December 29, 2009

Bring on the Links

Yeah, no. Only you Lacey Underall. Photo courtesy of Caddyshack.

It all began in grade four when I petitioned Dad for golf lessons alongside ballet. He said, well, never mind what he said. I think he was still hung up on his recent golf-career-crippling-wrist-ligament-injury thing... At least the ballet career was successful.

Fast forward to 21-years-old, final semester of college.
Registered for: Golf.

So when do you get to buy clothes for golf? Because Pinks and Greens is tantalizing. I have to hit the ball first, don't I? Stay tuned for lessons from the links all spring.

P.S. And here's my new favorite ESPN commercial. Because I'll forever be fond of concocting Arnold Palmers at the fountain drink machine.

December 27, 2009

Shady Pi? Not today, sir.

After a flu-induced hiatus, I'm back in action. Well, probably back officially tomorrow as Mama has lovingly shot down a night out at Montgomery's Brew Pub tonight. I mean, is coughing every five minutes that abnormal? I'm just clearing my throat.

Flu '09 Activities
Getting all my meals (read: grits) in bed.
Putting dates in my 2010 Lilly planner.
Texting conversations with one-third of my contacts.
Making pro/con lists for grad school versus the current job market.
Playing Words (aka Scrabble) with Sloan and Carol Anne via iPhone.
Wondering if there is really a bigger audience for Jersey Shore than The City.
Having time to thoughtfully decide my iTunes purchases, which are quite good consequently.
Trying to use J. Crew and Sephora giftcards online, but I don't get the same rush as in store, so I abstained.
Singing "Need You Now" by Lady Antebellum and "White Liar" by Miranda Lambert in an appealing raspy voice.

Upping my movie quota astronomically.

So, yeah. I just wanted you to know I haven't forgotten you and your sweet comments :)

Shameless Plug: And I've gotta shout out to one of my most fabulous friends and pledge sisters, Ellen (see above), who is now blogging. This future interior designer simply oozes class, even as we were stressed out, diet Coke-consuming co-rush chairs.

That's me and Elle-the-new-blogger in the middle on Bid Day.

December 23, 2009

Top It Off

Craft time with Mama = always a high success rating.

Mama does it all: everything she cooks turns to gold, her French hand-sewing is lauded, her Sunday School class students adore her, and the backyard brims with herbs and roses in the summertime. I'm talking, we had creme brulee for dessert tonight. (Um, yeah. Don't worry, I still can't figure out the secret to making Cream of Wheat in the microwave.)

"Hey Ash, wanna come help with this project?" Yup, Mama. Be there in 0.5.

These wine cork toppers are what some of the Stallings/Elliott couples are getting for Christmas. Just a little craft Mom saw in Lowe's magazine, she claims. I'd imagine this could be a great hostess gift as well.
  1. Gather corks and lamp finials from a craft store (you know, those things that go on top of the lampshade).
  2. Secure to the top of each cork with a dab of Liquid Nails.
  3. Allow adhesive to try for a w-h-i-l-e.
  4. Throw with some cocktail napkins and bow, voila.

Okay, I Need a Book.

Photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy. This may be a Rhode Island library, but shoot, I'll take apartment suggestions like this.

During the academic year, my nose alternately pressed between my Stokstad Art History, 3rd Edition textbook and some enlightening political science philosophy book.

Now. I. Need. Escapism.

Perk of Christmas break #287: Reading time. I adore learning, and I'll basically read anything you throw at me: a dusty classic, fluffy chick-lit, biographies, and books about theology. My interests run the gamut...

Here's what is on my list so far this break:

Aight, let's talk... What are you reading/hope to tackle soon? Would you mind adding some more to my list?

p.s. Have you seen this site? (I don't believe it merits much of a description, ha.)

December 22, 2009


15 high school (um, and preschool, grade school, middle school) best friends.
1 "cabin" out in the Alabama countryside.
about 20 Dale's-soaked hamburgers on the grill.
3 hours of Apples to Apples.
5 boys thinking "I Want It That Way" was a good serenade for sleeping girls at 3 a.m.
a 1-star waitress at Cracker Barrel the next morning

I love my best friends. So, so much.

Shotgun shell Christmas lights just begged to enhance Baker's Good 'Ole Boy personality, ya think?
Artichoke dip that I made--all gone! This is a BIG deal for those that know my kitchen skills. Recipe below.
God has blessed me beyond words. My best friends are amazing!

