Faux Fur Fabulousness

Anyone who knows me or who has seen me dressed for the chillier months, knows that I LOVE faux fur.  I have several faux fur vests and coats.  I plan on upholstering a small stool in my sister’s bedroom with some faux fur because she is in desperate need of a foo foo bench.  Who isn’t, really?

I recently purchased a faux fur pillow to be featured on the formal living room sofa.  Our bond is so deep that I named her Priscilla the Pet Pillow.

I’m also a fan of alliteration.

Maybe I’ll write a book about her one day like those dogs that live at hotels.  Priscilla the Pet Pillow Goes to Paris.

I like it. File that one for retirement.

While there are only so many appropriate applications for faux fur as it doesn’t lend itself to bathing suits, table cloths, or car exteriors, I was ecstatic/overjoyed/borderline mental when I came across Restoration Hardware’s new line of faux fur accents in their catalog.  More specifically, their faux fur wine holders.

faux fur fabulousness

http://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod2320311&categoryId=search

How fabulous are these?!?!  AND they are 25% off at just $9!! They come in 6 different kinds of faux fur! I wanted them badly.  I called up the local restoration hardware and the conversation went something like this:

RH lady: “Restoration Hardware.  How can I help you?”

Me: “DO YOU HAVE THE FAUX FUR WINE HOLDERS SHOWN IN YOUR CATALOG AT YOUR STORE??!!?”

RH lady: “Yes, we do.”

Me: “ARE THEY 25% OFF LIKE THEY ARE SHOWN IN THE CATALOG AND ONLINE?!?!?!?!”

RH lady: “Yes, they are.”

Me: “DO YOU HAVE GOOD STOCK?!??!”

RH lady: “We do.”

Me: “I’LL BE RIGHT OVER!!!”

I literally jumped in the car and drove to the mall.  In less than 30 minutes, I was walking out of Restoration Hardware with my bag fabulous faux fur wine holders in tow.

Victory!

Y’all try to stay calm,

Sugarlump

P.S. There is a faux fur laptop case.  I need it.  In Mink.  Does Santa read blogs?

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Gold Mine

I recently made a trip up to Boston to help my parents clean out closets and storage spaces that contain the relics of my childhood.  In an effort to purge the no longer needed, my parents nominated me to make the call on what was too precious and dear to part with and what needed to find a new home in a hurry.

The major area that needed addressing was my sister’s and my old playroom that had become a resting place for furniture no longer allowed in the main part of the house.

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Things only got worse before they got better.

But, boy, did they get good.

I found some real treasures among 3 carloads, 2 truckloads, and dozens of 55 gallon trash bags by the curb of rejected items.

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This here is one of the Hanson brothers, also known as my little sister Eugene.

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I found an entire box of cards that my sister’s classmates had made her when she had her tonsils removed in the first or second grade.  By the volume of cards and the concern in her classmates’ scribbles, you would have thought she was having high-risk, open-heart surgery.  She had many a reminder to eat popsicles, which had some very creative spellings.  My favorite though, was this card from a young man who I deduce was named Harrison.  He seemed to have some top secret information for Eugene on the inside of the card as she was to “plees opon alone.”

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I found my Chapel signs from my senior year of high school.  Man were those a trip.

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This is me in 8th grade with my kindergarten buddy.  I think she’s applying to colleges now.  I feel old.

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Hard to believe since it was just yesterday that I was sporting pig tails and cat appliques.

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Who remembers Lisa Frank?! I used to love to buy this stuff at the school store in elementary school!

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I was unsure about this creature that belonged to Eugene.  I sent her this picture to inquire about its nature.

Me: “What is this here creature?”

Eugene: “A horse in a kimono, naturally.”

Right.  He was for sure a keeper.

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Cards congratulating my parents on my birth.  I’m not sure if it was a common thing to say back then (let’s hope), but a lot of the cards said, “take good care of her,” as if my parents were questionable guardians.   This kind of made me laugh/worry.

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This is a realtor packet from 1992 when my parents sold their first home in Maryland, where Eugene and I were born.

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Apparently I took interest in homes and real estate at a young age as it appears I added my own notes to the list of house features.

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I had a lot to add.

And that was only day one.

Y’all be good,

Sugarlump

 

 

Oh Christmas Tree

It’s been so long since a fresh post.  Too long really.

It’s so annoying how life gets in the way of blogging about my life.

I’ve been up to a lot of things as the holiday season picks up speed, namely getting my apartment ready to host my immediate family Christmas.

