Running The Relay

For those of you who have been wondering about how my new job is going these days, here’s what you’ve missed:

I organized.


I accessorized.


I observed national Relay kickoff day with the rest of my team.


I took a trip to the main office in Lubbock (and fell in love with the artwork).


I took a tour of Texas’ first Hope Lodge.


Visited the local TV station to promote our community kickoff event.


Then dressed the part for our “Relay Around The World” themed kickoff.


And that was just the first two months. If only I had time to write in more detail on all the wonderful things happening, but at least that gives you a ten-second run down. Now on to month three…

Before and After: Church Organ Bench

Thrifters rejoice, church partitioners/organ players avert your eyes.

Last weekend while on my routine trip to Goodwill to peruse for projects, I came across a 70s church organ for $49, with the most beautiful, solid-wood bench with floral carvings. So I asked an employee if they’d break up the pair, and sure enough they let me take home this beauty for just $12.99!!!!

Today, $20 in fabric later, it’s a little more modern and a little less vinyl-y.


  • When reupholstering, make sure you buy staples with the proper depth before staple-gunning everything together.
  • Remove as much old hardware/fabric/staples as you can to allow yourself a clean surface to work on.
  • But make sure you mark the place where your returning hardware (such as hinges) needs to return, before say, covering those pilot holes with fabric. Or something.
  • Measure twice, cut once.
  • Corners are hard. I still have yet to figure them out entirely. In the photos below, you can see I attempted to fold the edges like wrapping paper around the sides of a present, but the result wasn’t quite as sharp and neat as I’d hoped.
  • Picking a (much cheaper) lining fabric for the backside of your upholstered piece – especially if its visible like it is on the inside of this bench – can cover a multitude of indiscretions/sloppy staple-gunning.
  • I think I’ll leave anything more complicated to the experts. My aspirations of recovering wingback chairs have been met with cold, hard, under-qualified reality.







Internetz: Valentine’s Edition

Happy Nerdy Valentine’s Day, from your friendly neighborhood 1970s robot.


For my sister in medical school (this IS what they’re teaching you right now, isn’t it?)


44 Stock Photos That Hope To Change The Way We Look At Women, including this one that kinda maybe embodies who I would like to be some day (if only the half sleeve wasn’t quite so permanent…)


27 brilliant ads, including this one below from a fellow classmate at UT who went through the same Creative sequence I did. (It’s okay to ask yourselves where the hell I went wrong, haha.)


A 1920s Shanghai spin on a sparkly red Valentine’s dress + the perfect date.indiana_jones_and_the_temple_of_doom_shanghai_china_title

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Ruby For Life

Another reason to love Relay For Life – Ruby’s doppelgänger is frontwoman for the canine chapter of ACS supporters:

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Sadly, my little tomboy wouldn’t be caught dead wearing that pink frilly dress. But she will be reppin’ the purple come October 4.

Before and After: Mid-Century Hutch #2



  • Valspar “Little Sprout” greeny-yellow paint
  • Decorative aluminum sheet metal
  • Silver spray paint for the hardware (as long as you use an accompanying primer spray paint, any will do)
  • Glasses Wrapping Paper from Paper Source
  • Vanilla Ginger arrow-patterned drawer liner paper by GC Fragrance Co. (found at Marshall’s Home Goods)
  • All the usual suspects: primer, electric sander, sandpaper, brushes, painter’s tape, etc., etc.

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Do Good Today: Help Create A World With More Birthdays!


As many of you know or have figured out from reading old blog posts, I’ve recently become a full-time employee of the American Cancer Society (ACS) as a Relay For Life specialist.

In the past four years in my work at MMI with MD Anderson, I’ve seen first-hand the amazing programs ACS has offered survivors and their families as they go through something so unimaginably difficult. Now I have the privilege of spending my entire 9-5, M-F working towards creating more of those opportunities and funding cancer research.

Seriously, who could ask for more?

Well, I am.

I’m asking for more birthdays. From you. My friends and my family and everyone in between.

What I ask you to do:

Think about how many birthdays you’ve been fortunate to celebrate, and donate a dollar for every birthday you’ve had to help support my Relay team: donate here.

Some reasons you should:

  • Right now, 1 in every 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer. As 1 of 3 sisters, I am not okay with this, and neither should you be.
  • Even worse, 1 in every 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer. If you are lucky enough like me to have both a husband and a father in your life, those odds are equally unacceptable.
  • ACS has funded 46 Nobel Laureates, honored for their breakthroughs in cancer research, which is helping to change those stats every. single. day.
  • ACS is a great steward of your money – it’s rated one of the top 10 best-managed nonprofits and strictly adheres to standards on how money gets spent once it is donated. Here’s a breakdown from 2012:

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  • ACS is the only cancer control organization that operates on a community (that’s me!), statewide and national level, and has given $3.6 billion towards cancer research – second only to the federal government.
  • Unless you are over a 100 and incredibly computer-savvy, your donation is no more than giving up approx. 5-15 trips to Starbucks. Totally doable for contributing towards Finishing The Fight against cancer.
  • Birthdays rule.


I’m proud to say I’ve already donated my $28 in honor of my 10,378 days on Earth. Here’s a look back at some of the birthdays I’ve celebrated on this here blog:


28 – AKA “Twenty Bajillion and Eight” (It’s all a matter of perspective, huh?)

