Wednesday, August 31, 2011

All I want...

All I want, is to get this pretty chandelier that I purchased a month ago hung in my bathroom.

That's all I want.

Doesn't seem too complicated, does it?

Well here's the story...

I called an electrical company, All American Electrical, to be precise.  Don't mind giving them "a plug" for their fabulous work (read sarcastically).  Originally, I was calling to find out how much it would cost to have electricity run to the ceiling and get this installed.  You see, I don't currently have a fixture in the ceiling where this needs to go.  I called them because they had been sent to me on another issue by my Home Warranty company.  Before they came out for that job, they called me and talked me through fixing the problem myself, which saved me money.  It was a simple fix and they knew it, so they helped me out rather than taking my money.  I operate my business like that too, so that's why I called them for this job. 

Their price was good, so I scheduled them for the "next Wednesday".  I ordered the chandelier ASAP, so that it would be in and ready to go.  On the next Monday, I got a call from them and was told that they couldn't come on Wednesday, blah, blah, blah.  So they scheduled me for last Tuesday (which was a couple of weeks after the original Wednesday).  They told me to leave all day open and they would call closer to the date to narrow down a window or time.

On Monday, I hadn't heard from them, so I called.  I was told they would be there between 8:30 & 10:30 on Tuesday, but that I was first on the schedule.  At 10:30, they still hadn't showed so I called.  Then I was told that I was on the schedule for Thursday.  Well, I couldn't do it on Thursday.  My schedule was booked...over-booked in fact partly because I had been forced to leave my Tuesday completely clear.  I spoke with a manager who apologized and couldn't believe this had happened.  He scheduled me for today.  I was assured that they'd be here at 8:30 sharp, so I could be able to leave by 11:30 to get to my noon class.

So at 9:00 this morning I have the following phone conversation:

"Hi, we're calling to let you know we are leaving Garland in a few minutes to head your way and hang your chandelier."

Um, well, that means you are at least 30 minutes away. 

"Probably"

You know you have to be done by 11:30?

"No"

You do know that you aren't just HANGING a chandelier, but that you need to run electricity before you hang it, right?

"No"

Can you do that in less than 2 hours?

"Probably not"

Well, I guess you don't need to waste your time coming then, do you?

"If they'd have told me, we would have come first thing"

End Scene...

So I've tried calling the manager on his cell phone that he gave me and at the office.  He won't call back.  I really want him to call back so that I can tell him to FORGET IT!

I'm trying to schedule someone else now.

All I really want is a pretty chandelier in my bathroom.

A little glamour in my life.

I guess glamour comes at a frustrating cost?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fashion Report

A couple of things have caught my eye recently in the Fashion World, so I wanted to share them with you.  Did you know there is a Banana Republic Mad Men Collection ?  I love most all of the collection, but here were some of my favorites...





On another and cheaper note, Tarjay is coming out with another designer series by Missoni.  It will premier September 13th and is slated to stay in the stores until October 22nd, or until they sell out.  Prices will be from $2.99 to $599.99, but Target promises most pieces will be under $40.  Here are some of the pieces I love...
I really like this sweater...

LOVE both of these pairs of shoes!


I bet these shoes sell like hotcakes, so I plan to be there pretty early on the 13th to try and nab a pair!



I've honestly toyed with not posting this until after the opening on September 13th, but then I told myself not to be stupid or stingy.  I mean, its not like we would all be shopping at the same Target!  If you want an advanced preview, you can check out the Target Missoni Full Lookbook.

Monday, August 29, 2011

An odd thing to do in class

So as you know, school started back last week.  While Irene was churning itself in the water to become a hurricane for the east coast, my calender was a hurricane all on its own, reeking havoc on my life here in Texas.  First week of school + busiest lawyering week of the year + law partner on maternity leave = not good.

By Friday night, I was tired and in pain.  It seems standing on your feet almost all day every day and walking miles in heels, can cause some pain for your body.  On Friday night, my left ankle and foot hurt so bad that I thought I was going to have to get the crutches out the garage just to get around my house.  Thankfully, I feel better, but the heels are going to be a rarity this week.

