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How to Speak Southern

Creatively Speaking

August 17, 2017

Wilson staged an intervention with me this past Friday night.

It wasn’t a traditional intervention. He didn’t question my drinking, he didn’t question my behavior, he questioned my choices — or choice, rather, to abandon Silver Spoon Taste for the last five months. It all started in an Uber that we took home after a fun-and-wine filled evening with some of my absolutely favorite people, and it went a little like this:

Wilson: Anna, you’ve got to start writing on SST again.

Me: Huh?

Wilson: You haven’t written a post in months, and people feel like they were abandoned by you.

Me: What on earth are you talking about?

Me thinking: How much did he have to drink? 

Wilson: The blog! You haven’t written the blog in forever! You worked so hard to build it and then you just gave it up. You used to love writing it, and people loved reading it. Anna you’ve got to start writing it again.

Me thinking: Definitely had too much to drink. Perhaps it was that transfusion. Or was it transfusions? Never trust a purple drink. 

Wilson continued: When we lived in Charlotte you were so proud of it. You worked on it every day. You were building a brand. SST got you your job! And you’ve just abandoned it.

Me thinking: When we get home I’ll make sure he drinks plenty of water. He’s going to have a headache tomorrow. 

Wilson again: Anna you’ve got to stop making excuses about being busy and just do it. You can’t expect things to happen for you if you don’t put yourself out there.

Me thinking: Well damn. 

Over three years ago Wilson and I picked up our Pleasantville life in Charlotte and moved to the strangest, weirdest, and most wonderful place I’ve ever lived, Savannah, Georgia. I had no idea what was in store for us. And now, three years later, our life does look quite different — a new angel dog, house and friends — and I’m so grateful for all of it. It’s been the best adventure and then some. But Wilson’s right — the one thing that got me here, that gave me all this, I’ve quite literally given up.

My bad.

Real talk here — my job takes up almost all of my creativity. I’m like a sponge after you squeeze all the water out — dry and hole-y. Often times the last thing I want to do when I get home at night is open my laptop again. Hell, it’s all I can do some days to not throw my laptop out the window because I’m so sick of looking at it. Certainly I can’t be alone in this feeling? And it’s more than being busy — I just don’t have enough creativity to go around I suppose. But Wilson’s right — yes Wilson I said it — that is a big fat excuse.

My bad!

It’s not just my job though — I think I also found an identity with SST. The more momentum the blog gained, the more confidence I gained, and the more I could see a real future for my professional self. I’ll be a blogger! I’ll be a writer! It’ll be so fabulous! But when I moved to Savannah, the more I felt that blogging was a bit artificial — a very one-dimensional representation of life that didn’t always feel quite authentic despite my best efforts. Turns out keepin’ it real is, like, hard? And herein lies my message — why should I find identity in a blog instead of taking some time to get to know myself? Not Anna the blogger, not Anna the writer, just Anna. She sounds interesting, I think. 

I found this quote the other day and sent it to my friend Helen — who has a magnificent blog, by the way, read it here.

It’s kind of rebellious to be yourself. – Kate Moss

Ah, to be uniquely you. But what does that even mean? I think it starts with knowing your self-worth. To know your own value is something that no one can ever take away from you. I recognize I have a myriad of shortcomings, but I am starting to acknowledge that self-worth is much more than just your day-to-day actions — it’s knowing and appreciating yourself at your best, and at your worst, and trusting that your moral compass will lead you back to your true north when you may stray. Like today when I wanted to flick off the guy who cut me off in the parking lot. But decided not to. See? True north. 

But back to SST. I think a blog is a wonderful vessel to tell a story — but I need to keep it at that.

Now I know I didn’t do some sort of strange giveaway — seriously what the hell — nor did I tell you a story about white pants or describe how I almost fought a lady over a coffee table, but I did tell you the truth.

I’m not following the 12-step program, but I did just admit that I have a problem. And now I’m apologizing for it. I hope you’ll accept it. 

