Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rule #23 - Faking It

Before you take up residence in a handicapped bathroom stall, it would be best to make sure no one in a wheelchair is standing... er... sitting... in line too. If you see a set of wheels roll up to the door whilst seated on the toilet, do not panic. Simply flush and adopt a limp as you exit the stall to justify your occupancy. Ignore all the death stares. Then immediately pray for forgiveness. Since you're at church.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lucky Dog

Did you know that scent is the strongest sense tied to memory? I've never been sure I agreed, but last night something triggered my memories and made me have a powwow to explain to Sadie why she's one lucky dog.

I have had bad, bad luck with animal friends.

We had some stray cats adopt us when I was but a wee babe, and they were in and out of our lives. My first personal pet came in third grade living in Knoxville: An orange and white spotted fish named Bubbles. About 4 days after Bubbles came to join my happy little life, I decided he needed a friend. Immediately I found Tabasco, a much smaller but same-hued gilled pal. Tragedy struck two shorts days later, when having been sent to my room for lying to my parents I found Bubbles practicing a handstand on the top of his water. Bereft with grief, poor Tabasco followed suit the next day.

Nursing my own deep, dark depression Daddy and Little decided that I could have a beta fish (the unkillable creature... next to cockroaches, that is). Angel came to live with us, and I couldn't have been happier, although I was still cautious and built a wall between the two of us... afraid of being hurt by too much emotional attachment. Slowly we bonded, and Angel made the trek from Knoxville to Charlotte strapped in tight to our Ford Windstar. The trip was too much for the old girl, though, and six months after welcoming the stalwart beta, she left us to become a real angel in the giant fishbowl in the sky.

We decided it might be better to try something a little more resilient, so a furry creature was brought into the picture. My brother had a guinea pig named Critter, and I knew I needed one too. Santa heard my pleas and left Emmitt for me under the Christmas tree. I oohed and aahed. Then cried when he bit me and wouldn't let go of my finger. That was the beginning of our tumultuous relationship, and despite my offerings of alfalfa, carrots, corn, lettuce and other yummy treats, he never quite warmed up to me.

I always filled his habitat with delightfully smelling cedar shavings, which happened to be the HOA's mulch of choice this year. As I wheeled my CRV into its spot yesterday, my nose was accosted with the fresh scent of shaved cedar blanketing each flower bed. Memories of Emmitt's little blonde body (then his cold, stiff one that I touched post-mortem) flooded my mind. Poor Emmitt didn't last much longer than the sealife. About a year and a half later, he laid buried in a shoebox (Sketchers... It's the S) in my backyard.

I took a break from killing domestic animals until summer 2008 when Sadie came to join me in the Polka Dot Palace. She has endured weeks of abandonment in a field, lice, flea infestation, kennel cough, pneumonia, skin infections and several nights in the puppy hospital. As she sleeps here beside me tonight, I know I've found the perfect snuggle body. One I don't think even I can manage to take down. Lucky girl.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rule #22

If you bring your 40" TV and Wii from home to use at a social media conference, make sure you know where you park. Because if you convince yourself that the TV is not actually that heavy and can be easily transported to the parking garage, you will be very irritated when you realize after 1/2 a mile of wandering through Uptown that your car is nowhere in sight, and you can't feel your arms. You may start crying, but it will be hard to differentiate the tears from the streams of sweat running down your face.

Plus side... you'll get an incredible workout.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

The past two mornings I've had to be up before 4. Yikes. I felt pretty good yesterday when it buzzed at 3:45. It hit me when the alarm went off at 3:50 this morning, though. Would you judge me if I said that it's 10:37 a.m., and I'm working on my third soda of the morning? Sweet, sweet caffeine and aspartame. The agency is sponsoring a huge social media conference taking place today in Uptown Charlotte. The nice thing is that I'm monitoring our booth and not in the office. Considering that the majority of people are in sessions all day, I have the time to myself to get buzzed (thank you Coke Cherry Zero), recuperate and play online. I will say that the huge leather sofas in this lounge area are more and more tempting by the moment.

Saturday we had the company summer party, which was oh so fun. We were in Concord at a farm, and fishing, skeet shooting, slip 'n' sliding and banana pudding were the name of the game. I made a variation of the tie-neck dress on Saturday morning and turned it into a top for the party. I wish I had better pictures of my ensemble, but alas, these will have to do.

