are authors, artists, pioneers, speakers, wives, and mothers. They are women I am either lucky enough to call a friend, or would be friends with in real life. In short, I think they are fabulous.

Karen Walrond, Chookooloonks- I’ve said it once, twice, probably a million times, Karen is one of my favorite people. She's also one of my favorite bloggers. Karen introduced me to blogging years ago and has inspired me ever since. Her photography is captivating. Her posts are different from most people. You can tell that she thinks very purposefully before writing. As a result, her writing is quite powerful. *There’s a lesson there for me…anyway…Karen is also one of the most authentic people I’ve ever met. She is exactly who she means to be. It’s really amazing. I’m not sure she knows that she radiates calm and inspires beauty by just being her. She’s the only person I’ve ever met that made me believe in auras. I swear you can see who she is when she walks into the room. I think her aura is key to her ability to make people feel at ease that allows her to take such searing portraits. Her search for beauty has inspired so many and it’s easy to see why. And, yes, I practically jumped out of my skin to be her subject. Yes, I’m in the book. And, I’m going to keep talking about the book because I think it is so great. Really great (buy it today!). Those days where I get to talk or text Karen make me smile. Our family really enjoys being around her family and we always feel so welcome when we are in a Walrond home. Perhaps most importantly, she introduced me to my next Top Blogger, so I’ll love her forever.

Mir Kamin,,,, What can I say about Mir? I love her. I think she is one of the most talented writers blogging today. Her writing completely draws you in to her world. Mir was probably the 2nd blog I ever read and is now one of the first I check each day. Mir’s words tell her everyday stories and struggles. I feel like I’ve journeyed with her as she worked her way through a tough divorce to a new marriage, and all points in between. Her writing is real and completely truthful. She conveys exactly what is going on, and through her descriptions, I feel like I know her. That sounded a little stalkery... I mean, I feel like I’m one of her friends just sitting down at her kitchen table and eating a loaf of her bread. She’s a mom trying to do the best for her children. I worry with her through her son’s surgery and I support her in trying to encourage Chickadee as she grows into a young woman. Mir’s love for her children is evident. She parents her children with love and humor, and I find it incredibly enlightening. I learn so many parenting techniques from Mir. If she ever decides to write a book, it should be called, “How to raise successful, well adjusted nerdlings amongst the turmoil of everyday life and save some serious cash and perhaps your sanity through it all.” (Mir, you can have that one for free!) Mir is incredibly smart, as evidenced by her writing and her business savvy. I’m not even mentioning wantnot, her freelance writing gigs, and consulting jobs. Just. Wow. Smart. I love women who are unafraid to embrace their intelligence. I really appreciate how kind Mir is to her readers; she still takes the time to respond to comments. Emailing and texting with Mir also makes my day. She’s one of those friends that you feel like you can just pick up wherever you left off. I cannot wait to see her in April.

Gabrielle Blair-,, Babble-I met Gabby briefly at Mom 2.0 and she was just as lovely as you would imagine. Her stylish blog is representative of her sense of style. She’s one of the very few people that can pull of a full length caftan. I’ve loved Gabby’s site for years. It has been my “go to” source for ideas, inspiration, crafts, etc. Gabby’s also created a mini empire in a very organic way. You can’t hate her for any success she creates. You can’t hate her for having a beautiful family (and staying sane among 6 children). You can’t hate her for moving to France...well, ok, maybe we can hate her a little for moving to France. Gabby’s site is a wonderful conglomeration of thoughts about family, creativity, crafts, style, and she takes time to spotlight lots of other similarly minded blogs. Gabby is a very well known blogger, who again takes time to respond to comments and spotlight smaller blogs, writers, and artisans for whom the exposure can really make a difference. Although I only met her briefly, I know she has a winning personality that makes sponsors/companies want to give her tons of cool items to giveaway. As a reader, I appreciate that. Whenever I’m stumped for a gift idea or styling need, I go to Gabby.

