sketchbook painting : glance

Anxiety: What if they pack the bananas??? (and a little RHONJ)

Michael S. Smith

That's my time-out chair.

I had a momentary freak-out on my Facebook page. Then I realized I would look super cray cray to my new friends when I commented 25 more times on my own status. So rather than stop the insanity, I decided to bring it over here for the rest of y'all.

I'm panicking about the move.  Not really full-on panicking, just sort of freaking out.

I'm pretty sure this started with the Real Housewives of New Jersey.  I felt incredible anxiety watching the riveting season finale.*

* I'm still not sure what to believe. Apparently half of them were strippers, but I mean, strippers are probably nice people, too.  Who's to judge besides Theresa, who's never been a stripper, but likes to let it slip when she know you were.  No one's ever accused me of being a stripper so I don't really know how it feels.  I guess I'd be mad, but then I'd be like "sooo you're saying I'm skinny?" and taking it as a compliment.  Wow, what is happening here.  Why am I talking about strippers. Oh yes, my anxiety.  

I never have anxiety (except when I'm flying).  I'm usually like whatevs, we'll get it done, let's open some champagne.  But, no, I'm sitting here in bed thinking things like what if the packers have to call in reinforcements because I'm exhibiting some hoarding qualities, or what if they judge me for having too many toys for Edward? Why do I care? OR OR what if they pack the bananas? maybe it's an accident. Maybe Edward put a half-eaten banana in the sock drawer and then it sits on the truck for 10 days and our whole house smells like a rotten banana.  What other things has Edward hidden?  Sandwiches? They can show up anywhere in this house!

But then my friend Paige left the following comment: "It's exciting to move! Forget being judged - who cares! :)"  She so right.  She knows how to calm a lady down.  She's a wedding planner, and planned my beautiful blue and white wedding, and always knows how to look on the bright side.  I will shamelessly promote her day and night because she's the best and that one little comment made me instantly relax and put things in perspective. (Find her here Paige Chenault Events)

This is exciting y'all! I'm moving!

So no more anxiety about packed bananas and judgey movers.

Let's do this!

Where's my champagne?

Happy 2nd Birthday My Sweet Edward!

May you always be sweet and silly, adventurous and a mama's boy ;) 
I love you more than you can ever imagine.  I'm so proud to be your mama.  

P.S. This year we're going to brush up on your knock knock jokes 

Chink in the Armor

 I feel like I need an early disclaimer in this post. I am not judging anyone for what they do with their child's hair. I am not. I am especially not judging my good friends whom I know have had major challenges, and have made very thoughtful, agonizing decisions about their daughters' hair. I think every family has to do what is best for their child. I think every child is different. Every family is different.

That being said, I am sad about this...

On the first day of second grade I picked Meazi up at 3:00. She started to tell me about her new classroom. I asked her if 'J' was in her class. She told me she was, and said, "But mom, there is one thing about that." I kept looking at her in the rear view mirror. Her face got a little contorted in a way I didn't recognize. She said, "Mom, she straightened her hair." J is Ethiopian/American- not adopted.

"I couldn't believe it mom."

I don't know how to describe what happened to Meazi while she was telling me about this. I know I should have been looking ahead, on the road, but her face was expressing so many things. I could tell that she had been taken down a notch. Her expression was sheepish, embarrassed, sad, insecure, confused- her little features held more emotion at one time than I thought possible in a face. It was like I was watching her thought process. She has really been trying to still embrace what she calls her freedom hair, but I see life, friends, beauty standards, and everything else, seeping quickly in and making her doubt her self, and her hair.

 Her beautiful, beautiful hair.

She doesn't need to be the spokesperson for natural beauty, I realize that. But it is more than that isn't it? I haven't seen the movie, Good Hair, but I think I need to. I can see my daughter being slowly pressured to not have an Afro-ever. I can see her being asked, in not so subtle ways, to conform. I can see her strong sense of identity shaken.

