Saturday, December 17, 2011


Today I said goodbye to one of the most influential and wonderful women in my life. It may sound pathetic but my Mimi was my very best friend growing up, and I feel certain that she would have been my best friend until she passed if Alzheimer's had not gotten ahold of her over 10 years ago.

She was the most well-dressed woman I ever knew and knew not how to tell her grandchildren no. Not in the spoiled rotten way but just in the "sure, baby" kind of way. "Mimi, will you make me a peanut butter milkshake?" ... "Sure, baby." "Mimi, will you sleep with me tonight?" ... "Sure, baby." "Mimi, will you bring me lunch at school today?" ... "Sure, baby." "Mimi, will you rub my back?" ... "Sure, baby."

We all but grew up in that split-level house with the 70s green and yellow wallpaper and old brick floors. We fought over who got to sleep in the hole-in-the-wall and who got to be Mario on Super Nintendo. She taught us how to ride four-wheelers and shoot hoops, how to shell peas and cook 'em too. I'm sure gonna miss her but I know Heaven is so excited to have her. Her mind is healthy again, and she is with the love of her life once more.

Though I'm not sure exactly what happens in Heaven, one thing I know for sure is that she is reunited with this feller now and they are doing the jitterbug and reminiscing about days gone by. He's drinking a cappaceeni (as he called it), and she's doing a puzzle while he reads out of an old war book.

I hate MaryCollis won't ever get to know Mimi or Papa but we'll be sure to tell her lots of stories!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

15-month Checkup

MaryCollis had her 15-month checkup today, and everything went well. She is 23.5 pounds and 32 inches long. Her ears looked great, her walking is great, her skills are great, her organs are great, everything was just great. I'm just so thankful for her health. During a season that should be joyful we have experienced so much loss... it was nice to have some good news at her checkup.

Our community lost a dear friend, mother, grandmother and teacher last week. The childhood home of one of our good friends burned this weekend. Cancer has been discovered in at least 3 friends recently. And it saddens me to say my grandmother died last night. With so much pain in our tiny town, please keep us all in your prayers this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dee Dee

Chad came home with an early Christmas present yesterday afternoon. He knocked on the door, and I opened it. He took my hand, dropped to one knee and said, "Will you.........."
".........vacuum for me?" I was overcome with joy and shouted, "Yes. Yes. A million times yes!" And then we cried and drank champagne and took turns calling our friends and family. True story. Okay, not really. But seriously..... I wanted to cry.

We assembled Dee Dee the Dyson together, and then he let me take her for a spin. Y'all..... best. gift. ever. I am head-over-heels in lurve. Man, Chaz always gets it right. I hate gift-giving Chad. Well, I love him but I hate him. Because every year we agree that "this Christmas is going to be sad. Like, really, truly, pathetically sad." We always make a pact that we'll have a very small Christmas because we've already spent money on XYZ.

This year, XYZ happens to be a ginormous house which we haven't yet received a power bill for. We've already spent an ungodly amount of money on furniture, rugs, lamps, art, curtains, paint, appliances, landscaping, the list literally goes on until the end of time. Every year I believe Chad when he says we won't have many gifts under the tree. And every year, I show up with a pair of socks for him and he whips out something like a $400 vacuum cleaner. And I look like a huge jerk.

But this year I honestly believed him because we have already bought so much for the new house. So he literally has 2 gifts under the tree (both of which he picked out at Lowe's), and I'm going to look like a jerk once again. Guess I better run out and find something else for him. And y'all should come visit Dee Dee. She's the

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

MaryCollis has been walking all over the new house. Today she did a lot of multitasking... in this video she is walking, talking and carrying my KD fridge magnet. (Don't mind the random lamps, unrolled rug, etc).

