Happy New Years!

Happy New Years!

Let's hope that we all have a sparkling 2010!

Image: Remember The Winter by Provincijalka.


Lamp Love

I think it's clear to you all by now that I have a bit of a lamp addiction.


It's a problem.

And I really should do something about it. And I plan to...as a New Years Resolution.

Lamp Rehab.

In the meantime, I found this while innocently looking for something else - I swear.

It's the Arteriors Manfre Adjustable Long Arm Desk Lamp.

I think it would look just fabulous on my desk.


New Bag

I have been searching for a durable, roomy and lightweight bag to haul my stuff around in when I travel.

You know, the laptop, the ipod, the Nook, the Nintendo DS, the books, the magazines, the paperwork, the cords to charge it all.....

And I found this one on Etsy.

It's made by the nice people at Moop. I ordered it yesterday and I'm excited to get it. I've taken several road trips in December and so the utility of this bag is very apparent to me right now. I didn't want something precious or even fancy. I just wanted something soft and washable that can double as a sightseeing bag or a beach bag or a gym bag or a whatever bag, when it's not sitting prettily in the backseat of the car full of electronic and analog media.

I'll let you know how it turns out.


When You Just Need to Leave for A While

"Paris is always a good idea."

Audrey Hepburn

Image: Lumiere by Alicia Bock


May Your Days Be Merry And Bright!

Hey Everyone!

I'm out of pocket for the rest of the week, but I hope that you all have a Very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy Holiday!


The Bee Charmer

Image by Yee Haw Industries


Dear Barnes and Noble

Dear Bastards at Barnes and Noble:

Y'all suck. You lie, you cheat and I would criticize your non-existent customer service, but it's after 5 and they are closed.

No really, I'd really like to direct my comments to someone with some actual power, not some poorly paid flunky who has the unfortunate job of having to field all the calls from poor unfortunate people to whom you have failed to deliver. I'd cancel my order, except that that would relieve your company of its obligation to give me a $100 gift certificate and free overnight shipping.

That's right.

The only reason I refuse to cancel is that I figure it's actually going to cost you money to sell me this product.


The Bee Charmer

The Last Tuesday Before Christmas

It's the last Tuesday before Christmas.

I have to pick up my brother's gift today and then go to the post office to mail one box and to buy stamps so that I can mail my Christmas cards.

I know, I know. I'm late this year.

Tonight I am having dinner with my friend, Sarah and I am taking Wednesday off from work so that I can finish up all the various pre Christmas errands.

The Beans and I are heading to my parents' house at some point, but we'll be back in Charlotte on Friday so that we can hit up the after Christmas sales bright and early Saturday morning. I won't go near the mall on Black Friday but the day after Christmas - y'all - all bets are off.

We are very blessed this year. My mom's tumor was benign and has now been removed - for the most part - and she is almost fully recovered. Not only is she not worried about the surgery, all of her nasty symptoms are resolved and she is almost fully healed. The doctors don't think she'll have any more trouble with it. We think it will be a great Christmas.

I hope that everyone is having a happy and merry week although I realize its probably super busy. Stay safe and warm as you travel and bustle about.

I'll be here tomorrow but if you can't stop by, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday.

Image: Little Treasure by ChelseaVictoria


Home Style

I took the HomeGoods StyleScope test, which was created by Deborah Needleman, the founding Editor in Chief of Domino Magazine and co-author of "Domino: The Book of Decorating".

This is what it had to say about me:

You are a Dramatic Modern

You keep up with culture, style, and trends, but have a classical appreciation for beautiful forms and well-made, functional objects. You are inspired by good design and quality craftsmanship, but have a sense of the theatrical and the fun. You liven things up and infuse personality into your rooms. You like how something ornate mixes with modern, or how daring flourishes, like bold color or a wild pattern, can inject some humor and contrast to the serious, straight lines of modern pieces. You are a style leader, and your friends look to you for advice. You are not afraid of glamour. Because you embrace color, art, and elegance, your home makes a happy impact.
You value serenity. While there are probably a lot of interesting things in your home, they are joined by your taste or a certain palette that keeps them in harmony. You appreciate the beauty in simple forms. Whether fancy or plain, you appreciate things that are well made and function as well as they look. You also have a strong respect for the environment and craftsmanship. You care about how things are made, and how they are used.
I think it's stunningly accurate! Dramatic! Modern! The embrace of elegance!
The Bee Charmer STRIVES for elegance - so there ya go.

You can take it here, if you are so inclined.


