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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Drum roll please…I can finally post the last part of my ‘Favorite Things’ because #4 arrived in the mail from my parents’ house in Texarkana, TX on Saturday.  Not sure what took it so long getting here, but it just prolonged the suspense!  Looking back at the other posts, coupled with this one, I didn’t want these to be in any particular order (i.e. #1 is my most favorite and #15 my least favorite of the favorites).  So, take these as the last 5 rather than the top 5.  With one exception.  #1.  It’s legit my favorite.

Here goes!  Enjoy!

5.  Official University of Alabama Football Jersey

#22 Mark Ingram the 75th winner of the Heisman Trophy and the first from the University of Alabama.

I am a proud graduate of the University of Alabama.  How I ended up there is not that exciting of a story but it was the perfect place for me for college.  I loved every minute of my 3 1/2 years there.  I grew up in Texas so I have long known a Southerners love for football.  I grew up in a household with a father that loves the Arkansas Razorbacks and loathes the University of Texas (the hatred dates back to when both schools were in the Southwestern Conference, which also included Baylor University, my parents’ alma mater, though football is not Baylor’s forte).  Slightly unrelated, I’m convinced by dad cannot fully enjoy himself when he comes to visit us solely because he knows that UT’s campus is a few miles away. Ha!  Anyway, I have always loved SEC football (and yes, it is the best conference in the nation), but I didn’t understand love for football until I went to Alabama.  Those people know their football.  When I went to school there, I didn’t bleed Crimson, didn’t know the fight song, didn’t know the players for that matter…4 minutes in Bryant-Denny Stadium changed that.  You can’t help but be a fan.  The school spirit and love for Alabama’s deep football tradition is contagious.  That was all it took.  A dear friend that I met in my first weeks at Alabama sat with me during the first game and taught me the fight song and at the end of my first game I was screaming “Rammer Jammer”.

The official jersey of the 2010 BCS National Championship

Yes, I'm legit. Merry Christmas to me from Mr. Fancy Pants! The best gift EVER!

Needless to say, I was thrilled that Alabama made it to the National Championship last season and probably would’ve given my first born child for the chance to go to the game had I had the opportunity!  Not really, but I would’ve thought about it. Mr. Fancy Pants gave me this official National Championship jersey for Christmas last year before the game.  I think I was one of 2 people in Austin, TX cheering on the Crimson Tide on the evening of the game (the other being my roommate from my freshman year of college who also lives in Austin).  This fantastic jersey is Mark Ingram’s number, 22.  Ingram was the 75th winner of the Heisman Trophy and the first winner ever from the University of Alabama.  I watched his acceptance speech in Mighty Fine Burgers in Austin, TX and yes, I cried.  The rest of the restaurant was mad–in their burnt orange.

No offense to any of my UT fan friends (Mr. Fancy Pants and I actually are Texas fans, we are from Texas you know–except when they play Alabama), but it was a great year to be an Alabama fan.  And I’m so happy to have this jersey to commemorate it!  Roll Tide Roll!

4.  Wood carving of our initials inspired by our “save the dates”

Mr. and Mrs. Fancy Pants' Save the Dates

One of my favorite things about Mr. Fancy Pants and my wedding was our Save the Dates.  Our dear friend, Beverly Hayman-Polen (a fellow graphic design student at Mississippi State with Mr. Fancy Pants) designed our lovely Save the Dates for us. Bev now lives in Jackson, MS with her husband Neil and is the Artistic Director for Libby Story & Company. She is amazingly talented and creative and I love what she came up with for us.  As you can tell from the picture, she drew a tree on right side of the card with a heart including our initials.  Hanging from the branch was a little brown bag that held two cards, one with the wedding date information, the other with the hotel information.  We got so many compliments on these and with good reason–just look at how amazing they are!!!  Check out Bev’s website!

