Happy Monday

And just how was every one's Thanksgiving?

My family came and we had a nice time. The dinner was good, my brother actually liked my gravy and my dogs didn't kill my nephew.

Believe it or not, this is progress for us.

We took the baby down to Discovery Place to see an Imax movie on Friday afternoon and then we hung out while he explored the museum. A couple of their main exhibits are closed for renovation, but I think he had a good time. Then my sister and I hit the mall during the dinner lull and she dropped some serious coin at Kate Spade and Coach.

Ah, it does a heart good to see cute bags going to good homes during the yuletide season.

I hope everyone had a fantastic and safe holiday!


Thanksgiving Preparation

My family is coming to my house for Thanksgiving this year.

I got up early Sunday morning to hit the Teeter before the crowd hit it.

I think I got everything except I need some bread to make stuffing and I'll have to buy that today, along with some truffle butter and some extra diet coke.

The holidays are not a time to be without your crutch, y'all.

Stay tuned for pictures of the carnage.

Image: Thanksgiving Preparations by WoodandPixels


Because Kate Spade Makes The Nook

Oh, I so TOTALLY want this!

A Kate Spade leather Nook cover!!!

What could be better? Nothing, I tell you. Nothing.

I've had my nose in a book since the day I was born. Now my Nook cover will proclaim it to the world.

And its PINK!


Lupie's Cafe

I cruised over to Lupie's Cafe and had chili and beer for dinner on Saturday night.

If you've never been there, what are you waiting for?

I have to say that I don't know why I don't go over there more often.


Elliott Puckette, Part Two

I really don't have a lot to say about Elliott Puckette, except:

I love her I love her I love her.

Seriously, if I won the lottery, I'd build a house and have it designed around all of her art that I would buy.

That's how much I love her.

She's Southern, born and raised in Tennessee, educated in New York.

I don't think that her Southern-ness is either here or there, but it makes me love her more.

I'm really not a fan of abstract art, but something about these works speaks to me. And they aren't as easy as they look. She makes her abstracts with gesso (whatever the hell that is) and colored inks and then scores the marks and flowing lines with a razor blade - at least that's what Vogue has to say about her.

I just find it mesmerizing. Modern and yet, elegant and not formal or harsh. Kind of how I want to be - so maybe I'm projecting? Maybe just hopeful.

She sells her work through Danziger Projects and the Paul Kasmin Gallery.
And you can check her out there if you want to know more.
Photos from Vogue and Domino Magazine


Norah Jones - The Fall

I downloaded Norah Jones' new CD the other night.

So far, I really like it.

I loved her first CD and I really thought it lived up to a lot of hype. It's perfect music for lazy Sunday mornings.

I also bought Not Too Late and I thought it was Not Too Good. Maybe it's me.

This one is a little more "rock", which really isn't a bad thing. I think she has a lovely, sophisticated and distictive voice and although these songs are still her, the instrumentation is more lush and ambitious. It's a fine next step. I think she'll be around for a long time.

If you're already a fan, you'll love it and if you haven't already discovered Norah, I'm pretty sure you'll love it, too!


Coco Before Chanel

I went to see Coco Before Chanel with my sweet friend Sarah this past weekend.

She was a much more serious person than I otherwise thought, at least as portrayed in the movie.


It made me want to come home, lay around the house reading Nietzsche in men's silk pajamas while smoking cigarettes and drinking champagne.

I said she was serious.

I didn't say she wasn't French.

Hope to Carry On

This is Ines de la Fressange.

For those of you who don't know her, she used to be a French Super Model.

Now she designs housewares and stuff in Europe.

I only know who she is because her very pink apartment was featured in the final issue of Domino Magazine.

After my Saturday afternoon J. Crew meltdown I came home and was reading through some blogs and I stumbled upon this picture of Ines.

She's 51 and swears she's never had botox.

Now, I am no where near 51, but when I am, I hope I can look this good.

She's hip. She's cool. She's age appropriate. In short, she's a proper role model so I've decided to be her when I grow up.

I also think that the universe threw me a bone when I needed one and I try to be grateful for the small touches of grace and serendipity that fall into my life.

You have no idea how much better I feel now that I have a goal and a road map.

2010 Wall Calendar

I've been looking around for a new wall calendar for next year.

I wanted something a little unusual - but not weird.

Enter Hammypie.

I ordered the lovely, simple and elegant Penmanship Practice Wall Calendar from her Etsy shop.

It hasn't arrived in the mail yet, but I'll be sure to update when it does.
If you're looking for a new calendar, there are some super cool ones on Etsy and you should go there and shop! Support local artists and swank up your house at the same time.
What could be nicer?