Happy Friday

I hope everyone has a happy weekend.

I have, happily, finished up all of my Christmas shopping and this weekend I am going to wrap and decorate the house.

I know that most people like to enjoy Christmas from an earlier date and I have heard tale of those who decorate even before Thanksgiving.

I, however, like to wait. It just seems more special to me that way. To help Christmas related feelings, we are awaiting a winter storm here in North Carolina so the Beans and I are going to snuggle down and make Christmas - although we'll be traveling to my parents' home in West Virginia to actually celebrate the holiday.

Stay safe everyone!


Happy Birthday Finn!!!

Precious little angel, won't you spread your light on me?
I was locked up in the darkness, now you've come to set me free.
I was covered up in sadness -
I was drowned in my own tears.
I'd been cynical and twisted.
I'd been bitter all these years.
I was lost until you came ....
My precious little baby boy is 8 years old today!!

Happy Birthday, Finn. I was lost until you came.

Song lyrics from Precious by Annie Lennox


I Believe in Pink

I believe in pink.
I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.
I believe in kissing, kissing a lot.
I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.
I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.
I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.

Audrey Hepburn


Random Pretty Man Post

Y'all - can we take a moment to consider the hotness that is Mr. Mark Harmon?

He's been hot for a long dang time.

Hot then.

Hot now.

Just plain hot.

And this post is especially dedicated to my friend Julie who is beginning a wonderful and brave journey this week. And she loves Mr. Harmon.

I'm sure he'd smooch you if he was there.


Cool Christmas

I'm a huge Grinch and a I think that this mix may be enough to put even me in the mood.

Go. Download. Jam while you wrap.


Choose Joy

I found this on Etsy.

I know that I've commented about my love of Etsy in passing, but I'm not sure I've ever really gotten into just how good I think it is.

It's so good, y'all!

This little poster is from Eva Juliet's Etsy shop and I found it while browsing around one Sunday afternoon.

Now it's hanging in my bathroom.

And it's so perfect for what it says and how it says it and it's even turquoise! I'm in such a turquoise mood lately!

It just sums up my whole philosophy of life for the past few years. Ever since I became "Zen Tonya".

You have to choose your life. You have to choose how you decide to see your life. You have to choose what you're going to believe about your life.

And I've decided to choose JOY! And Etsy! And, lately, a lot of new electronic gadgets.

What will you choose in your life?


Lovey Doves

Oh, you know I love these little dove bowls.

You can get one at Paloma's Nest.

I just think they're darling, sweet, and so, so lovely.


IPod Touch

Yeah, I went into the Apple Store.

I try to stay out of there because I get in trouble.

Steve Jobs is EVIL.

Anyway, now I gotta get an Ipod Touch. 64 Gigs. Christmas 2009.

Since I can't have an IPhone, I need to get this.



Charleston was GREAT! I can't remember a little trip that I have enjoyed more!!

We stayed at the lovely, historic Francis Marion Hotel on King Street and boy, did they take care of us. If you are headed down there, please stay at the Francis Marion! Conveniently located, staff is wonderful and such a beautiful place. Spend a little extra and get a room with a view. We had a view of the park and all the way to the ocean. So lovely!

Our first night, we ate at Blossom Cafe, which I love. It's the third time I've eaten there and let me tell you, I ate everything that didn't eat me first. I had rare yellow fin sesame tuna for an appetizer and a lovely, pepper crusted steak with sweet potato hash for dinner. And some kind of trifle for dessert. Our waiter, Mark, was just excellent and we had a great time.

This is the interior at Blossom. The ceiling rafters are awesome and they have a copper bar. The Bee Charmer comes from a long line of copper aficionados, y'all!

Saturday morning was raw and rainy and gray, but despite this, it was Charleston, so we didn't so much care. We put on our raincoats and grabbed our umbrellas and headed out down King Street for some happy time shopping. I didn't really buy anything, but I had such a nice time looking.

The one thing I did buy was a Diptyque Candle at Christian Michi.

They're expensive, but I can't find them in Charlotte and life is too short for cheap candles.

After an arduous morning, we made our way to High Cotton for lunch and I pretty much ate everything they had, too.

Seared salmon with sweet potato, leek and mushroom ragout. And a lovely little sauvingnon blanc. And a chocolate bomb for dessert.

I had never eaten at High Cotton, but I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely. They take good care of you.

Finally, on Saturday night we had reservations at my favorite place in the world, Slightly North of Broad - or SNOB.

