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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bailey Christopher- In Memory December 1998-December 2011

Bailey Christoper
      I adopted Bailey in January 1999, when he was one year old.  I was going through a very rough patch personally and I really wanted some company.  He was my first dog and I had NO IDEA what I was doing.  He was a terror.  He didn't listen.  He bit.  He had so many accidents in the house.  It took me a few years to get things under control, but just barely;) 
      Bailey loved being around people and in the past few years he has been a constant shadow for Scott and I.  He would follow me up and down the stairs as I did chores-even when I would tell him I would be right back.  He would sit on the bathmat as I took a shower in the morning.  He "supervised" all of Scott's projects-making sure everything was under control.  He slept in our bed-oftentimes between us like the middle line in a "H."  We often commented on how it was odd that such a small dog could take up so much room in a king sized bed.  He would sit on the couch with us.  He would yodel when he wanted fed-and we would respond like the well trained pet parents we are.  He didn't play fetch-he did wear argyle sweaters.  He was much more like a cat.
      I loved him so very much and in the last 4 years he came to fill a huge roll in Scott's life too.  We joke that if I hadn't learned patience and tolerance from grumpy Bailey that I might never have fallen in love with cranky Scott. Scott even used Bailey to propose to me, in a small dog tuxedo-one of my favorite memories.    Scott and he were so much alike.    They would cuddle on the couch-and Bailey quickly trained Scott to do his bidding.  It took Scott a couple of years to realize that he was catering to the shih tzu.
      Bailey and Molly were part of our engagement photos.  We obviously love our dogs and consider them part of the family.  When Bailey passed away Sunday morning it was like losing a family member-a child almost.  It's a huge hole and the house seems very lonely and sad.  I know it will get easier...and this pain pails in comparison to the YEARS of joy that Bailey gave me and Scott too.  It was worth it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sometimes a bigger heart ISN'T better

Bailey just turned 13.  For a dog his size this is senior status but not the end of the road.  He has plenty of life in him but some of his internal systems are starting to need support.  He has kidney problems and has to eat special-CRAY EXPENSIVE- food.  He goes to the vet every 6 months, sometimes more.  One issue is his heart.  He has a murmur now and we did an exray a year and a half ago to get a baseline.    I have a list of issues to "watch" for that could show a progression.  One is coughing.  Last night we had ALLOT of coughing.  It was scary and upsetting and landed us both at the vet early this morning.  Another xray showed his heart had grown and was possible pressing on his trachea-causing the coughing.  The dr said this was considered slow progression and put him on some new meds.  Basically he now gets blood pressure medicine.  That's how he rolls.  The vet gave me a short list of side effects to watch for with the new meds and one made me laugh out loud-DEPRESSION.  A 13 yr old shih tzu comes across as "depressed" on his best days.  I brainstormed with a friend on signs to watch for.  Feel free to comment and share more:
1.  If Bailey starts wearing black (granted I control his wardrobe)
2.  If he stops contacting his canine cohorts
3.  Unusual piercings
4.  He stops talking
5.  Starts pawing morose poems...a shih tzu manifesto if you will
6.  If I come home and he is watching that awful ASPCA commercial over and over

In all seriousness-he will be fine.   I knew he would likely need these meds eventually.  He is too grumpy to be done yet;)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Woohoo-now that Thanksgiving time is behind us we can all officially gear up toward Christmas!!!  This is my first Married Christmas and I am pretty excited.  Scott is still warming up to all my festive-ness, but I think I am gaining ground.  For example I think I have him almost convinced to take the dogs to see Santa this weekend.  We'll see:)

I have some fun holiday ideas that I have bookmarked over the year.  I wanted to share with you, my loyal reader (s.)  Maybe these will spark some ideas for you and your loved ones!!