Jen Hadfield- Tatertots & Jello. I just discovered Jen a little over a year ago but I feel like I’ve been reading her for years. I use the term “Crafting & Decor Goddess” for her and it is 100% correct. She thinks of amazing projects all the time and, get this, she ACTUALLY makes them happen! Her projects are gorgeous. So is she. She has given me and so many other “small” bloggers a larger platform. She constantly spotlights others and supports others. Jen’s blog is a stand-out among the hundreds of other craft and decor blogs. Many of the projects and ideas Jen has written about have had a huge impact in her niche community. In a community where imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Jen is very flattered! I think she’s one of the few powerful bloggers who truly doesn’t know her impact. Jen is one of those bloggers that I would dearly love to meet. Again, Jen also takes the time to respond to her comments, and continues to grow her social presence in a very natural way. I would love to see her host a show/vlog at some time. She’s a natural born star. I’m telling you, watch her if you don’t already!

Jenny Lawson- The Blogess, GoodMom/Bad Mom and a million other places. No list of fabulous bloggers is complete without Jenny. She’s amazing. Sometimes I wonder how her mind works. But, I don’t wonder about her. I’ve met Jenny a couple times and she’s just so ...I don’t know how to accurately describe her. I imagined her to be this amazingly boisterous personality. But, she’s not. She’s quiet, observant, and thoughtful and kind. I’ve met a number of “big” bloggers (and some who just think they are big) and Jenny is one of the few who actually remembers me and engages everyone in conversation, not just those she thinks can do something for her or her brand. It’s refreshing and real. She uses her power for good. It's also well settled that she’s funny. Hysterically, bizarrely, spit your coke out funny. Also, every time I pass a taxidermy shop I think of Jenny. I'm not so sure that's a positive compliment, but is nonetheless true. So, she’s definitely had an impact on me and my life!

There are so many other bloggers that I could have easily spotlighted for being equally fabulous like T, Susan, Sandi; that inspire me like Kelle and Matt; that make me laugh; or just make me glad that they are my friends (with incredible style) like Pam. But, let’s be honest, any longer and you might have started throwing tomatoes at me.

Don't forget to enter the 50 Fabulous Wishes contest for a chance to win $1,000 to support a friend's wish. I was selected for this Tropicana Trop50 sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do. I received compensation to use and facilitate my post.

Tweets & Twits from My Life

Some of you follow me on Twitter (aren't you lucky?!), but since most of you may not, I thought today was a good day to include some snippets from my life over the past couple months:

"Does it count if we're just naked?" (Overheard from Em at bath time)

"Did you know boys can be named "Bob"?" said in a whisper

There is a woman in front of me @Target carrying her fully capable tweenage daughter like a toddler. Suspect we're being filmed...edited to add what the man behind me said, "That better not ever be me."
“Mommy, I can’t eat this anymore, it makes my throat hurt.”

“I know why he doesn’t follow directions, he’s from Hawaii.” Em- “I want to move to Hawaii.”

Me- “I don’t really like driving in the dark when I’m not sure where I’m going.” Him- “You never know where you’re going.”

Husband just left for a business trip. Is it just me or is it weird that he also packed his hunting gear?

My 4yr old is channeling the Beastie Boys “No Sleep til Brooklyn.”#ButwearenotgoingtoBrooklyn

I don’t care what anyone says, “Jaws” is some of Richard Dreyfus’ best work.
My 4 year old came home from preschool with a side ponytail and is now applying lip gloss.
Apparently she’s channeling her ‘80’s teen?!

Nothing says “Trust me with your legal issues” like a juice box.

Husband’s comment on Zale’s commercial- “What is that? A cobra? She’s not going to like a snake necklace.”
*My formatting is all wonky this week. Sorry about the spacing issues. Guess I really do need to transfer to a "big girl .com" blog soon!