Anyway, in all that hub-bub, there was one thing about school that just cracked me up last week.  On Wednesday, a guy, who had seemed perfectly normal on Monday, busted out some knitting before class.  I just looked at him and thought, Huh, that guy is KNITTING.  But one of his classmates finally busted out with a "What are you doing up there?  Are you knitting?!?  What are you knitting?".  He informed us all that he was knitting a scarf.

I have to give it to my students, they didn't mock him.  They simply inquired about how long is the scarf going to be, etc.  He put up his knitting for lecture, but towards the end of class, we were doing a current events interactive discussion and out came the knitting again. 

I rocked along pretty good, wanting to laugh, but not doing so, until the very end of class when he pulled out his iphone...his iphone was housed in a case that he had knitted for it!

The knitting continued on Friday.  It's really a work in progress and we as the class are witnesses to the developments. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NPFP (Never Pay Full Price)

I've entitled this post Never Pay Full Price (NPFP) because, well, that's usually my motto.  I love nice things and I love getting them on a deal!

Let me show you some of my recent finds...

FIND # 1:

I was going to a fancy grocery store a few weeks back and I missed my exit off the highway (I swear the exit sign was missing!).  Anyway, I was forced to exit on a different road, and while exiting, I thought to myself  You know Nordstrom Rack is just up the street...  Of course, I made the detour.  I hadn't been to Nordstrom Rack in ages, and had never purchased a thing there.  In fact, I don't really know if I would have even characterized myself as a "Nordstrom Shopper" the last time I was there. 

I found Nordstrom Rack to be a completely different world when I was there.  I think it helps to be a "Nordstrom Shopper".  If you are familiar with the store, then you can zero in on brands (a lot of the store is organized by brands) that you like.  I found several things I liked, but only purchased one thing...new sunglasses.  I mean heck, if I'm going to live on the face of the sun (aka: Texas), I need a new pair of sunglasses, right?  Seriously though, I've been in the market for some new ones for about a year.

I got these Tory Burch ones...


and in the spirit of NPFP, *drumroll please*, I got them 60% off retail!
and they even came with a cute case...
FIND #2:

I found an adorable patent leather Kate Spade wallet in Gumdrop (hot pink) last December.  It was on sale and I should have bought it, but I didn't.  I rationalized that it was December and it was Christmas, and I was spending enough on gifts already, and there wasn't anything wrong with my wallet, except it was a little beat-up.

Then it became one big freaking shopping regret.  The wheels started to fall off of my wallet, so to speak, and then I couldn't find one that I like and was on sale.  Then my wallet got even worse.  Last Sunday, I took the plunge and ordered a new wallet.  My friend, Abby, ordered the same wallet on the same day.  We buy matching wallets.  Not sure why.  We just do.  I also get amused that it confuses the heck out of her kids that we have identical wallets and phone cases.

Anyway, I don't really consider this purchase an extravagance, it was a necessity!  Well, okay, so I could have gone to Wal-Mart, so to that extent it was an extravagance, but I mean really, I'm not going to do that.  I'm just not. 

Here's proof that the old Coach needed to go...
It lost it's snap months ago...
Ghetto.  Just total ghetto...
Now the for the new Kate Spade:  Love that it's wrapped cute from the second you open the box...
Abby & I are both beside ourselves about this box.  We'd die for a wallet that matched...


This isn't the pink gumdrop one, but it is patent...
a bright color ~ called Salmon which goes from pinky in some light to coral-ish in other lights (but easy to spot in your purse)...
and the style I wanted...
AND it was procured in the spirit of NPFP for 58% off Original Retail!

FIND #3:

Remember these pants I got at the Nordstrom Sale in two different colors? 

Well I planned to wear them with my tall riding boots, BUT, I kept thinking that they were cute as shown with the ankle booties.  I also reasoned that the tall boots can be too hot unless the weather is really cool.  Since I haven't seen the other side of 100 degrees in forever, I thought that I could probably wear the pants more often (especially here in Texas this Fall) if I had some booties.