1.  Gift Certificate for a custom pet painting.  You might recall I had a small Bailey oil painting done, which I love.  This is a fun idea (and would allow me to get Molly painted too!)
A Pooch Portrait.
2. I love this etsy shop.  They do these cool prints of states, including all the cities.  Pic below.  Great gift for someone who like b/w prints or is far from home. 
Great State Print

3.  I love navy and white.  LOVE!!!  This little clutch was on my list this summer and I never got around to ordering it.  I think its nice to be reminded that warm weather will come back.
 4. I love monogrammed anything-and I really like these fun monogrammed necklaces.  I think it would be sweet to have a "C, S and P."  Love how delicate they are.
Monogrammed Necklace
5.  I collect pigs.  In secret-and VERY selectively.  I love this with a passion.  I shared with Scott-I don't think he was phased by my pig speaker lust!!!
Porcelain Pig Ipod Speaker

6.  New monogrammed stationary or market tote, or beach bag for that matter.  I am sad that all my favorite things have my old initials. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The First 100 Days

As of today, Scott and I have been married 100 days.  I know it's slightly random to count the days-but I mentioned to Scott that I wished I had noted our 1,000 days together mark and since I forgot to pay attention he said I could pay attention to our first 100 days.  I think most do a state of the state after 100 days.  Here goes:
1.  We have finished 90% of our upstairs home remodel.  We are down to little things like switch plates.
2.  Scott moved his furniture from the garage into our new house-now every room has something in it!!
3.  We completely skipped the month of September it seems.  Really-where did it go?
4.  We have been to Bed Bath and Beyond approximately 10 times.  Each time Scott hates it more.
5.  All thank you notes are finished, sent and hopefully received.
6.  We bought ourselves a wedding gift-a hot tub.  More on that later
7.  We attended 2 UT football games, or shall I say tailgates.  The team lost both games-they do that allot this year.
8.  We moved upstairs in the new house.
9.  We introduced our parents and family to one another.
10. We cemented the fact that we both dislike disorganization and clutter.  However we define what this means differently. 
11.  We spent 5 nights apart-while I traveled for work to SF and NY.
12.  We realized that renovating a house is stressful and hard.  It has caused more arguments that we are used too. 
13.  I proved that you can use your china everyday if you simply decide to do so.  Scott is convinced our china bowls are changing shape in the dishwasher.  I am not certain I disagree:)
14. We bought a new washer-which I am so excited about!!!  Scott hints at the fact that I "broke" the old one on purpose.  All I can say-I am happy the old one is broken.
15.  Being married "feels" different.  Not sure I can quantify why-but it does.  We naturally split tasks and chores.  It is like having a teammate that you can count on and that you really enjoy spending time with. 

So far so good!!  Outlook is better than most after a mere 100 days-yep i am talking to you politicians!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Shih Tzu Art-Bailey in Oil

OK-if you already think I am a crazy dog lady I would encourage you to stop reading this now.  It's about to get worse, much worse. 

I stumbled upon this blog-  I have been enjoying it very much.  Then I realized they did custom pet portraits-  I have always wanted one of my dogs...and put the idea on the back burner.  The stars aligned in September and they ran a special.  SIGN ME UP.  They do small portraits so I decided to get Bailey's done first.  Molly will have her time in the sun later, as to not show any favoritism.

I picked a few photos I really liked and consulted with the artists.  The day it arrived was like Christmas!!  So exciting.

Bailey in oil. 

The portrait with the muse (who does not look amused.)

Bailey is over the photo shoot and the portrait. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Our Wedding Celebration-Guests and Dancing

Scott and I has the age old struggle getting our guest list where we needed it to be.  We ended up with about 125 people at our party-which was perfect.  Even with that few people though we felt we didn't get to spend allot of time with every single person.  Nature of the beast.

We knew we wanted a band-and we had them picked very early on.  At the end of the night guests kept paying them to stay longer, and play the same songs again-which I think is a sign of a good party.

I danced and danced and danced.  I even got Scott, the anti dancer on to the floor for a slow song or two.  I truly had so much fun.  It was the best party I have ever been too!!

I want to comment though on the amount of time and effort that goes into something that looks rather effortless.  I had a ton of family and friend help.  My dad and uncle hung the Chinese lanterns.  Heather made the door letter-hot gluing moss for hours.  Jen sewed all the pendant banners and created my cake topper.  She also helped me convert my black and white logo into the colors I wanted.  Kara wrangled all the formal portrait people and finished the dessert buffet.  My mom and grandma handled everything from cocktail stirrers to setting up all the tables.  Scott's Aunt Ann did the guest book table and many bows and wreaths.  Every single person there catered to Scott and I at the party-we never had an empty drink which was kind of fantastic-until the next day;)  Everyone pitched in which was fantastic.  I tried to relinquish control and let people do what they do best.  The results were better than I anticipated.  It was my vision-but so much better.

