Friday, January 31, 2014



reading: I just started a new series by Gail Carriger. It is YA and about a finishing school for girls who are going to be spies/assasins. I love it so far!
watching: We discovered the British series An Idiot Abroad and are OBSESSED! It is a travel documentary but the star, Karl Pilkington is not interested in travel and hates everything. Ricky Gervais sends him to the seven wonders of the world in the first series. It is so hilarious. Check it out of you have Netflix!
thinking about: Budgeting! We are really into that right now. Travis' car just died (again!) and we've decided to become a one car household (for a while at least.) So he got a bus pass and swears he likes it so far. We've been using the "Home Budget" app and I highly recommend it. It is like using the envelope system but you don't have to have cash and it syncs up between our phones. We've been using it for two months and have already been able to save a significant amount. 
anticipating: Hopefully going to see a college production of Dreamgirls at TSU tomorrow! And going to see our nephew Ellis in February. We don't have any solid big travel plans yet this year so I'm looking forward to making some!
listening too: Podcasts or the new Beyonce album. That is really it. I don't know how many more times I'll be able to make Travis list to "Partition." It is so good though!
working on: Purging stuff. I went through our living room bookcase yesterday and have a huge box of stuff to take to a used bookstore. I'm in that place where it feels really good to get rid of things I know I won't use. Hopefully it lasts a while!
loving: My new tattoo! I got it yesterday, and it is on the back of my right thigh. It was a very painful spot, but i love how it looks! Can you believe this is my first vintage related/kistchy tattoo? I posted a photo from my collection on instagram, and my friend Eli said he would love to tattoo one! I can't believe I hadn't thought of it before!
I'm also feeling pretty proud of myself for doing karaoke in public for the first time! My work holiday party was last night, and I got up and did "Time of My Life" (you know, the one from Dirty Dancing) with my good friend Ryan. I was really nervous to do it, but it ended up being so fun!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

100 Books 2014: 1-8

I didn't make a resolution this year, but I thought it would be fun to give myself a goal. My goal for 2014 is to read 100 new to me books! And part of that goal is to get most of them from the library instead of spending tons of money on books. So here we go, here is MOST of what I read in January. I had already taken one book back, and since I took these photos I finished 1 more. So I'm up to 9/100. I might have made this goal a little too easy for myself!
Are any of you big readers? I would love some recommendations! I like to read pretty much anything. You can check out my goodreads page here. Are you a member? Let's be friends! I really enjoy that site.
1. The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption by Kathryn Joice: I don't read much non fiction but this was a really interesting look at international adoption. I read a blurb about it somewhere online and found the topic really fascinating. It gets a little repetitive but I learned quite a bit.
2. The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan: This one was a Christmas present from Travis because he knows I love Amy Tan. I have read most of her books multiple times. This one is just ok, which was a disappointment. I found myself wanting to skip ahead a few times. It is a story about mothers and daughters, China and America, her usual themes, but it isn't quite as engaging and it didn't make me want to stay up all night reading.
3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: This book was all over the place last year, and I've had it on my to read list forever! I wish I hadn't waited so long! It is amazing! Thrilling and surprising and not like anything else I've read in a long time. The story starts with a man coming home to find his wife gone and the house in disarray. I don't want to give anything away, because the story really did shock me multiple times! I would definitely recommend it!
4. The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle: This was recommended by a fellow blogger and for the life of me I can't figure out who! I thought it was Jen, a fellow Nashvillian, but now I can't find it on her blog. Anyway, I guess it doesn't matter. This is the story of a teacher/student affair told from both points of view. A good quick read, and I really liked the way the author wrote the characters.
5. Redshirts by John Scalzi: Another gift from Travis. This is a science fiction book I guess, based around the idea of anyone in a red shirt with a small backstory on Star Trek is destined to die! I loved this one! A blurb on the back said "pee your pants funny!" and while I don't think that is accurate, the story was fun and I loved all the little Star Trek references. I think any science fiction fan would like it, even if you aren't a trekker.
6. In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunnant: This one has been sitting on the pile of books next to my bed for a few years! The cover makes it look like a historic fiction romance but it isn't really. It is by the same author of The Birth of Venus, which I loved! This is the story of a famous, successful courtesan who has to flee Rome and re-establish herself in Renaissance Italy. It is told from the point of view of her faithful servant/friend a dwarf. It is more a story about loyalty, friendship, and betrayal than sex like you would expect. I was actually sad when it was over, I wanted to stay in that world a little longer.
7. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut: I LOVE Kurt Vonnegut and there are  a few of his books on our shelves that I haven't read yet. This one was good, if a little fatalistic and dark. I love his sense of humor and wit and I can't wait to make it through all of his books! I think I'll read Sirens of Titan next.
8. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill: The best book of the month is this one! I would NEVER have picked it up just seeing it or reading the blurb, but I read a great description of it on a book critics personal top ten of last year. This book is almost 700 pages and I read it in three days, I couldn't put it down! The story is so CREEPY at one point I was walking around my house at night and had to RUN back to bed because I was scared. That hasn't happened in a long time! Joe Hill is a wonderful writer and I'll probably try to read all of his novels this year.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January Flea Finds

