2011 in Review

I did Linda's annual quiz last year-ha ha, guess what? I just checked to link up and discovered that I never posted it. Oops. Well, anyway, I still think this is a good exercise. So, here goes:

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?

Complete a half marathon!

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I managed to complete some of them, but not nearly enough. Yes, I'll try to stick with a few resolutions-complete 2 half marathons, finish a few decorating projects...

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No, but my dear friend Anne is close-maybe even on my birthday! I can't wait.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank goodness.

5. What countries did you visit?

Puerto Rico (technically not a separate country, but it’s a territory, it counts) and The Cayman Islands!

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn't have in 2011?

A sense of peace about my career.

7. What dates from 2011 will be etched upon your memory, and why?

Just the big dates like birthdays and our anniversary. Boring, I know.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?

Completing the Half marathon. I had so many false starts I began to worry that I would not reach my goal. It sucked in parts, and was hard, and fun, and hard. And, I’m really glad I did it!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Organization. I spent countless hours redoing things or undoing something, or looking for what I was supposed to be doing. 2011 was discombobulated!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes, just a touch of the flu. But, man, my poor kids were sick this year. 2011 was the year of vomit and I am glad to see it go!

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The Property. I feel like it’s going to be such a great thing for our family. It has already become a favorite getaway where we can fish, explore, and hunt (the girls and daddy!). On the other side of the spectrum, well fitting bras. On the advice of Pam, get fitted. Then buy quality, it makes such a difference! (HInts: Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, and Soma)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My kids handled lots of changes really well (new school, new friends, etc). I'm really proud of them both.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Sandusky. Enough said.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Taxes, school, and The Property.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Britney Spears and Bon Jovi concerts.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

"Forget You", "Pumped Up Kicks," and "Til the World Ends."

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

I honestly have no idea. I'm richer in laughter and love, how's that?!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Organize and plan better.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?


20. How did you spend Christmas?

At home, with my family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

Still in love with my husband and kids.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Homeland, The Vampire Diaries, and I wish I could say Mad Men-PLEASE come back soon!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I don’t hate anyone (most of the big baddies died this year. It’s rough being a despotic tyrant). So, how about love- I kind of (totally) love Manny Diaz. I was afraid of how losing Muschamp and his defensive mind would impact Texas. I needn’t have worried, Diaz is freaking awesome. Total crush on that man now. Offense, listen up-you are free now to actually create an Offense, please do so.

24. What was the best book you read?

"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" was really interesting,I also enjoyed "Bossypants."

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Adele, did I know about her in 2010? I don’t know. She’s amazing.

26. What did you want and get?

I found some great vintage dresses this year

27. What did you want and not get?

A Pippa Modalu bag, sue me, I’m shallow. That purse is pretty, pretty.

28. What was your favorite film of 2011?

"Crazy, Stupid, Love"-a great flick.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I honestly can't remember. Around my birthday I went to New Orleans for Mom 2.0, does that count?

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

The two Ryans-Gosling and Reynolds.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2011?

Classic with a twist in heels and Kendra Scott and kate spade jewelry.

32. What kept you sane?

Define classes. Seriously awesome.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Healthcare- it impacts my family and my career and honestly nobody is doing near enough to change what needs to be changed. Change will only come will enough Baby Boomers force the system to change-do you know there are something like 7,000 new Medicare enrollees every day? That’s a huge fiscal and resource impact…ok, got to get off the soapbox

34. Who did you miss?

Tons of people-friends and family, all who live too far away.

35. Who was the best new person you met?

My new co-worker. She’s wicked cool.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

It isn’t worth it to worry about what you can’t change.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“You can’t always get what you want. But, if you try sometimes, you get what you need.”

