Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On What I Want Home to Feel Like

A few weeks ago, some of my long lost college friends came into town and stayed with me.  One of my friends told me, in reference to my home's style, "Brandi, everytime I look around, I see something new".  My heart smiled.
A few days ago, my friend Charlotte at Living Well on the Cheap wrote about what she wants her home to feel like. My mind wandered.
In years past, I had a majority of gray rooms and cool colors, but one day I really looked at my pinterest boards and tried to deduce a trend.  What wall colors, arrangements, and elements continue to pop up? 
Armed with that information, I started changing the feel of my home to reflect these things.  In the spring I began with my newly-painted white guest room, then a newly-painted white master bedroom, and just two weeks ago with a newly-painted white living room.  I'm a big fan of Scandinavian design, and I feel that white walls truly let what adorns them shine through.  Everything suddenly feels more important, like a gallery.  A clean slate in my slightly messy & dog-fur-covered home. 
White is good, but what do I want my home to feel like?
Well, I want it to feel like it does, both now and in progress. Like there are things to be seen. Things that are meaningful to me, and unique to everyone else. Like a collection of sorts. Not everyone will get it. To some it will be disorganized or weird or quirky or ugly, but the heart wants what it wants.
Everything in life happens in what seems to be haphazard and random sort of way, but in the end it turns out how it should.  The stars in the sky look like a bunch of dots strewn about in the night, but once you take the time to look at them with a discerning eye, you will notice that they form the shapes and figures as they have for millions of years. 
And that is why I am happy in my home as it is, as it changes, and as it will be.
And why I have nine permanent dots to remind me that those stars that are not random.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I'm Social Like Its 2009

This weekend, I had a bit of a Theta Reunion with three of my besties from college.  Well...technically two, since Courtney and I have dinner every Friday night and drink coffee every Saturday morning, while she's living here in the Red Stick with her medical school husband.
I've been planning this weekend for close to a month.  I'm a creature of habit, and Saturdays usually consist of thrifting, lounging, DIY-ing something, hydrating, and going to bed eary so that I can go running early on Sunday morning.  Knowing that I couldn't stick to my normal routine made me a little nervous, but knowing that I was going to have some of my best friends together in one place made up for it.  No, I didn't enjoy cleaning my house for my two overnight guests, but whatev.
Look, I even bought very expensive Whole Foods flowers for the occasion. Cause fresh flowers make a room.   

Friday afternoon, Tracey met me at my house, and then she, Courtney and I went to get greasy dinner at Walk-On's.  Courtney and I have dinner every Friday to celebrate Fountain Drink Friday, and usually invite her husband.  He never ever ever wants to come, but this time we had to break his little heart(kidding -- I don't think he wants to hang out with a bunch of girls who speak in their own language) and tell him he was not welcome at our Theta Reunion. 
Drinks Consumed: 1 Tin Roof Blonde Draft
1 Water
Circa 2009, Courtney and I purchased $5.00 tailgating chairs from Winn Dixie, and we went on a search for those after dinner.  Tracey's breathy GPS kept us entertained, but we found no chairs in the grocery store that felt like Arctic Winter.
The next morning, I drug Tracey to an estate sale(cause I CANNOT miss a Parker Estate Sale), we picked up Starbucks, and Kristen came to my house.  We put on our LSU gameday wear, Courtney & her husband picked us up, and we drove to campus.  We walked 1.1 miles to the tailgate, and spent two hours chatting it up, having some drinks, and generally enjoying our lovely Saturday. 
Our mimosa's look like some kind of amatetto and pineapple nonsense in this photo, but they were yum.

Drinks Consumed: 1 Grande Starbucks Iced Coffee
1.5 Mimosas, heavy on the sparkle
1 Tin Roof Watermelon Wheat Beer
1 8 oz Bud Light
When the game began, we walked ourselves 1.1 miles back to the car, I spilled my drink because some things never change, and we continued our party at BJ's Brewhouse to partake in $6.00 mini pizzas & $4.00 draft beer with a big television.  LSU won; we were tired.
Drinks Consumed: 1 Harvest Hefeweizen
4-5 Glasses of Water
1 Cup of Coffee
We dropped the husband off at home, then the four of us girls went back to my condo to blab about the last few years and relive college through my cool scrapbooks.  Thank goodness I scrapbooked some of my life, or I wouldn't rememeber any of it.
How did we go from this:
to this:
to this? 

