From one hurricane prone coast to another.

Its really been pretty dismal and gross here in NOLA lately - rain on and off everyday for the past week and 1/2.  So when I booked an impromptu flight back home to Virginia Beach for next week,  I was really excited to escape back to the East Coast and maybe catch some of the awesome beach sun for Labor Day.

Except this guy may ruin my plans:
Looks like Earl has the same idea as many vacationers this time of year - a trip to the Outer Banks just in time for Labor Day!

Its supposed to clear out by Friday, but growing up in VB has made me skeptical of a) hurricanes b) those who predict hurricane paths.   Oh we shall see.


Can't (Please Don't) Touch This

Does anyone see what I see?
Page 70 of the brand spankin new J Crew Catalogue.  Collection item or not, this is just fugly

I cannot believe my old school fashion crush, JCrew, has gone so far down this "lets revive bad fashion from the early 90s" route.  This silhouette - which the catalog calls "slouchy" - never has been and never will be attractive, even if you did throw a ton of sequins at it.  And is it bad that when I first read the description of the "Sequin Harem Pant"  I thought it said "Sequin Hammer Pant."  Oye Vay.

Thoughts anyone?

(Ps - also, Wedge Desert boots? *shakes head in sadness*)  Wow I really miss my preppy J Crew of yesteryear....

UPDATE!!!  So actually flipped through to the back of the catalog and found this
oh no she didnt
Dear Lord NO!! Katie Holmes has fallen victim to the heinous Hammer pants.  ughhhhh I think I just threw up a little in my mouth


Fugly Architecture Thursday - when bad renovations happen to good homes

This post hits a little too close to home.  Its not really the architecture that's heinous -its merely an early 1990s addition to a Victorian shotgun.  However, its the manner in which an addition was done to said Victorian shotgun and what it has created that is the criminal act.

What makes it worse is that it is our house :-(

I highlighted some water issues that had created a bit of a situation when we initially moved in back in this post.  Mr. Bama, being super handy man that he is, fixed the asthetic ramifications of the problem, but didnt solve the root of problem.  Our awesome landlady got on trying to find the problem and after calling some contractors, found out that we needed gutters and it would help, at least a little.  Gutters installed, problem still not fixed.  Nothing was happening to the problem spot (damage semmed to be contained), but it was evident something was continuing to be wrong at the front of the house.  Here, in the early 90s they added a section for the bedroom to bump out onto part of  the front porch that once spanned the whole front of the house.  Great solution for more added square footage, if you do it right.

Turns out, someone forgot to install the flashing from the old roof to the new roof correctly and brace the bay window properly.  Therefore, while the bones of the original house are in great condition, the "new" construction was not waterproofed correctly and therefore has allowed the introduction of awesome things like water and wood eating bugs into the house.  The actual wood siding had holes in it from where water had just bore down on it.  It was apparent that the construction company that did the addition had NO business putting new additions on old buildings.

So our land lady decided to make the call and have the siding replaced (I truly dont think she knew the extent of the damage that was only showing a little bit on the outside).  When I walked outside to talk shop to the really great workmen tearing off our siding, it went something like this:

nice man working on the house: "well really, a lot of the damage seems due to the age of the studs and that they're just old wood "  

me: "um, actually this addition was done in the early 1990s"

Nice man: "oh.................wow"

Needless to say it was pretty bad -  The sill plate on that addition had almost disappeared and the water-repellent membrane was torn to shreds (note: if you're not architecturally/construction savvy, this just means the structure was compromised and the elements that kept water out were pretty much gone). 
Pardon the crummy picture, but this is the front of our house after they removed the
siding 3 days ago.This is NOT good!
The wall studs were whittling away  to nothing.
If our huge tree in front of the house wasn't in the way, you'd see the holes in the
siding about 5-6 planks of wood-siding up.
Yay new studs!  Yay new felt water-repellant membrane! yay new WOOD siding!

I was also pretty nervous that they would be puting something cheap and terrible for the building, like vinyl siding, onto the house in place of the old wood siding.  Vinyl is unattractive, completely inappropriate for historic homes, temporary and a totally NOT green building material.  Image how happy I was when they pulled out pretty wide board WOOD siding! It had the same form, but isn't as decorative as the siding on the original part of the house.  This is completely fine, since the new materials shouldn't even attempt to mimic the original house (it is an addition... after all) but its is still complimentary to the original siding.  

