Friday, March 31, 2006

More wedding jewelry

Ok, the package is safely in Baltimore and the bride has seen her jewelry so I can post pictures. I'm sure by now you know the drill about clicking to enlarge. These are her earrings (taken on a purple backdrop as they are clear) The wedding colors are silver/platinum and purple/lavender so she wanted me to use those colors a bit in the jewelry. Bride's bracelet: Bride's necklace: Some of the beads photograph funny. I didn't use any yellow or brown. The bridesmaids' jewelry is really similar but with more color. MOH's earrings: Bridesmaids' bracelet: Bridesmaids' necklace (kind of looped on itself cause I couldn't get it in the frame and keep it close up without looping)
Laura the bride was really happy with everything and even said it was better than anything she could have bought. That is the best compliment when you work so hard for someone! I'm so excited for them and can't wait to see pictures! I so wish I could be there, but adoption budgets and sweet 16 birthday parties (my little sister) keep me in the Carolinas. At least a little part of me will be there!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Little Artist

Today I met up with Susan and Olivia for lunch then we went on a wee field trip to the paint your own pottery joint. Olivia had her little feet painted to go on gifts for family members. I used to work in a paint your own pottery store for 5 years part time that my friend Melissa owned til she passed away. We had lots of babies in there putting their feet on bisque. I thought that would be a fun thing to do with Miss O and Susan agreed. Olivia was a great sport!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

And the bride wore Bellatini

I have been uber busy this week making jewelry for my friend Laura's wedding. She's getting married Saturday and the jewelry request was last minute. I had less than 2 weeks to make and ship necklaces, bracelets and earrings for her, 1 maid of honor- Lisa, 1 flower girl, and 4 bridesmaids. On the off chance Laura gets a moment to blog surf I don't want to post pictures of her jewelry yet. I want it to be a surprise. But I will show you the flower girl's bracelet and earrings. click to enlarge.
Her dress is purple. Making jewelry for a wedding is so stressful. My work will be in photos that will be viewed forever! It has to be good. I'm pretty proud of this wedding set though, and can't wait to show you the rest!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I've always wanted to jump from a bridge onto a moving truck or barge filled with garbage and come out smelling nice and unscathed like they do in movies.
Sometimes, after watching a movie or tv show I'll think-I can totally do that. Like watching Miami Ink makes me think that for some reason I could be a tattoo artist. Cause, you know, people only want pretty things like dragonflies and flowers permanently inked on their skin.
In the car, when I'm singing, sometimes, for just a moment, I swear I'm as good as any of those American Idol kids. But in real life, I'm so not.
I've totally written out scenes from the sitcom/novel/movie that will/should be written about my life in my head. Like just before going to sleep at night I'll think about my day and it will occur to me that that day's adventures should be viewed by millions. But I realize that just like how no one thinks your dreams are as interesting as you do, no one thinks your crazy Uncle Larry setting himself on fire is as funny as you do either.
A woman and her child actually rapped and beat boxed at Lisa's uncle's funeral. I would have paid cold hard cash to have seen that.

It is rumored that there is now an 18 month wait on referrals. Boo.
*Adoption process update* We are still paperchasing. This is an expensive endeavor and we can't write all the checks at once. So we're coming along, slowly but surely. We hope to be DTC by end of May. Just a few more forms to send in!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Gadget love

I was watching that show I want that on HGTV the other night and they showed this cool little thing I'd seen in some catalog somewhere before. It was a hook that hangs your purse from the table when you're dining out so it doesn't have to go on the floor. Nifty. Since Jon is Captain SafetyPants I can't hang my bag on the back of my chair or put it in an empty seat. It must be on the floor between my feet or surgically implanted in my body before we eat out anywhere. So this thing was just what I needed. They called it a Purse Pal. I Googled it and found the website. I was dismayed to find that they ran $29 and up. Each! So I kept looking and checked eBay. Sure enough I found a huge selection at much better prices ($6!). They come in a ton of colors and designs. I bought one for my mom and gave it to her when we went to lunch the other day. Here's what they look like from the table top: And here are the purses hanging way off the dirty floor: . Oh, and the hooky thing folds flat and tucks into a little black case that slips into your purse. Tiny, but mighty. Ah, my love for gadgets combined with my purse obsession- love it!