Cards that fit inside the bag on our Save the Dates

Save the Dates designed by Beverly Hayman-Polen

What makes these even more special to Mr. Fancy Pants and I is a gift that was given to us by Dr. Randy Brown.  Dr. B is Mr. Fancy Pant’s best friend Ryan’s dad. Mr. Fancy Pants and Ryan grew up together and were pretty much inseparable for the majority of their adolescent life.   Some of my best memories are with those two kiddos.  William and Ryan were Eagle Scouts together, and Dr. B was Troop 16’s leader (not sure the “official name” though I probably should know).  Dr. B and his wife are very special people to Mr. Fancy Pants and I and also to Mr. Fancy Pants’s whole family.  They through a party for us and some of our friends before we got married and that night Dr. B gave us this wood carving that he did for us–inspired by our Save the Dates.

Wood carving by Dr. B inspired by our Save the Dates

Detail of the intricate wood carving

This beautiful piece of art now hangs in our home.  It is a constant reminder of our engagement, wedding, and of a very special man.  I know I’ve written about this before, but it doesn’t get more personal or special than a gift that comes from the heart. Dr. B’s wood working is incredible and we’re honored to have such a personal piece made by him to keep forever!

The back of Dr. B's wood carving-a sweet note to us.

3.  Acapulco dishes

Acapulco dish collection

I know I’ve already posted once about these dishes (to refresh your memory, click here), however, these are some of my favorite things.  My mother, grandmother, and I all share a collection of this lovely china made by Villeroy & Boch.  When Mr. Fancy Pants and I got married, I told him that I wasn’t going to be those women who has 16 sets of dishes.  Sadly, I am well on my way.  Entertaining people in our home has quickly become one of my favorite things to do, and I can honestly say that I utilize all of the dishes and serving pieces that we got for wedding gifts (not because they’re needed when entertaining, but because I’m determined to prove to Mr. Fancy Pants that they aren’t a waste of space!)

My Acapulco collection, however, are and will always be my favorite pieces.  They’re unique and colorful and I love my family’s history with them.  They might fall into that category of “what’s beautiful to one is dreadful to another”, but to my Mom, my Mimi, and I, they’re perfectly lovely.

Acapulco bowls & salad plates

2. Family pictures

Wall of Family Photos (Bryants, Sarretts, Woods, Marshes, Brabhams)

I apologize for the quality of these pictures–I’m no photographer and it’s hard to photograph photographs without getting a flash on the glass.  I failed.  Ha!

This has been one of my favorite projects that I’ve worked on since Mr. Fancy Pants and I got married.  My mom had done this in my childhood home and I thought I’d incorporate it into our home as well.  I have collected pictures from William’s and my families, printed them all in black and white, and hung them all together on our guest room wall.  I love the reminder of where we came from and some of the faces on the wall are people that Mr. Fancy Pants and I miss everyday–it’s nice to have a reminder.  I also love the obvious joining of our two families through these old photographs.  Believe it or not, these have been a huge conversation piece for us.  I thought that they’d be generally overlooked by our friends, as most don’t care to hear stories of other people’s families, but they’ve been the topic of conversation during several parties we’ve had here at the apartment.  It’s funny to hear the comments people make–they’re all generally the same which we find comical.  The first is always about the uncanny resemblance that William has to his maternal grandfather (pictured with his wife, bottom row in the middle).  My other favorite comment was by one of my girl friends.  She said, “Who is this handsome man?”.  It was a picture of my mom’s father who I never met.  And yes, he was handsome–my mom looks just like him!

Detail shot of the left side of the wall

Detail shot of the right side of the wall

I love this idea–everyone has these old pictures of their family stuck in drawers and hidden in rooms where people never go–why not put them where people can see them?  I’d like to think that Mr. Fancy Pants and my family members would be honored to be making their debut in our home!

1.  Avey Tare

Meet Mr. Avey Tare

And finally, my #1 favorite thing…granted he’s not really a thing but he’s still my favorite and it’s my list of favorite things so here he is!  The kittiest of kitties…Avey Tare!