I had a poached pear salad as a starter and crab cakes for dinner. I think there was some kind of sweet potato something included in that, too. And a pinot noir. And a bourbon.

If you've never been to Charleston, GO! If you've been there, but not for a while, GO BACK!


I Ate The Whole Thing

The first time I have ever eaten an ENTIRE steak. It was incredible.

Thank you Blossom Cafe!

Happy Friday!

So, I'm off to Charleston, South Carolina today, with my sweet friend Julie.

It's sort of a birthday trip but really, we just want to go.

I get the same high out of Charleston that I get from Paris. They have the same sort of beautiful, romantic vibe - at least to me.

And since Charleston is a short drive and Paris is a long, long flight, Charleston is going to win out this time.

Y'all have a fun weekend!


Method Cleaning Products

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to try to go a little "greener". In pursuit of this goal, I decided to give Method Cleaning Products a try. They are all natural, environmentally safe cleaning products. I have not tried all of them, but I have been happy with the ones I have tried.

Truthfully, I was skeptical. My definition of "clean" is a little different than that of others - at least that's what I think. My best friend says I'm - I can't remember the word she uses - something that's more tactful than "freakish" - and I can't really disagree.

I can't impose order on the world, but I can clean the crap out of my house - so deal with it.


I am happy to report that Method Cleaning products really work and work well.

Also? They smell really good. Clean but not flowery or medicinal and I really like that. The house smells clean but not lysol-ly.

These are the ones that I can recommend to the class:

First up, we have the Method Multi-Purpose cleaner.

I bought this specifically for use in the bathroom, and it does a really good job. I use it for the counter tops, the fixtures, the mirrors and - here's the kicker - the shower stall. My mirrors were streak free and it cut the crap off the counter tops. The shower stall is where it really sold me because it did an excellent job - better than anything else I've tried - environmentally friendly or otherwise - in getting rid of water stains and dried soap. And it didn't leave a film, which has been a problem with other products in the past. It's also nice to have one product that does a multitude of tasks. It saves money and it's easier to store. Overall, an excellent product.

Next, we have two other bathroom products, Le Scrub and Lil' Bowl Blu. They have similar "clean" smells but, again, not flowery or perfumey.

I use Le Scrub to scrub le bathtub and le sinks.

It contains ground granite particles so it is finely gritty and safe for my non-scrubbable tub. It cuts the soap film from the tub and the toothpaste and the hairspray buildup from the sink without having to expend too much energy. And it rinses very easily. Again, a very nice, good smelling product that does the job. You don't even miss the chemicals and the stuff that's bad for our environment.

I use the Lil' Bowl Blu - obviously - to keep the toilets clean. I have to say that this is not the most impressive product that I've ever used for this task and that I have a continuing mildew problem. I will also say that I live in the South and it has been my past experience that mildew happens in the South, I don't care if you're putting napalm in there. I think it is a little more manageable when you use a cleaning product that contains bleach. However, it's not that much better so I've decided to do a little extra work and be kind to the environment. Also, again, and I know I keep bringing this up, it smells really good and if you're going to take on a less than pleasant task, you may as well have a product that leaves you with a clean smelling bowl.

And this is neither here nor there, but both Le Scrub and Lil' Bowl Blu have cutesy little bottles.

Next, we have the Smarty Dish dishwasher detergent - and I love it. My friend Sarah told me about it and it took me a while to actually find it in captivity. The only noticeable difference between this and the stuff I used to use is that I think my flatware has more water spots than it used to but overall the dishes are super clean and I have no real complaints.

Last, we have the Daily Granite cleaner, which I use for the granite counter tops in my kitchen. I had been cautioned against using non-granite specific cleaners and prior to Method I had tried another eco-friendly granite cleaner that left a film all over everything. Daily Granite has a clean, citrusy smell and it gets the granite clean and leaves it shiny and taken care of. And that's really all I can ask for.

So there you have it. If you've been thinking about changing I think you can use these products without fear. And your house will smell good.



I want to put this wallpaper somewhere in my house.

Just where do you think I should put it? I think maybe it it came in another color, I could incorporate it into the "dream" bathroom.

I think I'll have to start having a look around.

Does anyone know if there are after Christmas wallpaper sales?

My New Love

When I walk into the handbag department and my face gets hot, you just know that nothing good is going to come from that.

If Nordstrom puts this on sale after Christmas, believe me, I will have a Marc Jacobs on my arm.

And I just love the pink. The pink is so ..... delicious.


Dream Bathroom

If money were no object, this is what my bathroom would look like.


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.
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