Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Day 165

Okay, I realize that, with this post, I am giving far, far too much of my dorkiness away ... but, I think it'll be worth it!

Get excited, a meteor shower is coming! The Geminid meteor shower, to be specific. The best times to view it will be post-dusk on Thursday and early Friday morning (2am-ish) and then again on Friday night and into Saturday morning. I know, I know, waking up in the middle of the night probably isn't your cup of tea (believe me, it's not mine either), but if you haven't seen a serious meteor shower, you are missing out!

My dad used to drag us out of bed for meteor showers, eclipses, comets and all kinds of celestial stuff when we were kids. I'm so thankful that he instilled in us an appreciation of such events, because I think I'm starting to really understand why they're so amazing -- they're a realization of God's glory on earth! I fully intend to set my alarm, tune my iPod to some Chris Tomlin and spend some time with my Maker!

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19:1

{image: Alan Dyer via}

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Day 164's wish

It's supposed to be 79 degrees here today. Geez ...what does a girl have to do to get a little winter weather?? It felt so so wrong to be listening to "Winter Wonderland" on my way to lunch, and even more wrong to see women in tank tops and flip flops. Oh the horror! I mean, it's December, people.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Day 160's big purchase

Oh me. Wes and I bought a car last night! It was all very exciting and very scary at the same time. We have been planning to replace Wes' Honda Accord for some time. My 4Runner is getting up there in miles, but it's been our go-to car - the one we take when we leave town, or go basically anywhere together. We like having something with that much space, so we wanted to keep it, and with gas prices on the rise, we decided to look at getting something that would help out in that area. First we were going to buy a car in September, then November, then we decided to wait until after Christmas.

On Wednesday of this week, I was driving the Honda on the way home from work, and it started acting funny. I know next to nothing about cars and really really didn't want to break down on hwy. 31 in the middle of rush hour, so I pulled over. Wes met me and drove the car home while I followed in the 4Runner. Sure enough, it's got a problem (but don't ask me to explain it!). I guess half a day of having one car between us was enough for Wes, because he starting calling around about cars on Thursday. Long (boring) story short, we came home last night with a 2008 Nissan Altima! Our original intention wasn't to buy a brand-new car, but we got a great deal, and we're both quite pleased. Now begins the oh-so-fun task of making monthly car payments!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Day 158's inspiration

Style editor Heather Chadduck of Cottage Living has great taste and a quite distinctive style. Just before she joined the crew at Cottage, they wisely photographed her Dallas home and featured it in 2004. Her Birmingham hacienda underwent quite the renovation before it met her discerning standards. I tore out pictures of her blue and brown bedroom when Cottage published it last year, and today I came across the virtual tour of the house before, during and after her remodeling efforts.

Wow, has it come a long way! It gives me hope that the cottage we can afford now (er, when we start looking this spring) can one day be the cottage we love. Don't miss kitchen - it's definitely the most dramatic and inspiring transformation. Seeing this, I might even be able to settle for some truly heinous linoleum!

{image from Cottage Living}

Day 157's exciting discovery

Keeping in line with the robin's egg blue dictionary and letterpressed desk calendar, check out this great Web site. See Jane Work carries TONS of pretty desk accessories and office supplies so nice you might actually want to go to work! I said might ...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Day 154

Today, my mom and I are hitting the Christmas gift trail. Per usual, I've been giving a lot more thought to what I want to give this year than what I want to get. Here's a taste of what's on my gift radar:

Graphic Image makes these gorgeous leather-bound dictionaries an aray of beautiful colors. What a fun gift for a college student! If a dictionary isn't your thing, maybe an address book, journal, golf rule book, agenda, photo frame, album or scrapbook in a fun color will suit you better. During the wedding planning process, I had a little pocket notebook that said "Bride's Notes" on the front. It was much, much more handy than fishing through wads of post-it notes when trying to share ideas with vendors.

In my mind, Illume candles cannot be beat. I burn the gardenia scent year-round, but the holiday flavors are incredible. I recently walked into a store burning Angel Food, and I thought they must have added food to their repetoire it smelled so delicious. And they're pretty, to boot!

Okay, so this one might actually be on my Christmas list ... I love a good calendar and I love anything that's letterpressed, so this is perfect! You can find this pretty and practical stocking stuffer at Paper-Source.

Day 153's disturbing news

Don't leave us, Tommy Tuberville.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day 152

Wes and I spent two days this week getting our Christmas tree up, and the process stirred up lots of memories for both of us. For me, it started at the tree lot. We always had live trees when we were growing up, and as soon as I stepped out of the car and put my face into a Fraser Fir, I was instantly transported back to childhood. They say that smell, more than any other sense, triggers memory, and man, do I have some great memories of Christmas.