He’s pretty much the most handsome cat ever.  Avey has more personality than we know what to do with.  He’s nice to most people…with the exception of Mr. Fancy Pants’ brother Stephen, my dad, our friend Micah, and a few others.  We have no explanation to his reasoning as it appears his least favorite people are some of our favorites.  He just has bad taste apparently.  He loves ice cream, treats, hair rubber bands, and laying on his back with his paws and legs spread out for long periods of time.  We got him in November of 2006 and he lived with Mr. Fancy Pants in Starkville, MS during college.  It was here that he met two of his favorite people in the world, Landon and Julia.  Landon taught him some pretty cool tricks which makes him even more special.  While he lived with William and Landon, he had a tendency to tinkle on things: beds, couches, chairs, etc.  It was a bad time in the lives of all involved.  We think it was his equivalent of bed wetting.  Also, when he had surgery and became a little less of a man, if you know what I mean, he got an infection which also lead to some really nasty things.  All of this earned him the nick name of Mr. Avey Bottom.  Luckily after moving to Austin he’s turned a new leaf and is back to his crazy steller self minus the peeing on things that aren’t his litter box.  Basically he’s the coolest ever.  If you’ve never met him, well you’re missing out.

This is what Mr. Fancy Pants and I call "airing it out". He does this a lot. He's not what you would call a shy being.

Avey getting ready for work. He's not good at his job. He never brings home money--if he's making it, we're not sure what he does with it because he never pays rent.

Avey at Halloween. He was a jester. He loved his costume.

Avey at Christmas with his festive holiday collar.

I’ll leave you with this last image.  I hope you enjoyed my favorite things!

Here are my two favorite boys.

Mr. Fancy Pants and Avey Tare at the park. Yes, the cat is on a least. He needs his exercise.

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In order to build up the suspense of the top 5 of my favorite things…I’m going to have to make you wait another day to find out what they are.  (and I am still waiting on one of the items to arrive in the mail from my parent’s house in Texarkana, TX. Ha!)

This is the Tasha McKelvey coffee mug that I want to purchase. I love the speckled color of the pottery that it retained after it was fired.

Mixture of vases by Tasha McKelvey

In the  meantime, I have been wanting to post about the amazing work of Tasha McKelvey.  I have always loved pottery and ceramics.  Funny now that I am typing this I am realizing that I would probably really love to take a pottery class and the thought has never crossed my mind.  Regardless, ceramic bowls, plates, vases, etc. are just one of the many things I like to accumulate.  I use the word accumulate in the nicest sense–mainly considering I don’t like the word collect.  Not sure why, it just reminds me of that show on TLC called ‘Hoarders’. Living in piles and piles of unorganized stuff.  I think I am now realizing one of my worst nightmares. Frightening.

I ran across Tasha’s work on Flickr a while ago and to be honest have not yet purchased anything from her.  The reason?  I cannot decide what I want!  I have it narrowed down to about four different items but cannot make up my mind.  It’s all fabulous.

Small bowls with birds on the rim by Tasha McKelvey

I think what I like about pottery is that it is all so unique and the majority of it is handmade.  You know someone’s hands worked to create the piece.  There is something about giving someone a gift that is one of a kind that I love.  I like to think it feels more personal to the receiver of the gift as well.  What me to it the most is looking through the items that she has made, which can all be customized by material, color, style, etc., is I would consider purchasing a handmade piece for so many different people in my life.  Looking through the pictures of her work I spot things my mom would enjoy, my grandmother, mother-in-law, best friend, myself, sister-in-law, and I could keep going on and on.  As an artist, what a testament to the diversity and attractiveness of your work when it appeals to so many different audiences.

To quote the artist, this is what Tasha has to say on her website:

“My clay work is intended to be useful – this is art that is meant to be touched. In the past everything we used in the home was made by hand. Today our homes are filled with stuff stamped out by machines. When we seek out handmade art we make our surroundings a little more human.”

What an amazing sentiment.  Besides my unhealthy love for anything that can be bought at Anthropologie, which while beautiful is anything but unique or one-of-a-kind, I do try and fill mine and Mr. Fancy Pant’s house with art and objects that mean something.  One thing I have learned about myself since I have started out on my own with my own money is that I hate buying something just to buy it.  I love the search to find something that means something to me or the artist that made it.  I don’t think there is a more perfect way to decorate a home than with things that make our surroundings “a little more human”.  Props to Tasha for being an inspiration to a girl who loves art, is surrounded by art, married an artist, yet has little artistic ability.  I appreciate anyone who makes me feel a little more “unique” even if it is through something as small as my one-of-a-kind coffee mug.  I can’t wait to make my first purchase!