Friday Favorite- Christmas Family Time

Today we spent time as a family just hanging out and doing little projects to get ready for Christmas.
We worked on gingerbread houses...
Ok, modified gingerbread houses. I wasn't going to bake or make a real gingerbread house. So, the girls went to town on these arts & crafts houses I found last year on super sale. They had fun, we watched Christmas movies-win-win.
Ta-da. Gingerbread house. Even though we didn't bake this house, we did some actual baking to prepare for our sweets drop off tomorrow for our friends. Lots of chocolate, cookies, and treats happening in our kitchen. Of course, we realized once we were done that one of our friends has a darling daughter with a nut allergy and all our treats have nuts in them-whoops. Gotta think of a Plan B! All in all, it was a wonderful Friday full of fake and real baking, family snuggle time, and relaxing Christmas time. I hope your Christmas Eve Eve was just as fun.

Family time-my Friday Favorite!

Christmas at our House

It's Christmas at our house. I didn't quite get everything done that I envisioned (what's new). *I reserve the right to edit this and add any projects I finish in the next 72 hours! But, the house is how we like it (Ok, me and the girls, I'm sure my husband doesn't really care). I stick with pretty traditional colors and themes- red, gold, green, and glitter. Ready for a little tour?
Our dining room-you can see our creche in the background. There's no Mary or Joseph yet since they journey throughout the house to arrive on Christmas Eve. We wait to put baby Jesus in the manger until Christmas morning. The wise men keep traveling around the house until Epiphany. I apparently have rules that must be followed in Christmas decorating!
"New" decor from glass I found at our property. Looks remarkably similar to this one from Pottery Barn. I think I'm might try to rig some lights in these next year. I placed a shed antler next to them, I think I saw West Elm selling those too. I could go into business just from all the stuff I find walking around our property! More deer, this one on our stairs. We could play a game called-guess how many deer are in our Christmas decor. Answer-LOTS!

See?!- another deer. This one is on our mantel with our Elf, Max.And, of course the tree. This year I went with traditional beads instead of ribbons. I didn't fluff any branches. I think it looks a little "Charlie Brown" as a result. Oh well, I still love it. I love that our tree has ornaments that mean things to us, we have bookmarks and pictures and pipe cleaner snowflakes; I wouldn't want it any other way. You can have your perfectly decorated and fluffed tree. I'll take my memory tree any day. Not shown-I couldn't get our tree topper in the photo-our poor crooked little angel. It's hard putting that thing on straight! Just keeping it real here folks.
I'm linking this post to Thrifty Decor Chick's Tree Party and Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes.

That's the tour, at least until I finish another project or two...

Also, look at my pretty, pretty packages! I just had to add them. So cute.

Friday Favorite- Christmas Ornament

I love the Christmas season. One of my favorite things about Christmas is decorating the tree (artificial, pre lit, I know-it's almost sacreligious). Our tree isn't themed or decorated for an editorial.It has years of memories, handprints, even some dried pasta.
Bookmarks, pipe cleaners, and construction paper with feathers. Why not? Each year I try to add an ornament or two to remind us of the year, maybe a trip we've taken or something we've done. This year, I really enjoyed going to antique markets and finding cool retro objects. It's not surprising that my favorite ornament this year is from the Marburger trip (with Eddie Ross and Tori Spelling). The little reindeer ornament below is part of a set of six intact sweet little ringing ornaments. I have no doubt that it was originally red, but I LOVE the burnt orange color she sports now. Hook 'em! Plus, my life is full of deer now (See also: Ted Nugenty husband and turning into Ted Nugent daughter, talk about deer, multiple purchases of deer corn, where to hunt them, etc.).
My Friday Favorite- my vintage Texas reindeer ornament!

Sharing is Hard

My daughter needed a candy bar for a school project. (Tangent, I don't recall ever getting to bring candy to school when I was a kid. Hmph). I ended up buying two packages of Reese's, just in case. This meant that we had an extra package of candy in the house tonight. This is a rare occurrence. Somehow the kids convinced my husband to let them have some of the candy before dinner (pushover!). As he was cutting one of the cups in half, our younger daughter M, had the following conversation with him:

"Daddy, there are two."
M, I'm getting it now.
These are two. There are two. There are two. (Said with increasing urgency and volume)
Grabbing his arm forcefully, "Daddy, didn't you hear me?! There are TWO!!"
Nice try, you're getting half.

