Blogging tips

Sunday, January 29, 2012

IT'S NOT AMBER, GODDAMMIT!!

So I have a weird name. I get it, it's complicated, strange, not the average. My first name is Ann Burr. Together, two words, one name. It's like Mary Jane, or Sara Lee, but instead of being two names that are normal, my middle name is Burr. So everyone gets it wrong. I get called Ann. A lot. Like, by people which whom I have worked for 10 years. I also get called Amber. A lot. Which is fine, except Amber totally sounds like a stripper name to me, or a porn star name, maybe because it actually IS a fucking porn star name. If I had a nickel for every time someone thought it was hysterical to call me Amber Lynn, well, let's just say I'd have plenty of nickels.


I don't automatically answer to "Ann," because it sounds like someone else's name to me. I do answer to Amber because it sounds enough like my name that half the time I can't even tell if people are fucking it up or not. I do not answer to Amber Lynn. Anymore. (Dude, college was a long time ago).

All this to say that I kind of like the stone amber. I appreciate the irony, I guess, and also, it's pretty:






Ted and I have a checkered past when it comes to gift giving. But every now and then my Smoochie Bear hits it out of the park, and such was the case when he returned from a European business trip with an amber pendant necklace. I loved it. Well, sort of. I loved the stone. I hated the setting:


It doesn't look so bad here (I mean, the picture's crappy, but give me a break, I'm still learning how to use the goddamn camera), but the back of the chain hoop thing is really pointy and hurts. And just trust me, it's ugly. But it doesn't have to be! My plan is to take it to Stephen Goodman's shop in New Haven and have him fix it. This is what I want it to look like:


Then I will love it and I can wear it and feel like I get the joke, even if no one else does.

XOXOXO
ABC
Pin It!

Friday, January 27, 2012

RETAIL RECOMMENDATION

OK, I'm just going to start out by admitting that I've had two martinis so whatever mistakes are made here are due to drunkenness. But, you guys, if you knew the day that I had, you would fully sympathize. Thankfully so did my husband, the estimable Smoochie Bear himself, so when I got home (at seven fucking fifteen PM) this was waiting for me:

Vodka Martini, Extra Dirty, Extra Olives
And thank God it was, because seriously - NOT a good day. But let's move on.

It's Friday, so I have another internet establishment to recommend where you can waste spend your money ( don't mind me, I'm drunk and bitter). So the store of the day is Stella and Dot which, honestly, seems to have changed a little since I last visited the site - I'm too drunk confused to figure out exactly how, but it seems a little like Mary Kay where you can sell the stuff yourself. Whatevs. Don't let that deter you. The jewelry is beautiful, and I would be happy to own anything they sell. Or anything they make that you sell to me. I'm not choosy. To get down to business, here are the necklaces I most desire:

$69

$69
Yes, I realize that these are very similar. I am not blind. On to the bracelets:
$34 each
I do love a stretchy, beaded bauble. I'd add this one, too:
$20.40 (on sale)
But wait, that's not all! They also have amazing earrings:
$29
$44
$49

And rings!:
$39 each

$69
And yes, I realize that I posted a pair of snake earring as well as a snake ring. I have issues. Welcome. Anyway, don't let my issues or my drunkenness stop you from shopping at (or, apparently, selling for) Stella and Dot, because their stuff is the bomb! Are the kids still saying that? I'm sure they are. I'm almost positive.

XOXOXO
ABC
Pin It!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

MY MARRIAGE IS A MIRACLE

To be completely frank, I actually think most happy marriages are a miracle. But there are times when Ted and I seem like such completely different people that it astounds me that we can even communicate in a common language, let alone live together and love each other.

One morning Ted and I woke up and I turned to him and said, "I had the craziest dream last night. I was a knight, and I had this mission, I had to fight and kill a dragon, only the dragon was on another planet, and my sword got lost, and I was having a hard time teleporting to the dragon planet, because I had to do it using only my mental powers and when I did get there..." I'll spare you the rest, but it went on for a good 20 minutes.

When I was finished telling my dream, Ted said, "Wow. That's a crazy dream! I had a crazy dream last night, too! I dreamed that I looked in the mirror and I had a giant afro!" That was it. That was his crazy dream.

Here's another example. A box arrived in the mail the other day with two books in it. One was for me and one was for Ted. This was my book:


This was Ted's book:


I don't know which one of us is more confused by the other person's book choice.