I see her being slowly convinced that freedom hair is all just a little bit too much. "I think I might like my hair straight" she said,"But just for a bit and then I would wet it to get it curly again."

Dear Meazi, tell that boy behind you who is complaining that he can't see around your hair to croon his neck, or move the hell over.

Smile at the next person who says something about your Freedom hair.

Tell your friend J that you absolutely loved her curls.

And rock on with your bad self.

sketchbook watercolor : autumn foliage

sketchbook drawing : crooked

Have a Lovely Weekend!

via Southern Style
I never made it to Charleston.  Wamp wump.  Instead I've been in a state of perpetual snuggle with my fevered child.  He's very unhappy about it, too.  Poor little guy.  So the above picture is the best I can do.  One of my favorite styles most associated with Charleston- the Charleston Single House - or as I call them, sideways houses.  They were designed to maximize air flow and breeze-catching in the days before air conditioning.  It's a style I've always loved. I'm disappointed that I didn't get to tootle around the city and Instagram sideways house pics for my Facebook page so y'all could envy all the fun I'm having.  I had big plans y'all.  Big plans! 

So next week, I really won't have time to blog.  Here's my schedule: 

  • Monday: Edward's 2nd Birthday! 
  • Tuesday: Pack the entire house (literally, we have like 4 boxes packed) 
  • Wednesday: Move out (don't mess around)
  • Thursday: Maybe drive to Dallas with The Suze, the dog and the toddler 
  • Friday: or maybe we'll wait until Friday 
So enjoy these linkies for the weekend, and if you want to be part of all of the moving chaos, I will try and update y'all on mah Facebook page

I'm all about having a custom vintage monogram made for the new house

The Suze's own personal Heaven

Phoebe Howard's Top Ten New Design Books in 2012 

ends tonight

I had no idea I loved cremone bolts

will be useful in the new house

Love me some elephants

More elephants to love 

I love casseroles in the fall and this enchilada lasagna recipe looks delish

More superfabulous tips from Leta Austin Foster

My brother and I were obsessed with Wee Sing Togetherwhen we were little.  
Get it for your kids if you want to get stuff done.  
Edward has watched it 45 times in the last 48 hours 

Ok Mr. Sikes, you win, 'tis The Best of The Best
This is why you're my best friend in my head

You're missing out

The Battery in Charleston

... and I'm missing out.  I was supposed to be in Charleston yesterday, but Edward came down with an ugly virus and I couldn't leave his sad little fevered face.  I'm hoping to still make it out there for the weekend, but it all depends on how many snuggles the little man needs today.

Now, the reason I say you're missing out is because you are ... if you're not my Facebook friend.  The next few weeks are going to be super busy and so when I'm not able to get a good blog post up, I plan on keeping up with y'all on Facebook because I can do it from my phone.

Here are some of the things you may have missed:

A yummy casserole recipe.

Paint chip ideas.

My trip to Tuesday Morning with The Suze.

And lots of silly things The Suze says and does while visiting me in Kansas City.  

I know, super important.

I'm totally being pathetic here and begging for friends, but I love being able to interact with y'all more than just me putting stuff out there and forgetting that anybody reads it.  Because I do forget that people might actually read my silly old blog.  Also, sometimes people ask me questions on posts, anonymously, so I have no way of answering.  So that's my pitch!  

Go here to be my friend.

sketchbook drawing : strut

Suzeday Tuesday: Book Hoarding is Good

"I don't want to buy this."

The Suze is whispering to herself as I turn down the aisle of Tuesday Morning.  She's flipping through a decor book, eyes glazed over, both clutching the book and slightly turning away from it.

"I don't need another book," she says to herself unconvincingly.  She doesn't see me coming.

"What are you looking at Mom?" I ask gently so she doesn't suspect another intervention.

"Oh, just another book I don't need ... but I might have to get it."