Artichoke Dip
1 14 oz. can of artichokes
2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 c of mayonnaise

1. Drain artichokes well and coarsely chop. Toss in a bowl. (For me, it was easier to chop 'em in the bowl. Artichokes aren't exactly tough.)
2. Add mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. Mix together.
3. Pour mixture into a oven-safe dish (not very deep) and cook at 350 for 30 minutes, or until the edges are bubbling and brown.

Serve with flatbread or chips... This weekend Tostido's seemed to prove successful.

December 18, 2009

Holiday Etiquette 101

Photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

During sixth grade cotillion, of few of us flirts were busy batting eyelashes Mr. Popular's direction. And sometimes, the family Southern Belle expert extrodinaire, (in my case, Great Aunt Joy) is tied up on the "oh-tha liiine." During the holidays, a million etiquette questions are dancing like sugar plums in our heads. Meghan Cease, etiquette expert of M. Elizabeth Weddings and Events, tackles our every inquiry...

December 17, 2009

We're too young to think colanders are exciting.

Welcome to (some semblance of) fame.

Bec, Em, Care--you asked for a shout-out on the blog. So attention everyone, these girls rule. And acting like we're still 17-years-old and in our prime, giggling away at "our" table in the Trinity lunch room everyday kinda makes my life.

It sure made Brittany's kitchen bridal shower even more fun today. I am beginning to see the allure of selecting stemware.
Get up, Alpha Delta Pi.

God's Architects

Eccentric artists and their creations fascinate me. Take 4 of such Southern artists and feature them in a documentary, and you can save me a seat/bag of Sour Patch Kids. LSU film professor Zachary Godshall's film God's Architects will be on tour across the South, click for a full schedule.

Work ofVicksburg artist Reverend H. D. Dennis. Photos courtesy of God's Architects.

p.s. There is a Southern Arts Federation? No one told me this? Welp, that's another one for the post-grad-job-search list.

Sometimes, I'm SUCH a girl.

Uh, yeah. My BFF's and I have annual photoshoots. We may or may not be infamous (famous?) in Montgomery for this.

For about a week, the scent of flowers has started midway up the staircase, snaking downward from my room. Despite the rather bizarre aroma-limbo caused by intermixing with the downstairs Christmas tree/cinnamon/yuletide scent, it been most enjoyable. I have become rather attached to a room harboring five arrangements.

Sidenote: Flowers are the way to my heart for the following reasons.
1. They're a blessing God didn't have to make gorgeous but He did.
2. They don't last forever (Thus keeping with my newly adopted You-Only-Live-Once [YOLO] mantra).

Alas. That is, I was attached until they died today.

So with the girliest-girl, domesticated notion in me I promptly went outside and hacked away at mother's camellia bushes and climbing roses until I created this beauty. Now, with my quality of life enhanced, I can ignore my next two story deadlines for a moment and read the January Southern Living that arrived today.

Though I really should sign up for one of those flower arrangement classes.

December 15, 2009

Happy 70th, Gone with the Wind!

This is one of my favorite parts. Work it, baby.

Gone With the Wind was released 70 years ago today! And let's be honest: She's flighty, difficult, and conniving--but somehow as little Southern girls, we grew up wanting a bit of Scarlett O'Hara in us. It's something about those green eyes, charm, wit, and sheer strength.

A recent conversation with my bestie Sloan:
Me: I mean, Slo, I feel kinda bad saying this, but I kinda want to be Scarlett O'Hara. That's so bad. She's horrible half the time. She flings herself at men.
Sloan: Ash baby, who do you think has been one of my role models since I was in grade school? Who revived Tara all by herself? It's okay, Ash. Me too. I love her.

Ah, so this is why we have BFFs. With my feelings justified and brains fresh from finals week, I decided I could ace this little test. How well can you do on this Real or Fake Scarlett O'Hara Quote quiz?

Report back with your score!

Traditional State Discount

Photo courtesy of Traditional State.

I declare, Harper Lee the Boykin NEEDS this collar around her precious little duck-carryin', curly-haired, bark-collar-wearin'-when-she's-rowdy neck. She's just like me, a born and bred Alabama girl. However, she is the favorite child.

Traditional State: Fratty flag belts and dog collars declare the Southern states loud and proud. Use the 25% off code from now until Christmas. Enter "christmas09" in the Apply Promo Code box. That brings that belt to about $22, and the collar to about $20 give-or-take. Mason reminded me to tell y'all to order by FRIDAY for Christmas Eve delivery.

I can think of a beau two that would look good in that belt. And I also know a couple of fratastic bird dogs that would rock that collar. Keep it up, Mason!

What do y'all think about Traditional State?

p.s. This is Harper on Easter, just in case you needed a visual. This is also a calm state.