XOXOXO
ABC
Pin It!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I WANNA SEE YOUR PEACOCK

I am either waaay ahead of the times or waaay behind them, but fuck Tangerine Tango. The color of the minute is, you guessed it, PEACOCK. That's right. You  heard it here first (or last, I'm not really sure). Let me show you:


From EyeKandiiCosmetics at Etsy.com

Picture from Gilt.com

Aldo Londi for Rosenthal Vase
Linea Pelle Dylan 2 Cosmetic Case Set on Gilt.com

Chinese Cizhou Vase from Christie's
Pour la Victoire Shoe at Gilt.com

Watercolor from MaiAutumn at Etsy.com

Throw from Z Gallerie That They No Longer Sell

Let's just say I am loving me some peacock right now. And that's enough with the jokes. Jeez, you guys, grow UP! What I want to do, other than buy those pants and wear them every day, is buy lots of vases like the two above and put them in a gorgeous but tasteful arrangement on top of the armoire I bought to house the TV in the living room, mainly so I can be in denial that we actually HAVE a TV in the living room, because I think that's totally white trash. Oh well, secret's out on that one, I guess. But can't you picture it?:


And they have to be nice vases because I believe in mixing "high/low" when you're doing a room, and the armoire is definitely "low," having been built for the sole purpose of housing televisions, DVRs, DVD players, and the like so that people such as myself can hide their trashiness (I'm SORRY. We don't have a "family room," OK? Jesus!) And since I'm not buying much of anything these days, let alone fancy antique ceramic items, my vision will have to wait. But make no mistake, it will happen. Sooner or later. Probably later. Yeah, considering the conversation Ted and I had earlier, later for sure. 

XOXOXO
ABC
Pin It!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

YEAR OF THE FUCKING DRAGON

Well, if you're going to get all technical, I guess it's just the year of the REGULAR dragon (boring Chinese people). But still. Come Monday, it'll change from the year of the Rabbit to that of the Dragon. What's that? You're not Chinese? So what? No reason not to get our dragon on, right? What will this year bring to us round-eyes? Maybe it's the year I should get a giant tattoo of a dragon!


All right, even at 1:45 AM I know that's probably a bad idea. So what do you have? What ideas are you bringing to the table for celebrating this moments occasion? Suggestions should be submitted in the comments section.

XOXOXO
ABC
Pin It!

I BELIEVE I CAN FLY

OK, that's a lie. I don't really believe I can fly, no matter how well my meds are working. But I still want a cape. There. I said it. I want a cape. Badly. And I'm not going to get one, and boo hoo, and poor me, and life's a bitch and then you die, whatevs, but that doesn't mean I can't post lots of pictures of the capes from which I would choose, were I to be in a cape-buying position. See how I said "choose"? That's right. Even in my fantasies I am not some greedy, multiple-cape-owning maniac. No, I am clear-headed and sensible, and choose ONE cape in which to be fabulous. But enough about my cape fantasies. What do YOU think of my cape fantasies?

$??? (Don't Even Know Where I Got the Photo)

Vince Camuto, $100

Cole Haan, $775 (!!!!!, WTF, and I Know, Right????)

Via Spiga, $100

Toast, $??? (It Was In Pounds and I Am Bad At Math and Lazy)

$??? (But a Cape AND Plaid? Words Fail Me)
I have a few things to say. First of all, about those capes that look like they have leather trim. I will have you know that is faux leather. I TRY to be a good vegan. Secondly, you may be wondering how you keep your hands/wrists warm whilst wearing a cape, and I have the answer. Cashmere-lined opera length (hopefully faux) leather gloves. I even own a pair, except they are from before I went "full vegan" and they are real leather. I know, I know. Thirdly, who is going to go out and buy me one of these capes? I mean, none of you cheapskates ponied up for those earrings in my earlier post, so my hopes aren't high, but come on. Help a sister out. Anyone? Hello? Is this thing on?

XOXOXO
ABC
Pin It!

Monday, January 16, 2012

SECOND DIY PROJECT: SUCCESS?

If this project had been the only thing that I accomplished over this long weekend, I would be returning to work tomorrow a happy camper. But I also managed to watch four football games, attack the job of submitting medical expenses to our insurance company, find, buy, and consumea large amount of vegan queso dip, spend hours upon hours on Pinterest, sex up my husband, find and purchase a desk for one of my clients (Sissy) off of Craigslist, buy (WITH CASH, TED. WITH CASH) a pair of corduroys and a sweater at the Gap for $23 total, clean the living room no less than three times, and all of that with a cold. I feel like a Marine. You know, except for the honor, glory, and saving lives, and protecting the country part.