In the spirit of full-disclosure, I seem to remember a conversation with Lisa last fall where I proclaimed something along the lines of "I wouldn't be caught dead in a pair of ankle booties".  I guess a girl can change her mind.

I had recently received a $10 rewards certificate from DSW.  Jennifer had a $10 off coupon that she wasn't going to use, so today I went and got these...
pretty cute...
pretty comfy (believe it or not)...
and again, in the spirit of NPFP, 59% off of the retail price!
A little retail therapy today has restored my soul!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Craptastic Kind of Day

Today has just been a craptastic kind of day.  Honestly at this point, all that's getting me through is the thought that Kate Spade is delivering something to my door in the next day or two via UPS.  Hey- don't judge.  Sometimes you've just got to grab onto the little things to get by.

Today is my marathon school day.  On the upside, once I make it past Tuesday, I'm on the downhill slide.  But today is Tuesday, so I had a 7 a.m. class and I have a 7 p.m. class. 

Here's my craptastic day run-down:

I was already having that, trouble going to sleep because you know your alarm is going to go off at 5:40 a.m. kind of night.  Then at 4:10, the dang electricity flashed off.  Long enough for everything in the house to beep and my answering machine to talk to me just to make sure I was awake, alert and scared half to death. 

Class went fine.  It was my dual credit class (aka: all high school kids).  I've never seen so many confused kids in my life.  They didn't know where they were going, what they were doing, etc.  I was basically a tour guide from 6:40-7:00 a.m.  And are you ready for this?  They were in 2nd grade when 9/11 happened!  Hello, I'm old, nice to meet you.

I ran home from class because I was suppose to have electricians coming to install a chandelier in my bathroom.  I have had it scheduled for over two weeks and called to confirm with them yesterday.  They didn't come and didn't come and didn't come.  So I called.  They said I was scheduled for Thursday.  Huh?  Well, so glad I blocked off a large portion of my day for nothing.  Also no answer for why they confirmed yesterday.  UGH!

But the worst part of the day came when I had to go to a funeral of a former colleague and friend.  42 years old with a wife and 4 (almost 5) year old daughter.  There isn't anything right about that situation.

So that is what truly made my day craptastic.  Thinking about that family that's left without the man in their life.  Seeing that little girl in her pink dress and knowing that she was the apple of her daddy's eye and that she doesn't get to enjoy him for more than 58 months of her life.  Things like that put all the little frustrations in life (lack of sleep, too much work, no-show electricians) into perspective. 

All the cliche's are true: 
~Live each day to the fullest
~love those around you
~don't sweat the small stuff
~be positive and have faith (a funny story that was told at the funeral was that every single year Jeff proclaimed that he truly believed his Texas Aggies had a chance of winning National Championship each and every year in football, and if that isn't a positive outlook, I don't know what is!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's that time again...

It's that time again.  The time when school starts back up.  I'm a complete crank about it this year.  I'm thinking that I'm not over the moon for a couple of reasons that are really not related to school at all:  (1) It's been 108' this weekend, and (2) I'm still doing the job of 2 people at our firm, so adding on an extra job, doesn't seem all that appealing right now. 

So that means, that I'm feeling like Tommy on this first day of school...


My teaching schedule is crazy this semester.  I'm teaching 3 classes again, but I'm at two different campuses and the times could be a challenge.  On the bright side, I'm only teaching 1 night class this semester, so this means that I won't have to spend my entire weekend consumed by cleaning out my DVR from the prior week.  But for the luxury of not teaching so many nights, I have to pay the piper, which means.... A return of the 7 a.m. classes!  The good part of that is that it's only Tuesday and Thursday mornings, so I only have to get up at the crack of dawn twice a week instead of the three mornings as I've done in the past.  My third class is smack in the middle of the day (12:00-12:50), which I'm hoping works out okay most of the time. 

I am excited that a new start to the school year means Fall is around the corner!  Fall = football, cooler temps, a change in wardrobe, colorful leaves, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (well decorating for Christmas is technically done in the Fall), and my birthday (yea for gifts, boo for getting old)!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Finally Friday

Finally it's Friday!  Is everyone as excited as I am?  I'm weary because it's been so busy, but I'm also in a state of panic because next week is uber busy!  Oh well, first I have a couple of days off with no plans, so resting  up is the forecast!

