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Thursday
May192011

Pink and Gold Roundup: New Addition

Not to be confused with New Edition. You know, Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike?

ANYWAY. This is too good not to add to my roundup collection. I can't believe I didn't know about it before. Behold, a thing of beauty in pink and gold:

Via Freshly Picked

Oh, neon pink. You complete me. Get it here. (It has stripes on the inside!)

PS. Thank you all so much for the music recommendations! I'm still going through them, and it is real fun.

Sunday
May152011

Music to Make AB Chao Happier, Cooler, More Productive

As you all know, I've been working at home for the past month and a half. What you might not know is that I have been ALONE for most of that time. Alone, alone, alone. So alone that, last week when Vince ran back to the house minutes after leaving for work, he busted me having a serious conversation with Hank about the placement of our living room furniture. Y'all, I have been married to this man for over ten years, and I was embarrassed. I have never worked without people before. Several of my friends warned me to prepare for this phenomenon, most notably Meredith and Pam, who have worked solitary jobs for years and understand how important music is for one's sanity. They both sweetly gave me some music recommendations.

Pamie, of course, had to go above and beyond, and make an actual visual Pinterest board of recommendations for me. Now, I did tell her to DEWIT, but she didn't have to. And yet, she did it anyway. Her board description reads as follows:

AB Chao, who now works from home as a full-time interior decorator, sent an email asking (telling) me to send her lots of new music. She didn't like an emailed list of bands I'd been listening to. So here's a page of images and links, almost always to a free track or something to stream. You're welcome, AB! Now find me a couch!

Perhaps you will also benefit from Pam's music prowess. My favorites from this list are Charles Bradley, Candy Coated Killahz, and Slithering Beast. I never thought I would love bands with weird names like that, but I do. I am grateful for good friends, and good music. Maybe if you are feeling generous you will tell me what you love to listen to at work, also, in the comments. Yes?

PS. Mere's recommendations were for Amos Lee, Citizen Cope, and Guster. I cannot stop listening to any of them, either. The end.

Wednesday
May112011

Madeleine's Room: Real-Life Update

A few weeks after I posted Madeleine's room redesign a couple of years ago, one of my favorite websites -- Apartment Therapy -- did a little write-up about the before and after. I recently read the comments on that article, and y'all, people are still talking about whether my 14-year-old daughter is mad that I surprise-redid her room. That is funny to me, since she a) collapsed into tears at the sight of her new room in the manner of a reality-show contestant, and b) is about to be a junior in high school. (!!!)

I will tell you how Madeleine feels now: she is at this moment only interested in whether we are going to put a new and exciting stereo in the car we are giving her for her 16th birthday. (She is getting my 11-year-old Honda along with her license, lest y'all think we are dumb enough to buy a newly-licensed driver a car.)

(That also means I am getting a new car after 11 years. Who is excited? ME.)

Anyway. I thought I would give you a glimpse into how she's used the room.

This is kind of it, along with sleeping in the bed, which looks basically the same. The room is a mess, of course, given the teenagerliness of it, but the room remains fairly tidy under the circumstances. I moved an old love seat into the room shortly after we re-did it. Mad didn't have anywhere to lounge, and this piece of furniture, with its original rust velvet fabric -- which my mother bought around 1975 from Ethan Allen -- fit the bill. She received the easel as a gift and uses it daily. I bought cheap 5' x 7' canvas drop-cloths from Fred's to protect the floor. Her various paintings and posters and whatever adorn the walls, and her various jeans and soccer clothes and water bottles and Cheetos and schoolbooks adorn the floor.

She never does homework at that desk, although she does do her makeup there every morning. After several mishaps, I made a rule that homework is not to be done in one's room, ever, since it is a perfect place for one to privately lock oneself up and update one's Tumblr.

I will say this for the room -- none of the rugs I bought ever show anything but pristine tidiness. Let's hear it for jute! And Walmart rugs! And while there is all manner of teenagerly junk everywhere, it never looks dirty. Of course, we do have a housekeeper who comes every week to change the sheets and vacuum, so talk to me after a few weeks without that luxury.

And if you walk in the room after school, you'll see this guy on one of those rugs, begging, begging for attention. Until she kicks him out and locks the door.

That was really just an excuse to show you a picture of my dog.

Monday
May092011

Video: Chao Camp/Absence of Dignity

I don't know what led me to Pam's website to watch this again -- it was obviously some search revealing an absence of dignity -- but it made me laugh for about ten years. The video is at least two years old, so we all look like a bunch of babies, but please enjoy me, Pamie, and Allison talking about nothing and giggling a lot. You may get a look into each of our personalities. It's probably not worth ten minutes of your lives, but maybe you already watched Oprah and you're bored. I don't know your life!

Video courtesy of pamie.com

PS. Stay tuned for an exciting before and after later in the week.

Friday
May062011

Housekeeping

Since I've been working from home, I have delighted in taking advantage of my new schedule flexibility to do fun/boring things like: a) stare at all of my plants every morning for longer than is probably normal, followed by the neurotic deadheading of spent flowers; b) attend several of the many estate sales whose hours are super-random (1:00 - 4:00, Thursday only!!! (half-off on Sunday 10 am!!!)); and c) arrive at Lowe's early enough to beat the old ladies who like to fight dirty for the $5.00 ferns. 

To wit:

Plants. Coffee cup. Flowers. Sun. Check. PS. That is my kitchen table that now lives on my patio. It's also where knock-off mid-century furniture goes when I kick it out of my house. My plants again. I have a little problem with loving them, y'all.

When my mother was growing up in Bogalusa, Louisiana -- shout-out to the Bog! -- one of the street corners was home to a (crazy, but awesome) person named "Vic," who always wanted you to look at his new shoes, or whatever. Vic was obsessed with whatever new item he had acquired, and would stare at it incessantly until you noticed him, at which time he would call attention to the item. Like so:

"Hey, you seen my new shoes? I got new shoes. Hey, look at my shoes. New shoes. My shoes. They're pretty nice, huh? Hey, look at my shoes."

And so forth.

Well, this Vic can't stop looking at her new plants. "Hey, look at my plants. I got new plants. Look at 'em. They're pretty. I got new plants. Look. There's petunias. Look. I got new plants. There's some herbs. Look."

DON'T YOU SEE MY NEW PLANTS?

Moving on.

So, basically everything you see above came from a Monroe estate sale. The shells. The driftwood. The jars. The mirror. The person in the mirror. Just kidding. I sprung fully-formed from Kelly Wearstler's turban.

One day last week, my mother decided she didn't want some topiaries she had at her house anymore, and called me on the phone to say, "I don't want these topiaries anymore. I've put these topiaries in your yard." And so she had. I think they look pretty great with my five-dollar ferns back there. Y'all don't be jealous that I am a fern bargain-hunter.

In other news, my bestie Cher had a baby, and she brought him over the other night so that I could HOLD HIM FOREVER.

Oh, Jude. I took this picture of you and your hair while you were asleep on my sofa, and one day fifteen years from now I will embarrass you with it.

And finally, in blog housekeeping news: Although I am still available for online and/or in-person consultation, I can no longer accept advice column requests. I am sorry, y'all, but I am in the weeds. If I haven't answered you, please don't feel bad -- I will make it up to you somehow.

Vic wants you to look at that cute baby.