How to Speak Southern

Stream Your Workout Anywhere With Hilliard Studio Method

March 31, 2017

Happy Friday! Is it bad that I feel like I deserve a medal for making it to the end of the week sometimes? Even though millions of others achieve the same feat week after week, I still feel like I should win a prize of some sort. Maybe we all should. Fridays for the win just took on a whole new meaning.

Today is Wilson’s birthday — he turns 31 on the 31st. Happy birthday boo! When I told him that it was his golden birthday, he asked what that was. Cue eye roll. He enjoyed a boys’ night out last night and had a large time. Here’s the evidence of said big time that I found in the fridge this morning:

He took care to refrigerate the empty bags of pretzel and pita chips after destroying them. He is nothing if not considerate. 

Anywho, down to business.

Because I live in Savannah, but work in Bluffton, South Carolina, I’ve got a bit of a commute every day. It’s really not terrible, ranging anywhere from 35 to 50 minutes on any given day, but it does deplete a valuable chunk of my personal time. I need a personal driver. So when it comes to working out, I have to do it in the morning, or else it’s just not going to happen. Nothing gets in the way of my happy hour.

Exercising is important to me — not only do I like to stay in shape because I’m vain AF, I also love the way it clears my head. I try to incorporate a bunch of different types of exercise into my routine — yoga, circuit training, pilates, barre, etc. — because I get easily bored. Except running — never running. But the one exercise I always come back to is Hilliard Studio Method. Owned by mother-daughter duo Liz Hilliard and Clary Hilliard Gray, not only is HSM a small business that I can get behind, they literally kick my butt every single time I do one of their workouts. I’m sore just thinking about it. 

When I lived in Charlotte, I attended  classes at Hilliard Studio Method every so often, but it wasn’t until the I moved to Savannah that I really became addicted to HSM. The long distance movers dallas team that I hired couldn’t stop talking about HSM and how it benefited them — So, I downloaded several HSM videos and started doing them in the morning before work almost every day. Living room workouts are very convenient.  In fact, I’ve spent so much time with Liz and Clary that they don’t know about, it’s bordering on creepy. I’m the third family member they never knew they had nor wanted. 

My morning crew — Clary, Liz and Birdie.

But the Hilliard gals have now done me one better — they recently launched a new streaming subscription service that gives you access to all of their videos (ranging from 5 minutes to over an hour long) to stream online anytime, anywhere, with new videos added each month. I immediately signed up for the service once it became available, and I am obsessed. I usually do a combination of three to four videos, choosing videos that work different areas of the body for a full-body roast. And, by the way, this post is not sponsored whatsoever — I am just a really big fan. But the HSM gals did give me a promo code to share with you to try out the streaming platform. Use the code SILVER and receive 50% off your first month of the subscription. You already get to try out the service for free for two weeks, so this discount will be applied to your first full month of streaming after the free two-week trial. See more about pricing here.

You can take these workouts with you anywhere and become just as obsessed with HSM as I am. It’s even Birdie approved.

Speaking of exercising, check out my dear friend Helen’s new blog Chasing Helen. She’s a fitness freak with own best personal trainer in LA (truly) and motivates me and many others unlike anyone I have ever known. The blog is fabulous and so is she. Read it here.

Ok that’s all for today. Can I get my Friday prize in the form of a cosmopolitan please? No seriously. Chop chop. 

Home Living

Foyer Update

January 24, 2017

The saying goes that a first impression is a lasting impression, and I believe this to be true. For me, I’m likely going to remember the fact that someone made good eye contact,  shook my hand with a normal, respectable strength, and complimented my hair the first time I met them. I’ll file that person away in my memory in the GOOD folder, under GOOD TASTE IN PEOPLE AND HAIR. Flattery will get you everywhere.  

On the other hand, a bad first impression can linger on far too long, like when your impatience gets the best of you and you slurp down that first sip of coffee when it’s just a hair too hot and taste your own burnt tongue all day. This lunch tastes delicious with a side of burnt taste buds. 

Similarly, the foyer is your first impression for your house, and you want to make a good one. Like a firm handshake, your foyer should greet guests with a stately elegance that someone might file away in their GOOD memory folder, under GOOD TASTE IN PEOPLE AND FOYERS.