Love Thursday-Family Traits

Love Thursday is back! Whoo. Or, more accurately, I finally remembered to actually write something. Whoo?!

It's pretty well established that my husband has somehow turned into Ted Nugent. (Him-"I'm not at all like Ted Nugent, Elz. Ted uses a bow. I use a gun." Me-"The fact that you know that means that you ARE Ted Nugent.") This season, my husband decided that our older daughter can go out hunting with him now that she is 7. This doesn't mean that she's shooting anything, or at least I hope she's not! She basically goes out with daddy and sits in the blind reading or playing with his phone while he hunts. But, it's their thing they do together. Meanwhile, M and I use that time to sleep and snuggle under the warm covers. That's my kind of girl!

Last week my husband took a few days to go on a hunting trip in South Texas. He found a nice buck on Sunday and sent me a text. I briefly looked at the text and photo and thought, "Ugh, gross." I told the girls, "Girls, come over here and see the deer daddy got." Em- "Wow. Daddy got a BIG buck." M- "That's disgusting."

As a follow-up, my husband's statement concerning the deer: "Don't worry, Elz. I didn't order a big mount, I ordered a Texas mount. That means it's just the antlers and the skull." Me-thinking *Lovely.*

Nothing says love like family traits!

Friday Favorite- Christmas List

December already?! Ack. Time to start making that list. I love making lists and picking out my favorite things; I should have been Oprah. Here's five of my Christmas list favorites:
Cloth bound classics from Penguin
I love the idea of a set of cloth bound books on display (and for the girls to read). I love this copy of "Anne of Green Gables," and would add "Little Women," Emma," (Ok, all the Austen books!) and "The Secret Garden."
*Edited to add- Guess what was on sale today at Anthropologie? Ha! Got a couple for the girls' room. And, so the collection begins!
Target Swanepoel hat
I saw the Swanepoel hats for Target the other day and I had to take a moment. I guess it's really not a surprise that I love something from a Target designer collaboration (see also: Missoni, Orla Kiely, and Liberty for Target!). I love these hats, they look like something from the 1940s. Since I love that aesthetic, the hats are perfect. The hats are also completely impractical for my life. Plus, I look terrible in hats. I can't deny it. I MUST have this hat. WANT.

Roma bag from Ona
While I love the camera bag/purse I have (Lola from Epiphanie), sometimes I want to take another bag out and about. There are times I don't want to take my bag traveling; it would be nice to be able to take whatever bag I want and know that my camera is protected. The Roma camera organizer looks like it might be exactly what I want. At $50, it's the right price too. From Ona bags.
The Pippa bag from Modalu. I'm not going to lie. This purse is really the only thing I am DYING to get this Christmas. It is really tough to find nice gray accessories. From what I've read online, the bag has great reviews. It is a bit expensive, but I can see using this bag for years to come. Completely worth it. Also, you can sort of pretend that you have a link to the royal family carrying the bag...maybe?!
J. Crew Heart Me sweater- this is a cheat item since I already bought it! I just love this sweater from J. Crew so much. I think it almost crosses over to the twee, but straddles the line. I plan on wearing it with a beige/tan skirt at work and with skinny jeans on the weekends. Unfortunately, it's sold out online. But, available in stores. J Crew ran a great deal the other day on its sweaters, I called and they found it for me. Crossing my fingers that it fits!

27-25 Goodbye to Texas A&M

To any Aggies who may be reading this, let me just say, you might want to stop now. Count your blessings that next year the tailgating food in your conference games will be out of this world fantastic.

