Sunday, January 30, 2011

Daffodils: Bed, Container, What?!

The past two days have been been beautiful and warmer, so all of us shut-ins have been out and about. I've been trying to spend this glorious reprieve from the snow wisely, but it's a little difficult when you don't know exactly what you're doing and you don't have the tools to do it. I cleaned out most of the gutters (what I could reach anyway, although I'm tempted to just climb onto the roof and try it that way next time), raked and bagged the backyard (and I'm not sure the city is still taking leaves, but guess I'll figure something out) and pondered about daffodils.

Photo by: cathrund
My dad works for a bulb-packaging plant and he brings truckloads of the unwanted bulbs at the end of a season home. And at "Christmas" I nabbed two boxes of daffodils and a couple of bags of gladiolas, but I'm not sure what to do with them. It was already technically too late to plant them when I got them, but I've read as long as they go through *a* frost they'll do fine. Now where to put them?
Photo by: sirpete(?)
I grew up with daffodil-lined driveways (not the one above!), which I love, but I've also heard they're a pain if you don't put them in a bed because you can't mow around them. I'll have to ask my mom how they had them along the driveway, I bet she weed-whacked around them...

Then there's the possibility of building a flowerbed around the huge maple in the backyard. Then I could use both kinds of bulbs. But would it make our tiny backyard look even smaller?

Photo by: Corstorphine House
Or there's always containers, and they would look nice on our little front portico...

Photo by: Doug Green
And we do have window boxes that need flowers...

Photo by: morganchele
Oh I don't know, there's just too many choices! All I know is I must have them. Somewhere. Maybe then Ben will stop harassing me about them. When Ben and I were first dating, he brought me a handful of daffodils once. Of course, being the bratty not-quite-twenty-year-old I was, I turned my nose up at them. I knew he had picked them out of my mother's flowers, and I wasn't wise enough to think it was cute. So now Ben gives me a hard time whenever I mention daffodils or if we even see some. I'm hoping having some around will help him forgive me for being such a brat   :-P

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Good Finds Lately

Ben had a few days off this week so we spent the time buying furniture, visiting his grandmother in Memphis, doing some little things around the house. It was so nice having him there, but about I was ready for him to go back to work by the time he did. I know that may sound bad, but I take it as a good sign that we're still two distinct people that need time away from each other occasionally. 

Let's see yesterday had a job interview with the entire office of an local optometrist (who happens to be an old roommate of Ben's) which was highly entertaining. I've been working diligently on our picture wall, which has made it's way to the dining room instead of the hallway. And yesterday and today has been really pleasant outside so I'm about to wrap this up and get some of that sunshine! So, sorry if this post is a bit scatterbrained!  

Our new console table we got from Pre to Post Modern.

Our very tiny coffee table, also from Pre to Post Modern.

Ben's wall of floating shelves and cubes. He's so good at this.
We had them in our apartment in California and loved it so much we did it again.

A cute little hook I couldn't resist, come on it was less than $2.

Cute little mirror I found at the Goodwill.

Weird metal basket - Goodwill

They're flat on the other side, so they're hangable planters? Containers?
Sunshine, here I come!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hooray for Short Hair!

Over the past year I've gone from long, unkempt locks I would have cut every few months to a shoulder-length bob that was cute, but safe, to finally an extremely short pixie cut....that I lurve. I had a pixie cut in high school and it was tragic, one bad cut and I was growing out a weird style for a year or so. So when the temps hit 100+ degrees last summer I had had enough. Went to the first stylish looking salon I could find on yelp and got it chopped off. And cried. It was horrendous.

But, as usual, in times of stylish distress I looked to my two favorite women from the 60s: Audrey and Twiggy. It was almost too easy, a sign if you will, to look to Audrey for help. At the time I had gotten the part Audrey played in Wait Until Dark, so why not immulate her? And now with some tweaks of my own (or my hairdresser), I absolutely love my hair and could totally go shorter. It's funny to notice how your behavior towards you clothes, makeup, life changes when you have no hair to hide behind. So it was a treat to find this quote on the glamourai's blog about this exact change:

by Joan Juliet Buck

Joan Juliet Buck, a devoted short-hair convert, explains why it makes a difference.
Hair is time.