While my foyer may not exactly say I’m stately and I’m elegant, I think it’s at least a good indication that good people live here who like to drink wine, which is always what I’m looking for when I walk into someone’s home. Don’t you? But don’t let me sway your opinion, decide for yourself. I also use a ToolsMaestro pressure washer to help clean the siding and driveway.

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Runner from Etsy — I bought this one obviously, but here is the seller. I also love this one.

Birdie can’t help but model. She’s just so beautiful she can’t help it. Like father like daughter.

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Love it so much. 
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Old Sleepy Poet purchase.

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Old pillows, old stool. Relatively new dog.

I think I need some sort of green plant to go in front of that vent. Is that a fire hazard? Can someone let me know about that?

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Rug from Number Four Eleven, one of my favorite stores in Savannah.

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Tray table and orchid from Number Four Eleven. Similar table here and orchid here.  Finally, an orchid I can’t kill.

You’ve seen those floral prints before too.

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I feel like this is one of those photos you used to look at when you were a kid of all the dizzying geometric sequences and you were supposed to see a cat or a unicorn out of it if you stared at it long enough. Do you remember those? I could never see the cat, I just got dizzy.  

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Mirror mirror on the wall, whose the cheapest mirror of all? This one. 

Umbrella stand old purchase from Sleepy Poet.

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She’s so bored of those photo shoot she took a nap. Clearly not an SST fan. 

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If you look closely, you can see a half-eaten tennis ball placed in my shot by Birdie. This is her version of prop styling.

Well, what do you think? Did I make a stately statement? Or are you filing me away in your BAD folder, under BAD FOYERS WITH CUTE DOGS?

So long as you think Birdie is cute, the rest is fine with me.

How to Speak Southern

Well Hello There

January 18, 2017

Wilson told me that if I didn’t post on the blog this week that he was going to take it over full-time. I told him that was fine with me and that he’d do a better job than I would anyway.

He bugged me about it some more, threatening a total blog takeover, and I kept brushing him off. But then I started to think about what a Wilson-led SST would look like. Blog posts would likely meander from interior design and fashion ramblings to the multi-faceted advantages of power tools and gas-powered yard blowers. He’d chat about the many ways you can wear camouflage and the health benefits of Natural Light. He’d give weekly tips on how to improve your common sense — “common sense just isn’t that common anymore” — and his Investment Piece of the Month would be a new piece of hunting gear. I fear we have half of Cabelas’ fall inventory in our attic. 

Quite frankly I think he’d make a great blog writer, but his audience isn’t my audience so I figure I’ll spare you and start this thing up again before Wilson does.

So hello! How are you? How have all three of you been?

I’ve been busy. Aren’t we all? And I’ve been lazy too — let’s call a spade a spade. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking of you — because I have, and daily. ‘What are my SST readers drinking today?’

I’d like to think this year my New Year’s Resolution will be to start up SST again, but I don’t have that much faith in myself so I”m not going to make that type of promise.

Instead, what I will promise is to deliver a little bit of periodic entertainment here and there. And plenty of recommendations for how to properly indulge in happy hour. 

So here’s what I’ve been up to of late. Apologies in advance as these are mostly crappy cell phone pictures.

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My model dog. Look at that beauty. Our obsession with this dog has reached new heights. I didn’t think it was possible, but alas, ’tis. She runs the Jones household.

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Oh yes, remember when there was that hurricane last October? Thanks to Hurricane Matthew, we evacuated to Charlotte for four days and Birdie jumped in my seat when we fled Savannah at 5 a.m. As a landlocked Charlottean (no Lake Norman does not count) I’ve never experienced the drama and stress that is evacuating from a hurricane. Savannah hadn’t had a hurricane in nearly 20 years, but the moment Wilson and I move here, buy a house, and spend the summer renovating it — boom. Hurricane Matthew hits. We were extremely extremely lucky and had no damage to our little row home.

