About Me

I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Sunday
Oct072012

Travel Size

So I’m leaving for China on Wednesday. I’m so excited, yet dreading it too. I' haven’t been overseas in soooooooooooo long. I have missed it, but going back won’t be the same. I won’t be traveling solo like I used to. I’ll be traveling and working with a whole gaggle of people. I fear the “too many cooks” syndrome. I fear the unknown of working and traveling overseas with people I don’t know very well. Granted, you create an interesting bond with folks as you go overseas with, but I now work for a much larger, much more conservative company than I used to work for.

And hey, I can be kind of childish.

The two might not mix.

BUT, I am seeing two old suppliers-now-friends and I couldn’t be more excited. One of my supplier-friends is from India and will just happen to be in Hong Kong the same time I am! Can’t WAIT to see him. I’ve mentioned him before. He was the guy who made my beautiful wedding reception chargers and never cashed the check I paid him to make them. Remember these?

I taught the same man how to eat sushi and drink hot sake. We always have fun together and I’m SO looking forward to it.

There are other things I’m excited about. I hope to find time for some shopping. There are so many interesting things to buy there, but I don’t know how much time I’ll have. I can’t wait to have REAL Chinese food. Not the crap they serve here and call it so.

I still have to pack. I’m dreading it. I put together outfits for every day and write them down so that in the morning when I’m jet-lagged, late or hung over I don’t have to think about what I’m wearing. However, the process of doing that takes me FOREVER. One thing for certain, I’m packing some necessary travel sized accoutrements. Please note:

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I am taking what I learned from Lyn at the last wedding I attended. I am packing emergency wine. I have NO EARTHY IDEA why I never thought of this before. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come to a hotel room with NO DESIRE to do anything but have a glass on wine and drop dead onto an extremely too-hard mattress. Now, I just might have that opportunity.  I am bringing more wine than hair spray. Go figure.

The sucky part of all this? I leave on Wednesday. My third anniversary with The Candyman is on Thursday. So we ‘celebrated’ this weekend. We bought ourselves a ceiling fan and an area rug (it’s a shag!).

HAPPY ANNIVERSAY! Such romantic gifts, no?

But honestly, we went to our little hole-in-the-wall restaurant for dinner on Saturday and tonight, I roasted The Candyman a  chicken – his favorite meal. Roasted chicken makes everything feel like home. Plus, he’ll have some left-overs since The Candyman’s cooking abilities are based off of not starving to death versus taste.

I want to take my ‘real’ camera this time. I want to take random photos all over Hong Kong. I fear it will simply be a burden though – to haul around when I won’t have lots of time to take photos. Shall I take the risk and lug it or wait until I go back in January after I’ve assessed how traveling with this company shall be?

I think I just answered my own question.

I still have so much I want to write about. More home improvement bullshit. I have a question for the masses regarding a built-in in our den. We took what I think is our last swim of the season on Saturday (mother-fucker BRRRRR!). Oh, and I’m having a fashion-identity-crisis.

Like I said, I’m SO BEHIND in every single thing that I do. Anyone else totally buried?

Thursday
Sep272012

How Many Posts Can One Blogger Not Post?

11?

72?

106?

4?

I guess it depends on how many I’ve written in my head versus how many have made it from that location to this one.

I have so much to whine about I have no idea where to start.

I’m overworked and underpaid. Way.

I’m paying the bills for not one, but two (TWO!) houses. My car needed a massive repair and the magical taxes that we didn’t owe are now taxes we so totally owe. 

The house is a love-hate thing right now.

All of our stuff is here now, but I have no idea what to do with it. We have too much furniture and then not enough. Know what I mean?

The first thing we needed to do was to curb the foliage. In the process of getting the floors done, the wallpaper pulled, the walls painted and the granite installed, the yard got a little out of control. A little wild, shall we say.

I’d like to say that me and The Candyman are responsible for the following yard transformation. We are not, physically. Fiscally? Yes. Since the below, I’ve additionally had to whack the fuck out of big, fat holly bushes and I’ve pruned other bushes into freakin’ TREES. It’s insane.  And that CRAZY ASS jasmine that’s all over the pergola has been tamed down even further.

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Before

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After

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Before

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After

Before

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After

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Before

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After

Insanity, right? We had a weekend where my folks came up to help us with house shit and my mom and I walked the house and identified plants. We have a shit-ton of azaleas, that’s for sure.

