October 31, 2008

Priceless Christmas Presents

I doubt you'll be shocked if I open by saying the economy is not faring so well and retailers anticipate the worst holiday season on record.

Kind of depressing, particularly for a gal who loves to shop. The holiday spirit, though, isn't exactly about ching-chinging cash registers or piles of shiny 'things' under your tree.

Some of the best and most memorable gifts you can give to those you love are free. And can be priceless.
Let's brainstorm a few - give hope to the cash-strapped and creativity to the clueless, before a Christmas carol even hits the airwaves this year.

I'll start. Last year I gave Bradley something that has become a year-round hit. If you've spent anytime around us, you may know that he says some utterly ridiculous things just to rile me up. Or make me laugh. Or maybe because he's an utterly ridiculous guy - who knows.

I kept a tiny notebook in my purse last fall and secretly wrote down every crazy thing he said from the moment we got married in July until Christmas Eve. (There were some crumpled receipts, napkins and deposit slips involved as well.) I bought a navy leather journal and wrote out every crazy conversation for posterity's sake. He LOVED it!

Perhaps five months' distance allowed him enough time to forget what he'd said, but the book of Bradley-isms provided us a thousand good laughs. I now have a Word documenting recording his crazy 2008 antics as well. An update is definitely necessary this Christmas - and totally free. Our grandkids will have quite the time reading this book, I assure y'all. I promise you a peek next time you swing by, too.

(Going back a little further, I think I started the "free gift" thing on Valentine's Day the year we were dating. I took some large white cardstock, punched holes in the corner, and tied together a collection of "coupons his favorite treats. An hour of his chosen manly TV shows with no heavy sighing, a Get Out of Jail Free card (no apology required), an action/adventure movie, a load of folded laundry, a dinner at his favorite burger joint, you get the idea. He was amazed. And promptly forgot to use most of them, thankfully for lazy ol' chick-flick-loving me.)

So now I'd love to hear the best priceless presents you can remember. Memorable doesn't always equal jewel-encrusted, you know. (I mean, sometimes it does. But not always.)

Can't wait to read your ideas.

Happy Halloween, by the way. You know I'm a planner - got to start this chat early!

October 25, 2008

The One Where Anne Dates Herself

So this week marked the tenth anniversary of Britney Spears' world-shaking "Baby One More Time" single.

That's right, the tenth anniversary. What a wild, wild ten years it's been. (For both me and Britney Jean.)

If you too remember shaking your groove thing (or just not turning the channel when TRL played it for the nine thousandth time) to Brit-Brit's faux naughty school girl jam, you'll realize what a total freak out I'm having. When did I become old enough to remember something from a decade ago? (Clearly, no less!) And how can I make that stop?!

At least Britney is aging along with me. (Plus - Jessica Simpson and Christina Aguilera will always be older than us.) Read what the Fug Girls have to say about it while we're on the topic. Could they be more right about the Halloween costumes? 'Nother chat for another day, though.

Speaking of the former Mrs. K. Fed, I heard her new Womanizer song in a Gossip Girl preview (yes, my TV tastes have failed to evolve over the last decade). It was fab. Keep it coming, Ms. Spears. Grow that hair out, comb those extensions, buckle in the kids and make me proud.

If you want to see the new Womanizer video, be prepared for some old school Britney (think I'm a Slave 4 U and Toxic). I'm half pleased, half flashing back to 2002. Simultaneously loved and was terrified by her foot-driving action. Oiled up au naturel Brit was something we haven't seen since her second marriage, so I'll let it slide.

She means it when she says "I've got your crazy." So...enjoy and share your thoughts.

Happy weekend, y'all!

P.S. I don't want to be negligent in doling out birthday wishes, so let's also wish Sephora a fabulous tenth anniversary as well. Though I didn't catch on to the mega-makeup site until a few years ago, I'm oh-so-grateful for their wares and will raise a gloss to toast 'em.

October 24, 2008

Costume Crisis

So I read on a few blogs that anyone dressed as Sarah Palin this Halloween would be considered an uncreative, behind-the-times idiot who would be widely mocked. I suppose the concept isn't as original as I first thought - back when she was named the VP nominee. But I've got the bangs, the haircolor, the suit, and glasses a-plenty. I just needed a baby doll and an American flag pin and I'd be good to go.

Once Bradley shied away from morphing into McCain, however, my idea ran into a giant roadblock. Since he was also opposed to being Juno and her boyfriend (Michael Cera) from the movie of the same named, I was stumped. Wouldn't he have looked adorable in running shorts? (This is where he demurred...) I love the wrapped-up skirt over pants attire, along with the baby bump. Think of all the cocktails and hors d'oeuvres I could sneak in there with no one ever becoming the wiser.

