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Archive for June, 2011

Omne Trium Perfectum. Everything that comes in threes is perfect. In fact, three seems to be the magic number. Think about it: The third time’s the charm. The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Musketeers. The Tricolon Crescendo. The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Lately, as I’ve been counting my blessings, I’ve come to find that there are three types of friends that everyone needs to have: 1) An Old Friend  2) A Mentor Friend and 3) An Everyday Friend.

So here’s a Tiger Lily Tribute to this Trio.

1) My Old Friend: Carrie

When I wanted to quit at White Rock

Although I have many “old friends,” Carrie fits the “Old Friend” blueprint perfectly. To begin, she and I have very similar foundations–an absolute must-have in old friend-credentials. In fact, Carrie and I  grew up next door to each other. Our fathers have similar personalities and we both swear our mothers could achieve Sainthood when they finally depart. We both have a brother and a sister, and we both had black toy poodles growing up.

But having similar foundations is only one characteristic of a good old-friend blueprint. The next characteristic is acceptance. While old friends may start with the same foundations, their exteriors may begin to look very different over time. What becomes important in old friend-construction is the acceptance of these differences, and in time, these differences create a beautiful symmetry. Carrie’s an artist and I have a degree in technical writing. She loves to cook and I love to have it catered. She’s a great listener and I’m really good at talking about myself. But as old friends, we are great together.

We find the same ridiculous things hilarious and don’t mind making fools of ourselves at any time– just ask our husbands. We both dream a little bigger than we should and both get disappointed when those dreams don’t become reality. We can be ourselves, our true selves, around each other, and still like one another at the end of the day.

So here’s to Carrie! Someone who is just like me, not at all like me, and likes the real me all the time.

2) My Mentor Friend: Traci

Traci is second from the right. (Next to me.)

Although people always talk about needing to “find a mentor,” I think the real mentor-mentee relationships just become. It’s not something you can officially force, it’s something that just manifests one day. This happened to me in 2003 when I interviewed for a job with Pfizer. The clouds parted, the doves sang and I was paired with Traci for the field-ride portion of my interview.

She was so poised, so talented and just one tiny step ahead of me in life. It was the perfect timing and a perfect fit.

I started out learning about business from Traci, but quickly began learning a lot about life from her. That poise I saw in her the first day we met was not just a Pfizer thing. She’s taught me about make-up, skin care, hair dos and nail polish. I’ve learned about literature, cardiovascular health and even how to raise a son. Traci will always be teaching me something and I will always be learning and making her laugh at my inexperience. It’s a great friendship to have when you need some advice from someone whose been there.

Traci, thanks for being my Mentor Friend. Here’s to spilling my hot tamales during the sex scenes and you shaking your head while hiding your snicker.

3) My Everyday Friend: Stacy

At Mount Magazine

Stacy and I became friends thanks to Theta- our college sorority. It sounds so cliché, but we truly are just like sisters. We like all of the same things, we do everything together and see or talk to each other almost every day. It’s that everyday friendship where we can ride in the car together without talking and neither of us is uncomfortable in the least.

Stacy makes the perfect Everyday Friend because for one, we live so close to each other. Her house is about a two-minute drive from mine and we both burn up the road in-between the two. Secondly, Stacy is loyal to the core, despite my flaws, which she knows probably better than anyone. Loyalty is essential in an everyday friendship because you will inevitably know the good, the bad, and the ugly. And lastly, Stacy and I have the best talks- and all the time. We talk about everything and I never doubt she is authentic. I honestly don’t know what I would do without her.

Here’s to my everyday friend. You are someone I’m so glad to be around all of the time. I’ll probably text you about this later.

While I’m lucky to be able to say that these three ladies aren’t my only friends, I’m also lucky to say that my life couldn’t be more perfect because of them. I highly recommend abiding by The Rule of Three when it comes to friendship.

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Don't worry, we're about to Manage some Mischief.

I had the time of my life at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. After Matt denied my request to celebrate our fifth anniversary at Hogwarts, a.k.a. Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, I easily convinced my sister that we needed  a “girl’s trip,” and fast.  After only a day of planning, Reagan and I had secured a hotel room, plane-park-and express pass tickets, and child care for our children. We were off like a Nimbus 2000.