So far they've finished putting up the siding and they should be painting it in a day or two.  The awesome workers also reinforced our porch banister in addition! Moral of the story, if you are a construction company who agrees to do renovations and additions to historic buildings, PLEASE keep in mind that old and new construction techniques are NOT the same and odds are, the older techniques are hands and feet more solid than anything constructed now a days.  You need to know how to properly match up the old and new construction so that you do not allow the elements in and that your new construction does not compromise the integrity of the original structure  Because if you don't think of that, the result isn't just fugly, it's expensive and very damaging.


An Amazing One Woman Band

I stumbled upon this artist while trying to find a few local nola musicians to add some color to my ipod play list.  While I did found some pretty awesome stuff,  I came across one artist who just BLEW them all away.

Let me please introduce you to New Orleans own Theresa Andersson.

She records all of her music in her kitchen...and records each instrument individually. then with the magic of foot petals, she mixes it all together and tada! Gorgeous music. You'll see what I mean when you watch this video:

I LOVE how it seems like she is just having an absolute blast doing her art. I makes me want to get up and dance myself.  I definitely see a concert in my future!


some people I will never understand... AGAIN

I really hate to rant, but after talking to some friends about what happened yesterday, I just had to share with the hope that people will just plain CHILL OUT over a certain topic.

Let us begin at about 7:30 am.  Bear & I go on a 4 mile run around Audubon Park, mainly for my benefit since Bear always seems to be still full of energy when we arrive back home.  So after our run I decide to take him to our fenced in neighborhood park to let him run around and get out  his remaining bit of energy.  Since it is fenced in, I can let him off leash w/out his running into traffic.  Sidenote, this isn't a dog park per-se, since there is a play ground and swings for kids, but 99.9% of people who bring their kids to the park know dogs are there and are amazingly cool about it - they know its good for both the kids and the dog if they familiarize themselves w/ each other.  I have never seen it be a problem and apparently it hasn't been a problem for the past few decades.   Its also a neighborhood park, so everyone knows everyones dogs and kids.  There also only one dog park in the city and it is a good 45 min drive to the other side of town.  People in our area don't have decent sized yards (if any) so most people know that parks are places dogs can run and give their owners breaks.

our little fenced in neighborhood park
Anywho, back to my story.  Bear & I get to the park, I take him off leash and he's having a blast chasing himself around the park because the place is absolutely empty.  I notice one of the ladies I see regularly with her 9old Shepard mix is leaving the park and walking to her house, which faces the park and is a little less than a 1/2 block from the park.  Her dog has always been under great voice command, so she figures for the literally 1 minute walk back to her house, she doesn't need to put her 9 year old dog on a leash -- he wont leave her side and he knows exactly where they're going.   I also notice a man riding a bike stop, get off his bike and start yelling something at the woman.  I take my headphones off and realize there is an altercation going on that goes something like this:

man: "There are leash laws in this city, lady!  That dog needs to be on a leash"

lady (looking back at him kind of shocked): "um sir, I live right here.  He knows where we're going.  Its a minute walk."

man:"That dog is a threat being off of a leash.  What you're doing is illegal and he needs to be on a leash"

lady (now on the steps of her house): "Sir, I live right here.  My dog is not hurting you or anyone else and he is most certainly not a threat.   I suggest you mind your own business."

man: "He is a threat. I own a house in this city too and you're violating my rights and my safety by having that dog off of a leash.  I'm going to call the cops"

(man whips out a cell phone and dials what I can only assume is the police)

lady (as she walks into her house w/ her house): "whatever."

man (now speaking into his phone to the police): "Yes, I'd like to report loose, un-leashed DOGS at the park at the intersection of ___&__.
(Yes, thats DOGS, as in Plural)
One is a large white and grey fluffy Shepard dog.  The other is a large black lab."

My mind: Whoa, pump the brakes dude.  Did this asshat just describe MY dog to the cops!!??? (note: bear is at this point chasing a leaf around the asphalt.  Side note: The guy isn't even IN the park, hes immediately on the other side of the fence!

ME (as I wave my hands at the man):  "Um Excuse me, Sir!  My dog is within a fenced, contained area not harming anyone. There is no need for you to include him in your report "

Man: "He is off of a leash in a public area.  he is a threat.   There are leash laws in the city"

ME: "sir, you truly do not know what you're talking about -- my dog isn't bugging you, he's contained and I am watching him."