My mom really knew/knows how to do Christmas right. She'd make a pot of soup, or something equally appropriate, and put on her and Dad's old LPs of Bing Crosby, Gene Autrey and Nat King Cole. Dad's job was to get the tree in the stand (not so easy, as we found out this week) and then to set the mood with his pipe. He only smoked it twice a year: once as we decorated the tree and then again on Christmas Eve. I can recognize pipe smoke anywhere (again with the scent memories!).

When we moved to Tennessee, things really got out of hand. There was a lot more space to decorate, and we added an entire second tree. We spread the tasks among the three of us. BA helped mom with the trees, Allison did the snow village and the snowmen in the breakfast room and I usually put the garland on the stair rail, over the front door and on the mantle. I don't think our house ever looked better than it did at Christmas, and I really really wish we had thought to properly document it last year. I don't think any of us actually thought Mom would have sold the house and moved to Birmingham by now! But I digress.

Naturally, when it came to decorating our first tree, I emulated what I learned at home. I made chili. I turned the TV to the "sounds of the season" channel (man, I miss those LPs). And I insisted that we have a real, live tree. Which wouldn't have been such a big deal, if I had remembered that a hack saw is absolutely necessary when setting up a tree. One quick trip to K-mart, and we were in business. I took over Mom's job and strung the lights, all 470 of them. Then we realized that we didn't have ornament hooks. Whoops.

So most of the decorating was put off a night, and we finally got the tree wrapped up last night. If I do say so myself, it looks great! Wes' mom has been collecting ornaments for him since he was born and my mom has been buying them for me for my birthday (she gets them on sale after the holidays - smart!) since I was in high school. No first-year empty tree for us! I'm not one to subscribe to the thought that a Christmas tree has to be totally matchy-matchy (or that anything should be, for that matter), but boy do we have one eclectic tree. There are at least two plastic M&M people, soccer balls of all imaginable materials, a couple of wooden rocking horses, some pretty silver balls, my collection of blown-glass ornaments of all shapes and sizes and much, much more. Though I can't promise that the plastic M&Ms will make it onto the tree next year, for now, it's absolutely perfect. I can't imagine a better way to decorate our first tree, than to have it completely covered with what we both love.

(this tree is from Southern Accents, pictures of our tree coming soon!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day 150

War Eagle!

Whew, what a week/weekend. Quick recap: Little Rock was lots of fun - as spending time with the Joneses usually is. Geography dictates that we don't all end up in one place very often, so it was great to spend time with them. We rounded out the weekend with a trip to Auburn to watch the Tigers trounce the Crimson Tide for the sixth, count 'em SIX, time in a row! We both grew up in North Alabama with lots of redneck 'Bammers (none of whom actually went to the University of Alabama - I can tolerate those kind), so beating 'Bama once is a thrill, six times in a row is an absolute treat.

Unfortunately, I left the Plains without two very, very important items:

1. I guess all of that furious clapping was too much, because I lost a stone in my wedding band (again), and had to leave it with my sister to be repaired by the jeweler there. I feel naked without it.
2. Somewhere between Toomer's Corner and our tailgate (what, a mile maybe? maybe not ... ) I lost most of my lucky "Beat Bama" button. I still have the metal pin, but it just doesn't have quite the same effect on it's own. That button saw Auburn through six straight wins, so I might have to wear the metal pin next year, just in case.

Wes and my cousin Jess found a, ahem, more creative way to illustrate the winning streak

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day 143

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wes, my sister and I are headed to Little Rock in the morning for a little holiday-prompted family fun. My other sister is flying in from Colorado Springs, and it will be the last time we get to see her before she departs for the middle east, or east Asia, or wherever Yemen is. Although it'll be our first real holiday since the wedding, I don't anticipate it to be much different than the last few. Well, except for that whole sleeping-in-the-same-room thing.

In honor of the holiday, take a look at this 360-degree view of my current favorite dining room. The rest of the home is pretty great, too. Enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Day 142's daunting task

With two of three Thanksgiving meals down and the December weekend calendar filling up before my eyes, my focus has officially shifted to Christmas. I'm trying my darndest to enjoy what is left of fall, but, let's be honest, I'm really just ready for scarf weather and our first Christmas tree!

