Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#BloggersWorstDressed

No one can argue that I am not making the most of this Leap Day. Somehow, I promised myself to 2 huge events for the same day...thus 2 blog posts. It may be another 4 years before you see that again.

Amanda @ It's Blogworthy is concluding her 1-year Birthday Bash for the Celebrity Round-up series today and before it was all sealed up, I wanted to share our very own fashion tragedy. I think Kallay said it best when she mentioned that this was the first time she ever regretted not bringing her clothing disasters with her to the next destination. When we split our possessions between our home in Georgia and our townhouse in Kentucky, I (logically) left most of the too small, too tattered, too hideous items up north. Although thinking about it now, that no longer makes sense. I know way more people up there and would be much less likely to wear any of that out past the driveway. But, all the same, it's far away from the eye of the camera.

However, I do have some pretty special house shoes to show off for Amanda's link-up. Let me clarify...they are not mine. I'm pretty sure I would get the middle toe for even trying to get my feet in these. But Neal has worn them almost every night since his return from Kuwait 3 years ago. He found them on the clearance page of the J.Crew website. Just further proof that simply because the label says J.Crew/Gap/Tommy/Gucci/Ralph Lauren don't mean it ain't ugly. And I mean uggggggleeeeeee.

I can't decide what's worse...the shape, the color combination, or the plaid. The most popular couch of 1976 called. It wants its pattern back.

But he adores them and I try to look past his fashion flaws to the man deep, deep inside. In case you've ever wondered...this is what a pair of $6.00 shoes from J. Crew looks like. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Have your own fashion faux pas that you've been silently storing on the top shelf? Dig em out and post a pic for the #BloggersWorstDressed link-up. Each entry lands you a chance to win this Daisy & Elm vintage pearl necklace! (Although Amanda has a MUCH prettier picture on her blog today!)


It's ON! 13 hours and counting...

Some of you requested a friendly reminder when the online auction to benefit Wings for Our Troops "in loving Memory of CPL Chad S Wade" was open and ready for bidding. Well...it's ON, folks! And I have already started an early morning bidding war over a precious Swarovski crystal American flag ring. I think it would be a perfect right-hand ring. The auction will close at 11:59 tonight...only open one day, which is one day that only rolls around once every 4 years. Really, this is a once-in-4-years opportunity! I also submitted 4 items for auction. Just to tease and tantalize you, they are...




I am personally a little ga-ga over the Uncle Sam earrings, but maybe that's the face only a military wife could love.

If you are interested in bidding or want to check current bids, please check After Glow Beads' Facebook fan page. All bids are placed on the first photo of each item in the online auction album. I cannot possibly think of a better way to spend Leap Day than purchasing RED items which will 100% benefit our Marines. I think we could classify this as a win-win.

Thank you for reading, looking, and bidding! 
Peace, love, and support for our troops,
Ally

Friday, February 24, 2012

Champagne Friday: This and That

I have a whole list of Random Musings from the past month that I've been typing furiously at stoplights and storing on my phone. So, I feel compelled to link up with Shana this afternoon for Random Musings Friday. Have your own random musings? Join the linky lunacy! It's almost as fun as popping the cork on a $6.00 bottle of spumante!

1. I saw this on Robyn's blog yesterday (admittedly, it was from a couple of weeks ago, but as I mentioned last week, I'm still playing catch-up). It's probably the funniest clip I've seen from a talk show in...well...ever. I adore Ellen but seldom watch because at 4PM, I am trying to tidy up, answer emails, start dinner, photograph jewelry, etc, etc. But I could watch this one clip for a straight 45 minutes and still be laughing. I have no idea this woman is, but I feel like, sloth adoration aside, we could probably be BFFEE.

2. In a rare moment of reasoning, Neal decided that asking for "unsweetened tea" is illogical, because that would assume the sugar was added and then taken out, thus making it "unsweetened." So, he has started asking for non-sweetened tea when we go out. It's bad enough that he is asking for anything but sweet tea in Georgia, but the request for "non-sweet tea" confuses everyone. From the cashier at Chick-Fil-A to the waitress at Olive Garden. They clarify that he wants "unsweet tea"...every. single. time. A couple of weeks ago, I pleaded that he just give up the fight and revert back to his old, sinful, grammatically incorrect ways. It will never catch on. And yet, I guarantee tonight at dinner he'll try again.