Our first dance.  We laughed through the entire thing.

Shaun and Alison...this had to be before 9:30:)

A middle of the dance floor toast-friends coming together....kumbuya....

The dance floor from above.  That's me in the center.

Later in the evening we had some synchronous dancing.  Like a flash mob-but smaller and likely to the tune of Rocky Top.

Some of our guests enjoying a dance floor slow song.  This is the only proof I have that Scott and I took to the floor after the "first dance."  This is like seeing a lion in the wild, very rare.  Scott NEVER dances.  He refused to believe it was true-until he saw the picture.  It was that kind of night for many of us-pieces slipped away:)

I love seeing friends cut loose.  It reminds us all that they used to not have children and they still are pretty cool when they get the chance to go out and have fun! 

One of my favorite pictures from the evening.  Scott is missing, but this was on the dance floor so this is not uncommon.  It was a fantastic night!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wedding Party- Fashion

I had an epic hard time finding a wedding dress.  I tried on GADS.  I went all over town.  I knew what I didn't want but could not figure out exactly what I did want.  I started out leaning toward something short.  I prefer short dresses because of my height and I knew I didnt want to wear heels because of Scott's height;)  I was swayed to consider a long dress since this might be one of the only times I get to wear one.  I went with many different people.  I ended up with something I liked but was it my dream dress-not exactly.  But the dress wasn't my biggest priority-and I was OK with being 90% sure on it.  Like I said previously I cared allot more about the feel of the party than my wardrobe.  Even though I was a bit obessed with having mild curls and a fun birdcage veil-both of which I had!!

Full view of my formal wedding dress. 

Slight close up of my formal dress.  Obviously one shoulder-silk chiffon with embellishment on the strap and hip.  Ruching as well.

A pretty good picture of my fascinator and birdcage veil. 
Good side view of the fascinator.  Bad picture of me-but for the sake of documentation I wanted you all to see how cute it was!!!

The short cocktail dress which I changed into after the first dance.  This was also what I wore for the wedding.  I kept my fascinator in but took off my veil for dancing.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Our Wedding Celebration-Food

Scott and I knew we wanted the food at our wedding party to be casual, fun and most important-GOOD!  How many receptions do you go to where the food is awful?  He wanted BBQ and I readily agreed because I knew I could make even ordinary food look extraordinary.  When it came to dessert-I knew I wanted cupcakes and a small slicing cake.  I wanted upscale casual.  Fun but nice.  I think we knocked it out of the park!  Everything raved about the food-especially the mac and cheese for weeks afterward.

A wide shot of our dessert table.  I used cake plates to stagger all the cupcakes.  I ran burlap runners from front to back to add texture and interest.

My slicing cake on a vintage milk glass cake platter.  My brilliant friend Jen crafted my cake topper using my fabric from the pendants as inspiration.  I was putting it together with coffee stirrers at the last minute, while getting my hair done.

I made simple placard to tell guests the flavors of the cupcakes.  I used this as another place for my custom monogram.

Close up of the cupcake flags.

All the strawberry cupcakes lined up with their green flags.

The food buffet.  I opted for several smaller chafing dishes and split the food into two lines.  I repeated the burlap runners here and used candles, mercury glass, vintage wood boxes and lanterns liberally.  Most of the decor was from my own home.  I have collected these things for years and decided to use what I have and what I love.

The silverware in a vintage box.  I love this display.

The entire food buffet from the head of the table.  I used a three tier tray from Pottery Barn for the BBQ slider rolls.  I registered for this piece and was so excited when I received it.  I love it and can think of a million ways to use it in the future.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our Wedding Celebration- Decor

In the midst of house renovating we also managed to get married, as referenced here:
Scott and Carrie's big day

We came home and had a big, local party a couple weeks later.  It was fantastic to celebrate with all our families and friends.  My theme was a mix of preppy and nautical.  I stole some other brides line "I wanted my wedding to feel like you walked out of a J. Crew catalog into an Anthropologie catalog and had an intense desire to play croquet.”    The decor was very important to me.