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Sandy asked: Do you ever make your own beads? I love your jewelry. How did you learn to make it?
Thank you Sandy! Ok, no I don't make my own beads. I don't have the patience to put all that work into something so teeny.
I learned how to make earrings and attach a clasp for a bracelet or necklace at a bead store one day. Customers were supposed to sign up for classes, but the girl working there was so nice. She just showed me and a friend how to do it during a slow period at the store. Took 5-10 minutes and then the boss was back so she couldn't show us anymore. Everything else I've learned from books or trial and error.

Alfred's Mom asked: Have you shared how you and Jon met and started dating?
I think I told this story once a few years ago. In May Jon and I will be together 8 years. Whoa. That is so long to me! Ok, how we met...First I have to tell you who everyone is. Marc & I have been friends for 15 years. I met him when he was dating one of my roommates in school. Marc's roommate was Jon at the time. But we never met. Fast forward to 1998. Me, Marc and 5 other friends were all going on a cruise together. One of the other friends was a girl we'll call Betty. Betty was my roommate (a different one than the one Marc dated before) and was dating Marc (what can I say, the boy got around). Well Betty and Marc broke up after we'd all put $$ down on this cruise. Marc decided without telling any of the other cruisers that he would invite his friend Jon to go with us, then he could hang with Jon and avoid Betty. Well, this made me mad. Marc was forcing us to spend 10 days trapped on a boat with some dork none of us knew. Plus, I had already paid off my cruise and by adding another cruiser my cost went down and so Jon owed me $38. Marc said settle down you'll meet him at Kevin's birthday party, he's a nice guy, who knows y'all may even hook up. Whatever Marc.
So Kevin's birthday party comes around and I get to the party and demand to see this Jon guy. Someone points out a very tall fellow out by the keg. I marched up to him and asked if he was Jon.
Yeah, I'm Jon. Who are you?
I'm Shannon. Are you the guy going on the cruise with us?
Well, you owe me 38 bucks.
Back off. (and he kind off pushed me away with a couple fingers to my chest.)

This intrigued me. A boy who'll challenge me. And he was way cute. We stayed up all night talking. Literally. I went straight from Marc's house at 6:30 the next morning to run home and shower before being at work by 8. Before I left Jon asked if he could have my number and a kiss. Aw! Then I had a date that afternoon to see a college ballet production with some other boy. I could not wait to get out of there cause I knew Jon would be back at Marc's that night. He was and we stayed up all night talking again. I was hooked and knew I'd marry him. We went on that cruise 5 months later and had a fabulous time. We've been together ever since!

Friday, March 24, 2006


1. When you view my blog on a PC are there 2 columns? The posts on the left and the sidebar on the right? It is that way on my mac so I'm curious.
2. Do y'all really think I should make some more of those mirrors to sell? You think they'd sell? It never occurred to me. I may have to pick up a few more of those next time we're at IKEA.
3. Anyone out there have Crocs shoes? What do you think? You like them? I'm very intrigued by these shoes. They look like they might just fit my Flintstone feet quite well.
Me asking you these questions got me to thinking. One of the reasons I read blogs is I'm of a curious nature. I have questions. So I wondered if you did too.
Any questions you might want to ask me? About anything?

~~Hey guys! I tried to make my columns skinnier over at my mom's on her pc and it didn't matter, the columns never want to line up next to each other. Boo. Anyone know what I can do for you pc reading people?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The writing on the wall

The home improvements continue. My sister and BIL painted an entire wall with chalkboard paint at their new house and we loved the idea. We didn't need the whole wall, just a bit. I think it is really handy and I'm sure Ling Ling will love it. So, first we removed the plate rack that was hanging there and Jon patched the holes after we picked out the wall we wanted to chalk up. (click to enlarge all pictures)
We measured out the size we wanted and Jon painted on 3 coats of the chalkboard paint. Then he cut the wood to frame it out and painted that a high gloss white. He framed out the chalkboard and it was time to let it cure. After 3 days I primed the board by rubbing chalk all over the surface then wiping it back off. The directions are on the can of paint (there are a ton of different brand names and any home improvement place stocks the paint). After priming the wall, it was ready to use!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