Anyway, back to me and my DIY project. To get you in the correct mindset, let's take a look back at what I had to work with. This is what the area in between the door to the garage and the beginning of the kitchenette looked like when we started:


Pretty bad, right? But I had a vision. A vision that would not be denied. And sure enough, after two trips to Home Depot for Ted, one trip from the top floor to the basement carrying the wooden chest from Andrew's room for me and Sissy (Ted had apparently "hurt his back" reaching for a beer during the Giants game or something), and lots of measuring and drilling, my vision was realized. Here are the hooks:


And here's the chest:


Which I realize is a little beat up, and I can't wait to try that walnut trick I read about on Pinterest, but I still like about a million times better than anything I could have bought at Target. I even like that it's kind of beat up. Here's how the hooks are positioned between the cabinets of the kitchenette and the door to the garage:


Try not to be over-impressed by the fancy countertop we put in for the kitchenette. One day we'll put in butcher block and a farmhouse sink but till then we're keeping it real with fake granite and plastic cupboards. Here's the chest:


I like that the color of the wooden chest is sort of between the wood floor and the darker wood trim around the door. Trust me, it looks nice in real life. Especially the countertop. OK, not the countertop so much, but come on, one thing at a time! Here's the whole shebang:




I love it. I am IN love with it. The success of this project, coming so close on the heels of the chair recovering experiment, is going to have me believing that I can tackle anything. Which, I guarantee you, will not end well. For me or for Ted, who will very likely be held responsible for whatever goes horribly wrong. But until then, we can revel in the glory that is our new storage bench/coat hanging area. And revel we will.

XOXOXO
ABC
Pin It!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

SUNDAY SNEAK PEEK: MUDROOM

As you are aware, I am involved in a slightly desperate effort to transform our "playroom," in which the kids do very little playing, into a back entrance/mudroom. So far all that's been done is changing out the floor. Not that it didn't make a huge difference, what with the nasty linoleum with a giant hole in it that used to grace the room. It did. Now the beautiful new engineered-wood floors gleam up at me:


But lately, the gleam has a bit of reproach in it: "Is this it? The floor? That's all you had in you? You're just going to quit on the whole thing? Nice. Really nice. Quitter. QUITTER!" I understand where the floor is coming from. I haven't done a single thing since it was installed, but I have valid reasons lame excuses! I believe I MAY have mentioned before that Ted is just a TAD touchy about spending money we don't technically have. What with Bonus Time being the end of February, this is a tough few weeks for us. Ted is in even less of a mood than usual to go spending money on mudroom furniture, or anything else for that matter. Which forced me to put my plans on hold. But having to wait actually turned out to be a good thing.

In usual circumstances, I would have gone right ahead with my plans, started with the area to the right of the door from the garage, gone and bought these items from Target:
and been done with it. I also would have been out more than $300 and had to put it all together myself which would have been a total bitch. But given a few weeks to think it over, I realized that this isn't what I want at all. The words by which I try and live, and which I use to guide my interior design work with clients, are these:

EVERYTHING IN YOUR HOUSE SHOULD BE EITHER BEAUTIFUL, USEFUL, OR VERY MUCH LOVED

Now, I'm not saying that the stuff from Target wouldn't have been useful, but really - do I want MORE tacky, cheaply-made furniture in my house? I'm trying to get RID of all the particleboard and MDF crap that we have, not ADD to it. And at about the same time that I had this epiphany, I realized we already owned a chest that might work as a bench. We got it from Matt's parents (Matt is Ted's best friend from college and is also married to Adriana and his parents are basically an extra set of parents to Ted and me) when they moved out of their house into an apartment. It's currently in Andrew's room, being remarkably NOT useful as it's not child-safe and we had to nail it closed so neither of the boys got swallowed by it but we thought it would still work as a bedside table:


Except  since we added the top bunk it doesn't even fit next to the bed. And never you mind about the disaster that is the rest of Andrew's room; that's a makeover for another post.

