November 30, 2011

the last day of november

Today is the last day of November, and everyone knows that the last day of November is the day you dump all your leftover fall-ish photos, and then accompany those photos with random bits of blather that have been floating around in your noggin. That way, your brain and your blog are fresh and clean and ready to be all sparkly and cinnamony and full of glitter and Christmas cheer come December first.

Which happens to be tomorrow, by the way.


1. First and foremost, I finally found my sock monkey slippers.

I have been looking for my sock monkey slippers since the middle of October. I did such a fabulous job last spring of putting away my winter wardrobe that I couldn't find my slippers or any of my wool sweaters or my two favorite Target Christmas t-shirts. And believe me, I've been looking. For weeks and weeks. But the other morning, by the light of my cell phone aka flashlight, as my hubby was still sleeping, I found them tucked neatly and safely away in the trunk in my bedroom. Which is where I always put my winter sweaters and my favorite Target Christmas t-shirts, and pretty much everything else winter apparel related, so I'm not quite sure why it didn't occur to me earlier to look there for my sock monkey slippers.

I guess it's just another nail in the I'm losing my mind coffin.

Or maybe it's just another brick in the wall.

Yes, I've had too much coffee this morning. Why do you ask?

2. Dave's bread. Yes, I'm going to talk about Dave's bread again.

I'm sorry.

On my road trip earlier this month, I bought so much Dave's Killer bread that we can barely get our freezer closed. I couldn't even stock up on ice cream when it was on sale last week. That's how full my freezer is.

As soon as I got home from my road trip, I got a call from a friend who was shopping at our local grocery store, and she told me she was standing in front of a table where they were giving out samples of Dave's bread because our local grocery store was going to start carrying every single kind of bread that Dave makes.

Needless to say, I'll be holding a slightly smushed frozen Costco twin pack Dave's bread giveaway any day now.

Be watching for it.

3. I'm also going to talk about soup pots again.

I know.

Because I got such a killer deal on my 7.25 qt Caribbean Blue Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Round French Oven, I still had a very substantial Macy's credit left. So I once again popped onto Macy's site and discovered that the smaller but equally useful 5.5 qt Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Round French Oven in the lovely Caribbean Blue color was back in stock. In addition, they were offering a bonus gift of two - TWO! - Enameled Stoneware Baking Dishes - a $160.00 value!!! - if you spend $200.00.

Sign. Me. Up.

I'm a sucker for a bonus.

I'm also a person who pretty much goes by the picture and doesn't always read the fine print or even the not so fine print for that matter, and therefore just assumed that my bonus baking dishes were a 9x13 and a 9x13's little sister. Please tell me that for a $160.00 value you'd be tempted to think you were getting a 9x13 out of the deal?

You wouldn't? You'd actually read the description beneath the picture of your $160.00 valued bonus?

Well then.

I actually burst out laughing when I opened the box and found a very cute and little 5x7 baking dish and the somewhat larger and perhaps slightly more useful 7x10.

They are adorable, that's for sure. They're also a very pretty bright and shiny red. If anyone has suggestions for what one might bake in a 5x7 sized baking dish, I'd love to hear them.

I should probably finish up this story by telling you that the day after my Bonus Baking Dishes arrived, I went to TJ Maxx and saw the exact same 5x7 dish for $7.99.


Not 79.99.


Occupy Macy's!

4. Are you getting tired yet?

Me too.

I'm almost done. I promise.

5. We put the Christmas tree up on Monday, and true to form, we had lighting issues from the get-go. I amazed and impressed myself by changing out the fuses in one of the misbehaving strings all by myself. That was after I amazed and impressed myself by actually finding extra fuses in the first place. Normally, changing out fuses is a job I would hand off to my hubby, but he'd already been to town that morning just to buy a piece of fresh ginger for me, and therefore was quite behind in his plans for the day. Electrical skills don't usually dwell in my wheelhouse, and there was a moment of alarm when I almost put a screwdriver through my hand whilst trying to get the fuse holder thingy open, but the Christmas tree lights are on.



