Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Nightmare That is Wal-mart

I am not a Wally World hater. In fact, I love the place. I can get groceries, electronics, toiletries, crafts supplies, and light bulbs, all while having my oil changed and the tires rotated. Oh, and at a discount. Sorry, but I'm a big fan.

I was disappointed the other night, though, when I wheeled my buggy into an enormously long line. There were only about 10 lanes open. At 9:30 p.m. On the Friday before Christmas. If Sam were alive, he would've been ticked.

The lady in front of me was doing ALL of her Christmas shopping. I was mighty impressed that she did this for $313. But back to my story.

So the cashier was moving slower than a snail, and I was determined NOT to get frustrated, even as my orange sherbet was melting away. She was casually scanning groceries and bath mats, sloooowly bagging each item. Finally it was my turn. She greeted me, and I presumed we were about to get going. And then...

Y'all. She started refilling her plastic bag station. WHAT THE? She wasn't in any hurry either. It was totally like the movements when you put a DVD on "slow." Oh, friends, I about had a meltdown.

Let me also add that the lady in line behind me (and her two teenage daughters) were really pressing my buttons. First off, the mom was really pushing me. Like, she kept inching her cart right up on me. And she was standing way too close to me. When I moved up in line, her girls got all up in my grill, and they were leaning over the conveyor belt, getting gum, and like, lolling on my groceries. An elbow totally smashed my bread. And they were examining my purchases too. Butt out, nosy teens.

Here's the best part. When slow checkout lady finally finished, I reached for my debit card, and when I turned back to the swiper thing, the lady was RIGHT UP BEHIND ME. Like, if I put my hand on my hip, she'd have taken a hard jab to the gut. She was bending down reading something, so she said, and she had pushed her buggy all the way up alongside mine. I couldn't even get around my buggy to load the rest of my bags.

I don't know if you can picture this exactly as it happened, but let me tell you, I just about blew up on her. And for those of you in my family who know me well, you know I was twitching trying to control myself. I was all hot and bothered.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Family Chaos, The Good Kind

Tonight was crazy, but fun. We had lots of fam over for dinner. I'm so tired my eyes will barely stay open, but I took lots of pictures tonight and at our brunch yesterday, so I promise to post lots soon. Tomorrow and Tuesday will be so busy, but hopefully after that things will calm down!

Here's a funny little story. Tonight my 4-year-old cousin Caitlyn was teasing my brother, and I told her to ask where her Christmas present was. Zach told her it was in the mail. She prissed back into the kitchen and told us, "He said it's in the mail. It must be a gift card."

I'm sorry. That's funny.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Oh Bring Us a Figgy Pudding

And bring it right now!
Merry Christmas!

Disclaimer: I didn't come up with this idea. I copied it.

Ornament Swap Slideshow

Photographs: Katie Bowlby

Happy Birthday

We got the Bonafe at Cafe Bottega to celebrate Sean's birthday. We didn't have any left, it was so good! Some kind of banana-toffee-caramel dessert.

I kept making Sean pose for pictures that I took myself. I'm trying to use the camera!!

Wreath: Finished

It's not perfectly round, but that just adds to the character.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Worst. Christmas Song. Ever.

Snowflakes of Love, Toni Braxton.

Somebody should've told that girl no.

Only in Alabama

I can barely handle the angel wishes on one of our local radio stations. These people always tell such sad stories about people in need, and then Rob and Shannon give them Visa gift cards. Different stories get different amounts. The stories always make me cry while I'm driving down the road.

The other day, as I was drivin' and cryin', this lady was asking for help for a family. The dad had been out of work, then he got a job, but soon after that he was hospitalized and hadn't been able to go to work.

He was shot because he and his mama had a falling-out, and he went over to her house but she thought she was an intruder. So she shot him. With her shotgun. On the front porch.

I'm sorry, it's still sad, but this could only happen down South. Right?

PS: The man is okay, and Rob and Shannon gave the family $500 in gift cards. All is good. No word on whether or not mama and son mended their rift.

Bell Ringers

Yesterday I saw two of the most exuberant Salvation Army bell ringers ever. One guy outside Walmart was yelling, "MERRY Christmas! HAP-py NEW Year." He was talking really fast, sing-songing the whole way through. It was pretty funny. On the other end of the store another bell ringer was super enthusiastic as well. When I responded to his greeting with, "Fine, how are you," he gives me this: "Oh, I'm fantastic, just enjoying this wonderful, beautiful, magnificent day that our Lord Jesus has given to me."