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This tiny girl was so concerned about the Aunt Annie, Uncle Wilsie, and the “hurry-cane.” She dressed the part to ward off the impending storm in her matching rain boots and umbrella. Such a style icon. 

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Later that month Birdie dressed up for Halloween. She hated every moment of this and kept it on for no longer than six minutes. Wilson is dangling a treat behind me so we could capture this moment. I’ve put it in her baby book — Baby’s Second Halloween. 

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My in laws took the whole family to Hawaii for Thanksgiving. It was an incredibly beautiful place — the blues were bluer, the greens were greener, and the sunsets were spectacular.

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We went on a helicopter ride around one of the islands and it was unbelievable. Easily one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I was so scared when we took off that I held on to Wilson’s arm and gave him bruises. All together now — Poor Wilson.

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I believe this was around the time of the bruise infliction.

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Gigantic sea cliffs. Flying over these gave me a slight sense of vertigo because they were so steep and the drop from land to sea was so drastic — but the view was just breathtaking.

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Look at all the waterfalls!

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Hey boo. 

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Just a casual rooster at one of the secluded beaches we visited. He wasn’t interested in me at all.

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Family hike to the hidden beach. That’s Wilson balancing the cooler on his shoulder. Atta boy.

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Our house at Christmas. Those wreathes died within a few days of purchasing them thanks to the Savannah heat. Nothing says Christmas like a balmy 80 degrees.

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We spent Christmas with my family this year, and this was Christmas Eve. My nieces dressed Wilson up and called him King. He liked that title very much and has requested that I refer to him as such since then. I’ll let you imagine what I said to that. 

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King and his bourbon, his magic elixir.

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Family on Christmas. Look at that sweet Christmas dog.

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The fattest, cutest Christmas tree ever.

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Wilson has been busy training dear Birdie for duck hunting season. I have no idea why Wilson wants her to be his accomplice in his duck murder, but she looks pretty adorable in this little get-up. I’ve got no clue what this is for.

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This also went in her baby book — Baby’s First Duck Hunt. So proud. 

So that’s generally what I’ve been up to. Next up — showing you around the house. Things are coming along nicely, but progress is a little slow. Between not being able to make a decision and staying within my plastic fork budget, I predict our row home will be completed in 2030. Going to be a great year. 

Cheers!

How to Speak Southern

Athens, Greece

September 20, 2016

Wilson and I returned from our Grecian holiday a little over a week ago, and wow what a trip it was. 10 days of bliss in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Truly, if you have the opportunity to go to Greece, go. Now.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe a place as gorgeous as Greece even exists.

Because I received a lot of questions about our itinerary from our trip to Spain last year, I’ll try to do a better job at describing our itinerary from Greece as well as our accommodations and activities so you’ll be more in the know. And so that one day when I’m old I can go back and read this and remember. 

Our trip began with a quick overnight stay in Athens. I received a lot of feedback about Athens from people who had visited — that it was a big, dirty city, to not stay there for very long, that I most likely wouldn’t be very impressed by it — and I can understand why. But for me, I love two things: 1) a big city and 2) history, so I actually loved Athens. We only stayed there for one night, but I could have easily stayed for another because I loved the history of the city so much. But if you are not high on history or busy cities, one night in Athens will be more than enough for you.

We stayed at the New Hotel, which was wonderful — centrally located, reasonably priced, and beautifully decorated. The room was small, but clean and the bed was super comfortable. Highly recommend. The hotel also has a rooftop restaurant with a view of the Acropolis that is perfect for drinks before dinner.

We flew straight into Athens, landed in the morning and then checked into our hotel for a quick nap before our afternoon tour of the city. Personally I was super jet lagged and groggy, but after an espresso or three I was back in no time. The miracles of concentrated doses of caffeine. 

Our private walking tour of Athens (booked through our travel agent) went through the Plaka, the oldest part of Athens with narrow streets and beautiful row homes, and climbed higher and higher until we reached the Acropolis. Again, because I love history, this was one of the parts of the trip that I was looking forward to most, and it certainly did not disappoint. After all, how could one of the oldest and most sought after destinations in the world let you down?

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Our climb to the Acropolis through the Plaka.