I knew when she didn't look up it was over.  She fell off the wagon.  I mean, let's be honest here, she was never really on the wagon.  Instead, she shuffled her feet behind the wagon eyeing it suspiciously while flipping through pages of the very decorating books that are threatening to close in on her personal space.  Literally, she'll set her handbag down and big, hardback decor books spill out as she quickly tries to push them back in so no one will see.

If The Suze is the Lindsay Lohan of decor book addictions, then I am Dina.  I'm an enabler.  I get the leftovers and the duplicates.  The duplicates are usually the ones she loves the most. She often can't remember if she bought them already, so she just buys it again to be safe.

So here's today's book in question:  Victoria Romantic Window Style (Victoria Magazine)

And here's my advice: Go get it.  You can afford it.  It's like $10.  It's nothing fancy on the outside.  I probably would have walked right by it because I judge books by their cover.

But then I would have missed out on that gorgeous, delicate, crisp, scalloped, pleated toile window action.  I might have gone through life never knowing that was even an option.  Never able to share it with y'all.  

Book hoarding is good.  

sketchbook drawing : figure drawing

Have a Lovely Weekend!

Edward's Big Milestone: Discovering the Joy of the Cardboard Box

Morning Lovelies! I can't believe the weekend is already here. That box is about the extent of my packing.  It's crunch-time now.  But first, long before we ever planned to move, Kip and I planned a trip to Charleston, well, actually Kiawah Island.  It's for work for him so it's not really optional (I know, feel sorry for him), and I decided I was going to make it work because it's one of our favorite places.  So that's happening before we move despite the timing.

This is one of those moments in life where I have to stop and pinch myself because even though it's crazy, it's all good crazy.  I refuse to be stressed about my blessings.  Unfortunately, all of this craziness may take me away from regular blogging over the next few weeks.  BUT, Thank Oprah/Britney, Facebook released a new Facebook Pages app that makes it much easier for me to connect with y'all via my good ole iPhone.  SO if you want to keep up with our move and our Charleston trip please LIKE me on Facebook.  You won't regret it.

Enjoy the plethora of random linkies:

This Kiawah Island home looks alright to me
lots of blue and white 

My brother is running a 50-mile race this weekend
I really can't even comprehend that, but I'm so proud of him nonetheless!

I liked this baby fever post, especially the blue and white nursery

This poem about a baby shower is one of the funniest things I've ever read

For my birthday, I want everything on this console table

For my birthday, I also want this Ashley Pittman Mbogo Light Horn Pendant
I'm going to totally brag here and tell you Ashley is a good friend 
and what she's doing is amazing and inspiring 

So much to love in this French Eclectic Johannesburg home, especially the shutters

I'm considering this deep blue for the basement with white trim and antelope carpet

Loving deep dark blue in the kitchen, although I'll never give up my love of white

Someday I'd love to commission some hand-painted panels for our dining room

This gorgeous wedding made me want to get married all over again

Jenny tells us how to be prettier, which couldn't come at a better time for me
do y'all ever have bad face days? where like not even make-up helps? 
been having those a lot lately 

for real, it's good

In case you forgot, be my Facebook friend, please! 

Lulu's Listing: Katharine Hepburn's Former Estate in Saybrook, CT

I know that many of y'all were concerned when you found out my littlest sissy, Laura (whom I affectionately call Lulu), just up and left us for college.  Did that mean no more Lulu's listings?  Would her studies get in the way of her bringing us fabulous real estate listings with pretty interiors?  I admit, I was worried and I thought it was pretty selfish of her to just leave us like that.  But then I got an email from her with the subject line: "pretty house!!" Two exclamation marks!! I knew it would be good.

And it is.

Behold.  Katharine Hepburn's Former Estate in Saybrook, CT.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Howard Hughes used to land his sea plane right in front of this house.  Apparently, you can too.  