It's Like Christmas With Sprinkles on Top

This is my new favorite show. Seriously.

First, Chris O'Donnell, who has always been a perfectly acceptable pretty boy, is aging amazingly well.
Who knew 10 years and a crewcut would look so good?
Chris plays a guy with a murky past who doesn't have a discernible first name. It's just "G."
Next, we have LL Cool J - he plays a former Navy seal.
In case you need a visual - here he is:

I just don't see how any reasonable person, man or woman, could not be in love with LL Cool J. He's objectively beautiful and oh, so cool. Did I mention that he's beautiful? And cool? And beautiful?
And the cool - don't forget the cool.
I mean, damn.
Lastly, and this is just a personal thing, we have this guy:
I don't know who he is but he has a recurring role as "Agent Renko" and he really melts my butter.
And in my experience, a girl should never discount a butter melter, even if she doesn't rightly know who he is. I'm just sayin'.
I was excited because I knew the show was on tonight, but then when I saw Agent Renko, well, I just had to get up a do a little happy dance.
There are some other people, too and they're all good, but I've outlined the show's major attractions for you.
If you aren't watching NCIS Los Angeles go and check it out. It's much more fast paced and - I think - cooler - than the original NCIS. Although Mark Harmon is in the hotness hall of fame, he just can't compete with these guys.

Battle Studies

It drops today.



You can thank me later.

J. Crew is Not for Sissies

I went clothes shopping on Saturday.

I had a bit of a breakdown in the J. Crew dressing room.

I felt fat, I felt ugly, I felt old.

I sat there, by myself, in the dressing room, on the bench and stared at my image in the mirror, under the florescent lights and had a little 3 minute pity party. I cursed the lines around my eyes and rued the day I cut my hair.

Then I got up and said "Fuck it. Now is no time to quit."

And I whipped out the American Express card that I didn't have when my face was wrinkeless and bought some clothes. Despite my advancing middle age, I'm still a size 2.

Among other things, I bought these jeans.

I feel a little bit like a stuffed sausage in them, but considering my very poor and very hormonal state of mind on Saturday, I still didn't think they looked half bad. In fact, I thought "If I loose 5 pounds, they'll look pretty good."
I'm going to wear them with flats, with boots and with heels.
And speaking of boots, after J. Crew, I cruised on down to Nine West and bought these:They are a little more clunky than I would normally do, but I saw several well dressed women in the mall wearing similar ones and I thought I could get away with them. They are also very comfortable and they were on sale.


You Got The Nook - Oh Wait, That's Me

I ordered it.

I caved.

This has certainly been a high technology week here at Chateau Bee Charmer.

It ships on December 18. I'll let you know how it goes.

A Nook for My Books

I think I should start by saying that I was firmly "anti" technology.

I didn't have a cell phone for years. I didn't even own a microwave - my mother finally bought one for me because she wanted to use it when she visited.

Anyway - at some point - I fell off the wagon.

Personally, I think my first laptop did it for me. Something about sitting on your butt or laying on the couch and surfing the internet - well, I got bitten by the bug.

Then came the DVR - the coolest technological advance known to man.

Then the Ipod, which I swore I would never use and now am COMPLETELY addicted to.

Last week, I ordered the MacBook Air, which will arrive next week. I didn't go to the store and buy it because I didn't want to deal with the people. And I wasn't even planning to buy it online. I just need a new laptop and I thought ... I wonder... And then I hit "buy" and one is on its way.

I bought it because I wanted something light enough that I could more easily take my laptop with me...everywhere. "Cause that's how much I love it.

But that's not enough for me, gentle readers....

Saturday I ran into Barnes and Noble to buy a book on how to use my MacBook. The next thing I know, I want a Nook.

My two best friends have Kindles and really like them.

I have been resistant, because I really like books. I like they way the look and the way they feel and I like the way they are laying around all over my house. But having said that, not every book is a keeper and I have come to see the benefit of downloadable media.

But I don't like the look of the Kindle.

But then I saw the Nook.

Its pretty and we know what that does to me. I am ALL about the pretty.

Then I read this great review of it... And I'm sold.

I think I found my birthday present.


I'm A Mac

I just ordered a MacBook Air.

I feel so .... cool.


But cool.


New Dinette Chairs

Here's Lola Bean - isn't she pretty? - showing off the new dinette chairs.

They're not finished yet because they have to have new seat cushions, but you get the gist.

They are midcentury modern and were made in Sweden. I picked them up at the Sleepy Poet Antique Mall where I find most of the cool stuff in the house. I committed blasphemy by spray painting them black but after a lot of thought I decided "They're my chairs. I can spray paint them if I want to." I'm on the hunt for something cool to upholster the seats with. Then they are off to Darren at The Upholstery Shop in beautiful, scenic Lincolnton, North Carolina.

