Wednesday, June 27

#178: Work Outside

Porter and I enjoyed my second "work from home Wednesday" under the carport. I brought out a table and my laptop, and thanks to modern technology, I was able to spend my morning outside while checking a bunch of projects off my to-do list. At lunch, we went inside, and I worked at the dining room table the rest of the day, but the morning's fresh air was so good for me. Porter liked it as well, as you can see. He spent half the time sleeping, and the other half to the time growling at the construction workers on the other side of our fence. He's so random.

Tuesday, June 26

#177: Hair

Robin Tucker cuts my hair, and she does a fabulous job. She's especially awesome because she works with my schedule:"5:30 on Wednesday? Come on!"

And then I'm in and out in 40 minutes. You can't beat that.

She has led a really incredible life -- lots of travel, doing hair for celebs on movie sets, etc., so she's always got some great stories. She recently lost her gran, and she told me that she'd been helping her aunt clean out her gran's house. I asked her if she'd found anything special during this incredibly difficult, yet healing process, and her face lit up. She not only showed me an incredible handmade birthday card she'd made for her gran in the 80s, but she also had an iPhone photo of her gran's handwriting on the back of furniture that she'd marked "Save for Robin if she wants it!" back in 1990.

Fitting somehow, as it's summer and I'm missing my grandma more than ever.

She's also headed to LA in two weeks. I told her to stick her feet in the ocean for us.

Monday, June 25

#176: Wedding Brain

This post is for my little sister who is getting married next April. Of course, she already knows exactly what she wants, but I'm inspired anyway. Flowers, cake, invitations, love...what can I say? I'm smitten. Here are a few things that I love for weddings right now:

Source: via Crystel on Pinterest
Source: via Crystel on Pinterest

Sunday, June 24

#175: Mexican Food

It was Mexican food part two today with my friends Julie and Erica and Erica's two kids. Jonathan and I met them at El Palmar for lunch, and then we walked down to the Mexican popsicle stand for a refreshing post-lunch treat. It was great to catch up, and everyone seemed to enjoy their food. I really love the authentic Mexican atmosphere in those places. Going to El Palmar makes me long for California, which I'm already doing anyway, since it's almost time for our annual trip. Of course, there's not a trip planned this 4th of July, so El Palmar is about as close to the real thing as we're going to get. Maybe next year...

Saturday, June 23

#174: Estate Saling

Today we hit up two estate sales. I bought a blue velvet square pillow for a dollar, and Jonathan found a metal garage cabinet for $25. I saw the exact same cabinet on Ebay for almost $200, so I think it was a good buy. He's definitely excited about it and spent the rest of the afternoon sanding and painting it. He takes after his dad when it comes to tools and tool storage. I'm glad he now has a place to store everything.

Friday, June 22

#173: Twenty Years

Twenty years ago today, I landed at Memphis International Airport for the first time. I was eight years old, and my life was changing forever. I was excited, but I really had no idea what moving from England to Mississippi really meant. Twenty years later, I remember that day vividly. The fire alarm went off at the airport hotel the night before we left, and then there was a bomb scare at the airport while we were waiting in line to get our tickets. To make matters even worse, my dad stayed behind to sell our house. My mom, my five-year-old sister and I were flying halfway across the world to a strange new city to start a new life, and my dad wasn't with us. I still have the diary post from that plane ride. I remember my mother telling me to write something, because I would want to remember that day. I have never forgotten it.

There are moments in our lives that make us who were are, and that day will forever be etched in my mind as one of those moments. When we touched down at Memphis International Airport, my grandfather and his Memphis cousins greeted us in their Chevy Blazer. A month later, we had a Blazer of our own. Eight years later, I learned to drive in that Blazer.

One thing I know for sure about that day is that I never looked forward or back. I don't think I realized that I wouldn't be going back to England, and I didn't imagine what my new life would look like five, 10 or 20 years later.

Honestly, I don't think I would have been surprised to discover that my future self would be married to Jonathan and living twenty minutes from that airport, but I do think it says something about childhood that the past and future didn't cross my mind.

As adults we constantly look forward and back, and we have trouble focusing on the present. If only life could be as simple as it was back then.

Of course, it was far from simple. If life had been simple, we would have ended up in California (where we all really wanted to be) instead of Mississippi, but then I never would have attended Ole Miss and fallen in love with Jonathan. Everything happens for a reason, and we just have to believe that God puts us where we need to be at the instant we need to be there.

Tonight, I will not look forward five, 10 or 20 years. I will stay in the now, and I will only momentarily treasure the memories of that day.

No regrets.

Thursday, June 21

#172: Mexican Food

When life gives you a bad week, eat Mexican food with your coworkers. Since this week was especially bad, I'm going to eat Mexican twice -- today and Sunday (with two of my former coworkers and dear friends).

Yep, Mexican food is a lifesaver that way.

