Monthly Archives: March 2013

Five Favorites for Friday: The Faces of Ron

1. “ooooooooooooooooooo”

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2. “Is that a tater tot?”

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3. “No, I was NOT going to swat the dog. OK, maybe I was.”

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4. “No, seriously. Hand over the tater tot.”

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5. “I do not normally tolerate this kind of tomfoolery. However, the small ones drop more food.”

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Fursday Homer Update

The rescue organization through which I am fostering Homer decided that they would like to have his “dead” eye removed. It was shriveled and gray, and they were concerned that it would be more susceptible to infection if it remained in his head.IMG_6531

So last Friday we took him to Dr. Luke Bevis at Bevis Veterinary Hospital to have it removed. Homer was a total champ through the surgery, and was able to go home the same day, with antibiotics and painkillers.


He was a sleepy Frankenpup for the rest of the weekend, but we’ve cut back on the pain meds and he’s perked up. He also likes having a cold rice buddy put on his eye.

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The incision appears to be healing well; he’s had minimal swelling and zero drainage. He’s unable to eat hard kibble, as the crunching vibrates the eye socket area. (Ouch!) The vet told me to mix the kibble with hot water and a bit of peanut butter, which works like a charm. I hope he doesn’t get used to such fancy feasts!


The stitches will come out after two weeks, and hopefully his face hair will grow back shortly thereafter.

In the meantime, the kids are working on a collection of bedazzled eyepatches for him. Yarrr!!


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WIWW: Spring Break

Last week was Spring Break for public school kids in Leon County. I did make an effort to get dressed, but I utterly failed at taking pictures.

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Monday: I picked up this 100% wool blazer at Goodwill for FIVE DOLLARS. Technically I should have worn heels, but I woke up Sunday with a cold, so driving mocs it was. I threw on a red necklace to match.


Tuesday the temperatures dropped back into the 30s overnight. Brrrr.


Have a lovely week!

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WIWW: And Now For Something Completely Different

This week, I dressed in nothing but sartorial interpretations of my torrid love affair with cheese.

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Wait, that’s not right.

This week I stopped pinning potential outfits I loved, and actually made a few happen. In real life, y’all.

First Attempt: This was my inspiration (uncredited photo of a headless person):

The elements: black sheath dress (or skirt and top? hard to tell), belt, chunky necklace, bright cardigan, black heels.

Seriously, a hamster could put together this outfit. I bet you have it in your closet right now.

Here’s what I came up with:

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Ermahgerd, I’m a model!

And then, later in the week, I DID IT AGAIN.

Second attempt: Here’s the inspiration:

Elements: chambray shirt, belt, black pants, headlessness

And my version:


Did you see that? How I put a chambray shirt with black pants? It’s like I’m some kind of WIZARD.

I am still perplexed by the half-tucked-in shirt thing. But I tried it. Because my co-workers could not care less what I look like.

And because maybe the third time’s the charm….

Third attempt: Inspiration, from Work Clothes, I Suppose:

Elements: Gray skirt, striped tee, yellow cardigan, black heels, long necklace.

And now, my turn:


Have a lovely week!

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(Not Avada Kedavra. That’s different.)

We have a pair of wingback chairs. They used to live at my parents’ house, in the family room. By the time they came to me, they’d been well-loved for at least two decades.


Last week, we had them reupholstered, and they are, simply put, AMAZING.


Yes. OCTOPUS. ALL OVER. The fabric is Aquadisiac from Duralee, and the upholsterer made new seat cushions. It’s like having brand-new chairs.


Brand new OCTOPUS chairs, that is.

And look how well they tie into the foyer!


If you’re in Tallahassee and need upholstery services, I recommend Pride’s Upholstery. They had the chairs back to me in a week, and the cost was far less than buying new. Plus, they only laughed a little bit when they saw my octopus fabric. Bless them.


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Five Favorite Things for Friday: Products

High five!

Last week I shared my five favorite pizzas, and this week I’m sharing my five (current) favorite beauty products. I like ending the week on a positive note.