I was already suffering from a mysterious pre-trip dizziness, (which the genius doctor at the after-hours clinic diagnosed as a possible brain tumor) but it didn’t matter, I was going to Florida. I packed only the essentials: a messenger bag, a visor and granny panties. And if these items weren’t enough to classify this as a “girl’s trip,”  for our pre-Park fare, we bought wine and cookies at the local grocery store. We had a great night-before carb load and were ready for an early morning.

Reagan and I woke up at the crack of dawn to get to the park early. Upon arrival, my dizziness lost its battle to an intense adrenalin surge as we raced to the back of the Islands of Adventure Park. Entering The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was surreal. I’m not making this up: the Castle, the Hogwarts Express, Hogsmeade etc. is breathtaking. We later learned that Universal Studios spent an estimated $200 million on this creation, and I am here to say, every penny was well spent.

Hogwart's Express

Platform 9 3/4

Entering Hogwarts

After entering the gates of Hogwarts, you are instructed to stow all of your belongings in a locker in order to ride, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.”  Stowing all of your belongings is mandatory. This should have been our first clue. Then, as we walked through the Herbology Greenhouse Three, the following sign was posted:

See the stick guy vomiting over the side of the boat?

I’m pretty sure whatever  potion they slipped us had a little bit of Tiger Lily in it. We were about to be motion sick out of our minds.

But before the nausea ensued, we walked through the Hogwart’s corridors, past Dumbledore’s office, and through the Griffyndor Common Room. Right before you get on the ride, Harry, Ron and Hermoine appear from underneath the invisibility cloak in the Great Hall. They explain that we will be flying through the grounds of Hogwarts, and that we should beware of a dragon that Hagrid has let loose. At this point in the line, the 13 year-old in front of us began to panic, and Ron made the Great Hall actually snow, by accident, of course.

Talking Portraits

Dumbledore's Office

Griffyndor Common Room

At this point in the line (probably about 75 minutes into our wait) I was feeling impervius to motion sickness. And even as the Sorting Hat warned us of the dangers of the ride, Reagan and I boarded our enchanted bench.

The Sorting Hat

After four minutes of the coolest ride I never experienced, (about two seconds into the simulation, Reagan and I both closed our eyes– tight) I silently willed myself onto the moving walkway that led to the end of the ride. Reagan and I walked side-by-side without a word, through Filch’s Emporium Gift Shop and straight to Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. We were both concentrating really hard on not puking our guts out. (If only we had a Purple Puking Pastille.)

It only took about a half an hour before we were ready for the Dragon Challenge Roller Coaster. To get on this ride, you walk along a path laced with banners for the Tri-Wizard Tournament. After passing through the Champion’s Tent, which showcases the Triwizard Cup, you then choose whether to ride the Hungarian Horntail or the Chinese Fireball Dragons. We chose the Hungarian Horntail and quickly found ourselves in the midst of a levicorpus spell.

Banners leading to the Coaster

Champion's Tent

It was after The Dragon Challenge that we had to the leave The Wizarding World all together. After a good hour of complete still-ness, and a few bottles of water, we went back for more. The last, and only ride in The Wizarding World that we really enjoyed was Flight of the Hippogriff. It’s a kiddie roller coaster that won’t put your equilibrium in check- if you even have any after the previously mentioned rides. And as a bonus, while waiting in line for this kiddie coaster, you pass right by Hagrid’s house.

Hagrid's House

Look closely to the right and you can see the Hippogriff flying right by.

By day two, we were back to just “hang out” in Hogsmeade. This was probably my favorite part of our trip. We had a Butterbeer, sat on the patio at the Three Broomsticks, bought some candy at Honeydukes, had a laugh at Zonkos, and watched some lucky kid get chosen by his wand in Olivander’s Wand Shop.

It may look cold, but it's June in Florida.

Fantastic.

Inside Honeydukes: Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans; we also bought a few chocolate frogs.

Inside Zonko's. They had Extendable Ears but no Love Potions.

Darn kid. It should have been me.

And although we were pretty upset that Olivander picked some little kid over the two of us, we bought our own wands before leaving. I chose a replica of Hermoine’s wand and Reagan chose a generic wand– or, excuse me, it chose her.