3. Neal loves to back the car into the driveway. Being able to just pull right out into the road in the morning means one less stressor on his way to work. Since the family across the street from us is competing with the Duggars, I thought I should start backing in, as well...especially because the Pathfinder is not equipped with a back-up camera. (P.S. Dear person who invented the back-up camera, We should dedicate a holiday to you.) Usually, this is not a problem. It's a fairly wide driveway and I just have to hook around a bit to the left to back into my spot. Except for last Tuesday night. It was late and dark and I was tired and I hit a tree. Eh...more like bumped it. I was going approximately 4 mph. But when I told Neal about it (after surveying the quarter panel to make sure there was no damage), he said "you hit the tree next to the driveway?" Yes. "But it's like 8' from the driveway." Yes. "So you were not actually in the driveway, but in the yard. You tried to back up into the yard." I'm done talking to you. It's just enough to make me want to strap a camcorder to my rear bumper and play it through my radio screen.

4. Finally...several weeks ago, Neal came home in a huff because he was missing some pieces to his uniform that he needed to take to a conference that weekend. He was going to make a run up to Clothing & Sales to see if they had the items. I agreed to go with him. It was warm and sunny and I needed a break. Since I was riding with him, I didn't grab anything but my phone and my military I.D., in case we went off base. And, for whatever reason, he didn't grab keys either. So, we were locked out of the house, looking at each other with that infamous expression of now what? Base housing charges $30 every time they have to come open your door. Neal was in no mood to spend $30. He improvised.

On one hand, I'm a little concerned that our house can be so easily infiltrated. On the other, I will gladly use that $30 for Nutella and ballet flats.

5. Just a few reminders...the auction to benefit Wings for Our Troops "in loving Memory of CPL Chad S Wade" will be next Wednesday, the 29th, on After Glow Bead's Facebook fan page. I will send one more reminder out on Tuesday night. She has a growing collection of donated items, from jewelry to glass to crocheted hats! I think the word epic applies here!

And Amanda @ It's Blogworthy will announce the winner of Daisy & Elm jewelry on Wednesday as well. It's not too late to post your tackiest, most-outdated clothing or jewelry that you still harbor in your closet! Go ahead and show us. We'll try to withhold most of our judgement.

May your sleep be deep, your to-do list short, and the weekend last for forever. We have a tornado watch here today. It reminded me that people in Florida get to drink Hurricanes...clearly we need a drink called The Tornado for our Tornado Parties.

Happy Champagne Friday!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Imposter

Fat Tuesday sneaks up on me every single year. One moment I'm ripping off bows, slugging shots while the ball drops, and huddled around a 50" plasma watching commercials with dogs barking the Star Wars theme and the next moment...BAM!...it's Fat Tuesday. And there is not a king cake or beignet to be found. This is how I end up not being in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I promise myself every end of February that next year I will be hanging over the railing, sloshing beer on the unsuspecting, and collecting my beads the married way...with cold hard cash at the t-shirt shops. And yet, here I sit. With a bowl of Fiber One bran flakes and a lukewarm cup of coffee. Wahoo! Taking my turn on the Sin Wagon!

But more than nursing a hangover the size of Dixie, Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent for me. It has always been the beginning of Lent, even as a Southern Baptist. I show up at noon for ashes and then ignore sideways glances from the non-Catholic population who think I got into a fight with the ass-end of a pencil and lost. Protestants often think I'm flaunting my piety by not wiping them off...as in clearly you want everyone to know that you skipped your lunch hour so that you could line up with a slew of other holy rollers and get marked by the beast priest. But that's not it at all. For starters, the ashes itch. And once the priest marks the sign of the cross, you aren't supposed to touch them...although with bangs, that's borderline impossible. The idea is that they disintegrate naturally. So, I spend the whole day trying not to touch/scratch/wipe/prop up my forehead. I end up being more obsessed with the skin above my eyes than the reason why I got them.

Then there's Lent, proper. Traditionally, it's a season of fasting. For Catholics, it equates to sacrificing meat on Fridays (which is synonymous with a church basement fish fry and all the fixins) and attending Stations of the Cross. OK, there's a lot more to it...Holy Feast Days and vigils...but when I was left at the alter by my Catholic ex, I quit keeping track of most traditions and days of obligations. Actually, ex-fiance #3 is how I came to convert to Catholicism. And although I find it impossible to reconcile my beliefs on gay marriage, abortion, and The Pope to the Catholic way, I find an unexplainable comfort in the routine of mass, a season of fasting and reflecting, and praying the rosary. I am, as Mama Virgo is fond of saying, a cafeteria Catholic. I pick and choose my sides, leaving out that which doesn't fall into place with my value system.