Alas, here we are. Less than an hour away from our first Halloween party of the year and I'm (relatively) costume-less. Bradley bought me a "Rehab" (a.k.a. Amy Winehouse) wig and some size small fake angel tattoo arm sleeves. Apparently my (relatively) small arms are actually size medium. Much to my disappointment - and discomfort.

So I'm currently sporting a sheerish black turtleneck over tight dark jeans with bright blue heels, a giant Amy wig and a pink ribbon belt with chiffon rosette. Under the sheerish turtleneck, rather than my typical black cami, I am sporting a Halloween orange underthing. (That'd be from you, K.Dub.) You can't even see a hint of it, so my one attempt at skankiness is for naught.

Don't worry, that last J. Crew accessory will come off. But, seriously, how different could my wardrobe and Amy Winehouse's be?

Let's list the ensembles I've tried to convince myself look Winehouse-esque this evening:

-black H&M halter dress from my summer in Paris (too cocktail-appropriate and too cold)
-white t-shirt with black bra (also too cold)
-black three-quarter sleeved jacket (too prim)
-previously mentioned pink ribbon belt (please)

I mean, I'm out of options. B was sweet to get me a wig so I'd have any choices at all. But who were we kidding that in my closet I'd have anything but a wife-beater to pull this off....

Must go apply twenty pounds of eyeliner. Love to you all! And if you think of something for B to be besides my coked-out boyfriend and/or tatted up security guard, do yell. We're off to the store to grab man-sized tat sleeves for him.

If only Blue were a pit bull we could bring him along in our entourage....


October 21, 2008

So...I kind of want to be Taylor Swift.

I was nowhere near this adorable at 18.

Spend five minutes with her and see if you disagree. (Or just think I'm creepy for being so pro-Taylor.) I mean from the hair to the faux brother fight to the tiny girl dressed as Miss Swift for Halloween - how much fun is she having?

(Not that freshman year of college was so awful, to be sure. But walking out onto stages and not living allowance check to allowance check - the girl's got the right idea!)

October 20, 2008

Bye Bye, Samantha

Oh Samantha Parkington, I will heartily miss you. Your gorgeous red taffeta Christmas dress, your pretty velvet clutch and embroidered hanky within, your lovely brass bed and the stories of your whimsical Victorian adventures... Have my childhood days been gone so long?

That's right, American Girls, the original overpriced historical gal pal is being RETIRED. Those of you who bought Molly (WWII's Miss Liberty), Kirsten (our prairie princess) or Addie (the Revolutionary rider) may have a few good years left with your girls.

I, on the other hand, have nothing but fond memories, a dusty doll and the memories of my fading youth. Sigh.

Am I speaking a foreign language to you? If so, go say hello (and also farewell) to Samantha and her BFF Nellie here.

(P.S. Did we all know that they now sell dolls from the 1970s? In a HISTORICAL capacity?)

October 15, 2008

Happy birthday, Cotton!

A few roadblocks to my virtual birthday card: I'm in Texas; she's in South Carolina. I'm posting this to my blog; she is a genius but I'm not entirely convinced she can read.

So I'll just share my birthday wishes for sweet little Cotton Blossom with y'all. Hard to believe the little white one is five years old today!!

Hope you have a fabulous one, li'l C!

Watch out, (blog) world!

I'm in Dallas for a trade show, but have come across some breaking news I just couldn't wait to share.

My adorable, fabulous Kristen has her own blog! Now the online conversations will never end - and you too will be able to sneak a peek at the terrific K Dub we know and love. We're so lucky to have our favorite newlywed online now.

A few things you should know:
1. She's in Florida but a piece of her heart is still in the Palmetto State, so you'll never feel out of place in her online living room, I assure you.
2. She's blonde, beautiful and amazingly smart. You may be inspired to write a Legally Blonde Does PR pilot. Resist that urge.
3. She and her adorable husband Charles were married in March and had a special visitor (the kind wearing garnet) at their rehearsal dinner. You can see the pics on her blog.
4. It's a special kind of love to bypass our ACC/SEC rivalry - and even buy one another team-themed gifts. The purple clutch and orange pashmina she's sent my way blow me away. For a garnet lover, that's a true act of sacrifice.
5. Reading her first post will inspire you (or maybe just me?) to dust of your running shoes and get going. What a treat to follow her journey to 13.1 miles in January. Who else is up for the challenge?
6. Don't believe everything she says about me...she's hard pressed to see the negative in anyone!

Any more of you willing to hop on the blog bandwagon? Not to mix metaphors, but the water's just fine! It's got to be easier than Kristen's halfathon. Let's go, folks!

