Saturday, December 22, 2012


It is officially here, friends! I am on vacation! School is out, the shop is closed up, and I'm enjoying a ginger molasses cookie for breakfast with my coffee. I cannot thank everyone enough for their outstanding support this year and this holiday season. I am pretty much lost for words as the last two months were record breaking months for my little shop. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

With little to be said this morning, I thought I'd share two super awesome ladies with you instead. Nees from Monaural Mumbling shares my love of DIY bathroom projects (this looks oh so familiar) and cats. While Kristin from Skinny Jeans & a Chai Latte shares my love of beer and teaching. It is good to know that I'm not the only one around these parts that thinks beer and teaching should go hand in hand.


My name is Nees and I am a librarian. I live in a pretty village in the middle of England with my husband, two tabby cats and one large akita dog called Neko. As well as all the excitement of the latest village table top sale where I recently accidentally bought some moose antlers thinking they were Christmas decorations I enjoy DIY, trying to take photographs and documenting my failed attempts at gardening and only marginally more successful attempts at cookery. I also am deaf in one ear which I wrote a post about here which inspired the title of my blog!

I'm a not-so-newlywed living in North Carolina. A former social worker, turned preschool teacher who spends my days dreaming of and trying to travel the world. I'm not that cool, but I pretend to know what I'm talking about when it comes to fitness, poor attempts at fashion, beer, and life in general. 
My favorite thing to talk about is beer, but good beer! I love calling myself a runner.  I'm most proud of the hard work I have put into becoming one. My most recent half! And sometimes I'm crafty!


Please go visit these awesome ladies, you won't regret it! In fact I'm off to do just that to catch up on their latest blog posts while I have another cup of coffee. Happy vacation to you all (oh wait, you mean you all don't get eleven days off from work? Ooops, my bad for rubbing it in. I'm mean not my bad. I get eleven days off, suckers!) Ok, for reals yo. I'm off to these blogs with my coffee. Enjoy!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012


It's that time of year again when I sadly say goodbye to another calendar. Oh calendar, you were so full of beautiful photos of national parks. Or, oh calendar, you were so pretty and made me feel like I truly was walking the streets of Paris. It is a sad time. When I was a little girl, I would cut out my favorites of the picture and photos to hang on my bedroom wall, not quite ready to give up our year long relationship. As an adult, I've found I am able to move on much more easily, knowing that another fantastic calendar will soon get some good use. Here are a look at some of my favorites for 2013.

While I really enjoy a beautiful wall calendar, I also really love agenda type calendars. I am a list maker and primarily use agendas to organize my lists of things to be done. They also help me plan for the future.

I love this idea of a notebook a month as a less traditional form of an agenda.
I also love the simple and contemporary design of this agenda.

Are you a calendar kind of person? What are some of your favorites that you have been eying for 2013?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why They Should Ban Me From Twitter

I was an English teacher. In case I forgot to tell you, they moved me from English to Social Studies because my spelling and grammar was atrocious. Just kidding. I actually love Social Studies to death and had been wanting to teach it for quite some time full time. However, one look at my twitter feed and you might think I had really been telling the truth. I have had some bad ones, I must admit. I partly blame the good old auto-correct.

In all fairness, usually they are common mistakes. My most recent is as follows.

 Ooops. So I wrote "show" instead of "shoe". Or actually, auto-correct made it "show" instead of "shoe".

And then there's this classic--

I think I got more tweets that night than I had in the whole week combined that went a little something like this-- What the hell is "taco Xerox"?!?!?!

Taco Xerox, is obviously supposed to be "taco detox," duh!

Thought it couldn't get any worse than that? Think again, my friends. It is me we are talking about after all. The queen of sticking her foot in her mouth. I'm also good about being able to laugh at myself and make fun of myself in embarrassing situations. It's one of those things I learned to do back in the day when I was a radio dj. You make a flub, you laugh at yourself and make fun of yourself. So without further ado, I present to you, the worst twitter auto-correct typo of my entire life.
Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Thankfully Paige could read between the lines and knew that I was actually referring to her "new house." But to be honest, I was embarrassed about this one enough that I banned myself from twitter for the rest of the night.

And in case you feel like having a good laugh at my expense, you can always find me on twitter @rowhouse14.

Am I the only one that is atrocious with this?!

P.S. While thanking Paige last night for a conversation that may or may not involved this post and a few other ideas, I did it again...
 There is no hope... no hope, people.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Few Things

I know I've been a bit spontaneous with blogging lately and all of those new followers out there probably think I'm super duper lame. I don't blame you, I kind of think I am too. Things have been incredibly busy in the shop and it has been hard to keep up. I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend-- you know, the kind spent in sweats with a cup of coffee in hand and a few fashion magazines and a novel to start your day. And maybe a chocolate lab's head squashing your foot and a cat mashing his paws into your stomach. Lazy can't get any better than that.

We're also planning on finally getting around to decorating the row house for Christmas, and I can assure you, we will not be including anything super tacky in our Christmas decor. We seem to be a little late with this every year, thus we like to leave our tree and decorations up until the end of January.

Anyway, there have been some pretty spectacular things I've been loving this week and here's a peak at a few of those.