The first order of business was a tree.  I wrangled a live 8 foot Frasier fir into my jeep and then up 2 flights of stairs to my apartment.

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All by myself, thank you very much.

I just flung that puppy over my shoulder and never looked back.

I was very impressed by my achievement as I went to put the stand on the tree and realized I had no tree stand.  What a buzz kill.

What happened was that I saw a tree stand at Lowe’s where they didn’t have any garland so I decided I would just get the tree stand wherever I found garland and save myself a holiday madness check out experience.  I found garland at Home Depot and plumb forgot about that there tree stand thing.

It’s a miracle that I can make it to work with matching shoes on a regular basis.

So glad that my efforts toward time efficiency had paid off, I trudged out to my car and drove to Home Depot.  I parked my car and grabbed for my wallet in my purse.  No wallet.  Man, that day was really shaping up to be a good one.

Thoroughly frustrated by myself, I drove back to my apartment, went and grabbed my wallet and set off for my FOURTH journey for that dang tree stand.

Even though I never got out of the car at Home Depot, my pride would not allow me to drive back there for the third time in 2 hours.  So I found myself at Lowe’s, purchasing the tree stand that I had opted out of purchasing just hours earlier so I could save myself some time.

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BAH, HUMBUG, y’all,

Sugarlump

Siriously?

I’m new to the iphone 4.  I realize that the iphone 5 just came out, but I likely won’t be ready for that kind of innovation until 2015.  It’s not that I’m opposed to technology; I’m just the opposite of an early adopter.  I like simplicity, and acquiring new technological trinkets without a clear value-add to my daily existence goes against everything I stand for.  Well, that might be an overstatement, but you get my point.

Even though I’ve had my iphone 4 for several months now, until recently, I had yet to really test out all of its allegedly wonderful features, namely Siri.

I challenged her to some simple tasks of finding local restaurants for me to call and order take-out.  She proved to be fairly capable.

A few weeks back, I decided to give her the more complex challenge of providing me an update on my mother’s arriving flight.  In a very surly tone, Siri replied, “I can’t help you with flights. Sorry.” And then she pulled up a “search the web” link for me to look it up myself as if I didn’t already think of that.

I later picked up my mom at the airport after confirming that her flight was on time (no thanks to Siri).  Then I picked up my dad after his flight came in and the 3 of us decided we could go for some Mexican lunch.  We settled on Taco Mamacita, a great little fresh-Mex kind of place in Nashville.  I had only driven there from my apartment, so I consulted Siri on directions from the airport to our lunch destination.   I asked for directions to “Taco Ma-ma-seat-ah” from here.  She responded with directions to “Taco Ma-mass-sit-uh” from my current location.  While she was helpful in directing me to the restaurant, she could use some work on her pronunciation.

A little while later, my dad asked if there was an Apple store near me, so I suggested we ask Siri.  My dad asked her to “find an apple store.”  The bright lass found Apple, Inc. in Cupertino, California, helpfully adding that it was “far from here.”

I’m sure Siri will help me out of a pickle someday, but until then, I think I’ll have her stick to entry-level tasks.

Y’all come back (just don’t ask Siri how to get here),

Sugarlump

Apartment Update

I have been working hard to make my apartment feel like home since I moved in almost 4 weeks ago.  I brought with me most of my major furniture so I’m just missing the smaller accent pieces like a coffee table and an end table.

And barstools for my desk so I have a real place to eat a meal instead of on the sofa.

And an armoire for my bedroom, but that may take me a while to find just the one and, thanks to my closet handywork, it’s not critical.

Here’s a peak at the situation:

Currently, I have a pair of lovely storage bins from Walmart acting as my coffee table.  It’s a great look, don’t you think?

I think the label really sets it off.

And here is my end table.  Who knew that not only were the pots and pans useful, but also that the box they come in is the ideal end table height when turned up sideways?

This may start a trend.  I think it will be called “makeshift chic.”

While it may be a while before I upgrade my “tables,” I have been making considerable progress on the dreadful, soul-sucking white walls that come standard in my apartment complex.

I painted my kitchen and my bedroom in the past 24 hours and I painted my bathroom last week.  (I will post pictures once I get everything accessorized.)

My cats were super helpful with the painting.

Not.

They slept all day in the sun.

Can I be a cat?

The room in which they spent their leisurely afternoon is giving me some heartburn.  Not only does it have the makeshift tables and a chairless desk/dining table, but it also has lots of different walls that catch light very differently.  This is making it difficult to find a color that looks good on all of the walls throughout the day.