Longhorn TV

Back to the Gridiron & What I'll Be Watching
Warning-I may be compensating for not writing about college football with what might be my longest post in the history of ever.*
You may have wondered, "Why hasn't Elz, a self proclaimed HUGE college football fan, written about college football in months?" Well, honestly, last season was just depressing. Demoralizing. beyond Bad. Sad. and Unexplainable. I think Texas now holds the record for worst performance after a National Championship performance. Our season was just pitiful. Terrible play calling, terrible lack of an offensive scheme, a total failure to come together as a team...We didn't even get a bowl game! Not that we deserved it. ANYHOW. Texas Football hasn't been silent. There was the long awaited firing and complete restructuring of the coaching staff, recruit shake-ups, and most recently the announcement of the Texas TV Network. *If you haven't heard, The University of Texas and ESPN announced a 20 year $300 million partnership creating the Longhorn television Network that will be owned, distributed, and operated by ESPN but with UT providing the programing.* And, finally I'm out of hiding. The TV deal is a game changer.

It's no secret that Texas has wanted its own television network for years. The school was pretty up front about the TV network being a major deal point last summer during the realignment talk. I believe two of the major reasons that Texas did not switch conferences (Yes, I believe Texas held all the cards and decided not to move) were: 1) Texas wanted its own TV deal/network, 2) Texas is linked with A&M through the legislature, public funding, etc. so we can't move unless they are part of the deal. (That's why it would be GREAT for us if A&M ever does move to the SEC. I think it would be terrible for them recruiting and competition wise. I also think their endowments will decrease, but it would allow us the freedom to choose our own destiny...).

The Longhorn Network. What would it be? Who would watch...Who wouldn't watch? Texas is one of the largest schools in America. Texas grads live throughout the world. I remember an Alcade article on the highest concentration of alumnae outside of Texas being in the L.A. and New York area. Those are large and important TV markets. It's one reason that Texas is such a great travel team, the tickets always sell out. However, grads who relocate outside the state often miss games. Prior to this year, fans in Texas could find Texas football games on either a major network or sports channel (like ESPN or Fox Sports Southwest). Most of the time you can also find Texas basketball on network or cable. The rest of the sports are hit and miss. The alumna up North, or to the East might not have found coverage at all. While football is a major money maker and audience builder, there are a number of homes that would tune in to see more baseball games, and more than just a score or highlight from volleyball, golf, and swimming. Additionally, there are a number of fans who would gladly pay for coverage of more regular season games (like many of my friends in NYC). Texas is a strong sports program in general, even if you just relied on graduated athletes to turn into their alma mater sports coverage, you'd still have good numbers watching the Women's Volleyball at 9:30 and Men's Golf at 2pm. The network also promises Longhorn Olympics coverage. I assisted with the Men's Swimming team while I was at UT and really enjoyed watching those guys swim at several subsequent summer games. Most of the swimmers I know have retired by now, but it would be nice to see additional coverage of this sport and the athletes.
The Longhorn "Value Added" Network
In addition to additional opportunities for alumnae and fan viewing, the Longhorn Network is a huge value to The University. First, the deal itself represents straight revenue. Texas is a public university and depends on endowments, gifts, and public appropriation. The less money Texas has to request from the Legislature, the better. The more money Texas is able to raise for itself means the ability to decide where that money goes. It may mean that The University is able to keep its fees lower, to increase compensation for professors and staff, etc. There's also huge PR and marketing value. Texas will have its own 24-7 advertisement. The programming will not be 100% games, there will be a mixture of games, news, athlete interviews, etc. All of these programs will give potential students the ability to get more of a feel for Longhorn life. Free advertising and control over a nationally prominent brand. That's a huge win. It's also a huge step up in the recruiting world.
Texas is a major program and force in the national sports dialogue. I don't care who you are or what team you support, you can not deny that Texas is a major player. Most of the credit for this goes to DeLoss Dodds and his strategic plan to move to increased prominence over the past decade. That said, sports analysts and writers are obsessed with certain coastal schools and conferences (that frankly don't deserve the press they get -cough- USC). So, the ability to highlight our success means we will be less at the mercy of the occasional snippet or SI story. Further, the Texas Network will be a permissible way to increase recruiting presence. Not only will high school athletes in various sports be able to see their future team play, they will have additional insight to future teammates, coaches in a way they might not have gotten through a visit. Additionally, a high school athlete may find themselves spotlighted on coverage of high school games or student athletes. The possibility that The Longhorn Network may air certain high school games is a major win for recruiting. When you are able to get your school, your coaching, your programs out into a high school player's home 24-7, that's a huge benefit to recruiting. That said, football recruiting is not an area that Texas has traditionally needed help as Mack has recruited the top or one of the top recruiting classes every year for the past decade. However, it will be useful as the football program adjusts to new coaches.
I'm excited to see what develops. I'm excited to learn more about coaches, student athletes, and get more in-depth coverage through the Longhorn Network. I love feeling that connection that you get from being on campus or at a game. Since I'm not able to attend many games or walk around campus that often, the Longhorn Network will be my ticket.
If Oprah can have her OWN network, Why not Texas? Speaking of Oprah, how cool would a "Master Class" of Longhorn Alumnae be? Sportswise you could interview Phil Dawson, Colt McCoy, even Ricky Williams, Basketball greats, or just fmous Alums like Matthew McConnahubbahubba. Oh yes!
Bottom Line: This is a great deal for all concerned. I'm excited. I'm ready to sign up for the Longhorn Network. I'll be watching!
*I'll return you to regularly scheduled posting tomorrow*

