Killing ’em with Kilim.

First comes Meredith,

then comes Design Sponge,

then comes me spending two hours on ebay shopping for antique rugs with money I don’t have and a house that doesn’t match any of it.

The patterns found in antique Kilim rugs are apparently the new chevron (well, a lot of it still pretty much is chevron) and even though I don’t really want to make a big purchase on a presumably short-lived trend, I do have a very bare dining room/kitchen floor…

My dining room:

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My favorites:

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Scarf Swap 2013

This year, I finally got on the wagon and decided to participate in Meredith’s annual scarf swap. I love the idea of using someone’s online footprint to gather information on their personal style and shop accordingly for them in a secret-santa-esque mission.

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My Partner: Frances Raybon. Internet stalking created a picture of someone with a love of clean, classic style. Very put together, sharp, but allowing for days when you want to just be comfy. So I opted for something with a clean, crisp geometric print on classic colors, but with a little bit of quirky “this could be art deco but also boho” style to give a little interest and something unexpected.
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Here’s my partner’s, all dressed up and ready to go:

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Meanwhile, my delightful little gift arrived in the mail. (And when I say meanwhile, I actually mean long before, since Frances is apparently much less of a procrastinator than me.)

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Now, here’s the part where an innocent enough scarf swap makes me realize something about my own genuine, deep down narcissism. While I bought the scarf for my partner, I also pinned the scarf to my birthday wish list, because, well, I love the scarf. And sure enough, my sister bought it for me for my birthday. So, there I was with two identical scarfs and physical evidence stacked against me.

Aaron always accuses me of only buying gifts for others that I really want for myself. That I’m never really able to step outside myself and really, truly think of what another person would like to receive without indulging the desire to shop for things I can get excited about. This comes after a long period of time in our relationship where Aaron didn’t like any presents I got him, and finally gave up and never again deviated from his list.

Even more disturbing, the scarf is eerily similar in style to the one Frances picked out for me, from what I assume to be a more benevolent place. Do we always project ourselves onto others? Is it a means of trying to relate to another human, or are we, for better or for worse, completely, unconsciously but irrevocably, focused on ourselves? I suppose these are not the questions one should be asking on a blog they write about their own life.

On the other hand, look at all my cute fall gear, ready for the next cold front!

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I Adore Autumn.

I do. I really, really do.

And it’s finally here! What did you do with your first day of Fall? Here was mine:

Morning coffee and pumpkin bread recipe from page 228 of the October “Real Simple”

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Lazy morning on the couch….

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…with the windows open to let in the (shockingly) crisp air.

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Compulsory trip to Target to try on as many Halloween items as possible.

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Decorating for fall, and the excessive buying of gourds.

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Enjoying the beautiful afternoon weather….

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…with our neighbor’s dog whom we’ve now named Kramer since she always comes over, uninvited and helps herself to anything we have like she owns the place – yet, we love her anyway.

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And getting a jump start on Halloween crafts.

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In a word? Perfect.

Four Eyes

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Just saw this picture on Pinterest today, but I took the photo of myself almost two months ago. Yep, me and John, we’re totally soulmates. 😉

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Then again, I also took this picture…

TANGENT.

The reason for this post that I’m slowly getting to is that I’ve had my new fancy glasses from Rivet & Sway for over a month now, I’ve just been waiting for a day when I actually showered, fixed my hair, had makeup on, AND time to take pictures.

Apparently, during no point in the last 30 did I have a day where I lived up to all 4 standards. (Pathetic? Maybe.)

So, settling for 3 out of the 4 (who needs makeup anyway) here are my long, long, long overdue photos from my adventure with Rivet’s 3 sample pairs and my final decision.

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SUPER cute branding and packaging!

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Design-spiration: Vintage Postcards

Design-spiration: Vintage postcards from where you live. (Especially if it someplace new, other than home, like this is for us.)

Remember my trip to the Austin Antiques Mall? Well, I did find two things that were affordable and totally perfect for me – the bottom two postcards in this series below. (The top one I already had, but thought the series needed a third for framing.)

The middle one depicts a church in downtown near Aaron’s office, and the bottom shows a park where Aaron and I regularly go hit golf balls, just down the street from our house, which was cool in itself to find all the way in an Austin market. But, it was the note on the back that really made me smile….

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Isn’t the penmanship beautiful?

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“We are all o.k., only too warm.”

If I were to have written a letter to my loved ones upon moving here, it would have started the exact same way.

In The Spirit

Aaron told me we need to decorate more for the holidays.  It was odd coming from a man, but I didn’t ask any questions. Instead, I picked up these lovelies on my last trip to Walmart, and was pleasantly surprised by what they had. I bought everything below (except the red candle) for under $30 total.

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I haven’t really had a lot of time to blog since Aaron came home from the hospital, but here are some things I’ve been reading/seeing/loving lately:

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This post-opp honesty from the sweetest husband ever. (For the record, my husband mostly just slept his way through recovery and didn’t have much to say. Should have used the opportunity to pump him for information.)