So I measured it. And lo and behold, it's EXACTLY the right size. And then I thought about the hooks. I don't need all those fancy shelves and cubbies and whatnot that come with the Target thing. I just need hooks on the wall, maybe two rows of them. Like this:


So once it was clear that the Texans were not going to win and that we could make it back before the Giants game, we ran to Home Depot and picked up an 8' long 1x2 board and nine hooks. And then we came home and watched the Giants kick some Packer ass. But tomorrow we are (Ted is) going to cut that 8' board in half and attach both pieces to the wall. We will screw in the coat hooks and bring down the wooden chest and try to un-nail it shut, and then we will have a storage bench and a coat rack. And all for about $50. I. Can't. Wait.

XOXOXO
ABC
Pin It!

Friday, January 13, 2012

RETAIL RECOMMENDATION

Since my credit cards have been taken away (no joke. Ted told me he thinks I need to go to Debtors Anonymous. I told him I thought he should go to Alcoholics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, and Workaholics Anonymous, and haven't heard much about Debtors Anonymous since) I have been merely window shopping as opposed to actual shopping. It's sort of the same, in the way that seeing and smelling food but not being able to eat it is the same at eating. So not the same at all, really. In fact, it totally fucking blows.

Seeing as how I wouldn't be on my current shopping hiatus if I didn't know a little about spending money on the Internet, why don't I share my knowledge with the world my five followers? Well, I shall! One by one, I will fill you in on my favorite virtual stores so that you, too, can spend spend spend and rack up lots of credit card debt and fight with your husband and... Well, never mind all that. Just check out these stores. They rock.

The first shop I want to share with you is Zhush. I know, it's a weird name. Don't worry about the name. The store's awesome. Here's what I WOULD be buying right now, had not a certain someone changed all the credit card numbers and refused to share the new ones with me:
$60 for set of four
How beautiful are these coasters? They are so nice that I almost wouldn't feel like an asshole asking people to use them. Almost.

$150
And how perfect is this tray? It's so perfect that I wouldn't allow anyone who lives here to put anything in it. But that's just how I roll. You could totally use it to put your keys in when you walk though the door. Or in your bedroom for when you take off your jewelry before bed. Or on your husband's dresser for him to leave his watch in overnight, if you were inclined to be buying your husband nice things right now, which I, personally, am not.

$49
This wishbone makes no sense, but I covet it nonetheless. I see that here they are using it to keep a book open, which is actually a really good idea now that I think about it, and I am sure that there are several other uses that I am not smart enough to have considered. But whatevs, it's really pretty and makes me think of wishes (I wish I hadn't spent money so freely that Ted felt the need to force me to live on the fraction of my paycheck that goes into my personal account every week... Oh, wait. It might be a little late for that one).

$85 for set of four
Mint julep cups! Yay! You can use them for flowers, like in the photo, or for drinking mint juleps. A mint julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, and is essentially bourbon with a some sugar and a spring of mint. But drinking bourbon till you can't see straight is classy if you do it out of a silver cup. Duh. And with these cups, you can have mint juleps anytime. No need to wait for a horserace that only rolls around once a year and after which they sometimes have to shoot a horse because he or she broke a leg. Oh dear, we seem to have taken a dark turn here. On to the next!

$115
These are salt and pepper shakers. I explain this because I am so stupid that I thought they were merely ornamental and almost bought them to display on my coffee table. I still think they are too pretty for salt and pepper shakers, but what do I know?

$85
Now these have my name written all over them. I sign off with Xs and Os and wear mostly small, stud earrings. How perfect? You know, in case someone reading this feels sorry for me and wants to send a little something to help cheer me up while I'm stuck in this financial gulag. Hey, it's possible!

$135

And this has my sister's name on it, literally. It's called the Logan clutch! And it's pretty and sparkly and because it's multicolored you could use it with almost any outfit so it's practical, too. Who says I can't spend money wisely?
$25
And while this did not literally have my mother's name on it, it might as well have and so I bought it for her (this was before the current ban) in pink, and she loves it.

Believe me when I tell you this is just the tip of the iceberg. Zhush is packed with so many beautiful things that I want almost every single item in the shop. Lucite trays, monogrammed pillows, mirrors, clocks, picture frames, pill boxes (just sayin'), and more. All of it lovely, all of it calling my name...

Ah, well, luckily for me, in addition to the shop Zhush also has a blog that showcases everything from beautiful decor to artists to (every Friday) a Random Chanel Item. Who can resist? Not me; I read it every day. So at least I have that with which to console myself until I can convince Ted that I am a financially responsible adult who cares more about the brats' college fund than about having pretty things for myself. Which is going to be hard, in large part because it's not true.

XOXOXO
ABC



Pin It!