It's no secret that I am a HUGE Texas Longhorns fan. My blood runs orange. Football is a big part of who I am and what I like to do. Yesterday's game against A&M was a big one. Not because it determined a bowl game or national championship, but because it is the last Texas v A&M game for at least several years. Which means bragging rights for about 10 years. Never mind that Texas has the better record overall. I wanted the win, I needed the win, I COULD handle the win!

I would say parting is such sweet sorrow. But, really it's not. I am so glad that A&M is leaving the conference and SO GLAD that we won.

That's a bit short. I have lots of thoughts on A&M leaving the Big 12 conference and what it means for them in the SEC (not good things, I expect for at least another 10 years), and what it means for us (finally able to make whatever deal we want). Am I a little sad to see a century old rivalry end? Eh. Truth be told, the Texas v A&M rivalry has been much less over the past ten years. As Texas and OU have made more of a national impact on the football field, Texas A&M just hasn't meant that much to us. Don't get me wrong, it's still SO sweet to beat them. But, my sense of school pride has never been dependent on them (ahem, A&M- see also school song, cheers, moves, etc...).

You may wonder why I haven't written that much about this college football season since I love college football so much. Well, for awhile I really didn't know that much about how the Texas team would gel. We have a young team with new Offensive and Defensive Coordinators. I didn't know much about McCoy or Ash, but had high hopes for them. It seemed like every week the team has a new stand-out player. All the newness made it difficult to say anything. Then, I found out about what *allegedly* happened at Penn State, and frankly, I was sick about it for weeks.

But, this win is pretty damn sweet.
So, I have many thoughts. In a nutshell-I'm so glad we won. Also, good God Tucker can you kick longer punts every once in awhile...OK, you made the winning Field Goal, you're forgiven. God, I LOVE Texas football!

Texas beating A&M for the last game in a century old rivalry- Hell yeah, that's a Friday Favorite!
Hook 'Em!

Thanksgiving Thanks

What a day. I don't know about you, but I enjoyed the HECK out of today. Thanksgiving is such a fun holiday. It's like a giant freebie of time to spend with family and friends without any real pressure other than eating. All you HAVE to do is watch the parade, a little football, and eat. I can handle that!

Today was awesome mainly because my brother and his wife came to spend the day with us with their adorable boys. I got to snuggle my sweet baby nephew and hear the peals of laughter of my other nephew playing with my daughters. Yes, there were tears. And, whining. We forgot the place-cards. Some of the dishes didn't come out exactly as planned. *However, I made some STELLAR dishes, recipes to come later. Oh My Word, amazingness amazing.* Unfortunately, M was ill most of the day. Even if it wasn't picture perfect, the time was well spent. My brother and sister are both in the military so between their job demands, TDYs, and family demands, we don't get to see each other as often as we like. So, it was nice to just have a day to chill. Also, my brother helped me hang my Christmas present (which I am SO excited about). You'll have to excuse me, I have one last football game to watch (TEXAS v Texas a&m) and find about a vat of lotion for my poor dishwater hands!I hope your day was full of food, football, and family.

Friday Favorite-Running for Champagne

This shirt is genius.

Via etsy seller cherry jean

At least to me. Hat tip to Jennie for the heads up. Now I just need to decide whether I should "run out" and buy one, or if I can wait for Christmas. Either way, I need one. I kind of feel like my running buddies need a few as well!

Go get your run on. And a little bubbly at the same time!

Running for Champagne-my Friday Favorite.

A Friday Salute

Fridays are usually reserved for an awesome find. Today, I need to salute. To salute all the veterans and their families who have worked to protect our freedom. To salute the brave men and women who complete their missions at home and abroad. To salute the families left behind during combat missions. To salute those in combat, those who support combat missions, and those who protect us in times of peace. Thank you, veterans.

Today I saluted one of my favorite veterans (my husband) by giving him the covers. It was the least I could do!