She LOVES to open and close doors. It's her fav. See for yourself!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

5 lb. Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cups butter
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 - 3/4 cups half-and-half
1/2 - 1 tsp. Lawry's seasoned salt
1/2 - 1 tsp. pepper
Salt (to taste)

Boil potatoes for 30-35 minutes. Drain and place back into pot on the stove. Mash potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape before adding in the other ingredients. Turn off the stove and add 1 1/2 sticks butter, 8 oz. cream cheese and about 1/2 cup half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add about 1/2 tsp. Lawry's and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter on top and cook at 350 degrees until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through. These are the best ever!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Motherhood Monday

I woke up wanting to talk about favorite baby names, and then I discovered Joanna Goddard posted about baby names this morning! Well, Imma talk about them anyway. Here are the Top 100 names from 2011.

I just love that I don't see MaryCollis or Annalee on there. I'm all about family names. I do like several of the names on the list though, so I'm glad they're not all so trendy. I adore Olivia (one of my top baby girl names is Olive), Grace, Sophie and Penelope (how cute would it be to have a little girl named Penny?!). I'm also crazy about Liam and Oliver.

What names are you crushing on?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pancake Day and LRMA Gala 2011

Yesterday was the annual Laurel Christmas Parade. It's the largest parade in Mississippi - due in part to them letting anybody be in it - but it's fun nonetheless. Accompanying the parade is the annual Kawanis Pancake Day. It's legendary... and way better than the actual parade.

Last year MC was just a wee tot, and she slept nearly the entire time. This year she was so much more fun. She laughed and squealed when she saw different things, and she and Peyton stared and giggled at each other while eating their pancakes.

Shannon and Peyton with me and MaryCollis in front of the museum.
Thanks for the precious hand-me-down, Andrea and Ana! :)

I'm hoping Shanny and Pey Pey will come every year, and the girls will grow up with that tradition. I bet next year they'll be running all over the place and waving to everybody in the parade.

The Patricks and the Blakes

Also on the same day as the parade/pancakes is the annual Lauren Rogers Museum of Art Gala. Each year the gala has a theme - last year it was a Greek theme, and this year it was Scotland. Chad and I have never been to the gala, so this was the perfect year for us to go since I am of Scottish heritage. The Patricks and the Blakes were on the silent auction committee this year, so that was another reason I was super pumped about The Highlands Ball.

Me, Janie and Jamie Boy

After learning the theme, my mom ordered our family tartan (Robertson) and pin to wear with my dress. I'll probably never have another opportunity to wear it, so I thoroughly enjoyed wearing it last night.

Carolyn and Hugh messing around with the FAB Miriam Haskell necklace Chad won for me at the silent auction.

Suellen, Carolyn, Jane, Tommy, Jamie and Hugh

Y'all, we had the BEST table thanks to the Stancills. We were in a private gated room apart from the crowd, so we could actually hear each other talk. It was wonderful! The food was excellent - they served salad with pear and feta to start; beef wellington, brandied fruit and trio of root vegetables for dinner; and bread pudding for dessert. They also has an amazing cheese spread - and y'all know how much I love cheese.

Me and Chaz, my handsome date.

The band was great too. Margaret and Michael Brooks were the chairmen this year, so they had their son's band play. We danced and danced until our feet hurt, then we kicked them off and danced some more. I think "Proud Mary" finally did us in though.

Me and Janie Girl

I can't wait until the numbers come in. I'm so anxious to see how our committee did with our auction items - I hope we did the museum proud.

Ole Chaz looking mighty dapper.

Last but not least I need to brag on Chad for a moment. In 5 years of being together, he has danced with me about 3 times (2 of which were at our wedding reception). The man does not dance. And it's not because he can't... actually, I'm not sure why he won't dance. But last night he danced nearly every song, and it was so much fun! He let me spin as much as I wanted to, and he didn't mind if I ran off to dance with someone else. It was awesome... I love Gala Chad.

And I'm pretty sure Suellen loves Gala Chad. They hit it off quickly when I told Chad she was a huge MSU fan. Then when the band played George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today," they sang one of the finest duets I've ever heard. And then they danced a little. At one point Suellen turned to me and whispered, "I like him!" I do too, Suellen. I do too.

Suellen and Chad

What a fun and tiring weekend we've had. Next weekend is the Arts League Christmas party and the next weekend is the Burroughs' annual Christmas extravaganza. Lots of fun to be had this month!

