Swarm of Bees

Melissa means honey bee in Greek.  When I find something that speaks bee, I pick it up.  Every once in a while someone treats me to a bee bauble.  Like yesterday, my Lolly and my Goddaughter  Annie treated me to the pink bee confection on my wrist above (yikes, my skin looks old!).

It’s from Brighton’s newest collection My Flat in London.

Their catalog is darling with all kinds of things I love.  Handbags, baubles, scarves.  Here are a few images from their wallpaper you can save to your computer..

And this pretty much sums up the scene at breakfast with Cindy yesterday.  I’m in black.  Cindy got eaten by the Cheetah while I was getting her more hazelnut coffee.  Nice handbags, by the way.

For the story on how my name came to bee…check out a vintage blog segment.  Have a fab Friday, darling!

Best of Earnie

Flash back Tuesday, to a best of Earnie segment from her birthday two years ago.  Pretty much sums up how I feel this week.

It’s been exhausting just going through her bedroom, bathroom and closet.  I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must be for children having to go through an entire house.  My advise to those of you out there with older parents is this:

  • Ask questions about the things in their house that are important to them.  Like where did this come from?  Why is it important to you?  There were many times over the last week that I wished I had known the story on some of Earnie’s pretty things.  Just these little bits of information may help sustain you in the days when you are missing them a lot.  
  • If your parent is up for it, ask them if you can help them go around and mark or make a list of who they would like to have their things go to.  Earnie was good at this.  Not only will it have meaning to the recipient that Earnie picked it just for them, but it helped me in knowing what to do with it.  Just today I was looking at a figurine in her cabinet, turned it over and she had written my brother’s name “Jim” on the bottom.  I put it aside in a box of things I am preparing for his son, my nephew Bryan.
  • Encourage, a little at a time, for your parent to give their things to people now while they can tell the person the story behind the item and how important that person is to them.

Some people may think this is a morbid topic and that it makes the person feel like you’re ready for them to pack it up for heaven.  Quite the contrary, they are sharing the gift of the present.  They are helping make things easy for you while leaving a treasure for someone they care about.

One of my favorite quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt sums it up best, “Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift, that is why it’s called the Present.”

My Mother Dear.  Enjoy.

Earnie and her beloved brother, George.

Hold Me: This Container Store Party is Amazing!

Sister Bee scored an invitation for a private party preview of the new Fort Worth Container Store last night.  It was so much fun to rub elbows with 2,000 other people that love containers of all shapes, sizes and forms like I do!  I even got to meet and greet with a few of my readers…Anita H. and Patti M.  It was so fun to get to see them.

Hot guy took this pic of Cindy, me and Sister.
As we entered the store the cashier counters were transformed into a giant bar with champagne and other spirits. 
We snagged a Sergio acrylic tray off the display and snapped a photo of our champagne…
All around the store were food stations.  The coolest thing was that they featured the food in all sorts of the containers they sell in the store…
Crudite in spice jars.
Cold soup in a salt and pepper shaker
Bread sticks in a magazine holder
Appetizers tucked into little storage drawers

And the expandable towers are a new item. 
They come in bronze and steel, but they are plastic.
You could use them in the pantry or on your buffet.

Fabric storage box lids served as trays

Holding acrylic storage containers (remember we used them for paperclips)
to hold chicken satay.
These were the dessert stations.  Metal file drawers
neatly held macaroons, petite fours, mini cupcakes

hello dolly bars

Rock candy, flowers and gum balls.

The Asian station featured all their teak products
Drawers of Chinese food take out containers filled with noodles

Teak trays of egg rolls

And trail mix
And it just kept going…tiny Mexican pizzas

Mini tortilla salads

And fresh flowers everywhere
We even got a snap with the co-founder of the Container Store, Garrett Boone.
This 25,000 square foot wonderland is set to open Saturday at 10 a.m.  Am I crazy enough to be in line to be among the first to shop there?  Stay tuned….

Sorry, we’re sold out

I’m a fan of the Black Rooster Bakery.  It’s been named in Southern Living magazine as one of the top local bakeries.  Everything is made fresh daily and once it’s sold out, there’s no more until the next time they make it.   Great place for a morning croissant or a ham and brie sandwich on a baguette.   They wrap your sandwich in black and white checked paper and a red raffia ribbon.