6. Then I had these two...

... help me put the ornaments on the tree. We had a lot of fun, and it was nice to have help because I have a lot of ornaments and it takes forever and a day to put them all on by myself.

Then, I woke up the next morning and realized we hadn't put the garland on, so I took the vast majority of the ornaments back off the tree, because they're all glass and there was just no way I could get the garland on without a pretty significant casualty count.

7. I was also going to tell you about the crazy zombie dreams I've been having lately and ask if anyone knows what it means when a middle aged woman has zombie dreams on a fairly regular basis, but I'm pretty sure most of the dream analyzers checked out somewhere between the Dave's bread and the mini baking dishes, so we'll just leave that for another day.

So, there we go! My brain is now empty of pre-December thoughts and starting tomorrow I can be all Christmas all the time.

Thank you for listening.

Happy last day of November!

November 23, 2011

on monday

I woke up at nine o'clock this morning.


Nine in the ayem.

I am discombobulated on so many levels by this turn of events. Usually, I am a wake up at six without an alarm kind of girl, and on a rare day, my alarm wakes me up at seven. This morning, I woke up with a wrinkle in my cheek that I fear may never go away, and an instant axe in the noggin caffeine deprived headache, so it's probably best if we all keep our expectations of this post making any sense at all to a minimum.

I know I've blogged about my kitchen and its remodel before, but two things happened on Monday that have led me to blog about it again today.

First, I pulled something off one of the open top shelves in my kitchen, and a shower of dust bunnies came down with it. It was time. Time to take everything down, wash it all in hot soapy water, wipe down the shelves, and then put it all back and feel good about the cleanliness of my kitchen shelves for at least a week. I remembered that I planned to do this particular project right before the wedding, but along with about 267 other projects that I planned to do right before the wedding, it didn't happen.

Since everything was all bright and shiny and clean, I might as well take a picture or two.

Secondly, again on Monday, (I feel the need to point out the Monday part again, in order to justify my post title), I was digging out my stash of Christmas magazines, and in the process I found an old and extremely tattered issue of Country Living magazine that brought me straight back to our pre-remodel, pre-Montana move days.

It features a kitchen that served as very heavy inspiration for our soon to be new home.

It was fun to look through the pages and see the ways our kitchen turned out to be similar, and also the ways it is different.

Obviously, one major difference is my heavy handed addition of lots of favorite color ever.

Ever, ever.

But the pink was a little trickier. If it was not for the fact that I found the pretty pink bowl for a whopping five dollars, I probably wouldn't have even gone there at all.

For a while, I was really hung up on the pink. In my mind, you either go more primary with a color scheme by leaning to the red side, or more pastel by going to the pink side.

But then I took a closer look my two very favorite vintage tablecloths, and noticed that they each had a touch of pink mixed in with red, and as I love these particular tablecloths more than a person should love any sort of fabric object, I decided to follow suit and add a few pink touches here and there, and therefore overcome my pink and red issues once and for all.

(Can someone please fix that sentence/paragraph? I still have a bit of a headache, and therefore am in no condition to cure it of its run-on-ishness.)

In case it's not clear, my first favorite tablecloth is the cherry beauty in the above collage, and my second favorite is this little fella.

Believe it or not, this cloth was a bonus that the seller threw into the package when I purchased another tablecloth on Ebay. Pure craziness.

(Does anyone know what that little aqua chicken is supposed to be? He is about the size of a salt shaker, but has a hole in his back that is filled with some kind of plastery substance. I don't know his purpose, but I love him anyway.)

Almost everything in my kitchen is vintage, but back when we were remodeling, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware were really doing some fun reproductions.

Speaking of which....

Dear Restoration Hardware,
What has happened to you?
I don't even know you anymore.

The wall phone was a Pottery Barn find. I also have a reproduction desk phone that I love, and while I don't miss all the sales calls since we canceled our home number, I do miss talking on the old school style tellies.

Thanks to Martha, jadeite was also making a big comeback, and everyone from Sears to Linen's and Things, to Marty herself were selling new versions of the old favorite. Butter dishes, batter bowls, ball pitchers and cake stands were a few of the new things I added to my collection of vintage goodies.