Which is why I've decided to quit proclaiming myself as Catholic. I'm sure it's offensive to Catholics who live and die by the sacraments. I got married on a beach, not in a Catholic church. Obviously the foundations of the church carry little weight with me. And what's worse than that chick who shows up for ashes on a Wednesday and fish on a Friday? I carry with me some of the practices of Catholicism as they have become part of me, but I haven't been to confession in 7 years. Probably time to stop eating the bread and drinking from the cup.

I'll keep Lent, though, because I feel like it forces me to stop and reflect on the time of year that I celebrate my one true belief...that Jesus Christ died on the cross for me. Regardless of what religion I happen to be practicing, my faith is unchanging. The brick and mortar may say Methodist or Lutheran or Interdenominational Church of Everyone, but my heart says Jesus is my Savior...the end. The Facebook statuses will be flying tomorrow with updates on what is being given up. There are always a few frontrunners...chocolate, alcohol, sex, Facebook. And then there people who celebrate Lent by taking on a self-help task...exercising, volunteering, recognizing Lent. Sometimes we last 40 days and 40 nights and sometimes we just can't quite stay awake while Jesus is on the mount.

If you haven't read Kallay's Lenten post today, I strongly encourage you to do so. It's witty, it's succinct, and it's a challenge to us all...to reach past what's easy and commit ourselves fully to our faith. I know I'll continue to pray the rosary, attend Stations of the Cross, fry some fish on Fridays, and give up or take on something for the Easter season. But I do it as a woman of faith and not under the cloak of being a Catholic. I no longer walk that path and I apologize for faking it for so long.

How do you feel about Lent? Do you sacrifice something or take on something? Have you read Kallay's post yet? You really should...


Friday, February 17, 2012

Champagne Friday: Shameless Self Promotion

First...an apology. There has been some...er...stuff going on and by the end of the day, the best I can hope for is to get my to-do list checked off. Sometimes even that doesn't happen. Blogging falls off the bottom of the list, as does reading your blogs. It's certainly not intentional. If anything, being absent from the blogging community leaves a gaping, bleeding hole in my life. But rest assured this is not bad stuff. It's actually very good. I am, however, going to play it close to the vest for now. Not forever...but for now. The good news is, I'm very close to being all caught up with business affairs and can spend a large chunk of my weekend getting caught up on what's going on with y'all. And that makes me a happy panda indeed. So, without further ado...

Happy Champagne Friday! 

Although the Queen of England celebrated 60 years of life on the throne a couple of weeks ago, the Diamond Jubilee is not until June. So much champagne to drink between now and then.

I have two Daisy & Elm announcements today. No Random Musings, I'm afraid. But I'm collecting quite the list for next week. If you have some Random Musings of your own from this week, be sure to link up with Shana so you can share! 

February 29th is going to be a busy, busy day for D&E. Both events will happen on Leap Day. But if you can't cram as much as possible into 24-hour period that only rolls around roughly every 4 years, then why even bother?

After Glow Beads, a bead/gemstone/all things jewelry business with a storefront in Louisville, KY, is hosting an online auction to benefit Wings for Our Troops "in loving Memory of CPL Chad S Wade" beginning at 12:01 AM, Wednesday the 29th. I am asking for 2 things with regards to this event. If you are crafty and would like to donate an item to auction, please contact me through the comments or email. Although the majority of the items listed so far is jewelry, Tammy would like to include all handmade crafts. Do you knit? Sew? Create custom graphics? Bake? Bedazzle? If it's RED, it's RAD! Tami Boyette, founder of Wings for Our Troops, has already purchased 2 plane tickets for a Marine and his wife to fly home to see family before he deployed last month. Tami wrote about the presentation of tickets here. If you have flown lately, you know that a plane ticket can get pricey and many of our younger servicemembers can't afford to fly home before deployment. Y'know how they say the military gets paid hand over fist? Yeah...that's a well-circulated myth. Especially the enlisted. The winning bid on your donation will go directly towards a plane ticket for a servicemember in the future. Is there any better feeling? 