Perfect Turquoise Paint

Or: How to Transform a Room into a Tiffany Box

A few months ago I felt the need to paint! and redecorate! You don't start redecorating different rooms before you finsih the first room? Weird. What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment and easily distracted. So, I turned my attention to my girls' room. Their room had been a light lavender and lime color. In case you are wondering, SW Lime Granita. In fact, those colors had been the same ones we used in the nursery. After seven years of the same paint colors, I decided to change it. My daughter desperately wanted turquoise. I picked orange (Mistake #1).

I thought it would be a lovely sherbet color. In my mind I knew it would be perfect with white and pink accents. Notsomuch. It was very BRIGHT. I think it kind of made my kids crazier. After a few weeks of living with the orange, I decided we needed to move to a more soothing color. You can see the color AFTER I tried priming it. That's how bright it was!

This time, I let the girls pick. They picked SW Aqueduct (color matched by Lowe's). Did you know Lowe's color matches? It does-ANYONE's color. Even Benjamin Moore. Amazing. Saved me lots of $$$. I used to be super loyal to Sherwin-Williams. But, the Lowe's brand worked fabulously. Great coverage and about half the price. Also, I paid $$ for the super brand of Sherwin-Williams paint for the awful orange color and was still sort of pissed about that! The other colors below (BM Waterfall, SW Aqueduct, BM Robin's Nest, Valspar Beach Sparkle), all color matched at Lowe's. Lowe's, I love you!
The finished product- Lovely. Thanks again to my wonderfully patient friend Heidi, who came over to repaint what she just helped me finish painting 3 weeks earlier! The girls' room now reminds me of a Tiffany box. The color is perfect and I think it might have calmed my girls down a tad...maybe?! We are thisclose to finishing the room, hopefully with pictures to follow this week. If you're in the market for a new paint color, go to Lowe's. If you're in the market for the perfect shade of turquoise, go with SW Aqueduct. If you need to paint a room, become friends with Heidi!

Secret to a Happy Marriage

Well, I don't know if this is a secret, more like observations.

Things I've purchased lately: J Crew pumps (on sale), Cole Haan wedges (also on sale). I can't turn down a cute shoe on sale!

Things my husband has purchased lately: a log splitter, a hog trap (for feral hogs), about a million pounds of deer corn

Shows on my DVR: GLEE, Ringer, How I Met Your Mother

Shows on my husband's DVR: North American Hunter, NRA Sports Under Wild Skies, Goin Country, Primal Instinct TV- Bear Hunt

Catalogs I receive- Pottery Barn, Boden, J Crew

Catalogs my husband receives- Cabela's, Midway

Edited to add: Our Kindergartener has homework to disguise Tom Turkey from the hunters. Want to take a guess on what animal my husband is taking our other daughter out hunting soon?

Sometimes I wonder how we are even married. Yeesh. In case you are wondering, yes, I did (unknowingly) marry Ted Nugent!

Monday Diversion

I know Halloween is everywhere today. But, I just couldn't go with something spooky. I needed pretty and relaxing and the antithesis of...well, life lately. I remarked to a friend yesterday that I think Fall may be the busiest time of year for families. It seems like there is a festival every day. Instead of posting something spooky, I'm posting something serene. A relaxing snapshot from our trip to the Cayman Islands.
Ok, now to get spookified! Happy Halloween.

