Friday, December 14, 2012

My etsy Christmas List

Happy Christmas Season everybody! This is one of my favorite times of the year and it is definitely Russell's fave! I feel like I live with Father Christmas. :) We got our tree (from some guy on the side of the road) last weekend, decorated it, and even drove around town looking at lights.

This year, I've done a lot more Christmas shopping online than I have in past years. Partly for convenience, and partly for cost. Is partly a word? Is now! Of course, my favorite place to shop is - and I'm not just saying that because I have a shop. Etsy is made up of sellers just like me, so there is a personal connection with your seller that I think we miss these days in "big box" stores. Also, the goodies on etsy are adorable and one of a kind for sure! :) Here are some of my current faves:

Love this ikat pillow from WillaSkyeHome- our bedroom needs a little "pop" of color and this would be perfect!

This letterpress print from 1canoe2 would be sweet for any Tennessean on your list. They feature other states too!

If I had kids, this Fisher Price art print from handdrawncreative would be in their bedroom! I totally had this toy as a kid (and still do!)

And this beautiful jadeite lamp from jaditekate would look so perfect in a vintage home. If I found one of these in Goodwill, I would cry. :)

I hope you are close to having your Christmas shopping done! :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

The joys of teaching

Continuing the tradition of posting stupid interesting things kids say.....

Yesterday, we listened to 2 traditional spirituals in class- "Poor Man Lazrus" and "Soon-Ah Will Be Done", both sung by the Fisk Jubilee Singers. When asked to summarize the text, here's what 6th graders wrote- my own comments in bold.

About "Poor Man Lazrus"

"It's about how they used to put slaves into a fire to punish them" (I fear this kid has mixed up slavery with the Holocaust)

"It's about a poor man named Lazrus who got his finger stuck in a watermelon." (If you know the song, this makes sense. "Dip your finger in the water, come and ...." does sound like "Stick your finger in the watermelon"

And about "Soon-Ah Will Be Done"

"It's about Jesus and your mom" (MOM, there's a spiritual about you!)
"It's about a guy who's done with women so he's gonna go stay with God" (So that's why the slaves were so upset: girl problems.)
"Talking about going home to live with god and the song talks about meeting Jueuss" (Best spelling of Jesus ever.)

 "They want to eat his mom and Jesus." (Maybe the Fisk Jubilee Singers need to work on diction- the text is "I want to MEET my Mother")

Happy Weekend!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall Etsy Faves

It's been awhile since I've talked about my Etsy shop, so I figured I'd update you! What started as a little side hobby has become.....well, a bigger side hobby. It's still not going to make me quit my day job or anything, but as of today I've made 189 sales :) I really enjoy the shop- especially hunting new pieces to put inside of it!

Here are a few of my favorites from my own shop right now:

First, this fun sheet set named "Vintage remixed full sheet set in vintage flowers". I love putting together sheets sets made up of mismatched sheets and pillowcases. I thrift and estate sale to find the pieces and then wash, dry, and match them up with their long lost relatives. I label it and tie it with a bow, list it and it's ready to go! :) I love this set because it's a good mix of florals- all of the colors coordinate really well without any sticking out. And of course, because they're older, the sheets are soooooo soft!

Second, this pretty mid-century ceramic pot. I picked this up at a thrift store and was drawn to it because it's in great condition, it's mid-century, which I love, and the teal lid is just awesome! I like to use vintage pieces like this in my own home- maybe to store bobby pins or buttons or whatever!

And third, this set of 3 Mason Jars- y'all know I love Mason Jars! Every room in my house has at least one jar. These are actually 3 from my own collection. I love them because they are a perfect robins egg blue. Everything looks pretty in a mason jar. Cotton balls in the plastic wrap? Ew. Cotton balls in a sweet blue mason jar? Niiiiiice.