Yesterday I spent a full day at church, and I have to admit, there is nowhere else I'd rather have been. Although I heard the same sermon four times, I got something new from it each time. Based on the story of Shadrach, Mescach and Abednego, what spoke to my heart the most was this. Believe that God can. Expect the He will. But even if He doesn't, TRUST HIM.

Friday, August 21, 2009

What Lies Beneath

Another day, another Magic Bullet/Spiru-Tein (Cherries Jubilee, this morning) shake. Even more delicious than yesterday. It's casual Friday, and I must say I'm looking rather adorbs today. Favorite, perfect white t-shirt ($6 at Forevs 21), $7 Gap striped wide-leg trouser jeans (oh so soft), turquoise peeptoe wedges ($9 from Payless), a vintage statement necklace found for just $12 at my favorite consignment shop, and the piece de resistance, my SuZeeBee Lilly belt. A lovely outfit for $34? Hard to beat.

But the purpose of today's post isn't what I'm wearing; no, no, the purpose is what I'm wearing underneath. You see, I'm a firm believer that undergarments can really influence one's mood. For example, if I'm wearing a matching bra and undies set, I feel an extra burst of self-esteem because I know that underneath, I'm looking extra precious.

Shall we evaluate what's lurking underneath today's otherwise super cute ensemble?
1. Leopard-print granny panties. Extra comfortable, but a bit baggy.
2. White bra with underwire sticking out. Aside from the stabbing pain attacking my bosom when I sneeze, feeling metal against skin is never pleasant.
3. Compression hose. Nude. Thigh high. Yes, folks, my geriatric veins are back with a vengeance. And yes, I am wearing peeptoes. Thankfully my jeans are extra long, so you can't really tell. However, the fact that I'm wearing jeans AND that it's pushing 90 means I'm sweating uncontrollaby, which may give me away.

Moral of the story? While I may be looking cute to my coworkers, I know the dark, compressed, ugly truth of what's lying beneath...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mixing It Up

As my name suggests (and as I have documented ad nauseum), I am a protein bar whore. I have started each morning since roughly 2004 with a bar of heavenly goodness, and I didn't think I would ever be able to do anything different. Until yesterday.

When I reached into my cabinet for my Zone Perfect Dark Chocolate Caramel Pecan bar, I was dismayed to find my hand rattling around an empty cardboard box. Holding back tears, I decided to swing by my neighborhood Carolina Smoothie for a Peanut Butter Slam With Protein. Despite my sadness, this shake absolutely hit the spot.

While I waited for it, I browsed the shop and was elated to discover packets of Spiru-Tein protein shake mix. I had stumbled across Spiru-Tein in the summer of 2003, and I loved it, but I hadn't thought about it since. Excitedly, I scooped up 5 packets and couldn't wait to try one this morning.

To complement my Spiru-Tein, I decided it was high time to unwrap the Magic Bullet Deluxe I received for my birthday. OMGoodGracious, ladies, my face hurt so much from all the smiling I did while uncovering each piece. From party mugs to chopping blades to comfort fit lip rings, I was a happy camper. I spent about 30 minutes flipping through the 10-Second Perfection "cook" book that accompanied the Bullet. I barely slept last night, with flutters of excitement abounding in my tummy.

This morning I agonized over which flavor to use: Cherries Jubilee? Cookies 'N Cream? Blueberries 'N Cream? Strawberry Banana? I settled on S'Mores. I layered the powder, skim milk and ice in my handy-dandy party mug and pulsed the bullet for 6 seconds. Instant, creamy, cold smoothie perfection.

When I arrived at work, I happily unscrewed the lid of the party mug and sipped my way to sweet satisfaction. For six seconds of magic, I was able to whip up a shake featuring 190 calories, 1 gram of fat and 15 of protein. While I'm not shelving protein bars for good, the shakes (and the Magic Bullet) will definitely be a fixture of my morning routine from now on. Perhaps I should consider a name change to Polka Dots & Protein Shakes? I guess Sheryl Crow was right when she said, "A change will do you good..."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


My face has begun the long, painful process of hardening, darkening and now cracking and flaking. I feel like a leper, and I swear my nose is Michael Jackson-ing and preparing to fall off. It was wonderful timing that I had to shoot a video for work today. I hope my dazzling white smile deflected from my blotched and botched features.

Work is getting in the way of sewing time. Never fear, though. A Soon to Be Mrs. will be getting her soon to be rehearsal dinner dress this week, and From the Land of Cotton will be from the land of cuteness when her dress and skirt are popped in the mail by the weekend. And not to be outdone, Black Labs & Lilly will be fab & frilly when her ruffled neck dress arrives at her doorstep next week!

