Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Movie Night!

Did anyone else have to go get The Proposal today?! I am watching it right now!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ribbon Wreath

Since I have the day off today... I have decided to start my Halloween decorations. Surprisingly, the Dollar Store was short on fun things, so I am going to head to Target later on. I came across this website to make a ribbon wreath. I am going to change it up a little bit and make mine with orange, black, and hot pink ribbon.

Here are the instructions if you are interested in making one too...


  • 12″ foam wreath form
  • 24 yards 1 1/4″ black grosgrain ribbon (or less if using a wider ribbon)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape


  1. Cut 45-50 16″ pieces of ribbon.
  2. Tie one strand of ribbon in a knot around the wreath. I used a “messy knot” — right over left, then right over left again, pulling in the opposite direction. It doesn’t really matter how you do it as long as you are consistent all the way around. Repeat with the knots, pushing them close together, until you fill the wreath.
  3. Cut one long piece of ribbon (48″) and tie one end to form a knot. Leave a long loop for hanging and tie another knot onto the wreath.
  4. Trim any frayed or long ends.
I found a supplier for ribbon here. In order to have enough to make me one and one for my sister, I am getting 60 yards of 1 1/2 ribbon. The prices are so much better when you buy wholesale online! Maybe I will have enough left over for other crafts!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oh the places you go!

It is amazing at how fast time flies... not only when you are having fun, but when you are busy with work and trying to make a name for yourself in the "adult world." Muffy and I have traveled all over the country for horse shows. It has been a wonderful show season, and we will be settling down for the winter in November. Hopefully, that means that I will have time to start blogging consistently again!

Just a few updates on my life...

Here is a picture of Muffy from a few weeks ago. This was right after her first trip to the pet spa!

I hosted my first dinner party in the new apartment. 3 couples came over and feasted on some delicious food, if I do say so myself! And, of course, I had to have a pink and green table! More info to follow on this party!

I bought my first car... wow! I thought I was going to get a Volvo S60, but when I found out I could get an Audi convertible for the same price, I went for it! Muffy loves riding with the top down!

Still working on decorating the apartment. It is coming along, slowly but surely.

Football season is among us, and I have tried to make it to as many games as possible!

And that is about it! I have truly missed keeping up with you all! I will try to be better about posting :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Home Tour

One of my favorite things to do is decorate my apartment with fun new things that I can pick up at garage or estate sale and outlet sales. I thought that for this week's posts, I would fill you in on what I have been doing recently.

Today is a picture of the Dining Room. FREE things is somthing that I cannot turn down, which is what the tablecloth and chair cushions are. My grandmother (who is a decorator) had these in her breakfast room. Even though it isn't my favorite, it does the job for right now and I can find something I like better later on. Something I also had to keep in mind, since I can't paint the walls, the apartment was in desperate need of some color!

The table underneath is a wooden table that I found at a garage sale for $15. It even has 2 leaves that I can use when I am entertaining a larger crowd! The legs on the table look great, but the top wasn't in the best condition, therefore you can see the need for a tablecloth. The price was right and it functions perfectly!

Moving on to my favorite part of the dining room... my antique chairs! They are around 100 years old and are French Country style. I just found these in a really swanky antique mall. Everything in there was WAY out of my price range, except for these. They were originally $800 for the 6 chairs, but they had been marked 30% off. My grandmother made me put them on hold because I think she knew that I couldn't find anything better... well a few days went by and I didn't find anything that I liked. So I called back and offered them $350 for the chairs and they took it!! Don't every be afraid to offer less than what they are asking, especially in this economy!

The plate rack I bought from the Pottery Barn outlet for my first college apartment. It is accentent with plates that I got from Tuesday Morning and Marshall's. Plate racks are fun because it is an inexpensive way to change the look of. When I get a new table cloth, I will switch out the plates and for around $20, you have a totally different wall.

The painting is from my grandmother's attic. I love the monochromatic palate of it. That way I can change out other patterns close by without having to worry about clashing.

My lingerie chest found a new use in this apartment. I will have to add a picture of it later, but it now serves as the main storage piece for tableclothes, napkins, plates, and other entertaining needs. The cool thing about it is it matchs the armoire that is in my living room! Continuity in a small apartment was really important for me.

