Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Beatrix and Laura Say

...a change will do ya good.

Big haircuts last week for the ladies of the house:

Trixie Before

Trixie After

I swear we didn't pose her for these...for some reason she gravitates toward lying on books like a little pillow.

Me Before

Me After

I miss it longer, but the layers were getting kind of mullet-y and I was always throwing it into a ponytail. I haven't had it like this since circa 2005.

Trix is not a fan of documenting the transformation.

What about you? Any new looks you've made or considered recently?

Friday, April 23, 2010


Whenever I'm on a cruise ship and enjoying a game of Bingo for the chance to win big! money! (and because I need to digest the massive quantities of food I've eaten at the buffet before I can waddle back up to the pool), I get a hankering to change careers and become what I was destined to be: a Bingo caller.

Here's my best one:
"I wasn't born a princess, but I've always wanted to B1. B1, the square is B1."

I just need these Bingo bobby pins from Tefi's etsy, and I'm ready to go.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Paint by Numbers

Some girlfriends and I have been talking about doing a girls' night at Painting with a Twist*, a BYOB (!) painting class. Lo and behold, it was today's Dallas Groupon! ($20 instead of the normal $45) I think it will be a lot of fun to see how same-but-different everyone's canvas turns out!

Here are some of my favorites that have been offered recently:

Dallas Arboretum
I love that they offer some that reflect your location!

Texas Bluebonnets

Austin Motel



Naked Lady


Beach Chair

Have you done anything creative like this with a group of friends? What did you do and how did it turn out?
* Locations in TX, LA, AL, and FL

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Nerd Alert

My taxes are finally finished.

Not that they haven't been (mostly) ready for a while.
Although the tuition form was jacked up with only one semester and J finally got it straightened out today. (So we have two procrastinators in our little family.)
But I just now sent them off to my frienemies buddies at the IRS because I like playing around in Turbo Tax.

Am I weirdo?

Back in December, I tried some things out to see if I should do certain things in 2009 or save them for 2010, with the help of my BFF Quicken to do some estimating.

And then I read some articles about changes for 2009 and things not to forget when doing your taxes.

USC2000's flickr

And then I waited a while until I got all of the official forms and entered enough stuff to see what our refund was shaping up to be. (Wahoo.)

And then I played around with some different scenarios to see the results. You know, for next year. (Did I subvert my destiny by not becoming an accountant? Gosh, I hope not - sorry if any of you are accountants.)

And then I read some of the "Ask the Community" questions to see if people have questions as dumb as mine. And then I laughed because some were really dumb. (Hey IRS, audit this guy! He wants to save one of his W-2s for next year so he doesn't make as much this year.)

And then I waited some more, wondering if I forgot or messed up anything. So I went over every section again, even the sections that don't even apply to me, just so I could have TT reassuringly tell me they don't apply. (Okay, I probably am a weirdo.)

And then I decided that it's April 14th, and I should probably submit them.
And then I looked at TT's comparison feature of you and the average amounts for people like you, and some areas were not similar at all. And then I decided to stop worrying about it, and sent the crazy forms off. (Turbo Tax, what would I do without you?)

If I was a fun girl, I'd dream about the pretty things I'd spend the refund on.

But instead, I am boring practical and it's going into savings. Maybe I'll get real wild and earmark some of it to start paying interest on J's student loans. (Ooh, a possible deduction for next year!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crazy Cool Converted Gun Shop

Did you see 9 by Design? I would be so stressed to live their lives! I can't imagine being eight and a half months pregnant with my seventh kiddo and finding and moving into a temporary apartment in a matter of days...and decorate it with cool finds in the blink of an eye.

This is the most amazing rooftop-basketball -court-with-a-dome-that-mimics-the-church-next-door ever.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Glee is Back Tonight!

Have you seen the blog What Would Emma Pillsbury wear? I love seeing the inspiration looks readers submit based on the episode. Totally my work style.

I'm hoping to see some lip-lockin' between Will and Emma tonight!
Any Glee fans out there?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fender Benders, Crawfish, Implosions, and Mean Girls

Friday I went to a "shopping party" at my SIL's house. (Someone brings in their merchandise, and the guests have wine and apps while browsing the wares.) Coming out of my no-shopping spell, this big spender got away with just this ring and a pair of earrings for $25. (The whole thing wasn't really my scene, which I'll explain later in this post.)
I purchased a ring just like this in New Orleans, but I can't find it...oops.
This one has different colored "petals" and is gold-toned instead of silver, so if the other one turns up at least they'll be different.
Saturday I spent the morning looking at handbags online (see? once I buy something I start dreaming about more), and then I let J drag me out for our traditional Tex Mex Saturday Lunch even though my allergies were out in full force. Perking up over chips and salsa (clears the sinuses!), we chatted about budgets and booking airfare for our Big Trip this summer, now that we've built up our travel fund and J has solidified that he has an off month in August.

