Friday, October 30, 2009

creative sanctuary


We moved to Greenville well over two months ago, but just now feel really settled into our house. Since its a rental and we're potentially only here two years, we didn't do much. It's amazing what drapes and artwork will do though. Pictures are hung, furniture is in place and my little office has finally come together. I have my desk pushed up to the windows to get a little light and hear all the sounds outdoors. Birds chirping, lawn mowers going and lots of barking. I had no idea this was such a dog friendly neighborhood. They are everywhere and make their presence known when buddy and I go for a stroll! Occasionally, it's even the tunes of a violin - there is a little hippie guy down the street who plays with the symphony and he practices on his porch. Love it! Our neighbor, who's house I peer out at, is kinda odd though. I've yet to meet him. How weird is that? Every time I try and head outside to catch him, he's already scooted inside. Hmmm, I guess I'll keep trying. Trev has me all freaked out there's something weird going on over there. He's not the most reliable source however, always trying to trick and tease me. Maybe he's a hermit, but I don't want to be one of those strange people that says they never knew the person who lived right next door. I'll let ya know what happens.


Anyway, I got off track. I wanted to share my little nook. Like I said, it's nothing special, but I've tried to dress it up to get my creative juices flowing! We had some store credit so I purchased these two monster linen pin boards from Pottery Barn. They BARELY fit on each side of the wall. Husband asked me if I measured and I said yes. Of course I didn't so thank goodness they worked. I think they are amazing - better than I even expected. One for him and one for moi. I always have magazine pages, invitations, coasters and any sort of cool design saved in a messy pile and now I have blank canvas to put it all on. This is all a work in progress though so more to come. And next I tackle my art closet, which at the moment is out of control.

Sorry about my messy desk. They say wireless these days, but I still have a million cords everywhere because they're all so dog gone different - so frustrating. Anyway, Trev shot this impromptu pic of Currier and me skyping. We show each other layouts and it's so nice to see a real face instead of being on the phone constantly. We still laugh though because this is a dead giveaway if you're looking a little rough in the morning!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

packed lunch

On days when Trev has to run out the door super early to be on campus all day, I pack his lunch. He's a sammie kind of guy. Turkey, ham, chicken or tuna, "sandwich please" is the answer he gives me each morning. Easy peasy, except that it's a little hard for me to deal with mayo at 7:30 in the morning. But I smear it on willingly, then cut the whole thing in half. Husband is also a chip man. I swear we go through a jumbo bag of chips a week. Cape Cod are his fave, but this morning it was baked kettle chips. They'll do just fine. Next, I usually put in an apple or banana for a lil bit of healthy. Occasionally, this returns home with him, but I try. Today he will find a treat in there too. It was buy one get one free Halloween candy at the grocery and I figured we would need some for the trick or treaters. What I didn't take into account was that having kit kats & reeces cups around the house for two weeks would mean I would eat them too. In fact, I may have to go back for more because we've put a dent into our stash. Bummer.

After looking at this pic, I've gotta get some old school paper sacks - these plastic ones just won't do. Now his classmates will really be jealous of the married guy.


And not that it's very exciting, but here's what I had at my desk today. Tuna melt on an english muffin, killer strawberries and sparkling clementine juice. Next tuna time I am trying this.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This is kind of fun, give it a go… Sproost. I don't know that it's totally correct, but still fun and at least got close for me. You look at some interiors, rate them and then it tells you your style. Apparently I am 75% French Eclectic. Purtty close I suppose since I like lots of different styles and consider my style eclectic. And oui… I do love the French. Let me know what you are!



charleston : part 2

Now on to the houses! In order to see a lot in a short amount of time, we opted for the touristy carriage ride. Typically, this would not be my thing, but I have to say it was nice. Our feet were tired so it was very relaxing to be escorted around by a draft horse at 19 hands high. I sort of tuned out the guide after a while and was just enamored by all the beautiful homes. I loved the skinny "Charleston" style ones than faded deep into the lot. They were nestled close together, but each seemed to have its own little garden hideaway. I couldn't help imagining all the grand soirees that must have taken place back inside.





Ivy carefully manicured up the steps or half way up the side of a carriage house. It was spectacular.




On our way to the residential side, we passed these signs - aren't they fab!



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

charleston : part 1

I fell in love this past weekend. Coastal weather, fabulous food choices and rows and rows of beautiful old homes. Charleston was a dream and I can't wait to return. I took so many pictures it's ridiculous so I'll post the homes and streetscapes next.

