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.

Motherhood Monday

Christmas Gifts for Toddlers

With Thanksgiving upon us, I am officially starting to freak out about Christmas. As we all know, I put my tree up Thanksgiving week so it can stay up a full 6 weeks. That means I'll be decorating my tree next week, and I have not one gift to put underneath! Eek!

I'd like to get MaryCollis things that she can use right now but also have longevity. My mom got her a wagon for strolling down our new street and Ily B got her a pink car, so I believe we've got transportation covered.

I think I'm going to focus on shoes and clothes - you know, the practical things. But I'm curious... What are y'all buying your toddlers this year? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fabulous Finds Friday

I found the most fabulous dress this week at Misty's. I had to stop in to pick up some jackets Chad was having altered, so it's actually his fault this time. I've been in search of the perfect gold sequin dress (or skirt) for our housewarming party on New Year's Eve. I have pinned and pinned clothes on Pinterest but she was hanging just across town and I didn't know it!

She's 1 size too big, but she's flowy in all the right places so I don't think anyone will notice. Chad has me on a strict budget until we close on our house Tuesday, but I just can't hardly wait to pick her up!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

Those that are excited about sending Christmas cards (but are also on a budget) are about to get a little more excited. Lucky Luxe is having a giveaway! Invite your friends to "like" the Lucky Luxe facebook page, leave a comment on this post, and you will be entered to win 3 box sets (green, red and gold) of letterpress Christmas stationery. We will draw a name when we reach 800 friends! We're just 52 friends away.

Pictured from left: Wreath (green), Dove (gold) and Christmas Sweater (red).

Or if you're just in the holiday spirit and wish to purchase some Christmas cards, click on one of the following links to order. Cards are available in Christmas SweaterWreath and Dove

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Chad's niece's cheerleading squad won 1st place last weekend!

Our new friend Bryn is expecting a baby boy. Doesn't she look fab?!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

3 (10 oz.) packages chopped broccoli
3/4 cup chopped onion
6 cubes chicken bouillon
6 cups water
6 cups milk, room temperature
1 lb. Velveeta, diced
1 TB butter
8 oz. fine egg noodles
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce

Cook broccoli according to directions (usually in microwave). Dissolve bouillon cubes in 6 cups boiling water. Heat butter and saute onion. Add onion to hot bouillon and bring to a boil. Gradually add egg noodles while stirring. Stir in cooked broccoli and garlic powder and cook for 3 minutes. Add milk (ROOM TEMPERATURE! This is important! You don't want it to coddle.) slowly until incorporated. Add cheese slowly until it is completely melted (It will take a while for it to reach smooth consistency). Finally add salt, pepper, Tabasco and Worcestershire and stir.

This freezes well and can easily be doubled. It's MUCH better the next day. Mmmm. I can hardly wait to make this soup in our new house! It's one of my all-time favorite recipes and was given lovingly to the Rices by Dell Scoper, a lifelong friend.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Motherhood Monday

Peanut Butter

Moms, have you introduced peanut butter? I feel like MaryCollis would love it but I'm still slightly nervous to try it. We don't have any peanut allergies in my family so I'm thinking I might let her have a taste soon. What do y'all think?

Initiative 26

I have been hesitant to share my perspective on Initiative 26 because I am not one to stir up debate; however, with election day upon us I thought I would share someone else's perspective which is more well written than anything I could write concerning the issue. Read Tony Giachelli's story below.

Layla Elizabeth Giachelli (photo and story credit here)

My name is Tony Giachelli.  I am an attorney in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I am a Christian, I am a husband, I am a father, I am a Republican, I am Pro-Life, and I am afraid. 

I am afraid that this letter was not written soon enough, afraid that it won’t be read by enough people, afraid that those who read it will be undeterred by the plea of just one man, afraid of what this Initiative will do to our state.

I have been hesitant to involve myself in such a fray.  I have never been one to get too involved in politics.  I was content that the masses would ultimately do the right thing and doubtful that I could actually make a difference.  However, in 2010 my life changed forever, and my perspective of life changed with it. 