Last, but not least, is the lighting. Please let me know if you have any ideas. That is the fixture that came with the apartment and will have to be there when I leave. But, for now, I would like to have something that is a little more... up to date? Not sure if that is the best way to put it, but let me know if you can think of anything!
Also, I am thinking about making two ribbon wreaths to hang on either side of the plate rack? Any other ideas for that blank wall would be great!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Magazines and Catalogs

I have been attempting to catch up on having all of my magazines and catalogs forwarded to the new address. Here is the list that I have requested so far:

Southern Living
Martha Stewart Living

LL Bean
Lands End
J. Crew
Lilly Pulitzer
Vineyard Vines
Pottery Barn

What am I missing??? Do you recieve something that I cannot live without?!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Meet Muffy!!

So here is the latest addition to LPW's household. I have been wanting a puppy throughout college, and my mother kept telling me that I couldn't have one until I graduated from college, found a place to live, and had a stable job. Okay, so I managed to accomplish all of those. But, with my hectic work schedule, I have not found time to look for a dog to rescue.

When I arrived in Mississippi, I was thinking that I was not going to be in a rush to get a dog; but give myself plenty of time to get settled and then I would start looking. Keep in mind that at this point, I still was thinking about a black lab or beagle...
So I went to a horse show in Kentucky and everywhere I looked there were Corgis. All of a sudden, I realized I had to have one!! They are perfect around horses, great temperments, good size, and the list could go on and on. So I started asking everyone I saw at the show if they knew of any litters close by or reputable breeders, and no one knew of anything! So I decided that I would just wait and something better would come along.
The next weekend rolled around and I was at a horse show in Nashville. I could not believe it when ONE CORGI PUPPY showed up... I was heartbroken!! I just knew that someone had found a puppy and she was not for sale. But I was wrong! The lady just so happened to be a breeder from Kentucky and brought the ONE PUPPY to sell at the show.
So that night she went home with us to our hotel, so that we could spend time together and see how badly I wanted her. Well of course I was smitten and she rode home with us later on that weekend!
As for naming her, that was the most difficult part of all. I really wanted to name her Lilly but there is already another dog at the barn named that so I was out of luck. We danced around with tons of names and finally I made my sister name her when we were walking into the vet's office to get her shots!
Now Muffy and I spend all of our time together. She even gets to come to work with me :) Her favorite things in life right now are cardboard, flip flops, horse poo (eeww...), playing with other dogs, napping all day, playing hide and seek under my bed, and getting in all kinds of mischief. We have slept through the night once, but other than that we wake mommy up at 4AM to go outside. She is almost completely potty trained!!
When we brought Muffy home 3 weeks ago, she weighed 5.6lbs and was 10 weeks old. Now at 13 weeks, she weighs 8.2lbs. It is a guessing game as to what color she will end up being. The breeder swears that she is going to be sable (which is the reddy-brown), but I think she will stay tri-colored.
Now I just need to find time to go to the Lilly store so she can match mommy in her Lilly!! Aren't the Lilly collars just too cute for words?! I did go to the Vineyard Vines store to get her one of their collars but all of them were too big!! haha! I guess we will have to grow a little more before we can have one of those.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I am back in action!!

Sorry everyone for the delay in posting!! You would not believe how crazy everything has been. There is much to fill you in on, since much has changed in LPW's world.

Graduation just flew by. Dolly Parton was the commencement speaker and she received her honorary docorate degree in music. My parents came in town to celebrate with me and help move the final boxes out of the apartment. Yes... it was sad to say by to my friends of four years, but I knew that it would not be the last time that I saw them. Many of these people I will continue to keep up with for the rest of my life. So on to the next subject...

I made it to Mississippi all in one piece and I absolutely LOVE my small town!! It is the epitome of the southern life :) It is the kind of place with one grocery store, tons of cute little boutiques, and were everyone knows your name. The town square has the main court house for the county and is surronded by banks, offices, restaurants, and shopping. Just too quaint for words! I have just finally started to gets things really settled in the apartment. Pictures of the decorating are to come! It is perfectly functional for the little amount of time that I actually stay there.

Now onto the job front, everything is going great. I travel frequently for work so that is why I have been so behind on the blogging. Things will start to settle down when horse show season winds down (in late fall), so until then we must press on through the heat and get work done! Easier said then done on some days!

Now for the REALLY big news!!!!!!!