Here is what we picked up at the flea market over the weekend. Not a lot, but all the usual suspects. Books and photos and something with a face.
This book is falling apart a bit, but it really appealed to me.
Especially the illustrations! "Mammy! Mammy!"
I picked up the "Our Animal Friends" because of the colorized photos. The stories are so weird.
Here are the shakers I ended up with! I realized after I posted the photo that you can barely see these guys in it! I wanted the kangaroos too, and the little tiny birds, and there were some wolves too!
The animal boat ride book is adorable, look at the end papers! There were actually two copies for sale and I thought about buying both so I could pull the end papers out and frame them. Look at that raccoon!
And as always, I picked up some photos for my collection. Some dog ones, some vacation ones, and one I just liked.
I love the lady putting sun screen on the man's back! I think I'm going to steal her kerchief look when we go to the beach this summer.
I just like this photo of the couple in the snow. I'd love to have her jacket, and its hard to see here, but his jacket is fringed! And look at this tie and striped pants!
And these stylist ladies with a sweet tiny puppy. Right up my alley!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Nashville Flea: January

It was about 19 degrees when we ventured out to the flea market this past weekend. It got a little warmer throughout the day but geeze! There was even a little snow on the ground! Nothing can keep us from junking though!
Nashville friends, look at how deserted it is! It almost wasn't worth it. But we had fun. And yes, Travis is wearing shorts. I had to force him to wear pants the day the windchill was negative 9. He is ridiculous.
That coat kills me. He got it from a friend years ago and it had a burn hole in the side. He stitched a little bird over it to cover the hole! How freaking cute is that? Sometimes he really surprises me. That little bird makes me smile every time I see it.
Loved that gingerbread boy!
And this cool pop corn machine! I hope whoever bought it is going to display it in their rec room or something!
And check out this couch! It is hard to tell in my photo but it is made of barrels! and you can turn it and make it an L shape if you want. It was already sold too. Something else perfect for your knotty pine basement!
Table of salt and pepper shakers! I bought a set here, can you guess which ones? I wanted those seals! But I have a pair SOMEWHERE in my house that I bought a long time ago, before I was really collecting. Me set still has the whiskers too. I need to find it!
I REALLY wanted this lamp. But Travis convinced me not to get it, since we didn't have a place for it. Wouldn't it be a cool night light?
We made it about an hour and a half at the flea, then headed downtown to the Frist to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit. It was fantastic! If you are in town I really suggest going to see it!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Collection 21: Vintage Stuffed Animals