Speaking of Christmas trees, what in the world is going to go under our's??? I've come to terms with the fact that Wes is impossible to surpise, and even gave in to buying a few gifts in front of him over the weekend. So what about me? What does my little heart desire? I have no idea. Absolutely NONE. We walked all over the mall on Sunday afternoon, and nothing so much as struck my fancy - not even in Banana Republic!

I've got my eye on a pair of lamps at a local shop, so that's an option. But part of me is afraid that by the time December 25 comes around, I will have moved on. Lamps might be a commitment I'm not willing to make for Christmas. I know what I really want: a new couch. I've got my eye on one of those, too. But it's just not really within our decided-upon budget.

I would like a few of these white Pottery Barn frames for our wedding pictures. 8x10 or oversize 5x7? I can't decide ...

With both Wes and my mom on my case, I've got to come up with something, and fast! Suggestions?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Day 139, still

It's official. I'm laying claim to my grandmother's game table, which I believe was her mother's - yea for family heirlooms. I'm always on the look-out for the perfect hall/entry/console table (part of my obsession with useless furniture), and when I saw this image of a table EXACTLY, I kid you not EXACTLY like Kaki's, it was love at first sight.

I've loved that table for a little while, but seeing it here with those glorious light walls and the artful arrangement of modern-ish accessories around makes it look oh so fresh and wonderful.

Day 139

Wes and I are discovering that there are plenty of perks to working for a big company! Last night, my company rented out (for lack of a better term) the Birmingham Museum of Art, specifically, an exhibit on archaeological pieces from Pompeii. This is the first time that many of the pieces have traveled outside of Italy, and the exhibit is getting a lot of national attention. Free admission to a museum exhibit complete with wine and hors d'oeurves, sign us up!

Being a bit of history nerd (and lover of all things Italian!), I've had my calendar marked for this event for weeks, and it did not disappoint. They shipped over several beautiful frescoes, marble statues, armor from gladiators, personal pieces found with bodies, and, of course, a few of those really dramatic casts of bodies that the are so telling of the tragic event.

The personal effects were the most interesting to me. When the residents of Pompeii (and the less-known surrounding villages) began to flee, they naturally grabbed their most valuable possessions. I was so fascinated with the rings, necklaces, earrings and other jewelry because it was so similar to what is popular today - 2000 years later! The rings were simple gold bands with single stones set in them - mostly emeralds, garnets, a few amethysts and pearls. Remarkably similar in style to a classic engagement ring with a center stone.

Another thing commonly found with women was silverware. More specifically, their family's silver patterns - how interesting! I guess I've always considered silver collecting to be a fairly modern tradition, and primarily one of the English-speaking worlds. Shows how much I know! I guess I just thought it was really really interesting how similar people are, regardless of their country of origin or century of birth.

If you're going to be in Birmingham, this is a great way to spend a couple of hours!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 137

Spoiler Alert - if you think you might be on our Christmas card list, and don't want the joy of opening the card and seeing it for the very first time ruined, look away. And if December 25 rolls around and you still haven't gotten this in the mail, sorry. I'm picky, and the good ones are freakin' expensive! You may consider this your digital holiday greeting (how terribly unchic of me).

I'm working on a Web story, so my cube is currently bursting at the seams with lots of fun holiday stationery (cards, gift enclosures, invitations, etc.) and gift wrap that's more expensive than I'll ever justify spending (probably). Since I'm in the spirit, I finally broke down and ordered our Christmas cards today. I'm very very very pleased so far (my wallet, however, is not), and I hope that when they come in the mail (I ordered them online) I will still be pleased. I've had my eye on this company for a while, so I hope that my allusions of grandeur aren't dashed by poor paper quality or laser-jet printing or some other tragedy! They're called tiny*prints, and they do some pretty stuff. You can upload your photos directly onto the site, which I thought was cool. And the prices were comparable to what I found locally.

Without further ado, the card:

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Day 130

Well, it's Wednesday afternoon, which means we're officially half-way through the work week. As I look ahead to the weekend, I thought I'd share a bit about the last. Frankly, it will be hard to beat.

Wes and I began the weekend with a trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond and used a gift certificate from the wedding and a mail-out coupon to take the sting out of purchasing a down insert for our duvet cover (and it was a good thing we did, too. This morning it was 34 degrees outside when our alarm went off!). Getting anything at a discounted rate is enough to put me in a good mood. We followed that up with a fantastic dinner at Carrabba's, where our waiter, Wes, tossed an entire loaf of that delicious bread into the carry-out bag! Three cheers for carbohydrates.

