Hats On A Wall

Even though we've lived in our house for over a year and a half, my hats hadn't managed to find a home. For the longest time they laid in a pile on my dresser. Pitiful, I know.

One day, in a fit of productive frustration, I grabbed my hammer and some finishing nails and got to work. Within minutes I had 3 hat hooks next to my mirror.

I liked it so much I hung up two more hooks on the other side for my old-lady sun hats.

This may cause me to try more display-as-storage solutions.

P.S. Happy Memorial Day!

I Have Crossed Over To The Dark Side

The Dark Side being the world of novelty camera apps. I resisted for quite sometime but then my need to be cool got the best of me. First I bought Camera Bag, but I was not impressed. It is nice to have multiple "lenses" in one place but I thought the interface was slow and clunky. Biggest pet peeve: you had to take a regular picture first, then apply the "camera" filters to it, causing you to have duplicate photos on your camera roll. There's technically nothing wrong with that, but it made me twitchy.

This week I downloaded ShakeIt Photo and I am much happier. With ShakeIt, I just snap a picture and it works its magic; I don't have to choose any lenses or settings. Here's a few test shots I snapped of some willing subjects things that couldn't run away from me.


sleepy kitty

olive oil canister


I am heading to the beach tomorrow for an anniversary mini-break - has it been 3 years already? - and I know I'll be snapping away all weekend. You guys have so much to look forward to.

Self Depricating Humor Is Where It's At

I like to consider myself an organized person. If you've been reading this blog for more than ten minutes you already know that.

When Rachel asked me to be her Matron of Honor, I jumped at the chance. It is the MOH's job to do whatever the bride needs, even if that means being a bitch to get it done. That's definitely in my wheelhouse (or occupies my entire wheelhouse) so I knew, as a MOH, I would be ON. TOP. OF. THINGS.

And I was, for the most part. I designed her invitations and programs. I made some last minute change of address cards for her new home. I wrote one hell of a toast. I packed a tote bag with any and every craft tool I though we would need for wedding prep; how many people do you know that pack a metal ruler and x-acto knife "just in case?" I even brought 4 different options for her something borrowed.

But what didn't I bring? My MOH dress and the dress I had planned to wear to the rehearsal dinner. FACEPALM. The MOH dress wasn't a problem because the Hubby could just bring it when he came for the wedding, but since he wasn't coming until Saturday he couldn't bring me anything to wear the day before. Rachel offered to let me borrow a dress but she, uh, has bigger tracts of land than I do so that wasn't really an option.

So what's a MOH to do? Go to Wal-Mart at 11:00 on a Thursday night, that's what. (Open 24-7 y'all!) I snagged a sundress for $12, and for the price it's not half-bad. Let's judge it, shall we?

Man, that is one flattering picture. It doesn't get any better than bathroom lighting. I almost cropped my head off, since I didn't think you were prepared for that much beauty, but it looked even wierder that way so the head stayed. I love, love, love the abstract pattern. I'm not a huge fan of ruffles, but this one I can live with. Here's a close-up of the print, to give you a better idea of the colors:

P.S. I also bought some hot pink lipstick - I blame Katy Perry's influence - and I'm pretty much obsessed with it. It's perfect for summer and quite a departure from my usual clear chapstick.

Pardon the smirk. That was the only decent facial expression I could muster.

The color is 'spellbound' by Cover Girl. Aren't I just too clever, displaying my lipstick in the q-tips like that? Doesn't it make up for the fact that I left my dresses at home? No? Oh, my bad.

I Told You We Started A Garden

See, photo proof our garden.

I don't claim to know anything about growing plants, so I will just hit the high notes.
- we are following the square foot gardening raised bed method

- we have 2 4' x 4' beds, for a total of 32 plants
- we used a mixture of potting soil and home-grown compost
- we are growing only vegetables, with the exception of a lone strawberry plant, plus a few herbs in a separate pot

Until I have the pleasure of eating something that came from our garden, I won't have much to say on the matter. If we can keep the plants alive all summer, then maybe I'll share some 'expert tips.' Hah.

Perhaps the most notable part of our garden is the raised bed itself.

When we bought the house it came with a "garden" that looked like this:

Since we're so cheap crafty we pulled up the old pavers, turned them on their sides and used them to make 2 raised beds. Smart, eh? Of course we had to spend some dough to buy the soil, plants, fences, etc but the beds themselves were free. That was a big savings: those pavers cost $1.18 each, for a total of almost $38 for both beds. Ok, ok $38 isn't HUGE savings, but $38 is a lot when you're jobless.