{...and why didn't anyone tell me how rough I looked for my one social occasion of the month?}


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Things I'm Excited About This Weekend

{does this even count as a blog post?}
1.)I get paid on Friday and I can.not.wait.  Budgeting isn't easy, and sometimes I run out of money.
2.) Because of number one, I can buy dog food, check out the Jee-dub(G.W. = Goodwill) and get a few groceries.
3.) Sketchy Thrift Store, I missed you last week! What treasures lie within your walls?
4.) Free Starbucks drink on Saturday.  EEE!  I knew my stars would finally add up. Speaking of...I have a secret tattoo.
5.) Fountain drink Friday.  If I drink a coke more than once(not counting Sunday post long-run cause thats a given) a week, I will become addicted to it like a hooker on smack.
6.) Long run Sunday.  Lets try and go further than five miles, Brandi.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

On Etsy Shops & Love

{ pinterest }
So.  Long time no blog.  I've just been a busy little bee, and haven't had the time or the motivation to take photographs of anything.  I've been busy doing things instead, and since this is my little blog, and nobody else's I don't feel the need to apologize.
While I've been away, I made a facebook page for A Brandi Sized Shop.  Did you notice?  Probably not, since I'm guessing nobody is reading my few & far between blog posts. 
Big deal right?
I've had my shop since March of 2011 when I began making yarn wreaths & selling vintage items, but now I strictly sell vintage. I have always enjoyed old things and unique things, and I would be going thrifting whether or not I had a shop, simply for my own pleasure.  My shop is a small operation, and I really take the time to photograph and describe my items well, rather than hurrying to get everything listed.  I don't adhere to the notion that more is better(unless we're talking about french fries and beers after Sunday long runs), and while I still want to make money, I also want to have fun.  That being said, I thought I would enjoy being able to post as "A Brandi Sized Shop", get a little exposure, and have a place to focus on thrifting and such. 
What I didn't count on was the fact that hitting "publish" would make me feel breathless and a little scared.  I've had my shop for over two years, but few people outside of my office(who see me shipping things) know about it so by inviting my friends to like it, I was opening myself up to judgment.  Will all these people think I'm an idiot for buying weird old things and then selling them?  Will people think that I'm just in it to make a buck?  Will people think that I have the worst design sense ever based on what I find cool and unique enough to purchase and hope sells? 
I feel like making my shop's facebook page public, is similar to saying, "I love you" to someone for the first time.  Sure, you know that you do love them, and there's a pretty good chance they might love you too, but by actually saying it out loud you're also losing control over the situation because when you tell that person that you love them, you are also showing them how important they are to you...and with importance comes power, and the chance of brokenheartedness.  From a girl who, at times, wants to be SUPER SELF-SUFFICIENT without dependence on anyone else for anything, this can be a scary situation.  Someone knows that they have your heart and can pretty much do what they want with it, and suddenly you've lost control. 
But in the end, it could be worth it but you'll never know unless you try.
So, facebook, I love my etsy shop.  Thats all.
If you're so inclined, like my page, and I'll try to entertain you. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

About that frustration...

So...speaking of that frustration I mentioned yesterday...well, I won't say that I actually did much, but I did do something.  Profound, yes? 
Anyways, I am expecting company in the next few days, and in an effort to not look like I had started a dust collection in my bedroom, I changed my air conditioner's air filter and decided to tackle the one-inch layer of dust which had taken up residence on every piece of art on my bedroom walls.  Realizing that this dust was much bigger than my microfiber duster, I proceeded to take every single item off of the wall so that I could sweep it with a broom.  While I was sweeping non-floor surfaces, I went ahead and swept my ceiling, creating a storm of dust and sheetrock, thanks to the very hip popcorn texture that I've yet to remove. 