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The view from halfway up to the Acropolis.

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Finally at the top.

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So handsome.

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I tried to focus on looking up as opposed to down…

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The Parthenon in all her glory. I absolutely loved this… History nerd.

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Our travel buddies.

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There were amazing homes right next to the Acropolis — can you imagine looking out of your window and seeing the Parthenon every day? — and these were the gates to one of the home’s side garden.

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This is the Acropolis Museum, dedicated to all things Acropolis and where a large amount of actual remaining pieces of the Acropolis are safely stored. I highly recommend a quick jaunt around — you’ll see some interesting pieces of the Acropolis that are protected from the elements in here and the museum also has a great cafe that is perfect for a quick cup of coffee (or drink) if you need a resting spot that includes AC. The museum’s restaurant also has a large outdoor area that apparently can get quite happening on weekends.

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Some bros inside the museum. At this point I was taking a seat on the ledge near the windows to rest and my travel partners were weary of my picture taking so I took one of some strangers. Hello tank-top-clad strangers. 

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Two more bros with the Acropolis in the background.

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That evening we went to Dionysus for dinner, which was just so lovely. Food was delicious and the view was bar-none — we had a panoramic view of the Acropolis, which is elegantly lit at night. The Greeks know how to do it right.

After Athens, we went to Naxos, part of the Greek isles, and then Santorini, which needs no definition at all. More to come…

Home Living

Paint Colors Are Difficult

August 26, 2016

I think it’s a safe assumption when I say I’m not alone in despising the choice of a wall paint color. It’s such a commitment — so many variables to consider and what if you don’t like it!? Such a nightmare.

Because I believe in surrounding myself with people much smarter than myself, I enlisted the help of my dear friend Addison and asked her for three things: one really great white wall color and two really great gray wall colors.

She answered immediately: Farrow & Ball Shadow White, Farrow & Ball Hardwick White, and Benjamin Moore Gray Owl. Boom. Done.

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Shadow White / Hardwick White / Gray Owl

(They all look super similar in this picture, but they are really very different in reality. Shadow White is a super rich white with a hint of gray, Hardwick White is a beautiful light gray with no traces of any other colors in it, and Gray Owl is a light, airy gray laced with light blue — very spa-like.) 

I then did some quick research on each of these colors and quickly realized the Farrow & Ball choices were incredibly cost prohibitive for my teeny tiny budget. F&B colors are stunning, but holy crap are they ridiculously expensive. Like the cost of mortgage payment ridiculous. And depending on how many walls you have/how big they are, it could equal the cost of several mortgage payments. Cue Wilson’s cardiac arrest. 

So instead of giving Wilson even more gray hair than I already do on a daily basis, I asked our painters if they would be able to mix the paints, and sure enough Sherwin Williams was able to mix the paints to almost exactly the same color, and for a fraction of the price. I’m sure it isn’t perfect, but neither am I, so who cares. Birdie is perfect though. 

Per www.plymouthbuild.co.uk tips and instruction, I painted nearly the entire house Shadow White and I absolutely love it. I would name my firstborn child Shadow White if that were socially acceptable and my parents and in laws wouldn’t disown me. The walls are an eggshell finish, the trim is semi-gloss, and the ceiling is painted egg shell at half strength. This last part is very important to note — there is a natural shadow on any ceiling, so mixing the wall color to half strength makes it lighter and will appear to be the same color as the walls because of that natural shadow thing. Or something scientific like that. Anyway it’s important to remember so that when your painters paint the ceilings double strength you can tell them they did it wrong. Like this:

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Pretty, but wrong.

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Wrong again.

Correct:

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Yas!

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Beautiful picture of the scaffolding.

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Our dining room. We painted this Hardwick White in semi-gloss on the walls and the trim, and then Shadow White in half strength on the ceiling. I loveeeeeeee the trim and walls painted all the same color — looks saturated and modern. Or as Wilson said, “New, but old and updated.” Oh really, do tell me more.

Finished products (you’ve seen these already but now pay close attention to the wall color please):

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I’d like to also point out that Birdie matches the walls and most of the furniture too. Because, again, she is perfect. 