Which is nice. But he couldn't get it out fast enough, and it just got awkward. I was in a hurry, and I had to stop and wait about five minutes for him to finish. He might consider removing one of the adjectives.

The bell ringer at Sam's was much more sedate. I think he was tired.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Burnin' Rubber

I got a tad scared last night. Well, more than a tad. Kind of like, omgImightwetmypants scared. So I was driving to meet Sean at Cantina last night, and I made a turn and was approaching a red light. There was a lot of activity on the street, people running out to their cars and such, which is unusual. Anyway, there was a line of cars waiting to turn left, so I went around them and pulled up to the light to go straight.

All the sudden the dude in the truck next to me started revving his engine, and smoke was everywhere. I didn't want to look at him, so I just prayed the light would turn green quickly. Next thing I know, he peels out and runs the light. Suddenly about four cars were revving and then they all ran the red light. Tires were squealing and everyone was fishtailing after the turn. I have no idea what was going on. But I didn't like it.


I found the freakin' key last night. I dumped out my purse (again) because it was clearly time to purge. And stuck inside the flap of my Charlie Brown Christmas CD, there it was. Whew.

I checked everything very closely to make sure nothing was stolen. My Santa ornament was still on the tree. The little yellow taxi bank I have was empty, but then again, it always is.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bad Morning

So. I took my house key off of my key ring this weekend so my mom could use it. All the copies of our key have disappeared. Anyway, I locked the door with my loose key yesterday, threw it into my purse (I thought), and went about my day. I didn't need my house key last night because Sean used his. This morning, when I got ready to leave (almost on time!), I couldn't find the key anywhere. I dumped out my purse contents. Nothing. I had to leave.

On my way to work, I called the leasing office to see if they could run over and lock the door. They could, however, they were having trouble cracking the code to open up the key vault. They were working on this problem and promised to lock the door when they got access to their keys.

If any of you would like to steal from us, today's the day.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Leave Your Poll Comments Here!

Per reader request, here's the forum for your poll comments, past and present.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


This is our dog, Buck, and my brother, Zach. I wasn't able to catch him in uniform this weekend, but this is pretty sweet. Buck is 14 years old and he's having trouble seeing, hearing, and with his thyroid. It's sad. He misses Zach since he moved out a few weeks ago, but Zach comes back to visit him often.

Photo Shoot

Here's a sample of what we shot at my parents' kitchen on Monday. It's the first time I've really created something for a shoot! I didn't do it all myself, but a lot of it!

Tiny Wreaths

My sister made fun of this house in our neighborhood in Georgia because these wreaths on the front of the house are so small. In her words, "Why bother?" ha ha.

Trying to Spend $45

I got a letter in the mail last week telling me I had a little more than $45 left in my Flex account. I can pay for doctor copays and prescriptions, but also over-the-counter stuff too. If you don't use all the money by the end of the year, you lose it. I thought I had spent all mine. Anyway, I loaded up at Target last night. I spent $30 on Tylenol daytime liquid, Alka-Seltzer Severe Cold Nighttime, Zicam tablets, and Zicam Nighttime. I'm either going to get better or pass out from all the meds.

Now, if I hadn't had that "free" $45, I would've bought the Target brand daytime/nighttime combo for $4.99 and called it a day.

Sniff, Cough

I'm home sick today. Nasty, rotten cold. It's bad. But Katie thought blogging would lift my spirits. I tried to post a few photos, but there is something wrong with Blogger, so I can't. I will tell you, though, that there is nothing like the chicken soup from Carrabba's to make you feel better. I lucked out yesterday because they actually had it. Usually it's Lentil and Sausage, but Sean called to tell me it was chicken. Next time you're sick, try it!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Little Bit More Christmas

Here are a few more decorating shots. I promise I'll get back to interesting stories one day.

A Few More Favorite Things

We have the amazing Gal Pal deodorant removers. These little pads work wonders on all that white stuff that gets on your clothes.

The Days Ago Digital Counters just stick on jars and bottles that you keep in the fridge after you open them (spaghetti sauce, salad dressing) Then you can easily tell what day you opened the item. Usually I just have to wait for the mold.

Both available at The Container Store.

These lappers are great trays that a lady from my hometown invented. The silicone pads stick on where your plate and cup go. You can tilt the trays up to a 45-degree angle, and dishes won't move. Way cool.

And, just for fun, these cute candy cane glasses make a cool gift. They are festive and cute and would go perfectly with my red dishes from Pier 1.

How is This Better?

