Minden's Annual St. Jude Auction

Jan 28, 2015

Every year on Superbowl weekend for the last 33 years, my tiny little hometown has hosted an auction benefiting the children of St. Jude.
The auction initially started as a "radiothon" but over the years it has fully transformed into a monumental event.
One elementary school raised and donated $44,000 alone, cars have been given away, and even the infamous Uncle Si has made an appearance.
The entire city is electric.
Everyone involved is donating every ounce of their time, talents, money, and effort to help make a difference.
Our tiny town of 13,000 people raises the most money per capita for St. Jude than any city 
We talk about that fact every year, but it's still hard for me to wrap my head around it.
Somehow, each year we have managed to break the record of the previous year.
Only a few short years ago, we broke the million dollar mark, and we have kept the tradition each year since. 

Here are the amounts raised from the last nine years alone:
2005: $509,179
2006: $703,604
2007: $755,846
2008: $788,611
2009: $876,264
2010: $881,885
2011: $943,628
2012: $1,065,235
2013: $1,106,269
2014: $1,198,296

There are tons of great items being raffled off this year (like a GMC Denali, a Mac desktop, a Rolex, and even a trip to Disney) but the greatest items of all are these playhouses.
It has become a tradition for our local firemen to create a custom playhouse for each auction.
They tend to out-do themselves each year, but I'm not quite sure the playhouses of 2015 will ever be topped.
This time they created TWO campers, one for adventurous boys and one for girly girls.
The girl camper was decorated by Laurie Sigler (owner of LaurieAnna's Vintage Home in Canton, Texas) and appropriately named Starlet.
The boy camper is named Danny Boy, after the St. Jude's founder Danny Thomas.
These campers are the real deal.
They have flat screen tvs, beds, refrigerators, microwaves, and will even connect to water and power!
If you don't have little ones of your own, I'm willing to bet you know a few kiddos who would absolutely love this.

Please take a second to visit the website MindenStJude.com to get in on the action and buy some raffle tickets.
Prices range from $5-$10 for most of the items, and grand prize tickets are $100.
Win or lose, you are still making a difference in the life of a child.

If this video can't convince you to give, I don't know what can.
Grab a tissue (and your credit card).