December 14, 2009

Belle 'Til the End of the Ball

You, too, can look this perky at 1 a.m. Photo courtesy of New York Sun.

Christmas cocktails, debutante balls, and not to mention a certain stroke of midnight--one peek in the calendar shows you've got a lot of socialitin' to do this season. Follow these makeup tips from Amy Head Cosmetics, so that the batting eyelashes and lipstick that smiled back in the mirror at 5 p.m. are still stealing hearts at midnight...

On Being a Debutante

2 cousins in gorgeous dresses and bouquets.
1 entire side of our extended family.
18 of my best friends in the world.
1 good band.
1 pretty wonderful hometown.

Yup--safe to say the weekend was literally a whirlwind ball.

Clockwise: The Samford crew, my cousin and I looking at our grandmother's queen portrait, and how gorgeous are my best friends in the world?

December 9, 2009

Implied Powers

Blue, Blue, and Brown by Mark Rothko.

“I must study politics and war, that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy, natural history and naval architecture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, tapestry, and porcelain.”

- John Adams

As I prep for my American Politics exam, I found a little inspiration at The Birmingham Museum of art in quote splashed across a wall. I must say I rather like studying the last batch of disciplines most of all. Thank you, John. And thank you, dear ancestors.

Sidenote: Just the quote as at the museum. Not the Rothko.

Style Rookie

Photo courtesy of The JC.

She's 13. She also has more style in her miniature blogging pinky finger than I've attained at age 21. And instead of being perturbed, like the Vogue editors, I'm enthralled. If you haven't caught on to the buzz yet, I do declare, you should start now...

December 8, 2009

When Hippies Roamed Atlanta

Atlanta's Piedmont Park enjoyed hippie culture. Photo courtesy of Boyd Lewis.

If you're a Georgia Peach, this article is a must read. Because we've all got a trippy playlist on our iPod, a poster of John Lennon from the college dorm room, and a baja hoodie. (Er, maybe the last one is just me.)

Dixie's Heart

I'm one of those types: home's never gonna be anywhere but little Montgomery (Even when I have my loft in the city.) Doing senior thesis research in De Bow's Review, an antebellum journal, I couldn't help but smile when my hometown was mentioned. Here's to hometowns!

"The capitol is located on elevated ground on Capitol Hill. The view from the upper part of the building is very extensive over the surrounding country."
(Still is, and Jeff Davis's house is in it's shadow.)

"There are many handsome private residences, built of brick, and several of them very expensive and magnificent."
(I gotta say I wish more had been preserved...)

"In this capital there are three newspaper establishments, The Montgomery Advertiser, The Confederation, and The Montgomery Mail, whose editors are scholars, and obliging gentlemen."
(Well, well, well, if journalistic traits are still in the water, I hope I drank enough.)

"The inhabitants of this metropolis, as well as of the whole state are citizens of liberal, hospital, intelligent, and obliging character..."
(I like to think they still are.)

December 7, 2009

Take the stress away, Johnny boy.

Senior thesis submission and presentation
History of Art, Architecture & Design III exam
__ Mass Media Law exam
__ American Politics exam

After today, my eyes are a little more squinty, thoughts a little fuzzier, and brain a smidge more exhausted. But with my new found study buddy,, I'm hanging in there. It's like Pandora except get this--you PICK what song comes next. Genius, eh?

Current playlist:
*DISCLAIMER: I have a huge thing for covers.
Assassin - John Mayer
Half of My Heart - John Mayer
Forever and Always (Piano version) - Taylor Swift
Whatever You Like - Anya Marina
Such Great Heights - Act of Congress
She Knows Her Way Around - Act of Congress
Breakeven - The Script
Man that Can't Be Moved - The Script
Before the Worst - The Script
Hey Soul Sister - Train
Cousins - Vampire Weekend
Gather the Horses - Charlie Mars
Happier - A Fine Frenzy
One Day - Matisyahu
You & Me - Dave Matthews Band

Don't worry Pandora, I'm not cheating on you. I just can't help that I'm controlling and that may not work in our relationship some days.

December 3, 2009

Dear Mr. Editor...

1 newly-wed couple
Some of her Southern/French traditional style
Some of his more modern taste

And BAM--you've got this stylish Washington Square Park flat.

Andrew and Elizabeth nabbed hand-me-downs from family and scoured Craigslist for furniture. Of course, it helps when the Times sees your plight and enlists designer Brenden Kwinter-Schwartz to step in.

Just a little inspiration, considering in a few months I just may be decorating my first apartment. Fingers/toes/legs crossed that it's in Manhattan as well. Hey, a girl can dream.

Photos courtesy of The New York Times
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