By the time I decide which color to go with, the walls will probably be covered in paint swatches, I will have taken out a loan for paint and it will probably be time to move.

I think I am up to 8 colors so far and they all are either too gray, too yellow, too green, too light or too dark. I’m seriously considering mixing some of them together to get my ideal color and then taking it to the paint store and having them color match it.

This is my “dining” area that houses my enormous desk and will also serve as a place to eat once I get some barstools…

So this is how all of the colors look on this wall.

This is the space between the living and dining areas on the window wall, which is perpendicular to the wall with the desk.  It is the darkest wall.

This is the wall opposite the desk wall on the other side of the rectangular room, behind my sofa.

I swear, these are all the same color swatches on each wall even though they look quite different.

Turning another 90 degrees, this wall is opposite the main window wall and thus receives the most natural light.  This is where we see the true colors.

Doesn’t that white make you want to cry? It does me.

And these are two more walls that form a bar-height counter around my kitchen.  That little bit of chair rail on the right is part of the desk wall.

Congratulations, we have just completed a 360 degree turn around the room.

There are actually 3 other walls that will also be the same color in my entry way, however trying to add them into the mix for consideration might just send me over the edge.

It’s a miracle that I can get dressed in the morning.

So you see, I have a lot of walls to consider and the lighting is kind of drastic, not only from one wall to the next, but throughout the course of the day since my apartment is South-facing.

These pictures make the colors look a little bit greener than they actually are, but if anyone wants to vote, please feel free to leave a comment.  (I don’t know how you will possibly describe to me which color it is since they are painted haphazardly and differently on each wall, but it’s worth a shot.)

You would think this would be easy for me since I’m a designer.  While I know exactly what to suggest for clients, it’s really hard to do my own place.  Please send help.

Y’all come back,

Sugarlump

My Closet

When I moved into my apartment, I was able to find a place for most things fairly quickly. Books go on the bookshelves, dishes go in the kitchen cabinets, sofa goes in the living room, cats go wherever they please, etc.

My clothes, however, were a different story.  I am fortunate that my small apartment has a good size bedroom closet.  The only problem is that it is set up for hanging space only. I’m sure the apartment was designed with the expectation that the tenant would bring a dresser or armoire, which most normal people have, but I do not yet own one.  Eventually, I hope to buy a really neat, antique armoire with shelf and drawer space, but that will take lots of searching and deliberating and may not happen for many months/years.

While I pondered this dilemma, my folded clothes, bags and shoes sat in boxes and even larger bags on my bedroom floor for about a week, which I found to be thoroughly irritating.

This is actually a fairly cleaned up version of my room before I had shelving in the closet:

I like to be organized and for everything to be in its place so this was a bit challenging for me. I had to dig through boxes and piles of clothes to find an outfit for a meeting or Church or just any outfit that didn’t look ridiculous in public.

More boxes…

It probably would have been easier to find things if I had labeled the boxes…but that would have made the box situation far too manageable.

I perused the isles at Lowes, Home Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond, waiting for just the closet solution to jump out at me.  I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on some fancy system, but I also didn’t want something that was going to fall apart. A few days into my search, I found some simple, metal racks with 3 adjustable shelves.

There was a lot of assembly required…

The directions specified that this was a 2 person assembly job due to the dangerousness of the metal objects.

Somehow, I survived the assembly of 4 shelving units.

And this is what my closet looks like post shelf-lift:

This brings me joy.

I have fairly high ceilings so I actually put one of the shelving units on a high shelf for my “winter-ish” items that I don’t need to wear at this time since we are averaging 75 degrees in Nashville.

After testing the limits of the upholstered stools in my room by jumping on them in order to sling purses onto the top shelf, I decided it was probably a good idea to invest in a proper step-ladder to prevent any injuries to me or my upholstered stools.

Meet my new best friend:

Look at all of that glorious shelf space.

Clearly, I could use an internship at J. Crew where everything is folded perfectly, but I was just so happy to have shelf space that it appears I let it get the best of my folding skills.

One thing that irks me is that the shelves in the unit on the far right do not line up with the shelves in the other two units. This is not a mistake; I had to make them higher so my Uggs would fit underneath, but nonetheless it bothers me.  Maybe I should adjust the other two so they are higher?

I know, I need help.

Sadly, all of my shoes did not make it into the closet due to a lack of space.  Luckily, I brought along my trusty door-hanging shoe organizer from college that has 30 shoe slots.  I have been known to pack 50 pairs of shoes into this thing so I’m very glad to have it.  The alternative was to line up my shoes around the perimeter of my room, which would have kept me up at night.