Last night I had plans for the 4th night in a row.  I normally have zero plans, but everything fell to this week.  Isn't it always that way?  Last night was more in line with Monday night in that I got to do something fun instead of attend meetings.  My friend Daryl was in town from San Francisco this week and it has been several years since I have seen him. 

He has been enjoying all the "local" eating establishments that they don't have out in San Fran.  He mentioned Wataburger and some BBQ as some cravings that he's fulfilled, but last night he wanted Chuy's and I was happy to oblige!

My standard Chuy's dish...

Chica chic boom boom enchiladas

These guys are super spicy, but oh so delish!

Here's Daryl ready to plow into his Chuy-changa...

After dinner, I gave him a tour of McKinney, because it's changed so much since he moved from here back in 2004.  We also had "fun" looking and comparing temperatures...it was 40 degrees hotter here than in San Fran at 7:30 last night.  Hmmm....I'm thinking that our next visit needs to be in San Francisco.

Sorry all iphone pics, but at least I remembered this time!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Whew! What a week!

This has been such a busy week.  I cannot believe it is only Wednesday night!  I know everyone is probably feeling the same way with school just/or about to be starting.  The highlight of my week so far has been Monday night.  I participated in Dallas Restaurant Week and made a trip to III Forks.  I went with my friend Billy, and we were so busy talking and eating that I didn't take a single photo (failed blogger of the year nominee right here folks).  We had a tuna appetizer, III Forks Salad (for me) and Tomato Crab Bisque (for Billy), Filets, and for dessert, lemon cake & hot tea (for me) and strawberry shortcake & coffee (for Billy). 

Here are some photos I borrowed from III Forks...


My meal looked very much like this...


and a little something for y'all...

Their III Forks Salad is so great.  It is similar to this one, that I've posted a recipe to in the past, but here is a recipe I found online that claims to be very close to the real deal...

Maple Pecan Vinaigrette


3/4 cup pecans, lightly toasted, plus pecans to garnish
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup pecan oil
1/4 cup olive oil

Salad

8 cups greens, field greens or 8 cups spinach, washed &dried
2 granny smith apples, cored, sliced into thin wedges
1/2 cup danish blue cheese, crumbled

Directions:

1~Combine ¾ cups pecans and apple cider in blender and puree. Pour mixture into large bowl.
2~Whisk in cider vinegar, maple syrup and dry mustard.
3~Combine oils and add to mixture, whisking until well combined. Makes about 2 ¼ cups dressing.
4~Heat vinaigrette slowly over low heat in saucepan.
5~Arrange salad plates with greens, sliced apples and crumbled blue cheese. Ladle on warm vinaigrette and sprinkle with toasted pecans.

Tuesday and today have not been near as fun.  I've been crazy busy lawyering. 

Yesterday I tried to go to the jail to visit a couple of my clients and was turned away because "there was an incident in Pod 5" and they couldn't let me back right away.  Really, I didn't need to hear anymore than that.  I have no business back where there is "an incident". 

So today I had to go back for my visit and convince a client that although he believed that God told him to take a case to trial, that really wasn't going to work out so well for him.  It went something like this:  I know you said God told you to try this case, and while I'm in no position to question God, I'm wondering if you really interpreted his advise to you correctly?  Could there be something lost in translation?  Yeah, so we've got a plea scheduled for 9 a.m. tomorrow morning and I'm hoping he doesn't get any messages from higher beings tonight to change that plan or else, surprise, I'll be in trial tomorrow! 

I had juvenile detention hearings today too.  There were 10 of them because there were two groups of kids who got into trouble en mass.  One group burglarized a home.  Here's how my pow-wow with each of those kids went:  You are REALLY lucky to be here in detention.  Oh, you wonder why I'm saying that?  Well because this is Texas pal.  You know what that means?  That means lots of people have guns.  You know what they can do with those guns?  Shoot people who break into their homes.  Now, see how lucky you are to be here in detention instead of in the hospital or a funeral home? 