The city greeted us with warm weather and a breeze. And it felt so good to pick right back up with old friends I hadn't seen in too long. Andrea, Tricia, and I lived together in college and were seriously inseparable. I'm pretty sure we went to every game, party and concert together those four years. So when we get together there are so many stories to recount and memories to laugh about. We sure have a little dirt on one another. Of course… we'll never tell. After staying in a hotel room together, it was like we were right back in that old Auburn apartment! My stomach hurt from laughing so much. Ashley, Andrea's friend from growing up, joined us Friday as well which was wonderful. She was right along with us at many concerts back in the day.

First, Tricia and I arrived starving at Andrea's house around lunch time. So our first stop was Poe's Tavern on Sullivan's Island for a bite. A round of fish taco's so hit the spot.


bathroom walls covered with edgar allen poe… "I became insane, with long periods of horrible sanity"

Then it was off to I'On, a master planned community, to shop and sample some yummy truffles. Mine was milk chocolate, key lime cheesecake… mmmmm. The blue ones were earl grey dark chocolate. I swear they had at least 20 varieties to choose from.



We stayed right on King St at the Francis Marion which put it all at our fingertips! One of my favorite parts was the fabulous farmers market right across the street in a park. I bought some mini donuts which may have been the best I've ever had! And then nibbled on a giant veggie crepe. Andrea's husband brought baby Charlotte to meet us for breakfast and we had the best time watching her run around. Charlotte is a mighty percocious little one year old. I held out my hand for a goldfish and she pretended to put it in my palm, then snapped it back into her mouth and laughed. I fell instantly in love with this child.






Wine bars, rooftop terraces, shopping and a carriage tour… my we had a big weekend. So big that I came home and took a 2 hour nap after walking in the door! Poor Tricia had to drive back to Nashville and hit a really unfortunate road block. There was a rock slide near Asheville on the interstate and everyone was re-routed a major detour! Apparently the clean up is going to take 3 months - yowza. Anyway, we seriously had the best weekend and I love those girls so much.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

baking bread

Woohoo, my friend Tricia is coming to Greenville today! In preparation for my visitor, besides cleaning the house really well, I thought it would be nice to make some bread. Actually, I didn't really do much except add some ingredients, but same thing. I was given some pumpkin bread + butter (from williams sonoma) as a hostess gift for the baby shower. It made the entire house smell absolutely delicious and now we'll have something to nibble on tomorrow morning. Trev and I are taking her out tonight to see downtown. Then, bright and early tomorrow, we hit the road for a girls weekend in Charleston. Our friend Andrea lives there and we're having a reunion of sorts. We became best friends in college and now all live in different cities, so this is a real treat!


polaroid love


I have a special place in my heart for polaroids. I love the hazy, vintage look you get as they slowly come in to focus. Unfortunately, film is crazy expensive now that they've discontinued it. I have a few packs left which I'm carefully saving for special moments. Thanks to my handy dandy little iphone though, I can take faux-polaroid style pics. ShakeItPhoto is a free app download. It's not the same as the real thing of course, but it's mighty fun.




Wednesday, October 21, 2009

just one bite

Trevor doesn't have classes until 3 on Wednesdays, so today was a good day for errands. Of course we had to try a new lunch spot along the way. Moving to a new city is such a good excuse for eating out! A friend had recommended an old, local favorite called Strossner's. I was a bit skeptical when the sign said "bakery, cafe, florist & giftshop." Hmm… but I thought it a good sign to see lots of little old ladies filing in. It totally reminded me of The Picnic - a local favorite back home that serves the best chicken salad in the world. Strossner's bakes all their breads daily and had the most amazing looking sweets. We sat for lunch and tried their chicken salad sandwiches which came with a pickle speak and two delicious cheddar biscuits. Very good, but next time I'll get the chicken pot pie because everyone around us knew something we did not when ordering. And yes, I though it necessary to pick up some of their sweets for the road.

Thought I could hold off, but which shall I sample? Only a nibble.. save the rest for later.


… went with the pecan square and devoured the whole thing!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

alumni weekend

I have now been to Clemson University 3 times. Pitiful really, but it is a 45 minute drive so that's my excuse. The campus is beautiful and sits on a lake. In fact, it totally reminds me of of my days at Auburn. Apparently the same guy built both campuses. Anyway, it was alumni weekend and there was a dinner for the current & past MRED students and faculty. So hubs and I got dressed up real pretty and headed to campus. I wanted to take my camera, but thought that might be overkill meeting some of these people for the first time. So no pics, but we had fun and I enjoyed meeting the only other "wife." Saturday, Trevor woke up early for tailgate time. I passed on the game this round. Just not feeling up to tailgating at 10 o'clock in the morning and being at the cold, rainy game all day. I was a little lonesome, but busied myself with a trip to the bookstore. I can spend hours looking at all the pretty books and flipping through magazines. Plus I treated myself to a seriously delicious pumpkin spice latte. Oh my.

hubs coming in the door from game day :

We had our first overnight guest over the weekend as well. An old college friend of T's was nearby at a fishing tournament so he swung into Greenville, bass boat towing behind. He had all kinds of gear, including at least 19 fishing rods. We cooked a hearty, Sunday meal and enjoyed some down time at home with a friend.