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This article from Psychology Today discussing how over-parenting makes for wimpy, anxiety-ridden children who can’t cope with life. Playing into said parents’ fears, who will now be overly paranoid ABOUT being overly paranoid, thereupon playing into the author’s hypothesis and solidifying the need for his own profession to continue to exist. Now there’s a head trip.

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Lustworthy photos from Texas’ largest, most wonderful antiques fairs – the only the only – RoundTop.

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This eensy-weensy copywriting project I did that actually got used by our client! (Hooray!) NamasDays = my fun little pun.Screen Shot 2013-09-10 at 8.52.14 PM

I recently signed up for a blogger scarf swap hosted by Meredith at The Tichenor Family blog, which has become super dangerous due to all the excessive online scarf shopping I’ve been doing for my swap partner.

A few favorites from Fab.com:scarfs

These Jack-o-lanterns that don’t involve pumpkin goo. For the win. Will definitely be following the tutorial come October.lum

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And finally, this irresistible craft project. No, not the chevron dresser – the lamp. We have a Specs equivalent here in town that carries specialty beers and wines, and they’ve had that giant pink bottle concoction for quite some time. And for just as long, I’ve eyed it, wanting it for the pretty bottle while Aaron fusses at me that we’re not going to pay $13 for disgusting beer. Well, maybe not for disgusting beer, but $13 for a lamp is pretty good, yes?

One Dress, Four Ways

Decisions, decisions.

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I’m going to a very good friend’s wedding this weekend, which of course means I’m having a wardrobe/packing crisis. Problem is I really want to wear my blingy blue suede shoes since there never seems to be an occasion for them, but I also want to wear my blingy new necklace I got for my birthday. But I don’t want to be THAT blingy, since ya know, I want to be respectful of the fact that this is someone else’s day.

Your mission, if you choose accept it: Pick one of the four options below.

Dress in question:

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Ways to accessorize:

(click image to enlarge)

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Leave the number listed next to your favorite options in the comments below.

Ready, set, go!

Twenty bajillion and eight.

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I’m writing this because I hope one day I look back at this and scoff at my own naivety, much like how I look back at my high school self in indignation for thinking I was fat.

So, hello 38 year-old self. I feel old.

Old in the sense that earlier this week I couldn’t remember if I was turning 27 or not. Yep. Old enough to forget my own age. Old enough that my cake this year merited two number-shaped candles because counting out the right amount of the normal kind has become too taxing.

(In discussing this impending special day with a group of friends, we decided once you hit the number of candles in a standard birthday candle pack, you stop there. Dump out the little skinny cardboard box, and just place them on top. No counting, no aging past what is it? 12? Is that how many they put in there?)

In many ways, I think I should become more like my eight year old self (pictured above, at yes, my birthday party, circa 1993). Because there was nothing I THOUGHT I was. No apprehensions, no insecurities, no “should.” There was no one I thought I should be, except exactly myself (plus a scandalously high-heeled pairs of Mia sandals like the ones listed #14 on this list).

I’ve heard the saying that “the creative adult is the child who survived.” Maybe the sane, happy adult has learned to pull that same childhood self along with them too.

So cheers. Cheers to cake and crepe paper, best friends forever and dads with totally awesome suspenders! Cheers to twenty-eight!

 

Who needs a rib cage anyway?

So I fell in love.

With a dress. On Fab.com. That looks like this.

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Only, it was only available in a size 8 (and I’m pushing size 12 these days) but I thought hey, maybe I can actually stick to my diet and everything will be okay, because this dress is definitely worth it.

Well, today it came in the mail, and when I attempted to try it on, the waist area wouldn’t even clear my shoulders. Now, I knew it would be a little small, but this was like contortion I-should-be-employed-by-Circ-de-Soleil small.

So I went to the website and made this heartbreaking discovery:

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Damn. You. Europeans.

UPDATE: Found it on this European website, and ordered it in a Euro size 14. Paid in Euros too, so I really hope I don’t regret ordering internationally. We’ll see if I’m cursing Europeans again soon…

$10 worth of free Christmas Magic

I have a little wonderful secret place where I buy 90% of my Christmas presents (at about 70% off retail). And right now I am outing myself because for every friend that signs up for an account, I get $10 spending money (which I would love to use towards said Christmas presents). The even better news? If you decide to be one of those friends, YOU get a $10 gift card too!

So where are you going right now to sign up? SierraTradingPost.com, using this link: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/invite~3449859/Elle-7/

To further entice you, here are a few delightful little things worthy of any Christmas wish list, from their website:

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And here are some things I’ve already bought for myself that get five stars:

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Finally, a VERY VERY VERY important note about shopping this website:

When you sign up for an account, you’ll get “Deal Flyer” emails advertising sales. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS click through from your Deal Flyer to the website to shop the sale. If you just go directly to the website, the coupon will not be added to your purchase price.

Example:

Typing SierraTradingPost.com in your browser and shopping:

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Clicking from your Deal Flyer email:

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And here’s what to look for so you know it’s working as you’re shopping:

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Happy hunting!