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Chinoiserie Chic • Mid Century Modern • Palm Beach Regency Vintage Sales & Rentals


Filtering by Tag: "new year resolutions"

I'm a Good Fork

LeAnn Stephenson

I looked in the mirror the other morning - after wiping a clear spot in all the caked-on tooth paste splatters and the reflection I saw looked like Chris Farley with a hemorrhoid.  That is to say - I don't look my best first thing in the morning.  But who does? Right?  But here's the thing, I don't improve as the day goes on - I just kinda ripen, if you know what I'm sayin'.

So, this year I've pledged to improve a lot of things, my health, my mind, my body . . . well, you get the idea.  Anyway, one of the things that I've decided to do is learn Italian.  I think it is a beautiful language and it's been on my "To-do list" since my sophomore year in college.  I mean since there are so many Italians in Texas and I thought it would be nice to be able to converse with them . . . . . huh? . . . . Exactly! 

To give you a rough idea of the pace at which I tackle my "To-do lists," I'd like to share a little snippet of my daily activities.  The other day I found a letter that I had written to a dear friend concerning my daughter that I'd forgotten to mail.  I figured it just needed a little updating to send, so I steamed it open and after "Olivia is . . ." I whited-out "teething" and wrote in "driving."  I think, perhaps, this particular instance speaks volumes in describing my whole being.  Just to be clear, I'm what comes after the snail when referring to pace.

So, what was I saying?  Oh yes . . . . Italian . . .

I bring up the Italian for two reasons;  (No. 1) Yum!  and here I refer to the men and the food . . . . Am I right?!  and (No. 2)  I'm, as they say in Italian, una buona forchetta - which means that I'm a good eater or rather, quite literally translates to - I'm a good fork.  Please pay particular attention to the "r" in the translation - because without it I sound a little slutty.  And to be honest, I have been a bit of a food floozy lately and in 2010 my diet would have probably fallen on the slovenly side of things more than anything else.  I'm not suggesting that I'm a glutton, but in my family gravy is considered a beverage.

So, it's back to gym with me.  But this time I'm taking the whole family and we are gonna get healthy and in shape and all that junk.  Things have been going really well so far.  As a matter of fact, I've already been to the gym three times this week and yesterday I was named "Miss Varicose Vein" for my region.  Last year I shared stories of Naked Nana and others, but this year my gym stories will probably revolve more around the frightening fact that while I was asleep and away from the gym I went out of style. 

So, I think I will close this post the same way I closed last year's rant on exercise and getting in shape.  Though none of this has anything whatsoever to do with the "vintage" or the "inspirational" premise of this blog, my reasoning behind sharing this is to tell you that there are muscles in my body that have not been flexed since the last Bush administration . . . and now they HURT!! . . . and I feel VINTAGE!

Image courtesy CafePress

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Narrow Waist Seeks Broad Mind

LeAnn Stephenson

At the moment, I'm doing what I normally do every January . . . . that being, looking at the pattern of my life and deciding that I don't like it and working on a plan to change it. 

So here's what I've been thinkin' . . . . In June of 2011, I will celebrate my forty-sixth birthday.  The thought of being a middle-aged person has never appealed to me.  It doesn't seem like a job I'd apply for.  I always imagine a personal ad that reads something like this:

Narrow Waist Seeks Broad Mind
Narrow waist seeks opportunity to change places with a broad mind.  Warning:  When waist trades places with mind everything on your body will hurt, and what doesn't hurt won't work any longer.  Also, your body might develop some food allergies, and every time you eat, it will break out into fat.  This will cause self-loathing through most of your 40s and 50s, and a few years afterward, and intermittently for the next twenty-five years or so. 
Applicant must have degree from the School of Creative Mathematics so that you honestly do not know how old you are.  Also, when calculating your age in dog years, you must be dead. 
No pay.  Possible opportunities for "pay back," "paying it forward," and "paying very little attention" but, no actual compensation. 
Nursery school or equivalent. 
You won't have to drink alcohol anymore - you can get the same effect by just standing up fast.  Also, you get to boast that you're not forty-five years old, but eighteen with twenty-seven years experience.

To get a jump start on the New Year, my therapist has suggested a daily regimen of finishing what I have started, and I have stead-fastly stuck to it, too!  Here's proof... so far today, I have finished a 6-pack of Diet Dr. Peppers and a Haagen-Dazs Dove Bar and I feel pretty accomplished.  Next she suggested a "do-not-do-that" list.  First on the list is making statements like "Jeez I'm getting such a muffin top!" or "Would you look at my ka-donkey-donk butt?!" -Inevitablly I get a response like "You look great," which is a lie but said out of kindness and love and is code for "I noticed that you've put on a little weight, but if you think you're going to get me to agree with you, you're nuts." 

In a nutshell, my New Year's Resolution plan includes these rules of thumb:

•  Change my exercise routine.  Instead of running my mouth, pushing my luck and jumping to conclusions, do an occasional sit-up or take a jog.

