Gentlemanly Gestures

This Valentine’s Day and every day, date and opportunity, men are faced with a choice: whether to open doors and hold chairs for ladies or not.  My heart still melts a teeny bit every time my husband makes the gentlemanly effort, and I shouldn’t take it for granted. When running errands the other day, Josh walked around to my side of the car to open the door, and a woman nearby could clearly be seen mouthing “that’s so cute!” We both know I can open my own door, but it’s a charming little throwback I’ll take any day.

Even when romance wasn’t rosy, Don treated Betty like a lady. {Photo credit: Mad Men}

While I welcome the gesture and appreciate it, every modern woman is different. Some find it outdated. To prevent awkwardness in a budding relationship, it’s helpful to communicate that preference clearly and early. Guys, you can clarify by simply asking your date if she’d mind you extending such a courtesy. If she accepts, you’re potentially in for a lifetime of gentlemanly gestures. WWEPD? See below:




Clip Clip Hooray!

Chalkboard paint opens a world of crafting possibilities, including this idea from Debbie at Happy Clippings. She explains how to make a chalkboard paint craft that’s versatile to use and easy to create. Use these fun little clips to label food bowls/trays at parties, identify stored items, hang photos or family artwork (on a string or with a magnet) or personalize gifts.

Visit Debbie’s site for the full tutorial. You’ll need some mini plywood pieces found at your local craft store (browse other shapes to change it up!), clothespins, painter’s tape, foam brushes and chalkboard paint (Rust-Oleum brand from Home Depot worked great for me).

My friend Lindsey came up with the solution to clasp newly painted clips onto a plate, making for easy drying and a handy holder for craft-night goers.

I am already putting these clips to good use and hope this project is one you’ll enjoy as well!




A Broken Invisibility Cloak

I am excited to share the latest Courteous Contradictions guest post by Sarah Marie Powell! Her online etiquette advice rings true in our fast-paced, high-tech world. Personally, I fell short of polite in this area this week and totally e-gret it. This is a great reminder to keep words kind, in person and online. ~Allison

Happy 2013, OMGG readers! I hope each of your years is off to a fabulous start that continues throughout its entirety. How many of you made resolutions as the clock struck twelve? How many of you have already broken them…? Eeek! I’m not usually one to make resolutions; however this year, I decided to give it a whirl. In 2013, I want to try to be kinder. I talk about etiquette, manners, etc. all the time, but I often find myself contradicting my courteous rules in my everyday actions. That being said, my first post of the year is about netiquette – online etiquette. Seeing as the Internet is where I spend most of my time (Wait, maybe that is what I should try to change…), I figure that’s a good place to start practicing my resolution!

If I had to guess, I’d say most of you are just like me in that most of your time is spent on one or more of the following: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Linkedin, email, and/or various blogs. Maybe you actually do some work online, too. (*wink!*) With so much time spent online these days, it’s really important to remember to invest in time spent with actual humans, but that’s for another post. (Seriously, though – put your phone/tablet/computer down.) While the Internet can be a beautiful thing, it can also bring out the beast in each and every one of us. See, we all fall into the same trap at one time or another: we believe our screens are an invisibility cloak. Well, friends, that cloak is broken. You are more visible than ever on the World Wide Web. While it is possible to press “delete,” nothing really ever goes away. I have no idea how it’s possible, but just Google “Tara Conner” for proof. This isn’t just about making sure you don’t post racy photos, folks. While that should be common sense, it should also be a given that we should treat others with the same respect we expect them to use when posting about us.

Take it from the Emily Post Institute (Emily Post’s Etiquette – 18th Edition, p.240):

Whether you’re sending an email, commenting on a blog, or writing on a friend’s Facebook page, three key considerations will help you communicate politely and effectively:
1. Human contact still matters.
2. Watch what you say – and how you say it.
3. Be careful when clicking “Send.”

To help all of us remember the importance of netiquette this year and always, I’ve come up with an acrostic (props to Mandy Handley for helping me remember that word!):





You won’t need a helmet to make this pelmet!

First, you might be thinking, “I don’t like cheesy rhymes. I’ve come to the wrong place.” Second, you might be thinking, “what is a pelmet box?” Well, I didn’t know either, until I found this DIY tutorial on Pinterest thanks to Jenny at Little Green Notebook!

A pelmet is a decorative window treatment, like a cornice or a valence. I knew I needed something of the sort for the bare window in our green guest bathroom. When I say our guest bath is green. It’s greeheheeeeen! From the sink to the tub and every tile in between, it’s green. To complement this minty room, I went with a sunshine yellow-striped shower curtain and found a funky mirror that just so happened to have all the colors I wanted in the room, unapologetically adding to the colorful-50s-Florida feel. The subtle lemon-pattern fabric I found for the pelmet project was just the ticket.

My pelmet-making process was not glamorous (I used cardboard instead of foam board as the instructions suggest, which was part of my problem and why you’ll see no step-by-step photos here). While my technique wasn’t as pretty, Jenny’s how-to worked, and I was pleased with the results. If I can do it, you can!

With a pelmet box and a splash of white paint, the guest bathroom feels much brighter. Thanks to the Little Green Notebook for this inspiring idea!




Just 229 Days until College Football!

I miss college football already. It seems like it ran by faster than Percy Harvin. The tailgates, the reunions, the fall mornings, the gameday attire, the roar of the stadium… Josh and I spent many of those twelve Saturdays in Gainesville, Florida, setting up our Gator-home-turf tailgates in a lot (quite possibly the happiest place on Earth) filled with other weekend warrior friends. I am already looking forward to next year.

