Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ants in my pants

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. Yes, the weather has been gorgeous, and spring is really and truly here. Maybe even summer, since it's supposed to be 88 tomorrow. I've been slightly incapacitated for most of this week. You see, last weekend was also really nice, and I decided to go out in the yard and sit on the grass. Of course there are a lot of dead leaves and old grass under the new growth, and I was getting a little itchy sitting there, so I got up and walked around instead. After a few moments, though, I realized I couldn't stop scratching my legs. I thought that there must have been some unusually scratchy plant remains there. When I looked down, I saw that my legs were covered in big bright pink welts. Let me tell you, not a pretty color on me. I figured I must have sat in some poison-ivy-like plant or something, put some Calamine lotion on it, and try to go about my day. I didn't get too far, because soon after that it turned into blisters. Some swelling, pain, and a trip to urgent care later, I found myself taking 9 pills' worth of antibiotics per day for an infection caused by fire ant bites.

Yippy skippy!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, one of the biggest hazards of living in my beloved South Carolina is fire ants. I thought I was an old pro at avoiding them, but the sneaky bastards were under the dead growth. Evidently, they didn't like my thighs crushing them on their scouting missions. So, I've been kinda out of commission this week. It's getting better, but having to wake up at 2:00 and 6:00 to take pills is getting old really quick!

I felt bad that I had to cancel my lessons on Monday, but today my students gave me "o-mimai"-- a get-well gift!

In this case, the o-mimai is this adorable box of bunny cookies! I was so touched! (And the cookies are mighty tasty to boot!)

I also received an Easter-basket-by-mail from my mom. She loves Easter, and we always went all out when we were kids. We even had an Easter tree. K looked confused when I said this. Was my family the only one to do such a thing?

Look at all that loot! She even put some flower bulbs in there for our little patio garden. I'll make sure to wear pants and rubber boots when I go out to plant them.....

Better updates to come soon, I promise!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The lady in white

Time for some sunshiney pictures! I'm in love with my new floppy hat. Such a great springtime accessory!

I don't think I could ask more of the weather on a Saturday. I just want to sit in the back yard all day.

A new friend decided to join us outside as well...

And, I really want to thank Orchid Style for my first ever blog award! I'm so flattered to be chosen for an award. Thanks so much!!

So here are what the rules state:
1. Put the logo on your blog of within your post.
2. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers.
3. Link to the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and the link to the person from whom you received this award.
Here are my 12 picks to pass it on to:
1. Quintessentially Quirky - She has a fun style and always brightens my day with her comments!
2. African Tea Party - This girl has a wild and fun style! I'm new to her blog but I love it already!
3. Fancy Pants - She always looks so happy! Love her!
4. Finders Keepers - Such a sweet girl with a lovely vintage style.
5. Girl from the North Country - Fabulous style, and just such a great girl! Can I hang out with you sometime? :)
6. Transient Withdrawal - So cute, so down-to-earth, so friendly. Great blog!
7. The Joy of Fashion - I think she might have already gotten this award, but I have to give it to her anyway. Anyone who always looks that cheerful and radiant deserves it!
8. The Bargain Hunter Extraordinaire - I LOVE the deals she finds! If we ever went shopping together I bet we would make out like bandits.
9. Wardrobes and Whimsy - So cute and unique! Plus, she's a fellow southern blogger. Gotta love her!
10. Untangling Knots - Great style and amazingly talented at creating things. I'm slightly jealous :)
11. From Wonderland with Love - Some of the most beautiful photos in the blog world, and absolutely lovely style.
12. Butterfly Cupcakes and Daffodils - I'm a huge fan of her colorful outfits. Plus every now and then she does food and art posts. What's not to love?
OK, I don't have time right now, but soon I will visit all your blogs to let you all know in case you don't see it here. 
Enjoy this beautiful weekend, my friends!!

hat - Target / dress - Calvin Klein on sale for $10 / sandals - Payless

Monday, March 22, 2010

Little Magnolia on the Prairie. With Squirrel.

First of all, I want to say thank you thank you for all the nice comments and new follows lately! You guys totally make my day :D  I'm surprised I have any followers at all, let alone 40 now. So, when I hit 50, I will be doing my first-ever giveaway! I'm not gonna tell you what it is exactly, but I will tell you it will be hand-made by me. Hopefully that doesn't scare everyone off.

All right. As promised, here is the debut of my newest dress, with photos compliments of K. What do you think? I felt it looked kind of church-lady, but that's OK since Easter is coming up. And it's super-comfty. AND it has pockets! This was the first time I've attempted pockets. I felt like I had witnessed a miracle when I put it on and the pockets worked. Simple minds and all that.

