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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!