The tailgate tune-ups and pepper jelly research paid off this past season. Our friend Ethan was probably half serious when he said he’d start timing my tailgate setups from arrival until the last detail was placed to see how I was improving. We had a blast in 2012 and were left with lots of fun memories. The game my parents attended was the highlight for me – it doesn’t get much better.

I enjoyed blogging about some of our tailgates and wanted to relive them just a bit with a recap to tide me over and serve as a scrapbook when getting ready for next year’s details and decor. I mean, I only have 7 months and 17 days to start planning! I hope you find some inspiration here as well. Here’s our 2012 tailgate season in review (links to more details and tips below):

UF v. Bowling Green: Bandanas & Flamingo Fans

UF v. LSU: The AstroTurf Experiment

UF v. South Carolina: Orange and Blue Jeans

UF v. Missouri: Katherine’s Birthday Brunch

UF v. FSU (away, Tallahassee): Breakfast & Bloody Mary Bar

UF v. FSU (away, Tallahassee): Breakfast & Bloody Mary Bar

…and a few more 2012 snippets:

Sprinkles! Sprinkles! Sprinkles!

Baby’s breath at a tailgate? Sure!

ESPN College Gameday Bus Stalking

Steve and Josh with Coach Corso

Natalie in her old-ball-coach jersey, watching Gameday shenanigans at the Peters’ tailgate

Ethan approved of the Blueberry Bourbon recipe, which I nicknamed the “Orange and Blueberry.”

Cheers! Until next season!

For more tailgate ideas and tips, also see:




The Little Things

When I think about my favorite memories and moments in life, there are some big days and big moments, but also little things: Sunday spaghetti dinners with Mom, Dad & Alex, collecting items on the beach with my grandparents for our rock garden, dancing to the Mario Brothers theme song with my college roomies, having my uncle’s handmade Christmas angel passed down to our little family, or just sitting on the couch with the dogs and Josh (pretty much our favorite place ever). I enjoyed reading this quote, a reminder to appreciate those moments more often.




Guest Room Updates

“Come on in, and make yourself comfortable!” That’s the vibe I eventually want to achieve in our little guest room. Some progress has been made since my Five-star Ranch House post. Here’s an update, plus some tips for your own guest room(s)!

Toiletry Basket
An easy addition to any guest room is a basket filled with items visitors may have forgotten or may need. Collect a stash of items during work and play travels, and replenish your guest room toiletry basket with unused mini-shampoos and conditioners, body wash, lotion and more. My itsy bitsy toiletry basket (a tin, actually) also includes a shower cap, shoe bag, nail polish remover pads, floss, tissues and a wash cloth. Other helpful items could include a toothbrush and toothpaste, mouthwash or a mini deodorant – delight guests by thinking of everything!

A Logical Layout
We recently improved the feng shui of our guest room by moving the bed in front of the window to free up some space on either side (and by removing a few unnecessary obstacles / random pieces of furniture). The windows finally received some treatment, and a transparent, geometric headboard (made locally by the friendly folks at Southern Chicks in Tallahassee, Fla., using discarded material from my friend’s remodeled home) provides a focal point without completely blocking the window. The ginormous chest moved to its new, caddy-corner spot, rounding out that area of the room.

Creature Conveniences
Guests should have space to rest their belongings, including reading materials, glasses and phones. I used some existing basket drawers in our home to create two side tables, added a lamp (for bookworm guests) and an alarm clock (for snoozy guests) to one side of the bed, and a handmade tray with some accessories to the other. Oh, and I added a waste basket – not all that interesting, but it’ll do for now.

So here’s an update on the guest room goals:

  • Rearrange layout for better use of space
  • Add curtain rod and curtains (surely this should have been the first thing we did!)
  • Replace headboard (I made current one haphazardly in 2005, pre-Pinterest)
  • Refinish and re-hinge chest + fill with guest blankets
  • Add:
    • Side tables (at the appropriate height)
    • Lamps
    • Ceiling fan
    • Luggage rack
    • Magazines
    • Candles
    • Night light
    • Mirror
    • Chair
    • Alarm clock
    • Tissue box
    • Waste basket
    • Jewelry tray
    • Guest book and pen
    • Wooden hangers
    • Robe(s)
    • Basket with toiletry supplies (soaps, shampoo, lotion…)
    • Touches like snacks, bottled waters, pillow chocolates, and flowers…
    • Local area beauty/history books and photos for out-of-town guests to appreciate
    • Guest towels and wash cloths

We’re getting there! What welcoming guest room additions have you made in your own home?




Card Carousel: A Note-worthy Display

If you enjoy sending cards and stationery, you likely have quite the assortment of paper greetings at your disposal. Looking for a better system of organizing my own cards, I had my eye on Pottery Barn’s awesome Floor-Standing Photo Carousel (left) for quite some time, but was hesitant to make the $129.00 purchase.

After exploring some alternatives on various commercial display websites, I opted for a similar model: the 24 Pocket Floor Greeting Card Display (right, in white) at $49.50 from Marvolus Manufacturing. With shipping, the total was closer to $80, but still a good savings to accomplish the same purpose! It displays cards handily and takes up little floor space.

Whether you are going with the PB version or an inspired-alternative, a card carousel is a great way to organize and display pretty papers in a way that’s truly note-worthy!