3 little mirrors

Thank you for all the compliments on our bathroom. We would have loved to do more (like rip out the vanity and put in a pedestal sink-drool) but we're on the famous adoption budget. So we're poor and I was faced with this big bare wall right across from the toilet. I wanted something fun to look at while you're taking care of bidness. So one day at IKEA I found these cute little 10x10 mirrors in unfinished wood for $1.99 each. I bought 3, cause everything looks better in odd # assortments, and brought them home. Where they sat for months while I waited to get inspired on how to finish them to match the bath. Then I found these cute vintage luggage labels at FLAX and I knew they would be perfect.
I sorted through the labels and arranged them the way I thought looked pretty good.
I used Mod Podge to seal the deal. We hung them all in a row. I'm pretty pleased with my cheapie wall art!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Le Bain

Our half bath redecoration is finally finished! Jon hung the last of the wall art this weekend. Here is what our downstairs half bath looked like before we moved in:and . Wallpaper-ugly, faucet, light fixture, hardware, mirror, cabinet knobs, all UGLY.
So we painted, pulled down the wallpaper, put up bead board, painted that white. Then we replaced the mirror, faucet, tissue holder, towel holder, and light fixture. We added some wall art and voila! I give you our French themed 1/2 bath (We dig the Eiffel Tower and all things French as we stayed at the Paris Las Vegas on our honeymoon.) click on each to enlarge

Monday, March 20, 2006

I cheese you

Jake is so funny. He says the cutest things. Things that should be recorded. And since his mom, my sister, is such a slack blogger :) I feel like I should document some of his latest cuties for posterity.
1. Jake LOVES to take pictures. He hijacks my camera (under my supervision) almost every time we visit. Thank goodness for the big memory card and digital, cause homey can take a good 80 pics in an hour. Most are "artsy" shots of his mom's arm or dad's ass or my purse, but some are actually pretty good. Not bad for a 2 year old who holds the lcd screen up to his chin to frame the shot. It is such a cute image and I'd take a picture for you, but you know, he has the camera. Each time he wants to take a photo he says "I cheese Daddy now" or "I cheese Shanny's purse" (he digs my purse and all the goodies within). And when he wants me to take his picture he orders me "Shanny cheese now!".

2. We visited the family the other day and when we pulled into the driveway Jake was running toward the car at high speed waving a Bud Light around yelling "Unca Jon need beer!". Apparently he's heard that his Uncle loosens up a bit with a beer or 2. Then later Jake kept opening and shutting the cooler and eventually nipped Joey's finger. Sara ordered the cooler to stay closed and Jake protested "NO! Open! But Unca Jon need beer!". Unca Jon was quite a few feet away smoking cheese with Marc and had nothing to do with the current situation. We're a little concerned that Jake might think his Unca Jon is an alkie! All these toddler beer runs are cute til Grandma comes to visit!

**Smoking cheese is just that. Taking chunks of cheese and putting them into a smoker infusing them with smokey flavor. Marc has a smoker so when we're there they smoke cheese.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Celeb sighting!

March Madness reigns supreme in our house right now. I walked into the den today and noticed Brad Pitt was playing. Oh wait, that's Bradley vs. Pittsburg. Now that makes more sense.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Irish have happy feet

I am obsessed with flip flops in the summer. April (March if the weather permits) through October, that's about all I wear. I've already made my fashion choice for this Spring/Summer season and that is fun skirts, t-shirts, and flip flops. Luckily flip flops are cheapie shoes. I made sure to hit up Old Navy during their 2 for $5 sale. Gotta love 6 pair of shoes for $15! I saw the cutest pair there that they only had in tiny size 6. Cut to when my MIL comes to visit bearing gifts...these! So cute! Shamrocks and lady bugs!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Erin Go Pug!

May the luck o' the Irish be with ye!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Ike & Kea

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The delightful Miss O

Jon and I were able to visit with Susan and Miss Olivia the other day. OMG so precious and sweet and adorable! It was great to have Jon finally meet someone who's made the trip to China and to interact with the baby. It was great to see Susan again and to meet Olivia. Susan was full of tips and tricks for when it is our turn to travel. We should have taken notes!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


