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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

PARTY ON THE LEFT, PARTY ON THE RIGHT

Party for your motherfucking right to fight
Make some noise if you're with me...

Representing
Still not over it. RIP, MCA.

XOXOXO
ABC
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BRIMFIELD: SPRING 2012

Brimfield rolled around again, and after our first venture to the antique sale of antique sales, my BFF Laura and I were determined to return as seasoned professionals. Well, despite getting the week mixed up, the days mixed up, being forced to skip the tweetup dinner, and having to leave early to catch a flight to San Francisco to hold another dear friend's hand through some hard times, it was a success.

Once we arrived and made our way to the tweetup tent, we were lucky enough to get to chat with Cynthia from The Daily Basics, who is one of the lovely co-hosts of the event. We then ogled the beautiful Benjamin Moore displays, fortified ourselves with an alcoholic beverage or two, and headed out to fill our carts.

As you may know, I have been looking for a rug for the living room for a long time. One rug that fits the whole room. The measurement would have to be about 9'x16', which is a totally random size and very hard to find. I know that the Moroccan rugs are currently filling the bill, but eventually I'd like to get one rug for the room. Eventually, Ted! Keep your pants on.

So one of the first things we see is an amazing rug. The size? 9'x15'6". Here's the rug:

Beautiful Rug
Corner of Beautiful Rug
Border of Beautiful Rug
But here's the thing. This rug was a lifetime purchase. And one into which I wouldn't want the kids to be grinding goldfish crackers, or spilling chocolate milk on. So chances are it would sit in the attic for years. Besides that, it cost $5,500 and if I bought it I'd have had to have sex with it as well as put furniture on it because my husband would leave me. And while I'm up for almost anything, a lifetime of sexual relations with a carpet was off-putting enough for me to move on.

So on we went. I saw an antique typewriter that my mother would have died over:


But really? Who needs an antique typewriter? No one. Seriously. Unless it's the one on which your great-grandfather typed Moby Dick, you don't need that shit.

I also saw an antique quilt that I ALMOST loved:


But almost only counts in grenades and horseshoes, not antique quilts, so on we went. I was on the lookout for a pair of china dogs, and there were plenty in attendance but not all of them were appealing:

Too Fancy - Look At Their Smug Expressions
Too Green-ish
But like Goldilocks, the third time was the charm and I came across this pair:

Sweet-Faced Lovies
Only in typical Laura/Ann Burr/Brimfield fashion, Laura took them home by accident and her husband found them and thought she bought them and next thing I know I get this photo:

MY Dogs On Laura's Dresser!!!!!
Clearly I am going to have to go over there, physically remove them from the premises, and restore them to their rightful home on either side of my fireplace.

There were also some disturbing items for sale. Exhibit A:

Coffee Table With Creepy Bears Carved Into It
But by far the creepiest thing we saw in the two days we were there was this:

The Fuck???
And it just gets weirder when you see what the face belongs to:

Why, In The Name Of All That Is Holy? Why?
My friend Dave was seriously disappointed that I didn't buy it, pointing out the child discipline possibilities: "Do that again and you're going in the closet with the clown-faced horror-show carousel centaur!"

And what antique show would be complete without a Beyonce appearance?:

Knock Knock, Motherfucker

But the real haul of the trip was, believe it or not, a silver punchbowl. I have been coveting a silver punchbowl for years. I am bitter, because much like a bar cart, I feel a punch bowl is part of my WASP-y heritage and I should have inherited at least one. But no punchbowls are to be had for love or money in my family. So when I saw this:


I bargained the guy down $20 from the asking price and snapped it up! OK, so it's not solid silver (what am I, made of fucking money?), it's silver plate over copper (my mother was mortified), but it's beautiful and came with 12 matching cups:


I cannot wait to polish that bad boy up and fill it with delicious alcoholic beverages.


All in all, the trip was a definite success. I mean, how could it not be? The only downside, and I mean the ONLY one, was that we wanted to stay longer.


So next time we will.

XOXOXO
ABC
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

SHADES OF INDIGO

Happy Tuesday, lovers! Tuesday means another color collective from the beautiful Brynn at Chartreuse and a Twist, and thank God that this week she chose blue, indigo to be exact, because I have realized over months of contributing to the color collectives that I don't really have all that much color in the house. At least not till I turned my living room into a Moroccan souk - now I have every color in the rainbow on one couch...

But I digress. Blue is everyone's favorite color, and it's one of mine as well. Here is my compilation of indigo I pulled together on short notice:


Books, a throw pillow, a glass pitcher, a silk dress from Calypso, and a box of matches. But it's more than a photo, it pretty much sums up my whole life. How? Let me enumerate.

From left to right:

Photo album with my wedding photos in it. Well, that's not completely accurate. My wedding photographer went out of business in the time between when I got married and when I called him to order the prints and books that we had, mind you, already paid for. And when I say "went out of business" I mean "fell off the fucking earth." Couldn't be found in real life or on the Internet for love or money. So I don't have any professional wedding photos, all I have are the 4x6 proofs. Which is probably just as well as I was 20 pounds heavier then and I have crazy eyes in every photo because I was super-stressed despite all the extra Xanax.