In addition to that, I've had an associate faculty meeting at the college...both nights.  It's a long story, but this semester I'm teaching at two different campuses, so I had to go to two different, but almost identical meetings (I mean 3 people did give the exact same speech...snooze fest!). 

I cannot believe that it is only Wednesday.  Have I said that already?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Collegiate Pumpkins

I made a trip to the Hobby Lobby last week.  I was looking for some sconces, which I didn't locate, but I did enjoy taking in all the Fall and Christmas stuff that they have out. 

Now I know some people like to complain and say "They have CHRISTMAS out already!", but y'all, sometimes it is seeing this Christmas display in August that keeps me from jumping off the roof because I am so sick and stinking tired of the 110 degree days!  It gives me hope that cooler weather is around the corner.

Look what Hobby Lobby has this year...
Ceramic
Collegiate
Pumpkins!

Of course they had to jack up the price on these guys, but at least they were 50% off.  I could not resist and am now the proud owner of a double T pumpkin.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Help

Yesterday was a bear of a day for me. I mean when you are eating a peanut butter & jelly sandwich in your car on the way to the jail, you know you are having a day! Part of the rushing around was because I was going to the 3:40 showing of The Help.


As I've mentioned to everyone I know, I LOVED the book The Help, which to be honest, meant that going to see the movie scared the daylights out of me.  I have never LOVED a book and also LOVED the movie.  It just doesn't really happen.  Well, maybe To Kill A Mockingbird & Gone With The Wind, but that's about it.  But Nate Berkus, who is one of the Executive Producers of The Help, had promised several months ago (via twitter) that this movie wouldn't disappoint the book lovers.

So I went to the movie, and y'all, I wasn't disappointed.  I loved it as much as I loved the book.  They did change a few small things, but it didn't really alter the substance. 

The cast was phenomenal.  Just phenomenal!  I'm calling for a SAG ensemble cast award and some Golden Globe and Oscar nominations right now!


Sissy Spacek played Mrs. Walters.  One of the standouts of this movie.
Octavia Spencer played Minny Jackson and was a shining star to this movie.
Viola Davis was Aibileen Clark.  She was just perfect as Aibileen.
Bryce Dallas Howard portrayed Hilly Holbrook to perfection.    
Allison Janney was Charlotte Phelan (pictured here with Emma Stone playing lead character Skeeter Phelan).  I've loved Allison Janney since she portrayed CJ Craig in The West Wing and she didn't disappoint me here!
The last really stand-out character, in my opinion, was Jessica Chastain who played Celia Foote.  I read she gained 15 pounds for this role by drinking melted soy ice cream (yuck!), but dang the results....va-va-voom!
Go see The Help.  You won't be disappointed.  I think I need to go again to absorb it all.

Oh!  If you go, take a look at the sconces hanging over Hilly's couch in the scene where Yule Mae is cleaning behind the sofa.  They are shown ever so quickly, but they are exactly what I'm looking for to complete my bedroom.  I gasped in fact!  (Lisa looked at me like I was crazy, but I whispered Those are the sconces I need for my bedroom!).  So look and then tell me if you've seen any like this for sale.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Help the Horn

I honestly cannot stand to watch the coverage from the Horn of Africa. The famine and starvation there is just unimaginable. I've been watching for a while. ABC was the first major news channel covering the crisis. Now everyone has caught up. Anderson Cooper is there right now, along with Sanjay Gupta. Their coverage will shake you to your core.

The alert that Anderson sent out last night was that based on the current influx of donations and supplies, the World Food Program only has enough for the next month.

$1 can feed 4 children. Who of us couldn't spare a dollar, or ten, or even more.

I would suggest going to the USAWFP.org sight rather than the international site. If you try to donate at the regular WFP.org site, the that would cause a charge from the UK to show up on your card and then you might be hearing from your bank's fraud department. That's what happened to me last night That's the word on the street!

Share food, change lives

You can also donate by texting  "AID" to 27722.  $10 will be added to your phone bill.