Friday Favorite- The Perfect Red Lipstick

Photo- Laura Mercier

The Perfect Shade of Red-no lie!
My friend Pam tweeted a couple weeks ago about finding the perfect red. Pam has never led me astray...though she wears open toe booties, you know how I feel about that! (She rocks it, but me? Notsomuch.) Anyhow, I've been on the hunt for the perfect shade of red for about a year and have tried everything from MAC to Dolce & Gabbana to CoverGirl, Revlon, and now Laura Mercier. I'm here to tell you, the hunt is over. Laura Mercier's Truly Red Lipstick is truly red. Awesome. The staying power could be better, but generally it wears like a dream. Get one today; you can thank me and Pam later.

A Friday's favorite for sure.

*As always, my Friday's Favorite is not sponsored or compensated in any way (though I'd be so happy if Laura Mercier or Sephora would send me free make-up!).

Finishing a Little Home Shopping

It may surprise you to find out that I don't like shopping in general. I like finding. No, strike that, I love finding at a great deal. In fact, my friends sometimes say, tell Elz what you want and she'll find it for less. (Except the elusive Bow Tied Beauty Boots. ebay has precious few of those). I've been trying to finish decorating my bedroom - Ha! I CAN keep part of my resolution. I've been on the look-out for curtains, bedding, and a rug to bring the room together.

I have curtains that are geometric and bold and make a statement, but after living with them for awhile, I think they make too much of a statement. So, I've been looking for something slightly more subdued but still with an impact. Right now, I'm loving these curtains from Anthropologie (be still my wallet).


And this bedding set from Restoration Hardware (in gray or brown).

Photo-Restoration Hardware

I'm leaning toward the grays, which also matches my Modern Bird piece that I will show you soon. Anyone know how to save some money on the bedding and curtains? (Other than stalking eBay?) *Edited to remove all references to a company I initially wrote about that was kind of jerky and thought they could dictate my words in exchange for a discount code. No. Just no. That's all I'll say about that...for now.

Golden Globes Fashion Recap

Hollywood loves giving awards, doesn't it/they? I don't really love watching the shows, but I love watching the dresses! I missed the majority of the Golden Globes while I was traveling, but managed to catch most of the red carpet. Yea! In general, I thought the women looked great at the Globes, so finding my favorites was difficult.

