Monday Musings

I came home from a four day business trip from a very windy and cold Baltimore-and less than 12 hours later headed out to the property. That was some serious culture shock- Northern city on the water to rural Texas.

Baltimore was actually really cool (and COLD), but that town must have some sort of exclusivity agreement with Pepsi. I'm a Coke girl. It took me a day to find a place that served Coke or a convenience store that sold them! Two hotels- no Cokes. I don't drink coffee, so Coke is my caffeine and I was dragging from the early morning meetings and time change. But, man, the food was Amazing. And, I'm a food snob.

The girls and I went exploring looking for bluebonnets and found fairy houses, tons of cacti, even a "mini Grand Canyon," but sadly very few Bluebonnets. I guess last Fall was too dry for them. While we were exploring, we stopped by my husband's newest project- a wild hog trap. He told me to look for a new "white deer shed." OK. I thought it was bizarre that we wouldn't have seen a deer blind/shed before since we've had the property for a couple years now. But, off we went. The girls and I drove over where he told me it was and looked, and looked, and nothing. I told him we couldn't find anything. Later on he took us out to the spot where there was a white deer shed-antler! Like, when they outgrow their antlers--like these for $50. Seriously.

We stay in our cabin while we are at the Property. A short distance away is a shed. My husband was rummaging about in there looking for God knows what for his pig trap project when he found a BLACK WIDOW spider. WTH?? He told me, "Don't worry, Black Widows don't go into houses. Not like Brown Recluses." Oh, great. That is NOT helping. Obviously, I'm never going back.

Our Property has a number of "retro salvage" pieces on it- old glass, rusted cans, barbed wire, etc. We tell the girls that they get a quarter for every piece they find -mostly so old barbed wire won't poke holes in our tires. This weekend they made over $3.00 each. Quite a racket! I'm sure we could Craigslist some of our "finds" for more than a quarter considering deer antlers are going for $50!

Speaking of Craigslist, I'm in the midst of spray painting an awesome dresser I found on Craigslist. I think I'm probably the most talented spray painter ever- I can get spray paint on the bottom of my feet. I have no idea.

Friday Favorite-Chocolate Nibs of Happiness

I bought myself a monthly surprise box for Christmas; PopSugar's monthly Must Have box. The litany of ways I think this box is better than others...ahem...Birchbox is another post entirely. As part of the February box, I received Mariebelle Chocolate nibs. They were almost too pretty to eat. Almost. Mine were dark chocolate and they were-everything delicious. I don't even really like dark chocolate. They were just enough chocolate to fit the bill, but small enough so that I didn't feel bad eating them. A small handful a day at that 2-3 pm slump and I was good to go. Until last week when I had my last one. It was a dark day indeed (pun intended).

Via PopSugar

Mariebelle Chocolate nibs- my Friday Favorite.

Habemus Papum

My faith and spirituality are incredibly important to me. I really love being Catholic; kind of weird, but true. It's an important faith tradition that I pass to my children. While I do not agree with everything my Church teaches, I believe in the Faith, the Sacraments, and the unique aspects of my religion. One of my fondest memories is attending Mass with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. It wasn't a private audience, but it was impressive and he extended blessings upon me and my family. Being in Rome as a's just an amazing experience. Anyhow, I've followed the retirement of Pope Benedict and the resulting papal conclave with great interest. Basically, I've read just about anything written on the subject in the past month. I was glued to the Internet when the white smoke came and watched the balcony for the first glimpse of the new Pope. Pope Francis! I was surprised. I hoped for a South American or African pope. I was convinced that Cardinal Scherer would be a front runner (for all we know, he was). Bergoglio wasn't even on my list. Shows what I know. Anyhow, I think a Pope from the Americas is a great signal and an incremental step to more progressive changes (this is a 2,000 year old church, we move in baby steps).

Today, I am happy to have witnessed the papal transition. In honor of Pope Francis and the awesome service he now performs, I intend to pray the prayer of St. Francis-at least until Easter.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Monday Musings

I have to tell you about this baby shower I went to for a friend of mine. My friend is expecting her first child and most of her friends are new moms themselves. It's so funny to see all these new moms and first time moms to be now-eight years after I was one. I just wanted to sit everybody down, give them a glass of wine, and very forcefully (but politely) tell them to "Chill Out." I mean, they stressed me out. One lady was shocked that her 2 year old daughter came home from day care and said the word "Princess." Shocked! I mean, she never lets her play with gender specific toys, and only gives her superhero toys, and there is no pink, and she shows her daughter the President's picture every day. Um, yeaahhhh. You're going to need to Chill the F out. Also, shouldn't you be showing her Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Eleanor Roosevelt or Margaret Thatcher's picture? If you're going to quiz your toddler daughter, use the right public figure-Gah! (Kidding, I think it's RIDICULOUS to flashcard toddlers.) At least wait until they are 4. Kidding.

There were a lot of fun parts too, like discovering Izze soda. Hello, delicious. Why hasn't anyone told me about this before? Yummy. Slightly addicted.

Also, slightly addicted to Craigslist. I got another great piece of furniture for the bonus room this weekend. Despite my husband's grumbling, "But whhhhy do we need another dresser? We can just move things around." Until my daughter said, "Daddy, mommy wants a new style." From the mouths of babes.

Friday Favorites- Rad Mod

I have some deep thoughts percolating right now- the Pope resigned, Marissa Mayer is being attacked for making a business decision, my family is sick, the Oscars, how amazing Les Mis cast sing is...anyhow, I need to sort out my thoughts. Lately my outlet has been imagining our soon to be done (soon = 4 or 5 months) bonus room. I have two Emilys to thank for that-1) my friend Emily from name5things. Girl has style out the wazoo (her house is amazing) and MAD furniture finding skills. Like vintage campaign dressers that she finds for $20. Yeah, that NEVER happens to me. Well, her skills paid off for me when I got a text from her Sunday saying- "Campaign desk on Craigslist." About 3 minutes later, I had arranged to buy my first Craigslist furniture piece. A legit vintage campaign desk! All I had to do was sit on my hiney and watch the Oscars. Niiiice. Emily got the raddest dresser from the same Craigslist seller. All I needed was that first push and now I am off on the decorating train for the bonus room. I've got a blank slate and a head full of ideas!

The other Emily I have to thank is Emily Henderson from HGTV's Secrets from a Stylist. I've been following her blog since the season she won Design Star and her style is awesome. It's quirky and eclectic and colorful and seeing her work has encouraged me to try new things...she also has the skillz for finding vintage pieces and making them WERQ. Exhibit A-I want this so hard you don't even know.

I am in serious WANT mode. She's selling it next week at One Kings Lane. But her last sale pretty much sold out in minutes. Even if I don't get it, at least I have an idea of what I could do with a similar chair and am on the look-out. Ok, really, I'm going to tell Emily to be on the look-out for me!!

My Friday Favorites- the Emilys and rad mod pieces.