Women with short hair always look as if they have somewhere else to go. Women with long hair tend to look as if they belong where they are, especially in California. Short hair takes a short time. Long hair takes a long time. Long hair moves faster than short hair. Long hair tells men that you are all woman, or a real woman, or at the very least a girl. Short hair always makes them wonder. Short hair makes children ask each other --usually at the school-yard gate, when parents are late-- "Are you a boy or girl?" Men married to women with short hair should not have affairs with women who have long hair kept up with many little pins and combs. Once you have cut your hair you have to remember to wear lipstick, but you can put away the brush, elastics, and the black barrettes in the form of shiny leaves with rhinestone hearts. When you cut your hair you lose a nose and gain a neck. A neck is generally better than a nose. It does not need to be powdered, except on extreme occasions. It does, however, need to be washed more often.

With short hair you suddenly dislike the month of March, when the wind blows down the back of your neck. With short hair you begin to crave pearl necklaces, long earrings, and a variety of sunglasses. And you brush your teeth more often. Short hair removes obvious femininity and replaces it with style. When it starts growing out a little and losing its style, you have to wear sunglasses until you can get it to the hairdresser. That's why you need a variety. Short hair makes you aware of subtraction as style. You can no longer wear puffed sleeves or ruffles; the neat is suddenly preferable to the fussy. You eye the tweezers instead of the blusher. What else can you take away? You can't hide behind short hair. Your nape is exposed. Men put their hands around your neck instead of stroking your long locks. You can only pray they have friendly intentions. The backs of your ears show, your jaw line is clear to anyone watching, and you realize --perhaps for the first time-- how wide the expanse of skin is between cheekbone and ear.

You may look a little androgynous, a little unfinished, a little bare. You will look elegant, as short hair requires you to keep your weight slightly below acceptable levels. However, the first time you wear a bathing suit with short hair, you will feel exceptionally naked. People who used to look straight at you will love you in profile. Short hair makes others think you have good bones, determination, and an agenda. The shape of your skull is commented on, so are its contents. They can pick you out in a crowd, and you can be recognized from behind, which can be good or bad. But your face is no longer a flat screen surrounded by a curtain: the world sees you in three dimensions.

Chase to the cut.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Slight Storage Dilemma

I need two things. Well, today I feel I need two things: an entryway organizer/message center and jewelry storage. I think I've got the entryway figured out, I'm just waiting for Amazon to deliver the main component. But the jewelry storage...yikes! Please understand, I own a bajillion pieces of jewelry and maybe five of those pieces are actually nice. So what do I do with a lot of huge earrings and long, clunky necklaces? I wish I could just pin them up on the wall, but I couldn't subject my husband to waking up every morning looking at that much femininity. But I wouldn't mind displaying some of my collection. So here's some ideas running through my head (in pictures!):


There's the standard china in a drawer holding it all, which would allow me to display some pieces on the wall. But I don't have the dresser room and I can just imagine with my clumsy fingers it always being destroyed. Maybe they could be on a pretty serving tray? Meh.

via Apartment Therapy

I love this! Not that I would ever be able to find a vintage bolt and nut holder...

via Martha Stewart

And I love a cool bust for holding necklaces, buuut my necklaces tend to be too long for something like this. Keep trying...

via StyleHive

via Apartment Therapy

There's always the twig idea that's become popular and I kind of like it. Or the old accordian jewelry holder like my grandma has. Or random interesting hooks or knobs. Or, if I could find one, an old spool holder would be really cool! Guess I need to start looking out for things that might work when I'm hitting up the thrift stores.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My First Attempt at Compost...

has been fun so far. I'm afraid I don't make enough trash to really yield some compost, but we'll see in a couple of months.

Here's the video I used on how to make a really simple composting bin.

It was a little difficult getting the holes in the bin. I tried the way the video explains...nothing. I tried an empty nail gun...split the trash can in a few places. Then it dawned on me...drill them, duh! MUCH faster and easier.