Here are some favorites from other people's Etsy shops:

This pretty hand painted herringbone mug is from my friend Jenni's shop: "B in your Bonnet". She hand paints mugs and platters with super fun designs! She'll even custom paint your pet (or whatever you want) onto a mug! My friend Elizabeth commissioned her to paint her guinea pig on a mug and it is ADORABLE :)

And this is a gift box / wall art from my friend Bethany's shop, "The Whole Package." Bethany creates handmade gift wrap that doubles as wall art! Isn't that a cool idea?? The lid hangs on the wall! She's also all about custom work, so if you have a great idea, message her- she loves to make your ideas come to life :)

And lastly, will someone please buy me this pillow? It would be the perfect pop of color on my bed :)

Happy Fall!

Monday, September 17, 2012


My least favorite part of email is the subject line. And now my least favorite part of blogging is the post title. The pressure of coming up with something funny that also captures the essence of your blog post is just too much for me! Ah, first world problems, right? :)

So, I'm cleaning last Saturday and notice something strange sticking out of the laundry pile on the bed: 

 Do you see it? A little cat tail :)
Why do cats love clean laundry?

Our guest room is actually clean and clutter free because we hosted Russell's cousin Garner and his sweet son Collin this past weekend. Usually, this bed is covered in my etsy sheets.

 A little DIY artwork for the wall- a map of Tennessee glued to corkboard. Of course, the heart is over K-town! don't see how filthy the hearth is! Seriously, it's awful- we'll need to replace those tiles someday.
 I love the light in this room!

This is a fun piece I picked up at an estate sale- you can move the note up and down on the staff with a little string and lever on the back!

More music room-- this is a page from a children's book that I matted and framed in a thrift store frame. The print reads "The Band Learns to Play"

Hallway pictures and chalkboard!

Happy fall, y'all!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer happenins

Hello world! Hope you're having a fun summer :) Ours is....over. Russell's been back at work for 3 weeks now, I go back next week. Nothing lasts forever, I suppose. I'm actually looking forward to fall- the weather, food, and events, not work of course.

Here's what we've been up to lately!

Mom, Dad, and I traveled "up north"- first to attend my great Uncle John's memorial service and then to see my cousin Allan get married. This picture is mom and I with my Aunt Peggy and her 4 girls (my cousins)- all sporting our "Funkberry" temporary tattoos (Allan married a girl whose last name is Funk). We had a great time!

For my 32nd birthday, Russell built me this beautiful console table! Yes, you read that right: he BUILT it! I think he did an awesome job- Bijou agrees.
Here's the big project of the summer: the side porch. This is the day we looked at it, 2 years ago. It's hard to see, but the floor and railings were totally rotten. We referred to this porch as "Death Porch"

This is during the 2011 renovation when we relocated the door (or rather re-relocated it, as we moved it to its original position). You can see all the jagged edges of the floor boards here.

And, this is now! New floor, new brick foundation, new railings. The peeling paint along the roofline was scraped and repainted.

Up close of the new floor

And here's what's left to do: the door. First, remove the scary burglar bars, which is harder than it would seem! Those damn bars are bolted on there. 

Second, paint the door. Once upon a time, someone thought burgundy would be a great accent color. I HATE it. Not sure what color the door will be, maybe just white, but the burgundy has got to go.

Lastly, this door needs new hardware! :) Ah, the list goes on and on.

Hope your summer has been fun!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Goings on

 Hi world! It's been awhile since we had an actual update, so here's what's happening around our place!

 Russell and our neighbor, Jeff, entered a cornhole tournament last Friday. They didn't win, but had a good time and got to see some real Knoxville characters... :)

    We got a dog! Her name is Bijou :) She's a Lhasa Apso from the Animal Shelter. The picture below on the right is how she came to us- the one on the left is after her first haircut.

 Stevie is still warming up to the dog. He sleeps with one eye open, just in case.

And Chessie's so mad, she sleeps on the roof.

I've been doing a lot of estate sale-ing-- finding lots of new goodies for my store! (Mostly sheets)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The hills are alive...

...with the "Sound of Music" test answers!

