Laughing: Between Two Ferns

I just found the funniest web series: Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. On this show Zach presents his guests with the most awkward, inapproporate questions ever put forth on a talk show. If you like awkward silences and uncomfortable sideways glances, this is the comedy for you. Currently the series has 5 episodes (each about three minutes in length) and I'm hoping the hilarity continues.
In addition to being wickedly funny, I feel the need to trumpet Zach's successes because he hails from my hometown and attended my high school (although he graduated many years before I did). I have been following his career for years and I saw him do stand-up at the Cat's Cradle two years ago. The hubby has been saying "Zach's the next big thing" for awhile now, and I think he may be onto something. With two movies out right now, it seems he's only getting warmed up.

Buying: Beets & Bears

Today I was pouncing around Etsy and I found the most delicious undiscovered shop, Beets & Bears. I love everything about this shop: salvaged materials, industrial jewelry, affordable prices (a statement necklace for $25!), yummy artful photos, not to mention their shop name. If you don't get the joke, go watch The Office... go, right now. It is a crime that this shop hasn't yet had a sale, so show some love and buy something!

photos found here

Living: Silly Time Wasters

What better way to kill a little time on your lunchbreak than to Mad Men yourself? It's a load of fun, even if you don't watch the show.

In Focus: Raindrops and Sunsets

I took this shot as I was leaving work yesterday. A large storm had just blown over and the sun was beginning to set. I couldn't resist how the rain drops were glowing with pinks and oranges.
image by me

Eating: Orange Slices

Orange slices are one of my favorite sweets.

When I was little, my summers and evenings after school were spent with Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw. They ran my daycare but they felt more like an extra set of grandparents. As their name implies, they were old-fashioned Southern disciplinarians. No babying, no coddling, no gold stars. When we were bad we were punished. When we were good, our reward was not being punished. Activities were simple: if weather was good, we all played outside; if weather was bad we played indoors together. We didn't watch tv and we didn't many have toys. We just used our imaginations and it was wonderful.

Paw-Paw had a sweet tooth and his favorite was orange slices. On the rare occasion when all of us had been good, he would share with us. Because I only got them as a reward, I still feel like I am being treated whenever I taste the gummy, saccharine goodness.

image by me
Who doesn't love orange slices? Have a sweet weekend!

Eating: Cookies, and Ice Cream, and Sprinkles - Oh My!

During the work week my lunchtime routine is my favorite part of the day. Cydney and I go for a walk to get our daily dose of Vitamin D, sometimes grabbing lunch along the way. We love to people watch and have sidewalk conversations (Cydney's never met a stranger) and pop into local businesses - Stitch, Revolver, Get Dressed For Less and Father and Son are a few of our favorites.

Today as we walked down Glenwood a sign caught my eye - "Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches." Being a true Southern girl, I love a good ice cream sandwich (or even a bad one... who am I to judge?) and the homemade varities are especially delicious. We kept walking, but the temptation proved too great on the way back and we gave in to our cravings.

The purveyor of the tasty treat was none other than the Cupcake Shoppe, one of my favorite stops along Glenwood South. The interior design is exactly what one would expect: cafe tables, glowing display cases and a perfect color pallette of pink, brown and white. If you haven't made a visit you are seriously missing out.

image by me

Speaking of missing out... go get one of these right now! The chocolate cookie was soft, chewy and slightly sticky. The ice cream was rich, creamy and firm. And the sprinkles - who doesn't love sprinkles? - added a touch of crunch and whimsy. A perfect treat for a summer afternoon!

Giving: Button Ring Winner

And the winner is... Clarissa!

To collect your prize, post a comment here and tell me which ring you would like from my shop!

For the rest of you, I will try to scrounge up another give-away next month.

Giving: Button Ring Reminder

Don't forget! The ring giveaway ends today at noon. It's not too late to enter. Click here for rules and details.

In Focus: Daily Dose of Texture

images by me

Some textures I happened across over the weekend - rain sprinkled leaf, stacked conduit, ornamental pepper plant.

Making: DIY Home Decor

Ok, I made these last summer but I will share them now...

When we first moved into our apartment, I was in the worst possible design situation: it was our first post-college "grown up" apartment so we had little to no decorations and I was between jobs which meant I was bored out of my mind but had no money for home-improvement projects. So I had to really think outside the box for art.

The space most in need of help was our kitchen - white walls, white countertops, white appliances and bleached wood cabinets - boring, boring, boring. I needed a cheap and easy way to inject some color into the space, and this is what I came up with.

[Sidenote: When the hubby and I picked our Fiestaware we each got to pick a color; he picked red and I picked green. Of course everyone's first reaction is 'Christmas kitchen' so I needed some decor that didn't bring to mind figgy pudding and yule logs.]

One day while shopping at my big-box craft store I wandered through the fake flower/fruit section. Normally I don't give that stuff more than a second look, but something caught my eye. Amidst the wax grapes and plastic pineapples I saw a bin of red and green chilli peppers. Admittedly they would look a little silly in a bowl trying to pass as real food, but put them behind glass and they just might become art. I bought 8 peppers, a mid-sized square shadow box and some white craft paper, still skeptical that this might not work. But after playing with different configurations, I settled on what you see here. Simple, bold, almost with a graphic quality.