I don't understand the marketing here. The new 2x Concentrated Gain is on the shelves, and the company says it takes half as much detergent to do a load of laundry. But the new bottle is half the size of the old one, the number of loads per bottle is the same, and the price is the same. So, it all evens out. What's the big deal?

Anyone? What am I missing?


I think I have one leg that's shorter than the other. Yesterday I had on a pair of long black pants and some heels. All day long, one pant leg kept getting stuck in the back of my shoe. It was so annoying. But it was just the one leg. I think it must be longer than the other, and therefore that pant leg is shorter. The other pant leg fell down below the shoe a little more, and it wasn't getting stuck. Then I started walking funny to stop it from happening, which only made things worse.

Maybe I can take this circus show on the road.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Warning: PG-13 Post

Y'all might not find this as funny as my sister, mom, and I did, but I'll tell you anyway. I'm already tearing up just thinking about this story. In Nashville after Thanksgiving we stopped at this little clothing store. It was kind of a bust, but we were checking it out anyway, being polite, when my mom walked past this here mannequin and knocked the purse off its shoulder. Well, you can see what happened. It just really cracked Laurie and I up. But the best part was that my mom turned around because we were giggling so hard, and at first she didn't get it. And we couldn't quit laughing long enough to tell her. So she finally notices and tells my sister and I we're being silly, only she can't stop laughing either. Then I, thinking of my blog readers, whip out my camera to capture this on film. And by then one of the employees totally noticed us and was craning her neck to check out the commotion. My face was flaming red and hotter than a furnace.

But, come on, guys. Wasn't it worth it? I bet you're laughing a little too.

Merry Christmas Indeed

Today my friend Leah's much-anticipated Christmas package arrived on my doorstep. Leah and her husband, Heinz, have been living in New York for the past year and a half, and she does much freelancing at various magazines. She gets to go to beauty sales where she always scores fantastic stuff. And then she sends it to her friends down South. Here's a photo of what I just got. Yes, by the way, my rule is that if a gift arrives in the mail, you do not have to wait till Christmas to open it. This was my "Happy December 1st" gift. Besides all the makeup and products, she sent two awesome handmade Christmas cards and homemade cookies. She's a phenom.

Thanks, Leah!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

If You Live Up North...

This stocking stuffer is for you. Even when we do get snow down here, it's usually not enough for a snowman. But this is super cute and fun for kids. Or kidlike adults. Whichever. Kit includes: eyes, corn cob pipe, button nose, and a hat. Get it at

And take a picture for me.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Shellfish Shooters

This was pretty cool. At Abacus in Dallas they have something called Lobster Shooters. The waitress brought our lobster dumplings in sake cups, and then she poured a coconut-curry sauce on top. We drank/ate them in one gulp, just like a shot. They were really good. Too bad I can't say the same for the salty sea bass.

For dessert I had Godiva Chocolate Soup. I ate it before I had a chance to take a picture. I think you can all imagine how divine it was, though.

After dinner the courtesy Mercedes R350 from the hotel picked us up. We thought we were ballin'. Actually, maybe it was just me. But whatever, it was fun. And free.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sweet Suite & Good Trip

We stayed in the most awesome hotel this week in Dallas. The Palomar, check it out. (The bed already has wrinkles on it because I flopped down across it before I took the photo. Yes, I am a hillbilly.)

I got a little bit excited about the free amenities you could request. Here I am lounging around in the signature zebra robe and the slippers I had brought up. You can't see it, but I'm laying on a heating pad that was also delivered upon my request.

We also went out for Sara's birthday. I was a picture-taking fool.

We were driven to Monica's Aca y Alla in a Cowboy Cab. (The restaurant was too far away for the Mercedes.) Our driver on the way home talked just like Fat Albert. He was hilarious. He kept eavesdropping on us and then making comments about our conversation.

Sara's friend Tori and her new boyfriend joined us. He kindly took our photo.

Ouch, No Thanks

This is a description for a spa treatment from Exhale Spa in Dallas. The treatment is Cupping, and it is obviously normal to leave with bruises. I can't imagine this is very popular.

I opted for a relaxing facial instead, although the 20-minute extraction process was not pleasant, so maybe mild bruising would have been more enjoyable.

I passed on the recommended $80 pore cleanser. If someone can't see my dirty pores without a 20x magnification mirror, then I feel pretty clean.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Crazy for Christmas Decorations

I started putting up the Christmas stuff Sunday night. Here's a photo of the pink bedroom tree. It's not the one that's been up all year. I found these super cheap stockings at Michael's and then had my friend monogram them. They say "Naughty" and "Nice."