I loved Eva Longoria's look. I know she's done a variation of this same dress (form fitting, long, mermaid hem) over and over but, why stop? She looks FANTASTIC. The cap sleeves and cut out gave the right amount of interest to her face and neck and the brooch at her waist really drew you in to her teeny tiny waist. I thought she looked perfect.
People seem divided over Natalie Portman's dress. Maybe it is a bit twee with the sweet rose. It would have worked better with a jeweled brooch or diamond neckline instead of the rose. But, I don't care. I think she looks happy. I love how she accessorized her outfit. I wish she would have worn her hair at least partly down. I think it would have balanced the outfit more and not made it so severe. A number of ladies had severe updos and could have used a little less hair "did" (Scarlett Johannson, I'm talking to you! Maybe she made one of those "massager" ads before coming to the Globes?!) Overall I really liked her outfit.
I loved Lea Michele's look. I loved that it was a light and airy pink color, but it had great structural elements on the side. In my opinion, you just can't go wrong with Oscar de la Renta. She was demure but noticeable. Well done. Also, her hair and make-up were spot on. The GLEE ladies all could have easily been included, everyone looked fabulous.
At first I was undecided about Anne Hathaway look. I LOVE her; we watch a lot of "The Princess Diaries" and "Ella Enchanted" around here. And, normally she hits it straight out of the park. This look took me a little while for me to decide. But, I like it. First, she looks Fabulous. Amazing freaking fabulous. Second, she beat Angelina Jolie at her own game- sequined/pailettes (?) colored long sleeved gown with padded shoulders. Not a small accomplishment. Kudos, Anne (and Rachel Zoe!)...

There were two looks I really did not like. I was sad to see Michelle Williams wearing what can only be described as an Easter Prom dress. Terrible. You can't even call it a hippie throwback. It's just ugly. I love feminine details. But, her dress is bad. She has such a lovely look about her and is usually so confident in dressing with her own style. I wish we would have seen more of that. Or, maybe this is her style. In which case-me no likey.

Even more no likey. I get it, January. You have a rockin' bod. Put it away. Slutty is not sexy. But, you have pretty hair. The end.

Photos: Eva Longoria, Michelle Williams, January Jones- Evan Agostini/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank; Lea Michele- Steve Granitz/Wire Image; Natalie Portman- Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Wishful Wednesday

Why I wish I had these Bow Tied Beauties

I think it’s well settled that I love Anthropologie. I love the way their store looks and inspires me (to buy-Ha!). I love that their clothes are unique enough that you don’t see everyone wearing them. I love their awesome customer service. What I do not love is the dedicated Anthropologie shopping contingent that makes sale items disappear just as soon as they go on sale. I missed one of my wish items and can’t stop thinking about it. These Bow Tied Beauty boots.

Boots for me are a tough sell. I have no problem buying cowboy boots. That purchase makes sense for a Texas gal. I also have a couple pairs of leather boots that I can wear with skirts & dresses in the fall. But, boots like this are hard for me to justify. We (usually) don’t get that cold. Where would I wear them? I can’t pay $$$ for them. Until this winter. Dang. It’s been COLD. My feet are freezing. Tomorrow I have client meetings in Santa Fe, New Mexico where it is -5 at night! And I have no real shoes to wear. Not Good. These perfect boots FINALLY went on sale a couple weeks ago. SOLD OUT before I could check the sale in the morning. I may have even resorted to calling Customer Service every few days to see if anyone, anywhere has returned a pair. No dice.

The worst part is that my usual Internet shopping has turned up nothing. I know the designer, Lucky Penny, but NOBODY else carries their shoes. I’ve checked Endless, 6pm, Amazon, Zappos, Nordstrom, Overstock, all the usual suspects, Nothing.

If you see a pair of these anywhere (8 or 8.5), let me know! Moral of the story- always buy the boots. Always.

Resolutions Schmesolutions

Remember how I was very resolved that I wasn't going to start any new projects? I was absolutely, really going to finish projects before starting anything new? Yeah, um, I suck at that. I have been good at working on existing projects and may have updates...soon(ish?). But, I've also been thinking. My husband and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year. I think that's a good reason to celebrate. So, I've been thinking about planning an anniversary party. Nothing too lavish, but a fun party for our friends and family. Of course, I've already made notes on the venue, decor, invitations, theme, it's a little out of control. I can't help it, I love planning parties. My question to you, what did you or would you want to do for your 10th Anniversary? Should I scrap the stress of a party and just plan a vacation? Find a nice piece of shiny sparkly for me? Hmm, decisions.