Subject of today:  Nana’s buttermilk cake with vanilla butter cream frosting.  The owner posts the daily menu on FB.  When I don’t see Nana’s cake I message her and she let’s me know when it’s coming up in the bakery queue.   I marked my calendar for today at 11 a.m. because that’s when non-breakfast items are available.  On Tuesday, it popped up on my calendar and my friend Pam asked who is Nana and why I am getting her cake?  I told her all about my obsession with the cake.  It’s dense like pound cake, but very moist and has the best thick, buttery frosting, with just a touch of sugar sprinkles along the top.

So, today I pop into the bakery at 11:15 a.m. all ready to get a slice-o-cake and a sandwich.  Cue:  Record scratching.  No cake.  Big SOLD OUT sign in red letters on the board.  Holy, hell.  What happened?  They told me they sold out early and next time call to reserve a slice.  Well, that’s just great.  I had to go back to work empty-handed.  All my co-workers were disappointed for me.  I thought I was going to have to take the rest of the day off.

Then, about 12:30 p.m. Pam called.  Asked me how my cake was.  I told her I was in a fetal position because I was cake-less.  She said…”well, that’s because I bought the ENTIRE cake for you this morning!”  She was worried I wasn’t going to get a slice so she popped by there before she did her volunteering for the day and said what the heck just give me the entire cake!!  So, at 4 p.m. today I stopped by Pam’s for cake and milk.  She took half the cake and I took the other.

I don’t just love Pam because she bought me cake.  It’s because she’s thoughtful like that.  Once, she brought me a diet vanilla Coke because I had a bad cold and just set it on the porch with a text to check for a little treat.  I also love her because she loves Jesus, is a great mom and is always giving me such sound advice and reassurance on raising a teen.  She also makes me laugh when we’re working out.  You know you’ve bonded when you do sit ups and leg lunges you agree that an episiotomy would actually be less painful.  Oh, and she rocks at math.  And is fluent in Spanish.

Thank you God for cake.  And for people like Pam.  Amen.

You’re dead to me, kitchen drawer…

Three areas in my home that I constantly battle with:

1.  My kitchen “office supply” drawer
2.  My wrapping paper/gift bag/tissue paper containers
3.  Miss Bee’s dresser top

This counseling session deals with the kitchen drawer…

I had already taken out one tray of assorted writing utensils…but I noted above the random things that somehow make their way into the drawer…silly putty…a non-working flash light…the solution that you put into water to make it fish friendly (I don’t own a fish), and a plastic mouse.

Here is the contents of the entire drawer on my kitchen counter

See the cute little containers?  I was standing in Office Depot one day with Miss Bee.  She loves office supplies.  I was staring at the clearance section and decided I needed to figure out some way to make these little guys work in my house.  I already had Rubbermaid dividers in the drawer that I planned to keep and use as well.

I purged everything that was non-essential.  I decided that I really didn’t need 500 pens and pencils.  So, I just picked 6 of each and put them back in the drawer.

Here’s the after:

The great thing about these little boxes is they are stack able.  I have three boxes each stacked on either side of each other.  I  used my label maker to mark the contents.  Things like paper clips, safety pins, binder clips, match books and thumb tacks.

One box has glue, tape, Emory boards and markers.  The box at the back has small tools like a screwdriver, scissors, a hole puncher, and pliers.  The final boxes have pens, pencils, tape measures, and gum.

I feel better now.  Coming soon:  How I tackle Miss Bee’s dresser debacle and my gift wrap storage issues all in one exercise.  The most dramatic organizing episode ever.

Summer Vignettes

While Mr. Bee is busy ripping out shelving in Miss Bee’s closet to prepare for the Elfa invasion, I am snapping photos of the summer coffee table décor.  Little things I’ve collected over the summer.

Miss Bee and I stopped into Walmart and I saw these
beautiful succulents in their garden department.  They’re real!