Don't really think that you have any spare change to donate?  You can still help.  Take the quiz.  How much do you know about what’s going on in the Horn of Africa? Find out by taking this short quiz. For every person who takes it, a child will receive a warm meal thanks to an anonymous donor. Take the quiz, put your knowledge to the test and then challenge your friends! You can also take the quiz by texting 'QUIZ' to 27722.

Please help out.

Sorry, I was in a hurry earlier and should have added:

There are lots of places where you can donate beyond WFP.  I mentioned WFP because that is where I decided to give last night.  One factor that I used in coming to that decision is that they are currently on the ground serving people.

Doctors Without Borders are also on the ground.  There are thousands of children losing their life to measles, (Measles!)  as well as the plethora of other medical conditions that they are treating. 

I know many of you like Compassion, and they also have a link for donations.


"600,000 kids on the brink of starvation. That should be a headline around the world."
      ~Anderson Cooper

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A job for Lola?

I found this clip and was fascinated by it. Dogs in Court. I think that is a fabulous idea. Though it's only being used to aid victims having difficulty testifying, I'd like go on the record and say I'd like to have a dog in court also. I've dislike many of my clients enough that I've needed a calming presence in the courtroom as well.

I yelled at Lola before I watched the whole thing and said, "Hey Lola, it's time for you to get a job! We can even carpool to the courthouse." Then I saw the part that the dogs need to be quiet. Lola's out. She's the most talkative dog you'll ever run across.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Crazy, Stupid...

Crazy, Stupid... Weather. That's what I feel like writing about. That's all I've felt like writing complaining about for 37 dang days in a row that it has been over a hundred. It's Hot, hot, hot. It's miserable. We're melting. It hasn't rained in over a month of Sundays. But I'll spare you anymore of that.

This weekend I went to do one of the few things that you can do right now in Texas. I saw a movie. I saw Crazy Stupid Love.


I saw a preview several months ago and thought that it looked like a good movie. If you haven't see it, here's the trailer...



I thought it was pretty good and it's got a great ensemble cast. I'd recommend it if you are like me, and need something to do to get out of the heat, and that and ice skating at the mall are the only two cool alternatives you can think of. Also a good choice if you live somewhere with a more pleasant climate and you just go see a movie to see a movie.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fragrant Wednesday

I know that I've mentioned my near fragrance phobia, but today I'm going to talk about a few that I've stopped and smelled recently that I kind of like...

I've wanted to like this for a long time, for obvious reasons, but just couldn't...

But now, Mr. Jacobs has come out with this, and I think I might actually like it...

I'm pretty sure Marc Jacobs has bugged my house, because "Oh, Lola!" is uttered a whole heck of a lot around here!

I also took a whiff of this last time I was at Neimans...

It's hard to see, but it is Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne by Jo Malone.

I kind of like to mix it up and change out fragrances, but I've been stuck in a rut for a while wearing my Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely.  Though I'd like to point out not as big a rut as my mom, whose been wearing Calvin Klein's Eternity since 1958.  Ok, well, not 1958, but at least since 1990. 

How about you guys?  Do you have a fav that you stick with year in and year out, or do you like to change it up?  Any fragrances you are loving right now?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer

I'm not at all a fan of summer on a normal year.  Then a summer rolls around like this one, where today is the 31st consecutive day of triple digit heat and every day in the 10 day forecast shows to continue this trend, and then, well, I hate summer's guts.

Summer has a few redeeming qualities for me:

I like that I normally have a little break from teaching;

I like that snowcones are everywhere; and

I like the fresh summer produce


Last weekend, when I met my parents to do the post-vacation Lola exchange, I received some of summer's redeeming qualities... pickled stuff.

My parents pickled all sorts of stuff, except the normal thing you'd pickle, cucumbers. 
We're weird like that. 
We have carrots (man these guys are SPICY, but oh so good)
Okra, oh how I love thee...
And the weirdest of all, green beans (also yu-mmy)

Oh how I long for Fall!  Or temps at 95'!

 

2009 sweet cheeky designs sweet cheeky designs

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