Yellow flowered vase by Tasha McKelvey

Set of red bowls with birds and nests on the rim

Good day!  Continuing on my count down of my favorite things, I have five more to share today.  If you’re reading, let me know what your favorite things are!  (plus, comments on my blog pretty much make my day!)

10. Sewing Box

My mother is an excellent seamstress.  She claims that she’s “out of practice” but she can sew on a button better than anyone I know (though she knows I’m better than her when it comes to making button holes on the sewing machine–her one weakness!)  For as long as I can remember, she’s kept her sewing materials in a sewing box that I can only describe as “accordion like”.  She and my dad gave me my own sewing machine as a graduation gift from college along with a cute black and white polka dotted sewing box which proceeded to literally fall apart in about two months time.  I had been on the prowl for a new sewing box for a while when I decided to check out ebay to see if I could find something similar to the amazing box my mom had always had.

Behold.  My Christmas present this past year.

Vintage sewing box

This photo shows you how the box opens. It fans out and sits about 4 feet long when it's fully opened.

You’d be amazed what all I can fit in this thing.  Granted sewing accessories typically aren’t too big, but I have all of my little tools and materials stuck inside. And I love that instead of it being one big box or bag that I have to dig through, there are several different compartments to hold everything oh so neatly.   It’s like my organizational obsession was channelled into the design of a wooden box. Genius.

9. Craspedia decorations

Craspedia in a glass vase

I saw these in a vase in the window of Anthropologie several months ago and fell in love.  First of all, yellow is my favorite color and I just thought they were great.  I took a picture of them because I had no idea what in the world they were.  I went to my trusty source of all things floral (aka my friend Julia) and just like I knew she would, she knew exactly what they were just from the picture.  Crazy impressive. Turns out that you can only buy them during certain months of the year–big bummer.  So I found this website that I thought were pretty reasonably priced as the only place I could find them in Austin was at Central Market for $2.75 per stem. Ridiculous.

I found the wonderful people of Nettleton Hollow in Brooklyn, NY (great to work with by the way) who sell 20-30 stems for $16.50.  Now that’s more like it!  Now I have these all over our apartment!  The great thing about these though is you can buy them still alive and you have to dry them yourself–something I have no idea how to do–because when they dry they loose they’re rich yellow color.  These have already been dried in a special way that makes them keep their color and they’ll last for a year or two!

Craspedia in a vase from Anthropologie--a gift from my dear friend Tiffany.

For some reason these just seem so cheery to me.  Several of my friends have seen these and ordered their own from Nettleton Hollow and each of them have done the most unique things with them.  Word to the wise however, cats like to play with the balls on the ends of the stems.  Not sure if they’re poisonous–our cat Avey is still alive and well so hopefully we’re in the clear!

8. Teddy

The first love of my life.

Ok, judge me if you will people, but yes one of my favorite things is my Teddy from when I was a little girl.  I still have a serious attachment to this thing.  I think if we were all honest with ourselves each of us would know there was a stuffed animal, doll, toy, etc. stashed away at our parents home or in the attic somewhere that once held your heart.  Don’t be ashamed.  Mine lives in my nightstand!  I will say, I no longer sleep with him so don’t be too quick to judge me.  My mom’s little sister Becky gave me this Teddy bear right after I was born.  It was my favorite thing in the world growing up.  He used to have a blue bow or necktie or something of the sort around his neck but that is long gone (and yes, it was blue. The doctors told my parents that I was a boy).

Once my dad took me to Boston with him for a medical convention of some sort and Teddy got lost in the sheets at the hotel.  We came back to the room after they’d cleaned it and Teddy was gone.  After what I’m sure was a royal fit pitched by yours truly we went down to the laundry room of the hotel to look for him.  I have never seen so many sheets in my life. He smelled like stinky hotel detergent for at least a year.  (Mr. Fancy Pants and I have a bet going as to how many people will be convinced I’m weird and never read the blog again after Teddy’s debut.  Any takers?)

7. Cowboy boots

True Texan. My boots.

Every true Texan has to have  a good pair of cowboy (or cowgirl) boots right?  I will proudly say that yes, I am one of those people that is probably a little too proud of my home state. Honestly though, who wouldn’t love a place where people dress the way they do here?  You just have to laugh at it and appreciate the cowboys for who they are.  And I will sadly say, you don’t see as many of them as you’d expect to.  I wish I had the guts to dress that way, though I don’t think boots and Wranglers count as “business formal” attire for work.  Ha!