Man: "I will call the cops every time I see a dog off of a leash in the city.  I don't care where.  There are leash laws in this city and you are violating them right now."

ME: "Fine sir, you do whatever the heck you want, but theres actual crimes going on in this city that are just a tad more important than an old Shepard mix and  a 9 month old puppy running off of a leash under their owners watchful eye.  if you have a problem with that, then you're living in the wrong city"

Man (turning back to the phone w/ the police): "The address of the owner of the first dog is _____ Annunciation Street.  Her licence plate number is..."

This is when i called Bear over, snapped the leash back on him and then hightailed it back to my house around the corner before the guy could get on his bike and follow me to take down my address.  Personally, while I understand that a few people here and there have a genuine fear of dogs, some people, like this guy, seem to find pleasure in being their own law enforcer.  Yes, it is true that we have leash laws in the city and if you are a responsible dog owner, you will abide by them in heavily populated areas, in a non-gated areas and when you know you do NOT have strong voice control over your dog.  But if you are in a pretty empty area, are in a contained place or when you know your dog is completely un-interested in running away form you or bugging anyone, there should be no reason to call the police on something so mundane as a obedient dog that isn't provoking anyone.  

If on the chace you are afraid of dogs and see one off a leash with its owner very close behind, simply walk to the other side of the sidewalk.  If a dog is aggressive you most likely will NEVER see it off a leash.  I cannot speak for irresponsible dog owners though, but unless provoke, 90% of dogs will just bowl you over and lick you to death.  

End of story... I don't know what happened w/ the lady with the Shepard.  I haven't seen her at the park since the altercation, so I don't know if the cops came and cited her or what.  I do know one thing did NOT happen:

Bear, the menace to society

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  I know that a ton of people who are dog owners / lovers read this blog and it would be great to hear what you think about the whole leash, unleashed topic. 


Pretty Wedding Feature

I will be posting something a little later on, but I wanted to share something I'm so super excited about!

Marisa (from Park & Belmont) and her husband JM just celebrated their 11th month wedding anniversary (you count months when you're a quirky newly-wed) on August 5th and as a little fun way to celebrate, the blog Walking Barefoot featured their gorgeous and beautifully eco-friendly wedding.

Please check out the feature for some awesome wedding eye candy:  Misa & JM's Virginia Farm wedding

and here are my own personal pictures from the gorgeous wedding!

Happy Friday everyone


uh oh...

Yesterday Anthropologie opened their first New Orleans store, so today my friend Leslie & I made the trek downtown to scope it out.  I managed to restrain myself and only purchase a cute pair of tiny earrings:

Because I need another pair of pearl-ish
earrings like I need a hole in my head
To sum up our visit to a little slice of paradise, I can only say that my pocketbook is going to be in a state of shock until I leave this city (or until they actually start having a sale section.  No such luck right now).  oh anthro, how can you be so bad yet so good.

(ps- I DID check out the Fleur de Lys tumblers mentioned in this prior post: they are $36 for a set of 4, but NOT bright red like shown in the picture.  They're actually a magenta pink-ish color.  Sad panda and tsk tsk toward Anthro.)


Mr Bama: the Hero

We had a bit of excitement on Tuesday night.

Mr. Bama helped save a Dog.

Here's what happened:  At around 8:30pm Tuesday night, Mr Bama was sitting in the living room watching TV ($10 says it was either Jersey Shore or Warehouse 13... don't ask) when he heard a car slam on its brakes, skid and then a dog yelping.

He ran outside to see that our neighbor, Kate, had driven down the street to the intersection and hadn't seen another neighbor's incredibly dark Blue Heeler standing in the middle of the road.  We know  Kate since she has a two year old pit bull that loves playing w/ Bear, and she was incredibly upset that she had hit a pup.  The Blue Heeler, whose name we later found out is Tag, was pinned under her Honda and couldn't move. Mr. Bama and a few other good Samaritan neighbors helped pull him out from under the car -- You can imagine that Tag was scared, in a lot of pain, and surrounded by a ton of people he'd never met before.  So in his state of sheer fear, he bit Mr. Bama in the hand (Completely understandable.)  Tag was pulled out and swept to the emergency Vet by his owner, with Kate following close behind.

