Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dog Spoiling 101: BarkBox

I feel kind of bad, but we spoil Chipper WAY more than we've ever spoiled Dudley (the cat). I think it's because Dudley doesn't get excited about anything that way Chipper does. It's just so fun to see him go crazy over a tennis ball or pretty much anything else that you're holding out to him! When BarkBox ran a Groupon deal, I bought one so I could see what it was all about. I had heard of it before, but this was shortly after we got Chipper and I hadn't thought to sign us up yet. Basically it's a monthly subscription box that usually contains a couple of toys, a food item and maybe another miscellaneous dog-related goodie. I signed us up for 3 months, and this is Chipper's second box...

I'll take this...

...and this.  

And then I'll just chew on the tags until you cut them off.

He has a thing with paper, which I've heard about other dogs too. I have to keep anything paper out of his reach or he will hide it under the couch and snack on it when I'm not looking! Once I cut the tags off the toys, he actually did run around and play with them for a while. He's already eaten a huge hole in the bone, so all the stuffing came out and that mouse is made of felt so we've got gray felt all over the house. The toys this time weren't my favorite as an owner (messy!) but Chipper loved them! The treats we got were awesome though, the Teeny Treats in particular. I definitely recommend those. The other snack item was a bag of peanut butter cookies that are supposed to be for humans AND dogs. I tried one, and I can't say I would ever eat another one. It wasn't repulsive but it wasn't tasty either. It's a cool idea though, and I'm sure it definitely tastes better than generic dog biscuits!

Now here's a video of him with his box, because why not? I know...I'm crazy and obsessed but I DON'T CARE. Have any of you tried BarkBox? If you're wanting to sign up, here is my referral link: and if you use that when you sign up, I get a free month! Win/win.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Leaving Length

I distinctly remember resolving in my junior year of high school to grow my hair out. My intention was to have long hair for my senior year banquet (our COC town's version of prom), but it didn't get very long in that one year. All I know is that when my hair was super short that one time in high school, it wasn't a great look for me, so I haven't cut a significant amount of length off in over 8 years...until now. 

Looking at the pictures now, it doesn't look THAT different, but it feels like I'm a brand new person! I didn't really want to get that much cut, but I figured that I might as well do Locks of Love now while I had the length to give. I am sending off my ponytail this week, and I love that someone somewhere will be able to benefit from it! I also love that my hair no longer gets caught underneath me in the bed or stuck in the car door. I am still planning to refrain from using heat on it, so I hope it air dries well. This after picture was with a shower the night before and sleeping on it wet. I did have to straighten the front, but I guess it wouldn't be the worst thing if I had to do that every day. If you can't tell, I'm pretty low maintenance. I've never been one to get gussied up. I do think it might be fun to try a couple of different styles with the shorter length though! Maybe without all the weight I can even get it to curl. 


Monday, March 18, 2013

Crocheted for the Arm

I have an Etsy seller who sends me LOTS of items to photograph for her shops. Pretty much everything she sends me is some sort of crocheted item, like slippers, coffee mug cozies, cowls, leg warmers and a new one: bracelets. I had never seen crocheted bracelets before, but I looked on Etsy and there are several sellers making them. Who knew?! This weekend I powered through photographing almost 100 of these, and I enlisted the help of my saucy friend Margaret for the modeling. Occasionally I model the stuff myself, but it takes forever, so I get help when I can! Here are some of the different ways I shot them. The glass decanter was a new set-up, and I rather like it. It was the perfect size for the bracelets to rest on.

I am pretty pleased with how they turned out! I decided to ditch my crumby background stand and just put the paper on the wall, and it worked out well. I blew it out a little bit, but I think for Etsy that's not a huge deal. I would really love to shoot for a clothing designer or even a vintage seller one of these days! It would be fun to photograph a collection for a look book, especially outside of the studio.