Thus, number 7 on my list is my trusty pair of boots.  These my dad bought me in high school.  They’re a little more ‘cutesy’ with their teal threading, and definitely not as broken in as I’d like, but they suffice considering I cannot find my favorite pair of all time.  That’s another story that’s too sad to discuss.

Scratch that.  I do love my boots, but what I REALLY love is my…

HOUSE SLIPPER COWBOY BOOTS!

Who wouldn't want cowboy boot house slippers?

Ha!  My mom gave Mr. Fancy Pants and I matching ‘his & hers’ cowboy boot house slippers for Christmas.  I am not kidding you when I say this is all William wanted from my parents for Christmas.  Not sure what his fascination with these was but he HAD to have them.  My mom bought two different sizes to make sure that when he opened them we’d have the right size because she said after the build up she just couldn’t bear them not fitting.  We might have told him they were backordered though just to mess with him…it was pretty funny.  Mr. Fancy Pants and his shoes…

Mr. and Mrs. Fancy Pants with our boot slippers

6. Berkley illustrations

Berkley Print collection

I know that I have already posted about our Berkley illustrations, however I can honestly say that these are some of my favorite things that Mr. Fancy Pants and I have purchased together since we have been married.  I think if you know both of us it is pretty clear that we typically don’t share the same taste in a lot of things, art included.  I attribute that to a lot of things: his love for design, my lack of knowledge about design, his love for any color that would belong in a box of neon Crayola markers, my dislike for those colors and love for the box of bold Crayola markers, his strange fascination with triangles, wolves, Native American inspired artwork, and the like, my thinking wolves are weird…I could keep going for days.

These prints however, are loved by both of us.  He loves the humor in the characters.  I love the sophistication and color palette.  I imagine few piece of artwork we own in our lifetime will ever hold as much as excitement as the anticipation of these arriving on our doorstep.  The pictures don’t do them justice. Right now they hang above our bed but I’d love to have them in a dining room one day with some modern dining room furniture.  Can’t wait.  I would encourage you to check out these talented artist’s work.  They are prints of the originals, however I cannot describe to you how detailed and beautiful these are up close.  So much so that I was hesitant to frame them because while it shows them off, it almost takes away from them.  Seriously, check out their work.

Click here to go to their Etsy shop:

Up close and personal of some of my favorites: owl, cheetah, panda, elephant

View from the side

I watched The Sound of Music the other night while Mr. Fancy Pants was out galavanting around during SxSW here in Austin.  Since then, the “Favorite Things” song has been stuck in my head!  Then, a day or two later I thought…what a great blogging topic…A few of my favorite things!  I am a firm believer that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and I am an organized person so you may not realize it at first but I hate throwing things away.  And as horrible as it is, I love my “things”.  I know becoming attached to “stuff” isn’t necessarily a good thing but no worry friends, I’ve got it under control!  Ha! So as strange as some of these may seem…here are 15 of my favorite things in no particular order…(this will be three different posts.  As not to bore you too much with each one.)

15. Kitchen Aid mixer

Sunshine Yellow Kitchen Aid Mixer

If I had been told when we were getting married, “You can pick only one wedding gift, what will it be?”  My answer would’ve easily been, “A SUNSHINE YELLOW KITCHEN AID MIXER!” (and yes, I would’ve answered an a voice that justifies the all caps).  Hershey and Denise, dear friends of my parents’ from medical school, are the precious couple who gave us this amazing gift.  You can argue with me all day long but I am convinced that cooking is more fun for me because of this mixer.  It is my favorite “kitchen gadget”.  I just love the design of these.  I would love it if Kitchen Aid would design a line of kitchen appliances inspired by vintage styles.  I’d be first in line to buy Sunshine Yellow companions for my mixer.