I can’t show you the bedroom quite yet because she’s not done and doesn’t want to be shown off until she has all of her makeup on — sounds like my mother who has never gone out of the house without her lipstick — but let me tell you, Gray Owl is just so perdy. Very peaceful and zen. I’ll show you the master bedroom soon enough… Now on to my midday rosé. I love that that rhymes.

Happy Friday everyone!

Home Living

Life Down the Street

August 1, 2016

Thanks to the help of my mother in law and some of the happiest movers I’ve ever met, Wilson and I have moved into our new home. Louise, thank you so much. You are a saint. 

As often noted, moving is one of the most stressful occasions you’ll experience in life, and this one was stressful, but not as much as our last one, where our Kelowna movers packed up everything and moved across three states to a place we’d been to twice. #blessed #not

But moving is much like renovating a house — both are decisions you make because you conveniently forget just how mentally and physically taxing it is, glossing over the fact that, for all intents and purposes, you live like a complete crazy person for a matter of weeks, or months, or years, depending on the magnitude of said projects.

In our case, both the move and the renovation were relatively small in the grand scheme of things, thankfully so, but I did forget how annoying it is to be without things that keep your life going for weeks on end — like a washing machine, or a tv, or wireless.

We just got TV again after two weeks of being without, and here’s how that time lapse of no TV went:

Day 1: We are totally fine without TV. It’s so nice not having it, you know we turn that thing on for no reason sometimes.

Day 2: I really love having no tv, the peace and quiet is so soothing. I feel so relaxed.

Day 4: Let’s put on some music, I’ve got a really great indie playlist.

Day 6: Wilson, do you have any rap on your Spotify?

Day 9: Wilson, do we have a radio? Could you stream from your car?

Day 11: Birdie, why won’t you talk to me?

Day 12: Wait, what month is it? When is July 4th?

Day 14: Wilson, Birdie just responded to me!

You get the picture. I’d really love to think that I’m intellectually elevated enough that I don’t need to watch TV to be entertained, but I’ve been humbled by the realization that I’m like any other American — disappointingly and disgustingly addicted to television. If I watch Jeopardy, can I still be smart?

Anywho.

The house is coming along nicely — Wilson and I keep inviting people over so that we have a deadline to do things, otherwise we’d be living in squalor for an unacceptably long amount of time. This past weekend we hosted a BYOC party — bring your own chairs — because we don’t have any dining room chairs. #BYOC16 was a huge success, especially because one guest donated two chairs to our cause.

Here’s some sneak peeks of the living room and dining room — neither of which are completed, but progress is progress and it should be celebrated. Oh and also I haven’t posted in four weeks and am no longer considered a blogger. Which isn’t such a bad thing. 

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 My model brought her own props.

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I am really digging this little nook.

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 My new bowl from Cents and Sensibilities, a lovely antique and consignment store in Savannah.

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Recycled goodies from homes prior.

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Hide rug was on sale from Cotswold Marketplace in Charlotte.

When we moved in, one of the painters who was working on the upstairs asked me if it was a lion rug. No. 

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Dining room, modeled by Birdie.

That table was $250 from Craigslist, thanks to Wilson. You is kind, you is smart, you is important. 

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New sideboard from Clutter, a fantastic store in Savannah with a hodge podge of goodies just waiting for a new home. It’s the type of store that you start sneezing in immediately upon entering. Never trust any antique store if it doesn’t make you sneeze. 

Lamps were on sale from Number Four Eleven, another Savannah shop I’m obsessed with.

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I stole those leaves from a neighbor. Just some friendly pruning… Don’t mind me… 

So, what do you think? I think I need a drink. Stat. Who’s with me?

Home Living

House Update

June 28, 2016

Oh hello. It’s been a crazy four weeks since we last checked in. My conversations with Wilson now go like this:

Me: Wilson I got 10% off the sconces for the downstairs vanity.

Wilson: Awesome! How much were they?

Me: $300.

Wilson: No no no no. Anna you have to take those back.