They came in white terracotta pots.
I placed them on a glass block my friend
Kathy gave me.
The brass alligator tray I picked up at Target.
The conch shell and paper weight I already had.
The sea urchins were from bestie’s stash.
The antlers Miss Bee found on a hike.
 The Threshold candle from Target
was on clearance.  It reminds me of beach glass.
One more pic of the succulents along side my August BHG.
I’m not a summer girl.  But scenes like this make me think I should be.

It only took a year

Last summer I painted my kitchen cabinets.  It took me an entire year to figure out what I wanted to do with the space above the stove.  I removed the doors and painted the inside because I wanted to have an open area to display pottery and a few cookbooks.  But, for some reason I just wasn’t sure what I wanted the finished product to look like.

I toyed with lining the inside of the cabinet with grass cloth wallpaper.  The shelf annoyed me because it was the typical thickness of a cabinet shelf and I felt like it took away from the clean look I was going for.  Plus, I knew I wanted to put a small accent lamp in the cabinet since there was an outlet there for the microwave and the light wouldn’t be able to show through wood.

I was looking through FB one day and came across a neat article posted by House Beautiful magazine on 101 makeover ideas (remember this article because I will working through the ideas over the next year).  Designer Libby Cameron’s tip was battery operated LED lights.  They look like a hockey puck and have adhesive on the back so you can stick them anywhere you want to back light objects from above.  Miss Bee and I got a laugh because the packaging said these lights were perfect for lighting your backpack.  Huh? 

That’s when the light bulb went off, literally, on how I wanted to pull together the look I was going for.  I found a package of three at Lowe’s for about $12.  I rummaged through my fabric scraps and came across just enough leftover from a chair I recovered several years ago (by coincidence the same fab as Church Lady’s shelf makeover).  Miss Bee had a few pieces of poster board (from the dreaded science fair projects).  I had some double sided tape.  I took the shelf down and went to the custom glass and mirror store and had them cut a tempered glass shelf to fit for about $35.  Tempered glass is very important for a project like this.  In case it breaks, it will break into marble sized pieces, not death shards of glass.  I went to Lowe’s and cashed in my free coupon for an 8 oz paint sample.  Then, got to work.

I am sorry I don’t have a before photo.  I was bad about doing it, but just imagine, it was boring.

This is front view.  The cabinet is just above the microwave.
Little used before this makeover.  When I cleared it out all I had
up there was a teakettle and mini muffin pans.

From the side of the kitchen.  That light puck really
lights up!  You may be wondering how is she going to
light puck?  Well, I put a yardstick in the pantry.  When I want to light
it, I take the yard stick and press it.  Voila!  Work with me here.

Here’s a view of the glass shelf.  Vintage little bird salt & pepper shakers
One of the bowls I collected from TJMaxx over the last year for this project.

Here’s the view looking up. I painted the top of the
cabinet a teal green.  And, you can see puck.

  My cookbooks and more bowls. I took the jackets
off the cookbooks to highlight the bright colors of the spines.
The little lamp was Earnie’s.  The base
was brassy and the shade black.  I painted the base
with vanilla spray paint and the shade a satin gold.  I may
go back with some rub and buff on the base.  Not sure.
I measured the sides and back of the cabinet and cut the poster
board to size.  Then covered the poster board with fabric and double sided tape.
The glass is being held in with fasteners two on each side.  I made holes
through the fabric to insert the fasteners.
I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  Simple. With just the right touches of color.  It only took a year.  

The Night I Wet My Pants

the-conjouringMiss Bee loves scary movies.  In the last 6 months or so I have been her chaperone to see Mama, Warm Bodies and World War Z.  I always have to sit by myself in the theatre because she and her friends like to sit on the back row.  So, surrounded by my popcorn, candy and a drink I have to console myself when scream worthy moments arise.  It’s kinda like counseling.  Just tough it out.