Monday, October 19, 2009

my grandmother


I woke up feeling kind of sad this morning. The sun was finally shining, but I just didn't feel like welcoming it. I worked through the day though, figuring it was just a case of the blues. Except this was different. One year ago today my grandmother, Miriam McGaw Cowden passed away. I didn't even remember it was today until I spoke with mums. I guess my blues had a right to be here. I miss her so. She would tell me to be strong and not cry. But I miss her hands and I miss hearing her voice. She had an old Southern accent that you don't hear anymore and it gets harder to remember. Every time I smell baby powder, I'm transported back to the little pink tiled bathroom in their old house where she would poof the white powder on us after a bath. Mom went to her Town & Country Garden Club meeting today (which Mimi insisted she & aunt Louise enlist) and wore the "Lady of the Hall" bracelet Mimi received at Vanderbilt. She said everyone wanted to look at the little engraving on the inside. We were blessed to be around her and have her love us.

This is a handout we created with some old pics for her service. The top says : Miriam McGaw Cowden, born Nov. 2 1919 - her gracious manner and genuine interest in other were hallmarks of a memorable life.

This pic is from after the funeral last year. We raised a glass to Mimi and sat and told memories from the past. Fiona - Joyce - Michelle - Mom - Aunt Lola

man shops globe


My husband made a fabulous discovery last week. There's a new show on the Sundance Channel called Man Shops Globe. Of course we don't get this lovely channel, but there are free episodes through OnDemand. It's about the buyer at large, Keith Johnson, from Anthropologie, traveling around the world looking for unique items for the stores. Are you kidding me? This must be the best job ever! I'm so envious. Some of the stuff he picks is a bit odd, but I guess that's the point. He's looking for items you can't buy anywhere else.

The first one I watched is in South Africa. They're traveling down this dirt road with a guide and see this tiny wood working shop on the side of the road. It's a very poor family that uses reclaimed wood to build these really beautiful benches and chairs. Well, he falls in love with the Van Gogh chairs and needless to say this lucky little man will be busy for the rest of the year producing hundreds of these beauties.


Next, he's off to the Grand Baazar in Turkey. I've actually been before and remember the awe I felt walking through the halls of this enormous market. There were barrels of these colorful spices I'd never seen before, tons of rugs and just aisles and aisles of anything you can imagine. It was me and 3 friends in college on the trip of a lifetime. We kept pinching ourselves going, I can't believe we're in Turkey - it was wild! Anyway… for the Anthro trip they were in search of textiles of some sort. Of course they found gorgeous, huge suzanis with these amazing color combinations. But they weren't just there for inspiration, they were looking for ways to incorporate some of these ideas into actual wares. These suzanis were in fact antiques and therefore really expensive. So they moved on to find someone who could actually produce such items for their stores. After a few unsuccessful stops, they happened upon the perfect person. She has her own designs, but could also take their ideas and create new pillow designs that were totally unique. I loved how at the end of the show they fast forward to production and the pillows in stores to show their success. This all just furthers my love of this fabulous store that I can't stay away from. Of course they don't show the prices on all these wonderful items - I'm sure we'd freak if we found out their markup!

Friday, October 16, 2009

dreary day lunch

Yesterday was overcast and cold here in Greenville, as the leaves begin to fall. It was my first day back after a long weekend home. Coop dog and I headed out the door for his morning ritual, amongst all the barking neighbor dogs. Hubs was out the door too and when big buddy saw his car he tried galloping after him. His old bones didn't carry him too far before breaking to a slow trot. Such a sweet buddy. After a busy morning of work, I decided it was time for a warm me up lunch like I'd seen here. First I fried up an egg - broken up slightly because I do not do runny egg. Then I buttered up some toast, sliced up some havarti & cheddar and made a grilled cheese with egg. Oh my… I will be repeating this little number very soon!


shower friends



baby momma + sara… being read Peter Rabit by amy's mom maida

currier + fiona + my mom (only ones drinking vino… no surprise there)

me + a-dub as I like to call her

sweet hostess leigh serving dessert

amy + char (notice the new folk art man in the background courtesy of mr. b)

erin + charlotte (still figuring out my camera so very blurry)

a very sweet pink gift

Amy is all set… now we just wait for the bambino to arrive!