These items can be found soon in ChicNWarm or WarmToesesandCozies

Friday, March 15, 2013

Virginia Pearl Vintage

I can't believe I am just now sharing my newest Etsy shop, Virginia Pearl Vintage! I guess it just completely slipped my mind to blog about it. I'm hoping to post updates here occasionally, but I think an introductory post is definitely in order. I started this shop as a way to sell some of the plates that I collected for my wedding. I was pretty picky when I chose my reception plates, and even pickier when choosing what to list in the shop. I have had so much fun researching the different patterns for the listings! I haven't been able to find date information for a lot of them, but when I do find that kind of thing, it's very exciting.  Here are a few of my favorites listed so far.

If you're wondering about the name, it's actually my grandmother's name. She has always hated her middle name, Pearl, but I absolutely love it. I think Virginia Pearl has such a nice ring to it.  I need to take some plates over to her house and take a picture of me, her and the plates for the shop page! I'm sure she would love that (no she actually wouldn't...she's shy). 

I would love to know what you guys think about the shop so far! I'm planning to add some more plates in the next couple of days, so keep an eye out. I've got a friends discount code in the shop, so if you find something you like use FRIENDSOFVP for 15% off! Have a lovely weekend. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

That Time I Didn't Get Catfished

I planned on posting this sooner, but I have been sick the last couple of days. I either caught a stomach bug or ate something rotten, and it put me out of commission! I could barely muster the energy to walk  around the house on Monday, but I did feel a lot better by Tuesday. I am just really grateful that I only get sick once in a blue moon because if I had to deal with sickness frequently, I would be miserable! Especially sickness of the stomach variety (YUCK). 

On to happier things now...

About a week ago, I moseyed on up to Nashville to meet a few friends of mine. This was a unique gathering as I had never met these girls in "real life." We only knew each other through online interaction! Devin and I are both Etsy sellers, so that is how we first connected, and Lena is a friend of Devin's from college (I think). They also had their friend Elizabeth with them. Since I had never met them in person before, Alanna decided I was going to be Catfished, which turns out wasn't the case. I didn't really think that of course because Devin and I have been friends for a long time now! It was so much fun getting to hang out with them. I wish more of my Etsy and Twitter friends were around here so we could hang out more often! This makes five of my online friends that I've gotten to meet in person: I got to meet Ashli when we ran in the same race last year, then I got to meet Cristy when I ran into her at Disneyworld (that was CRAZY bumping into her among so many other people...what a coincidence), and Kaelah who lives in Nashville so I've gotten to meet her a couple of times. 

I'm always so nervous meeting these girls, because I don't know if we'll hit it off as well as we do online. I feel like I have a different personality online because I can leave out my awkward silences and all those times when I stumble over my words and get stuff stuck in my teeth. All the things that make people think I'm weird, yeah I can just edit that out online! Despite my reservations I've always really enjoyed the physical company of my online friends. None of them seem any different than I imagined them, which reassures me that I'm probably what they expected too :)

 Lena/me/Devin - Elizabeth/Lena/Devin

We met up at Copper Kettle for brunch, which turned out to be AMAZING. I've never been, probably because the buffet is like $20, but it's totally worth it. I put away some food, let me tell ya. They had just about every delicious food you can imagine! I think I had to actually waddle back to my car.

Devin/Lena - adorable Devin 

They went on some other adventures after brunch and we met back up for dinner at The Pharmacy in East Nashville, which I'd been itching to try. It didn't disappoint! I wouldn't go so far as to put it on my favorites list, but it was an enjoyable meal. It was a lot of fun getting to chat with these girls and hear about all of their Nashville adventures. I know it seems weird to some people to have "online friends" but I guess I've just gotten used to it. It sounds pretty awful to say this, but it's actually a lot easier to maintain a friendship with someone you only know online. Not that those friendships are as rich and dynamic as the friends I have here in town, but I have a lot more interaction with the people I chat with daily on Twitter. Luckily some of my local friends are on Twitter, so I get the best of both worlds! 

While Lena, Devin and Elizabeth were exploring Nashville, Alanna and I did what we do best: photo booths. It's really stupid how much money we've spent on these things. This was actually a pretty bad showing of our skills, but I think we got one or two good frames out of it. We definitely did better once we brought the props into the mix. The one at the very top left is my favorite. The thing just started taking them and didn't give us any warning! 

