Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscars: Red Carpet Recap

In case you somehow missed it, the Oscars were last night and they did not disappoint.......well maybe they did.

I thought most of the women and their gowns looked beautiful, but no one woman blew me away. Here are some of the women I liked the most......

Jennifer Aniston - Honestly, I think this girl would look just as fabulous in a brown paper bag. I loved that her hair and dress were just beautifully simple. The train on this dress looked gorgeous on stage too when she was presenting.

Jennifer Lawrence - Her hair and makeup looked beautiful and she looked elegant as always. The dress was a little full and probably why the poor girl fell going up the stairs to accept her award. Congrats to the Kentucky girl for winning Best Actress!

Naomi Watts - I loved design of this dress. I'm even okay with the color, but I would have rather seen it in another fabric. She looked great though.

Charlize Theron - When you can wear this haircut and still look stunning it doesn't really matter what your dress looks like. She picked a good one though......I love the white and the strapless, V cut top.

Jennifer Garner - I like this color on her and the hair, makeup and jewelry are on point. This dress looks really pretty from the front, but is a little too big in the back.

Reese Witherspoon - I love this girl and her movies. She is rockin' the right color blue.

This is where is got a little disappointing.........

Jennifer Stewart - I've already told you about a similar dress here that I didn't like, so let's move on up. This is what my hair looks like when I get out of bed in the morning!  Where is her stylist? Or even a friend to just tell her this is wrong?!

Nicole Kidman - I just don't like it. I don't like the full sequin, the design in the middle or the design on the bottom.

Kristin Chenoweth - I think this dress would have looked better with a more tapered, straight line bottom and no mesh on top.

The most disappointing part of the whole night was probably the host Seth MacFarlane. I was not impressed, but maybe I just have a different sense of humor. Hopefully he is not invited back.

What did you think?  Who looked the best?


Don't miss out! Enter your email address to subscribe:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Painted Stairs and Handrail

Some of you might think I have already forgotten all about those goals and resolutions I made at the beginning of the year because I haven't really told you about any progress I have made.  Well, things really are getting done around here and I have a small reveal for you today to prove it.

The stairs have gotten a facelift.  Here is what they looked like before......

And after several coats of paint, this is what they look like now.......

Walls: Coqui by Devine (color matched by Sherwin-Williams)
Handrail: Urban Bronze by Sherwin-Williams
Risers: Greenbelt by Sherwin-Williams

It seems to be much more common for people to paint the treads of their stairs instead of the risers.  In fact, most of the pictures I found on the internet were of black painted treads.  I decided to leave our treads the original wood finish because it matches the hardwood floors throughout the rest of our house.  Plus, if I ever get tired of the bold color in the future it will be much easier just to repaint the risers than the treads.

I hadn't really even thought about painting the handrail until after I finished the stairs, but I am so glad I did.  I think it adds a great element of contrast to the whole area.

What do you think?  It is definitely an improvement!  Have you ever painted your stairs?



Don't miss out! Enter your email address to subscribe:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Old TV Turned Display Shelf

I'm sure you've heard that story from your parents (or grandparents) about the time they bought their first television.  It was a big deal! The whole family would gather around to watch their favorite Sunday night show in black and white. At that time, TVs were a luxury and not everyone could afford them.  Fast forward a generation or two and TVs are just a normal household feature.  Nearly every family has at least one and it is more likely that each member of the family has their own.

I remember when I got my very own TV for my bedroom.  I was about 3 or 4 when my mom bought it for me and I loved it!  It logged so many hours of TV shows and Nintendo games, moved into the dorms with me, and grew old with me. It never let me down, even after I lost its remote, and I had a sentimental attachment to it.  So attached that even after purchasing newer and nicer TVs over the years I just couldn't let it go.  Instead, it sat in the garage collecting dust.

On more than one occasion my husband asked if he could take it to the curb. His persistence finally paid off and after almost thirty years I said goodbye to my beloved television.  Little did I know that it wasn't the end for my TV.....

Long after I thought the TV was gone, I came home one day to find that my husband had removed the tube and screen and had plans to upcycle it.  He decided it would make a good display case and had a shelf and back added to it. A quick coat of Annie Sloan chalk paint (in Arles) and clear wax and it was ready for its new job.


It's new job is to hang on the wall display Pac-Man memorabilia.  My husband's childhood nickname is Pac-Man and we are children of the eighties.  So, what once held sentimental value to me now holds new sentimental value to my husband.  Best part of all, I still have my TV......kind of!

Do you have something you don't use but just can't get rid of? Upcycle it!



The 36th AVENUE

Don't miss out! Enter your email address to subscribe:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Sunday Six: Prabal Gurung for Target

The colorful collaboration of Target with designer Prabal Gurung looks perfect for spring!

1. Tee shirt // 2. Shorts // 3. Tank // 4. Blouse // 5. Dress // 6. Top


Don't miss out! Enter your email address to subscribe:

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Great Read: The Secret Keeper

I love to read and have for as long as I can remember.  I think it started back in elementary school with Judy Blume books and The Baby-Sitters Club series.  Truth be told, it probably started even before that with Little Golden Books or something.  Nevertheless, I'm a sucker for a good book.