Mr. Bama, however, ended up with a small, but pretty deep gouge in his hand (warning, if you don't like any form of pictures of open wounds, then quickly scroll down.  I hate those kind of pictures, but this is small and is after it was cleaned.  No blood involved!).
See, not so bad, but it was DEEP.  Small price to pay to save a pup

We ended up heading to the ER to get it looked at -- we weren't 100% sure the dog didn't have rabies and we wanted to be sure that there wasn't any huge damage to the bone, nerves, tendons, etc.  So off we went to Oschner in Jefferson parish

Let me just say that Oschner actually made an ER experience fairly pleasant, considering.  They took us in right away, the staff was incredibly nice with terrific moods and honestly it was the fastest in and out time I have ever experienced at an ER.  Two hours later, we walked out with an antibiotics prescription, an updated tetanus (better than having to get a rabies shot... which for 20 mins we thought he'd have to get) and a bandaged up hand. 

There was one thing Mr Bama did mention as we left the ER that he felt like he deserved after the whole debacle:  ice cream

He's such a trooper

The next day we found out that Tag was recovering nicely.  He did not break his leg like we had all initially thought (just popped his knee and hip out of place) and so he'll be back up and running in no time!  A happy ending to a quite crazy evening!  The funny thing is, while we were waiting in the waiting room, Mr Bama posted the picture of the bite on Facebook (for some reason he likes posting his injuries for all of his friends to oooh and aww at).  The overwhelming question was: "did Bear bite you!!??" Oh sigh....


Things I will never understand: monogram edition

During our road trip up and down to Corolla (yes, I realize that was about a month ago), I noticed something that I found not just weird, but downright annoying. I'm a HUGE monogram fan (I am a super prep-  Just ask anyone who knew me in HS, college or grad school. Heck, I even monogrammed my lax stick back in HS) and I love them - Bags, stationery, jewelry, etc.  But there is one thing that you just don't monogram:  Your car.

If you're going to get one, AT LEAST invest on interlocking or something that doesn't look so dis-joined.  Another pet peeve of mine, monograms that make it so obvious that they have had no design effort put into them.

Yet people are doing it.  And yes I knew that this was occurring when I would see "monogram transfer stickers" for sale online.  And yes, the occasional one is ok and isn't quite as obnoxious.  But on our way to NC I counted 10, yes, 10 cars that had monograms on them.  My huge, lingering question is "why?" Why feel the need to monogram your car.  Some people may respond with "well, why would you put your alma mater sticker on your car?  Isnt that the same thing?"  Personally, I do get a little excited when I see someone w/ a Mary Washington or Texas A&M sticker on their car -- I feel like "hey!  someone who has a shared background and rooted for the same teams.  I wonder if I know them.  Yay!"  I don't think you have the same feeling when you see someone with your same initials and think "Awesome! Another AKC!"  Isn't there a line between tasteful monogram and tacky monogram?  I would definitely love to hear your thoughts on this.

Hello lovely

He he... I had a great past few weeks at work, so recently I rewarded myself with a pair of shoes that I've been stalking since April.

The Pour La Victoire  Edie in Cognac. 

My legs look insanely long when I wear them (we joke that they give you "mannequin legs") and believe it or not, these are COMFY.  And yes, I do have a pair of CH beige peep toe sling backs that I adore, but they're not practical for the winter.  So hello pretty new winter shoes! 


Fugly Architecture Thursday - Cinema Style

This is a heart breaker of sorts.  For those who don't know me / are new to this blog, I will fill you in on some of my background - I have a Master's in Architecture.  However I also have an Undergraduate Degree in Historic Preservation and a Master's certificate in Historic Preservation.  This means, in short, that I am obsessed slightly with historic buildings.  I love their construction, their decades/centuries of stories, the feeling you get when you walk into a historic building, as well as an overwhelming sense of their infinite possibilities.  I despise the modern idea that old = useless, context is there only to be ignored and the only possibilities for a historic building is as a home or a museum (Fact: I also despise house museums.  Useless waste of awesome potential).  Adaptive reuse design is a passion of mine and something i absolutely loved doing back in grad school.  To hell with new buildings, bring on the old stuff.

So this brings me to today's post.  In New Orleans, we have a bit of a shortage of theatres that are within the city (minus the new canal place theatres).  But located in the Garden District, nestled next to small homes and boutiques, is a quaint little theatre that dates back to 1915.  The Prytania Theatre  is the only single screen theatre left in the state of Louisiana and really is a treasured establishment.  While it specializes in playing art films and movies from Hollywood's golden age, it is equipped with 3D technology, so you can see Inception in 3D right next door to your little shotgun house.  