Home Tour {Part 1}

Jan 27, 2015

Work has finally settled down, and I have a few spare hours in the day to function.
. . . and by function I mean cooking and watching Netflix and cleaning and watching Netflix and decorating anddd watching Parks & Rec on Netflix.
You know.
Wife things.
Thanks to a few creative folks in our lives and some pretty excellent Christmas gifts, our shelves are getting filled and our walls are getting decorated.
Putting holes in walls that you actually own is slightly more terrifying than drilling excessive, monstrous holes in apartment walls that you personally aren't thaaaat responsible for.
Over the last weekend, I finally gathered some courage and nailed a few holes into our beloved walls.
I cleaned up a bit, kicked Josh out, and then snapped some photos so you could have a little peek into our home.
K Book :: Anthropologie
Photo clips :: Target
Flowers :: fake
The watercolor portraits of the pups were painted by my sweet friend Maggie.
Aren't they incredible?
If you are interested in having a custom painting you can e-mail her at maggie.melancon@gmail.com
Shelf :: World Market 
Let's Go Anywhere print :: Katie Daisy on Esty
I'm a sucker for a good 'ole fashioned mirror selfie . . .
Photobombing dog :: Molly
Three tiered shelf :: World Market 
Most of these items on this shelf (such as the antique books and bottles) were used as decor at our wedding.
The flower girls carried the birch J+E bucket, and I made the "would you like to dance around the world with me" sign for our wedding as well.
I created the words from an antique hymnal and modge podged them to an old wooden map.
The quote is from one of our favorite songs.
Having it on display in our home is the perfect reminder of that lovely day two years ago where we said some vows, became travel partners for life, and then jetted off to celebrate in Iceland.
Photos and photo clothesline thingy :: Ikea
The kitchen.
My favorite room of the house.
When were first toured this house before we bought it, the kitchen was honestly what won me over. 
I remember thinking it was all downhill from here and that every house from there on out would pale in comparison.
I was right.
After all, it was the first house we ever looked at and the one we ended up purchasing.
Fake flowers :: Ikea
Barstools :: World Market 
Tables and chairs :: World Market Hudson Pub Table and Hudson pub stools
More fake flowers in a watering can I will never use to water things :: Ikea
The Toms chip clip stand makes a pretty nice Christmas card/invitation holder.
. . . and now I present to you my favorite house piece in all the land:
the hutch
After weeks of coveting this hutch at a local sandwich shop, Patina Green, we finally bit the bullet and made an offer.
We brought it home last weekend, and I still haven't been able to stop admiring it.
Josh finds that his picklin' needs to be on display.
I'm not compleeeetely sold on the concept, but hey, marriage is about compromise, right?
The center shelf is covered with an old battered piece of tin.
I think it's safe to say that is my favorite detail.
End table and coffee table :: World Market "Aiden" series 
(Are you sensing a creepy World Market obsession trend yet?)
Rug :: World Market (but I couldn't find a link to it on their website - it may be sold out?)
Our little bar cart (that we found at Trade Days in Canton) is quite stocked with the essentials:
All the Moscow Mule fixins, High West whiskey from Park City, some random bottle of wine that we never got around to drinking in Switzerland, and a few of our favorite bottles of Sweetwater Brewery's Dank Tank (that we are "aging" for a special occasion).
The sign you see above the cart is one of my personal favorites.
We initially fell in love with it at Russian River Brewery in Santa Rosa, California on our three week west coast road trip.
After a few years of searching, I was finally able to track one down on eBay, and I surprised Josh with it last year.
The polaroid frame and the globe were also used as decor at our wedding.
Belt shelf : CB2
End table :: World Market
More fake greenery :: Target
So basically, the moral of the story is that we love fake flowers and World Market.
Coming soon:
A tour of our bedroom, master bathroom, formal sitting room/office and the upstairs (sooooo 2018?) 
Until then, let's just admire the hutch.

Love Letters {to food}

Jan 22, 2015

Your October taco of the month, with fried chicken coated in a pumpkin seed breading, converted me from a pumpkin hater to a pumpkin kindaaaa hater.
Dear some of our favorite Dallas restaurants (like Cane Rosso, Smoke, and Liberty Burger)
Thanks for moving north to the 'burbs.
Your assistance in helping us avoid highway 75 makes me want to smooch your face.
Dear awkward local instagrammer meet-up at Sissy's,
The never ending buckets of chicken smothered the weirdness like gravy on Sissy's glorious mashed potatoes.
Dear Sprinkles,
Thanks for allowing mere mortals to make your salted oatmeal cornflake cookies in the comfort of our own home.
But to only include dough for six cookies in each tub?
Someone should be fired.
Dear Trader Joe's,
You never ever ever cease to amaze me and my taste buds.
Dear Smoke,
I'm so thankful you and your heavy handed blueberry ricotta pancakes topped with poached vanilla apricots will be only one suburb away from us now.
Dear Trader Joe's,
Stop it.
My cavities.
Dear Texas State Fair,
Although we missed out on the funnel cake beer, your Texas bluebonnet made up for our loss.
A blueberry muffin stuffed with cream cheese, blueberries, and white chocolate chips sent straight from the heavens.
Dear Velvet Taco
Much like my addiction to oversized sweaters, I can't quit you.
Dear Josh,
I don't like the way you look at my pie (my key lime pie from Smoke, of course)
Dear Smoke,
Have I told you lately how absolutely thrilled I am about you moving 30 minutes closer to us?
This pulled pork eggs benedict though.
. . . and goat cheese potato cakes on the side.
Dear King Cake season,
Fall is great and girl scout cookie season is fun, but let's be honest, king cake season is the only season of the year that really matters.
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