That being said, I do go in phases.  Sometimes I get on a roll and can read one or two books a week.  That may last a couple of months before a reading drought hits.  I get busy, life gets in the way or nothing sparks my interest and I may not read for a while. However, no matter how long I stray from reading, I always come back.

Scholastic Book fairs at school were the greatest things ever!  Those flimsy, tissue paper book catalogs they gave you ahead of time were like gold.  I would look through that thing like a kid in a candy store picking out all of my favorite must-haves.  I probably would have bought them all if my mom would have let me!  It was like Christmas when those crisp, new books I had ordered came in.  I couldn't read them fast enough and they still looked brand new when I was done with them.  I do not like creases in the binding or wrinkles in the dust jacket!

When I got older the book store became my new version of the book fair.  There are sooo many good books to choose from that I get excited just thinking about.  Needless to say, I was a frequent flyer at Barnes and Noble and usually didn't make it past the first two rows of new releases.  That led to a lot of hardback books stacked up in space I didn't really have and I don't re-read books.

Thank goodness for the invasion of e-readers!  Now I can browse the store, read reviews, make my purchase and start reading within minutes all from the comfort of my couch.  That only leaves the problem of this......

I have been working on my office and woMan Cave and these things had to go.  They were super old and had been taking up floor space in a huge box for way too old.  The box was so heavy; I had to put them into bags just to get them out of the house.  I decided to take them to Half Price Books. I figured whatever they were willing to give me was worth it to get them out of my house.  I left with $48.53 in my pocket!  I did keep a few favorites for my bookshelf.

Now it is just me, my Nook and my latest read.....The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.

I will admit, it took me a while to get through this book.  It was 445 pages on my Nook and I think that is a little long, but in the end it was worth every page.  It is the story of a dark family secret as told by the now adult daughter who witnessed a horrific event as a teenager.  Each chapter toggles back and forth between the past and the present and she delves deep into her mother's memory to discover the truth.  As you read through and piece together the puzzle as the daughter finds the pieces, you think you have it all figured out.....but do you?  This book is nothing if not unpredictable and will leave you guessing until the very end.  It is a story of love lost and found, of war and peace.  I was pleasantly surprised at the end and cried like a baby (which is not much of a surprise).  It was a good read and I would recommend it to anyone.

I hope to bring you other book reviews (as I see them) along the way.  Here is what I like in a book: fiction (I read for pleasure - no biographies/autobiographies/memoirs), short chapters (I like a good stopping point - no stopping in the middle of a chapter - so I don't want it to take 20 pages to get to the next one), be hooked from the beginning (it is hard for me to get into a book if it is not good from the very first chapter),  200-300 pages is good (400+ is not so good), and good reviews/recommendations (I have a few trusty friends who are always good for a great reading list).

What are you reading?  Follow me on Pinterest and see what else is In My Library.


Don't miss out! Enter your email address to subscribe:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Here's what Valentine's Day looks like On Manor Drive..........

Heart wreath on the front door (a couple years old from Pier 1).

Ombre heart trees (tutorial here).

Cupid's Arrows (tutorial here).

A little pom-pom decoration.

Valentine's Mantel.

February dish towel that was part of the birthday miracle.
(Note: It is new.  It has creases.  I REFUSE to iron a dish towel!)

Homemade white chocolate covered strawberries.

Homemade white chocolate covered grapes.
(I had only heard about these.  I had never tasted them, let alone tried making them.  It probably would have looked prettier to dip each grape individually, but who cares what they look like as long as they taste good.  And let me tell you.......they taste GREAT!  I think I like them better than the strawberries!)
What did Valentine's Day look like at your house?
Happy Valentine's Day!

Don't miss out! Enter your email address to subscribe:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Grammy Dress Code a No Go

Has that long ago, but not forgotten, wardrobe malfunction forever changed the world of fashion?  I'm sure that wasn't the first mishap and it hasn't been the last because with each new awards season comes a fresh showing of beautiful skin under those gorgeous gowns.  Somehow, even in those barely there styles, those ladies still look stunning.  If you've got it flaunt it, right?

So, I was a little surprised last week when the Grammys announced a skin smackdown......

"Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack. Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic. Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples. Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible 'puffy' bare skin exposure."
What that was supposed to mean is no more of this.....

But what did it really mean for last night's Grammy awards?  Nothing!  I don't think superstars follow guidelines.  If anything thing, they probably just rebel against them.  And any girl will tell you that a few days notice to find a new dress isn't enough time (unless maybe your rich, famous, and have a personal stylist).  In case you missed it, here is a Red Carpet Recap......

With the exception of a few great dresses and a few great performances, I thought the whole thing was just okay.  Nothing spectacular......except for Justin Timberlake's comeback!!

What did you think? Who was your favorite?


Don't miss out! Enter your email address to subscribe:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Sunday Six: Valentine's Day

I heart.....
1. Sweatshirt // 2. Blouse // 3. Flats // 4. Sweater // 5. Notecards // 6. Jeans

Don't miss out! Enter your email address to subscribe:

Sunday, February 3, 2013