We've been trying it out a couple of weeks now and Ben's actually into it. Maybe it's that bit of boy in him that likes gross things. He was certainly willing to donate his beard clippings to the cause. Yes, human hair can also be composted. So can nail clippings, dust from the vaccuum, and...urine, if you were so inclined. Not us, though, that's a little too extreme!

163 Thing You Can Compost is one of the helpful websites I've been using to look up what I can throw in.

What a week/end!

Sorry it's been a week since I've posted, but when I get time with not only my husband, but also my sister and brother-in-law everything else gets put to the side. My sister Shanna and her hubby Scott came to visit last weekend and I was so happy! Scott had to take an exam for his pursuit to become a paramedic and they decided to make a little weekend trip. Friday was a taco and game night with the four of us plus our friends Ryan and Jai. Saturday, Shan and I hung out in downtown Franklin and discovered some amazing fried chicken. As in, we were wondering if someone had resurrected our grandmother and had her cooking in the back kind of good. Then we hung out with Ryan, Jai, and their roommate Raffi and his adorable doggy, Pico...

I have never met such a chill chihuahua! He needs to come talk to Foster, seriously. Then we went for sushi and the Birth of Impressionism exhibit in downtown Nashville. I've never had dessert sushi, but I will definitely be going back. Who knew banana, coconut and crab was delicious together?

Sunday we didn't do much. It's funny how good my family is at hanging out. There were some things we meant to do while they were in town, but poor Scott's test ended up being nearly 12 hours long! But it's okay, we had a good time just doing nothing. Shan and I even had a good time meeting another neighbor of mine. Finally met the lady that lives behind us, Mary Alice, and she is so cool! I'm pleasantly surprised by all the cool old people living around us.

Monday was a little lonely after Shan and Scott left. Ben and I spent the day running errands and furniture shopping (or scavenging to put it more accurately). I still haven't quite found a good junk store, so we spent the day hitting up thrift and antique stores. And finally we got to try out Pre to Post-Modern, a really cool vintage shop in Nashville that is mostly mid-century modern furniture and goodies. I'll have to go back to check out the clothes section when I don't have Ben with me. We finally got everything out of Ben's parents house, which means I'm scrambling to put it all in some sort of order.

Today I took Zoey for her second round of shots and she was GREAT! Everyone was so surprised she's already working with a leash and at how happy she was being at the vet. Which makes me a proud parent, but I'm also feeling guilty. It makes me wonder how different Foster would be if I had had more time to work with him when he was puppy, had more patience, and just knew more! Thank goodness for, it is super helpful if you have a puppy or dogs. You can sign up for emails, and I get an email every month explaining what I should be working on with Zoey. My only complaint would be it had nothing on leash training; I had to read through a few websites before I got any real answers. And I needed those answers, there's no way I can walk Foster and Zoey together right now with how much Foster pulls....oy vey.

So pretty busy around the house lately. I guess tonight I'll be getting some things done around here since Ben's out of town on business. Or I'll be catching up on all those Star Trek episodes I have on the DVR.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hallway, hmmm

I will have to make this short because I need to hurry up and finish the walls of our guest bedroom. My sister and brother-in-law are visiting for the weekend and I hate that it's just a primed room at the moment! But whilst I've been mudding and sanding the guest room I've been keeping the hallway on the back burner.

Originally I was going to frame three or four of my photos in big black frames with white mats and call it a day. But I've been going through my files and I have so many photos I like, not to mention those of family and friends. So now I'm leaning towards a hallway full of framed pictures, but I'm afraid that would be too much for our tiny hallway and make it seem even darker than it already does. (I'm beginning to think our decision to keep it a dark red was not a bright one...pun intended.)

My grandmother's house has a stairway full of portraits of family, friends, and the extended family of exchange students she housed through the years. It's a really interesting sight, especially since she has some of the old tin photos of our ancestors. So I would love to have something like that, but it will have to be on a much smaller scale. Question is: how small of a scale?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day, Part Deux

Yesterday and today have been snow days for us here in Franklin. Sunday night into Monday we got about 4" and it was snowing again this morning. Thank goodness Ben had the day off already or he would have been trying to get to work in this...