After dusting, and vacuuming, I didn't have the energy to put everything up, nor was I sure that I wanted to head in the same direction as this room had been for the last four years, so I decided to leave my walls mostly bare and put the rug in the wash.  I swapped a pinstriped flat sheet for a dotted flat sheet and a solid set of pillowcases for a striped set of pillowcases, and borrowed a coral blanket from the guest room.  I taped some of my race numbers above my bed with washi tape on a whim, and suprisingly, I like it. 

No, its not complete, but for the time being, I am content with it while I take my time to dream up what my future bedroom will look like.  I have a suspision that it will still be girly(because, HELLO, I'm single...and girly), but moody.  I don't want to rush into anything, and it didn't cost me one cent to remove things from the room. 
In fact, I think it is quite nice to be able to see this room with fresh eyes and no expectations.

Friday, May 31, 2013


I'm a girl and sometimes I get frustrated with things.  Sometimes its getting stood up for lunch, sometimes it the printer not working, and sometimes its my house.
I love my little condo, but I've got the decorating bug, and my neighbors have been known to ask me, "What room are you painting next?".  I just like to be surrounded by things that I love, and currently, my girly bedroom isn't quite cutting it.
This photo is from January 2012.  You can look at this post to see more details of the room.  While its not bad(it is relaxing), I want some changes to be made.  I' ma little less girly these days, and a little more eclectic, so I'm itching to mix things up a little.  I would like to add some curtains, make the bears some custom beds out of a few old pillows I have lying around, and possibly paint my dresser a glossy black, and put a different statement piece on the wall.
I'm not sure where this is going, and I haven't even revealed my guest room yet, but sometimes a girl's gotta vent.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Brandi Sized Shop Update and an Estate Sale

As you all know, I'm not the best blogger.  I'm not super consistent, and I don't have that much to talk about being sans child/husband/boyfriend/friend with benefits, but I do consistently go thrifting, and from what I can tell, there are many other thrifting bloggers out there.  I love love love estate sales and Goodwill for the fact that I can find one-of-a-kind items for my home, and because each time I go, inventory is different.  Sometimes I buy things for me, sometimes I buy things for A Brandi Sized Shop, and sometimes I buy things without knowing whether they will go in my "keep" pile or my "sell" pile.  No matter which pile, everything I buy is something that I find intriguing and worthy of being saved. 
For instance, my bar.  My Brandi Sized Bar, if you will.
I found my TV-Stand turned Bar Cart at Goodwill, and bought it with intentions of keeping it, but the brass crab, star-shaped martini stirrers, and Petit Choses wreath were all purchased with intent to sell.
This weekend, I attended a sale at the home of a man who had been in the Armed Forces during World War II, and was stationed in the Pacific.  I only went to the last day of the sale, and there were still plenty of things at the home, but most of the "fine" items were gone.  The particular company conducting the sale always chooses clients whose lives interest me, and of course, I ended up bringing home a few treasures.  A pair of vintage license plates(from Scotland!), an old chippy floral tray, a pretty pink fitted sheet, some ceramic zodiac medallions, a nautical candlestick holder, and two very large hand-painted paper fish made their way to my condo.
Of all the items I purchased, how many will for-sure end up in my shop?  Lets see.  One tray, one candlestick holder and two big fish, thus making the number four.  Some of my zodiac medallions will too, but I'm not sure which ones.
{ Fish One & Fish Two }
{ Brass Anchor Candle Holder }

{ Chippy Floral Tray }

And just a shout out to some of the items which have been in my shop longer:
{ 1959 Calendar Tea Towel }
{ Elephant Book End }{ Bible }
{ Brass Pineapple Candlestick Holders }
{ Big Metal A }
{ Gray and Mauve Floral Hook }

And until the chippy tray sells, it will be gracing my shelf, right behind my white ceramic owl, milk glass vase, and Jonathan Adler snail. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Guest Room Inspiration

Just so you, glitter, pink, coral and mint are all coming to a guest room near you.
And I'll even have a guest to see it.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Another Light Fixture-Failure

After months and months of trying to cohort my friend into helping me hang my vintage light fixture, the heavens finally aligned and I got some assistance. 
We managed to install the light successfully...

but I don't like it.
I had a sneaking suspicion that the "butterscotch" glass may turn orange with a light bulb, and sure enough, its orange like a pumpkin.  The pictures don't do it justice, but its warmth is the opposit of everything I want in a house.