I've been getting sick of my jewelry lately and feel like I keep wearing the same pieces over and over again. Lately, I've had my eye of these earrings from Blue Hour Designs...

...and this awesome ring from Lily Emme Jewelry. (Now promise me you won't buy that ring out from under me or I might cry. Seriously, love this one, but just don't quite have the money for it! Great, now all of you are going to race to buy it first.)
And in case you wonder why I don't have the money for that ring, it's because I've had my eye on these. I'd had my eye on them for awhile, but 1) they were too expensive and 2) they didn't have my size. Then yesterday a miracle happened. 1) they went on sale for almost $100 less and 2) the only size they had was my size. I think that's what you call a sign, people. If you're as excited about them as me and you wear an 8.5, I bought the last 10 (yup, tall and big ass feet), but now they apparently also have an 8.5. You're welcome.
via Nine West
And in case the jewelry and shoe shopping just isn't your thing these days, I kind of love these blog posts this week.

I needed a post like this to tell me to get my butt in gear about a few things in my life. This advice is so simple and what I've always told myself, but sometimes I need a good reminder.

I love Leonora's post about copying vs inspiring. I am becoming so disheartened by the number of people I see who are being copied. And having had people copy my designs on several occasions as well, this post hit home.

I'm loving these fun monogram printable gift tags. Let's face it, I'm so busy right now I haven't had the time to make my own Christmas cards or gift tags yet, so I may be swiping these for my use this holiday season.

And finally, Gina's pear cookie pie looks delicious! After one look over the recipe I think this will be a perfect winter recipe to go with a cup of tea.

What are some of your favorite things this week?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Saint Nicholas Day

Growing up it was tradition that not only did we celebrate Christmas, but we also celebrated Saint Nicholas Day on December 6th. This tradition is where Santa Claus, as we know him, originated. My mom grew up in Belgium and brought the tradition of celebrating Saint Nicholas Day to our family. The night before we would lay out our shoes (or in the normal tradition your wooden clogs). In the morning, there would be small gifts left from Saint Nicholas if you had been good and some sticks in your shoe if you had been bad. Usually we would get a Christmas ornament, some marzipan, speculoos (the most wonderfully tasty spiced holiday cookies you could ever want!), chocolate, an orange, and that sort of thing.

After going off to college, my mom still sent me St. Nick's packages in the mail on December 6th. As I left to go out on my own after college, I still wanted to celebrate the fun tradition, so I still continue to leave a little something for Andrew for when he gets up in the morning. I can see now why my mother probably had so much fun with this tradition. For me, picking out the items to include are so much fun! Here is a look at some of the things I included in Andrew's Saint Nicholas Day surprise this morning.

An ornament! And I found this fantastic handmade ornament from My Hideaway-- perfectly simple and bold in color. It will fit right in with our tree that we'll be decorating this weekend. Mary has so many cute ornaments in her shop, but I loved the color scheme of this one.
I like to include tea because it always seems like a cozy thing to have handy in the colder months. Usually I buy Celestial Seasonings, but this year I couldn't pass up this tin and the wintery name of this tea!
I added a candle as well for the same reason as the tea. I always associate candles with this time of year. And the coziness factor is much better with a few candles lit around the house.
It is ridiculously hard to find speculoos in this neck of the woods, so I went with a few Pepperidge Farm holiday cookies instead.
Some Ritter Sport chocolate is a must!

And I added an orange to the bag as well.

Once I decided what to give Andrew for Saint Nick's Day, I put everything together for him in this fabulous recycled paper holiday bag from Pier 1.
And of course, I'll be enjoying the cookies, chocolate, and tea with him! ;) Have you ever celebrated Saint Nicholas Day? What are some of your family holiday traditions?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Tacky Christmas Decoration Round-Up

I have been MIA for a few days here. In the event that you were wondering where I was, I've been diligently researching today's post which you will most likely thank me for. Due to popular demand I have decided that the tacky Christmas decorations post must happen after all. There were just too many tacky Christmas decorations that needed to come out of the woodwork. And if you happen to have any of these little gems, I apologize. Really, I do. I apologize mostly for the fact that you have these hideous items in your house. And I apologize just a tad in the event that I am making fun of one of your beloved Christmas decorations. Without further ado...

We all love M&Ms around the holiday season, but is it really necessary to pair the green M&M with frilly pink and then pretend she is a nutcracker?
I love my cat Finn, but not enough to hang this on his collar or on our Christmas tree.
I don't even have a witty caption for this one. It just freaks me out. It sort of reminds me of something my grandma might have in her house. And apparently it plays music too. The crazy part is that it sells for $45!
Usually Target is right on target if you know what I mean, but this is Mrs. Claus meets Bubble Boy or something. I actually sort of feel bad for her that she's trapped in there!
And of course, my favorite has been saved for last. Nothing says "Merry Christmas" more than a deer-hunter Santa. Hide your eyes children because apparently Santa is hunting his reindeer? I thought Santa liked deer. Maybe that was just some sort of made up thing that I just happened to hear once long ago. Thank you Wal-Mart for allowing Andrew and me to laugh so hard we almost peed our pants while we looked at this for five minutes straight.
I hope you had a good laugh as well. And I hope I won't be seeing any of these tackilicious nuggets of gold when I visit your house for the holidays.
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