27 – 27 things I’m still learning – apparently the age I grew insight (at least temporarily)

26 – Through the Wormhole – doubting my own chances at feats of genius

25 – reflecting on the highlights on 24

24 – Early birthday presents and then reflecting on them

23 – “If you’re going through hell, just keep going” may have been a more appropriate title

Witchy Woman: Art Imitates Artist on American Horror Story, Coven


Ever since I saw The September Issue, a documentary chronicling American Vogue magazine’s arduous journey to print on its biggest issue of the year, I’ve felt creative director Grace Coddington was:

1. Just about the coolest person around
2. The brains behind the whole operation (although I suppose that’s debatable since Anna Wintour seems an all-consuming persona)
3. The uncontested heart behind the whole operation (no arguments there)

Which is why, despite its rather slow-paced plot line, season three of American Horror Story (Coven) quickly became my favorite once Myrtle Snow quite literally rose from the ashes to become the fashion-forward embodiment of Grace herself.


Each sits on a high-powered council:


Signature voluminous “I don’t give a damn” red hair and sassy-smart expression:

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General supernatural wardrobe staples:

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And of course, there’s the parallel with the lifelong frenemy sidekick – Jessica Lange (aka  Fiona Goode) puts up one hellofa fight for the role of playing Anna Wintour to Frances Conroy’s (aka Myrtle’s) Grace Coddington.


Also, did I mention the numerous Stevie Nicks appearances on the show? What’s not to love. Girl. Power.

Shopping Inspiration

I’ve been doing a lot of window shopping lately, which always gets me in the creative mood (and curbs my spending appetite).

Behold, inspiration:

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And the one thing I did actually buy – because it was from Goodwill and under $3, and well, I’ve developed a recent obsession with cross-stitch:


Best of: Free Printable 2014 Calendars

After falling hopelessly in love with this Rifle Paper Co. wall calendar (and spending the money) I did a little research and found that there are quite a few beautiful, totally free printable calendars out there for the taking.

So, buy a little pack of card stock, use that special tray on your printer, and check these lovelies out:

From Oh the lovely things:


From Elegance and Enchantment:


From Design is Yay!:


From eat drink CHIC:



Recently, in pop culture:

8 Red-Carpet Looks That Were Hated Then — But Rule Now


A tumblr hailing from New England whose sole purpose it to serve up preppy style porn, and make you wish you too owned a boat, adorable floppy-eared hunting dogs, and everything LL Bean and Ralph Lauren ever made. Three cheers for lobster rolls and monogrammed puffy vests.

A Big Butt Is A Healthy Butt: Women With Big Butts Are Smarter And Healthier

If Georgia O’Keefe took up cross-stitching, this would be unsettling the result

Does the car make the movie? Check out these delightfully designed auto-centric movie posters based on blockbuster classics.

Two shops that sell lust-worthy Mid-Century furniture: Fabulous Mess on Etsy and Barr None Furnishings in Plano, TX

A really, really, not-smart yet hilarious way Coca-Cola is letting you support their mission of saving the polar bears with your MyCokeRewards points:

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And finally, a more suitable replacement for the above, courtesy Kate Spade. (Also, for whatever reason, I’ve had about 8-cajillion people say this exact phrase to me over the past couple of weeks. My hands are always warm, so like Chandler, I must be dead inside, but the sentiment and the mug are cute, so here ya go.)


Snow Day

Yesterday, we had a record-breaking six inches of snow hit our Texas town. Why is it the world looks so much more idyllic with the addition of just a few inches of frozen fluff?

Time elapse: one hour between photos (crazy!)


Snow  puppies


Snow bunnies buddies?

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Furry and flurries



And the peaceful wonderland…

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Don’t know why the exposure on these got messed up and turned all seventies yellow, but I kind of like it… 

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And then of course, we decided to ruin all that beautiful nature with our awesome snowman:




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Personality Quirks

I have a number of them. And the odd part is, most of them are at odds with each other. Like the fact that I am an introvert whose job is to make friends and cold calls and meet people (and I kinda sorta really like it). Or how I’m a neat freak that still never, ever, EVER makes her bed, waits several hours to do dishes after a meal, and loses her cell phone at least seven times a day.

Or my extreme cheapskateness. (Notice those words are not capitalized, because I still have not reached full TLC-special status.) However, nothing excites me more than the prospect of getting a deal. Free samples are my opiate, and I am a total hoarder.

Except that when I am visiting places to get those deals (aka, TJ Maxx, one of my favorite places to shop) I have this terrible little habit of falling in love with THE most expensive thing within grasp (physical, not financial). Case in point –



Seriously? When was the last time you saw $359 Fendi shoes in the CLEARANCE shoe section at TJ Maxx? Talk about a red herring. Or blue suede herring, as it were.

Then there’s the juxtaposition of my Gloria Steinem-loving feminist self, who even at the overripe age of 28, almost bought history’s most profitable sexist, body-image-destroying toy because Barbie (particularly brunette Barbie/Midge) will always have a special place in my heart, and she looks awesome as retro Catwoman.

But don’t get me started on pink and purple Lego’s for girls. (Go women engineers!)


Then of course there’s my creepy obsession with small dogs, in contrast to my moderate dislike/mostly apathy towards small children.

(This picture always cracks me up because to me it looks like they are flying in formation while napping…)

IMG_5562Sometimes I wonder if having these opposite and competing aspects of personality makes me/us/the proverbial “we” a more well-rounded person, or just completely nuts.