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.

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I accessorized.

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

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

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I took a tour of Texas’ first Hope Lodge.

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

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

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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.

Learnings:

  • 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.

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Internetz: Valentine’s Edition

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

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

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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…)

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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.)

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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

Related:

Supplies:

  • 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!

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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.

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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

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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.

Observe:

Each sits on a high-powered council:

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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.

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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:

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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:

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From Elegance and Enchantment:

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From Design is Yay!:

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From eat drink CHIC:

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Internetz

Recently, in pop culture:

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

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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.)

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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!)

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Snow  puppies

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Snow bunnies buddies?

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Furry and flurries

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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.
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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 –

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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!)

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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.