A cliche is a cliche because it is usually true. Haste does make waste and so on. So you know that one about learning something new every day? True. I have learned recently:
-half and half mixed with water makes a gross skim milk substitute. Although it does get your cereal wet enough to eat, in the long run you are better off just going out on a milk run.
-When your dogs decide to drink ocean water, you will spend $100 at the vet and the next 5 days cleaning up runny pug poo and doling out meds.
-If you don't put your suitcase away fast enough after your beach trip, your pug will squirt sick poo all in it.
-If you never fully unpacked from that cruise you took in January 05 you will find your "missing" shawl, snorkel, and feather boa upon retreiving suitcase from the closet.
-I need to be a better unpacker and putter awayer.
-DVR on the downstairs tv does you no good if your husband is a sports fan and it is March Madness time.
-Babies have sharp teeth. If you stick your finger in their mouths to feel their new teeth they will bite your finger right off.
I think I'm done learning for now!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Oh no she didn't!

I have a confession to make. I am 32 years old and I love me some trash tv. Esp anything aired by VH1 or MTV. You know those challenges when the Real World people fight the Road Rules people? Big fan. Celebrity Fit Club? Love it! But I have to say my latest guilty pleasure has been Flavor of Love. Now, any tiny little man that wears a giant clock and repeatedly shouts out his own nickname is admittedly annoying. BUT, these women! So bitchy! And they kiss him! OMG it is like a car wreck! Can't! Look! Away! I was in trash tv heaven when Pumkin spit on New York. I watched the finale and was so excited when they announced there would be a reunion special in 2 weeks. Woohoo! Jon is ashamed of my entertainment choices. He told me the other day "You know, for a smart girl your taste in tv shows is atrocious." That may be, but don't think I won't be setting the dvr to record the next Surreal Life!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Don't quit your day job

We were watching the elimination show on American Idol on Thursday when Gedeon was sent home. Jon said "Oh well, at least he's still got his gig on CSI."

Friday, March 10, 2006

Quite possibly the funniest picture of Ike EVER

As you can imagine I took a ton of pictures in Wilmington. I was scrolling through them and deleting some when I found this picture: I zoomed in to see what Ike was doing and what I saw made me laugh so hard I cried! Look at his face! Click to enlarge.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Mardi Gras Pictures!

My mom and Hale (Gigi and Papa) took over 350 pictures on their Mardi Gras trip. I sorted through them all and pulled out my favorite Mardi Gras pics for you to see. Be sure to view the pics in slideshow form to be able to read al the captions. Click here party people! Some of the pictures would make fabulous computer wallpaper!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Anniversary Wood

I mentioned before that the traditional anniversary gift for your fifth year is wood. Well, Jon and I are skipping gifts because of the adoption, and well, neither one of us is all that good a whittler. So we figured we'd have a wood free weekend. But when we got home Sunday night we had a surprise waiting for us. While we were gone Jon's parents came by to check on the cats and while they were here they left this: Click to enlarge, you know that. It is a great combo bench/toy chest for the girls! Unfinished so we can stain or paint it to match their playroom. We just love it! How thoughtful! They are going to be the best grandparents!

So much to say, so much to say

Alright let me begin by recapping our Wilmington trip. As you know we stayed in the wonderful Bali House, which I would recommend to anyone. But don't be booking it up solid cause we want to go back next year!
Highlights of our trip:
-the house itself. We got most of our meals to go so we could eat at home and spend as much time on the grounds as possible.
-the weather was fantastic.
-the food. Lunch from Sweet and Savory was delicious, but not as good as the conversation I heard while waiting for my order. Jon and the pugs were in the car waiting for me. I ordered some pastry goods and 2 sandwiches for our lunch. I waited for a good little while, but didn't mind as I was enjoying watching the 3 workers in front of me in the open kitchen make pies. The head chef/owner who took my order comes back around and notices I don't have my order but it is sitting on a counter, and has been there a while. As he's bagging my order he says to the 3 workers "This lovely young lady has been waiting patiently for her food for an hour and a half while you guys stood here." This is when the workers start apologizing to him. He says "Don't be sorry. Don't apologize. You shouldn't be sorry. I'm the one who's sorry. It's my fault for hiring you. I'm sorry for not realizing your lack of potential and nonexistent customer service skills." He was all calm and sweet sounding the whole time. The veteran worker was laughing silently (the chef must do this a lot) but the younger girls had eyes wide as saucers.
-our special dinner. Jon's parents called ahead and made reservations for us at Caprice Bistro in historic downtown Wilmington. Not only was the meal just out of this world, the chef and owners are special to us. They used to own the bistro in Charlotte where we had our wedding rehearsal dinner- Patou. We frequented Patou quite often with Jon's parents. A year after we got married they sold Patou and moved to Wilmington and opened Caprice. They remembered us and treated us like royalty.
-the pugs. They were so well behaved! No accidents in the house, they slept a good bit of the drive down and back, they didn't run off even though we kept them off leash at the house- and the grounds, while walled, still have open entrances. They loved it there and didn't want to leave!