Like I said, I won't talk your ears off type your eyes off about the actual plants until we prove we can grow anything.

My Other Cute New Swimsuit

Remember the other swimsuit I blogged about?

this one

I didn't mention this at the time, but the reason I went for a one-piece is because I was self-conscious about my post-baby body. I've lost all the baby weight, and then some, but I was still nervous about exposing my stretch marks and loose skin. The hubby convinced me that I had worked too hard to get my body back and that I should flaunt it. Isn't he sweet? I struck a bargain, and told him I would agree to buy a bikini if he would come with me to shop for one. Shockingly, he said yes.

So I bought this bikini, again from Old Navy, and I love it. I don't normally go for girly florals, but I thought this print was fun.

I tried some other swimsuits at other, more teen-oriented, stores and they just didn't cut it. You wouldn't think a slightly lower rise on a bikini bottom would make much difference, but it does. Also I learned very quickly that the girls don't look their best in bandeau, boob-smashing tops. Triangle tops, on the other hand, are great at faking a little bit of (much-needed) perkiness. Yay!

We Built A Rain Barrel

And when I say we I really mean we. This was not one of those situations where I sweetly said "Honey, we should have a rain barrel" and then my husband built me a rain barrel. Nope, I bought the barrels, cut the pipe and helped with the PVC cement. What can I say? I'm a gal that likes to build things. Perhaps even more impressive than it's woman-built status, this rain barrel cost us $75 and was built in less than 3 hours! Yeah, my husband and I are pretty much awesome.

And why did we want a rain barrel? We started a garden this spring - more on that later - and we were eager to give our plants some watering attention without adding to our water bill.

Each barrel holds 60 gallons, giving 120 gallons of garden-watering capacity. The barrels are raised up on some concrete blocks because the higher the barrel the greater the pressure of the water coming out of the spigot - yay science! We leveled the blocks with kitty litter - we don't exactly keep sand lying around - then hid the kitty litter with mulch.

The barrels are connected with a manifold which has two good points: 1) it allows both barrels to be filled with only one downspout, and 2) it allows us to utilize the water in both barrels with just one garden hose.

There are several ways to get water into a rain barrel, but we went with the "drill lots of holes in the lid then cover the whole thing with mesh" method that works well with a 2-part lid (similar to a canning jar) like ours does.

That goofy, bent piece of PVC is our overflow pipe. When we drilled the hole for the pipe fitting we wanted it at the highest point possible, to collect as much water as we can before we send it out the overflow pipe. Sadly, it didn't occur to us that the top of the barrel is curved and would point the pipe away from the barrel. DOH. Eventually we might fix it, but for now we remedied the situation by adding a 45 degree elbow and directing the pipe back toward the splash block. Lastly, we wrapped some mesh around the bottom of the overflow pipe to keep mosquitos out.

Supplies and Cost Breakdown:

$30 - 2 food-grade barrels

found on Craigslist

$45 - trip to the hardware store

10 feet of PVC pipe, various pipe fittings, PVC cement, 12 concrete blocks

$0 - already on hand

water-proof mesh, drill and bits, saw, dremmel

I won't give you a step-by-step breakdown (shocking, I know) because none of the ideas were original to us. We did some internet research and based our design on these three YouTube videos. I had planned on embedding them for you, but either Blogger or YouTube (probably Blogger) is being a dick, so you'll have to settle for the links.

Some Whining and a Bridal Show

Ok, so I haven't posted in an embarrassingly long time.

First it was because my days were super boring: wake the baby up, feed the baby, play with the baby, put the baby down for a nap, clean some stuff, watch some shitty tv (CSI is addictive, people!), wake the baby up, feed the baby, etc. You don't want to read about that, right?

Then I couldn't post because I was super busy with Carolina Pear stuff. Isn't that how it always is? Busy or bored, never steady. So to make amends I've got some posts lined up for you.

First up, I want to show you what Carolina Pear has been up to. To kick off wedding season we had a booth at a small bridal show to make some connections and peddle our wares.

our booth

some cute (and, yes, trendy) bunting thank you cards

thumbprint tree - our fresh, new guestbook alternative

Mr & Mrs note cards

sampler pack for our spring collection

our business card display - isn't it fun?

I just love our booth! Not bad for our first show, if I'm allowed to say so. All of our glassware came from goodwill and thrift shops, which adds to our country chic vibe. As always, to check out more of our portfolio or to place an order visit Carolina Pear's website!
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