Art books, shelter books, I could live on coffee table books. I am one of the few people that actually reads those mofos from cover to cover, and having them around is like being surrounded by old friends.

Glass pitcher that we didn't need, serves basically no practical purpose, and yet I bought anyway. This is the type of purchase that makes Ted want to divorce me. But whatever, it looks so pretty holding yellow tulips, it's almost worth the fight we had when the box arrived.

Throw pillow. One of nine that I just had made for the living room. Enough said on that front, I think.

Silk dress from Calypso. As I have mentioned, I have a problem with Calypso. Enough progress has been made that I now only shop from the sale section, but their prices are so high that it's still a bit of a problem. But this dress rocks and has a sash that makes your waist look tiny. Worth every penny, if you ask me. Not so much if you ask Ted.

Box of matches with a lovely drawing of a Chinese ginger jar on the cover. I use matches like people go through kleenex. I light candles every night, at least four, sometimes more. And I love Chinese ginger jars. But the newly cost-concious person I am trying to become cannot afford to fill the house with REAL ginger jars, so I settle for the ones painted on the matchbooks. See, Ted? I'm trying!

And let's not forget the background - Van Deusen Blue from Benjamin Moore. That's the color of my dining room from the chair rail to the ceiling. I know, a blue dining room is random. But it works, I swear. You'll just have to trust me because the lighting in that room sucks and makes it impossible to take a decent photo, but it might be my favorite room in the house.

So there you go! Go paint your dining room blue! Look at your wedding photos and reminisce! Buy fresh flowers and put them in a colorful vase and then look through all your coffee table books! Have fun :)

XOXOXO
ABC

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

MY LIVING ROOM: A HASHISH DEN

Can you have too many throw pillows? Ted, don't answer that. Seriously. I'm not talking to you. Although let me remind you that new pillows are cheap compared to new couches, so maybe you should shut the hell up. But I digress. Here's what I started with:

A Not-Great "Before" Photo of Couch
It's been a while since we've talked pillows, so to refresh everyone's memory, here are the fabrics I chose for the new ones:



I made some inquiries on Etsy, pricing the cost of having the fabric turned into pillows. I have what some might say is an irrational fear of sewing machines. I don't understand how they work, and I am positive that if I tried to operate one I'd sew myself to the fabric. I have been assured that this is unlikely, but I remain unconvinced. If you knew me in real life, you would understand.

Anyway. Etsy proved a tad pricey for this newly frugal gal, but fate intervened in the form of T-Dawg's mother-in-law, the estimable Norma Panetta (you just know she makes an incredible spaghetti sauce, right? Is that racial profiling? Whatever...) who is 83, adorable, and an expert seamstress.

In a matter of weeks, she whipped up about 18 pillow cases for me, and they ARE AWESOME. Seriously. The photos are not going to do them justice, but you know there are going to be photos anyway. Lots of them. So let's get started:






What's that? Not enough close-ups? Oh, don't worry:





And for those of you who are concerned with how well the new pillows go with the Moroccan rugs that I freed from the attic and laid down in the living room (you know you're out there), I have photo for you as well:




I still think that they look better in real life than in any of these pictures, but you're going to have to take my word for it, cause I'm not giving out my address here. I mean, come on, hello, STALKERS! (Fuck you, I could have a stalker. You don't know.)

Anyway, my living room has gone from a very neutral beigey/muted-gold room to looking basically like a Turkish bazaar. I'm thinking of buying a hookah and shit as a prop, and constantly playing Berber folk music in the background to give the whole thing just a little more authenticity. Although then I'd probably end up smoking hash in the hookah, getting totally paranoid, and locking myself in a closet for five days. So maybe I'll just stop with the pillows.

XOXOXO
ABC
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

SEXY SUMMER SWIMSUITS

I am 39 years old. I mention this because according to many, many, many people, I am too old to wear a bikini. I am also probably too fat, according to plenty of folks. Personally, I think you should wear whatever the hell you want, and what I want to wear is a bikini, and everyone with an opinion can shut the fuck up.

This is not to say that I have supreme swimsuit confidence. I do not. My fear and insecurity centers around two specific areas: 1) the dreaded roll of fat that you get right above your bikini bottom on the side/front (you know what I am talking about, and if you don't, fuck you), and 2) the tan lines that you get from a suit with straps. Without fail, you will end up somewhere in a dress that is strapless, or just cut differently from your favorite suit, and there your strap tan lines will be, on display. But I have singlehandedly solved both of these problems  and am going to share the solutions with you, along with some of the bathing suits I would be buying if I wasn't married to SeƱor Stingy.