1. Brush-on Cuticle Oil, by Sephora


My cuticles are, to be quite blunt, a hot mess. No matter how much water I drink, or how much lotion I use, they’re just… not good. I have a mango cuticle oil that I brush on at night sometimes, but that comes in a glass nail polish bottle. This cuticle oil, which comes in a highly-portable squeeze tube, lives in my purse. That means I actually use it! My nails look approximately a hundred times better.

2. Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm, by Clinique

I pretty much have a hate-hate relationship with lip color. The closest I’ve ever gotten to a comfortable lipstick is Revlon’s ColorBurst Lip Butter.  And while I’m not sure that I appreciate my lip color calling me fat (all the color names are consistent with the “chubby” theme), this product is wonderful. It’s incredibly lightweight, and feels like a good balm. I chose the neutral A Whole Lotta Honey, but will probably pick up a darker shade if all continues to go well.

3. Olay Total Effects Eye Treatment, by Olay


I have extremely sensitive skin, plus rosacea, so I have to be very careful what I put on my face. I bought this back in December, on the recommendation of Girls of a Certain Age, and am still crazy about it. It goes on at night, and when I wake up my eye skin is soft and smooth, instead of dry and papery.

4. Herbal Essences throwback bottle and smell

This product makes me so happy. Every time I use it, I thank God I’m not sixteen any more.

5. Suave Captivating Curls Cream Mousse


I have fine hair, but a TON of it, and it doesn’t hold curl well. This product paired with my hot rollers yields ACTUAL CURLS that are non-crunchy. Best of all? I am not required to hair-spray the bejeezus out of my head afterwards. The curls actually stay. WOAH. The texture of this mousse is really neat – it starts out relatively mousse-y, but turns almost creamy when you rub it in your hands.

That’s it! Have a great weekend!

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WIWW: Camptastic

The allergy fog persists, but we soldier on.

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My friend Nina had her birthday last week. She celebrated in grand style, ending up facedown on the kitchen floor, wearing nothing but a pink tutu, birthday sash, and festive hat. We should all party so hard.

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This was Thursday. Last week one of the WIWW posts I visited showed a belt over a shirt, but under a cardigan, so I decided to try that. It was reasonably successful! I should have put Homer in a matching pink cardigan so we could be twinsies, right? Right.


Saturday: When camping, one gets points for survival, not style. Although it does help to have adorable 9-year-old accessories.

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Monday: Initially, I wore this tee/cardigan combination with a black sleeveless dress, but I looked like a kindergartener. So I ditched the dress and added teal pants. As one will.


Homer appears to approve.

Have a lovely week!

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I will learn to like camping if it kills me.

Since Tyler joined the cub scouts, I have camped more than I ever wanted to have before. While I am far more tolerant of camping than I used to be, I’m still not firmly in the pro-camping….er….camp. I don’t consider myself to be high-maintenance, but I have become accustomed to hot running water. Also, we usually camp within the state of Florida, which means there is a non-zero chance of ROACHES AS BIG AS YOUR EYEBALLS OMG.

Ahem. Sorry about that.


Because I am a silver linings kind of girl, I will share some tips and tricks I have learned that make camping much more bearable.

1. Camp with a group, but not a huge one.

This weekend, we camped with Tyler’s den (7 families) instead of the whole pack (usually 40 families). Less noise! Fewer poor parenting decisions! Better access to bathroom facilities! A small group also acts as insurance. If you forgot something important, like bug spray or a broom, it’s likely you can borrow. Bonus points if your group includes experienced campers.


2. Start small.

All our previous camping trips have been over two nights. This was just one night. A REVELATION. I do not sleep well while camping, and on previous trips I’ve spent most of the second day cranky and dreading the second night. We arrived at the campsite early Saturday afternoon, had the pack’s Blue & Gold rank advancement ceremony and dinner, and relaxed in the evening with s’mores around the campfire. Sunday morning, the boys participated in a service project, and we were out of there by about 11:00.


3. Stay dry, stay warm.

Put a waterproof tarp under your tent. Put your sleeping bag on a pad, or a cot. Pack everything in waterproof containers and Ziploc bags. Bring layers of clothing – 65 degrees feels a lot different outside at night than it does in your home.