I know many of you have been chomping at the bit for my yearly round-up of the best (re: worst) answers my 6th graders give on our "Sound of Music" test. Well, they're in and they do not disappoint. We took the test a few weeks ago and, as usual, the results are discouraging. :) 

*Disclaimer: these answers do, thankfully, represent only a small portion of the kids I teach. Most students aced this bad boy, no problem. So don't go thinking that I'm the crappiest teacher ever or that I just pop in the video and then give them a hard test so I can make fun of them. No, no, we did actually study this, complete with review sheet and review game before the test! Which makes these answers all the more perplexing. :)
My comments are in bold.

First off, various spellings of "nazi":


Question 1: Name 3 Songs from "The Sound of Music"

Children answered:

Dough a deer

Do, a bear
O, Holy Deer
Oh! A Bear! (love this answer!)
The Mountain Climb
The montens coco (? No clue what this kid was shooting for)
Climb even more mountains
The Sound of Mucis (ew.)
Do-re-me, pot-a-beer (what??)
My ferret thing (Ok, I stared at this one for a long time before my co-teacher realized he meant "My Favorite Things". You know the old tune: "Small cardboard boxes and little cups of water. Cages and tunnels and balls that are rubber. Looks like a rat and smells even worse- these are a few of my ferret things!")

Question 2: Name the Vontrapp children. I provide blanks for each letter of the name and fill in about half of them for the kids. All they have to do is fill in the remaining blanks. (This one's a personal favorite of mine :) Correct answer in bold, child answer after!)

_IES_ (Liesl) : "Lieso, Liesa, Diesl, and Fiesta." Yes, this last child added a blank and made her name "Fiesta".
FRIE __ __ __CH (Friedrich): Oh, kids can NOT spell this name!
I got "Friercech, Frieredch, Friegrech, Frielnsch, and Friepench.
B__IGI __ __ __ (Brigitta):
Bligiese (?? Sound it out kids), Brigihta, Baigital,  Brigitah, and my favorite: Boigiagy. Seriously, what the hell happened here?
__ OUIS__ (Louisa):
Couise, Gouist, and Bouise.
K __ __ T (Kurt):
Kart, Kust, Kact, Keet,
__ ART __ (Marta):
Barta, Sarua, Farta and Larda.
G__E__L (Gretl):
Geeel, and my favorite of all time: Greal. Sounds like a Tolkien charcter :)

Question 3: Fill in the blanks with the correct lyrics to "Do, a deer". Here is a compilation of the worst answers:

Do, a deer, a
_baby_ deer  (female)
Re, a _pot_ of golden  _jews  (drop of golden sun- in her defense, I think she meant "jewels". I hope she meant "jewels".....)
Mi, a name I call my _dog_  (self)
Fa, a long, long ____ to run  (way)
Sol, a _rope__ pulling __along__ (needle pulling thread)
La, a note to follow _me_ (sol. DUH.)
Ti, a drink with a pouch and a lemon (jam and bread)

Question 4: In which country does this musical take place? (Correct answer: Austria)

Austrailia (about 3 dozen kids put this)


Question 5: In the beginning of the musical, the Captain calls the children by: (whistle)


a dance
a weasel

Question 6: Maria isn't a very good nun. Why not?

Because she eats too much

Because she ain't responsible
She plays on hills outside
She drinks too much and doesn't listen
She's too quiet (Ok, the musical literally starts with her singing at the top of her lungs on a hill....)

Question 8: If the Baroness marries the Captain, what will she do with the children? (Send them to boarding school)

Send them to foster care

Question 9: The children put on a puppet show- what is the puppet show about?


A goat boy and his goats
The lonely sheep boy
Love and yodeling
Goats on people, yodeling
Two people and two goats fall in love and have a baby (I'd like to see that baby...)
It was like about something to do with a boy and these two sheep that liked each other or something. And the boy liked this one girl. I guess.

Question 10: What is the lesson Mother Superior is trying to teach Maria during the song "Climb Every Mountain"?