First of all, eschew all bottoms except for the string bikini. It's counter-intuitive, but you can ADJUST the sides so that you will never, ever have folds of fat overflowing from the top. It's genius. Second? The bandeau top. Embrace it. Just make sure that if you are a bustier girl, you get a size/cut that has adequate coverage to contain and support what the Good Lord gave you. Trust me on this one.

Now for the fun part. In a dream world, I would own this lovely suit from Missoni:




I love the pattern, and the double strings are just fun fun fun. Unfortunately the price is totally unfun, so no Missoni for me this season.

Another beauty comes from Paul Smith:

I love this suit, and own the bottom (bought before Ted declared the fatwa on spending that is currently in place), though the top was sold out and I had to settle for the string bikini top so I spend the entire time wearing it worrying that I'm getting strap lines. I may need to increase my Xanax dosage...

But lest you think that fancy designers are the only ones making cute suits, fear not. There is always J. Crew. Now J. Crew prices, while not astronomical, aren't chicken feed either. But you can wait for the sales and totally clean up. Here's what I'm eyeing:



This suit has the benefit of decent coverage up top and the "double tie" on the bottom - very cute and adds a little interest to a plain old string bikini bottom.

Victoria's Secret is next. Now, wait, hold on! I know! You don't want to look like white trash. I get it. But VS actually has some cute suits, and their tops provide excellent support, what with them being a brassiere company and all. Here are my current faves:


So cute! Tie-dye! and the double tie on the side! Also, the back ties instead of having a clasp, so you can adjust it really easily. Here's another one I love:


Come on! Pink? With RUFFLES? I am in love. With a bathing suit. Whatevs, I'm going with it. Just trust me on this and check out Victoria's Secret - there are hidden gems among the glitzy, trashy, Girls-Gone-Wild suits.

However, the real jackpot when it comes to bathing suits that don't break the bank is Old Navy. That's right, you heard me. Old Navy. This is just about the perfect suit:
And it comes in a million colors as well as awesome patterns like this:

Here's another Old Navy suit that's equally as adorable with a slightly different cut:

There is one drawback to only owning bikinis, and it's one that became apparent to me only after Ted and I moved to the country. You see, in our little town, everyone is a member of the town pool. Which is lovely, with three huge pools, tennis courts, a snack bar, and softly rolling grassy lawns where one can spread a blanket and hang with the fam. 

But one feels strange at the town pool in a bikini. Trust me. I generally count my fellow pool/beachgoers lucky if I am wearing my top, let alone a one-piece suit. But there's something about running around making sure that your two small children don't drown that lends itself to wardrobe malfunctions. And before you know it, you're giving everyone a free show. And I like to charge for that shit, so I caved and bought a one piece suit.

The one I got was from Land's End and is great, but they no longer make it, and in fact pretty much every single suit they have on their site now is hideous and looks guaranteed to make you look 20 lbs heavier than you are, and frumpy besides. But no worries, J. Crew comes to the rescue with this sleek little number:
Which also comes in what might be my favorite color for a suit that I've seen this season:
So go! Buy a bikini! Wear it! I don't give a shit how old you are, or how many pounds you think you have to lose, you can rock a two piece. I promise. 

XOXOXO
ABC
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS

I have a wedding to attend in June. Hollen of Hollen Picked is getting married (finally) to her high school sweetheart Adam. Hollen is the youngest sister of my college roommate and BFF Meredith, and the wedding is going to be lovely; a semi-formal, outdoor affair in Connecticut.

So obviously the most important question is what to wear. I've done the lion's share of the work (you're welcome) and narrowed it down to two dresses and two pairs of shoes. But I am now stuck. Here is dress number one:

Diane Von Furstenberg
Lovely, right? But is it too sexiful? I don't want to look like a whore (you'd think that would go without saying, but no...) Lace is super in right now. And look at that raw lace trim on the neck, sleeves and hem! It's gorgeous, and the dress has some edge, which I like. I'm also a fan of the 3/4 sleeve. With those sleeves, no wrap necessary, only a small black clutch. I do love this dress. But alas, I also have feelings for dress number two:

Ann Taylor
I know what you're thinking: it looks like a bridesmaid's dress. And you're right, it does. I would trade the sash for a wide black satin one, add an extra crinoline underneath, and pair with a 3/4 sleeve black cashmere cardigan. I love this dress, too. Although it looks almost exactly like the dress I wore to my first formal event in high school so I may just be striving to regain my lost youth and innocence...

Anyway, while you ponder the dress dilemma, here are the shoes (both of which I already own, Ted, so don't have a fucking heart attack, OK?):

Badgley Mischka


Badgley Mischka
So what's the verdict? If you're wondering what Ted thinks about the dresses, I did, in fact, ask him which one he liked better and he responded with "Which one is less expensive?" so obviously he has forfeited his vote (and we are not speaking).

I am trusting you, my dear ones, to make sure I look like neither a whore nor a bridesmaid. Don't fail me. And don't tell me that black and navy don't go together, because they totally do.

XOXOXO
ABC
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