Friday Favorite- Shoe Perfection

Photo endless.com

It's not a secret, I love shoes. It seems I'm constantly on the quest for something- the perfect red heel, boot, etc. Lately I've been looking for the perfect walking shoe with a slight heel. I walk my daughters to school every morning. It isn't too far, but far enough that wearing heels is not a desirable option. I only have a few pairs of flats (I'm not really a flats girl), which are OK, except most of my pants are made for heels. This means that I'm either dragging my pants on the ground or pinning them up. At least until I get these, which I think might be the most brilliant thing ever, but I need to try them first-anyway...Neither dragging nor pinning is really what I want to do. So, I've been looking for a wedge. My co-worker recommended the Cole Haan Air Talia wedges. She has moved from exclusively 4 inch+ heels to the Cole Haan Air Talia wedges. She has been trying to convince me to buy a pair for a while and recently forwarded a 25% coupon (Use Code 2011FF + Free Ground Shipping on All Orders Over $150-runs through Monday!), so I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did. These shoes are better than I expected. I thought I'd use them primarily for walking, but they are so COMFORTABLE that I may wear them everywhere. I got the deep burgundy and am seriously considering going back and getting the brown or gray. I like that they are stylish AND comfy; you know it's rare to find both in the same shoe! I'm not going to give up my heels anytime soon (kate spade, I love your heels so!), but I may be adding more wedges in my repertoire. You should definitely invest in a pair of these, you won't be sorry.

My Friday Favorite- Cole Haan Air Talia Wedges

Friday Favorite- State Fair Fried Deliciousness

There is a reason God invented the gym and running. That reason is the Texas State Fair. Oh sure, there are your typical fair foods, the Fletcher's corn dogs and funnel cakes. But, really, why stop there? You must try this- Buffalo Chicken in a Flapjack. Sounds sort of unappetizing, right?- WRONG! It is the BEST. Spicy and sweet and totally delicious. I may have had two of these. What?! The game was terrible, I'm a stress eater.This was breakfast-Fried Bacon. I'm not proud...well, maybe a little. What better way to start the day than with a beer and fried bacon?!? It tasted like fried chicken skin with a hint of smoky bacon. In a word-yum. Also, so rich you could only eat one.
While on the hunt for a Fried Pecan Pie or Fried Brownie (we never found them, so sad), we found these little nuggets of goodness, Fried Frito Chili Pie. Again, looks can be deceiving. This was a frito with chili and cheese, dipped in corn batter and fried. Kind of like a queso chili hush puppy. So delicious.

Needless to say, my husband and I have been eating salad all week to atone for last Saturday. It was worth it though. Fried Fair Food- my Friday Favorite!

Texas Fair- Football and Fried Foods

This weekend my husband and I went to Dallas to go to the State Fair to see the Texas v OU "game." I have a love-hate relationship with the game. I LOVE when we win and HATE when we lose! Ha. Obviously this weekend, it was more hate than love. Siiiiiigh.

It's fair to say that this weekend was, in turn, familiar, exhilarating, depressing, even more depressing, really depressing, and fun. I'm glad we went, but next year I'd like to: 1) not sit in the Sooner section, 2) bring in a flask if I'm going to sit in the Sooner section, 3) have my team actually SHOW UP to play the game, and 4) find the elusive deep fried pecan pie. On the plus side, the weekend ended with a day of rain; my interpretation was God was wiping clean the slate or crying over the Longohorn's horrible performance. Either way, it was very welcome.

It's a Mystery

I disappeared for a few days, nothing too nefarious going on. Just got busy planning a Nancy Drew detective/mystery party for a certain 7 year old girl.

Nancy Drew was a semi-last minute party theme (changed a couple weeks ago from Harry Potter.) Obviously my kid LOVES to read! I was a bit worried about the theme, but it turned out "Terrific." The power of google saves the day. I'll share more ideas later. I have to say that each party we throw is my favorite, but this one was really fun. Definitely a great theme for the 7-9 year old set!

Texas Football

I have a slideshow up on Kirtsy!! I'd love for you all to stop by and see some amazing images that fuel one of my passions. It's not all about Longhorn football either! Go see. Thanks, Kirtsy women for indulging my passion.

