Synchronized Napping

An uneasy alliance formed when Ruby became a big sister.





Eventually, an unbreakable bond formed over a shared love for laziness and naps.

IMG_3066 DSC_0408

These days, I’m pretty sure they’re just messing with me now that I work from home. It’s like synchronized swimming for snails at the foot of my desk.

A sampling-








5th Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Wood

Modern Gift: An upgrade to a 5

Aaron’s and my 5th wedding anniversary is a little less than a month away. We always go back and forth on what we will get each other, usually until one or both of us finds something we absolutely can’t live without, and the only way to justify the purchase is to charge it in the name of a relationship landmark.

This year? I’m getting an iPhone 5. (Because a 5 for 5 is way too cute to pass up.) Really, I just wanted a better camera on my phone, which is what I use 99.99999% of the time to take pictures for my blog, and my life. This of course, necessitates to the beginning of a choosing process akin to choosing a significant other to spend the rest of your life with – the case.

After careful consideration, this is on its way, thanks to a lovely Esty seller named Lucy.

2013 05 27 Lauren McKechnie_Proof

While eagerly awaiting the phone and its costume to come in the mail, I’ve also been considering the purchase of one of those “established” signs to hang somewhere in the house. However, I’m having quite the time finding one that I like and doesn’t:

  • Look like something that should be hanging over a bar entrance (although that could be cool?)
  • Uses the same fonts as cheesy scrapbooks and monograms (definitely not cool)
  • Have trouble fitting in our impossibly long last name
  • Look cheap
  • Cost too much


Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 10.33.52 AM

So, I’m crowd-sourcing.

Have any of you seen established signs out there that you like? (They don’t necessarily HAVE to be wood, that’s just a bonus.) Please, please share.


I have this grand view of what it means to be a career woman that was developed sometime between seeing the movies 9 to 5, Big, Baby Boom and Working Girl. And besides big hair, I’m fairly certain you cannot be a successful  independent career woman with shoulder pads that say “I am little but mighty!” without using the dexterity provided by your long, fake, yet well-manicured nails to flip through your very own rolodex.

Despite how much the word “digital” precedes most everything I do these days, I find myself still drawn to what most might call archaic methods of doings things. Case in point – my mass collection of business cards. After nearly five years in PR, it’s nice to have something tactile to revel over when thinking about the people I’ve met, relationships I’ve built, comfort zones I’ve exited.

Problem is? The way I keep them isn’t really something to be proud of:

photo (64)


Which makes me REALLY want one of these:



Problem? Who pays $40 for a dinosaur? Also, I’m not sure the whole sorting alphabetically thing would work out too well for me. Something like this would be much more practical, but completely defeat the purpose which has a lot more to do with living out the aesthetics of my 80s fantasy than organization (which is saying a lot, if you know how much I love organization):


Curious – what do YOU do with business cards you collect?

And then things got weird.

You know those days when you find yourself high on narcotics, standing in your backyard with your husband and a federal judge, watching a swarm of bees attach to a branch on your tree?

Yeah, me either. So here’s one for the record books.

It was a Tuesday afternoon. I was swinging on the hammock in our backyard while Aaron worked out. I had just gotten back from a dentist’s appointment where they told me my excruciating pain was not TMJ, but a dying, infected tooth, so I was balancing an icepack on my cheek and waiting for my own hyrdocodone induced Albert Hofmann-esque adventure to sooth the pain.

What I assume was mid-lunge, Aaron suddenly screamed “OH MY GOD!” in one those voices that means the sentence isn’t ending with “the McRib is back!!”

After a leap from the hammock which Aaron later told me was the fastest he’d ever seen me move, I turned to see a swarm of bees. A literal swarm. They were flying in a mini cyclone as if trapped inside a giant invisible clothes washer.

The freaking out continued as he ran around screaming “GET THE PUPPIES” and we both frantically attempted to usher the dogs inside, which only riled them up more, until we had to wrangle them a-la Rodeo Houston Calf Scramble style.

At this point, we weren’t really sure what to do. We attempted to call a local beekeepers association, before we eventually called 911. In retrospect, this was even more idiotic that it sounded at the time, but once you’ve seen My Girl there’s really no going back.

After being promised a “call back” on the world’s lowest priority emergency call, we decided to go tell our neighbors whose yards backed up to ours what was happening, in case the bees (which by this time I was convinced were Africanized) decided to swarm elsewhere. It was at this point I (although perhaps Aaron thought of this sooner) remembered our neighbors with the bee boxes, that were also adjacent to our yard.

So we knocked on their door, which was answered by a man wearing an OU shirt who greeted us as if we were old friends he had been expecting to swing by. We told him about the takeover happening in our backyard, to which he responded “oh, my girls got out, did they?” and promptly followed us back.

Within 20 minutes, after a lengthy Bill Nye-esque lesson on everything you never knew you wanted to know about bees, a few more references to “his girls” including speaking to them directly as such, our neighbor had set up a bee box baited with honey, lawn chairs, and a box of bee gear containing an actual bee suit.

At this point, Aaron has the brilliant idea to ask, “so, besides bee wrangling, what do you do here in town?”

Oh, he just happens to be the local FEDERAL MAGISTRATE.

So it’s Tuesday night, I’m high on narcotics (now on the couch, snuggled up to an ice pack), and my husband and a federal judge are hanging out in our backyard, drinking beer, talking shop, and waiting to see if the bee swarm migrates to the wooden bait box below the tree.