•  Avoid contact with things that raise my blood pressure.  Including, but not limited to, things that possess tetanus, tires, or testicles.

•  Stop eating food and switch to bark so that I can look better naked.

and finally . . . .

•  Die young as late as possible.

Happy New year everyone . . . see you tomorrow!

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See You In 2011!

LeAnn Stephenson

“Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it”
                                                       -Lily Tomlin
At the close of 2010, I'm looking forward to 2011 with much anticipation. I am so grateful for the opportunity you’ve all given me to share the things that inspire me, make me laugh, make me cry and make me reach for the "happy pills". Thanks to all of you for your friendship - I'm so very thankful that this past year brought each and every one of you into my world! I will see you after a few days of fun, family and goofin' off.

Here's to a little less stress and reality, for that matter, in 2011!

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A Stroll Down Owee-ka-bowee Blvd.

LeAnn Stephenson

If you plan on painting your stairs as a chosen DIY project, there's about a one-bazillion percent chance that you'll spend at least a portion of that undertaking in an urgent-care clinic at the corner of Owee-ka-bowee Blvd. and Lord Just Take Me Now.

I hadn't foreseen this inevitable possibility, thinking naively that it's just some paint and a little tape applied to some harmless looking risers and steps.  Sadly, I was mistaken.

As da Hubbs and I sat for what like seemed like an eternity in the "We Use the Word Urgent Loosely Medical Center Clinic," I comforted myself with the image of a steaming hot bathtub in which I could soak my bruised and bonked-up body parts.

I had worked so hard not to be here, I had held tightly to the hand rail when I scaled up or descended down the stairs, always being very careful to keep my "size boat" feet within the 6 inch space that remained unpainted on each step. It all went wrong, however, when the big toe on my left foot became snagged on the hem of the right leg of my "you-got-a-ka-donky-donk-butt" warm up pants.  I pivoted toward the handrail in order to stabilize myself with my other hand and it was at that point that I started tumbling backward down the staircase.  The scene may have looked something like a gymnastics routine but it sounded more like a shoe in the dryer - a big ol' six feet one inch long, one hundred somethin' somethin' pound steel-toed heavy soled shoe!!

Exactly one hour later the doctor was ready for us.  After a flashlight in the eyes here and a poke and a picture there and a "Yep, that's quite a bruise" statement or two, I was released to go claim my long awaited soak in the tub.  After 2 days of nursing all the sympathy out my family that I could extract, I'm happy to say the only things that are still bruised are my ribs, my tailbone, and my ego.  Oh, and the stairs? . . . . they're fine . . . .  not even so much as a scratch . . . . I'll let them know you asked after them.

So, as a result of all that mess, all have to show you in yet another installment of " The Project from Hell " is more in progress pics.  So here goes:


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Cloudy With a Chance of Scattered DIY Hissy Fits

LeAnn Stephenson

Hands up if you've ever worked yourself up into a big ol' DIY hissy fit trying to finish a project, doing, as my friend Deb says, your best impersonation of the dog from the movie Up? (Do you still say impersonation if it's a dog impression?) Oh, look. Everyone's hand is up. What's that? You, up in the back? Two hands up, huh? Oh, I know, my dear, just calm yourself and get those narcotics like I suggested in my last stair post and life will be grand!

Da Hubbs has begun offering little impromptu DIY intervention speeches throughout this past week showing concern as to whether or not I can complete this project.

"I'm honestly worried about your chances of your finishing the stairs before the kids start collecting their social security checks," he said, all "smarty-pants" like this morning.

"I'm honestly worried about your chances of living to eat your next breakfast," I responded in an "its-possible-I-might-have-to-smother-you-in-your-sleep" like manner.

The next fifteen minutes were filled with da Hubbs practically falling all over himself trying to back-pedal on his previous statement by saying things like, "You are doing a great job, don't get me wrong - I just thought maybe you would want to make an 'in progress' post on your blog or somethin' - that's all I'm sayin'!"

Okay, so maybe he had a point and I'll delay cutting off his oxygen supply for the moment . . . . so, without any further stalling here goes:


Hopefully, I'll have photos of the finished project posted on Monday.  So, stay tuned!  I know I said that last time but what can I tell ya' - I'm tease!

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How to Avoid Do-it-yourself Deficit Disorder

LeAnn Stephenson

Because I didn't just fall off the DIY turnip truck, I'm now ready and willing to share with those of you who may be new to this do-it-your-own-self deal, the single most valuable piece of advice that anyone could ever give you.

And no, I'm not talkin' about all that junk about always prime first or make sure you have the right tool for the job, etc.

I'm talkin' real life-altering wisdom here, the really useful junk. And here it is. Commit it to memory, write down somewhere, do what you have to, but always remember these words:

When starting any home improvement project you must make sure to have a constant supply of Schedule 2 narcotics.

That's it. I know it sounds severe but you can plan what looks like a perfectly simple project, and then life and Diet Dr. Pepper consumption, and an addiction to surfing design blogs get in the way and, before you know it, you have 14 other projects swirling in your mind.