I wish I had more than just snippets of time after work to devote to Hems & Hers. Do you think the bosses would mind me toting my machine to the office and setting up shop in one of the conference rooms?

Sweet Baby Sis leaves for her sophomore year of college on Thursday, and tonight is the farewell dinner. I will miss her terribly, and may have to pop up to Chapel Thrill decked in my best Wolfpack red and black before long!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Too Much

This weekend (which included a jaunt to the beach) equaled...

- Too little exercise.
- Too much food.
- Too much drink.
- Too much sun... Oh yeah, Kimmy K, I look exactly like you right about now.
- And much too much fun.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A New Take on Lilly

Hello, hello lovely readers! My precious, talented mother (and business partner in Hems & Hers) has created a blog for her own wares. As I've bragged about before, Little is the founder and designer of SuZeeBee belts. I want to introduce you all to SuZeeBee! If you get a few minutes, stop by, check out her precious, precious accessories and become a follower. She is constantly updating her styles, and I'm rarely spotted without one adorning my waist.

Her most recent creation is a belt out of Lilly fabric! How adorable is this??? Make it your own for $20... genuine Lilly for a steal. We'd love your feedback on these classic cuties.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rule #21 - It's All Going Swimmingly

If it is raining outside, and you choose to exercise indoors on a treadmill and various weight machines, you do not need to wear swimming goggles while doing so. Thankfully the roof, walls, and flooring of the building will keep you safe from the external precipitation. While I applaud your risky (avant garde?) fashion statement, Sir, I will probably steer clear of you, lest someone think that we're friends. I will also sneak strange looks at you with your blue-tinted Speedos strapped tightly to your head, and I will laugh. I may even try to take a quick picture of you sprinting and lifting in your chlorine and water shields, but they must also be Blackberry forcefields, because our photo sesh was a no go, which is a shame. Next time, I suggest giving a parasol a whirl.

Splish splash, my peculiar friend.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tie Me Up

I've had some Michael Miller White Garden Collage fabric sitting in my desk drawer for a few weeks now, winking at me every time I reach in to pull out a different fabric. Last night at 10:30 I realized that with Labor Day quickly approaching, I needed to make my garment, and soon. Soon turned out to be this morning. I cut out the dress before I went to bed, and before work this morning I stitched it together. I came sauntering in this morning with a new dress and a smile.

I'll update the photos at a later date. In the meantime, this self-shoot in the company bathroom will have to do.
Don't you hate when you look in the mirror and think your hair, face, arms, etc. look awesome, then you get a picture back, and it's a YIKES moment? Yeah...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

True Story Tuesday - Mummified & Petrified

Since I spoke of vampires (or dirty, scuzzy actresses... whichevs you prefer) yesterday, I decided it would be as good a time as any to discuss my hatred of scary movies. I'm a complete woose, wimp and scaredy cat when it comes to all things scream-inducing. In fact, I can rarely sit through the entire film, as evidenced by this little middle school humiliation.

I was Polka Dot No-Friends when I first started the small, Christian school I attended for four years. I wanted desperately to be popular, but it just wasn't happening for me. You know what they say, though, it only takes one person to think you're cool for everyone else to catch on. Thankfully, in 7th grade a tall, popular, blonde volleyball teammate (we'll call her Oklahoma) decided that I was worthy of admittance into the in-crowd.

My first official outing was with a co-ed group of 7th and 8th graders to the local movie theater, where middle schoolers went to see and be seen. We were going to see The Mummy (yes, the one starring Brendan Fraser), and to say I was nervous was an absolute understatement. Not only was I trying to impress my new cohorts, but I knew that the film would test my fear thresholds. And, boy, was I right.

About 15 minutes into the movie I leaned over and whispered to Oklahoma, "If one more of those bugs crawls under someone's skin, I'm out of here." She assured me that all would be well and settled back with her popcorn. A mere 2 minutes had elapsed when yet another bug incident pushed me over the edge. I leapt from my seat and jetted to the bathroom. My sweet friend followed me and asked if I wanted to call my mom to come pick me up. Too proud and ashamed to do that, I told her I would be fine and urged her to head back into the theaters and continue her passionate inter-digitated handholding with her young beau.