You know, just a week night typical night in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Some proof:

DSC_0829 DSC_0850 DSC_0841 DSC_0836


At some point, Judge Bill Nye called it a night, assuring us that we and the dogs were safe from the bees, and asking if he could return the next day to sit and watch (swarming being the highlight of any beekeeper’s year) to which we responded with a softer version of “why the hell not?”

The next day I kept peeking out the window to check on the bees, but at some point in the afternoon I managed to miss the mass exodus. Unwilling to check it out for myself, I called up our neighbor. He arrived promptly, suited up and checked the box. Empty.

After the whole experience, I have to admit that I learned a little bit about bees, lessened the affects of my My Girl-based phobia, and made some new neighbor friends. Not bad.

I just really hope the federal judge doesn’t think I do drugs.

Doomsday Prepper

Last night I cleaned out several purses/desk containers/night stand/bathroom drawers, and realized I *might* have too many lip balms. Is this normal?


Apparently, I am preparing for an apocalypse whereupon the world is drained of all its humidity and my lips are dangerously close to chapping.


Sweepin’ the clouds away

This week has been rather horrific weather-wise, and humanity-wise. To help the people of Oklahoma affected by the tornado, who happen to be a tiny two hours drive from my house, please visit the Red Cross’ website and consider a donation.

As we all try to sweep the mental clouds away and send our prayers for sunnier days northward, here’s a more lighthearted post on rainy weather and shopping frugally.

* * *

Like any true sorority girl hipster, I love a good opportunity to wear my rain boots. And accessorize them.

Especially when the outfit is one big tribute to bargain shopping:

  • Sperry Rain Boots on $37
  • Bally Total Fitness brand leggings from Ross, $9
  • “Vintage” teal striped men’s shirt from Goodwill, $3
  • “Splurge” full-price blue jean jacket from American Eagle, $59
  • Steve Madden mint and beige crossbody from TJ Maxx, $26

thrift shop

Get the look and the prices:  (click images to view in online stores)

Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 9.51.20 PM Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 10.12.11 PM Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 10.14.11 PM                           Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 10.20.09 PM Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 10.24.04 PM

Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 10.30.14 PM       Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 10.32.18 PM  Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 10.33.20 PM

Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 10.36.34 PM

The Best Non-Salad Salad You’ll Ever Have

Joanna on Cup of Jo often likes to claim the recipes she shares are “the best.” While I have yet to actually cook any of them, the pictures are rather convincing.

Well, thank goodness she hasn’t yet laid claim to a salad champion, because this recipe from Kirsten at Mission Delectable truly is the most delicious salad I have ever put in my mouth.


Well, for starters, I don’t like salad.

A second, this:


My only modifications:

  • Skip the steak if you’re lazy. It also makes a great side salad…
  • ….but substitute the arugula for a spring mix. Unless you REALLY like arugula.
  • Substitute blue cheese for goat cheese, if you don’t like blue cheese.
  • The dressing in the recipe is just a good go-to in general. Make a lot. Use it elsewhere.
  • Suck at photography.



I’ma take your grandpa’s style

Lately, I’ve become a big fan of Goodwill. Not in the “they do good things for the community” sense, in which we are all generally fans of Goodwill. No, more in the Macklemore sense where I go hunt for men’s button-downs in my size for when I feel like leaning preppy and search for steals on things rich people don’t want.

Exhibit A: REAL Vera Bradley coin purse as part of a travel kit. Goodwill likes to do this thing when they have little odds and ends that are too cheap to sell individually, where they make bundles. Sometimes the combination makes no sense, sometimes you can get things like scrapbooking and craft supplies for dirt cheap. Everything in this kit was travel-themed and brand new (toothpaste even had the hermetic foil seal), which was awesome. I’m pretty sure it was supposed to be some sort of college send-off gift someone didn’t want.

Aside: Don’t worry, I still won’t go as far as to use the toothbrush (that goes in the trash.) But Vera Bradley for $1.99? I’ll take it.


The Holy Triniti, In Three Courses

I’m in Houston this week for work, so per usual there’s a lot less blogging and a lot more doing. To hold you over (or make you salivate uncontrollably), I bring you the amazing, beautiful, serene Triniti.

As luck would have it, this month was Chef Ryan Hildebrand’s turn to feature his Cadillac Culinary Masters menu, with proceeds going to the Houston Food Bank.


Beets~Feta, Cauliflower, Pistachios, Strawberries


Green Pasta~Carrot Pappardelle, Fava Bean, Mushroom Collection, Spring Squash, Ricotta


Boxes~Boxed Chocolates or Macaroons (obviously “both” was also an option)


Sigh, why is Houston always so wonderful?

A character flaw. A tasty, tasty character flaw.

I love me some cake. Although this obsession has made an impact on my clothing choices (ehem, waistline) for quite some time forever, I find it trickling into my design and art/media consumption choices as well. Trying to decide which is the more essential travel companion for next week – the Kate Spade clutch, or the Sloan Crosley read. Sporting both may be a little over the top…


Spring in Texas

DSC_0828For one weekend a year, it’s Spring in Texas.

Somewhere between winter clearing its throat and summer opening the oven door to scald the earth, there is a brief and shining moment where the shade is cool, the breeze is warm, the humidity is low and you remember why you can’t imagine living anywhere but Texas.

As our meteorologist makes room on the forecast graphics for three-digit highs, I find myself still clinging to the sensation of the perfect weekend (precisely two weekends ago, when our little weather center looked like it does in the photo).

(PS – Yes, I made outdoor curtains. No, those are not my flowers. My craft skills end at things that need to live to be pretty.)