I brought Preppy Puppy home 3 weeks ago!!!! Yall will just melt when you see her. She is absolutely precious. I will post pictures and tell you the story about how I found her tomorrow!

Glad to be back in the blogging world, and I have a ton of catching up to do!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Does anyone else hate moving?!

So, I am supposed to be moving at 10AM tomorrow morning... please check out this mess that I have created. It looks like someone puked pink and green all over my apartment. Please pray that I can keep my sanity through this move! Hopefully it will be my last one for a VERY long time!

Don't you love all of the free boxes
that I just picked up from the liquor store?!

The most organized of my packing.

If my mother saw this right now
she would have a heart attack.

I must get back to packing boxes! I might take a sabbatical from blogging while I try to get everything settled in my new home, so don't get too worried if you don't here from me for a dew days.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Preppy Baby Announcements

I saw these the last time that I was at Target, and they are just too cute for the price!! 50 cards for $20 is too good of a deal! Even though you have to do some of the work yourself, they do have a template, which should make the work a little easier. Looking at the online reviews, everyone was really pleased with how they turned out. Just an idea you members of the Preppy Preggo Club! You can use the main card for the picture and then the small card for the little one's new name, birth weight, etc.
I am thinking about using the pink and green one for a party invitation and using the little card as an RSVP card.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bloggers for Hire

My wonderful and faithful follower and friend in real life, M, sent me this article about a week ago and I thought I would share it with you all. It was published in the Wall Street Journal, which in my opinion makes it legit!

America's Newest Profession:

Bloggers for Hire


In America today, there are almost as many people making their living as bloggers as there are lawyers. Already more Americans are making their primary income from posting their opinions than Americans working as computer programmers or firefighters.

Paid bloggers fit just about every definition of a microtrend: Their ranks have grown dramatically over the years, blogging is an important social and cultural movement that people care passionately about, and the number of people doing it for at least some income is approaching 1% of American adults.

The best studies we can find say we are a nation of over 20 million bloggers, with 1.7 million profiting from the work, and 452,000 of those using blogging as their primary source of income. That's almost 2 million Americans getting paid by the word, the post, or the click -- whether on their site or someone else's. And that's nearly half a million of whom it can be said, as Bob Dylan did of Hurricane Carter: "It's my work he'd say, I do it for pay."


Forget about huge, sweeping megaforces. The biggest trends today are micro: small, under-the-radar patterns of behavior which take on real power when propelled by modern communications and an increasingly independent-minded population. In the U.S., one percent of the nation, or three million people, can create new markets for a business, spark a social movement, or produce political change. This column is about identifying these important new niches, and acting on that knowledge.

This could make us the most noisily opinionated nation on earth. The Information Age has spawned many new professions, but blogging could well be the one with the most profound effect on our culture. If journalists were the Fourth Estate, bloggers are becoming the Fifth Estate.

What started as a discussion forum for progressive politics and new technologies has now been applied to motherhood, health care, the arts, fashion, dentistry -- and just about every other imaginable area of life. What started as a hobby and an outlet for volunteers is becoming big business for newly emerging sites, for companies that now depend upon their reviews and for the people who work in this new industry.

All this fits with the trend toward Opinion TV. Less and less of our information flow is devoted to gathering facts, and more and more is going toward popularizing opinion. Twenty-four-hour news channels have been replaced by 24-hour opinion channels. The chatter is the story.

Comparing Job Numbers in America

Computer Programmers394,710

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Demographically, bloggers are extremely well educated: three out of every four are college graduates. Most are white males reporting above-average incomes. One out of three young people reports blogging, but bloggers who do it for a living successfully are 2% of bloggers overall. It takes about 100,000 unique visitors a month to generate an income of $75,000 a year. Bloggers can get $75 to $200 for a good post, and some even serve as "spokesbloggers" -- paid by advertisers to blog about products. As a job with zero commuting, blogging could be one of the most environmentally friendly jobs around -- but it can also be quite profitable. For sites at the top, the returns can be substantial. At some point the value of the Huffington Post will no doubt pass the value of the Washington Post.

The barriers to entry couldn't be lower. Most bloggers for hire pay $80 to get started, do it for about 35 months, and make a few hundred dollars. But a subgroup of these bloggers are the true professionals who work at corporations, serve as highly paid blogging consultants or write for sites with substantial traffic.