And now: pictures! Click here first, then here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Rat race

It sucks when you come home from vacation and have no time to recover. I've been super busy the last couple of days and I'm on my way into work to learn a new computer system right now. No time to unpack or post pics yet. But I did manage to list a few new things at Bellatini. Go check em out!

Monday, March 06, 2006


Got home safe last night. Had a great time. Will post pictures soon. Just got out of doctors office where I got my first hep shots. Alfo got bloodwork back from physical. all good in tha hood.
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Friday, March 03, 2006

Bali Baby

Oh man is this place amazing. I want to spend a week, a month here. We've already decided we're booking this house for our next anniversary. You've got to check it out!
The pugs are having a blast. We're about to go to lunch, then we're taking them to the beach. They've loved checking out the gardens and we've spent a lot of time chilling on the veranda overlooking the koi pond. They have everything you could imagine here- high speed internet, computer, HUGE projection tv, full kitchen, the works. The sound of the waterfall comes right into the house. We couldn't be more relaxed.
What a fabulous way to spend our 5th anniversary!

Thursday, March 02, 2006


March 3rd is our 5th anniversary. Traditionally we would exchange gifts made out of wood this year. Ok...... Instead we will be celebrating by taking a relaxing mini holiday in Wilmington nc. We're staying at the fabulios Bali house.
Fabulous I mean. Typing with thumbs only is hard.
The pugs are with is and we can't wait to take them to the beach for the first time!
I didn't want to BLOG about coming here cause this is our 3rd try and I didn't want to jinx it. We were supposed to be Greer this time last year but I got sick and had to have another d&c. Then we tried to come in October but tropical storm Tammy screwed that up for us. This time I am healthy, the weather forecast is perfect sunny and cool and we are determined to have a fabulous weekend!
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Laissez Bon Temps Roule!

Or, let the good times roll! Man, what a day. First Jon and I had our physicals for the adoption. Yay! So glad that is out of the way. Jon was really sweating it. Literally sweating like a stuck pig while getting his blood drawn. The blood sucker lady thought he was gonna pass right out. She told me in her Trinidad-ian accent that his flow went slow at one point and she thought we were gonna lose 'em! But our doctor cleared us and we're all set.
Then I ran home and had lunch and took care of a few things. Got a quick pedicure at the new nail place in my neighborhood (lady barely charged me- she was so nice), then headed over to Morgan's school to pick her up. On the way some jackass pulled out in front of me and sent me into the ditch. I got out though thanks to my trusty Rav4 Jorge. I picked Morgan up and took her home and traded Jorge for Papa's Jeep. I hate driving that thing. It's the new Grand Cherokee but there's barely a windsheild and not much room inside. Plus every time I'm in it I see a Cherokee wrecked somewhere. Today was no exception. Right on my way a big wreck where the Cherokee lost its front end.
Anyway, drove to the airport to meet the whole world. Well, not really, but close. Shannon was there and we planned to meet Susan, Will, and Olivia on their return from China. Karen was there with Gwen. Turns out Papa and Gigi's flight was coming in at the same time as Susan's so it worked out. Sara brought the boys up to meet everyone too. It was a little party in baggage claim- Papa and Gigi passing out beads and whatnot. Well , while we were there we found out Susan and Will got held up in immigration and missed their flight so they wouldn't be in for another 2 hours. P & G were beat so I had to take them home and missed meeting Miss Olivia! Boo! I'll have to plan a visit toute suite!
We got back to my mom's and they passed out gifts- tons of beads and a Mardi Gras ladybug for LingLing. I even got a feather boa. We looked at their pictures (boob shots for the boys) and I finally was able to come home by 9:30.
Now I'm doing laundry and cleaning because of something that is happening tomorrow which I can't talk about til we get there as to not jinx it.