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Monday, December 20

Our Christmas Cottage

I'm very sad that Christmas is almost here. It'll be gone before we know it, and then we'll be stuck with yucky old January. I'm trying to enjoy all of our Christmas decorations, our Christmas music and that lovely Christmas feeling while it lasts.
It's such a happy time of year. Sigh.
As promised, here are a few more photos of our Christmas cottage...
Our Christmas table...
One of my grandma's ornaments... An ornament from Harrods Department Store in my beloved London....See the tag?
One of my favorite Shiny Brites...
If you don't know about Shiny Brites, you can read all about them here. I have quite the Shiny Brite collection. See here and here.
Our finished tree, also known as one of our two wedding trees. :)
Oliver loves boxes. He doesn't discriminate against size, shape or color.
If the box is full, that's okay too...This one was headed to Italy. :)
We went a bit crazy with our lights this year.
We put lights on our side porch, our back deck and our front porch...
We also added lots of ribbons and bows, and two real wreaths with fake berries and plaid ribbons.
The plaid is a nod to my British heritage.
So Christmasy...
Next year we may do all the bushes!
In other news, we got our new window boxes today, so no more weird gaps under our windows.
We're also going to see Santaland Diaries at Playhouse on the Square tonight.
Hurray for Christmas fun!

Anniversary Week(end), courtesy of the iPhone!

First of all, thanks to everyone for the anniversary love.
Of course, we took many opportunities to celebrate our big day. Considering that we believe in celebrating the holiday season to the absolute fullest, this probably doesn't come as much of a surprise.
I was angry at myself for forgetting my camera during our many celebrations, but I did have my phone with me. It seems I have developed a tradition of photographing our anniversary by iPhone. See? These are from last year...
Our 2009 anniversary cake in our hotel room. Yum!
Jonathan clowning around at the Peabody. The beautiful Peabody Christmas tree, as seen from the Mezzanine....And now this year!
On our real anniversary, Wednesday, Jonathan surprised me with a limo ride around the Evergreen district in Midtown. We looked at Christmas lights and drank a little champagne before dinner at Cafe Society. We have celebrated at Cafe Society for every wedding anniversary as well as our engagement. It is our special place, and the food is so good. Their scallops are my favorite, but sadly, they were out of them this time. I had sole instead, as well as my absolute favorite dessert, their chocolate bon-bon with raspberry sauce. It is the best dessert in Memphis, I am not kidding!
My limo even had a red carpet (not shown) and a sweet sign. :)
Too bad you can't see the Christmas lights through the windows...They were so pretty.
I love Christmas lights in Memphis because they are all so different.
Thursday wasn't so great, as I had a major sinus headache. Luckily, the sinus issues went away on Friday, because we had a holiday party to attend.
On Saturday, we continued our anniversary weekend by packing up and heading downtown to the Peabody.
Oliver did not want us to go...
We started out at our wedding rehearsal and post-wedding haunt, The Corner Bar.
Then we had a little wine and a few bites of cake in our room. We order a tiny version of our wedding cake every year -- it's white cake with fresh strawberries and buttercream filling. Topped with more buttercream and fondant, it is divine, and it is one more way for us to remember our wonderful wedding day. Bonus: it's actually pretty cheap -- only $18! :)
We walked around the hotel and enjoyed the Christmas lights....
And stole a quick peek into "our room"...
They were setting up for a party, and they probably thought we were crazy tourists.
I wonder how many other people do the exact same thing.
Before dinner, we walked over to Bar Dog Tavern to get some fresh air
and a picture of the hotel from the outside.
We then enjoyed dinner at the Capriccio Grill. We ate more than two people should ever eat, but it was a lot of fun.
Jonathan really enjoyed this tiny bottle of Tabasco, which actually came home with us. :)
I have almost this exact same picture from last year.
Apparently Capriccio Grill photos are an annual tradition as well.
The night was not without music either. We heard so many songs from our wedding play list that it was almost funny.
Perhaps the most meaningful was hearing "What a Wonderful World" twice during dinner.
That song was my grandma's favorite. She asked for it to be played at her memorial service.
Four years later, we had already picked it for our wedding reception play list when I caught the special meaning of the song:
"I see trees of green, red roses too,
I see them bloom for me and you,
And I think to myself:
What a Wonderful World."
We had already picked out two Christmas trees with white lights for our wedding, and our flowers were all red flowers, mostly roses. Although she wouldn't be with us on our wedding day, I knew at that moment that she would be there in spirit.
I remember calling my mother and telling her to listen, really listen to the song we had heard so many times. She listened to it twice. Then we both cried A LOT.
Every time I hear those opening words, I struggle not to cry as I remember hearing that song during some of happiest and saddest times of my life.
It's amazing how songs can take you right back in time.
Here we are in front of "our tree" where we had our wedding pictures taken. Beside the tree is a piano that belonged to Francis Scott Key (yes, the guy who wrote the "Star Spangled Banner"). It's actually a really cool story. Phillip Belz (the late owner of the Peabody) became the owner of the piano in a very unusual way. The Belz family owns property all over the city, and one of the companies that rented from them couldn't pay their rent. In exchange for rent, the company, which sold pianos, offered this historical piano to Belz. He accepted it and had it placed on the Mezzanine level of the Peabody, just outside of the Venetian Room.
It is absolutely beautiful. I am honored that it is in our wedding photos. :)
On Sunday morning, we rode up to the roof of the hotel to see the ducks and the view.