Wednesday, June 20

#171: Some Days III

Yep, it was another one of those days again today, but I think the end is in sight.

I have been so fortunate to have so many great mentors in my short career, and I have another amazing one in my life right now. Today's events brought back memories of a former boss and forever friend who always had my back in good times and bad. I know not everyone is so lucky, and I hope one day I'll be able to pay in forward by becoming that kind of a leader. I have definitely been inspired by their compassion and support. I won't ever forget it.

Tuesday, June 19

#170: Some Days II

It's been a rough week, so I emailed a few of my friends tonight to see if they wanted to get together soon. As the emails started to pour in, my mood was lifted. I'm a lucky girl to have friends like these guys. I can't wait to see them.

Monday, June 18

#169: Some Days

My work from home date has changed to Wednesday, so today was my first Monday in the office. I swear that didn't give me a case of the Mondays, but somehow I still ended up wishing I'd never gotten out of bed. You know those days when nothing is really bad, but nothing is really good either? Today was one of those days.

Although I was feeling really sorry for myself today, I did have one very nice surprise. My sweet boss Meghan left flowers on our desks this morning. That certainly was a bright spot on an otherwise yucky day. 

I really love having flowers on my desk.

Sunday, June 17

#168: Apple

For many, many years, I was a PC person. I resisted iPods, iPhones, iPads and iMacs until the bitter end because they were "the cool thing," and I'm sort of against anything that feels too cool. I've always been a rebel that way.

Well, it turns out that I'm a Mac person for many reasons, but today's reason is that Apple has the best customer service ever. They have it all figured out with the Genius Bar, the one-on-ones and the way they have streamlined everything, while still allowing for person-to-person interaction and real service.

I took a 30 minute one-on-one class today, and while I didn't learn everything about iMovie, I walked away feeling happy I support a company that still believes in connecting people.

And that's just one reason. There are many more that I'll save for another day. :)

Saturday, June 16

#167: Pesto and Spinach-Artichoke Dip

You must try Vegan Pesto and Vegan Spinach-Artichoke Dip. Both are much healthier than their non-vegan alternatives, and they are so delicious. Seriously, try them. You won't believe they are cheese-free.

You will need a food processor for both of these recipes. Also, plan to share them, or you'll eat every last bite of pesto and dip yourself. You've been warned.

Thursday, June 14

#165: Vet Visit

Poor Ollie has what appears to be ringworm and an ear infection. While he hates going to the vet, we did see some pretty cute kittens. I just wish my kitten would feel better soon!

Wednesday, June 13

#164: Design

It feels so good to work late and truly enjoy it. Graphic design work might be my true calling. It's funny how your life comes full circle sometimes. I first fell in love with graphic design while working on my high school yearbook in 2000. That led to a major in print journalism at Ole Miss and a dream of being a fashion magazine editor. While I'm not the magazine editor I had once hoped to be, I am designing tons of cool graphics. Some of them are even fashion-related.

I'm definitely in my element.

Tuesday, June 12

#163: Right Now: Favorite Blogs

As a real-life writer, blogging is a way for me to write for fun, keep up with everything we do in our daily lives and really focus on the world around me. I also really enjoy reading blogs. There are tons that I have bookmarked and visit on a regular basis, but these are my current favorites. Some I visit daily or nearly every day, and others I've just discovered and find really inspiring:

1. Could I Have That?
2. Make Something Good Today
3. Bleubird Vintage Blog
4. Oh So Lovely Vintage Blog
5. Smile and Wave
6. Emma Dime
7. Elise Blaha
8. Luella and June
9. The Every Girl
10. Eva Black Blog

Monday, June 11

#162: Izze and Crazy Weather

I love Izze. It is so good. The Izze-esque is the light version, and although it's not quite as sweet, it's just as refreshing and perfect for summer. If you've never tried Izze, you should check our their website. Not only did they create a great product, but they give back as well. If you don't want to spend the money on Izze drinks, you can also make your own knockoff Izze drinks fairly easily. I mix 3/4 sparkling water with 1/4 juice. It's not bad at all, but there is something special about drinking out of an Izze bottle. It just feels like summer.

In other news, we had some serious thunder and wind today. It's becoming a Monday tradition...

It was really dark and really gloomy (you can see the street light came on at 3:30 in the afternoon). The booming scared Porter. Oliver didn't mind the wind at first, because it meant it was cool enough to open the window. Of course, as soon as the rain started coming in, he was long gone, and I was left to mop the floor.

Sunday, June 10

#161: Pizza Without a Picture

Yes, I'm the worst blogger ever, but I did have a good excuse. I was really, really hungry when the pizza was finally done. It was embarrassing late. :)

Here's the recipe. It's so much better with farm-fresh veggies. Be sure to visit your local farmers market and pick some up!

