Sunday, July 08, 2007


"I can't wait to help you decorate! Your place is going to be so cute!" exclaimed The Czarina the night before driving down here.

"Ok, cool! Thanks, Mom!" I replied.

The Czarina, her best friend and Smurf (my little sister) all arrived in record time on the morning of the 4th. "Let's shop!" she said.

Boy, she wasn't kidding. The Czarina is quite the penny-pincher most of the time, but when she gets excited to shop, she goes crazy. And luckily, she and her best friend not only have fun decorating, but they are really good at it.

For 48 hours, we had a home decor binge-fest: Target, Wal-Mart, Linens n Things, Bed Bath & Beyond, Staples, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Ross (like a TJ Maxx or a Marshall's), craft stores, fabric stores and even some online shopping. We shopped so much, that I think for the first time in my life, I am shopped-out. I have been sitting at home all day today, loving the fact that I do not have to drive anywhere. After shopping all day, we would come back to my house, order some take-out, unpack everything we bought and begin moving furniture around. I think that the entire time they were here, we had about 2 conversations which weren't about home decorating. We were obsessed. But it's ok. It worked out well.

My bedroom looks fantastic -- we added shams and a bedskirt on my bed, managed to fit in my white wicker chair and moved the tables around. Now, it is a cool combination of willow green and white. Very relaxing.

My living room looks fantastic, too -- we adjusted the original color scheme at the last second. We were going to go with chocolate, light blue and paprika.

Instead, it will be white, light blue, lemon yellow and a soft leaf green. I am awaiting some pillows with a paisley pattern encompassing all of these colors -- The Czarina is making them for me. If there is one thing in this world I love, it's a paisley pattern. My lame vertical blinds (which were ugly and made a lot of clattering noise) have been replaced by gauzy, white curtains, letting in a lot more light. We also got almost-white slipcovers (we tried everything, but were unable to find white ones) on my couches. It's amazing what 2 slipcovers can do. Even though they are an oatmeal kind of color, it still looks great. I finally bought the lamp I've been craving for eons and it looks fantastic on my glass table. Combined with the pale blue walls, my living room is "bright and floaty and beachy", according to The Czarina.

And yes, I will take pictures and share. Eventually. You should know by now I'm not a huge picture-taker.

While she was here, we also hired a landscaper to re-do the urban jungle that is my backyard. You know it's bad when the landscaper sees your backyard in its current state and laughs. *sigh* Anyway, he's going to put in some white crepe myrtles and red azalea bushes, and sod the rest of it. I can't wait. And he wasn't nearly as expensive as I thought he'd be. Then again, my yard is teeny tiny.

"This is your early birthday and Christmas present for the next 3 years," The Czarina said.

"Yes ma'am. Thank you. Don't worry, I'll change your diapers when you're old. Would you like me to rub your feet when we get home?" I replied.

We had a lot of fun and were so exhausted by the end of each day, meeting up with my friends for dinner or touring around town to see the sights was just out of the question. So hopefully, my friends aren't upset that they didn't get to meet The Czarina. *crickets chirping* I'm sure they would have done the same thing, right? I mean, let's let the woman shop!

She was in a really great mood, and we didn't get on each others' nerves like we usually do. It felt more like shopping with girlfriends than with my mom. I think it's because her best friend came with her, and she served really well as a referee. At one point, I was getting frustrated, because Czarina kept trying to get me to put fake plants in my house (if there is one thing in this world that I hate, it's fake plants). And since Czarina was the one buying most of what we got, I felt weird telling her how to spend her money. I mean, if someone's offering to pay to spruce up your house, you don't argue. You just say, "Yes, please!" -- right? Anyway. Somehow, my mom's best friend not only picked up on my total disgust at the idea of fake plants, she also managed to talk The Czarina out of it. WHEW.

"Next time, we'll come back for a social visit and meet your friends and go hit all the sights," Czarina and her best friend said.