Recently Mr. Tiny over at Wacky Tacky posted about this wonderful pink poodle he got as a gift.  It inpired me to collection all my weird vintage stuffed animals from around the house and bring back my collection series! I'm up to 21, but I'm pretty sure I have at least ten more. Vintage stuffed animals aren't something I set out to collect, but sometimes I just can't leave them behind.
 Here are most of them, I found two more after I took a group photo. And two MORE after I put the camera away! Haha. Also, we have a new neighbor and I was sure she was going to come knock on my door and catch me taking photos of my toys like a big weirdo!
I love seeing old stuffed animals at sales, but I don't bring them home very much. I usually just take a photo and that satisfies me. But sometimes I can't stop myself and they end up in this little collection. I have them up on top of a built in shelf in our room.
Funny puppy with a plastic head.
 Monkey lady with a skirt and beret. If you move her tail her head moves back and forth!
 Kind of sad vinyl elephant missing his ears. I still think he is cute!
 A little seal that Travis brought me home from the Goodwill outlet, he knows me so well!
 I love an old, handmade sock monkey. This one lives next to our tv on top of my karaoke machine. And that Koala has eyes that blink! He belonged to a girl named Mary Sue Head! I bought a BUNCH of 1950's baby clothes at her house, including a dress covered in skiing squirrels! One of the best sales I've ever been too.
 A little knit sheep with the sweetest felt eyelashes.
Blue kangaroo and her baby!
 Isn't he cute? Even without having back legs.
 I think one at an antique mall in Sevierville. I passed it up, and Travis was like "Don't you want this?" I thought the tag said $25, which is CRAZY! But it was just $2.50, so now he lives with me. Do you like his jaunty beret?
 A puppy with sassy felt eyelashes.
This is a Push Me Pull You from Dr. DoLittle, the 1967 movie version! Have you seen it? Its on Netflix right now and it's awesome! My favorite part is when he sings the romantic song "When I look in your eyes" to a seal wearing a dress and a bonnet! I couldn't find a clip of it, but here is the preview. Oh man, I need to watch it again soon! The giant snail!
A little homemade pig/dog thing. I can't resist a google eye!
This little wiry guy was in a weird flea market booth. I think he is so cute!
This guy is a radio! He nose is the volume knob. I haven't put batteries in it to see if it works yet. How cool is a puppy radio though?
The speaker is in the back of his head. You can kind of see the outline of it.
And of course, my favorite little stuffed animal had to get in on the action. Look at that sweet face! I hope you enjoyed this peek into one of my weirder collections!

Saturday, January 18, 2014


We've been going to the movies like crazy lately! It is one of our favorite things to do, and with a combination of bargain matinee prices (I love that Carmike charges just 5 bucks between 4 and 5:30!) and a bunch of movie gift cards we got for Christmas we've been able to really indulge! Here is what we've seen in the past few weeks:
Bettie Page Reveals All: This is a documentary about the queen of pin ups, narrated by Bettie herself! I LOVED it! She was so beautiful and had such a strange life. Though you wait the WHOLE movie to see a photo of her from when they recorded the interviews, and  the movie ends with a quote saying she wanted people to remember her as she was. Ah! But still, definitely recommended!
Anchorman 2: I like the first one a lot, this one was just ok. A few really funny parts, but overall bleh. We saw it in a pretty full theater and most of the other people seemed to agree. Such a bummer.
her: I saw this the other day by myself because I knew Travis wouldn't be into it. I loved it! The world Spike Jonze creates is really beautiful, and the story is so unique. And there is something oddly alluring about Joaquin Phoenix with that dad mustache and high wasted pants. I got a few good cries in, which I love in a movie.
Inside Llewyn Davis: Another beautiful movie to watch, with great music and performances.  I had to read some reviews of it after I got home because I left the theater feeling a little confused, which isn't always a bad thing. Great story telling and characters, just what you expect with the Cohen brothers.
The Wolf of Wall Street: I didn't expect to LOVE this movie as much as I did! It isn't one I want to watch over and over, but it was really great. Leonardo DiCaprio really should get that dang Oscar this year. I didn't find this film to be as shocking as a lot of people seem to (maybe I'm on tumblr too much, haha).
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: We both enjoyed this one.  It is beautifully shot, especially the parts in Iceland. I thought Ben Stiller was surprisingly good in it as well. It isn't as dreamy and surreal as the pr makes it look, but it was still worth the price of admission.
12 Years a Slave: Really well done, and shocking, and sad. I had never heard much about free men from the north being kidnapped and sold into slavery. The lead actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor, is really amazing, and so was Michael Fastbender. Another one I don't really want to see again, but it was poweful.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: I am a total middle earth nerd (surprised? probably not) and even though the first Hobbit was ok, I was excited for this one. It is MUCH better! Lots of good action and amazing effects! I haven't read the book in years so I don't get upset about these movies adding stuff. The barrel fight scene was probably my favorite part, and the effects for Smaug were SO INCREDIBLE! I can't wait for the last one!
Saving Mr. Banks: The storytelling of this is a little clunky, and the backstory part in Austrailia never really comes together, but I really liked this movie over all. Of course I'm super into the time period and loved all the scenes in the writing room and with Emma Thompson. Jason Schwartzman and BJ Novak as the Sherman brothers were probably my favorite part. Wouldn't you love to see a spin off of about them and their lives!
Now we're going into the time of year that nothing great comes out for a while. the only things we're looking forward to are the new Jack Ryan movie (Travis likes action movies, I like Chris Pine's handsome face!) and Travis can't wait for The Monuments Men. I think that one looks pretty good too! I also might try to catch American Hustle before it's out of the theaters. We'll see. Have you seen anything good lately?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