Pros who work for companies are typically paid $45,000 to $90,000 a year for their blogging. One percent make over $200,000. And they report long hours -- 50 to 60 hours a week.

As bloggers have increased in numbers, the number of journalists has significantly declined. In Washington alone, there are now 79% fewer DC-based employees of major newspapers than there were just few years ago. At the same time, Washington is easily the most blogged-about city in America, if not the world.

Almost no blogging is by subscription; rather, it owes it economic model to on-line advertising. Bloggers make money if their consumers click the ads on their sites. Some sites even pay writers by the click, which is of course a system that promotes sensationalism, or doing whatever it takes to get noticed.

The United Kingdom has just had a major scandal in which an official at 10 Downing Street had planned to leak to a friendly blogger all sorts of lurid stories about the Conservatives, complete with descriptions of secret sex tapes. But all of it was to be made up, and the friendly blogger who was going to post it all thought it was an "absolutely brilliant" idea. Someone blew the whistle, but had the plot gone through, this blogstorm could have played a major role in the upcoming election.

As a political pollster, I always observed that the poll that often got the most coverage was the one that was different from the others, regardless of whether it was right, or whether the pollster had any track record. This is true with opinions, too: those on the extreme right or left, or those that are the most titillating, seem to drive the most traffic through their sites. The center doesn't seem to have either the edge or the passion to grab the same kind of traffic.

The implications of bloggers for hire are substantial. While many bloggers probably support unionization in general, they have no union of their own. Most have no benefits, yet they work long hours in front of computer screens which could cause a variety of health ailments. And the owners of the big sites most often pay their bloggers as freelancers, avoiding all of those taxes and benefits that newspapers have to pay for their writers.

For now, bloggers say they are overwhelmingly happy in their work, reporting high job satisfaction. But what happens if they, too, lose work; are they covered by unemployment insurance if tastes change and their sites go under? Are they considered journalists under shield laws? Are they subject to libel suits? Are there any limits to the opinions they churn out, or any standards to rein them in? Is there someone to complain to about false blogs or hidden conflicts? At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, Panasonic outfitted bloggers with free Panasonic equipment; did that affect their opinions about the companies they wrote about? There are more questions than answers about America's Newest Profession.

It is hard to think of another job category that has grown so quickly and become such a force in society without having any tests, degrees, or regulation of virtually any kind. Courses on blogging are now cropping up, and we can't be far away from the Columbia School of Bloggerism. There is a lot of interest now in Twittering and Facebooking -- but those venues don't offer the career opportunities of blogging. Not since eBay opened its doors have so many been able to sit at their computer screens and make some money, or even make a whole living.

And with millions of human-hours now going into writing and recording opinion, we have to wonder whether being the blogging capital of the world will help America compete in the global economy. Maybe all this self-criticism will propel us forward by putting us on the right track and helping us choose the right products. Maybe it will create a resurgence in the art of writing and writing courses. Or serve as a safety net for out of work professionals in the crisis. But for how long can nearly 500,000 people who are gradually replacing whole swaths of journalists survive with no worker protections, no enforced ethics codes, limited standards, and, for most , no formal training? Even the "Wild West" eventually became just the "West."

Mark Penn Responds:

People have raised questions about the calculations on the numbers of bloggers for hire. First, I was surprised at how few studies there are on this and I believe there definitely should be more. So perhaps in the future I will do some original research, but for this piece we took the best we could find and referenced every number so people would know where they came from.

There is no question that the blogosphere, fast-growing as it is, has yet to nail down one way to measure itself or gauge its activity. But the most comprehensive sources we could find, conducted by reputable professionals, say there are over 22 million bloggers out there; and that 2% of bloggers are making their living blogging. Do the math, and you get roughly 450,000. It's a fast-growing group and we ignore their needs, and influence, at our peril.

As far as the $75,000, the Technorati report says that of those bloggers who had 100,000 or more unique visitors, the average income is $75,000. True, it's not the median, but it is the average. We can quibble about how easy it is to make this kind of money -- but the point is, the huge potential is there.