Back to the drawing board, I guess.  PS- this re-wired vintage light fixture will be craigslisted very soon....once I think of another lighting option. 

 And I want a new table.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Time I Went MIA

Whale,  I went MIA again.
Yes, I mean, Missing In Action.
Yes, I also mean that I went to the land of Palm Trees and Lambourghinis. 
 I went to Miami to visit my best friend, Courtney.
Before I could pack, I had to have every single piece of clothing that I own, laundered and put away.  If its not, then I don't think I can make educated decisions about what few pieces I can pack in my carry-on.  I know.  Ridiculous.
I also kind of dislike flying.  Once I'm up in the air, I'm fine...but the hours and minutes before take-off, I'm kind of a mess.  This time, I decided to fly out of the Baton Rouge Airport rather than make the hour and a half drive to New Orleans then pay to leave my car there.  Sure, Ryan Airport is a little pricier, but the convenience is worth it.  If I can fly out of Baton Rouge again, I will.  Oh, and my flight left at 5:20 am.  Thats early.  That also means that most people will be quiet.  And there's just something about looking down at the city lights.  I flew from BTR to Houston, and then Houston to Miami. 
When I arrived, we followed our tradition of getting burgers, lounged about, and then tried our hardest to go to South Beach, but parking was not to be found, and so we ended up at another mainland beach where liquor was prohibited, and there were small children who looked like us.  And a bunch of dogs. 
The little dark haired one in pink, and the little messy-ponytailed one were our mini-me's.  Messy ponytail-ed one somehow got an ice cream cone and got it all over herself.  Being an ex-chubby kid, I found that amusing. 
Courtney and I poured beer into our cups in the car, and pretended like they were not alcoholic and noticed a bunch of dogs at this Florida beach.  I finished reading The Fault In Our Stars by John Greene, which I had read 3/4 of on the plane ride in, but since I knew I was going to cry, I saved the last part for the beach where my eyes would be shielded by sunglasses.  My favorite book is Summer Sisters by Judy Blume, but this is my other favorite book.  Really.  Complete tie.  I felt like I was reading some kind of tragic lovestory that I could have written since I tend to think how the main character thinks.  How an older guy can write in such a way as a 27 year old girl can think, I'll never know. 
I don't actually have much to say about our vacation...but here are some snippets of random Brandi Thoughts:
Courtney's husband went to work. We went(successfully) to the beach.  See.  Parking.
Some Canadians thought that we sounded trustworthy and asked us to watch their things while they went to go play in the ocean.  See.  Canadians canoodling on the right.
We contemplated just how much we've moved up in life now that we can afford to rent chairs at the beach and not have to lay on the hot bumpy sand. We still couldn't afford an umbrella.  See. We aren't under an umbrella. 
We drank Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris which were super expensive.  See.  Dranks.
We had brunch and mimosas and Cuban sandwiches and water.  See.  Sustenance. 
We laid around.{No Photo}
We watched cable TV.{No Photo}
We complained that Miami was lame.  No liquor on the beach?  No dancing in the hall?  What?  See.  Evidence of Lameness even at the NOLA bar. 
 I ran a few miles.{No Photo}  
Courtney tried something new.{No Photo}
I laid by the pool and went for a walk. See.  Pool.  And a very modest statue.
We both got sunburned.  See. I'm red.  And also short and big-legged...but big-legged is okay since I'm a runner. 

Now, that doesn't sound like anything super fun, but it was exactly what I wanted.  Also, there is something comforting about having lived with your co-vacationer.  Neither of us feels the need to try too hard, and we're perfectly comfortable getting to-go food, and eating in our pajamas while watching CSI or Criminal Minds because we are too sunburned to put on real clothes. 
A few days later, I said "Adios" to Miami, got on a tiny plane{where I had to physically go outside onto the runway then walk up little stairs to get onto my 2-seat x 1 seat plane} and flew my red self back to Baton Rouge...where I forgot how to blog for a month.
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