Monday, September 24, 2012

What I'm...


I'm currently in a full-scale reading mania.  Although I'm always reading something, about once a year I get consumed by the desire to read, read, read and it's all I want to do. 

I recently finished Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier.  It's based on the true story of Mary Anning, a working-class girl who grew up hunting fossils on the shore to sell to tourists.  Her passion and talents led her to discover several unknown dinosaur species, but her position and gender held her back from the recognition she should have earned.  It's a remarkable story and Chevalier tells it well.  I felt so inspired, I took the family to a dinosaur museum this weekend.


Yesterday I watched A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  For a self-described avid reader, it's kind of funny that I've never read the book.  The movie has been on my "To Watch" list for ages because it is kind of hard to find.  Why it's not on DVD I have no idea - it's truly wonderful. 

I have a thing for movies set around the turn of the twentieth century, maybe because I grew up obsessed with the Anne of Green Gables books and miniseries.  Similar to I Remember Mama and Meet Me in St. Louis, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is nostalgic and sentimental, without being maudlin. The perfect Sunday afternoon movie.


The Lion King Broadway show is coming to Austin in January and I have to see it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Leopard Flats

I've embraced animal prints.  Faux alligator dining chairs, leopard in the living room, I'm even considering this antelope pillow for the couch.  So I had to get some for my wardrobe, right?

I've been seeing leopard (or cheetah - who knows?) flats everywhere on style boards lately and I just needed some.  Only I didn't want to pay a lot, as usual.  Target to the rescue.  They actually have several options to choose from (I found 3 in store and more online), but I decided these were the cutest.

Women's Mossimo Ona Ballet Flat - Animal Print
Only $15.  To be honest, they're not a steal at this price since they are definitely not good quality.  However, for a fun fall accessory I don't need them to be the best ever.  I think they look a little more expensive than they were, even if they don't feel like it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Free Glasses (For Real!)

I came upon a really good deal and thought I would share it with any vision-impaired readers I might have.

If you're a first-time buyer, you can get a free pair of eyeglasses from

The catches: 

You can only choose from frames that are less than $95 (excludes their "luxury" frames). 

You have to pay shipping costs (about $15). 

And if you want thinner lenses (standard are included) or scratch resistant coating, you have to pay for those.  However, I thought the upgraded lens costs were pretty cheap as well.  I have terrible vision, so I need the "ultra thin" and it was only a cost of around $60 after shipping.


I was a little wary about buying glasses without trying them on since I have an enormous round head, but since I wear contact 95% of the time and only need glasses for around the house at night, I decided to risk it.  Hopefully they'll be a good fit (fingers crossed).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gift Wrap Organization

I saw this genius idea for storing wrapping paper on Pinterest.

Source: Gall-Erry via Pinterest
I say genius because it's not only a practical solution, it's also a cheap one - and that combo is my favorite.

The last time I was at Ikea, I picked up a couple of Rationell Variera Plastic Bag Dispensers.  They're $1.99 each.

Are you ready for an incredibly exciting picture of my coat closet?

Let's pretend those orbs are really ghosts, and not just ordinary dust particles, can we?

The coat closet is instantly to the right when you walk in our front door.  I used to store the wrapping paper on an over-the-door bathroom organizer we had from our last house.  I envisioned it turning out like this:

Real Simple via Katie Brown Home Workshop
Trust me, it didn't look like that.  The wrapping paper tubes were generally too tall and always leaned out too far.  And I never corralled enough wrapping paper supplies together to fill in the rest of the organizer.

I like this solution much better.  It leaves room on the floor for storage and takes up very little closet real estate.  The extra tall tubes fit just as well as the regular sized tubes.  Plus, if someone was to visit my house and only look in my coat closet, they might think I'm the kind of girl who has my sh*t together.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What $13 Can Get You on a Saturday Morning...

Some recent cheap-o purchases:

This basket is really big - like, my 6-year-old could fit completely in it big.  I already had a basket in our living room as our "junk" basket, but I wanted to move it to the entry to put our shoes in when we first come home.  I got this baby at Goodwill to replace it.  $4. 

I happened upon the funniest neighborhood-wide garage sale this weekend.  There were a good many houses participating, but I swear, 90% of them had about 3 things out in the driveway.  I went to one house and bought two sets of toys and instantly cut their "inventory" in half. 

I bought this print at one of the houses in the neighborhood sale.  The artist was a sweet older lady selling off a lot of her prints super cheap - mostly $1 - $5.  I bought this one for $3, including mat.  It was a signed, dated and numbered print of her first etching, "Moby Dick."  I need lots of black and white art for the media wall I'm envisioning.  Now I'm looking for a frame.

By the way, the most aggravating thing about shopping garage sales are people who use signage with lots of writing.  Here's my tip - use arrows and keep the writing minimal.  Most people don't know where "Random Oak Lane" is, but they can follow an arrow while still driving their car at a normal speed.

I got the next two items at the same moving sale.

Brass napkin rings - 8 for $1.  Maybe it's kind of silly to have several different sets of napkin rings when we rarely use cloth napkins?  The boyfriend definitely thinks so.  I think they're pretty - case closed.

These are candle pillars in the prettiest shade of blue-green and they are very substantial.  I'm not crazy about the faux aging (rust spots and crackled glaze) but they are definitely pretty and for only $5 I couldn't resist.

Unfortunately, I didn't find anything that I was actually shopping for, but I'm pretty happy with my weekend finds.  Anyone else find some cheap second-hand deals lately?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tree Shopping

So I murdered a hibiscus tree.  It wasn't planned or anything.  I assumed if I remembered to water it every-so-often, it might last longer than a week.  I was wrong.

Only the best photos for this blog.  You're welcome.
I don't even have a before picture, that's how quickly I managed to kill it.  Given the fact that my kid is still alive after 6 years, I can't be that bad at keeping things alive.  Maybe I was overly cocky after so much success with our backyard garden?  Maybe the people in Wal-Mart's garden section foresaw it's doomed future and that's why it was only $10?  Whatever the reason, I still needed some greenery for the living room.

Yesterday I went to Ikea and saw this.

"Oh, I don't want a ficus.  Wait, maybe I should read the fine print."

A fiddle leaf fig tree?  For $12?

Okay, maybe tree is a bit of an exaggeration - it's more of a bush right now.  I picked the tallest of the bunch and it's still only about 2 feet tall.  But one day, one day it will look like this.

Abode Love
Because I'm not going to murder this one.  Cross my heart.