While it would have been ideal to hang this on the back of my closet door, there is not enough depth between the door and the wall to accommodate the shoe rack. Thus, the shoe rack is hanging on the back of my bedroom door.  Not perfect, but at least my shoes are off the floor and can be hidden from sight when my door is open.

I am hoping that when I finally find the perfect armoire I can put a lot of my folded items in it and then use the metal racks in the closet for my shoes.

I can’t wait to find that armoire so I can worry about more important things like what color I’m going to paint my kitchen.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Sugarlump

Hello, Nashville!

Hello, Nashville!

19 driving hours, 1150 miles and 8 states later, Amarillo, my mom, my dad, Gus, Scarlett and I arrived in my new hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.   My dear mom and dad, as well as Amarillo (my moving truck that I grew attached to) were along for the journey to help me move.

Although my cat Gus meowed constantly for about an hour straight after we left, the cats traveled much better than I thought they would.  I think their pleasantness had a lot to do with my ingenious set-up for them in the back of my car.  I purchased the largest animal crate that would fit into the back of my Jeep and used the divider (intended to be used vertically) to create a mezzanine level so the cats wouldn’t be on top of each other.  Scarlett took the main floor and stretched out in the camper while Gus opted for the upper deck and was able to see out the windows and enjoy the scenery.  I realized about an hour into the trip that Gus’ blanket (“the mommy”) was outside the cage so at our first rest stop I put the blanket in his bed in the cage.  He snuggled right in and the meowing abruptly ceased.  What a weird cat.

They were much more relaxed when we were moving at a steady pace than when we were stopped.  I think the might have thought that a stop meant we had arrived at the vet’s office.   They do not like the vet.

The drive was especially beautiful in some of the states we passed through, particularly Virginia and eastern Tennessee.  This was my view for about 500 miles.  Not too shabby.

I love me some hills.

This was a very pretty sky.  I can’t remember if this was late Thursday or very early Friday.  It’s all a blur.

Here is my naked apartment right after I signed my lease and my life away.

Love the pale pink counter tops. Not.

I will be painting as soon as I have some energy after packing up, driving across the country and then unpacking my life.  Maybe I’ll feel up to it by the time my lease is up.

My seeeester, Eugene, and my cousin Lauren drove down from Lexington, Kentucky (where they both go to school with the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions.  No big deal).

They were such great helpers and I really don’t think I could have gotten everything carried up into my 3rd floor apartment and pretty close to set up without them.  I think I’ll keep them around.  I tried to get them to stay at my apartment but they gave me some spiel about having to get back to school for class.  Lame.

Who could say no to this?

After a few hours of unpacking the truck and carrying my ridiculous amount of stuff up to my apartment on Friday, we were all starving and we went to one of my new favorite spots in Franklin called Sol.  It’s kind of funky Mexican or Mexico meets the South or something like that.   Whatever you want to call it, it is obnoxiously delicious.  We started out with some freshly made table-side guacamole.   YUM.   As our entrees were ready to be served, our waiter took the guacamole bowl and I was very displeased because I had not yet scraped the bowl clean with the homemade tortilla chips so as not to leave a morsel of deliciousness behind.

I quickly got over my outrage as soon as my dinner arrived.  I ordered one of the evening’s specials: chipotle honey pan seared salmon with herb and parmesan polenta (and some sautéed spinach that I ignored).  This was heaven on a plate.  I have a picture that will surely make you hop in your car and drive however many miles (it doesn’t matter how many) to taste a bit of this wonderfulness.

After dinner, we were all drifting off into food comas and wanted to pass out.  Eugene, Lauren and I had to make a quick trip to Walmart, however, because I had no food in the house and no couch for my sister or cousin to sleep on.  As with all Dyer Walmart trips, this was an adventure.  We were delirious at this point and must have circled the bedding department 43 times before I made up my mind on which sheet set and blanket would coordinate best with my décor (even though they were going on an air mattress).

I expected to find an air mattress in this section also, but I was informed by my cousin Lauren that such an item would actually be found in the “camping and recreation” section.  I mentioned to her that I was impressed by how well she knew the departments and that I was grateful to have her along because I never would have found it on my own.  Her response:

“Honey, I was practically raised in Walmart.”

Her parents might find this statement troubling, but I thought it was hilarious.

We got back to my apartment and Lauren blew up the air mattress (inflated it, rather.  She didn’t explode it.  That would have been real bad).  And then we all passed out at the thought of more unpacking the next day.

More to come.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Sugarlump