Up close and personal with the Kitchen Aid mixer

14. Penguin Classics Cloth-bound books

 

Penguin Classics Cloth-bound books

My reading obsession is no surprise by this point and time.  Someone told me the other day that will all of the reading that I do I should invest in a Kindle. My dad, who is also an avid reader, got one from us for Christmas, however after giving this purchase a lot of careful consideration I have decided that I will not invest in one for myself.  I like owning the actual books too much.  As silly as it sounds, I like the look of them sitting on my shelves asking to be read and the feeling of turning the pages when I’m reading in bed at night.  I’ll be that girl (I’m SURE joined by my friend April) if ever physical books are banned–you may be rolling your eyes and saying I’ve been reading too many progressive/futuristic stories, however you never know what people are going to come up with next–that will buy an old home that was used for the Underground Railroad or something and start stashing books away down there.  I’ll never give up my books!

My love for these cloth-bound Penguin Classics began a few months ago, a bit behind the curve may I add.  These have apparently been available for a while and sadly I knew nothing about them until they were for sale at Anthropologie. I now have all but three of the original set (two of the ones I am missing were never for sale in the US and I am scouring ebay to get my hands on a copy) and I’m not ahead of the game for the newly released second set!  I had an alert set up on Amazon to let me know if any more of these were published.  Thank you Amazon for coming through for me.

Seriously though, how beautiful are these?

Collection one of the cloth-bound Penguin Classics

Collection #1 titles:

Madame Bovary, Great Expectations, Wuthering Heights, Sense and Sensibility, Cranford, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Pride and Prejudice, Crime and Punishment, Jane Eyre, and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Collection number two of the cloth-bound Penguin Classics

Collection #2 titles:

The Hound of the Baskervilles, Oliver Twist, Emma, The Odyssey, The Woman in White, Treasure Island, The Sonnets and A Lover’s Complaint, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Little Women, and Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass.

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

13. Pigeon Toe Ceramics pharmacy bottle vase

Pigeon Toe Ceramic Pharmacy Ceramic vase

The talented Lisa Jones of Pigeon Toe Ceramics makes some of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.  I have a love for anything that is the color white, traditional with a twist of modern, inventive, and/or one of a kind which is exactly how I would sum up her work.  I would own everything she creates if I could!  For you fellow Austin residents, Lisa’s work is sold here in town at one of my favorite places, Spartan.  This particular piece is part of the “raw” collection featured by Pigeon Toe. It normally sits on the shelves in Mr. Fancy Pants and my apartment but for photography’s sake it’s sitting atop our record player.  I do love how the raw, white ceramic contrasts with pretty much whatever I sit it in front of making it an eye-catching piece!

Detail shot of the pharmacy cast bottle

12. Frank print

Frank Print--design by The Decoder Ring

“If you ask me, a hot dog at the ball park is better than a steak at the Ritz.”

–Humphrey Bogart

Considering I have already posted about mine and Mr. Fancy Pant’s love, and by love I mean unhealthy obsession, with Frank here in Austin, it should be no surprise that we now have some of the artwork from the restaurant in our apartment! I’m pretty sure that I shared about the guys over at The Decoder Ring and the amazing artwork that they created that, in my opinion, completely makes the atmosphere and character of the place what it is.  That said, during one of the 300 times that we have eaten there, I asked Mr. Fancy Pants if he thought we might be able to get a print of one of the posters for our apartment.  It was almost too good to be true if you ask me.  One of the awesome guys at The Decoder Ring hooked us up and this print now proudly hangs right in the entry way of our apartment.  I love that it is the first thing that you see when you come in.  Sadly, there is not a lot of space in the hallway and the lighting doesn’t do it justice, but one day this print will have a prime spot in the first house we own.  Until then we’ll entice our friends to come over with the allure of a hot dog.

11. Electra Amsterdam

My Electra Amsterdam with Mr. Fancy Pants in the background

What a beauty.  The bike…not Mr. Fancy Pants.  Just kidding.  We like to refer to her as my “couch on wheels”.  This cruiser is the most comfortable bike I’ve ever owned.  Granted, there is not much competition in that category as I’ve only owned two bicycles in my entire life.  Frankly, no pun towards the above mentioned hot dogs, I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until late in my childhood. I won’t disclose my actual age as it’s quite embarrassing but I will say that I learned before the age of 12 (a few months before…ha) I blame the whole anti-bike era of my life to a combination of being an only child with no one to ride with, Safety Camp at St. James Episcopal School where I was the ONLY child that still had training wheels (mortifying), and one really bad experience that I am sure my mind through the years has made a whole lot worse than it actually was.  All I remember is being so hot and wanting to go inside, Mom yelling that I wasn’t going inside until I could ride by myself, really bad bike wreck that ended in a HUGE, Texas size pile of fire ants, and all I wanted was a dang popsicle.  Love you Mom, I’m sure you were a great teacher, but for once in my life, I was not a good student.