-Pizza Dough (We made ours in our bread maker and seasoned with fresh rosemary)
-Tomato Sauce (I used half a jar from Costco)
-Fresh tomatoes
-Artichokes (on Jonathan's half)
-Fresh bell peppers
-Fresh red onion
-Tons of fresh basil
-Vegan cheese

When the pizza dough is ready, roll it out and top with sauce. Cut your veggies in very thin slices, and place bell peppers, artichokes and onions on the pizza. Top with cheese and tomatoes. Save the basil until the pizza comes out of the oven for maximum flavor. Serve on its own or with a salad. Add some balsamic vinegar for a real Italian treat. It's oh-so-good!


Saturday, June 9

#160: Saigon Le

We started our Saturday a little later than usual, but we made it to the farmers market to pick up the week's worth of peaches and lots of veggies. I finally took a picture of the Chrysler Imperial that sits in the parking lot behind First Congo Church. It looks like a 1960's mobster car. It's pretty awesome.

Afterward, we decided to try Saigon Le, a Vietnamese restaurant that our friends Jeff and Amber have been telling us about for years. It's off the beaten path (on Cleveland near the old Sears tower), which is why it's taken us so long to try it. Now we'll be heading there on a regular basis. It was so good! Jonathan and I shared spring rolls and huge portions of wonderful shrimp and tofu with mushrooms and pineapple. We had enough for lunch and dinner.

Next stop was the Cleveland Street flea market, where I found another orange decanter and matching cups. I forgot to take a picture of them, but they look like these. They were $10!

Finally we checked our a place called Bargain Depot on Summer. It sounds sketchy, but they had some pretty cool vintage furniture there. I wouldn't call them bargains though. 

The rest of the day was pretty typical -- we hit the gym, Whole Foods, took a walk and ate leftovers. 

It was another relaxing Saturday. I'm loving my real summer.

Friday, June 8

#159: The Beach Boys

Jonathan is home from Chicago! 

To celebrate, we ate chips and salsa and watched The Beach Boys: An American Family movie. It's four hours long, but it's a great movie. Even if The Beach Boys weren't one of my two favorite bands (the other is The Beatles), the sets and costumes alone made it worth watching. 

California in the '60s...yes, please.

#158: RN

My sister passed her board exam today, and she's now officially an MSN, RN.

I now have two family members (the other being Jonathan) with multiple acronyms after their names.


Wednesday, June 6

#157: The Chair

I painted another chair tonight. This one is a ladder back chair that our next door neighbor gave me two years ago. It doesn't have a seat, so she had been using it to hold a flower pot. Somehow we ended up with it. At that time, I wanted to paint it an array of colors, sort of like the chairs in Mexican restaurants. I never got around to it, so instead it has been living in our flower bed until tonight. Now it has two coats of Dover White paint on it, and Jonathan has plans to make a seat for it as well. Hopefully it won't take two more years to do that. :)

Here's a peek at our garden -- tiny jalapeƱos and an almost-ready-to-eat grape tomato! I hope a bird doesn't eat it before it's ripe! 

I thought the colors of this rose were too perfect not to share. It's from my favorite little rose bush. Four summers and counting for that guy. He's one of three original bushes. The rest are from our second and third years.

Tuesday, June 5

#156: Books

I have always loved a good book, but ever since Jonathan bought me the iPhone, I've been reading more blogs than books. When my shipment of college paperbacks arrived from Oxford two weeks ago, I rediscovered my silly girl books, and I haven't been able to pull my nose out of them.

Tonight I opened a window and curled up on the couch for several hours, just enjoying my current read. It was pure summertime bliss. Ahh.

Monday, June 4

#155: Stormy

Yet again, I was grateful to be able to work at home on Mondays. It was pouring today. When I say pouring, I mean POURING. Two of our giant bags of leaves that we raked yesterday washed all the way down the street, and one of them was sucked halfway into the sewer. It takes serious water to make something like that happen. Yikes.

On a positive note, everything is really lush and green. I swear, my cilantro is an inch taller than it was yesterday. Here's to spring storms that don't cause (much) damage!

Sunday, June 3

#154: Two Walks

You know it's a good day when Porter gets two walks, and we get some serious raking and mowing done. Kinda wish we'd fit the yard work in on Saturday though. It was 90 today!

Saturday, June 2

#153: Lazy Saturday

Well, lazy by our standards. The weather was perfect (mid-70s), so we took advantage of it by hanging out, opening the windows, visiting the farmers market, grilling and just taking it easy. I made some guacamole and lemon cookies. We saw a very pristine Beetle. I love lazy Saturdays.

Friday, June 1

#152: Painting Chairs

This project stretched from Sunday to Friday. Here are the finished chairs. Don't they feel beachy? I'm so happy with them. I loved the red for four years, but I was ready for a change. Can you see Porter's tail in this picture? Haha.