"Hopefully, that will be a calendar year from now," I thought. (I am also Mommed-out)

Don't get me wrong. I love my mother. Very much. I mean, look how awesomely generous she is. It's just that she can be a little.....domineering. And at age 28, I'm getting a teensy bit tired of it. But I just try and take deep breaths and remember that it all comes from love. And yes, I am grateful that I like 90% of her decorating ideas. That saves us a LOT of irritation.

Now that she's gone, I am left to finish up a lot of her great ideas: I have about 4 pieces of furniture to paint, so they will look better in my house. But I'm going to hold off on these little projects until I get back from my New York City/Vermont trip.

3 days and counting! WOO HOO!!

P.S. Cute Neighbor update:

Just before I sat down to type this post, I was walking the dogs. Who approaches me? Cute Neighbor. Yeah. He walked over as I was heading back inside. He apologized for being MIA on Lasagna Night and then explained that on the same day, he had found out his dad has cancer and there isn't anything that can be done. So I'm thinking that's about as good as excuses get. I told him I was sorry to hear the news.

Ugh, poor guy. I can tell he's bummed out. "I didn't mean to come over here and bum you out," he said.

"It's ok, I sort of know how it is," I replied. Then I told him about WLF (my dad) and Gulgie (my baby brother) and how they died 8 months apart. We talked for a while about what it's like to lose family members and I told him about my NYC trip. He told me about playing the drums. Just casual conversation. I could tell he was mainly thinking about his dad, so we didn't talk long. It felt too weird to change the subject. He just left a few minutes ago, and said he's definitely in for the next lasagna night. Which I have suddenly scheduled for tomorrow.

Just kidding.


FRIGGA said...

WhoooHooo on the decorating! It's nice to have family willing to help out like that.
And, I really hope we get to read about Cute Neighbor in your future posts ;-)

Alison said...

Can the Czarina and her best friend come and redecorate my house too? :)

Your place sounds so cute and I can't wait to see pictures.

Sorry to hear about Cute Neighbor's bad news, but at least he had an honest excuse for missing Lasagna Night.

Anne said...

All that decorating ahd shopping sounds like so much fun. Im very jealous. I and I love nothing more than a paisley print.

RWA said...

See? The Czarina isn't so bad!!!!

Just kidding.

Sorry to hear about Cute Neighbor's dad, but at least he's still interested!

Matilda Jane said...

Let me know when you want me to come over for photo session/'packing light' tutorial

Scotty said...

Awesome that your moms best friend was able to come along and be the ref, now you know for next time that she will have to come also!

Sorry to hear about CN's dad, maybe some good NYC stories will help cheer him up.

Phantom Hater said...

Ah, old-school southern matriarchs. Truly the sweetest of sweet teas.

Dixie said...

I can't wait to see photos, but I won't hold my breath!

Sorry to hear about Cute Neighbors Dad. I lost my mom to cancer when I was 16, so I know the pain.

kimmykins13 said...

The Czarina sounds like my Mom in some senses. My Mom is very much into decorating (and very Southern). My friends call her Martha Stewart. She should have been an interior decorator because she is really good at stuff like that but instead she is a homemaker (which I think is just as well with her). I can thank her for most of the decorating in my house. Fortunately she and I have very similar taste and I have liked everything she has ever picked out for me. In fact, a few years ago for my birthday I wanted a couch (1st Apt.) so she agreed that this would be my birthday present. When she wanted me to go pick it out, I told her no - Surprise me. She did and it was perfect.

I'm a bridesmaid in a wedding in Oct. I'm responsible for throwing the shower. She has already gone out and bought serving dishes and decorations etc. for a beach theme and is helping me plan the menu.

This is not to say we don't have our moments - just like you and the Czarina - I think all Mother's and Daughter's do but I wouldn't trade her for the world. I consider myself really lucky and I'm sure you do too.

Have fun in NYC, I'm so excited for you!!!!

teahouse said...

Hey, glad to hear you had fun with yo' momma!!

It's so cute that you call your sister the Smurf. That's what I call my sister, too!!! :o)

Phantom Hater said...

I'm just going to say one more thing...CZILF.

cmk said...

Tagging you once again, my dear. But then, you probably have done this one a dozen times already! :)