We're sending a special smoochie out to Julie and The Chris for their invaluable help in hauling them home!


Random Pretty Boy Post

Nobody rocks the baby sling quite like Gavin Rossdale.

If this man were my husband, believe me, I'd be makin' babies, too.



Massage Envy

I joined Massage Envy about three weeks ago and I cannot speak more highly of it, at least the one I frequent here in Charlotte.

I have been really bothered by hip and lower back pain for the past few years. It's not really enough to call it "pain" but definitely discomfort and lately it has been getting worse. I have some stretches that I do, but they have been less and less effective.

Enter Massage Envy.

I really hesitated to do this for myself because I felt it to be a little too self indulgent, but after a particularly uncomfortable week and a lot of stress at work I decided to give it a shot.

It is really nice. I thought it would be like the waiting room at Jiffy Lube, but I was really wrong. The location closest to my home is nicer than the day spa I usually go to for massages and I couldn't do any better on the prices if I went to the YMCA.

If you haven't tried it, you really should. My hips are 100% better and I never would have believed it. The only real drawback, if you could call it that, is that you have to commit to one year of membership. However, for the price of a dinner out, I can treat myself to one massage a month, so I really can't complain.


The Stairwell

I know that y'all have just been dying to see the stairwell!

You remember what it looked like before: Builder's Beige and Home Depot Bargain Basement Builder's Grade Banisters (say that five times fast)

And here it is now:

I had the stairwell painted the same color as the rest of my downstairs - Tuscan Beige by Behr.

And I painted the banisters white.
At first I couldn't decide what to do with the banisters, because I hated them with a red hot passion.
I got a quote on having them all ripped out and replaced - but in the end, I didn't think replacing them would be a good investment.
Then I got a quote on having them professionally painted - $300.00.
Now I am willing to throw money at problems, but when it comes to something that I can paint myself - well - I just couldn't do it.
So for the price of a quart of paint and some blood, sweat and tears, I got a much cleaner look - or at least one I can live with. I also happen to think that it works more cohesively with the rest of the moldings in my place.

I must warn you that it was a miserable job and I hated every minute of it. It took three days and three coats - including one coat of oil based primer - but it looks clean and bright and I'm kind of a little proud of it. And the professional painter told me that I did a good job (when he was here to paint the kitchen) and that made it all the better.


Kitchen Art

So, I've become something of an Etsy addict lately.

Affordable and totally cool art. Delivered to your home! What's not to love?

I got the two GORGEOUS photos above from Jennifer Squires' Etsy shop. She's great to work with and her work is uniformly fabulous. I really admire the ability to take a simple subject and make it look sophisticated and special without making it seem ordinary.

Jennifer has the knack, y'all.

I actually ordered a third piece and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.

Go! Shop! Buy!!!


New Couch Pillows

After two years of looking, I have finally found the perfect couch pillows - or at least perfect for now. They are, strangely enough, purple.

The little ones for the green chairs kicked off the whole thing. They are kind of perfect. And they were on sale.

I really love this one:

I found them at Isabella in Myers Park.

I'm having a couple of more made in lavender silk. I'll post updates when they come back from the seamstress.


Elliott Puckette

I've been a big fan or Elliott Puckette for a few years now, ever since I read the article in the May 2003 issue of Vogue.

I never thought I'd be able to own her work.

Happily, she offered a limited edition print through Conde Nast and I was thrilled to be able to buy it. It's happily hanging in my bedroom now.


Here it is in the room -


Back From....

Hey, we're back. Although we haven't really been anywhere.

Work has been crazy.

And my Mom has a brain tumor. Although not really a brain tumor, more of a head tumor.

Yeah, I'll bet you didn't see that coming any more than I did.

It's really strange because I didn't ever expect to get a call like that.

And I also thought that if doctors ever found something like that, they would know what it was and how to treat it...immediately. Well, no dice on that. They found the "mass" and then we waited for 10 days until she could get in to see the specialist at Bowman Gray. Then another week to have the biopsy and then another week to find out what we are dealing with.

The good news is that it's benign - which is - well I can't describe the relief.

The bad news is that it's wrapped around her carotid artery, pressing on her optic nerve and causing rather nasty symptoms, including dizziness, nausea and balance problems. She thought she had an inner ear infection. It's serious, but treatable.

The weird news is that they think she was probably born with it. Odd to think that you'd have a tumor in your head for your whole life without knowing it.

Anyway, the surgury is scheduled for December 2. I'll keep you posted.
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