Saturday was full of glorious weather, football and old friends - what could be better?? - and topped off with a great parking spot at Twist and Shout to hear our summer 2006 favorite Tim Tyler's debut on the dueling pianos.

Far too much salsa verde and queso at La Paz after church meant we spent most of Sunday laying around watching DVDs of the first season of "How I Met Your Mother" (which is awesome, by the way). All of that laziness led to a small revelation on my part. Those of you in our close circle know there's been a lot of recent talk of Baby Elliot, our future/fictional daughter. So much talk and seeing pictures of co-workers' new additions has put me in a MAJOR baby mood. I even went so far as to think that it might be sort of fun to have one soon. Well, as I lay in my pajamas, in bed, surrounded by laundry that would wait for me another day, at three o'clock on a Sunday afternoon, it hit me: if we had a baby, this would not be possible. I might still be surrounded by laundry and (maybe) in my pajamas, but it wouldn't be on my terms. Fun and cute as they may be, we're just not ready for that yet. I hope "Aunt B" won't be too dissappointed!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day 117

So last night I remembered exactly why I hate Wal-Mart. I will preface with this: it was raining. I had to go after work, which is never a good time to grocery shop. And the Wal-Mart closest to our house isn't in the greatest area. Read: the ink cartridges are behind lock-and-key. Nice.

I had a gigantic list of things we needed. From salsa to deodorant to an over-the-door shoe organizer, we needed it all, and I even took a few minutes at work to categorize the list by department in an attempt to minimize the store-crossing. The minute I pulled into the parking lot, I knew I would be cutting the list short, and going home with the bare minimum. As I said, it was raining, and, as usual, the parking lot had an annoyingly high ratio of cars to shopping carts. Okay fine, those three carts can keep their close parking spot, I'll just park far away, at least I have my new mini umbrella.

The rest of trip was one mini-disaster after another. The few carts that had made it inside were dripping wet, the green bell peppers were near-rotted, there was only one can of black beans left, and it was off-brand and dented (can I get a discount for that?), the over-the-door show organizer was in the kitchen supplies (??), and on and on and on. So on top of the wet crowd and the check-out attendant's rude demeanor, my only consoluation was this: it's cheap.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Day 73

Okay, so it's been so shamefully long since I've posted. I wish I could say that I've been super busy doing lots of exciting things that have kept me far, far away from a computer, but nothing could be farther from the truth! Actually, I just haven't quite figured this whole "blog" thing out, and am pretty sure that almost nothing happens in our life that is worth writing about! Yesterday, I decided that that was pretty sad. So here's to getting into trouble, or something, worth posting!

In the mean time, you may just have to endure either loooong breaks between posts, or just some pretty boring posts. For Lindsay's sake, let's hope it's the latter.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Day 26

Well, I'm sort of officially Mrs. Bonds - or at least that's what my driver's license says. Pretty weird!

In honor of this milestone, I'll tell you about another one. The other night, Tuesday, I think it was, I burned my first dinner. Actually, to be more specific, I burned a couple of tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil on the bottom of the oven, not dinner. But there was plenty of smoke, some mad towel-waving to keep the smoke detector from going off, and even a flame or two. Wes was so proud.

See, what had happened was, I was trying a new recipe from my new Barefoot Contessa At Home cookbook (if I ever figure out how to make live links, I'll give you the recipe). I planned to serve my Chicken Piccata with my go-to recipe for asparagus. Snap off the ends, place on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and little minced garlic and bake until tender. Pretty easy, and I've done it a handful of times. This time, however, I decided to be "smart" and put the garlic bread on the same cookie sheet and pushed the asparagus to the end. Turned out to be not-so-smart, actually, because the olive oil dripped off the end, smoked like there was no tomorrow and sent me (and the cat) into a little bit of a panic. So now I guess I can say that I've burned my first meal, and since all of it was still completely edible (and tasty, to boot!), I'll take it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

In the beginning ...

Dang, I've always hated intro paragraphs. So I'll think I'll just skip that part - it's my blog, right? I'm writing because I think this is a pretty groovy way to keep in touch with folks and a fun little record of mine and Wes' first year (or more, we'll see) together.

A little about us: we met while working in orientation at Auburn University. Wes now works in project management for a big construction company, and I maintain the Web site for a premium shelter magazine. We were married June 30 on the most beautiful, blessed day of our lives. It was awesome, and I'm still not over it. After a fabulous honeymoon in Charleston (aka, the most lovely, charming city ever), we're just plugging away at life, trying to spend time with each other, our families and friends and our cat, Peepers.

And this, I suppose, is our diary ...