We haven’t hung one picture. Not one. Because we need to place furniture before we do that. And we need a lot of furniture. Sort of. It’s all quite confusing right now. I’ve never been so out of sorts when it comes to setting up house. Perhaps because I feel like this is THE house. Like we’ll be here for a while, so I want to get it right?

And of course, I can’t make a fucking decision on one goddamn thing. I’m annoying myself to no end. 

Other projects are in-progress. This bedframe used to look like this: all rustic bronze and shit. I’m SO OVER this damn finish.

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So I wanted to make it look more like wrought iron. So I sprayed-painted it so. I also did a lamp.

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These are for the guest room. I need bedding and I am SHAMEFULLY considering a quilt from Anthropologie. Those of you who know T30SB might remember my soap-box post regarding Anthropologie. But it’s super cute. And I’m waning in my attempt at finding a suitable substitute.

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What I should do is check out Etsy, the converse to Anthro. Let’s see.

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Rag Quilt by Southern Quilt Charm.

I seriously have no time to shop. That statement in and of itself is WRONG on so many levels. But, I’m heading overseas in two weeks and I am wondering if I’ll have time to do some shopping there. We shall see. Whole new company, whole new job, whole new set of rules. We shall see.

I hope to have something meaningful to say soon, but I don’t. I mean. I’ve got a ton of shit going on in my head and writing it down these days seems to play mercy to the repetitive loop of it droning on in my head.

Tuesday
Sep042012

Tips for Moving Newlyweds

You know how you’ve registered for all the Crate & Barrel Staccato china and stemless wine glasses? You know how they come to you in all that weird, accordion-style paper? Keep that paper.

KEEP IT.

And the individual bubble sleeves that your plates come in? Keep that too. All of it. I did. The Candyman thought I was bonkers. Guess who eating the words “looney tunes” now?

So keep all that bubble wrap. Shove it in some big 40 gallon trash bags and shove it in the attic. Or the basement. Or wherever you can find a space. Just keep it because when you move (and if you’re young, you WILL move) you will love me forever. You will come back to this blog and say, “Louise, you were so right!”

And I will nod knowingly.

Seriously? Keep the shit.

That being said, we are officially in the new house. We are not technically out of the old house yet. There are pieces of furniture that were put together in the house that now cannot make it out of the house without being dismantled and that just hasn’t happened yet. Next weekend.

But fuck all the house stuff. There’s plenty of time for all that. Because guess what? The house stuff is never ever going to end. Good thing we have a lifetime together. That is if we don’t kill each other over what to do with the fourth bedroom. Or what’s going to happen with the area next to the pool pump.

The coolest most important thing EVER? Me and The Candyman? You know we live in Charlotte, right? You know what’s going on here this week, right? My kick-ass husband, through his firm, got us tickets to the to the DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION, BITCHES!!!

Whether Democratic or Republican, you have to admit it’s an opportunity of a lifetime. Right? We’re so excited. I am so excited. I can’t wait to hear our President speak. I can’t wait to hear CLINTON speak. And Pelosi. And The FOO FIGHTERS are playing and so is MARY J. BLIGE. At Panthers Stadium! The DNC ROCKS!

Now, the biggest question: What does one WEAR to a Democratic National Convention that is being held outside, all day, in The South with the ever possibility of rain? I mean, it’s the fucking DNC! How can I even think of wearing my comfy shoes when all the cool kids will be backstage? Cool kids like Michelle Obama. A tall lady, like me.

What does one wear with zero time to shop and zero budget – as the clothing budget all been spent up on the aforementioned home?

Help.

Monday
Aug272012

Like Rats

packpackpackpackpackpackpackpackpackpackpack

drive to the house and drop off a load [insert toilet joke here]

drive to work

work

drive home

packpackpackpackpackpackpackpackpackpackpack

sleep

get up and go to work

drive to house to drop off load [toilet joke #2 or perhaps a fart joke might work]

drive home

packpackpackpackpackpackpackpackpackpackpack

and from the beginning….

So after a staggering quote for a local pack and move of THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS, we decided to do it ourselves, even though we swore up and down we’d never pack and move ourselves. But come on, THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS? The system we’ve got going now isn’t so bad. The Candyman does the heavy lifting, I do the packing and details.

We are about to explode from the stress though.

The movers are scheduled. The cable will be switched. I’ve sent in my change of address form. Things are getting serious.

So how about some fun stuff? We bought these for the bathrooms from Lowes:

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They look like completely different finishes in these two pictures, but they aren’t. And they are more like the top pictures. Not as shiny as the bottom photo. I think they’ll go with the feel of the house. So that has been fun. We just have to um, install them.