The auction is a win-win because even if you aren't crafty, you can still shop and bid and win! And that money goes towards plane tickets. Plus, you get something gorgeous and handmade. So...bead or bid...or both! The items listed so far can be found in the auction album on After Glow's fan page. New photos are posted almost daily as the donations roll in.

The second announcement concerns the ultra-talented, uber-witty Amanda of It's Blogworthy and her Birthday Celebration of the Celebrity Round-up that's featured every Friday. First, a word about the Celebrity Round-up: I don't read People, I don't watch TMZ (unless I'm blitzed on LIT's in Savannah), and I very rarely even read the Yahoo stories when I log on to check my mail. I am Celebrity Ignorant. Amanda rectifies that situation every Friday by covering the who, what, when, where, and why (although there's hardly ever a why) of celebrity gossip. In 10 minutes I'm completely caught up on the noteworthy news of famous and the infamous. It's more than a blog...it's a public service.

This week and next, she is hosting The Worst Dressed Link-up. Your post only needs a photo of your ugliest, tackiest, oldest, or most out of style clothing or accessory. That's it. The more hideous, the better. (It seems that hoarders may have a distinct advantage here.) As a reward for your unwillingness to toss anything from your closet, no matter how dated, you will be entered into a drawing for a shiny, new, hip piece of jewelry from Daisy & Elm. The idea being that "out with the old and in with the new." You have until the 29th to link up with Amanda and share your fuglies in hopes of winning something that could go a long way toward bringing you into 2012. Your entries will be judged by none other than Amanda herself, Surferwife, and me...of course. Our judge of poor fashion is directly related to the number of margaritas we've consumed. Fire up the blender, Amanda. We have a contest to judge! And you have an outfit to assemble. My advice? Start with something you would normally see at Wal-mart and go from there.

Thank you for hanging in with me these past few weeks. I will be stopping by this weekend to give you a healthy dose of love back. I miss you like the 1980's misses its parachute pants. Oooo...does somebody own parachute pants??

Friday, February 3, 2012

Champagne Friday...Phone Photo Phun

There has been quite a bit of talk on Facebook this week about how the days just seemed to drrraaaaggggg between Monday and today. And I agree. Tuesday felt like Thursday and Wednesday felt like Friday and then it all kind of went to hell. But Friday is here again and just in time, no doubt. I decided to clean out some randomly snapped pics on my phone in celebration. So, pour a glass and enjoy. Some of this you can only find in Georgia...as charming as it is.

This is some serious hometown pride. Consider that the vehicle is a Ford Explorer and thus has a pretty sizable rear window. Now look at the size of that sticker. Even from 4 cars away I could tell that it said "Macon, GA" but it was a special kind of joy to end right behind it at a stoplight. Are you this proud of your hometown?

It's a bird...it's a plane...it's a...no wait...it's definitely a plane. Being hauled up I-75. I never realized that a Nissan Pathfinder was the most efficient method to transport a plane, but then maybe it's no longer operational. It is wrapped in a body bag.

My only regret is that Target doesn't offer these in adult sizes. Nerdy Smurf on my feet? That's a win all the way around. High four!

A perfect example of "you get what you pay for." These interlocking exercise mats were on Amazon for $40. Neal, being the thrifty shopper that he is, found them at Sam's Club for $20. As he took them out of the package and started putting them together, he came up one short. I now realize that they intended you to make 2 squares of 4 mats each...but wouldn't a block of 9 make a lot more sense?

And finally...I snapped this yesterday as I was getting ready to back out at the post office. I do love to see synergy within the shipping industry. FedEx and the USPS holding hands and skipping sweetly down the yellow brick road. Or the FedEx chick just needed to drop her utility bill in the out box. Either way, I'm amused. 

May your weekend be long, the lines at the grocery store be short, and may your team reign victorious after Sunday's battle. Geaux Saints!! Oh...wait...

Happy Champagne Friday!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Seeing Gray on a Sunny Day

I do realize that the first time I've popped up over here in 2 weeks is just to drive you to another blog where I'm discussing UK's unveiling of the new Nike Hyper Elite Platinum uniforms...but I promise I've compiled a list for Champagne Friday tomorrow. So, that makes it all OK, right? Excellent.

Check me at From the Sidelines today and please weigh in on what you think about the new color combo. I will hear all opinions, but reserve my right to call you a freak if you disagree with me.