Here are some further details on the sources and calculations:

The Technorati Poll -- The methodology stipulates that in order to qualify for the survey, Technorati "state of the blogosphere" respondents needed to be bloggers over 18 years old. The survey was hosted by Decipher Inc., was in the field from July 28, 2008 through August 4, 2008, and received 1,290 completed responses from 66 countries. Survey design and analysis was conducted by Dr. Michele Madansky and Polly Arenberg. Dr. Michele Madansky runs a media and market research consultancy specializing in online media and Internet startups. From 2003 to 2007, Michele was vice president of global market research for Yahoo! Polly Arenberg is a marketing strategist with more than 20 years of experience; her clients include Yahoo!, Microsoft and Flickr, as well as numerous start-ups.

The 2% of bloggers making a living comes straight from the Technorati Poll. The total number of bloggers--22.6 million--is supported by a research report from eMarketer (2% of 22,6 million is 452,000). This report was written in May 2008 by Paul Verna, a senior analyst there: "The Blogosphere report aggregates the latest data from marketing and communications researchers with eMarketer analysis to provide the information you need to make smart, accurate business decisions."

The question of how much traffic it takes to make a living also comes from the Technorati report. We say it takes "about 100,000 unique visitors a month to generate an income of $75,000 a year" and Technorati states those who had 100,000 or more unique visitors the average income is $75,000

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Planning a Preppy Wedding?

Here are some ideas from Brides March/April 2008.

I am in love with this bouquet and the mint green bridesmaid's dress!

The Winner of...

the lovely custom painted My Flip Flopz sign is Jennifer at Diary of a Southern Belle!! Congrats!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I am off to visit...

The Horse Capital of the World!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Don't Forget to Enter!

The My Flip Flopz sign giveaway closes this Friday, so you still have time to enter!! You can submit your entry to win by going to this page and leaving a comment!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Copper Mountain Caramel Cake

What better of a recipe that combines my favorite C foods... chocolate, caramel, and Cool Whip!?! This is the latest recipe that I have baked, and I thought I would share it with yall! It would be perfect for entertaining a crowd for a BBQ or pool party this summer. My sorority little sister's mom gave me the recipe after I raved about it. We both have enjoyed snacking on it this last week!

Copper Mountain Caramel Cake

  • 1 box German Chocolate Cake (and the other ingredients to prepare that cake according to the box's directions)
  • 1 12 1/4 oz jar caramel topping
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 12 oz container Cool Whip
  • 4 Heath bars (regular size)


1. Make cake according to box directions and pour into 9x13" greased pan.

2. While warm pierce with fork (I use a large meet fork).

3. Mix caramel topping with condensed milk and pour over cake (I make sure to pour slowly and allow some of it to seep in the cake, instead of dumping the whole bowl).

4. Refrigerate (I waited about 2 hours).

5. Frost with Cool Whip and sprinkle crushed Heath Bars on top.

mmmmm... It is ready to eat!!!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


As school is winding down, so are the days that my honors thesis is due. Thank goodness I will be out of town for the original due date so my professor extended the time that I could turn it in!!! Now I have an extra weekend to finalize everything. To give you a brief summary of it, I am writing about how the media has portrayed and affected the behaviors of Queen Elizabeth II. It really is amazing to see what had been published about her and to see her reactions. Mostly, I am honing in on the change in her emotions pre and post Diana's death. This was the time that most greatly changed the way the Queen's attitudes and emotions were displayed to the public.

If you are interested in learning more about QEII, I have 2 excellent recommendations. First you should read the book Monarch by Robert Lacey. It is a quick read and would be a great book to throw in the beach tote this summer.

Here is the review from Publishers Weekly:
As a child, Princess Elizabeth longed "to live in the country with lots of horses and dogs." That dream came to a crashing end when her uncle, King Edward VII, followed his heart instead of his head, giving up the throne for an American divorcee. The princess's fate was sealed: not only was she destined to become Queen of England, but as Lacey shows in this skillfully constructed biography, nearly every upheaval of her otherwise quiet and dutiful 50-year reign would be the direct consequence of impetuous relatives putting personal needs above royal responsibility. It's all here: the romantic debacles of Di, Fergie, Margaret, Ann, Charles and Andrew, as well as Prince Philip's unfailing ability to insert his foot in his mouth ("How nice to be in a country that is not ruled by its people," he said to Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner in 1969). Through it all, there have been two constants: the Queen is pragmatic and restrained, and the media is all over every mucky story. Lacey, veteran royal historian and biographer (The Queen Mother's Century, etc.), writes with the cooperation of the Palace, and his portrait is sympathetic, but he also offers an incisive analysis of the development of royal media coverage (which started with Queen Victoria and the invention of the camera) and the relationship between the two powerful entities, setting this apart from and far above the average by-the-numbers royal bio.