4. Get to know your equipment – BEFORE you need it.

When we bought our tent, we practiced setting it up in the back yard. Now Jason, Tyler and I can set the tent up in about 10 minutes, and I actually packed it up by myself on Sunday. If you have a camp stove, practice using it in your driveway.

5. Identify and address your weaknesses.

Ask yourself, Why don’t I like camping? For me, I don’t like feeling dirty, I don’t sleep well on the ground, and I don’t like being cold. So I pack baby wipes, Advil PM, and a hat/gloves/wool socks every time we go. It doesn’t make it AWESOME, but it definitely helps.


6. Take a page from the Boy Scouts.

That means, “Be Prepared.” The internet is filled with lists of things to pack on camping trips. Make a list. Check it twice. Bring extra batteries. It’s better to overpack, at least on your first trip.


7. If all else fails, make s’mores.

They really do make everything better.

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Five Favorite Things: Pizza

It turns out that children will eat almost any food if served in pizza form, so we usually have homemade pizza once a week at the Taylor ranch. I love trying new topping combinations, although they’re usually happier if I stick with pepperoni or (gag) plain cheese. Here are my current five favorites:

1. Buffalo Chicken Pizza, from How Sweet It Is

I made this for the first time on Sunday night, and it knocked my socks right off. Since blue cheese is one of my migraine triggers (I know, weep for me), I had to use all ranch dressing (instead of half-ranch, half-blue-cheese) and crumbled gorgonzola for the top. Also I added crumbled bacon, because BACON.

2. Fig-Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula, from The Pioneer Woman

This is my absolute favorite summertime pizza. It’s classy enough to serve to grown-ups with a cold chardonnay.

3. Pulled Pork Pizza, from Life’s Ambrosia

I’m not trying to brag, but my husband is a bit of a pulled pork magician. (STOP GIGGLING.) He makes his own seasoning rub and everything. Lately we’ve been cooking pork butts in the crock-pot, with excellent results. We use the meat for sandwiches, nachos, and this pizza. It is amazing. You’d think the pork would be heavy, but the flavor is brightened by the cilantro and onion.

4. Potato Leek Pizza, from The Pioneer Woman

This recipe appears in PW’s first cookbook, but the recipe was featured in the Village Voice in 2009. I’d never used potatoes on pizza before, and it was a revelation. My pepper mill gets quite a workout when I make this one.

5. Spinach Bacon Alfredo Pizza, by me

Start with your favorite pizza crust. Spread a thin layer of roasted garlic on it, followed by a layer of alfredo sauce. Next, defrost a box of frozen spinach and spread it on top of the sauce. Sprinkle with salt, and throw on some chopped sun-dried tomatoes if you’re feeling frisky. Top with a bag of Italian-blend cheese (or fresh mozzarella and Parmesan), and then throw on some crumbled bacon. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.


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Fursday Homer Update

Homer is ready to be adopted.

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Am I quite ready for him to BE adopted? No.

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Homer is being fostered through the Boston Terrier Rescue of East Tennessee – Florida Division. If you’re interested, or know someone who might be, please fill out an application on their web site.

So what kind of home is Homer looking for?

Homer seems to do fine with both cats and dogs, although he requires an introductory period. He does not like being sneaked up on (Ron the cat, I’m looking at you).

Homer loves people. He does not bark when the doorbell rings, and is super-wiggly when encountering new visitors. Worst. Guard dog. Ever. He’s great with children of all ages.

Homer is crate-trained. When he’s not in his crate, he needs to be taken out every 2-3 hours.

Homer’s favorite thing is food. He loves his regular dry food, and especially loves treats. We’re currently training him to get into his crate when asked. He already knows “Sit” and “Speak.”

Homer is up to date on all his vaccinations and is heartworm negative. He doesn’t take any medications. He weighs about 25 lbs. AND I LOVE HIM.

Because he’s blind, he’s not a dog you can take on long walks. The traffic noises kind of freak him out. Bostons are indoor dogs, and Homer is no exception. However, if you have a fenced, hazard-free yard, he’d be fine going out for bathroom breaks by himself. He loves to roll in the grass when the sun is shining.

Please pass this along to anyone who is looking for a sweet, laid-back dog to welcome into their home. Thanks!

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