Several weeks ago I read about the new movie The Conjuring in a magazine.  I won’t reveal too much about it, but it’s based on a true story of a family who move into a farm house in Rhode Island only to be forced out again because of demons living in the home.  A real-life couple, The Warrens, who’ve dedicated their lives to helping families with these types of issues, come to the rescue.

hot-guy-in-conjouringHere’s a few observations.  The movie has no gore or random slashing.  It’s pure scary, suspense.  A cross between Amityville Horror and Poltergeist.  Both movies scared the pants off me.  This movie is set in 1971 so it’s full of kitchy 70s décor and vibe.  Doors that randomly open and close.  The mayhem starts at 3:07 a.m. every night.  Yikes.

If this couple showed up to help me exercise demons from the house, I’d be set.  He’s dreamy, she’s gorgeous.

A few tips.  Be prepared to scream.  Take your blood pressure meds before hand.  Plan to go straight home to bed because you’ll be exhausted from screaming and constantly pointing behind someone’s head to say “turn around.”

hanging-feet“What?  Do you see something?”
“Mommy can’t play right now.  She’s missing her face. Cause, I ate it off.”
I hope they conjure up a sequel.  Perfect, summer movie.

Car Go Kit

I finally had it with my mess of a center console in the Hive mobile.  While the rest of the car is clean and trash free I was making the console my junk pile with all the “I keep meaning” to take those inside stuff.  I tried to get organized with a round bag, but it wasn’t keeping everything sorted.


 As I was going through Earnie’s things, I found the bag she purchased from Sister Bee from her Thirty One business.  Mother had used it for all her bible study and church things.  I thought it would be perfect and it would put a little part of her in the car with me everyday.  She had it monogrammed to say “On the Go.” 

So, these are the three bags I am working with.  The red one came from Sister Bee last Christmas.  I keep it in the car with all my coupons for the stores I shop. 

The green and yellow bag my niece made me, houses gum, mints, bobby pins, a small pouch of tissues, and little loose things.

Next, I got to working on all the things I like to keep in my car.  This bag has pouches all around it and a plastic liner (which came from Staples) to keep the bag stiff for organizing inside:

1.  Caldrea wipes (they have a really fresh smell.  Great for wipes down a dusty dash)
2.  Scissors — when I go to the Post Office sometime I need scissors to cut packing tape or open a package.
3.  Pens
4.  Hand Sanitizer
5.  Phone charger
6.  Sunglasses and glass cleaner
7.  Box of Kleenex
8.  Note pad
9.  Einstein Travel Mug (refills of their yummy hazelnut coffee are only $1.29 with the reusable mug)
10.  Fanny Pack with ear phones for walking
11.  Bag of wet wipes to pass around the car for messy hands

I put the console platform down and the bag fit perfectly in it’s place, with room for my purse. The bag has handles so I can easily pull it out to move it elsewhere or take inside.

Organizing your car.  An easy weekend project.

Bringing Cheer…Wine to a Friend

I made the Cheerwine Cake from this post for the church lady’s birthday.  Picked up a 6-pack of bottles from World Market — my new hangout.  I picked up a few other things to share with you for a blog segment on Bastille Day!

Got to work making the cake.  It’s always risky trying a new recipe on a friend.  But, hey, if friends can’t tell you the cake was awful then who can you trust?  The recipe is easy peasy.  If you want it, post a comment.  BTW, I love comments.  It helps me to know I am not the only one reading my blog.

You basically take a box of devil’s food cake mix and add in eggs, oil, Cheerwine, and almond extract.

I had to take a sip of the cola.  It tastes like cherry Dr. Pepper married Mr. Pibb.

I made a slight adjustment to the icing.  It said to only use 2 1/4 cups of powdered sugar which I didn’t think yielded the consistency needed for the icing.  I added another cup to make it a little thicker.  I sprinkled toasted chopped walnuts on top, instead of pecans.

Wrapped it up in a disposable pan that came with a pretty blue plastic lid.  Added a ribbon and flowers from my garden.  Disposable pans are the best because they don’t have to be returned.  Friends don’t make friends wash and return dishes.  Stock up on them when they go on sale.

Gave her the rest of the Cheerwine for a birthday toast along with a cute package of napkins and a card.  A fun, easy way to tell someone you think they are a really big deal.

P.S.  Church lady — if the cake is gross I owe you an Elizabeth Doyle’s cake.  It’s a sure fire winner.  Love you!