This is what I call Do-it-yourself Deficit Disorder - and this is where the narcotics become handy.

A person with DDD may have some or all of the following symptoms:

• easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli and frequently interrupts ongoing tasks to attend to, like taking the opportunity to pee without anyone else in the room, or sit on the sofa with an unblinking stare accompanied by a small saliva thread dangling from the corner of your mouth like a cellophane noodle while the kids are at school and the Hubbs is at the office.

• frequent shifts from one uncompleted project to another - like testing out how the sofa looks against the opposite wall or tending to your last unfinished painting escapade that won't stop heckling you from the kitchen.

• procrastination - well, I'll talk about that later.

• getting up frequently to stand back and admire the 3 inch by 3 inch square that took you 45 minutes to perfectly paint.

• often dancing excessively trying to perfect your "All The Single Ladies" dance moves all Beyonce-like.

• forgetfulness in DIY activities (for example, sitting down for a break on the wet stair step that you just painted 2 minutes before and ruining your best pair of "I-got-a-ka-donkey-donk-butt-from-eating-too-many-Christmas-cookies" sweat pants).

• frequent shifts in conversation, trying to change the subject when the Hubbs asks, "How are the stairs are coming?", not keeping one's mind on task, and painting your knee caps, your elbows, and hair instead of the stairs.

Just thought I'd share my insight, cuz, knowledge is power, y'all - Am I right?

So, hopefully, the next post that I do about the stairs will be accompanied by jaw-dropping photos of the finished project. But its time for my meds and a little drool time, so, I really must go.

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Girl Friday: Get-over-your-freakin'-self

LeAnn Stephenson

I have an aversion to change - it scares me, I question it. Even if the "same old, same old" is bad and stressful, at least it's predictable - I know it, so, its comfortable. This mentality reeks of stupid, and as a matter of fact, it might give a stupid thought the will to live - so, its time for change, and lots of it!

In thinking about my new year resolutions, it occurred to me that my life, more often than not, seems constantly embattled, waiting for the next crisis. This tends to be corrosive (this constant stress). Life needs peace. Peace needs balance. And, balance begs a certain amount of "get-over-your-freakin'-self." Recently, I was reminded of an old Swedish proverb; "Fear less, hope more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Hate less, love more; And all good things are yours." After a year of suffering through my mood swings, it was the Hubbs who reminded me of this mantra. So, for Christmas he bought me a mood ring figuring it would be helpful in monitoring my disposition. We've discovered that when I'm in a good mood, it turns green and when I'm in a bad mood, it leaves a big red mark on his little forehead!! Seems I've become a bit of a wench-lotta!

I've decided to resurface in 2010 a new LeAnn, after a year of being plagued with what the Hubbs claims, are peri-menopausal symptoms. (“Peri-menopausal” being the much less sexy version of “Menopause”) But, to be frank and honest here, there is no new LeAnn - its just the old LeAnn with less caffeine, a taller stack of self-help books, a mani/pedi appointment, and lots of ideas.

My most recent idea involves my stairs, some paint, bloody fingers, and mild streams of profanity. I'll have photos of the finished project in a few days - stay tuned!

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"Sex and the City" Brunch

LeAnn Stephenson

I'm back and feeling like a lighter version of me only with a higher dosage of happy pills. I give credit not to my psycho-pharmacologist, but to my recent trip to New York. The alarmingly hectic, albeit wonderful, year of 2009 left me feeling a little spaz-tastic and weary, but my new year has begun with a renewed sense of excitement and lots of plans for the coming months.

In the next several posts I will be sharing photos and experiences from our trip as well as presenting plans I have for The Vintage Laundry, the blog, and other endeavors. But first, I'd like to share this:

2009 brought many opportunities, one of the most valuable being the chance to not only meet Stan Williams, but be given the gift of his friendship. The second day of 2010 was spent with Stan and Veli at their home in the NoHo neighborhood in Manhattan. Stan whipped up a very "Sex and the City" brunch - armed with relentless joie de vivre, his favorite vintage printed tablecloth, his 1970s mushroom tray from J.C. Penney, cheese, crackers, scones, muffins, coconut macaroons, and lots of tasty Prosecco champagne. Truly a master thesis on "effortless hospitality" - A "vintage glam" time was had by all!! Stan, you are one of the most clever, wickedly talented, dearest creatures on this planet - I'm so grateful that you are in my life and I hope 2010 has even more marvelous things headed your way!!

Photos courtesy Olivia Stephenson.
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See You In 2010!

LeAnn Stephenson

At the close of 2009, I'm looking forward to 2010 with much anticipation. I am so grateful for the opportunity you’ve all given me to share the things that inspire me, make me laugh, make me cry and make me reach for the "happy pills". Thanks to all of you for your friendship - I'm so very thankful that this past year brought each and every one of you into my world! I will see you after a few days of fun, family and goofin' off.

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