It was overcast today, but for some reason I look like I have the light of God touching my head. Not sure what's going on there. My hair does get lighter in the summer, but somehow I think it's just my camera here.

And not that you can tell it much from the relaxed silhouette of this dress, but look who's getting her skinny on! Little by little...

I love these shoes!! I've been craving a pair of T-straps for a while, so I was psyched to find these for $16.

Since I'm a girl who is true to my word, here's the squirrel cozy, too! It's made for a small-ish teapot, but we keep our teapots on a high shelf and K was busy making dinner, so here's the cozy modeled on a bag of coffee. I love him!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Forcing cats to be cute, gardening, and other things

This is my kind of Saturday! Fruit salad, toast, and bacon for breakfast, followed by a couple hours of jump-starting our spring veggie and flower garden, then a 2-hour walk along the river downtown.

I finally got dressed in somewhat normal clothes after our long walk, but since I still had some dirt on my arms (and probably in my hair) and I had just walked so much, I just went with a casual spring outfit. I am loving this pink gingham scarf!

While I was taking pictures, Dexter decided to come outside. I let him out on the condition that he pose with me.

But then he reminded me not-so-politely that he does NOT like to be held! Hence the weird headlock-esque pose below. He's enormous now, even though he's not even a year old yet!

I've also found some time lately to do some more crafty things, including this coffee press cozy. In my next post I'll be debuting my latest dress, and soon after a tea pot cozy. Stay tuned, kids :)

And last but not least, I just had to include this picture of the strangest creamer ever that I unearthed in an antique market in Savannah. Seriously, how could I pass it up? Plus, the brand of china is "Jennifer" so of course it had to come home with me. Isn't it ridiculously cute? (Or cutely ridiculous? Hmm....)

shirt - old / shorts - Shimamura only Y300! / scarf - Target /
shoes - Urban Outfitters

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Grey Day Blue

I had coffee this morning with a friend, and I wore one of my favorite early-spring outfits. Not too fancy, but still fun and un-drab, which I needed. The weather this week has started out every single day sunny and then gotten cloudy and cool. What's up with that?

OK, OK, I know that most fashion circles frown on the "Jesus sandal," but I haven't been able to get cute spring sandals yet! Plus, these are comfy enough to schlep around campus in. And heels just felt too formal for a campus coffee date.

Bright grey clouds make me so squinty and sleepy, which explains my face in these pictures....

But these blue roses always cheer me up!

By the way, I had lunch at my favorite Korean restaurant (which you MUST visit if you ever find yourself in central South Carolina)--yum!-- and then we went to the Asian grocery to re-stock some supplies. Now that it's getting warm, I'm totally ready for some cool yuzucha soda. It comes in a jar and looks just like marmalade, but instead of putting it on toast, you stir a spoonful into a glass of soda water, yummeh!  I also had to stop by the ice cream chest since my mouth was still a little spicy from the kimchi, and this caught my eye:

Do not adjust your monitor. Yes, those are pieces of corn in the ice cream. I swear. See?

"Sweet corn ice bar." I've had sweet corn ice cream with a blackberry swirl at a gourmet ice creap shop before, and I loved it, so I thought, "How bad could this be?" And, well, the ice cream itself was pretty tasty, but I took a good look at the bar and realized that it looked exactly like frozen mashed potatoes with corn mixed in, and after that.. well, I ended up spitting bits of corn out the car window until K took it away from me. The texture of corn just doesn't mesh well with ice cream, at least to my American palate.  Next time I'll just stick with a melon pop.  What's the weirdest dessert you've ever had?

skirt - Banana Republic (thrifted) / top - H&M / jacket - Bitten by SJP
sandals - old, don't remember

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sprintime in Savannah

Apologies for the long hiatus! This past week was spring break for me. Although, I've discovered that as I go further with school, breaks aren't really as break-like as they once were. I still taught this week and I had some presentations to prepare for, so most of the week was like any other. However, K and I decided to take a long weekend at the end of break and finally go down and explore Savannah! I take pride in my southern heritage, so honestly it's a teensy bit embarrassing that I'd never been to Savannah before. It was pouring rain the whole first day we were there, as you can see from the above photo, but after that it cleared up a bit and we got to really enjoy the city.

We sought refuge from the rain at Paula Deen's restaurant, The Lady and Sons. All I can say about this is that I better be on a diet for the next two

Savannah is such a beautiful city to walk around, even after dark.

And even though it's one of the traditional "Old South" cities, it's still pretty eclectic. No idea what this picture on a wall was about, but I like it.

