Hello. It’s been a while. I’d kind of made a resolution to be a better blogger this year, but given that it’s well into the first week of February and I’m posting for the first time this year, I think you can deduce that I’m no good at keeping resolutions (which is why I usually don’t bother even making any). Yeah, and I just worked for a few hours on this post and my browsers all crashed before I could submit, and this is version 2 of this post. The fates of the blogosphere are conspiring against me! Anyway, a lot has happened since my last post (mostly good, some bad). I’ve been holding off posting little randoms along the way (I’ve thought of you, I have!), but in my last post, I had promised to devote this post to all the great goodies I’ve received from all the great folks of the blog/world. And I am kind of lazy, so it took me a while to upload/edit pics of everything…But, finally, here it is!



First-up: this gnomie fella was a birthday gift handmade by my sweetest, most favorite sister, Lizzie. She claims she’s not crafty, but really, she is so crafty! I love that the gnome is cuddling a monkey. Perfect!


Lovelies from the Fall: Back in November, I partook of the Craft Swap over at Purple Pink and Orange (I sent this to Sima). I was lucky to get this great stash of pretty handmades from Stephanie of TruDesign. The collage is hanging in our living room, the marble magnets are on our fridge, and often, the choker and the earrings are on me. Thanks, Stephanie!



And sweet Hope (she has an affinity for gnomes like I do) sent me this great stash of gnome-lovin notecards and stationery just because! Fab!


Fresh flowers from December: Check out these lovely bouquets sent to cheer up a

gnome. The lovely lilies on the left are from Dawn, and the pretty English garden bouquet is from my in-laws. The reason for the cheering: back in early December, we had this happen again. It was a rough time, and the devastation (everything looked right at the first ultrasound) of it was much more immediate this time than the first time through. I muddled through ok after a few days of complete and utter pity-party-don’t-do-anything-but-cry. The holiday season for The Walrus and for our families kept me from completely wallowing in it, and I thought I’d had the funks beat (keep crazy-busy! forget your woes!), but I guess all I really did was just postponed them. Part of the reason why I haven’t blogged at all this year. Not to fret, we’re heading to fertility counseling on Valentine’s Day (so flipping romantic, right?), and a lot of other good things along the way have made the funks go away for now.


Christmas: Despite the funks, Christmas was great. Amy & Ron gave us this very cool set of mugs (which I think look like hearts/beans in a very cute way) made by their friend Tammy (who we’ve gotten to know through Amy).JustJenn sent me the coolest little bowl bearing a sleeping gnome called Nestor (and he bore a stack of yummy Swiss chocolates!), and in a Secret Santa Swap I took part in, Dawn played the part of my Secret Santa and sent me a treasure trove of well-picked indie goodies (all with their own story) from NYC and a kicking sari totebag handmade by Ms. Dawn herself.


(I am so styling at the apartment complex mailbox with my sweet sari tote and my crazy black lab.)


Birthday fun: This year I turned 31. Despite the funks and stuff, this was the first time in several years I did not get all depressed about my upcoming birthday and getting older. Which is nice. It’s about time I grew up. It was a really outstanding birthday! Monkey went around telling everyone that he’d just given me a laser level for my birthday (he did get me one; I had asked for it!), but he also got me a new iPod to replace my old one (holds no charge, cannot replace its battery) from a few years back and a schmancy recumbent exercise bike (I like to read and leisurely exercise at the same time–you already know I’m lazy). The best gift, though! We bought a new house. Seriously, our agent extraordinaire, George, came over on my birthday and helped us craft up a strong offer. And that evening, Amy & Ron came over with decadent desserts from The Fresh Market in tow. We’re so lucky we’ve made such great friends here in SC! I’m not posting everything my family sent me here (it’d make this post bigger than it needs to be!), but here are a few, plus the goodies sent to me from bloggy friends:


Handmade card from my ex-co-worker pal, Melissa, iPod from Monkey, spa set from Mom & Dad



Bamboo cutting board, veggie peeler, one-pot cookbook, and felted flower pin from Jes. Cinnabar butterfly choker from Kathleen.


Lizzie sent me a stack of great books I’ve been wanting, and Amy & Ron gave me great crafting goodies, Lab notecards and marble magnets, a cermaic pendant made by a local artist, and Amy handmade a sweet pug card (starring Lola & Zoe) and a handknit eyeglass cozy.


JustJenn sent a handmade zipper pouch in one of my fave color combos (brown + turquoise + light blue), cherry blossom lotion, a Hello Kitty mini storage doodad, and my very own Disney name tag with MY name on it! Leslie sent me a gorgeous stash of new kitchen towels (hello, does it get any cuter than gingham plus ric-rac?) along with a fab cupcake cookbook and a deer-fun pencil tin. Kathleen sent along with the choker a stash of her great notecards from her Liquid Sky shop, as well as yummy Lotus tea, chocos for me, and chewies for Casey.


Thanks, everyone!!


Red & Pink Swap: I received this great stash of goodness from Sonia in Portugal for February’s Red & Pink Coloriffic Swap-O-Rama:

I’ve sent this to my secret swap buddy (who also lives in Portugal but is not Sonia):

And finally, some house stuff: As I mentioned before, we finally bought a house down here in SC (our house in Chicago finally closed after some buyer-financing-hiccups…once road construction completed in November, the house had a contract on it in 2 weeks!)! We are so glad we got to purchase this house with George’s help (the first 3 weeks of January were spent, House Hunters-style, skulking about houses all over town. We fell in love with a house, were about to go back for a second viewing the following day, and the house done and sold itself in the meantime to some buyers in between–how House Hunters is that?!). Originally back in the fall, before we started shopping houses again with George, we were going to buy the FSBO house, but the owners got weird and wouldn’t allow for us to get an inspection, so we bowed out of the deal. The house we decided on actually looks quite a bit like the FSBO house, but it’s not downtown near the trendy boutique/restaurant row (it’s on the state park Monkey uses for running and biking), and it’s not a 50+-year-old charmer but a new construction number. We’ve been nuts-busy running all over town to meet up with the builder’s suppliers to select our finishes. At first, it sounded super fun to pick out finishes, but we’ve gone over-allowance on every single thing. The whole thing is getting a bit overwhelming, but all our selections are in. Hoping we can get to closing without too many hitches along the way! I think I may be into blogging more sharing bits and pieces of what we’re choosing!


First pic fun: this is not our dining room, but the builder allowed for one paint color change for the dining room for free (otherwise, each paint color change costs $300-$600 per room, nuts! we’re going to paint the other rooms ourselves!). Anyway, I played with some online tools to see what might work. Our future dining room has wainscoting/chair rail in white.



We settled on this paint. It’s called Bathe Blue. Our dining room furniture is dark choco brown like these (they were a great thrift find: solid Lane table and chairs from the early 60s ($200 whole set! from Lamb’s Farm) + a Lane buffet from 1963 my mom scooped up at a separate yard sale for $25). The blue looks a bit overwhelming in this photo, so I hope it calms down with the white wainscoting.


Other colors we were entertaining:

We’re going the mocha route if the Bathe Blue doesn’t work out. The wainscoting in this room is higher than ours will be, but it give a good idea of how the colors would work. Our table looks similar to this one.


I really like the color of this one (called Seaglass), and I have no idea why I forgot about it when it came time to give the paint color specs to the builder. Oh well.


This is the color that is going throughout the rest of the house:

It’s called Netsuke.


Ok, I hope I still have a few readers after all this time. Yep, I’m going to be a better blogger, promise! Just you wait and see!


I shall leave you today with this image, because this is what Monkey and I do to our poor Casey. She looks sad, but she actually enjoys the attention.