Next, you should watch the movie The Queen. As soon as I saw this movie in theater, I knew that I would have to buy it when it came out. It focuses in on the Queen and the rest of the family during Diana's death. I thought it was historically accurate is most senses and they also incorporated actually new footage from the event. Even if you are not interested in QEII, you will love to watch Helen Mirren who does an outstanding job with the role!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Giveaway Time: Take 2

As promised, I am hosting another giveaway!! This time, Susie at My Flip Flopz has graciously hand painted this custom sign. I have been in love with her signs for quite some time! Seriously, if you haven't seen her signs before you need to checkout her blog or etsy shop.

There is a special story behind this saying...
My dad is determined that this should be my motto for life. Every time that he sees me wearing Lilly [which is quite frequently] [and I cannot believe he actually knows what it is!] he makes sure to remind me that I am "Living in Lilly." I am sure that many of you could say the same thing about yourself :)

I will be running the giveaway until Friday April 24th. In order to enter you need to leave me the following information.

1. If you could only own ONE piece of Lilly Pulitzer, what would it be?
2. Your e-mail, so that I can get in touch with you when you win!!
3. Whether you are a follower or become one [if you want 1 extra entry].
4. If you blogged about it or added the giveaway to your sidebar [if you want 1 extra entry].

Good luck to everyone!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Great Debate: Satellite v. Cable

I am moving in 2 weeks, and I am trying to get all of my ducks in a row. Shopping for cable and satellite is not nearly as easy as I though it would be. There are a lot of deals out right now, but it is really hard to cypher the differences between the two.

I really need yall's advice on this one. Cable seems to be the more expensive option, but I know that it is more reliable than the dish. But I can get more channels from satellite and free equipment. Also, you have to keep in mind that I have to get my internet from Comcast anyways, but the bundle package didn't look like it was really going to save me anything except the hassle of paying 2 separate bills. MORE CHANNELS, MOVIES and VALUE!
  • Local channels included at no extra charge*
  • 200 channels
  • One FREE advanced receiver upgrade HD, DVR or HD DVR after
    instant online rebate
  • 65 music channels included
  • No equipment to buy or startup costs
  • $39.99 for one full year and the regular price of $60.99/month
  • A DVR service fee ($6.00/month) is automatically applied to your bill when you upgrade to a DVR receiver.

With Digital Preferred you’ll get more than 100 digital channels. But you’ll also get access to the amazing On Demand library, which includes thousands of movies, kids’ shows, network favorites, music videos and more that are ready to watch when you are.

Get Digital Preferred with On Demand for only $44.99 a month for 6 months for new subscribers! Promotional Rate is $44.99/month for 6 month(s) for eligible customers, ongoing price is $67.90/month. I can't find how much extra DVR service is or whether you have to buy the box!

Have any of you had good or bad experiences with either of these companies?? I think I am leaning towards getting satellite because of the difference in the number of channels (plus I get HBO and a few other movie channels for free over 3 months). Plus, they are very upfront with you on the pricing, unlike Comcast whose website is a nightmare to figure information out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Potted Plant Arrangement

My grandmother did this arrangement for our Easter celebration. This arrangement gave a very grand appearance to the center of the buffet table for a fraction of what cut flowers would have cost. The cool thing about using potted plants, instead of fresh cut, is that it can be less expensive and they last much longer. She got this wire flower tower from a local interior design shop, but you can find them at gardening centers as well.

One of the tips that she said is to include plenty of greenery. This gives the arrangement a fresh, spring look. My favorite were the bright green baby ferns that are on the 2nd and 4th layers.

Also, in order to cover up the pots, you can use spanish moss, or any other kind of moss, around the outer edges of the wire rack.

Another idea that I heard recently for bridal showers...

They arranged a large pot with potted plants in the center of the table, which was later given to the couple to plant at their new home. Smaller arrangement were put into terracotta pots and disperse throughout the house. These were the guest's party favor at the end of the day! Another way that you can use potted plants as a less expensive option for entertaining!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Near Death Experience

... and what you can learn from it!

Sometimes I like to post about happenings in my life, and I feel like I have to tell you all about my near death experience this weekend. This story should prove to you why it is CRUCIAL to have your tires checked often. I used to think that it wasn't that important; but after this experience, I will not be going out on the road without double checking them.