Friday, December 2, 2011

15-Month Update

This tater tot is 15 months old today. And officially walking. She's been taking 10-12 steps at a time for about 2 months now but yesterday she just took off. My mom and dad came over last night, and she walked all over this house while we followed her. She's the youngest kid at Khaki's, so I think she's learning a lot from the big kids (including whining to get her way but that's a "whole nother" story). 

Here are her 15-month stats:

- Walking (hooray!)

- Says a few words like na na (night night), ba ba (bye bye), dah (dog), da-doh (thank you) and of course the old favorites uh-oh and no. She also says "shhh!" and "no no!" to Gerty, which is hilarious. I reckon it's time to start watching what we say because she's repeating.

- Points to your nose when you say "Where's my nose?" (Ily B taught her)

- Has 8 teeth. She got 4 teeth this month - 2 more on top and 2 bottom molers.

- She loves to stack things. ANYTHING.

- She is crazy about doors, drawers, cabinets, etc. She will stand at the french doors in our sunroom and open and close them for an hour.

- Weighs about 23 pounds and is around 31.5 inches long.

- Size 4 shoe

- Size 3 diaper and 12-18 month clothing

- She is officially a regular at Khaki's house and LOVES it. She giggles and squeals when we pull into the driveway at "school."

I should probably ask my mom what else is new this month because she spent the majority of November with her.

Before and Afters v.1

We have not sat down one single time since the 18th. My normal bedtime has been pushed back until after midnight, and I'm pretty sure MaryCollis doesn't know us anymore. Once again, thank the Lord for Gamma and Ily B. Lawsy mercy, thank you Jesus. The good news is we have made MAJOR progress in the last 2 weeks. So how about we take a look-see?


BEFORE: The kitchen had floral and striped wallpaper throughout.

AFTER: The kitchen is now painted Seaspray by Benjamin Moore. It makes the space look so much larger. We already have a new fridge but still have a few things to do. Pardon the mess on the table... I actually have arranged it for Christmas now!

LEFT TO DO IN KITCHEN: New window treatments, white subway tile backsplash and new appliances (microwave, dishwasher, double ovens and cooktop). Maybe new countertops eventually.


BEFORE: The dining room had floral curtains that made the room look so gloomy and sad. They were horribly expensive custom drapes and I'm sure were a hot commodity in the late 80s/early 90s but now...

AFTER: ...the room looks bright and cheery with custom black and white toile curtains, oversized French chairs and antique botanical prints from Europe.

LEFT TO DO IN DINING: Place the rug (has been ordered) and purchase some shades for the sconces. This is our most complete room, so I'm rather proud of it!


BEFORE: MaryCollis' room was green below the handrail and gold above the handrail and had red, gold and green balloon shades. We had already started priming her room but you can see the green underneath.

Gamma gave MC "Thumbelina" by Walter Anderson for her birthday, and Aunt Ewin painted it. Aunt Ewin and Mitter Ben also painted her entire room. AND Ben hung her chandelier. I'd say this room wouldn't be possible without the Napiers. :)

AFTER: Her room is Seaspray by Benjamin Moore, which makes the room look infinitely larger. It's a fairly small room but it is the perfect size for a nursery or small child's room.

LEFT TO DO: Nothing! Hooray! Well... except to install her curtain tie-backs.


BEFORE: Two walls of the library and the bookshelves were apple red, which we loved, but there were some damaged spots so it needed new paint. The other wall was wallpapered.

AFTER: We repainted the entire room farmhouse red, and it was a bear! If you ever see a spot we missed, don't dare ever tell us. Ha.

LEFT TO DO: Nothing! Hooray! Well.... except fill up those bookshelves.

We've done much more but still lack a few details like rugs and lamps, so I'll be back soon with more completed projects!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Kara Law Handmade Jewellry & Accessories

My cousin Kathryn brought the sweetest happies from across the pond. Her sister-in-law Kara Law makes handmade jewelry, and she couldn't have picked more perfect earrings for me, Mom and Barb. She got Ily B these Brighton-esque heart earrings, she got Mom these pink dragonfly earrings, and she got me these antique-inspired bow earrings with ceramic balls.