My beautiful wife Claire and I learned in 2009 that having our own child would be a difficult endeavor.  We tried on our own, to no avail, and were placed in the good hands of Dr. John Isaacs and his staff at the Mississippi Fertility Institute in the summer of 2009.  Unexplained infertility was the diagnosis, and assisted reproduction was our only option. We ultimately decided to try in-vitro fertilization after exhausting various other methods of conception.  We followed all of the steps and produced 4 viable embryos, 2 of which were transferred to Claire and 2 of which were cryo-preserved.  We thought that our dream was complete when we learned that 1 of the 2 transferred embryos had implanted and Claire was pregnant in October 2009.  Then we were hit with another surprise.  On a routine visit, the ultrasound technician found what appeared to be an ectopic pregnancy in one of Claire’s fallopian tubes.  While one of the embryos had implanted in the uterus, it appeared that the other would threaten Claire’s life.  Emergency surgery was next, and we were relieved to find that it was not an ectopic pregnancy, but an extremely large and growing cyst that would have likely caused similar damage to her reproductive system.  The cyst was safely removed and we moved forward, hopeful that the viable embryo in Claire’s uterus would thrive.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.  We had a miscarriage shortly thereafter. 

We were rocked.  Doubt crept back.  We felt a sadness that we had never known, but leaning on each other we picked ourselves up and looked to our other two embryos.  We clung to God and clung to hope.  We now cling to the most beautiful little girl in the world, Layla Elizabeth Giachelli, who turned 1 year old on October 8, 2011. 

Without in-vitro, without the autonomy of our doctors, without the ability to preserve those 2 embryos, there would be no Layla.  In our journey, we lost 3 out of the 4 embryos.  In reality, we lost them in a way no different from the way millions of families have lost their unborn children.  There is no fair explanation for miscarriage, only the comfort that God’s plan is perfect and that He will provide.  In our story, perfection came in the form of a 6lb 15oz angel on earth. 

Initiative 26 is a flawed proposal.  It is short sighted, vague and ambiguous.  It has been thrust upon the people of Mississippi by those that hope we are not smart enough to recognize its fatal flaws.  It has been thrust upon the people of Mississippi by those that hope we are just conservative enough to ignore the pitfalls it would create.  I am not going to guarantee you that Initiative 26 will result in women being thrown in jail for miscarriage, that it will ban certain types of birth control, that it will end in-vitro, or that it would value the life of an embryo over that of a woman in a life or death situation.  This Initiative is so impossibly vague that I can’t honestly answer those questions, and I find it hilarious that various “experts” are assuring the public that it won’t do these things.  The truth is that it could.  The truth is that Initiative 26 is so broad and ambiguous that we don’t know, and that is a scary truth.  This truth was acknowledged by our Governor today, one of the most conservative Republicans in the nation, who expressed the same fears.  If passed, it will cost our state millions in court battles and it will wear on the emotions of Mississippians.  Its breadth will result in numerous unintended consequences.  It will hinder the autonomy of physicians, and especially reproductive specialists.  To what extent, we cannot pretend to know, but it is likely that assisted reproduction will be severely limited and forever changed.  It directly and severely threatens the continued practice of cryopreservation, meaning another family’s Layla could be an impossibility. 

I personally do not believe in abortion.  It would warm my heart to know that every baby has been given a chance at life.  However, Initiative 26 is not the answer.  To outline all of the unintended consequences and legal implications of this Initiative would transform this letter from an emotional plea to a legal treatise.  We just don’t have time for that, do we?

Though I sit with my own fear that I have not done enough to help, I am asking anyone that receives this letter to not be afraid.  Do not be afraid that opposing 26 offends your Christian beliefs. It does not.  Do not be afraid that opposing 26 means that you support abortion.  It does not.  You might have never considered what it would be like to deal with an ectopic pregnancy.  You might have never considered what it would be like to seek the assistance of an endocrinologist to bring a life into this world.  I was that person at one time and my perspective has changed.  Please help me ensure that tomorrow’s prospective parents have the same opportunities that we had by voting No on Initiative 26 and please feel free to share this note with your friends.

Giachelli's stance on this issue is one that I've learned many of us share but are too scared to admit. I am a Christian, and I do not support abortion but this initiative goes too far and is far too ambiguous for any of us to know the implications. I would never presume to tell anyone how to vote but I do encourage you to do research and make your decision based on the uncertainty of this amendment. It is NOT just about abortion, and it will impact the lives of nearly every Mississippian wishing to have children. Search your heart before you vote tomorrow.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fabulous Finds Friday

My friend Jane works at Artworks, and they put all of their Halloween stuff on 50% off today. I was blown away by how crazy our new street is on Halloween, and I felt more than a little overwhelmed. So now we will be ready for the masses come October 31, 2012! Check out the goodies I got.

I got much more than what you see here, but you'll have to come by our house next year to see all the decor! PS. See our new street on Halloween below. Sixth Avenue gets an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 trick-or-treaters every year. Whew! At least I have a whole year to prepare.

The Webers with Anne Trest (how great are their costumes?!)

This 2-story feline lives right next door with our new neighbors Maranda and Rand McLaughlin.