My friend and I were on our way back to school from Easter break. It was getting to be late at night (10ish) and she was too tired to drive so I took over the wheel. Her car drives very differently from mine and vibrates constantly. She assured me that this was normal, but I knew that it shouldn't be. I lost control of the vehicle at 70 mph and swerved off the side of the highway. Thinking that we had just had a flat tire, I look out on my side to notice that the bumper is hanging on the ground!! Here is what we found...

Yes, at first we thought that someone had swerved into us and hit the bumper... but that was not the case. After calling a guy friend that was only 10 miles ahead of us (THANK THE LORD!), he turned around to come to our aid. We were able to make it off the side of the highway and to a gas station were we could better evaluate the situation.

The conclusion was made that our accident had been cause by improper tire care. The entire tread to the back tire is sitting on the highway somewhere in Nashville right now! I am sure you are wondering how we limped back to school?! Well... we had a full spare, so we changed that. Then we needed to address the bumper issue. Duct tape is one of the single best inventions. Check out our body work... and the tape even blends in with the paint color! ha!

Now for the moral of the story. Here is an article that I found from Popular Mechanics on the top 5 reasons that your tires could fail. Please make sure to have your tires maintained and properly inflated so that you don't have to almost loose a bumper (or something worse!).

As the old TV commercial says, there's a lot riding on your tires. Indeed, tires could well be the most important system on your vehicle, given that they affect every performance parameter from handling and acceleration to braking and ride comfort. So it's no surprise that maintenance on your tires should command as much respect, if not more, than on all the other parts and systems of your car. Trouble is, most drivers just don't think about the condition of their tires. As I've mentioned before in discussing the whole Barack Obama tire inflation thing, a Department of Transportation study dating back to 2001 features some pretty eye-popping numbers: 60 to 80 percent of cars on the road are running tires underinflated by as much as 10 percent, 20 to 50 percent of them are driving with tires down in pressure by as much as 20 percent, and 10 to 30 percent of these cars have tires with pressure as low as 30 percent of the recommended pressure. Underinflation is just one reason a tire can fail. Here are four more. —Mike Allen

1. They're Old

Check the tire sidewall for the manufacturer's date code. It will be in the form of a four-digit number, stating the month and year the tire was produced. Unfortunately, there's no equivalent to an expiration date. And it's not a good idea to install tires on your vehicle that have been sitting on a warehouse shelf for many years. A decent rule of thumb is not to purchase tires more than five years old. And five years in service on your vehicle is plenty, totaling 10 years. Your mileage may vary.

2. They're Underinflated

Tires that have too little pressure in them run hot—much hotter than properly inflated ones. The pressure in the tire keeps the tread and sidewalls from flexing. Friction from this flexing generates heat, and that degrades the rubber and the fabric construction of the tire. And don't be fooled by the appearance of the tires. It's impossible to see if your tires are underinflated without using a tire pressure gauge. The proper pressures are printed on a sticker on the driver's door frame or inside the glovebox. They are also in the owner's manual.

3. They're Overinflated

The tire inflation pressures printed on the tire sidewall are the tire manufacturer's maximum permitted pressure, not necessarily what the vehicle manufacturer recommends. Overinflated tires will have poor grip, and the tread will wear prematurely in the center.

4. They're Deteriorated

Ozone, road chemicals and ultraviolet light degrade the rubber. But this is probably more of a problem for RV and trailer tires mounted on vehicles that are stored outside in the sun, especially in the Southwest. Tire covers will keep the UV rays at bay longer. Avoid ozone damage by not storing unused tires near any ozone sources like electrical equipment or motors, pool chemicals or the like—especially indoors. Tire sidewall rubber is permeated with oils that are designed to leach out slowly and protect the rubber. Detergents or aftermarket protectants will remove these oils prematurely. A certain amount of weather-checking (alligator-like cracks in the sidewalls) is normal. If the cracks are down to the fabric sidewall plies, it's time to retire that tire.