I'm also cuh-razy about these cameo earrings, this charm bracelet and this pendant. Y'all go check out her Folksy store (it's like Etsy for European folks).

Thanks for the fab gift, Kat!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful A-Z

My pal Mindi posted a Thankful A-Z in honor of Thanksgiving. Imma steal her idea:

Antique Mall.
Baby girl.
Csab and MyManda Hohol. What in the WORLD would we do without them? (FYI: Csab is pronounced "Chobby").
DVR. Cannot live without it.
Extra sweet friends.
Gamma! Lawsy, I can't say it enough.
Ily B.
Khaki. What a lifesaver.
Lucky Luxe. Love my job.
Modern Family. No seriously. Thankful!
New neighbors.
Our Lord and Savior.
Posterity. I have inherited so many dear, precious photos and family heirlooms since moving into our new home. I am so lucky to have these pieces - I even have a letter from the 1800s that was written by a relative describing his heartache over losing his wife to typhoid fever.
Quiet time.
Restful nights.
Sixth Avenue.
Trudy Poo. She's a nightmare sometimes but still the sweetest poodle I know.
Vacation. Imma need one soon.
Water. Between our house and my mom and dad's house being worked on, it's hard to just brush your teeth!
Xtra good news from sick friends.
Young couples moving back into town!
Zee hubby. Ole Chaz is a sho' nuff goodun.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Taking a Break

Phew! This past week has been so crazy hectic, and I've obviously neglected my blog. I will pick back up next week with some before and after photos on the house! (Calm down, Jenna... I know you're excited). Y'all have a hap-hap-happy Thanksgiving! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Motherhood Monday

Good grief. Is it Monday already? Since closing on our house Friday, I have showered just once (gross) and have eaten only 5 meals. Moving'll getcha. The good news? We. never. have. to. move. again. Ever. As my Mimi would say, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!"

We have made major progress on the house  - with both the kitchen and MC's room painted and the library nearly finished - but we haven't had a chance to enjoy it yet. For the Motherhood Monday post, I'd just like to brag on my mother. I have absolutely no idea what I would do without her.

I'm not saying that in an "Aww, how sweet. My mom brought us dinner" or a "Thanks for the new cocktail dress, Mom!" kind of way. I'm saying it in a very literal kind of way. True enough, I would make it. People survive without their parents in the same town all the time but I just couldn't do it. She has kept MaryCollis for 4 straight days while we move and paint for 18 hours/day - I have seen MC about 20 minutes total since Friday at lunch.

Not only has she assumed my position as mother but she also knows everything. Do y'all feel that way about your parents? I know Raz does. Yesterday my pal Jane came over and was so helpful in painting and arranging furniture but when we got to the formal living room I just couldn't think. I said, "I need my mom." And she said, "No - it's really fine. We're grown-ups. We can do this. Where do you want the settee?" And I said, "No! I really need my mom. She knows how to do it." And I was right. She showed up this morning and arranged that room within 5 minutes (with the help of Ily B, of course). I can't leave Ily B out... she's my other mom.

I just feel like my family will never know how much I appreciate them. They go above and beyond the call of duty and never complain. Sorry I didn't have a mildly obsessive topic for today ("Are y'all potty training?" ... "How often do you brush your baby's teeth?") but I just thought I'd give a shout-out to my own mom. Hi, Mommy! Love you. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fabulous Finds Friday

Well, we finally got closed on our house today, and we are in full-out moving mode. We have bought about 9 pieces of furniture in the last 2 days. We are trying to keep the house as traditional (yet cozy) as possible because I take offense when people try to make their house something it's not. Our house is a colonial home built in 1923, so it wouldn't make much sense to decorate it in that really snazzy shabby chic style that's so hot right now (though I adore it).

Queen Anne, Duncan Phyfe, Sheraton and Chippendale styles are the most traditional to colonial homes. We bought this Queen Anne style sofa table (below) from the Antique Mall for a great price thanks to Maurice Hennis. He's our new favorite furniture dealer!