Hermoine's wand. It has a vine on it that signifies loyalty.

Reagan's wand.

Overall, I would say we had the time of our lives. It is so fun to see the books come to life, and I had the best company and Harry- Potter-expert in my sister as a tour guide. I would venture to say that this is one of the places I would think about if Expecto-ing my own Patronus.

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The House that Matt Built is finally done. Put a fork in it. Complete. Fanito!

Now we enter the “decorating” phase of this project, a phase that Matt has been waiting for since we started this little project in August 2010. Insert wry smile and wink here. I have about a zillion photos to share and then I’d love some feedback. (Please post your comments to my blog. Pretty please.)

First, it has to be said that Stacy Nance, with Stacy Nance Interiors, helped me with quite a bit of the house. Stacy has a great eye and a very clean style. Her own kitchen was recently featured on COCOCOZY for those of you that love this design blog.

We will start with part of the kitchen. I love just about everything about this space. The paint color is: Sharky Grey from the Martha Stewart collection at Home Depot. We went with non-textured walls throughout the house and a white ceiling to make the rooms look bigger. Non-textured walls seem to be something of an oddity in Oklahoma; most people prefer textured.

Kitchen: Appliances- GE and Capital; Granite- Marble Designs

Kohler sink in white, Delta faucet

Below is a picture of one of the granites we chose for the kitchen. I really really really wanted white marble for the majority of the countertops, but after 3,000 people advised me against this for the kitchen, Matt and I began hunting for a granite that looked like marble. We found Brazilian Arabescato that looks similar to marble, but because it’s granite, should be less likely to stain and chip. We love it.

Granite: Brazilian Arabescato, Marble Designs

Range: Capital, Hood: Designed by Stacy Nance, Stacy Nance Interiors

As you can see in the photos, we do not have anything on the countertops. Through the last two moves, I have become much more minamalistic than before and I am trying not to clutter any of my spaces. But what should I put on the countertops? Or should I put anything?

Backsplash Tile: Southwest Tile and MarbleHardware: HardwareResources.com

Next, here are the breakfast area curtains. Stacy picked out this fabric and we had these roman shades made at Vu’s Fabric in Edmond, Oklahoma. Vu is a genius, and I would recommend working directly with Vu. If she’s not in the shop the day you go in to have something made, go back another day.

IKAT fabric: Fabrics Unlimited OKC, Made by: Vu's Fabrics

Breakfast area light: Shades of Light

Ceramic Tile: Classic Tile and Marble OKC

Now for the living room. Because Matt and I are not Vanderbilt descendants, we decided to use almost all of the furniture from our old house in the new one. You will see the Norwalk sofa from our last house and some aluminum tables from I.O. Metro. Additionally, there is a piece of art above the mantel, some pillows and a few accessories that we transported from Little Rock.

View from the fireplace

View from the kitchen

Sofa: Norwalk, Ottoman: Red Chateau- OKC

Light fixture: Shades of Light

Sofa: Room and Board, Lamps: TJ Maxx

Sofa table: Mathis Brothers, OKC

Pink/Orange Pillow: Mathis Brothers, Geometric Pillow: Fabric- Fabric Factory OKC and Vu's Fabric, Work: Vu's Fabric

Wingback chairs: Z Gallerie

Mirrored Bamboo Table: Wisteria, Rug: Rug and Carpet of OKC

Concrete surround: ProCast in Marlow, OK

The concrete surround for the fireplace was a big decision for us. When traveling last summer, we went to a gorgeous hotel in Half Moon Bay, California. We got the idea for our fireplace and a window seat you will see later from this hotel. See the pictures below:

The only problem with our concrete surround is that we were hoping for a different color. We’ve contacted a faux finisher to paint the surround a different color but can’t pull the trigger. What do you think? (See the two color options below.)

Current color: buff, New colors: light grey and charcoal

So for the last photo of “The House that Matt Built, Part I,” we have one more question. I really like these built in book shelves, but right now I dislike what I’ve got in there. I’d like to have photos of our wedding and the new baby!, but it looks strange to me. Any suggestions? 

Silver Frames: Pottery Barn

Stay tuned for Part II. Thanks for indulging me!

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