Three weeks ago:

Me: I think brushed brass is going to be perfect for the master bath. I love it.

Wilson: Why can’t you just like chrome?

Me: Because I don’t.

Wilson: I’m getting very agitated.

Me: Why?

Wilson: Because you are so expensive.

A week later:

Me, on the way to work, calling Wilson: Wilson, what do you think if we wallpapered the dining room above the chair rail?

Wilson: What the hell? No. We already ordered the paint. Where are you getting these ideas from?

Me: My head.

Wilson: I’ve gotta call you back. You are so expensive.

And then, last night around 2:45 a.m.:

Me: WILSON! Did Craig [the contractor] call you back?

Wilson: zzzzzzzzzz

Me: WILSON!!!!!

Wilson: WHAT! WHAT’S WRONG?

Me: Did Craig call you back!?

Wilson: ANNA CALM DOWN. YES. GOSH .

As always, poor Wilson. Hehe. 

I’ve been the queen of decision making lately, which I’m quite proud of as that is not one of my strengths. Waffling for months over an infinitesimal detail, now that is my specialty. We’ve picked out almost everything — fixtures, tile, paint colors, etc. — for the remodel. I just can’t wait for everything to come together, because right now it looks like a royal mess. There is a saw horse (is that a thing? Am I making that up?)  where our bed should go, floor is missing from part of the hallway, oh and we JUST got walls. So we’ve got some work to do. And our original date of moving in July 1 has long gone out the window as I anticipated. We’ll be lucky if we get in here in a few weeks, let alone the end of the month. Oy.

Anywho, here’s a quick scroll down reno memory lane to get you up to speed on all the craziness that has been going on these past few weeks:

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Look! The ugly ass smoky mirrors are down from our master bathroom walls! The only problem is that they are sitting in our master bedroom. Note to self: sanitize that area where those mirrors are resting EXTREMELY WELL before moving in. Sick.

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The beginning of demo of the master bathroom. Goodbye nasty jacuzzi tub. No one will miss you.

nasty-toilet

THAT TOILET! Oy vey. Goodbye, so long, get the F outta my house.

guest-bathroom

Demo of guest bathroom. We moved the entrance wall quite a bit back so the bathroom will be smaller, but this way we can have two guest rooms. All about compromise.

guest-bedroom-wall

Initial construction of the wall that will make one oddly long room back into two guest bedrooms.

laundry-room

Before we demo’ed the laundry room. This tiny closet with room for only stackable washer dryer units will transform into a larger room with space for the washer and dryer to live happily side by side. Hallejuah. 

shower

Look! Beginnings of a master shower! This is Wilson’s piece de resistance with two shower heads. I’m a bit nervous he may never get out of the shower. Ever. And for those of you who know him well, you’ll know this is a legitimate concern. 

kitchen

And now moving downstairs…

The wall came down! There was this odd wall divider (that didn’t go all the way to the ceiling, strangely enough) on the jut out in the kitchen cabinets. Hims gone and I’m thrilled. And this is exactly the way the kitchen will look moving forward (or for as long as I can stand it) so get used to it people.

front-dining-room

The living room looking into the dining room — it’s truly amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do to a place. Like I said, this house had great bone structure initially, so she’s really coming along with some beautiful paint colors chosen by the ever-talented Addison Kon. More to come on those later… But in the meantime, check her stuff out. She’s fantastic.

dining-room-2

The dining room — we added that chair rail and painted the whole room — wall and trim — a creamy gray in semi-gloss. I’m obsessed. The antique lighting chandelier is supposed to be hung later this week… It’s like Christmas in July…

dining-room

Pony tail game strong to quite strong.

dining-room-3

living-room

 The living room — nothing new in here but four can lights and new paint, and wow what a difference that made. I’m so excited to see how this space progresses.

And just because we’re in the midst of a semi-ridiculous renovation of our new house does not mean that Wilson and I have slowed our social pace down. Heavens no. Last weekend we went to a stunning wedding of some great friends and had a grand ol’ time:

on-the-dancefloor

dress / shoes

I scored this dress at a major major sale at The Poole Shop in Charlotte — if you are local, I’d highly recommend because they’ve got some really high-end pieces on uber sale. I’d never pay full price for this dress (it’s more than some people’s rent) but it was on sale on sale on sale.