It took years and years of antique show hunting to totally outfit my kitchen, and I truly enjoyed every minute of it. I'm still on the lookout for fun tablecloths and dish towels, but other than that, I feel like my little cottage kitchen has totally come into its own, and I love it.

And now I'm off to snuggle up to my Costco sized bottle of Ibuprofin, because I have to go to the grocery store this afternoon and we all know the grocery store on the day before Thanksgiving is its very own headache inducing experience.

Have a truly wonderful Thanksgiving!

November 18, 2011

dear pinterest


I finally get it.

I'm still kind of new to this pin crazy world you've got going, but I have to admit that at first you had me a bit irritated.


Now, I'm not a person who particularly enjoys being forced to do something I don't particularly want to do.

Therefore, I initially rebelled when you required me to "describe my pin". I didn't want to describe my pin. I didn't want to be slowed down. I didn't want to have to think that hard.

Or think period.

I just wanted to stay in my own little pin-board zone and be left alone to enjoy the first sweet moments of what would soon become a raging addiction.


But now I get it. I get that your search system needs our pin descriptions in order to function. I understand that when I took the easy way out and quickly typed in the * instead of typing in an actual description, I wasn't really helping you or my fellow searchers out.

I'm sorry I'm so dumb.

I hereby vow to appropriately describe my pins forever and ever.


So how about the rest of you....are you addicted? Do you have Pinterest self control? Or are you like me and once you start down a Pinterest rabbit trail, the rest of the world instantly fades away? Please tell me I'm not alone.

* My chaotic and totally unorganized pins can be found here.

* If you want to see amazingly wonderful pinboards, go visit this girl.

* In fact, just skip my pinboards and go straight to hers.

* Actually, let's just pretend that her pinboards are MY pinboards.

* Is that okay, Mary? It is? Thank you!

Have a wonderful weekend!

November 14, 2011

let's talk soup

Is it soup weather at your house?

It is definitely soup weather at my house. It's snowing and windy and gray. Perfect weather for a pot of soup.

Soup which, by the way, I cooked in my brand spanking new Caribbean Blue Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Round French Oven.

The manager at Macy's gave me full credit for my four Marthas, and the 7.25 in Caribbean was on close-out, so I got the deal of the day all the way around. I still have enough of a credit to get another smaller pot if I feel so inclined. It's a little slice of Le Creuset heaven.

I'm always on the lookout for a great new soup recipe, so if you've posted one on your blog, please feel free to leave the link in the comments.

Let soup season begin!

November 11, 2011

November 7, 2011

get your holiday on

I love Ruche.

I love their clothes. I love their accessories. I love their home goodies.

I especially love their lookbooks. Gorgeous, gorgeous photography in dreamy locations, and pretty clothes on pretty girls.

Vintage fashion photography heaven.

Up until about a month ago, I did not know that Ruche had a blog, because I'm oblivious like that.

The day I discovered that Ruche had a blog, I immediately devoted the next 427 hours of my life to scouring the archives. Among many other delightful things, I discovered that they were accepting submissions from bloggers for a holiday guide they were putting together.

On a lark, I drug out a very large portion of my vintage Christmas collection and started taking pictures. I pretty much leveled my house. Boxes and ornaments and glitter everywhere.

In October, no less.

I wrote up a little diddy, attached some photos, emailed it to the proper folks, shoved all the Christmas decorations in the guest room, and hoped no one would come to stay before December.

Then I kind of tucked the whole thing in the back of my mind and went about my business.

Well, this afternoon, it all went from the back of my mind straight to the front of my mind because, amazingly enough, my submission made it into Ruche's holiday feature, A Homemade Holiday.

The guide is bursting with fall and winter holiday ideas, and I think you'll enjoy what each and every page has to offer. It's pretty exciting to be included in such a beautiful collection of holiday inspiration.

The additional benefit for both you and me is the fact that, at least for today, I have something besides Dave's bread and Martha's soup pots to blog about.

Rest assured Dave and Marty will be front and center again very soon, but for now, it's nice to add something fresh and pretty to the mix.

Happy Monday!