That it is okay to explore yourself

Even though it gets you hard just face the problem. (Ok, did a double take on this one. The kid reversed "you" and "hard"...should have read "even though it gets hard, you just face the problem")

Question 11: Captain VonTrapp ends up marrying whom? (Maria)

The Captain
(Interesting. I'd like to know how that works exactly)

Question 12: What is the Anschluss? (When the Nazis took over Austria)

A deer

A musical
A party

Question 13: What does Herr Zeller want from Captain VonTrapp? (To come out of retirement and captain a Nazi naval boat)

He wants him to join the other team

He wants the children to sing in the festival (The kids are super confused about Uncle Max vs. Herr Zeller which is a shame as one is their fun-loving Uncle and the other is a Nazi...)
To marry him

Question 14: Who is the family running from at the end of the musical? (The Nazis)

The Nuns


Question 15: Why can't the family just drive to Switzerland? (Because the Nazis have closed the borders)

Because they don't want to start the engine and wake up the Nazis.

Question 16: Who wrote and composed this musical? (Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. I have said this approx. 3 million times in class)
Michael Jackson

Ricky Richard
Richard Ricky (yes, Ricky Richard AND Richard Ricky were on different kids tests)
The Captain and Maria (Is that like Captain and Tennille?)
Harrold Howard and Herr Zeller
Jack Russell

So, in synopsis: "The Sound of Music" is a musical by Michael Jackson and Herr Dettweiller set in Austrailia about a nun who is asked to leave her Abbey because she eats too much and is kinda a drunk. She becomes a governess to the Von Trapp children: Fiesta, Friercench, Boigiagy, Gouist, Kart, Larda, and Greal whose strict father, the Captain,  calls them to him with a dance. She teaches them songs such as "Oh! A Bear!" and "My ferret thing". The Captain intends to marry the Baroness, who will, sadly, send the children into foster care when she becomes their step mother. To win her over, the children perform a puppet show about goats/human bestiality. Meanwhile, Maria discovers she has feelings for the Captain and returns to the Abbey to seek guidance from the Reverend Mother who counsels her to "explore herself." She returns to the VonTrapp house, they fall in love and get married. However, during their honeymoon, the Anschluss occurs, which as we all know, is a big party with deer. The Captain tries to avoid being asked to join the Knotsee regime, but turns out Herr Zeller was only going to profess his own love and ask him to sing in a music festival. In the end, the family runs from the nuns who have invaded Austrailia, but they have to walk because the nuns are light sleepers and would hear their engines start.

Sounds about right! :)

Til next year,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Etsy faves

Hi world! I don't have any house related news to share today, but I thought I'd post about my latest obsession: Etsy. If you're unfamiliar, Etsy is kind of online market for handmade and vintage goods. It's full of unique, one of a kind finds. I have a small shop called "A Very Lovely Life" where I sell vintage linens, kitchenwares, and funky housewares. It's just a side hobby, but I really enjoy it! I love hearing where my stuff ends up- for example, I sold some sheets which became a little girls first "big girl" sheets on a new bed. And I recently sold a sheet set to a theater in New York! No telling where (or in what show) those will end up!

Here are a few of my favorite Etsy shops:

MetroSouth features unique picture frames in a fantastic color palette! I'm lusting over this teal chevron.....

Okay, I don't have kids, but when I do, this is where I'm buying my diaper bag! I'm in love with the fabric this seller chooses!

Jadite Kate Full confession: Jadite Kate is my hero. She chooses the most fantastic Jadite pieces and then takes really beautiful pictures of them. I would love to know where she finds it all- I scour thrift stores/estate sales/garage sales every weekend and have only seen ONE piece. EVER! P.S. If you want to buy me a present.......

Wicked Paper
Wicked Paper sells the cutest prints! I bought this one last week- this is kinda my motto in life :)

And of course, a little shameless self promotion never hurt, right? Here are a few favorites from my own store!

What about you? What are your favorite etsy shops? Do you prefer store bought or handmade?