 It is so cold here in Nashville! Today the high was 9 degrees! I know for some that is par for the course in winter, but it is really unusual here! I had to search the house for gloves this morning and all I could find was this mismatched pair of skeleton gloves. Haha, I think I need to buy myself a real pair of gloves.
Thankfully the ice storm the news anchors in town were predicting didn't happen. When I left for work at 6:30 am today there wasn't any ice on the roads. That made me so happy! Now we just need to get through the rest of the cold spell comfortably. There has been lots of cuddling with the dogs on the couch, and the cats are sleeping in piles!
I made these cookies for a party in December and I've been hooked every since! One of the best vegan cookie recipes I've ever tried! And they turn out looking like regular cookies too! Highly recommend!
Phyllis had her annual check up. The vet wants to start seeing her twice a year since she is a senior now (how can it be?). Her check up went ok. She is now totally blind in her left eye, with about 30% vision in her right. We've got to start giving her eye drops because that left eye is borderline not producing enough tears for her. And of course the same old bad joints. But it is all to be expected from an old pug. Nothing we can't handle.
Scampi the cat has started sleeping on MY pillow all day every dang day. Believe it or not, I'm allergic to all animals, but all the critters I live with usually don't bother me. But it does make me itchy on my pillow. So I'm trying to remember to put it up every day. And there on the right you can see Franklin, our porch kitty. He lived in our house before we did, but his owner died and the family left him behind. The neighbors feed him and take him to the vet. I wish we could bring him in. I'm thinking about him in this cold cold weather.
One thing we're trying to do this year is eat out less. We have been budgeting and before we were spending a TON of money on eating out. So wasteful! So goodbye to Woodlands for now! I'll miss you masala dosa!
Just my poodle collection. I'm going to hopefully start taking my Christmas stuff down tomorrow, so these guys will be back in their place of honor.
We got to see our nephew Ellis this past weekend, and he and Travis ended up in the same shirt! Haha, how cute is that? I think it looks like Travis has a ventriloquist dummy! Ellis is getting so big and can really interact with you now. I can't wait until he can talk to us!
I found a whole board of buttons from the 1960's at a local antique mall. It was so hard to choose which ones to get! I passed up on "Jesus was a drop out" and "apple pie makes you sterile". I love these two!
We're also trying to go to the movies less. At least the full price night showings. Recently we've seen Saving Mr. Banks (I really liked it!) The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (the dragon was so cool!) Bettie Page Revels All (a new documentary about Bettie, it is great!) Anchorman 2 (just ok. Funny, but not as hilarious as the first one) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (beautiful to look at. Pretty entertaining).
I really want to see The Punk Singer (that new movie about Kathleen Hanna !!!!!) and Inside Llewyn Davis.
We haven't had a lot of time to hang out with our friends through the holiday season, I hope that changes soon! We are talking about doing a friend vacation again this year. I really hope it happens! Also, we have spent at least the last four new years eve's with Crystal and Marc. I hope that continues until we're old.
And last but certainly not least, in December I had the honor of attending a friend's home birth. I was nervous about it, but wanted to do it. She gave me the job of tracking contractions which was good because it gave me something to do. I saw that little dude born in the early hours of the morning and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! What a great way to close out a great year!
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