After lunch, we stopped in a toy store in a tony shopping center to get something for our nephew's birthday, and in the process of leaving, this happened:
How? Before we backed out of our space, we waited for the car behind us to leave and for another car to pull into its spot. We then start backing out, and were almost completely out of the space when the car that had just pulled in also starts backing out. There are two things you can do in this situation: try and pull back into your space, or start honking your horn to get the attention of the other person to stop. Not having enough time to do the former, J started honking. Not hearing the horn, and apparently still not looking, the guy kept backing out, giving us this lovely dent.
The guy gets out of his undented BMW SUV and said, "Well, obviously we were both were backing out without paying attention."

Not finding this true, I replied, "Actually, we were almost out of the space when you started backing up. We were stopped and trying to get your attention."

He then explodes with a "BULLS#$@ LADY! If you're going to have that kind of attitude [insert rant here]..."

I spent the rest of the encounter in the car, incredibly annoyed and staying out of it. The man is at least 50, and he's going to yell like that? While I'm sitting there, two teenage boys get into their pricey SUV next to me and ding their door against mine. Seriously?! I'm right here. They didn't notice my dirty looks.

J told the BMW guy he shouldn't speak to a lady like that and the BMW guy apologized (yeah!) , and he offered to pay 50% of the repair, which I guess is something. He then went on to say that he just didn't understand why his backup sensor didn't beep to tell him he was about to hit us. (Try looking behind you and using your mirror, buddy.)

I cried the whole way home about the cost of fixing the dent - that's the cost of the plane ticket to the wedding we're going to in June! That's the cost of several nights' hotel for our Big Trip! No handbag for me, and I have been on a shopping ban months! (Er, except for some cheap skirts and sundresses from Old Navy. And the ring and earrings I bought the night before. But you know, I had to, my SIL was hosting the party.)

I am feeling better about it now; that's what emergency funds are for, right? I guess that's what I get for thinking I was finally going to splurge on a handbag! At least I got J to hold off on booking airfare for the vacay for a while. He's super excited to pick a place and book it right! now!, while I like to sit and waaaaiiiit for the best deal. (That's right, we don't even know where we're going! We're leaving it up to where we can find a good price on flights. We were originally thinking Brazil, but now maybe a Eurotrip? We're hoping to take two weeks. Suggestions welcomed.)

Saturday evening we said adios to Texas Stadium, which was being imploded at 7 the next morning. We meant to see the big event in person, but conveniently, the alarm didn't go off and we watched it on TV instead.

J having a moment

Goodbye, Texas Stadium. This is now a big, depressing pile of rubble.

And then we went to a crawfish boil. Where the nephew we had bought the toys for had already left to go to a sleepover. Anyway, crawfish are yummy. (And they clear the sinuses! My allergies were back in full force by then -- I don't think I have ever sneezed so much in my life. Unfortunately, I may have to spend the rest of Spring inside.)

So that covers the first three topics in the blog title. So what about Mean Girls? Well, the SIL that threw the shopping party the night before told us about a note she found in her closet that morning.

To give some background, most of the women at the party were moms from her sons' private school, and the conversation was very stereotypically Dallas. (Case in point: a woman with a diamond ring the size of her knuckle told a story about how for her third "section" -- it took me a minute to realize she was talking about a C-section -- she couldn't get the 1500 square foot private suite she had reserved since she went into labor early, and the woman in it wouldn't accept her husband's offer to write a check to switch rooms with her.) I used to feel more self-conscious in these situations, but now it's annoying more than anything. (Especially when I'm essentially introduced as poor because I'm putting my husband through med school.)

My SIL has an awesome home, and some of the women were trying on clothes back in her bedroom. While back there, someone ripped off the bottom of a Valentine's letter that she kept on the bathroom counter that her son had written her, and wrote something snarky along the lines of "we hate you for your closet; it really needs to be bigger."

So even when women are 40, they can still be catty and mean. Yes, she has an enviable collection of bags and shoes in a closet the size of my bedroom. (Too bad we're not the same size. Maybe I should see if she'll let me have borrow a bag?) So what? She also sacrificed a lot in the last twenty years to go through med school, residency, a fellowship, and then became a partner in a successful practice, so good for her to be able to enjoy what she earned how she sees fit. She's also extremely generous (I've been the recipient of her generosity many times), and it sucks that she invited people into her home that felt the need to be mean behind her back by ruining something that meant a lot to her.

How was your weekend? Hopefully it was filled with only pleasant encounters!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Cute floormat by Alice Supply Co. (Dear Alice, I love all of your stuff. You actually make me want to clean. Did I just say that? Maybe I meant accumulate cute cleaning supplies.)
$15 today on One Kings Lane! (Normally $32)

Need an invite? Leave your email in the comments or email me at so alaurable at gmail dot com.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tie One On

I'd love to whip up a pitcher of this magic juice wearing one of these flirty aprons and sit out on my deck on a sunny day like today.

Happy 1st day of April!