So how did I spend the next 2 hours? Why, locked in the handicap stall of the ladies room, of course. So as not to draw attention to myself, I would come out of the stall every so often to wash my hands then exit the bathroom, get a drink from the water fountain and return to my stall. At the time there was also an arcade with a photo booth inside. At some intervals of time I would go and sit in the photo booth for a few minutes until I realized that one of the sides was see-through, so other moviegoers could see me just lounging in it. Mortified and desperate, I went to wash my hands again and sit on my porcelain throne listening to the automated theater announcements.

When the movie was finally over I trudged crestfallen toward my group, who spent the evening making fun of the lame special effects and cheap thrills filling The Mummy. I don't know what hurt more... my chapped overly-washed hands or my wounded, bruised ego.

To date, I still refuse to watch The Mummy or any of its subsequent sequels.

Monday, August 10, 2009

No, Thanks

Vampires rank right up there in creepiness for me as do clowns and the sound of deaf people talking, so it's no surprise that I haven't even been tempted to dip my feet (or neck... har har) into the Twilight craze. Like many a celeb-obsessed female, though, I have been unable to avoid the hoopla surrounding the cast. I get the attractiveness of Robert Pattison, but I totally prefer him as Cedric Diggory (hands down). I cannot for the life of me, however, understand this hot mess. Can someone please, please, please explain her appeal?

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Fall" In Love

I've been spending my days at work evenings perusing the Web for fall fashion inspiration (textures, styles, structure, prints, color...). Quick peeks at the J.Crew and Anthropologie catalogs quickly get my wheels turning, and I think I've found some wonderful transitional and year-round solutions. I want to hear from you, though, what will be your go-to piece when the temperatures dip, and it finally gets a little cooler?

Some of my favorite new fabrics...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tortoise & The Hair

I have the straightest hair you could possibly imagine. It's thick, straight and fine. I'm pretty luck, really, but every so often I yearn for some curl, wave or texture. Today I decided to play with that and loaded my tresses full of mousse and gel. The result is wavy-ish, scrunched (but definitely not the "wet curls" look... I know you know what I'm talking about), textured. Kind of. I weaved a french braid through the front and off to work I went.

One of my favorite male coworkers just came over to comment on my new style. "You look like you're ready for a Friday night out at the club," he mused.

Not exactly what I was going for on a Thursday morning at my desk.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Both LuLu Lake and Blissfully Enamored made my week by awarding me the Honest Scrap Award!

Here are the rules: Tell TEN things about yourself and then pass the award on to TEN other blog friends!

1. I drove to work today and completely jammed to the High School Musical 3 soundtrack.
2. In 5th grade I was on Safety Patrol and thought I was the bees knees.
3. Then I got beat up twice telling some intercity kids to be quiet.
4. I still think Safety Patrol is really awesome.
5. I got 5 tickets in 2007... speeding or other infractions.
6. I hate macaroni & cheese.
7. And apple juice.
8. I baked a caramel apple cake today for my coworkers.
9. I won an autographed picture of Nicole Richie at an auction, and I keep it on my desk.
10. I won her for $20. I placed the only bid.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Look Before You Seat

I just fell into the toilet. Because the seat was up. In the women's restroom.

The appropriate question is why did a female coworker have the seat up?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pics & Picks

Thank you all for your excitement about the A. Tierney giveaway, and all the kind birthday wishes! My day and weekend were both great, and I'll upload some pictures of Friday night festivities and the trip to the mountains to watch Little's dominant performance in the Lake Logan Triathlon to celebrate her 50th birthday, but before we get to the pics, picked the giveaway winner.


If y'all haven't had a chance to check out her blog, you must click over there now. Hilary has the cutest blog, and she designs the most gorgeous frames I've ever seen. Take a few minutes and go say hi!

Now, on to weekend photographs. So the plan was to finish my gorgeous new dress in time to wear to dinner and drinks, but notsomuch. In my frenzied stitching, I had royally screwed something up, and the dress was completely out of whack and alignment. Despite shedding a few tears of frustration and ripping many seams, it just wasn't meant to be. We were running oh so late (which is not like me a bit), so I threw on jeans, a cleavage-baring black top (scandalous) and heavy black beads. Definitely not my most favorite look (probably because I don't do so well when I have to change my plans last minute), but a good time was had by all.

Saturday morning, Little, Daddy and I traipsed to the mountains of North Carolina where Little and several family friends were competing in a sprint triathlon. I'm such a mountains girl, and the scenery and town did not disappoint. We enjoyed delicious dinner and went to bed early, since Sunday was the big day. Despite torrential downpours, the tri went on as scheduled, and the birthday girl performed amazingly well and finished 1st in her age group!