I was kind of mad that the weather had gotten warm again, so I turned the air-conditioner down low and put on a sweatshirt and some holiday pj bottoms from Old Navy. Then I cranked up the Christmas music and lit the Frasier Fir candle.

Oh, and the presents are fake. I just had gift wrap leftover from a work project, and the colors were too perfect for this tree. So I wrapped up some empty boxes.

What? Everyone doesn't do this? Scrooges.

We've Been Elfed!

Leah found this site, and I gotta say, it's pretty hilarious. I did it last night, and we laughed so hard. Especially because the only photo I had of Sean was with his sunglasses on.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hate When That Happens

I have a hard time saying, "I'm sorry." Really hard. Come on, y'all, who wants to admit they're wrong? Not me.

I've developed a habit of offering a sheepish grin and a, "Do you want to be friends again?" to Sean after an argument. Rarely do I have to dig down deep for an actual apology because he mostly lets me get away with this.

But last night I messed up. We were cleaning up and putting away clothes and stuff, when Sean yelled up front to me, "Hey, Steph, have you seen my ties? I can't find them." Because he is always asking me where things are (his razor, this paper, that random thing), I was kind of annoyed. Like, "How should I know?" annoyed. So I kind of snapped back ever so slightly that I wouldn't have any idea where his ties are because I have no use for them.

Then I remembered. I had taken all of his ties and put them in a bag to take shopping so my mom and sister could help me match up shirts. Oops.

I had to say I was sorry. For reals. It went a little something like this.

"Hey, um, I, uh, I need to apologize to you. Because, um....

And if you know me, you know I said it that fast too. And since last night, I've been listening to Sean replay the conversation for me, only I think he's way over-embellishing my snottiness.

A Few of My Favorite Stocking Stuffers

Stainless Steel Shredding Scissors (, $8.99). More compact than a paper shredder and perfect for cutting up all of your receipts! Love these.

Boo Boo Gel Packs (, $9.99 each). You can chill these or heat them up to use on sprains, aches, and pains.

Tie Caddy (, $6.99). This clear plastic tube keeps ties from wrinkling. Roll it up in the clear plastic tube, and store in your drawer. Several of these would also be good for traveling.

PS: I don't know why the photos are so wonky. They always look normal when I preview the posts.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Petaurus Breviceps

Better known as Sugar Gliders, or, Pocket Pets. These are a little bit cute, a little bit creepy. I can't post a photo or I'll be unable to keep my breakfast down. These little things were being sold as pets at The Market this weekend. I'm a little concerned because these animals live for up to 12 years, and they can "glide" (read: fly) around the house. The marketing was geared toward children, and I really think kids would end up hurting these marsupials, although not on purpose. One little girl who was with her grandparents (they had a booth) got two! She was really gentle with them and had them in the little pouch you're supposed to wear. I just don't know.

I was totally shocked when I found out they cost about $400 each too! You do get a discount on pocket pet #2. Go check them out, and let me know what you think:

A Few of My Favorite Things #6

I love this, plus I really, really want one for myself. And let's get real, it's the only thing at the Kate Spade store that I can actually afford. I'm a little shocked it doesn't cost more! Here I present the 2008 Kate Spade Desk Calendar ( + selected retailers, $20).

A Few of My Favorite Things #5

How many times have I needed one of these while traveling?! I love this little iTurbo iPod Charger ($29.99, Here's a description.

Add up to nine hours of playtime to most iPods with this battery-operated charger. It provides immediate power and also charges the iPod battery for future use. The advanced design regulates the flow of energy to protect against overcharging. One AA battery included.

A Few of My Favorite Things #4

I'm digging these 12 Days of Christmas ornaments. I like the set from Crate & Barrel ($39.95) and the set from The Land of Nod ($39.95). If you have kids, it would be fun to hang one ornament on the tree for 12 days, kind of like a countdown. I'm into that kind of stuff.

I really wanted the C&B ones last year, but when I got ready to order them they were sold out. I've been given a second chance!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Too Little, Too Late

I'm really lusting after this enamel ring that J Crew sold last year (only $15). It can be stacked with other colors. They have the enamel bracelets this year, but I already have some. If any of you know where I could find some version of this ring at a price I can afford, help me out!

And...too bad Anthropologie carried this Fuffle ornament last year. It would be perfect for the swap.

In case you're wondering, I found both of these items on archived posts on Oh Happy Day. I told you I love that blog.

A Few of My Favorite Things #3

These quiz books make really cute stocking stuffers. They have other titles too, including a pop culture one. (Barnes & Noble, $5.95).