The only problem?  Urban renewal and the idea that "old is ugly" that plagued the country in 1960.  So this quaint little theatre went from this lovely Italianate building:

to this:

Look mommy, a brick box!  I half expect to walk through the archway entrance and hop in a boat for a ride through the "tunnel of love" rather than going to see Toy Story 3.   This building has absolutely no character and, like last week's feature, NO respect for context (its in the Garden District for heaven's sake!!).  On the plus side: at least it isn't clad in steel or vinyl siding or, heaven forbid, turned into a museum. *shudder*


Its kind of hard to work.....

....when your dog is a klepto.

Bear's new bad habit - stealing paper from my office trashcan and prancing off to chew it.  He seems incredibly pleased with himself, like he won a prize - even as I'm chasing after him trying to grab back the crumpled piece of scrap.  What interesting is that he kind of has no interest in the kitchen trashcan, just the one w/ paper in it in the office.  More proof that my puppy is out to drive me nuts.


Grey skies --- make for a sunny day

Odd title, I know, but lately I have been so inspired by the color Grey.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that I have seen scores of grey shoes roll into the store, but the thing that really gets me is when customers ask "I love these grey shoes, but what on earth would I put it with?"  That's when the gears in my mind start turning and I come up with all these possibilities - especially the combo of Grey & mustard (accented by blue).

1.  I LOVE barn doors and i think a romantic part of me wants to stick one in a house someday just for the heck of it.  We have awesome Victorian pocket doors now, but they're not as elegantly utilitarian or unexpected as a rolling barn door.

2. Anthro, you never fail to step up when i need an awesome color combo.  I love the form of this dress: utilitarian "1950s house dress" look with a pretty full skirt.  Also, you can't go wrong with a big cinching sash.

3.  I've been staring at this cute little flying fish for months now at the store -- created by Delux, a design company out of Amsterdam who mixes vintage gem stones w/ modern ones. Sadly, they don't have a website, but there's a ton of their stuff online at trashydiva.com.  Grey and blue just look so stunning together.

4. I do think there is a point where you can have too much of bold yellow in your decor that makes it go from chic to blink-and-you-could-miss-it trendy.  A wallpaper like this jumps right over to classic - I could see it having just enough color to keep it from being boring yet still being something my grandmother would have had adorning her dining room walls.

5. Um, colored driftwood and eggs NEVER looked so gorgeous.  one man's firewood is another's wall art.

6. almost a year later and I'm still obsessed w/ weddings, so how could I not include a wedding combo?  This bouquet of daffodils, roses and tulips makes me smile and wish it was next spring.

7. Elegant in a sort of block-y way and very Scandinavian -  I'm kind of fantasizing about having the unexpected yellow wood chair sitting at my kitchen table. Yet, w/ the luck our furniture has, it would be "yellow streaked with black" in no time.

8. as I'm sitting here, there is currently a heat index of 115 degrees outside.  I would LOVE snow right about now.  On that note, I think nature honestly provides a the absolute best color palates.  Next time you're trying to figure out a color scheme for a design project, simply step outside and look at the colors you have around you.  You cannot go wrong.

9. I saw the "keep calm and carry on" poster in mustard and knew I had to include this.  The slant of the roof you can see through the doorway on the right makes me think of some chic and simple attic bedroom - a hideaway of sorts.  I can also seeing this being in a beach cottage where you can hear the ocean from the bathroom.  

10. Dear JCrew  - bring back your satin pumps.  Every girl needs a pair of pretty grey shoes, me being one. Thank you in advance.  

11. I love me a good geometric pattern.  If it is curvy lattice, awesome.  Grey and white curvy lattice?  even better

On that note, happy Monday everyone!

My Newest Kitchen Obsession

i have a "real" blog post coming tomorrow (think grey & mustard....)  but i had to share something I've been obsessing over lately:

How badly do i want these in my kitchen?  Badly.  Yes, I know they're totally impractical (hand wash only?  4.5 inches tall when I already have a cabinet-shelf full of actually practical tumblers this tall?  $32 + shipping a glass?) but i LOVVVVVVE them and their chic-not-cheesy fleur de lis design.  Plus, they match my countertop kitchen appliances. Obvious why I'm in love

I REALLY hope they carry these in the New Orleans Anthro, which opens mid-August (EEEEEP!!)  thus bypassing the shipping and allowing me to price stalk them at the store.  A girl can dream, I guess
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