Needless to say, I’m I don’t have skillz on a bike so this cruiser is just right for me. These pictures are from one of my favorite days that Mr. Fancy Pants and I have had since we’ve been married.  We put the money down for this bike last summer when I was still unemployed.  We spent a good four weeks of the summer peddling around Hyde Park in Austin every afternoon.  The pics are from the day she came in and we picked her up and the first time I had been on a bike in a LONG time.  Good times.  Can’t wait to ride her around this summer–boy can she turn some heads!

Seafoam Electra Amsterdam

At the bike shop getting ready for me to take her home!

Hello blogging world!  How I have missed working on my posts.  I think I can be qualified as one of the world worst bloggers on account of my three month hiatus. That said, I have returned to my blog with a new attitude towards it.  Thanks to my father as I blame him for my OCD personality (though he adamantly denies it, he’s far worse than I) which is what I attribute my failing blogging efforts to! Towards the end of last year, it had become overwhelming and strangely intimidating for me to try and post everyday which is what I felt that I needed to do to keep up. That’s the same reason that I can never stick with a diet plan or New Years resolution–it just overwhelms me somehow.  However, I find that if I go into things like this with the right mindset it tends to turn out a little better.  So I am pressing forward with my blog excited to share recipes, stories, things that I love, etc. as often as I can while making sure I am still enjoying it.

Along with my return as Mrs. Fancy Pantz, I am moving forward with four other things in my life that will require an unusual amount of dedication and commitment from me–whether or not I’m willing or ready to put it forward.  I am moving into a new position at work starting April 5, starting P90x on Monday to try and get myself ready for the summer, starting a Kaplan class to prepare for the GMAT for graduate school, and a New Years resolution that I didn’t commit to until March! Ha!  The change of pace at work should be good, I’m dreading P90x but it needs to happen, and lets face it, no one wants to study and work full time, so I’ll fill everyone in on my New Years resolution because it’s the most exciting of the four!

I love to read.  It’s a favorite hobby of mine…probably my favorite.  I’ve never had an organized or targeted approach to reading but that’s changing my friends.  I have lists on napkins and scraps of paper in drawers all over the place with lists of books that I want to read.  That said, my lists and the number of books that I own that I haven’t delved into yet far out number the ones that I have.  The majority of what makes up my lists are classics that I either haven’t read and am definitely missing out because of it, or I was forced to read in high school or some college lit class and never fully appreciated it.  A few weeks ago, I came across Random House Publishing’s list of The Top 100 Novels of All Time.  Brilliance.

Click here to view the list.

I will be first working from the “Reader’s List” and when I complete that one I’ll move to the “Board’s List”.  I’m excited to have a targeted approach to my reading and even more pumped that I’ll someday have read ALL of these timeless pieces of literature.  I’m committing to read 50 this year but I’m hoping that I’ll finish more than that.  The first one I read was #53 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

I have my wonderful friend April to thank for this suggestion!  I really enjoyed this read.  The story is about a woman named Offred who is a handmaid (essentially a modern day concubine) in the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian and theocratic state that has replaced the United States of America. Because of dangerously low reproduction rates, handmaids are assigned to bear children for elite couples that have trouble conceiving.  The story is a very progressive representation of world in which men control women’s bodies–it is interesting to read this interpretation so clearly weighted on the side of women when it wasn’t too many years ago that women feared this type of society deriving.  I honestly wouldn’t consider myself too much of a feminist though it’s an interesting thought to ponder…

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

My next read is #2 on the list The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.  Honestly this one has been a little tough to get into, however, I am pushing through!  Resisting the urge to become too long winded, I am going to end my post here. I’ll be posting again soon though. Happy Sunday!