5. They're Damaged

Any foreign object that penetrates the tire far enough to cause a leak is sufficient reason to require the tire to be removed from the rim and inspected by a tire technician for damage to the inside of the carcass. An externally applied plug or worm should be considered a temporary repair. A proper repair involves patching the tire from the inside with a plug that not only holds air but prevents water from infiltrating into the carcass's belt plies. Water in this part of the tire will make it weaker. It's not really possible to repair a tire sidewall.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tote Bag Coolers

I just ran across these coolers from Land's End! Who doesn't love a good tote bag?! And the combination with the insulation will make these perfect for tailgating in the fall and beach week in the summer. I think I am going to start out with the pink in the medium size and get it monogrammed with navy on the pocket. Don't forget to check out the lunch tote too!

Tote Cooler in Green

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Preppy Easter Egg Tree!!

Here are the pictures yall have been waiting for! I could not have been happier with the way that it turned out. I do admit that it does look a little different from Martha's tree, but it has a fun college spin on the traditional. Anyone recognize that tree?! Yes, I recycled my Christmas tree! This project was so much fun, and I think that even little children could have fun with it. Not only was it simple to make, but the result really brightens up any Spring home!

I found these little chicks at the checkout at Michael's yesterday (for around a dollar), and I just could resist. They are nestled throughout the tree an just give it a little bit of whimsy. These are the best upclose picture of the actual finished eggs. You can see that the holes don't even show at all (yes, the perfectionist in me was worried about that)!

Of course, I had to finish it off with a big hot pink bow! Although... the craft store kind of ripped me off. I got home and the ribbon had been cut about a yard from the end and stapled back together?! No clue what happened there but the bow turned out to be fine with only 2 yards.

Here are my ribbon choices. Originally, I was just going to do pink and green; but I decided that it would look really cute with all of the spring colors. I would make sure to use at least 5 different ribbon choices so that it adds enough variety to your tree. Also, the yellow ribbon (50 cent kind from the craft store) you will probably need more than one spool. To make the tie you just loop the ribbon around 4 of your fingers and tie a knot. Then tie a little bow. I cut the ends of the ribbon on a diagonal to add a little visual interest. You will hot glue the bow to the egg and then hang by the loop. To attach the ribbon around your egg, I just used hot glue on both ends and made sure that the ribbon was tight and straight around the egg.

This was the first batch of blown eggs (notice the ones missing?! they went to chocolate chip cookies!). I had to go back to the grocery when I realized that this many eggs would only decorate one side of my tree! Just make that you make the top hole fairly small and that the bottom hole punch allows all the "guts" of the egg to come out. Also, I used a paper clip to break the shell, and it worked just fine.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ghost of Girlfriends Past

Anyone that loves Matthew McConaughey should be looking forward to a new movie where he is co-starring with Jennifer Garner. Here is the trailer... it looks like it is going to be a good one!

Decorating Easter Eggs

Since, I am not quite finished with my Egg Tree, I thought I would share some ways that you can decorate your own Easter eggs. I was amazed at how many fun things that I found at the craft store to decorate eggs. It's not just about the dye anymore! All kinds of things can be used to jazz up your eggs!

Here are some ideas that I found from one of my favorite sites... All Recipes!

Flower Vase Egg

Use a blown egg; dye desired shade. Gently expand opening at the top of the egg; glue a small flat rock to the bottom as a base. Hide glue seam with ribbon or beaded chain. Use hot glue to affix silk flower into eggshell--flower should just peeking out the top of the egg.

Dot Egg

As simple as it gets: pick your dot color and place tiny dot stickers on a white or dyed egg.

Flower Power Egg

Dye egg. Use glue gun to attach flower sequins in a matching color (red on red, blue on blue).

Royal Egg

Dye egg. With glue gun, attach large and small necklace fasteners to add a royal touch.

Charm Egg

Dye egg desired shade; glue ribbon around its middle. Insert small tag or charm in blow hole and affix with hot glue gun. (The charm in this egg says, "Thank You!")

Disco Egg

Dye and dry a blown egg. Dilute craft glue with an equal amount of water and paint on egg. Roll in superfine glitter and let dry.

Chick Egg

Broken eggshell? Don't throw it away: dye the entire shell. With a hot glue gun, affix fuzzy chick figurine inside.

Word Egg

Die-cut stickers come in many different word themes. Mix and match words and themes to cover a plain egg.

Bedazzled Egg

Beads aren't just for clothes anymore! Dye egg in a bright color; glue faceted bedazzle beads in rows on half of the egg.

Bumpy Egg

Using a hot glue gun, place glue dots all over egg. Let dry, then dye.