So that's my story about the time I didn't get Catfished. Have any of your gotten to meet any online friends in person? Hopefully you had as great of an experience as I did!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Guidance Needed: Leg Warmers

Sorry for the odd photos in this post. It is ridiculously cold and windy outside today, and I was just not having it! I chose instead to utilize this gorgeous motif in my office building. These disciples (there are several more) were donated to the university, and somehow they ended up in our area. They look utterly ridiculous in the setting, but they are actually really neat. They used to be in a church, and I think they fit in a little better there :) When they first arrived we had visions of placing them in each other's offices, bathroom stalls, the top of the stairs, the elevator, etc., but we found out quickly that we couldn't do that as each one weighs about 50 KAGILLION POUNDS. I mean seriously, I have no idea how they got them up to our office in the first place. 

That is my "Oh no, Peter, look. I knocked some leaves off this fake tree. My apologies." look.

dress- Etsy (Jennifer Lilly)
shirt- Walmart
belt- Etsy (Mouse Trap Vintage)
necklace- Etsy (Laura Lombardi)
leggings- Target
leg warmers- gift
shoes- Old Navy

Now let's talk about these leg warmers. I have NEVER worn leg warmers. Never had a desire to, never really understood the point. Just wear pants, am I right? I still kind of don't get it, but I got these for Christmas and I figured I would try. Am I doing this right? The jury is still out. I know that as a whole this outfit is OOC (out of control), but I kind of like the busy-ness. Check out the Etsy stores I linked to in the details! All three are excellent sellers with some amazing pieces. I'm a huge fan of this dress even though you can see straight through it and the slightest breeze sends it floating up. I wish I knew enough about sewing to make a lining for it. I actually bought it to see if I liked it for possible bridesmaids dresses. It didn't pass thank goodness since it ended up being so cold. I didn't think my girls would like how short it was. 

So, can any of you give me advice on how to wear these leg warmers? Any other 80s trends you can advise me on? Side ponytails? Yes? How many questions can I ask in one paragraph?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Recipe: Lavender Lemonade

I mentioned back in my wedding posts that I served lavender lemonade at my reception. I used lavender as much as possible in the wedding because I LOVE the smell. I thought I would share how to make the lavender lemonade on here, even though it's so easy I almost feel like it's not worth sharing! Hopefully some of you will be inspired to try it :)

I bought a kit on Etsy from a seller who appears to have switched focus to vintage toys (? don't ask me...). I don't think you need a kit AT ALL though. All you need is stuff to make lemonade, some culinary lavender buds (angustifolia is what I used) and patience. The first thing you need to do is soak your buds in a covered container in the fridge for about 10-14 days. Do 1/8 cup buds to a 1/2 gallon of water (cold water is preferable. Using boiling water will expedite the process to less than 10 days).

That's all I took pictures of because I was so busy getting everything done for the wedding! It's been almost 5 months now. Wow does time fly! Ok, that's off topic, so back to the lemonade. Once your buds have soaked, you can start making the lemonade. I would do this a day or two before you plan to serve it, so the flavors have time to mix. Make the lemonade by combining 1/2 gallon of water and 2 cups of sugar (or less if you don't want it overpoweringly sweet). This is where hot water is nice because the sugar will dissolve quickly for you. Once the sugar is dissolved in the water add 1 cup of lemon juice and stir.

Finally, pour the 1/2 gallon of lavender water (with the buds strained out) in with the 1/2 gallon of lemonade and mix well. You'll have a little bit of lemonade left over because you added that cup of lemon juice, just drink it plain or toss it. Refrigerate immediately and drink within 3 weeks. It's delicious!

You can also experiment with your amounts of sugar, lemon juice and lavender to get the perfect taste for you. It's a really fun drink to make, and I promise it will be gone within a couple of days if you're anything like me. I can't get enough of the stuff! Let me know if any of you give it a shot! I hope you're all having a fantastic weekend so far.