A vignette on the dessert table.  I found these letters on clearance the week of the party and thought they played well against the vintage box,mercury glass and lantern.

I went with casual flowers in mason jars.  I also sprinkled my small mercury votives on the tables as well.

I made a photo guest book with pictures from our wedding and engagement photos. 

We created beer coozies for party favors featuring our custom monogram.  I stored them in a vintage drawer on the bar.

I placed mason jar luminaries on the cocktail tables.  Here they are pictured with the cocktail stirrers.  Shout out to my grandma who tied them the day before the party.

A square boxwood wreath that was one of two hanging on the doors into the bar.  I used my navy and white ribbon and the custom monogram to adorn them.  Sadly-in this picture the sticker is a bit crooked.

Over the gift table we strung a clothesline with pictures from our childhoods.  This one of Scott on a boat as a little boy is one of my favorites.

The two moss letters on the front doors of the club.  These were a craft project-which caused some serious hot glue gun blisters.  Then I discovered cold glue guns and got Heather M to do the "S" for me.  It was teamwork!

The Chinese lanterns from above.  I knew I wanted them over the dance floor.

The lanterns at dusk.

The vignette on the food table.  I used the vintage wood boxes and mercury glass here, too. 

Simple mason jar luminaries and small mercury glass votives made a perfect backdrop for the band.

The gift table set up.  I had a pendant banner made with "thank you" on it to use for our thank you cards as well as here(in the frame).  I used a vintage locker basket for cards.  This is a wide shot of the kid pics as well.

Here is a shot of one of the pendant banners that my fabulous friend, Jen M, made for the party.  I knew very early on that I wanted them throughout the venue.  I like this pic-Ben is dressed to coordinate with my party colors.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wedding Party Week

I feel it is time to feature our wedding reception...since it happened months ago.   I am naming this week-WEDDING PARTY WEEK.  Many posts coming.

Side note- I know most celebrity match ups are doomed from the beginning.  They break more often than they last.  I know Scott and I will be married much longer than most celebrities.  However-I didn't think we would beat our first celebrity couple after being married a mere 83 days.  Kim K just announced her divorce from Kris H after 72 days.  She got married a mere 11 days after me-and she could not make it work.    This is a total the beginning of wedding week-but I wanted to point it out. 

Scott and I-still going strong!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Supervisor, Senor Bailey

Bailey has a new task in the house-one that he really excels at.  He has deemed himself the supervisor of our home remodel.  He mostly focuses on Scott's work.

Scott installing the dishwasher.  Bailey giving me the "don't distract the man from his work" look.

Mom-seriously.  Men at work here.

And sometimes Molly comes up as well.  But she really doesn't like the noise of the drills, or the crackling of packing materials or really any noise-including Scott's text message noise(this one we don't get).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kitchen Tiling Project

A couple of months ago Scott and I stumbled upon some closeout tiles that we thought would be perfect for our kitchen back splash.  A couple of weeks ago we installed it.  I mostly watched until it came to grout-Scott was in charge of cutting and installation.  He got it all up and started grouting, only to realize that grouting is not a talent he possesses.  I stepped in and was able to use my cake decorating skills for our home improvement good.  Since he handed the chore over to me I figured grouting, like painting, is on his very short list of home improvement projects he won't touch;)
Scott set up a wet saw cutting station outside.  I was in charge of wiping the tiles off once they were cut. 

The first few tiles installed.

All the tiles, sans grout-and of course the stove.

The tile after grout.  Our first official kitchen AFTER photo.  Note our new granite-more pics to come.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dresser, Before & After

As we prepare to move upstairs we have been doing inventory on our existing furniture.  We quickly realized we don't have quite what we need for the larger spaces in the new house.  We went to our favorite antique event in search of a few key pieces including a double dresser for the master, a larger kitchen table, some bookcases, side tables and something we can work with as a buffet in our dining room.  We came home with a double dresser for the master, two lawn jockeys, beer paraphernalia, and some small organizing items.  We have the dresser at least:)

The best before I have.  You can see the piece wasn't that bad.  The finish had some issues.

Close up of some of the drawers.

AFTER- I gave it a coat of glossy white and some fun handles.  We are short one-and are actively stalking Home Depot for that last handle.