Friday Favorite- BHLDN

You know how Anthropologie is just fun-there’s so many pretty things to look at and try on? And how you feel special and pretty and like a girl just walking in? Well, take that and multiply by about a million and you’ll get close to what it’s like at BHLDN. BHLDN is pure spun glitter sugar- like a perfect macaroon (which they served me on a silver platter-Hello!)I was just going to tell you about my favorite dress of the moment. But, since BHLDN is so new, I thought there might be some brides to be who would appreciate a full run-down to see if the dresses and store are worth it (Cliff Notes version- YES!). *Warning-This is a long post, but the pictures are pretty!* BHLDN is literally breathtaking when you walk in. Every single detail has been thought through. I could have photographed every inch of their space and still not adequately conveyed the feeling of each room. The entrance welcomes you in with a quirky, yet grand flair. The sales staff immediately warmly greeted me; they were the very definition of southern hospitality. They really set the stage for my entire experience. I was not disappointed. *I did not tell anyone that I was going to post anything about the store and my experience, though they gave me full permission to take as many pictures as I wanted.*

After the amazing entryway, you walk into the Blue Room. The Blue Room is full of shoes, accessories, and various adornments (capes, necklaces, etc). I fell in love with the Polka Dot D’Orsays from Bettye Mueller. They are too much- vintage fabric, blue and white. A bride could meet both Something Old and Blue with these. If I had ANYTHING that would have fit these, I would have snatched them up. Maybe not for the price, but I would have thought about it really hard!

Before we got into trying on any dresses, I told my SA, Bobbine (?) what I was looking for- evening dresses, at least one in a shorter length for a Texas themed charity gala. I need the dresses to be special but not too revealing since it is a work-related function. I like a vintage silhouette (no big surprise that the 2 dresses I liked most mirrored designs from the 1950s/60s and the 70s). I also prefer saturated colors. When my dresses were ready, I was led back to the salon through the hall of wedding dresses. Y’all. Just. WOW. Breathtaking. It’s been 10 years since I was in a bridal salon, but I don’t remember it being this breathtaking. The gowns are not only displayed in an amazing fashion, but also are amazing fashions. One of my favorites is the Pinwheel Tea Dress, remarkably similar to Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding dress; which I have always admired. If I were getting married, this would be a heavy contender. Gorgeous.

I tried the Metropolis dress on-technically a wedding dress, but my SA thought the silhouette and length would work well. I LOVED the silhouette and the beading is gorgeous. BUT, there at the middle, where there is a cute cutout? Yeah, that is way open, so when you are talking to someone they basically see your chest. Not cool.

The Ophelia dress is another one that has lovely detailing but definitely chest-acular. The lace has a really pretty sheen/shimmer on it. I can imagine that this would make a great prom or party dress if: 1) you WANTED everyone to see your chest or 2) you altered the dress to include similar lace or a fabric insert up top. I am unwilling to buy a dress in this price range and then have to make modifications.

The Tulle Era dress is technically a wedding dress-but this dress is exactly what I love- a vintage silhouette, interesting details, shimmery, shiny, unique. It was just lovely-all except one tiny detail. But, first, the lovely- the detailing is exquisite. Really well done. This is a Tracey Reese, and she worked in cute little rhinestone buttons all down the back and at the sleeves. If you wore this at your wedding, your guests would thank you for giving them something so lovely to look at during the ceremony. GORGEOUS. But, the sleeves are itchy. Like, really extremely itchy. I think removing the sleeves could easily modify this, but that loses part of the charm of the dress. For $2,400, I’m glad I didn’t fall in love with this dress. Pretty though. SO pretty. (Aside- Dude, what is my hair doing here? Augh. Bad hair day, cute dress)

Next up was the Ribboned Silk Gown in green. My verdict- overly fussy. It looked like a Project Runway dress. I mean that it looked like it was trying so hard to impress you. It had all the bells and whistles- cut on a bias, pleating, draping, ruffles…just too much. It wasn’t me. But, I can imagine this would be a beautiful wedding dress, especially in an outdoor wedding.