Call me a nerd, but I thoroughly enjoy knocking snow off cars! And see that trash can on the left? That's my first attempt at compost. (More on that later, and when it's warmer!)

A much better snow picture of the abode.

Ben attempting to show me how to sled. Sorta.

After my first decent run. We weren't very good at it; though, I'm not sure if it was us, the sled, or the road.

Ben trying his hand at it. (He put his hands up to make it look like he was going...haha)

My first really good snowman. Or snowwoman? I thought she looked like Lucy the hominid.

I love how snow makes anything look beautiful. Even the bags of recycling in the backyard look gorgeous with a few inches of snow on top!

Action shots!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Let's See...

Haven't done much lately. Just been enjoying the rush and hope of the new year resolutions. (And unpacking.)

I always make New Years Resolutions, I lurve them, honestly. In fact I lurve the spirit of them so much, that's why I'm doing the Day Zero Project. It's a challenge to complete 101 things you decide in 1001 days (about 2.5 years). I'm really excited about it, even though it's a challenge just to think of 101 things to put on your list. And reading other people's list, I couldn't believe how many things I've already done with my life!

Hope everyone had a happy New Year, and if you are making resolutions here's hoping you stick with them!

And because I don't like posts without pictures here's a two of my recent purchases I'm stoked about...

Two Sarah Bernhardt prints I found at Goodwill

Christmas present from Ben's parents

Monday, January 3, 2011

Power Tools!

Yesterday and today has been spent putting up baseboards and casing with my handy dandy nail gun. Working on the house has made me truly appreciate the one theatre tech class I had in college. Thanks to Ed Zuckerman, I know the correct names of tools, how to use them and the difference between window casing, chair rail, crown, and base moulding, I feel like such a badass!

My very own miter saw...yippee!

Oh and I also spent some time chipping out grout to put in some thresholds, which is difficult when Zoey wants to sleep in my lap every opportunity she gets...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Those would be the black eyed peas we're eating for the first of the year. This is the first year I attempted to make them from scratch and they were...better with Tabasco. Next year I'll get brave and try to make the peas and the turnip greens from scratch. This is one of the days that I am uber-superstitious about. You have to eat black-eyed peas for good luck, turnip greens for wealth, and whatever you do the first of the year is what you'll do all year. So far things are looking good! Rang in the new year with friends and family in Huntsville, drove back home (in the worst rain and lightning I've ever seen - it was so bright it hurt!), slept in, ate a huge delicious breakfast, watched Bama (Ben's team) and Mississippi State (my team - there was much cowbell ringing) dominate their bowl games, Roger picked up the huge pile of paneling and moulding that had been an eyesore in our backyard, ate our black eyed peas and turnip greens, and now I'm cleaning and waiting for Ben to get off work so we can eat paella at his parents.

Normally, I'd try to avoid cleaning on New Years Day, but I'm sick of looking at the mess left over from the move, Christmas, and me being sick during all of it. December ended up roughly for me and I am so glad to start out the new year in our new house! And with a new puppy!

Meet Little Miss Zoey!
This little cutie was my sister's, Shanna, Christmas present to me. And she is a-freakin'-dorable! My family have a small herd of Boston Terriers completely by accident, sort of. They bred two a couple of years ago with the intent of selling them, and I knew better. Three years later, they have: Jackie, Spot, Rufus, Zeke, Lily, and Malia. Accidentally Rufus and Lily had a litter, and Zoey was one of four. And of course, the Culpeppers won't be able to part with all of them. Or really, none of them since the two they're giving away are staying in the family, haha!

I had forgotten how tough having a puppy was, but thankfully I am a much more patient person now. And even better, I know about crates! Foster and Ceti weren't thrilled to begin with, but she's won Foster over. Ceti, however, gets so stressed out about Zoey that he will start coughing up hairballs when she gets near him. Poor guy!

As far as house happenings go: we moved in!, had our first houseguests, Ben's brother Ray and his girlfriend BaoNhi, got all our furniture and appliances in and assembled, got our new king-size mattress!!, put up some of the baseboards, put down a couple of new thresholds and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned. Once I get rid of all our boxes, I'll post some pictures, but the rooms are all still in the very working-on-it stages.