Friday Favorite- American Girl

We are an American Girl house.* For the past two years, our girls have steadily amassed four dolls and various pieces of clothing, accessories, etc. Last year we decided (OK, I decided and my husband went along with the idea) that it would be fun to surprise the girls with a post-Christmas trip to the American Girl Cafe and Store in Dallas. To say the visit was a huge hit is putting it mildly. I wish you could see their faces in the pictures I took. The American Girl people have thought of everything. There were doll seats at the table, a doll hair and earring salon, there was even a spot for the girls to place their dolls in the bathroom stalls. So cute. The store itself is massive and a bit daunting. Fortunately, I made reservations for lunch. If you decide to take your little girl to an American Girl Cafe, reservations are a must. The day we went, there was a huge line of people waiting to be seated (without reservations).
The Cafe is done in pinks and greens and is just the cutest thing. (Imagine a picture here, all my pictures from our lunch have the girls' faces in them-no posting.) My word. So adorable. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the wait staff was and how good the food tasted. Having lunch with my family at the American Girl Cafe is definitely a Friday Favorite. I should note that going to American Girl Cafe was NOT my husband's favorite. (Shocking that my hunting & fishing football watching husband didn't like the doll store, huh?!) However, if they had a bar, that might be a different story. He even said "If they charged me $25 for a beer, I'd probably pay it!"

*I made a decision years ago to choose the American Girl dolls over Barbie. Let me be clear-There's nothing wrong with letting your daughter have Barbie. It's just not what I want to give to my children. I think Barbie is an idealized version of what a woman "should" look like. I try to be selective in the female models I set out for my children. American Girl dolls, while expensive, stand for good values such as girl power, independence, compassion, and other worthwhile virtues. An added bonus is that the American Girl accessories aren't as small so you don't constantly step on teeny tiny high heels and sunglasses. My daughters have gotten a couple Barbie type of dolls and those dolls are cast aside pretty quickly. Watch out though, once you're on that American Girl mailing list, those catalogs are like crack to little girls.

**Not a paid or sponsored post in any way. I really do like the American Girl dolls. However, if American Girl wants to provide me with free dolls, doll stuff, or sponsorship, that would really come in handy. (Those doll accessories aren't cheap!)

The Finish Line

A New Year, A New Me?
Everyone is talking about resolutions. The gym is full of people. The refrigerator at work is full of salads. All the magazines are telling me how to lose weight, redecorate, a "New Me! a New You!" I know people who have made vision boards and inspiration boards and picked words to guide their year. I usually make a few lofty goals and then beat myself up if I don't stick to my promise to myself. This year I really thought about what I needed to do, what I wanted to accomplish, what would help me grow. It didn’t take long for me to come up with my answer. Instead of starting something new, I need to finish. I start LOTS of projects. I’m not finished decorating any room in my house yet. I wasn’t able to race in either of the two half marathons I signed up for last year. I have tons of scrapbook stuff for the girls and have only made 3 or 4 pages. Even at work, I end up starting way too many projects for my clients and then get stressed out because I have to finish them all in a short period of time. I need to FINISH. So, that’s my goal for the year. To finish. I intend to finish. I want to finish some decorating; finish a number of craft projects; and, of course, finish at least one race. I think if I can remember to finish what I am working on, it will help me START so much more.

Where We Were-Our Mini Tour of Texas

Wow. It feels like I've been gone from the Internet for weeks. I've been gone from "regular life" for some time too. It was a nice and needed break. We squeezed a lot out of the last week. After Christmas we embarked on a 900 mile tour of Texas including Great Wolf Lodge, the American Girl Store & Cafe, friends and family, and ending up in the Hill Country. Actually, ending up with two stomach viruses...but, who is counting?? I'll eventually update everything, but here are snippets of our Hill Country time.
We fed the sheep.
The girls loved all the baby sheep.
We toured the countryside. We looked for deer and found this baby on the property. Those deer move fast once they see you!
Of course, the girls did a craft or two.
Another given, s'more time with good friends.

Now, it's back to regular life and back to reality (name that song!). Hope your holiday time off was just as wonderful, but without any stomach illnesses.