Then there are mirrors to deal with. Bathroom mirrors. I have a stand in for the Master Bath, until I find something fantastic and cheap.

What? It could happen.

We also bought this for the den. I’ve always been a fan of Murray Feiss lighting and when I found this on Sears.com for $95, I thought it was a steal! Also need to install. Clip_12

I also bought a lot of this shelf liner stuff from The Container Store.

What I want to be buying are RUGS! And new bedding! And new towels! We got lovely towels for our wedding, but horrible things happened to them. I won’t go into it except to say they are the best towels ever, but look like crap. So, NEW TOWELS! Look at how pretty these are (Neiman Marcus):

It’s like awesome Turkish shit and each one is like $100, so probably not. But one can dream, right? I will probably use my pile of coupons I’ve been hording and take a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond.

I’d pay twenty five bucks for a kick ass towel, but not $100.

I do have limits.

Sunday
Aug192012

One Day? We’ll Move In.

That’s what we keep telling each other.

'”Honey, one of these days, we’ll actually move into this house.”

It’s all house all the time. It’s been the daily back and forth from old house to work to new house to old house. Gathering mail, managing the paint guy, the floor guys, the electrician/handyman (who, by the way is hot in a very dirty, Brett Michaels sort of way), the cleaning crew (sanding and\ entire house’s hardwood floors is EXTREMELY dirty work – sawdust sticks to EVERYTHING) and still trying to keep it all together at work, with family, my marriage.

Last week I was SO LUCKY to have my folks come up to help me and The Candyman with stuff we don’t know shit about.

Like:

  • How to remove and replace a mailbox.
  • How to square up a gate and make it close like it should instead of scraping along the cement on a ghetto-style wheelie thing.
  • Weed. Like the wind. My mother is a master weeder.
  • Solve multiple plumbing issues.
  • How to reconnect your gas stove when the granite installers don’t.
  • How awesome your shit can look if you own a power washer.
  • What plants are what and when to cut them back.
  • Rewire some scary wires in the bathroom.
  • How to drill through bathroom tile.
  • Why 17 bags of pine bark is better than the expensive pine straw…for now.

The Candyman and I learned a lot from the folks. We learned that we have very few tools. We learned that my dad has them ALL. ALL THE TOOLS!

So here’s what been done so far:

  1. Wallpaper was stripped in two bathrooms and dining room.
  2. Entire house was painted – trim, closets, doors, everything.
  3. Carpet pulled up in five rooms.
  4. All hardwoods refinished.
  5. 5 layers of linoleum and floor boards – ripped out to the studs in the kitchen, hallway and laundry room and replaced with hardwoods and tile.
  6. Granite in the bathrooms and the kitchen.
  7. New fixtures in the kitchen.
  8. New registers in the WHOLE HOUSE. Registers are the little grate thingies with the louvers that spew out the air, or suck it all in – as is the case in our old house. I think there are 36 of them.
  9. Replaced all the outlet and switch covers.
  10. Scrubbed, primed and painted the laundry cupboards.
  11. Removed and replaced a toilet and it’s seat.
  12. Primed and painted all kitchen cabinet trim and the drawer interiors.
  13. Lined half the kitchen cabinets.
  14. Rented a shop vac and sucked up my weight in sawdust.
  15. The Candyman dug up about 90% of the Spider Flowers (those little fuckers smell like skunk).
  16. Removed the sucky ass bullshit pond.
  17. Trimmed about 500 bushes. OK, maybe 20.

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It’s getting there! Looks SO MUCH BETTER with hardwood in the kitchen. I’m excited to be photo journaling the process, albeit with my iPhone.

I’ve got Pilo the Painter combing back on Tuesday to finish painting the floor boards and shoe molding (refinishing hardwoods tears up the baseboards). Once he’s done? The moving in can being! We’ve moved a few things already – TruLu Couture stuff mostly. And it looks like we’re going to have to pack and move ourselves. Gah. We got a moving quote and it was so fucking expensive. I knew we’d have to do this part ourselves, but oh well. That’s why there’s a truck in the family. To move our shit for cheap.

We will eventually hire some dudes to do the heavy lifting. Guess I’ll be figuring that out next week. And rugs. I need some rugs for the  lovely hardwoods.

And we’ll need to figure out what to do with our too-big pub table. And that fourth bedroom. And. And. And.

Oh and guess what? I’m going back to China soon! It’s been too long since I’ve had some serious char siu bao.

Weddings? WHAT?

Though I have been thinking about them lately. Go figure.

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