These are the most pampered ducks in the world. :)

After we left the hotel, we stopped by the Brooks Museum to see the William Christenberry exhibit. He has been taking photos in rural Alabama since the '60s, and it's amazing to study them. They made me grateful for our Southern heritage. There is so much soul and beauty in the South.

After that, we went to the lovely Victorian Village for a tour of the Woodruff-Fontaine house. You should go see it today. The architecture is truly breathtaking, and you'll help ensure that it stays open for future generations to enjoy.

For a late lunch, we headed back to Midtown to one of our favorites, Cafe Ole.

Finally, we decided to go on a little scavenger hunt. We had heard about the amazing Galloway house that used to be in our neighborhood (it burned), and when we saw this old picture of "The Galloway House, Memphis, Tennessee" at the Peabody, we thought we had found it. I googled the Galloway house, and I found the exact picture and a Midtown address.

After a little driving around the Evergreen District (again), we found the house! I was so glad to see the beautiful home was in great condition and that it appears to be well-loved.

The whole weekend reminded me about all the beauty in this city. It is pretty hard to see sometimes, but it's there.

Tuesday, December 14

Three Years.

Three years ago today, I married my best friend. Seven years have passed since we came into each other's lives during our first semester at Ole Miss.
In August 2003, we started out as next door neighbors and became good friends. That first semester, we spent lots of time hanging out at our favorite local venue, Duffy's, with our mutual group of friends. After all, we were friends first. But in time, our friendship and love grew into something stronger. By the time Jonathan's sister got married in December 2005, we knew it would be us someday.
Things really changed when we left the comfort of Oxford and moved to Memphis for two summers. Jonathan's internships at Mueller gave us the freedom to travel, together and apart. Here we are in Palos Verdes, California.
That's my great-grandmother's home in the bottom right hand corner.
On January 20, 2007, we began a new chapter in our lives. We decided (together) to get married. It's a true testament to who we are -- we do things together. We planned our day together, and we even spent most of our wedding eve together.
And we celebrated together....with all of our family and our college friends. A year later, we celebrated our first anniversary in our new home in the big city of Memphis.
Every year since then, we have returned to the scene of the crime to remember those first moments as Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Hardin. This was December 14, 2007, one day before our big day.
It was a truly magical weekend filled with love and everyone we love.
Our life together has echoed that day. It's filled with love and the people and things we love.
Happy Anniversary, Jonathan.
I'm so glad we started this journey together seven years ago in Oxford, Mississippi.
Psst...This was our first picture of just us. We weren't dating yet, but I was crazy about him.
Isn't it obvious?

Friday, December 10

It's Coming...

Tomorrow is the blog's anniversary. It's hard to believe an entire year has passed. I toyed with the idea of blogging for a long time, and I'm so glad I took the plunge. It's been such a great creative outlet and journal. To mark this big bloggy milestone, I'm planning a new look for Painted Pink Roses (or Pretty Pink Roses as my coworker calls it). It may be another week or so before it's live, but it's coming. Here's a little preview:

Thank you for your blog love and support this year. It truly means the world to me that you enjoy reading my ramblings. I hope you will continue to follow the blog in the new year, because I have a lot of ideas that I hope I can bring to reality. It should be a fun ride. :)

In the meantime, happy blog anniversary, little blog!

Thursday, December 9

Anthroinspiration, Zooey Blogs and More

Yes, yes, I know. I'm obsessed. It doesn't matter how many times I go there. I always come out inspired, and my wallet is a little bit lighter.
Just think of it as inspiration.
This week I want to recreate these...
Lately I've been experimenting with special tights and skirt patterns. I'm not sure I've perfected the look, but this inspires me to keep trying. In the meantime, I apologize for "interesting" outfits. I love her hair clip. I want a flower hair clip, but I'm not sure someone who is almost 6 feet tall can pull that look off.
It has been so cold here this week. Don't these look snuggly? I love pretty snuggly clothes.
Last week I wrote about a mishap I had with some tights. Last night I decided to make them into knee socks. They are so warm, and I think they look pretty cute too. My homemade pair is for home use only, but I'd like a pair to wear out and about. They remind me of my English youth.
Anthro's ornaments are so cute and vintagey. I want to make some like these...
This is the prettiest apron I've ever seen. It's like a dress!
I love cupcakes in graphic design. Isn't this the cutest? I may have purchased one of these as a Christmas present for someone this year. Possibly...
I believe I promised a music post. Well, here it is, sort of. Currently on my iPhone is Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, James Taylor, Anna Wilson and the Carpenters...all Christmas albums, naturally. Up next in my blog world: Pictures of Christmas lights and a list of Etsy favorites. They may or may not be Anthro-inspired.
Oh, and if you're a Zooey Deschanel fan, she is now a blogger. Her page is worth a visit just to see the baby pandas. Yes, you read that right -- she has baby pandas on her blog! Awww. :)
Happy Thursday, everyone!