We also bought this china cabinet and leather-top round table from Maurice:

We're going to stay traditional in the formal rooms like the living room, dining room and library but we're going to have a little more fun and mix it up in the bedrooms and the sunroom. Everyone is Jones County has been oohing and ahhing over this French settee at the Antique Mall, and the Patricks finally bought it. I think it'll make our sunroom look extra inviting.

I'll snap photos of all of our fab finds once we get moved in. Y'all have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

In spite of a really tough week, I remain so thankful for so many things. I am eternally grateful for the positive influences in my life, friends that are so uplifting and encouraging, family members that are completely selfless and that love unconditionally, neighbors that are always willing to lend a hand.

Though my grandmother is on the downhill slope, I am so thankful for just having known her. Everyone who knows her loves her, and everyone is saddened by her illness. I hope that when I am old in age and poor in health that people I've known over the years will be sad to hear the news. Isn't that what it's all about? To be such a kind, generous, thoughtful person that people both old and young are affected by you. That people see goodness in you and are proud to call you friend.

I visited with my grandmother today, and even though she's in a sad state right now I don't even see that when I look at her. I see the woman who taught me how to ride a 4-wheeler, the woman who always slept in the bed with me instead of her husband because she knew I wanted her to, the woman who woke early to make me egg sandwiches and stayed up late to make me peanut butter milkshakes, the woman who always helped me beat the bad guy in Super Mario, the woman who I considered to be my best friend for the majority of my life.

I hope you all have someone like that in your life, and I hope that one day I can be that someone in another life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Worthless Wednesday

Well, friends, this week has been a complete and total waste of time. We were hoping to have at least the library, kitchen and MaryCollis' room painted by now but instead have not even closed on our house. To say that I'm disappointed would be a gross understatement.

I will ignore the fact that they misspelled disappointment because it's so true.

There's been a small issue with the paperwork, so we are just waiting.... waiting to hear back from somebody saying that everything has been fixed and we are good to go. But you see, it's not just the Patrick family that this inconveniences. Chad opted not to travel this week so he could be around, and therefore his customers suffer; the people we are buying it from have to rearrange their schedules (the guy is a doctor so I'm sure he is highly inconvenienced because he has patients); my mom has literally put her life on hold - making sure she takes the car with the car seat just in case we close and she needs to pick up the baby; our realtor, Ily B, Khaki (who takes care of MaryCollis), Ben and his youth boys who are going to help us move... they're all on stand-by. It is the most frustrating position I've ever been in, and I want to scream.

We are just sitting ducks waiting to hear the word "go," so please say a small prayer for the Patricks tonight. Pray that we'll get everything resolved. Pray that I'll get a good night's sleep and quit worrying about things that are out of my control. Pray that everything goes smoothly once we get this matter straightened out.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

BD's Taco Salad

1 lb. ground beef, cooked and seasoned with 1 packet taco seasoning
1 small Velveeta and 1 can Rotel (mixed)
Lettuce torn into small pieces
Homemade Pico de Gallo
Homemade Guacamole
Sour Cream - optional
Tomatoes - optional
Jalapenos - optional

Put Fritos in a Ziploc bag and crush, then place in the bottom of a big bowl. Mix together lettuce, tomatoes, taco meat and Rotel and pile on top of chips. Top salad with guacamole, pico and any other toppings you desire!

It won't look very delicious once you mix all that gooey goodness together but trust me.... it's a keeper. I grew up eating this taco salad at my best friend's house. Her dad is the genius behind the recipe, and I still can't make it quite like he does. I'll have to share my pico de gallo and guacamole recipes at a later date... I'm not ready to part with those just yet.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Designs by Julep

I am pleased to announce Designs by Julep - a homegrown shop specializing in custom pieces. I'll be selling aprons, burp cloths, window pane art, homemade chalkboards, hooded towels and more. I can make most anything according to your specifications (you can choose fabrics, paint colors, etc.). For inquiries, email me at

I've just opened an Etsy shop (check back daily as I am still adding new items), and I'm hoping to have a booth in Southern Antique Mall soon. Here's a look at my newest creation - a chalkboard made from a vintage window pane.


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