October 10, 2008

An International Holiday for Dogs

Are you planning to celebrate Dogs Rule Day tomorrow, October 11th?

Here are 101 ways you can...

Dear Tommy Bowden

I bought an adorable football season collar for my ever-hopeful, absolutely devoted dog. He was so looking forward to showing his Tiger Pride as we cleaned the floor with Carolina and perhaps even as we won the ACC Championship.

Instead, the football has been snapped off and placed in a drawer for a brief mourning period. The collar itself remains; thankfully he looks good in purple and orange regardless of team affiliation.

While I am always a Tiger fan, Tommy, I can't stand to see you shame my hopelessly adoring dog this way. Those big sad eyes were too much for me after our loss to Wake last night.

Please don't make a mockery of his football collar. Please find a way to turn this around. (Or at least send me earplugs and a giant container of Rolaids.)

In other news, should your dog desire a similarly fabulous collar in Carolina or Clemson colors - or even in seersucker without any ACC/SEC overtones, you can nab them from Pecan Pie Puppies. Read more about my love for these creations here.

October 9, 2008

Getting a jump on my Christmas list...

Dear Santa,
Each morning I look into the mirror and feel as though something is missing. A diamond necklace would be nice, sure, or perhaps a pair of Jimmy's highest Choos. Upon further reflection, though, I realize that I don't need such shallow solutions to make me happy this Christmas.

In a time of economic uncertainty and a culture that celebrates superficial values, what I need is something of real substance.

Like a life-sized replica of myself in formal wear. Made entirely of Legos. One and a half million Legos.

And at just $60,000 a pop, I feel it's reasonable to request a life-size Lego-built Bradley to gaze upon each morning as well.

I promise I'll cover every mirror in my home and will never ask for another (non-life-size) doll....if I can only have this one tiny Christmas wish.

(If I can't have that, I will also accept a similarly sized contribution to my 401k. A girl's gotta retire sometime, Santa.)

As I was saying...

One of fall's innumerable benefits - not needing to be bronzed and beach-ready but still being able to show off your toes. Look at Natalie Portman and her precious dog enjoying a promenade with a jacket and sandals. I like where your head's at, Natalie.

I would also like to be where the rest of you is - Paris. What a walk. Can you imagine how many outdoor markets Blue would tear into taking that same carefree stroll? I'd be willing to try all the same!

New title?

We may have to put this to a vote, y'all. I was just told that I should change the name of my blog to "Anne Says So 'Cause Bradley Told Her To." I'll let you guess who shared that gem of an idea with me just now.

I'll give you a hint. You may have seen the necklace I nabbed on etsy that has my husband's initials stamped into it. Someone wondered if I should perhaps have "Property Of" stamped above those initials, just to clarify the purpose of wearing it. Way to turn something artsy and sweet into a dogtag, B. Oops. Did I just give it away?

(Can you tell I'm trying to distract myself from a dismal, ulcer-inducing letdown of a football game?)

Suggestions for new titles are welcome. Bradley, you've already filled your quota of genius ideas for the evening - perhaps your next quotable moment should wait until tomorrow.

Love to all of you - wishing you a fabulous Thursday evening and a lovely weekend.

The Fabulousness of Fall

1. You can wear long sleeves without suffering heat exhaustion.
2. Nothing beats an open window.
3. Pumpkins and cider.
4. Football!!
5. Everyone wears orange - even a few Gamecocks.
6. Long walks, sittin' and rockin', enjoying the gorgeous weather.
7. It's time for sweaters but no need for gloves, scarves or shivering.
8. Hilarious SNL reenactments of pre-election debates.
9. The promise of no campaign commercials in just a month.
10. Even a girl who loves the Great Indoors can appreciate a little fresh air this time of year!
11. No one expects you to be bronzed or beach-ready.
12. If you catch yourself humming along to a Christmas tune in Target, you can convince yourself it's "just around the corner."

Hope y'all are having a fabulous week - lots of pictures to post tonight!

October 2, 2008

Noah and Allie to wed for reals.

Well, supposedly. According to an unnamed source. And it's the actors themselves, not Allie and Noah per se. But, like Molly Good, I will be eating cookie dough and watching The Notebook just in case.

Read all about it, kids.

October 1, 2008

Keds Queen Earns Some Snaps

For anyone who has ever wondered if it's possible to escape a bad relationship graciously, or to save face while speaking publicly about an unpleasant ex, may I present exhibit A.

Anne Hathaway on Dave Letterman

I feel the same way, Brit.

Sheer joy and unadulterated glee at Britney's ostensible health and inevitable comeback.

You look amazing! The dress and shoes are fabulous, it's clear you've washed your extensions lately and there's nary a cigarette in sight.

You're making me so happy, Ms. Spears!!


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