Our across-the-street neighbors Michele and Graham Rogers.

Please look at that line to get to the Webers' house!

I wish y'all could have been there. I've never seen anything like it! I bet I'll spend $300 on candy next year. But at least it's fun for the kiddos.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween 2011

Hooray! Stewart's Cameras in Hattiesburg saved the day once again. Turns out, that card reader I found one Fabulous Finds Friday was NOT a fabulous find. And neither was the el-cheapo one I bought yesterday at Office Depot. We didn't take too many photos on Halloween... mainly because Chad and I were a bit frightened by our new neighborhood on All Hallow's Eve. We had no idea it was that crazy, and we just walked around and stared for 2 hours. We did, however, snap a few photos of the tiny.

Enjoying her Puss & Boots toy that came in the happy meal she devoured prior to strolling the avenues.

This was before it even got crowded. Crazy town!!

A lot of homeowners on our new street dress up and go all out for Halloween, so I've decided that next year we will have an Alice in Wonderland theme. I will be Alice, MaryCollis will be a caterpillar, Chad will be the Mad Hatter, Gertrude will be the Cheshire Cat (can't find a costume as of now), Doc will be the White Rabbit, Gamma will be the Queen of Hearts and Ily B will be Tweedledee or Tweedledum. How much fun will that be?! Of course we will not be purchasing these outrageous costumes - we'll be thrifting and crafting.

Thrifty Thursday

The Patricks never shop full price (well, rarely). Me, MaryCollis and Ily B hit up Tuesday Morning this week in search of early Christmas goodies for the babe. Ily B bought her this Pink Cadillac for $199.99 (regular $400) and a grocery basket filled with play food kind of like this one for just $5. MC has spent the better part of this week piling produce into her shopping basket then dumping it out.

Can't wait for her to get this bute on Christmas morning!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Big News (times two)!

Nope, not twins.

But we did finally buy a house! We are now the proud owners of a gorgeous colonial home on 6th Avenue. We actually looked at the house when we first moved back to Laurel and did not love it. It was full of wallpaper and other 90s decor, and we couldn't picture it any other way. We were also in a completely different stage of life last year (i.e. we were expecting a baby and did not want to have to do ANY work - especially rip down wallpaper).

We have been looking for a year and a half, and it has literally been the most stressful experience of my life. I know it's just a house but we didn't want to settle for anything less than our "forever home" or at least something that we could live in forever. When we walked in the house for the second time, neither of us could figure out why we didn't love it the first time. It's so us! In fact, Raz and Ben kept saying, "Gyah! This is so Y'ALL!"

The house has been inspected, appraised and approved for loan. Though everything checked out, there are still several things on our "to do" list. First up is to paint the exterior, replace the shutters, get a new front door/sidelights and add landscape lighting and a gas light to the entrance. After the exterior is fixed, we will tackle one room at a time - taking down wallpaper and painting as we go (except for Miss Priss's room - hers will be painted as soon as we move in!).

Here are a few "before" photos (with the previous owners' stuff in it). I'll be posting "after" photos as we complete projects.

Back entrance with great brick patio.

HUGE den with lots of built-ins and a fireplace (I'm thinking a brighter more cozy color in the future).

Fun fact: This den was featured in Southern Living after it was added on in the late 80s.

Dining room with beautiful chandelier and wonderful molding.

Foyer (I can so see MaryCollis coming down those stairs in her ballet recital outfit, her prom dress, her wedding dress).

Formal living room (crazy about those curved doors).

Sunroom (I'm envisioning a very inviting, cozy room filled with comfy seating and books - a perfect hideaway for me and Chad on a cold Saturday afternoon while MC is at Gamma and Doc's).


Master bedroom

Master bedroom

Guest bedroom

Third floor - MC's future bedroom

Third floor - MC's future playroom

Exterior view from the back

View from street (we're thinking grey-blue exterior with charcoal shutters and bright white trim).

This is a rough photoshop job but this is what it could look like after we paint, get new front door, etc.

We are changing the lead glass front door to a more traditional colonial door with sidelights and transom - like this one on the Johnson's home (Hey, Mer!).

We are contemplating adding a copper awning to the entrance. And we may go with this color palette instead of grey.

The house also has a guest house and a pool (fun fact: it was the second pool ever built in Laurel!). This house is full of fun facts. For instance, former mayor Susan Vincent grew up in the house. Okay, enough about the house. But please do drop by any old time! I'll be pleased as punch to pour you a Coke and sit a spell.

In other news, Chad got a big promotion last week! We are so proud of him and all of his accomplishments. The Patricks have lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!


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