According to the Sotheby's listing:

In 2005, New York Builder Frank Sciame embarked on a complete renovation of the property. Bringing to bear his experience restoring some of New York City's greatest landmarks including the New York Public Library and St. Patrick's Cathedral, he oversaw the project which included raising the structure five feet to protect it from the Long Island Sound. All new systems were installed, and the historic structure was seamlessly augmented to create light-filled rooms while preserving the historical integrity of the structure.
For more info, you can view the listing here.

I love that kind of history in a home.  I would buy a house just for those bragging rights.

Thank you, Sissy Lulu!

sketchbook drawing : the sewing project

On Magazine Subscriptions

Morning y'all! (this is a long post, skip to the bottom for a summary if you have ADHD)

I need you to talk to me for a second about magazines.  I love them, but I have let my subscriptions lapse since we are moving.  Oprah was not too happy about this.  Her "people" are sending me collection agency notices for not renewing my subscription.  It's slightly alarming to get stuff in the mail from a collection agency and then even more so to get it from Oprah.  And do you know how hard it is to get a hold of Oprah to tell her you don't want her magazine right now?? It's impossible! Other mags do it, too, and it's very deceptive.  I wonder how many people just pay the money and subscribe for fear of a credit issue.  Just thinking out loud here.  It's something I'm going to look into.

But that's really not what I'm here today to talk about - although if anybody who reads this is close friends with Oprah could you please tell her to knock it off - I'm here today to ask you what magazines you like and how you like to get them? Ever since the loss of my beloved Southern Accents and Domino (representing both sides of my dueling design demons), I've been like a lost child wandering in the woods looking for some identity.  Also, do I go the digital route and have them delivered to me over the internets or do I continue with the ancient method of prints on glossy papers, which are then bound and hand-delivered to the box that contains papers the old folks call "mail." Talk to me y'all.

P.S. Did you see Ivanka Trump's nursery in Elle Decor?

I love it.  I love the ceiling and the whiteness and how it's so calm.  Of course, I read about it on People's Celebrity Baby Blog because I don't get Elle Decor at the moment.  I loved this little blurb: 

“As impractical as it is, what I wanted for my first baby was a simple, all-white nursery,” she explains in the October 2012 issue of Elle Decor.

“Then I started reading books that said babies need color for stimulation, and I was horrified. Within a month, I'd hung one of those ugly colored mobiles off the crib.”  

I'm pretty sure we can all relate to that.  I still love an all-white nursery.  I'll probably do something like that in the next house if I am ever again blessed with a little munchkin.  They can get color stimulation in the playroom. Ok, this has been a super long and wordy post.

Talk to me y'all!

  • What mags do you like? 
  • How do you like to read them? Paper or digital
  • Are you being hunted by Oprah?
  • Am I going to have dumb children if I have an all-white nursery? 

Okay, Go.  

Wordless Wednesday (Nearly)

School is in session.

Heyy Fall!

Like Edward Cullen saving Bella from the out of control van, Fall came in and rescued us from the hot, oppressive summer.  Okay, that analogy was kind of really dumb, but I feel about Fall the way I feel about Edward Cullen.*  Pure love.

This room by Stan Topol from the 2012 Atlanta Symphony Associates’ Decorators’ Show House is the perfect fall room.  Crisp and cozy at the same time.  I love it so much.  I'm inspired to do some sort of gorgeous persian rug business in the new house.  I have no idea where since most of the house is carpet (a situation I plan on changing eventually. Like way later because in real life it takes time for a house to evolve.  Also, Edward is not potty-trained.)

Okay y'all, busy week getting ready for everything.  This is the week I have to stop pretending that a move isn't happening because it is and soon and I'm soo excited!

* I cannot tell you how mad I am at Kristen Stewart.  She cheated on R-Patz.  SHE. CHEATED. ON. EDWARD. 

** No I did not name my first-born after Edward Cullen.  He's Edward IV named after his dad, grandpa, and great grandpa.   It was just a very, very lovely coincidence :) 

*** I'm totally procrastinating right now ...

**** seriously, I need to stop.
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