Can I just say that the selection of antiques shops in this city ROCKS!! We had such a fun time browsing the markets and goofing off.  I thought this trapper hat was awesome, but K gave me a funny look. Oh well, not that I'd get much use out of it anyway *tear*

There are so many beautiful cemeteries in Savannah, and people just stroll around them as if they were normal parks. It's really interesting. Even in broad daylight, the cemeteries still have a spooky feeling because of all the Spanish moss and the sheer age of the headstones. It was even creepier after we found out that much of the city was built on top of super-old cemeteries that were not completely moved out of the way. No wonder it's the most haunted city in America. Next time I go, I've got to do one of the ghost tours.

Do you think the residents of this house would mind if I moved in? I'm sure there's plenty of room in there.

What a great mini-vacation! I'm so happy that Savannah is only about 30 minutes farther away from us than Charleston. Two beautiful cities within day-trip distance. Love it!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Book Nookish


Sorry I haven't been around much this week! It was the week before Spring Break, which is always crazy. Between my usual research and a research proposal presentation, I was pretty busy and a little stressed. And then I ended up not even having to give the presentation, arrgghhh. Instead I'm doing it the week after break. I guess that just goes to show that you shouldn't be too serious about any one thing.

K and I went to the library today and he took some spur-of-the-moment pictures there. I think they turned out pretty neat, especially since it was such a sunny day! It kinda brightened our moods because we had been apartment-hunting most of the day, and it was so frustrating and fruitless that we were getting down.


Spring has finally FINALLY come! The city is full of flowering trees right now, I need to go take some pictures! Also, you know it's spring once everyone starts celebrating St. Patrick's Day. That's right, my fair city began the St. Pat's celebrations yesterday afternoon. Getting hammered like a frat boy really isn't my scene, but I do get a kick out of the city dying the water in the big fountain a lovely shade of green for the week.


I'm so excited to break out these shoes again! They're so fun and they make me feel so tall! I know people either love or hate espadrille-type shoes-- I'm definitely an espadrille lover. Plus the platforms take me back to my Spice Girl fan days. Ah, memories.


Has anyone else checked out the Jean Paul Gaultier stuff at Target yet? I love the little red and white flowery eyelet dress. I can't decide if I like this collection or the Rodarte collection better. What's your vote?

dress - Target / belt - Charlotte Russe / shoes - old, dunno / 
necklace - World Market

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Flower, a Skirt and a Mug Mat. Yes, a Mug Mat.


Here's Flower, the dachshund I helped transport, as promised!! Isn't she adorable? She's the sweetest little dog, so friendly and didn't make a sound the whole car trip. She just wanted a comfortable lap and some people to pet her, which we were more than happy to provide. 


How can anyone resist that face? Her new family must be so happy! They sent an e-mail to everyone who helped get her to her new home-- there were 9 legs altogether, each about an hour and a half long, what a trooper!!-- and she seems to be settling in fine.


We had fun playing with her and letting her run around for a little while at the hand-off point before the next ride arrived. And when they did, Flower was in for a great surprise-- they brought their two dachshunds to keep her company. I've got to say, whenever we get a place big enough to have a dog, I want a dachshund! I was neutral about them before, but after spending time with some different ones on these rescue transports, I think I'm sold. I can't wait till another one comes through my area!


The transport route went south instead of north like they usually do, which put us close to Charleston. So, we just kept going and made a day out of it! It was a little chilly and breezy, but overall a lovely day in a lovely city. 
By the way, the skirt I'm wearing in these pictures is my latest creation. I just did a simple circle skirt out of this neat flock of birds print chiffon and lining. Chiffon is DEFINITELY not my favorite fabric to work with (snag city!) but I just had to get this fabric. I have enough left over to make some other goodies that I might tackle over spring break, which is next week!! Hurrah!!


Above is the library society, one of the many historical buildings in Charleston. This building doesn't have any particularly special importance to me, I just thought it looked beautiful in the afternoon light with the Spanish moss hanging from the trees.


And finally, something else I made over the weekend. It's a coaster for tea or coffee, with a little pouch for your stirring spoon behind the little cottage door. That's a dessert spoon in the picture, by the way. The whole thing is probably only 7 or 8 inches long. I think it's the perfect size for a spoon and mug, and less breakable than a saucer! I'm especially proud of the materials I used- it's made of 100% linen, which I cut from an XL shirt I got off the 50-cent rack at Goodwill. So the materials cost for the pair of them was less than a dollar. Pretty sweet, huh? I'm also proud of the blanket stitching I did around the two little windows. I've never done any embroidery before, so don't look too closely!! Anyway, I think the slight unevenness of the stitches makes it more folksy. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I love having a working sewing machine!! 

jacket - thrifted / top - H&M / skirt - ME! / tights - Target / shoes - Target