In the smaller box I chose to display 3 vintage measuring spoons - dash, pinch and smidgen - that were my great-grandmother's. I chose a bright green paper for the background to make the silver spoons stand out.
TIP #1: For shadow box background paper, one of my go-to sources is the scrapbooking aisle. You can choose from hundreds of solids and patterns, and the sheets are sold individually so there is no need to buy a large pack of paper you will never use.

This idea works with any small momento such as keys, shells, matchbooks or whatever strikes your fancy. Even better, this project couldn't be simpler!

-shadow boxes (found at most craft stores)
-background paper
-objects for display
-tacks or t-pins (if hanging objects)

-scissors or x-acto knife
-spray adhesive or double stick tape

-measure and cut your background paper to cover the back and sides of the inside of the shadow box (some shadow boxes have removable cardboard interiors that can be traced for a template).
-attach the background paper to the inside of your shadow box with adhesive
-hang or sit your objects inside the shadow box
-display and enjoy!

TIP #2: Because I inevitably shake or tilt the shadow box while assembling or hanging, I have learned it is very difficult to acheive a casual, random arrangement. Everything must fit snugly or be tacked into place, otherwise the outcome is somewhat hard to control.

Tell me, what interesting momento or object have you displayed in a shadow box?

Giving: Button Ring

I (along with the other members of my Etsy collective) have been hard at work stocking our shop pens & needles. As a reward to my readers, and to kick-start some sales, I am offering a ring giveaway. One of my favorites in the shop are my button rings made from vintage buttons and findings.

PRIZE: Your choice of any ring in my shop.
TO ENTER: Comment on this post with the words "GIVE ME A RING" and…
BONUS QUESTION: Tell me your favorite feature on Gimmeakiss, or something you would enjoy seeing here.
GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 12:00 EST
THE USUAL STUFF: One entry per e-mail address is permitted. The winner will be selected at random and announced on Tuesday afternoon.

I will be adding more rings through out the week, so you will have plenty to choose from!

Good luck!

Living: Weekend Getaway

Over the weekend I snuck away to Ocean Isle, NC with some friends, including two friends from Wisconsin that we only get to see twice a year. It was a last-minute trip done on the cheap so it was very laid-back with no unrealistic expectations. Lots of time on the beach, yummy Calabash seafood and a family cook-out when we got back home. It was wonderful to spend time with friends and get a little sun.
reading on the beach, Carolina pines
all images by me

Listening: Avett Brothers' New Album

Oh my goodness! I can barely contain my excitement! I just pre-ordered my copy of the Avett Brothers new Album "I and Love and You" and since I'm such a huge, huge fan I ordered the "Deluxe Box, which is a pre-sale exclusive." I will recieve:
- the Vinyl LP
- full mp3 download of the album
- 2 CDs – the full album PLUS a 6-song disc of demos, exclusive to the deluxe box
- 31 high quality art prints by Scott and Seth, prints by Crackerfarm, song lyrics
- tear-drop bandanna with art by Scott
BONUS: the first 1,000 people who order the deluxe box will receive a signed print of the album cover painting!

I have no way of knowing if I am in the first 1,000 or not, but considering I ordered it as soon as I got the e-mail I have to assume I am. But who knows? The album isn't released until September 29 so now I just have to be a good girl and wait.

In Focus: Necessary Photography

After unofficially declaring myself Morgan's wedding stylist, my first act was to recommend the photographic services of one Miss Rebecca Necessary. I thought she would be perfect for the job because:
1- She originally hails from my hometown in the NC foothills
2- She graduated from my alma mater, where we both studied architecture
3- Have you seen her work? She's amazing!!

image credit: R Necessary

Seriously, words cannot express how much I wish I could go back in time and get married again, just so she could take the pictures. But if I can't have it, I want someone I know and love to have it (so that I can take credit for it, and pretend it's me - haha). Please stop by her site and send some business her way.

Making: Morgan + Andrew

Having just wrapped up my work for my step-sister's waterfront wedding I have already found another wedding to design for.

The bride is Morgan, a long-time friend of the hubby (and now a friend of mine). She is direct and practical (not at all a woo girl, which is why she and I get along so well) and her style is clean and somewhat classic. The groom is Andrew, they met in grad school and they are the perfect couple - funny, smart and always up for a night of board games. The wedding is going to be wonderful - intimate ceremony on a pier, having a friend officiate, minimal wedding party - they are focusing all of their attention on having a wonderful party with their friends. What better way to celebrate your love than to do what makes you happy?

Not only is this exciting because we know and love the couple, but I've been given somewhat of a promotion. For Chelsea's event I only helped her with the papergoods. This time around I will get to help with everything - papergoods, flowers, decorations and maybe even the wedding and grooms' cakes (with help from the fabulous Brettany, of course) - and I have taken to unofficially calling myself her stylist. If all this goes well the hubby is going to help me build a website so that hopefully I can get actual clients that aren't also my friends or relatives. It feels so wonderful that he believes in me and that someone might want to pay for my help and insight.

I'll leave you with some eye candy inspiration.

image found here

In Focus: Raleigh Street Fashion

I have been asked to co-write a new blog called Raleigh Street Fashion. The concept is simple. We walk around downtown Raleigh, take pictures of people and ask them questions about their style. Except for today's post, all this content will appear exclusively on RSF. It's still learning to stand on its young, wobbly legs but check it out and share your thoughts!

Laughing: Archimatects

Architects may be pretentious, but at least we know how to make fun of ourselves.
To expand, click the image.

Related: Dear Architects

Living: Holiday Weekend

I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing 4th of July weekend.
Image by me.

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