At the wedding I was asked several times if I still write this blog, to which my response was, I don’t really know. Haha. I don’t have as much free time as I used to and often feel like the posts I do write are lackluster and uncreative — boooo — but I have to say, I was truly flattered that people even cared or remembered about dear ol’ SST. So, I’ll try to do better, and thank you to those who’ve asked where the hell I’ve been. Made me feel the warm and fuzzies. 

Home Living

And Just Like That…

May 24, 2016

We’re homeowners again. Woot!

Wilson and I have been working on an off-market sale of a gorgeous townhome on the same block as our current apartment for a few months now, and we just closed on the home last week.

Here’s the beauty in all of her little glory here:

home

Isn’t she just the cutest?

Now of course all I have to show you are terrible cell phone pictures, but I promise I’ll do a better job of illustrating what a lovely home it is. She’s got beautiful bone structure. However, she needs some work. Don’t we all. 

lazy-sit

 Birdie and her lazy ass sit. 

from-kitchen

 Fashion by Wilson. 

master

 The master. No we will not be leaving the purple walls. 

baby-bird

 Look at that sweet little Bird. 

Wilson and I are starting a mini-renovation of the home this week that will last into July, which means it’ll probably extend into 2018. We all know how these things go. But we move in by July 1, which means I at least need some electricity and running water by then. After our last renovation, I really understood what the Jungle Book means with the whole Bare Necessities thing. Bear? Whatever you know what I mean. 

As far as the extent of the renovation, we’re gutting the two upstairs bathrooms and downstairs vanity, painting the house (besides the kitchen, don’t even get me started on that thing), putting up a wall to make one larger room into two smaller bedrooms, and redoing some of the light fixtures to give them a little refresh. Nowhere near the extent or stress — or gray hairs — of Dartmouth, but needless to say I’m sure I’ll be visiting the hairdresser more often to cover those that do appear. Noel get ready.

I’m excited to share this exciting, stressful, and rewarding journey with all 15 of my followers — writing is my therapy, as is a strong gin and tonic — but here’s the thing: I actually need your help. Sometimes my interior decor tastes stray to the tacky and I only realize this after it’s all done, so I need you to stop me if something looks awful. Ok? Ok. Good talk. 

I have a lot of mixed emotions about this project — mostly nerves about doing this again, but I am happy to be able to customize and decorate an actual home. I’ve loved living in our apartment, but I felt like I could only go so far with making it my own. Cheers to the many beers, tears and sneers this reno will inevitably cause. 

And it’s on to the next one…

How to Speak Southern

Easy Recipe: Parmesan Lemon Asparagus

April 14, 2016

This recipe is so easy I feel almost embarrassed sharing this, but I’m always surprised at the things that I share that resonate with people, so I figure I’ll put this out anyways. Parmesan Lemon Asparagus is a super easy mid-week side that you can whip up in a hurry and still feel fancy when you eat it. I’m all about some mid-week fanciness. With spring finally here and in full bloom, you can get fresh asparagus just about anywhere, too.

Parmesan Lemon Asparagus

1 bunch of fresh asparagus, washed and with the ends popped off

1 T of olive oil

1 tsp of kosher salt

1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

1 whole fresh lemon — halve the lemon and remove the seeds, setting one half aside; slice the other half into four slices

4 T of grated Parmesan (none of the fake stuff please)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the bunch of asparagus and pop the ends off (very important, the ends of asparagus are gross and tough). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange on the foil.

asparagus 1

 Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan and toss to coat. Spread the asparagus in an even layer.

ingredients

asparagus 2

Squeeze reserved half of the lemon over the asparagus, and then arrange the four lemon slices on top. Pop in the oven and cook for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until the ends of the asparagus are slightly browned.

asparagus 3

Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Enjoy!

finished product

Pairs very well with a bottle glass of Malbec.