Finally the Vivid Fuschia Maxi Dress. This is my dress. It was the dress that sang to me when I put it on. I have never been a big fan of maxi-dresses since they can often look sloppy. This dress changed my mind. It was forgiving enough to allow me to eat at an event, but flowed beautifully when I walked. It didn’t just look like a maxi-dress; it looked like an evening gown. I loved the color, the fit, and the price tag isn’t too bad for an evening dress. I didn’t leave with it since it will not work for my Texas ball at all- I tried this on with 2 ½ inch heels (the Bow Topped Slingbacks) and it really needs the extra height. Also, the necklace they added, the Queen Anne's Lace necklace, was insane. This whole look? LOVED. Loved, did I say that? LOVED.

I can’t say enough nice things about the store itself or the people who work there. Anthropologie really outdid itself. This store is fantastic (I only wish they had a few more formal gowns that fit my needs, COLOR BHLDN, more color would be nice). My SA recently called me to let me know that some new dresses arrived in the silhouette I like, so maybe one of those will fit my needs and my budget! So, that’s my review and my favorite. If you are a bride, get thee to BHLDN. If you are going to any type of formal event, get thee to BHLDN. If you want to feel really pretty, get thee to BHLDN. I’m so happy this store opened in my town. I hope someone I know gets married soon so I can share BHLDN with them. If you are reading this looking for fit answers on any dress, let me know, I tried on many more than what is listed.

BHLDN is my newest favoritest store. Definitely my Friday Favorite.

Life in a List

Not to be confused with a Life List. I have all these ideas and no time, or time but no ideas. So, you get a list. Exciting, I know.
  • I was going to blog, but then it was Sunday, 9/11 and it deserved Something. I didn't have something. I wrote and erased and wrote and erased.
  • My husband took Em hunting this weekend. She said she had a blast, until she came home and saw that I painted her sister's nails. Then, she said "She got her nails painted and all I got was a mosquito bite."
  • I had a Groupon for a Keratin/Brazilian Blow-out. I was really excited to have pretty, pretty Breck girl hair. It's been about a month and- eh. I think I'll be going natural.
  • I made the CUTEST birthday invitations ever. Even the printing guy was impressed. Credit where it's due-here.
  • I am loving the new color in the girls' room. The perfect girls' room color. Shout out to my friend Heidi for painting and repainting with me!
  • Cross-Fit is no joke. My super fit friend, Karla, ended up in the hospital after a work-out. That is unreal. Scary stuff.
  • I am really loving hearing "McCoy to Shipley" commentary at Texas Football games again. Also hoping to hear more "Touchdown-Texas!"
  • I went to Michael's to get supplies for a couple projects. I made a special trip so I could use my 50% off coupon. I was sort of ticked to find out that what I needed was on sale for 60% off, so I couldn't use my coupon. Um, yeah...50% off or 60% off. Not too bright.
  • It's hard to find a good dustbuster.
  • I spent an hour looking for my address book. My organization system sucks.
  • Photoshop drove me to drink. Anyone know of any great classes, books, or tutorials?

Craft Day- Silhouette Success!

I loved having an extra day this weekend, I got to snuggle my sweet baby nephew, do some shopping, swimming, and finally some crafting! This weekend the girls and I worked on the cutest art project. Silhouette projects are all over, literally everywhere. I love the idea of silhouettes, but never found exactly what I wanted to do. I saw a monogram using dot paint (I believe it was on kirtsy) and thought, hmm...well, that's the start of an idea. I could do silhouettes using dot paints (I must say I thought that was a brilliant idea). We recently repainted and redecorated the girls' room (more pictures & posts coming, it is seriously cute!). The new room is great but needed a few personal touches.

I had a couple extra canvases lying around, so I decided to use them. I took a profile picture of each girl, magnified it and taped around the picture on a canvas. I found that the easiest way to do this is to tape all over the canvas, then trace around the picture and just cut around the picture. I gave each girl a huge selection of paint colors and dot brushes and let them go crazy.

Here they are in the drying stage. I found it really interesting that each girl had exactly the same colors, but their paintings look completely different.

I think the end result is adorable.

I'm linking this project up because I LOVE it so!

Linked at